Will CNN Report on Obama Anti-Christ Story…Again?

As I noted last week, this is the time of year when news coverage gets a little bit creative.  Let’s face it, health care is sexy, but not August sexy.

Still, even in the dog-day spectrum of Montauk Monsters, Birther Madness, and Chupacabra sightings, the “revelation” that Jesus said Barack Obama is the Anti-Christ is pretty ridiculous.  Sure, a blog like Salon’s War Room, or perhaps The Daily Show, might kill some time mocking the notion, but no serious news organization would trot this out.  Would they?

Not so fast.  Billie at Daily Dose dug up this clip from last August, in which CNN ruminates on the question of then-candidate Barack Obama’s possible Anti-Christhood.

My favorite part of the clip is that, while they seem to mock the idea that Barack Obama is the Anti-Christ, CNN appears to take the existence of an Anti-Christ at face value.

I also liked Campbell Brown’s characterization of this as a “rumor,” as if watercoolers everywhere are abuzz.  While Sarah Palin may take exception to some of the media’s coverage of her, no mainstream network ever reported that she might be the harbinger of the End of Days.

The latest incarnation of the theory comes to us via a YouTube video in which the narrator says, “I report, you decide,” an indication that he’s lobbying for some exposure on Fox News.

Considering all of this, the question doesn’t seem to be if one of the networks will cover the Anti-Christ story, but rather which one and when.  I say we start a pool.

Fox News’ Chris Wallace Gently Pwns GOP Rep Mike Pence

The Republicans are in deep trouble if this is the best they can do.  Chris Wallace completely destroys Mike Pence with the airiest of follow-up questions on the stimulus and the cash for clunkers program.  Pence thinks he sees a light at the end of the tunnel with some “America’s starting to trust us” happy talk, but Wallace drops some devastating poll numbers on him.

The President’s approval rating is slipping from its previous highs, as many right wing blogs have noted.  However, it also appears that, despite Mike Pence’s delusions, the country isn’t ready, after 7 months, to toss the keys back to the guys who drove us into a ditch for 8 years.

Bonus fun: Pence on Healthcare

Updated:Duh! Healthcare Bill Doesn’t ‘Outlaw Private Insurance’

dosechart

Earlier today, Twitter was all a-Itself with news, courtesy of Investor’s Business Daily, that the House healthcare reform bill “outlaws private insurance.”  I knew, without knowing, that they were misreading the thing, but haven’t had the chance to run through it yet.  Luckily, the Heritage Foundation debunks them, while ladling on their own false alarmism.

To sum it up, IBD reads a passage, from page 16 of the bill, that describes a grandfather provision which they interpret as “making private health insurance illegal,” but fail to read a paragraph on page 19 that explains it further.  Non-grandfathered policies would be required to compete in health exchanges, alongside the public option.

The Heritage article still thinks this is going to ruin everything because of “teh regulations!”

In order to qualify as an “Exchange-participating health benefits plan,” all health insurance plans must confirm to a slew of new regulations, including community rating and guaranteed issue. These will all drive up the cost of health insurance. Furthermore, all these new regs would not apply just to individual insurance plans, but to all insurance plans.

The irony here is that the health exchange fixes a major flaw in John McCain’s plan from the 2008 campaign.  McCain wanted people to be able to purchased insurance across state lines, but that would have meant trashing or weakening important protections for consumers.  Without them, there would simply be a race to the bottom to provide the cheapest, crummiest insurance to those who can’t afford more.  From my story on the subject:

Saying that all McCain wants to do is “erase artificial boundaries” between states is like saying, “I don’t want criminals to roam the countryside, I just want to unlock their cells so they can compete for the best one.”

In order to allow such “competition,” companies would need to be exempt from state regulations, regulations that protect consumers from being denied coverage, or being canceled if they get sick, or from being sold worthless insurance that doesn’t cover anything once you read the fine print.

The notion that insurance companies can’t compete while consumers are protected is a frightening one.  There may be some that can’t hack it, but maybe they’re the ones who need to go out of business.

Update: I finally found a complete copy of the bill that my crummy connection would let me download, and it turns out that the IBD headline is even dumber than I thought.  On page 15, immediately prior to their “Oh, noes!” paragraph, is a clearly labeled intro that states that the section is simply a definition of “grandfathered coverage,” which is then referenced on page 19:

GRANDFATHERED HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE DEFINED.—Subject to the succeeding provisions of this section, for purposes of establishing acceptable coverage under this division, the term ‘‘grandfathered health insurance coverage’’ means individual health insurance coverage that is offered and in force and effect before the first day of Y1 (as defined in section 100(c)) if the following conditions are met:

That’s where IBD started reading, and stopped before they got to page 19.

More on this later.

Greta, the 90’s Are on the Phone, They Want Their Catchphrase Back

This argument between Greta Van Susteren and Greg Jarrett is getting a lot of play, even prompting an apology from Greta.  The tiff itself is rather pedestrian, although Jarrett’s slow-burn reactions are amusing.  Never mind Van Susteren’s weird relationship with the Palins, what really stood out for me was Greta’s OJ-era patois: (h/t Hot Air)

Kudos to Jarrett for not instructing Greta to contact “the hand’s” publicist for a statement, or informing her that Homey refuses to participate in shenanigans.  Hey, it’s all good.

Fire David Letterman Event to Proceed Despite Apology

Update: David Letterman issued another, more apologetic apology today. which prompted me to contact one of the organizers of the “Fire David Letterman” campaign, John Ziegler, to see if they still planned to carry out the event.  I’m not sure if I got John’s subtle inference, you tell me: (via email)

Me:

Are you still putting this on despite the apology?

John Ziegler:
Yes

Gotcha! Leno Told Statutory Rape Joke, Too!

davejay

There’s a new, inevitable twist in the David Letterman-Gate joke scandal. Alan Colmes notes that Dave’s late-night rival, Jay Leno, told his own underage Palin daughter sex joke during the campaign: (h/t HuffPo)

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Gotcha! Leno Told Statutory Rape Joke, Too!

davejay

There’s a new, inevitable twist in the David Letterman-Gate joke scandalAlan Colmes notes that Dave’s late-night rival, Jay Leno, told his own underage Palin daughter sex joke during the campaign: (h/t HuffPo)
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Today’s Quickies PLUS! Senator Claire McCaskill

Ah, today’s “Today’s Quickies” includes a Quickie (photo op) with Senator Claire McCaskill.   She got a laugh ou0325091922t of how I took the picture, while making it seem like a candid shot.

One of these is in poor taste, as was that phrase I just used.

Chewbacca the Hooker?

Piss your pants with impunity.

The Pot disses US for missing Kettle conference.

Caleb joshes with his boyfriend.

Awww!  That’s kinda sad.  And also ACTUALLY sad.

Birfer minutiae theater.

Be nice to Moot and Rain!

The old “disappearing tit” trick!

You can download a baby?

The fat guy who used to be on SNL isn’t.

More of McCain’s Money Came From AIG Than Obama’s

As a percentage of the total amount of campaign funds raised, much more of John McCain’s money came from AIG than Barack Obama’s, as this chart illustrates. (Data Source: OpenSecrets.org) That’s a fact, but perhaps a misleading one. Does this mean that John McCain was in AIG’s pocket? Of course not, no more than Barack Obama is.

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Pelosi’s Film ‘Right America’ Gets it Right

I loved this movie.

I had to pull punches a little, but I have to say, I laughed out loud when the douche with the douchey sign got his ass beat.  I hate douchey liberals.  We need to be dickish, not douchey.  Get with the program.

Pelosi’s Film ‘Right America’ Gets it Right

Gergen Plays the Coded Race Card

The debate over who played the race card last week, if anyone did, is starting to peter out, and it seems that everyone is willing to walk away from the issue with minor dents on Obama, and nary a scratch on John McCain.

Obama’s remarks about not looking like the faces on U.S. currency were either about race or not, but presumably, they were about the same thing that McCain’s use of Obama on the $100 bill was about.

Less clear to me, at least, is whether the McCain campaign was using subtle racial messaging in its "Celeb" ad. My colleague, Caleb Howe, joins the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart in mocking the notion that the inclusion of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears in the ad was a nod to miscegenation, similar to the ads run against Harold ford, Jr.

As I reported last week, I missed it at first, too. Stewart and I, not being from the South, are far less attuned to the "white women with black men" aspect of racism. Up here, the racism is mostly about crime and employment.

The thing about subtle racial coding is this: It’s subtle and coded. Luckily, David Gergen is familiar with Republican messaging, and acts as a Rosetta Stone for us in this clip:

Here’s the operative quote:

"Everybody knows he’s black but there has been a very intentional effort to paint him as somebody outside the mainstream; other. He’s not one of us. It’s below the radar screen. I think the McCain campaign has been scrupulous about not directly saying it. But it’s the subtext of this campaign. Everybody knows it. There are certain kind of signals. As a native of the South, I can tell you, when you see this Charlton Heston ad, ‘The One," that’s code for ‘he’s uppity.’ ‘He ought to stay in his place.’ Everybody gets that who’s from a southern background. When McCain comes out and starts talking about affirmative action, I’m against quotas, we get what that’s about. That gets across."

The McCain campaign still has not come up with a sensible answer for the selection of these 2 particular luminaries, saying at first that they were the two biggest celebrities in the world. That’s not even close to true, and Paris Hilton has never drawn a crod of "fans" that I’m aware of.

They could have easily chosen Oprah Winfrey, who has already been villified as unqualified to endorse a candidate.

They could have used any number of the actual celebrities who have endorsed Obama. That, plus McCain’s own dismal record on keeping up with the times, racially speaking, makes for a compelling argument. Plus, when you belong to the party of the Southern Strategy, it is up to you to make sure you don’t get within yards of that line.