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TV SoundOff: Sunday Talking Heads

First Posted: 06/05/11 10:37 AM ET Updated: 08/05/11 06:12 AM ET

Five Box

Hello and good morning, everyone, and welcome to your Sunday Morning Liveblog of political slap-and-tickle-on-the-teevee. My name is Jason, and this week, Fox scores an exclusive interview with their own employee, Sarah Palin, who will hopefully tell us about that time Benjamin Franklin got struck by lightning and invented the kite, which he used to defeat the Sea Monsters in the War of 1812. Also, blessed be the clay court specialists, for their French Open has taken the place of Meet The Press today.

Hey, I have a recommendation, for you to take up or leave, although I really, really hope you take it up! Coming out tomorrow, wherever books are sold, is Columbia University journalism professor Dale Maharidge's latest book, Someplace Like America: Tales From The New Great Depression. In this latest book, Dale does this incredibly strange thing where he actually meets working class Americans and talks to them and reports their stories! I know! Weird, right? Does he talk to any campaign consultants or famous politicians? Not really! Why it's almost as if there's this whole world of human experience that reporters don't ever discuss!

I've had the chance to read the book, and it is excellent. Maharidge uses decades of reporting to deliver a potent picture of what's going on in the United States' forgotten communities, to help us understand that the economic downturn isn't something that can be read on a page full of charts. The really wonderful thing about the book is that it's not just a cavalcade of ruin porn -- it's very honest about the hardships that the working poor face on a daily basis, but it shines as bright a light on the resilience that Maharidge ultimately hopes will be everyone's salvation. You'll meet some really interesting people, and get to experience what is really a legitimate journalistic adventure.

It's available on Kindle if you like the e-book thing, but I recommend the hardcover edition because it comes with a huge clutch of Michael Williamsons excellent photojournalism as well, and you don't want to cheat yourself of that, either.

But please, please buy the book, because it's how more books like this get made, and more reporters like Dale Maharidge get hired to do more reporting that's less inane! Speaking of inane, I guess we should start chronicling another awful Sunday Morning experience. So, feel free to comment, or send email, or follow me on the Twitter thing -- DO NOT SEND ME YFROGS OF YOUR JUNK, OBVIOUSLY.

FOX NEWS SUNDAY

So, here's Palin, and she's back in Arizona? Okay, that's great. She hates the state of the economy! And she hates Obama's policies! And someone taught her the words "quantitative easing." It's something the Fed did, and she hates it, too. "You try telling that 'bump in the road' analogy to the American people," she says. (She's probably tried to use that analogy, and I imagine it was difficult.

Anyway, she figures that the underpants gnomes should be unleashed to "ramp up private sector growth," which is currently being held back by the problems in state governments, which I would imagine she doesn't want to solve.

Of course, the White House points out that the "trend lines" are all okay. I'm not sure about that. Though we're certainly much better off at the moment than we'd have been if we'd opted, in 2008, for a slew of McCainiac pro-cyclical economic policies, the truth is right now, it's looking more and more like we might be living in the "new normal."

Palin: BLAH BLAH I HATE GOVERNMENT CONTROL OF THINGS, except for maybe the proceeds earned from the oil industry in Alaska, which I think should be spread around to people!

What would Palin do? "I would go in the opposite direction of what the Democrats have already tried." Specifically, though? She's somehow "unstimulate" the economy, because she hated the stimulus package. She would "cut the Federal budget and make sure we're not crowding out private sector investment." Ha, LOL, that's the new line, by the way! "Crowding out private sector investment with government spending." Hey, private sector! I understand that the government has been spending, and crowding you out! Tell you what! That several trillion dollars we gave you in bailouts? You can just send that RIGHT ON BACK TO ME, YO. I'm sorry for crowding you! Just make the check out to "America." Our bad! Y'all get back to the awesome investing you were doing before we decided, I guess without being asked begged, to give you a crapload of money.

The individual mandate also quashes the entrepenuerial spirit. So true! When I hear somebody complaining about how they got dropped by their insurance company and are dying of something treatable and going into debt at the same time and losing their home, one of the first things I say is, "I bet you're TOTALLY unleashing your entrepeneurial spirit though, right?" (They usually yell, "I'm bankrupt and can't get a line of credit!" but whatever, BOOTSTRAPS!)

Palin says we have a too high corporate tax rate! Someone needs to tell her about the massive loopholes therein that prevent us from actually collecting that revenue.

Palin says that she doesn't believe Tim Geithner when he says that August will bring a drop-dead date on the debt ceiling. And I can't blame her for being something of a Geithner-skeptic. Wallace tells her that Moodys is saying essentially the same thing, and I'm not sure Palin understands what a ratings agency is, so she says Moodys gives a "powerful message" that we need to be electing different people to office, except that isn't really the solution to an urgent matter.

Now, Palin is saying, "I know the debt ceiling will be raised whether I like it or not." But she'd be a "no" vote if she was in Congress. She believes that Senator Begich should hold the debt ceiling hostage over ANWR! So, Palin is breaking with Ronald Reagan on this issue.

Actually, I tell you what, Palin is right. The Democrats may as well do some hostage-taking too. No vote on the debt ceiling until Vermont gets their single payer waiver! No vote on the debt ceiling until a full withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, a matter that's a major driver of debt, anyway. Mark Begich, get in the game!

Palin supports Paul Ryan's plan to turn Medicare into a series of coupons that get less valuable over time until they're not worth anything anymore. Palin spins hard, calling it "spin" that Ryan wants to "do away" with Medicare, but please: the plan is to STOP PAYING FOR MEDICARE.

But it is true that he wants to replace Medicare, a program that pays for health care services, with vouchers that you use to buy private health insurance. But why would that save money? Is it because private insurance is more efficient than a government-run universal pool? No. It's because while Medicare's costs are projected to increase at the same rate as overall health care costs, Ryan's vouchers are designed to increase in value at a much slower rate. So instead of paying for old people's health care, which is expensive, Ryan proposed to just not pay for old people's health care. Nobody can seriously deny that refusing to pay what health care costs saves a lot of money relative to paying what it actually does cost. But the savings here have nothing to do with vouchers or with sweeping away benefits to the middle and upper classes. You could accomplish the exact same thing by setting a cap on how much Medicare will pay for any one person's health care. But conservatives would denounce that as "rationing" even though it's identical in its impact on patients.

Either way, though, the issue is that as a country we can't afford the quantity of health care services we're projected to consumer in 30 or 40 years. Shifting the cost around doesn't actually address that issue.

Future deficit problems are primarily driven by the cost of Medicare and Medicaid. (Social Security is lumped in there as well, but fixing Social Security is a matter of making arithmetic choices. Remove the income caps on Social Security contributions and BOOM, SOCIAL SECURITY IS SAVED.) Paul Ryan's plan absolutely addresses the government spending side of the debt problem. If Paul Ryan says that his plan saves the government money, I will agree with that. IT TOTALLY DOES!

My objection here is that Paul Ryan contends this plan saves Medicare. IT DOESN'T! Right now, I don't think there is a plan from anyone that addresses both the deficit problem AND the problem that would occur if this vital source of care went away. Paul Ryan has a plan that addresses the federal debt by eliminating a costly program, gradually, which allows him to say that current recipients (read: traditional GOP voters) would not be affected by the plan.

If Ryan would just be honest about this, there wouldn't be this constant need for me to ridicule him!

By the way! What a tragedy that John Kevorkian died, and with his passing goes America's most prominent voice in favor of doctor-assisted euthanasia. It's a controversial subject, don't get me wrong. I find it weird that the same people who would eliminate Medicare also tend to be against assisted-suicide, since the lack of legal assisted-suicide just compounds the problem of having a huge elderly underclass dying prolonged, agonizing deaths. We don't want to save their lives, but we don't want to end them either. It's like we've decided that the poor absolutely need to crawl off into the woods to die in penniless agony.

It's no surprise, I guess, that seeing Palin on the screen makes me think about assisted suicide.

Palin says that the "coming years" are "soon to approach!" It's awesome that she now fully grasps what a calendar is.

Would Palin, who said on Thursday that the "cost of war" needs to be a factor in future decisions, pull forces out of Afghanistan or Libya? HA. First we get a tureen of word soup that indicates that Palin has just discovered that there's a strained relationship between Hamid Karzai and the United States over out troop presence. That's just adorable, the way she thinks that this came to a head this week.

But would we pull out? Would we pull out? "We need to re-evaluate the timeline." OH, HO!

"I have great faith in Petraeus," Palin says, unaware that Petraeus will soon be at the CIA and not at CENTCOM.

The answer, though, is NO SHE WOULD CONTINUE SPENDING MONEY IN AFGHANISTAN.

In Libya, she says that the mission is "murky and nebulous" and not explained very precisely. I agree with Palin! The mission in Libya is very Paliny!

Palin is now characterizing her position like this: "With the US involved in three wars, we have to rethink foreign aid." OH. I get it. We'll keep spending money on wars, and instead cut that teensy sliver of money that goes out as foreign aid. Glad we had this adult conversation.

Palin thinks it's weird that people don't understand her bus trip, and think it's some sort of publicity tour. She says that her tour is "publicity for America" and it is helping to ensure that we all don't forget American history.

Never forget Sarah Palin's misremembered version of Nonsence America!

"You know what! I didn't mess up about Paul Revere," Palin says. HA, NO. YOU DID. Paul Revere didn't run around ringing bells...EVER. Of course, Palin calls the question she got on the matter a "gotcha" question, because a "gotcha" question is one where she gets the answer wrong. Palin totally would have been a thoracic surgeon if the MCATs weren't filled with "gotcha questions" on anatomy and infectious disease!

Anyway, Palin doesn't have to worry about being wrong when there's a drooling cult of followers who'll tell her she's right. As I quipped earlier on Twitter: if Palin said that strychnine was an essential ingredient in poundcake, we'd have another Jonestown on our hands within 36 hours.

Anyway, she's not running for President. In the meantime, we're going to get to read a bunch of emails that she wrote, but she's pretty sure that nothing in that the Wasilileaks are going to hurt her, publicly or politically. She's also not particularly concerned about Frank Bailey and the book he wrote, calling the book "complete lies" and saying that "Bailey has some ethical problems."

On Romney, Palin reiterated that he will have trouble attracting Tea Party support, which is an understatement -- kneecapping Romney is their ardent goal.

Palin is against government -- at the federal, state and local level -- mandating anything in the lives of people, which I'm pretty sure isn't a tenable way to run a civilization.

Is there room in the race for both Palin and Michele Bachmann? Palin says yes.

Wallace shows Palin a picture of the New Hampshire paper which accorded her bus trip a bigger mention than Romney's rollout. He asks a good question: as a student and critic of the media, why did that happen? Palin says that she apologizes for bigfooting Romney that day. Wallace is like, really? Palin insists that she means Romney no harm. O-kay!

Man, I gave that Palin interview FAR TOO MANY TIVO PAUSES! I really need to stop doing that so much. So, okay. Let's do the rest of this show very quickly.

Oh, man, I am getting too TiVo-pause happy aren't I? I'm sorry, faithful readers. The definition of "liveblog" is thus, pretty strained. So, let's try to crank this.

Panel time with Bill Kristol and Mara Liasson and John Podesta and Kim Strassel. Podesta looks like he needs to lay off the bronzer.

Strassel says that the business community is being killed by uncertainty! What's uncertain about the amazing profits they're taking home? Who knows?

Podesta says...I don't know...we need "competitiveness?" And there will be a fight with the GOP in the 2012 campaign? Okay, didn't know that was going to happen. Meanwhile, we're in a rough patch.

Kristol says that the questions are whether high unemployment and slow growth are a feature or a bug in the economy and whether or not it's the cause of Obama policies or structural realities that we need to grasp with both hands and contend with. And for a minute there, I think, wow, Kristol is asking responsible questions and maybe we can start to have an advanced conversation, but then he just reduces it all back to the spin that the GOP is going to put on it, and so that's where we are! The economy is bad, and we should do less of what my political opponents prescribe, not because I understand them to be wrong, but in order for me to get a seat in Congress, I have to convince you that it is.

Man, I've watched a lot of Sunday morning television since the economy collapsed, and it's never been a serious venue for discussing it.

Strassel, for example, just states declaratively, "the people want spending reform." This is one of those examples where you have to replace the words "the people" with "elite Beltway pundits." (The key difference between "the people" and "elite Beltway pundits" is that one group has a job and the other doesn't.)

No pausing, yay! More panel, though.

Kristol says that the Romney "rollout" has been going on forever, so it's not exactly a surprise. He's got a good organization, but he says it's not clear why Romney has been deemed the frontrunner. (Because he leads in these things called "polls.")

Liasson points out that this was a good week for Romney to announce, because he is basically betting on a bad economy and hoping that he can convince people that he can Bain Capital the country back to prosperity (through massive offshoring of jobs, I guess?) -- which makes sense, because he can't run on his singular legislative achievement, inventing Obamacare.

Strassel says Palin will have to "be Presidential" to run for President. Again, it's amazing that people other than me wake up on Sunday to watch these kinds of pulled-from-my-cat's-poopbox level of pronouncement.

Kristol predicts that Chris Christie or Paul Ryan will jump into the race in September if Romney and Palin remain the frontrunner. (Which means none of that will happen.) (He's also pretty sure that the 2012 ticket will be "Ryan-Rubio," because OMGZ PRETTY HAIR!)

I'm going to let these guys blather, and pour my wife some coffee. By the time I get back it will probably be time for...

THIS WEEK WITH CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR

THIS WEEK begins with a litany of economic woes and politicians laying blame at Obama's feet. Allow me to lament that we're going to enter an extended period of time in which the pain being felt by Americans will be reduced to a matter that solely impacts politicians. We have this quote, at the end of the package, which says something like, "Obama needs to hope that the road to recovery is just a bumpy road and not a road to nowhere." Of course, Obama's not on a road to nowhere. He's on a road to permanent affluence! The economy is not a soap opera!

Le sigh. Let's listen to Austan Goolsbee explain what's going on. I predict that we'll have hit a rough patch but that "moving averages" are still "trending" in the "right direction." Let's go.

So, is the recovery doomed? Goolsbee says: "Don't make too much of any month's job report," because they aren't indicative of a trend. (He reminds, by the way, that last month's report ran ahead of expectations.) "We have moved a long way from when the economy is in a rescue mode," Goolsbee says, and that we're no longer trying to save the economy from free-fall.

Goolsbee says the past six months have been positive and the payroll tax cut issued earlier this year hasn't been fully felt. The goal, he says, is to get the private sector to stand up and become the primary driver of job creation. Of course, as the public sector loses jobs, the private sector loses customers.

If Goolsbee had a "perfect political environment," by which Amanpour means, no partisan opposition of any kind, what would he recommend be done, at this point? Goolsbee, after a fashion, says that the government should be deploying policies that provide incentive for private sector growth -- tax cuts and "regulatory review" and cut "excessively costly regulations" and "increase exports." He says that the "presidents plan is putting us on the right track."

"This is not a jobless recovery," says Goolsbee, "That is an incorrect phrase." But, if we're crawling out of a "very deep hole," it has to acknowledged that job creation isn't keeping up with the population growth in the workforce and so it will take many years for serious recovery to happen. (And we can totally acknowledge that this has been a failing of the past decade.)

Debt ceiling, what's happening? Goolsbee says it will be resolves because it has to be. Yes, Moodys says that you have to pay your bills to avoind being downgraded, but the problem will be resolved because it has to be resolved. That kind of sounds like the "failure is not an option" logic that keeps us in Afghanistan, where we're "not failing," I guess!

We will panel our way back to prosperity today with NYT's Paul Krugman and Thomson Reuters' Chrystia Freeland and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Martin Regalia.

Krugman says that the flaw in Goolsbee's logic is that for the past 18 months, we've has a "technical recovery" that hasn't manifested itself in the real economy or in the spurring of significant job growth. "And that's likely to continue," he says, adding, "We're kind of in Lost Decade territory."

Freeland: "We need 150,000 job a month just to tread water, and that's not counting all those millions of people who lost their jobs in the recession."

Amanpour asks if the momentum that's behind the "debt reduction crowd" has been at the expense of the ending the massive unemployment crisis crowd. The answer, of course, is yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. YES x 1000! Martin Regalia says that the "leading distration is the debt ceiling" and it needs to be raised, and then we need to make some "long-term headway with the debts" and NO NO NO, YOU ARE NOW BEING PART OF THE PROBLEM, MARTIN REGALIA.

Krugman is feeling me, and points out that he went from getting it right (raise the debt ceiling and move on) to getting it wrong -- OMGZ, LETS PANIC OVER THE DEFICIT WITHOUT ACTUALLY EVER TALKING ABOUT HOW IT GOT TO BE SO BIG!

Krugman says that we need to boot the economy up, but that was a question that Goolsbee dodged. Freeland concurs that it's not likely anyone will have the political will to do what needs to be done.

Regalia seems to think that we're delaying a process by which houses get "put back onto the market," but if you know anything about the housing bubble, it's that a massive misallocation of resources led to the creation of housing inventory, for which no rational market existed. So, that's not really going to work! It would be smarter to have some sort of infrastructure project called, "American tears these terrible homes that no one wants down," because we could create a bunch of jobs and then people could stimulate aggregate demand.

Freeland asks if he's advocating "shock therapy," and Regalia says no, he's advocating "getting out of business' way."

Freeland: "I want to push back on this notion that business isn't investing because government is in business' way...tax rates are at Bush levels, and the idea that there are a bunch of new regulations, really, that's only been in the financial sector." (And yeah, those new regulations are far from robust!) She goes on to properly scoff at the notion that the financial sector was EVER over-regulated.

Regalia says that regulation in the financial industry affects the entire economy, but what's his point, exactly? That we should repeal Dodd-Frank and return to the 2008 status quo ante? That's what DESTROYED THE ECONOMY.

Now we're having another panel! Pizza-dude candidate Herman Cain and Clinton flack Dee Dee Myers and No Label's Mark McKinnon (fashion icon alert!) and Jonathan Karl. Wheeee!

Is Cain surprised how well he's doing in the polls? No. He says, "Our strategy was to develop a very strong ground game" and implies that the groundwork often doesn't show up in the media's coverage, so yeah, the media has had to catch up. I would agree that Cain's done yeoman's work in raw retail politicking, and that work is being felt.

McKinnon says that people are looking for a non-traditional candidate and Romney's not it and that Rick Perry could jump into the race late, and I don't hear much "No Labels" advocacy going on here -- which is refreshing, don't get me wrong!

Boring conventional wisdom: Oh there will be a "traditional candidate" and an "unconventional candidate." Mitt Romney took his tie off, and there is special providence in that.

Cain laughs at Jonathan Karl for seeing special significance in Romney's hairstyle. He goes on to say that Karl Rove was wrong to dismiss him. He's nice about it! He says that Rove operates from traditions and notions that have been conventional -- have great name recognition, have great funders -- but Cain has neither of those and is doing well. Now, before we all jump in here and start doing whip-its with Herman Cain, I still think that the primary system favors the guy with the war chest and the big name. Huckabee rode his poor-man's act to an Iowa win in 2008 and then had no money to spend on the rest of the race.

"Romney will probably need every dollar he raises," says McKinnon. Probably. Romney's a guy whose concept of what it takes to win is to outspend everyone, so he'll never really have enough.

Jon Edwards! This sad crap-stack has been indicted, so what now? Karl says that to make the case, they've got to prove that Edwards knowingly broke the law, and so it could be a tough case to make. Myers says that Edwards' reputation won't help with a jury, but she largely concurs. I've no idea, by the way, why Edwards wants to retain his law license. No one's going to be hiring him as a lawyer. Best thing Edwards can do with his life is quietly and unassumingly travel to places like Joplin, Missouri and rebuild people's homes and ask nothing in return.

Karl: "I've talked to people close to Edwards who say that he thinks that if he can win this, he'll be absolved." Ha, ha. No. I don't think so.

Afghanistan withdrawal! Good thing that topic comes up AFTER Jon Edwards! The Dems could revolt if a significant withdrawal doesn't commence over the summer. Ha! We'll see. Those Democrats, as you know, are just awesome at stopping our costly and endless foreign wars!

So, everything in Syria, and now Yemen, is sort of going sideways on the United States! In Syria, for example, we've gotten a chance to see the ungodly atrocities that have been done to children -- CHILDREN! -- by the Syrian security forces on behalf of a regime that we don't like and that doesn't like us. Sadly, none of these Syrians live in "Benghazi" -- a magical city that America has sworn to protect, for reasons that aren't completely clear, according to traditions that we've cherished since a few weeks ago.

Amanpour will get all this sorted out with Jordanian foreign minister Marwan Muasher.

Should the U.S. call for Assad to step down? Muasher says the United States is basically implying this. "But why not make it explicit?" Muasher says that there's a reluctance to open a power vaccuum into which some unexpected party might move. So, I guess the idea is we "imply that we want an outcome" and then "obtain an unexpectedly jolly outcome," through "magic!"

It may surprise you to learn that Assad's promised reforms of the Syrian system of government may not have been entirely sincere!

Nevertheless, Muasher predicts that Assad's says are numbered in Syria, and Saleh's are in Yemen, and, oh hey, in Yemen, whoever comes to power will have to deal with al Qaeda. (Unless al Qaeda comes to power!) But if they don't whoever does will have to fight al Qaeda, because al Qaeda will be constantly fighting them.

Muasher says that the "Arab Spring" is a process of upheaval that will, in some instances, take decades if it is to be successful. He says that the nations who enjoy legitimacy and prosperity in the region should properly invest in the process who that governmental legitimacy and economic propsperity spreads.

FACE THE NATION

Okay, so the economy, it is terrible. But Nancy Pelosi and Haley Barbour will yell at each other for twenty minutes and everything will be solved, I'm sure. Or, we are all, as Andrew Leonard suggests, doomed. one or the other!

Is the country heading for a recession? Barbour says maybe, because of Obama, whose policies have been "good for Wall Street" and not for Main Street, and Obama is definitely trying to "drive up the prices" of gas, because he wants to get people driving less. You know, I wish any of that was true! But it's pretty clear to me that the White House would vastly prefer gas prices to be lower because that will help them achieve something they want more than sound environmental policies, that is, "getting re-elected."

Schieffer finds it to be hilarious. Barbour sticks to his guns, pointing out the short-term of cap and trade would lead to "skyrocketing costs," ignoring the long-term savings, and man, again, I wish we were as seriously bent on the environmental policies that Barbour would have everyone believe we bent on, but the evidence keeps on coming back that we aren't:

A new International Monetary Fund working paper finds that the United States "gets, by far, the lowest percentage of revenue from environmental taxation of any OECD country," less than 3 percent of total revenues, well below the industrialized-country average of six percent.

It would be great for the country if there was actually any basis to the things Barbour was complaining about. (Of course, if those things were happening, Barbour's complaints would largely be laughed off as ridiculous.)

The GOP field: people don't really like it! Really, really don't like it! Barbour says, though, that Democrats get elected out of fields that are considered weak, and that virtual unknowns in the summer before the primaries can win the election in November. Nevertheless! Barbour believes that "other people will get in" (he names a lot of people who are already considered to be part of the field) and that the field won't be "fully-formed" until the fall. And, in any event, he thinks that people will like whoever the GOP nominated as long as 2012 is a referendum on Obama's policies.

Why did Barbour tell the Faith And Freedom Coalition not to expect or want a "pure candidate?" Because that's what you need to tell the base in a primary.

Barbour is mad at Obama for not having a plan to save Medicare, and supports Paul Ryan's plan to eliminate Medicare, which, I guess makes sense to someone.

Why didn't Barbour run for president? He lacks the "fire in the belly." And the poll numbers. And he probably didn't want to be part of a field that Republican voters hate. And so, he won't be!

Okay, what does Nancy Pelosi have to say about the economy, and what can be done about it? She says that "we have to take a careful look" at the numbers. Okay. Well. They still look pretty terrible!

But Mittens says that Obama has made the economy worse and says that the deficit is entirely on Obama's back. Pelosi says that she could happily point out that those deficits really cam about because of President Bush, but "we have to look forward." Ahh, she has been listening to pollsters! Specifically, Stan Greenberg:

"Paradoxically, Democrats must forget the past and the financial crisis. That is counter-intuitive and painful because conservative policies were so destructive and Democrats did right and brave things. Voters understand this more than you appreciate, but that is at least three years ago now, and voters think a focus on that misses the country's urgent current reality. They want to serious plans, not triumphalism about jobs reports."

Schieffer points out that Pelosi, years ago, complained when unemployment under Bush hit 5%, and gas prices hit $3/gallon, and wonders if it isn't fair for Republicans to complain now. The point though, is that Pelosi has been very consistent in saying the things that pollsters suggested would be smart things to say!

Of course, she's right to complain that the GOP House majority haven't put forth a jobs bill. But it would be helpful if the Democrat Senate majority would. Right now, the unemployment crisis has been given up on, by everyone.

"I want to know about the now," says Schieffer, wondering why no one is doing anything about anything.

BRAIN IS NUMBING: "Nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to." Blah-blah. Pelosi says that she could "never support an arrangement that reduces benefit to medicare," so, yeah, I guess right there we see that nothing is agreed to. Schieffer asks what her plan is, and Pelosi says that one of the things they've done with Medicare is save half a trillion dollars through the Affordable Care Act, giving Medicare an extra decade of solvency, and the GOP wants to do away with that. She would also give HHS greater bargaining power, to save billions more.

So: cost curbing things exist in the Affordable Care Act! This has been hard for some people in media to accept, but it's time we started holding them to accounts on this, if they're lying, or suggest new lines of work if they're just obtuse.

Bob Schieffer is excited about Scott Pelley becoming the anchor of CBS' evening news hour, and so am I! Someone in America got a job! Woo!

Okay, well, that's the story for this weekend's liveblog of way too much pausing. So sorry for that! A brief programming note: this July, I'll be missing a bunch of liveblog Sundays because I will be either out of town or out of the country. But don't fret -- I will be spending most of my summer Sunday mornings up early and watching these shows, so you don't have to.

(You don't have to watch these shows when I'm not live-blogging them either, of course. Y'all realize that, right?)

Anyway, have a great week!

[The Sunday Morning liveblog returns next week. While you are waiting, here's some more insight from Dale Maharidge about covering the economic pain of actual Americans.]

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