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TV SoundOff: Sunday Talking Heads

Sunday News Shows Round Up

First Posted: 04/29/2012 9:05 am Updated: 04/29/2012 2:34 pm

Good morning one and all! Welcome to the end of April, to another Sunday, and another rendition of your Sunday Morning Liveblog. My name is Jason. Last night was Washington's annual Masque Of The Red Death, and yet even still, we wake up and find out that everyone is still having these terrible shows, because we are without shame as a culture, or something. That said, there does appear to be a goody amount of phoning it in set to transpire today -- odd guests, B-team panelists, and some "Hey Osama bin Laden was killed a year ago today, let's just go with that, guys."

So, let's get on with that first part, where I drink coffee and regret waking up. As per the norm, y'all can feel free to have fun and frolic in the comments, drop me a line is you so desire, and, of course, you can always follow me on Twitter, as a matter of last resort.

Okay, well, let's begin with the show that comes on about the same time I bother to get up.

FOX NEWS SUNDAY

So, we're going to have a lot of war on terror talk with John Brennan. And then Joel and Victoria Osteen are here? For some reason? And then paneling, with the Fox third stringers.

So, a year ago Wednesday, Osama bin Laden got got by the Seal Team Six. So why not remember it next week? Because this is a Beltway Media Television Show, and it's not about you or me or anyone else but them. And they all remember it happening the weekend of the White House Correspondents Dinner, and so this is its anniversary. "Where do we stand now in the war on terror," asks Wallace. The answer: far removed from it, and in relative luxury.

But, piss it, let's have John Brennan talk about it. But first! What's going on with Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, who yesterday made a rather daring escape from house arrest with the help of what was likely to be a network of people who risked their lives to free him. He is now rumored to be at the American Embassy. SO IS HE, JOHN BRENNAN? TELL NATIONAL TELEVISION ALL THE SECRETS.

"I"m not going to address the issue right now," he says. There are people doing stuff. Other people. Not John Brennan. No one currently in front of a teevee.

How does the President balance the need to occasionally pluck people from China's many attendant miseries, while maintaining good relationships with them? (As well as factories where people make the products we enjoy at all hours of the day in sweatshop conditions until they retire, by which I mean, kill themselves?) Brennan says that we try to balance out commitment to human rights by...balancing them. He literally answered the question by saying, "How do we balance it? You know, through a process I like to call 'balancing.'"

Are we going to give up Chen to satisfy the Chinese? Brennan won't say.

So, will terrorists be celebrating the death of bin Laden with a terrorist attack? Brennan says "there is no active plot" afoot to mark the occasion. But we won't "let down our guard" and will stay "extra vigilant." They hear about plots all the time, and they track down leads, and that's just what they do. (I suppose that our counter-terror efforts stateside have a pretty good track record, but, you know, you always remember the outliers.)

Moving on to the Secret Service scandal. Does Brennen take the matter seriously? Brennan says that the reports of what went down in Cartagena were very serious, but American Hero Mark Sullivan is on the case, and he is taking care of business, everyday, and working overtime, to make the Secret Services awesome again.

But was Brennan's "hair on fire" over this? He has very little hair. But it "raises questions," and the "investigation is still ongoing" and everyone is pretty sure the president's security was not compromised and SHUT UP MARK SULLIVAN IS WORKING ON IT.

Now, on to the TSA, who are bribing and drug smuggling out in Los Angeles. What happens if they allow explosives, or terrorism, or "the gay bomb" through airport security. You know what I'll do? I'll be like: "Yeah, this is what you get when you try to do this the cheapest way possible, you jerks." Brennan says that he obviously wants the TSA to not do this terrible things. And John Pistole -- the TSA's version of Mark Sullivan, except he is not sexxxy and beloved by everyone -- wants the same things, because otherwise people call him and they are yelly! "WHY DID YOU NEED TO SEARCH MY FOUR YEAR OLD'S CROTCH, ETC!"

Okay, Brennan does say that Pistole is a "first-class manager-leader." Whatever that means.

But do we need to take another look at the TSA and their activities? Brennan says that the TSA is looking at itself. So, it's being policed by itself, like all great American institutions, such as Wall Street banks. Everything is going to be fine.

Why don't we have any awesome snuff pictures from the bin Laden raid? "TRUST ME HE IS DEAD," Brennan says. COUGH, SORRY. He goes on to say that pictures will just incite emotions and perhaps make the wrong lunatics go on a psychotic break. But, HA HA: cagey Chris Wallace comes back by asking if that's true, why does the Obama campaign have this ad where Bill Clinton is like: "Obama is my new BFF because he got bin Laden? What would Romney have done? Probably give bin Laden MASSACHUSETTS STYLE HEALTHCARE -- ERR, I mean, HUGZ."

So won't this campaign ad incite violence? "I don't do politics, I'm not involved in the campaign," Brennan says. That said, he says that Obama made a gutsy call, and he'll keep giving the President advice. Wallace asks, if the campaign ad makes the job of keeping us safe, would he tell the president so? Wallace says that he advises the president on that matter. Does the campaign ad concern him? Brennan won't say. Is it fair to say that Mitt Romney is terrible? Brennan won't say. "I'm not a Democrat or a Republican," Brennan says.

Brennan says that we've "degraded al Qaeda significantly," by forcing them to star in "Real Housewives" type shows that were also all tossed in the ocean. "We are going to destroy" al Qaeda, he says. We are working hard with people in Yemen to eradicate their presence there as well. And they keep looking for lone wolves, in the hopes that they can be steered away from terrorism, and into singer-songwriter careers.

Brennan says that the drone program is a "tremendously capable program," because it gathers intelligence and drops bombs. We only use them "in full concert with our partners," which I assume means the states involved, but could just means the military contractors who build them?

Now, Wallace is showing Brennan pictures of himself, on the day Osama bin Laden was killed. "That day was a particularly solemn day, for all of us in the Situation Room," he says, and a day where everyone reflected on the people they'd lost to terrorism. He also wears a special bracelet to remind him of the importance of keeping Americans safe from terrorism. Sort of like I wear a bracelet to remind my parole officer of where I am and what I am doing. NOT KNOCKING OVER JEWELRY STORES ANYMORE, LET ME TELL YOU!

Now Joel and Victoria Osteen are here, because CORPORATE SYNERGY: his show follows this one on Fox, and he's having a big to-do at Nationals Park...uhm, sometime? Maybe it already happened? I'll keep watch to see if he says anything interesting.

Wallace asks Joel if he's just a "motivational speaker" teaching a "prosperity gospel," and he basically says yeah, sort of, but also not? He basically rejects the idea of humility and is more into this sort of theory of AWESOMENESS. Joel and Victoria Osteen are, essentially, the preacher equivalent of Jack Donaghy and Avery Jessups. They want Americans to spend more time "Reaganing," for Jesus.

Wallace asks Osteen what should be done about illegal immigrants. He doesn't know. It's so complicated. Who knows what is right? He wishes he knew! He says that being gay is a sin, but gays are "some of the nicest, kindest, most loving people in the world" who are going to hell and miss out on the Lean Six Sigma of the Seraphim. What about Mormons? Osteen thinks they are swell, like vegan huevos rancheros. "Hey neat! This looks like actual huevos rancheros! Golly that's cute. Oh, I bet there is someone who would enjoy these."

[NOTE: I am actually allergic to eggs, so, in fact, I actually ADORE vegan huevos rancheros. Sorry I'm not sorry! The vegan huevos rancheros at Great Sage in Maryland are AMAZING.]

Victoria Osteen on contraception? Just type "youtube miss south carolina" into Google.

I am going to get some of the coffee that God made me. Be right back.

Okay, panel time with Brit Hume and also they've scrounged up Liz Marlantes and Charles Lane and Kimberly Strassel.

The Supreme Court are totally hating on the President's health care law and their argument against Arizona's "round up the browns" immigration law. Does Hume think it would be damaging if the SCOTUS ruled against these things? Hume does indeed think it would be damaging, though the health care law is obviously more serious. Hume intimates that it's Arizona's law, though, that might be in more trouble.

Marlantes says that Obama's opponents will totally be, "HA HA SUCK IT CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR," but upholding the Arizona law would really fire up the Hispanic vote and bring them to the Democrats. But Wallace points out that Hispanics are actually split on the issue. Strassel says that Obama has demagogued the issue, which is...just -- wow. Ha ha. Yes. THAT'S WHERE ALL THE DEMAGOGUERY HAS COME FROM, IN RE ARIZONA AND HISPANICS. (It should be remembered that while Hispanics nationwide may be split, Arizona Hispanics put that state's electoral votes in play.)

Charles Lane is now saying something that doesn't make sense to anyone else on the panel. He is the journalistic equivalent of a character from The Office.

Should Obama run against the Supreme Court? Hume says that it would be "ineffective" and notes that as controversial as the Court is, it is the only thing in Washington that still has a positive approval rating. (Also: You won't see Obama making a gigantic deal out of the SCOTUS unless he gets to the point where he is losing his argument on the economy and is desperate.)

And, we continue paneling, moving toward the horsey race. The Obama campaign is totally humblebragging on killing bin Laden and saying that Romney wouldn't have done the same. "WE KILLED BIG EVIL MAN AND THE OTHER GUY IS FLOWER WEAVING WIMP" is, basically, the plot of every post 9-11 GOP political ad ever. Hume says that Obama will get the same amount of credit in November for that as Bush 41 did for the first Gulf War. Meaning: not much, because of the economy.

The Romney is complaining that they are hanging their critique of him on a statement taken out of context. It's important to remember, of course, that a central part of Romney's campaign strategy will be taking statements out of context and walking around in high dudgeon about it. We've already seen this happen, and the Romney campaign has made it abundantly clear that they are going to keep doing it: "First of all, ads are propaganda by definition. We are in the persuasion business, the propaganda business.... Ads are agitprop.... Ads are about hyperbole, they are about editing. It's ludicrous for them to say that an ad is taking something out of context.... All ads do that. They are manipulative pieces of persuasive art."

But the strategy doesn't work unless they, having invited their opponents to do the same, don't whine like Miss Muffet about it being done to them. They have correctly surmised that the media refs work like this:

MEDIA: Hey, Obama campaign, not cool!

OBAMA CAMPAIGN: Sure, maybe? But remember when Romney did it, and was like, we're going to keep doing it, because "it's ludicrous for them to say that an ad is taking something out of context.... All ads do that. They are manipulative pieces of persuasive art."

MEDIA: Sure, maybe so. But you are the guy who promised us a "new sort of politics" that was above that sort of negativity and cheapness.

OBAMA CAMPAIGN: And Romney?

MEDIA: Well, he only promised that he'd be a flip-flopping heel with fungible principles. He's living up to what he told us he would be.

OBAMA CAMPAIGN: Seems sort of unfair.

ME: It is. But this is why I always tell people in politics to NEVER PROMISE TO TRY TO BE BETTER PEOPLE. You guys aren't!

Anyway, Marlantes points out that Romney did not seem to grasp how much bin Laden's death meant to ordinary people, and after realizing that it made him look weird, he walked it back. But, I mean, Romney doesn't grasp how much cookies mean to ordinary people.

Strassel asks, "Do you think Obama wants to get into a foreign policy argument with Mitt Romney?" If the Mitt Romney who has lately been writing about foreign policy shows up at the debate, why not?

Lane points out that Obama has been using drones a lot, and that one can argue that he's extended these powers far beyond the range that Bush 43 did, and is "almost ruthless" with these drones, and in typical Washington Post fashion, finds a way to avoid sounding like he is FOR the ruthless use of drones and the accidental deaths they've caused or AGAINST the ruthless use of drones and the accidental deaths they've caused. You know, it's just NEAT! Hey, could cost him some Democratic votes? Care to add a rebuttal, charred pile of Pakistani child-corpses? Okay-doke!

(Actually, I take that back, Washington Post's Marc Thiessen is FOR that stuff, because it saves him the money he was spending on Viagra.)

Hume doesn't think that voters are impressed with GM recovery. (Michigan is a swing state.)

THE CHRIS MATTHEWS SHOW

So, someone at the Chris Matthews Show has titled their bin Laden segment, "Bin Laden, Done That." Can you imagine, being that person, and knowing that you'll have to go on being that person for the rest of your life?

Today we have Richard Stengel, Katty Kay, Helene Cooper, and David Ignatius. Stengel, whose listicle and cocktail party company also publishes a magazine called "Time" (cleverly named for what you spend in the dentist's waiting room that you will never get back) and they have a whole big article on "HOW IT WENT DOWN," where "it" equals the operation to go get bin Laden.

Stengel says that Obama took the "high-risk, high-reward" strategy because they knew that using drones to get bin Laden would have never been conclusive. They'd never know if he was actually dead, and they knew that the Pakistanis would be disinclined to help find out. Stengel says that the length of time they spent planning the operation was risky, too, because something could have been leaked at any time during the seven month planning stage.

Cooper says that Obama had Leon Panetta on his side. Ignatius, noting the added back-up the mission got, has concluded that for all of Obama's public awkwardness, he is privately a "very, decisive and tough man," and "somehow he is going to tell the country that."

Liz Cheney and John Bolton, of course, hate Obama to death, and they think that Obama didn't actually do anything to kill bin Laden but "get out of the way." Matthews, in particular, is incensed by this, and Katty Kay says that "when you read Time magazine's account, it's clear that what John Bolton said is patently wrong." But you have to read Time Magazine, or else you are wallowing in Bolton's effluvia. Do you want that for your children? TO THE NEWSSTANDS!

Chris Matthews friends mostly say that killing bin Laden will "inoculate" Obama from the charges that he is soft on national security. How many electoral votes do you get for carrying Christ Matthews' Pals-istan? Not enough, I can tell you.

Ignatius says that the one thing to look for is that this was sort of a "mano-a-mano battle" between Obama and Osama with each trying to kill the other. Osama had a big ol' sad because when the Obama administration rebranded the "War On Terror" and made it specifically about al Qaeda, bin Laden's support began to diminish, leaving bin Laden sad and bored.

Osama bin Laden wanted to kill Obama and make Biden President, and Ignatius says that the Obama campaign will play that up, except for maybe that last part where bin Laden was saying , "On the other hand, if we could make Biden president, LULZ."

Stengel disagrees, saying that people vote for Democrats based on the economy. Everyone basically votes for everybody based on the economy.

Ignatius says that since bin Laden died, his jihad has grown even more popular. At the same time, however, the Muslim world is ridding themselves of their "apostate leaders," so "we shouldn't declare victory yet."

What is the best way to attack Mitt Romney? Dems be straight pondering this! Should he be cast as a flippity-flopper? Or take him out for a spin with his "I was a severely conservative governor" line? David Plouffe is already calling Romney the most conservative candidate since Goldwater, which...I mean...seriously, though? Okay! Whatever?

Cooper says that the Obama team is "shifting to treating Romney as a right-wing extremist" and tying him to the Tea Party types. Which is why on Student Loan Tour, Virginia Foxx's "zero tolerance for people with student loans" comments got a workout. Stengel says that the Etch A Sketch line, of course, is totally true, and isn't a scandal, and Romney has enough consistency in his message that he can fix the economy.

Kay says that the "people in the middle" matter more than the base now, and the obvious thing to do is remind them all of his primary season positions. This, Kay says, will play especially well with Hispanic voters, where Romney was "so far on the right." Ignatius says that you start with the conservative stuff, then hit him with the flip-flop stuff when Romney tries to adjust.

Oh, boy! But what if the only thing that matters is, say, real income growth in the three quarters leading up to the election, especially the one we are in right now?

Things Chris Matthews knows not of include: Stengel saysthe Democrats are going to say the words "Cayman Islands" over and over again (stoned people will hear this as "Kay, man. ISLANDS"); Kay says that the White House won't be talking about Europe because the whole continent be trippin' (government upheaval in France and the Netherlands and recession in Spain, and the U.K. is in its second dip); Cooper talks about her story in the New York Times (go read it) about Charles Taylor's conviction of war crimes in Sierra Leone -- Cooper is from Liberia and wants people to remember that Taylor committed many atrocities there as well; and Ignatius says -- well, it's hard to come after that -- but okay: the White House is saying that there's a possibility of a deal with Iran over nuclear power, and that Iran seems more receptive than usual.

Did Hillary Clinton basically announce her plans to run for President in 2016 with some jokes at Stengel's party? Stengel says no. He humblebrags about how he's traveled around with her and it's pretty awesome. Kay says that people should definitely announce their big plans at Rick Stengel's party. Cooper isn't sure she has any such plans, and that she may "rest and cool down," between then and now. Ignatius says that the DC consensus is that she is the best Secretary of State ever and she's expected to run for President, the end.

FACE THE NATION

So, over at Face the Nation we are going to have Haley Barbour and Jerry Brown and Antonio Villaraigosa - which means I'd better just CTRL-C the word "Villaraigosa" from here on in, because otherwise I will spell it differently every single time, like I already do with ALL THOSE OTHER WORDS.

CBS is making Bob Schieffer talk about Google hangouts? That just seems pointlessly mean.

We begin with the obligatory montage of White House Correspondent's Dinner stuff, which is no longer about actual correspondents at the White House. But then, is anything? I am pretty sure they would gladly turn the press room into a skee-ball arcade if they could just somehow fumigate all of the desperation from the room.

Anyway, here is Villaraigosa! Villaraigosa Villaraigosa Villaraigosa! I can CTRL-V that all day. Plus Haley Barbour.

So, okay, Romney, he seems confident about his Presidential run. Why is he not knock-kneed with terror, now that he is the nominee for President? Barbour points out that after the contest, the polls have Romney doing fairly well in the polls, and everyone expected Romney to emerge from the primary damaged. (Not me!) Villaraigosa says that the "only person that will be packing" are...the companies he bought (Bain?) and uhm...employees...and, WOW -- Villaraigosa is NOT GOOD at snappy surrogacy.

Villaraigosa eventually pulls it together -- the contest will be close and tough and Obama will win because of his record of "defending and fighting for the middle class." Much better.

Barbour of course, counters that Obama can't win running on his record because the recovery has not been robust and blah blah Obamacare. Villaraigosa counters by saying that Romney's record as governor is not that great -- big debts and bad unemployment. (There was one part of Romney's record that I think the President finds to be pretty neat-o, though, right?)

Villaraigosa: "I think [immigration] is going to be an issue." I can't stress enough what exciting television this is. THING THAT IS AN ISSUE WILL CONTINUE TO BE AN ISSUE. "I think on the issue of immigration Obama is more in tune with America." Schieffer: "What do you make of that, Haley Barbour?" Barbour, "Hispanics are being hurt by this administration, and the Democrats waited to bring up the DREAM act until the lame duck session."

He continues to question the president's seriousness -- why, after all, did he not bring up the Dream Act when he had sixty votes in the Senate. He doesn't seem to understand that he's painting his own party into something of an anti-immigrant corner here. "Obama should have KNOWN we wouldn't have voted to improve these peoples' lives or even attempt to create a sensible immigration policy!"

Barbour says that the DREAM act, as envisioned by the Democrats, has some "attractive" ideas, but he seems to be unsure about the whole path to citizenship concept. Villaraigosa supports the Dems' version completely and says that the version that Marco Rubio came up with makes Hispanics "second-class citizens," though he does not detail why. Villaraigosa also doesn't think that Rubio would help all that much as a vice president, but only because vice presidents don't tend to move the needle, electorally. Barbour essentially agrees, though he notes that the idea that a Veep can help you carry a state is a persistent idea that likely won't go away in this cycle.

Okay, now California Governor Jerry Brown is here. Schieffer wants to know how much politics has changed. Brown says that everything is more polarized, money holds sway, and the adversarial environment is "amped up several degrees" and there is widespread dysfunction. It's a very serious problem! And lookie here! Somehow a piece called "Let's just say it: The Republicans are the problem," penned by Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, got smuggled into the Washington Post, in the same way that Chen Guangcheng got smuggled into the American Embassy (MAYBE!) -- past the censorious diktateer of the WaPo op-ed page, Fred Hiatt, to whom any non-"both sides do it equally as bad" premise is poison.

What can be done about it? Beyond burning people at the stake again? (Willing to try this!) Brown says we need a "breakdown that leads to a breakthrough." Unfortunately, the new, hip things in breakdowns are things like defaulting on the debt ceiling and spinning the planet into a global economic crisis. That is not the same thing as "that time I learned a lesson from when the milk boiled over on the stove top."

Brown says that Obama is "cool, reasoned, intelligent, reasoned and good under pressure" and "has the strength to go all the way." That is, I guess, an endorsement.

Would Marco Rubio help Romney in California. "I don't think Romney will win California," says Brown, who turns that really weird question into a lengthy criticism of the GOP and their "reactionary cul-de-sac" on immigration.

What will the election turns on? Brown says first, elections tend to move on people who make mistakes. Also, incumbency has a huge advantage. Romney has economic discontent to mine. Obama has to tell a story about how the economic dislocation is not his fault, and that he's actually fixing it.

Schieffer wants to know what advice or lessons Brown has for politicians. "Things don't get done overnight...you've got to take thirty years to get things done." He says it's too bad that people look at politicians who don't get their agenda passed in two years time and get considered a failure. "The world doesn't work like that."

What's harder, Mayor of Oakland or Governor of California. Brown says the latter -- "it's more abstract...as Mayor you're dealing with cops, criminals, and developers...more of a hands-on thing...as governor, you are in a capital, but the capital is everywhere." Is he mulling a second term? Sure, why not.

For some reason, Bob Schieffer's closing commentary has been moved up to the midway point? Anyway, the big thing is that Scheiffer and Jerry Brown sat together on a log and had an interview. It was the 1970s and the air was hazy, and hey, it wasn't unusual for a couple of guys, confident in their masculinity, squatting on a log and talking about junk. Brown was, at the time, linked to Linda Ronstadt, and Schieffer wanted to meet her. And someone was eavesdropping behind a tree? Was it Ronstadt? They don't know! They never found out! (TWAS THE WILY JERSEY DEVIL, ME THINKS. Or "Nell," from that movie "Nell," which was about "Nell.")

Anyway, Brown and Schieffer returned to that log and spent the rest of the day having "gentlemen's pleasure," the end.

Okay, now we're going to panel with Graham Allison and Peter Bergen from Time, who wrote the bin Laden story. David Ignatius is also here, with CBS' correspondent John Miller, who was the last person to interview bin Laden.

So, some of the President's senior advisors did not want to chance it, and do the raid. Biden and Gates, in particular, recommended against it. "So if Biden was president today, bin Laden would be alive," says Allison. (This creates a certain frisson, now, with Biden making the claim that Romney would not have made that call.)

"There's a temptation to think of this as a no-brainer," Allison says, who adds that timing plays a big role in when to do something like this. Bergen adds that it's a really rare experience to have two advisors pulling you in two different directions.

Bergen, who went to Abbotabad to see where bin Laden spent the last days of his life, describes his living conditions as pretty miserable, and says that the declassified documents showed that many of his plans were delusional.

Ignatius says, "Al Qaeda was an organization that burned itself out," and that they paid a high price for the many Muslim's bin Laden himself killed. At the same time, Ignatius says, again that while the "dreams of violent jihad died with bin Laden, the dreams of purifying the Muslim world of Western influence is happening."

Schieffer asks Miller if there's any evidence that Pakistanis were involved in sheltering bin Laden. Miller says that "they seemed to be geniunely shocked" that bin Laden was there and there is no indication that there was awareness of bin Laden's presence "at a high level." Allison throws some shade on that, saying that either the head of Pakistan's ISI had been living there, or he had no idea. "Which is more frightening?" he says -- either the ISI is complicit or incompetent. (He adds that so far, there's no intelligence that the ISI knew about it.) Bergen says that bin Laden was a paranoid person, and that there were people in the compound that didn't know bin Laden was living there.

How did they keep this a secret? Basically, it was the world record for shutting the f--k up and saying nothing. Allison points out that a majority of NSA officials had no idea what was going on, and they are probably monitoring everything we type on our laptops. He notes that if word had gotten out too far, some Washington jerkoff would have started complaining about how long they were waiting to pull the trigger.

Is America safer? Ignatius says yes: to the end, bin Laden was plotting to kill Americans. His replacement, Ayman al Zawahiri, is not seen as being as influential or as effective.

Bergen says that more Americans die in their bathtubs than they do from al Qaeda, so why aren't we bombing bathtubs, John McCain? (Actually, John McCain probably has beaten back the bathtubs to their pre-Austro Hungarian Empire borders.)

For some reason, CBS News pointed a camera at a Google hangout, where lots of people were Skyping each other, just jawing about immigration, and it is precisely as exciting as I am making it sound. Perhaps less so. I mean, do you want to see the RNC's Bettina Inclan complain that the President didn't put forth a plan for comprehensive immigration reform that the RNC's Bettina Inclan would then excoriate? That's one of my favorite political gambits: "The President has failed to provide the sort of leadership necessary to produce a piece of legislation that I'm already pre-committed to despising!"

Anyway, John Dickerson had to spend an afternoon listening to people on Skype yell at each other, so, you know, buy him some food or something? Because no one deserves that.

So, that bring us to the end of another week on the Sunday morning prattle-grind. Thank you all for joining me today. I hope that the rest of your week goes well! Just as a programming note, there will be no liveblog on Sunday, May 20, because I will be attending the University of Virginia's graduation ceremonies. (I finally got my degree! (Just kidding.))

[More liveblog is coming next Sunday. While you are waiting, check out this story from me and Jason Cherkis -- "'I Can Smell The Fires From Here': Broadcasts From The L.A. Riots" -- we spoke to radio reporters who covered the Los Angeles Riots twenty years ago, as well as deejays who spent days taking calls from the community. It's an intimate take on those major events, from the people who were closest to it. We've got transcripts for you to read and exclusive audio to listen to as well.]

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