Back on the horse

Post-election and post-Thanksgiving and post-I-Really-thought-a-new-job-was-just-around-the-corner.

Ready for my morning dose of bile from Chris Matthews and whatever gang he's scrounged up this AM. I've watch a couple I think I didn't blog about -- the one immediately post-election with four whiny pathetic Democrats, including Maureen Dowd. What is wrong with that woman? More importantly, what is wrong with the world that she is employed for whatever it is people think she contributes to the NYT op-ed page, for Jeebus' sake (it's not thought, and it's not insight, and it's not information -- does someone in the universe find her "entertaining" or does she have J. Edgar Hoover's blackmail files?)?

Another one was more balanced, and included David Brooks, a fave of mine.


Matthews has an awful new haircut -- not a Ratboy, but heading toward Bangs.
Today's line-up: Andrea Mitchell, Joe Klein, Campbell Brown, Deroy Murdock (Scripps-Howard/National Review).
Hm, the token black guy is the token conservative. The time's they have a-changed.

Why haven't we been hit again?

Mitchell: Just because al-Qaida hasn't struck, doesn't mean we shouldn't worry. They could be a victim of their own success, trying to beat 9/11. Otoh, we've broken them down somewhat. (Gee, funny how no one noticed this prior to the election.) But the affiliates spawned by al-Qaida are more threatening.

Klein: NY's still the big target, we do have better intelligence, heavy duty former CIA covert action people, now providing info out of mosques that might be breeding trouble, but otoh no one knows why the next attack hasn't come yet.

Brown: Intelligence is getting better, here and abroad, French, Spanish, Pakistan, Saudis -- and their intel services don't play by the rules we do.

Murdock: See something, say something; good tips coming forward and e.g. subway plot nipped in bud.

Mitchell: They have prevented some things. But we have also become more protected.

Klein: Iraq has been a huge recruiting poster for al-Qaida and the other assorted groups.

Mitchell: There are only two people who can approve US/UK hits from al-Qaida, and one is in jail. Their replacements aren't as Westernized, not as adept, as their predecessors.

Murdock: The more spectacular the better, but the next attack doesn't have to be big numbers, could be something in the middle of Macy's, that would have a big impact. One reason we're safer is the Patriot Act and its dismantling of the wall between intelligence services and police. (Cut off by Matthews)

Matthews: The real danger is the suitcase bomb.

Klein: Let's plug Graham Allison's new book about nuclear threat.

Matthews: are we safer or simply a fatter target?
Brown: Safer, you can't ignore the basic stuff, everything that we've done, dispersion of al-Qaida, going down that list one by one.
Klein: Safer but facing a more intense enemy.
Matthews: More diverse
Klein: More diverse and more intense enemy.
Mitchell: Which is harder to get at and ... Safer marginally but we don't know what we don't know.

Commercial break: This is the second show where I've actively noticed that Campbell Brown seems to be jiggering ever so slightly away from the left-left mainstream Democratic liberal-near-anti-American line. She doesn't couch every single statement with how bad things are, or that how bad things are is of course Bush's (Republicans') fault, and she seems to be consistently hewing the factual line, reasonable things ("can't ignore the basic stuff").

Back: Eeeeeeew. Edwards' bye-bye NC tour o' pointlessness, plus Billary and so forth.

2008, will Hilary run? Klein says no. It's a very personal thing. She *loves* being in the center, not being attacked/anger/vitriol, won't go for it.

Brown: She still has huge obstacles to overcome. She has HUGE negatives.

Matthews: Look at the map Kerry just lost on, where does she see herself winning, West Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, anything?

Klein: She could win; she's a Midwesterner (Matthews: Not lately) and a Southerner. (!!!)

Mitchell: No one thought she could win the Senate seat in NY.

Matthews: She's a charmer when you're with her.

Murdock: Come to Daddy is I think what many people on the right are thinking. Hilary's the Republicans' dream candidate. She'll say what her husband said, who said he'd finish up his term, and then ran for President anyway.

Brown: Well, she is putting a team together. For either, for both.

Who's has the best shot at giving Hilary the hardest run for her money in the primaries?

Brown: Edwards. He has the ability to run as an outsider. (Matthews: because the voters rejected him) Well, yeah. Biggest problem: has no platform from which to run.

Klein: He doesn't have a sense of humor. There's a there there; I don't know where, where.

Mitchell: Not yet presidential material. I wouldn't say that he couldn't be.

Murdock: [Evan Bayh] I don't know if he's a strong threat but does represent something other than a liberal like Hilary who's a blue state and more than a one-termer like Edwards who didn't even deliver his own state.

Matthews: What's almost as good as a governor? A veteran having run for President before. Kerry will run again.

Klein: I think he's suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Look at the big sloppy governors. What the Democrats really need is someone who doesn't need to prove that he's the smartest guy in the room.

Brown: They need somebody with National Security Credentials, and that's what none of these people except Kerry which ended up being a sinkhole had.

Murdock: I doubt [Kerry will run again]. I think what the Democrats really have to do is come up with an agenda. There's a lot of stuff they're against, they need to determine what they're for.

Matthews: But anyone who beats Hilary in the primaries is God. And he can win the general election.

Mitchell: One of Kerry's big advantages is, he sat on all that money.

Tell me something I don't know

Brown: Dems will start beating up on Hollywood because they can't touch abortion and they need something on their side, to deal with on the morals issue.

Klein: Senator Harry Reid has a giant portrait of Mark Twain in his office. And I think that's really cool.

Mitchell: Paul Wolfowitz would like to be the UN Ambassador.

Murdock: NY State has just been ranked at the bottom (50) of all states in terms of economic freedom. Weak economy, anemic Republican performance in last election, and Pataki's Presidential aspirations are summarized in one word: Fergeddaboudit. Regulations, union control of things, not much growth.

Note: She's a Southerner? O.M.G. Speaking of not clear on the concept.

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