Sunday, October 20, 2013

CNN's Sunday morning shows interview McCain, Cruz on the "fairness" of the shutdown; SNL criticized for lack of diversity in its hosts, performers

On CNN’s Sunday morning news program "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley,  Dana Bash and Gloria Borger interviewed John McCain and then the controversial senator Ted Cruz.
Bash prodded Cruz on his motives, and it really seems as if there is a focus on Obamacare that seems out of proportion to everything else.  He says that it is his job to represent the 26 million people of Texas (I lived in Dallas myself from 1979-1988), not the Republican Party establishment.
I was not harmed directly by the shutdown and the markets did not become all that volatile.  But a future crisis could do grave harm if the US actually fails to pay its bills.  That risk this time was probably not as imminent as the Democrats said – we probably had enough money coming into Treasury coffers to pay bills well into November, but the T-bill rollovers every Thursday could have become catatrophes in their own right. 
Did Cruz force others around the country to make personal “sacrifices” so he could play his own politics?  Or to advance his own constituents?  John McCain talked about food lines in Arizona during the shutdown.  Cruz would say that the Democrats forced the hardship by refusing to negotiate, but that does sound like a kidnapper blaming a father for the deaths of other family members on the father’s physical “cowardice”.  This sort of thing really does happen.  The president insists that only Congress can appropriate money to run the government and authorize more debt to pay the country’s already-incurred bulls.   But previous presidents have, in practice, allowed “negotiation” over the debt ceiling, even if this sounds like giving in to “extortion” in principle.  So it is all a bit unclear.  Both parties are to blame.
Cruz pointed out Harry Reid’s embarrassing answer when Reid was quizzed about cancer patients at NIH.

If we did repeal Obamacare, what happens to people with pre-existing conditions?  Who pays when uninsured people show up in the emergency room?  If there is no individual mandate, who pays for the anti-selection problem?  Will "volunteerism" or the "natural family" really take care of all of these problems?  Consider the moral implications for individuals.
Bash did ask Cruz about the post-deal “threats” on Twitter, being investigated by Capitol Police and the Secret Service.  Cruz made light of it by saying no one can “blow up the Sun”.  That’s true, unless you include extraterrestrial aliens as the enemy and play an “Ender’s Game”.  But conservatives like Newt Gingrich have pointed out genuine existential threats to our way of life from possibilities like electromagnetic pulse, or EMP.

Earlier Sunday morning, CNN reviewed an “unrelated” matter, the reported lack of African American females on NBC’s Saturday Night Live, or SNL.  Debra Wilson said that producer Lauren Michaels can do what he likes, and that the most talented black entertainers probably weren’t auditioning or approaching NBC through their agents.  It does seem that SNL often likes young white entertainers, especially males, and that the brand of somewhat libertarian satire plays well with the professional audience that lives on both coasts.  It does like youth and vigor, with previous hosts like Justin Timberlake (with drag), Jake Gyllenhall (again even in drag).  Shia LaBeouf, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Taylor Lautner (who was still 17 when he hosted it), Michael Phelps (not an actor), and of course Justin Bieber.   It would seem that Reid Ewing (aka “Reid Rainbow”), the guest star playing and composing “Dylan’s” music on Modern Family would make an interesting and funny host, given his videos making fun of government bureaucracy and the desire of people to want everything to be “free” – to get something for nothing.  A dash of conservative humor (making fun of Obamacare) can really sell ratings.   

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