Schwarzenegger, Powell, and Petraeus Defend Obama on Stimulus And Terrorism

The Sunday interview shows a few cases of Republicans breaking from the party line and supporting Barack Obama’s policies. Arnold Schwarzenegger along with Democrat Ed Rendell discussed how the stimulus was successful, including at creating private sector jobs, on This Week. They also agreed that the Republicans won the spin war in discrediting this successful program, with Schwarzenegger calling his fellow Republicans hypocrites:

“I find it interesting that you have a lot of the Republicans running around and pushing back on stimulus money and saying this doesn’t create any new jobs, and then they go out and do photo-ops and they’re posing with the big check and they say, ‘Isn’t this great! Look the kind of money I provide here for the state! And this is great money to create jobs, and this has created 10,000 new jobs, and this has created 20,000 new jobs,’” Schwarzenegger said on ABC’s “This Week.” “It doesn’t match up.”

Asked by “This Week” host Terry Moran if that amounted to hypocrisy, Schwarzenegger responded: “Exactly.”

On Face the Nation Colin Powell disagreed with Dick Cheney’s claims that we are less safe under Obama:

Claims that the United States is less safe under President Obama are not credible, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said on “Face the Nation” Sunday.

He also challenged criticism by some (including former Vice President Dick Cheney, who say that by not using extreme interrogation techniques such as waterboarding on terror suspects the United States is more vulnerable.

“The point is made, ‘We don’t waterboard anymore or use extreme interrogation techniques.’ Most of those extreme interrogation techniques and waterboarding were done away with in the Bush administration,” Powell said. “They’ve been made officially done away with in this current administration.”

Gen. David Petraeus disagreed with Dick Cheney regarding torture and  closing Guantanamo on Meet the Press:

Appearing on Meet the Press, the general made a compelling case against torturing terrorist detainees, saying he found it far more pragmatic and beneficial to stick to methods authorized by the army field manual.

“I have always been on the record, in fact, since 2003, with the concept of living our values. And I think that whenever we’ve perhaps taken expedient measures, they’ve turned around and bitten us in the backside. We decided early on, in the 101st airborne division, we just said, we decided to obey the Geneva Conventions…

“In the cases where that is not true [where torture takes place or international human rights groups aren’t granted access to detention sites] we end up paying a price for it, ultimately,” he added. “Abu Ghraib and other situations like that are non biodegradable. They don’t go away. The enemy continues to beat you with them like a stick…. Beyond that, frankly, we have found that the use of interrogation methods in the army field manual that was given the force of law by Congress, that that works.”

Petraeus wasn’t done there. In another contrast with former Vice President Cheney — as well as the vast majority of congressional Republicans — he reiterated his support for closing Gitmo, albeit without a date-specific time frame.

“I’ve been on the record on that for well over a year, saying it should be closed,” he said. “But it should be done in a responsible matter. So I’m not seized with the issue that it won’t be done by a certain date. In fact, I think it is prudent to insure that as we move forward with that, the remaining detainees are relocated and so forth… is really thought through and done in a very pragmatic and sensible manner.”

SciFi Weekend: Daleks for Sale; Evil Wil Wheaton Returns; Lost; Caprica; Seth McFarlane as James Kirk; and Jennifer Lopez Seduces Barney

Looking for your very own Dalek? A selection of items from Doctor Who will be auctioned off on February 24. Items will include two Daleks,  several Cybermen, a sea devil, and a dinner suit worn by David Tennant.

Season five of Doctor Who will premiere on April 3 on the BBC. It is unclear whether it will premiere on BBC America for days or weeks after. If they are smart they will not have much of a delay or a tremendous percentage of fans will find ways to obtain downloads of the BBC episodes. Blogator Who has a trailer for the season.

Wil Wheaton announced via Twitter that he will reprise his role as Evil Wil on Big Bang Theory, with more information now posted on his blog:

From TV Guide Magazine:

Geeks everywhere will be happy hear that Star Trek star Wil Wheaton will be returning to hang out with TV’s hippest nerds on The Big Bang Theory.

“We were very excited when Wil Wheaton appeared as Sheldon’s nemesis, and right now we’re looking to see if he can come back to give Sheldon an opportunity to settle the score,” Executive Producer and Co Creator Bill Prady announced to TV Guide Magazine when the Academy of Televisions Arts and Sciences hosted an Evening With the Big Bang Theory on February 18th. “Fingers crossed that we can do that, I think an arch enemy is someone who appears from time to time.”

Even though my personal motto is Don’t Be A Dick, I’ve wanted to play an arch enemy for pretty much my entire career, and I love that Bill described me that way, because I was kind of hoping I’d earn that position in the Big Bang canon.

I’ve known this was a possibility for just over a week, (coincidentally, I found out the day after I did my Big Bang Theory Q&A post) but didn’t get the official offer until this morning.

They will begin work on  February 24 and will tape the episode on March 2. Wheaton won’t say what the episode is about but promises that it will be “a lot more awesome than just eating Chapstick.” Bazinga!

This week had new episodes of Lost and Caprica. Lost was much better than last week’s episode and either misled us or gave clues as to why everyone is on the island. On Caprica my impression of Amanda Graystone has improved considerably from earlier episodes. Fortunately for her, Joseph Adama also changed his mind about her. I also loved Zoe’s robot dance.

Seth McFarlane had a great impression of William Shatner’s  Captain James T. Kirk on Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday Night as they compared events in the Star Trek episode A Taste of Armageddon to the Senate filibuster.  In other Star Trek news, Leonard Nimoy will reprise his role as William Bell in the season finale of Fringe.

Jennifer Lopez will appear on How I Met Your Mother on March 8. Above is a picture of her seducing Barney.

Conan on Tour

Conan O’Brian’s deal with NBC prevents him from hosting a competing television show before September. With all this time to kill there is talk he might go on tour:

O’Brien’s exit deal with NBC barred the former “Tonight” host from TV appearances for several months. He is weighing a tour that would take him directly to his fans, according to a person familiar with the proposal.

The person, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the plans, spoke on condition of anonymity.

Details are unsettled, the person said, but O’Brien may perform live in U.S. venues, including college campuses, and head to Europe. An O’Brien spokesman declined comment.

Posted in Television. 1 Comment »

SNL Close To Signing Betty White

There’s been a big campaign on Facebook and elsewhere to have Betty White host Saturday Night Live. Ausiello reports that SNL is close to signing White, but with a catch:

When a grassroots campaign involves both Facebook and a beloved Golden Girl, the scope of its influence cannot be underestimated. To wit: Sources confirm to me exclusively that Saturday Night Live is this close to signing TV legend Betty White to host the show for the very first time.

But there’s a catch — and a pretty cool one at that.

White would not be hosting alone. Rather, I hear SNL is putting together a “Women of Comedy” episode that would team the former Rose Nylund with several of her younger contemporaries. Ex-SNL MVP Molly Shannon is on board, I hear, and feelers have also been put out to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. (An NBC spokesperson insists no one has been confirmed at this time.)

PBS Beats Fox As Most Trusted

There’s some hope for the country. PBS is the most trusted television news source:

The annual GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media poll released its results today and PBS was named the most trusted name in news, as well as one of the most trusted institutions in America, reports B&C.

When asked to assess PBS’ news and public affairs programs, 40% of Americans responded that they trust the network a “great deal.” Fox News was trusted a great deal by 29%, a bit better than CNN at 27%.

When it came to qualifying the news coverage as liberal, mostly fair or conservative, 40% of respondents said PBS was mostly fair.

Both NBC and ABC received 33% mostly fair from those surveyed, then CNN with 31%, NPR with 29%, Fox News with 25% and MSNBC with 24%.

Although Fox is neither accurate or fair it is not surprising that a sizable number of people believe they are. We know there are people who have been brain watched into believing the propaganda spread by Fox.

Posted in News Media, Polls. Tags: , , . 8 Comments »

Birchers Infiltrate Conservative Movement

As the conservative movement becomes increasingly dominated by extremists, some conservatives are questioning the return of the John Birch Society. Scott at Power Line recaps how William F. Buckley, Jr. and other conservative leaders expelled the Birchers from the conservative movement in the 1960’s. He then questioned their inclusion as a sponsor of CPAC:

ABC’s Jonathan Karl reports that this year’s CPAC event was co-sponsored, unbelievably to me, by the John Birch Society. Karl quotes some of Buckley’s characteristically vibrant denunciations of the JBS. “Two years after Buckley’s death,” Karl observes, “the John Birch Society is no longer banished; it is listed as one of about 100 co-sponsors of the 2010 CPAC.”

Karl reasonably asks: “Why is the Birch Society a co-sponsor?”

“They’re a conservative organization,” according to Lisa Depasquale, the CPAC Director for the American Conservative Union, which runs CPAC. “Beyond that,” she told Karl, “I have no comment.”

Additional comment is required, and if Depasquale will not provide it, I will. This is a disgrace.

Unfortunately the influence of the Birchers isn’t limited to CPAC. Glenn Beck has been spreading Bircher conspiracy theories, also extending the Bircher influence to his sheep in the Tea Party movement. Ron Paul has also been connected to Birchers and has even spoken before the John Birch Society.Even Sarah Palin has been photographed with a Bircher publication sitting prominently on her desk:

Glenn Beck, Ron Paul, and Sarah Palin–Conservatives have far more to be concerned about than the Birchers being sponsors of CPAC. They appear to be influencing a large segment of the conservative movement.