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Time Mag Blames 'Extremely Conservative Ideas' for GOP Decline --5/11/2009


1. Time Mag Blames 'Extremely Conservative Ideas' for GOP Decline
How many times can you use the discrediting term "extremely," suggesting "extremist" positions, in a single sentence describing the state of the Republican Party? Three, if you're writing Time magazine's cover story. Michael Grunwald contended "the party's ideas -- about economic issues, social issues and just about everything else -- are not popular ideas." He then asserted in the article for the May 18 edition of the magazine: "They are extremely conservative ideas tarred by association with the extremely unpopular George W. Bush, who helped downsize the party to its extremely conservative base." Grunwald proceeded to characterize the GOP's agenda as a "hard right" one which pleases Rush Limbaugh but not a majority of people.

2. To Schieffer's Astonishment, Cheney: 'I'd Go with Rush Limbaugh'
To Bob Schieffer's astonishment, when he wrapped up his Sunday interview by asking former Vice President Dick Cheney where he comes down between Rush Limbaugh and Colin Powell who both say the Republican Party would be "better off" without the other, Cheney declared: "I'd go with Rush Limbaugh." Cheney related on CBS's Face the Nation how "my take on it was Colin had already left the party. I didn't know he was still a Republican." Schieffer was surprised: "So you think that he's not a Republican?" Cheney explained: "I just noted he endorsed the Democratic candidate for President this time, Barack Obama. I assume that that's some indication of his loyalty and his interests." To which an astounded Schieffer pressed Cheney to reaffirm his choice: "And you said you take Rush Limbaugh over Colin Powell?" Cheney confirmed his preference.

3. Stossel Zings Cuomo: In 'Your Family' Govt the Only Way to Help
ABC's token contrarian John Stossel appeared on Friday's Good Morning America to promote his new 20/20 special on some very politically incorrect subjects. In the process, he got into a bit of a dust-up with GMA news anchor Chris Cuomo, telling the son of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo: "And I know in law school and in your political family, you believe good things only happen because government passes laws." Stossel appeared on the morning show to discuss one of the topics on his special, which aired Friday night at 10pm on ABC. Among other subjects, he argued that it was wrong for the government to make it illegal for employers to fire a woman because she is pregnant. After showing a clip of the piece, Cuomo skeptically questioned, "...This law was created for a reason, that women were discriminated against. That's why they passed the law in the '60s." Cuomo, whose brother is currently the Democratic Attorney General of New York, challenged, "Why open the door to giving a corporation a way out?"

4. Letterman Writer Scheft: Obama 'Too Competent' to Joke About
The proudest moment in his career, Late Show writer Bill Scheft boasted at a Friday comedy writer panel held at Washington, DC's Newseum, was when he got David Letterman to try to undermine guest John McCain's Bill Ayers talking point by raising McCain's relationship with G. Gordon Liddy -- as if a political dirty trickster were the equivalent of a terrorist involved with bombings which killed people, could have killed hundreds more if his attempts worked and remains unrepentant. At the event, organized by the Writers Guild of America, East, and shown Saturday night on C-SPAN, Scheft declared of his effort to discredit an anti-Obama point: "I'm more proud of that than any single joke that I've written." That earned applause from the audience. Later, to a chorus of "yeah" from other writers on the stage representing The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Late Night, as well as another Late Show writer, Scheft insisted the only reason the comedy shows don't make fun of President Barack Obama is because he's "a little too damn competent and we ain't used to that."


Time Mag Blames 'Extremely Conservative
Ideas' for GOP Decline

How many times can you use the discrediting term "extremely," suggesting "extremist" positions, in a single sentence describing the state of the Republican Party? Three, if you're writing Time magazine's cover story. Michael Grunwald contended "the party's ideas -- about economic issues, social issues and just about everything else -- are not popular ideas." He then asserted in the article for the May 18 edition of the magazine: "They are extremely conservative ideas tarred by association with the extremely unpopular George W. Bush, who helped downsize the party to its extremely conservative base."

Grunwald proceeded to characterize the GOP's agenda as a "hard right" one which pleases Rush Limbaugh but not a majority of people, arguing: "A hard-right agenda of slashing taxes for the investor class, protecting marriage from gays, blocking universal health insurance and extolling the glories of waterboarding produces terrific ratings for Rush Limbaugh, but it's not a majority agenda."

[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Saturday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

An excerpt from "Republicans in Distress: Is the Party Over?", which is part of the magazine's "Endangered Species" cover story package:

....Republicans actually have plenty of ideas.

That's the problem. The party's ideas -- about economic issues, social issues and just about everything else -- are not popular ideas. They are extremely conservative ideas tarred by association with the extremely unpopular George W. Bush, who helped downsize the party to its extremely conservative base. A hard-right agenda of slashing taxes for the investor class, protecting marriage from gays, blocking universal health insurance and extolling the glories of waterboarding produces terrific ratings for Rush Limbaugh, but it's not a majority agenda. The party's new, Hooverish focus on austerity on the brink of another depression does not seem to fit the national mood, and it's shamelessly hypocritical, given the party's recent history of massive deficit spending on pork, war and prescription drugs in good times, not to mention its continuing support for deficit-exploding tax cuts in bad times....

The piece in full: www.time.com

Image of the cover: www.time.com

To Schieffer's Astonishment, Cheney:
'I'd Go with Rush Limbaugh'

To Bob Schieffer's astonishment, when he wrapped up his Sunday interview by asking former Vice President Dick Cheney where he comes down between Rush Limbaugh and Colin Powell who both say the Republican Party would be "better off" without the other, Cheney declared: "I'd go with Rush Limbaugh."

Cheney related on CBS's Face the Nation how "my take on it was Colin had already left the party. I didn't know he was still a Republican." Schieffer was surprised: "So you think that he's not a Republican?" Cheney explained: "I just noted he endorsed the Democratic candidate for President this time, Barack Obama. I assume that that's some indication of his loyalty and his interests." To which an astounded Schieffer pressed Cheney to reaffirm his choice: "And you said you take Rush Limbaugh over Colin Powell?" Cheney confirmed his preference.

[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Sunday on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

From the Sunday, May 10 Face the Nation:

BOB SCHIEFFER: Rush Limbaugh said the other day the that the party would probably be better off if Colin Powell left and just became a Democrat. Colin Powell said Republicans would be better off if they didn't have Rush Limbaugh speaking for them. Where do you come down?
DICK CHENEY: Well, if I had to choose, in terms of being a Republican, I'd go with Rush Limbaugh I think. My take on it was Colin had already left the party. I didn't know he was still a Republican.
SCHIEFFER: So you think that he's not a Republican?
CHENEY: I just noted he endorsed the Democratic candidate for President this time, Barack Obama. I assume that that's some indication of his loyalty and his interests.
SCHIEFFER: And you said you take Rush Limbaugh over Colin Powell?
CHENEY: I would, politically.

Stossel Zings Cuomo: In 'Your Family'
Govt the Only Way to Help

ABC's token contrarian John Stossel appeared on Friday's Good Morning America to promote his new 20/20 special on some very politically incorrect subjects. In the process, he got into a bit of a dust-up with GMA news anchor Chris Cuomo, telling the son of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo: "And I know in law school and in your political family, you believe good things only happen because government passes laws."

Stossel appeared on the morning show to discuss one of the topics on his special, which aired Friday night at 10pm on ABC. Among other subjects, he argued that it was wrong for the government to make it illegal for employers to fire a woman because she is pregnant. After showing a clip of the piece, Cuomo skeptically questioned, "...This law was created for a reason, that women were discriminated against. That's why they passed the law in the '60s." Cuomo, whose brother is currently the Democratic Attorney General of New York, challenged, "Why open the door to giving a corporation a way out?"

[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Friday morning, with video, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

This prompted Stossel to retort, "All of these laws are created for a reason. And what I've learned in 40 years of consumer reporting is for every person they help, they hurt 100." The "20/20" co-anchor followed up with his quip about "your political family." The GMA host may not have appreciated thecrack, as he then quizzed Stossel: " ...In your world, in Stossel's world, not of law and politics, you say, 'Hey. I hear you're pregnant. Great. This is your last day. Take care.' That's okay?"

Quite calmly, Stossel responded, "Two pregnant people work for me. I wouldn't say that. If you're a good worker, you ought be there. But, government shouldn't say, you, you, you're special. You're a lawsuit-bomb."

Stossel's special looked into other politically incorrect topics, including whether people who do reckless things and need rescue should be required to pay the costs of the emergency crew. He will also question the effectiveness of endangered species bans and whether America does too much for the elderly (in regards to Medicare).

A transcript of the May 8 segment, which aired at 8:17am, follows:

CHRIS CUOMO: We all know these are tough economic times. And many pregnant women are feeling a unique kind of pressure. They worry their jobs are at stake while they take time off to be with their newborns, even though law clearly protects them. Well, tonight on "You Can't Even Talk About It," a special edition of ABC's 20/20, John Stossel takes a provocative look at whether pregnant workers should be protected by the law. Is that right?

ABC GRAPHIC: Working While Pregnant: Should Moms-to-Be-Have Job Protection?

JOHN STOSSEL: That is right. Does the law do more harm or help? Suppose a woman's pregnant. She's going to miss work. There's some things she can't do at work. It may cost the company money. So, should the company be allowed to pay her less? Or even fire her? In America, I'm not even supposed to say that. Carrie Lukas is a working mom, vice president of the Independent Woman's Forum. She's a writer. And sometimes she's on TV debating issues.
CARRIE LUKAS (Vice President, Independent Woman's Forum): [On "Hannity"]: These lawsuits, I don't think are going to accomplish much.
STOSSEL: Last summer, Carrie became pregnant, again. LUKAS: This will be my third maternity leave in four years. And it does mean I have to take time off.
STOSSEL: America's laws now make it illegal for her boss to use that fact as an excuse to cut her pay or fire her. Kerry says that's wrong.
LUKAS: If my employer decides they no longer want me as an employee, then it should be their right to fire me. I understand the desire for people to have government step in to protect women. But there's a real cost to government intervention.
STOSSEL: These costs are rarely talked about publicly. But, it is a fact that once Congress creates some special, protected groups, some employers avoid hiring people who fall into those groups. For example, after the Americans for Disabilities Act became law, it was assumed more disabled people would enter the workplace. But, that didn't happen. A study by economists at M.I.T. found employment actually dropped sharply. Likewise, the pregnancy act can create problems for women.
LUKAS: Sometimes the laws that are intended to help women like me, actually end up hurting women like me. All of a sudden, a potential employer is looking at me and thinking, she just might turn around and sue us. That makes it less likely that I'm going to get hired.
STOSSEL: Because you're kind of a lawsuit bomb.
LUKAS: Exactly. When you do things like create discrimination laws, you raise the cost of hiring a woman like me.
STOSSEL: And while some pregnant women work harder than any man, Lukas says, let's be honest. Most pregnant women impose costs on employers.
LUKAS: A lot of responsibilities are shifted. Each time I go to a doctor's appointment, that means that I'm unavailable to do whatever work needs to be done during that time. Which means one of my colleagues is often picking up the slack.
CUOMO: Now, the seminal plaintiff in this case against Novartis, $200 million suit, why does Novartis say they fired her?
STOSSEL: You know, I don't even know anymore. They say it had nothing to do with her being pregnant, because that would be against the law. They claim to have reasons.
CUOMO: Now, isn't that the point that you're going to get here? That this law was created for a reason, that women were discriminated against. That's why they passed the law in the '60s. We know that these types of grievances are up because people still do this to women. Why open the door to giving a corporation a way out?
STOSSEL: All of these laws are created for a reason. And what I've learned in 40 years of consumer reporting is for every person they help, they hurt 100. And I know in law school and in your political family, you believe good things only happen because government passes laws. But I say voluntary is better. And if you have a flexible workforce, where employers are free to negotiate with employees and employees don't have to work there. That helps more workers.
CUOMO: So, you- in your world, in Stossel's world, not of law and politics, you say, 'Hey. I hear you're pregnant. Great. This is your last day. Take care.' That's okay?
STOSSEL: Two pregnant people work for me. I wouldn't say that. If you're a good worker, you ought be there. But, government shouldn't say, you, you, you're special. You're a lawsuit-bomb.
CUOMO: You think they said it for a reason? Or was it random and arbitrary?
STOSSEL: They're trying to make money. I don't- I mean, Novartis?
CUOMO: You think the law created the law [sic] for a reason?
STOSSEL: There's always- we want to help people. We're going to save these people. We don't do it to enrich our fellow lawyers. We're just helping.
CUOMO: 20/20 tonight- [Segment abruptly cuts to commercial]

Letterman Writer Scheft: Obama 'Too Competent'
to Joke About

The proudest moment in his career, Late Show writer Bill Scheft boasted at a Friday comedy writer panel held at Washington, DC's Newseum, was when he got David Letterman to try to undermine guest John McCain's Bill Ayers talking point by raising McCain's relationship with G. Gordon Liddy -- as if a political dirty trickster were the equivalent of a terrorist involved with bombings which killed people, could have killed hundreds more if his attempts worked and remains unrepentant. At the event, organized by the Writers Guild of America, East, and shown Saturday night on C-SPAN, Scheft declared of his effort to discredit an anti-Obama point: "I'm more proud of that than any single joke that I've written." That earned applause from the audience.

Later, to a chorus of "yeah" from other writers on the stage representing The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Late Night, as well as another Late Show writer (Tom Ruprecht, who is in front of Scheft in the screen shot to be added to this CyberAlert), Scheft insisted the only reason the comedy shows don't make fun of President Barack Obama is because he's "a little too damn competent and we ain't used to that."

Earlier in the day, some of the participants delivered stand-up acts and DCRTV.com's "page 2" recounted this "joke" from Scheft: "Former Vice-President Dick Cheney -- I actually don't have a joke here, I just like to say former Vice-President Dick Cheney." See: www.dcrtv.com

[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Sunday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Scheft, a writer for Letterman since 1991, at the May 8 event:

The moment that I am most proud of having been on the show is when we had John McCain on after, you know, he, you know, bolted on us to go save the economy. When he came back to the show, and he was, at the time he was out on the campaign trail beating the Bill Ayers drone. And I gave Dave a note before we went on about McCain's relationship to Gordon Liddy. And, in the middle of the interview, McCain starts talking about Obama palling around with terrorists and Bill Ayers.

And I stand under the spiral staircase on stage and I was just standing there going: "Liddy, Liddy, say Liddy, please say Liddy, please say Liddy." And Dave said, "Well don't you have a relationship with G. Gordon Liddy?" And you just saw, you know, whatever chip was left in McCain's head just kind of, phhh, and "well I, you know, I know him." "Well, didn't you go to a fundraiser, didn't you attend a fundraiser at his house?" "Well I." "We'll be right back." Which is the great thing that a host can do, you know, "we'll be right back."...I'm more proud of that than any single joke that I've written." [Applause]

....

It's not because he's black and it's not because we're afraid. It's just that he's, just so far, just a little too damn competent and we ain't used to that. [multiple panelists say "yeah."]

Letterman's hit on McCain about Liddy comes a little past the 19-minute mark in the video linked on this page (ACT 3, Senator John McCain, Watch now) of the contentious interview on the October 16 Late Show: lateshow.cbs.com

Scheft's bio on his site: www.billscheft.com

-- Brent Baker