Thursday, January 31, 2008

Oh my aching head!

All photos courtesy E.M. Pio-Roda ©2008 Cable News Network. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.

Oh boy, my head hurts from watching last night's debate. Why does it still hurt almost 24 hours later? Well, I was cleaning my house today and realized that the candidates' voices were filtering into my brain again. Horror upon horror, CNN was showing the debates yet again! So I actually ended up watching (or listening) to the debates twice. My only consolation was that I got to watch Anderson in the afternoon!

BTW, special shout-out for the Young Republican tie! You know I was happy that he wore it once. I was over the moon that he wore it twice in a row! Okay, that ends the only squee in this post!

Here are my thoughts on the CNN Republican Debate in no particular order. Please note that the debate transcripts are courtesy of CNN/LA TIMES / POLITICO REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES DEBATE

Cutest moment of the night:
Anderson Cooper with Nancy Reagan in the beginning moments of the debate.

Second cutest moment:
Anderson Cooper afraid to touch President Reagan's journal.

Worst moment of the night:
John McCain and Mitt Romney making faces at each other's answers like they were in grade school. Let's face it, my daughter acts more mature than the major presidential candidates. Isn't that special?

Worst John McCain answer of the night:
COOPER: Senator McCain, are Americans better off than they were eight years ago?

MCCAIN: I think you could argue that Americans overall are better off, because we have had a pretty good prosperous time, with low unemployment and low inflation and a lot of good things have happened. A lot of jobs have been created.

But let's have some straight talk. Things are tough right now. Americans are uncertain about this housing crisis. Americans are uncertain about the economy, as we see the stock market bounce up and down, but more importantly, the economy particularly in some parts of the country, state of Michigan, Governor Romney and I campaigned, not to my success, I might add, and other parts of the country are probably better off. But I think what we're trying to do to fix this economy is important. We've got to address the housing, subprime housing problem. We need to, obviously, have this package go through the Congress as quickly as possible. We need to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, which I voted for twice to do so. I think we need to eliminate the alternate minimum tax that sits out there and challenges 25 million American families.

COOPER: It sounds like that we're not better off is what you're saying. (my editorial here: ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, ANDERSON! THANK YOU!)

Worst Mitt Romney answer of the night : (Note, this one actually made me scream obscenities at the TV!)
Peggy Noonan, President Bush's former -- excuse me, President Reagan's former speechwriter, recently wrote in The Wall Street Journal, and I quote, "George W. Bush destroyed the Republican Party, by which I mean he sundered it, broke its constituent pieces apart,and set them against each other. He did this on spending, the size ofgovernment, war, the ability to prosecute war, immigration, and other issues."Is the Republican Party better off than it was eight years ago?

ROMNEY: I don't think we would say it's better off than it was eight years ago, to be truthful. I think the eight years that you've seen -- and I don't blame that on President Bush. I blame that on Washington...He (Bush) was hit by something which completely took his agenda off course, and that was the Iraq conflict and the attack of 9/11, and Afghanistan. All these things came together. He did something for our party that was important to do, which is to show that when someone attacks America, there will be consequences. And he kept us safe these last six years. And...

Best Ron Paul answer of the night:
MR. VANDEHEI: Congressman Paul, this comes from Jay Majundar (sp) from Roswell, Georgia, and he wants to know if you agree with Senator McCain's statement that the United States might need to have U.S. troops in Iraq for as long as even a hundred years.

REP. PAUL: I don't even think they should have gone, so -- (laughs, laughter) -- keeping them for a hundred years, where's the money going to come from? (Cheers, applause.)

You know, the country's in bankruptcy, and when I listen to this argument, I mean, I find it rather silly because they're arguing technicalities of a policy they both agree with. They agreed going in, they agreed for staying, agreed for staying how many years, and these are technicalities. We should be debating foreign policy, whether we should have interventionism or non-interventionism, whether we should be defending this country or whether we should be the policeman of the world, whether we should be, you know, running our empire or not and how are we going to have guns and butter. You know, the '70s were horrible because we paid for the guns and butters of the '60s.

Now we're doing the same thing, and nobody even seems to care. The dollar's crashing, and you're talking about these technicalities, about who said what, when? (Cheers, applause.)

I mean, in -- in 1952, we Republicans were elected to stop the war in Korea. In 1968, we were elected to stop the war in Vietnam. And tragically -- we didn't stop it very fast -- 30,000 more men died.

So when I talk about these long-term stays, I think, how many men are you willing to let die for this, for something that has nothing to do with our national security?

There were no al Qaeda there. Had nothing to do with 9/11. And there was no threat to our national security. They never committed aggression. It's unconstitutional. It's an undeclared war. And we have these silly arguments going on about who said what when.

Best Mike Huckabee answer of the night:
MR. COOPER: Governor Huckabee, the idea of 100-year involvement of the U.S. -- the idea of a 100-year involvement by the U.S. in Iraq?

MR. HUCKABEE: Well, first of all, I didn't come here to umpire a ball game between these two. (Laughter.) I came here to get a chance to swing at a few myself. So I'd appreciate maybe a question that we could talk about that would involve some of us down here at the end who have been left out of the discussion for the last few minutes.

Okay, so there's my post-debate analysis. Shorter than what you get on CNN but hey, it's honest! Notice I didn't give best answers of the night for either Romney or McCain. Why? Because there were none. Truthfully, these two grown men acted like a bunch of kids fighting in the sandbox.

When Mitt Romney said that Bush had the Iraq War "thrown at him" all I could think of was that these morons actually do believe that line of B.S. Seriously, that is just insulting to the citizens of the United States of America. That line of crap plays to about 30% of this country. It ain't gonna get you any votes. Even my mother knows Bush and Co. planned that little diddy themselves!

One fun note about the debate brought to you by the New York Times. The NYT actually counted how many times President Reagan's name was used last night. (click title for full text)

One Word: Reagan
by: Kate Phillips

Now, it was at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., so a few mentions of the president’s name would be natural. But the popular G.O.P. figure’s surname was invoked 53 times and his full name 28 times (these categories may not be mutually exclusive).

Using Reagan alone, Mitt Romney led the pack with 19; John McCain with 12; the moderator Anderson Cooper at 11; Mike Huckabee 8; and Ron Paul 3.

Alright, I'll stop talking about politics now. I need to conserve my energy. The Democrats are set to debate in 45 minutes and I know I'll be yelling at my TV yet again!

I hope you have a wonderful evening. And don't forget to set your DVR/VCR/TiVo for Regis & Kelly tomorrow morning. Check your local listings! ~Sheryn

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things Anderson and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Republican Debate

image courtesy of CNN
I can't believe I watched the whole thing! Wednesday's CNN Republican Debate, anchored by Anderson Cooper, was contentious at times, boring at others and wrong on so many levels, but I did watch. AC started out strong on the first question to Mitt Romney:

COOPER: Let me just interrupt. The question was: Are Americans better off than they were eight years ago? And as you know, there are a lot of Americans out right now who are very interested in the answer. They're not feeling particularly good about their home sales -- the value of their homes dropping down or the unemployment rate
rising. How do you feel America is doing?

ROMNEY: Well, again, I'm pleased with what I do while I was -- as governor and happy to talk about that record.

COOPER: Are you running for governor or are you running for president, though?

And so it went....forcing AC to be part traffic cop, part referee, part diplomat.

It was so nice to see Nancy Reagan with Anderson at the debate. I'm sure most of you know Mrs. Reagan is a friend of Anderson's mother, Gloria Vanderbilt. She has known AC since he was a little boy, so this had to be a special moment for them and for Gloria.

images courtesy of CNN
After the debate there was a smooth, and quick, transition to the AC360 panel which consisted of Roland Martin, Gloria Borger, Bill Bennett and John King.

They were joined by David Gergen in Boston and Amy Holmes in NYC.
We also had Tom Foreman giving us a clear picture of just which States the candidates were going to target before Super Tuesday

And Erica Hill, in Atlanta, analyzing the dial results of the undecided voters. And here are a few more random screencaps from Wednesday's program.

That's it for me tonight. Let's do it again after Wolf and the Dems have had their turn. And speaking of Thursday night I wanted to clarify about Sanjay's special. After the Democrats debate there will be analysis, much like Wednesday night, and then Dr. Gupta's Broken Government: Critical Condition. The promos were a bit deceiving saying the special would be right after the debates.
I'm wondering if Anderson will be back in NYC, because he has the appearance on Regis and Kelly Friday morning. Or he could be taking that wonderful red-eye on Thursday night....he has been know to do that too, or it could already be recorded. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Have a wonderful Thursday and I hope to see you back here tonight.~Phebe

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things Anderson and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Just Desserts

Photo credit Photos by Eric Parsons / Ventura County Star

So, are you ready for tonight's CNN Republican debate at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley? Although I'm not a republican (shocking news, right?), I'll be paying close attention to Romney and McCain. Let's face it people, one of these men could be our next president so it's time to sit up and take notice.

I must say that I've been feeling really good about Democratic voter turn out. To be honest, the Democrats in Florida could have sat this one out but they came out in droves. Forget who they voted for, the important thing is that they voted! Now that is very promising indeed! I hope that trend continues right threw to November when it truly counts!

The new 360 Blog
So, what do you think of the new 360 Blog? Apparently CNN made the decision to switch to WordPress for all of their blogs. I found a post on A Fool's Wisdom blog today about the switch. (click here for full text)

Back to the blog. In the announcement yesterday, “The ‘new blog’ blog” David Reisner, 360° Digital Producer wrote “the 360Blog promises to be more interactive and more custom fitted to your daily blog needs. More pictures, more video… “.

He goes on to describe how “mouse over a link and you get a preview”, Snap Shots,4 contributes to this experience, and how categories can give you “a customized blog”.Categories (and now tags too) being so easily their own view and having their own feed is one of the 1st WordPress experiences I was wowed by.

The comments so far on the new Anderson Cooper 360° Blog experience have been every positive, though people are disappointed it can’t make them coffee.

The previous version of this blog was on Google Blogger, and what I’m most interested in seeing is how participation improves. Though I wasn’t involved in “selling” WordPress for this migration away from Blogger, I regularly beg people that have blogs that I participate on to move off of Blogger because of how awkward it is to comment in that system. It is not a nice experience. It will be interesting to watch more people commenting more regularly on the new Anderson Cooper 360° Blog.

I like the fact that Anderson's blog looks like all the other CNN blogs now. I've been having a problem with the site for the past two days but I'm sure they are just working out the kinks. So, what are your thoughts on the blog? Do you find it easier to surf or post comments now?

We need your input!
One of our readers wrote to Phebe and asked for our witty input in her contest at work. She and her co-workers are having a Super Tuesday potluck luncheon and they must name their dishes after their favorite politicians. Here are a couple of examples: Barakaroni and Cheese, Baracklava or Dinkin's Donuts (named after the ex-NYC Mayor, David Dinkins)

So ladies and gents, are we up to the task? I know we have some of the wittiest commenters this side of the internet so have at it! Let's help our reader win! Maybe she'll send us some just desserts! (oh bad pun, sorry!)

And now we have video!
I'll leave you tonight with actual video of Kathy Griffin at Sunday's concert talking about Anderson. The camera is a bit shaky during the funny moments. Have a great night and don't forget to watch tonight's debate coverage! ~Sheryn

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things Anderson and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Florida Primaries

Tuesday's AC360 found Anderson Cooper at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California. The stage has been set for tonight's Republican Debate and I must say it has the most impressive backdrop for a debate that I think I've ever seen.
With AC in California was Bill Bennett (more on him later), Gloria Borger and Roland Martin. Wolf's NYC panel consisted of John King, Amy Holmes, Jeffery Toobin and David Gergen. Besides McCain winning Florida the other big story of the night Rudy Giuliani's stunning loss. We've been assured by John King that there is more news to come on that front Wednesday. The other surprise of the evening was Hillary Clinton, who won a non race in Florida, finally showing up for a CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer.
That's the evening in a nutshell but don't think that's the end of our fun for today. Two readers have sent along some finds that are very interesting.
First an anonymous reader found a link to an audio recording of Kathy Griffin's Sunday night concert, at Madison Square Garden, in NYC. It's just a brief snippet where Kathy mentions AC. While you listen don't forget that AC was in the audience on this night. I would have loved to have seen his reaction.

The next two clips aren't nearly as funny, but they are insightful. Jon Stewart is brilliant in his discussion of gay marriage with Bill Bennett. And Bennett demonstrates much of what I abhore about the Republican Party. Thaniks to Aruna.

I'm not looking forward to the Republican Debate on Wednesday night, but you know I'll be watching. Have a great hump day! ~Phebe
All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things Anderson and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A break from politics

Hi everyone. It's time to take a politics detour. Barry Mitchell posted another funny video called Anderson Cooper Slapstick. I hope you like it.

Flickr fun
Last night while searching for debate pictures for my All Things CNN post, I came across some cute pictures of Kevin, the AC360 dancing Floor Manager. He looks like a blast to work with, doesn't he?

Okay, I'm off to cook dinner. I hope you enjoy your evening. ~Sheryn

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things Anderson and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

He Who Must Not Be Named

I really didn't have the intestinal fortitude to endure another GWB (aka he who must not be named) State of the Union address on Monday night. I did watch the follow up on AC360, but kept one finger on the mute button for those flashbacks to the speech. I don't feel I can do justice to the rehash of the SOU, but I did manage to grab a few screencaps from the night.
That in itself is a story. My external hard drive died last week, and took with it a lot of my vintage AC clips. I bought it about 18 months ago to back up my files and store my recordings of AC360. Little did I know I needed a back up for my back up. The aforementioned hard drive is at the computer funeral home now where some nice young man is trying to extract all the files, pictures and clips. I wonder what he'll think if he is successful and starts looking all the AC goodies? I guess I'll face that when and if the time comes. I spent a good part of today shopping for a new back up hard drive and while doing so I came across the best calendar ever (next, of course, to the ATA AC Calendar). Which sort of brings us full circle back to the SOU. While watching Monday's analysis on AC360 I saw yet again that Paul Begala was missing from the discussion. Do you realize that he and James Carville have been banned from CNN since November 16th when The New York Times criticized James Carville's participation in post debate coverage? How ridiculous is that? I mean everyone knows that they have worked for and with the Clinton's, so has The Gerg. What's the big deal? Obviously NBC doesn't see a problem. Matt Lauer used Paul Begala on the Today Show on Monday morning for analysis of the Primary race. CNN needs to grow a set and quit kowtowing to every Tom, Dick and Harry who try to push them around. I don't care if it was the New York Times or Barack Obama himself. I miss my Paul Begala and want him back.
Anderson scored interviews with three of the major candidates after the SOU. I wonder if it will ever be reveled why Hillary cancelled at the last minute? Sometimes these things happen because a candidate isn't please with the position in the program they have been given, sometimes it's just that something bigger came along. Any way you look at it I think she missed a great opportunity to speak out to the younger voter, which is a big part of AC's audience.
We know from the AC360 blog that Anderson left NYC for California very early on Monday morning. Usually when he's broadcasting from the Los Angeles studio we either get him up on the roof or just a head shot. Monday was different, he was sitting in the studio, at a desk. It looked like it might be the same desk that Larry King uses. What do you think?

There were reports on several blogs and news sites Monday that Anderson attended Kathy Griffin's comedy concert on Sunday night, at Madison Square Garden. Sounds like a fun time, but can he party like The Gerg? Check out this fabulous (but very short) video that Cyn found of David Gergen getting down with his bad self. Enjoy! ~Phebe

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things Anderson and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Monday, January 28, 2008

State of the State of the Union

Well, tonight is the current administration's final State of the Union address. Not a minute too soon (and in fact, several years too late) in my personal opinion, but anyway... 

Of course, my favorite part of last year's coverage will be missing this year -- that would be Michael Ware, d'uh -- but I did pull some screengrabs from last year's clip to help while away the hours this afternoon. Some of these are especially for those of you with hand fetishes... yes, we know who you are...

By the way, although coverage of the SotU will be hosted from the Election Center in NY this year, rather than far-more-picturesque DC, there is a commercial airing today that Anderson will be hosting 360 from Los Angeles tonight. He'll have reaction to the speech and a preview of tomorrow's Florida primary. All in prep for the debate he's hosting Wednesday from Simi Valley.

(By the way, the AC360 blog has a new home, so if you rely on an RSS feed to let you know when it's updated, you've missed out on a lot today, including David Doss' post about a bomb scare for their flight -- did you know they still designated a United flight 23 from NY to LA? Sorry, I should explain further: United 23 is the flight that conspiracy-theorists believe was also scheduled to be hijacked on 9/11. I used to work with one, I couldn't tell you whether there is any basis for the belief. The fact that the call came from the Allentown area makes me wonder whether this is a regular call for that flight.)

And I thought about saving this clip for my ATC post Saturday, but since there's been so much discussion about this topic, and we'll be hearing it a few thousand times today... From yesterday's Late Edition, Wolf explains why; note the laughter from the panel:

Enjoy (?) the speech and all the coverage tonight!

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Wild Things

CNN Worldwide – All Rights Reserved 2007©

I have something a little different for you today. Although it's slightly off topic, I'm hoping that you'll enjoy it. This past week, Jeff Corwin appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show. Ellen was celebrating her 50th birthday this week. Jeff brought an incredible selection of animals to the show with him: sloth, owl, wolf, elephant, tiger... to name a few.

The first two clips are from Wednesday's show. The third clip is from Thursday's show and is a recap of all of his appearances on Ellen's show.

Finally tonight, a new puzzle:

Good luck!

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

And The Winner Is....

Miss Michigan! Oh wait...I mean Mr. Obama! Uh, Can you tell I flipped between the Miss America pageant and CNN's coverage of South Carolina's democratic primary tonight? Yes, I'll admit one of my guilty pleasures this month has been the Miss America reality show and tonight was the pageant.

Well, Miss South Carolina may have only been a top 16 contestant but South Carolina was the winner on CNN tonight. I walked away from the TV around the time the polls closed and when I came back they already had announced that Obama had won?! After the votes were in we found out he didn't just win, he beat Billary with a 2-1 margin.

Because of the early projection, John King didn't play with the map as much but I still enjoyed a lot of what he had so say and apparently Amy Holmes agreed because every time JK would talk she sat behind him nodding her head in agreement.

Anderquotes of the night:

Bill Bennett, Gloria Borger, I think has now added John Edwards to the list of people who need to watch their knees and their back -- regardless of what happens tonight.

After Bill Bennett compares Obama's uplifting speech to Reagan, Anderson says: I imagine a Clinton commercial with your comments comparing Barack Obama to Ronald Reagan is coming. Possibly?

But the best laugh of the night was Anderson's comment after John King calls Bill Clinton "the first survivor before they put it on TV". Book Asylum clipped it for us below.

During one of the commercial breaks I flipped over to to Fox to see the competition. (I agree with a comment that Phebe e-mailed me earlier. You need a shower after watching Fox). Talk about dark, depressing, and just plain boring. Seeing some stuffy anchor sitting behind a desk with dark red and blue graphics around him just wasn't inviting. CNN depicts a modern, progressive scene with colors, graphics, pie charts, and touch-screen video that younger versions can relate to. This may explain why CNN has been getting high ratings from young viewers. Me, I'm a visual person so things like the maps John King demonstrates really helps me. During the next primary, flip over the Fox just for a second and you'll see what I mean.

What happens now? Well, if you believe Wolfbot, then even after Super Tuesday there may not be a clear winner for either party so the Democratic and Republican nominees may not be decided until the convention in Denver. I bet Jon Klein is jumping down at that prospect. With all of these interesting primaries, that translates to ratings!

(Thank you for all the caps from tonight Book Asylum)


On a non-political note, Sapphire found a new clip on YouTube of Barry Mitchell giving an adorable Anderson "career advice" when he quit WNN to host The Mole. Enjoy!

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