Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Money, a Smackdown and Doggie Bits & Pieces

Ed Henry opened Wednesday's AC360 with some preliminary details on the President's health care package. Personally I like the idea that seniors who earn more than $170,000 a year would pay more than others on Medicare for their prescriptions. This sacrifice by the wealthiest of retirees will pump 8.1 billion into the system over 10 years.
Speaking of Medicare benefits I had a very odd experience with our insurance today. DH's doctor asked him to take a genetic screening test for a blood disorder that is only preformed at one lab in the US. His doctor warned that insurance probably wouldn't cover it so I called the lab and my insurance company today to try and figure out the cost and who would have to pay. The lady at the lab said the test costs in the neighborhood of $1,000 and my insurance would not pay it. But here's the part that I found interesting (and applicable to the topic at hand), she said if my DH was on Medicare it would be paid in full by the government. To me that just didn't seem quite fair. Too bad we're not old enough to retire and have better insurance than we do while working. Ali Velshi focused his reporting tonight on the health care issue also. He talked about how to justify those that have fallen out of the health care system with subsidizing the rising cost of insurance and health care.It was at this point my recording went to black and I have no idea what I missed. I must admit I was watching American Idol (go Adam!) not 360. When my recording kicked back in the discussion had switched to earmarks. From what little I heard I must say I'm a bit disappointed in the Democrats with their hands out for pet projects.The night's panel (must we always have a panel?) was populated by Joe Johns, David Gergen and David Walker. The discussion looked at the budget and earmarks, the probability of affording the health care package proposed and the general consensus that the administration is moving a little too quickly.

Next up a little tit for tat, with Anderson vs. Rep. Eliot Engel (D) of New York. Take a look.

Candy Crowley gave us the night's Raw Politics which looked at all the empty slots in the Obama team, especially Deputy Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries. You'd think with all the unemployment that there would be a few good men & women available and willing to take a civil service job.
I was so excited that 360 finally did a positive economic story like the one I blogged about a few weeks ago from NBC's Nightly News. The 360 version of a good news story was presented by good guy Gary Tuchman who was in Fargo, ND. Unemployment is at 3%, housing prices aren't falling, business is booming and the State has a surplus. Why? The state's banks did not get caught up in sub-prime mortgages.

There were also pieces by Chris Lawrence, who took a look at the Lockheed Martin Raptor, Joe Johns on the article about Michelle Obama in People magazine and Erica Hill reported on Stevie Wonder receiving a life-time achievement award at the White House on Wednesday night. But my eyes are starting to cross because of the long day so I'll just skip to 'The Shot' which was finally amusing again.

That's it for me late on this Wednesday night. Hope everyone remembered to set their DVD/VCR recorders for Live with Regis and Kelly this morning? If not I hope to have a run down for you in my post tomorrow night. And to anyone going to the Bailey House auction today please let us know how expensive Mr. Cooper was this year....of course we all know he's priceless. ~Phebe

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Anonymous said...

Good for AC for showing up Eliot Engel who just called attention to himself as a "do nothing." He's also an opportunist for using the "seat warming bit," to shake hands with the President, as are the others. This most likely has always happened in the past, but we just we're not aware of it, and after all, President Obama is soooo popular, it is even more apparent now. I believe it is called a.. kissing. Having said that, I find it hard to believe that anyone actually did it with W., but there was that moment in his first term on Sept.12th,2001, and he never let us forget it!

Anonymous said...

YES! The snark is back bigtime! If my Representative spent all day sitting there just to get a handshake with the President, I'd call that a waste of time. Although Engel can claim it was a historical event and rant about being jaded or not, that's not what you want your constituents to hear. They want to hear that while you were sitting there you worked on your laptop, you responded to voters in your district, you read reports and wrote letters.

If you want a handshake with the President, how about coming up with some spectacular legislation to help the economy, healthcare, the schools and get invited to the Oval Office and get a shout-out from the Prez in his next speech for being so stellar?

I'm glad goofy dogs are back in The Shot and I wondered, long before they showed that close-up, where the dog's ... male anatomy ... was in relation to the bicycle seat.

Looking forward to Anderson co-hosting Regis & Kelly. Donald Trump is supposed to be on. Please oh please let's see some more snark.


ACAnderFan said...

I loved Anderson's response to Rep. Eliot Engel. It's always nice to see AC fired up about something. He needs to get fired up more often.

I liked Gary Tuchman's piece about Fargo North Dakota. Apparently their banks are smart as they aren't in that sub-prime mortgage messs. 360 needs to do more positive stories like that.

The shot was very amusing. That's a smart dog to be able to ride a bike. I like to see Anderson joking around as he was with the shot.

Anonymous said...

I would really appreciate it if you post Live with Regis and Kelly clips because I forgot to TiVo...

Anonymous said...

Boy,it is SO nice to see how the elected higher ups are spending their time,hanging around all day for a photo op,and,no doubt,on taxpayer time and dollars!Outrageous!
As for Engel,I guess in his case,the truth hurts,doesn't it?Seems as if he does not have anything better to do than hang about,AND criticize Anderson for stating the obvious.

Wow,how do I get a job of seat filler?
These people are ridiculous.
Way to go,Anderson,for calling them out on how stupid they look!

Can you believe Pelosi and her 'posse' spent that much on their recent little jaunt abroad?
And,didn't they vote themselves a raise as well in the New Year?
I am sure THEY do not know a lot about,nor give a crap about,the 'average Joe' who is one step away from foreclosure or job loss.
They are so ''out of it' when it comes to the reality of some people's situation, and,with their big salaries,what would THEY know?NOTHING!

Anonymous said...

I for one,could not believe,that anyone would EVER want a photo op with ''W'' when he was around,but I guess each his own,I guess,whatever.
As for MYSELF,I think I would rather take a picture of my grass growing,or my paint drying.

Anonymous said...

Please tell me you'll have clips of R&K. I left the house without setting the DVR! I've never forgotten about his R&K appearances until today.

snooks said...

Bravo to Anderson for answering Eliot Engel and not backing down that our government offficals have more important things to do than reserve seats so that they can get a photo op with the President - wouldn't it be a better use of time to come up with legislation that helps the country - that would bring plenty of photo ops

Just watched Anderson on Regis & Kelly and I think this was my favorite of him co-hosting

OregonMJW said...

"It's AC360 After Dark!" That was Anderson's ribald close to a better than average show. He was, of course referring to the deliberately-not-edited-out shot in The Shot of Dalmatian meeting bicycle seat. Cute, but a little too much fun was had by all.

Andy seems to be in a consistently good mood this week - really up; high energy; snarky any chance he gets. He even pointedly reminded us of his appearance on R&K last night on the blog - it was his only comment of the night. The rest of the comment leads to mystery - he said he wasn't blogging because "there is a lot going on behind the scenes tonight." No live guests, the same panel as always - - Whaaaaz Up?

Because they took over Larry Kings time slot and, apparently some of Campbell's for the re-broadcast of Black in America, I was totally, and pleasantly surprised by a Newsbreak, about 6:30 pst, with Anderson personally running the day's headlines! It lasted about a minute, started with a lipstick red background, then went to blue. Unusual.

Loved Andy's additional put downs of the idiot congressmen (Kusinich and Engel, last night) who wasted up to 12 hours warming a seat in the Chamber, waiting for President Obama. Engel said something in the press about Andy's previous night's remark, and he came back swinging. Andy swung last, and scored a direct hit! The blog went wild - Fight Night at 360. Even David Gergen got into it and egged us on.

Boy! When that boy's on, he's REALLY ON!

snooks said...

Sorry I hit post before I was finished with my rant for the day -

I think it is disgraceful that anything is in the stimulus plan that does not directly help in bringing jobs - the congressmen and woman and senators who have put in these approx 9000 pork projects should be publicly humiliated and I would love to see the President stop these funds from being given out - especially when it goes to his critics who vocally panned his plan but will take money

Personally I have an interesting perspective about making those who have more money pay their fair share - For most of my life, I was very fortunate to be among those who had a very comfortable life style, but unlike many others I know in the same economic bracket I never had a problem paying back for my good fortune - believe me the taxes I have paid over the years still allowed me to have plenty to enjoy a wonderful lifestyle -

Now like millions of Americans, I am looking at a personal economic situation that is quite different -

I won't go into the boring details of why this has happened but I can assure you that I do not have anyone to blame for my misfortune -

If the new stimulus plan will help me and my fellow Americans I am all for it - I don't want handouts nor do I feel I am entitled to anything - I have always worked for what I have and am seeking new employment where I will be able to do that again -

I want the government to take any measures that will help to bring back this economy back from the disaster that has been left by the GOP - It is time for all our representatives to get off the asses and work together for the good of the country otherwise they will be known for the Congress who had a chance to fix things but partisan politics was more important to them than the realities facing this country

aries moon said...

Anderson always picks his battles. You won't see him wasting time responding to some of the criticism of him and the program on media blogs or Greta Van Susteren's occasional digs at his journalistic abilities, but let someone like Engel make some negative remarks/assumptions about AC and it's ON - the President had a taste of that himself once when he made some comment about AC's involvement in NOLA. It was really refreshing to see him speaking his mind that way last night.

The Shot was hysterical - mainly because of AC and Erica's reaction to it and the 360 crew folks cracking up in the background.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting Anderson had to defend his comments from the previous night’s show with regard to Engel’s statement, however, here’s something else that I also noted, I truly believe more often then not Anderson refrains from personally commenting on stuff like this for this very reason. When folks start to hit back at personal comments, I would assume Anderson would prefer not to get in to a pissing contest with these folks, not to say that Engel didn’t deserve it, he most certainly did, but, for Anderson, I think he prefers to tell the story and let folks come to their own conclusions, especially with situations like this. Too many folks on TV, Radio and the Blogosphere offer up their “opinion” on stuff to try and sway folks one way or another on any given topic or subject-matter without offering all the facts or the whole story.

I find it really interesting when Anderson has to go on the defensive like this. It shows a side of him we rarely see.

As for today’s R&K, I truly wish Kelly would learn to be a true “Co-Host” and not talk-over her guests or fellow co-hosts; it’s so irritating and totally disrespectful. It drives me absolutely nuts, and I wish someone would point that out to her. She did that so many times today with both Anderson and Donald Trump, more often then not when she interrupted them all we could hear was her screeching and babbling over them. Very annoying!!

Anonymous said...

There is so much international breaking News today, it will be interesting to see if any of it makes it on AC360 tonight. News that Anderson has so often covered in his early years as a Journalist and some of it makes History!! But I will not get my hopes up too high.

I truly wish the brass at CNN would bring back the AC360 of 2½ -3 years ago, with a real 360 World View of News coverage. I dearly miss that broadband mix of International and Domestic News coverage. The 360 of today (meaning the last couple of years) just truly sucks!!

Kristien said...

Good to see Anderson defend himself against Engel.

@Janzaa: good point about there being more constructive ways to get the President's attention!

I liked the raccoon popping up, they should let it pop up every night!

The Shot itself wasn't that good, but the reactions it got were great!

Anonymous said...

Good for you Anderson for calling out Eliot Engel. People need to be made aware that elected officials are getting paid to warm seats for 12 hours.

@ACAnderFan...It was so refreshing to finally hear some good economic news! ITA that there should be more pieces like that.

@MinOregon...I noticed that about this mood this week too and I'm loving it! I love my men snarky (though I'll take any Andy I can get haha).

Was it just me or did R&K seem really short this morning? I couldn't believe the hour was up so quickly!

Anonymous said...

The show looked relaxed for both Erica and Anders, even with the snarky(?) content. I'm sorry I missed it.

I could have gone without the dog's behind shot though, now I get to carry that image in my head through the day.... shudder.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon - 12.19 PM -

I totally agree with you 110%. Your comments resonate with many TRUE Anderson Cooper NEWS fans.

It’s sad to see a Journalist of Anderson’s stature and calibre have his program take a back seat with International News especially in this day and age, with everything that’s going on around the Globe. What an absolute waste of talent and aptitude. This kind of mediocre News coverage they put out on the AC360 Program is not only disappointing to say the least, it does an absolute disservice to the man whose passion, tenacity and daring to cover the most forgotten Countries and News Stories around the World, is what made him the Journalist he is today. For Anderson to allow this kind of mediocre production to come out on his News Program is not only disappointing, it makes you wonder what’s happened to his Journalistic integrity.

Anderson made a promise many, many years ago when he first started his Journalism Career to never forget the often forgotten places around the world where people and places are often cast aside without a second thought. For those of us who have followed his Career when he was just out of College, the stories that made his career possible, nothing is more disappointing to watch, then his Program that’s being put out over the last several years.

Disappointment doesn’t being to express how this Journalist has let some of us down. Those of us who have travelled around the World with him, watch him share with the World the stories that should and must be told, yet are cast aside day after day, in the name of ratings. For those of us where whose Countries he has covered where stories would have never made it on the Air, not only has he let us down, we ask, why are you breaking that promise, now after such an illustrious career? What’s changed? Why have you changed?

Bring back the old Anderson Cooper of the 80’s and 90’s. Bring back the man who promised never to allow “corporate pressure for ratings” to come in the way of REAL News Coverage. Bring back the Anderson Cooper of the years gone past that made him the Journalist he is today.

Anonymous said...

@ Kristien – 1.20pm – I am extremely glad they captured that nasty racoon. My sister who lives in Washington State, early one morning around 6.30 am, my sister let her dog out in the back yard, while she stepped back in to grab a cup of coffee and sit on the porch, she heard the squeals and shrieks and ran back outside to find a racoon attacking her dog (Millie is her name). Half the dog’s hind leg and rump were in the raccoon’s mouth while he swung and tossed her about like a rag doll. It was not a pretty sight!! My brother-in-law and nephew finally managed to get the racoon to release the dog after they struck the racoon a couple of times. Poor Millie was bleeding all over the place and in such bad shape, it a wonder she survived.

A couple of months back we had one stuck in the rafters of our garage and wouldn’t come down. Nasty little beast!! I hate racoons they are nasty, evil little creatures!! Be rid of them all I say!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anderson, a graphic preview of the dog’s “under-carriage” was not necessary at all..Where do these Japanese folks come with these ideas to teach a dog to ride a bike. Unbelievable!!

Anonymous said...

To All: I think AC was on the Offensive, Not the Defensive and it is Engel that has to defend his "seat warming," position.
As for the seat warming or saving, which is done in other aspects of our lives in all industries, I think it has to do with more than the shot. An autograph from the "first Afro-American" President might just fech quite a bit, and think of the grandkids of these do nothing congressmen. The President signed many autographs as he was leaving if you noticed, so it's not just the "shot." It's all about money.

OregonMJW said...

What a delightful Regis & Kelly show on Thursday! Kelly wasn't quite as shrill as usual; Anderson was just beaming and laughing and wonderful the whole time. The affection between Andy and his "sister" is palpable, and quite adorable.

Love the contests between them too; and The Donald did a great job as both referee and inquisitor. I can hardly wait until Friday's program. What a treat they are - him, anytime; and, together, every time!

Anonymous said...

I think AC and Kelly are fun to watch together and I don't think she talks over SOMEONE
we all know who talks over everybody. I think she always gives him a very gracious introduction and let's the audience show their warm, warm welcome. It's her show, but she knows how to share the attention and doesn't mind the adoration AC gets. In fact she promotes it...even by the way she pronounces his name. Kelly truly is a professional who sets the tone and I suspect that is the reason AC enjoys coming back.
Having said that it is a shame AC lost his WATCH and now he's punishing himself because it was so expensive. That's a shame. I believe I read it was a $10,000 Rolex, but I could be wrong. I'm sure it's like one of us losing a diamond. It also shows how he values things....but at least he can afford another, in time.

Anonymous said...

@ATA, not sure if you have this yet but Anderson did a short clip for Ryan Seacrest's radio show this morning. It was the 5th Anniversary of his show so AC recorded a congratulations message. It's goofy! As usual you can hear it on KISSfm's website or download it on itunes.

Laurie Beth said...

Hmmm...I think there is a glitch on my end because here I am retyping my comment again! :P I apologize if you did get my earlier one and you get a repeat. I think perhaps my laptop just has a case of the hiccups. It happens. Newfangled technology. ;)

Anyway: I think Anderson's response to that congressman was elegant and classy, and that he handled the situation very well. David Gergen was right--he had every right as a journalist to challenge federal elected officials about how they are spending their time. I encourage anyone who is a constituent of Rep. Engel's to contact his office and make your voice heard about his disgraceful behavior--it's incredibly childish of him to engage in a war of words with a respected journalist when he is supposed to be working. Jaanza, I think your comment summed it up very well--I do recognize that it's possible that he was asked for comment, but he had two better options: 1. decline comment or 2. explain himself intelligently and say something along the lines of "I was working on my Blackberry while I was sitting there" or something to that effect. What a jerk.

@ Anon 7:56 ITA; I don't know who'd want a photo op with Dubya either.

Aries Moon, I agree that he should not dignify the likes of Greta with a response and I am very glad that he never does. Once he was asked for comment and he said something like "I wish her nothing but happiness," and he just refused to engage her in her nonsense--that's class right there. That's what the congressman should have done: either explain yourself or decline comment gracefully.

Also, Aries Moon: I don't remember Dubya taking a shot at Anderson about NOLA. Do you remember what happened? Like I need another reason to dislike that man--as if the fact that we had to wait for the next president to make the declaration that the United States does not torture wasn't reason enough.

I liked "AC360 After Dark," too, that was pretty clever. It was a reference to "Playboy After Dark," an old show that Hugh Hefner used to host in the seventies, for those who didn't get the reference.

I agree that R&K seemed very short this morning and Coop did a great job as always. I love that he keeps getting phone calls at inopportune times; it's funny and it humanizes him. I was also amused that he is punishing himself for losing his watch--I wonder how he managed that. I also read that it was a Rolex and that it was his first luxurious purchase, so I feel bad for him. It was probably really expensive.

I am very happy that we're getting so much of Soledad this week, and the two of them *together* tonight? I'm a total geek, but I'm excited.

Anonymous said...

Anderson reponding back to that representative comments was suprising and he sound very forceful when he said "If you fill setting on bench for twelve in a half hours is your best use of your time then so be it" I agree that is a waste of time and not what we want to hear while a recession is going on. It was an historical event but still kinda a waste of time to wait that long for seat. If you can go should be happy with whatever seat you can get without waiting for hours. Especially to just shake his hand.

Show was good, finally understand the raccoon situation because I heard someone ask Gibbs during press conference about the raccoon situation and I was like what.

Anonymous said...

The only depressing thing about R@K was "The Donald" admitting that we are near a "Depression" and he hadn't seen the likes of this since, 1929. He is not usually that blunt and in'87, when all the stocks plummeted for a short period, I do believe he had to file for bankruptcy. He then was married to his second wife, the lovely, Marla Maples.
Can't wait for Celebrity Apprentice to begin. I am a huge fan and it's the only reality show worth watching, other than DWTS. JMO

Anonymous said...

@5:20PM: Though many would disagree with me, it is not that AC lost his journalistic integrity.
He still has that. He's just like the rest of us. He likes he's less idealistic and he's playing the game.