Tags: Thanks | the | 'Talkback | Live' | Staff

Thanks to the 'Talkback Live' Staff

Monday, 28 January 2002 12:00 AM

My weeklong hosting duties at CNN's "TalkBack Live" are now done. A great experience, but the 12-hour days get to be a bit much. I do want to tell everyone what a great staff they have over there. The directors, the writers, the producers, camera operators … everyone just worked their butts off to make me as comfortable as possible. Thanks so much to all of you. Now I can get back to working on my short game in the afternoons.

My Atlanta friends can share in my absolute amazement at this one. The Georgia Regional Transportation Authority has actually paid a "consultant" to tell them that Georgia 400 needs to be widened to six lanes above Haynes Bridge Road.

Golly! You think? Just how much did the taxpayers of Georgia pay for this brilliant piece of advice from this "consultant"? Georgia 400 is the biggest bottleneck this side of the last good path out of the Tora Bora mountains in Ashcanistan. Any one of the 100,000 (or more) commuters who travel that stretch of road every day would have been willing to tell GRTA the same thing for five bucks and a tank of gas!

Come on, GRTA ... how much did you pay for this brilliant study?

Do you think that the president or one of his administration officials should be able to hold confidential conversations with private individuals in order to gather information? If not, you are right in there with the Democrats.

I read another news story over the weekend about how tough it is to raise a family on minimum wage. You're not supposed to try to raise a family on minimum wage. If you aren't smart enough to earn more than the minimum wage, you should keep your legs crossed.

Those al-Qaeda prisoners at Guantanamo are just waiting for a chance – any chance – to kill an American. When they do attack (and they will), one or more of them will die. The world's condemnation will then come down on the U.S.

The Geneva Convention dictates that all POWs be provided with "scientific instruments." How about proctoscopes?

Did I actually hear someone suggest that MARTA has been mismanaged? What a crock! How could anyone say that an agency that was headed for two years by a professional welfare recipient has been mismanaged?

The gas company is going to ask the PSC for a huge rate hike. Instead of a rate hike, how about permanently cutting off the gas to deadbeats with cell phones, pagers, color TVs, car payments and a pocketful of movie theater ticket stubs who can't pay their gas bills.

They're considering a tax hike in Atlanta. Have they eliminated all funding for the arts yet? As long as people are being forced to pay for unmarketable art, there should be no tax hike.

Every day more and more Atlantans come to the realization that Bill Campbell was a hideously bad mayor.

If the U.S. Congress had held the percentage of spending increases this year to the percentage of inflation, we would end the fiscal year with a $50 billion surplus. Clearly, it's government spending that killed the surplus, not the Bush tax cut.

There were only two members of Congress in the year 2000 who voted for a reduction in government spending. Can you name them?

There's a rash of bank robberies in Naples, Fla. Local authorities are blaming the robberies on the slow economy and the influx of Northerners during the wnter. Yesterday the Naples Daily News listed the details of about seven of the robberies, including the descriptions of the robbers. The descriptions included height, weight, clothing, color of eyes, facial hair ... everything but race. Looks like the Naples Daily News is on the PC bandwagon too.

Political correctness reared its ugly head again this morning. The New Jersey Department of Education has released its new, revised version of American history standards. This is basically a "required teaching" list for New Jersey teachers.

I though you might be interested in some of the people, events and items that are on this list.

Also ... the word "war" is discouraged. In its place the teachers are to use the word "conflict."

Well, this IS New Jersey. This is the state where they have been arguing for over a decade on whether or not to have students recite a passage from the Declaration of Independence in their classes.

That passage, you see, begins with the hideously insensitive words "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. …" This, you see, is "insensitive" to women and blacks.

But … I'm so sure that things are much, much better in your child's government school. Right?

Look, it's just this simple. The Geneva Convention recognizes "lawful" and "unlawful" combatants. "Unlawful combatants" are people who fight outside the internationally recognized rules of war.

For instance, lawful combatants do not deliberately attack civilians. To be sure, civilians may be killed in attacks, but the attacks are aimed at military targets, not the civilians.

Terrorists like the al-Qaeda most certainly DO attack civilians … civilians are their primary target.

Only "lawful" combatants are to be offered the protections of the Geneva Convention. As Charles Krauthammer says, this is one of the ways combatants are encouraged to act within the confines of the Geneva accords. Play by the rules, get your POW status. Play outside the rules and so can your captors.

If those who aren't fond of the U.S. war on terrorism are successful in having these "detainees" recognized as POWs, our ability to get needed information from them will be severely hindered. The "detainee" label is awkward … but it works. Keep it.

With absolutely NOTHING else working for the Democrats in their attempts to bring down the Bush administration in the eyes of the public, the only thing the leftists have left is to continue to grab handfuls of Enron to toss at the White House, hoping some will stick.

As of Friday nothing much was sticking. All polls showed that the American public blamed the Enron executives, not Bush.

Someone conducted a little focus group in Chicago last Friday night. The results from the group were shown on ABC's "This Week" yesterday. The group, made up of equal portions of Bush and Gore supporters in the last election, said they blamed the Enron executives. No one blamed Bush.

It looks like the General Accounting Office is going to file a legal action against the White House. The reason? Congress wants the minutes and other records of meetings the Bush team had with the heads of various energy companies last year.

These meetings were chaired by Vice President Dick Cheney. He says that he has given Congress plenty of information but draws the line at the notes and minutes of his meetings.

I've finally heard Cheney's reasoning ... and it makes sense. There is no criminal investigation here that could lead to documents being subject to discovery or subpoena. All we have here is a group of congressmen, led by California's Henry Waxman, who are looking for some dirt.

They have been trying to pin the Enron disaster on the Bush administration for weeks. First they condemn Bush for giving special assistance to Enron. Then, when they find out no special favors were handed out, they blast Bush for doing nothing. Thus far ... as we've noted above ... nothing has stuck.

If the Demcorats can get their hands on the minutes and other notes of those meetings, there is some chance – maybe the only chance they have – that they'll find something that can be twisted in such a way as to put George W. Bush right in the middle of the Enron debacle.

There is a long and rich history of Congress nosing into White House business. There is also a rich history of the White House fighting Congress on this issue.

Those of you who feel that a president should have to disclose the full details, including minutes and transcripts, of all private policy meeting will side with the Democrats on this one.

Those of you who feel that people will not be completely honest and forthright in their meetings with administration officials if their ideas and comments are going to become public knowledge will side with the Bush administration and all previous administrations that have taken this stance – and every single one of them has.

I'll say it again. The Democrats have nothing, and they're desperately looking for anything to use against Bush/Cheney.

Let me give you a hypothetical. Let's say that at some point in the Cheney discussions, an Enron executive made a comment like "You know, if [California Governor] Davis gets his way and makes us sell them power at below our cost, we'll all go bankrupt!"

Then the Democrats would immediately hold press conferences and Terry McAuliffe would be on every talking head show proclaiming, "See? They said 'bankrupt'! That's proof that the Bush administration knew what was going on with Enron!"

This whole Enron thing is beginning to have a stench because the Dems are finally beginning to get a little traction – thanks to the New York Times and CBS. But how about this? How about the White House demands to see the phone logs of every Democratic member of Congress who talked to an Enron representative?

Many liberals will claim that "turnabout is fair play" in light of all the investigations into the Clinton administration ... but there's one major difference. Clinton had a history of corruption – Bush does not.

The poster girl of trailer trash, Tonya Harding, is being evicted from her home in Washington state for failure to pay the rent ... over $4,000 worth.

"Unfortunately, me and my dog are going to sleep in a Corvette roadster," Harding told reporters after arriving too late for the hearing at Clark County Superior Court.

Hey! I've got an idea. O. J. likes blondes, right? And here's one blonde that won't take any crap from him.

According to NewsMax.com, The Hildebeast has handpicked her "husband's" Harlem office staff ... at least parts of it. She has injected some close associates whose job will be to keep an eye on ol' Slick Willie and try to circumvent any embarrassing events with him and starry-eyed members of the female persuasion.

Evidently, she no longer trusts that she will get the "sympathy vote" if and when Bill is caught with his pants down. She wants to avoid any problems so as to keep the public from remembering the scandals of the Clinton White House.

Now, just why is Hitlary so concerned? She doesn't have to run for re-election for five years, does she? Well, there IS that 2004 presidential thing out there.

So … Look for Bill to spend much more time in Europe, where the media tends to look the other way about sexual dalliances. Hell, they celebrate that stuff over there.

("Hey, baby, you know, I used to be the leader of the Free World. You know, I came within two hours of getting Osama bin Laden ... you know, you're really pretty ...")

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My weeklong hosting duties at CNN's TalkBack Live are now done. A great experience, but the 12-hour days get to be a bit much. I do want to tell everyone what a great staff they have over there. The directors, the writers, the producers, camera operators … everyone...
Monday, 28 January 2002 12:00 AM
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