Sunday, September 24, 2006

Timmy, Can You Hear Me?

This isn't This Week's Discussion Question, just a simple plea to NBC's Tim Russert, based on the brief snippet of "Meet the Press" that was viewed today at TWDQ HQ:
Tim, would you please, for the love of all that's holy, STOP asking the Clintons if Hillary is running for president? You've been asking this every damn time you've had one or the other on the show ever since Bill left the White House. (Fortunately, the psychological subtext of how you continue to press when a woman tells you "no" is outside the scope of this plea.)

What answer are you expecting anyway, Tim?

"Why yes, Tim, I believe I will! You know, I was going to wait and do a press conference a few months before the Iowa Caucuses, but what the hell, here's your scoop."

"For God's sake, 2008 is still two freaking years away, Tim. Try me again in late '07, huh?"

"Did you see me smackdown that little wuss Chris Wallace over on Fox? Next question."

"Tim, it's the same answer I gave you the last time you asked. And the time before that. And the one before that. And the nine hundred and seventy-two times before that."

Give it a rest, okay Tim? Thank you.

Please accept our apologies for this interruption. We now return to our current discussion.
Free Suggested Amendment!

We at TWDQ have a free amendment for those Congressmen and Congresswomen who still have a conscience and/or vertebrae. If this describes you, Dear Congressman or Congresswoman, please propose the following amendment to the "Contract on Torture" currently being negotiated with the Bush Administration. We think it makes the deal a bit more equitable, plus it should make the statue of Justice stop sobbing into her blindfold:

The Administration will be able to stipulate which interrogation techniques do not constitute "torture" or "outrages against personal dignity" only under the following circumstances:

  • The President will be made to stand naked for 48 hours without sleep in a bare, chilly jail cell, and then be splashed with a bucket of ice-cold water. This process will be repeated until the President determines the moment at which the act has become "torture" or an "outrage against personal dignity."

  • The Secretary of Defense will have a hood placed on his head and jumper cables clamped to his genitals. The other ends of the jumper cables will be connected to an automobile battery for 30-second intervals until the Secretary determines the moment at which the act has become "torture" or an "outrage against personal dignity."

  • The Attorney General will be strapped to a board and subjected to the procedure known as "waterboarding" until the Attorney Generaldetermines the moment at which the act has become "torture" or an "outrage against personal dignity."

  • All other interrogation techniques will be performed on the Vice President until the Vice President determines the moment at which each act has become "torture" or an "outrage against personal dignity."

That is, if they want to "clarify" the Geneva Conventions, they'll need to know precisely what they're talking about.

It's all yours, Congressmen and Congresswomen! Amend away!

So the Bush Administration and the three "maverick" senators have concluded their little dance and reached a "compromise" on torture. The President won't clear his sinuses on the Geneva Convention and nobody will get busted for the torture that's already occurred in our names. The only bright spot is that Sen. Lindsey Graham's insistence that a defendant has the right to see the evidence used against him or her, though the House may put the kibosh on such a wacky idea.

At Firedoglake, Jane asks This Week's Discussion Question:
I’m hearing frustration from a lot of quarters that people feel this subject is not a "winner" for November and therefore should be abandoned. So I feel the need to ask the question — is this important to you? Is this something you feel like your leaders are morally obligated to take a stand on whether it’s a "winner" or not, and do you think that journalists should be pushing harder on? I honestly want to know.

We at TWDQ HQ are just as disgusted as Jane. We'd like to know, too.


Sunday, September 17, 2006

Welcome Home

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke out against the Bush Administration's attempt to scribble all over the Geneva Conventions, writing "The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism," and prompting This Week's Discussion Question:

Where the hell have you been, Colin?

Please keep the discussion civil and do not wander off into "Beginning to doubt? Beginning?!?" or "Thanks again, Ralph."


Monday, September 11, 2006

B, A, and B, respectively?

Tonight on MSNBC's "Countdown", Keith Olbermann yet again channeled Edward R. Murrow and delivered a blistering critique of the Bush Administration's response to the September 11, 2001 attacks. Early on, he said this:
"And anyone who claims that I and others like me are 'soft,' or have 'forgotten' the lessons of what happened (at the World Trade Center site) is at best a grasping, opportunistic, dilettante and at worst, an idiot whether he is a commentator, or a Vice President, or a President."
So here's This Week's Discussion Question:
Grasping, opportunistic dilettantes or idiots?
Please keep the discussion civil and do not wander off into "All of the above?" or "Boy, is Olbermann on fire these days, or what?"


Saturday, September 09, 2006

Free Question for Tim Russert

Tim, I know this is really late, but please ask the Vice President the following question on "Meet the Press" Sunday morning:
You've stated on this show that Iraq had ties to al-Qaeda just before the attack on September 11, 2001 and last week the President said Iraq had nothing to do with the attack. Which one of you is lying?
It's all yours, free of charge. We at TWDQ thank you in advance, Tim.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Exhuming McCarthy

Keith Olbermann has offered up a couple of outstanding "Special Comment" pieces in the past week on MSNBC's "Countdown." Read the transcripts here and here and watch the video here and here, respectively. They provide a couple more entries (for Don and George, respectively) for This Week's Discussion Question:
And yet he can stand up, in public, and question the morality and the intellect of those of us who dare ask just for the receipt for the Emperor’s New Clothes?
Have you no sense of decency, sir?
Please keep the discussion civil and do not wander off into the Ramsey case or sting ray attacks.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Take Him Out, Coach...

From the AP wire, here's another offering for This Week's Discussion Question:
Does this mean he's done pitching for the rest of the season?
Please keep the discussion civil and do not wander off into "With the junk he was throwin' last week, it's no wonder" or "Isn't his career about over anyway?"


Monday, September 04, 2006

Who Do You Think You're Foolin'?

Last week, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld likened critics of the Iraq war to Nazi appeasers, leading to This Week's Discussion Question:

Who are you callin' an appeaser, Don?

Please keep the discussion civil and do not wander off into "Why does this guy still have a job?" or "You do not want to start down the road of arguing about who's 'morally and intellectually' confused, Donnie."