Short Attention-Span Theater

Truth or Consequences would have been too obvious.Mere days ago, we expected tonight’s news conference to be The Great Torture Showdown: Whatever Barry said, someone, probably everyone, would be howling tomorrow.

And then we decided it was high time for a pandemic. And then Arlen decided it was high time to get the hell out of Dodge. But not until GM decided to get the hell out of Pontiac.

So we welcome you to our Open Thread/Adderall Festival, and challenge you to see how long you can last before your brain hurts. After the show, we’ll be sharing beautiful pictures of Air Force One over Manhattan.


Tweety honestly thinks a nominee for President makes decisions based on a television show? I mean, other than Reagn.

I suddenly feel a strange attraction to AARP commercials.

What channel we watching this on, Bs?

@nojo: Hey, you can attend their conventions now!

@mellbell: I’ve been contaminated by the Stinque Hive mentality, and am on MSNBC. Plus, tonight is mostly for the entertainment.

Get off the friggin Victory garden, Tweet!

Notably: FOX is going with regular programming tonight. Odd, that.

I can’t wait for Jon Stewart’s mocking of tonight’s blather.

Someone in the East Room had better break out with the German (as seen through the glass of “Hogan’s Heroes”) pronounciation of “swine!!” That would be awesome.

PS: Barry says relax, and cover your coughs. Do it, America. DO IT!

When schools start closing, we will go off the rails. Ain’t enough stay-at-home Moms or Dads anymore.

“Spike in number of homeowners.” Dude’s been watching too much football. Spike is not good here.

Wait I thought this was a press conference – why is he giving a speech?

Okay, let’s take bets on which MSM outlets are snubbed in favor of bloggers.

Who’s the chick in the front row in the aqua suit?

Hmm, Rethugs are right about one thing: Black Eagle lurvs that teleprompter.

Oh, Pa. has its first reported H1N1 case now.

@SanFranLefty: Washington Post gets called on for sure tonight. Two snubs in a row would be just dreadful.

Nabisco: That slam is total garbage. How many times did Dubya go off script?

@chicago bureau: Hmm. I want to say WSJ gets passed over but the economy is a big deal so that maybe couldn’t happen. What’s left of the MSM, anyway? USA Today?

AP on the “close the damn border” meme. Jesus. Haysoos.

Jennifer Loven, Associated Press in the aqua suit. And asking about “closing the border with Mexico” in that hick accent doesn’t make the point.

@Nabisco: But you can’t put lipstick on those pigs, even when the barn door is already open….

Why am I sitting at my desk at work watching this instead of at home inventing a drinking game?

Time for the first of hundreds of beers to follow…

Is the Unicorn the only black person in that room? The pan of the crowd sure showed a lot of white faces.

When can we get cat flu? Symptoms: being adorable, fascination with string.

Praise for the Bush Admin??!?

Sorry, I was going to ignore the presser, but the ball game between KC and 1ST PLACE (!) Toronto is in a rain delay.

He’s so cute, the way he pronounces “a good job”. **SIGH**

Living close to the border, I’m untroubled. But I’d freak if there was a private school next door.

I love how he takes 5 minutes to answer every question. In complete sentences, with paragraphs and appropriate pauses, punctuation, and pronunciation.

“Newly-installed Director of Health and Human Services Sebelius…”


Wash your hands, kids! Don’t go to work if you’re sick! ‘Cuz we don’t have universal health care, suckas!

Inflate your tires. Wash your hands. America, we bring you the Nanny President.

@mellbell: Hey there darlin! Are you still in Espana?

@SanFranLefty: Maybe all the black reporters are boycotting after being used as window dressing at the first one?

Detroit News with the auto bankruptcy questions…

Is it me, or is that Chrysler question an hour late? I thought they just did the deed with Fiat.

Wait — no mass transit for those with teh floo? More cars on the road. Environment suffers. FAIL.

Detroit News in the house! (But wait — since they deliver three days out of the week, do they count as fishwrap scribes anymore?)

@SanFranLefty: Got back a few days ago; pics went up on facebook last night.

nojo: Comments on Chrysler / Fix It Again Tony made in biz press today were on the DL — nothing official yet. Barry saying something definitive may screw up whatever it is they are trying to pull.

He will be doing fucking Camaro ads by September, I predict. Good salesmanship skills though.

As long as they boot Nardelli out on his fat ass. Apparently, the biggest hurdles are the hedge funds who stand to lose 100%.

And we’re all owners of Chrysler. Canada City is throwing in some loonies as well.

@chicago bureau: I worked for a thrice-weekly, and the fishwrap was just as good as a daily.

Comparison of auto companies to “wards of the state” – given how shitty foster care is in this country, probably not the analogy you’d want to make.

@mellbell: Welcome back! Your photos made me miss Madrid and Barcelona.

Jake “I went on a date with Monica Lewinsky” Tapper on torture!

nojo: Fair enough.

Jake Tapper puts him on the spot on torture.

Ooh — spotted Ed Schultz in the front row there. Huh.

Who’s the hottie in between Jake and Ed Henry?

Barry is dancing between rain drops at this moment.

“We shall not torture them on the beaches. We shall not torture them on the landing grounds….”

God, I could listen to him talk all night long.

@Nabisco: Damn, even from behind you can tell exactly who that is.

ADD: Haha, my bad, I thought you meant to Jake’s right.

@Nabisco: The person in maroon?

@ManchuCandidate: Pretty impressive, actually.

America: We Try Harder to Interrogate.

“Whatever legal rationales were used, it was a mistake”

C’mon, be more ballsy!

Black Eagle comment on torture approved by the U.S. Dept. of Not Answering The Damned Question. C’mon — you wanna hit them. Go ahead and freaking do it.

Jake presses, Barry dances again. Damn it.


“I believe that waterboarding is torture”

Nice. Straight talk from the President.

@SanFranLefty: @mellbell: No no no, not Helen Thomas! Dark bluish.

Whoa, face made for radio on THIS guy.

It wasn’t a “mistake,” it was intentional.

Wow. No wonder Mark Knoller is on radio.

SanFranLefty: “It doesn’t answer the broader question.”

Well, neither did you just then. So there’s that. Oy.


Wake up and go to sleep with that responsibility…and that HAWTIE Michelle!

Chuck Todd in da house!

Why does he have such a frat-boy date rapist douchetastic goatee?

@Tommmcatt the Wet Sprocket: Not straight talk at all. The law and the facts are very clear, and Barry’s doing all he can to talk around them.

Aided and abetted by the room. Nobody’s asking the right question.

Chuck Todd: “I want to move to Pakistan.”

Dandy. I’ll help you pack.

Shorter Barry in re Pakistan: “I have no fucking idea what to do now.”

“Mr. President, do you believe that Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld violated the War Crimes Act of 1996?”

Something like that.

Correct pronunciation of Pakistan – he must be a black Mooslem

In WW2, both the Allies and Axis used the concept of “terror” bombing to break the will of the civilian population. From the Battle of Britain to the firebombing of Tokyo (an uncle of mine witnessed it first hand), IT DID NOT WORK. Morale of the populace improved because they knew they were fighting a vicious enemy. It made them more determined to fight. Of course this is kept quiet by the various air forces lest the pols take away the money for some of their toys.

The NBC question seems a bit (well, A LOT) Tom Clancy-ish. How can they be CERTAIN they can take out Pakistan’s Nukes? There are no fucking guarantees. Do they even know where the hell they are?

Sorry, but whenever he pronounces Pakistan correctly, it makes me think of all those people who made sure they pronounced Nee-ka-RRRRRa-gwa correctly in the 80s.

He says Pawkeystawn, I think Pokeman.

Is it just me or is the Reuters reporter on the Homofascist team?

@SanFranLefty: Get outta my head!

ADD: @SanFranLefty: even this came to me. Sheesh.

@ManchuCandidate: And let’s not forget Dresden. Vonnegut didn’t.

@Nabisco: That was the second time we were in each other’s heads!

And he knows the difference between Shia and Sunni

No he certainly didn’t. I finally finished reading Slaughterhouse Five.

That’s two for CBS – liberal pinko media

Nabisco / SanFranLefty: Get a room.

Chip Reid on Specter — how big a deal is this? [Yawn.]

Who’s got the best hair so far?

@nojo: The bald gay reporter from Reuters. Or Barry.

Arlen Specter greets the Democrats as liberators.

Who do we think he was looking to in the wings just now — Biden?

And he goes into Con Law professor mode. “Let me remind you about the three branches of government.”

Nabisco: Notably — no way in hell he calls on Helen tonight. She’ll not let him off the mat on that whole torture thing.

Is that Laura Bush in yellow, second row on the aisle? Sneaky

Please remove that image of Mitch McConnell swallowing.

Too much for Mitch McConnell to swallow? Pass the mind bleach.

@Nabisco: I think she’s one of the NPR correspondents.

Shorter Bi-Partisanship: “Up yours, crybabies. You lost. Either we work together or you lose.”

At work – hate to be missing this. Back shortly.

Notre Dame? Until they get to a New Year’s Day bowl — on merit — I refuse give a damn.

@mellbell: You, ma’am, have a dirty mind. Give it back.

@Tommmcatt the Wet Sprocket: Remember when he was not just heavy, but um, LARGE?

@blogenfreude: I’m at work honey. Streaming video on the tubez.

@Tommmcatt the Wet Sprocket: And of course the fucker has to ask about the aborted babiez….

“Um, FlyingChainsaw, from Stinque

Does someone have hiccups who is near a microphone? I’m totally hearing hiccups. Or is it Barry who has hiccups?


He looked kinda rubbery just then, particularly around the neck.

“The Pro-Life Camp.” Arts & Crafts sessions must BLOW.

@Nabisco: I would pee my pants if Chainsaw got in there for the conference. Actually I think I see him behind Jeff Zelney.

New York Times! And — 100 days question. And he’s making fun of him! LOLZ!

Seriously — he decides to get down the specifics on this question in order to answer it head on. Torture? A lotta wells…. and you knows…. in his response. Underwhelming.

And he fudges on troubled. It’s the “T” words that get him, I guess.

@SanFranLefty: Oh, how I will miss introducing myself to Spanish men and having them respond, “Encantado.”

@chicago bureau: Helen’s in the front row – I could see her jumping up if he doesn’t call on her.


It’s not enough to take the one you love for granted
You must remind her, or she’ll be inclined to say…
“How do I know he loves me?”

Upon which the room breaks out in chorus.

Ooh, now ask about “Annoyed, Bolstered, Terrified, and Tickled”!

Dude’s struggling. Trying to get around “enchanted” by reference to troops. Oh dear.

@SanFranLefty: And Barry couldn’t just say “yes, I want them to pass the bill”? Would that have been so hard??

SanFranLefty: I don’t want Helen jumping. I don’t think she can do jumping given her advanced age. We need her to stay off the 15-day DL. Srsly.

Jebus, will this answer ever end? You’re killing me, Barry!

So, is the Sunday Styles reporter substituting tonight?

@Tommmcatt the Wet Sprocket: He’s like a jazz musician – just riffing off of what the crowd is throwing to him.

@chicago bureau: I envision Rachel with two closets: one for jackets, the other for tees.

mellbell: She has to look into one, so that I do not have to look into two. Simple, really.

Oooh, good on Gutierrez, terrible on “Vas-kwez”

@chicago bureau:

I’m proud of our straight boys when they get like that. We Stinque Gayz have trained them well.

And he pronounces Gutierrez and Velasquez like a Latin American Studies major working in the Peace Corps in Neee-ca-RRRRRRwa-wa

@chicago bureau: I so don’t understand why women think it looks good to just wear a jacket. What if you have to go through security and have to take off your jacket? Happened to a coworker of mine once at LGA and she had only a little camisole/bra underneath the jacket. Always wear an undershirt!

BET – not just bootie-shaking gangsta rap videos – we have news too!

I don’t have a specific answer to your question, but watch me vamp!

@Mistress Cynica: It must be this new bluetooth earpiece I bought today…

Meanwhile, back on the ranch — more softballs, more soft light. Day 100 is not his best one.

Except — “state secrets doctrine” is overbroad. Wait — what?

Oh, that is such a bullshit response on the state secrets case, and you know it.

Another queen! They’re everywhere in the press corps!

Hel-LO! He really lept out of his chair!

@SanFranLefty: ding ding ding!

ADD: gotta go, ‘bisco OUT

SanFranLefty: LAST ONE!

W$J gets it. WaPo gets shut out again.

“If you were a tree who held shares in industrial giants, what kind of tree would you be?” Big fat hanging curve for him to pop up.

ADD: in re SFL point — missed the second half of that response by typing snark in re first half. Yeah — that response blew.

Wow, maybe it’s the feed on the tubez, but Helen Thomas’ face looks like it’s made out of play-dough.

@Nabisco: What? South Park’s not on for another hour.

Final analysis — Black Eagle phoned this one in. Nothing new, nothing spectacular, and a couple of points that will come in for a severe drubbing. As in: “doggone it.” Really. “Doggone it.”

Y no hay tiempoooooo…. para mas!

And the banks were hummin’, the banks were hummin’…

Alrighty, need to finish up here at work.

Nobody is going to ask how it’s been going housebreaking Bo?

OMG, would someone please for the love of God offer their arm to help steady Helen Thomas? Srsly.

@chicago bureau: On Spike tonight: “Deadliest Warrior – Samurai v. Viking.” Awesome x 2. Dish Channel 168.

Rachel: “a torture program was devised, thought up, created and implemented systematically.”

The short version of the morning post.

No WAY am I going to fully catch up on this thread but I did catch most of the photo-op (on the radio). I feel well-informed now that I know our President’s favorite color and that he can’t imagine any circumstance in which he would resort to torture but he’d do anything, anything to protect me from the evil terrrists.

Like many Stinquers I sense an increasing affection for awkward down-home folksiness, doggone it, that makes me cringe with embarrassment whenever I hear it.

Did one of his advisers tell him, “Drop a terminating g here and there whenever you need to throw them off the scent”?

@Nabisco: Shit. I’m gonna die. Yeah, yeah, we’re all gonna die, but my symptoms = those the CDC listed for the swine flu. Coincidentally, they are also the symptoms of the common cold. Yet, I still haz a fear.

MSNBC staff announcer reveals the truth: “President Obama’s one hundredth day is brought to you by Sprint.”

@nojo: +1 (Even thought somehow I lost the last hour and a half and missed the whole thing.)

@JNOV: Fever? Cuz something’s making you hawt. Hey, tip your waitresses!

Srsly, if so, gmail me.

@ManchuCandidate: Mother Night will haunt you. Not in the same way as Slaughterhouse Five, but it will get inside your head.

@JNOV: You got fever in the morning, fever all through the night?

@Nabisco: Not sure about the fever b/c I don’t own a thermometer. I think ours broke, but my kid was old enough that I didn’t take his temp every time he got sick. I’m going to see my dr tomorrow mainly cuz I need a note for work. (I hate my fucking job.) I’m sure she’ll evaluate me for the chocolate-covered bacon flu.

@redmanlaw: Oh, GAWD! Who sang that? Rosemary Clooney?

So. Wait. He totally ignored Helen?

@Jamie Sommers: Yeah, that sounds more like it. Rosemary Clooney sang about clowns or something.

Just got home – was there some sort of press conference? What did I miss?

@Jamie Sommers: She wrote it too.

@blogenfreude: Some kind of pep talk got everyone all up in arms.


Company and government officials fear that a bankruptcy would stain the brand, shake customer confidence and erode sales. But if it becomes necessary, the administration would seek to use the process to create a new Chrysler company. Its ownership would be divided, with the company’s union retiree health fund receiving a 55 percent stake, Fiat would claim as much as a 35 percent share and the United States would take 8 percent. The Canadian government would receive two percent.

The automaker’s current majority owner, Cerberus Capital Management, would see its holdings wiped out.

Valerie Jarrett looks Indian/Native American.

@blogenfreude: Spending 9 months dithering and saying “we may have to declare bankruptcy” has all the same negative effects of actually filing bankruptcy, with none of the positives. And thats what they’ve been doing.

The general public mood is improving, and thats real, unfortunately, subjective belief in the economy is a very real, very very real, and important, part of the economy. All the economic data is indicating the public is starting to stick its nose up out of the bunker to look around and see if its safe to go outside again.

The daily “will they or won’t they” auto industry bankruptcy drama is, now and for several months now, the biggest intangible negative affecting the economy. They need to Just do it or don’t, already.

This swine flu could be a godsend, what the hell, go spend, noone’s gonna need those savings, we’re all gonna die, eventually.

Stinquey, I need to get involved in a deep discussion of Wittgenstein and positivism, or whether uncut weinies are really more sensitive, and us mushroom-headed, mutilated circumsized dudes are missing out on sensations we can only dream of. Something totally outside the shitty ugliness of life that I have to think about, I want to think about the thingss that are fun to think about and take you away for a while to intellectual detachment land, where your perspective broadens so much that you begin to regard even the worst things in life with bemusement, in the huge scheme of things, after all, what the fuck.

Really, guys. Did he not call on Helen Thomas?

@JNOV: Get well dear. Take heart that the known cases of H1N1 in the US, so far, have been mild.

Also: Tweety sees dead people. Complaining about the lack of expression amongst his fellow Beltway “journalists” when attending a presidential press conference. What he can’t see is that tingling feeling, that thrill that goes up all their legs when they find themselves in the magisterial presence of our Unicorn in Chief.

Cerberus is Dan Quayle’s outfit, no?

@Jamie Sommers: Thas that thing they track mutants with, right?

@redmanlaw: No, it’s the thing Professor Xavier sticks on his head. Or maybe some three-headed dog.

@redmanlaw: ::DOPESLAP:: I’m sick, y’all. I’m not in my right mind.

@Pedonator: Thank you, my love. In the very unlikely event this is the swine flu, I’m not suffering too much. I’ll get it all sorted out tomorrow. Besos!

@Jamie Sommers, @redmanlaw: Cerberus, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Echelon?

(…a wholly owned subsidiary of the Carlyle Group…? RSVP mandatory for the Company Christmas party at Bohemian Grove, etc…?)

@SanFranLefty: Boo! I’m making a list, Hopey. I’ll send it to you after this whole torture thing gets sorted out.

@SanFranLefty: I hope Helen outlasts the Unicorn. She’s pretty much the only one left in the WH press corp who’s willing to ask absolutely relevant questions.

@Pedonator: The highlight of my years in DC was getting to meet Helen Thomas not once, not twice, but three times, including two one-on-one conversations about being a ground-breaking women. Needless to say she’s in my pantheon of sheroes. Saucy as hell, smart as a whip. I feel like she’s the Fidel Castro of the press corps – she’s outlasted 8 presidents and has seen through all of them.

@JNOV: @Jamie Sommers: Hope you girls are both feeling better soon and that the only “swine” that is affecting you is tasty bacon or prosciutto. As for Ceberus, yes I think that’s Dan Quayle’s hedge fund. Unless it’s the one that Chelsea Clinton** works for.

** Am I finally allowed to just say how disappointed I am that Chelsea went from aspiring pediatric cardiologist her freshman year at Stanford to utterly sell out as a hedge fund manager for daddy’s donors/ “management consultant” at McKenzie – she’s a total emblem of the Millennial Generation’s greed and intelligence going into a black hole of evilness at I-banking instead of going into researching a cure for cancer – even the Bush girls became inner city school teachers, for Chrissake. Say what you will about Jenna and Barbara, they’re not leveraging pensions to help investors. The money grubbing apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, at least when it comes to the Little Rock Camelot.

@SanFranLefty: Meh. That’s only because they’re upholding the fine Republican tradition of taking girl jobs and marrying money grubbers.

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