Sunday, January 10, 2010

Transcript: Meet The Press (1-10-2010): Michael Steele

RNC Chairman, Michael Steele, appeared on Meet The Press (1-10-2010). Complete transcript here:

GREGORY: Let me start with those remarks by Harry Reid as being reported in this new book, "Game Change," about the 2008 race. "Senator Reid was wowed by Obama's oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama, a, quote, "light-skinned" African- American, quote, "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one," as he said privately. Reid was convinced, in fact, that Obama's race would help him more than hurt him in a bid for the Democratic nomination."

Senator Reid quickly apologized. He spoke to President Obama yesterday, who, as I mentioned, issued a statement saying the case is closed on this, he accepts the apology.

Governor Kaine, is the case closed? Should there be a consequence for these remarks?

KAINE: David, I think the case is closed, because President Obama has spoken directly with the leader and accepted his apology. The comments were unfortunate and they were insensitive. They were in the context of praising the senator and acknowledging that the senator could be a great president, but they were still insensitive.

I think Senator Reid stepped up, acknowledged that they were wrong, apologized to the president. He's accepted the apology and we're moving on.

GREGORY: Michael Steele, back in 2002, Trent Lott was ousted as majority leader for racially insensitive remarks. He at that point said it's Strom Thurmond, who ran as a segregationist for president, had he been elected president, that the country wouldn't have had some of the problems over all those years. Then-state senator Obama said at that point that Lott ought to be ousted a majority leader. Do you see a difference between then and now?

STEELE: Oh, yes, there is a big double standard here. And the thing about it that is interesting is that when Democrats get caught saying racist things, you know, an apology is enough. If that had been Mitch McConnell saying that about an African-American candidate for president of the United States, trust me, this chairman and the DNC would be screaming for his head, very much as they were with Trent Lott.

And the reality of it is, racism and racist conversations have no place today in America. This term, this, you know, like he's going to pass, for example, for white America because he, you know, has got this Negro dialect that he can turn on or turn off, and he's light- skinned, that's anachronistic language that harkens back to the 1950s and '60s, and it confirms to me a mind-set that is out of step with where America is today. But I can assure you that if I had, as national chairman, said that, well, it's all behind us and he's apologized, let's move on, no one would be accepting that. There has to be a consequence here, if the standard is the one that was set in 2002 with Trent Lott.

GREGORY: Is the consequence that Senator Reid should step down as majority leader?

STEELE: I believe it is. Well, from my perspective, whether he steps down today or I retire him in November, either way he will not be the leader in 2011.

GREGORY: Governor Kaine?

KAINE: Well, first, the senator said -- or I mean, Chairman Steele said earlier this week that the Republicans were not going to win it back, so Leader Reid is still going to be the leader. But I will say, anybody looking at Trent Lott's statements praising somebody who had been a pro-segregation candidate for president, will see that there is no comparison between those comments and those of Senator Reid's.

Now, the senator did make comments that were wrong and insensitive, and he's apologized, but he made them in the context of promoting the candidacy...


KAINE: ... the candidacy of Senator Obama.

GREGORY: So you don't think he should resign. You don't think he should resign.

KAINE: Absolutely not.

GREGORY: Let me move on more generally to the politics of the country and the mood of the country right now. Chairman Steele, how is the mood around the country?

STEELE: The mood of the country right now is sour. People are angry, they are frustrated, they're scared. And I think you see and have seen certainly in 2009 elections and you will see this year the public standing up and saying they've had enough. They're saying no to more taxes, they are saying no to more government. And as we're about to celebrate this one-year anniversary of this administration, what do we have? We have no health care, we have no jobs, we have no money, and we owe $13 trillion worth of debt. That is not lost on the American people right now, and so they're going to the polls, they're going to their town halls, they're going to the streets of the country, and they're saying enough. And they're putting the leadership on notice. Pay attention to us, listen to us, we're telling you what we want and what we don't want, and yet this administration and this Democratic Party has a tin ear to the fact that people out there are hurting. We haven't created the jobs, and yet now we're going to have another conversation about jobs? That should have been the conversation on the first day, not, you know, the things that the administration has pursued.

Republicans call on Senator Reid to quit post

This is funny. The Republicans do nothing but play the race card but now pretend to be outraged by Reid's comments.

in reference to:

"The Republican Party chief called on Senator Harry Reid on Sunday to step down as Senate majority leader over racial comments about President Barack Obama, while Democrats tried to put the issue behind them. Barack Obama Reid, a key figure in pushing Obama's agenda through Congress, apologized to the president on Saturday over remarks published in a new book calling Obama a "light-skinned" black man "with no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one." Both Obama and Reid are Democrats. Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said Reid should step aside as Senate majority leader, saying if a Republican made the same remarks Democrats would be "screaming for his head." "Oh yeah, there's a big double standard here," Steele, who is black, said on the NBC program "Meet the Press." "There is this standard where the Democrats feel that they can say these things and they can apologize when it ... comes from the mouths of their own. But if it comes from anyone else, it's racism," Steele added on "Fox News Sunday." Steele said Reid used "anachronistic language," adding, "It harkens back to the 1950s and 60s, and it confirms to me a mind-set that's out of step with where America is today." Steele was asked about his use in a recent television appearance of the words "honest injun," seen as disparaging toward American Indians. Asked if his own words were a racial slur, Steele said, "Well, if it is, I apologize for it. ... I wasn't intending to say a racial slur at all." Reid's comments, made in private conversations, were quoted in a newly published book about the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, "Game Change," by Time magazine reporter Mark Halperin and New York magazine writer John Heileman."
- Republicans call on Senator Reid to quit post | Reuters (view on Google Sidewiki)

Transcript: ABC's 'This Week' (1-10-2010)

'This Week' Transcript:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Another 85,000 jobs gone, more than 15 million Americans unemployed.
This Week:Brennan, Hoekstra, Collins, Lieberman, Harman
'This Week' guests include, clockwise from top left, Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan; Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich.; Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine; Sen. John Lieberman, I-Connect.; and Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif.

(UNKNOWN): The hardest thing is not knowing three months down the road where you're going to be.

STEPHANOPOULOS: When will the jobs come back? What more can the president do? Are we headed for a double-dip recession? Questions this morning for our headliner, the president's chief economist, Christina Romer.


OBAMA: The buck stops with me.

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... Obama takes the blame for the Christmas bomb plot.

(UNKNOWN): How long did it take you to realize the system failed?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Team Cheney and the GOP take him on.

That and the rest of the week's politics on our roundtable with George Will, Liz Cheney, Robert Reich of the American Prospect, Bloomberg's Al Hunt, and Judy Woodruff from the PBS NewsHour.

And, as always, the Sunday funnies.

ANNOUNCER: From the heart of the nation's capital, "This Week" with ABC News chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos, live from the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The White House was hoping that some good news in last Friday's jobs report would help turn the corner on what's been a tough first week of 2010, but it wasn't meant to be. The jobs engine stalled again. We'll get to the political fallout from that downside surprise, the failed Christmas bombing, and the rash of Democratic retirements in just a bit on our powerhouse roundtable.

But we begin with the White House take on why the economy is still losing jobs with the president's top economist, Dr. Christina Romer, chair of the Council on Economic Advisers.

Welcome to "This Week."

ROMER: Great to be with you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So what went wrong? Most economists were expecting either very small job loss in December or a slight increase.

ROMER: Well, I mean, I think what is true is it was somewhat of a setback. We now know in November we actually added some jobs and, in December, we lost, as you put, 85,000.

You know, I think it is important to put them in context, because they are, I think, still part of this overall trend towards greatly moderating job losses. I mean, I'll give you one statistic. In the first quarter of 2009, when we first came in, we were losing on average 691,000 jobs per month. With these new numbers in the fourth quarter, we were losing 69,000 jobs.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's true, but we still saw 660,000 people leave the workforce. And we have a real problem now of long-term unemployed. Forty percent of the unemployed have been out of work for more than two years. The long-term consequences of that are devastating, aren't they?

Israeli General Denies Iran Is a Nuclear Threat

Is anyone listening to this general? No. It's an inconvenient truth. The Israeli government and political establishment in the U.S. choose to believe the propaganda. There is an agenda to bomb Iran. And that's where we're headed. When what we should be doing is helping the anti-government protesters on the streets of Iran.

in reference to:

"Israeli General Denies Iran Is a Nuclear Threat"
- Israeli General Denies Iran Is a Nuclear Threat - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News - (view on Google Sidewiki)

4 more churches attacked in Malaysia in Allah feud

Religious intolerance is getting worse in the world; even in the United States.

in reference to:

"Firebombs were thrown at three more churches in Malaysia on Sunday and another was splashed with black paint, the latest in a series of assaults on Christian houses of worship following a court decision allowing non-Muslims to use "Allah" to refer to God. Despite the attacks, thousands of Christians nationwide attended Sunday services and prayed for national unity and an end to the violence. The unprecedented attacks have set off a wave of disquiet among Malaysia's minority Christians and strained their ties with the majority Malay Muslims. About 9 percent of Malaysia's 28 million people are Christian, most of whom are ethnic Chinese or Indian. Muslims make up 60 percent of the population and most of them are ethnic Malays. Religious minorities have often complained about what they say is institutionalized religious discrimination here. On Sunday, a Molotov cocktail was hurled at the All Saints Church in Taiping town in central Perak state early in the morning before it opened, said state police chief Zulkifli Abdullah. He told The Associated Press police found burn marks on the wall but there was no damage to the building. A broken kerosene bottle with an unlit wick was found early Sunday inside the compound of the St. Louis Catholic church, also in Taiping, said the Rev. David Lourdes. He said it appeared to be a failed attack. In southern Malacca state, the outer wall of the Malacca Baptist Church was splashed with black paint, police said. Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein said a church in Miri town in eastern Sarawak state on Borneo island also reported an arson attempt. "The situation is under control and the people should not be worried," he was quoted as saying by the national Bernama news agency. An aide confirmed his comments but couldn't give further details. Four churches were hit by gasoline bombs on Friday and Saturday. No one was hurt and all suffered little damage, except the Metro Tabernacle Church. Parishioners there moved services after fire gutted the first floor. The other churches held regular services Sunday. The dispute is over a Dec. 31 High Court decision that overturned a government order banning non-Muslims from using the word "Allah" in their prayers and literature. The court was ruling on a petition by Malaysia's Roman Catholic Church, whose main publication, the Herald, uses the word Allah in its Malay-language edition. The government has appealed the verdict."
- Nation & World | 4 more churches attacked in Malaysia in Allah feud | Seattle Times Newspaper (view on Google Sidewiki)

China Overtakes Germany as World's Biggest Exporter

It's that cheap labor, poor environmental standards, and a repressive regime that has China on top.

in reference to:

"China overtook Germany as the world's biggest exporter after exports rose in December for the first time in 14 months, data showed Sunday, in a new sign of the rapid Chinese rise as a global economic force. Chinese exports in the last month of 2009 jumped 17.7 percent from a year earlier, the state Xinhua News Agency and government television said. That made total exports for the year just over $1.2 trillion, ahead of the $1.17 trillion forecast last month for Germany by that country's foreign trade organization, BGA. Economists and Germany's national chamber of commerce said earlier it was likely to lose its longtime crown as top exporter. China's new status is largely symbolic but reflects the ability of its resilient, low-cost manufacturers to keep selling abroad despite a collapse in global consumer demand due to the financial crisis. China's politically sensitive trade surplus shrank by 34.2 percent in 2009 to $196.07 billion, Xinhua said. That reflected China's stronger economic growth, driven by a $586 billion stimulus, and demand for imported raw materials and consumer goods at a time when demand in the United States and other foreign markets is weaker."
- China Overtakes Germany as World's Biggest Exporter - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News - (view on Google Sidewiki)

'Another war with Hamas is inevitable'

With talk like this peace is highly unlikely.
in reference to:
"Just over a year after IDF Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, former OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yom Tov Samia on Sunday predicted that another war with Hamas was practically inevitable and would take place in the near future. "We are before another round in Gaza," Samia told Army Radio in an interview. "I am very skeptical about the possibility that Hamas will suddenly surrender or change its ways without being hit much more seriously than it was during Cast Lead." Israel must carry out "a more focused strike with long-lasting results" the former commander said, and advised that the in the next war, the army should take control of certain areas in Gaza so that Hamas understands its own actions have lead to this loss."
- Yom Tov Samia: Another war with Hamas is inevitable | Israel | Jerusalem Post (view on Google Sidewiki)

Israel: Palestinians to blame for impasse in talks

It's about time the U.S. government put pressure on Israel to do the right thing. But let's see if it amounts to anything. The Lobby is very strong on Capitol Hill.

in reference to:

"Israel's prime minister on Sunday accused the Palestinians of holding up the Mideast peace process, after Washington's Mideast envoy suggested the U.S. might impose sanctions on Israel to press it to make additional concessions. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's comments appeared to reflect concern that Israel is being perceived as the reason for the yearlong deadlock. U.S. envoy George Mitchell is expected in the region later this month in his latest attempt to bring the sides back to the negotiating table. Mitchell alarmed Israeli officials by suggesting last week that the U.S. could use financial pressure to extract new concessions from the Israelis. "Under American law, the United States can withhold support on loan guarantees to Israel," Mitchell told PBS interviewer Charlie Rose, noting that the previous administration of George W. Bush had done so. But he quickly added that he preferred persuasion to sanctions."
- Israel: Palestinians to blame for impasse in talks - Yahoo! News (view on Google Sidewiki)

Charlie Sheen tapes first show since felony arrest

Hollywood needs an establishment that imposes discipline of performers that engage in criminal conduct. The type of hierarchy that you find in professional sports and that used to exist in Hollywood during the golden age. These people seem to have no restraint. Ideally Sheen should fired or suspended. The Networks, in his case, could and should impose the punishment.

in reference to:

"Charlie Sheen is back at work at "Two and a Half Men," and his producer said Saturday that the audience at the actor's first show taping since his arrest on felony and other charges was "incredibly supportive." Sheen taped an episode of the top-rated CBS comedy on Friday. He was arrested Christmas Day in Aspen, Colo., on suspicion of domestic violence and other charges. Sheen's wife, Brooke, told police he put a knife to her throat, an accusation the actor denies. Attorneys say the couple wants to reconcile. Sheen showed up at work Monday and rehearsals went well, said Chuck Lorre, the show's creator and executive producer. He said the incident wasn't ignored, but wouldn't say how it came up backstage. Lorre said Sheen seems to be doing as well as he can under the circumstances. "We did a live show in front of a studio audience and it was a big success for us," Lorre said. "We just came back to work." A day before the taping, Pitkin County Chief Deputy District Attorney Arnold Mordkin said that a Colorado judge ruled that Sheen must appear in person Feb. 8 for an Aspen hearing on suspicion of felony menacing, domestic violence and other charges. Hanesbrands Inc., meanwhile, said it is ending its advertising campaign featuring Sheen. Company spokesman Matt Hall said the seriousness of the allegations against the 44-year-old actor made the decision necessary."
- Entertainment | Charlie Sheen tapes first show since felony arrest | Seattle Times Newspaper (view on Google Sidewiki)

30 injured in Hong Kong acid attack


in reference to:

"Police in Hong Kong said they have arrested one man in connection with an acid attack that injured 30 people at a popular tourist haunt Saturday night. Police said the attacker hurled two bottles of acid on shoppers on Temple Street, a busy outdoor market that is a favorite of tourists and locals. The victims included children, police said. The man who was arrested was found on a rooftop with two bottle caps. Police said the caps belonged to bottles that may have been used in the attack."
- 30 injured in Hong Kong acid attack - (view on Google Sidewiki)