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06.13.10

June 13: 7 Best Moments From Sunday Talk

John Boehner predicts the House won’t move on Obama’s budget and Carly Fiorina regrets insulting Barbara Boxer. Plus, Bill Gates advocates for energy innovation. That and more in our roundup.

Fiorina “Regrets” Hair Comment

On Fox News Sunday, Carly Fiorina expressed regret for her Barbara Boxer hair slam—but less for the comment itself and more for the media fodder it provided.

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The Oil Spill Blame Game Continues

As oil continues to spew from BP’s blown rig—and tar balls begin to wash ashore in several states—politicians can do little but point fingers at each other over who’s to blame for the mess. On Meet the Press, Politico’s Roger Simon said President Obama was extremely frustrated by Republicans—including Carly Fiorina—who usually call for small government but now are demanding the feds spring to action. That comment set off a heated debate between Fiorina and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) over whether a Democratic or Republican administration was to blame for regulatory failures. It was Ken Salazar’s fault! No, it was Liz Birnbaum, stooge of the oil industry! Wait, Birnbaum actually worked for Congress—blame George W. Bush! No, it was Obama’s fault! Or maybe the fault of Gulf Coast voters who wanted more jobs?

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Barbour: Don’t Stop Drilling

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says that even as his state’s beaches become blemished by the sticky brown goo that’s washed ashore from the BP oil spill, there should be no pause in offshore drilling. A moratorium would cause oil companies to pack up their equipment and head elsewhere, the governor said on Face the Nation, and even after the ban is lifted, the jobs won’t come back. Barbour later said that obsessive media coverage of the spill was hurting Mississippi, costing the state a full third of its tourist season so far.

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Gates: Energy Research and Development Is Essential

Microsoft mogul Bill Gates is urging Congress to dedicate an extra $11 billion to spur innovation in the energy sector. At a time when many voters worry that spending is out of control in Washington, Gates said on Meet the Press that the R&D surge should be viewed as an investment, not an expense. Relying on America’s big-brain resources—universities, entrepreneurs, etc.—Gates says the boost in innovation would bring jobs. And if the country delays, we’ll only end up paying more anyway, because energy costs will rise as we have to go to ever more remote places (like 5,000 feet underwater) to find oil.

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Boehner: Budget’s Passing as Likely as Elvis’ Return

On Saturday night, President Obama sent a letter to Congress requesting $50 billion in emergency spending for states. The money would mostly go to preventing teacher layoffs and boost health-care funds. But with congressional elections approaching, many wonder if Democratic leaders will be able to corral nervous members into passing a budget. The House hasn’t failed to pass a budget resolution since 1974, and though Republicans couldn’t get the House and Senate to agree on one in 2006, they are delighted at an opportunity to portray their rivals as poor money managers. On This Week, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) said passage was rather unlikely.

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Susan Rice Slams NYT Article as “Fallacious”

U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice fired shots at The New York Times on Fox News Sunday, calling a recent article—which alleged that Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai doubts that the West can defeat the Taliban—“fallacious.” “We have every confidence that the U.S. and NATO, working with our Afghan partners, will defeat the Taliban,” Rice said. “Hamid Karzai remains an important partner in the Afghan government.”

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Reliable Sources: Helen Thomas, Fallen Icon?

On Reliable Sources, Howard Kurtz, Dana Milbank from The Washington Post, and Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times remembered Helen Thomas’ career after the outspoken journalist retired following her controversial remarks. Kurtz said that press secretaries “used her as a kind of comic relief,” while Sweet commended her skepticism of the Iraq War.

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