Charlie Rangel on His Censure, Pundits on WikiLeaks, and More Sunday Talk
Charlie Rangel shares his conspiracy theory, McConnell's ready for a tax deal, and Gingrich blasts "amateurish" WikiLeaks response from the White House. That and more in our roundup.
Clark: Take Military Out of Crosshairs of Culture Wars
Has society moved on from the “old attitude” of being against homosexuals in the military? In a roundtable discussion on This Week retired Gen. Wesley Clark asked for a repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, saying that “combat effectiveness” has nothing to do with sexual orientation. “What we need to do is take the military out of the crosshairs of the culture wars,” he said.
McConnell and Obama: Taxing Friendship
On Meet the Press, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he was optimistic that the GOP will come to a deal with President Obama on taxes. While McConnell wouldn’t divulge any of the details of what the deal might look like, he said that in the last two weeks he’s had more conversations with Obama than in the last two years. A teaser: There’s now bipartisan opposition to raising taxes on anybody.
Gingrich on WikiLeaks: Administration Shallow and Amateurish
Nothing gets Newt Gingrich’s blood boiling more than WikiLeaks. On Fox News Sunday, Gingrich said that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is engaged in warfare and terrorism and should be tried as an enemy combatant. He went on to blast the Obama administration for having a “shallow” and “amateurish” approach to national security that is endangering Americans.
Rangel: Censure Was Politically Motivated
While Charlie Rangel has had a few days to think about his symbolic shaming, he still believes that both Democrats and Republicans knew his actions did not merit the level of punishment he received. In his first interview after being formally censured by the House last week for ethics violations, Rangel told State of the Union that it wasn’t necessarily his actions, but instead the political climate that influenced the vote. "Especially at a time when the reputation of the Congress is at an all-time low,” he said, “We just had a real combative election, and if you do anything to look like you're going easy on anybody in Washington, I can understand that feeling back home.”
Time Editor: Assange a Zealot and Anarchist, But Not Criminal
Time magazine Managing Editor Richard Stengel told Howard Kurtz on Reliable Sources that his job is to “publish and be damned” and that’s exactly what happened with their interview with Julian Assange—in which he admitted the WikiLeaks founder doesn’t “entirely make sense.” Stengel said that while Assange did harm national security, the real criminal, if there is one, is the alleged document leaker Bradley Manning.
Minority Whip: Don’t Say Tax Cuts!
On Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer sat down with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin and Minority Whip Jon Kyl to talk tax cuts. Kyl was visibly irritated at the phrase “tax cuts” preferring a term that doesn’t exactly roll off your tongue: “Extending for a period of time the rates that have been in existence for the last decade.” Both Durbin and Kyl agreed that the Senate is moving in the direction of a compromise.
Is The New York Times Culpable?
Is there a distinction between what WikiLeaks did and what The New York Times did? On Reliable Sources, The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz posed this question to Torie Clarke, who served as the Pentagon spokeswoman under the Bush administration from 2001 to 2003. She said the while she does understand the obligation of some news organizations to publish the information—because if they didn’t publish, others would have—Julian Assange is still “calling the shots.”