Welcome, one and all to the most intense nightly read wnywhere on the sphere… The BitsBlog Nightly Ramble
This is the “Beep Beep” Edition. If you don’t get the reference, look here. 
- The Obamacare Telethon: No, I didn’t bother watching it last night. the results were quite predictable . Jeff Poor of the Business and Media Institute did force himself to watch and found pretty much what I said it would be:
Call this a teachable moment, but even with ABC’s best-laid plans to kickstart the debate about health care reform and not allow the “Prescription for America” special to become an “infomercial,” as many have complained – the president spent more than twice as much time as his questioners vaguely answering or not answering the questions asked of him. But the network consistently presented the event as part of the need to fix a “broken system.” When asked, every one of the 164 hand-picked audience members said they felt that health care needed to be changed.President Barack Obama appeared on the ABC network in a town hall format broadcasted from the White House on two separate programs on June 24 – an hour-long primetime special during the 10 p.m. Eastern Time hour and later on the “Nightline” program that aired during the 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time hour.
ABC’s “Good Morning America” co-host Diane Sawyer billed the event as “a serious conversation” about the issue and she moderated the discussion along with her former “GMA” partner, now “World News” anchor Charles Gibson. ABC medical editor Dr. Timothy Johnson, a long-time network advocate for universal health care plans going back to Hillarycare, also participated in the event.
While Obama had to field some difficult questions — from the audience and ABC — he faced no Republcian critics of his proposals.
It ended up being the one-sided discussion that Obama always demands. Clearly, his proposals cannot stand any serious scrutiny. Be worried. Be very, very worried.
- Sanford and Sin: Say what you will about Mark Sanford , I’ll likely agree. I found Michelle Malkin’s comments on the matter particularly potent, for example. But I’ve seen nothing yet that changes my perception of yesterday afternoon that the way this feeding frenzy was started and maintained was and remains highly orchestrated.Do not misread me here, this is not a defense of Sanford. It does strike me as interesting, however, that the leakage of a string of emails which by federal law are supposed to be kept private, ending up in the hands of the South Carolina newspaper, and nobody asks how. On whose servers were these emails stored?That same newspaper sat on those articles for some as yet unspecified period of time. Why? Was it so as to create maximum political impact?Interesting, too, the number of scandals that ended up being revealed between 1-20-08 and today… the most recent being Ensign and Sanford… both considered presidential possibles for the GOP. Did these guys suddenly get super-randy because Obama is in office? That doesn’t seem reasonable. And only Republicans were affected? That doesn’t seem a reasonable assumption, either.I’m telling you, folks, there’s more going on here. The way this fell together so slick, just smells to me of someone’s engineering.And again, let’s be clear about this; Sanford is done, and should be so. But I’d be very interested in knowing how this story came to light and why. This whole situation simply reeks of politcal gamesmanship, at levels that would embarrass, I think, those benefitting from it. John Dickerson points out :
You can laugh at Sanford, as you can laugh at a video of a wrecked Amy Winehouse falling all over her house. But at some point, even though they did it to themselves, you have to feel sorry for them as human beings. You can do that, I think, and not be a fan of adultery or drug use.
I’m not offering Sanford’s humanity as an excuse. I’m just marveling at how few people stopped for a moment to even nod to it. My thoughtful colleague William Saletan and Andrew Sullivan were exceptions. Maybe there are others. Maybe people expressed these views in private conversations. But in the e-mails and Twitter entries and blog posts I read in the aftermath, Sanford’s human ruin was greeted with what felt like antiseptic glee.
That, also, makes me wonder if the whole thing wasn’t politically motivated and so arranged.
The bit with the emails is particularly precious. Clearly the law as regards privacy of communication was broken, here. (The law is so strict that it can be interpreted as saying you can’t tell your wife what your mother-in-law just said on the phone.) That crime… a felony… gets overlooked because, why, again? Because someone’s extra marital affair was thus exposed, thus giving a particular political party an advatage?
- But an advanatge for what? Well, the midterms for one thing. But perhaps more directly, the current legislative efforts. Remember our discussions of the past few days, where I’ve noted the Democrats blaming Republican resistance for blocking their path to socialism? As I say I don’t think the Republicans can take much credit for that, so fouled up are the Democrats themselves. That said however, if you were a Democrat who blamed the Republicans and wanted to distract them from reisitance to current legislation, wouldn’t this serve as a rather nice distraction? Consider Martin Kady II from the Huddle Digest, this morning, (via email) as he lays out what’s going on:
Maybe John Ensign should send Mark Sanford a thank you note? After all, Ensign’s run of the mill sleep-with-your-staffer affair has been bumped off the front pages by Sanford’s wacky, mind boggling, soap opera-esque Argentinian sex adventure.
But while political junkies focus on yet another fallen GOP star, there’s a huge amount of consequential legislating getting done on Capitol Hill over the next 48 hours before Congress takes a week-long break.
The climate change bill is heading toward House passage – and Al Gore is in town to rally the Democratic troops. President Barack Obama just left a huge door open to taxing higher end health care benefits – opening a new line of attack for Republicans. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is on the Hill today and Republicans and Democrats are planning on a full-scale attack over his actions during last year’s bailout. And the House ethics committee is increasing the heat on lawmakers who took a Caribbean trip that m ay have been underwritten by corporate interests.
Gee, nothing the Democrats would like better than a distraction of the party opposite, in the face of all of that. Tossing the bit with Sanford in there is like tossing a few aligators in the swamp. When you’re up to your as in gators, it’s not easy to remember your original objective was to drain the swamp, right? By the way The Huddle is a great resource. It’s available here. 
- Stay Classy, Waffles: John Kerry pipes up, yesterday…(Did you know he served in Vietnam?) and says, in response to the Sanford thing : “Too bad, if a governor had to go missing it couldn’t have been the governor of Alaska. You know, Sarah Palin.” Way to stay classy. What an anal pore John Kerry is. But what does that say about his supporters, I wonder?
- About that cap and trade…. more properly called a cap and tax bill.. the WSJ has a great one up today on that topic.  So does Heritige.  And yet the Democrats will continue pushing this nonsense and hiding any science that doesn’t agree with their agenda .