[h/t Heather at Video Cafe]
This week while everyone in the news media was obsessing on Hilary Rosen's remarks about Ann Romney and making them seem far more important than they were, the North Koreans had a disastrous attempt at a missile launch, Mitt Romney lied and fearmongered in his NRA speech, President Obama launched a full-court press on the Buffett rule, a landmark study was released by the USDA showing that the food stamp program is critical to alleviating poverty, the jobs report caused worries that the economy may be slowing down, the CFPB announced its consideration of new rules to help homeowners manage their mortgages before they melt down, even as federal funds for jobless training run out. In other news, Bobby Jindal is poised to gut public education even more in Louisiana with his "education reform" efforts, and a looming student debt crisis casts a dark shadow on students entering and graduating from college. Oh, and lots of corporate sponsors dropped their sponsorship of ALEC.
These all happened this week. They all matter to most of us on one level or another. As a parent of an about-to-be University of California student, the costs frighten and frustrate me, and will mean some kind of change in our lifestyle to get her through college without piling up the student loans. Others are dealing with health crises, job insecurity, and other very real, deep issues of concern. But here's what George Stephanopoulos wants to talk about:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Before we leave this [mommy wars] issue, I tend to agree with you all that this particular dispute is going to flare up and flame out, but, Melody, I wonder if the president has a -- has a continuing problem with Bill Maher? You know, you saw those comments he made on Friday night. He's given $1 million. He's the biggest single contributor to the super PAC aligned with the president. This has now happened a couple of times. Do you think the president is going to have to cut ties?
BARNES: Well, you know, I listened to those comments, and my grandmother's voice came in my head. I thought about the phrase, "Home training." You know, the language, the sentiment are problematic, and the campaign has -- and the president has said, look, the civility is -- it matters. The way we talk to each other matters. And they're going to have to, as you said, make a decision. I saw David Axelrod in earlier situations when comments have been made by Bill Maher say, I'm not going on your show. I'm backing away. I'm distancing myself. So it's a conversation...
Now last time I looked, Bill Maher was not an influencer in Democratic politics. He wasn't someone who could just pick up the phone and get right through to the White House. But to George Stephanopoulos, this is so important he actually has to spend time on his show "wondering" whether the President should cut ties with Maher. What ties?
Thank heavens for Katrina Vanden Heuvel and her level-headed, polite response. It was much nicer than I would have been.