TheDC Morning

TheDC Morning: Al Gore sells his soul

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer
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1.) Al Gore sells his soul — Al Gore’s Current TV was purchased by Al-Jazeera Wednesday. Gore will now sit on the advisory board of the new channel: Al-Jazeera America. So why was Al-Jazeera wiling to pay such a high price — reportedly $500 million — for a failing network? TheDC’s Jamie Weinstein reports:

“Is Al-Jazeera trying to use former Vice President Al Gore to gain acceptance in America? Yes, say some experts. … ‘I have a guess, an impression, that Al-Jazeera is looking for more respectability and more — not just more market outlets — but more of an image of being let’s say  non-partisan’ or  ‘mainstream, whatever you want to call it,’ David Pollock, a scholar at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy who has written on Al-Jazeera and often appears as a commentator on the network, told The Daily Caller. ‘They did this before by setting up their own organization in the US and hiring some legitimate journalists who ended up resigning in disgust when they saw what it was like,’ Middle East scholar Barry Rubin told The Daily Caller, referring to Al-Jazeera English.”

Al-Jazeera’s Arabic channel also has a show hosted by the spiritual leader of the “moderate” Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Check out his “moderate” message praising the Holocaust and hoping for another.

2.)  “Moderate” Morsi –The New York Times and The White House seem to think that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is filled with moderates with whom the U.S. can be deal. TheDC’s Neil Munro reports on Egypt’s “moderate” president:

“Muslims should try to force Jews out of Israel by warfare, economic boycotts and diplomatic isolation, Egypt’s new moderate Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, said in recently translated videos from 2010. ‘These blood-suckers who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs … there is no place for them on the land of Palestine,’ Morsi said, referring to Israeli Jews, during in a September 2010 interview.”

Oh, he was probably kidding, right? Denial can only last so long. As Egypt expert Eric Trager notes in the story, “[The administration] is taking Egypt one day at a time, and one danger is that it is not looking ahead to the point at which the Brotherhood will pursue its foreign policy, which it has spoken about for the past 84 years.”

3.) Ryan responds —  Paul Ryan has been criticized by some for voting for the House bill to avert the fiscal cliff. He defended his vote Thursday, TheDC’s Alex Pappas reports: 

“Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan on Thursday defended his vote for the last minute fiscal cliff legislation that passed Congress this week, saying he supported it to ‘get this issue behind us, … prevent this massive tax increase and … focus on spending now.’ The 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee acknowledged in an interview with a Milwaukee radio host that he realized he would be criticized for his vote to extend tax cuts for most Americans while raising taxes on the wealthy, but said it was the best deal Republicans could get under the circumstances.”

A bad option can also be the best option available.

4.) The revolution that wasn’t — Some said John Boehner would be ousted as speaker Thursday. He wasn’t. TheDC’s Alexis Levinson reports:

“John Boehner was re-elected as Speaker of the House Thursday, putting to rest rumblings that he might be ousted by discontented conservatives within his party. Boehner received 220 votes, while Pelosi received 192. Over the past several weeks, there had been signs of discontent with Boehner as Speaker. … Fifteen members on both sides of the aisle abstained or voted for someone other than Pelosi or Boehner. Nine Republicans did not vote for Boehner: Reps. Amash, Steve Pearce, Jim Bridenstine, Ted Yoho, Paul Brown, Louie Gohmert, Walter Jones, Tomas Massie, and Tim Huelskamp.”

What happens when you start a revolution and so few show up? Well, the revolution fails. Badly.

5.) Biden being Biden  — Joe Biden was in his element Thursday, swearing in senators. In so doing, he again demonstrated he is a master of nonsense talk, which TheDC’s Alexis Levinson documents. Among the best awkward exchanges:

“‘If you ever need any help on your pecs, let me know,’ the Vice President told one member of newly-sworn-in South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott’s family, a big man who Biden said looked like he still played football. Biden then proceeded to whip out his cell phone and show the family photos.”

6.) Tweet of Yesterday KimJongNumberUn: Welcome 113th Congress! I assume this means the 112th Congress was executed.

AUDIO: McCain says there should be no pay increases for members of Congress and federal workers 

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Jamie Weinstein