Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 23, 2009

MONDAY'S MINI-REPORT.... Today's edition of quick hits:

* The major indexes on Wall Street were expected to soar in light of the new Geithner plan on toxic assets. And soar they did.

* On a related note, it probably helped that there was an unexpected boost in existing home sales.

* Bloodshed in Baghdad: "At least 25 people were killed and 45 were injured when a man walked into a tent of mourners and detonated himself in a town north of Baghdad on Monday evening. The death toll was expected to rise, hospital officials said."

* An encouraging move: "A federal court today ordered the Food and Drug Administration to reconsider the agency's controversial decision limiting non-prescription access to the morning-after pill Plan B to women age 18 and older."

* Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) is on a quixotic crusade against U.S. Ambassador-designate to Iraq Christopher Hill.

* From a tactical perspective, the U.S. drone campaign in Pakistan has been quite a success.

* Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) has successfully battled breast cancer over the past year, in a remarkable fight that included seven major surgeries, a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery," while balancing motherhood, Congress and her roles as a chief fundraiser for House Democrats and a political surrogate, first for Hillary Clinton and then for Barack Obama."

* Introducing, "Financial Media Matters."

* Chris Matthews got the new contract he wanted from MSNBC.

* It's great to see the State Department embracing new media.

* JP Morgan should probably not talk about new corporate jets for quite a while.

* There are a lot of things Fox News needs to change, but hiring intelligent chyron writers would be a big first step.

* John Kerry tackles an interesting asylum case.

* Howard Dean is already making CNBC better. (He's not picking sides, though, between Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer.)

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (33)

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Comments

Your typo on Chris Matthews' religious preference is priceless.

Posted by: JustBeingPedantic on March 23, 2009 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

"There are a lot of things Fox News needs to change, but hiring intelligent chyron writers would be a big first step." - SB

They probably all have PhD's from Liberty University. /snark

Posted by: Curmudgeon on March 23, 2009 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Chris Matthews goy

Truer words were never spaken.

Posted by: C.S. on March 23, 2009 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone else wondering why we never hear men being praised for fighting a terminal illness while being a working parent? Or why that particular bit of backhanded praise is reserved specially for the women who dared step out of the creche?

Posted by: Keori on March 23, 2009 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

And i thought nothing could ever get me to watch CNBC. BTW, that Matthews thing, that really wasn't a typo, was it?

Posted by: ericfree on March 23, 2009 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

Too many typos. Too little correction.

Posted by: Ross Best on March 23, 2009 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

. . . that Matthews thing, that really wasn't a typo, was it?

Well, I was thinking that he may have been intending to type "a" instead of "o".

Posted by: C.S. on March 23, 2009 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

Chris Matthews is a shiksa.

At Fox News, all Brown people look alike.

Posted by: Alte Ca-Ca on March 23, 2009 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

Now I understand all the furor over "Heckuva job, Brownie." Until now, I had thought it was a play on his name ;-)

Posted by: karog on March 23, 2009 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

Three cheers for the Casino economy

...indexes on Wall Street were expected to soar in light of the new Geithner plan on toxic assets.

As Christina D. Romer, the White House’s chief economist said:

“What we’re talking about now are private firms that are kind of doing us a favor, right, coming into this market to help us buy these toxic assets off banks’ balance sheets.”
Private firms? Doing me a favor? I never knew they cared so much for me. Perhaps I should get on my knees and kiss their Harvard ring fingers. Maybe they need their Yale dicks sucked too...

Here is the money quote:

Given that private equity firms, hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds are perhaps the only institutions with cash to invest in such a program, the administration went on the offensive on Sunday in an effort to win them over.
Win them over? Yes you see:
Some of them have told administration officials that they would participate only if the government guaranteed that it would not set compensation limits on the firms, according to people briefed on the conversations. The executives also expressed worries about whether disclosure and governance rules could be added retroactively to the program by Congress, these people said.
Gamed! The whole thing is gamed: Pigs + Trough.
The rich get richer and the middle class pays for it. The House always wins. There isn't an ounce of creative thinking in Geithner's plan. Not one freaking ounce. It is all about thinking within the box and maintaining the wealth of the investor class.

Bullshit. I am rooting for failure on this one. Miserable failure. Bring it on. Down the shit hole. The faster the better...


Posted by: koreyel on March 23, 2009 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

interesting afghanistan "rumor" from the guardian uk:

US will appoint Afghan 'prime minister' to bypass Hamid Karzai

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/22/us-afghan-plan-to-bypass-karzai

Posted by: dj spellchecka on March 23, 2009 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Brownback is concerned at Hill's lack of progress with North Korea and inability to speak Arabic. That looks like two strikes to a lot of us.

I'd rather see a few nominations at Treasury. Surely there must be 18 Democrats who've paid their taxes.

Posted by: MIke K on March 23, 2009 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

"On a related note, it probably helped that there was an unexpected boost in existing home sales."

* Except there was no boost, as sales of existing homes FELL 4.6% in February. Once again, the comparison is to the same month of the previous year, not the previous month.

* Not to mention that the median existing single-family home price was DOWN 15% from February a year ago, and home foreclosures were up 30% in February from a year ago.

Posted by: Joe Friday on March 23, 2009 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

From a strategic perspective, as Yglesias said yesterday, the jury's still out on Predators.

But, Pakistan could close its air base to Predator use if it was really that upset; the fact it hasn't should say something.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on March 23, 2009 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

More background on the Predator strikes, tactical vs. strategic issues, Pakistani AND U.S. worries that al Qaeda may “burrow into” cities more, and Pakistan’s silence appearing to give assent.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on March 23, 2009 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for high-lighting the asylum case. I read about it on another website.

One more reason to overturn DOMA.

Posted by: Michael W on March 23, 2009 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

Surely there must be 18 Democrats who've paid their taxes.

So Mike KKK, let's talk about your wife's boobies? You old codger you, always looking for a good deal. I heard those MV surgeons are giving two-fers these days. Too bad you didn't hold out.

Posted by: staplefood on March 23, 2009 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

I love how lefties cannot debate but quickly return to obscene ad hominem insults. Great minds at work.

Posted by: Mike K on March 23, 2009 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

Since it's an open thread, this was Joe Klein on the (syndicated) 'Chris Matthews Show' yesterday:

"Let's look back to Reagan. Reagan walked in to an ENORMOUS recession, 10% unemployment"

Earth to Klein:

* 7.6% - GDP in 4th QTR 1980, Carter's last months in office

* 8.4% - GDP in 1st QTR 1981, Reagan's first months in office

* The Unemployment Rate in 1981 was 7.6%. There were more jobs created during Carter's 4-year term than either of Reagan's 4-year terms.

The RightWing repeats something enough times that the media reports it: Reagan inherited a recession. Chimpy Bush inherited a recession. Nevermind the facts.

Posted by: Joe Friday on March 23, 2009 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

And Mike K, I love how you flaccid old farts like you still believe themselves to be something of an influence on say, anything other than the family dog.

(Or bitches should I say in your case. But still, dat bitch got some fine knockers! How much you pay for those again?)

Posted by: staplefood on March 23, 2009 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

Is staplefood Mike K's sock puppet? I've never seen him here before and he certainly isn't contributing anything to the discussion except as something for Mike K to pretend to be victimized by.

Posted by: tanstaafl on March 23, 2009 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

P.S. Mike K, what did you think about John Negroponte? He also didn't speak Arabic, had no middle east experience and spent the 1980s covering up torture, murder and other human rights violations in Honduras and other rightwing dictatorships in Central America.

Posted by: tanstaafl on March 23, 2009 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

Amazing Grace is all I can say about Debbie Wasserman Schultz. I had no idea--only knew her as a great Democratic Party spokesperson--cogent, well informed and not afraid of a good debate, not afraid to tell it like it is.

Now this--wow. What courage, of a different kind. She's a fantastic role model and citizen.

So glad she's O.K. for now.

Posted by: Insanity on March 23, 2009 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

I can't believe Mathews makes around 5 million annually, give or take some...

Wow, for mixing metaphors, for contradicting himself time and again, for most of the time just shooting off provocative questions and comments that have no center of gravity.

Maybe I'm just jealous.

Posted by: Insanity on March 23, 2009 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

Famous for being famous

Insanity: I can't believe Mathews makes around 5 million annually, give or take some...

Me neither. But then I saw this lines in the NYTimes obituary for England's Jane Grody:

Ms. Goody, now known universally as Jade, became a star, famous for being famous, and was never again out of the public eye.

Those four words go a long way to explain Jade and Tweety and a host of others. Their talent is their fame. Witness Joe the Plumber...

Posted by: koreyel on March 23, 2009 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

So, speaking of JTP(not a P), how does he support himself and his child? Since he doesn't seem to be doing any plumbing, where is the money coming from?

Inquiring minds want to know.
peace,
st john

Posted by: stjohn on March 23, 2009 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Brownback is concerned at Hill's lack of progress with North Korea and inability to speak Arabic. -- Mike K, @19:14

1) Hill was making progress in North Korea (despite not speaking Korean. Fancy that!) just fine. Until the deciderer pulled the rug from under him.
2) Negroponte (Hill's predecessor and your hero's pick) did speak Arabic? First I heard. But, of course, if he had, *that would* explain Brownback's past complacency on the subject. It couldn't be that Brownback is -- now -- simply acting up to the Repub standard of "destroy, not build, when it's a Dem at helm". Not Brownback. Never. No siree.

Posted by: exlibra on March 23, 2009 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

AFAICT, JTP(not a P) is supporting himself with his book deal and speaking engagements, though given the low turnout reported at his DC book signing a few weeks ago, I hope he got a big advance.

BTW, love that formula for refering to him stjohn.

Posted by: tanstaafl on March 24, 2009 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

I had wondered why I hadn't seen Wasserman-Schultz on TV as much as she deserved. She's a real gem in the Democratic party and one of the few spokespeople who can argue over the blatering ReTalibans on the talking heads shows.

Best of health, Congresswoman. Stay strong, we need you.

Posted by: Cal Gal on March 24, 2009 at 1:59 AM | PERMALINK

"He [Chris Matthews] seemed far more enthusiastic about Barack Obama [than W], most memorably saying, “I felt this thrill going up my leg” during one of Mr. Obama’s speeches."

Boy, do the Times editors have a short memory! Matthews got a pretty big thrill out of W landing on the aircraft carrier in his codpiece to give his big Mission Accomplished speech.

He's a star farker. I can't even watch him any more. He's off my TiVo and has been for months and I don't miss him a bit.

Posted by: Sarah Barracuda on March 24, 2009 at 2:08 AM | PERMALINK

"Anyone else wondering why we never hear men being praised for fighting a terminal illness while being a working parent? Or why that particular bit of backhanded praise is reserved specially for the women who dared step out of the creche?"

Well, I don't really think it's "backhanded" praise. I think it's a recognition that although men may work and be "parents" they are not "working parents" in the sense that they work outside the home AND take the big share of child raising duties.

And yes, I recently DID see a story about a single Dad facing this kind of situation. I think it was probably more "newsworthy" because he WAS a man, but I think Ms. Wasserman-Schultz is newsworthy because she's in Congress.

Posted by: Cal Gal on March 24, 2009 at 2:12 AM | PERMALINK

Why is Fox news channel allowed to exist? Why are they allowed to insult the Canadian soldiers who are dying in Afghanistan, while they sit in a recording studio? Why is O'Reilly not put in jail for sending out his team of stalkers to harrass anyone who does not agree with him?

Posted by: JS on March 24, 2009 at 8:14 AM | PERMALINK

There are a lot of things Fox News needs to change, but hiring intelligent chyron writers would be a big first step.

Why do you assume it's a mistake? Fox News saw an opportunity to reinvent failed FEMA director Michael Brown in the eyes of the public. What could be better than to make him a black Democrat? You assume Fox viewers are intelligent enough to see it as a mistake.

After all, they made pedophile Mark Foley a Democrat too, remember?

Posted by: Screamin' Demon on March 24, 2009 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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