Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 26, 2009

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

* Undeterred by yesterday's international condemnations, North Korea "reportedly fired two more short-range missiles into waters off its east coast" earlier today.

* Exceeding all expectations, consumer confidence numbers soared over the last month. This, in turn, helped rally Wall Street.

* In more discouraging economic news, American home values are still awful.

* Two more New Yorkers have died of the H1N1 virus.

* Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid seems to be, slowly but surely, coming around to a more sensible approach on Gitmo detainees.

* President Obama today praised Judge Sonia Sotomayor for having "great empathy." Wait, did I say Obama and Sotomayor? Actually, that was George H.W. Bush's quote, when he introduced Clarence Thomas.

* If Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is offended by something Sotomayor wrote in 1996, why did he vote for her nomination in 1998?

* I really doubt Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) will support a Sotomayor filibuster.

* Obama will stop in Riyadh on June 3, discussing Middle East peace with Saudi King Abdullah.

* Yesterday, Obama maintained the presidential tradition of having a wreath placed at a Confederate monument at Arlington National Cemetery, but started a new tradition by also sending a wreath to the African American Civil War Memorial.

* Norm Coleman is under the mistaken impression that his opinion on the Sotomayor nomination is important.

* Whether Robert Samuelson likes it or not, there is no Social Security crisis.

* Tucker Carlson thinks he can create a credible rival to the Huffington Post. What could possibly go wrong?

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (34)

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Comments

Re: that last item on little Tuck's rationale:

"There just aren't enough people covering this administration and telling the people what's going on."

Apparently he's serious. The mind boggles. Has he been under a rock?

Posted by: PaminBB on May 26, 2009 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't there a RWer "rival" to HuffPo?

What is little Mr GotBitchSlappedByJonStewart going to call it?

The Tucker Times?
My New Career (Thanks to that bastard Jon Stewart)?
My Words, Mommy's Money?

I have a feeling the website will be as influential on American politics like Tucker was... ie: not much if any.

Posted by: Former Dan on May 26, 2009 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

"a credible rival to the Huffington Post"

I wish Mr. Tucker Carlson the worst of luck, but a credible rival to the Huffington Post? You're implying that the Huffington Post is credible, and taken seriously. I note that "even the flamingly partisan" Mr. Benen rarely ever links to the HuffPost. It's like Common Dreams, neat that someone is out there making these noises, but still mostly garbage.

Posted by: flubber on May 26, 2009 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

Just want to be sure you know how funny your quick posts are. I get a good laugh every time I read them. Such as: Coleman's thinking his opinion matters on much of anything. Thanks. Please keep it coming. And has anyone seen a photo of the wreath laid at the memorial for African-American civil war soldiers?

Posted by: E. D. on May 26, 2009 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

When will the right accept that trying to come up with the conservative version of X is a recipe for failure? Each side has institutions that it excels at. The left will never match the right for its think tanks or its hold on talk radio. What's killing the right is that to have a gig of any importance, you must drink some awfully powerful koolaid. Will his writers be yet more koolaid drinkers?

Posted by: Hipporider on May 26, 2009 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

"There just aren't enough people covering this administration and telling the people what's going on."

Tucker really said that?? I always put him as being on the saner side of Republicanism (a relative term, of course), being more a Republican team player than a true conservative. But he seems to have adopted the "I'm one of the only sane men in a crazy world" fatalism so prevalent on the right these days.

It's funny to be sure, but more than a bit scary. I never expected Republicans to accept their minority status, but I didn't realize how on-the-edge it would make them feel. These guys really need to get a grip. And it's always odd to hear people who imagine they're part of a silent majority while insisting they're an oppressed minority at the same time.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on May 26, 2009 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

American home prices are not awful. They are too still too high. According to Wikipedia the median family income 2007 is about $50,000 which minus 35% for taxes and deductions is $32,500 or about $2,700 a month.

Realestateabc.com says the Median home price is about $175,200 or about $1300 per month (http://calculators.aol.com/tools/aol/home01/tool.fcs) in payments. This is 37% of a person's income, about 1/2 of the household's income.

Housing prices should drop by about 30% to 40% more before the median income family can afford one.

And its illogical to have most of the nation unable to afford homes.

Posted by: Kurt on May 26, 2009 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

Great posts, as usual.
As a credentialed female, I had to type the following:

Interesting, that the head of the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh, is already strongly opposing Obama's nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, calling HER a "racist," and directing strong opposition by Senate Republican Caucus members.
One more privileged white guy trying to incite other privileged white males to stop a credentialed Hispanic female. Who's the racist?
Priceless.

Posted by: consider wisely always on May 26, 2009 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

Coleman's opinion is newsworthy. In the same way that Newt's every sentence, Cheney and his daughter are newsworthy. MSM is trying to pump up a fight.

Posted by: jen f on May 26, 2009 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

Kurt upthread is right. Home values aren't 'awful' - they're just coming back to earth from the grotesque prince inflation of the last few years.

Posted by: al-Fubar on May 26, 2009 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

I guess Tucker has forgotten about that so-called "comedy show" that Fox News put on for a while as a right wing version of the Daily Show. Didn't work out so well, did it?

I mean, how many different ways can you say "Libruls shure is dumb" before people switch over to QVC from some real entertainment value?

(Answer: One)

So good luck with that, Tuckie Boy. We look forward to the announcement of its cancellation soon after the first episode airs.

Posted by: Curmudgeon on May 26, 2009 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

Reid looks like more of an idiot today -- and today, I agree with him. What a shitty "leader". Ugh.

Posted by: Jay B. on May 26, 2009 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

Similarly, to my feelings:

From Rachel Maddow, of MSNBC, and Air America Radio:

MADDOW: I think that she’s going to have to defend everything that Republicans choose to attack her on, that’s the nature of the adversarial process at this point. In fact I think that it is, it’s rich to have Rush Limbaugh, he of Barack The Magic Negro fame,
attacking people for being racists at this point.
I mean, certainly the attack on Sotomayor, to the extend that it is based on her race, to the extent that the attacks on her are based on the idea that she was an affirmative action choice – I think that’s probably the weakest ammunition they’re going to have against her.
I mean you don’t get to be summa cum laude at Princeton on the basis of some sort of favoritism, you don’t get to be Phi Beta Kappa on the basis of somebody trying to do you a favor or trying to redress some past wrong. So if they want to lead with attacking her on the basis of race and affirmative action, I think it means she’s going to have a pretty easy confirmation process.

Posted by: consider wisely always on May 26, 2009 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

The site's motto, Carlson said, is "every seven minutes,"

Is that every seven minutes another Republican leaves the party?

Posted by: Kevin the Baker on May 26, 2009 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

Tucker, please! Go! You're helping us!

(Apologies to Jon Stewart)

Posted by: melior on May 26, 2009 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

I do not mind reading conservative economic viewpoints if competently and honestly presented. Samuelson (not Paul)has never been able to reach that standard, but he sinks to ever lower depths with the current column, sort of like George Will has gone from being pleasantly senile into mean spirited. I think it may be the reason that the media gets quotes from Newt, Coleman, Romney, Cheney et al. There simply are no conservatives who have relevance--sort of like there are no conservative economists who are honest and competent.

Posted by: Terry on May 26, 2009 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

Home prices NEEDED to fall. They were insanely out of proportion to most people's income.

Posted by: kc on May 26, 2009 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

Tucker is a smart guy.

Epic Fails at everything he has done, yet he knows that there is money to be found in wingnut welfare land.

A site such as that will not and cannot survive on its own, but there are plenty of monied interests willing to put him on welfare for some additional messaging mechanism, however short-lived.

Posted by: The Lorax on May 26, 2009 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

I hate to say it but I see I wouldn't be the first one: Huffington Post is hardly credible itself. Not when it publishes tripe like this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-lynton/guardrails-for-the-intern_b_207459.html

Posted by: Rian Mueller on May 26, 2009 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

Yesterday, Obama maintained the presidential tradition of having a wreath placed at a Confederate monument at Arlington National Cemetery, but started a new tradition by also sending a wreath to the African American Civil War Memorial.

WTF?! It took a black guy to do this?

Posted by: shortstop on May 26, 2009 at 9:00 PM | PERMALINK

There already is a wingnut version of the Huffington Post:
Breitbart's Big Hollywood Butthurt.

Posted by: Jennifer on May 26, 2009 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

Ammonia for Fuels

Not as bad an idea as it seems at first, if the manufacture of the ammonia is powered by wind, nuclear, or solar electricity. Read the home page, and some of the grants.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on May 26, 2009 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

Concerning house prices, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to hyperventilate about them being in decline until they reach the point that they reflect the value of the house. That value would be what they cost prior to the bubble plus inflation. If one really believes that the marketplace can be rational, then there is no reason to try to do something to boost house prices. They will fall until they reach the point that people can afford to pay for them.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on May 26, 2009 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

In more discouraging economic news, American home values are still awful.

Why am I not surprised to discover that Steve is pro-bubble? Housing prices are still too high, and need to come down some more before the economy can seriously start recovering.

Posted by: Disputo on May 26, 2009 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

WTF?! It took a black guy to [recognize the African American Civil War Memorial]?

Yep, and it'll no doubt take a Native American President before the NAs who died in the so-called Indian Wars are recognized.

Posted by: Disputo on May 26, 2009 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

@ Kurt, You said it about the home prices. I live north of Orlando and during the peak they were bulldozing orange groves,throwing up boxes on postage stamp lots and flogging them for 250-300k .There is no one here with the exception of a few who could afford that. Many were bought by speculators but as the market collapsed we are now left with many 1/4 built subdivisions that the builders had thought would make a nice bedroom community for Orlando. Those boxes are now going for 100-125,000 if you can find someone to buy. The average house price here is hovering around $100.00 a square foot and sure as shit no one is going to build a new house for $100 a square. It's going to be a long long time before the prices go up again and people start building again.

Posted by: john r on May 26, 2009 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

* I really doubt Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) will support a Sotomayor filibuster. -- Steve Benen

I really doubt Snowe would have filibustered -- heads up or no -- *any* woman nominee, short of Nadyezhda Krupskaya (Lenin's wife), maybe.

Snowe may be a Repub but not only is she one of the "Last of the Mohicans" (a sane Repub), she's more of a feminist than is acceptable among brain-farts like Donahue and Limpballs. You watch her votes on all the issues that affect women and children directly and you see that the lady has class (Collins too, but to a much lesser extent).

I just hope that (other) Repubs will bay themselves into the "boy crying wolf" position (nobody pays no never mind to you, arsehole) over Sotomayor, which will let Obama nominate someone less centrist next time around...

Posted by: exlibra on May 26, 2009 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and Tucker Carlson vs Huff-and-puff Post? The dueling banjos of "unhinged fringe"? At the moment, I ignore one shrill website; in the future, I'll ignore two. Makes no difference, vis total time wasted :)

Posted by: exlibra on May 26, 2009 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

* Yesterday, Obama maintained the presidential tradition of having a wreath placed at a Confederate monument at Arlington National Cemetery, but started a new tradition by also sending a wreath to the African American Civil War Memorial.********************************************

YOU are kidding!? This has never been done before??? Of all people who got killed during the Civil War??? Fightng for FREEDOM (Isn't that the NEOCON buzzword of the century?), but here we are talking TRUE freedom. Thank you President Obama. You are the man.

Posted by: In what respect, Charlie? on May 26, 2009 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

Anna, from your own website:
Scam Policy & Warning: We take Scam seriously. If you scam our members, you will be held liable for damages to the website. We reserve the right to investigate and take appropriate legal action in its sole discretion against anyone scamming the website.

Practice what you preach, bee-ach. Steve, please ban her (its) post.

Posted by: In what respect, Charlie? on May 26, 2009 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

I would say the home prices are more realistic even though the fall in prices is ruining people's lives. Nationwide they should not be increasing at a rate greater than salaries have increased. Over time people were living in homes that they would not be able to afford if they had to buy using present day prices.

Magically, forcing people to only buy homes they are qualified to buy is causing the home prices to drop. All of a sudden that huge demand in houses has disappeared. Unfortunately the greatly inflated prices were a scam but we are better off with less expensive homes. They are finally a little more in line with our incomes.

Posted by: Kropotkin on May 27, 2009 at 12:41 AM | PERMALINK

maddow: I mean you don’t get to be summa cum laude at Princeton on the basis of some sort of favoritism, you don’t get to be Phi Beta Kappa on the basis of somebody trying to do you a favor or trying to redress some past wrong.

what's more ironic is...

rush limbaugh didn't graduate from college..

Posted by: mr. irony on May 27, 2009 at 7:17 AM | PERMALINK

Shortstop,

The African-American Civil War Monument was transferred from Vermont and U Street to the National Mall in October '04. There were four Memorial Day cermonies under the Reign of Terror of Shrub, however, as the 10 Speed Bike Trail did not pass by the Monument, it was tough for Shrub to get there.

Posted by: berttheclock on May 27, 2009 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

"rush limbaugh didn't graduate from college.."
Posted by: mr. irony on May 27, 2009 at 7:17 AM |

While I agree w/yr point about Limpballs (and it's looking more and more as if "Republican" and "conservative" are quickly becoming almost perfectly synonymous with "hypocrite," if they're not already there), I do feel the need to point out that neither did the single wealthiest human in the history of the species...

Posted by: smartalek on May 27, 2009 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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