Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 28, 2009

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

* GM struck a deal with creditors today, which "would give them a 10 percent stake in the new company and the ability to buy more shares if the recovery of the automaker goes well."

* Unrest in Pakistan: "Multiple bombs exploded in two Pakistani cities on Thursday, just hours after Taliban groups issued an extraordinary warning for people to evacuate several large cities, saying they were preparing 'major attacks.'"

* The foreclosure crisis isn't even close to being over.

* Americans seem generally impressed with Sotomayor so far.

* For no apparent reason, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) wants to delay a vote on Sotomayor until September, as compared to August.

* Sen. Pat Roberts (R) of Kansas announced today he'll vote against the Sotomayor nomination.

* The NRA, to conservatives' dismay, isn't inclined to go after Sotomayor.

* The White House, meanwhile, seems optimistic that Sotomayor is, in fact, pro-choice.

* Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) of Utah believes it's "highly likely" that Sotomayor will be confirmed.

* The administration is eyeing the creation of one agency that would be responsible for regulating the banking industry.

* Those with health insurance pay a bundle in higher premiums every year to make up for those with no insurance.

* Look for the FBI to begin playing a larger role in international counter-terrorism.

* Apparently under the impression that he's helping his party, Karl Rove has now gone after Sotomayor as "sort of a schoolmarm," who is overly reliant on "emotion."

* No, Cardozo doesn't count as the first Hispanic justice.

* Glenn Beck is still talking about ACORN?

* Nice column from Gail Collins on the need to reform the student loan system.

* Bill O'Reilly seems to have a real hang-up about blogs. This time, he's annoyed the left and the right, apparently because he and his producers have never heard of "nutpicking."

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (35)

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Comments

If Sotomayor is the "schoolmarm", then Rove is the little fat kid who picks his nose, shows it to his classmates, and eats it.

Posted by: Winkandanod on May 28, 2009 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

"sort of a schoolmarm,"

LMAO @ you, Karl. Good one.

Now hold out your wrists.

Posted by: MissMudd on May 28, 2009 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

"Schoolmarm" and "overly emotional" - are those kind of mutually contradicting stereotypes?

How can he successfully argue that she's both a strict meanie who marks up people's papers in red ink, and also a soft touch?

Posted by: g on May 28, 2009 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on May 28, 2009 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

"* Those with health insurance pay a bundle in higher premiums every year to make up for those with no insurance."

This has been presented as some sort of new and urgent information.

The feds used the Medicare and Medicaid program laws and regs to create "cost shifting" decades ago, so that private insurers would subsidize government plans and the uninsured.

Posted by: save_the_rustbelt on May 28, 2009 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

"School marm" is a mysoginist's comment negatively reflecting on a woman in the teaching profession, as if that is a bad thing.

Webster describes "school marm" as "a woman schoolteacher, especially one who tends to be old-fashioned, prudish and pedantic."

Well that is just ridiculous, Mr. Newt Gingrich, for whom Webster has a picture , under the word "narrow-minded nebbish."

Posted by: consider wisely always on May 28, 2009 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

In all of the fun of the schoolmarm comment we have lost track of the really horrible foreclosure and employment numbers. Americans need jobs, good jobs, and need them now.

Posted by: Ron Byers on May 28, 2009 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

I promise I'll obey the 1 Rule to a Flat Stomach if you stop making me look at these bellies every day.

Posted by: shortstop on May 28, 2009 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK
I promise I'll obey the 1 Rule to a Flat Stomach if you stop making me look at these bellies every day.

I'll second that. Please, at least rotate the ads, and try to make them a little less non-intrusive. They are a royal pain.

Posted by: Michael W on May 28, 2009 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

Aarghh!! That should be "less intrusive", not "less non-intrusive". If they were any less non-intrusive, I'd switch over to a text only view for this site on my browser.

Posted by: Michael W on May 28, 2009 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

"The foreclosure crisis isn't even close to being over."

While the article was great at laying out the realities of the ACCELERATING foreclosures, it still perpetuated the propaganda from the NAR:

"new-home sales increased slightly in April, rising a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent from a month earlier"

Ah, no.

Compared to April of 2008, New Home Sales were DOWN a STUNNING 35%! in April of 2009, which is the correct manner of contrast.

The administration needs to get out in front of this mess, as our bus of state we're riding in is headed for the cliffs with a brick on the gas pedal.

Posted by: Joe Friday on May 28, 2009 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

Glenn Beck, the 'lying sack of dog mess' is still a lying sack of dog mess. Surprise, surprise. Even more shocking, the MSM is still giving him a prime spot on the TEEVEE to spread his lies. Isn't that a shocker! Also in the unbelievable catagory, the sky is blue and water is wet.

Posted by: In what respect, Charlie? on May 28, 2009 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

As for Cardozo as the first Hispanic on the Court, a couple of observations:

Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), who is of Portuguese descent, is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. So was Tony Coehlo, who also was Portuguese.

On the other hand, I grew up and lived until a decade ago in a Northeastern city that had a substantial number of Portuguese and Hispanics, the latter mostly Puerto Rican. If you had suggested to a Portuguese person that he or she had anything whatsoever in common with a Puerto Rican, he or she first would have been deeply insulted, and then would have assumed you were an escapee from the funny farm for even thinking such a ludicrous thing :)

Posted by: Peter on May 28, 2009 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it has been another day of wingnuts, these conservatives really are crazy, Tancredo now says Ms Sotomayer belongs to the Latino version of the KKK, they are all calling her racist and Rove! well he is as crazy as a coot.As a grandmother I have the urge to smack them all and send them to the bathroom to wash out their mouths with soap.

Posted by: JS on May 28, 2009 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

It is sad how these republicans do not oppose the nominee on the merits, but on her female status, her ethnicity, her looks, her background. And I applaud Obama for having the insight to nominate her, as the wing nuts continue to implode.....and lose the Hispanic vote....
and lose the womens' vote,
like mine....

Karl. Glenn. Sean. Newt. Get a life. Woman haters, all of you.
Likely blown off by women in high school, likely told no when asking for a date.
Living out that rejection in your current roles?

Posted by: defies all logic on May 28, 2009 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

It is sad how these republicans do not oppose the nominee on the merits...

And it is noteworthy that they send out the surrogates to do the trashing. The elected Republicans get the benefit of the hate talk while being able to "stay above the fray", even saying they expect to see her confirmed, while waiting to see if any of the shit sticks. That alone should be considered evidence that the MSM is part of the propaganda arm of the Pitchfork Party.

Posted by: Danp on May 28, 2009 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

My auto insurance is largely medical and uninsured (and underinsured) motorist insurance. It would seem that a health care plan should replace those coverages. I'm not sure anyone has really written anything lucid regarding how health care will affect auto insurance.

Posted by: Mudge on May 28, 2009 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

I'll second that. Please, at least rotate the ads, and try to make them a little less non-intrusive. They are a royal pain.

http://noscript.net/

Posted by: Disputo on May 28, 2009 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

Mudge,

Good point I haven't seen raised anywhere else.

Posted by: jen f on May 28, 2009 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK

Rather significant, from crisispapers.org

'The two-star general who led an Army investigation into the horrific detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib has accused the Bush administration of war crimes and is calling for accountability.

In his 2004 report on Abu Ghraib, then-Major General Anthony Taguba concluded that “numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on several detainees.” He called the abuse “systemic and illegal.” And, as Seymour M. Hersh reported in the New Yorker, he was rewarded for his honesty by being forced into retirement.

Now, in a preface to a Physicians for Human Rights report based on medical examinations of former detainees, Taguba adds an epilogue to his own investigation.'

Posted by: anon on May 28, 2009 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

I gotta say, it's always fun watching a couple ignorant white men argue over which semantic bin to place those "other" people. I'm not sure who is a bigger twit, Rove or the that idiot at Media Matters who uses the AP style guide as the ultimate source for the meaning of the word Hispanic.

As Peter notes above, in practice Hispanic is used to mean of either Iberian or Spanish lingo-cultural extraction, depending on the context.

Posted by: Disputo on May 28, 2009 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, anon, I noted that yesterday. Still waiting for the "good" progressives a WM to pick up on it.

Posted by: Disputo on May 28, 2009 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

* No, Cardozo doesn't count as the first Hispanic justice. -- Steve Benen

It doesn't really matter whether his family was from Portugal or from Spain. He was a Sephardic *Jew*; no pork, with or without rice and beans.

Posted by: exlibra on May 28, 2009 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

.
Just makes you wanna puke. But there's funnier, weirder Nutso News, too.
.

Posted by: cosanostradamus on May 28, 2009 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

Funny how a guy who's been dead more than 70 years is getting all this attention. In any event, my reasoned guess is that Cardozo seldom if ever thought of himself as Hispanic (to the extent that was even a meaningful concept at the time), but was often conscious of his Jewishness and identified himself as Jewish.

Posted by: Peter on May 28, 2009 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

Here's some more news: The NYT follows up the TNR's "Is Sotomayor Stupid?" piece with an investigative look into the question: "Is Sotomayor a Bitch?"

Gawd damn but do I hate the effing sexist, racist media.

Posted by: Disputo on May 28, 2009 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

Hey man! John McCain's in The OC tomorrow endorsing Meg Whitman for governor.

Mike K. save me a seat, Babe. You bring the teabags. I'll bring a tire gauge. (Just curious: can you still touch your toes?)

Posted by: staplefood on May 29, 2009 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

According to Cardozo biographer Andrew Kaufman, "Cardozo's ancestors came to the American colonies in the 1700s from England and Holland, but no one has ever firmly established that the family's roots were, in fact, in Portugal." - MediaMatters link

I could see calling a person of Portuguese descent hispanic if he was a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, as Dennis Cardoza was. But Benjamin Cardozo doesn't even meet that criteria. This is more like calling OJ Simpson an Englishman.

Posted by: Danp on May 29, 2009 at 7:54 AM | PERMALINK

BURRIS AND THE SEAT

Did Roland Burris try to buy from former g0vernor Rod Blagojevich the Senate seat formerly held by President Obama? Many of the TV talking heads think so. I think not.

Chris Matthews and some pundits cite the FBI wiretap transcript of conversations with the brother of Blagojevich dealing with possible contributions and fund raising by Senator Burris. Burris has not helped his cause by his varying and confusing explanations of the phone conversations. However, he did make at least one good point, how ludicrous it is to think that a $1000 contribution could "buy" the seat.

My view is that the conversation was with the bounds of normal campaign discourse and not "pay to play". Burris could be expected to give support to the governor's campaign. The conversation was convoluted because of Burris' wish to get the Senate appointment.

But two main points. Burris had neither the political or financial clout to "buy" the seat. And, more important, Blagojevich made the appointment, not for any payoff, but as a way to thumb his nose at his critics.

homer www.altara.blogspot.com

Posted by: altara on May 29, 2009 at 8:11 AM | PERMALINK

But Burris also said to Blago's brother that if he had a fundraiser and then didn't get picked for the Senate seat, they would wonder why. That sure sounds like he wanted a promise of quid pro quo.

Posted by: Danp on May 29, 2009 at 8:35 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, Pat Roberts, why do you continue to lower standards of any intelligence for my beloved birth state of Kansas? However, congratulations to Kavya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kansas for winning the National Spelling Bee. There is no truth, it appears, to the rumor BlueGirl tutored her in her spare time. Yes, Miss Shivashankar, you have helped to raise the standards very high for the Sunflower State.

Posted by: berttheclock on May 29, 2009 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

Sometimes when I can't fall asleep, I do a sort of political counting sheep thing by seeing how many senators I can name. I get between 70-85, depending on how stressed out or distracted I am.

I always, always forget Pat Roberts. He's invisible to me.

Posted by: shortstop on May 29, 2009 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

The term "Hispanic" was first used in an official governmental (but non-racist or nondiscriminatory?) sense in 1970 and, according to wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hispanic)the meaning changes every time it is used and even the various departments of the government have differing definitions.

So, if you want to use a definition that excludes Justice Cardozo, go ahead. The "racial" definitions themselves are odd in a country that prides itself in diminishing the legal use of race (as in Jim Crow laws.) In fact, since apartheid was abolished in South Africa, we may be the only country in the world that has official racial definitions for government purposes (maybe China and Russia have them) in spite of the fact that we have a Constitution that gives equal rights to all.

All in all it is not an important issue but it does generate a lot of heat.

Posted by: mikeyes on May 29, 2009 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

Has Keith Olbermann always had his head up his ass? His faux moral outrage about gay marriage sums up everything that is wrong with America. Why not just marry your dog or your car?

Democracts who diss OReilly, Beck and Colter all seem to be in favor of sodomy and infanticide--not exactly honorable or winning ideas but then what does honor mean to Democrats.... They can't even define the term.

Posted by: Sean on May 29, 2009 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

Why not just marry your dog or your car?

Because neither is a consenting adult, and neither require the legal protections of the marriage contract.

Democracts who diss OReilly, Beck and Colter all seem to be in favor of sodomy

Isn't everybody?

In particular, Sen. Larry Craig, Senator David "Diaper Dave" Vitter, Ted Haggard, and the two-didlos-and-a-wetsuit guy?

and infanticide

How tiresome. Non-insane people don't conflate abortion with infanticide.

not exactly honorable or winning ideas

Straw man arguments like that aren't honorable either -- but then, if the GOP had ideas that were winning outside their rabid base, they wouldn't need to resaort to such bullshit, would they?

but then what does honor mean to Democrats....

At least more than it meant to the crooks and liars who ran the country for the previous eight years.

Jackass.

Posted by: Gregory on May 29, 2009 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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