Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 17, 2009

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

* In Iran, protests intensify -- as do government crackdowns.

* Obama's unveils his sweeping new market regulations.

* The administration's proposal for a Consumer Financial Product Safety Commission sounds just about right.

* Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) started the day as a member of the Republican Senate leadership. He didn't end the day as one.

* An NYT report explores new revelations about "recent intercepts" of "private telephone calls and e-mail messages" through the NSA.

* On Twitter, we're all Iranians now (literally).

* Obama will reiterate his opposition to DOMA.

* How Eric Cantor managed to become a House Republican leader without knowing the meaning of the word "silence" is a mystery.

* Conrad's co-op "compromise" keeps generating attention. This is more than a little discouraging.

* Harriet Miers testified, behind closed doors, on the U.S. Attorney purge scandal. Karl Rove is next, though we don't know when to expect his testimony.

* Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) conceded that passing health care reform through the reconciliation process is "legal" and "ethical."

* Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has an important op-ed today on human trafficking.

* South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) had a very bad day yesterday.

* Matt Duss 1, Robert Kagan 0.

* Beautiful post by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

* Maureen Dowd devotes an entire column to criticizing President Obama for occasionally eating fast-food.

* Why doesn't NPR want Juan Williams identifying himself with NPR when he goes on Bill O'Reilly's Fox News program? This is why.

* Josh Marshall will be on Colbert tonight.

* Can you imagine an elected office coming down to a game of high-card?

* And finally, as you've probably noticed, today was a complete mess, tech wise. Here's hoping tomorrow is a better day. Thanks for your patience.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (29)

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Comments


The Cold War era analogy that may really work here is the way the Soviet Union egged their ally Egypt into increasingly aggressive anti-western positions only to see Egypt topple all the way back into the American camp by the end of the 1970s.

Andrew Sullivan relays a theory that Russia is behind the electoral purge,

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/06/accusing-the-russians.html


Famed film director, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, on behalf of Mousavi's campaign, was on BBC just now, He accused Ahamdinejad of giving up Iran's rights in Caspian Sea and other areas in the last 4 years and now is enjoying Russia's firm backing. Then he called it a Russian Coup! He said he has information that high ranking Russian advisers are teaching Ahmadinejad's thugs as to how to oppress the opposition effectively. This is Mohsen Makhmablf, not just any director. Already Iranians are gathering in front of Russian consulate in Toronto.

Posted by: alan on June 17, 2009 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Why doesn't NPR want Juan Williams identifying himself with NPR>

They could make him put an "ex" in front of "NPR". That would solve two problems.

Posted by: Danp on June 17, 2009 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Maureen Dowd devotes an entire column to criticizing President Obama for occasionally eating fast-food.

OMG! I can't believe I voted for this guy! OMG!

Posted by: MissMudd on June 17, 2009 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Steve Benen wrote: "Why doesn't NPR want Juan Williams identifying himself with NPR when he goes on Bill O'Reilly's Fox News program?"

What is worse is that NPR does not identify Juan Williams as a Fox News propagandist when he appears on NPR's Morning Edition on an almost daily basis as an "NPR political analyst".

On Fox, Juan Williams sneeringly calls Michelle Obama "Stokely Carmichael in a designer dress" and opines that her "angry" tendency to "blame America first" will make her an "albatross" around President Obama's neck.

On Fox, Juan Williams enthusiastically endorses Bill O'Reilly's blatant incitement of murderous violence against Dr. George Tiller.

On Fox, Juan Williams equates terrorists who murder doctors and bomb women's health clinics with nonviolent civil rights protesters of the 1950s.

On Fox, Juan Williams is a paid purveyor of vicious, hateful, right-wing extremist propaganda.

And NPR presents him to their listeners almost every day as an "NPR news analyst" while NEVER, EVER mentioning his relationship with Fox News.

I urge everyone reading this to contact both NPR and your local NPR station to tell them that you will not listen to NPR public affairs and news programs, and you will not financially support NPR or your local NPR station, until NPR fires Juan Williams.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on June 17, 2009 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

We're all Iranians now.


And finally, as you've probably noticed, today was a complete mess, tech wise.

I thought that your web page had been confiscated by the Iranian government.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on June 17, 2009 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, it's "intensify," not "intensity."

Posted by: JM on June 17, 2009 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

"Maureen Dowd devotes an entire column to criticizing President Obama for occasionally eating fast-food."

I was totally shocked last week when she actually had a column that was worth a 5hit. Good to see her getting back to the usual juvenile garbage.

Posted by: steve s on June 17, 2009 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

Well, if Bill Frist says something is legal and ethical, it must be okay. After all, he was able to do a full diagnosis of Terry Schiavo from a videotape, so his powers of discernment must be far beyond ordinary mortals'.

Posted by: Dennis Savage on June 17, 2009 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

good climate report here:

May 2009 was very warm

If you link to the ENSO page, you will see that the Pacific Ocean warmed up rather dramatically over the last 6 months, from way below average for the time of year, to above average for the time of year.

Oddly, global sea ice cover is above average for this time of year -- southern hemisphere sea ice cover continues to increase, northern hemisphere sea ice cover continues to decrease at a slower rate.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on June 17, 2009 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

"Why doesn't NPR want Juan Williams identifying himself with NPR when he goes on Bill O'Reilly's Fox News program?"

NPR's attitude is understandable, I'll acknowledge that, but if they know he's such a hack, they shouldn't be employing him in the first place.

Posted by: Shade Tail on June 17, 2009 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

I thought that your web page had been confiscated by the Iranian government.

More likely hacked by some pissed off, dickless Republican white boy.

Posted by: MissMudd on June 17, 2009 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

Regarding the Arizona city council seate decided by drawing the high card from a deck of playing cards, the same thing happened in New Mexico in 2000. NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" joked, "That guy drew an ace. Now that's a mandate!"

Posted by: out west on June 17, 2009 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

How does Maureen Dowd keep her job? With all that is going on, she uses her NYT column to discuss this nonsense. Unreal...

Posted by: DC on June 17, 2009 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

I realized Juan Williams was a wank (and unworthy to be part of PBS) some years ago, when he said that liberals were hypocrites over the following: getting after Trent Lott for praising the Presidential run of Strom Thurmond in 1948, while accepting the presence of WV Senator Robert Byrd who was a member of the KKK around that same time.

What a dope JW is. Trent Lott was expressing his current opinion about what happened then, while Byrd left long ago and made amends.

Posted by: Neil B ♪ on June 17, 2009 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

Can you imagine an elected office coming down to a game of high-card?

One of my dad's city council races came down to a coin toss. I was the campaign's rep for the recount and when it came out even, I made the call. Should have said heads...

Posted by: Nathan on June 17, 2009 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm hearing a lot, as you can imagine, from a lot of different circles," Conrad told Fox Business Network Wednesday.

He's hearing from insurance executives, the AMA, and other Republicans.

Posted by: qwerty on June 17, 2009 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

I realized Juan Williams was a wank

Ah, but he's a wank who can buy and sell both of us. And that makes all the difference. And it's only very recently that African-Americans have even had the opportunity to sell out like this.

Consider it a sign of progress.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on June 17, 2009 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

"Can you imagine an elected office coming down to a game of high-card?"

Just one draw? C'mon, put some drama into it. One hand of seven-card stud.

Or how about a round of Uno?

Posted by: 2Manchu on June 17, 2009 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

Real politician? Or the drugstore kind?

Mr. Trenk, 25, a law student and newcomer to town, stepped forward. He lifted a card — a king of hearts — and the crowd roared.

Law student?
Must have run on his campaign on fumes and coffee:

Mr. Trenk, who considered himself a fresh face in politics, wanted the seat badly enough to spend $17,000 on his campaign, unheard of in races here that normally require candidates to shell out several hundred dollars for a bunch of fliers.

$17,000? In a town of 5000 of which only 1320 voted? Did he use his student loan on that?
Oh wait, his Daddy lives in Snottsdale:

He said he had moved to Cave Creek last year from Scottsdale, an upscale suburb to the south, to keep a horse in his backyard and live the Western life he believes is threatened by unchecked development. He cast himself during the campaign as a preservationist.

Nice. A preservationist. Just so you know: that's a not a tree hugger. A preservationist is an expert from out of town with money who needs a place to play cowboy. Time to pull the money quotes of the Stentson:

A couple of hours after the tie-breaker, another crowd, larger and more impassioned, came to Town Hall to hear how the Council would decide on plans for a Wal-Mart.

A big box store! His first vote? Trenk voted against that right?
Well actually he was against it before he was for it. Fresh new face in politics indeed. Bah horseshit:

The Council voted 6 to 1 to change the town’s general plan, which guides growth, in a way that would allow for the store, and then 7 to 0 for the rezoning needed for the project. Mr. Trenk was that one objector and, in interviews before and after the vote, conceded he was “on the fence” over the project. He said that he found it hard to reconcile a big-box store with the town’s horsy character, but “I would be shooting the town in its foot” to turn away the much-needed $3 million a year in tax revenue.


Posted by: koreyel on June 17, 2009 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

I'm very glad you're back online.

Well of course I'll never know, but I tend to doubt your sad and vicious hacking was from an Iranian source or has anything to do with that. Although the political climate does serve serve a good decoy for someone else who had been gunning to do this, and who likely does this often. Could be your hacker wasn't even necessarily a Right Wing republican (white boy?).

Hackers can get off on this kind of thing, and don't necessarily do it for a reason that seems apparent.

Could have been a regular of yours, even--someone who was maybe over stimulated and spurred on by the stuff going on Iran --or just irritated by something you said recently-- or could have been just a psychotic/manic episode-- drug induced or otherwise.

Didn't see other major liberal blogs hit. Has anyone else?

What can I say? Odd things like this are usually often not what they initially appear to be.

In any case, sorry you had that experience Steve and sorry for all your readers too. That was really unfortunate for us all.

I for one really missed your blog today.

Keep on keeping on.

Posted by: Insanity on June 17, 2009 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

Could be your hacker wasn't even necessarily a Right Wing republican (white boy?).

Since you're partly quoting me I'll respond. Today via a local politician's FB, I read the profile of one of her friends which went something like this: "The Marines prepared me not only to fight the enemy abroad but to eliminate the anti-American liberal elements in our society."

That's eliminate. Meaning exterminate.

So yes, I think my scenario is more likely. There is hatred out there now not seen since Sixties. To diminish it is foolish.

Posted by: MissMudd on June 17, 2009 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry MissMudd, didn't mean to offend. Have no idea, and you could be right. I'm sure Benen like Letterman is: "making friends wherever he goes" (as in not really what with his bold and hard-hitting commentary).

Mostly just saying that when it comes to hacking, pretty much anything could apply. Even surprises, such as an inside job.

I wasn't really commenting on the level of vitriolic level of hate rhetoric that is out there now, which I agree is profoundly disturbing in it's own right.

Posted by: Insanity on June 18, 2009 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

Re: MatthewRMarler, "good climate report here:"

The notion that the occurence of short-term cooling trends implies that we are no longer experiencing global warming has been thoroughly debunked, most recently in an article by Easterling and Wehner, Geophys. Rev. Letters, April 25, 2009 (for a summary, see http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090504141047.htm ). I won't bother summarizing the argument, the Science Daily item is entirely readable.

Please note that this is **real** science in a peer-reviewed journal.

Posted by: divF on June 18, 2009 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

Correction: that is "Geophysical Research Letters".

Posted by: divF on June 18, 2009 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

Everyone needs to go sign Bernie Sanders' single payer petition.

Posted by: Disputo on June 18, 2009 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

Re the high card game: much more civilized than the Coleman/Franken mishegas, not to speak of Bush v. Gore.

Posted by: Mayson Lancaster on June 18, 2009 at 3:08 AM | PERMALINK

Didn't see other major liberal blogs hit. Has anyone else?

Don't know that you'd call it liberal, but Sullivan was hit a couple days ago. None of the other Atlantic bloggers, though, as far as I know. Probably just a coincidence.

Posted by: The Answer Is Green on June 18, 2009 at 7:47 AM | PERMALINK

The fact that Juan Williams is still carried by NPR is just one of the many reasons I never listen to its news programming any more. When it comes to news, it's National Useless Radio.

Posted by: bluestatedon on June 18, 2009 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

divF Please note that this is **real** science in a peer-reviewed journal.

You don't like NOAA?

You don't believe that the Central Pacific has warmed up about 1.25C (compared to seasonal averages) in about 6 months? That is a lot of warming.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on June 18, 2009 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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