Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 21, 2009

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

* Pakistan: "Three days of clashes between security forces and militants in northwest Pakistan near the Afghan border left more than 56 militants and six soldiers dead, the military said Tuesday."

* Iraq: "A series of bombings rocked Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 15 people and wounding more than 100, as attackers struck at a bustling sheep market, a crowd of impoverished job seekers and a funeral, Iraqi security officials said."

* Afghanistan: "Eight suicide attackers mounted assaults on government compounds in two eastern towns on Tuesday, killing six members of the Afghan security forces and wounding four, officials said."

* Sarah Palin caught violating state ethics laws (again)?

* California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) brokered a deal on the state budget yesterday. The agreement avoids broad-based tax increases, and instead, in the midst of the recession, slashes services for the elderly and the poor, including health care access for seniors and children.

* Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke isn't worried about inflation.

* Reports of new protests continue to come out from Iran.

* Blue Dogs stopped by the White House this afternoon for a chat about health care reform.

* The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, not surprisingly, hopes to derail health care reform efforts.

* President Obama's call with bloggers seemed to go well. (For the record, because I work for a magazine, I was not a part of the call.)

* Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) will not let the Senate vote on qualified State Department nominees because he disapproves of the administration's position on the coup in Honduras.

* The Weekly Standard: "More Partisan Hackery."

* Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) probably ought to get a good legal team together.

* The White House will miss its own deadline on a report detailing the administration's policy on detaining terror suspects.

* USA Today/Gallup has Obama's approval rating at 55%. So does the AP.

* If more cable news shows ran fact-checking segments like this one, I'd watch more cable news shows.

* Harvard's Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested last week after "breaking into" his own Cambridge home. The charges have since been dropped.

* I wonder what the reaction would have been if an MSNBC personality gushed, during an interview, about having voted for the Democratic subject of the interview.

* The media reports about a $23 trillion bailout are wildly irresponsible.

* And finally, Rep. Mike Castle (R) of Delaware, a relative moderate by contemporary GOP standards, held a town-hall meeting recently. That wouldn't be especially noteworthy, were it not for the fact that right-wing activists quickly created a "mob-like atmosphere," pressing Castle on a wide range of bizarre conspiracy theories. Castle was routinely booed for not being nearly conservative enough. It was quite a sight.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (47)

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Comments

I'm guessing the Cambridge P.D. do not watch PBS (or Opra).

Posted by: Keith G on July 21, 2009 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin caught violating state ethics laws (again)?

Technically, there isn't any "again." For all the complaints against her, Palin has been clean so far. Oh, she had to reimburse the state for her children's travel, but there was no finding of wrongdoing. And one of the "Troopergate" investigations found she had violated the law, but the legislature didn't act on it, and a separate investigation again found no wrongdoing.

But, with that many darts thrown at the board, one of them was bound to hit the bullseye eventually.

Posted by: Grumpy on July 21, 2009 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

A few energy advances:

href="http://cleantechnica.com/2009/07/20/chinese-select-solar-wafer-recycler-for-500-mw-project/">
7 million solar wafers per month



more efficient air conditioning



biodiesel for home heating


href="http://gas2.org/2009/07/20/ls9-ultraclean-diesel-green-diesel-exceeds-fuel-specs/#more-2963">
another small step in biodiesel production

In the last 7 years, energy from solar, wind, and biofuels in the US increased by at least a factor of 8. With laws now in place and a maintained rate of investment (new technologies and new factories) it could increase by a factor of 8 in the next 7 years. For example, the US could expand from 2 large wind turbine factories and one under construction to 16 large wind turbine factories, and New Jersey/New York could build a substantial fraction of the windfarm conjectured for the eastern seaboard. About half the states could meet Iowa's rate of growth in electricity generation from wind. This is not predestined, or cheap, but it is possible with a dedicated effort and it has financial and defense payoffs in the future. By the end of Obama's second term, should it happen, the energy and AGW debates will be considerably different from what they now are: both the new CAFE standards and Waxman-Markey (should the latter pass) will be passe.

What's more, no amount of Republican idiocy (well documented by Steve Benen and Josh Marshall) can prevent it from happening if the Democrats govern with reasonable prudence (e.g., avoidance of catastrophic debt.) Let the Republicans have some more nuclear power plants and increased offshore oil wells, and the rest of the economy can build the rest of the future energy supply.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on July 21, 2009 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

When one is on the Battlefield for positive change, one cannot pause to worry and fret about "allegdely" sinking poll numbers.... that is a "trojan horse", For One cannot worry about the Separated Self, when they have the People's business to do!

In regards to the current debate, Healthcare costs are one of the culprits Directly related to our collapsing economic condition. We are drowning in this quicksand which calls for urgent and immediate address and attention. This time is Urgent, the time is Now!

It is hard to Change old habits of greed and selfish power to one of cooperation and a public good for all. Pres. Obama is going up against a Monster of Greed and Corruption that does not want to give up its power. This monster will Lie, Steal and Deceive. We the people must not allow this Monster of Corruption to continue to have its way, which will only continue to bankrupt the United States. We must stand firm with Pres. Obama who truly represents the Change the people need and have voted for.

If we in our own lives can do more than One thing at a time, so can Congress, and it is their duty and business to do so. If those in Congress want to continue to be a Do Nothing Congress, than we must elect leaders who can do Something for the whole of humanity and not just the separated self or special interest party.

Members of Congress have great insurance coverage, and a cushy salary. They do not live under the fear of unemployment and no insurance coverage. They are there to work on Behalf of the People, so they too, do not have to live in that fear... Yet, while in the care and leadership of the GOP, Congress has done a miserable job on taking care of the people and now the GOP want to obstruct the Democrats from putting into laws that which will benefit the people and grow the economy, not bankrupt it. But people are turning a deaf ear to the deceitful “Wizards of Oz” for they want us to continue to travel their yellow brick road of deception. We must become immune to their lies and vigilant to their deception if we are to make progress towards a prosperous and healthy society for all again.

I call on those of goodwill to work, speak-up and Stand firm for Change and for transformation -- towards a more just and equitable government for all.

Posted by: Angellight on July 21, 2009 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

You'd think that Sarah Palin could hire at least one competent person to deal with her affairs so she wouldn't keep getting hammered like this.

Unless she prefers keeping around her only people who won't challenge her intellectually. That would explain a lot.

Or maybe it's just all those moose pheromones running amok up there. I really don't know.

Posted by: Curmudgeon on July 21, 2009 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

that's odd -- all 4 of those were formatted the same in the text file.

Oh well, here is a new estimate of the effect of solar change on 20th century earth warming:

7%

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on July 21, 2009 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

What the Chamber of Commerce fails to understand is that when they claim the 'public option' will give unfair advantage to the government plan and crowd private ins out of the market...we say DUH! That is exactly the point...driving the price gouging, greedy, profiteering at the expense of our health and even our very lives out of business in order to provide not for profit health care ins for all.

They may be able to affect these corporatists dems, these defeatists, but the American people overwhelmingly support reform that includes a public option.

The cat's out of the bag. If it wasn't ordained to be successful for the people then the corporations and their lobbyists' pet senators on leashes then they would not spend $1.4 mil/day or use an army of lobbyists to try to stop reform with a public option. It will end their huge profiteering and the major campaign donations that result...but necessity will overcome their opposition. Reform is 50yrs overdue and has reached a critical point of no return no matter how much money these profiteers throw at it to prevent its happening.

btw...we are seeing the results of the angry people cultivated by the likes of hate radio like Beck, Rush, Savage, O'Reilly and the rest...the willful angry ignorant filled with hate and misinformation.

Time to end and break up media consolidation and face this fragmented zombie group with truthful information our stenographer media fails to present. Who cares about a stupid birth certificate (debunked a hundred times) when Obama has shown himself to be as much American as any person in the nation.

Posted by: bjobotts on July 21, 2009 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

Well, isn't THIS an alternative universe. . .

(my first visit to an "open thread")

My modest contribution (I assume the MSNBC mention refers to Chris Matthews gushing to Steele 'I voted for you') is this: Both he and Glen Beck are in need of some serious rehab time. Although it is kinda fun, like watching a train wreck. . .

Posted by: DAY on July 21, 2009 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

re: California's budget woes, don't most of CA's budgetary problems stem from Prop. 13 basically preventing any tax increases w/o approval of 2/3 of the voters in a direct vote? If so, then the Governator had no choice other than to work out a budget deal w/o tax increases.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on July 21, 2009 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

"California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) brokered a deal on the state budget yesterday. The agreement avoids broad-based tax increases, and instead, in the midst of the recession, slashes services for the elderly and the poor, including health care access for seniors and children."

Gotta protect those vulnerable few who desperately need those tax cuts for the Rich & Corporate.

Posted by: Joe Friday on July 21, 2009 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

Before the good Harvard professor was arrested, did the local police chief try to slip a Nicholas Cage look-a-like into the house for an "Amos and Andrew" moment?

Posted by: berttheclock on July 21, 2009 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

"Harvard's Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested last week after 'breaking into' his own Cambridge home. The charges have since been dropped."

Profiling ?

Pshaw.

Posted by: Joe Friday on July 21, 2009 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

"And finally, Rep. Mike Castle (R) of Delaware, a relative moderate by contemporary GOP standards, held a town-hall meeting recently. That wouldn't be especially noteworthy, were it not for the fact that right-wing activists quickly created a 'mob-like atmosphere,' pressing Castle on a wide range of bizarre conspiracy theories."

Castle should have told them all to "go Galt".

Posted by: Joe Friday on July 21, 2009 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), who represents one of the wealthiest districts in the entire nation, was just on the CBS Evening News stating his opposition to funding the healthcare legislation with a surtax on taxpayers with income above $280,000/$350,000, claiming that:

"This isn't just the super wealthy"

Ah, then what WOULD he call the top 1.2% of wealthiest taxpayers in the country ?

(Other than "my constituents")

Posted by: Joe Friday on July 21, 2009 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

* California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) brokered a deal on the state budget yesterday. The agreement avoids broad-based tax increases, and instead, in the midst of the recession, slashes services for the elderly and the poor, including health care access for seniors and children.

Starve the beast.

'Conan, what is best in life?'
'To crush your enemies, see them driven before you... and to hear the lamentation of their women!'

Accidently relevant, of course.

Posted by: Monty on July 21, 2009 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

"* California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) brokered a deal on the state budget yesterday. The agreement avoids broad-based tax increases, and instead, in the midst of the recession, slashes services for the elderly and the poor, including health care access for seniors and children."

According to one of my aunts in San Diego, this is all the Mexican's fault.:(

Posted by: d. b. cooper on July 21, 2009 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

www.sonoran-sunsets.com/jesus.html

This ties Boy George to C-street

this site talks about how this group formed in 1950s, lists names it used in the past

lists names of officials living there.

**a Must Read


***I said this below in C-street section, but, again (here) in case you missed it.

Posted by: annjell on July 21, 2009 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

Chrissy took on Cal Rep (R) John Campbell who wants to co-sponsor a bill to demand anyone running for President to provide his or her birth certificate. In trying to defend himself, Campbell said if McCain had won the Democrats would have questioned his birth. However, the Rep said, not the Panama Zone, but, the Arizona Territory. Now, dear Representative Campbell, old John is a wee bit long in the tooth, but, the Arizona Territory ceased to exist when Arizona came into the Union in 1912. Yeah, at 96, John put up a heck of a fight.

Posted by: berttheclock on July 21, 2009 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

When a Republican governor cannot talk sense to his fellow Republicans and forces the state to abandon the vulnerable, the governor can not be said to govern. To say that he "brokered" a deal is horse shit.

Posted by: mlm on July 21, 2009 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, I said last month that Arnold 'the terminator' was going to issue I.O.U's , looks like Philly will be next.

These 'state of emergencies' are done to pass whatever legislation/laws they want without having to go through the courts.

I mentioned that republican Pete Wilson did this when he was gov.

Again, if the governor just decided to cut social programs without the state of emergencies, it be stopped and would be tied up in court by unions, ACLU.....

Think about it, when a state of emergency is called, like say, National Guard, the gov. can issue curfews....example, Hurricane Katrina...

When 9/11 happened, the gov. was able to stop air traffic at a moments notice....

***remember when Arnold said years ago that he wanted to fix the states' levees - what happened with that? Just a political stunt!

Posted by: annjell on July 21, 2009 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

"California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) brokered a deal on the state budget yesterday [that] slashes services for the elderly and the poor, including health care access for seniors and children."

Sounds like the Republicans are rationing health care.

Posted by: Jon on July 21, 2009 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

C-Street still haven't been completely revealed.

"There's a gay escort-service linked to C-Street."

Posted by: annjell on July 21, 2009 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on July 21, 2009 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on July 21, 2009 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

How does John Murtha survive? He was in trouble twenty years ago. And he's still in trouble.

Posted by: fostert on July 21, 2009 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

mhr, you are just too funny!!!

You know, it's been known for victims of rape/incest to become attached to their perpretrators.

Don't tell me, you are a substance abuser to drown out your miseries, yet, try to gain a sympathetic ear by acting out!

Posted by: annjell on July 21, 2009 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK

mhr, your so-called argument is baseless and definitely without merit.

There are some people who can argue politics, and some that can't - you're one who can't.

Posted by: annjell on July 21, 2009 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

Ugh, mhr, 'you stupid.'

Posted by: annjell on July 21, 2009 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

The US soldier held by the Taliban is being forced to appear on TV by his captors- a violation of international law. But US liberals aren't concerned.

It was a conservatard nutjob who was saying the guy is a deserter and it saves us a lot of trouble if the Taliban just offs him.

But it's liberals who don't care about him. Gotcha. Dumbass.

Posted by: Realist on July 21, 2009 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

I may be uninformed on this point, but why is the CoC against the public option? Are they in the pockets of big insurance? It would seem that on this issue there are both winners and losers. Wouldn't better health care financing make industry more profitable?

I'm not up to date on the CoC. I know they have narrow interests but I don't know what those interests are.

Posted by: JohnK on July 21, 2009 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

You weren't included on the bloggers panel because you work for a magazine Steve? What a crock. You're one of the most influential and prolific liberal bloggers on the web and everyone knows it.

Posted by: Dustin on July 21, 2009 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

Dustin, @ 22:35,

As a Carpetbagger, dependent *on us* for his daily crust, and on the benevolence of a Higher Being for remaining healthy... Benen would have qualified for a "keep on the good work" from the President. With his essentials being seen to (presumably) by a regular employer, he doesn't. Nothing to do with the output... only those with a lean and hungry look need apply :)

Posted by: exlibra on July 21, 2009 at 11:05 PM | PERMALINK

"Harvard's Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested last week after "breaking into" his own Cambridge home. The charges have since been dropped."

From what I've read about this sorry incident so far, it seems to me to be as much about class as it is about race. Because Gates is a big-shot Harvard prof, he felt that he could scream as much abuse as he pleased into the face of the working-class cop who was there to do a job, and the cop would just have to stand there and take it. Instead, Gates got arrested for disorderly conduct. Now, Gates and all of his powerful friends are demanding that the cop submit to a humiliating face-to-face "apology," after which Gates says he'll sue the cop, the police, etc., etc.

That policeman was responding to a report of a home invasion. He had every right to demand to see Gates's identification and to continue to question him until he was satisfied that a break-in had not occurred. If Gates hadn't instantly, by his own account, become loudly abusive to the officer, there would have been no arrest. Anybody, no matter their color, would have guaranteed themselves a disorderly conduct arrest with that kind of over-the-top behavior toward a police officer. Gates deserves NO sympathy; he acted like a jerk toward a man who was simply doing his job--in this case, trying to protect his (Gates's) property. The cop is the one who deserves an apology.

Posted by: Patrick on July 21, 2009 at 11:19 PM | PERMALINK

The Johnson treatment

Barack brought out his veto club and I brought out my digital camera to capture the NYT headline:
Bowing to Veto Threat, Senate Blocks Money for Warplanes

Yeah, I especially love that bit about bowing. As in deferring... As in meekly complying. That's the way it should be. Repeat after me: Executive Power. Use it or lose it. The republicans wanted a unitary executive. It is time to give it to them...

Congress is FUBAR and dysfunctional. It is a broken institution. To get anything done Barack has got to cajole and club. Check out this snap of LBJ at work. That's the way it is done. Get in their faces. Pull rank. Play dirty pool with these bastards. Leverage them hard. Make them fear and squeal. That's a language our elected swine can fully understand...


Posted by: koreyel on July 21, 2009 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

Patrick.

"From what I've read about this sorry incident so far, it seems to me to be as much about class as it is about race."

Nonsense.


"Because Gates is a big-shot Harvard prof, he felt that he could scream as much abuse as he pleased into the face of the working-class cop who was there to do a job, and the cop would just have to stand there and take it."

He was demanding that Gates to go outside. They would never have demanded a White guy go outside his own house.


"Instead, Gates got arrested for disorderly conduct."

They always come up with a bogus charge to cover their racist acts. We're resplendent with videos.


"That policeman was responding to a report of a home invasion. He had every right to demand to see Gates's identification and to continue to question him until he was satisfied that a break-in had not occurred."

Gates showed him TWO forms of ID.


"The cop is the one who deserves an apology."

He deserves to be fired.

Posted by: Joe Friday on July 21, 2009 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) will not let the Senate vote on qualified State Department nominees because he disapproves of the administration's position on the coup in Honduras.

In 1865, South Carolina suffered more sacking than any of the other traitor states, being rightly seen as the birthplace of Southern Treason. Today, it's still Southernism's home base. They should never have been allowed back in the union.

Posted by: TCinLA on July 22, 2009 at 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

C-Street

Yes, George H.W. Bush is connected. Boy George is connected - here's a clue: he said, "no. I don't watch t.v. or read newspapers.

Lindsey Graham, Bob Riley, Steve Largent, Jim Ryan all have ties to C-Street.

One more curve ball, Australia's PM was seen there this year.

Clue: remember a few weeks ago when Knight Sanford was outed - I made a remark, "about ruling the world."

Posted by: annjell on July 22, 2009 at 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

Nice roundup Steve. What do you make of the White House missing their Gitmo date?

Posted by: Mark Eichenlaub on July 22, 2009 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK

Not so quick - people letting their guards down on C-Street because of Hillary Clinton.

Here's a way to raise your level of think -
see http://worldreports.org/news/186_settlements_and_refunding_or-the_dollar_collapses

scroll down til you get to her name.

I'm not saying all is true - but it raises more suspicions, eh!

Posted by: annjell on July 22, 2009 at 12:38 AM | PERMALINK

re: Palin ethics complaint.

Yes, per the confidential investigation (link), she would be in violation for taking money from a private legal defense fund.

So I assume everyone also agrees with the recommendation that "she seek reimbursement from the state for cost of defending the ethics complaints that have been dismissed" (all of them).

Posted by: Rory on July 22, 2009 at 12:42 AM | PERMALINK

slashes services for the elderly and the poor, including health care access for seniors and children.

As a generalization, that sounds about right...
1)most of those elderly tend to vote Republican and only a few will stay away at the next election
2) most of the poor don't vote, and if they do, they tend to vote Democratic, so they're not losing out on that group.
3) children don't vote period, no loss for the repulicans there.

Problem solved.

Posted by: bruno on July 22, 2009 at 12:48 AM | PERMALINK

Rachel Maddow makes news across the globe for exposing C-Street.

A site called UK Progressives story says, "move over Angels & Demons, Davinci, make room for C-Street."

If the image of the U.S. wasn't bad enough, they are all getting laughs about C-Street.

Posted by: annjell on July 22, 2009 at 1:24 AM | PERMALINK

this is the scariest thing about C-Street

www.theocracywatch.org/secret_theocrats.html

**here Sharlet is interviewed in 2003. Says Doug Coe may just be the anti-christ - need to shave his head to find out.**Also, they don't like women!

here's more www.renodiscontent.com/2009/07/11/ensign-c-street-and-the-fellowship-family/

www.renodiscontent.com/2006/07/22/ensign-and-the-fellowship/


****The original story about this was in 2002 L.A. Times "Showing Faith In Discretion." Mr. Sharlet was just doing a follow-up

Posted by: annjell on July 22, 2009 at 4:05 AM | PERMALINK

right-wing activists quickly created a "mob-like atmosphere," pressing Castle on a wide range of bizarre conspiracy theories. Castle was routinely booed for not being nearly conservative enough.

Keep it up, wingnuts! I bet it would just take one more incident like this to make Castle decide to retire, rather than run for Senate.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on July 22, 2009 at 5:51 AM | PERMALINK

annjell ruins yet another thread with her unique brand of crazy.

Posted by: on July 22, 2009 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

I guess that part of the problem with some folks, rather than open their eyes they'd prefer to call people crazy.

Example, we made fun of Boy George when he said he didn't support "animal stem cell."

Most of us thought he was just talking about stem cell research.

Now, there's a proposal for a "monkey farm" in Guayama City Puerto Rico, monkeys slated to be used for testing.

Posted by: annjell on July 22, 2009 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: vigrx plus on February 15, 2011 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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