Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 10, 2009

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

* As far as the administration is concerned, the stimulus package has already saved/created a million jobs.

* Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner sees growing confidence in the markets.

* Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) believes every Republican senator will reject reform, including Maine Sens. Snowe and Collins.

* ABC's Jake Tapper reports that President Obama scheduled a meeting today with 16 Senate Democratic moderates and Joe Lieberman. It's not yet clear what the meeting was all about.

* Obama kept his pitch going today, delivering a speech to a group of nurses.

* Vice President Biden believes a health care bill will be done "before Thanksgiving."

* Sounds like he's stalling for time: "Iran is not prepared to discuss halting its uranium enrichment program in response to Western demands but is proposing instead a worldwide control system aimed at eliminating nuclear weapons, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's top political aide said in an interview Thursday."

* Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) hasn't exactly been a cheerleader for the White House's reform plan, but today, he said the president gave reform "a big boost last night."

* Censure is still on the table for Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.).

* Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) thinks Wilson's outburst was the Democrats' fault.

* Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), the new chairman of the Senate HELP Committee, supports a public option, but said today it's not a deal-breaker.

* House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) wasted no time in starting to lie once again about the details of health care reform.

* Sen. George LeMieux (R) was sworn in today as the new/temporary senator from Florida.

* The Kennedy Caucus Room? Sounds good to me.

* In light of this week's round of musical committee chairs, Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) is going to be the new chair of the Agriculture Committee. That's not especially good news.

* It took long enough: "Cass Sunstein, President Obama's pick to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, was confirmed handily by the Senate just now by a vote of 57 ayes to 40 nays. Glenn Beck will no doubt rue this day for as long as he shall live."

* Time Fortune magazine offers a new list of the 10 most powerful women in Washington.

* Good new ad from the Clean Energy Works coalition.

* And finally, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) appears to have perfected the half-clap, which looks like it might be applause, but isn't.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (40)

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Comments

Both you and Sargent seem to be reading what Harkin said wrong:

"Some of my colleagues may not like a public option, but they like all the other things and I don't think they'll vote against the bill just because it has the public option in it," Harkin said on MSNBC.

He is saying that it is not a deal breaker for Conservative Dems and that will still vote for it, not that the more moderate and liberal Senators will let it go in order to get a deal.

Don't know if that is actually the case, and I hope it is, but that certainly seems to be what he is saying.

Posted by: superfly on September 10, 2009 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

The absolute insanity coming from the right these days is scary.

People are getting so fed up with the bullsh*t that they don't even want to talk about it.

Not just on Healthcare, education, sustainable energy, but EVERYTHING.

I firmly believe that our children deserve elected officials to act like adults.

Is that asking too much?

The ranting, the raving, the mindless drivel, the outright lies, the hateful slurs. Are the democrats really the devil?

Come on. I say it's time for all media outlets to come clean and fess up to the fact that civility and grown-up behavior is a rarity. It's not about right or left, but plain common human decency.

We want our children to mature and become responsible adults. But it's the dolts who seem to be driving the agenda these days.

God help us all. (no, I don't really believe in a diety but I like the phrase)

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on September 10, 2009 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

"Sounds like he's [Ahmadinejad] stalling for time"

I note the reflexive neo-con/liberal-hawkism, here and across the media. It's still a tiny bit jarring, reading partisan lefties who continue to pass on the propaganda. Is it to get a seat at the grown-ups' table?

Why are 60% of our population and politicians against killing more Arabs/Muslims, but 90% of our media still offering up the faulty, biased framing?

Posted by: flubber on September 10, 2009 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

On the Joe Wilson interview today, he probably looked so scared in case he loses his job. After all, he has mega debts.

Posted by: JS on September 10, 2009 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

Graham looks like someone who starts to return a wave and realizes the other person is not waving at them and goes to a head scratch.

.

Posted by: agave on September 10, 2009 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

Re: Boehner lying--I wonder if Obama calling a spade, a spade regarding the lies will open the doors for the media/pundits to do the same, instead of sugar-coating things in the interest of fairness.

Posted by: Mike Lamb on September 10, 2009 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

You say Lindsey appears to have the half-clap? Is that what half-humans get?

Posted by: Chopin on September 10, 2009 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

i dont expect much from Blanche, and I know why Sanders wasn't a fan of Cass Sunstein, but I assume the occasionally flaky Sen. Webb let the gun nuts get to him?

Posted by: zeitgeist on September 10, 2009 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

Huckleberry seems to have perfected the half-stand, too.

What a goober.

Posted by: Cal Gal on September 10, 2009 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

Huckleberry seems to have perfected the half-stand, too.

What a goober.

Posted by: Cal Gal on September 10, 2009 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

The seemingly endless propaganda about the economy improving is getting quite tiresome. Foreclosures are up, the number of homeless school kids is unbelievable, and six million people have lost their health insurance on the past year. But the economy is improving. Right. Local governments are forcing people to take furloughs, or laying them off outright, and budgets are being cut all over the place. But the economy is improving. Right.

We still don't know where the stimulus money is going, or which bank got how much of a bailout, but Goldman is doing jsut fine. Thank you very much. Wall Street is happy. That must mean the economy is doing well. Right.

Posted by: rrk1 on September 10, 2009 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

FAKE! Ha! Got you sucker!

But seriously, my party is so screwed.

Posted by: Lyin' Lindsey on September 10, 2009 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

More PV good news.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on September 10, 2009 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

Another large scale biodiesel plant.

Using waste as feedstock, it does not compete with food.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on September 10, 2009 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

Have to disagree on the 'good' ad from the Clean Energy Works coalition. We don't buy all our oil from 'hostile' nations. That image and the words put we off right away. I completely agree America should work hard to become energy independent and put using energy efficiently at the top of the list. Doing it because there are 'scary' people all around trying to take advantage of us doesn't cut it for. Sounds like Republicans against health care reform :)

Posted by: lisaintexas on September 10, 2009 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

"As far as the administration is concerned, the stimulus package has already saved/created a million jobs."

To bolster that news, on Tuesday Obama will travel to the General Motors Lordstown plant in NorthEast Ohio which is bringing back a second shift because of increased demand for the Chevrolet Cobalt, and will be adding an additional 1,050 workers next month to start gearing up to manufacture the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze.

Posted by: Joe Friday on September 10, 2009 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

In a speech to the home folks last Saturday, Harkin said he supports single-payer. His exact words were "You want to know what I'm for, it's single payer. That's Medicare for everyone."

Posted by: ericfree on September 10, 2009 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

Matthew,

"Another large scale biodiesel plant. Using waste as feedstock, it does not compete with food."

None of the previous plants competed with food either. That was merely propaganda from Big Oil.

Posted by: Joe Friday on September 10, 2009 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) thinks Wilson's outburst was the Democrats' fault.

Funny, I don't remember Joe Wilson using his lack of a copy of the speech as his excuse.

Posted by: chrenson on September 10, 2009 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

[...] Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) appears to have perfected the half-clap,[...] -- Steve Benen

Good to know that he's not *all* clapped-out; being a politician in SC seems to be a very unhealthy occupation.

Posted by: exlibra on September 10, 2009 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of Wilson - I was just watching the hallway interview on Olberman. What's the deal with orange Republicans? Up close he has that same fake- tan orange look that Bohner embraces. Did someone tell them it looks cool ? it will help them get chicks? I think that this group of Republicans were the ones that got the wedgies and were stuffed in their lockers at school. Still trying to fit in . Losers.

Posted by: john r on September 10, 2009 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

The Right doesn't take rational input ... so one must communicate dominance on an animal level. It's how they play the game - and it's what their followers respond to.

So - call them whiners. Over and over and over.

Quit whining ...

Next - ask .. "Are you victimized again? By whom this time? Stop being such a victim.. who is it? Welfare queen, the media, the gays, the war on Christmas? ... the illegals? "

Use the language of strength to call out their behavior as weak. They don't want to appear weak. And will respond.

Posted by: Jackifus on September 10, 2009 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

"Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) thinks Wilson's outburst was the Democrats' fault."

If Wilson is a adult he can control those kinds of outbursts.

The speach was prereleased, and Wilsons outburst was certainly preplanned. Making him and Gingrey both double liars.

So Wilson is both immature and a liar.

Posted by: Marnie on September 10, 2009 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

The Right doesn't take rational input ... so one must communicate dominance on an animal level. It's how they play the game - and it's what their followers respond to.

So - call them whiners. Over and over and over.

Quit whining ...

Next - ask .. "Are you victimized again? By whom this time? Stop being such a victim.. who is it? Welfare queen, the media, the gays, the war on Christmas? ... the illegals? "

Use the language of strength to call out their behavior as weak. They don't want to appear weak. And will respond.

They don't respond to hypocrisy notations or other factual input. They will respond to being on the "weak side" ...

One has to first diminish their perceived victimizer - or else they will want to "to take action" ... but again - one can frame taking action as whining - and wimpy. Quit being a whiny victim...

repeat.

Posted by: Jackifus on September 10, 2009 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

There is only one way to shame a southern male - blame his mother for his behavior. Joe Wilson's mother obviously failed epically at raising her son.

Posted by: Blue Girl on September 10, 2009 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

Representative Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA), a freshman member who knocked off an incumbent Republican, was on Charlie Rose last night. She said she is a member of the Blue Dog Caucus, and she was sort of leaning toward supporting the Public Option before the congressional recess, but after holding 19 town hall meetings (!) around her district, she now thinks the Public Option is essential to healthcare reform and the fiscally responsible thing to do.

After 19 town hall meetings, she deserves a medal.

Posted by: Joe Friday on September 10, 2009 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

And finally, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) appears to have perfected the half-clap,

There's pills for that now-a-days -- assuming you still have your health insurance....

Posted by: Disputo on September 10, 2009 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK
Representative Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA) ... She said she is a member of the Blue Dog Caucus, and she was sort of leaning toward supporting the Public Option before the congressional recess, but after holding 19 town hall meetings (!) around her district, she now thinks the Public Option is essential to healthcare reform and the fiscally responsible thing to do.

After 19 town hall meetings, she deserves a medal.

Posted by: Joe Friday on September 10, 2009

Absolutely. You don't figure she drugged all her guests do you? I watched a couple of those things on t.v. and some really were "town Hell" meetings.

You go girl!

Posted by: MarkH on September 10, 2009 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

How did this dim bulb get raised to the top of the pole?

Greg Sargeant:

It appears House Dem leaders are now considering censure for Wilson for yelling at the president last night, despite Nancy Pelosi’s earlier suggestion it might not happen.

Pelosi has no shrewdness.
She has zero killer instinct.
She doesn't know how to stonewall.
Doesn't know how or when to zip it.
She couldn't pull off a bluff in poker if her life depended on it.

Don't get me wrong. I think she is a decent person.
But alas, she is also a perfect example of The Peter Principle.

Posted by: koreyel on September 10, 2009 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Friday: None of the previous plants competed with food either. That was merely propaganda from Big Oil.

Agreed.

It's worth repeating. It isn't just big oil that raises the issue, but it's more a problem with ethanol than biodiesel, so far.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on September 10, 2009 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

Shocking, OBama stands behind conservative democrat Cass sunstein while letting the progressive Democrat hang.

Totally out of character.

Posted by: soullite on September 10, 2009 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

And finally, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) appears to have perfected the half-clap, which looks like it might be applause, but isn't.

And if you compared the Address to a baseball game, I'd call that a bunt. He almost clapped, he wanted to clap, but he pulled it back in the end.

Posted by: Marko on September 10, 2009 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

Oops - I meant a "balk"

Posted by: Marko on September 10, 2009 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

You know, somebody upthread referred to Obama "calling a spade, a spade." I have been seeing this on several websites today and it bothers me. When the freepers and their ilk use it, it is certainly as a racist dog whistle to say that that Wilson calling Obama a liar is "calling a spade a spade." Am I the only one old enough to remember what a derogatory term "spade" is/was?

Posted by: Thisby on September 11, 2009 at 1:54 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, Thisby, you and I are probably the "only ones"..my question for today is by WHOM and WHEN will "Boner" et al actually be "called out" for the lies they began as soon as the speech ended (actually during if you count poor Mr. Wilson)...please don't expect our media to do it.

Posted by: Dancer on September 11, 2009 at 8:01 AM | PERMALINK

Matthew,

"It isn't just big oil that raises the issue"

They throw a lot of money around to fake RightWing front groups to present the appearance of wider opposition.


"but it's more a problem with ethanol than biodiesel, so far."

'Twas never a problem with ethanol either. The corn used to make ethanol is field corn not food corn.

A bushel of field corn will yield:

* 1.6 lbs of corn oil, which is sold.

* 2.6 lbs of corn meal, which is sold.

* 10.9 lbs of high protein feed (distillers dried grains), which is sold.

* 31.5 lbs of starch, which can be converted to 2.7 gallons of fuel ethanol, and yield about 3.2 gallons of E85.

The DDG feed is much preferred by farmers for their livestock over plain field corn.

Posted by: Joe Friday on September 11, 2009 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

Joe Friday: The corn used to make ethanol is field corn not food corn.

Land and water are diverted from food farming to fuel farming.

Joe Friday: They throw a lot of money around to fake RightWing front groups to present the appearance of wider opposition.

Lots of reviews by academic scientists have surveyed the food/fuel tradeoffs. Oil companies are investing considerable sums of money in fuel sources that do not compete with food: basic research (bioengineering algae and jatropha) and development.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on September 11, 2009 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Matthew,

"Land and water are diverted from food farming to fuel farming."

Nonsense.

American farmers currently utilize 80 million acres of farmland to export large amounts of corn and soybeans which could be used to make ethanol, and we currently pay a lot of money to farmers to NOT grow crops on another 40 million acres of farmland which could be used to grow more corn and soybeans. We could make 180 billion gallons of ethanol annually from that 120 million acres of farmland without any effect whatsoever on the separate farmland being used to grow food, and that production would be more than the amount of gasoline currently used every year in this country.

However, corn and soybeans will merely be transitional feedstocks anyway, once the cellulosic ethanol plants come online.


"Lots of reviews by academic scientists have surveyed the food/fuel tradeoffs."

And their results are dependent upon whether they accepted money from Big Oil.

Posted by: Joe Friday on September 11, 2009 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, JF, but you're absolutely wrong on this. Your false "field" v "food" dichotomy is especially ridiculous -- field corn *is* used for food *and* fuel. And most egregiously, like most anthropocentrists, you fully ignore the effect of mass cultivation on the natural world.

Posted by: Disputo on September 11, 2009 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

Field corn is fed to livestock.

Sweet corn is eaten by humans.

Posted by: Joe Friday on September 12, 2009 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK
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