Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 14, 2009

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

* President Obama took his message of financial reform to Wall Street today. The crowd wasn't impressed, but they weren't the target audience.

* Somalia: "A U.S. commando attack in Somalia has killed an al Qaeda operative who is on the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists, sources tell ABC News. The dead terrorist, Saleh Ali Nabhan, is believed to have taken part in the 1998 attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He is also believed to have orchestrated the 2002 bombing of a resort hotel in Mombasa, Kenay, and a failed missile attack on an Israeli airliner leaving Mombasa airport."

* Pakistan: "A missile fired from a suspected unmanned U.S. drone slammed into a car in a Pakistani tribal region close to the Afghan border Monday, killing four people, intelligence officials and residents said."

* New rules for the American-run prison at the Bagram Air Base?

* Osama bin Laden has apparently released a new audiotape.

* Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) is not on board with expanding the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.

* Sounds like there's an appetite for big government: "One year after Wall Street teetered on the brink of collapse, seven out of 10 Americans lack confidence the federal government has taken safeguards to prevent another financial industry meltdown, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll."

* As of yesterday, the H1N1 swine flu vaccine will be available by the first week of October, 2 weeks earlier than previously expected.

* Baucus Plan: $880 billion over 10 years.

* The House Committee on Education and Labor put this interactive graphic together, and I really like it.

* When is it okay to lie about not having a college degree?

* It looks like Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) is capable of embarrassment.

* Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens' former clerks are "convinced" he will retire late next spring.

* Note to John McCain: when you're discussing U.S. policy in Afghanistan, you really ought to avoid the words "muddle through."

* Glenn Beck sure has lost a lot of advertisers.

* And in light of the Lehman anniversary, this video from the DNC seems worth watching, if for no other reason, than to remind us of how scary things were and how far we've come.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (21)

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The question isn't merely "when is it OK to lie about having a degree?" but also "why do companies require college degrees for windows/network engineer?" -- that's a job that a trained monkey can do.

The simple fact is that companies require ridiculous education requirements because human resources departments (another job requiring the cognitive skill of some of the less intellectual primates) are incapable of telling a qualified candidate from a hopeless incompetent, and so are reduced to playing buzz-word bingo with incoming resumes. "BS degree? Check."

Posted by: Charles on September 14, 2009 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

"Glenn Beck sure has lost a lot of advertisers."

And how many has he gained back because of the Van Jones smear campaign? Zero -- or possibly less than zero, as Color of Change will probably see a bump in fund raising, enabling them to more effectively get additional advertisers to leave his show.

Posted by: meander on September 14, 2009 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Pawlenty doesn't seem to make much sense - he gives two examples of states trying to do health care reform on their own and having problems with it, and then says that that proves health care reform should be left to the states? I know the GOP doesn't want any kind of health care reform (it might make the working class uppity, I guess), but what can you make of his argument except that he wants any kind of health care reform to fail?

Posted by: DavidNOE on September 14, 2009 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

So Baucus has a plan that's priced at $880 M? I hadn't realized that worthless costs so much.

Guess he's never heard the adage of a penny wise & pound foolish person.

Posted by: kindness on September 14, 2009 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

But, how many has Fox lost? That is the telling statistic. If the sponsors just move to other equally obnoxious shows, then the network isn't losing. Fox, as a network, is in the tank for unAmerican causes and needs to be punished just like Glenn Beck. As long as Beck is still on the air, the exit of sponsors is not fully effective.

Posted by: st john on September 14, 2009 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

It won't matter if Beck loses all his advertisers if those advertisers just shift their money to other Fox programs. The only way Beck will disappear is if the advertising money disappears altogether, and that's not very likely. In any case he'll appeal for direct contributions to keep him ranting his vile and contemptible nonsense. And you know what? The base will send the money, and Fox will take it.

Posted by: rrk1 on September 14, 2009 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Pawlenty: Although the "tenther" position has no rational legal basis, I'm going to continue to use it as a cheap, political cudgel

Posted by: ckelly on September 14, 2009 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

Baucus Plan: Costs more and sucks more!

But we already knew that...

Posted by: Redshift on September 14, 2009 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

"Glenn Beck sure has lost a lot of advertisers."

Which sounds nice but is relatively meaningless. Most of the companies have said they are still spending the same amount of money on their Fox buys they are just moving the ads to different shows. So Fox hasn't lost any money.

More importantly, though, Beck still draws in viewers and Fox uses his show to promote the hell out of their other programming (where again, advertisers are still buying). If that bumps any of those shows ratings Fox than gets to charge more for ad $s.

And his ratings number mean that the advertisers that are staying are paying a lot of money (relative to other Fox shows) so revenue Fox generates from Beck probably hasn't changed that much.

Until Fox actually starts lossing money on Beck he'll stay on air.

Posted by: thorin-1 on September 14, 2009 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

"... believed to have taken part in the 1998 attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania."

man, how many people were involved in these attacks ??? the reason i ask is that the mighty mighty usa seems to have used and continues to use those embassy attacks as justification for just about anything and everything since then. just more killing, death and destruction. lovely.

Posted by: urinates me off on September 14, 2009 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

Because I'm late again and the thread is dead...

* Bob McDonnell, the Republican gubernatorial hopeful in Virginia, accidentally dropped an F-bomb during a live radio interview late last week. Responding to a question about whether a tax increase may be necessary to fund transportation projects, the usually-disciplined conservative said, "I'm going to find other ways to be able to fund transportation. I've outlined twelve f***ing funding mechanisms that are creative, that are entrepreneurial." A spokesperson later told reporters, "It was an accident. It is that simple."

Low-tech cyclist asked a)how it could have been an accident and b)why it's an F-bomb, rather than an F-word; afterall, it's not an IED, it doesn't explode anything...
a) the full explanation is he meant to say "funding" but said "fucking", then corrected it to "funding", thus making it sound like "fucking funding". On a short notice, as good an explanation as any, if only anyone would believe it.
b) We (Dems in VA) are actually hoping that it'll turn into one more IED and help explode his campaign. First, it was the thesis, now the "effing funding" and, today, Deeds' campaign is asking why McDonnell refuses to answer questions about, and take responsibility for, things he's written, things he's said, and the votes he's cast... If we can tear off that imperturbable and moderate mask of his, our chances are much better than they had been. Keep on macaca-ing, Taliban Bob!

Posted by: exlibra on September 14, 2009 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

So Beck loses a ton of sponsors but Faux has lost no revenue in the process? How is this anything but good news for his viewers? Wall-to-wall Beck with no commercial interruptions? Keith Olbermann should be so lucky.

Posted by: chopin on September 14, 2009 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

It's Mr. Benen's prerogative, but I guess he is not that interested in foreign policy? Commando attacks in Somalia, drone assassinations in Pakistan. (How many countries is the US performing military actions in right now?)

These stories usually merit only a passing *news aggregator* mention. Is that because Democrats are somewhat conflicted on foreign policy questions, and this site's aim is more about building a movement/consensus? Or perhaps Mr. Benen is disappointed in (too much of) a continuation of Bush foreign policy under Obama. Or maybe just a lack of personal interest...

So, *OBL* released a message today. The interesting thing about those things, for me, is trying to guess *who* actually created the message, and what they are trying to accomplish.

Posted by: flubber on September 14, 2009 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

Just struck me. Obama talked to the wrong corporations about health care. He should have been organizing a coalition of big and small non-medical corporations, who have a vested interest in reform - hell, they might even have gone for single payer and the true grass roots groups long before he was even elected. Only an intervention, backed by well stocked lobbyists, could ever hope to truly succeed.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on September 14, 2009 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

It's Mr. Benen's prerogative, but I guess he is not that interested in foreign policy?

flubber - I think the way that it works is that Benen only writes full posts on things he has something to add to. But general news stories that he finds mentionable but don't require his input just get grouped together. And in particular, this is a political blog, not a policy or news blog, so he generally only writes political analysis.

So in this case, what exactly would he write more about regarding these things? Three hundred words saying "Yep, we're doing it still"?

As for myself, I have no problem with commando raids and drone assassinations, as long as we're getting the right people. The problem with Bush policies wasn't that we did these things, but that we were stupid enough to invade Iraq and threaten Iran and North Korea; along with anyone else who didn't follow our commands. But killing bad guys isn't a problem in my book, no matter which country they happen to be located in...assuming we have proper permission to do so.

And overall, I find that anyone with a kneejerk reaction against continuing Bush policies is someone I'd prefer to avoid. As a reminder, Clinton killed lots of bad guys too. As did Bush Sr, Reagan, Carter, and just about every other president in modern memory. Even JFK had a stupidly meddlesome policy when it came to Indochina. Bush didn't invent this stuff. The Bush Doctrine was about bullying other countries; not killing individual bad guys. And in that regard, we're NOT continuing Bush's policies.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on September 14, 2009 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

Bravo, Doctor Biobrain, bravo.

Posted by: Indigo Carmine on September 14, 2009 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

If Obama actually wanted to make a difference, he'd fire the entire SEC and hire people who actually want to regulate.

Until he does something abou the massive, system corruption in that agency, everything else is basically a sham.

Posted by: soullite on September 14, 2009 at 11:49 PM | PERMALINK

Re. Glenn Beck's "loss of ad revenue":

The truly appalling thing was that before Glenn stepped way over the edge of the cliff, he was apparently generating about 52 million a year for Faux News.

Now because of all the furor, he is generating about $26 million.

I dunno how much they are paying Glenn, but if he was generating $26 million for ME and costing me nothing more than some occasional chalk and a fake can of gas for props, I'd be happy to pay him $10 million and pocket the difference...which is what I am sure Mr. Murdoch is doing weekly and laughing all the way to the bank.

Add to that, the fact that a fair chunk of the money that no longer buys ads on Glenn's show, is most likely going to buy time on some other part of Faux......

I appreciate all the hard work being done to try and inflict some pain on Mr. Beck and the network, but it is time for bamboo under the fingernails.

Posted by: dweb on September 15, 2009 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) is not on board with expanding the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.

No contractors who benefit from an expanded presence in Afghanistan have offered him money yet. There's plenty of time for him to get on board before a vote comes up.

Posted by: Shalimar on September 15, 2009 at 7:07 AM | PERMALINK

The BBC/NPR radio dramatization of the Lehman meltdown weekend is surprisingly moving and gripping.

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Posted by: Tamika on March 9, 2010 at 3:41 AM | PERMALINK
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