Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 23, 2009

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

* Oh my: "A suicide bomber attacked a suspected nuclear-weapons site Friday in Pakistan, raising fears about the security of the nuclear arsenal, while two other terrorist blasts made it another bloody day in the country's struggle against extremism."

* A sign of things to come? "NATO defense ministers gave their broad endorsement Friday to the counterinsurgency strategy for Afghanistan laid out by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, increasing pressure on the Obama administration and on their own governments to commit more military and civilian resources to the mission."

* Iran delays a decision on the nuke deal until Monday.

* Plans for a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency move forward in the House.

* Harry Reid is reportedly close to getting 60 votes for a public option with the opt-out.

* Reid & Co. are also counting votes on a public option with a trigger, which may have even more support.

* To say that Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) has some concerns about the trigger idea would be an understatement.

* House Speaker Pelosi still doesn't have quite as many votes for her robust reform plan as she'd like. But when it comes to negotiations with the Senate and White House Pelosi does, however, have a strategy in mind.

* John McCain, by his own admission, doesn't understand much about the Internet or computers. But apparently he knows enough to try and block net neutrality.

* I'd love to see Arlen Specter reverse course on Dawn Johnsen's nomination.

* The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing in November on the efficacy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." First step towards repeal.

* Eyeing "revolutionary changes" to America's schools.

* That's an awfully nice family portrait.

* Jeb Bush doesn't want to see the Republican Party become the "old white guy party." He'd also like to see the GOP shed its image as the "party of no." Good luck with that.

* Those right-wing House members who are panicky about imaginary Muslim spies on congressional committees finally filed a request with the House Sergeant at Arms to launch an investigation.

* The Culture of Corruption meme isn't quite over yet: "An Alaska businessman admitted to giving gifts to Republican Rep. Don Young, the state's long-serving sole congressman, in a confession made public this week as part of an ongoing federal investigation into political corruption in the state."

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (26)

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Comments

No triggers.

Competition must start immediately.

The trigger option is horseshit.

Posted by: lobbygow on October 23, 2009 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

But wait! That photo of the Obamas was taken by Annie Leibovitz--she's the same photographer that took the 'topless' photo of Miley Cyrus. Having her take the official portrait is clearly further sign of the moral decay of America! Won't someone think of the children! Has anyone informed O'Reilly or Beck about this moral outrage? Clearly, we need to stop thinking about healthcare, the recession, Afghanistan, and everything else while we devote countless hours to chewing over this latest travesty! I'm not even sure Annie Liebovitz was born in America--why hasn't she produced her birth certificate yet?

Posted by: seriously on October 23, 2009 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

That's an awfully nice family portrait.

Indeed. When I think about the fact that the Obama family is arguably the face of America right now, it makes me smile. I like those folks. I like seeing them together.

Posted by: Roddy McCorley on October 23, 2009 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

The link in the John McCain/net neutrality item is to a piece from July 2008 about McCain's "computer literacy" or lack thereof.

Posted by: Steve on October 23, 2009 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

I just want to scream. A public option with a trigger is no public option at all. What are these dems afraid of. Passing a strong reform bill will make them popular for a decade no matter how much money the ins industry donates to the opposition, dems will win elections easily if they just get this bill passed with a strong public option.

Those bribed by private ins will lose elections no matter how much money they get from them. The greatest of legislation of our time and they hesitate and gum it to death. Just pathetic.

Posted by: bjobotts on October 23, 2009 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

I noticed the link issue in the note on McCain's twitterhood, too. It seems to be the link to the earlier words "doesn't understand much" instead of his opposition to net neutrality. Maybe Steve? someone? link to whatever this was supposed to be?

perhaps this:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/22/mccain-battles-google-eba_n_330356.html
or:
http://www.dailyfinance.com/2009/10/22/net-neutrality-john-mccain-says-no-glenn-beck-sees-a-marxist-p/
or???

Posted by: Sister A on October 23, 2009 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

If we wind up with a trigger, I won't let any BHO ass-kissers blame it on Congress -- on Reid or Pelosi.

It will all be on Obama. If this guy can't deliver something that the public favors, his party overwhelmingly favors, and is a moral imperative besides, he needs to step down.

Posted by: Econobuzz on October 23, 2009 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

MAYBE maybe if NATO is pushing for McCrystal's plan the WH can negotiate for them to send in THEIR troops...it takes BIG ONES to endorse a plan that you only support with your lips!

Posted by: SYSPROG on October 23, 2009 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

Imagine how many hip replacements could be performed on old geezers over 60 yrs. old for the millions of dollars being spent on bribes to congress. I vote for a single AHIP replacement and the money extracted from this surgery could fund HealthCare for All for years to come. That's my idea of a public option with a trigger.

Posted by: st john on October 23, 2009 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

"Jeb Bush doesn't want to see the Republican Party become the "old white guy party." He'd also like to see the GOP shed its image as the "party of no."

Uh - too late. Reality bites, no? If the problem were one of image, it would have been fixed already. The problem is utter moral and philosophical bankruptcy. The election of GWB was a symptomatic of rot. The facade/image is simply the latest thing to crumble.

Posted by: FC on October 23, 2009 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

The Showdown in Chicago protest at the American Bankers Association annual meeting begins this Sunday.

Posted by: Disputo on October 23, 2009 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

Those right-wing House members who are panicky about imaginary Muslim spies on congressional committees finally filed a request with the House Sergeant at Arms to launch an investigation.

Now that they've done it can we request the same investigations of Republican spies trying to infiltrate the government? I understand it's a terribly endemic problem, and they are a far more dangerous threat than innocent Muslims. I mean they make no bones about their wish to overthrow the government and their violent ideologies are well established.

Posted by: Rian Mueller on October 23, 2009 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

Existing Home Sales DECLINED 5.4% in September from September of 2008.

They did not increase by 9.4% as gleefully reported by the NAR and widely repeated by the media.

Also, the median price of a home was DOWN AGAIN, by 8.5 percent from a year ago.

Purchases of previously owned homes make up more than 90 percent of the housing market.

Posted by: Joe Friday on October 23, 2009 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK
* The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing in November on the efficacy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." First step towards repeal.

It's about f#@kin time.

I've been with hubby 18 years now, and I wouldn't have it any other way, but still, I sometimes wonder what my life would be like now, if I had gone into the military back then, instead of coming out and deciding that I couldn't live a lie.

Posted by: Michael W on October 23, 2009 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

Ahem...
Via a TPM thread: The real Family Portrait

Posted by: koreyel on October 23, 2009 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

Andrew McCarthy: Torture's not torture if lawyers say it's not.

Posted by: MissMudd on October 23, 2009 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

"It will all be on Obama."

Absolutely. Because, after all, the President has the legislative authority to write his own laws.

Wait, what? You say the President does *not* have that authority?

Oh.

Posted by: Shade Tail on October 23, 2009 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

Because, after all, the President has the legislative authority to write his own laws.

Oh, I see, he meant the "fierce urgency" of waiting for Congress to legislate. Now I get it.

Posted by: Econobuzz on October 23, 2009 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

Note to Jeb:
It's your party. You can cry if you want to.

Posted by: Moo on October 23, 2009 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

Koreyel, @19:39

Leibovitz should sue his pants off; the composition and the colour balance is totally ruined.

Posted by: exlibra on October 23, 2009 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

A deep question about Murdoch

Murdoch owns hundreds of newspapers, websites, cable feeds. He is the "media tycoon" of our lifetime. Given all that here is an interesting question: Does the sheer weight of his ownership intimidate psyches within media job markets?

In particular: Does his power to hire thousands actually influence people in broadcasting and print journalism to avoid risk biting Murdoch's hand? After all, he is the major industry employer.

Don't say pish.

Lots of journalists outside of Fox are now defending Fox News. That's interesting because it is so striking. We all know the sky is blue. And just as indisputable: Fox News is an advocate for the republican party. So something deeper is going on here. I suggest that Murdoch controls the media market to such an extent that people go out of the way to avoid getting on his b-list. We saw his personal power exercised in the lede of a story Steve linked to the other day:

Last Friday, during a News Corp. shareholders meeting, Chairman Rupert Murdoch was asked why Fox News would hire liberal analyst Marc Lamont Hill, who, the questioner said, has a “reputation of defending cop killers and racists.” Murdoch reportedly replied that Hill had already been fired. While both Fox and Hill were initially tight-lipped about Murdoch’s reported comment, Mediaite later confirmed that Hill had indeed been fired by the network.

Think about it...
And think about breaking up Murdoch's monopoly.

Posted by: koreyel on October 23, 2009 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

Good, ole, *reliable*, Dumbya... Hasn't changed a whit and is still good for a chuckle, every time he changes the foot in his mouth...
http://thinkprogress.org/2009/10/23/bush-soul/

Posted by: exlibra on October 23, 2009 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

In particular: Does his power to hire thousands actually influence people in broadcasting and print journalism to avoid risk biting Murdoch's hand? After all, he is the major industry employer.

Don't say pish.

As this point has been made endlessly on dozens of blogs for the past several days, no one is going to say pish.

Posted by: Tom K on October 23, 2009 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

* Reid & Co. are also counting votes on a public option with a trigger, which may have even more support.

Excuse me, but what trigger more obvious than the current condition of healthcare would they be looking for? An extra 10 million without insurance? More people denied coverage because they become expensively sick even though they have been regularly paying their premiums? Premiums that require even more than 1/3 of the household income?

Please tell me Senators Reid and Snowe: Exactly how bad would our situation have to get for you to acknowledge that a trigger has been pulled?

How many more have to go bankrupt or go homeless because of insurmountable medical bills? How many more have to die because hospitals turn the uninsured away?

Really. What threshold would be enough for you to acknowledge the trigger?

The trigger has already been reached. You just aren't moral or ethical enough to stop working for your insurance paymasters.

Posted by: jcricket on October 23, 2009 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

Something I've noticed, that almost all photographs of public figures are taken from below. Is this an attempt to portray them as somehow above the rest of us, or are the photographers all midgets ?

Posted by: rbe1 on October 24, 2009 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

"Oh, I see, he meant the "fierce urgency" of waiting for Congress to legislate. Now I get it."

Then what is Obama supposed to do? Like it or not, he can't enact health care reform by fiat; the Constitution forbids it. So if you have a better idea, put it on the table, rather than waste your (and our) time being a concern troll.

Posted by: Shade Tail on October 24, 2009 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK
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