Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 30, 2009

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

* As of this afternoon, the gunman believed to be responsible for shooting four uniformed police officers in Tacoma, Washington, remains at large. (Because the suspect, Maurice Clemmons, had his sentence commuted by Mike Huckabee, there's a political angle to the story.)

* In a brazen attempt to antagonize the world, Iran announced its intentions to build 10 new sites to enrich uranium, dramatically expanding the same nuclear program that has helped isolate the regime.

* Not encouraging: "President Asif Ali Zardari has ceded his position in Pakistan's nuclear command structure to his prime minister, in a sudden political maneuver widely seen as a fresh sign of turmoil on the eve of President Obama's strategy announcement for the region."

* Expect President Obama to lay out "a time frame for winding down the American involvement in the war in Afghanistan" tomorrow night.

* The status quo needs improvement: "The administration said Monday that it would increase the pressure on banks to help troubled homeowners receive permanently lower mortgage payments. The Treasury Department said that mortgage servicers would be required to submit plans on how they would decide whether a loan would be permanently modified. Bank that fall short of the guidelines of their agreement could face fines or sanctions, the Treasury said."

* Oh my: "With food stamp use at record highs and climbing every month, a program once scorned as a failed welfare scheme now helps feed one in eight Americans and one in four children."

* Porfirio "Pepe" Lobo, of the traditional National Party, appears to have won Honduras' presidential election.

* The Senate should expect to work quite a few weekends in December.

* A war tax is "probably not" going to happen.

* The White House press corps' interest in the "party crashers" story seems more than a little excessive.

* The elite community college.

* Another potential domestic terrorist is caught with a bomb-making lab in his Ohio home.

* Smart piece from Marc Ambinder on the success of Obama's Asia trip.

* Interesting: "Jeff Sharlet, who burst onto the scene with his book about The Family, the shadowy fundamentalist organization that has infested American politics like a nest of rabid termites, has leveled another revolting accusation at the group. His research and investigation into the group, which involved infiltrating them and living with them, reveals that U.S. lawmakers who are members of The Family are behind the atrocious, hateful Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2009 that is likely to become law in Uganda."

* The Palin "bus" tour has apparently included some private-jet travel.

* I haven't felt the need to write about the ridiculous "Climategate" nonsense, but Kevin's post strikes all the right notes.

* There's something deeply wrong with the right: "By a wide margin, Americans consider Rush Limbaugh the nation's most influential conservative voice. Those are the results of a poll conducted by '60 Minutes' and Vanity Fair magazine and issued Sunday. The radio host was picked by 26 percent of those who responded, followed by Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck at 11 percent. Actual politicians -- former Vice President Dick Cheney and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin -- were the choice of 10 percent each."

* A list to help motivate the liberal base a bit.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (45)

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Comments

huckabee, the standup guy that he is, put blame for clemmons on failures by the criminal justice systems in both states but nary a finger at himself.

Posted by: mudwal jackson on November 30, 2009 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

In a brazen attempt to antagonize the world, Iran announced its intentions to build 10 new sites to enrich uranium, dramatically expanding the same nuclear program that has helped isolate the regime.

On the eve of Obama announcing his plans to escalate the US invasion of a non-nuclear nation on one side of Iran, after his predecessor killed a million citizens of the non-nuclear nation on the other side of Iran, you attribute Iran's motivations to continue their nuclear research as the desire to antagonize the world?

Steve, you're such an effing neocon, it's disgusting. You are thoroughly despicable.

Posted by: Disputo on November 30, 2009 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

But President 'Stay the Course' has no choice. If he turns tail and runs from the 'Stans the mean, Ol' Neocons and ReThugs will say he's a coward.

Not to mention the MIC who OWN him and his administration as thoroughly as they ever owned the Cheene admin., eh?

Posted by: A.Citizen on November 30, 2009 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

* Another potential domestic terrorist is caught with a bomb-making lab in his Ohio home. -- Steve Benen

If only you'd listen to Disputo, Benen... He's already told you once (in the case of bomb on the train tracks in Russia), that not every bomb is evidence of terrorist intentions. The guy was just having a few pipe dreams, is all.

Posted by: exlibra on November 30, 2009 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

If the international community took no action against Israel, Pakistan and India when these countries acquired nuclear weapons, why the big fuss about Iran's nuclear power program?

Three countries in the region acquired nuclear weapons. Israel is quite open about threatening to use nuclear weapons against Iran.

Iran's leaders would be negligent not to progress toward acquiring nuclear weapons.

The Iraq War demonstrated what can happen to a country that does not have nuclear weapons.

Unless the West is willing to compel Israel and Pakistan to relinquish their nukes, it seems unreasonable to expect Iran to get rid of its nuclear program.

Posted by: Skeptical of Zionism on November 30, 2009 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum on Climategate: Among the stash of emails recently hacked from computers at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, one mentioned a "trick" for producing a nice looking graph, but the word "trick" was plainly used in the sense of "technique," not chicanery. There's nothing questionable there.

The trick was engaged in to "hide the decline" [in temperatures], which was necessary for the graph to give the impression that the CRU group wanted it to give.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on November 30, 2009 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

About those excessive questions from the White House Press Corps about the State Dinner crashers. This is typical of the crack White House Press Corps. It was painful to watch.

1) They desperately want to set the narrative.
2) They want the problem to be with the White House and not the Secret Service.
3) I was surprised that most of the questions about the party crashers didn't start with "Some say (aka Republicans) that it's really the White Houses fault that the party crashers got in.
4) Usually, the WH Press Corps can not ask original questions. They seek guidance from whatever the Republicans are complaining about on a particular day.
5) I don't know how Robert Gibbs stands them.

Posted by: Ladyhawke on November 30, 2009 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

The trick was engaged in to "hide the decline" [in temperatures], which was necessary for the graph to give the impression that the CRU group wanted it to give.

Huh, I wonder if that's anything like the deception employed in the following piece?:

In some parts of the country, commuters can already recharge their plugin hybrids overnight using wind-generated electricity. Other consumers power their pick-up trucks with bio diesel. New synfuels plants are under construction.

By the time the last drops of oil are recovered from the Canadian tar sands and the Rocky Mountain shale, no one will even notice except a few experts. Everyone else will have made the transitions to the new technologies.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on February 8, 2007 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

Nope. Finessing a chart but being careful not to falsify data is not "trickery." Making false claims about the current state of alternative energy implementation and then drawing false conclusions about future trends clearly is.

Three words: Carlsbad Desalination Plant.

Posted by: trex on November 30, 2009 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

Matthew,

"The trick was engaged in to 'hide the decline' [in temperatures], which was necessary for the graph to give the impression that the CRU group wanted it to give."

There's no there there in the hacked e-mails.

Surprise, surprise, you're gullible enough to fall for the propaganda.

Posted by: Joe Friday on November 30, 2009 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

This is the second time a Huck clemency recipient committed a serious crime. It was an issue during the GOP primary. I think it is safe to say his political career is over.


http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/05/huckabee...

Posted by: RolloTomasi on November 30, 2009 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

The right of the people to bear pipe bombs shall not be infringed

Police said no charges have been filed against Mark Campano, 56. Police found 30 completed pipe bombs in his apartment along with components to make more, plus 17 guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
Posted by: koreyel on November 30, 2009 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

and huckabuck's presidential hopes disappear quicker than you can say "willie horton."

Posted by: mellowjohn on November 30, 2009 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

"Porfirio 'Pepe' Lobo, of the traditional National Party, appears to have won Honduras' presidential election"


* Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said his country would not recognize the election.

* Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said the elections had taken place "in the most absolute illegality."

* Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said Spain would not recognize the election.

* President-elect Mujica of Uruguay said his country will not recognize the election.

One would assume that Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Venezuela will not recognize the election.

Not to mention that electoral observation groups from the Organization of American States, the Carter Center and other prominent institutions declined to monitor the vote.

Posted by: Joe Friday on November 30, 2009 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

Life on Mars...

Revisiting ALH 84001 with more powerful tools.

Posted by: koreyel on November 30, 2009 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

The security breach at the WH dinner frightens me. When presidents get whacked it's always an inside job.
Not to sound too paranoid but I initially thought it was a dry run, testing the security measures. You never know.
Either way, this rage on the right is akin to a powder keg and sooner or later its going to blow. I just hope people are prepared.

Posted by: citizen_pain on November 30, 2009 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

So we had Barney Fife and other goofs from Mayberry RFD the last eight years, including incompetent neo-cons and hanger-on end timers, an illuminatingly botched presidency which clearly included My Pet Goat, the Bushie progaganda of--'see in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapault the progaganda'--these words from G.W. Bush, and, then, " Brownie, you're doing a heckava job.?...and yet there is worry about Obama? This thoughtful, intelligent person? Give it up, republican fools

Posted by: MSM distractions prevail on November 30, 2009 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

If you read the comments on Kevin's post about the present global warming to do, you understand why rational people get frustrated and depressed by all the idiots who exist and actively work against our collective existence. I can't understand how a society can function with so many of them running loose. But then, at the moment, our society isn't functioning very well and hasn't been since Reagan. I wish there were someway to stop the world so I could get off.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on November 30, 2009 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

There's something deeply wrong with the right

And yet some on the left would like to do the equivalent of a swan dive off of a cliff into the rocks. Go to sites like Open Left, and you'll find people there hoping that the Democrats lose their majorities and the Republicans take control just so that the bad, bad Democrats finally learn their lesson and allow only sufficiently pure progressives to run under the party label.

Posted by: wilder on November 30, 2009 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

@citizen_pain: when presidents get whacked? I can think of two whacked presidents and neither were inside jobs, as far as anyone knows, unless you could Booth being an actor as being inside.

As far as Huckabee, he should in no way get blamed for the clemency deal. The guy he released had gotten 60 yrs for burglary when he was 18. Anyone would deserve a second chance. ** IT IS NOT IN A LIBERAL'S BEST INTEREST TO BLAME HUCKABEE FOR THIS. **


Posted by: JK on November 30, 2009 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

More on the deniers. The myth about global cooling is one of the AntiGWers favorite memes. They use 1998 as their base line and say that since we haven't passed it, then we must be cooling. If they had used any other year before or after, there would still be a warming trend. If you run a line through the yearly global temperatures from 1950 to 1997, you find that every year since then including the present are ABOVE the line which means that if temperatures had only increased at their former rates, we are be above the expected temperature. Instead we have surpassed the expected temperature and thus are still in a warming state. To see the graph and an explanation, go to

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/07/warminginterrupted-much-ado-about-natural-variability/

Posted by: Texas Aggie on November 30, 2009 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

JK:
Presidents was too hasty of a characterization; rather, when people who seriously threaten the status quo get whacked, its usually an inside job.
Better?

Posted by: citizen_pain on November 30, 2009 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

When presidents get whacked...

So which president was whacked at first?
Answer here...
What a lucky bastard eh?

I came across that the other day when I was reading about the Nullification Crisis

Posted by: koreyel on November 30, 2009 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

Another view of ClimateGate

Follow the link to the original Zorita statement.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on November 30, 2009 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

Another view of ClimateGate

You've clearly been exposed as a fraud when it comes to issues of energy and climate. You've claimed glaciers were expanding when they were shrinking, that Arctic Ice was growing when it was thinning.

The only reason that Marlergate isn't dominating the news is that nobody gives a crap about a statistician repeatedly lying on a political blog about the climate.

Posted by: trex on November 30, 2009 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

trex: Carlsbad Desalination Plant

Supposedly the last court case has been heard, though maybe not, and the construction can begin.

If I am guilty of deception, which I doubt, that certainly does not establish that Phil Jones was innocent. On the skeptical blogs, you can see what the effect of "Mann's trick" was, because they have graphed the data with and without the sophisticated technique.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on November 30, 2009 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

Carlsbad Desalination Plant: latest news.

It's aggravating to be wrong, but that's different from being deceitful.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on November 30, 2009 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

Well, koreyel, there is a big difference between being "whacked" and being whacked "at", right?

So, assuming Obama says tomorrow night what is expected, where will people hang out when they hate BOTH the Republicans and the Democrats, and are willing to vocally oppose both? (I suppose the answer is "porn sites".)

There will be no room at the inn at places like Kos or here, that's for sure. Will Washington Monthly become the new Heritage Foundation? Arguing that more war in Afghanistan is just what the doctor ordered?

As they say, we'll see.

Posted by: Joesbrain on November 30, 2009 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

If I am guilty of deception, which I doubt, that certainly does not establish that Phil Jones was innocent.

What it establishes is that you are a known con artist whose opining on the issue is not to be taken seriously. You don't get any more breaks.

It's aggravating to be wrong, but that's different from being deceitful.

They are not mutually exclusive, and you've managed to master the art of being both. After dozens of instances of having been revealed making empirically false claims on this blog about climate change you have the temerity to weigh on this issue and expect to be taken seriously? For Christ's sake, you lied about the existence of a plant that's in your backyard to bolster your claims! And when caught in your lie, you made some ridiculous claim that "speculating" about a non-existent desalination plant was your way of "testing hypotheses." And that was just one part of a long pattern of making false and deceptive claims.

I'm just trying to make sure that no one reading gets caught up on the ongoing fraud of Marlergate.

Posted by: trex on November 30, 2009 at 9:43 PM | PERMALINK

Koreyel, they used to say Old Hickory had a .22 in his cane. I wouldn't doubt it!
America was conceived with violence and we shouldn't be surprised at all about it.

That's why I'm listening to some Led Zeppelin III right now and trying to chill

Posted by: citizen_pain on November 30, 2009 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder exactly how much of the DC press scene's interest is driven by jealousy. I mean they had to go through all of the paperwork to get White House access. Then along come these interlopers...

Posted by: bago on November 30, 2009 at 10:01 PM | PERMALINK

Matthew,

"Follow the link..."

To Reason Magazine ?

I didn't even have to click on it, the pop-up told me all I needed to know.

Why bother with a fake RightWing media magazine like Reason, why not just link to Fox ?

Posted by: Joe Friday on November 30, 2009 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

re Iran: The west needs to lead its negotiations with Iran with a bedrock assurance that no one is going to attack Iran, and this especially means Israel, in order to halt their program. In return for such assurances, Iran has to come to an arrangement to trade low enriched Uranium for fuel rods (there's no reason the swaps can't happen on Iranian territory) which can be used for their civilian reactors. But the threats of violence toward Iran need to stop, and the mad dogs in Tel Aviv need to be brought to heel. Otherwise, as long as the threats toward Iran continue, none of this is going to go anywhere.

Posted by: rbe1 on November 30, 2009 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Friday: Why bother with a fake RightWing media magazine like Reason, why not just link to Fox ?

It had the link to the original Zolita statement. Who, you are wondering, is Zolita, and why do you care about his statement?

trex, I like the sound of "Marlergate". I wonder how I'll survive the suspense of waiting to see whether the Carlsbad Desalination Plant is ever built. I thought that it would be finished years ago, as I wrote.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on November 30, 2009 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

* The White House press corps' interest in the "party crashers" story seems more than a little excessive.
~~~
Chris Matthews spent the first half of his show today on it. He may have done so for the rest of the hour, but I had to get to class so don't know.

Chris was just slobbering all over this "story". Sheesh.

Posted by: Hmmmmm on November 30, 2009 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

Matthew,

"It had the link to the original Zolita statement."

You're missing the point.

It's a fake RightWing media outlet.

It's all fruit of the poison tree.

Posted by: Joe Friday on November 30, 2009 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research has a little more to say about the Honduran election: "Only a few governments that the U.S. State Department can heavily influence will recognize these elections. The rest of the world recognizes that you cannot carry out free or fair elections under a dictatorship that has overthrown the elected President by force and used violence, repression, and media censorship against political opponents for the entire campaign period leading up the vote, including election day."

Posted by: Algernon on December 1, 2009 at 1:09 AM | PERMALINK

You're missing the point.

It's not so much that he's missing it as that he's steadfastly ignoring it. Marler's a stone liar who thinks that pretending not to notice his busts means he was never caught. That works for the first couple of fabrications and attempted redirections. Not so much for the 500th.

One wonders if he approaches his actual work the same way.

Posted by: Estelle on December 1, 2009 at 5:12 AM | PERMALINK

The list of Obama's accomplishments - by Nathan Newman should get more notice, just think what would have happened if anyone else had won the presidency, he was handed so many problems I am surprised he can still smile. People, we need to keep up the enthusiasm we had during the last election, if we don't we should be aware of what we will get. There will never be another opportunity to get through a progressive agenda. If Obama has done so much in 10 months he could be a real powerhouse in 8 years.

Posted by: JS on December 1, 2009 at 7:47 AM | PERMALINK

* In a brazen attempt to antagonize the world, Iran announced its intentions to build 10 new sites to enrich uranium, dramatically expanding the same nuclear program that has helped isolate the regime. How this becomes a 'brazen attempt to antagonize the world' is just yellow journalism, counting on turning the reader into an anti-Iranian. It is 'cheap' and not 'journalism' at all. Right-winger for sure! As long as stoooooooopid BLOODYISRAEL threatens them daily with bombing them, they have every right to be as confrontational as possible. They're ramping up the rhetoric to soften us up for WWIII because we know eventually BLOODY Netanyahooooooooo has every intention of bombing Iran, and their occupied country USofBLOODYISRAEL will have to 'support' them GAG!!!

Posted by: Rose Hunter on December 1, 2009 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

Marler's a stone liar who thinks that pretending not to notice his busts means he was never caught.

This.

One of the bright spots about stories like this is they cause a reflex in Marler, like Pavlov's dogs, to drop his unconvincing pretense as an honest commentator like a prom dress and drool right-wing talking points.

No one imagines you comment here in good faith, Marler. Shame on you.

Posted by: Gregory on December 1, 2009 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

Eric Reymond is such a disappointment. His writing is getting ever more ridiculous and demented.

Posted by: jojo on December 1, 2009 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

I heard a rumor that the Israeli government secured permission to fly over Germany when they carry out their massive retaliatory attack on the EU governing body. After all, they have warned the Europeans not to step out of line when it comes to a negotiated Middle East peace. Fair's fair, after all ! Can we get a hallelujah ?

Posted by: rbe1 on December 1, 2009 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

To Rose Hunter: I couldn't agree more. The level of hypocrisy and the sheer, putrefying stink of it when it comes to the way the West sucks up to Israel is beyond nauseous. I say right on to Iran - they have every right to defend themselves against the bloodsucking unholy asshole alliance between Israeli and the US of A. When are Americans going to realize that supporting the Zionist shell game is not in either the short or the long-term national security interests of the United States ?

Posted by: rbe1 on December 1, 2009 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Benen, isn't this just a little nitpicky?

Ms. Palin merely misspoke.

The former governor meant she'd be on an "AIRbus tour"

The plane manufacturer, you see.
Must we insist homey, aw-shucks, soccer mom real Americans spell everything out? Aren't we being just a bit petty?

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on December 3, 2009 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

Excuse me. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Help me! Looking for sites on: Where are breitling watches made. I found only this - breitling 18k antique pocket watches. Breitling watches, almost especially is this breitling popularity lock replica to 300 hours, but it is overseas 13th! These stars are rapidly equipped to assure like the manufacturers, breitling watches. THX :cool:, Charity from Fiji.

Posted by: Charity on March 19, 2010 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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