Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 29, 2009

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

* He didn't sound pleased: "President Obama on Tuesday blamed a 'systemic failure' in the nation's security apparatus for the attempted bombing of a passenger jet on Christmas Day and vowed to identify the problems and 'deal with them immediately.'"

* Preliminary reports point to very dangerous materials: "A dangerous explosive allegedly concealed by Nigerian student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in his underwear could have blown a hole in the side of his Detroit-bound aircraft if it had been detonated, according to two federal sources briefed on the investigation."

* Tehran: "Iranian security forces made a wave of new arrests Tuesday, including Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi's sister and a relative of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, pressing forward with a broadening crackdown on the reformist movement in the wake of deadly protests this week."

* North Korea claims to have an American citizen in custody who, N.K. officials say, entered the country illegally from China.

* Good economic news: consumer confidence is climbing and many hiring managers expect to add full-time workers in 2010.

* Less good economic news: "Home prices rose modestly in October but beneath the apparent good news were some disquieting signs of deterioration. Analysts expect prices this winter to resume their descent, putting fresh pressure on the fragile economy."

* Kabul: "As the U.S. and its allies try to overcome logistical hurdles and rush some 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan in 2010, intelligence officials are warning that the Taliban-led insurgency is expanding and that 'time is running out' for the U.S.-led coalition to prove that its strategy can succeed."

* Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has blocked a vote on the nominee to hear the Transportation Security Administration, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) plans to force a vote on Erroll Southers when the Senate reconvenes in January.

* The Obama administration seems pretty concerned about the new Japanese leadership.

* Bob Herbert tackles the excise tax intended to finance health care reform. Ezra Klein responds.

* Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), a champion of abortion rights, seems largely satisfied with the compromise funding language in the Senate bill.

* Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) will be the subject of an ethics probe, though no one seems to know why.

* This certainly doesn't sound good: "The political action committee behind the Tea Party Express (TPE) -- which already has been slammed as inauthentic and corporate-controlled by rival factions in the Tea Party movement -- directed around two thirds of its spending during a recent reporting period back to the Republican consulting firm that created the PAC in the first place."

* And apparently, words like "alleged" are a little too sophisticated for Fox News.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (15)

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Comments

Bob Herbert tackles the excise tax intended to finance health care reform. Ezra Klein responds.

Herbert did more than *tackle* the so-called Cadillac Tax - he showed how badly it will harm our fellow mostly middle class American citizens.

and just phuck whatever your little fellow pet butt boy ezra has to say about anything.

jeebus you guys have just turned into pimps and shills over this health care reform crap.

key-rist.

Posted by: in the wind on December 29, 2009 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

I think it's about time anti-jew states who want to destroy Israel stop making Israel the the western world an excuse for all their inabilities. Inabilities to feed their people, inabilities to stop corruption in their own countries, inability to provide the most basic care to their own people. I have dedicated my life to supporting Israel and the Holy Land, and I hope everyone joins this noble cause, because Israel is freedom, and America is freedom. If you have never visited the Holy Land. I suggest you take an Israel Tour as soon as you can.

Best Regards,
Charles Dabby
Israel Tourism Consultants
http://www.israeltourismconsultants.com

Posted by: Israel Tours on December 29, 2009 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

I thought the Fauxers were complaining ultimately more about saying 'alleged' rather than acting certain, not the word per se but they still hate intellectuality. BTW Drudge is making a big deal out of the item here:
http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2009/12/flight_253_passenger_says_at_l.html
about some mysterious stranger who supposedly helped the Nigerian bomber get on a plane by brushing off passport concerns AFAICT. I know anyone working in any relation for Obama wouldn't help possibly embarrass him. Here, and there there is speculation of false-flag operation to make an incident, or maybe just a corrupted official somewhere. It may bear watching.

Posted by: neil b on December 29, 2009 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, "in the wind": not just "Cadillac" plans, but all health insurance paid for by an employer, is like "income." Other such gifts are considered income and are taxed, why not health insurance too? If the middle class needs a break, fine; then lower the overall rate and *above all* get rid of the lower capital gains tax rate. The latter should be a top priority for any genuine Democratic power structure.

Posted by: neil b, on December 29, 2009 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

For the life of me I can not understand why liberals like Ezra Klein and Nate Silver are arguing so strenously in favor of a plan that has the potential to wreak financial havoc on middle-income people. Oh, I read the articles Mr. Benen links to. I just don't get it.


Posted by: kc on December 29, 2009 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, "in the wind": not just "Cadillac" plans, but all health insurance paid for by an employer, is like "income." Other such gifts are considered income and are taxed, why not health insurance too? If the middle class needs a break, fine; then lower the overall rate and *above all* get rid of the lower capital gains tax rate. The latter should be a top priority for any genuine Democratic power structure.

Posted by: neil b,


Yeah. But since that's not going to happen, I can understand why many un-rich people are going to be hostile to having (essentially) their taxes raised.

Posted by: kc on December 29, 2009 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

Hasn't Ezra Klein said enough. Really.

Why would Reid force a vote on one nominee and not on all the nominees. The Rebublicans obstruct everything so steamroll them on everything possible.

Posted by: Dale on December 29, 2009 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK
* Bob Herbert tackles the excise tax intended to finance health care reform. Ezra Klein responds.

Summary:

Herbert: The excise tax is bad policy and will end up hurting the wrong people.

Klein: You see? Even Herbert agrees with me that the excise tax is good policy, and sure, there'll be losers, but everything has winners and losers, so why should anyone care?

The pro-Bill contingent just seem to get more and more bizarre. And to think Nate Silver had the cheek to compare bill skeptics with climate change deniers. It doesn't seem to matter how absurd: Klein seems to find a way to dismiss every argument without addressing the substance of it. Reading Klein address healthcare reform issues is like reading the Cato institute address global warming.

Posted by: squiggleslash on December 29, 2009 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

If the HRC isn't fixed, I will vote against anyone who supported it. Forever. And I am a liberal.
On home prices: who are we trying to kid? Wages have been depressed, and the MFs are going to even count our paltry, little used INSURANCE as income? Insurance that was given instead of pay? That insurance??? Why would home prices ever rise again? The country is headed towards shanty-towns. We need a third party that actually cares about the country.

Posted by: Sparko on December 29, 2009 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

And I meant, HCR, not Hillary. Though I am seeing the errors of my ways voting for Obama. Sorry Don from Hawaii. You were right.

Posted by: Sparko on December 29, 2009 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

"President Obama [...] vowed to identify the problems and 'deal with them immediately."

From the little I have read, plastic-type explosives can be tiny, don't show up on x-rays, the detonators can be super tiny and are likely to get through (or liquid, in this case). A recent attempt hid the 10 grams of whatnot in the assassin's rectum. Whole body, millimeter wave whatevers wouldn't have caught this either. I think it's been true for a while, but no one has wanted to broadcast, this kinda thing can't be easily stopped. Not to mention the checked bags. Patting everyone down might help, sniffing everyone with a dog definitely would. Better passenger lists too.

Posted by: flubber on December 29, 2009 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) plans to force a vote on Erroll Southers when the Senate reconvenes in January.

Reid can do that?? Then it's all his fault!

Posted by: Grumpy on December 29, 2009 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. BLOODYISRAEL tourist person, if/when BLOODYISRAEL ever obeys a UN mandate, stops being a whore for the MIC, stops invading countries like Honduras and causing financial instabliity to take over their country, maybe, just MAYBE somone might actually want to visit BLOODYISRAEL, stops slaughtering their neighbors, stops Empire building, stops 'settlements' gag, stops slaughtering Gazaens, Lebenonease, etc. In plain words, GO TO HELL BLOODYISRAEL

Posted by: Rose Hunter on December 30, 2009 at 7:04 AM | PERMALINK

"So he needs to you know change his, some would say, rhetoric."

And the person who said this is criticizing someone else's English.

Posted by: stinger on December 30, 2009 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Fly well Travel Egypt A full service tour operator and destination management company specializing in inbound and outbound services and international tours. [ www.flywellegypt.com ]

Posted by: flywellegypt on August 29, 2010 at 7:32 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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