Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 1, 2010

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

* Iraq: "A female suicide bomber detonated her explosives inside a way station for Shiite pilgrims Monday, killing 54 people and rattling security officials who are struggling against a possible rise in violence before key elections next month."

* Haiti: "[E]ven as food-aid workers enjoyed their most successful day since the Jan. 12 earthquake, the increasingly prominent role of U.S. troops and civilians in the capital is creating high expectations that the Obama administration is struggling to contain. The needs are extraordinary, and the common refrain is that the Americans will provide."

* Budget: "President Obama sent Congress on Monday a proposed budget of $3.8 trillion for the fiscal year 2011, saying that his plan would produce a decade-long reduction in the deficit from $1.6 trillion this year, a shortfall swollen by $100 billion in additional tax cuts and public works spending that he is seeking right away."

* Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, said today the proposed "Volcker Rule" and Bank Tax have no shot in the Senate.

* Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was read his rights "only after ... Abdulmutallab had stopped talking to authorities."

* China thoroughly unhappy about the latest arms deal between U.S. and Taiwan.

* Middle East: "The Obama administration is quietly working with Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf allies to speed up arms sales and rapidly upgrade defenses for oil terminals and other key infrastructure in a bid to thwart future military attacks by Iran, according to former and current U.S. and Middle Eastern government officials. "

* Defense Secretary Roberts Gates is sacking the head of the "star-crossed, nearly $350 billion" F-35 program and is "withholding hundreds of millions of dollars in performance fees to JSF-maker Lockheed Martin." Gates told reporters, "When things go wrong, people will be held accountable." I like his Gates guy more and more all the time.

* Eyeing a "sweeping overhaul" of No Child Left Behind.

* Candy Crowley will take over CNN's "State of Union." She's not my favorite journalist, but I'm glad to see some diversity -- Crowley will be the only Sunday show host who isn't a white guy.

* May a thousand job tax credit proposals bloom.

* What's inside the Quadrennial Defense Review? Robert Farley takes a look.

* On a related note: "The Pentagon will no longer shape the U.S. military to fight two major conventional wars at once, but rather prepare for numerous conflicts and not all in the same style, according to a draft of a new strategic outlook the Pentagon is announcing on Monday."

* It looks like the Obama administration has curtailed enforcement of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" a lot. Good.

* I still think Obama's right about the itemized deduction rates, even if Congress disagrees.

* Fact Checking the Sunday Shows.

* Characterizing college aid as "welfare"? Please.

* Sad, but true: "The moral here is that right now the GOP literally has no ideas about how the nation should actually be governed. And the scary thing is that lack of ideas seems to be a winning platform."

* President Obama takes questions via YouTube.

* Bill O'Reilly is really, really bad at math.

* Charles Krauthammer apparently doesn't like Nigerians.

* CBS exercises some odd judgment when it comes to accepting and rejecting Super Bowl ads.

* Fox Nation's crush on Scott Brown is humiliating, even for Fox Nation.

* And on a related note, if you missed Paul Krugman confronting Roger Ailes yesterday, you'll definitely want to check out this clip.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (22)

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Comments

NCLB does not need a "sweeping overhaul." It needs to be run over with a zamboni, pummeled with one of those Volkswagen-sized dictionaries that used to be in school libraries, and them run over with the zamboni---again.

Posted by: S. Waybright on February 1, 2010 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

Somebody better tell Fox Nation that their mancrush is in favor of a woman's right to choose.

Posted by: Gridlock on February 1, 2010 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

I think the DNC needs to take out full page ads repeating Senator Shelby's announcment concerning the bank tax and the Volker Rule. Rub their noses in it. Take out an ad at the newspaper for the city hosting the teabagger convention.

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 1, 2010 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

That's a lame ad, obviously intended to be rejected for the purpose of free publicity. Otherwise they would not have put the "you suck!" in there.

Posted by: Christopher on February 1, 2010 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was read his rights "only after ... Abdulmutallab had stopped talking to authorities."

And, despite the fact that it completely contradicts the entire purpose of someone being "read his rights", we're supposed to think this is a good thing because otherwise the rethugs would attack us for being "soft on terrorism".

Jesus.

Posted by: cr on February 1, 2010 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

"Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was read his rights "only after ... Abdulmutallab had stopped talking to authorities'."

Don't confuse the poor RightWingers with the facts.

Posted by: Joe Friday on February 1, 2010 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

"if you missed Paul Krugman confronting Roger Ailes yesterday"

It was a thing of beauty.

Krugman also has the documentation of his accusation up at his blog.

Slam dunk.

Posted by: Joe Friday on February 1, 2010 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

Go Paul Krugman! I just joined his Facebook fan page.

Posted by: neil b on February 1, 2010 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Charles Krauthammer apparently doesn't like Nigerians.

As far as I've been able to tell over the years, Krauthammer apparently doesn't like anybody!

Posted by: efgoldman on February 1, 2010 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

It looks like the Obama administration has curtailed enforcement of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" a lot. Good.

My arse. All that means is commanders aren't as willing to throw away their top performers in a time of crisis and have squashed a lot of investigations of their own initiative. Wake me when Obama actually fires someone at the Pentagon for their backpeddling, stall tactics, and insubordination, and rams the Military Readiness Enhancement Act through Congress.

Posted by: Keori on February 1, 2010 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

Is the CIA too ridiculous to be allowed to continue?

http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=878C3C72-18FE-70B2-A81EDA6D629BFA12

In the midst of two wars and the fight against Al Qaeda, the CIA is offering operatives a chance to peddle their expertise to private companies on the side a policy that gives financial firms and hedge funds access to the nation's top-level intelligence talent, POLITICO has learned.

In one case, these active-duty officers moonlighted at a hedge-fund consulting firm that wanted to tap their expertise in 'deception detection,' the highly specialized art of telling when executives may be lying based on clues in a conversation. . . .

Posted by: cld on February 1, 2010 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

"we're supposed to think this is a good thing because otherwise the rethugs would attack us for being "soft on terrorism"? Jesus."

Similar moments of confusion happen to me all the time: Mr. Benen will be reporting summary executions by drone missiles of some bad guy plus bystanders, and I'll pause, "oh wait, Steve thinks this is a good thing!"

IMO, it's 25% Obama fanboy syndrome, 25% audition for an administration job, and 50% sucking up to Republican/independent pols and pundits.

Posted by: flubber on February 1, 2010 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

I felt the need to do something amusing this evening, and since this is an open thread, I'll promote it here. Who has the worse spray tan? Vote here: http://bit.ly/dgBYWx

Posted by: Husker Blue on February 1, 2010 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

"...if you missed Paul Krugman confronting Roger Ailes..."

Oh, that was Roger Ailes? I thought it was Jabba the Hutt.

Posted by: Doug Bostrom on February 1, 2010 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

"And the scary thing is that lack of ideas seems to be a winning platform."

No ideas beat bad ideas and so far the dems have been full of bad ideas (or more precisely, god-awful implementations of good ideas).

Posted by: Tlaloc on February 2, 2010 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

"The moral here is that right now the GOP literally has no ideas about how the nation should actually be governed. "

Actually, they do have some ideas-the same ones that drove the nation into the ditch where it reides now.

Posted by: bob h on February 2, 2010 at 6:41 AM | PERMALINK

If we follow republican logic, we should take preemptive action against people from Muslim countries, or against Muslim citizens of the USA. They should all be considered guilty until proven innocent. If we suspect them of potential terrorist activity we should torture them until we get the real story out of them. Then we should put them before a military tribunal and after they are found guilty, we should execute them. How can you argue with such logic ?

Posted by: rbe1 on February 2, 2010 at 6:49 AM | PERMALINK

"Krauthammer Doesn't Like Nigerians".

I am pretty sure he fell for one of those Nigerian scams.

Posted by: Ravi J on February 2, 2010 at 7:10 AM | PERMALINK

China Warns U.S. on Meeting With Dalai Lama

Because of China's objections, President Obama has avoided meeting with the Dalai Lama, a true spiritual leader. Yet he plans to attend the National Prayer Breakfast, an event sponsored by the Fellowship Foundation, an evangelist cult-like organization with ties to the infamous C Street group and with those in Uganda engaged in an unconscionable effort to have gays arrested and perhaps executed.

homer www.altara.blogspot.com

Posted by: altara on February 2, 2010 at 8:24 AM | PERMALINK

How about some climate updates Steve? Who is better at predicting the future temperature of the earth: Punxsutawney Phil or Professor Phil Jones?

How fast would a melting glacier move if a glacier melted like Phil said?

Posted by: Orwell on February 2, 2010 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

Since when is Candy Crowley not -effectively- just another white guy?

Posted by: pietro on February 2, 2010 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

OBAMA and Bernanke are featured in a movie-- about greedy hedge funds called "Stock Shock." Even though the movie mostly focuses on Sirius XM stock being naked short sold nearly into bankruptcy (5 cents/share), I liked it because it exposes the dark side of Wall Street and revealed some of their secrets. DVD is everywhere but cheaper at www.stockshockmovie.com

Posted by: Wash Mon Fan on February 2, 2010 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK
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