Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 4, 2010

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

* Haiti: "Ten U.S. missionaries in Haiti were charged Thursday with child kidnapping and criminal association for allegedly trying to take children illegally out of the earthquake-hit country."

* A severely unpleasant day on Wall Street: "All three major indexes lost at least 2.6 percent on a day when two of Wall Street's biggest fears re-emerged -- a deteriorating jobs market and the debt woes facing foreign governments -- feeding anxiety about the health of the global recovery." Of particular interest was financial instability in Greece, Portugal, and Spain.

* Securities fraud: "New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo today announced that his office is filing civil charges against former Bank of America Corp. chief executive Ken Lewis, former chief financial officer Joe Price and the Charlotte bank."

* Raising the debt ceiling with no GOP votes.

* Gen. McChrystal sees "significant progress" in Afghanistan.

* White House seeks an apology from Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.).

* The House easily approved a bill today to improve the nation's cybersecurity systems. It passed 424-0.

* White House lawyers are quietly working in anticipation of a Supreme Court vacancy -- or two.

* Sen. Paul Kirk (D-Mass.) bid farewell to the Senate today, and devoted some time to honoring Ted Kennedy. As a demonstration of courtesy, a grand total of zero Republicans showed up for his departure speech. Stay classy, GOP.

* Coming through for unions: "The Obama administration is considering a proposal that would heavily favor government contractors that implement policies designed by organized labor."

* The next time Republicans wonder why African-American voters back Democrats, they should remember this NAACP scorecard.

* Classless: "Don Imus asked Chris Wallace on his Fox Business show whether Fox News contributor Sarah Palin would be sitting on Wallace's lap during an interview on Fox News Sunday this weekend. Wallace responded: 'One can only hope.'"

* Rahm Emanuel still feeling the heat over his use of the word "retarded."

* Rush Limbaugh, however, is using the same word in the same way, generating criticism from Sarah Palin's spokesperson.

* Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) has a very short memory when it comes to his own Senate record.

* I know the media establishment refuses to believe it, but Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) simply doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to national security. He doesn't even keep up on the basics of current events.

* And finally, President Obama went off-script briefly this morning at a prayer breakfast, talking about civility in the discourse. "Surely you can question my policies without questioning my faith," the president said, pausing for a few seconds before adding, "or, for that matter, my citizenship."

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (33)

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Comments

White House lawyers are quietly working in anticipation of a Supreme Court vacancy -- or two.

I have just two words for the WH about this:

Pamela Karlan.

Posted by: zeitgeist on February 4, 2010 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

I think anything that makes Rahm Emmanuel feel heat is a good thing.

Posted by: Barbara on February 4, 2010 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

MUST SEE - watch steve's birth!

Posted by: Larry on February 4, 2010 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Lets see if I have this straight, Republicans can bald face lie about intelligence matters but the White House can't set the record straight?

It is a good thing that Kit Bond is a short timer. What a tool.

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 4, 2010 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

Oh c'mon! "Classless?" Don Imus is a comedic voice, this was a joke. I don't like ANY of the parties involved, but this isn't a cause for outrage or name calling.

Posted by: Shantyhag on February 4, 2010 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

As to the Supreme Court vacancies, well the court better get used to being short handed because the Party of No filibusters everything, including good morning, and Harry Reid doesn't know what to do about it.

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 4, 2010 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

* Haiti: "Ten U.S. missionaries in Haiti were charged Thursday with child kidnapping and criminal association for allegedly trying to take children illegally out of the earthquake-hit country."

God told them that paperwork was unnecessary. Makes one wonder just how up to date God is with the affairs of the hoi-polloi "downstairs"; I can readily believe that, in his younger days, it might very well have been true.


* White House seeks an apology from Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.).

Dear Kitty got the wrong govt by the tail. It was the *Bush* White House which leaked sensitive info for political gain.


* And finally, President Obama went off-script briefly this morning at a prayer breakfast, talking about civility in the discourse. "Surely you can question my policies without questioning my faith," the president said, pausing for a few seconds before adding, "or, for that matter, my citizenship."

When a man has such wry, self-deprecating sense of humour, I can forgive him *a lot*.

Posted by: exlibra on February 4, 2010 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

* Classless: "Don Imus asked Chris Wallace on his Fox Business show whether Fox News contributor Sarah Palin would be sitting on Wallace's lap during an interview on Fox News Sunday this weekend. Wallace responded: 'One can only hope.'"

Cold comfort: As a woman, Palin would never win nomination due to Republican Party's chauvinism. Phyllis Schlafly just won't have it.

Posted by: John Henry on February 4, 2010 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

McCain's a dick.

Posted by: Lee on February 4, 2010 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

Oh c'mon! "Classless?" Don Imus is a comedic voice, this was a joke. I don't like ANY of the parties involved, but this isn't a cause for outrage or name calling.
Posted by: Shantyhag

if don imus is a comedic voice, why isn't he ever funny?

Posted by: mudwall jackson on February 4, 2010 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

And finally, President Obama went off-script briefly this morning at a prayer breakfast, talking about civility in the discourse. "Surely you can question my policies without questioning my faith," the president said, pausing for a few seconds before adding, "or, for that matter, my citizenship."

I watched the clip at TPM where they played it up as the President making a joke. The funny thing is, he wasn't laughing.

Posted by: AK Liberal on February 4, 2010 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

Toyota in Deep Do Do.

After Whistle Blower comes forward, Toyota now admits to software problem:

VIDEO (no text yet)

Posted by: Joe Friday on February 4, 2010 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK
As a demonstration of courtesy, a grand total of zero Republicans showed up for his departure speech.
Why aren't votes scheduled for these sort of no-show days? Make them pay for not attending! :) Posted by: bernard hp gilroy on February 4, 2010 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

A must read op-ed from yesterday's NYT (yeah, I'm like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland -- always late). What is it that the French say? The more things change, the more they remain the same? Here's the Freedom Fries revolutions of more than 50yrs ago:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/03/opinion/03zaretsky.html?scp=1&sq=Robert%20Zaretsky%20--%20The%20Tea%20Party%20Last%20Time&st=cse

Posted by: exlibra on February 4, 2010 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

I thought that story was fascinating, exleeb. Spooky parallels.

Posted by: shortstop on February 4, 2010 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

AK Liberal, @ 18:57,

No, Obama wasn't laughing. All the same, he exposed the morons for the laughing stock they are. All the best jokes are delivered dead-pan; that's why I've always thought that Stephen Colbert is a better comedian than Jon Stewart, who does a lot of facial contortions, eye rolling etc to make sure that everyone knows he's joking.

Posted by: exlibra on February 4, 2010 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

I thought that story was fascinating, exleeb. Spooky parallels. -- shortstop, @19:27

An interesting conclusion, too -- that anger, by itself, is not enough to sustain one's relevance in the political arena. Especially this kind of unfocused, uninformed anger...

Posted by: exlibra on February 4, 2010 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

note, mccain said today 'stimulous did not work.' this is their theme, ive heard this many times now. the fact it did work needs to be repeated over and over, otherwise people will believe it was pointless.?

Posted by: kurt on February 4, 2010 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

Except that nobody named Poujade could get elected dogcatcher in America, it sounded like deja vu all over again. Spooky parallels indeed, although I doubt the teabaggers wield sufficient power to actually destabilize the government - much as they may think they do.

It's always the same - some slick comes along and convinces angry people with a sense of entitlement that Big Government is ripping them off. Worked very well in another European nation as well, as I recall, in the early 1940's.

Posted by: Mark on February 4, 2010 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

I just read the comments section of the POLITICO article regarding the NAACP congressional ratings: Wow! what a group of white trash, racist POS's. I just threw up in my mouth reading such venom. Is that typical of the readers and commenters at POLITICO?

Posted by: jP on February 4, 2010 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

Imus asked Wallace whether Sarah Palin would be sitting on Wallace's lap during an interview this weekend. Wallace responded: 'One can only hope.'

Urp

Posted by: koreyel on February 4, 2010 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

Talk about "security blanky"... Here's Shelby (are we all Georgians, yet?), putting a *blanket hold* on all Obama's nominations... Like I said, in an earlier thread: Obama will have to recess-appoint *all* of them, on the same day (and in the nearest future, too, by preference):
http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/02/report-shelby-blocks-all-obama-nominations-in-the-senate-over-al-earmarks.php#more

Posted by: exlibra on February 4, 2010 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

Except that nobody named Poujade could get elected dogcatcher in America, [...] -- Mark, @ 21:27

It's only that Frenchy-poxy "u" and, possibly, the olde-English "e" (at the end). "Pojad" would be perfectly respectable, with just the right touch of the "common man". And a vast improvement on that "Andrzejewski" teabag guy who ran in Illinois (with Walesa's blessing. Ye gods!), too, as regards pronunciation.

Posted by: exlibra on February 4, 2010 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

The markets were "unpleasant" on the day that Scott Brown was seated? Must mean that Capitalism hates him.

Posted by: Cindy McCant on February 5, 2010 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

Je pense que vous avez raison, exlibra.

Say, the Repubs are really sowing the ground with salt, aren't they? Do they imagine none of this is being remembered, and that if Repubs should gain enough seats that they needed some help to get something passed, the Dems would hold the football for them for the good of the country?

Fallows pointed out in an article I excerpted further down that there has never been party discipline like this, where every single Republican votes the party line no matter the subject. He also pointed out that if the minority votes together, the majority cannot get anything passed, at least under the current rules.

Well, there had never been a song like "Roundabout" before Yes performed it, either, and Steve Howe was only about 18 when he wrote it. However, after it had been done, anybody with a bit of ability could do it. It just needed somebody to envision it, and to show it could be done.

Keep that in mind, Republicans.

Posted by: Mark on February 5, 2010 at 1:58 AM | PERMALINK

the close of the dow hours before scott brown was elected: 10,600+

the close of the dow hours before brown was sworn-in: 10002

Posted by: mr. irony on February 5, 2010 at 7:13 AM | PERMALINK

1.Imus asked Wallace whether Sarah Palin would be sitting on Wallace's lap during an interview this weekend. Wallace responded: 'One can only hope.'

So Imus got Wallace to make a sexist comment. Is this not comedy?

2. John McCain "simply doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to national security"
but he does know Republicists talking points, and he repeats them regularly to the media. The media are happy to report them as news.

When will the left have as an effective propaganda machine?

Posted by: Marc on February 5, 2010 at 7:54 AM | PERMALINK

A severely unpleasant day on Wall Street...

Waitaminit...how could Wall Street have a bad day yesterday? Scott Brown was sworn in yesterday! And the market loves Scott Brown, so says the always right and never wrong Jim Cramer. This is very confusing.

Posted by: BrendanInBoston on February 5, 2010 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

But darlings, why else was Ms. Palin brought in? Her "brains"?

First a president you can have a beer with, then a vice-president who'll sit on your lap.

Republican feminism at its most liberated. What did Rush say? He loves the women's movement, especially when he's behind it.

Posted by: Not America Anymore on February 5, 2010 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Hey up there, Shelby is Alabama, not Georgia. We in Georgia take some cold comfort that we're a little better here. At least in Atlanta, my rep is John Lewis, an actual lefty Dem. We won't talk about my senators, though. And to think we used to have some decent Dem senators...

Posted by: shoeflyin on February 5, 2010 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Speaking of the senator from not-Georgia, I'd be a lot more confident about the Media Matters fact checkers if they weren't talking about Judd Gregg, R-Utah.

Posted by: Suzii on February 5, 2010 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

"Stay Classy, G.O.P" he smirks. Possibly, he forgot the Dems outstanding display of class at Sen. Paul Westfall's funeral.

Posted by: Don on February 5, 2010 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

You would think that they world have OKd it at teh beginning instead of allowing it to go so long without saying a thing and then bringing it back up when it was too late. I dont understand it at all.

Posted by: trigger spray bottle on June 28, 2010 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK
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