Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

March 8, 2010

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

* The potency of Iraq's insurgency seems to be waning: "Defying a sustained barrage of mortars and rockets in Baghdad and other cities, Iraqis went to the polls in strength on Sunday to choose a new Parliament meant to outlast the American military presence here."

* On a related note: "Iraqi forces are on track to assume control of the country's security and the United States is on course to draw down its troops to 50,000 by President Obama's August deadline, U.S. officials said today."

* Incredible bloodshed in Nigeria: "Officials and human rights groups in Nigeria said Monday that about 500 people had died in weekend ethnic violence near the central city of Jos, considerably more than what had initially been reported."

* Vice President Biden travels to Jerusalem today, hoping to kick start Israeli and Palestinian talks. Negotiations have been on a hiatus for 14 months.

* U.S. troops begin their withdrawal from Haiti.

* A new TSA nominee: "President Obama has chosen a retired army intelligence officer, Maj. Gen. Robert A. Harding, to head the Transportation Security Agency, a job that officials call the most important unfilled position in the administration."

* Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), still prepared to vote with right-wing Republicans to kill health care reform.

* Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) is urging the state's public colleges and universities not to extend discrimination protections to LGBT employees.

* CNN's Wolf Blitzer never should have aired that ridiculous "Dept of Jihad?" segment, but I was glad to see him apologize.

* Jon Chait 1, Mike Allen 0.

* Fact checking the Sunday shows.

* Can online schools simply purchase legitimacy?

* The unintentional humor of The Weekly Standard.

* If I thought the National Review's Mark Steyn had any idea what he was talking about, I might not like health care reform either.

* Sullivan: "Halperinism really is part of what's deeply wrong about Washington."

* Anti-gay California Republican admits that he's gay.

* Maybe someday racists will realize that their ugly emails can and should have consequences.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Steve. It's Mark Steyn with a Y. You get this wrong every single time, guy.

I wonder if Dennis Kucinich will end up despised and barely tolerated, like Ralph Nader? He's got such a crazy ego, he's gotta be smarting to see effective progressives like Anthony Weiner kicking ass. The guy's time has come and gone -- he's a great gadfly but a totally ineffective leader. And my policy preferences are a hell of a lot closer to Kucinich's than to Obama's.

Posted by: shortstop on March 8, 2010 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

OT: My disappointment in the Oscar selections has to do with the message the Best Picture and the Director's speech delivered: Our soldiers are doing the right thing in other countries. Avatar's message was that our(U.S.) occupation of foreign lands to exploit their resources and relegate their people to savage status is not acceptable. Notwithstanding that the main hero is a white male Marine who employs violence to gain his end and liberate the Na'vi is not my favorite resolution. Perhaps James Cameron was savvy enough to know we were not ready for a non-violent solution, or he just believes that is how we have to fight oppression. Nonetheless, I love Avatar and am pleased that it has global acceptance, as evidenced by the box office success.

Posted by: st john on March 8, 2010 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

I understand that it's the fault of the source article, but Cuccinelli is doing a lot more than "urging." He's saying that it is his opinion as the state's top law enforcement officer that it is illegal for state colleges and universities to have policies that prohibit LGBT discrimination.

Posted by: Redshift on March 8, 2010 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK
Steve: "Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), still prepared to vote with right-wing Republicans to kill health care reform."

Well, let it be said that birds of a doctrinarily intolerant feather will flock together.

And how sad to note that after all these years in politics, Dennis Kucinich still doesn't know how to play nice with other children. Acting holier-than-thou doesn't cut it in a world where the art of compromise should take precedence of posturing and preening.

As the late Hawaii Gov. John Burns once quipped to a Republican state legislator, "Any goddamned fool can draw a line in the sand - and who am I to argue with one?"

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on March 8, 2010 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

If we set a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, doesn't that mean the terrorists have won?

Posted by: leo on March 8, 2010 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK
st. john: "My disappointment in the Oscar selections has to do with the message the Best Picture and the Director's speech delivered: Our soldiers are doing the right thing in other countries."

Kathryn Bigelow said no such thing. Rather, she dedicated her Oscars to those who are serving their country under incredibly difficult circumstances, and expressed hope that they'll all come home safe and soon. Please don't put words in other people's mouths.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on March 8, 2010 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

"Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), still prepared to vote with right-wing Republicans to kill Obama's giant insurance giveaway."


Fixed.


Posted by: Tlaloc on March 8, 2010 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

D from H:
I made an observation of what I heard Kathryn Bigelow say. If that is not what you heard, then I accept that. She made two comments; the second she asked that they come home safe. The first was to honor their service, I believe. I am a Vietnam vet and do not like it when someone thanks me for my service. I don't think we were right in being there, and I don't think we are right in being in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other places. My service in the military was as a draftee, and I did not choose to avoid service by leaving the country. I did not have the courage to do that. I honor pacifists and those who refuse to violate the sovereignty of another country.

peace,
st john

Posted by: st john on March 8, 2010 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

"Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), still prepared to vote with right-wing Republicans to kill Obama's giant insurance giveaway."

If it's such a giant insurance giveaway, why are the Republicans so intent on killing it? Unless they are not actually intent on killing it, which if that were the case, they are doing a great job acting.

Posted by: Christopher on March 8, 2010 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

Incredible bloodshed in Nigeria: "Officials and human rights groups in Nigeria said Monday that about 500 people had died in weekend ethnic violence near the central city of Jos, considerably more than what had initially been reported."

Interesting how the NYT calls it "ethnic" violence then in the article reports that the Muslims were killing Christians. Is religious belief now a characteristic of ethnicity? Or is this an attempt to make it tribal to minimize what is happening in the world? It looks like they reduced the exposure of what the "Christians" did and reported the reponse as a victimization of Christians, then characterized it as tribal. Where was the reporting when the Christians killed the Muslims indescriminately? It seems like this outrageous massacre only gets a spotlight shined when the Christians are the victims. A very cynical view as if the only way Americans will care is through some sort of strange, delusional,contorted, sense of shared struggle. No I am not by any means justifying what has happened; it defies comprehension. I'm just pointing out what seems odd context in MSM reporting (not just NYT).

Posted by: lmhk on March 8, 2010 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

Benen. So, you accept Blitzer's apology. You believing it sincere.

Honestly, it makes me wonder: how wide is your stupid streak? Lord knows we've all got one. But jeezuz.....

Posted by: JW on March 8, 2010 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

It always amazes me what other people stand up to each day with such bravery like the Iraqi voters while we cower under our beds.

Kucinich needs a primary challenger.

Posted by: Th on March 8, 2010 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

Again, I'm confused by Kucinich's logic. If he votes no on the the HCR bill, does he think that the House leadership is going to give him a chance to make health care policy in the future? I seriously doubt it. But if he takes one for the team and votes yes, he might be able to wrangle some concessions on future legislation. It's still some time before the vote, so perhaps he is trying to use his vote as a negotiating tool. I can think of more effective public statements, though, to get concessions, like "if I saw X in the reconciliation package, I'd be a definite yes."

Posted by: meander on March 8, 2010 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

It amazes me that Bush and Cheney will never be indicted for war crimes, and that millions of moral degenerates continue to pledge allegiance to the political establishment in which they flourished.

Posted by: JW on March 8, 2010 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

"If it's such a giant insurance giveaway, why are the Republicans so intent on killing it?"

The gop has opposed anything and everything the dems propose reflexively, regardless of the politics. The dems could draft a bill called "The GOP was right about everything" which put Ronald Reagan on every denomination of money and the GOP would still fillibuster it. They're just that far gone. You can see it in all the non-partisan common sense programs they've tried or succeeded at torpedoing.

Posted by: Tlaloc on March 8, 2010 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

I'd love to hear somebody ask Kucinich whether he believes:

1. There is no difference between the status quo and the system as it would be under the proposed reforms (the Nader position), or

2. The proposed reforms would make the system worse than it is now (the Wellpoint CEO position), or

3. We should toss out the product of the past year's debates and start from scratch (the Boehner/McConnell position).

Posted by: Suzii on March 8, 2010 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

So if this gay California legislator went to college in Virginia, it would be illegal to save him if some thick-necked vigilante decided to kick his ass. Is this right or did I miss something?

Posted by: Curmudgeon on March 8, 2010 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

Anybody see Bill Moyers this last weekend? Two opposing rational views about whether or not the pending health care bill should pass. Rather than leaving me firmly on one side or the other, I was left at the end feeling unsettled. It seems to me that in either case, the insurance company makes out far, far better on the deal than the public does. Passed or not, the insurance companies will still have the public by the gonads with the hugh influx of money from a mandate and the still ability to adjust rates.

Posted by: sparrow on March 8, 2010 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

* Maybe someday racists will realize that their ugly emails can and should have consequences. -- Steve Benen

Don't hold your breath; this is the first time I can remember that one of those quick-on-the-email-trigger fellas actually got slapped where it hurts -- in his pocket. Most of the time, there's no penalty and the non-apology apology ("I'm sorry that you're too stupid to see the joke") serves as an absolution.

Posted by: exlibra on March 8, 2010 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

I bet this homophobic AG in Virginia thinks he's going to ride his bigotry right into the White House. Just think of all the mischief he will cause along the way before he winds up in a ditch somewhere.
All the money that gets spent on the court fights he will instigate will take away from already strained higher education budgets. If only these trogs would stay in their caves.

Posted by: rRRk1 on March 8, 2010 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), still prepared to vote with right-wing Republicans to kill health care reform.

If this little putz does this, he is on my permanent political shit list, right behind that SOB Nader. Kucinich is an embarrassment to lefties.

Posted by: TCinLA on March 8, 2010 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

"Starting this year, there will be no more lifetime or restrictive annual limits on the amount of care that you can receive from your insurance companies."

It appears that Obama, like Steve Benen, is either unaware of section 2711, or willing to lie about the annual caps on coverage Section 2711 allows.


re: Kucinich, wouldn't it be more apt to say he is joining with Rightwing Democrats in the Blue Dog Caucus and the Rightwing Democrats in the Stupak Caucus? or is it frowned upon to mock the dozens of Rightwing Dems in the House who are kicking ass to defeat Obama's signature initiative?

Posted by: some guy on March 8, 2010 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

I know this is stooping to his level but, the bigot from Tennessee should have looked at his own picture before making fun of anybody else.

Or, maybe he doesn't realize he looks like a
Scooby Doo monster.

Just sayin'

Posted by: Winkandanod on March 8, 2010 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

Winkandanod, @23:26,

He probably can't see himself in a mirror. But I've often wondered what it is with those guys whose neck circumference is the same as their cranium circumference and the sum of the two is about the same as their IQ...

Posted by: exlibra on March 9, 2010 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

I have to say I am in agreement with Kucinich, we need single payer health insurance for all. Having said that, and knowing that presidents have tried for national health insurance for about 70 years and failed, I cannot understand why Kucinich would stand on his principles while people are dying and going bankrupt because of health care costs and un-availability. This health care bill seems to me to be a start - a foot in the door and perhaps we can add a single payer option along the road which could lead to better health care, isn't this what Canada did about 40 years ago. We must do something, the repubs feel no shame that we are the only advanced country that does not provide health care for all.

Posted by: JS on March 9, 2010 at 7:53 AM | PERMALINK

Mitigating a problem can make it more difficult to solve.

Posted by: Forrest on March 9, 2010 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly