Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 1, 2010

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

* The White House's most significant achievement yet in addressing global warming: "The Obama administration finalized the first national rules curbing greenhouse gas emissions Thursday, mandating that the U.S. car and light-truck fleet reach an average fuel efficiency of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016."

* New filings for unemployment dropped last week, "matching the lowest level since August 2008." The totals are still too high, though they're improving.

* GM had its best month in years in March, and the whole industry seemed to get a real boost.

* The Obama administration's new efforts to counter drug trafficking are off to a good start: "Opium seizures in Afghanistan soared 924 percent last year because of better cooperation between Afghan and international forces, the top U.S. drug enforcement official said Thursday."

* Rhode Island experiences its worst flooding in 200 years.

* D.C. will host a nuclear security summit later this month. There were some fears that Chinese President Hu Jintao wouldn't attend, but to officials' relief, he said this morning he'll be there.

* One of the Hutaree members arrested over the weekend had 46 guns and 13,000 rounds of ammunition in his Indiana home.

* The New York Times editorial board seems fairly impressed with the administration's plan on coastal drilling: "President Obama ... announced a decision to expand oil and gas exploration in selected areas of America's coastal waters that will satisfy neither extreme but is, on the whole, a careful and useful addition to the steps he has already taken to reduce the nation's energy dependence."

* More questionable spending from the RNC?

* Larry Sabato backs off his claim about liberals and war heroes. Good move.

* Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) may need to brush up on his geology basics.

* The College Guide blog has nothing but April Fools-related posts today.

* National Review's symposium on black unemployment will feature six white panelists -- and no one else.

* If the Tea Party crowd is going to wave right-wing signs for the cameras, they should probably proof-read them first.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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

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Comments

hey, socilism isn't my cup of tea either.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on April 1, 2010 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

CAFE requirements are stupid.

We want people to DRIVE fuel efficient cars. It doesn't matter what you BUY it matters what you DRIVE.

If I own two cars, one that gets 50 miles a gallon and the other gets 10 then the average is 30. 30 isn't a bad average today.

However, if I drive the small car then I am not hurting the enviorment as much as if I drive the sports car.

Am I wrong???

Posted by: neil wilson on April 1, 2010 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, Hank Johnson meant an ecological tipping point on Guam, which was clear with his next sentence. Sheesh you and John Cole both jumped to the same conclusion today and smeared a good Dem. I realize the link goes to MJ.

Posted by: Dee Loralei on April 1, 2010 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

What is it about the crazy fringe and the word 'you're?' They don't use it right, or, apparently, ever spell it right.

Posted by: doubtful on April 1, 2010 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

If the Tea Party crowd is going to wave right-wing signs for the cameras, they should probably proof-read them first.


WOW! Just WOW! If anything represents the undereducated and ignorant people involved in this movement, I don't know of anything that would do a better job. Truly pathetic.

Posted by: winddancer on April 1, 2010 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

Teabonics must be the result of public/socialist education. I ASSUME most of these TeaBaggers are products of FREE/taxpayer-paid Education. Which, I suppose, proves they're (sic)point: the govermint cant be trusted to educat the peepul good.
peace,
st john

Posted by: st john on April 1, 2010 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK


Am I wrong???

Posted by: neil wilson

this must be an april fool's post.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on April 1, 2010 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

st john,

I dunno. I think that had 'home schooled' written all over it. Misspelled, of course.

Posted by: doubtful on April 1, 2010 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

doubtful, @18:07,

Nothing rong with hom skooling if its don write.

I wonder how many of them are high school dropouts, though. Repubs tend to think that it happens only to inner city blacks but I live in semi-rural western Virginia and it's, definitely, a *white* problem here. And those same people then show up, spittle-flecked, at the Repub/Teabagging potty parties.

Posted by: exlibra on April 1, 2010 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

I'm curious about where the money to pay for all of those arms came from? I think you're looking at over fifty grand, easy.

Clearly, these people are well educated, cream of the crop types, but even with the enormous salaries these beacons of society must command, where did they get that much superfluous cash?

Posted by: doubtful on April 1, 2010 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

more biofuels news:

http://www.biofueldaily.com/reports/Microbes_Reprogrammed_To_Ooze_Oil_For_Renewable_Biofuel_999.html

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 1, 2010 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I'd like to think "ecological tipping point" but the quote offered is:
My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize.
That sounds like, literal tipping over. And it says "last week" - but the date of the *post* is April 1. I suspect this is indeed an AFD joke. We'll find out. Meanwhile, watch Drudge and Republican talking points.

Posted by: neil b on April 1, 2010 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

(OH, the *video* - sheesh, guess not a joke after all!)

Posted by: neil b, on April 1, 2010 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize.

That sounds like, literal tipping over.

Of course, in the next sentence, he brought up his concerns about the environmental impact adding these people would have to Guam. SO you can either think that he thinks that islands tip over with too many people. OR you could think that he thinks that overpopulation — which he expressly talks about — on the island will tip the ecological balance, capsizing it.

Your choice.

At the risk of mind-reading, I know what the leading lights of the blogosphere will choose! Whatever the stupidest one is!

Posted by: Jay B. on April 1, 2010 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

National Review's symposium on black unemployment will feature six white panelists -- and no one else.

Will they be bringing their white sheets ?

Posted by: Joe Friday on April 1, 2010 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

Hank Johnson was OBVIOUSLY speaking metaphorically! Were you guys all hom skooled that u never hurd of metafor?

Posted by: T-Rex on April 1, 2010 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

If a one-eyed man is king in the land of the blind, imagine how powerful a person who could speak and spell English would seem to these teabaggers. A Rush or Sean might seem like God.

Posted by: anomaly on April 1, 2010 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

Well done on the signs of the Tea Party group think.
Rather extremist and uncomfortable.
Sad state of affairs they are subliminally wearing KKKhoods.
Sigmund Freud thought there were no accidents/
Can barely speak of this...

So sad for America

Posted by: greensburg girl on April 1, 2010 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

I like the CAFE standard thing. I think it will do a lot for air quality and help us manage the decline of petroleum production as the fleet becomes more efficient. But I don't think it will do anything regarding climate change. This is because there isn't enough petroleum or natural gas to effect the outcome. And because of the persistence of CO2 in the atmosphere, it doesn't really matter whether we burn this stuff quickly or a little more slowly. It is going to be burned one way or the other and it is going to make its contribution.

The real issue is coal. Here we have a choice as to whether or not we are going to add all of the carbon that is locked up in that resource to the atmosphere. This is a matter of public policy. And I think that here is the opportunity that is being missed. Divide and conquer. If we focus on limiting and finally curtailing the use of coal, we can avoid the worst consequences of climate change. And this is something that is politically feasible. This is because the power base of coal is shifting. The Appalachian coal fields are pretty well played out as is evident by the fact that they are literally blowing up mountains now in a last ditch effort to get something useful out of there. It is moving to the West. Wyoming and Montana. There is no real political power there. It is much easier to take on this one industry than every carbon based fossil fuel industry and all of their related enablers. And the fact is, coal is the one that matters.

You can say carbon is carbon and it doesn't matter what the source is all that matters is reductions in emissions. But I think that is very short sighted. I think you need to look at the availability and the ease with which you can find alternatives. Coal has nothing to recommend it except price and the fact that some people have gotten dependent upon it. The other carbon intensive fuels have real advantages that are going to make them much more difficult to cast aside.

Posted by: SW on April 1, 2010 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

* National Review's symposium on black unemployment will feature six white panelists -- and no one else.

That one pegs the irony meter.

Posted by: AK Liberal on April 1, 2010 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

Larry Sabato backs off his claim about liberals and war heroes.

Good, there's a few of them around, Larry you moron:

Let's see, there was my old comrade in the GI antiwar movement 40 years ago, kid who graduated from Yale, went to Vietnam in the Brown Water Navy, won a Silver Star... what was his name? Oh, yeah, John Kerry. Later a Senator and I recall him running for President, right?

Then there was my old friend, the late Richard H. Best, Jr. the man who sank the Japanese carrier "Akagi" at the Battle of Midway and by so doing changed what was up to that point another defeat for the United States into the most important naval victory since Nelson at Trafalgar. Won the Navy Cross for that. Lifelong Roosevelt Democrat, he used to say his most important service to his country was when he was Librarian at the RAND Corporation and turned a blind eye to Daniel Ellsberg sneaking "The Pentagon Papers" out of the library to copy them, so the American people would know the truth about the war that was destroying the country he gave everything for.

Another old friend, the late Colonel David Hackworth. At one time known as "America's most decorated infantryman." Long time liberal, long time activist against the Imperial Wehrmacht his beloved Army had been turned into.

Then there was my old comrade the late Dave Cline, the infantryman Oliver Stone based the Charlie Sheen character on in "Platoon" (the character was internally Stone, externally in terms of events that happened, he was Dave), who was for 40 years a strong peace activist after returning from war, long-time President of Veterans for Peace, one of the bravest guys I ever knew, with his bravest actions off the battlefield.

Didn't know him, but there was another young Navy Officer who got the Navy Cross for saving his crew after his PT boat got sunk by the Japanese. I seem to recall he made it all the way to President, didn't he?

Posted by: TCinLA on April 2, 2010 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, David Cline, Michael Pahios, Clarence Fitch...

All members of the NY-NJ chapter of VVAW, but LIBERAL???

They were way left of that, in my recollection.

Great post, nevertheless, TC in LA.

Posted by: wobbly on April 2, 2010 at 3:19 AM | PERMALINK

HUGO DRAX: Well, here I am in my space station about to annihilate all mankind.
JAMES BOND: Her Majesty has sent me to make the case that you shouldn't kill anyone at all. Look at these pie charts...
NYT EDITORIAL BOARD, THREE DAYS LATER: Our remaining members concur that Hugo Drax's decision to kill only half of all mankind is a victory for moderation.

Posted by: Forrest on April 2, 2010 at 4:04 AM | PERMALINK

The spelling mistakes on tea party signs are intentional--they prove that it's a grassroots movement of real Americans.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on April 2, 2010 at 7:17 AM | PERMALINK

they should probably proof-read them first.

They should probably provide proof they can read first.

There, fixed that forya.

Posted by: flyonthewall on April 2, 2010 at 7:30 AM | PERMALINK

Re: Sabato

During WWII my dad became a Company Commander at the age of 19. He was decorated many times, honorably discharged and served in the Reserve for many years after. He became a professor of American History and an expert on the history of warfare. there's a building named after him at the college he helped found. He was a liberal.

He was fond of saying: "Conservatives start wars. Liberals end them."

Posted by: chrenson on April 2, 2010 at 7:54 AM | PERMALINK

TCinLA, I know you were up late posting that incredible list. However, if you return this AM, I left a post concerning Lt Cmdr Best on the Sabato thread. Robert Mrazek, who served in the US Navy until a training accident forced him out of the service, became the Democratic US Congressman from Long Island, and, has written the excellent book about Torpedo Squadron 8 during the Midway and Guadalcanal battles, "A Dawn Like Thunder". Lt Cmdr Best is featured prominently by Mrazek. BTW, Wiki has an excellent section on Lt Cmdr Best, including, his internment at Arlington. However, thanks, once again for telling us of his Ellsburg-Rand connection.

Posted by: berttheclock on April 2, 2010 at 8:33 AM | PERMALINK

"Conservatives start wars. Liberals end them."

Like it.

There's an another old saying, something like, "Liberals admit no force but argument, but conservatives admit no argument but force."

Posted by: Bob M on April 2, 2010 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

"Rhode Island experiences its worst flooding in 200 years."

Just as we had to instruct the climate change deniers about the snowstorms this winter, we will have to teach them about the connection between warming and water vapor content in the atmosphere.

Posted by: bob h on April 2, 2010 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

bob h: ...we will have to teach them about the connection between warming and water vapor content in the atmosphere.

Now, if we could just scrape together $100 million to get the word out like the oil industry has.

Posted by: chrenson on April 2, 2010 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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