Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 28, 2010

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

* European debt crisis: "European and International Monetary Fund officials on Wednesday were considering a dramatically increased $158 billion bailout package for Greece as the country's debt crisis continued to ripple across Europe, with Standard & Poor's downgrading the credit rating on Spain, the continent's fourth-largest economy."

* Don't expect the Fed to touch interest rates for a while.

* Left with no other options: "Crews were poised to begin setting fire to oil leaking from the site of an exploded drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, a last-ditch effort to get rid of it before it reaches environmentally sensitive marshlands on the coast."

* Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) intends to move on climate/energy before immigration, but dismisses out of hand GOP calls for him to drop immigration reform altogether.

* Success on rescissions.

* Good move: "After nine years of regulatory review, the federal government gave the green light Wednesday to the nation's first offshore wind farm, a sprawling project off the coast of Cape Cod."

* Hoping to make it clear enough for even the RNC to understand, the House once again unanimously passed a measure to prohibit fake-Census mailings.

* President Obama takes his "Main Street Tour" to Missouri.

* Wall Street always whines incessantly about new regulations. And it's always wrong.

* Prime Minister Gordon Brown's chances of another term just took a sudden turn for the worse.

* The striking similarities between law school debt and sub-prime mortgages.

* It's crazy on so many levels: "[Former Rep. Tom Tancredo] claimed that Obama is purposefully withholding his birth certificate in order to fuel birther conspiracies that make the right wing look nuts."

* The correct response to "show us your papers."

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (23)

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Comments

Steve Benen wrote: "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) intends to move on climate/energy ..."

Since Graham has walked away from the climate/energy bill, this would be a good time for the Democrats to remove all the provisions that Graham "negotiated" to squander taxpayer dollars on expanding offshore oil drilling, the "clean coal" hoax, and the nuclear power boondoggle.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 28, 2010 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

"Hoping to make clear enough for even the RNC to understand, the House once again unanimously passed a measure to prohibit fake-Census mailings." STOP or I'll shout STOP again. Geezs. Talk about hand waving.

Posted by: E L on April 28, 2010 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

remove all the provisions that Graham "negotiated" to squander taxpayer dollars on expanding offshore oil drilling, the "clean coal" hoax, and the nuclear power boondoggle.
Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 28, 2010 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK*************************

REpigs expect us to believe that offshore oil drilling is safe and clean. With all the new technologies and safeguards in place, they can do it efficiently, and in an environmentally responsible way. Oh, and nuclear power is really safe too! Coal, Oil, Nuclear (CON), - Killing the planet, little by little, and us with it. Wake the fu&* up people. Stand up for our future, our kids, our world. "Spill baby spill" is the best they got, and somehow they are still winning seats at the big kids table. Please.

Posted by: in what respect, Charlie? on April 28, 2010 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Brown calling a woman a bigot because she was complaining about eastern European immigrants 'taking jobs' is about the only thing he's done I agree with. Too bad he didn't have the stones to say it to her face.

And just like the bigots we have here, you call them on it, and they act all shocked and innocent.

Posted by: doubtful on April 28, 2010 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ... dismisses out of hand GOP calls for him to drop immigration reform altogether.

So wait, the reason Arizona needed to enact its draconian immigration law (according to a many of its supporters - Most of them Republicans) is because the federal government has utterly failed to control the borders or develop an effective immigration policy.

So now that Reid is making a move to address that very problem the Republicans want him to stop which would necessitate more border states enacting equally draconian laws.

Ah, I get it now.

Posted by: thorin-1 on April 28, 2010 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

[Former Rep. Tom Tancredo] claimed that Obama is purposefully withholding his birth certificate in order to fuel birther conspiracies that make the right wing look nuts.

"Make the RightWing LOOK nuts" ?

Posted by: Joe Friday on April 28, 2010 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting, -in what respect, Charlie?- that offshore oil gets so little hysterics, while the Teddy Kennedy Memorial Cape Cod Wind Farm gets a very snarky snippet on Dylan Ratigan's show. . .

Apparently the Corporate Masters have gotten to him, too.

Posted by: DAY on April 28, 2010 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

Boycotting America’s anus

Arizona has 3 million registered voters.
Nearly 2 million of them live in Maricopa County.
That county has of course Phoenix as its seat.
707,000 of the states 1.1 million republicans live in Maricopa county.
That means 65% of Arizona’s republicans are concentrated in the Phoenix metro area.
Call it Teabagger heaven...
Loon land...

Orange county was once America’s anus.
Some have argued Colorado Springs is now America’s anus.
But given the law that demands both President Obama and US citizens “show their papers” to Sheriff Joe, there's no question where America‘s alimentary canal ends...

Boycott all things Phoenix.
Ridicule Phoenix.
Boo Phoenix.
Shit on Phoenix…

Phoenix dares you to:

Gov. Brewer said at a meeting that she wasn't worried about possible boycotts. "I believe it's not going to have the kind of economic impact that some people think that it might," she said.
Posted by: koreyel on April 28, 2010 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

"Obama is purposefully withholding his birth certificate in order to fuel birther conspiracies that make the right wing look nuts."

I really don't think he has to work that hard for that result.

Posted by: phastphil on April 28, 2010 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

It's not just law school debt. The entire student loan program is problematic. Lenders lend to unsophisticated borrowers who purchase a product whose value they cannot evaluate. The lenders don't care whether the borrower will gain sufficient value from the product to pay the loan back because the loan is federally guaranteed. The risk in making the loan is zero regardless of whether the borrower can pay.

The result? Sellers can raise the cost of the product to the maximum that the borrowers can borrow.

So we get tuition rising at 2-3% above the rate of inflation for thirty years running. And young graduates groan under the burden of debt.

Posted by: Bloix on April 28, 2010 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a little something sure to infuriate AZ Lawmakers -- esp since their legislative session is ending today and they do not have time to push through a bill changing the referendum process... (If they could)

It's rather delicious, if this happens because the reactionary Republicans have been using the referendum process for decades to make law... and now the rules THEY wrote are used against them.

Also, William H Taft knew about this he would smile ... He refused to approve Arizona's original Constitution because it contained a referendum process. So Arizonans removed it, got statehood, and added it back...


From the Arizona Capital Times

Referendum against S1070 could delay law by years
By Jeremy Duda - jeremy.duda@azcapitoltimes.com

Published: April 28, 2010 at 2:52 pm

A citizen referendum could put Arizona’s new illegal immigration law on hold for more than two years, depending on when its organizers collect enough signatures.

A group calling itself One Arizona filed a ballot measure with the Secretary of State’s Office on April 28 to overturn S1070, hailed as the toughest state-level illegal immigration law in the country.

If the group wants the referendum to be on the November ballot, it must collect 76,682 signatures by July 1. But organizers may be looking to wait past the deadline in order to keep the law from being implemented.

New laws don’t go into effect in Arizona until 90 days after the end of the legislative session, and the implementation of those laws is put on hold if organizers get enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot. But if organizers submit their signatures between the two deadlines, the proposed repeal of S1070 would not be on the ballot until November 2012, meaning the law could not be implemented for more than two years.

Posted by: KurtRex1453 on April 28, 2010 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

Oil Spill? Surely You Jest...

There can't possibly be an oil spill from an offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Totally impossible.

For one thing, how would it benefit an oil - er, "energy" - company to build a drilling platform that would come apart like that? Come on - these things are a big investment; that means they're built right!

Second, look at all the oil being wasted - would a corporation trying to make money permit that? No way! Couldn't happen.

Third, think of the possible liability: from fishermen and mollusc diggers, state Tourism bureaus along the path of the (obviously nonexistant) oil, other wealthy property owners, yachters - the list just goes on and on. What corporation would set itself up for costs like that? Illogical!

This has been your Libertarian/Republican analysis - it generally goes over better before the big spill...

Posted by: Zandru on April 28, 2010 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

Wait, did Fucking Scott Garrett, R-Douchebag from NJ, vote to ban the fake census mailings?

My world is topsy turvy!!

Posted by: Breezeblock on April 28, 2010 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

The approval of Cape Wind is NOT GOOD NEWS. The Cape Wind project will be a disaster, assuming it ever gets built. It is in the wrong place, badly conceived, for the wrong reasons, and is economically untenable. It will not, if it gets built, supply the Cape and Islands with any dedicated electrical energy, and ultimately will have to be cleaned up at taxpayer expense. No oil fired power plants will be shut down if it gets built, and more fossil fuel plants will have to back it up because when the wind dies down and the electrical persists power has to come from somewhere. Salazar's approval merely enables a host of lawsuits, that have just been waiting to be filed.

There are many of us who live in the area who support those lawsuits, and we have nothing but disdain for the process that allowed this environmental atrocity to get as far as it has.

I really think, Steve, you need to investigate the wind power juggernaut far more closely before giving it your knee-jerk support.

Posted by: rrk1 on April 28, 2010 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

Re:Wall Street
Let us remember that Wall Street always bilks "investors" at every opportunity. Congress is supposed to stop them. Congress removed the safeguards and allowed the melt down. Congress allows usury to flourish. It is Congress that should be held to the fire.

Remember the scorpion and the frog. It is in the scorpion's nature to sting.

Posted by: Marc on April 28, 2010 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

Leviticus 19: 33-34

33 When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him.

34 The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.

(Bible quote from Jesus’ General’s blog, in one of his excellent snarky letters. I’ve heard that there are a few by-the-book Leviticus Christians in the Republican Party, maybe even in the Arid-Zona legislature and governors mansion. Oh well, they are a bunch of cherry-picking chicken pluckers so they won’t “get it”. By "get it," I mean the Leviticus Christians have a really hard time "getting" what Jesus was teaching in the New Testament, so why would they "get" this, because they love to quote some of the most harsh and unforgiving verses from Leviticus?).

Posted by: The Oracle on April 28, 2010 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

"Success on rescissions."

Did they agree not to cancel coverage in case of fraud?

No?

So then isn't this "victory" is completely hollow and worthless?

Yeah, thanks.

Posted by: Tlaloc on April 28, 2010 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

tlaloc,

im confused. you FAVOR fraud? btw from the rest of the post:

As of this morning, two of the companies who told Congress last year they wouldn’t end rescissions, WellPoint and UnitedHealth Group, have announced that they will implement the rescission reforms in the health insurance reform bill ahead of schedule—with WellPoint ending them on May 1st, and UnitedHealth ending them immediately. Speaker Pelosi on the news of UnitedHealth’s announcement that it would implement rescission reforms ahead of schedule ...

UPDATE: America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the national association representing health insurance companies, responded tonight to Chairmen Levin, Miller, and Waxman’s letter saying that they will implement the ban on rescissions next month ...

Posted by: mudwall jackson on April 29, 2010 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

Goldman Sachs is to financial reform what California Anthem was to healthcare reform.

Posted by: bob h on April 29, 2010 at 6:07 AM | PERMALINK

Wouldn't it be great if there was an organization that recruits law enforcement personnel as members who promise not to enforce unconstitutional laws? Then all those Hispanic police officers in Arizona could join and refuse to enforce their new immigration law? Can you think of any such organization? Seems one was in the news recently.

Posted by: Th on April 29, 2010 at 8:27 AM | PERMALINK

Drill Baby Drill becomes...

Burn Baby Burn.

Tell me again why the WIND FARM is a bad idea? Will the towers
cause massive environmental problems?

Oil wells at sea are clearly a dumb idea and should be phased out asap.

Time to embrace wind and solar folks!

The situation in the Gulf of Mexico just may turn into
the environmental crisis of the decade as crews continue to
up the amounts of oil gushing from the deep sea.

Off-shore Oil Platforms..... or OOPS.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on April 29, 2010 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

"[Former Rep. Tom Tancredo] claimed that Obama is purposefully withholding his birth certificate in order to fuel birther conspiracies that make the right wing look nuts."

There's a 1955 Herblock cartoon that sums this up perfectly (you may have to hunt around a bit for it, but it's at the top of the page):

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1817&dat=19550208&id=-B0fAAAAIBAJ&sjid=25kEAAAAIBAJ&pg=7391,4392794

Posted by: Walsh44 on April 29, 2010 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

How can you deliberately withhold something that does not exist?

If as Birthers believe, there is no real birth certificate, how can Obama be deliberately withholding it to drive the Right crazy?

This is the logic of a three-year-old.

Posted by: Kreniigh on April 29, 2010 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK
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