Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 11, 2010

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

* Tories and Liberal Democrats find agreement; Gordon Brown departs; and Conservative Party leader David Cameron becomes Prime Minister.

* BP oil spill: "Three big oil and oil service companies all pointed fingers at one another for blame in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in testimony Tuesday at the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. While saying that it was too early to make a final determination of the cause of the April 20 blowout that started the spill, the companies stressed one another's failures.'

* On a related note, this seems like an important data point: "BP makes enough profit in four days to cover the costs of the spill cleanup thus far."

* Sounds to me like a good idea: "President Obama is proposing to split the agency that oversees offshore oil drilling into two parts, one to inspect oil rigs and enforce safety and the other to oversee leases for drilling and collect royalties, the White House said Tuesday."

* Karzai comes for a visit: "Afghan President Hamid Karzai arrived in Washington on Monday morning for a four-day visit designed to publicly turn the page in the often-testy relationship between his government and the Obama administration and to solidify a working partnership between them."

* Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) sends the right signals on DADT repeal.

* David Roberts updates us on where things stand with the Kerry/Lieberman climate bill, which will be unveiled tomorrow. Its odds aren't great, but the legislation is far from dead.

* Republican proposal to redo Fannie and Freddie is described as "disastrous."

* I'm well aware of how spectacularly unpopular the bank bailout bill is, but there's growing evidence of its merit.

* Taking a look at the student loan market, after the sweeping reform proposal became law.

* And finally, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) spoke yesterday at Emory University's commencement. "I was also going to give a graduation speech in Arizona this weekend," he told attendees. "But with my accent, I was afraid they would try to deport me."

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (18)

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Comments

Obama: Hamid, here's your official broom.

Karzai: But Barack, what am I supposed to do with this?

Obama: I want you to clean up all the corruption in your government.

Karzai: What if I can't? It's just a broom!

Obama: Karzai, you've got a choice: Either you clean up all the corruption in your government, or this broom is the only thing you're going to be allowed to fly into U.S. airspace!!!

Posted by: S. Waybright on May 11, 2010 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

"As part of their lobbying efforts borrowers warned that borrower services, like 'financial-literacy education, debt management, and default prevention' would simply go away if banks weren’t there to provide them."

Let's put it this way... having the student loan industry advise you on managing your debt is like asking a heroin dealer to advise you on managing your heroin habit AND turning over to that same dealer all your income as part of the deal.

Posted by: KurtRex1453 on May 11, 2010 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

I don't understand WHY DOESN'T ANY OF THIS STICK TO THE DEMS/OBAMARAHMA!

Posted by: joe on May 11, 2010 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

joe,

i was going to say you have the sense of humor of a 12 year old, but then i though about it. most 12 year olds are more sophisticated.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on May 11, 2010 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm well aware of how spectacularly unpopular the bank bailout bill is, but there's growing evidence of its merit."

This is a point Atrios makes over and over and over again, but as compared to what? As compared to doing nothing? Of course! But there are lot of things we could have done with 700 billion dollars; was bailing out the institutions that got us into this mess really among the better ways to do it?

Posted by: Rick Taylor on May 11, 2010 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

How does Karzai travel anyway? Does the US fly him in?

Posted by: Bob M on May 11, 2010 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

Gee, Joe learns the internets!

In other worries, I don't want Mitch McConnell nor his closeted frog waddle anywhere near ANY legislation that has anything to do with anything even slightly significant. Unravel your wall street buddies there Bitch McConnell. Maybe they'll rent you a boy! (If they can find one who'll sleep with you..)

Posted by: Trollop on May 11, 2010 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

Conservative Party leader David Cameron becomes Prime Minister.
congratulations on your being elected!

Posted by: shoestimes on May 11, 2010 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

More to the point, the cost of a remote control switch that could have averted the oil spill is $500,000, or less than *eight minutes* of profit for BP. Unconscionable.

Posted by: Baldrick on May 11, 2010 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

New Rule: Anyone who still says the bailout cost $700 billion doesn't get to have an opinion until they catch-up on current events.

$700 billion was the full amount authorized. The banks only got $244.9 billion, while all of the bailouts combined (including AIG, Fanny, and Freddie) cost $536.3 billion. And of course, we've gotten back $216.8 billion of it so far. So stop saying $700 billion if you expect to be taken seriously. You won't be.
http://bailout.propublica.org/main/summary

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on May 11, 2010 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

There's evidence Halliburton may have been at fault in the BP spill, for building a concrete housing (?) that failed. (search)

Also, the militant theocrats are already dropping the Dyke bomb on Kagan! See Think Progress about the American Family Association who say Kagan is lesbian and should not serve on SCOTUS. Their blogger Bryan Fischer writes:

"We cannot afford to have another sexually abnormal individual in a position of important civic responsibility, especially when that individual could become one of nine votes in an out of control oligarchy that constantly usurps constitutional prerogatives to unethically and illegally legislate for 300 million Americans.

The stakes are too high. Social conservatives must rise up as one and say no lesbian is qualified to sit on the Supreme Court."

I just knew they were going to pull that crap.

Posted by: Neil B on May 11, 2010 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

You know, I really didn't question whether or not the bank bail out worked - I assumed that the people involved at least knew what they were asking for and what they needed to do with it, and the banks and corporations involved didn't follow Lehman Brothers.

However, just because the bank bailout worked does not mean it was ever a good idea in the first place. The bail out is ethically and politically wrong on a multitude of levels; it effectively REWARDS the people who made the mess. For anyone who's ever taken an introductory economics class, one of the first principles discussed is risk vs. reward.

I know this isn't news to anyone. But the tpmM article is making the rounds in the blogosphere, and "the bailout worked" meme should NEVER excuse the bailout itself. I hope people will remember that.

Posted by: a.twiist on May 11, 2010 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

a.twisst - Oddly, your argument against the bailout reminds me of the arguments against food stamps and free lunch programs that conservatives give. Basically, by feeding hungry kids, we're rewarding their parents for being lazy. And because they don't have to spend their money feeding their kids, they waste their money on cigarettes and booze. And so it's better to let hungry kids starve than to reward their lazy parents by feeding them.

Of course, there's a difference here, as I think it's wrong to categorize all poor people as lazy (though it'd be naive to suggest that none of them are lazy, I mean, come on); while Wall Street bankers really DID deserve to fail. But the rest of America didn't. And sure, perhaps the claims that unemployment could have been 20% without the bailouts are over-blown, the truth is that America needed the bailouts. This wasn't about saving bankers. This was about saving all of us. And just as it's wrong to allow children to suffer for their parents' sins, it would have been wrong to allow America to suffer for Wall Streets' sins.

And so the answer is to work to reform Wall Street so this can't happen again. Being angry that greedy people didn't suffer won't get us anywhere. There's more to life than punishing people.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on May 11, 2010 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

Re: Ah-nold -- oh, no he di'nt!

'And finally, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) spoke yesterday at Emory University's commencement. "I was also going to give a graduation speech in Arizona this weekend," he told attendees. "But with my accent, I was afraid they would try to deport me.' "

Whatever his politics, that was pretty funny.

Posted by: June on May 12, 2010 at 12:34 AM | PERMALINK
Republican proposal to redo Fannie and Freddie is described as "disastrous."

Like most policies of the Bush Administration, because it is similarly based on an ideologically-driven myth. In this case, it is their talking point about what caused the financial collapse, one which lets them deflect blame from the people mostly responsible who are willing to pay the GOP for the privilege.

Posted by: Redshift on May 12, 2010 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

Alan Mollohan has lost the Democratic primary.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on May 12, 2010 at 2:12 AM | PERMALINK

Having been a corporate drone for decades, Salazar/Obama changing the structure of any gov't agency is really just another meaningless corporate re-org. Like being in a Dilbert cartoon. Moving the deck chairs on the Titanic but no significant course change. Without the required cajones these agencies will continue to be "here's your waiver Mr. Oil Co Exec".

Posted by: mickster on May 12, 2010 at 2:43 AM | PERMALINK

I have decided that republicans all have an unhealthy obsession with sex - other peoples sex, they are not content to trying to force their ideas on to women, and come between women and their doctors, they now want to label Ms Kagan as gay because she played softball in her younger days - in my younger days - we all played softball, and I did not know any gays - not that it would have been any of my business!
The repubs are sick sick sick!!!!!!

Posted by: jJS on May 12, 2010 at 7:51 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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