Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 11, 2010

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

* Officials have nearly doubled the estimate of the amount of oil gushing into the Gulf every day. The new estimate puts the total at between 25,000 to 30,000 barrels of oil a day. Another group of experts concluded the range is between 20,000 and 40,000.

* A conservative estimate of the costs of this disaster: $28 billion.

* Upping the pressure on the Republican congressional leadership, a House GOP lawmaker -- from Florida -- has endorsed lifting the liability cap.

* Iraq: "Two American soldiers were killed and six were wounded Friday by a car bomb north of Baghdad, wrapping up a week of renewed insurgent attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq."

* Afghanistan: "Two U.S. troops and at least 11 civilians died in violence across southern Afghanistan on Friday, including one attack in which a suicide bomber wearing a burqa blew himself up in a bazaar."

* Not good: "Sales at retailers unexpectedly fell in May, raising some questions about how much consumers will be able to continue contributing to an economic recovery."

* Eyes on the prize: "President Obama, returning to his theme of 'jobs, jobs, jobs,' called on Congress Friday to pass a string of initiatives aimed at spurring hiring by small businesses, including a plan to take $30 billion from the fund that bailed out Wall Street financial institutions and steer it to community banks to lend to small firms."

* A real scandal at Arlington National Cemetery.

* South Carolina state Sen. Jake Knotts (R) has been "officially rebuked by his county Republican Party" for his "raghead" slurs.

* Good move: "In a vote that advocates of abortion rights sought beforehand to keep quiet, the Senate Armed Services Committee passed a provision on May 27 to allow privately financed abortions at military hospitals and bases."

* Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) did the right thing vetoing an odious anti-abortion bill.

* Terrific piece from Dahlia Lithwick on former Supreme Court Justice David Souter's commencement speech at Harvard.

* The future of affirmative action in college admissions.

* I hadn't heard about Roger Simon's health issues, and welcome him back to work.

* The right-wing media really seems to hate soccer and the World Cup.

* Glenn Beck should try to leave the president's family alone.

* And on a related note, Media Matters takes a look at Beck's new novel. Based on the review, it may be the among the worst novels ever written.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (29)

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Comments

RE Beck:
"...a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."
William Shakespeare
Macbeth

Posted by: MrsD on June 11, 2010 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

The best piece of investigative reporting thus far on the BP oil geyser and what the government is doing to fix things:
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/111965?RS_show_page=0

Posted by: DevilDog on June 11, 2010 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

Not good: "Sales at retailers unexpectedly fell in May, raising some questions about how much consumers will be able to continue contributing to an economic recovery.

If business needs 'the consumer' to step and buy stuff then business needs to give 'the consumer' a JOB!

Posted by: thorin-1 on June 11, 2010 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

Back in the early '80s, Steve Dunleavy, editor of the New York Post, wrote a novel, and I had to review it for the newspaper I worked for. If Beck's aiming for the worst novel ever, he's got a tough hill to climb. But I have faith in him.

Posted by: JMG on June 11, 2010 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

The dirty secret is that most universities practice gender affirmative action. If they didn't they would be disproportional female, as today young men as a group are just not competitive with their woman peers. One reason universities like to give males a helping hand? Having a reasonable proportion of your student body male makes it easier to recruit the top women.

Posted by: J. Frank Parnell on June 11, 2010 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

And on a related note, Media Matters takes a look at Beck's new novel. Based on the review, it may be the among the worst novels ever written.

Among the worst? I encourage everyone reading to click through the link and read the excerpts: descriptions simply don't do the mind-blowing awfulness of it justice. It's almost some kind of sick joke that anyone would actually publish such tripe; hell, the fact it was actually published on paper and trees had to die for it is a crime. All we can do now is fervently hope that some low-rent producer will make some direct-to-DVD bargain bin movie out of it: we'll have a new drinking party classic on our hands!

Posted by: electrolite on June 11, 2010 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

Christ vetos abortion bill.

Funny, when you suddenly need to attract moderate voters things like freedom of choice become more palatable.

Posted by: Marnie on June 11, 2010 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

thorin-1,

If business needs 'the consumer' to step and buy stuff then business needs to give 'the consumer' a JOB!

Amen.

Let’s add that the damned Banksters need to be forced to make credit available to small businesses, instead of just borrowing subsidized money from the feds at practically zero interest and investing in treasury bills, and living off the spread.

Posted by: Joe Friday on June 11, 2010 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

* Not good: "Sales at retailers unexpectedly fell in May, [...] -- Steve Benen

One possible reason, perhaps, is that the jobless and/or the poor are not buying any more than they absolutely *have to* because they can't afford it. While the rich have already bought all the i-Pads and yachts they can use and have now gone on vacation somewhere where the beaches are clean.

Here's an article about how the trend of rising sales (on which the expectations for May had been based) was powered:
http://washingtonindependent.com/86757/only-the-wealthy-spending-more

Posted by: exlibra on June 11, 2010 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

That statement by Rubio was so twisted it was obscene... If as the christian hardright says it was a victory for politics... then Viva Politics!

ps. Chuck Colson says tattoos are bad... its on to the tattoo shop today

Posted by: KurtRex1453 on June 11, 2010 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

"today young men as a group are just not competitive with their woman peers"

Reverse chauvinism is every bit as wrong as the other kind. Actually, and morally.

Posted by: anon on June 11, 2010 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

"In a vote that advocates of abortion rights ..."...You mean "pro choice" rights. No one is pro abortion...we are pro choice....and they are not "babies" but fetuses and cells that are aborted. Only the very wealthy kill their babies...but you didn't hear that from me. "They Live" is not just a movie...it's a documentary.

Posted by: bjobotts on June 11, 2010 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

Steve. I love reading your blog on a daily basis. But I got to tell you that, recently, that pop-up add that crawls up from the lower right hand corner of the site is getting REALLY annoying, enough so that I sometimes wonder if I should visit the site all that frequently.

Thanks,

T Spence
Monona WI

Posted by: Tim on June 11, 2010 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

"We've already got a raghead in the White House, we don't need another raghead in the governor's mansion," Knotts said last week.

He later said that he was making the comments in jest.

We are hardly worthy of this great contribution . A little levity is just the thing to bring people together . Why not lighten up the deliberate politicking for the destruction of American culture with a colorful and pointed ethnic slur ?
As a jab at the president , and a nominee Knotts is indisposed towards , it couldn't be more refreshing . Imagine someone taking offense despite a , innocent or less , mistake in the components of a slur about one or another ethnic groups habits and dress . If it is just a bit ignorant , still in all , it is a mighty fine South Carolina official who takes the time to demonstrate just how seriously he takes placing his very light understanding of these things to one and all . It carefully paints as colorful a picture of Knotts and his voting constituents while disposing of any need to seek any further than the nearest exit . It may leave most mature people a little cold , but a laugh is gold for free . About any respect he and his laughing crowd of voters would otherwise give to the neighbors cat would be the investment of their deep appreciation of how the world really works .
So have a laugh , Knotts is sure he knows what is gripping his imagination . Now that is funny .

Posted by: FRP on June 11, 2010 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

The right-wing media really seems to hate soccer and the World Cup.

Well, hell, I'm a commie pinko bleeding heart liberal and I hate soccer and the world cup.

Excellent reason to leave the teevee off and read a book.

Posted by: efgoldman on June 11, 2010 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know how other commenters and readers feel about your web ads but lately this site has developed one of the more obnoxious web ad techniques I've come across in a while.

Seeing that the same ad is plastered at the top of the page, it seems rather gratuitous that it has to crawl up the page chasing the bottom right corner as well.

Aside from being obnoxious it screws up navigation causing the scrolling to jump as the page tries to catch up with all the flashing going on.

Bad design - pathetic implementation.

Posted by: pauo on June 11, 2010 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

I hadn't heard about Roger Simon's health issues, and welcome him back to work.

Same goes for NYT business writer and blogger Floyd Norris: Cancer and me.
Floyd is damn good: His brain and heart are always in the right place.

Posted by: koreyel on June 11, 2010 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

No one is pro abortion...we are pro choice....and they are not "babies" but fetuses and cells that are aborted.
Posted by: bjobotts

Way to bring the topic that contributed to the downfall of democrats and the rise of republicans back front and center.

Stupid

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 11, 2010 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

What ads?

I don't know how other commenters and readers feel about your web ads...

Firefox + adblock = 0 ads.
I also recommend the extension Ghostery.

Posted by: koreyel on June 11, 2010 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

"... may be the [sic] among the worst novels ever written"

Putting it even in the rarified air of the Left Behind series by LaHaye & Jenkins? After years of reading Slacktivist, I now know what it takes to be that horrible. Thanks Fred Clark for reading Left Behind, so we don't have to.

http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/left_behind/index.html

Posted by: cjdquest on June 11, 2010 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

So... are there terms under which BP loses the lease for that well and then The President can call up Exxon and say "okay fix the leak and you can have the well."

is BP the only one with the technology to fix it?

Posted by: KurtRex1453 on June 12, 2010 at 12:45 AM | PERMALINK

How long do we have to wait for Glenn's major intestine to finally leap up his neck and throttle his brain?

Posted by: 2Manchu on June 12, 2010 at 1:21 AM | PERMALINK

The entire Gulf Coast of America is a CRIME SCENE and should be treated as such.

No sane person puts the culprits responsible for a CRIME SCENE, nor anyone the culprits have hired, in charge of the CRIME SCENE.

So why is BP, along with any of the other multinational corporations involved in the Deepwater Horizon blow-out, allowed to call any of the shots at all, especially regarding the clean-up of the CRIME SCENE?

Posted by: The Oracle on June 12, 2010 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

$28 billion is just 3 years of stock dividends. The dividends that ordinarily would have gone to the shareholders should go to the fishermen, et. al.

Posted by: bob h on June 12, 2010 at 7:02 AM | PERMALINK

To those who are experiencing ad problems on this site, I recently picked up EZULA from here which is not a virus but an ad redirection bug although my AVG called it a virus and could not remove it. I had to download Adaware2007 from cnet.com to clear it off from this laptop.

Posted by: Fed Up and Tired on June 12, 2010 at 7:13 AM | PERMALINK

This is a very good article

Posted by: mxloans on June 12, 2010 at 7:33 AM | PERMALINK

This is a very good article http://www.mxloans.net

Posted by: mxloans on June 12, 2010 at 7:40 AM | PERMALINK

Reading the Media Matters review of Glenn Beck's book reminded me of this SMBC cartoon:
http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=1860

Posted by: ChicagoPat on June 12, 2010 at 7:42 AM | PERMALINK

many friend can't understand why i read so much blogs, i will show them this and they will finally know what i'm talking about.

Posted by: onlinemarketing on December 28, 2010 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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