Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 29, 2010

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

* In Battle Creek, Michigan, federal regulators told Enbridge Energy Partners, a Canadian company, that its "monitoring of corrosion in the pipeline was insufficient." That pipeline has now spilled hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into a major river in southern Michigan.

* Manhunt ends on the outskirts of Kabul: "The second U.S. sailor who went missing in eastern Afghanistan last week has been found dead and his body recovered."

* Despite some talk earlier today of a possible settlement, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) is now facing 13 charges of House rules violations.

* This afternoon, President Obama signed the Tribal Law and Order Act, giving tribes the right and resources to "investigate and prosecute rapes perpetrated by non-Natives on tribal lands."

* Is it really that hard to get a warrant? "The Obama administration is seeking to make it easier for the FBI to compel companies to turn over records of an individual's Internet activity without a court order if agents deem the information relevant to a terrorism or intelligence investigation."

* The president maps out a defense of his education reform agenda.

* Better, but still too high: "The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance fell to 457,000 last week, a figure that signals the labor market will be slow to improve even as the economy grows."

* Citigroup settles with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

* Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee want a hearing on the New Black Panther Party. They're not going to get one.

* And the media rejoices: Shirley Sherrod intends to sue right-wing hatchet-man Andrew Breitbart.

* Congress is considering lifting a ban on Internet gambling, originally imposed by Republicans in 2006.

* Jonathan Cohn considers the "stupidity of liberal apathy."

* Brendan Nyhan considers the persistence of the death panels myth.

* Michelle Cottle watches Obama on "The View" so I don't have to.

* The End of Sallie Mae?

* If there's one thing the right-wing loves, it's selective editing.

* And Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) reminds us why he's definitely a #1 seed in the brackets for Most Conspicuously Unintelligent House Member contest.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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

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The spill in the Kalamazoo river is now estimated to be over a million gallons. This could be more environmentally devastating than the gulf if the oil reaches Lake Michigan which is a main source of drinking water.

Posted by: Gridlock on July 29, 2010 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

While it is amusing that the Cons have just discovered iMovie on their laptops, perhaps those with professional editing skills and ethics, like our MSM is supposed to have, will call them out on the deceptive practices of editing things out of context or wholesale juxtaposition of unrelated topics to fabricate a point.

Posted by: JWK on July 29, 2010 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

While it didn't get many column inches, don't sell Shirley Sherrod's lawsuit against Andrew Breitbart short. One big reason - Discovery.

Shirley's lawyers will be able to subpoena where he got the video from. He may try to claim a journalistic priviledge, but that's only if he didn't edit them (or any staff) directly. And also his e-mails and conversations with Fox News will be part of it as well.

Granted, I am assuming a mix of nefarious actions behind the scenes here. But if even 1/3rd of what I imagine happened did in fact happen, there is going to be big problems for Breitbart and then Fox News right after.

Posted by: Chris on July 29, 2010 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

At Grist, David Roberts is running a series on the filibuster and senate reform. It starts with pieces from the panelists at Netroots Nation last weekend, including Sen. Udall, and has video playback of the entire panel.

Posted by: meander on July 29, 2010 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

Is it really that hard to get a warrant?"

Mr. Benen might want to edit that for clarity. As it's written, it might be misconstrued as a mild criticism of the Obama administration.

Posted by: flubber on July 29, 2010 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

CBS is quoting Times of London as saying that Wikileaks released names of Afghan informants along with all the other info. Assange, Founder of Wikileaks, says they held back multiple thousands of documents over exactly that concern. Hard to believe that three news organizations could fail to catch all that in the several weeks it took them to go over the documents.

Posted by: Rich2506 on July 29, 2010 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

I hear that Glenn Beck is again smearing Obama's family & calling Obama's parents communists.
I usually would not be vindictive, but I have to say 'has anyone googled Glenn Becks's family & early life?
after reading about them I now understand this sick evil man, his whole family seems to have had mental problems.Not that the mentally ill are evil, but in his case there are other problems.

Posted by: js on July 29, 2010 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

Get thee to DIGBY and read up on the fiasco that was HARDBALL today...Matthews had to redo the first segment (with a different guest along with Joan Walsh) in the "second edition" (not a regular occurance, I bet)...he was such a JERK on the first show at 5 and someone must have ripped him a new one badly enough that he had to "cover his ass" at 7pm...it would be funny if he wasn't such an overpaid piece of (fill in your own here)...

Posted by: Dancer on July 29, 2010 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

It should be an interesting gathering... The bigots break into a (Christian-patriotic, naturally) song and all their dogs raise *their* voices in contrapuntal caterwauling... If anyone lives in the area, please go and report.

Posted by: exlibra on July 29, 2010 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

First: Go Shirley Sherrod! Yeah, get some dirt on Fix Noose.
Rangel - it's pitiful and we shouldn't be defensive of him, but keep bringing up the corrupt Ensign (correct?) and why won't the media talk about him too.

Posted by: neil b on July 29, 2010 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

New phrases freshly caught on the web. Pull up a fork...

These phrases and words all from this brilliant New Yorker article by Elizabeth Kolbert:
The Scales Fall (Is there any hope for our overfished oceans?)

Peak fish

In the late nineteen-eighties, the total world catch topped out at around eighty-five million tons, which is to say, roughly 1.9 billion tons short of the Interior Department’s most lunatic estimate. This milestone—the point of what might be called “peak fish”—was passed without anyone’s quite realizing it, owing to inflated catch figures from the Chinese. (These fishy figures were later exposed as politically motivated fabrications.) For the past two decades, the global catch has been steadily declining. It is estimated that the total take is dropping by around five hundred thousand tons a year.
"Fishing down the food web" and "Myxocene"
Meanwhile, as the size of the catch has fallen, so, too, has the size of the creatures being caught. This phenomenon, which has become known as “fishing down the food web,” was first identified by Daniel Pauly, a fisheries biologist at the University of British Columbia. In “Five Easy Pieces: How Fishing Impacts Marine Ecosystems” (Island Press; $50), Pauly follows this trend to its logical—or, if you prefer, illogical—conclusion. Eventually, all that will be left in the oceans are organisms that people won’t, or can’t, consume, like sea slugs and toxic algae. It’s been argued that humans have become such a dominant force on the planet that we’ve ushered in a new geological epoch. Pauly proposes that this new epoch be called the Myxocene, from the Greek muxa, meaning “slime.”
Read the whole thing...
But only if you have a strong stomach that can tolerate a grim future...

Posted by: koreyel on July 29, 2010 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

Jonathan Cohn considers the "stupidity of liberal apathy."

To hell with that noise. Maybe the corporate Democrats should consider the stupidity of kicking their base in the face in the relentless pursuit of corporate cash. E.g. Obama and Rahm secretly dealing away the public option early in the process, then pretending they couldn't get it because of the likes of Blanche Lincoln.

And the BP fiasco wasn't just about letting Bush MMS continue without a thorough cleansing.

It's also about letting BP dump 1.8 million of gallons of Corexit into the Gulf for public relations reasons.


Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya����� on July 29, 2010 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin chose (b) Ten Questions for Sarah Palin's supporters who are also mothers

Posted by: virginia blues on July 29, 2010 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the news on the Tribal Law and Order Act. I read a ton of blogs everyday and you are the only one I saw this story on....until I clicked on the link. You are the best.

Posted by: Extreme Liberal on July 29, 2010 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone see Lawrence O'Donnell on Countdown tonight? The story I jumped on was about the Arlington National Cemetery lost or mis-placed gravesites. No, I don't really care about lost or missing bodies/remains as much as I care about how those bodies came to be there. Sen. McCaskill (D-MO)gets all hot and bothered about the incompetence of the superintendent and his underling who used outdated tracking tools and allowed bodies and remains to be mis-identified or misplaced on the cemetery grounds. O'Donnell falls all over her for being "authentically outraged...she earned her senate salary today"(paraphrased). Well, where was her authentic outrage when emergency war funding was passed and UIB delayed for weeks? I'm sure she said something, but did she rant and rave against the Republicans like she did this poor, ignorant bureaucrat from Arlington? Did she call into question the funding of the war and the corruption of the military contractors and the corruption of the senators holding up the votes for UIB...VA funding? ETC.? No, I don't think so. And, did Keith and Lawrence cover the details of the corruption that runs rampant and the role of NBC in that corruption and the cover-ups that are going on?
We are constantly being distracted from the real issues with these stories of Senatorial outrage. Nothing happens from it. The Banks still run congress;BP still avoids accountability; Wall Street still plays with Ponzi and no one equates this with the lack of jobs. More jobs means more money off the bottom line for investors; disparage the unemployed and send the jobs offshore. Where is the daily outrage, Sen. McCaskill?

Posted by: st john on July 30, 2010 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

I am simply in a funk at he major amount of column space, cable bandwidth, radio that those who are consumed by irrational hysteria and unreasoning paranoia command. Whether it's Beck, the Tea Party, the Republican Party, etc. Anger is not a terribly useful as emotion (it was mostly appropriate when we lived with sabre-toothed tigers, wooly mammoths, et al). It becomes more of a menace to the rest of us when it is driven by uninformed and well-armed dim bulbs seeking an outlet for their hysteria-driven paranoia. I dare you to listen to 10 consecutive Beck rants on Media Matters without feeling the urge to strap on body armor, get your assault rifle and go into a full-blown panic attack. Angry doesn't count when it's motivated by full-blown stupid.

Posted by: mickster on July 30, 2010 at 12:30 AM | PERMALINK

What other industrialized nation had a generation of adults so fooking lazy and suicidal as today's Americans?

I'd like to know at least someone at some time were just as fooking embarrassed and revolted by their nation as I am.

Posted by: Silver Owl on July 30, 2010 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

Please, if you don't do anything else, watch Anthony Weiner responding to the republicans about health care for the 9/11 responders. He is great, we should have more like him.The video is on DU.

Posted by: js on July 30, 2010 at 7:49 AM | PERMALINK



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