Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 28, 2010

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

* Something to keep a close eye on in Afghanistan: "The commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan said Tuesday that the Taliban are approaching the Afghan government and foreign forces about laying down arms after almost nine years of insurgency. US General David Petraeus, who commands more than 150,000 NATO and US troops in Afghanistan, said many small insurgent groups had already made "overtures" to NATO forces about quitting the fight."

* Hoping to keep the government open: "The Senate voted 83-15 on Tuesday to end debate and move to consideration of a stopgap spending measure to avoid a government shutdown later this week. Senators could vote on final passage of the legislation Wednesday, then head out of town to campaign for the November midterm elections."

* Another successful filibuster: "Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked a Democratic plan to encourage companies to bring jobs back from overseas, as a united GOP caucus voted against a motion to debate the measure on the Senate floor."

* I don't know if we're allowed to talk about this without being accused of class warfare, but the income gap between the richest and poorest Americans grew last year "to its widest amount on record."

* The DNC's ongoing "Boehnerization" of the Republican Party continues with a new web video contrasting GOP rhetoric with Democratic action.

* Tragic shooting at the University of Texas.

* On a related note, an interesting report about gun violence: "A study due to be released this week by a coalition called Mayors Against Illegal Guns uses previously unavailable federal gun data to identify what it says are the states that most often export guns used in crimes across state lines. It concludes that the 10 worst offenders per capita, led by Mississippi, West Virginia and Kentucky, supplied nearly half the 43,000 guns traced to crime scenes in other states last year."

* When Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) talks about treating public colleges "like a business," he doesn't really know what he's talking about.

* Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D-La.) fealty to the oil industry just doesn't seem healthy.

* Wait, World War I isn't technically over?

* Fox News' Stuart Varney, who presents himself as some kind of business journalist, is painfully confused -- even by the network's low standards -- about the basics of economics. What an embarrassment.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (25)

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Comments

Fox News' Stuart Varney, who presents himself as some kind of business journalist, is painfully confused -- even by the network's low standards -- about the basics of economics. What an embarrassment.

Oh the STOOPIDITY hurts.

Posted by: Joe Friday on September 28, 2010 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

And republicans are going to get rewarded for purposefully lowering the IQ of America.

Posted by: Michael on September 28, 2010 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

Stuart Varney

Fox Business, and Neal Cavuto, never seem to actually discuss business.

Posted by: Kill Bill on September 28, 2010 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

"Senators could vote on final passage of the legislation Wednesday, then head out of town to campaign for the November midterm elections.""

So at the beginning of last week, our hopes for what the Senate could achieve before the were an end to Don't Ask Don't Tell, the DREAM act on immigration, the DISCLOSE act on election financing, a permanent extension of middle class tax cuts, and discouraging or stopping offshoring of American jobs.

By the beginning of this week, we're hoping that maybe by the time they knock off work they can maybe do the bare minimum rubberstamping necessary to prevent the entire government from shutting down.

Posted by: mcc on September 28, 2010 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

the Taliban are approaching the Afghan government and foreign forces about laying down arms [...] many small insurgent groups had already made "overtures" to NATO forces about quitting the fight."

"Just make the check out to Mahmoud Talibani Khan.. and thank you US taxpayers!"

Since belligerent conservatives (redundant, I know) and smug and smarmy liberal hawks would not have lied about the necessity of this war, we should not stop until the Taliban are eliminated.

This was no civil war, nor resistance to a foreign invasion - they are terrorists. They hate freedom and democracy, and our very way of life. They can't be reasoned with - they won't stop until the Caliphate!

They're not merely Pashto-speaking illiterate farmers, they can metamorphosize into world-traveling, Arabic-speaking elite al-Qaeda terrorists.

Even Obama has said if we don't fight them there, we will have to fight them here. Mr. Benen found "compelling" Obama's rationale of eliminating the uncontrolled regions of the world, where terrorism might fester beyond a government's reach.

Unless the NYT and Washington Post and the US govt have been making false insinuations, the Taliban are terrorists and nothing but rough justice is acceptable.

Posted by: flubber on September 28, 2010 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

When Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) talks about treating public colleges "like a business," he doesn't really know what he's talking about.

Actually, you can take any subject matter at all, no matter what it is, and find that Rick Perry doesn't know what he's talking about. The man gives a whole new dimension to the word "buffoon."

Posted by: electrolite on September 28, 2010 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

Tonight on NBC news: Chuck Todd was talking about the generic ballot per NBC-WSJ (already suspect, but not the point here.) He showed the GOP:Dems stats from awhile ago, the 49-40% and said GOP had been nine points ahead. Then showed new results 46-43, but said GOP lead down to six! Yes, he said "six" I heard it clearly even though the difference now is three points! Call/email/write, whatever and complain.

BTW Chuckster was also talking about how many people approve of Tea Party and repealing health care reform, seemed to hardly contain his glee.

Posted by: neil b on September 28, 2010 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on September 28, 2010 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

Short version of the post by mhr:

I'm a fucking moron, and I want everyone to know.

Posted by: POed Lib on September 28, 2010 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

@neil b: Are you sure that the Chuckster did not say the the gap diminished by 6 pts?

Posted by: POed Lib on September 28, 2010 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

POed, I'd want to listen again but I'm rather sure he said down to six points. And commentators rarely double up and speak of the points of change of the difference itself (the second-order difference.) I'll get back to you all when I can listen.

Posted by: Neil B on September 28, 2010 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

Another campus shooting, another use of an assault rifle to terrorize normal Americans. The NRA is a malevolent pox on our society.

Posted by: POed Lib on September 28, 2010 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

mhr,

the problem with most conservatives i know is that they are intellectually dishonest.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on September 28, 2010 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

we should not stop until the Taliban are eliminated

Because of course we have the capability and expertise to accomplish this goal -- we'll do it the same way as we triumphed over the Viet Cong.

oh wait ...

Posted by: joel hanes on September 28, 2010 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

Golly, the trolls are back! All over the internets! Some of that Citizens United money being put to good use! How does it feel to be a tool, guys?

Posted by: troglodyte on September 28, 2010 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

If you read that article about WWI to the end, you'll see that Keynes warned against fiscal punishment of Germany. Had the world listened to him, Germany's economy wouldn't have collapsed, and Hitler would have never risen to power.

In other words, if you're against Keynes, you're WITH THE NAZIS!

Posted by: Steve Simitzis on September 28, 2010 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

Yes Steve, the harsh treatment of Germany (not really a "bad guy" in the core sense that time despite some indulgence as per sub warfare etc.) after WWI was extremely petty and stupid and surely stimulated WWII. I think Wilson et al tried to tone things down but France had a wire on to stick the Krauts with the big one.

Posted by: neil b on September 28, 2010 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

While I agree that listening to France was amazingly stupid, their idiocy was not without provocation (Franco-Prussian War excerpt):

"The Third Republic had to give up Alsace-Lorrain, pay 5 billion francs, and accept Prussian army occupation. It was expected that France would take decades to pay off such a huge reparation. Bismarck went along with such a hard peace as he felt that the bitterness in France over the Commune and defeat would never go away. The French were nearly psychotic in their desire for revenge and Bismarck hoped to simply make it impossible for France to engineer a war of revenge. However, the French would pay off the entire debt to Prussia in only three years by foregoing nearly all other expenditures and by borrowing nearly every franc in the nation in order to rid France of the hated Prussian troops.

"During and after the Franco-Prussian War nationalistic feelings ran high among Germans. On January 18, 1871 (ten days before Paris was taken) Wilhelm I was proclaimed Emperor of Germany at the military headquarters in Versailles."

Rubbing it in is an excellent way to make certain that your neighbor hates you for a long time.

Posted by: freelunch on September 28, 2010 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know if we're allowed to talk about this without being accused of class warfare, but the income gap between the richest and poorest Americans grew last year "to its widest amount on record."************************

Why is it 'class warfare' if you talk about it, but not class warfare if you actually engage in, in fact instigate and promote, the very thing that the "talker" is talking about? Call it out, Steve. You got my backing, and a lot of others I know. It's exploitation by the corporations, the billionaires and millionaires (and by the politicians that they own) of the vast majority, of their fellow citizens, of the People. Call it whatever you want. If someone accuses you of engaging in 'class warfare', it's a good bet that they are engaging in it and don't want it exposed. Simply say, "Why you're right. Thank you for naming what you are doing." But the name is not so important. It is politico-corporate exploitation and amounts to income redistribution in favor of the very wealthy at the expense of the People. And it is turning us into a 3rd world country.

Posted by: In what respect, Charlie? on September 28, 2010 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

George Bush enacted the tax cuts which were class warfare in the most obvious and blatant sense, in that they took from the poor, and gave to the rich. How did they do this? By enacting tax cuts which were paid for by borrowing, and thus the repayment is now on the general ledger.

So fuck the assholes who whine about class warfare. I want the rich to pay their fair share, which should be upwards of 45% for anyone making 1 million+ in a year.

Posted by: POed Lib on September 28, 2010 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

I grew up in Poland, where the national motto, for more than 1500 yrs, might as well have been "will trade freedom for a better geographical position", since we were between the hammer (The Fatherland of Germany) and the anvil (The Motherland of Russia). We definitely, but definitely, always wanted to make sure that Germany was well-fed. 'cause, when the Germans weren't happy, they erupted. And always in our direction...

Posted by: exlibra on September 28, 2010 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

"Why is it 'class warfare' if you talk about it, but not class warfare if you actually engage in, in fact instigate and promote, the very thing that the "talker" is talking about?"

Took the words from my keyboard.
Folks that are being killed by class warfare need to call out the aggressors, loudly and publicly at every opportunity. Impoverished people are still voting for the rethuglicans because they don't have enough information. Rethuglicans don't want them to have the information needed to make an informed decision (this is where Fox News and the rest of the corporate mouthpiece networks do their job.) Let the wealthy squeal when the class warfare by the rich against the poor is exposed. Let them squeal like the pigs that they are.

Posted by: joe on September 28, 2010 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

What I find amusing is that it's very very very very very easy to legally by a gun in Texas yet it's listed near the bottom in that study.. I litterly could go pick up a gun tomorrow with a driver's license if I wanted to..

Posted by: matt on September 29, 2010 at 3:06 AM | PERMALINK

What's that? Liberals made us leave Afghanistan just when we were on the cusp of victory? Who could have imagined such a stab in the back? Surely not Gen. Petreus. Perhaps this stab in the back will prompt Petreus to revise his thoughts about the WH.

Posted by: square1 on September 29, 2010 at 7:30 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: Shelly Cox on February 2, 2011 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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