Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 21, 2010

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

* The total is still obviously too high, but it was good to see the initial jobless claims drop even more than expected over the last week.

* Passing the Affordable Care Act was a milestone achievement, but it was the first of many steps. Implementing the new law will be a major undertaking, and today's initial work on medical-loss ratios was very encouraging. (When consumer advocates are thrilled, and insurance industry lobbyists are not, it's a good sign.)

* I realize why the Juan Williams story is interesting, but reasonable people should be able to agree his story isn't similar to Shirley Sherrod's.

* Most of the benefactors backing Karl Rove's attack operations are still secret, but not all of them -- the financier of the Swift Boat Liars ponied up $7 million recently.

* As you've no doubt heard, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the Pentagon to go back to enforcing DADT late yesterday.

* Farcical: "Dick Morris used his position as a Fox News 'political analyst' to tout and solicit donations for the Republican-aligned group Americans for New Leadership weeks after they began paying him thousands of dollars. During his appearances, Morris did not disclose that he was receiving money from the group."

* Speaking of Fox News, the Republican network is being sued by a former employee who claims he was fired after complaining about workplace racism.

* The regional trends are unmistakable: in the Northeast, where sex-ed is the norm, teen-birth rates are extremely low. In the "Bible Belt," where abstinence education is the norm, teen-birth rates are extremely high. That's not a coincidence.

* I don't really mind that Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen (D) attacked the Affordable Care Act in the Wall Street Journal. I mind that his argument is filled with errors of fact and judgment.

* The country seems to be growing a lot more segregated by education.

* Have I mentioned lately that Tom Toles is a national treasure? Well, he is.

* A Tea Party group in South Dakota is sponsoring an event with Glenn Beck in just a few days. The venue holds 10,000 people, and around 9,000 seats are still available.

* And my favorite quote of the day comes from a woman named Kelly Khuri, a prominent Tea Party activist in Indiana, who tried to explain why she's so opposed to the idea of dealing with the climate crisis. "Carbon regulation, cap and trade, it's all just a money-control avenue," Khuri said. "Some people say I'm extreme, but they said the John Birch Society was extreme, too." That has to be one of my favorite quotes in a long while.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (28)

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Comments

"but they said the John Birch Society was extreme, too"

why yes. yes they did.

Posted by: zeitgeist on October 21, 2010 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

"Juan Williams bags new $2 million contract with Fox News."

How our media works: If you're willing to say that people in "muslim garb" "make you nervous", there will always be a job for you.

Posted by: mcc on October 21, 2010 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

"Some people say I'm extreme, but they said the John Birch Society was extreme, too."

and they were correct.

Posted by: fourlegsgood on October 21, 2010 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

Californians vote to legalize marijuana...

The smell of marijuana is in the air,
It's time to vote?
Who gives a care!?
With candidates like these,
I can't be specific.
But with a few more puffs,
They ALL look terrific!

Posted by: mmm on October 21, 2010 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

The regional trends are unmistakable: in the Northeast, where sex-ed is the norm, teen-birth rates are extremely low. In the "Bible Belt," where abstinence education is the norm, teen-birth rates are extremely high. That's not a coincidence.

The problem is obvious. Some of that elist northern thinking is getting down to the South via the intertubes and polluting those poor routhern children's minds.

Either that or Obama is going around impregnating white girls.

Posted by: thorin-1 on October 21, 2010 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

You could've bought that Whopper for a dollar. I did. Ding!

Also Kelly, Yogi called, he wants to make a donation. He said he'll pay cash, which is just as good as money!

Posted by: jsacto on October 21, 2010 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

In the "Bible Belt," where abstinence education is the norm, teen-birth rates are extremely high. That's not a coincidence.

Not for nothing, but when I went to high school in TX in the 70's, getting pregnant was a cause for scandal. Now, a friend who is a school administrator tells me that most high schools in the district (Austin) have day care centers on site because so many girls get knocked up.

Terrible.

Posted by: fourlegsgood on October 21, 2010 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

@fourlegsgood: How progressive of TX to provide day care for its teenaged mothers. And, they get a jump start on teaching Creationism from cradle to grave. Perhaps this is a conspiracy to increase the population of Tea Baggers and thus a voting block that has no ability or desire to use critical thinking. Perhaps the pregnancies are not accidental?

Just a thought!

Posted by: st john on October 21, 2010 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Benen,

Please stop putting on rosy glasses when looking at initial unemployment claims. Look at Calculated Risk for the chart and notice that the new normal is quite high. Every week you say that initial jobless claims are dropping, but they haven't changed in months and the overall number is way too high.

http://calculatedriskimages.blogspot.com/2010/10/weekly-initial-unemployment-claims-oct_21.html

Posted by: uber_snotling on October 21, 2010 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

** Please forgive the OT, but... **

...is anyone else suffering repetitive browser crashes when opening pages here at WaMo and/or clicking links from WaMo main-page or comments to other sites?

My Safari 3.0 (on Mac 10.4) is crashing several times daily for the last few days, and usually when I'm going to or from here (Firefox doesn't appear to be affected)...

As you were...

Posted by: smartalek on October 21, 2010 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

dear uber_snoting,

apparently you do not read this blog that often, at least not on thursdays. steven benen regularly comments on the labor department's latest initial claims number whether they're rising or fall or staying the same. it's kind of hard to see them in a positive light even through rose-colored glasses.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on October 21, 2010 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

I remember Jonathan Edwards being fired from Morning Edition for not being conservative. Boy did Fox News jump to his defense back then--non stop blasting. One for the record books. They believe in free speech without exception and were outraged that an important progressive voice had been silenced because Karl Rove had demanded it. Have we not learned everything? Why Sarah Palin was forced to tweet about it! Hope they can keep the outrage going for another two weeks, distressed as they are by constitutional imperatives and all.

Posted by: Sparko on October 21, 2010 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

My fave quote from the same article as Ms. Khuri's quote appears:
'"(Human-caused climate change is) a flat-out lie,” Mr. Dennison said...adding that he had based his view on the preaching of Rush Limbaugh and the teaching of Scripture. “I read my Bible,” Mr. Dennison said. “He made this earth for us to utilize."'

Although the Birch thing was pretty damn funny.

Posted by: jane on October 21, 2010 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

You want to know who's been donating the big bucks to the u.s. chamber?

Top Companies Aid Chamber of Commerce in Policy Fights


Posted by: mudwall jackson on October 21, 2010 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

...around 9,000 seats are still available out of 10,000 in SD...

Or put another way, around 1000 seats sold in the state of South Dakota to see Beck. Isn't that a mandate?

Posted by: Kevin (not the famous one) on October 21, 2010 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

manual, stuff's being "catapulted" here, but it's not Mr. Benen doing it...

Posted by: Doug on October 21, 2010 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

manual, @19:09,

I guess you probably *have to* change your "handle" daily to peddle your poopy-doo here but, "manual"? Really? Have you run that one past Pristine O'Donnell for acceptability?

Posted by: exlibra on October 21, 2010 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

Early nomination for This Week In God:

D'oh! Simpsons are not Catholic

Not sure which is funnier, the Vatican claiming Homer, or Simpson's producer Al Jean's response:

"We’ve pretty clearly shown that Homer is not Catholic. I really don’t think he could go without eating meat on Fridays—for even an hour."

The story has actually caused some angst in Rome, with calls for the editor of the Vatican newspaper to resign.

Posted by: Dwight on October 21, 2010 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

'The regional trends are unmistakable: in the Northeast, where sex-ed is the norm, teen-birth rates are extremely low. In the "Bible Belt," where abstinence education is the norm, teen-birth rates are extremely high. That's not a coincidence.'

Right. Southerners may be thinking that that's just fine. They will get more Bible thumping Republicans down the line.

Posted by: sparrow on October 21, 2010 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

I realize why the Juan Williams story is interesting, but reasonable people should be able to agree his story isn't similar to Shirley Sherrod's.

But you realize that we are not dealing with reasonable people, right?

Any right-winger fired by any company or government agency is a victim of a leftwing jihad. It does not matter why the person was fired.

Posted by: James E. Powell on October 21, 2010 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps this is a conspiracy to increase the population of Tea Baggers and thus a voting block that has no ability or desire to use critical thinking. Perhaps the pregnancies are not accidental?

Just a thought!
Posted by: st john on October 21, 2010 at 6:50 PM

Unfortunately, the way things seem to be going, it would seem that particular voting block encompasses a much larger portion of the population than just the Tea Party idiots.

Posted by: electrolite on October 21, 2010 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK

Just heard on MSNBC that in the U.S. the 74 top earners make as much as the 19 million bottom earners. Third world: move over.

Posted by: PEA on October 22, 2010 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

Hey looky who woke up...

Glenn Greenwald:

If it's not completely intolerable to have active-duty soldiers handcuffing American journalists on U.S. soil while acting as private "guards" for Senate candidates, what would be?

Yeah Glenn. These are the pricks who if they come to power will throw you in Gitmo without missing a sip. And you are just now realizing who the real enemy is? Two weeks from the midterms? Heck of a post Greenie!

Posted by: koreyel on October 22, 2010 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

Dick Morris used to be a Democrat then he became a Republican, but he has always been a whore. Apologies to hardworking whores every where.

Posted by: Ron Byers on October 22, 2010 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

NPR was right to fire Juan Williams. His anti-Muslim remarks were inappropriate; but it is more inappropriate for an NPR commentator to work for a fake news network that is really a political organization.

homer www.altara.blogspot.com

Posted by: altara on October 22, 2010 at 6:58 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, Tom Toles is a national treasure. However, David Horsey of the Seattle P-I On-line should be elevated to that lofty position, as well. I highly recommend his cartoon and commentary of October 20, where he writes that the Tea Party is not interested in helping "Real Americans". His cartoon displays the TP Finance Committee with the huge sign above which reads "BIG BUSINESS".

Posted by: berttheclock on October 22, 2010 at 7:51 AM | PERMALINK

I guess it's not surprising that a number of candidates this year are running as "one of the common folk" this year but what's peculiar is that so many of them are the meg-rich. So we are being asked to believe that multi-millionaires in New York, California, Florida, Alaska and other states are "ordinary citizens" running to help out other middle class citizens. What's even more peculiar is the number of people around the country believing the lie. The middle class voting for the meg-rich is a lot like the chicken voting for Colonel Sanders.

Posted by: Steve Banko on October 22, 2010 at 7:57 AM | PERMALINK

Steve,

While I agree that proper sex education has a positive impact on reducing teen births, educational attainment of the mother is even more important. I did not have time to find gender specific information; however, there is a strong correlation between states with the lowest educational attainment (both genders) and teen births.

State
"=>" HS Rank
"=>" BS Deg Rank
"=>" Adv Deg Rank
Teen Birth Rate Rank
Mississippi
50
50
51
1
New Mexico
40
34
17
2
Texas
49
32
35
3
Arkansas
44
49
49
4
Oklahoma
33
42
42
5
Arizona
36
31
26
6
Kentucky
47
48
38
7
Tennessee
42
44
43
8
Louisiana
48
47
47
9
Nevada
35
45
45
10
South Carolina
41
40
36
11
Alabama
45
46
37
12
Georgia
39
21
23
13
District of Columbia
30
1
1
14
North Carolina
38
29
33
15
Wyoming
0
41
40
16
West Virginia
43
51
48
17
Alaska
3
25
20
18
Kansas
12
17
22
19
Missouri
31
36
29
20
Indiana
28
43
39
21
Florida
32
26
28
22
Colorado
15
4
9
23
Hawaii
10
16
19
24
Idaho
17
37
41
25
Ohio
24
39
31
26
Montana
6
22
32
27
Delaware
23
24
15
28
South Dakota
18
33
46
29
California
46
14
14
30
Illinois
29
15
12
31
Oregon
19
19
16
32
Nebraska
7
20
30
33
Utah
5
18
27
34
Washington
11
12
13
35
Iowa
8
38
44
36
Virginia
27
7
5
37
Michigan
21
35
24
38
Maryland
22
3
3
39
Pennsylvania
26
27
21
40
Wisconsin
13
30
34
41
North Dakota
14
28
50
42
Rhode Island
37
13
10
43
Minnesota
1
11
18
44
Maine
9
23
25
45
New York
34
10
6
46
New Jersey
25
6
8
47
Connecticut
20
5
4
48
Vermont
4
8
7
49
Massachusetts
16
2
2
50
New Hampshire
2
9
11
51

Posted by: Bob on October 23, 2010 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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