Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 17, 2010

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

* Hoping to prevent a disaster in Ireland: "A top British finance official said Wednesday that his country would help prop up Ireland's ailing finances - even as a team from the International Monetary Fund and European Union prepared to travel here to address the crisis and the Irish government signaled, for the first time, that it might be willing to accept a bailout."

* It wasn't as one-sided as some had guessed, but House Democrats today chose Nancy Pelosi to be the House Minority leader next year. She won with 150 votes from caucus members, 107 more than Heath Shuler received.

* On the other side of the aisle, House Republicans unanimously chose their leadership team today, including John Boehner for Speaker and Eric Cantor for Majority Leader.

* A big day for GM tomorrow.

* Is "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal dead? Not just yet.

* It looks like a real long-shot, but President Obama thinks Congress can and should pass the DREAM Act during the lame-duck session.

* More petty gamesmanship: "House Republicans announced Wednesday they plan to force a floor vote on defunding NPR in response to the firing of analyst Juan Williams last month."

* Warren Buffett uses an op-ed to thank government, specifically the Bush administration, for pulling the country back from financial doom during the financial crisis of 2008.

* All of those far-right cranks worried about inflation? They're deeply confused.

* I'm starting to think some of the far-right's opposition to President Obama is racist. Take Rush Limbaugh, for example.

* Birtherism in the Texas legislature is very likely a sign of things to come.

* Good question: "Exactly what ... would be an inappropriate amount of money to spend on college?"

* "Negotiation," by Clay Bennett, is one of my favorite political cartoons of the year.

* I'm really sorry to see the Washington Independent close its virtual doors. It did some amazing work over the last three years, served as a launching pad for some terrific journalists, and it'll be missed.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (26)

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Comments

College is too damned expensive and with too little reward for the investment.

Posted by: JEA on November 17, 2010 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Here is a story to warm the black hearts of insurance company execs.  Summary: The State of Arizona to CUT already approved organ transplants to save $4 million in  Medicaid, from NPR story this morning.

FIRST, the Republicans cut those who would die without transplants.  NEXT, they will cut those who need medication to live, as do AIDS patients. THEN, Jan Brewer will stop surgery for the ill and injured.  Finally, the GOP will cut insurance for all poor people with the effect that they die sooner and reduce the surplus population.

Charming people these Republicans....

Posted by: KurtRex1453 on November 17, 2010 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Chile, Iceland, and Ireland WERE the bright and shining examples of unfettered Milton Friedman 'supply side' economics being brilliantly applied.

Now, they ARE bright and shining examples of 'supply side' failures. It is not coincidence that the corporate media will use Ireland as as example of the opposite of this truth.

Posted by: SadOldVet on November 17, 2010 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

Hoping to prevent a disaster in Ireland:

Anybody remember just a few years ago when Ireland was being held up a model for European resergence? They followed much of the Republican economic model, cuting taxes on business, lowering regulations etc etc. They attracted a lot businesses, their economy was growing by leaps and bounds. Turned out they also followed us with lax financial controls and a bubble based economic system.

Posted by: thorin-1 on November 17, 2010 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

"* Warren Buffett uses an op-ed to thank government, specifically the Bush administration, for pulling the country back from financial doom during the financial crisis of 2008."

Yeah, the Rs have been so great for the country....

Posted by: Catch It on November 17, 2010 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

[...] and the Irish government signaled, for the first time, that it might be willing to accept a bailout." - Washington Post

The Celtic Tiger turning out to be pussy-whipped? Say it ain't so! Nobody could have predicted! Just as the SadOldVet and Thorin-1 (@17:53 and 17:55, respectively) point out :)

And yeah, I will sorely miss the Washington Independent though I wasn't reading it as regularly as I used to when they still had Weigel, Lowrey an Lillis writing for them...

Posted by: exlibra on November 17, 2010 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm starting to think some of the far-right's opposition to President Obama is racist."

What tipped you off - after 2 years?

Posted by: Mark-NC on November 17, 2010 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

"* I'm starting to think some of the far-right's opposition to President Obama is racist. Take Rush Limbaugh, for example."

Gee, you think?

Posted by: SF on November 17, 2010 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

> Eric Cantor for Majority Leader


I've got a very bad feeling about this ...


Posted by: joel hanes on November 17, 2010 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

"House Republicans announced Wednesday they plan to force a floor vote on defunding NPR in response to the firing of analyst Juan Williams last month."

Oh, great, so now the right wing thinks it's appropriate for lawmakers to get involved in agencies' individual HR issues? Oh, that's going to be great. The Trooper Wooten issue writ large on a national scale.

Posted by: g on November 17, 2010 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

closeted racism is the underlying motivation for anyone connected to the vocal Tea Party like all of the far right radio/TV jocks. "Everyone" knows this but never mentions this dirty little secret lest you are prepared to be attacked.

Posted by: Bruce Lawton on November 17, 2010 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

"Warren Buffett uses an op-ed to thank government, specifically the Bush administration, for pulling the country back from financial doom during the financial crisis of 2008."

Go see Charles Ferguson's "Inside Job" and learn how it was the least that Paulson and the Wall Street gang could do since they were so integral to orchestrating the disaster in the first place.

Posted by: withay on November 17, 2010 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

@ KurtRex1453 Do you have a link or citation? Republican Death Panels? I am not going to play the unsubstantiated rumor game ( see $200 million a day trip) We are better than that

Posted by: John R on November 17, 2010 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

I'm starting to think some of the far-right's opposition to President Obama is racist.

Golly, gee whiz, are we still in Kansas?

What a ridiculous statement, Steve. Where have you been? The latent racism in this country was bound to become blatant when the first (half) black man reached the WH. Lush Bimbo and his ilk have been preparing the ground for years by giving their dittoheads permission to express racist, homophobic, nativist, views. Even if Obama wasn't a wimp, and managed to reign in the vicious right - he hasn't and he won't - and did the right thing for working class Americans, which he hasn't, the racism would still be blatant.

The red necks in the hinterlands of the homeland are alive and well. Let's staunch all the mock shock. Tolerance in this benighted country is limited to the urban coasts. The rest of the country might just as well be in the 19th century.

Posted by: rrk1 on November 17, 2010 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

DADT is dead. Obama killed it. He has just lost the tolerance vote because he promised it would be repealed. Obama's political Ineptitude in this and other matters raises the question of what his real position is. Does he really want DADT repealed or not? If he says he does, and then doesn't win, how does that bring voters to his side? The man is a disaster.

Posted by: rrk1 on November 17, 2010 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

All of those far-right cranks worried about inflation? They're deeply confused.

We could use some inflation to combat the DEFLATION.

The American RightWing isn't confused, they're from Bizarro World.


Posted by: Joe Friday on November 17, 2010 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

Not that I'm particularly worried, but won't it be interesting to see what decades-long employee Juan Williams says about that (if Fox will let him answer any questions).

Something like, "Sure, I'm pissed off that they fired me, but public radio is way too important to abandon just because one person in a nation of three hundred million has a specific grudge?"

Or something like [crickets]?

Posted by: Matt on November 17, 2010 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm starting to think some of the far-right's opposition to President Obama is racist."
Gee, ya think? I was discussing politics with a friend today and realized that, to the Republicans, there's just a n.... in the Whitehouse. So they will do anything, anything to get him out. Knowing that, it makes it easier to understand what they do.

Posted by: Wayne on November 17, 2010 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

rrk1 says: Tolerance in this benighted country is limited to the urban coasts. The rest of the country might just as well be in the 19th century.

Didn't you read this bit from This Week In God on Saturday, rrk1?

“Not everyone who thinks they need an exorcism actually does need one,” said Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., who organized the conference. “It’s only used in those cases where the Devil is involved in an extraordinary sort of way in terms of actually being in possession of the person...But it’s rare, it’s extraordinary, so the use of exorcism is also rare and extraordinary,” he said. “But we have to be prepared.”

19th century? You wish! Try the 14th or so...

Posted by: President Lindsay on November 17, 2010 at 9:21 PM | PERMALINK

I'm starting to think some of the far-right's opposition to President Obama is racist.

The racist hatred is blatant, but try to imagine how worse it would be if he were an angry black man! Just imagine how he would be vilified, and how all those rich, white male congressmen would turn against him even more quickly.

For all those who have urged Obama to "grow a pair" or "man up" or whatever (all subtlety racist in their own right in de-masculating a black male), just try to imagine how much worse the dialogue could be right now.

Posted by: cr on November 17, 2010 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

cr, that's a really scary and depressing thought. Makes me really want to stand up for Obama even more (even though I have a few bones to pick...).

Posted by: Sapient on November 17, 2010 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

Trivia time!

Who said the following:

"We should support whatever the enemy opposes and oppose whatever the enemy supports."

Was it: a) Josef Stalin
b) Benito Mussolini
c) Mao Tse Tung
d) William March "Boss" Tweed
e) Mayor Daley Sr.
f) Sen. Mitch McConnell
g) Rep. John Boehner

Answer: c. Mao Tse Tung: "Interview with Three Correspondents from the Central News Agency, the Sao Tang Pao and the Hsin Min Pao" (September 16, 1939), Selected Works, Vol. II, p. 272. See: http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/works/red-book/ch02.htm

Posted by: pj in jesusland on November 17, 2010 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

I guess I'll have to read the damn book to see how 'over long stretches of time, college costs have been rising at a faster pace than income per worker, yet the average worker’s actual dollar income has gone up by more than the costs, leaving more resources on the family table to spend on other things.' Did this guy just graduate from the Sarah Palin school of applied mathematics?

Posted by: Nat on November 17, 2010 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

The Clay Bennett cartoon isn't bad, but my favorite take on the situation still has to be Keith Knight's take: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/think-post-election-red-cartoon.html

Posted by: Erik on November 18, 2010 at 1:54 AM | PERMALINK

John R: @ KurtRex1453 Do you have a link or citation? Republican Death Panels? I am not going to play the unsubstantiated rumor game ( see $200 million a day trip) We are better than that

In the remote chance that John or anyone else checks this thread in the morning, I think this is what Kurt is referring to:

Budget cuts stop Phoenix man from getting new liver

Posted by: Dwight on November 18, 2010 at 6:32 AM | PERMALINK

My suggestion is a global Milton Friedman day celebrated every November 16th in the Guy Fawkes style of burning an effigy.

Posted by: m'kay on November 18, 2010 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK
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