Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 18, 2010

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

* The first step is admitting you have a problem: "Irish officials acknowledged for the first time Thursday that Ireland was seeking aid from international lenders to try to end the debt crisis stemming from the country's failed banks that has hurt confidence in its long-term finances and renewed doubts about the stability of the euro."

* A slight uptick, but in line with expectations: "New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits rose slightly last week as expected, a government report showed on Thursday, but the underlying trend remained tilted toward a gradual improvement in the labor market."

* Congressional Republicans just don't like the unemployed: "An extension of jobless benefits enacted this summer expires Dec. 1, and on Thursday, a bill to extend them for three months failed in the House. Democrats brought the bill to the floor under fast-track rules that required a two-thirds vote to pass. Republicans opposed the legislation because they were denied a chance to attach spending cuts, so the measure fell despite winning a 258-154 majority."

* The House Ethics Committee has recommended censure for Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.).

* The first post-election Republican measure in the House was a proposal to de-fund NPR. It failed.

* Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), to his enormous credit, is showing some passion in urging the Senate to ratify New START. He's talking, of course, to members of his own caucus. The White House, meanwhile, is getting more involved with each passing day.

* Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf wants a second term. He deserves one, but House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) may block Elmendorf because he's published budget reports that Republicans didn't find helpful. Remember, GOP officials only want to hear evidence they already agree with.

* Remember that Rand Paul supporter who stomped on a defenseless woman's head? He's pleading not guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge.

* Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) suggests a message for Democrats: "Americans do not negotiate with hostage-takers." That seems like a reasonable maxim. (Republicans, I think he's talking about you.) [Update: Link fixed.)

* The Heritage Foundation's opposition to funding the Pell Grant program really doesn't make any sense.

* The things Fox News pundits say about Sarah Palin are a lot more interesting during commercial breaks, when they think no one's listening.

* And in Arkansas, a new Republican state lawmaker and champion of the Confederate Battle Flag, was asked this week what that flag means to him. "It's a symbol of Jesus Christ above all else," Loy Mauch said. "It's a symbol of Biblical government." I think he was serious.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (23)

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Comments

Someone needs to send Representative Mauch a copy of the BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC, to remind him which side God was on in the war to free the slaves and save the Republic.

Posted by: Theda Skocpol on November 18, 2010 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

"Americans do not negotiate with hostage-takers."


And that's why I love my congressman.

Posted by: John on November 18, 2010 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

The link to the Inslee article is not working.

Posted by: befuggled on November 18, 2010 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

This is rich: on the front page of DailyKos there's a picture of Boehner giving a press conference this afternoon, instead of attending the Slurpee Summit:

"You know how John Boehner and the Republicans were too busy to meet with President Obama and Democrats to talk about tax cuts? Well, here's what caused their "scheduling conflict" -- a press conference...at which Boehner demanded, among other things, that Democrats agree to extend all Bush tax cuts on income over $250,000."

I hope someone shows a picture of that to the President.

Posted by: delNorte on November 18, 2010 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Jay Inslee "hostages" link is broken. Please fix it so I can read the full story. Thanks!

Posted by: nancy on November 18, 2010 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

The idea that the Confederate Battle Flag is a symbol of Jesus Christ and a symbol of Biblical government is a nice example of the thought disorder that characterizes modern conservative thinking. It also explains why thinking Americans are leaving the Christian church.

Who would ever imagine that the losers in a war that ended 145 years ago could be in a position to screw up the USA so badly today. Talk about biding your time until you can have your revenge.

Posted by: PTate in Mn on November 18, 2010 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Some clarification and perspective for Benen...

"Congressional Republicans just don't like the unemployed..."

As long as they are on our payroll, they damn well better not like the unemployed. Hell, we wealthy republicans DO NOT LIKE the employed for anything other than what they can contribute to increasing our wealth!

"The Heritage Foundation's opposition to funding the Pell Grant program really doesn't make any sense."

Actually, it makes a lot of sense. My fellow wealthy republicans fund the Heritage Foundation and their job is to provide 'an intellectual foundation' as justification for what we want. Why the hell should we want Pell Grants? They just go to the peons who should be doing menial work for us and makes them want more money than they are worth to us. Besides that, all public education is a waste of our money. The only persons receiving more than as much technical education as we need them to have are the heirs to money and those who we determine can bring value to us by being educated.

Posted by: RepublicanPointOfView on November 18, 2010 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

* Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) suggests a message for Democrats: "Americans do not negotiate with hostage-takers." That seems like a reasonable maxim.

The link on this bit is broken.

Posted by: Shade Tail on November 18, 2010 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

I know that RPOV is a trollmedian, but I'd like to respond briefly to the point s/he is making:
The wealthy (annual incomes over, say, $500,000 & liquid assets over $1,000,000) seem to lack any foresight or historical vision. At some point, just as the earth will be depleted of accessible fossil fuel, so the wealthy will be deprived of a healthy workforce, who are also the consumers of their products and services. As long as our perceived wealth is based on consumption by human beings, there has to be a repository of said human beings capable of producing and consuming said production. I wonder who is advising the so-called wealthy, who, in my mind, are actually very poor in spirit and consciousness?

It is not an exaggeration to say that "the wealthy" are in the process of destroying the very source of their wealth by their greed and lack of compassion for life, in any form. We can get angry and say nasty things about "them," but until we are willing to take responsibility for our own complicity in enabling "their" greed, we may not stand back as victims to their misbehavior. In fact, we are never victims, only volunteers. It is not always easy to be accountable, but it is always right!

End of sermon.
peace,
st john

Posted by: st john on November 18, 2010 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK
Someone needs to send Representative Mauch a copy of the BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC, to remind him which side God was on in the war to free the slaves and save the Republic.

Opinions differ. Don't forget that the South's motto was Deo Vindice -- "with God as our Protector".

Posted by: noncarborundum on November 18, 2010 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

* Congressional Republicans just don't like the unemployed: "An extension of jobless benefits enacted this summer expires Dec. 1, and on Thursday, a bill to extend them for three months failed in the House. -- Steve Benen

So, remind me, please... *Just who* is waging the War on Christmas? Because, real-terms, that's what it's gonna be. Not only will those "work-shy lazy bums" suffer, but everyone else who's trying to make a living peddling something or other, like Christmas ornaments, toys, etc will get zapped too, via the trickle down, piss-poor economy.

And thanks for fixing the link on Inslee. *Very nice*. Especially how he uses heavy artillery word-wise, but remains calm and collected throughout, without any ranting or sobbing a la Bane-er.

Posted by: exlibra on November 18, 2010 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

Don't forget that the South's motto was Deo Vindice -- "with God as our Protector" -- noncarborundum, @19:06

They weren't the last to have claimed God's goodwill for themselves. There's also Hitler's army with their "Gott mit Uns" engraved on their belt buckles. Makes one wonder, doesn't it, that, perhaps, the worst villains are actually aware of needing that protection...

Posted by: exlibra on November 18, 2010 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

* The first post-election Republican measure in the House was a proposal to de-fund NPR.

Control the media. The Republicans are so obvious.

If they thought this was such a great idea, why didn't they de-fund BP for its "mistake", as Rand Paul would say.

Posted by: justaguy2 on November 18, 2010 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

"Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf wants a second term. He deserves one, but House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) may block Elmendorf because he's published budget reports that Republicans didn't find helpful. Remember, GOP officials only want to hear evidence they already agree with."

'Remember, GOP officials only want to hear propaganda they already agree with.'

FIXED.

Posted by: Joe Friday on November 18, 2010 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

As I recall, Lincoln said "my concern is not whether G-d is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on G-d's side." Then again, these neo-Confederates probably don't care for what the Great Emancipator said. They probably would have opposed Alexander II, the Tzar Liberator, emancipating the serfs as well. Cheap labor, and all.

It seems to me that the gods (note the lower case) worshiped by most of today's GOP are the dollar and the car. Question the worship of either, and you're clearly a godless communist-fascist-socialist-Muslim-atheist-homosexual terrorist. Or something.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on November 18, 2010 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

If he truly believes the Confederate flag symbolizes Jesus Christ Arkansas State Senator Loy Mauch is the very definition of an idolater.

Thank God for secular humanism.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on November 18, 2010 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

...so the measure fell despite winning a 258-154 majority - SB

Wouldn't it be a clever time warp trick to show something like this to the framers? We could all be appalled together.

Posted by: Kevin (not the famous one) on November 18, 2010 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

@Kevin: my daughter calls me Doctor Who, but, sadly, the real scientist in me has concluded that time travel is impossible.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on November 18, 2010 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

The Heritage Foundation's opposition to funding the Pell Grant program really doesn't make any sense.

Yes it does. Republicans don't want money going to the undeserving poor, brown/black people, anchor babies, those lazy crackhead unemployed, deadbeats who couldn't pay their mortgages, and on, and on, and on...

Posted by: Daddy Love on November 18, 2010 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

I thought the teapers wanted each tax cut standing on its own merit and not attached to other bills.
~~~~~~
A flag invented well after the time of Jesus is a flag for biblical government..?

Someone should tell this guy Mauch about the Danbury Baptists:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties. ~Th Jefferson 1801 letter to Danbury Baptists. http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9806/danpre.html
Posted by: Kill Bill on November 18, 2010 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

And to think, Ireland was once touted by free-market capitalist Flat Taxers as being the crown jewel of flat tax rates and free-market capitalism.

Unfortunately, Ireland ended up being built out of fool's gold straw, with chances being that Ireland will see a repeat of the Potato Famine of the 1800s, with the wealthy doing just fine while the peasants get screwed.

Posted by: The Oracle on November 18, 2010 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK

And to think, Ireland was once touted by free-market capitalist Flat Taxers as being the crown jewel of flat tax rates and free-market capitalism. -- The Oracle, @22:38

Just as Chile had been praised for its privatised "Social Security" equivalent, once upon the time (actually, within my memory, which means no longer ago than 5 yrs ). Of course, once-upon-the time, unicorns roamed every forest, too.

Posted by: exlibra on November 18, 2010 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

An extension of jobless benefits enacted this summer expires Dec. 1, and on Thursday, a bill to extend them for three months failed in the House.

Merry Christmas, America.

Posted by: chrenson on November 19, 2010 at 6:04 AM | PERMALINK
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