Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 25, 2011

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

* In the wake of Tunisia, civil unrest in Egypt: "Thousands of people calling for the end of the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak clashed with riot police here in the capital and in other Egyptian cities on Tuesday, on a day of some of the most serious civil unrest in recent memory. Three people were reported killed, two protesters in the port town of Suez and a soldier who died of injuries sustained during the protests in Cairo."

* This may not be quite what it appears to be: "President Obama will call for reducing the deficit during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, proposing a five-year freeze on non-defense government spending, officials said."

* Not the news we were hoping for: "Home prices slipped in nearly every major metropolitan area in November, with a few cities hitting their lowest levels since prices peaked about four years ago, according to a closely watched index released Tuesday."

* Federal courts in Arizona were in bad enough shape before, but given Judge John Roll's tragic death in the recent Tucson shootings, the courts have no choice but to declare a judicial emergency and walk away from its own rules about speedy trials. Maybe Senate Republicans could, I don't know, let the chamber vote on some judicial nominees or something.

* In the 1990s, congressional Republicans cultivated a real hatred for the United Nations. It's apparently getting worse.

* Remember that 2008 crash that very nearly destroyed the global economy? It was entirely preventable.

* Carol Browner, the White House's coordinator for energy and climate change policy, is poised to leave her post. Browner's intended role leading a push for action on the climate crisis didn't come together, and with her departure, progress will be even less likely.

* An odious, but largely symbolic, vote: "The House voted on Tuesday to direct the chairman of the Budget Committee to cut federal spending to 2008 levels on a broad array of programs, as they sought to play offense in what is expected to be a long battle with the Obama administration on fiscal policy."

* Fox News makes stuff up. Try not to be surprised.

* For someone who claims to be a "constitutional conservative" and devotee of the Founding Fathers, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is spectacularly ignorant when it comes to history.

* If the Republican Study Committee thinks the road to fiscal responsibility goes through cuts to education, it's sorely mistaken.

* For his next trick, Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) intends to gut several key environmental laws in his state.

* House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.) wants to make sure no one takes away his crown for Lawmaker Who Hates Muslim Americans Most.

* And rumor has it, there will be a State of the Union address in about three-and-a-half hours. If you're inclined to stop by, I'll be here, making various live-blogging observations.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (17)

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"Federal courts in Arizona ... have no choice but to declare a judicial emergency"

This should be more than enough cover for Obama to make recess appointments for judges. If some major city - say New Orleans - got hit by a huge natural disaster - say a hurricane - and said city declared a state of emergency, the President has a moral obligation (and, in the case of judges, a constitutional obligation) to use every tool in his toolbox to address the emergency. If there ever was a time to use that big hammer getting rusty at the bottom of the box, now would be that time.

Posted by: delNorte on January 25, 2011 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

That Bachmann video on CNN is just beyond belief. Chris Matthews covers it as well @ the half hour mark, and goes nuts trying to get a T-Party guest to explain her "balloonhead" remarks.

How perfect that this should come out just before she does her own response to Obama's SOTU.

Posted by: beep52 on January 25, 2011 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

Your NY Times link regarding the 2008 crash isn't allowing those of us who aren't paid subscribers to see anything.

Maybe you could tell us more that the one sentence listed?

Posted by: kindness on January 25, 2011 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

"* Not the news we were hoping for: "Home prices slipped . . . ."

Why is this bad news? Home prices are overly inflated, millions of people can't buy homes because of this.

I'm aware that this is "bad news" for homeowners and banks, but that doesn't make it bad for everyone.


Alan Tomlinson

Posted by: Alan Tomlinson on January 25, 2011 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

kindness: "those of us who aren't paid subscribers"

FYI: NYTimes.com doesn't charge for access. Except for a short time period, NYT has always been free online. Yes, you have to register, but it's free.

Posted by: Astrogeek on January 25, 2011 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

John Leonard's suggestion to pressure government contractors to pay their suppliers within 30 days is nice in principle, but doesn't really address the problem he identified.

Why not do something to actually free up desperately needed credit for small business owners like me, whose customers are actual people (not federal contractors)?

It's something he already promised us he would do, we believed in him, and his first attempt FAILED. We're still stuck.

Posted by: melior on January 25, 2011 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

I, and many other democrats are boo hooing about the situation in congress and the trouble with getting what we want out of the government. We have no one to blame but ourselves, democrats did not bother to vote in the mid terms, republicans did. We got what we deserve.

Posted by: JS on January 25, 2011 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

"President Obama will call for..."

Why don't we wait a few hours and we'll know for sure?? General rant against speculation posing as news.

Posted by: Grumpy on January 25, 2011 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

Fox News makes stuff up
Michelle Bachman stuff ends up
On CNN where her early returns
Indicate she has
By dint of an unusual sense of proportion
Courageously discovered
The two year olds stream of consciousness
We all left behind at three

Posted by: FRP on January 25, 2011 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

kindness - A Congression inquiry has reached the conclusion that the crisis was caused by "widespread failures in government regulation, corporate mismanagement and heedless risk-taking by Wall Street."

I know. Who would have guessed?

Posted by: Old School on January 25, 2011 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

Folks, could we please start calling Michelle Bachmann the leader of the republican party? The repubs would hate it, also some people are calling the republican health care fix the NO-Care bill, it apparently gets under their skin!

Posted by: JS on January 25, 2011 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

NO-Care bill? I'm so liking that! Let's spread that one around.

Posted by: Athena on January 25, 2011 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

Full text of SOTU here: http://www.nationaljournal.com/whitehouse/exclusive-obama-to-declare-the-rules-have-changed--20110125

Obama: "The Rules Have Changed"

Posted by: sloan on January 25, 2011 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

The filibuster reform went belly up, as expected. There's still a chance, though, that Republicans will be required to add "sir" to their "no".

Posted by: exlibra on January 25, 2011 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

For someone who claims to be a "constitutional conservative" and devotee of the Founding Fathers, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is spectacularly ignorant when it comes to history.

Yes, I am sure my Quaker ancestors would have a thing or two to say about this moronic bimbo's belief that "everyone was equal" when they got here. Had my ancestors bumped into North America 330 years ago 100 miles north of where they did (entirely possible with 17th Century navigation), they would have met those wonders of religious tolerance, the "Pilgrim Fathers", who would have put hot pokers through the tongues of the men for uttering their "heresies" and burned the women at the stake as witches. This actually happened to Quakers who had the misfortune to arrive in the despotic theocratic dictatorship known as "Plymouth Colony" as late as 1700.

I hate this asswipe bimbo worse than I hate that fucking moron Sarah Palin.

Posted by: TCinLA on January 26, 2011 at 12:37 AM | PERMALINK

I read the speech.

I wasnt impressed.

As if money is the only motivating factor in peoples lives. Obama made some mention of government investment when companies didnt have the capital to invest and cited the Internet and Nasa creations and the spinoffs. Its true Hamilton wanted to use taxpayers money for technological investments but bailing out to big too fail wasnt one of them. Subsidies to very profitable corporations such as oil wasnt one of them. Jobs have been offshored. GM sells more cars in China than here. 1.4 million jobs were created by American companies in communist China while their lackeys here wail incessantly about communism while profiting from it.

I read some person calling themselves a real conservative on the posts below the written speech claiming no actual conservative is for building more infrastructure. Srsly.

Overall the speech was one that you, American citizen must work harder while we loan corporations more money and Bernanke prints it ex nihilio.

Overall I give the speech a C.

Posted by: Kill Bill on January 26, 2011 at 5:09 AM | PERMALINK

"..and with her departure, progress will be even less likely."

She probably looked at the troglodyte House, and saw that staying was futile.

Posted by: bob h on January 26, 2011 at 5:22 AM | PERMALINK



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