Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 3, 2011

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

* Violence rages in Egypt: "Protesters and government supporters fought in a second day of rock-throwing battles at a central Cairo square while more lawlessness spread around the city. New looting and arson erupted."

* The attacks on journalists are astounding: "Security forces and gangs chanting in favor of the Egyptian government hunted down journalists at their offices and in the hotels where many had taken refuge on Thursday in a widespread and overt campaign of intimidation aimed at suppressing reports from the capital. By evening, it appeared that none of the major broadcasters were able to provide live footage of Tahrir Square, the epicenter of antigovernment protests."

* It's surprising, but the Mubarak government still has some high-profile American backers on the right, including conservative media figures and Republican members of Congress.

* A step in the right direction: "Applications for jobless benefits decreased by 42,000 to 415,000 in the week ended Jan. 29, Labor Department figures showed today."

* Taking the message on the road: "President Obama brought a message of economic innovation and clean energy to this key swing state on Thursday, even as his administration continued to grapple with the rapidly changing uprising in Egypt. In a speech at Pennsylvania State University, Mr. Obama promised new tax incentives, government investment and revamped regulations for energy efficiency."

* Bernanke at the National Press Club: "The economy is poised to grow more rapidly this year, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said Thursday, dismissing fears that rising fuel prices will trigger broad-based inflation. But he stressed that it will still take several years before the unemployment rate comes down to normal levels. "

* It's heartening to hear Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' (D-Ariz.) condition continues to improve.

* Last year, a bipartisan group of senators worked for months to pass a resolution calling for greater freedom and democracy in Egypt. Thanks to secret holds, it never reached the floor.

* The White House White Board is back. In this edition, we see Austan Goolsbee, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, talk up the "Startup America" initiative for U.S. entrepreneurs.

* Ted Frier makes the case than when it comes to risking default on U.S. debt, there's a "method to GOP madness."

* For now, it looks like the Pell Grant program will be fully funded. If that sticks, it's good news.

* And the right is back to talking about impeaching President Obama again. It's been weeks since conservatives banged this drum; I was starting to think they'd forgotten about it.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (9)

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Comments

Think how hard it is for folks in Egypt to, say, read this blog.

We can have a discussion here, but if my brethren in Egypt cannot join in, then I have a bitter taste in my mouth.

To all despots everywhere, get a life.

To the rest of us, Reclaim what is ours.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on February 3, 2011 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Ted Frier makes the case than when it comes to risking default on U.S. debt, there's a ’method to GOP madness’.

Once again, the House Dems should just walk out when the debt ceiling legislation comes up for a vote. Let Speaker Blubber try to round up a majority from his own Republicans. Meanwhile, Obama should say it’s up to the new Republican Majority to send him a CLEAN debt ceiling bill, and he cannot act until they do, so the responsibility in on them.


Posted by: Joe Friday on February 3, 2011 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

Frier spins something of a conspiracy theory about possible financial manipulation to create the false appearance of a crisis; I've seen nothing to indicate that the approaching debt ceiling isn't real.

He offers a much more complicated, and devious, explanation for something which is pretty transparent. DeMint, the Tea Party and the other hard-liners see this as an opportunity to force Congress and the Administration to cut spending. They threaten to hold the debt ceiling hostage to their demands for extensive budget cuts; they appear to think that, if the debt ceiling isn't raised, in order to avoid default on debt the Government will be forced to reduce spending.

The simplest explanation is usually the correct one. You don't need to read into this some obscure conspiracy by business to reap some sort of mysterious profit from the crisis. This gives every indication of being a purely ideological move by the hard-line right to force a reduction in the size of the Federal Government.

Posted by: DRF on February 3, 2011 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

"But he stressed that it will still take several years before the unemployment rate comes down to normal levels. ""But he stressed that it will still take several years before the unemployment rate comes down to normal levels. "

Nice.....it sure didn't take MANY YEARS for the motherfuckers at all the banks and their other financial crooks and cronies to get their bonuses and salaries back to normal levels.

Posted by: marty on February 3, 2011 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

Bernanke isnt worried about jobs his main concern is wall street.

Posted by: Kill Bill on February 3, 2011 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Friday
"Once again, the House Dems should just walk out when the debt ceiling legislation comes up "
LEFT OFF! Could not bring myself to type RIGHT ON!
Make them vote to carry it or else they will run against Ds that voted for it.

Posted by: joyzeeboy on February 3, 2011 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

"Security forces and gangs chanting in favor of the Egyptian government hunted down journalists"

Clearly this will help legitimize the current regime in the eyes of Egyptians and the world.

Posted by: mcc on February 3, 2011 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

There is blessed little complicated about the yarns Naomi Klein and Ted Frier spin . They are merely reflecting on events occurring in the far off lands of "Reality" .

Posted by: FRP on February 3, 2011 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

[...]the House Dems should just walk out when the debt ceiling legislation comes up for a vote. -- Joe Friday, @17:53

Um... No, I don't think so. They do that, and the right's spin is going to be "they couldn't even be bothered to attend, after claiming it was important". What Dems need to do is be there and vote "Present". The practical impact of that is the same as "No" but the visuals are "the ball's in your court, buddy. Let's see how *you* handle it"

Posted by: exlibra on February 3, 2011 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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