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September 01, 2011 5:30 PM Thursday’s Mini-Report

By Steve Benen

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Libya: “The transitional government of Libya’s triumphant rebels decided Thursday to extend by up to a week the deadline given to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi and his remaining fighters to surrender, but the fugitive leader rejected the ultimatum and raged at his enemies in a new broadcast that called for the country to be ‘engulfed in flames.’”

* Better, but still too high: “Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 409,000, the Labor Department said, still pointing to a jobs market struggling to find strength, but well short of a recession signal.”

* Iraq: “Under increased pressure from the United States, an Iraqi crackdown on Iranian-backed Shiite militias has helped produce a previously elusive goal: For the first time since the American invasion of Iraq, an entire month has passed without a single United States service member dying.”

* Maybe someone should do something: “The Obama administration downgraded its forecast for economic growth Thursday, predicting turmoil in the economy will likely keep unemployment above 9 percent through next year’s election.”

* On the other hand, the federal budget deficit will run “20% lower than expected this year.” Tea Partiers will be celebrating the Obama administration’s progress on deficit reduction, right?

* Counter-terrorism: “On a steady slide. On the ropes. Taking shots to the body and head. That’s how White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan described al-Qaida on Wednesday as he offered the first on-record confirmation that al-Qaida’s latest second-in-command was killed last week in Pakistan.”

* The White House’s new “We The People” online petition initiative looks pretty good.

* Liu lands on his feet: “After a protracted and ultimately losing battle for a seat on a federal appeals court, UC Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu sailed through his state confirmation hearing Wednesday to join the California Supreme Court.” The state Commission on Judicial Appointments confirmed him unanimously.

* Did Florida’s school voucher program boost test student test scores? Of course not.

* Condoleezza Rice is the latest loyal Bushie who doesn’t like Dick Cheney’s book. “You can talk about policy differences without suggesting that your colleague somehow misled the president,” Rice told Reuters. “I don’t appreciate the attack on my integrity that that implies.”

* Elon Green on FEMA: “By most accounts, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has done an excellent job in response to Hurricane Irene, even drawing praise from Bob McDonnell, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and Chris Christie. Unfortunately, the agency may not be as well-equipped for the next natural disaster — or even to finish the cleanup for this one.”

* Chauncey DeVega, after interviewing Whiteness, ponders Rep. Andre Carson’s (D-Ind.) charge that Tea Partiers are the same people who, in another time, would have loved to see black people “hanging on a tree.” Chauncey says Carson’s rhetoric could have been more “nuanced and precise,” but a common “political wellspring” is apparent.

* Daniel Luzer: “Given that this is college savings month, maybe now is a good time to encourage the United States of America to set a savings strategy for higher education.”

* And finally, despite this being the 21st century, Republican lawmakers in Florida aren’t ready to scrap laws unenforced criminal laws against “cohabitation.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.

Comments

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  • Diningwith on September 01, 2011 5:46 PM:

    Re: crimi8nalizing cohabitation. Remember that conservative policies aren't meant to affect reality, to make the world better, but rather to show the moral superiority of the policy advocate.

  • cwolf on September 01, 2011 5:53 PM:

    Anything to add? Uh,

    How about a second season for TV's greatest hit of 2010,,,
    .
    "Deepwater Horizon Oil Volcano"
    .
    http://www.rawstory.com/rawreplay/2011/09/new-evidence-of-a-massive-oil-slick-near-deepwater-horizon-site/

  • Ron Byers on September 01, 2011 6:43 PM:

    What happens if the economy cures itself?

    Seriously, all the forecasts say the economy will struggle through 2015 and will struggle badly through the next election, but what if the American people grow weary of austerity and start buying stuff on their credit cards? I just read where auto sales in July were at an 8 year high, and manufacturing is on the way up. The deficit is going to be 20% lower than projected just a few months ago. The ACA provisions are already reducing medicare costs (as predicted, but not noticed by the media.)

    What happens to politics if the economy starts getting better faster than the media and the politicians think it should?

  • Burr Deming on September 01, 2011 6:52 PM:

    Having run out of other options, it seems the former Libyan dictator is engaged in a last desperate strategy of using every means at his disposal to make his opponents over-confident.

  • Schtick on September 01, 2011 6:55 PM:

    No matter what is said or what is asked, Condi is always saying her integrity is being attacked. I didn't know she even had any.


    crapcha....wellnes algebras....wellness algebra?

  • Joe Friday on September 01, 2011 7:39 PM:

    "Libya: 'The transitional government of Libya's triumphant rebels decided Thursday to extend by up to a week the deadline given to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi and his remaining fighters to surrender"

    Way to draw a line in the sand there folks.

  • Here's your chance, ya'll on September 01, 2011 8:05 PM:

    On September 22, the Republican candidates will meet in Orlando, FL for the Fox News/Google Debate and they'll be answering the questions that you ask. Submit your question for the candidates, and vote on others you like, now at www.youtube.com/foxnews.

    not that they will pick your questions....

  • mudwall jackson on September 01, 2011 8:35 PM:

    i wonder how many members of the florida legislature have violated the law. i wonder how many members of the florida legislature that have violated the law will act to keep it on the books. the clowns in tallahassee have to catch up to the 20th century before moving on to the 21st.

  • Here's your chance, ya'll on September 01, 2011 9:07 PM:

    On September 22, the Republican candidates will meet in Orlando, FL for the Fox News/Google Debate and they'll be answering the questions that you ask. Submit your question for the candidates, and vote on others you like, now at www.youtube.com/foxnews.

    not that they will pick your questions....

  • exlibra on September 01, 2011 9:23 PM:

    What happens to politics if the economy starts getting better faster than the media and the politicians think it should? -- Ron Byers, @6:43 PM

    Nothing happens, because, if the media don't approve, the improvement either doesn't get reported, or else is mentioned as a freaky and *definitely temporary* event. The overall result will be that people think "*I* am OK, but everyone else is down the sewer, because economy stinks". It's similar to the "all Congresscritters are terrible except my own" mindset. And the "I'm taxed half to death; what tax relief are you talking about?" mindset. If it's not reported properly, it never happened.

    "onthyd sensitive", says Craptcha. It's news to me and seems contradictory. *Either* you're thin skinned (and sensitive) *or* you have a hide thick enough to protect you from any outside barbs.

  • a on September 01, 2011 9:38 PM:

    "Chauncey DeVega, after interviewing Whiteness"

    That was idiotic.

    "but a common “political wellspring” is apparent."

    And that was blatant bigotry.

    Why are you endorsing such hateful crap?

  • Six on September 01, 2011 9:44 PM:

    "...Despite this being the 21st century, Republican lawmakers in Florida aren’t ready to scrap laws unenforced criminal laws against “cohabitation.”"

    Ah yes, the "party of personal liberty" in action. Effing hypocrites.

  • Daddy Love on September 01, 2011 11:02 PM:

    That NY Times article on Iraq was interesting. unfortunately, they lost me when they referred to "14 troops" being killed in June. A "troop" /= a soldier or service member. A pet peeve, I know, but it's the NYT for God's sake. They have editors.

    Also, an article that complains about "Iranian-backed Shiite militias," but that fails to mention that the Sunni militias are Saudi-funded, loses me quickly.

    And the commenters! More than a few seemed to think that we invaded Iraq on September 11, 2001 instead of March 2003. Who are these people? Seriously, THEY WERE ALIVE THEN. But without a brain, it seems.

  • Daddy Love on September 01, 2011 11:08 PM:

    re: reporting on the economy. It has always been true in my lifetime that it is not until crappy recession is the dominant media meme that recovery occurs. That dominant meme stands in the way of media recognition of recovery. same thing during booms, right up until the bust. "No one could have predicted" and all, you know...

  • dr. bloor on September 02, 2011 7:16 AM:

    “The Obama administration downgraded its forecast for economic growth Thursday, predicting turmoil in the economy will likely keep unemployment above 9 percent through next year’s election.”

    If Obama goes into the election season with unemployment over 9, he'd better hope like hell that (a) the Republicans nominate the craziest clown in the car, and (b) they subsequently catch that clown in bed with a live boy and a dead girl.

  • howie on September 02, 2011 7:57 AM:

    I am generally sympathetic to Chauncey DeVega's position but I do think he's taking liberties with his little potshots at "The Help".

    The movie didn't depict a few bad whites, most everybody in town other than the one white protagonist were inherently racist.

    I fail to see that a movie with only stereotypically racist whites would have been more accurate.


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