As Washington slowly rouses itself back to life, there’s a bit less than what we would see in a full news day happening, but still enough to provide some leftovers:
• We’ll start with a shout-out to Claire McCaskill for using the words to describe Jim DeMint which every Democrat has thought at one point or another – “nuts.” His hold on TSA Administrator nominee Erroll Southers is really ridiculous.
• Pat Leahy has announced a hearing on the failed underpants bombing for January 20, entitled “Securing America’s Safety: Improving the Effectiveness of Anti-Terrorism Tools and Inter-Agency Communication.”
• As for the new security techniques from TSA, the ACLU is calling them too close to profiling. Given the strict geographic disparity between techniques, they’re probably right.
• The Pentagon is starting to push back on one of President Obama’s most noble goals, the eradication of nuclear weapons from this planet. This is a fight worth having for the President, especially to bring disaffected liberals back into the fold. What’s more, it’s still the right thing to do.
• Here’s more on the California legislature and Governor asking for $8 billion more in federal relief so they don’t have to start eliminating safety-net programs. It’s true that the state doesn’t receive an equitable share of federal dollars, but I’d be surprised if they succeed in getting the whole $8 billion. What is needed is a permanent fund so states don’t have to go into counter-cyclical cutbacks right when demand for services spikes.
• Tax on indoor tanning won’t bring in predicted revenue, says indoor tanning industry! Seriously, how much did the Washington Post get from the “Tanning Times” for this article?
• Here’s an interesting editorial about the similarities between Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and Dylan Klebold. Not nearly as cringe-inducing as I’m making it sound!
• At least Kit Bond has the guts to say that George Bush made a mistake trying Richard Reid as a civilian, rather than coming up with some IOKIYAR construction. He’s trying a new angle of “Obama didn’t learn from Bush’s mistakes,” which is at least novel.
• Speaking of Obama’s national security critics, now Peter King, given his new spotlight as the go-to “Obama sucks” spokesman, may challenge Kirsten Gillibrand for the US Senate after all. I’m skeptical that he has enough time to pull it off, and I think he’s well aware of that.
• Say yes to Pombo? Looks like the disgraced former Congressman and Abramoff crony is running again, trying to replace George Radanovich in the open-seat CA-19. I’m sure the Radanovich-chosen pick for successor Jeff Denham can find some oppo research if he needs it. More from Matt Ortega.
• Adam Bink made a great point about the typical front-runner status of Iowa and New Hampshire in the Presidential nominating wars – they both have legalized gay marriage. This could even impact the Republican race in 2012, if marriage equality is seen as a non-event in both states, as expected.
• Michael Steele paid back his friends in the Marianas Islands with RNC funds, even though they have no federal voting rights, because Republicans there helped him get the chairmanship. Does anyone REALLY think this is the mark of a leader to bring the opposition party to power?
• Good: cities are taking back their corporate tax breaks (read: corporate welfare).
• Smart words from Juan Cole on a series of incidents in Afghanistan that cumulatively add up to disaster for America’s adventure in escalation and nation-building.
• Some pranksters are having fun with PeteHoekstra.com, which the clownish GOP Congressman and gubernatorial candidate in Michigan forgot to register as a domain name. It’s the funniest parody site of 2010 since – well, since Analyze Glenn Reynolds’ Body Language.
• Great, let’s spend two weeks of the national discourse talking about the other White House party crasher.