The Roundup

Man, I needed this James O’Keefe story, if for nothing else but some comic relief. I’ve been tweeting on it all day. Here are some O’Keefe and non-O’Keefe-related links:

• One of the other men arrested with O’Keefe was the son of the acting US Attorney in Louisiana (I believe he was a Bush appointee who hasn’t yet been replaced). Meanwhile, the conservative apoplexy over this is quite hilarious. Fox News wants “more context,” Michelle Malkin has asserted that O’Keefe is presumed innocent (this has always stopped her before) and Andy Breitbart, seeing his empire crashing down, is claiming no knowledge (of anything?). Ed Morrissey rightly called O’Keefe an idiot.

Jim Clyburn and Steny Hoyer agree – the Senate is broken. Clyburn even called them the “House of Lords.” If only they were denuded of power like their counterparts in Britain.

• Kirsten Gillibrand has taken the opportunity from a comment Harold Ford made about her being a “parakeet” (I don’t get it either), as well as a poll showing Ford within striking distance, to respond forcefully. This is all on point:

“I don’t know who Harold Ford thinks I am, but I will not be pushed aside by him and a handful of his big banker buddies.

“As for his childish name calling, I would not allow that kind of name calling from my 6 year old son and I certainly don’t think it is appropriate for someone who says they want to be a Senator from NY. Ford’s attacks don’t hurt me, they do hurt the people of New York by distracting us from the real economic challenges that middle class families are facing.

“Day after day, Harold Ford Jr. is revealing just how wrong he is for every day New Yorkers. This is all about who we fight for. Harold Ford is advocating for more of the same failed policies that favor only the wealthy and the powerful big corporations, while I am fighting to create good-paying jobs for New York families and help small businesses that are struggling in the difficult economy.”

• There’s been a pretty good online debate about the Citizens United decision. I give you Glenn Greenwald in support of the decision, and Doug Kendall and Hannah McCrea in opposition. Meanwhile, Bruce Ackerman and Ian Ayres have a good solution for how to deal with this and still maintain some campaign finance structure – use the Hatch Act. Three-quarters of the largest publicly traded companies are federal contractors. Democrats will have their own campaign finance bill soon.

• Everyone’s talking about this WSJ story about Rahm Emanuel and the left, so I’ll leave it to them. Of course, Richard Wolff tells us it’s not about the fact that the President and his Chief of Staff have fallen down on practically every policy standard and are leading Democrats to slaughter in the midterm elections, it’s just because we hate Rahm because he’s mean. Solid analysis.

• One of those fancy bipartisan commissions says that the US is flunking in preventing terrorism and the spread of WMD. Obama will respond with new anti-bioterror programs in the State of the Union.

• Hey, if the Catholic bishops still want a health care bill, it may actually happen. They run the Congress, after all.

• Those middle-class programs announced by the President? Like I said, small-ball, small-ball, small-ball.

• Republicans will not get their man in Indiana Mike Pence is staying put and will not run for US Senate.

• Bob Herbert asks the question: Who is Barack Obama?

• All that culture of life and family values when Republicans were in control led to the first increase in the teen pregancy, birth and abortion rates in over a decade. The increase coincides almost seamlessly with the increase in spending on abstinence-only education.

• Some more 10,000-foot-view articles on “What the Democrats Must Do” Steve Benen on the necessity of passing health reform; David Plouffe with a prescription for success (“no bedwetting”); Paul Waldman says “Don’t Panic”; Michael Cohen with the cheery thought that America is ungovernable.

• Um, there really are no true independents. The sooner the Village internalizes that, the better.

• It should be very interesting to see the results tomorrow of Oregon’s tax fairness ballot measures, which would increase taxes on the wealthy.

• I saw this live, and Sam Stein’s making way too much of it. Robert Gibbs was simply evading the question on whether final health care negotiations would be televised on C-SPAN.

• The wind power industry is growing quickly. Good.

• This is not the news I wanted to hear coming off of a horrible experience with Ticketmaster – turns out they’re getting more market share and will have even less of a reason to provide decent customer service and not gouge everyone!

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