CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup

It is my great honor to nominate these links as part of today’s Roundup, they all have the proper philosophy and temperament:

• I thought Bob Gates’ speech on reining in runaway military spending wasn’t exactly different than anything he’s said before, but it again betrayed a kind of political naivete. Outside of a couple cuts here and there – and remember, even with what Gates pulled off in last year’s military budget, it still represented an increase on net in spending – there’s no political appetite whatsoever for taking on the MIC.

• Whether Europe’s bailout plan to rescue their banks can work depends largely on the central bankers will accept the need for pro-growth policies that may carry with them some nominal inflation, rather than the Hooverite stance they have so far taken.

• Jeff Sessions checks in to tell me that Elana Kagan’s an “activist.” If only. I have to say the right-wing technique of labeling anyone associated with the Democratic side as a radical activist does tend to work among partisans to reflexively defend the one charged. It certainly works better than when the right tries to criticize on “substance,” which they define as whether or not someone knows how to drive a car. I await Sessions’ first round of questioning, asking Kagan which way you should turn the wheel on an uphill slope.

• Jane’s done the research on the members of the cat food commission, something I’ve been exploring over the last couple weeks. It’s amazing how the stars are aligning around this, with the lame-duck session vote and the appointments by the President and Harry Reid greasing the skids for social safety net cuts. Defenders of the Administration REALLY don’t want to talk about this.

• Bob Menendez, one of the authors of the immigration bill in the Senate, is really pushing to highlight the Arizona law, calling on Major League Baseball to move the 2011 All-Star Game away from Phoenix, or for individual players to boycott the event. The boycotts have really taken on a life of their own.

• Freddie Mac to underwater homeowners: please, please don’t stick us with your mortgage by walking away. Apparently distressed homeowners should care immensely about “good social policy,” as the essay warns, even when the lending industry and the banks don’t.

• Bob Bennett may still decide on a write-in candidacy in Utah to save his Senate job.

• Almost as bad as Goldman Sachs’ case brought by the SEC is the fact that they hid their awareness of a potential suit from their own investors, FINRA and the media for months, in violation of standard industry practices. You’re familiar with the saying, it’s not the act, it’s the cover-up? Well, there you go.

• Another horrendously bad day of violence in Iraq.

• The Luddite pose is bad enough, but Barack Obama, who won the Presidency in large part thanks to new media and democratization of informatino, gets in a gratuitous shot at blogs and partisan media.

• Steven Greenhouse profiles Mary Kay Henry, the new President of the SEIU.

• Maine Republicans go crazy, write a platform even to the right of Texas’. Can’t wait for the purity purge of Olympia Snowe in two years.

• I thought the whole point of Connie Saltonstall’s challenge to Bart Stupak wasn’t necessarily to win, but to prove there was a choice for voters tired of the politics of the forced birth lobby. So why is she dropping out of the race because the local Democratic Party favors yet another anti-choice candidate? Why ha anything changed with Gary McDowell instead of Stupak? If anything, wouldn’t the current situation be easier?

• Here’s another great amendment in financial regulatory reform, which would stop banks from locating their credit card operations in the states with the least regulations, by returning to the original meaning of the National Bank Act of 1863 – that the credit card company must adopt the standards of the state into which they lend for that customer.

• “Cash for caulkers” won’t get a revenue offset until it passes the Senate, and who knows when that will happen. This is irking House Democrats who thought Congress would be prioritizing job creation bills right about now.

• Great line by Patrick Leahy: “We have some Republicans who would automatically oppose anybody who was nominated,” Leahy said. “The President could nominate Moses the Law Giver. In fact I told the President, I said you realize if you’d nominated Moses the Law Giver, somebody would raise, ‘but he doesn’t have a birth certificate! Where’s his birth certificate!'”

K-Strass the fake yo-yo champion. Hilarious.

Previous post

Encouraging News from Uganda: Government Panel Rejects "Kill the Gays" Bill

Next post

Judge Rules Torture Doesn't Violate Due Process

David Dayen

David Dayen