CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for March 15, 2011

There I go again, leaving things on the table to be ingested as a pile of links.

• Harry Reid pushed through a cloture vote on a small business bill yesterday, going through a process that was supposed to be discontinued under the gentlemen’s agreement. The other half of that agreement is that Reid would allow amendments in exchange for no filibusters on the motion to proceed. Republicans are still filibustering, but Reid will allow an amendment to block the EPA’s greenhouse gas regulation. I love gentlemen’s agreements when only one side is composed of gentlemen.

• Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins rejected the stripping of Planned Parenthood funds. And by “rejected,” I mean “voted for them last week.”

• The official death toll in the Sendai earthquake and tsunami is above 2,400 but many more are expected, reaching above 10,000. Meanwhile, the danger at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor is unknown even to the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency. We know at least that the pools containing the spent fuel rods could eventually prove themselves to be a greater threat than a meltdown of the damaged radioactive cores. The 50 workers left at Fukushima must be absolutely terrified.

• The latest fad in Wisconsin, which has been occurring since the Governor announced the budget repair bill to strip collective bargaining rights, is for local governments and school boards to renegotiate contracts with their local unions before they lose the right to do so. In Madison, the mayor just announced a deal with city workers, where unions offered some concessions. This is happening in Ohio as well. It’s essentially how collective bargaining should work, with labor and management allocating resources and coming to agreements. This is the process Scott Walker had to bust up.

• Meanwhile, a complaint has been filed with the Wisconsin Attorney General, alleging that State Sen. Randy Hopper, he with the soon-to-be-ex-wife who signed his recall petition, doesn’t live in his district anymore and is therefore ineligible to serve.

• Great article from Inside Milwaukee on the prospects of the various recall elections in Wisconsin.

• Republicans will introduce a series of bills in the House to strip parts of the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation. If the bill were in any way strong or up to the task of the industry, or not about to be weakened merely by the implementation process, I would care more.

• The Republicans’ own study from the Joint Economic Committee does not even guarantee that their plan to cut massive spending in the 2011 fiscal year will create jobs in the near term.

• What Jonathan Bernstein said. Republicans, when given the ability to govern in a fairly unilateral fashion, seek maximum political advantage by defunding and defanging their opponents. Democrats, when given the same opportunity, do nothing of the sort.

• As a Californian, I am unlikely to rest easy from this news, but given that I generally accept science, I might not stock up on potassium iodide.

• Energy Secretary Steven Chu told a House hearing that the Administration remained committed to nuclear power, but wants to “learn from Japan’s experience.”

• Now the White House is talking about transferring seized Gadhafi funds to the Libyan rebels so they can purchase arms and supplies, and no, I don’t know what authority they have to do this either.

• Earl Blumenauer called the firing of PJ Crowley for telling the truth about Bradley Manning’s treatment “outrageous.”

• The House is rushing a vote to defund NPR before anyone realizes that James O’Keefe’s video was heavily edited nonsense.

At least two more dead in clashes in Bahrain, which is now under a state of emergency.

• This doesn’t mean the President will lose re-election, especially given the rapid removal of the bloom from the rose of Republican victory in 2010, but I don’t expect the same enthusiasm for Obama from the same circles. If he wants enthusiastic volunteers, he may have to pay for them.

• Congratulations to Greg Sargent for winning a Hillman Foundation award for his coverage of the Wisconsin protests. And thanks to him for mentioning me in his thank-you post.

• Rep. Dean Heller (R) will run for the seat vacated by John Ensign, which may lead to three of the four Congressional seats in Nevada being open, if Shelley Berkley (D) decides to run against him. Nevada picks up an additional seat this next cycle through reapportionment.

• Chuck Schumer has become the message mouthpiece for Democrats, but outside of coming up with a few good lines, I don’t really know what he’s doing that’s been successful.

• The Egyptian State Security agency is no more, dissolved by the new Prime Minister.

• Haley Barbour’s press secretary is out after joking about Japan in private emails. I don’t know that anyone should be fired for private email conversations.

Scooby Doo Meets the Phantom Bond Vigilante.

Previous post

FHA Commissioner David Stevens Cannot Serve Two Masters: Fire Him Immediately

Next post

Japan Nuclear Watch, Wed. am JST: New Fire and Explosion at Unit 4 Fuel Pond

David Dayen

David Dayen