The New York Times Also Has a Big (Albeit Different) Problem with Reporters Katharine Q. Seelye, Jim Rutenberg and Jeff Zeleny
Liveblogging World War II: May 20, 1940

links for 2010-05-19

  • MY: "The Duty To Do The Right Thing. Reading Jeffrey Goldberg’s debate with Peter Beinart I’m struck by how frequently Goldberg deploys a tactic of topic-switching. He’s really interested in emphasizing the idea that Israel faces incredibly serious national security threats from Hezbollah and Iran.... [That is] simply not relevant to what Beinart is talking about, which is the maltreatment of Israel’s Palestinian subjects and the prospect of increasing maltreatment of Israel’s Arab citizens. The former simply isn’t relevant to the latter.... [In the U.S.] mistreatment of African-Americans didn’t invalidate the legitimacy of [Cold War] security concerns, but... security concerns didn’t mitigate the wrongness of Jim Crow.... It just wasn’t relevant.,,, [Arab elites]... share the Israeli government’s outlook on the regional security situation but public outrage... makes it difficult for them to cooperate... with Israel. America didn’t have Jim Crow because it was afraid of the Russians."
  • DD: "Yesterday’s results in the election showed what has now become conventional wisdom: an “anti-incumbent mood,” something the media will parrot.... Have they explored why?... They can look no further than what they ignored during election coverage – last night’s debacle.... Carl Levin and Jeff Merkley were stonewalled from presenting their amendment.... Byron Dorgan’s... amendment was tabled with lots of Democratic support.... Tom Harkin realized one of his amendments which he filed three weeks ago wouldn’t get a vote.... Harry Reid called for a cloture vote today at 2pm... told Maria Cantwell...her amendment WOULD NOT BE GERMANE POST-CLOTURE.... Chris Dodd filed an amendment to gut the... derivatives piece “authored” by Blanche Lincoln.... [V]oters... seen defeat grabbed from the jaws of victory over and over and over again, and they simply have lost all trust in this crop of elites to do the job. And it’s hard to argue with the public on this one."
  • DK: "If Blanche Lincoln's tough derivatives provision was just a gimmick to ward off her primary challenger... if the plan all along was to gut the provision once she made it through the primary, then Lincoln and Dodd and whoever else hatched this plan are now in an exquisite squeeze.... So a short time ago, Dodd withdrew his effort to water it down -- at least for now. There will be other opportunities to get rid of the provision in its current form, something Dodd, the Senate leadership, the White House and Wall Street would all like to see happen. But the way things are moving, they are no longer in the driver's here. Each time they've come to an exit ramp on derivatives regulation, the politics of financial reform have blocked their way. So at this point you have to think all bets are off. No one quite knows how this will turn out now."
  • JM: "Cancer, mental illness, car crashes, bedding down your married congressional staffer in some clearing in the forest. Fate is so precarious. And so many things that can befall us. "If Mark Souder is capable of sexual misconduct, it could happen to anyone," says Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Nance"
  • BB: "it has taken the most dysfunctional, the most rudderless government Israel has ever known, to make moderates uncomfortably aware of the... ways... the right... have come to plant and nurture the seeds of fascism. Wrote Boaz Okun... of Israel's ban on Noam Chomsky: "The decision to shut up... Chomsky is a decision to shut down freedom in the state of Israel. I'm not speaking of the stupidity of supplying ammunition to those who claim that Israel is fascist," Okun wrote, "rather, of our fear that we may actually be turning that way."... Israeli police riot troops waded into a thoroughly non-violent sit-in near the entrance to this East Jerusalem settlement zone, where Palestinian residents were expelled by Israeli court order, to allow their homes to be taken over by Jews. What was curious here was not the neck-wrenching brutality of the Yasam riot police... [but] that the police seemed so entirely bewildered, so completely lacking in clear orders... Fascism with a confused face."
  • DF: "Rand Paul’s victory... a depressing event for those who support strong national defense and rational conservative politics.... This year however the tide is running so strongly with the GOP that … well … that Rand Paul may benefit.... Paul will not have an easy ride. Paul offers a target-rich environment for negative advertising. On the other hand, Paul does lead his (likely) Democratic opponent, Jack Conway. It could be his year.... How is it that the GOP has lost its antibodies against a candidate like Rand Paul?... [D]espite Paul’s self-presentation as “anti-establishment,” the D.C. conservative establishment by and large made its peace with him. It is this acquiescence – even more than Paul’s own nomination – that is the most ominous news from tonight’s vote." The answer is simple: this is the end of the road that started with Eisenhower's and Taft's embrace of the anti-establishment politicians of their day, Joe McCarthy and Dick Nixon. The cake was baked long ago.
  • YX: " Goldman Sachs Group Inc. racked up trading profits for itself every day last quarter. Clients who followed the firm’s investment advice fared far worse. Seven of the investment bank’s nine “recommended top trades for 2010” have been money losers for investors who adopted the New York-based firm’s advice, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from a Goldman Sachs research note sent yesterday. Clients who used the tips lost 14 percent buying the Polish zloty versus the Japanese yen, 9.4 percent buying Chinese stocks in Hong Kong and 9.8 percent trading the British pound against the New Zealand dollar."
  • JW&JW: "Economic recoveries from the past two recessions have been much more gradual than the rapid V-shaped recoveries typical of earlier downturns. Analysis of the factors that determine economic growth rates indicates that recovery from the most recent recession is likely to be faster than from the two previous recessions, but slower than earlier V-shaped recoveries."
  • BB: " Wall Street reform legislation nearly came off the rails on Tuesday after Republicans--tacitly backed... by top Democrats--used Senate rules to block votes on far-reaching, consumer-friendly amendments, portending a potential progressive revolt. This afternoon... Leader Harry Reid will attempt to bring debate on the financial reform bill to a close, though it remains unclear whether he has the 60 votes he'll need to prevail. A big reason for that? A number of Democrats--most vocally, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND)--have threatened to vote against ending debate until their flagship amendments get a vote on the floor. But Republicans are standing in the way, saying they'll filibuster those amendments, subjecting each to a 60 vote requirement, and, more importantly, several days' worth of delay. Faced with a choice between picking a fight with Republicans over those amendments and simply moving ahead with the bill, Democratic leadership has, for now, chosen the latter."
  • DK: "We'll have more on this as the day goes on, but all this talk of anti-incumbency and "throw the bums out" really oversimplifies what's going on out there. It's an easy instant analysis, especially for the time-strapped broadcast media. But particularly as it concerns last night's results, it's such an overbroad analysis that it's not just meaningless, it's actually misleading. In almost every respect the big losers last night were national Republicans. Even in cases where the ostensible Democrat lost or suffered a setback -- Specter in Pennsylvania and Lincoln in Arkansas -- the Democrats emerged with a stronger or potentially stronger candidate. More on this later, but Democrats come out of last night in about as good a shape as they could possibly have hoped for. And Republicans have to be wondering if they are up to surfing the expected 2010 wave."
  • MY: "Gillian Tett Fool’s Gold: How the Bold Dream of a Small Tribe at J.P. Morgan Was Corrupted by Wall Street Greed and Unleashed a Catastrophe. Gary Gorton, Slapped By the Invisible Hand: The Panic of 2007. Raghuram Rajan, Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy. Stephen Cohn and Brad DeLong The End of Influence: What Happens When Other Countries Have the Money. George Akerlof and Robert Shiller Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism." I would add David Wessel, In Fed We Trust
  • DA: "why does the guy make my eyes roll.... The Fed has the ability to create money "out of thin air!" Whenever I hear this expression, I chuckle. We all have the power to create debt out of "thin air."... If you bum a beer from a friend and promise to repay him next week, you create a debt obligation "out of thin air." Ooooo..."out of thin air!"... [H]his energy here could be better spent elsewhere: there are bigger fish to fry in the realm of fiscal policy reforms."
  • PB: "The prime minister of Israel has repeatedly compared the establishment of a Palestinian state to the Holocaust. His foreign ministe... flirted with... physical expulsion of Israeli Arabs. The spiritual leader of his government's fourth-largest party has called for politicians who advocate ceding territory to the Palestinians to be struck dead. West Bank settlements are growing at triple the rate of the Israeli population.... One-third of Jewish Israelis favor pardoning Yigal Amir, the man who murdered Yitzhak Rabin. I hate writing these words. I was raised to love Israel, and I will teach my children to love it. But we don't get to choose what is true. And if you love Israel... because it is a liberal democratic Jewish state... there is only one decent response to these truths: fury.... [M]y old friend Jonathan Chait... ends up more critical of the people criticizing Israeli abuses than of the abuses themselves."
  • AG&LS: "Last week in Washington, Sarah Palin addressed the Susan B. Anthony List - the political action committee that calls itself the "nerve center of the pro-life movement" - claiming that her opposition to abortion rights was rooted in our "feminist foremothers." No one asked for sources.... Our conclusion: Anthony spent no time on the politics of abortion. It was of no interest to her, despite living in a society (and a family) where women aborted unwanted pregnancies. The List's mission statement proclaims, "Although [Anthony] is known for helping women win the right to vote, it is often untold in history that she and most early feminists were strongly pro-life." There's a good reason it's "untold:" historians and good journalists rely on evidence. Of which there is none."
  • JW: "Mitch McConnell, Dick Cheney and the NRCC lost big, as Kentucky voters rejected Trey Grayson and Jeff Reetz.... In Pennsylvania... Democrat Mark Critz beat Republican Tim Burns.... Burns tried to nationalize his race by with a campaign cartoon that depicted Nancy Pelosi as a monster.... He only succeeded in showing he has Mommy issues with his silly Pelosi caricature.... President Obama got rocked... Democratic insurgent Joe Sestak beat "incumbent" Sen Arlen Specter....Bill Halter... pushing Sen. Blanche Lincoln into a run-off.... Ultimately, Sestak is a better vote for Obama than Specter was, so it's hard for me to see his victory as a loss for Obama.... The Tea Party has shown that it can be a force in electoral politics..... Kentucky... Democratic turnout was higher than 2006.... Rand Paul's... stances... Repeal the Americans with Disabilities Act.... [S]estak running stronger against Club for Growth Republican Pat Toomey... may also be more electable."