Saturday, July 16, 2011

Wall Street Journal Wants Liberal Dem to Run for Senate, Mr. Obama Forgets Who is President of the U. S., Defense Department Cannot Even Defend Itself,

And Other News That is In the News

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Staff is slightly to the right of Genghis Kahn, so their editorial endorsing the candidacy of Elizabeth Warren to the U. S. Senate is not a typical one.  Ms. Warren is a former Harvard faculty member who was instrumental in designing a consumer protection agency that would regulate abusive practices by banks.  Since regulation per se is an anathema to Conservatives, and regulations which prevent banks from exploiting consumers is the worst thing they can imagine, Conservatives have developed a dislike for Ms. Warren that renders them incoherent.  (Well something renders them incoherent, we thought it was maybe Ms. Warren).

Now the WSJ is doing this because it believes that incumbent Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown who has accumulated close to $10 million in campaign funds and is relatively popular would easily beat Ms. Warren.  The Dismal Political Economist is not so sure, but even so, in this situation he is in rare agreement with the editorial of the WSJ.  Ms. Warren has no future in Washington, having earned undying hatred from Conservatives because of her work to protect ordinary citizens, and so a Senate run would be a good way for her to voice her opposition to her critics.  And who knows, she might win!

The deal that is shaping up to solve the debt ceiling issue appears to be one where Republicans will oppose raising the ceiling but allow it to go forth as long as all of the blame can be laid at the feet of Mr. Obama. (No, they are not quite ready for their self-proclaimed “era of personal responsibility).  Mr. Obama seemed to warm to the idea, 

Mr. Obama commended Mr. McConnell for his proposal, Democratic officials familiar with the meeting said. But the president also raised a concern that it doesn't include a plan to reduce the deficit.

Later Mr. Obama’s advisers reminded him that as President he heads the Executive Branch of government that is responsible for budgeting and ultimately spending government money.  They told him that if he wants to cut the deficit, he can pretty much do that all by himself. 

When these same advisers raised concerns about jobs and unemployment the President said those don’t matter if he was going to run as a secret moderate Republican.

After a 14+ day Government shutdown in Minnesota which ended with the Democratic Governor agreeing to Republican demands, an open question apparently is the status of a new football stadium for the Minnesota Vikings.

The Vikings’ proposal would include at least $407 million from the team, $300 million from the state and $350 million from Ramsey County, largely through a countywide sales tax increase.

It is not clear why the state is considering supporting such a venture, but a trio of advisers speaking for the Governor and the legislature Larry, Curley and Moe said that one thing about Minnesotans was that they had their priorities straight.

The Defense Department reported that 24,000 files had been stolen in a cyber attack by a foreign intruder. 

Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III, who disclosed the March breach during a speech to roll out the Pentagon’s new cyber strategy, said the files were taken from a defense contractor. He did not say who was believed to be behind the attack or describe the nature of the files that were stolen.

The Pentagon’s new cyber strategy has not been released to the public, but a Pentagon spokesperson did say that if successfully implemented an attack like this would probably only yield an intruder 23,500 files.  The spokesperson also said that they didn’t know what was in the files that were taken, but they hoped whoever took them would share that information with Pentagon officials, or at least sell them a license to access the material on a “read only” basis.

Former Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate John Edwards goes on trial in October for violating campaign finance laws in connection with funds he solicited to cover up his extra-marital affair during the 2008 campaign.  Mr. Edwards was a noted defense attorney prior to his political career and could defend himself, although the opinion of that strategy in legal circles is that “any lawyer who defends himself has a fool for a client”.  In the Edwards situation that concept can be modified to say that “any lawyer who defends Mr. Edwards has a fool for a client.”

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