The DC Morning: 1/22/10

Mike Riggs Contributor
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1.) Have Congressional Dems given up on health care?

Putting on a brave face, Democratic leaders in Congress say they really want to pass health care–really they do–but as POLITICO points out, “House Democrats won’t pass the Senate bill. Senate Democrats don’t want to start from scratch just to appease the House. And the White House still isn’t telling Congress how to fix the problem.” The breakdown of the Dems’ year-defining coalition may be reversed, according to unnamed aides, if only both houses of Congress will commit to a defanged, scaled-back bill. The Daily Caller’s Jon Ward reported yesterday that Pres. Barack Obama has abandoned publicly defending the bill in favor of talking up aggressive financial reforms, casting himself as opposite [OPPOSING] “the big banks and corporate interests, fighting for the taxpayer.” Ward writes that “the White House hopes Republicans take them on, so they can portray them as on the side of “fat cat bankers,” [SINGLE QUOTES INSIDE DOUBLE QUOTES] as the president called them in December.”

2.) China plays the “vulnerable to the effect of multifarious information flowing in” card

Responding to increasing international pressure over China’s fight with Google, the Chinese Communist Party’s Global Times charged the U.S. of practicing “information imperialism” after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a speech that Internet freedom was an important human rights issue. “Unlike advanced Western countries, Chinese society is still vulnerable to the effect of multifarious information flowing in, especially when it is for creating disorder,” the Global Times wrote. According to the AP, the paper then failed to list any examples of multifarious information, possibly because it’s a bold-faced lie by a regime that doesn’t know how to not censor and distort every piece of available information, possibly because no one in the Communist party is willing to admit that Hulu.com is the greatest thing any of them has ever seen. Ironically, the criticisms of Clinton’s speech were removed from Chinese papers’ [THE CHINESE PAPER’S] website within hours of being posted [COMMA] for fear that the harsh rhetoric would damage relations with the U.S.

3.) LA Times castigates Bachmann the blabberer

“Michele Bachmann’s blabbing drives Arlen Specter to patronize,” read the headline of a recent LA Times story about the fallout between Rep. Michele Bachmann and Sen. Arlen Specter, after the latter told Bachmann to “act like a lady” during a radio show. While feminist bloggers have yet to speak up in Bachmann’s defense, the LA Times’ response to the feud is a classic example of blaming a woman for making a man do something horrible to her. This practice is common in homes where domestic violence takes place, as well as in the sex-work industry, and even in some cases of sexual assault where female victims are blamed for being too attractive, too flirtatious, or having too much fun. In this case, Bachmann was too outspoken to not have her gender role challenged by a colleague on national radio, and too conservative for one of the country’s largest papers to not add insult to injury by saying that she deserved it.

4.) Did the U.S. cause the earthquake in Haiti?

Venezuela’s state-run ViVe TV accused the U.S. last night of causing the 7.0 earthquake in Haiti by testing an “experimental shockwave system that can also create…weather anomalies to cause floods, droughts and hurricanes,” FOX News reports. ViVe TV allegedly received the information from Russia’s Northern Fleet, the crew of which may or may not have been yanking the station’s chain in order to blow off some steam. In other Venezuela news, the country’s oil output under Pres. Hugo Chavez has decreased by 30 percent since 2001, putting Venezuela just a few economic reality checks away from being a “dysfunctional petrostate.”

5.) Obama speech sends stocks plummeting

“Concerns that a White House plan to restrict the growth of the nation’s largest banks could hurt their profits,” reports the Washington Post, gave “Wall Street…its biggest one-day loss in three months.” As liberals cheered the further disassembling of the country’s once-robust financial sector, “shares of Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase fell more than 6 percent, while Goldman Sachs’s stock fell 4 percent even after reporting a more than $13 billion profit for 2009.”

6.) SCOTUS: Free speech prevails

Much to the disappointment of campaign finance-reformers and censors everywhere, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that limits on corporate-financed political speech are unconstitutional. The ruling frees opponents of Hillary Clinton to show “Hillary: The Movie” on repeat until the end of time.