Midday Open Thread
- It begins today:
The Census Bureau kicks off its $300 million campaign Monday to prod, coax and cajole the nation’s more than 300 million residents to fill out their once-a-decade census forms.
- Now they’re calling them book tours?
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will make two stops in Iowa in March as part of his nationwide book tour, following visits by fellow 2012 GOP hopefuls Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty.
- Was Senator John Kerry (D-MA) refused entry into Iran by the Iranian government?
- Look for Rush Limbaugh to put a positive spin on this:
About one in 50 Americans now lives in a household with a reported income that consists of nothing but a food-stamp card.
- Good news for Jimmy Carter — Republicans seem to hate President Obama even more than they hated Carter.
- She may or may not be the first, but she’s the first I’ve heard of, so let’s file this under, it’s about damn time:
President Obama recently named Amanda Simpson to be a Senior Technical Advisor to the Commerce Department.
In a statement, Simpson … said that “as one of the first transgender presidential appointees to the federal government, I hope that I will soon be one of hundreds, and that this appointment opens future opportunities for many others.”
While Simpson is clearly one of the first transgender presidential appointees, Democratic officials say they’re unsure if she is the very first one.
- Good catch by Matthew Yglesias, commenting on a New York Times article about the President’s counterterrorism policies:
A half-dozen former senior Bush officials involved in counterterrorism told me before the Christmas Day incident that for the most part, they were comfortable with Obama’s policies, although they were reluctant to say so on the record. Some worried they would draw the ire of Cheney’s circle if they did, while others calculated that calling attention to the similarities to Bush would only make it harder for Obama to stay the course. And they generally resent Obama’s anti-Bush rhetoric and are unwilling to give him political cover by defending him.
It’s really staggering what this says about the ethical caliber of the people we’re talking about. These are the toughest issues out there. Obama is, they think, doing the right thing. But some of them don’t want to say he’s doing the right thing because that might make Dick Cheney mad and they’re timid, gutless careerists? And others don’t want to say he’s doing the right thing because their feelings are hurt that a Democrat said bad things about his grossly unpopular Republican predecessor? For this they’re going to undermine support for policies that they themselves believe are keeping the country safe?
- Apparently Parker Griffith’s (R-AL) staff doesn’t like turncoats.
- A tsunami has hit the Solomon Islands, “laying waste to at least one village.” As of yet there are no reports of casualties, although that may be because there’s no one there to make the report.
- An investigation has begun into the security lapse at a New Jersey airport that made life miserable for the thousands of other travelers trying to get home on the last day of the holiday weekend.