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October 2007 Archives

October 7, 2007


It's wonderful how the truth slips out sometimes -- as often as not, in an aside:


For a Trusty Voting Bloc, a Faith Shaken

AFTER the 2004 elections, religious conservatives were riding high.... Now with the 2008 race taking shape, religious conservatives say they sense they have taken a tumble. Their issues are no longer at the forefront, and their leaders have failed so far to coalesce around a candidate, as they did around Mr. Bush and Ronald Reagan.

What unites them right now is their dismay — even panic — at the idea of Rudolph W. Giuliani .... But what to do about it is where they again diverge, with some religious conservatives last week threatening to bolt to a third party if Mr. Giuliani gets the nomination, and others arguing that this is the sure road to defeat.

Many religious conservatives were proud to claim the mantle that Karl Rove bestowed on them as “the base of the Republican Party.” Now they fear they may have lapsed unwittingly into the same role that African-Americans play in the Democratic Party: a dependable minority constituency that is courted by candidates but never really gets to call the shots.

This Times item was greeted with much chortlement over at Daily Kos -- where, however, nobody seems to have noticed that the Kosniks' situation in the Democratic Party is equally well described by that lapidary phrase "dependable minority constituency."

October 12, 2007

Whose ox is Gore-d

So Al Gore has won the Nobel Peace Prize, putting him in the illustrious company of moral giants like Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Menachem Begin, and Henry Kissinger. Oh, and look, there in the lower-left-hand corner -- the foolish hangdog grin of Yasser Arafat, still hoping, wherever he is, to be thrown a bone someday.

Washington, they say, is Hollywood for ugly people. To which we might add that the Nobel Peace Prize is the Oscar for prigs.

Like the Oscars, the selection process appears to be a kind of triple-distillation of conventional wisdom, media approval, and middlebrow taste. Much as one might wish it were otherwise, Norwegian parliamentarians don't seem to be much more original or insightful than their brethren elsewhere.

Oh well. I suppose it's just the last indispensable coat of gilding on the reinvented Al Gore's lily-white public persona. It's a never-ending source of delight, how a snake in office can shape-shift into an angel in opposition.

October 13, 2007

Less than meets the eye

Clinton Steps Away From Pro-Israel Lobby on Measure to Rein in President

Washington - Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton has built a reputation for strictly adhering to the pro-Israel line, but she now appears, for the first time, to be supporting legislation that is opposed by pro-Israel lobbyists.

Clinton announced last week that she would co-sponsor an amendment, proposed by Virginia Democrat Jim Webb, that would require the president to seek congressional approval before taking military action against Iran.

Ho hum. Dog bites man. This item was greeted with a certain amount of excitement in some quarters that I could name, but won't. Wow, these quarters wondered, is she feeling the heat from the grassroots? Is she defying the Lobby? Will she keep it up? Has she left the fold?

Dream on.

She hasn't left the fold, and won't. The Lobby has given her a pass, which any lobby is always willing to do for any given loyal lackey from time to time, as long as there are enough aisle-crossers left to give 'em a majority.

Hillary is such a valuable asset that the Lobby doesn't want her to have to take any unnecessary heat until she's safely ensconced in her husband's former chair. -- Well, maybe she'll use a different chair.

Regardless of chairs, I would bet that no intern, no matter what kind of underwear he or she might sport, will distract Hillary from her mission -- which is, of course, the same mission that her husband pursued so sedulously, without the low comedy.

Strange to think that the only person who might possibly make me miss Bill Clinton is... Hillary Clinton.

October 15, 2007

Huckabee? What kind of name is that?

I recall reading, some time ago, from the keyboard of Markos Moulitsas Zuniga himself, a grudging, fearful eulogy of Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. "Scary good," if I recall, was the phrase the Kosissimus used.

Kos pays more attention to this inside-baseball stuff than I do, so maybe he's right. Huckabee recently came to my attention again, though, in this item:


Huckabee could face hurdles from the past
Parole of rapist haunts campaign

WASHINGTON - To Mike Huckabee, Baptist minister, former governor, and GOP candidate for president, being a good Christian is about redemption and forgiveness .... [T]here is one man Huckabee believed deserved a second chance, convicted rapist Wayne Dumond.... Dumond's case is notorious in Arkansas. In 1984, he raped a 17-year-old girl. While awaiting trial at his home, he was castrated by, he said, masked intruders. Later, after Dumond went to prison for life, some people in Arkansas saw the sentence as excessive, especially given his mutilation.

Huckabee was one, and, after becoming governor in 1996, he announced his desire to commute Dumond's sentence.... The following year, Dumond committed the Missouri slaying. He died in prison in 2005.

...Stevens, the rape victim, is a distant cousin of Bill Clinton. When he was Arkansas governor, Clinton refused requests to reduce Dumond's sentence.

Life's little ironies, right? The hammerhead fundamentalist Huckabee made the mistake of trying to be, well, a Christian. I seem to recall the Founder made quite a point of forgiveness.

Mr and Ms Clinton, on the other hand, are justly famed for capping a retarded guy, who saved his dessert to eat after his execution. Nothing soft, Christian, or sentimental about them.

So remind me -- who's the lesser evil here? I keep losing track.

October 17, 2007

Triumph of the Will

I never thought the day would come that I'd have a good word to say for George Will, but I gotta admit he tagged dear Hillary pretty well recently:


Clinton's idea for helping Americans save for retirement is this: Any family that earns less than $60,000 and puts $1,000 into a new 401(k)-type plan would receive a matching $1,000 tax cut....

George W. Bush made this case in his advocacy of personal accounts financed by a portion of individuals' Social Security taxes and invested in funds based on equities and bonds. When he proposed this, Clinton stridently opposed him....

Today her Web site calls her proposal a way to save for "a secure retirement." After an undisclosed epiphany, she belatedly recognizes that 401(k) funds invested in equities are a foundation for security.

Hillary is nothing if not consistent. Her idea for health care (a variant on what J Alva Scruggs calls "Romneycare") is to force people to buy insurance. I suppose we can be glad that we won't be forced to buy retirement accounts; we'll have the choice of giving the money to the Pentagon instead. In both cases, however, her proposals involve a massive giveaway -- on the one hand, to the insurance moguls, and on the other, to Wall Street.

Grease the geezers

Barack Obama's latest brainstorm:


He also called today for eliminating income taxes for seniors making less than $50,000.
Well, why not? We've been robbing the young for the benefit of the old for years -- most notably, through the decades-long runup in house prices. A stunt like this might just possibly bribe a few more doddering Pere (and Mere) Goriots to pull a lever the right way.

Sometimes it really does seem that the lunatics are running the asylum. This suggestion on Obama's part appears to have passed without much notice. Where's the outrage? How could any sane person justify lifting taxes on "seniors" and keeping them in place for people who have kids to support?

The Democrats' Romneycare

You can have any kind of healthcare program you want from the Democrats, provided it's Romneycare, which itself owes a debt to the cynical and aptly named COBRA.

From Wikipedia:

COBRA does not, unlike other federal statutes such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), require the employer to pay for the cost of providing continuation coverage; instead it allows employees and their dependents to maintain coverage at their own expense by paying the full cost of the premium the employer previously paid, plus up to a 2% administrative charge (150% for the disability extension). Employees and dependents can also opt for a lesser form of coverage, e.g., to choose continuation coverage under a plan that only covers the employee, but not his or her dependents, or that only provides medical and hospitalization coverage and does not pay for dental work, if those options are available to covered employees. Employees and dependents lose coverage if they fail to make timely payments of these premiums. Employers are required to inform employees and dependents upon loss of coverage, in writing, by at least fifteen days before the coverage ceases.

I picked that for the smug wording, not for accuracy. It doesn't take any close reading to spot the problems with "allowing" people to take on the full weight of their misfortunes, plus the necessary incentivizing penalty surchages, or with easing the responsibilities of the people who play a major role in causing the misfortunes in the first place. It's welfare queen heaven. The premise is that good people are never reckless enough to lose their jobs. They take personal responsibility! People who get sick in order to weasel out of examining the character flaws that cost them jobs are bad people, and they should pay for it.

The ideology of Romneycare is that health insurance is available, but people are often too stupid and feckless to acquire it and insurers need more help in providing it. They all need a push. Cost containment will come from the miracle of consumer choice and magically removing the structural impediments that inflict insurers. Presumably people will plan their cancers and heart attacks accordingly.

The latest version of Hillarycare will pay for health care by

"removing hidden taxes, stressing prevention and a focus on efficiency and modernization, the plan will improve quality and lower costs."
Those feckless and stupid slackers who cost us all money, and who get sick in spite of all the focus,
"will be required to get and keep insurance in a system where insurance is affordable and accessible."
It's magic! They'll be allowed, at long last, to pursue a chance to get on the path to earn the opportunity to have a health care plan that looks something like the one she has, which we pay for. Obamacare will allow people to
"receive an income-related federal subsidy to buy into the new public plan or purchase a private health care plan."
The subsidy will go their insurers, in order to cut out the middleman. There will be lots of computers to ensure efficiency and transparency. Individuals and families will have a chance to to understand that
"the way Americans live, eat, work, and play have real implications for their health and wellness. The Obama health plan will require coverage of essential clinical preventive services such as cancer screenings and smoking cessation programs in all federally supported health plans."
They'll also have a mandatory chance to pay for those things. Good Haircare believes that
"all parts of our society must share responsibility. Edwards will make a historic effort to make insurance affordable and easy to obtain through new regional Health Care Markets, tax credits, and expanded Medicaid and children's health insurance programs. In return, employers must contribute their fair share and individuals must take responsibility for themselves and their families by signing up for an affordable plan."
The feckless and stupid have never had it so good. All this opportunity. . . What I find most remarkable is that they're less enlightened than Henry Ford and less generous than Otto von Bismarck. If people are going to pay for all these baroque, magical fixes for health care, they ought to be able to afford it. But even if they could pay, it does nothing to contain costs at the 'point of sale'; without that any plan is going founder. If their jobs half kill them, they still need means to keep existing.

It's not as though there's no support for a real plan. It's got a 2/3 majority. Employer-based plans are foundering. The big automakers are begging for federal relief and forcing their employees into taking on all the costs themselves. Pooled risk is easy to understand. The loss of "competitiveness" caused by skyrocketing health costs has even been noticed by the CFR. The dimmest lights in the technocratic cosmos understand. So why don't the Democrats?

October 18, 2007

Bold abroad, impotent at home

Great Partitioner Joe Biden -- he of the bold Caesarian plan for a tres-partes approach to Iraq -- turns strangely skulking and fidgety when confronted with a real threat, in the form of the insurance cabal. His "plan" for health insurance is, believe it or not, even more timorous and nugatory than Hillary's, or Obama's, or the guy with the nice haircut -- you know, whatsisname. Here's Biden:


SIOUX CITY -- Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden termed himself a pragmatist... he said changes to the health-care system and other policies have to be based in reality.... Americans [are] uncomfortable with drastic change when many Democratic presidential candidates discuss a single-payer health-care system....

The big focus of his health-care reform, Biden said, would be that medical bills exceeding $50,000 for treating catastrophic conditions would be pushed up to the federal government to pay. Those costly procedures are responsible for driving up health insurance costs, he noted.

He also advocated for the option of Americans buying into Medicare coverage earlier, at age 55, or electing to buy into the health-care plan that federal employees have.

To make the plan less prone to attack from those who fear "socialized" medicine, Biden said, "I don't want a whole new bureaucracy."

Primum non nocere, indeed: Do No Harm to the insurance companies, as usual. But Biden offers the insurance Moloch a fatter, more toothsome burnt offering than most -- whenever the highrollers place a particularly bad bet and have a big tab to pay, hand it off to the taxpayers!

American political campaigns are often compared -- not least by me -- to marketing campaigns for soft drinks, but in one crucial way this comparison is excessively complimentary to the politicians. People who market treacly soft drinks, or aorta-plugging hamburgers, or ridiculous top-heavy vehicles with Halloween animal-face grilles -- these people have to work pretty hard at coming up with new slogans, new angles, new imagery, all the time. They can't just serve up the same old thing year after year.

But Biden's clumsy fumbling with the rosary-beads of "bureaucracy" and "pragmatism" and "realism" makes me really, really wish that these people were subject to some market discipline. Maybe we should make 'em go on American Idol and get savaged by that nasty English guy. That would at least have some entertainment value, a thing decidedly lacking, along with every other kind of value, in current American politics.

October 19, 2007

Campus creepers

Academic freedom? Fuck it. Why should academics have any more freedom than the rest of us? I can foresee the day when you'll have only one of two “life-style” choices, for most of us, here in Mount Hillary America:

1) Go by day to a corporate feel-freaky concentration camp, and spend the rump of your day compensating; or

2) Drop out and blow about in dead-leaf freedom.

And that'll be it -- unless you attend a super-duper multinational higher-ed gig.

What brought this attack of dyspepsia on was something I just read, about the ever more endangered life of free birds on campus. Its author was mostly ticked off by Israel's grim turn-all-to-lead reach into the ivy patch:


Over the past few years, Israel's U.S. defenders have stepped up their campaign by establishing a network of institutions... dedicated to the task of monitoring our campuses and bringing pressure to bear on those critical of Israeli policies.... they have severely disrupted academic processes, the free function of which once made American universities the envy of the world.
The author, one Saree Makdisi, is, of course a professor herself. But you probably guessed that. Only professors have such a high opinion of Academia.

I say, "so fuckin' what?" Those hallowed bells of freedom never chime when the order of class battle is really drawn. One word: McCarthy.

So to hell with the liberal university scene.

If we've seen through the notion of a broadly prosperous post industrial Amerika, salvation, my fellow midget Americans, awaits us regular folks in a post university America.

Attention, future choice shoppers! Now available in aisle one! The fast and ever faster a-buildin' American economy, where brave and clever third-degreed gimps imagineeer us homers all into nano-bounty.

Now ruminate on this nugget: where do these gimps get bred?

Yup, both the hearts and minds ready to hatch out this blade runner future, are now housed inside Amerca's leading universities. Pure creation, suave recreation, planned procreation, and the ultimate grail, near immortality... for the meritoriously worthy.

It's all gettin' cooked up, certified, property-stamped, and shipped out globe-wide, from right inside the new universal Church Of Patented Science, whose global tithe will be IP royalties.

Grab your torches and pitchforks, fellow peasants, and pay a visit to your local branch of Frankenstein U., Inc. Up there, on the cloud-shrouded maountaintop, among the sloping swards and shady sycamores, the evil Doctors are probing the secrets of life – with a view to appropriating them. If you want any life at all, haul those freaks out of their lab, pronto.

October 20, 2007

The how -- or the what?

Dear Hillary seems to be feeling a little defensive about her recent vote greasing the skids for war with Iran. Apparently she has written a letter to Iowa Democrats on the subject -- a minor masterpiece in its own way, and one that raises an interesting question. Here's the gist of Hillary's self-exculpation:
Let me be clear on Iran -- I am opposed to letting President Bush take any military action against that country without full Congressional approval.
Now here's the interesting question: Does the public care about the "how", or are they more concerned with the "what"? That is, will they be happy with an Iran war, as long as it has "full congressional approval" -- or would they rather not have one, no matter who might approve?

If it's the latter -- if they don't want a war, whether or not the civics teachers feel that due process has been observed -- then it's pretty clear that Hillary will disappoint them. Now Hillary will be the Democrats' candidate, and very likely the next President, barring the very unlikely appearance on YouTube of a sex tape of her with Bob Rubin, or with a high-quality, top-notch, officially-certified, drug and disease-free standard poodle.

It will, in a mild way, be interesting to see what Iowa voters make of this gambit. What they ought to conclude, of course, is "game over" -- it's gonna be war upon war upon war, all the way down, for all their fabled "caucuses" can do to stop it.

Wouldn't it be great if they just stayed home -- if the one person who showed up for the Iowa caucuses was a poor old toothless dodderer in a walker, with one quesion: What are you going to do for "seniors"?

Oh, I know it wouldn't make any difference. But it would make me think better of Iowa.

October 21, 2007

Bobby throws a bombie


More from the undauntable, 12-handicap R. Reich, former Clinton policy caddy, now chasing after the dembo-chiefs' golf cart, yelling with no effect -- "see that five-iron of mine on 13, guys?"

Bobby's club of choice for the present prog sandtrap lie? Forget lagging it up -- go for the pin: a net worth tax!

His words:

An annual wealth tax of one half of one percent on net worth of people holding more than $5 million in total assets.
By jingo, both God and the Devil himself must love this guy -- I know I do. A wealth tax! And on the living, too... My, my.

Fore! Bob's playing through.

October 24, 2007

Weepin' Dick Durbin Revisited

Via Who Is IOZ

Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) apologized to the House Tuesday for controversial comments he made about the Iraq war, following an unsuccessful attempt by House Republican leaders to publicly censure the 18-term lawmaker. “I want to apologize to my colleagues — many of whom I have offended — to the president and his family and to the troops,” Stark said. He added that he hoped the apology would allow him to “become as insignificant as I should be” as the House moves forward on critical, divisive issues. Stark then left the podium, wiping away tears as Democratic colleagues surrounded him with supportive handshakes.

Story article

Oh, for pity's sake. Is there no end to the lachrymose, groveling, nebbish routine? By the time Hillary takes office, most of the Democrats will have wept. Those that vote for them should consider stocking up on kleenex.

October 25, 2007

Sell high, er, aim high

An amusing juxtaposition of headlines from The Note this morning:


Des Moines Register's JENNIFER JACOBS: "Clinton exhorts women to aim high, speak out"

Des Moines Register: "Clinton defends taking money from lobbyists"

An old friend of mine, a feminist of the early-70s, in-your-face, armpit-hair variety, introduced me to the concept of "free alterations feminism." This was her shorthand for the kind of "feminists" whose social critique came down to the fact that upper-middle-class (and higher) women didn't get as many goodies as their male counterparts -- e.g. free alterations for their power suits at Brooks Brothers.

Talkin' 'bout my generation... Hillary is surely the type specimen of free-alterations feminism. To this sad consummation our high hopes have come.

What happened to my friend, you ask? She's a bond analyst* these days. Drives a Mercedes.


*This phrase always summons a mental New Yorker cartoon to my mind's eye: bond on the couch, tweedy chap with a goatee and round steel-framed glasses taking notes. I've never been able to think of a good caption. They always start out, "Tell me more about your...", but then my ignorance of the bond market keeps me from closing the deal.

October 26, 2007

I got your buyout, right here


Dennis Kucinich, alone among the Demo contenders, wants universal single-payer health care. But even he, it seems, feels that the insurance companies ought to be "bought out" by the taxpayers.

Why? What's to buy? If you condemn somebody's land for a road, I can see it. But the Kucinich scheme is more like compensating TV broadcasters for building the Internet. You compensate people when you take their property, not their customers.

Personally, I can't think of a group I'd sooner see left high and dry than the insurance companies. -- Well, maybe hedge funds. And anybody in the real-estate business.

Plus ca change, part N+1

While reading some stuff by I F Stone* about the early cold war, I came across this bit on his support for the Wallace third-party campaign of '48:
I know I'm a dupe or worse... but I don't think I'm as big a dupe as those who are going to vote for Truman and the bipartisan cold war, and expect to get peace, housing, and better prices....
Today we'd just need to change the list to peace, health, and higher wages.

Oh and of course we'd also need to substitute our un-Dear Leader mother Clinton for that snap-snip-and-roll cocker spaniel from the Kansas City machine.


*The Truman Era, 1945-1952, p. 67.

What Would Greenspan Do?

Between my day job, and my skunk-works work over the Internet, designing a Doomsday Machine among economic models, I can only manage brief concise meme-ography here. But this thought occurs to me as worth one hundred thousand repeats for us inmates of America, Inc.:

What's the equivalent, for our secular Sodom, of "Allah is merciful, Allah is great” in the land of Saud and Sand? I think it's something like this: "What's good for the TNCs* is good for us all."

Ask yourself next time you reach a fork in your head -- "How will this choice, properly made, help the TNCs?" -- and take your path accordingly


* Trans-national corporations, of course.

I want my money back

I'm a happy man tonight. I just read that the weedy son of some jillionaire donor is suing Princeton University for $880 mil -- Jeez, that's nearly a billion dollars! -- because Princeton supposedly didn't use it for the purpose the jillionaire had in mind. To increase my delight, the jillionaire's gift was originally given to -- drum roll! -- Princeton's "Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs", an institution which, as faithful readers here will know, I find deeply loathesome, and not just because of the prating, preachy swine it's named after. Though that would be enough.

The New York Times, caught between great wealth on one hand, and the 1/2 of the "big 2-1/2" on the other, steered a cautious course in reporting this one:


In a legal battle watched nervously by universities around the country, a New Jersey judge yesterday sent to trial a dispute between Princeton University and the heirs of a supermarket fortune and left open the possibility that Princeton could lose a donation that is now worth $880 million....

The dispute centers on whether Princeton University has adhered to the Robertsons’ wishes; Mrs. Robertson, an heir to the A.&P. supermarket fortune, gave Princeton $35 million in 1961 for its Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Her children say the money was intended to prepare students for work in federal government, especially in international affairs. They say, though, that few graduates have taken such jobs....

[The judge] said he would allow the family to reach back many years in its questioning to determine whether Princeton’s spending was appropriate; Princeton had hoped to limit the questioning to just a few years....

[Princeton] notes that its graduates include Anthony Lake, a former national security adviser to President Bill Clinton, and Gen. David H. Petraeus.

That last line is enough, right there, to justify taking the money back, and spending it on polo ponies, or $20,000 shower curtains, or burning it with the autumn leaves. Anything, anything! but another Anthony Lake. More generally, I'm with the jillionaires on this one. He who pays the piper gets to call the tune. Just who are these jumped-up professors, anyway, to live on the largesse of the wealthy and ignore their wishes?

Old Johann Sebastian Bach, when he worked for the Duke of Weimar, had to wear a servant's livery. He must have looked as hangdog and foolish as a parking valet at a midwestern Hilton hotel. I wish academics had to do the same -- dress like butlers and line up to tug their forelocks whenever a big donor should honor them with a visit.

Not that I like the donors, but the smugness of the profs drives me really crazy. Here I sit, they seem to say, in my endowed chair, looking down from a great moral and intellectual eminence. Never mind that the eminence is the summit of a dungheap -- and don't ask what rough beast excreted it.

Picayune and Propertarian

Global warming is a pressing issue. Pressing enough that stern measures are needed to protect Al Gore's intellectual property rights.

Some climate campaigners said Gore’s speaker fee – rumoured to be $180,000 – was not sending the right message. Journalists moaned after finding that his meeting with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, was just a photo-op. No questions allowed.

More seriously, the heavy-handed restrictions on reporting Gore’s words at the conference caused headaches. Scribblers and television cameras were allowed to document the first five minutes of his comments, but then had to put their pens away and turn off their cameras. Journalists had to submit a written declaration that they would not break the rules, which were said to be necessary because of copyright restrictions


Neoliberalism's finest (hothouse) flower surely has enough money by now that he needn't worry about a few kids with YouTube accounts horking his precious market share. That speaker's fee alone should keep him flying for at least six weeks, to all his other gigs, for all those other fees. Maybe his pal Branson could spot him a ride when his jet is in the shop.

October 29, 2007

Summers is y-cumen in, lhude sing O No!


Imagine the TNC-donks had a designated double-domed mouthpiece -- who would it be but Larry Summers? His occasional columns in the Financial Times show us the momentary wind direction at the corner of Wall Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

I think it's shifting. Take a look at this compaction I've redacted from a redaction at the site of mild and moderate Mark Thoma: http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2007/10/summers-how-ame.html

The vast majority of the US current account deficit is now being funded by central banks accumulating reserves as they seek to avoid appreciation of their home currencies ... Some means of engagement must be found with those who have yolked their currencies and so their financial policies to that of the US...

Maintaining global financial stability and the role of the dollar requires a more strategic approach -- a task that, given the political calendar, is likely to fall to the next US administration.... [The international system of exchange rates] needs to be radically reinvented .... any new approach must be premised on the desirability of a strong, integrated global economy that benefits the citizens of all countries, not on the idea that economists or politicians can calculate “fair” exchange rates....

The right and potentially effective case for adjustments in the current alignment of exchange rates relies on their unsustainability and the distortions they induce in macroeconomic policies, not on ideas of fairness to workers....

Multilateralism is better politics and economics than unilateralism but it must not become an excuse for inertia. Any new group should be as large as necessary and no larger, should meet with some frequency and should include central bankers. It should be analytically informed but everyone should know that key decisions will ultimately be taken by senior officials in the national interest, not by international organisations.

So much here needs glossing, but obviously this is Larry's early admissions application essay for, what else, globalization czar in the St Hill administration -- the position played by bond ghoul Rubin in the first pair of Clinton administrations. Bobby himself, I expect,will remain in the background, the type of figure Bernard Baruch became in the second Wilson admin of 1917-20, and tried to be again – with, thankfully, zero success -- under FDR.

Will Larry get the job? If he does, we "workers" -- to use his word for us -- are in for a whole lot of nothin' good.

October 30, 2007

Shadow play

In an interview last week, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois telegraphed his intention to sharpen his distinctions with Mrs. Clinton. At the same time, though, he said he had no plans to “kneecap the front-runner.”

While other rivals have made no such pledges, the Democrats have yet to unleash the sharp personal criticisms to the degree their Republican counterparts have against one other.

Presumably because they all know that Hill will be the nominee and they're all running for Vice-President. The product positioning thus requires enough differentiation from Mom so they'll bring something to the ticket, without (as Obama blurted out) "kneecapping" her.

Obama's differential is his mellow skin color, which is why he doesn't have to say anything beyond anodyne feel-good generalities and nondenominational uplift. Edwards, by contrast, has to talk a slightly more aggressive game (and since he's not in office, of course, this is zero-cost).

I don't know what Biden is thinking of.

About October 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Stop Me Before I Vote Again in October 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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