September 23, 2008
Rick Davis Learned A Lesson Today
Namely: If you're GOP operative with a lucrative lobbying business, you probably want to lay off attacking a Democrat for connections to a firm that skews Democratic. It just never ends well. To wit: One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain’s campaign manager, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement. The disclosure undercuts a statement by Mr.
A Matter Of Trust
Clay Risen is managing editor of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and a contributing editor at World Trade. His first book, A Nation on Fire: America in the Wake of the King Assassination will appear in January. It's tempting to watch today's Senate Banking Committee hearings, with Democrats and Republicans alike tearing into Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and feel pangs of sorrow for the beleaguered duo.
September 22, 2008
Elitism Done (By The) Right
It’s official: You’re allowed to disparage Sarah Palin because she “does not have a repertoire of historic patterns” or “the ability to engage in complex deliberations and feel which arguments have the most weight.” But it is absolutely forbidden to question her qualifications on the grounds that “she has never summered in Tuscany.”So declares David Brooks, the latest conservative to snipe at the GOP vice presidential nominee.
As long as we're talking about meat consumption, I wanted to mention the (controversial) recommendation made a couple of weeks back by IPCC head Rajendra Pachauri, who suggested that everyone give up meat one day each week in an effort to curb the massive impact of livestock farming on global warming.
The Bailout And Oil
Jad Mouawad reports: "Oil prices posted their biggest one-day gain on Monday, jumping more than $25 a barrel as investors dashed into commodities on concerns about the government’s plan to bail out the financial system." Weird. One guess is that news of the deficit-busting $700 billion bailout pushed down the dollar and raised the price of commodities. Doubtful a short spike puts added pressure on Congress to take up those energy bills, in any case. --Bradford Plumer
The Zillion Dollar Bailout
Two old friends of mine are in the thick of the zillion dollar bailout. (That’s what it might come to.) But not on the side of the bankers. They’re on the side of what you can clearly and cleanly call “the people.” One of them is Barney Frank whom I’ve known for probably more than forty years. He is now the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and a brainy and funny man he is.
Democrats Of Wasilla--unite!
I'm in Anchorage tonight after spending the last week or so in Wasilla. Without stepping on the piece I'm supposed to write, I can relate one of the more amusing (and heartening) scenes I observed in Alaska. It took place Friday night at a meeting of the Mat-Su Valley (i.e., Wasilla area) Democratic Party--a group of folks who, in the last three-plus weeks, have become the most motivated voters on the planet.
September 21, 2008
Mccain V. Obama On "60 Minutes"
An interesting contrast in styles tonight, one that might foreshadow Friday night's first debate. McCain, as he often is during sit-downs, was stiff and slightly uncomfortable-seeming. Obama was all winning smiles and effortless cool. But there was also a contrast in tone between the candidates, one whose winner is less obvious. McCain did an excellent job of presenting himself as a) outraged--"frankly enraged," as he put it--over the financial crisis and b) a man of action determined to shake up Washington. He made a populist denunciation of "greed and access" on Wall Street and in DC.
I don't agree that George Bush is responsible for the entire financial calamity through which we are trying to make our ways. But never in our history -- and certainly not during the Great Depression when the conscientious Herbert Hoover was in the White House -- has there been a president so blithe as this one. Has Bush asked from where the trillion dollar bailout will come and, moreover, how we will ever pay for our super-gargantuan debt?An interesting letter, "Dear Mr. Bernanke and Mr.
Obama's Early-voting Advantage
For the record, I think early voting is a pretty lousy idea, at least when it starts more than a few days out. Campaigns are intricately-timed affairs--when run well, they have beginnings, middles, and ends, almost like a good narrative--and candidates can't possibly execute them effectively if they're ending at different times for different voters. Unfortunately, several states now let people vote weeks before Election Day.