Wolraich: Obama at the Gates of... Gates
Dr. C: In Praise of Writing Binges
Maiello: Gatsby Doesn't Grate
Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President pretty much boils down to Suskind's view that Obama's incompetent management blighted his first two years in particular by causing him to blow two key decisions: he didn't put Citicorp into Chapter 11 (or even Chrysler) and in creating the Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA) he opted for coverage instead of cost reduction.
Punishing Citicorp ( or somebody)
And the score was....Geithner 1, Volker 0.
Suskind subscribes to the moral hazard school: when something's gone wrong, someone should suffer. Perhaps even those responsible. Somehow I'm reminded of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery, but never mind. [Read more]
... is reviewed by Brad Delong . The link is below in the first comment(don't ask!)
It (the review) is worth reading. Whether you agree or disagree with Brad, it sort of provides a check list of the issues you have to consider in trying to come to a rational position about Obama's record on the economy.
As to the book itself, well whether or not you disagree with Suskind, it's impressive in all the stuff it covers. But not in its manipulative argument by adjective or anecdote. From Brad's review: [Read more]
after Nov 2012.
On Countdown last night Nate Silver explained that this week's special congressional elections were even worse than they had seemed on the surface. We knew that the Republican carried Anthony Weiner's Brooklyn seat and won in the open Nevada seat.
Brooklyn was discounted as Netanyahu's revenge: the district's large Jewish electorate punishing Obama for being insufficiently pro Israel. No reason to expect that to change between now and Nov 2012 when Ed Koch will presumably endorse Rick Perry or whomever the Tea Party anoints.
Here's the report that's going viral today.
I deeply disagree with those who applauded the idea of letting the uninsured die.
But of course that's what we do already, but we can hide it from ourselves by not looking very hard.
And it's why I back Obamacare.
The New Yorker
I fondly remember a cartoon a decade ago. A blackboard full of equations. Two elderly physicists. One, pointing at a spot on the board., which says “then a miracle occurs”.
Aug 18 2011
…….. No need to blame the rating agencies: governments.. have been unable to cope with the realities of global capital markets and competition from Asia… [Read more]
Tuesday. In Wisconsin . By the two Dems against whom the Reps had organized a Recall. Well publicized by NPR in a sucky piece a week before the election introducing us to Patriotic Wisconsin Housewife, out there fighting the Good Fight and organizing one of the Recalls. Yawn.
Not saying NPR didn't have the right. Just pointing out that anyway the Dems got 54% and 58% of the vote.Which sounds like an improvement over the General judging by the absence of Republican claims of an improved share.
But there's more than one way to kill a cat. Or deal with a successful Dem. .If you can't beat em.. redistrict them away. [Read more]
Suppose S&P knew it had some sub-prime skeletons which it wanted to protect from any investigation. The Downgrade did that since now any investigation could be characterized as Obama's revenge.
What sort of skeletons?
Consider the initial period of minimal payments in sub-prime loans..
Suppose that wasn't really designed as a "come-on" to entrap naive buyers. Suppose instead its purpose was to facilitate, say S&P, providing a triple A to the derivatives based on this junk. Pretty hard for Stuffy & Pompous to do that if they started defaulting immediately. [Read more]
Best case the dems will only pick up two seats. They needed 3.
Worst case there could be no change
As of 1 40 edt the democrats were only able to unseat two of the 6 republican senators they were challenging. A third repub was in a tight race but will probably survive..
Next week two democrats will undergo a recall vote.so it's possible that the apparent gain of two seats tonight could be offset.
Some Congressional Republicans are just backward rejecting modern economics on the same basis they reject Darwin and climate science. Others are cynical, desiring the worse possible economy as an aid to recapturing the White House and Senate in 2012. Still others simply do not believe that government action can ever be a force for good……………………………..
The US suffers with an increasingly third-world level of infrastructure, third-tier education system and enormous gaps in the preparedness of its workforce…. [Read more]