Two Hail Marys.

A mostly political Weblog.
March 17 2003 5:56 AM

Two Hail Marys

Plus: WaPo wobbles, sort of, maybe.

(Continued from Page 2)

Another sign subtlety doesn't pay in the Washington lobbying game:

Lobbyist Lorine Card, a member of one of the best-connected families in Washington these days, has set up her own shop: Card & Associates.

Card, the sister-in-law of White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr., said the split with her partner, Valerie LoCascio, at the Potomac Hudson Group was amicable. ...

Though she wants her shop to stay small, Card said she'll be looking to expand.

Going solo and putting the Card name out front had nothing to do with her brother-in-law, she said.

Emphasis in original.  ... 1:26 A.M.

Kiss of death: Bill Clinton joins the Balking Hawks. ... Why do I think this dooms any chance their case might have had within the Bush Administration? ... Clinton must know his endorsement won't help -- but I guess he couldn't resist being seen as getting the answer right. (He did get the answer right, by my lights.). ... Update: As long as someone named Clinton was going to make this point, why didn't Hillary Clinton have the balls to do it? [Wouldn't that be the kiss of death too?-ed. My guess is the Bushies don't loathe Hillary nearly as much as Bill. For one thing, she's not an ex-president undermining a successor. For another, she has some discipline, a Bushie virtue. For another, she's an elected official in the opposition. Bush actually has a laudable track record of stealing ideas from the opposing party and taking credit for them (the Homeland Security department being the most recent example). He might steal this one too! A longshot, I agree.] ...  More:Media Whores Online gets in a good shot  at this item. ... 1:06 A.M.

Wednesay, March 12, 2003

DeLong Deciphers: Brad DeLong takes up the challenge of explaining his ally Paul Krugman's seemingly contradictory worries about a) deflation and b) inflation. It's a very helpful post.  DeLong says deflation is a short-term worry ("a problem for the next three years") and inflation a long-term problem ("that may begin to threaten the country starting at the soonest a decade hence"). Any hope that the two problems will cancel each other out is vain, he argues:

The first danger will be over and settled long before the second danger begins to gather strength.

I'm still a bit puzzled, though. If you thought actual deflation was a lively threat for the next three years, alert kf reader J.G. argues, would you really switch to a fixed-rate long term mortgage as Krugman says he's done? Wouldn't you wait a couple of years to lock in a fixed mortgage at a lower rate? Are long-term mortgage rates completely disconnected with what might happen to prices over the next few years? Or has Krugman voted with his own money against the threat of deflation he (and DeLong) have been warning us about, as J.G. suggests? (Krugman himself seems to admit as much when he writes "unless we slide into Japanese-style deflation, there are much higher interest rates in our future." [Emph. added.] He just bet on higher interest rates -- so he can't be too worried about "Japanese-style deflation," can he?)  ... I do have an alternative explanation: a desperate columnist will do anything for a lede! (He'll even lock his family into a possibly-higher-than-necessary monthly mortgage payment.)

DeLong explains that Krugman couldn't clear up the deflation/inflation, short term/long term confusion because he "only has 700 words" -- though it only takes DeLong 53 words to do the job, by my count. But it's hard to disagree with DeLong's concluding plea:

Memo to Howell Raines: Give Paul Krugman 2000 words once a week (or once every week and a half) rather than 700 words twice a week.

Or -- here's a crazy suggestion -- have him write 400 words when he has a 400 word idea and 2,000 words when he has a 2,000 word idea! That's what bloggers do! ... Update: Comments at Luskin, Musil, Brothers Judd. ... 3:27 P.M.



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