Best sign for Dems in 2006: Adam Nagourney has stopped coming up with giddy, wishful-thinking reasons they'll win and started coming up with hand-wringing reasons they'll lose. [He's escaped the cocoon?-ed Or he's still in the cocoon, but even the cocoon is worried!] ... Maybe if all the drearily conventional Dem congressional hacks the NYT quotes (Pelosi, Boxer, Dodd, Kerry, Hillary) promised to resign en masse if their party is given control of Congress, to make room for new faces. A sort of Divorce Settlement with America. That would be a banner to rally around. ... kf's nominee for a Dem theme: Return to Normalcy (which includes, as a minor component, normalizing, legalizing and limiting necessary government eavesdropping). And don't forget health care. ... 2:13 P.M.
Does Steve Jobs really get away with not having license plates on his car? I thought we tolerate vast money inequality because we enforce social equality! Especially in Silicon Valley. That means moguls have to obey the rules, no? 12:31 P.M.
McCain on "24":Either political brilliance or Darwinian hypocrisy. I can't figure out which. ... ut it's pretty clear what McCain's weak spot is: the need for press attention. A couple of months without a call from Meet the Press and he'll fall apart! ... 12:12 P.M.
Veteran Detroit columnist Jerry Flint of Forbes says "Enough already on General Motors and Bankruptcy. ... GM isn't going bankrupt this year; GM isn't going bankrupt next year." Why? Because the main reason GM would go bankrupt "is to break a union contract:"
That works with airlines because there are always some Navy top guns who owe on their Corvettes and will replace your striking pilots. And there are lots of women left to replace your striking stews.
But replacing 150,000 United Auto Workers members is another story. A judge could tell them to work for 10 cents an hour, but it's still a free country; they can strike, and they would. Plus, they are stronger than the company. The workers own paid-up houses, cars and boats and have working wives (or husbands). GM would have to negotiate any change in the contract, so the bankruptcy ploy just doesn't work here.
Hmm. Is that a reason General Motors won't go bankrupt or a reason it will? Certainly makes you want to invest in GM, doesn't it? ... A work-rule-addicted union that's "stronger than the company" is not a problem Toyota and Honda have. ... [via Autoblog] 11:09 A.M.
How many Hollywood stars does it take to plot an anti-Bush Oscar rant? Four, plus Gore Vidal, apparently. ... George Clooney confirms Bill O'Reilly's crude paranoia. ... Update: Clooney also takes issue with kf's contention that films "have long lead times" and "are lousy barometers of 'America today.'"
You have to remember, the beauty of blogging is that they can fact-check a tremendous amount of things journalists say instantaneously, but who is their ombudsman? Who corrects them? Along the way an awful lot of crap gets out.
Some say Clooney's drama-sappingly one-sided Good Night and Good Luck could have used a fact-checker too! What a waste of good acting. ... P.S.: Less cattily, Clooney, like many movie-makers, seem to think the greater paychecks that come with working in films are inevitably accompanied by greater culture-shaping influence, when in reality TV shows and rap songs are far less ponderously reactive and therefore more influential. The list of culture-shaping films is pretty short--Clooney reaches back to 1967 and "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" for its "impact on the social conscience." But even in the 1960's, Bill Cosby's "I Spy" was arguably much more influential, in part because it beat "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" by two years. ... 10:40 A.M
"Is it the torture that causes them to go all weak-kneed? That's obviously part of it." ... Psst, Nora: It's the ratings. ... McCain is to pundit shows what lesbians are to Howard Stern. ... 10:33 A.M.