Detroit's cheap dates

A mostly political Weblog.
Sept. 2 2007 5:27 AM

Detroit's Cheap Dates

Plus--O'Reilly was right about Bourne.

(Continued from Page 4)

Hung for a Sheep! Emailer P.R. has a logical suggestion for Florida, which is being punished by Howard Dean and the DNC with loss of its convention delegates for scheduling a primary on January 29, right after the Iowa and New Hampshire contests:

The Dems in Florida should go Howard Dean one better and just move themselves in front of Iowa and NH.  If their votes aren't going to count for a primary after those two, why not go all in and schedule a date before both.  That will completely nullify their "importance".  That threat alone might get their votes back! [E.A.]

Heck, why doesn't Florida moves its primary into November, 2007? I'm almost ready to vote now! It would be worth moving the start of voting up many, many months if it could kill the Iowa caucuses, which have been a proven disaster for the Dems. ... P.S.--The 200% Solution: Better yet, we could have two rounds of primaries. Start with a full roster of non-delegate-selecting "beauty contests" in 2007, including in the big states. This would winnow the field. Then, just about the time buyer's remorse sets in and we wonder if there's not a better candidate, we could have the second round of real, official, delegate-binding primaries. ...The candidates are already campaigning and debating as if its February, so this schedule couldn't mean that much more work for them. Reporters would love it--they'd get to write about twice as many elections. And the campaigns would probably run out of money, reducing the impact of expensive TV ads! ... Win-win-win. .... 1:27 A.M.

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Zell's Big Dis: After apparent Tribune Company owner-to-be Sam Zell visited the L.A. Times  a week or so ago, Publisher-for-Now David Hiller sent a memo to the paper's staff  describing Zell as a"[h]igh energy straight-talking business owner" who "[b]elieves Los Angeles Times is very important and 'has a great future'." Kf hears Zell was rather more critical than that. In his talk to the assembled staffers, he said he found the paper "pretty bland." He pissed on the business section. He ran down the importance of foreign coverage as opposed to local news. Asked whether front-page ads compromised the integrity of the paper, he called that idea a "crock of shit."  He made a big point of saying the paper had to print what readers wanted to read, not what LAT editors wanted them to read--an idea that's pretty much in complete conflict with the existing DNA of the Times (which deemed L.A. mayor Hahn's divorce while he was in office not worth discussing, and reported Lindsay Lohan's arrest, after she mowed down some bushes in Beverly Hills, on page B3). All in all, Zell studded his spiel with bad omens for the paper's entrenched twits. ... P.S.: Whose account is more accurate--Hiller's or mine? There's an easy way to find out, since a video of Zell's talk was posted on the Times' internal network. Hiller could release it. ... 12:36 A.M. link

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

What happened to East Tulsa? Casual empiricism from George Borjas, on vacation in the West, who notices a tightening and changing unskilled labor market. ... Q: How do the Albanians get here? ... P.S.: Like many observers, Borjas thinks Bush is probably cracking down on illegal immigration

expecting that people who are running out of workers will be knocking on the doors of Congressmen and Senators--who will then be prodded into action and approve the amnesty and guest worker programs that Bush has so much wanted for so many years.

Is Bush's expectation sound? I don't quite understand how tightness in one part of the labor market--with rising wages for those at the bottom--will necessarily create effective political demand for a complicated "comprehensive" reform. "My paycheck is getting bigger each week. Washington must end the gridlock and do something to stop it!"

Aren't the "good times" we remember fondly--e.g. the late '90s--times of tight labor markets? Is Bush assuming that the political forces that traditionally champion workers over businesses (e.g., Democrats) will do nothing to protect their constituents' interests? That middle class voters really don't care about the fate of the working poor, as long as the price of lettuce doesn't rise? That Democratic pols secretly don't want workers to prosper unless it's the direct result of a Democratic program? If those are Bush's expectations, they're extraordinarily cynical and revealing. I'm not sure they are realistic, though. ... P.P.S.: Didn't Kevin Drum and other leftish bloggers sneer when I suggested that rising unskilled wages were in the offing? I think they did! ... How much do the people who serve crow make? ... 1:16 P.M.

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