Blog of Rivals!

Blog of Rivals!

Blog of Rivals!

A mostly political weblog.
Nov. 17 2008 12:25 AM

Blog of Rivals!

The Mistake:  What will Hillary Clinton bring to the Obama administration? British sourcing on this one --an unnamed "veteran" Obama "aide" tells "a friend"--but the ring of truth:

"He's making a mistake." As one of the [Obama aides] participants told a friend later that night: "She'll do a good job but she'll do it for herself, not for Barack. I can't bear the drama again." ... [snip]

The Obama aides who went for coffee on Wednesday discussed how the initial tentative talks between Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton were leaked by the Clinton camp, then how every twist and turn of the financial vetting found its way into the media. ...[snip]

They can't help themselves," the Obama aide told his friend, a fellow Democrat strategist. "Every event is a potential ladder up or a bullet to be dodged. They're positioning and spinning all the time. They lost. Now we seem to be handing them the farm." [E.A.]


Where is Gina Gershon now that we need her? ... [ via Lucianne 11:50 A.M.


Saturday, November 22, 2008    

More signs of the Gran Salida of Illegal Immigrants: Emergency room visits are dropping . In Arizona


In the Maricopa Medical Center in Arizona, the director of the ED commented that 45% of adults and 80% of children seeking ED care at the hospital emergency department are Hispanic. The economy in the area is getting worse and the hospital believes that many of the patients that usually come to the ED have left town

It's not just Arizona--a commenter from North Carolina notes:

Around NC, the poor economy has illegals leaving in droves…no work.
Our ED volumes are down. Most ED patients are those without insurance (lay-offs), so the family doctors won’t see them. Hospital census is down by my estimated guess, 10%. We have 3 ICUs, one is completely closed, the other two at about 60%. Hours being cut throughout.

P.S.: There's a less entrada too--" Mexican emigration has dropped 42 percent over the last two years ..." [ Thanks to alert reader W.O. 11:53 P.M.



Friday, November 21, 2008    

The New Plan? Cripple Honda! Save Detroit with Card Check!  Eliminating the secret ballot and making it easier to organize U.S. Honda and Toyota workers (and imposing contract terms via binding arbitration) would "level the playing field," says Dem. Congressman Tim Ryan. ... Then when Honda and Toyota responded by importing more cars from abroad, we could have import quotas! Eventually the whole automotive sector could be planned by Congress in conjunction with existing business and labor interest groups.  Red State has seen the future and it is corporatist. ... 12:21 P.M.



Mickey's Assignment Desk: 2000 words on "The Agony of Richard Holbrooke." He can't just be sitting still and patiently waiting for Hillary to make up her mind  about whether she wants to be Secretary of State. ... Assigned to: Lloyd Grove. David Ignatius. Or someone young, who doesn't want a foreign policy job someday.  (Michael Crowley?) ... Update:  Reader emails that "[H]olbrooke WANTS hillary to take sec of state -- that's the only way he gets back into the state dept." OK. Bet he's still been in agony!  11:53 A.M.


Thursday, November 20, 2008


[M]anagement as is must go. New faces should be recruited from unrelated industries — from companies widely respected for excellence in marketing, innovation, creativity and labor relations.

Why "must" Alan Mulally of Ford go? He  practically just got there (in late 2006). He's not a Detroit lifer like GM's Rick Wagoner. He can't be held responsible for Ford's sorry condition--he was brought in to fix Ford's sorry condition. A new face recruited from a successful outside company (Boeing) he seems like just the sort of person Romney says should be hired. Is Romney really sure recruiting another new CEO--who'll have to relearn whatever Mulally has learned--will be so much better?  Maybe Romney knows something about Mullaly that I don't. Or maybe he's failing to discriminate among three different companies in a way that can't be the mark of a good "turnaround" artist. ... P.S.: For one thing, Mulally hasn't killed off Ford's new products the way GM and Chrysler seem to be doing--perhaps because Ford has more hope of actually selling its new products. ... 1:43 A.M.


Crocodiles: Good to see my father's most famous quote back in the news . It's about how hard it was for him as a judge to be uninfluenced by the possibility that voters might boot him from office if they don't like his decision. The quote is freshly relevant because everybody's wondering whether the current California Supreme Court has the balls to invalidate Proposition 8 , which reversed that same Court's ruling on gay marriage.

Now the moderately conservative state Supreme Court is being asked to take an even riskier step -- to overturn the November voter initiative that reinstated the gay-marriage ban and possibly provoke a voter revolt that could eject one or more of the justices from the bench. ... [snip]

Kaus later said that as hard as he tried to decide cases impartially, he was never sure whether the threat of a recall election was influencing his votes.

"It was like finding a crocodile in your bathtub when you go to shave in the morning," Kaus said. "You know it's there, and you try not to think about it, but it's hard to think about much else while you're shaving."

I suspect the crocodile effect won't even come into play in the state court's review of Prop. 8. True, the court could throw it out if they decide it amounts to a wholesale "revision" of the state constitution, rather than a mere "amendment."  But the arguments that it's a "revision" are implausible. (See Prof. Volokh's analysis .)  Precedent and reptile are in accord. I'll be shocked if Prop. 8 isn't upheld.

Does that mean gay-marriage advocates should stop bringing lawsuits? Prof. Althouse asks :

Why should a minority group that perceives itself as oppressed accept the will of the majority? Why should the intransigency of the political majority convince them that they should refrain from using the courts?

The answer is it shouldn't. Gay rights groups remain perfectly free to argue that Prop. 8 is invalid under the federal Equal Protection clause. But they don't want to argue that case, apparently, because they are worried they'll lose .

Gay rights lawyers, fearful that a high court defeat on same-sex marriage would set the movement back decades, have urged supporters to stay out of federal court.

With state constitutions amended, they may have no other judicial remedy. But it still seems simpler, and preferable just to wait a couple of years and overturn Prop. 8 at the ballot box . A democratic resolution will tend to stick. A judicial resolution will produce an ongoing, painful social battle (what abortion has been ever since Roe ). ... 1:14 A.M.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Still not black enough!  Sasha Frere-Jones disses . .. 10:23 P.M.


Rahm: Yes on universal health care, noncommittal on card check .  ... The hesitancy about card check would be more significant if Emanuel hadn't been talking to a business group. Still. ... 10:09 P.M.


Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures: Automobile is offering subscriptions for $6 annually. That includes a free tire gauge. I'm waiting until they offer free tires. ... P.S.: The way things are going could also throw in the New York Times . (Not just a subscription to the New York Times . The New York Times .) ...   8:39 P.M.


Excitability + Aflatoxin = Iraq War Hillary! Atlantic backscratchers Andrew Sullivan and Jeffrey Goldberg are swooning over Secretary of State Clinton. Sullivan says it's " an inspired idea ." Goldberg cites a passage that he says demonstrates Clinton has a  "simultaneous mastery of the smallest details and of the biggest themes" that is "beyond impressive."  Read it for yourself. Does it reflect Hillary's "uncommon knowledge"? Or is it, rather, an unremarkable politicians' statement that either tells Goldberg what he wants to hear ("You do not get people into a process ... unless the other side knows that your commitment to Israel is unshakable.") or makes Hillary someone Goldberg might like to promote for either political or beat-sweetening reasons? You make the call! ... P.S.: It does seem like he's always selling somethin'! ... P.P.S.: And Holbrooke doesn't know about the Middle East? ... Update: Dick Morris is making sense . Always a troubling sign. ...

Goldberg responds: " I plead guilty to the charge of political promotion ." ...  :6:28 P.M.


A young Facebook/PayPal mogul is catching flak  from  his Silicon Valley peers for his alleged support of ... not Prop. 8**, but Numbers U.S.A., the highly effective "restrictionist" lobbying group. In particular, the mogul is said to have fallen under the sway of a "Christian right wing thinker" named "Rob" Morrow:

Earlier this year, Morrow wrote a paper called "The Bull Market in Politics." His thesis was that "government influence — over trade policy, social programs, decisions of war and peace — becomes much more important" to investors. One key policy area: immigration, where Morrow thinks there is a rising consensus for restrictions.

A politically driven drop in immigration has broad economic implications, especially on the housing market; with less population growth, housing prices will continue to suffer for much longer than most anticipate.

The Northern California beef against Morrow is that he's "not merely forecasting the market. He has cajoled his influential boss to spend money to make his forecast a reality." OK, but what about the forecast? The timing more or less fits, no? Real estate prices started to plummet just as expectations of imminent semi-amnesty were turning into the reality of harsher enforcement. Schools in immigrant heavy areas of L.A. for example, reported declining enrollments in 2006 .  The nationwide character of the Gran Salida became apparent, even to the press  by early 2008. . It seems highly plausible to me that there is some non-trivial causality running between the decrease in the net inflow of illegal immigrants and the real estate bust--all the immigrants who have disappeared would have had to live somewhere . Even if they were renters, not buyers, they would ordinarily have bolstered the value of housing stock. (And some were buyers --search for "this borrower has gone back to Mexico and has no intention of returning.")

But you don't hear many MSM analysts making this obvious connection. It's odd, because you'd think the reporters who favor legalizing illegals and increasing immigration would want to be able to say, "We need more hard-working immigrants to buy our damn houses!" But they aren't saying it. Why? Is it because a) admitting that immigrant populations are declining contradicts the reigning bipartisan right-thinking line that illegal immigrants are here to stay, they're never going back, so therefore we have no choice but to legalize them? Also, b) once you admit that immigration flows affect the real estate market, you might also have to admit that they can affect other markets, like the labor market-- where more immigrants would have the likely effect of driving down wages, especially for the unskilled workers who've been doing relatively badly recently. ...

**--The Prop. 8 list is here , though, for those who want to engage in distasteful and counterproductive boycotts. ... 12:58 A.M.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Lieberman keeps chair after anonymous private vote of Senate Dem caucus. Netroots unhappy .  Uh, oh. Now they'll really hate the secret ballot. ... 11:53 A.M.


"How Hard Can It Be?" Ex- National Reviewer David Frum tries to put his finger on what annoys him about what Sarah Palin symbolizes in the GOP (and why she's like Harriet Miers) ... 1:22 A.M.


Monday, November 17, 2008

"She's not married to Todd Palin," Carville said, referring to the oil field worker and snowmobile champion who is married to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee.

Maybe that just accidentally came out sounding like snobby Clintonite arrogance. ... Hadn't had a dose of that for a few months--I didn't miss it. Did you? ... P.S.:  Will the Clintonites--those who haven't defected to Obama--now be more obnoxious because they lost? ... 11:50 A.M.


Forget the "Fairness Doctrine," says the American Thinker . The Dems will try to knock out Rush Limbaugh with "localism." Even discounting for right-wing paranoia, you have to think that making broadcasters consult with "leaders in the civic, religious, and non-profit sectors that regularly serve the needs of the community" is a recipe for a lot of makework meetings with self-promoting complainers and shakedown artists.**

There are three more interesting wrinkles, however:

1) The conservative strategy is to delay regulations until Obama is in power! Why this seemingly perverse approach?

The delay is critical, since once it is the Obama Administration leading the fight for rules which would shut down conservative talk radio, Republican Congressmen and Senators will find it easier to fight back. [E.A.]

Hmm. The same non-intuitive logic might apply to another issue I could think of . ...

2) Some broadcasters think McCain would have been worse, from their point of view, than Obama:

One broadcast lobbyist thinks broadcasters will be better off with Obama "only because you know where McCain's from on the issues. At least you're starting off with somewhat of a fresh slate with the Obama folks. There's not that instinctive 'let's go after the broadcasters.' "

 3) There's a potential fratricidal conflict between "localism" requirements and minority broadcasters --or at least the Heritage Foundation thinks so:

"An Obama administration would definitely push stricter broadcaster controls on ownership and take more aggressive efforts on diversity, says James Gattuso, senior fellow for regulatory policy at the Heritage Foundation.

"The question is what would an Obama administration do on localism: Would an Obama FCC pursue the agenda of strong regulation to enforce local news and content?" he asks."Or would it side more with minority or smaller broadcasters who point out that the cost of regulation would fall disproportionately on minority- and women-owned stations."

**--It's not that diversity and consolidation don't seem valid issues. I wouldn't have a problem with a strict ownership limit that would require Clear Channel, say, to sell half its stations. Just unload them. Whether or not they were serving the "community," No complaints, no hearings, no self-appointed  "representatives," no fuss, no muss. The problem is the tendency of liberals to promote not so much de-consolidation as the empowerment and consequent enrichment of their non profit allies.... 10:56 P.M.


Autoshow Shocker: Ford debuts the new Mustang and it's ... not ugly.    10:10 P.M.


Vodkapundit makes the basic point about Obama's Blackberry. ... You want the President to rely solely on information passed up the official chain through the White House gatekeepers? That way lies the Bay of Pigs!  The chain of command is a lousy way to find out bad news. Emailing around seems like a pretty good way. Is it that much harder to secure than a phone call? Aren't Presidents trusted with the telephone? ... Paranoid P.S.: You have to wonder whether on some level this isn't an an attempt by the White House bureaucracy to control Obama. ... [ via Insta 8:28 P.M.


Academics are always the last to know! Today, kf. Tomorrow ...

Kausfiles , Nov. 3 --"Democrats should pause to be grateful that John Kerry didn't get 70,000 more votes in Ohio in 2004."

David Rohde, Ernestine Friedl Professor of Political Science at Duke University and Director of the Political Institutions and Public Choice Program,  Nov. 17 --" Let's call John Kerry's loss in 2004 what it is: the luckiest thing to happen to Democrats in 40 years."

10:23 A.M.


The NYT gloats that Chris Buckley and David Frum's exit suggests National Review has become an un-erudite "megaphone for Republican party orthodoxy" and "'intellectual defender of the Bush administration.'" I can name one issue where that was definitely not true, in part because there was no party orthodoxy and in part because most of the magazine's editors openly disagreed with the Bush administration. Begins with an "i." (And it's not Iraq. Or Iran.) . ...  P.S.: Buckley seems to be basking in his Strange New Respect . If Frum wants to keep his street cred on The Corner , which I suspect he does, I counsel him not to follow suit. ... [via Gawker , which has suddenly become much more substantive. What happened to Julia Allison ?.]   2:12 A.M.


I dunno, I'm having trouble figuring out what Obama supporter Marty Peretz really thinks of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State:

[T]he young Hillary was a fashionable leftie.  No, she wasn't Bill Ayers.  But her Wellesley commencement address was especially trite when trite was the rule.  She worked for a communist law firm.  She was faddish when independent thinking was what the country needed.

Hillary then went to Little Rock, armed with a Yale Law School diploma, and worked for another law firm, this one positively sleazy. 

It goes on from there ...

Now, if Barack Obama has actually offered Hillary the post of secretary of state, he has reversed what most Americans thought was one of the much sought-after consequences of his nomination and his electoral victory.  That is, sought after by the voters.  And this was to end the Clinton dominion in American politics.   That's certainly what the primaries were about.  Once Obama freed himself and the party from the vice presidential blackmail almost everyone assumed that, with Joe Biden as their candidate's running-mate, the Democratic nominee did not need the experience of someone who'd visited 81 capitals for a day or two or who'd been to Bosnia "under fire" or who kissed Suha Arafat right only moments after the pampered lady had accused Israel of spreading cancer in the West Bank. ...

I believe Barack is playing with fire.

He's for Holbrooke. ... P.S: Don't recent events tend to support Marty's view? We're already worrying whether Hillary is scheming to maniuplate Barack (by making public the possibility of her becoming Secretary of State and implicitly threatening a rupture if she's not picked) before she even has the job. Maybe LBJ was wrong. Sometimes you want them outside the tent p------g in. ...The very reasons she might want the job (i.e., she doesn't have that much seniority or power in the Senate) are the reasons she couldn't do that much damage from the outside. ...  12:44 A.M.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Future Unrecanters of America? On reflection, does Peter Beinart's well written  Time cover essay on " The New Liberal Order " say anything other than, in essence, 'If Obama and the Democrats succeed in restoring the economy and stabilizing the government's finances without cutting popular programs or producing social disorder, they'll keep being reelected for decades' ? Well, yeah. ... Beinart abstracts from the question of whether Obama and Democratic policies can actually achieve this winning result. It's one thing to say that if Obama tries to "shore up the American welfare state" it "won't divide his political coaliton." (They like the welfare state.) It's another thing to recognize that Medicare is heading for deep deficits and to figure out how to pay for it without imposing intolerable rationing. ... And of course Beinart just assumes that if Democrats give labor more power it won't significantly gum up the economy. Or that some Democrats won't reestablish no-work cash welfare under another name, giving the Republicans back one of their more potent issues. ...   

P.S.: Beinart says

Obama doesn't have to turn the economy around overnight. After all, Roosevelt hadn't ended the Depression by 1936. Obama just needs modest economic improvement by the time he starts running for re-election ....

Are we sure of that? In a time of Faster Politics voters may want Faster Results. They're certainly not going to give Obama the time they gave FDR.  ...

P.P.S.:   I thought Dems would only succeed if they put a war against "Islamist totalitarianism" at "the center of their hopes for a better world"!   Oh, well. Another day, another weltanschauung . ...

P.P.P.S.: Aren't now-recanted Iraq War supporters like Beinart about to unrecant their support, now that the war is going better? ... A prize for the reader who correctly guesses the first recantation-recanter . ...   11:42 P.M.


Poor "Pulitzer" Chuck Philips!   Patterico is on Philips' case , he doesn't seem about to give up, and he has a hot doc. ... P.S.: This isn't the embarrassing Philips screw-up that led to a spectacular  LAT retraction in April. This is another, potentially more-than-embarrassing, incident--but also related to the Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls murder stories. ... 9:46 P.M.


Sorry to miss the Fannie Mae Help the Homeless Walkathon ! .... 9:34 P.M.

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