Kooky Kabuki? From NYT :
The administration official said the president was reserving for himself any decision on the viability of G.M. and Chrysler.
Hmmm. Isn't this the sort of decision that plays out better if the president at least pretends that some cabinet or other official is making the basic decision? Does Obama really want to pull the plug on G.M. and Chrysler himself ? The time-tested way of doing this, you'd think, would be to have some hard-ass Larry Summers type recommend cutting off federal subsidies. They take the heat. Then Obama can intervene to soften the blow a bit. ... Unless, that is, Obama has no intention of cutting off subsidies. ... But even if that's just a threat designed to prod the cost-cutting negoatiations, why make it a less credible threat? ... 2:28 A.M.
News Flash: Mayors Want More Federal Money! Sorry, they want a new "urban policy agenda." This was the most depressing story of the day . Is there even a hint that all the ongoing bleating for subsidies will be accompanied by any reforms? Or will it simply be more money to maintain existing (unionized) civil service bureaucracies? ... P.S.: Of course, if the new stimulus welfare money helps rebuild the underclass, that will give big city mayors even more guilt-trip power, no? It's all beginning to make sense. ... P.P.S.: "Recovery Zone" bonds! I'm deeply suspicious. Sounds like a Carter-era Washington Monthly waste story waiting to happen. ... ... 2:06 A.M.
Sorry, Steve. Back to Maxim ! Reporter-turned-financier Steve Rattner won't be the car czar after all. There will be no car czar . ... Was Rattner ever really actually under consideration for this job, or is he just well connected at the New York Times and other media organizations? ... The Times ' account of his non-ascension has a plaintive tone ("It was not clear why the administration changed course or whether Mr. Rattner would have a role on the task force."). ... [ Wasn't he your candidate ?--ed. I was working this one from both ends. You have a problem?] ... 1:11 A.M.
Nate Silver Infallibility Watch: Hah! The whiz who predicted the election correctly goes fish-out-of-water and uses his "logistical regression" to predict the Oscars . Please, let him be wrong. ... P.S.: Taraji P. Henson is his Achilles heel! (He picks her for Supporting Actress.) The rest of the awards are actually pretty cut-and-dried. Most people in the U.S. with indoor plumbing could get them right. ... 12:53 A.M.