Posted Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009, at 6:48 PM
You Have to Get All the Czars to Sign Off! There aren't many respected foreign policy machers who were right on the Iraq war (no) and on the surge (yes). This is no way to treat one of them . Sounds like someone blackballed him. ... The more important question of course is whether the career diplomat they are substituting for Gen. Zinni will be as good. ... [ via Atlantic Politics Channel ]
Update : Michael Goldfarb fingers Holbrooke and Hillary . ... Meanwhile, Zinni says Obama had already called and congratulated him . ... Is Obama running the show? ... Correction: Foreign Policy has issued a correction , and now says it was Biden who called Zinni, not Obama. "Biden Out of Loop" is definitely more Dog-bites-mannish than "Obama Out of Loop." Still. ...
P.S.: Yes, Zinni is a press favorite. He talks to reporters and they like him. It would be contrarian to say that just means he sucks up to journalists or gives good quotes or plays himself up, but I think being a press fave actually is a positive sign. Reporters tend to have good BS detectors. Press faves who've performed well in office include Gen. Petraeus and Gov. Rendell.. ... And FDR. ... [ Update via Corner ] 4:00 P.M.
Posted Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009, at 6:15 PM
Andrew Sullivan writes :
In 2002, we were told, and many of us rolled over, that we had no choice but to invade Iraq. And that time was of the essence. And that inaction was far more dangerous than action.
Funny, I remember Andrew as the one doing the rolling. .... [2002 Daily Dish archives conveniently inaccessible ] ... [ Thks to alert kf reader BJH .] ...
Update: Readers are more resourceful than I am. Here, for example, is Andrew "rolling over" in May, 2002 :
IS BUSH SURRENDERING? Dreadful news today that the president may be wavering in his intent to destroy the Iraqi regime. If true, then those of us who have supported the war on terror need to revise our assessment of this president. He told the German press yesterday that there is no plan to invade on his desk. He said it almost proudly. His military leaders, in a sign of their determination to risk nothing and achieve nothing, are now leaking to the Washington Post that they have all but scotched a serious military option in Iraq. The arguments they are using sound like they might come from a Gore administration. After all that this president has said, after all that he has asked, a reversal on this central question would be nothing short of a staggering betrayal of trust, a reversal of will and determination. Of course, there should be no peremptory, rushed or botched war. Of course, all options should be examined. But the signs are unmistakable. This president, having begun as an improvement on his father, is showing signs that he could end up as something even worse. It's time he heard from his supporters that this is a critical matter on which there can be no compromise. If he balks, it will be worse than his father's betrayal on taxes. It will be a betrayal of the very security of the American people.
Posted Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009, at 2:42 AM
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
What, exactly is the scandal said to be endangering Hilda Solis , Obama's nominee for Secretary of Labor? Solis supports "card check"--a profoundly misguided view, but her view nonetheless. As a member of Congress she presumably lobbies her colleagues to come around to her position. She is also an official in a group, American Rights at Work, that lobbies Congress to come around to the pro-"card check" position. How is that a "conflict of interest"? Seems like a confluence of interest. ... This isn't even a "why buy the cow when you're getting the milk for free" situation , which it would be if Solis had been paid to lobby for what she obviously already believed in. Solis wasn't paid. It's a more a "cow gives away milk for free, then joins group that gives away some more milk for free" situation. Who cares? Why should that be a problem? Am I missing something? ... 12:58 P.M.
Yesterday's CW: This Daschle business stinks. He has to withdraw!
Tomorrow's CW: Obama sure gave up on him easily. Wimp!
It's like the media's version of the Madonna/Whore complex. If you give in too quickly, they lose respect. 12:56 P.M.
Posted Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009, at 2:29 PM
We were all just too stupid and unsophisticated to appreciate him: " BMW design boss Bangle quits auto industry ." You can come out now. The long planetary aesthetic nightmare is over. He wants to make wine in Tuscany. Endlich zum Teufel! . ... Note to career obit writers: That other carmakers imitated Bangle's pretentious, overthought design "cues" did not vindicate him. It only magnified the swath of destruction to the visual landscape! ... Also: BMW sold lots of Bangle cars (though the Gehry-imitating Z4 ,** flopped). BMW builds the best cars in the world. Imagine how well they would have sold if they hadn't been, you know, ugly. ... Backfill: " I can't help hating Chris Bangle." He demanded that his designs be seen in their grand intellectual context. There was a reason for that! ...
**--With characteristic unpretentiousness, Bangle called the Bilbaoesque Z4 "as big a jump in terms of aesthetic value systems as there was between an Eve before the fall, where she was innocent and pure, and the sexiness that she had was an animalistic pureness that radiated out of her, and an Eve after the fall." Well, all right! Still ugly! ...
***-- Raines : gone! Edwards : disgraced! Jim Johnson: radioactive! Richardson ; in deep trouble! Reich: outside looking in! Burkle: National figure of fun! ... Only Toobin is left. ... [ And Pinch-ed The night is young.] ... 11:50 A.M.
Posted Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009, at 2:03 PM
Bad precedent for Obama to get stampeded by the prissy, occasionally
Daschle died for Geithner's sins, which seem worse in my book;**
Excellent Ben Smith fill
patron, Leo Hindery. A big John Edwards backer, it turns out. Made his money in cable. That's two risk factors right there! ...
"Hindery had set himself up in opposition to Obama's top economic advisors, many of whom were associated with The Hamilton Project, an economic think tank that was the inheritor of former Treasury Secretary Rubin's generally pro-trade position." ...
Somewhere, Hillary is smiling, no? ...
**-- Update: And Kinsley's .... 11:18 A.M.
Posted Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009, at 1:42 AM
Monday, February 2, 2009
Press release from TheAtlantic.com on the launch of their new politics site :
The Politics Channel follows the introduction of the Business Channel, which has averaged 20,000 daily page views since its launch last this month.
20,000 daily page views! Does that impress you? I didn't think so. ... Sullivan probably gets as many hits for his "bear" posts alone! [ Aren't you in danger of pissing off one of the few organizations that might conceivably hire you--ed . Nah. I don't worry about that sort of thing. I can always go blog for Pajamas Media. ... Oh, wait. ] 11:00 P.M.
Posted Monday, Feb. 2, 2009, at 11:01 PM
'Card Check' Begins at Home: For much of today, pride of place on the Huffington Post home page--the coveted 'Huff Left' slot--was enjoyed by Robert Kuttner's piece touting the Employee Free Choice Act, the so called "card check" bill that would make it easier for unions to organize new workplaces by letting them avoid secret ballot elections if they can produce signed cards from a majority of workers. Kuttner was heartened by President Obama's "stunning declaration of support" for unions (Obama:"we know that you cannot have a strong middle class without a strong labor movement")--but he admitted the card check bill won't be easy to pass without the President's "strong personal engagement."
But wait a minute. Huffington Post doesn't need Obama, or 'card check,' to strike a mighty, demonstrative blow for organized labor . HuffPo 's a powerful, left wing new media corporation-- the model for future quality journalism, according to Michael Hirschorn --with dozens of non-rich, non-managerial employees, the prototypical knowledge workers of the future. Whole rooms full of them in Soho! Don't they need the level playing field that would let them leverage HuffPo 's productivity gains, as (we're told) unions leveraged productivity gains in the 1950s?
It wouldn't be hard to do. A word from Arianna to her friend Andy Stern of the SEIU and I'm sure he'd do her the favor of sending over some top-notch organizers. Collecting signed cards from 30 percent of HuffPo employees should be a piece of cake, especially given what Kuttner discerns as the blessing of Obama. If there are holdouts, a raised eyebrow from Roy Sekoff should be intimidation enough.
After that, all Arianna has to do is recognize her new union and negotiate in "good faith"! I'm sure Stern wouldn't demand much--perhaps a clause saying Arianna and CEO Ken Lerer could not dismiss any employee except for "good cause," as determined by arbitration. And of course promotion by seniority as opposed to, say, diggs or hit counts or ... productivity. Nothing she won't find it easy to live with! Really won't cramp her style at all. And imagine the wave of prosperity when Jason Linkins and Sam Stein purchase new condos in a troubled real estate market with their SEIU-negotiated raises.
Then Stern can move on to the New Republic . I nominate Jonathan Chait for shop steward.
Update: In her latest post, Huffington does not seem very kindly disposed toward teachers' unions . But no doubt that's a special case! ... 10:22 P.M.
Posted Monday, Feb. 2, 2009, at 3:00 PM
Grovel-Ready: As predicted by Heather Mac Donald , newly appointed U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand seems to have knuckled under to New York Democratic party orthodoxy on a variety of immigration issues . In particular, she appears to have endorsed the worst-of-both-worlds DREAM Act--offering 25% of "comprehensive" amnesty for illegal immigrants with 0% of "comprehensive" enforcement . ... P.S.: Kausfiles always recommends the tried-and-true Paul Kirk formulation when recanting heretical beliefs that offend powerful Dem lobbies. In 1985, Kirk, then chaiman of the D.N.C., suggested the concept of "means testing" Social Security. Within hours he had eaten his words, issuing a statement: "I was wrong. Our party ... is unalterably opposed to any cuts in Social Security benefits. I should not have mentioned the subject of means test." ... 12:36 P.M.
Mickey's Assignment Desk: Wherein lies the greatness of Tom Daschle? Just asking! ... P.S. He's always seemed to me the model of the modern Senate Majority Leader--i.e., the 50+ prima donnas that make up a majority don't want a strong leader who might crowd their games, so they wind up with a Daschle, an amiable man who will not challenge them. ... 12:11 P.M.
Posted Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009, at 3:59 PM
Sunday, February 1, 2009
What could Sen. Judd Gregg possibly do in a second-tier cabinet position-- Commerce --to advance his conservative philosophy that would possibly make up for giving his ideological opponents a 60-seat majority in the Senate? Stop card check? Achieve a free trade agenda? ... Quick, name Bush's last Commerce secretary. ... Even if New Hampshire's Democratic governor angers his party by appointing a Republican to replace Gregg , will it be an anti-card-check Republican? ... Gregg could go down as the biggest sucker since Arthur Goldberg , who let Lyndon Johnson con him into giving up a lifetime Supreme Court seat to become Ambassador to the U.N. ... Update: Jennifer Rubin thinks Gregg should give the money back ..... 1:16 P.M.
Posted Saturday, Jan. 31, 2009, at 2:51 PM
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Time to Burkle: Zip Off! Clinton buddy Ron Burkle wants 7 cents per copy more for magazines his Source Interlink Cos. delivers to retailers, according to the New York Post' s Keith Kelly :
"Time Inc. has basically told Source to drop dead," said one industry veteran. ...[snip]
The showdown will come on Tuesday when most of the celebrity weeklies roll off the presses and onto wholesalers' trucks for placement in stores.
And at least one publisher is betting on massive foul-ups in the delivery of magazines.
"I don't think copies will be shipped next week," said one publishing executive. "It is kind of like a labor dispute. There will be blood."
Will People get delivered? Will stacks of magzines accidentally be ... misrouted? This is so exciting. ... 12:39 P.M.
Buried Lede? WaPo reports that ex-Sen.Tom Daschle, while serving his patron Leo Hindery since 2005, was "rewarded handsomely" for investments "in small niche media corporations." Wait a minute ... Daschle made money in media in the past three years? What's he got that Steve Rattner hasn't got ? ... 12:11 P.M.