Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Take Five

1. Gregg Easterbrook:

...[T]he mainstream media always present all economic news as bad. Higher interest rates? Bad for borrowers. Lower interest rates? Might cause inflation. Normally, the media's penchant for spinning all economic news as bad doesn't matter -- but right now it does, as pessimism more than logic seems to be driving the weak economy. Speaking as someone who pulled the election lever for Barack Obama (and whose daughter worked for the Obama campaign round the clock for months), I agree with John McCain's statement, "The fundamentals of the economy are strong." They are. McCain was right! Innovation is high. Labor productivity is high. There are no shortages of any resource or commodity. Pessimism is driving the downturn, and that pessimism is advanced by relentless media negativism.

2. "Welcomes" them to do what, exactly? I mean, what could they really do? Hang out?

3. Kaus on arguments for Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State:

Sorry, I'm not buying it. It seems simple to me: She can't do him much damage from the Senate, where she doesn't rank. She can do him a lot of damage through self-interested leaking from the State Department. (Here's Exhibit Z, if you needed it, from Elizabeth Drew.) If he fires her she can then run against him and make more trouble. Even smart, well-advised people make mistakes. I think it's a mistake. Or else there is some other factor at work that we don't know about (e.g., Hillary has the real birth certificate! Joking!)...

Agreed. For this and other reasons, I think this is a bad move. I don't understand what it gets him.

4. What, you mean he's not actually the president yet? You don't say.

5. Sorry I've been away for a bit. It's been all I can do to get my head around all of this ChangeTM. A Clinton in a top Cabinet position. Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff. Bill Richardson back in the Cabinet. Gates staying at the Pentagon. If I didn't know any better I'd think the only real change
we're getting is at the top. Which may be enough for most people.