Re: Not that he doesn't still need a copy editor, but

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The difference between the common ownership of the oil in Alaska and the stealing from taxpayers that is the financial "bailout" is the difference between socialism (or something like it) and state capitalism. The Alaskans get a vote.

I haven't noticed getting a damn thing from Paulson, except maybe bare survival.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:19 AM
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||

Once a female honey badger comes into heat, courtship is very energetic.

The honeybadger Wiki is very admiring of honeybadgers.

|>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:26 AM
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Neiman Marcus outfits for everyone! That's socialism you can believe in, my friends.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:30 AM
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Honey Badgers are awesome. So is the Honey Guide.

Also socialism good Palin bad. Or something.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:34 AM
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3: My new theory is that Palin didn't really want to be McCain's vp, so he had sweeten the offer with a credit card with no spending limits -- more or less the same way they get women to appear on What Not To Wear.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:51 AM
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My theory is that Palin figures she's going to lose anyways so she might as well loot while the looting is good.

max
['In on the joke.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:15 AM
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Palin has potential to get shitloads of free goodies from her wingnut fans. She'll do very well for herself, you betcha.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:17 AM
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My newer theory is that Sarah was eager to run for VP, but the Palin family wasn't willing to go along, until Sarah negotiated with the RNC and got them to agree to an unlimited clothing allowance.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:25 AM
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This critique is awesomely shortsighted. Awesome that it works out for us! But no one in her position could get away with spending very much less. She is the world's number-one celebrity and she's been delivered forth by her sexist masters to the scrutiny of a sexist media. I don't think she could've spent (say) an order of magnitude less on her clothing and lived up to crass expectations.

I just managed sympathy for a woman who's spent ~5x my annual salary on her fall wardrobe.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:29 AM
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Did y'all see the BagNotes stills from the SNL appearance? Two shots as Palin and Fey pass each other - Palin sneering, and then Fey glancing back with a little smile.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:33 AM
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Let me hasten to add that I'm disgusted by the Sarah Palin selection but it's not like she was up there to talk about ideas. Of course they made it a point to make her up. It's consistent with an internal (sexist) logic. Unless it's illegal, in which case it was a through-and-through stupid thing for the GOP to do.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:35 AM
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9 is generous. Being a bit of a clotheshorse in Palin's position is going to be expensive, but going the Hillary Clinton Pantsuit route would be nowhere near that expensive. Clinton got mocked for her wardrobe, but it was sensible, professional, looked smart, and was quite practical.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:37 AM
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I don't think she could've spent (say) an order of magnitude less on her clothing and lived up to crass expectations.

I'm pretty sure 9 is well-intentioned semi-contrarianism, but do you really mean this? Wouldn't $15k get her at least a dozen kick-ass suits? Plus, Alaska may be small-time, but surely she had at least a half dozen outfits that would be adequate for a town hall in Shithole, PA. OTOH, if she's going to be sharing the stage with Cindy and her $10k earrings, I may be all wrong.

I agree it's a pretty cheap gotcha, but it is a lot of money (esp. for a flailing campaign). I would think $25k would be sufficient, and I wonder if that amount would have been even a minor story.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:38 AM
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But no one in her position could get away with spending very much less.

This seems exaggerated to me. First, she was governor of a state -- she had some professional clothes before, right? Really, her preexisting wardrobe should be almost sufficient, and just need some supplementation. Then, say a suit runs her 4K, which is really pretty generous, as in it's twice the most I've ever spent on a good suit -- fifteen of them only gets her up to 60K, and fifteen suits is a whole lot of suits.

Up to 50K, I'd be thinking this was a cheap shot. At 150K, it looks profligate to me. Not wrongful -- I don't see any ethical problem -- but wasteful and evidencing bad planning or odd priorities.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:39 AM
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10: My impression from watching that (non)exchange live was that Tina Fey had nothing to say to Palin (Fey has been vocal about her disgust with Palin) whereas Palin didn't seem to know whether they would make eye contact, have a moment, whatever. I read that Palin once dressed as Fey for Halloween. She may be a fan, and her reaction (which I wouldn't call a sneer) made it seem like, going into that sketch, she figured that Fey's spoof was at the end of the day all in good fun and in that momentary exchange they would share a moment that only they could.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:40 AM
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11 prebuts 12, correctly I think - even if you take away a large portion of the GOP sexism in the Palin pick, there's no way to avoid that part of her star power is her attractiveness. Putting her in dowdy clothes would be a bit of hiding your lamp under a basket.

Of course, dowdy pantsuits would have been a powerful statement that we were meant to focus on her substance, but you dress the Palin you have, not the Palin you wish you had.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:42 AM
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13 is correct and 9 is wrong.

Clearly, either 5 or 8 is the truth.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:42 AM
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10, 15: How can you tell which is which?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:44 AM
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Palin and Smasher sittin' in a tree. I can't believe it. I didn't think he was her type.

The wardrobe may be consistent with the sexist premise of the campaign, but it makes the small-town fake-populist premise look pretty phony.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:45 AM
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18: Eerie, isn't it. Fey is crossing L to R, and looking back and smiling in the second shot.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:46 AM
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14 strikes me as about as generous as you can reasonably get about the whole thing. And I do think there's an ethical problem, although maybe only of the "accepted practices that shouldn't be" variety. The IRS has pretty strict standards for treating business attire as a business expense--basically, uniforms only--and that seems like the right line for ethical purposes as well.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:47 AM
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I'm making the argument assuming bad priorities with her pick in the first place. I don't think she could campaign at the national level in her Alaskan gubernatorial dress, which from photographs appears to be extremely casual and moreover suited to the weather. Clinton can wear the business pantsuit because she is a working politician and campaigned as that. But that's not what Palin is doing, is it? She is extraordinarily expensive lipstick on the GOP pig—I just am not shocked that they spent ridiculously on her outfits when she is there for the sole reason to present an image.

I admit, it's hard for me to tally up more than $90,000 for an even vaguely plausible business wardrobe.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:47 AM
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^ Armsmasher


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:51 AM
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9,11: A couple of points.

1) overall you are right. But it is exactly that which makes things like the Edwards haircut narrative be such an exercise in fulsome hypocrisy.

2) She is the world's number-one celebrity. Indeed, the cynical calculus of the Palin selection should go down in the history of politics.

3) We should all help jam this one so far up Joe the Plumber's exposed butt crack that he bursts out in the Hallelujah Chorus. I am become Clothes Shiva, Destroyer of Narratives!

4) My prediction is that they will announce soon that there will be a celebrity auction of the clothes after the election with proceeds going to charity.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:52 AM
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150K in clothes in such a short time seems like someone is acting out a Pretty Woman-style shopping spree fantasy.

The thing that's surprised me about the ethical lapses from Palin is that they're so weirdly petty, so childish, and so preventable. That whole business about dickering with travel expenses is just stupid. Didn't she have anyone on staff whose job it was to say, "hey, I don't think this is ethical or up to regs, and it'll look pretty bad when it comes out, so let's just do what you want this other way"? I mean, surely Cindy McCain could've paid for Palin's wardrobe, if it was so goldurned important for the VP candidate to be wearing schmancy labels!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:53 AM
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I kind of assume that Palin has too much on her plate at the moment to be the one spending all this time on her look. (She is learning politics while having to debate Joe Biden! And getting booed at hockey games.) Wouldn't she have a professional stylist who is accountable for spending a grotesque amount on clothes, hair and make-up for Palin?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:56 AM
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I just am not shocked that they spent ridiculously on her outfits when she is there for the sole reason to present an image.

Dude, it's not as though her clothes have really been all that, as far as I can tell. That black suit she wore to the VP debates was pretty nice, but it didn't seem to be on the 150K shopping-spree level of nice.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:57 AM
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20: That was what I thought too, but how can we be sure?

I've been working on this scenario, where Palin becomes President (after McCain's shocking upset victory and then kicks the bucket during his inauguration speech), and then a crack team of Unfogged agents plots to save the country by kidnapping Sarah and replacing her with Tina Fey.
Actually, I think this movie has already been made.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:58 AM
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Wouldn't she have a professional stylist who is accountable for spending a grotesque amount on clothes, hair and make-up for Palin?

Oh, that's probably it. And the stylist's fee probably accounts for half of the 150K, if not more.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 8:58 AM
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150K in clothes in such a short time seems like someone is acting out a Pretty Woman-style shopping spree fantasy.

That's what it seems like to me, and my current favorite theory is that the one living out the fantasy is Bristol -- because she's the one that would have had the most serious objection to her mom running for VP.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:02 AM
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25: This, probably -- I wouldn't blame Palin personally for the expenditure, I assume that someone measured her and she's finding clothes in her hotel rooms without particularly paying attention to the process. But the campaign is being profligate.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:03 AM
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15: She may be a fan, and her reaction (which I wouldn't call a sneer) made it seem like, going into that sketch, she figured that Fey's spoof was at the end of the day all in good fun and in that momentary exchange they would share a moment that only they could.

Yeah, in motion it was very unclear what the dynamic would be/in fact was. But in the screen clip it looks very much like a sneer.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:05 AM
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That whole business about dickering with travel expenses is just stupid. Didn't she have anyone on staff whose job it was to say, "hey, I don't think this is ethical or up to regs, and it'll look pretty bad when it comes out, so let's just do what you want this other way"?

Unless she really, truly believes that one of the cool things about being governor is that you get to take nice trips with your family on the state's dime, which looks to me like what's going on. Palin's family is well off, but not so well off that paying for those trips out of their own pockets wouldn't have a significant impact on the household budget.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:06 AM
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Wow. I've been feeling over-the-top profligate for having recently spent over $400 on a suit. Now I realize I was being a cheapskate.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:07 AM
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Oh, that's probably it. And the stylist's fee probably accounts for half of the 150K, if not more.

No, that was only about 5K, which doesn't sound at all unreasonable for someone making numerous TV appearances. The rest really did go to places like Saks and Neiman Marcus.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:10 AM
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||
I am loving the idea of an atheist bus poster campaign.
|>


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:10 AM
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36: excellent.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:12 AM
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Jesus Christ people. You fucking elitist apologists. Does anyone in the McCain/Palin campaign take responsibility for anything? It's all due to some big spending stylist? Fuck that shit. the soft bigotry ofd low expectations is astounding. This campaign is karl Rove on steroids. Sarah Palin may be the most egregious liar ever running for national office. you want something that plays in working class Pa? Here it is.

According to financial disclosure records, the accessorizing began in early September and included bills from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York for a combined $49,425.74.
The records also document a couple of big-time shopping trips to Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, including one $75,062.63 spree in early September.
The RNC also spent $4,716.49 on hair and makeup through September after reporting no such costs in August.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:12 AM
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One of the stories had a partial breakdown of receipts, with totals spent at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth—they are astounding. I do not think that receipts for image consultants are included. And I don't think those fees alone would alarm anyone at all.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:13 AM
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That campaign looks lovely, but isn't it more needed here in the States than in London?


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:14 AM
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I don't think it's accurate to put the locus of responsibility on Palin. Surely she wasn't at Saks Fifth, she wasn't at Neiman Marcus. However much was spent and for what purposes, she wasn't spending it. This is all of a piece with her selection in the first place—the GOP is completely out of ideas and of course will spare no expense in trying to promote this distraction.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:16 AM
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41: OK fine, put it on McCain then. All part and parcel of the wonderful campaign machine he has put together.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:19 AM
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40 - suggest it to the American Humanist Association then!


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:20 AM
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I wouldn't blame Palin personally for the expenditure, I assume that someone measured her and she's finding clothes in her hotel rooms without particularly paying attention to the process.

Just like Ted Stevens!!!

Give me a break. They spent almost 5,000 at a men's store for her. They are buying stuff for the baby.

$150,000 is a lot of lipstick.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:22 AM
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The campaign is built around the idea that people will STOP worrying if they start to doubt the existence of God? Looks completely idiotic to me.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:22 AM
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The really stupid thing is that there are tons of designers that would have been happy to custom-make clothes for Palin for free (she would just have to add a line to her speech like, "And by the way this dress is a Galliano! Isn't it adorable!")

Other celebrities like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears don't pay for their clothes.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:22 AM
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Then, say a suit runs her 4K, which is really pretty generous, as in it's twice the most I've ever spent on a good suit -- fifteen of them only gets her up to 60K, and fifteen suits is a whole lot of suits.

Up to 50K, I'd be thinking this was a cheap shot. At 150K, it looks profligate to me.

I have a really, really nice suit that I spent a lot of money on 10 years ago - around $300, I think.

That said, the whole faux-populist framework that these things fall into is utter bullshit - just as much for Palin's suits as for Edwards' haircut or McCain's shoes.

If there's a substantive question here, it's only a question of campaign tactics: "Is this a productive expenditure of money by the Republicans?" I'd guess the answer is no - but what do I know about the sort of professional clothing a woman would need to run for vice-president? But be clear on this: Palin didn't go on a shopping spree, the Republicans went on a shopping spree on her behalf.

There is almost no substantive reason to be interested in this, beyond the fact that it fits into some bullshit frame that a lot of people will accept.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:23 AM
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46: High end off the shelf is bad enough, there really isn't any way for Paliin to maintain her `jus folks' stance in designer gear, if the media jumped on it....


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:24 AM
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How much was that haircut John Edwards was mercilessly mocked about?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:25 AM
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$400.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:27 AM
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To say nothing of the $2 bottles of iced tea Obama was mocked for drinking....the fact that it's kind of bullshit does not diminish my schadenfreude. Especially since 150K really does sound pretty absurd.

Would it help or hurt if $30,000 was on bejewelled flag pins?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:28 AM
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44 - $150K makes a lot more sense if they are outfitting her whole family. The family is playing a large role in this campaign, so it wouldn't be too surprising if their clothes were being taken care of by a consultant.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:28 AM
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41- Right. Presumably, this is campaign strategic and thought necessary to win the election. Or whatever. For Palin, it's just really nice to have a $150,000 wardrobe after she probably loses the election. After all, Armani suits don't buy themselves. It's not my money. Why should I care except for some delicious schadenfreude?


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:29 AM
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How much was that haircut John Edwards was mercilessly mocked about?

00.267% of this amount.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:29 AM
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The campaign is built around the idea that people will STOP worrying if they start to doubt the existence of God? Looks completely idiotic to me.

Take a look around you and imagine that there is a Supreme Power behind it all. If I thought it were true, it would scare the fuck out of me.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:30 AM
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$150K makes a lot more sense if they are outfitting her whole family. The family is playing a large role in this campaign, so it wouldn't be too surprising if their clothes were being taken care of by a consultant.

How nicely do the kids need to dress, though? A couple of nice outfits for the convention, sure, but after that?

It's really strange to have an election in which many of the B.S. memes seem to be cutting against the Republicans.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:31 AM
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"See? In America a little person like me can strike it rich, rise to the top, and win a $200,000 spree! Like on one of them TV shows! I just love that girl!"


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:32 AM
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The real question is why $1.50 worth of cotton and $5.50 piecework rate costs $4K at the retail level. Somebody be makin serious jack.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:33 AM
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49 $400 if I recall correctly.

To be fair, you've got to compare that the average mans expectation of the cost of a haircut, so scale accordingly for womens expectations.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:33 AM
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Surely she wasn't at Saks Fifth, she wasn't at Neiman Marcus.

Why not? Seriously, why not? They don't like her old clothes, so she goes to the shops... or they give her a catalogue. Some minder goes with her to make sure the stuff is appropriate to the campaign. She has a good time, and racks up a large bill.

She sees it as investing in her working clothes.

max
['Why would be people be upset?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:35 AM
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Let's keep this at the appropriate level. What about Victoria's Secret? Anything from there?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:36 AM
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60: I doubt she has time, is why. I bet they're keeping her on a ruthless schedule, and she's got a full family life on top of that.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:36 AM
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Yeah, spending $150K on clothes is a project that would take more time and attention than I think she probably has right now.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:39 AM
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61: I'm thinking that's not nearly high-end enough.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:40 AM
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re: 58

Clothes maybe. My wife is involved in shoe retail, and I've picked up the impression that the profit margins are nothing like as big as you think.

[f you are making shoes in Italy, with skilled labour, using good quality leather, with staff who are on decent EU wages they don't get made cheaply ...]


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:41 AM
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64. Agent Provocateur would be appropriate.

http://www.agentprovocateur.com/


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:42 AM
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Listen to Stormcrow, people. This is another example of appalling judgment on the part of the McCain campaign, and it should come back and bite them on the ass torso. "I'm just a working mom like so many of you—and my wardrobe is worth more than your 401k!"


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:43 AM
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64: True. Victoria's Secret is that the lace is itchy, the fit is weird, and the workmanship is shoddy. Unless it's changed since the last time I tried buying something there, no one with serious money to spend would buy their underwear there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:43 AM
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63: shoes, accessories, jewelery? You could hit 150k pretty easy that way.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:44 AM
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This is another example of appalling judgment on the part of the McCain campaign

Agreed, but at this point it's down in the noise. Certainly the Dems should make a bit of hay on it, but it's hardly shocking.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:45 AM
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I know I've got my next pitch. --In which I investigate how one actually goes about buying a $150,000 wardrobe. All I need's a go-ahead from accounting. Also, the magazine's card.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:46 AM
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47: That said, the whole faux-populist framework that these things fall into is utter bullshit

Holy fuck. And IT IS THE REPUBLICANS THAT HAVE BEEN DRIVING THAT NARRATIVE IN THIS CAMPAIGN AND HAVE DRIVEN IT FOR YEARS. Hoist them on their own fucking petard for God's sake.

If there's a substantive question here, it's only a question of campaign tactics: "Is this a productive expenditure of money by the Republicans?"

Or how about, "What if this comes out and our opponent use it to undermine our whole BS narrative?" Assuming there are people on the other side who actually want to win the election, of course.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:46 AM
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They'd like to win the election, but what they really want is to get rich.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:47 AM
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The important thing to remember, though, is that even her new wardrobe will get a tax cut under Obama's plan.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:47 AM
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OK, I'll shut up now.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:49 AM
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OK, someone should investigate the specific high-end lingerie purchases at Saks, etc. Also, does Saks sell sex toys?

Saks lost its mystique for me, insofar as it had one, when it franchised a Portland outlet. What's next, Saks Omaha? Saks Macon?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:49 AM
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71: Hell, you could do this all in a day here , easy.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:50 AM
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Mind you, I'm delighted to see Republicans parted from their money. I'll be ecstatic if things turn out right election day, and millions of Republican dollars have been flushed down the toilet.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:50 AM
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I'm assuming we're not talking about serious, real, jewelry. At that point, it's still a whole lot of money. I don't do high end shoes at all, but $500 a pair is going to buy you some perfectly reasonable shoes without looking around for sales. And the same with accessories.

Seriously, having to look top-of-the-line spiffy with no time to bargain hunt is going to be more expensive. But even under those conditions, spending more than $5K head to toe, suit shoes scarves jewelry everything, for an outfit means that you're really looking for ways to spend more money, and I think I'm being very generous with that budget.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:50 AM
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Sen. Wellstone of MN was a real populist. He pretty much lived on his measly $120,000 / year, and his kids went to state schools. Hubert Humphrey's son went to a state school too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:52 AM
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76: Saks Minot. The employees would pronounce the name of the town mee-NO, in the French way.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:53 AM
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I doubt she has time, is why. I bet they're keeping her on a ruthless schedule, and she's got a full family life on top of that.

Except, if you'll recall, back at the beginning of September, they sequestered her away for two, three weeks, which was right around the time she dropped 75kish at Neiman's in Minn.

And from the evidence of her various media appearances, she wasn't spending a lot of time reading Cliff's Notes.

max
['Or if she was, it didn't take.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:53 AM
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77: Even has a skating rink.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:54 AM
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79: I basically agree, but even at 5k per, you've got 30 outfits not counting any costs associated with the actual shopping (they may have hired people to do this). So if you're figuring a few for each family member, one for every `major' appearance, etc. I see how they could get there. It's still insane, but I can see how they might get there.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:55 AM
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What 79 said.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:56 AM
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I wonder if this unusual choice of a scarf for a Republican was part of the spend? (It is a red, white and blue scarf decorated with "Vote" and what certainly look to be donkeys.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:58 AM
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83 and a neimans, and a saks, and a bunch of couture stuff and `serious, real jewelery' places, as LB put it. It's an odd place. I guess they had to do something with the oil money.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:58 AM
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Hoist them on their own fucking petard for God's sake.

I didn't mean to suggest that schadenfreude was inappropriate here.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:58 AM
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Isn't there something like Cliff's Notes for people who just want the basics and don't need the Cliff's Notes level of detail? There's a market niche there for an enterprising soul.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 9:58 AM
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I've been googling around to find some clothing item that even begins to register on the 150K level. No success.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:03 AM
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Okay, people, I have a new website!

Georgia GOP senator Saxby Chambliss didn't buy all the domain names he should've, which exposed him to horrific werewolf attack:
http://saxby-chambliss.com/


Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:03 AM
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76: Yes --the Federated Department Store people realized that the Macys name had a certain mystique in Ohio, so they changed the name of all the Lazarus stores to Macys. Apparently, they didn't realize how quickly the name would lose its mystique once there were Macys stores at every mall.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:04 AM
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91: Hey, how many Palin-wardrobes could we buy for the cost of the war in Iraq?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:05 AM
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Damn, the act utilitarians are making a strong political push this year.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:07 AM
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91.---I particularly like the rural family working hard in the sunset o'er the prairie. The angelic little girl looks a little feverish, though.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:10 AM
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91: Great job!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:13 AM
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Someone should hire the werewolf and save him from philosophy, and philosophy from him.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:13 AM
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some clothing item that even begins to register on the 150K level

$100,000 in 1954. Which hardly compares to this.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:15 AM
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93: That topic is in development :)

95: yeah, the angelic little girl has scarlet fever. I couldn't really tell, though, maybe since I have bad color vision. If anybody realizes that she's sick maybe it'll help push the S-CHIP message.

I felt lucky when I found the photo of the Wall Street dudes drinking champagne. That contrasts with angelic scarlet fever girl quite well.


Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:15 AM
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Attacking Palin for her expensive wardrobe is sexist. Woman just like to dress up.

This preview of the wingnut response to mentioning the issue is brought to you by the Partnership for a Dumbass Free Tomorrow.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:15 AM
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58, 65: Hmm... I just looked up the gross profit margins for Coach and LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey). Looks like LMVH sells its products at an average of 3x cost of production, though surely the booze brings that average down, since that requires some expensive land and storage. Coach, on the other hand, sells its products for about 4x production cost on average.

Production cost in this case includes direct labor, factory space and storage costs, materials, etc.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:19 AM
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re: 90

Top of the line Saville Row bespoke suits run to thousands, but you'd still get dozens and dozens of them plus hand made shoes for under $150K.

'Designer' shite, on the other hand, can be absurdly expensive. My wife has customers who spend 20K on a handbag.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:20 AM
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re: 102

Yeah, some people in the mid-price range are probably working closer to cost, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:23 AM
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Palin did most of her big-ticket shopping in Minnesota, presumably because her foreign accent wouldn't attract attention there.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:24 AM
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103: Designer stuff can get into stupidly expensive really easy. Positional goods and all that.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:24 AM
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Oh, absolutely on the designer stuff. I'm not saying it'd be hard to drop $150K in a high end department store pretty fast, just that it wouldn't be at all necessary if your goal was to put together a high-end wardrobe.

I do find the designer bag thing mystifying. How big can the market possibly be at those prices?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:27 AM
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at those prices, it doesn't have to be that big. Also, it's international.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:28 AM
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How big can the market possibly be at those prices?

How big does it need to be? Sell one, pay the rent for the year. Sell two, everybody eats!


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:29 AM
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Clearly you people aren't paying enough attention to the link in 86. That is what the money was spent on. I don't see this $150,000 receipt as an ethical lapse, except maybe against Republican donors who should be used to their money being wasted, but it's quite possibly the dumbest move made by the McCain campaign, and that's really, really saying something. A $150,000 clothes budget for two months or so of campaigning by a Republican who's already a successful politician, and the they get a scarf saying "VOTE" with DONKEYS on it???


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:30 AM
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97: The plan is to be a mild-mannered ethicist by day, and a mighty utility-maximizing monster by night in the three months before elections. It looks like it could work.


Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:31 AM
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Here is a very boring blue jacket with bracelet sleeves. From the Convention, apparently. If she paid more than $300 for that jacket she was robbed.

From Sept 12, here is a cerulean blue jacket with a not-matching black pencil skirt, neither of which appears to be anything special---nor do they look to be made out of nice fabric. The skirt in particular: what is that made of? And the jacket is not flattering. Thumbs down.

This appears to be the jacket from the first image, but in pinkish beige, with the skirt from the second image, together with some really dubious black peep-toe heels.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:32 AM
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and the they get a scarf saying "VOTE" with DONKEYS on it???

Well, to be fair, I doubt anybody makes a Republican-themed item with the "Vote" message.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:33 AM
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I assumed that the elephants were toward the middle of the scarf. Perhaps there is a mole doing the purchasing.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:35 AM
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111: She bought the same outfit THREE TIMES?!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:36 AM
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111: It must be tricky to spend a lot of money on clothes while avoiding the impression that you're spending a lot of money on clothes. Maybe she just outfitted her entire extended family.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:37 AM
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Next cycle we / someone should work on getting you wider publicity and maybe a little more lead time.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:37 AM
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||

read's in trouble.

|>


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:37 AM
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Anybody else read the headline in 117 and hear a thousand buggy voices yell, "RAAAAID?!??" in an uh-oh tone of voice?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:41 AM
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Now that I look closely at it, this suit she's wearing during the Couric interview looks pretty high-quality. I could see that suit knocking the RNC back a thousand or so.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:41 AM
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I think that Jackmormon and Neil the Ethical Werewolf should do a joint site analyzing the Sarah Palin wardrobe in the style of "Fashion Don'ts" in one of those ladies' mags. I love those little black bars over the eyes.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:42 AM
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119: Those are some crazy heals she is wearing.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:45 AM
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$150K makes a lot more sense if they are outfitting her whole family.

That's what I assumed: they fly in to MN and first thing, someone takes them all shopping to prepare for their big debut: Sarah, Todd, Bristol, and the fuckin' redneck, all the way down to the littlest Palin. It's like a Coen film come to life, only I'm not laughing (much).

Combined with Jane Mayer's story about Palin's efforts to woo conservative opinion-makers, her clothing bills make me wonder (a little) if our Sarah hasn't taken the entire Republican party for a ride.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:50 AM
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if our Sarah hasn't taken the entire Republican party for a ride.

If she has, they picked her up at her house and opened the door for her (no reports on a corsage, as yet)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:54 AM
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Jane Mayer's story made me wonder whether she wasn't polishing knobs on the big front door a little differently than Gilbert and Sullivan meant. (Or maybe that's what they did mean). A parade Two different parades of strange men coming to her house and leaving with dreamy expressions on their faces? I just don't know what to think about that, Mabel. we're told that there was no hanky-panky, but we only have their word for that.

/Horrible sexism and horrible, slanderous aspersions on William Kristol's sterling character.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:58 AM
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This Politico story has an attached slideshow, in which she never wears the same item twice. She is even sporting two separate pairs of knee-high black boots. There's a tailored black skirt-suit in there (the one she's wearing "on the tarmac to meet McCain") that I really rather like. And yes, it looks very expensive.

I really dislike the way some of her clothes are chosen to appeal to the "Sexy Sarah" image. That red leather jacket seems entirely inappropriate to me, and some of the skirts are really...well...tight.

If I'm not mistaken, the Obama campaign may have decided to fight fire with fire. I'm having a hard time finding a picture, but for the third presidential debate, Michelle was wearing a truly form-fitting sheath dress. She looked totally appropriate, but really, really hot.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:08 AM
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The campaign is built around the idea that people will STOP worrying if they start to doubt the existence of God? Looks completely idiotic to me.

As I cannot be sure that I have fulfilled the conditions on which salvation is granted, I am afraid I may be one of those who shall be damned.


Posted by: Samuel Johnson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:09 AM
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From the same finance report, it appears that Palin's makeup artist was paid $13,200 in September (McCain's bill was ~$8K). She did makeup on "So You Think You Can Dance."

Strozzi, whose first name is misspelled as "Ami" in the campaign's financial report, is listed as doing "communications consulting" work. But two sources close to the campaign tell the Sleuth Strozzi is Palin's make-up artist.

I like the "communications consulting", but this one is more understandable, but once again it really highlights the $400 haircut hypocrisy.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:16 AM
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but once again it really highlights the $400 haircut hypocrisy.

I don't think anyone with at least half a wit saw that for anything but political, though. The thing is, this stuff only hurts you as a politician if you're visibly vulnerable to it. Pierre Trudeau was the most fashionable leader I can think of in living memory (north. amer, anyway) but nobody could successfully attack him for it, he'd laugh it off. A good campaign will shoot a lot of arrows, and see which ones find a weakness to follow up on.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:23 AM
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it really highlights the $400 haircut hypocrisy.

I know it's sexist, but my barber charges me $12. My wife's stylist gets $125 for the cut, another $150 for the color. $400 for a man is teh gay, and having air traffic control wait for your to finish your haircut is right out.

http://mediamatters.org/items/200702090015


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:23 AM
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129: having air traffic control wait for your to finish your haircut is right out.

Good thing it never happened, then. Geez, TLL, do you read your links?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:25 AM
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120: I have no business doing anything fashion-related. I'd fail terribly unless you set me up with so much power that failure became impossible, which would eventually result in everyone wearing chicken suits.


Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:26 AM
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TLL, I hate it when you do that shit.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:27 AM
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I assume the point of the link was to signal that TLL was joking.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:29 AM
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In case you were wondering, I offered the link as proof that said incident was mythical. Don't let your politics get in the way of the joke, people.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:30 AM
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pwned, and thanks to Walt


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:30 AM
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TLL, it's not so much that it's sexist, as it's clueless.

As I noted before, the impact is helped by the perception of many men who, with there utilitarian (and utilitarian looking) haircuts at $15 or whatever can't imagine paying $400. But this is just perception, because they are typically completely ignorant of the rate a typical male public persona is paying. You think your average news anchors is getting a $15 haircut? The idea is laughable.

The pathetic oh noes, teh gay! stuff doesn't help either.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:32 AM
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(I did figure you were joking, but also that it was mistargeted)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:33 AM
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Like Neil, I should probably disqualify myself from the fashion police---and especially from the fashion budget police. I like clothes and pay attention to them, but as has before been noted, I am the cheapest o'cheapskate this side of the Hudson. All of the numbers I pull out of my ass about how much an article of clothing should cost are usually off by a factor of five. Lately, I've been complaining about the rising price at Salvation Army, to give you an idea of things.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:44 AM
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Neil, that's what JM is supposed to do, provide the fasionista perspective.

I have had $100 haircuts from a stylist. I can't say it was worth the difference.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:45 AM
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Don't let budget intimidate you, JM. Snark is free, and yearns to be spread to the multitudes. Of course, the idea is not exactly new.
http://gofugyourself.celebuzz.com/


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:51 AM
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138/139: and clearly this stuff gets muddled up in some social and work circles. The added value of a $200 vs. $20 hair cut might not seem nearly worth while to you or I, but we probably don't have a lot of cost associated to being caught out with the `wrong' haircut/clothes/whatever.


Posted by: soup biscuits | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:51 AM
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Using the royal plural, are we, "soup biscuits?" Who's putting on airs now?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:53 AM
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At one time having a very good haircut was important to me. You can get away with a lot of schlump in your clothing budget if your hair looks fucking fly. I can't say I ever spent more than $100, if that.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:54 AM
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The best haircut I ever got was from an ebullient Italian man who charged $15. At one point he was giving shit to another barber, who started to take it personally. My barber then said, "Aw, don't worry, I'm just jostling your onions."

Jostling your onions?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:55 AM
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Well, to be honest I think that there is some talent involved at the higher end. Especially regarding color, but I am just an observer. There is a little silver in the gold, in my case, and I would be charged hundreds to get the look that comes naturally. Vanity is my shame.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:56 AM
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I was just thinking that my honey's mom, who is actually a buyer for Sak's, could probably identify the majority of the clothes Palin has been wearing. Once you know the label, you can run down a price list fairly easily. I don't think we're talking to my honey's mom right now, though. An enterprising muckraker with some fashion professional contacts could find someone else.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:57 AM
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Using the royal plural, are we, "soup biscuits?"

Soups biscuit?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:58 AM
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Snoop's biscuit?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:58 AM
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I cut my own hair, but I don't go on TV for a living. I presume that that's what Edwards' haircuts were all about.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:59 AM
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Snoop Biscuit-y Biscuit?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:01 PM
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143: Whether a good haircut is worth it is also very individual. I've spent lots of money on a haircut (very occasionally), but usually don't spend much, and the $25 haircuts from the Jean-Claude Van Damme chain really look as good on me as a $150 haircut from Bumble and Bumble (only did that once, and I actually don't remember what it cost). But I've got straight hair -- I think curly takes more skill, so the difference between a cheap and an expensive haircut is bigger.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:01 PM
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Jostling your onions?

Presumably a lighter hearted version of breaking your balls?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:02 PM
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What threw me was Ta-Henisi Coates's request for someone to tell him where he should get his hair cut when he's in the Bay Area for a week. You get your hair cut every week? And yet you can't do it yourself? (presumably with a razor/trimmer)


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:02 PM
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Also expensive haircuts make a big difference if you're trying to get your hair to do something that isn't in your hair-genetics. And the bigger the stretch, the more the money will help.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:04 PM
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I cut my own hair, but I don't go on TV for a living. I presume that that's what Edwards' haircuts were all about.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:05 PM
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I cut my own hair, but I don't go on TV for a living. I presume that that's what Edwards' haircuts were all about.

exactly.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:05 PM
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You get your hair cut every week

High and tight?

http://www.crewcut.com/joc/assets/images/109912_092004_AAA_M6985hnt4_300.jpg


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:05 PM
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Jean-Claude van Damme has a chain of haircutters? Are you kidding me?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:06 PM
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152: Well, yeah, but it still sounds really weird to me.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:06 PM
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High and tight?

Almost universally a mistake.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:07 PM
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Further to 154, since "looking mainstream" means looking white, there's a lot of sub-issues about race and culture built into 154, for those who desire to look mainstream.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:07 PM
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Almost universally a mistake

Not for a brother, like Ta-Henisi Coates.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:08 PM
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Aren't there a lot of clean-cut, short-haired, old-fashioned dudes who go into the barber shop once a week? I know my grandmother goes to get her hair permed, colored, and "set" every week or so, and I think that used to be standard. Black ladies have a whole hair regimen that to me is above and beyond the call of duty; I don't know how often they have to get the straightening comb or relaxers, but from what I've seen, once, ever, would be more than enough.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:08 PM
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Vanity is my shame.

Champagne wishes and caviar dreams, Mr. Leech.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:08 PM
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If I had to guess, I'd guess that Emerson cuts his own hair. But then again, he doesn't go on TV for a living. I wonder if there's a connection with Edwards' haircuts.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:09 PM
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Almost universally a mistake.

DROP AND GIVE ME TWENTY, MAGGOT


Posted by: OPINIONATED DRILL INSTRUCTOR | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:09 PM
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Curly hair is easier because mistakes get lost in the confusion.

There are new photos at the Flickr -- including my other, curly-headed grandnephew !


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:10 PM
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Is "Ta-Henisi" some kind of googleproofing endeavor?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:10 PM
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158: Sorry, calling them that started out as a joke and then turned into a habit: I meant Jean Louis David. But IME, they're very reliable, and I've been to a bunch of different ones -- can't do better for a $26 haircut.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:10 PM
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But I've got straight hair -- I think curly takes more skill

Not to mention peopel expect more of you when you have naturally curly hair.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:11 PM
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168: No.

169: Jacques-Louis David has a chain of haircutters? Are you kidding me?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:11 PM
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Of course, the only city listed for J-L D salons in the US is New York. GOD, NEW YORK IS SO FREAKIN' UNIQUE that you can't trust anything LB says about hair.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:13 PM
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Not to mention peopel expect more of you when you have naturally curly hair.

Shame they're usually disappointed..


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:13 PM
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Heebie has a logical mind which cuts to the heart if the question.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:15 PM
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GOD, NEW YORK IS SO FREAKIN' UNIQUE

I like how New York has its own chain of interchangeable drugstores. The interchangeable Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS, and Eckerd aren't good enough, oh no. New Yorkers have to have drugstores that are identical in every way except that they sound like they're named after a race car driver.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:15 PM
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heebie, there's bound to be a Jack'n'Lew's Haircuts and Fresh Bait near you, though, so there is that.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:15 PM
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Gah.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:15 PM
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If weekly $400 haircuts is the standard, then cutting my own hair for the last ten years has saved me over $200000. That's some shrewd money management, right there.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:17 PM
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What are you talking about, Ned? We have Walgreen's, CVS, and Rite Aid here. If there's a race-car-driver drug store, I want to know about it!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:19 PM
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I like how New York has its own chain of interchangeable drugstores.

I love generic gas stations with knock-off names like "Grab-n-Get" and "Get-n-Pay" or ones that are made to resemble 7-11s. There's one in Austin called "First Evening" with a big fat numeral 1 and the word "evening" written across it, just like the 7-11 logo.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:19 PM
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179: I think he means Duane Reade.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:20 PM
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I like how New York has its own chain of interchangeable drugstores.

That's what I like about New Orleans, too. Well, that and the opportunity to buy K&B brand bourbon at the drugstore 24/7.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:20 PM
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91: Neil, awesome job on that Saxby Chambliss site!

The polls are driving me nuts...just in the last two days, you can choose from polls saying Obama is up by 2 or up by 10 nationally, same thing in Virginia -- up by 2 or up by 10.

Yggles is great on smart snark, but I keep thinking if he got away from blogging so much he could actually do something deep.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:22 PM
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Kum n Go, In n Out. Their territories are approaching one another. Let's hope they keep expanding and finally meet somewhere in Utah, Colorado, or Arizona,


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:23 PM
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Jacques-Louis David has a chain of haircutters?

Given his participation in the Committee for Public Safety, I wouldn't go there for a haircut. Definitely not for a shave.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:23 PM
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It's somehow appropriate that the discussion of bad haircuts should crop up in a thread about Yglesias.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:24 PM
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Duane Reade

Oh. I can't say those are very exciting.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:24 PM
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Of course I mean Duane Reade. Seeing that odd logo on every street corner where normally there would be a CVS or a Rite Aid was the one thing that made New York seem like a foreign country.

Searching for "new orleans" drugstore, this is the #6 Google response. Who the hell finds that story interesting enough to drive up its Google rankings?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:24 PM
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I think that he'd feel wrong about selfishly producing depth in a world where snark is so desperately needed.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:26 PM
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Yggles is great on smart snark, but I keep thinking if he got away from blogging so much he could actually do something deep.

Generation Trail doesn't believe in deep.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:26 PM
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189 to 185.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:27 PM
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YES, curly takes more skill. A lot more skill. Think of the curl as freezing any haircutting mistakes in high relief, for future inspection by passers-by.

Ohio, in the past two days -- Obama up 9, Obama down 2, who knows?

Must be huge differences based on who you think will actually turn out.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:27 PM
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Sausagely, I mean. 189 to 183.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:27 PM
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If you want curly hair to look controlled, it's harder to cut. But it looks good feral, whereas straight hair doesn't.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:30 PM
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172:

Let's troll elbee some more!

Not only is New York SO FREAKIN' UNIQUE! but people who live there don't live in the REAL WORLD.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:31 PM
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The specific depth problem I have with this post by Y is the repetition of the meme that we are now socializing the banks. There has been no "natural" free-market financial system to "socialize" since the Depression, if there ever was. Although economists certainly churned out a ton of propaganda analogizing their preferred financial regime to an idealized system of "complete" markets that existed only in their models.

What I'm worried we're doing is pumping a ton of government money in to preserve the same financial architecture that got us into this mess.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:33 PM
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And what's with White Castle? I think its territory is Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, and New York City. Why does NYC get this special worm-hole treatment from fast food places that are otherwise way outside its jurisdiction?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:34 PM
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What I'm worried we're doing is pumping a ton of government money in to preserve the same financial architecture that got us into this mess.

Well this is the most likely outcome. The only thing is, it might fail anyway. How fast matters though.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:37 PM
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Not only is New York SO FREAKIN' UNIQUE! but people who live there don't live in the REAL WORLD.

Also New Yorkers don't really get me, because I live in the heartland.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:43 PM
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New York is like Portland, except bigger.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:46 PM
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Harumph. All of you punks should get offa my stoop.

Really, no JLD or Duane Reade outside NYC? Who knew?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:51 PM
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Also New Yorkers don't really get me, because I live in the heartland.

And that's why I always win at tag.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:53 PM
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Developing story re who bought the clothes. Why would it be a political consultant doing the shopping?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 12:54 PM
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Really, no JLD or Duane Reade outside NYC? Who knew?

Real Americans, LB.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:00 PM
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Also New Yorkers don't really get me, because I live in the heartland.

And by "New Yorkers" I really mean "Jews."


Posted by: Person in the Heartland | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:01 PM
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Little known fact: in the Heartland, Giuliani is a Jew.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:02 PM
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"Jewliani". Get it?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:03 PM
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203 reminds, I fail to see why "negative robocalls" are supposed to be beyond the pale according to political reporters/pundits/"strategists". I know they're more ANNOYING than negative ads or a non-robot making negative calls to people, but that in itself should make them also more ineffective. Why are they supposed to be actually less ethical than other ways of spreading half-truths and insinuations?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:04 PM
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It's right there in his name: "Jew-liani"


Posted by: I swear I've heard people say this sincerely | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:04 PM
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New York is like Portland, except bigger.

And less livable. And Portland has a volcano. Does fancy-schmancy New York have its own volcano? I think not.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:05 PM
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And Chuck Schumer is an Italian.


Posted by: Mitch McConnell | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:07 PM
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I read that Palin once dressed as Fey for Halloween

Strikes me as *incredibly* implausible.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:09 PM
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208: Structurally, it's easier for them to fly under the radar and get nastier and more libelous than TV ads, since someone has to deliberately record one for the press to review it. Not different from fleshocalls, except in cost I suppose, and they seem more commonly recorded these days, but different in the days before answering machines. Supposedly there was something similar in Nixon's first-ever 1946 campaign.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:10 PM
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212: Not to me -- it really is quite a strong resemblance, and Fey's been famous for long enough that this could have been before Palin was even thinking about national politics.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:12 PM
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Does fancy-schmancy New York have its own volcano?

I saw a cool History Channel show that explained how the Hudson River was formed by a glacier, and that the High rises in New York are only possible because most of the island is bedrock. So, no volcano.
http://www.history.com/minisite.do?content_type=Minisite_Generic&content_type_id=60658&display_order=5


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:14 PM
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The real story here is: Why can't I find a pair of perfect, adorable boots with a flat heel?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:17 PM
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214: what exactly would Palin have done for Halloween? Put on a pair of glasses and read the Weekend News Update?

Just because you look like someone else doesn't mean it necessarily makes any sense to dress up like them for Halloween. Do people dress up like Amy Poehler or Chris Parnell or Tracy Morgan if there's a resemblance?


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:21 PM
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216: And the answer is --- the patriarchy won't let you!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:23 PM
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I think if someone has shown a talent for snark, then they probably don't have the talent to do something deep. They are really incompatible mindsets.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:24 PM
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216: I think AB has a recently-acquired pair. They're over-the-calf and look soft and comfy (which is not to say un-stylish). Rounded toe. If you want, I can ask. Or hell, I'll look inside and see if the brand is named.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:24 PM
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Fey's been famous for long enough that this could have been before Palin was even thinking about national politics.

Fey doesn't have a look to be modeled. But perhaps that's Blue bias, and Fey does have a look to Alaskans.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:25 PM
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Do people dress up like Amy Poehler or Chris Parnell or Tracy Morgan if there's a resemblance?

Oh come on - those are mostly second-stringers. Bad Old GF's kid brother was a dead ringer for Adam Sandler (same smart-ass wit, too) and I'm almost certain he did Halloween as him.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:26 PM
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218: Don't joke about that shit, peep. You think the patriarchy doesn't google to see who's badmouthing it?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:27 PM
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what exactly would Palin have done for Halloween?

Dressed up in a more tasteful version of one of her usual outfits. Put a little fake scar on her chin.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:27 PM
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They're over-the-calf and look soft and comfy (which is not to say un-stylish). Rounded toe. If you want, I can ask. Or hell, I'll look inside and see if the brand is named

Yes, please.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:28 PM
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It's true that even Christians living in Manhattan do become Jewish, by cultural contagion.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:30 PM
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The thing about dressing like your celebrity doppelgänger for Halloween is that it's supremely lazy to do so. So if Palin did dress like Fey for Halloween, the real thing we have to ask is, if she phoned it in when it came to her costume, how can we trust her not to do the same when it comes to the vice presidency?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:35 PM
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Supposedly there was something similar in Nixon's first-ever 1946 campaign.

First wife's senior thesis was on Jerry Voorhis. she claimed that he was the model for Jefferson Smith, the Jimmy Stewart character who went to Washington. He ran a boy's school.

http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=V000118


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:35 PM
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Put on a pair of glasses and read the Weekend News Update?

Palin dresses as Fey dressed as Palin, of course.

max
['meta-lazy.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:39 PM
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"Born" boots. And AB informs me that they're 2 years old.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:41 PM
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Oh come on - those are mostly second-stringers. Bad Old GF's kid brother was a dead ringer for Adam Sandler (same smart-ass wit, too) and I'm almost certain he did Halloween as him.

Fey wasn't a second stringer? She was *head writer*, she hosted Weekend Update (like Poehler), and then she started doing 30 Rock in October 2006.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:42 PM
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Machiavelli, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Gibbon were all snarky when necessary.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:42 PM
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But I've got straight hair -- I think curly takes more skill, so the difference between a cheap and an expensive haircut is bigger.

This is absolutely true, especially if one wants to wear a shorter style, because curly hair tends to stack out in a triangle shape if the layers are cut badly. Plus, for a while the trend was to straighten curly hair, with the result that most people don't know what they're doing with it. The difference between me getting a $15 haircut and a $60 haircut is the stylist saying 'man, I feel sorry for you' and coming out with awesome hair.

Curly hair is easier because mistakes get lost in the confusion.

Curly hair can go longer between cuts, but, look, if someone cuts LB's hair an inch too short, she looks like she has shorter hair. If someone cuts mine an inch too short, it springs up three. It's not easier, and mistakes tend to get amplified.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:44 PM
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So if Palin did dress like Fey for Halloween, the real thing we have to ask is, if she phoned it in when it came to her costume, how can we trust her not to do the same when it comes to the vice presidency?

And if she *didn't* dress like Fey for Halloween, then we have to wonder: if Palin will lie about such a trivial matter, how can we trust her when it comes to more important issues????


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:44 PM
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If someone cuts mine an inch too short, it springs up three.

Seriously. Back when I had bangs, I can't think how many times I implored the haircutter not to cut my (wet) bangs even with my eyebrows -- really, don't do that. It'll curl up to my hair line, and I will hate you forever.

I have haircut phobia to this day.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:52 PM
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Fey wasn't a second stringer?

As an Out-Of-Touch-American, she's the only one you listed that I've not only heard of, but could also pick out of a lineup*. And this was true before 30Rock.

Anyway, she really is a dead-ringer for her, so she would have heard it a lot. I always used to hear that I looked like one of the kids in Dead Poets Society, and then that I looked like Jim Carrey. I never saw the former, so I have no idea how true it was, but the latter really isn't very true. Yet I would have little kids walk up to me in the park to say it to me. Point being, if there's a really close resemblance to a celebrity, even a B-lister, people will talk to you about it.

* Pohler now, but only because she did the movie with Fey, plus I saw the Moose rap the other day.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:55 PM
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234: Exactly. Really this whole campaign comes down to Halloween costumes. I don't know why anyone is talking about anything else.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:55 PM
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For me, a decent haircut just lasts a lot longer. A mediocre cut is good for maybe three weeks before it starts looking like crap. Since the guy who cuts my wife's hair has been doing mine too, I've gone close to two months without looking notably unkempt.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:57 PM
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"The spending spree, first reported by Politico.com, was apparently to outfit Ms. Palin and her family, although Republican officials say they always planned planned to eventually give the clothing to charity."

Those bastards. They're gonna take the clothes right off little Trig's back. "Hand over the Baby Björn, lady. This is going back to The United Way!"

what exactly would Palin have done for Halloween? Put on a pair of glasses and read the Weekend News Update?

Maybe that's the moment when she put on a pair of glasses and decided to hunt down John McCain.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 1:58 PM
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Data point- the Halloween store is out of Obama masks.
http://www.wsbt.com/news/local/32072489.html


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 2:02 PM
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Republican officials say they always planned planned to eventually give the clothing to charity

Suuuuuure they did. "We always planned to do the right thing in the end" is crisis consultant-speak for "shit, we're busted."


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 2:02 PM
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I like the way they're giving haute-couture to the homeless. It should lift their spirits enormously.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 2:02 PM
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I think if someone has shown a talent for snark, then they probably don't have the talent to do something deep. They are really incompatible mindsets.

I disagree with this pretty strongly. In fact, I think that one of the things that pisses off authority figures about the snarky is the presumption that this is true, but they're wrong. Certainly, some of the snarky are merely engaging in easy persiflage, but it's pretty often an outlet for deep thinkers to get something out there quickly without having to think deeply.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 2:04 PM
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I like the way they're giving haute-couture to the homeless. It should lift their spirits enormously.

Well, they could jog, ya know.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 2:05 PM
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Today's profound snark from Sausagely:

In effect, clever State Department bureaucrats are trying to trick the Mubaraks and Husseins of the world into accepting deals that lead to them losing their grip on power. But common sense indicates that this is closer to the core area of competence of the dictators than of the State Department.

The same applies to privatization in many cases. If you can't run a business right, you probably can't privatize it right either.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 2:07 PM
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You can't jog in Louboutins, Leech.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 2:08 PM
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I think that one of the things that pisses off authority figures about the snarky is the presumption that this is true, but they're wrong

Maybe not so much that they presume it to be true as that they need to believe it to be true. Authority figures tend to be people who are good at grinding it out. Snarky types skew more toward the bright and lazy demographic that the hardworking plodders hated in school for getting better results with less work.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 2:11 PM
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247 very nicely expresses what I didn't want to get bogged down in trying to say.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 2:14 PM
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Orwell was a true pioneer of snark as well as other things, remember.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 2:15 PM
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You can't jog in Louboutins, Leech.

Sure you can. It's just harder.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1kwN0jDwNo&feature=related


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 2:16 PM
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244 wins considerably.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 2:17 PM
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I like the way they're giving haute-couture to the homeless. It should lift their spirits enormously.

Well, they could jog, ya know.

Nothing new under the sun.

max
['How do you say snark in Sumerian?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 2:34 PM
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153: I missed this earlier but I think Ned might want the explanation - - Ta-Henisi(I'm keeping your spelling just in case) wasn't really looking for a haircut -- he was looking for a barbershop where black folk sit around and discuss their place in the world. Presumably he needs some colorful quotes for whatever article he is writing.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 2:40 PM
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253: Oh! Black journalists have the advantage there...Tom Friedman would have to ride around for days to meet enough taxi drivers to provide the working man's point of view.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 2:47 PM
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Hey! Ned! You should totally get a haircut at this new place at the end of my street. It's called The Barber's Inn, and it is the swankiest haircutting place I've ever seen. I'm pretty sure it's run by African-Americans, but they seem to cater to whites as well. It's big, with a Italian-ish fountain in the middle and numerous flatscreen TVs. I can't go because I'm committed to my Neapolitan immigrant barber (whose granddaughter is just 11 days older than Kai). But the place looks awesome, in a slightly skewed way.

There is frequently one of these parked out front, which probably contributes about 40% of my enthusiasm.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 3:07 PM
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227
if she phoned it in when it came to her costume, how can we trust her not to do the same when it comes to the vice presidency?

If Sarah Palin phones in the vice-presidency, that would be great news. When a quail-hunter takes the vice-presidency seriously, we get Dick Cheney. Palin hunts moose.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 3:10 PM
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256: true. so if she shoots a `friend' in the face, they'll stay down.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 3:12 PM
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Don't be so sure
http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/42062/


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 3:16 PM
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You folks are totally misreading the Palin story.

She's demonstrating that we don't need more massive federal deficit spending to stimulate the economy, all we need is more individual initiative. She's setting an example, leading from the front. As GWB said, in this time of crisis the patriotic American goes out and shops big.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 3:18 PM
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in this time of crisis the patriotic American goes out and shops big. with other peoples money!

We can spend our way out of any economic crisis, right?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 3:24 PM
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In other Palin news, it appears that she still hasn't read the job description.

A vice president has a really great job, because not only are they there to support the president's agenda, they're like the team member, the teammate to that president, but also they're in charge of the United States Senate so if they want to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom. And it's a great job and I look forward to having that job.
They can really get in there with the senators, you betcha.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 3:33 PM
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Have we mentioned that Fey is a UVa grad???? Go Hoos!


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 3:47 PM
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My near-Republican niece sent me an anti-Palin spam about the shopping spree. This may mean that my sister has ditched McCain too, and that I can relax a bit at family gathering.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 3:52 PM
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Palin on Fey

When asked by PEOPLE about Fey playing her "sort of bubble-headed" she responds: "That's funny, I play her bubble-headed too when I imitate her."

See, this is why I call bullshit on the Palin-as-Fey-for-Halloween thing. Yeah right.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 3:58 PM
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This website seems pretty foggy.

http://www.smugopedia.com/

From insty


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 4:04 PM
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"That's funny, I play her bubble-headed too when I imitate her."

Nice try, Sarah. Or were you speaking of the way you play yourself?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 4:13 PM
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Nietzsche I'll concede.

Yglesias' talent is as a propagandist, and its a talent we shouldn't undervalue. He can put something we all know very pithily, which is what makes his site awesome. I don't see why that would translate to a talent for anything else. You can see that over time that whenever he learns something new, that it's a form of conventional wisdom. His latest issue, on how occupational licensing is bad for the poor, is the purest of received wisdom.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 4:20 PM
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His latest issue, on how occupational licensing is bad for the poor, is the purest of received wisdom.

Oh Jesus. "I just found out about libertarianism. It's amazing!" I also love his well thought-out positions on the environment and guns.

I'm not sure he's that good a propagandist; he gets his zingers in but that's not the same thing.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 4:25 PM
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soup: There's not much* about this particular crisis that necessarily means Americans have to cut their consumption. They probably will, and there are good public policy reasons why they should, but there's no definite linkage.

* It depends critically on how much of the crisis is caused by the current account deficit. My impression is that the effect of the crisis will be to increase the current account deficit, since when the US sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 4:25 PM
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A couple of links for anyone who still wants to know more about Palin's clothes or shoes. It looks like that jacket that Jackmormon didn't think much of cost $2,500. Also she seems to have been bought a lot of shoes - at designer prices those would add up. When I see those stories I realise just how much scrutiny there has been of her clothes - it surprised me.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 4:40 PM
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||
Man, but Chris Matthews just brutalized Nancy Pfotenhauer about Palin.
|>


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 4:42 PM
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Walt, that's true, I was mostly taking the low hanging fruit there. I also expect the CAD will increase, but a protracted problem may lead to some decoupling. Depends what happens in the EU too.

Then again, it's not like I know what I'm talking about.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 4:44 PM
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expect s/b suspect


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 4:46 PM
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If these were her dress-up clothes, I can see why the campaign would have felt the need to give her an entire new wardrobe from scratch, pronto.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 4:47 PM
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She looks a lot more worthy of taking seriously in 275 than she does in any of those Karan ensembles.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 4:50 PM
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Palin's influence is sometimes very discreet

http://www.authenticcanadianmukluks.com/images/mukluk_cover_story.jpg


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 4:52 PM
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Are mukluks trickling down into being a trend for normal people? That would have the potential for more weirdness than the year (2003?) when women all started wearing "ponchos", aka blankets with holes cut out for their heads.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 4:56 PM
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I believe you mean Valentino ensembles, and I cannot agree with you. I remain aware that she is not worthy of being taken seriously in either case, but that is not an outfit that adds seriousness to one's look. I don't think Dick Cheney looks more worthy of taking seriously when he wears frumpy shit, either.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 4:56 PM
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aka blankets with holes cut out for their heads

Heh.

The mukluks/poncho combo is a relatively unexplored fashion statement.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 4:57 PM
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The mukluks/poncho combo is a relatively unexplored fashion statement.

Not in Alaska.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 4:58 PM
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I don't think Dick Cheney looks more worthy of taking seriously when he wears frumpy shit, either.

I would take these frumps very seriously. They are the poster boys of serious.

http://azdiamondhacks.mlblogs.com/diamondhacks/images/politburo.jpg


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 5:03 PM
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It's not the hat, it's the asswipe parka. I'm just saying he doesn't look more worthy. Of course, I found that scene maddening for the deliberate flouting of sartorial etiquette, which is, in fact, a flexing of the muscles of seriousness.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 5:06 PM
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I'm sure Cheney owns a respectable, Republican cloth coat.

I'm curious about that picture, though. Did he borrow the parka from a zoomie because he missed the weather report before he flew in, or is it as you suggest, a "big dick" statement?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 5:11 PM
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Yeah, I have no idea. Does he not have staff responsible for things like checking the weather? Perhaps he had them quietly strangled for their dereliction of duty, afterwards.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 5:16 PM
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ZOMG- it was for the Auschwitz memorial!
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A43247-2005Jan27.html

Most charitable: worried about health
Least charitable: Fuck you, jewboy


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 5:22 PM
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ZOMG- it was for the Auschwitz memorial!

Oh yes! Sorry, I should have picked a link that made that clear.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 5:23 PM
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Not in Alaska.

I mean in real America, soup.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 5:49 PM
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You can see that over time that whenever he learns something new, that it's a form of conventional wisdom. His latest issue, on how occupational licensing is bad for the poor, is the purest of received wisdom.

Yggles absorbs the conventional wisdom of what in the 90s would have been called the Ivy League neoliberal set extremely quickly, and he modifies it for our own more liberal time pretty well. He genuinely absorbed and was shaped by the lesson of establishment failure that happened with the Iraq war. He's like the new, more genuinely left, version of what would once have been a TNR kid (if he had come out of Harvard in 1995 he almost certainly would have written for TNR). He's as likely to get his conventional wisdom from Dean Baker as he is from Brookings.

He has a genuinely quick mind, which all other things equal means he probably could contribute something deeper if he focused on a single topic. As it is, he's all over the place, but he's still recognizably smarter and more substance-oriented than almost all the other pure pundits. He loses out on econ to the best econbloggers, but that's because the best of them are true experts.

You could say sticking with the focus on blogging so long is a symptom that his personal tastes veer toward the ADD side of things, but I don't think there's evidence there that he's not intelligent enough to do something richer.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 5:53 PM
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Up until he left the Atlantic, I felt confident that within twenty years' time he would be your run-of-the-mill pundit. The fact that our pundits are so stupid is a learned disability -- Michael Kinsley is a good example of how the process works. Since he left Atlantic, it's seemed to me he has genuinely trying to distance himself from the punditocracy (mainly by publicly insulting many of them).

I'm a big fan, mind. I've been reading him daily since 2002. The world doesn't just need good ideas, it needs people to make a good case for those ideas. (Yglesias specializes in making a good case that bad ideas are bad, which is equally worthy.)


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 6:05 PM
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A good case? In 200 words? Short-form blogging doesn't lend itself to making good cases. It's more staking a position, hedged here and there with a tone of consideration, and possibly developing a case (or a position) over time, but it's still sound-bitey in the end. I read that blog, among others, for a recap of the latest in the news,


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 6:15 PM
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, s/b .


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 6:17 PM
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"Making a case" includes and requires sound bites. We're talking about a political case. Rawls made a thorough philosophical case for his point of view, but it sits on the shelf and is read by a very limited audience which is seldom very politically engaged. Sausagely is able to get ideas off the shelf into the actual political discussion.

The pros and cons of privatizing Social Security were probably known ten or fifteen years ago. When we came to the actual argument in 2005, getting the word out was the job that needed to be done. People like Josh Micah Marshall (PhD) and Sausagely (BA) were the ones who did it. It was a very near thing, too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 6:21 PM
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||

Ok, sorry, but I gotta nominate the newest Apple commercial for the worst idea of an ad ever. An expensive ad, played all the fucking time, which criticizes your competitor for... advertising too much? It's like they asked themselves "Alright, we're getting a lot of attention for how annoying the Mac character is, especially when compared to John Hodgeman. How can we crank the annoying to 11 in order to push the buzz through the roof?".

|>


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 6:25 PM
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Wow, the clip in 271 is indeed brutal. I'll send it, along with plenty of other stuff, to the Republican half of my family as I make one last pitch for Obama before election day. I think the competence argument may have some traction with them: clearly, one candidate knows how to build and manage an organization. Pfotenhauer's not an idiot, but she's not up to the spokesman's job; McCain really needs a world-class lying scumbag like Romney or one of Bush's press secretaries.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 6:29 PM
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I have found those apple/ mac ads cruel and bullying. Now, all is fair in love, war and business, but by personifying the product apple is basically saying it is ok to make fun of nerds, especially as you make more money. I think that the ms response has the right tone. Of course, the product they are peddling is crap.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 6:29 PM
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288-290:I will believe blogging has achieved its potential when we find our aphoristic genius:the guy who 3-4 times a day can write 50 words that tell us not what to think about an issue but how to think about an issue. We don't need any more essayists and wonks now we need an artist.

If not Yggles, I don't know who.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 6:38 PM
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Wow, just caught up on this Palin clothing thing...solid gold underwear? It's the only thing that fits the expenses.

On Yggles, yeah, he definitely showed heart by moving to CAP, and showed clearly that he would choose liberalism over being the phony-centrist pundit game.

We already have a super-pundit, though...no one will ever be better than Krugman. He's got it all, the Barry Bonds of punditry.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 6:39 PM
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285: I'd be willing to believe this was good old American practicality. He was clearly the warmest person there.

That said, he should really have taken off the lift ticket.


Posted by: Bran Muffin | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 6:40 PM
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294: Yeah, and what's more is that Pfotenhauer uses "infer" when she means "imply."


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 6:43 PM
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"Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts upon the unthinking."

-- Keynes, NATIONAL SELF - SUFFICIENCY


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 6:46 PM
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299: BURN HER!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 6:47 PM
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292: "Making a case" includes and requires sound bites. We're talking about a political case. Rawls made a thorough philosophical case for his point of view, but it sits on the shelf and is read by a very limited audience which is seldom very politically engaged. Sausagely is able to get ideas off the shelf into the actual political discussion.

Of course it requires sound bites, as it were. The comparison to Rawls is absurd; as though the only alternative to the sound bite is extensive theoretical writing. Does Saiselgy get ideas off the shelf into actual political discussion? To the extent that he's linked and quoted on other blogs voicing the same things, sure: the point there is to remark that someone else thinks so too. A voice refuses to go away. That's good, valuable.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 6:48 PM
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The comparison to Rawls is absurd

I didn't take Emerson to be comparing him to Rawls, but rather saying Sausagely works some of Rawls' (and other Big Thinkers', I presume) points into his arguments, even if he doesn't always explicitly say so. Emerson?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:13 PM
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On a wholly unrelated note, Rachel Maddow and Pat Buchanan are surprisingly adorable.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:26 PM
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I was just saying that there are lots of big thinkers and serious researchers, but that people like Yggles get the ideas out there in the public eye where they can do their work.

I also should have said that Democrats haven't been that bad in the big-idea area, but that they've been horrible in the getting-the-ideas-out-there area.

Basically, that's been my whole interest since 2002 when I got re-interested in politics. I'm not a policy wonk or an elections wonk at all, and my interest in political philosophy is pretty disconnected from actual contemporary politics, but I think a lot about how to get the message out.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:29 PM
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303: That's probably a fair enough rendering of Emerson's point, though I await his clarification.

If that is the point, I'm afraid that Saiselgy doesn't work any more Rawls, or other big thinkers, into his blog posts than anyone else. Which is to say that Rawls saturates liberal thinking.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:32 PM
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306 crossed with 305, obvs.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:33 PM
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Somebody, I forget who, summed up a while ago why Yglesias is so awesome: on issues I don't understand, he reliably tells me what I would think if I knew what I was talking about.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:36 PM
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I should say that, as a student of Genghis Khan's political career, I do have a lot of seminal, visionary, but this is not the time or the place to share them with you.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:39 PM
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^ideas about politics^


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:40 PM
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308: Maybe that's it. I already know what I think.

Sorry to have been going on about this; I think I'm just surprised that anyone thinks that Matt is anywhere known outside a really rather small circle, all things considered, in the blogosphere.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:41 PM
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I never read Sausagely and think "Wow, I never would have thought of that." I read him and think "Wow, I never would have put it that way."


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 7:49 PM
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261: technically, the VP does preside over the Senate, as well as getting a vote when there's a tie. The Senate chamber is completely ringed with busts of former vice presidents, in honor of their role as presiding officer.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:40 PM
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313: Plainly, that was not the spirit of Governor Palin's remarks, PGD.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:42 PM
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Let us not forget that any number of people don't even quite know that there are two houses of Congress.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 10:56 PM
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315: Yes, but most of them aren't running for Vice President.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:10 PM
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Goes toward the fact that Palin's odd view of the Vice President's role isn't going register as problematic to a lot of people. That's all.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-08 11:13 PM
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One of the less-commented-on virtues of Ygs is the sheer volume of writing he produces. I think he writes out more good and interesting ideas a day than any other blogger I know, and it's partly because he just writes more words.


Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 6:07 AM
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We Are All Chicagoans Now ...check it out

Mark Schmitt falls to his knees to suck Obama's cock.

But the battle is over for now. "Choice" prevails. The near future of social policy in the United States is unlikely to involve large public-sector interventions and more likely to involve ideas like tax incentives and other "nudges" to encourage public-spirited behavior, choice among private-sector health and pension plans, and charter schools and public school choice to encourage improvement.

This is only in part because the new standard--bearer of liberalism, Barack Obama, embraces a soft version of University of Chicago doctrine, influenced by economist Austan Goolsbee and law professor Cass Sunstein

McCain couldn't permanently destroy liberalism, kill all hopes of social justice. Only a fake Democrat like Obama could do that.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:43 AM
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Schmitt:

It's a high-risk bet. If the market doesn't work, and even if it does, Americans would still face a confusing array of options and marketing pitches, with little help to know which policy is more efficient or offers better benefits for their circumstances. Whether it's in health care, housing, education, pensions, or job retraining, without intermediary organizations that can help people navigate the choices that choice liberalism makes possible, many Americans will make decisions that leave them more vulnerable, more mistrustful of government, and cost taxpayers more.

For those of us who have been skeptical of choice as a principle for government programs, though, it's time to stop fighting

Fuck you, Mark.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:48 AM
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This is what I expected and feared most. That in the face of a neo-Reaganite Republicrat Obama landslide, progressives would just give up.

And so the Party of FDR, Truman, and LBJ has been murdered by a black man.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:54 AM
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Is the McCain campaign giving you money to troll liberal blogs, bob? If not, they should be - you may want to give them a call.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:56 AM
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Is the McCain campaign giving you money to troll liberal blogs, bob?

Bob has thousands of Schrute bucks under his mattress.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:59 AM
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The 100 organizations that make up the Health Care for America Now! coalition favor a robust public health-insurance plan modeled on Medicare, but as one option within a structured market.

bob, it's pretty clear that you're misinterpreting Schmitt here. He seems entirely comfortable with single-payer healthcare, and merely argues - as many proponents of single-payer healthcare do - that this is a reasonable transitional step.

The state ain't gonna wither away all in one step, you know.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:06 AM
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bob's not a troll, he's just much more advanced than the rest of us. We all get hung up on thinking we should elect people openly sympathetic to our goals. bob knows better.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:12 AM
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322:what "liberal" blogs?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:13 AM
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He's got it all, the Barry Bonds of punditry.

He's like Barry Bonds on steroids, on steroids!


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:16 AM
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I agree with Bob. The more you find out about Obama's policy plans, the more centrist he seems. And people for whom the word "centrist" is a warm fuzzy just love that about him, but I don't.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:16 AM
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324:I suggest you read the linked Schmitt article.

He is a very sad & subdued "winner."

PS:How do you suppose all the people kicked off welfare by Clinton and his Republican friends are going to do in the recession, especially as state and muni gov'ts cut back on services?

Remember FDR's "Bill of Economic Rights?" If it ain't guaranteed and inalienable it's nothing.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:19 AM
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The more you find out about Obama's policy plans, the more centrist he seems

Wait, this surprised anyone? He was always centerist, ffs.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:19 AM
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It's always been possible that Obama was better than he showed himself as. But now we're not even sure that he's not going to commit to Hooverism.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:21 AM
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He is a very sad & subdued "winner."

Which is an entirely reasonable view, though I don't share it. Your view, on the other hand, reminds me of those who regard FDR's administration as a national tragedy because it foreclosed the possibility of communism in this country.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:23 AM
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It's always been possible that Obama was better than he showed himself as.

This is true of damn near everybody, but it's never the way the smart money bets.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:23 AM
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Oh, fuck you, PF. Obama will be better than McCain, so he wins decisively by that low standard. No one's planning on voting for Nader.

"We're all Chicagoans now" is the real title of the peace. We aren't, though, but Schmitt is telling the rest of us to fuck off and shut up.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:27 AM
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Pardon me, Emerson, but I was responding to bob's actual argument comparing Obama unfavorably to McCain. I don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

So how about it bob, have I misread you here and elsewhere? Is Emerson right about you? Whom (if anyone) do you support in this presidential election?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:34 AM
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No one's planning on voting for Nader.

I have voted a straight 'D" since 1972, but I am in absolute torment this year. As a Texan, it doesn't matter to anyone but me, but my conscience is torturing me.

In a sense, Obama has already corrupted me. Any choice I can make will be dirty.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:36 AM
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I have voted a straight 'D" since 1972, but I am in absolute torment this year.

Do you believe that Obama is to the right of Bill Clinton?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:38 AM
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In a sense, Obama has already corrupted me.

And before Obama, he was as pure as freshly fallen snow.

Poor bob!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:39 AM
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Nah, you were just pissing on Bob, based on previous encounters. But I concede that you don't understand what I'msaying.

Bob's interpretation of Schmitt is about right, and yours is full of shit. Schmitt isn't even a bad guy, he's just quite reasonably confessing defeat in the face of Goolsbee and Sunstein, whom he expects to be important in the Obama administration.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:39 AM
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336:Look, pf, if McCain killed the social programs it wouldn't compromise the left. it wouldn't force them into permanent rationalization mode.

Only Clinton, a Democrat could pass NAFTA and "Welfare Reform" And now, no matter how many kids are starving in the street, we can't get welfare back. It's gone.

That is what Obama can & will do that McCain can't. Sorry, it's true, the traitors in your own party are more dangerous than the enemy outside.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:40 AM
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I concede that you don't understand what I'msaying.

Now that's what I call magnanimous. Thank you !


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:42 AM
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What is Schmitt talking about in the article?

Mark Schmitt is a careful pundit, so he talks about health care.

But I think it is about SS.

Yglesias & DeLong will jump aboard "carve-ins" enthuiastically. even as they recognize the initial steps toward privatization. Obama and his fans will give them no choice.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:48 AM
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the traitors in your own party are more dangerous than the enemy outside.

bob will either be on the Committee for Public Safety or part of the Virtue and Vice Commission. His choice.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:53 AM
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Do you believe that Obama is to the right of Bill Clinton?

it's perfectly possible he is. This is a more left time, we don't know what Clinton would have been like elected now. Certainly ever since his nomination Obama has in no way been to the left of Hillary Clinton. He got quite a lot of mileage out of that 2002 Iraq speech.

I do think Obama is more cautious than the Clintons, and a little more inclined to grasp for authoritative "respectable" DC types to center and advise him. That could be an issue.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:53 AM
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But I think it is about SS.

Based on what?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:54 AM
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344 was me.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:54 AM
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a little more inclined to grasp for authoritative "respectable" DC types

Bill Clinton's cabinet was crammed to the rafters with "respectable" DC types. Bob Rubin and William Cohen, anybody?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:56 AM
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347: but Hillary Clinton's campaign wasn't. The Clintons have already pretty much taken the measure of that world.

That Schmitt article is important and depressing; it's basically saying that on domestic policy we're going to see the 90s consensus continue. What we need is somebody with the self-confidence to grab the populist moment and make a real break with the quasi-marketized, neoliberal, soft empire Democratic consensus of the 90s. I don't see Obama having the confidence to do that -- in part for good reason, it's harder for a black guy named Obama to depart from convention.

The entire leftist critique of the Clintons is based on blaming the Clintons, personally, for the way the country as a whole was in the 90s and the intense limitations on the kind of progressive change that was truly possible then. Now, more change is possible.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:08 PM
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Certainly ever since his nomination Obama has in no way been to the left of Hillary Clinton.

For example?

Since the nomination Obama has been more and more embracing of the Democratic brand, because that's where the votes are.

In the primaries, the big dramatic difference was health insurance mandates. On one path lies a communist utopia, on another lies old people eating dog food. But I guess we made our choice.

Another big regret I have is that by selecting Obama, we will end up with all these establishment Clinton Dem types in power. If the voters had chosen Hillary, this could have been avoided.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:09 PM
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But anyway, I'm being too pessimistic, we'll see what we get. Events are in charge of politicians much more than the reverse. And Obama's a smart, canny, guy, but he's also very cautious and takes a long time to make up his mind. He might not have decided how left he is.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:09 PM
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Mark Schmitt is a trailing indicator.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:12 PM
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Only Clinton, a Democrat could pass NAFTA and "Welfare Reform"

And only Nixon can go to China. Yeah, yeah, I know. I still would have preferred McGovern.

Clinton ran and got elected on NAFTA and welfare reform, and both were centrist/conservative positions, relative to actual public policy at the time.

Meanwhile, Obama, Schmitt and "Schmitt's "100 organizations that make up the Health Care for America Now!" take positions that are considerably to the left of current public policy on healthcare.

Now Obama may yet doublecross us, but Clinton (broadly speaking) didn't. Advocating and carrying out more liberal policies is a different thing than advocating more conservative ones. Really.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:12 PM
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Okay, I do agree with 348. Maybe this is the sort of thing that can be pushed along by Congress (I know, I know, but a guy has to hope). Replacing Harry Reid with a new Majority Leader would be a decent start.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:12 PM
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If the voters had chosen HillaryEdwards, this could have been avoided.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:15 PM
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he's just quite reasonably confessing defeat in the face of Goolsbee and Sunstein

He's not confessing defeat. He's of the same neoliberal lineage as Goolsbee and Sunstein. As is true of pretty much everyone in that DC set.

a little more inclined to grasp for authoritative "respectable" DC types to center and advise him

"More" is moronic, insofar as the Clintons and the DLC had sixteen years to determine who was a respectable DC Dem type. He'll necessarily have fewer respectable DC types for just that reason.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:16 PM
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What we need is someone insider enough to get elected but experienced/shrewd/hard-bitten enough to realize insider wisdom is BULLSHIT, econ is nothing but a pseudoscience plus an accounting system, and nobody in DC really knows anything. It's hard to tell in advance who that person will be. Obama is an outsider who has rapidly made himself over into an insider and is still slightly insecure...he grasps at insiders like a security blanket. What I liked about Hillary is how little security blanket she needed. But Obama can morph fast. We'll see.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:21 PM
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What we need is someone insider enough to get elected but experienced/shrewd/hard-bitten enough to realize insider wisdom is BULLSHIT, econ is nothing but a pseudoscience plus an accounting system, and nobody in DC really knows anything.

ME!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:24 PM
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"More" is moronic, insofar as the Clintons and the DLC had sixteen years to determine who was a respectable DC Dem type.

once again, the belief that the Clintons were fully in charge and determined the 90s, as opposed to being determined by it.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:24 PM
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355: Did you read the article, Tim?

Other writers (including me, in a column a year ago questioning the overreliance on tax credits) questioned the fad for choice, again for both sound economic and political reasons. "One size fits all" is exactly what social insurance is supposed to be about, since none of us knows exactly the risks we will face in life. And private-sector incentives, far from being efficient, can cause all sorts of distortions as we try to induce individuals or companies to do things they wouldn't do for ordinary economic reasons--as the collapse of the privatized public institutions Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reminds us. Politically, we value the sense of social solidarity and respect for public goods created by large initiatives, and we think citizens are not consumers


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:25 PM
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You know that I would make a great president.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:27 PM
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I view you as the calming Vice-Presidential influence on President McManus. You could also edit his speeches for grammar.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:28 PM
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the belief that the Clintons were fully in charge and determined the 90s

They were fully in charge and determined the Democratic Party during the 90s.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:28 PM
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You know that I would make a great president.

Whereas I would make a great Senate Chaplain.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:29 PM
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once again, the belief that the Clintons were fully in charge and determined the 90s, as opposed to being determined by it.

The belief is not that the Clintons determined the 90s, but that they had, by far, the greatest hand in establish who was deemed a "respectable Dem" in DC in both the '90s and the '00s. The O'Hanlon/Lieberman/whathaveyou phenomenon existed for a reason.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:30 PM
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once again, the belief that the Clintons were fully in charge and determined the 90s, as opposed to being determined by it.

Right; as Tolstoy argued in War and Peace, even seemingly powerful leaders are actually just victims of forces beyond their control, at least up until January 2009, the dawn of a new day in which leaders are actually fully in charge.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:31 PM
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Apo's confirmation as Senate Chaplain leads to calls for the separation of Church and State...with a crowbar.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:34 PM
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What I liked about Hillary is how little security blanket she needed.

Her campaign was premised on HRC as '90a security blanket. "Back to the 90s!" "I have more experience!"

Did you read the article, Tim?Did you read the article, Tim?

I thought I had, a couple of days ago. Maybe it was a different one. I'll look later. In any case, I'd be pretty surprised if Schmitt denied being a neoliberal.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:34 PM
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So: a Schmitt article about how Obama favors the same kind of health care plan he put forward in the primaries (& the same as Clinton & Edwards) where we have a gov't alternative that people can buy into instead of single payer, & how this is Chicagoish, is evidence of a secret plan to privatize social security? Gee, *this* isn't repetitive.

He is too cautious for me, but this isn't an article about how Obama might have to abandon his health care plan, it's a restatement of stuff we have known about his health care plan since before Iowa.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:35 PM
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What we need is someone insider enough to get elected but experienced/shrewd/hard-bitten enough to realize insider wisdom is BULLSHIT, econ is nothing but a pseudoscience plus an accounting system, and nobody in DC really knows anything.

Right; nobody in DC really knows anything, except for this one hypothetical shrewd leader who knows exactly what to do to solve all our problems. She will follow her gut and use common sense to restore America to greatness.

Go Sarah Palin.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:35 PM
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366: Sergeant-at-Arms OPINIONATED GRANDMA, please remove that spectator from the chamber.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:36 PM
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hey were fully in charge and determined the Democratic Party during the 90s.

The Republicans were the most powerful party in DC from 1994 on. The Republican hegemony that finally broke through in 2000-2002 almost happened in the 90s. The 2000 election was a great tragedy. If not for Monica / Whitewater / impeachment, the Clinton move to the right would have succeeded in preventing Republican dominance.

at least up until January 2009, the dawn of a new day in which leaders are actually fully in charge.

as I said above, events will determine Obama a lot. But this is one of those rare periods of tremendous flux in major institutions, discrediting of many, where the right kind of person could seize many opportunities.

I don't really know who that person is either, I'm frustrated by Obama so far but hopefully I'm wrong.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:38 PM
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After 9/11 for at least four years, the Clinton people were very successful in preventing the Democrats from taking issue with the Iraq War. Hillary refused to second guess the war itself (as opposed to its "competence") well into 2008.

Besides centrism on the issues, and besides sabotaging the Democrats in Congress, the Clintons and the DLC also tied the Democrats to a low-participation, anti-popular, big-money, big-media political strategy which ended up crippling the party.

Whether or not the Clintons were doing the right thing in 1992 and 1994, at some point (sooner rather than later IMHO) it stopped being the right thing, but they kept on doing it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:40 PM
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I don't remember Clinton running on NAFTA.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:42 PM
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the Clinton move to the right would have succeeded in preventing Republican dominance.

Appeasement as a strategy for victory. I guess you are a liberal, after all.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:43 PM
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360 would totally fuck up the presidential anonyms for ATM threads, so I must reluctantly oppose it.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:45 PM
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But this is one of those rare periods of tremendous flux in major institutions, discrediting of many, where the right kind of person could seize many opportunities

1848, 1917, 1946, 1968


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:46 PM
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sadly, 372 has a lot of truth to it.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:46 PM
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If Apo promised to do his chaplaining according to ecumenical Funkadelic theology, I could support him. But he'd have to grow his hair back out.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:47 PM
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367: Well, the word "neoliberal" doesn't actually appear in the article, and I don't think anyone is sure what that word means anymore anyway.

However, Schmitt does say he would prefer a big public "one size fits all" program to the market-based choice programs. He's resigned himself to trying to make a market-based choice program as progressive as possible, because that is what and Obama administration is going to propose.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:47 PM
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If not for Monica / Whitewater / impeachment, the Clinton move to the right would have succeeded in preventing Republican dominance.

The Republican landslide happened in 1994. Lewinsky didn't become known to anybody for another three years.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:50 PM
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I think "dominance" refers to having both houses, the presidency, and 5 out of 9 Supremes. Coulda had Gore and one or two Supreme Court seats switched over.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:55 PM
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Well, the word "neoliberal" doesn't actually appear in the article

I'm making a guess based on reading his work over time.

, and I don't think anyone is sure what that word means anymore anyway.

That's because everything else died away. E.g., it's not clear to me that The Nation isn't pro-realist on foreign policy. ( I read it rarely, so that might be pretty wrong.) I genuinely don't know who people think of as both to the left of a broadly neoliberal group and powerful, either as media or in a govt. advisor role.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:56 PM
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||

The juror is disrupting Sen. Stevens' trial is a violent, badass, middle-aged bookkeeper.

But not Herbert Kornfeld -- it's a lady bookkeeper.

You go, girl! Anything a man can do.....

|>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:57 PM
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I don't remember Clinton running on NAFTA.

This was the Ross Perot year, remember - the year of the "giant sucking sound." Clinton had to address NAFTA directly, and he did.

Here's something contemporaneous from the NYT.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 12:57 PM
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The foreign policy options seem to be limited to realism and neoconservativism. Whatever it is that Kucinich and I support doesn't even have a name any more. You'd need a coup d'etat and martial law to put it into effect; there'd be no other way to get the military and foreign policy establishments to consent to it peacefully.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 1:00 PM
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But this is one of those rare periods of tremendous flux in major institutions, discrediting of many, where the right kind of person could seize many opportunities

The meltdown means that the "rules" will be re-written. Obama will have the bully pulpit. Changes at the edges will be too little, too late. I think will apply in foreign policy, too.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 1:05 PM
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||

Godwit* flies 7200 miles nonstop without food or water.

*A Godwit is a species of bird.

|>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 1:15 PM
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If not for Monica / Whitewater / impeachment, the Clinton move to the right would have succeeded in preventing Republican dominance.

Ahh, counterfactuals. How I love them.

My best guess is that the world would have been a considerably improved place had Al Gore picked up a few more votes. Bill did a lot toward putting Al (and the Democratic Party) in that position.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 1:16 PM
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388: I certainly don't disagree with that. But, then, I liked the Clinton presidency.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 1:20 PM
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385: If you're being mainstream about it, it's called institutionalism, though you strike me more as a gramscianist.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 1:51 PM
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OT: OMG, McCain has never been baptized! (According to an NPR story just now.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 2:19 PM
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HE WAS BAPTIZED BY FIRE ON THE DECK OF AN AIRCRAFT CARRIER, YOU COMMIE.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 2:22 PM
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Oh. Dammit. I forgot. You're sure that counts, now.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 2:26 PM
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John 3:5, chaplain. Fire don't count.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 2:29 PM
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Fire don't count.

The water comes when they're putting out the fire.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 2:32 PM
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395: but he didn't stick around for that part.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 2:35 PM
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396: Too tough to be a Christian. Figures.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 2:43 PM
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Hey, did anyone ever notice how pictures of the young McCain look like pictures of the young Kurtz from Apocalypse Now?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 2:44 PM
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Hey, did anyone ever notice how pictures of the young McCain look like pictures of the young Kurtz from Apocalypse Now?

How did they do that before photoshop? I know the Russians were masters at deleting the purged from photos, but adding is harder. Or did young actors routinely take headshots in all sorts of get-ups.

I am reminded of how they used "Dirty Harry" shots of younger Eastwood for this pic.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107206/


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 3:08 PM
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Republicans & conservatives can constantly play defense, just chipping away at liberal reforms year after year.

Progressives have to go long, have to try for 2-3 times as much change as should be legitimately expected, because, like chool integration, the pushback will start immediately.

You will not get another opportunity like this election in your lifetimes. Not generation , lifetimes. Trust this old man, it will go ever more consevative from here. You really have to achieve all your dreams and goals in 2009-2012. All of them.

What did liberals get 1968-2008? Nothing, or if anything, only what was started in the mid-to-late 60s. Don't expect your political lives to be different from mine.

I can think of nothing worse than a cautious Obama at one of the rare change moments. There will not be another chance.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 3:10 PM
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What did liberals get 1968-2008?

For those of us who actually care about civil liberties, gay rights, and extralegal social issues: one hell of a lot. History's on our side.

But since you're only obsessed with new major government redistribution programs, there weren't too many of those. Mind you, apart from universal healthcare and perhaps state-subsidized creches, there just aren't many more big programs that other nations have even done.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 3:52 PM
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How did they do that before photoshop?

The majority of what is typically done today in photoshop was possible pre-digital by other means. Or at least similar results.

The main difference digital brings is to make some of it easy, all of it more practical --- in other words, photoshop bring pervasive manipulation, but few new manipulations.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 3:54 PM
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apart from universal healthcare and perhaps state-subsidized creches

not a small `apart from', when you get down to it.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 3:55 PM
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I heard on the radio that in Sweden, both fathers and mothers have some degree of mandatory paid newborn leave from their employment.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 4:10 PM
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403: Not at all, and I support them both. But the fact remains that they're only two pieces of legislation, which need years of groundwork and a specific catalyst to appear. We're at least moving closer to the former in this election year, I'm quite sure.

My point is that if you only ever measure progress in massive new government programs, you'll miss the vast majority of liberal progress. Of course huge overhauls of our executive structure don't come along very often, but our nation's social fabric is always evolving.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 4:16 PM
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you'll miss the vast majority of liberal progress

After thirty years of increasing economic inequality, two poor gays can nowmarry each other. I measure liberal progress in the quality of life for those not rich or privileged, and your supposed
"progress" is such a lie I wonder what party you belong to?

Are you really saying that the last 20 of 28 years of Republican rule has improved life for the median American? That's a horrible acceptance of of declining conditions. But maybe you are upper middle-class, and Ronnie was very very good for you.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 4:55 PM
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Are you upper quintile, PMP? Current Family income over 100k. parents professionals?

Cause they did ok until the most recent Bush administration, and were probably the demographic constituency for neo-liberalism. Of course they measure liberalism with an afterschool special menu.

They turned on Bush when their relative goodies got smaller. Obama will take care of you. 250k is barely making it, after all, say Barack.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 5:03 PM
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America has also been enormously militarized during the last 40 years, and the direction of civil liberties is bad too. Corporations have a much freer hand, and everything regarding social justice is worse. Education is harder to finance.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 5:16 PM
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America has also been enormously militarized during the last 40 years

I don't know about this. Certainly the decision after WWII not to stand down led to Pres. Eisenhower's famous dictum, but we've been a voluntary military for thirty five of those forty years.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 5:24 PM
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With a larger military than the next ten nations combined, with military spending untouchable, and with "support the troops" as the national slogan, making the whole country a feel-good therapy group for the military, and making every war an untouchable holy cause.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 5:32 PM
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I can think of nothing worse than a cautious Obama at one of the rare change moments. There will not be another chance.

Nonsense, Bob. As America plunges headfirst into an abyss, there will be chances every four years or so to achieve real change.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 5:52 PM
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With a larger military than the next ten nations combined

This is just not true. There are 1.4 million active duty US. China alone has 709K active duty.

Spending is hard to make apples to apples comparisons, but we certainly have a much larger capacity many others. As a % of GDP we are not out of line, historically.

Just because the EU are a bunch of free riders doesn't mean the Us is spending too much.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 5:56 PM
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I measure liberal progress in the quality of life for those not rich or privileged, and your supposed
"progress" is such a lie I wonder what party you belong to?

Wow Bob you're so pure at heart and wonderful, clearly motivated by progressive idealism, and not at all by the imagined prospect of an apocalyptic future.

Obama is a cautious man coming to power in a time of great opportunity, and this makes you angsty. This should be taken seriously, just like your past angst about:

I think we will desperately need Krugman next spring, for I definitely believe the Obamabots wouldn't criticize President Obama's legislative proposals even if they were strict sharia.

So, Katherine, you can't imagine Obama going all Chavez on us? After a few nationalizations and a couple right-wing assassination attempts? You gonna call for impeachment if he goes a little too far?

When the shooting">shooting">http://www.unfogged.com/archives/comments_8440.html#797394">shooting starts, either real or metaphorical, I don't know what side Obama will choose

I wouldn't bother shooting fish in a barrel, but some of the more "reasonable" people like to be enablers.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 6:07 PM
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Graph for JE
http://www.truthandpolitics.org/military-relative-size.php#gdp-graph


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 6:20 PM
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Yeah, TLL, and Saddam had a fearsome military too. Do you want to restate what I said in terms you can understand?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 6:25 PM
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413:You could have done much better.

However hyperbolic, I still pretty much stand by those three quotes. They were written before the Obama Bailout Bill. I now know which side Obama is on.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 6:37 PM
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416: I only had a few minutes.

Of course you stand by those quotes.

We need blood on the streets and this guy will just put forth incremental change. Or he'll get blood on the streets all right, but he'll be on the wrong side.

We can play this game all day. Obama may be Mussolini or he may be Jimmy Carter, either way it's a real tough choice this election. Maybe the Democrats will lose, maybe they'll win by a small margin, maybe they'll win by a large margin, but no matter what something terrifying is happening. I'm scared and it's awful.

The Obama Bailout Bill, named after its writer and implementer Barack Obama, is the purest litmus test in the history of American politics. Its supporters are true brothers-in-arms. So are its opponents. And for all Americans, there is no certainly no doubt about which side you are on. Never has a bill so cleanly exposed the underlying political structure of our society.

Again, I'm mainly writing for the benefit of the seemingly sane people who tend to say things like, "Underneath the apparent madness Bob really has a good point."


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:00 PM
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I'm not really sane. I just pretend to be to talk to you people.

I don't trust Obama's instinct, first because his goals are too limited, and second because I'm not sure that he's prepared for the enemy onslaught. Either one by itself is enough.

I'll vote for Obama, and I'll even do GOTV and canvassing for him. Bob may or may not vote for Obama, but he's in Texas so no one should care.

What's really in question is how good will Obama be if he succeeds, and how bad will it get if he fails. Like Bob, I'm not optimistic.

One Fat Englishman compared him to Tony Blair awhile back, and that's what I fear. And sure, better than McCain. But besides being center-right Blair really wasn't a crisis leader.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:09 PM
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417:See? You just can't, or won't ever criticize Obama. For anything, ever. As I expected.

Paulson Redacting Pay Schedules ...Sirota at OpenLeft, on CNBC this morning

Was this in the original bill that Obama whipped? If not, and it is illegal, why isn't Obama speaking up?

Either way, the future President deserves nothing but contempt and rage.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:10 PM
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Barbar, for what it's worth, we don't need you to interpret Bob for us. We can read.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 7:37 PM
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Mind you, apart from universal healthcare and perhaps state-subsidized creches, there just aren't many more big programs that other nations have even done.

this is so completely untrue, I don't know where to start. How about: other countries have massive union and labor influence in wage setting and working conditions, and that has been completely and totally shredded in the U.S. The U.S. is far to the right of other industrialized countries. It's not just universal health care.

Bob's comment 400 could easily turn out to be prescient. You might not agree with everything in that comment, but it's not at all crazy.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:12 PM
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I cannot, in fact, read. Makes you all a lot easier to take, let me tell you.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:16 PM
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414: that graph conveniently cuts out in 2003 (and I wonder if it counts 03 Iraq expenditures fully). Military spending is now up to 4.5% of GDP. Furthermore, military spending in absolute inflation-adjusted dollars (adjusted for military cost deflator) is at its highest level since WWII -- higher than any point during the Cold War. Since the economy does not get more expensive to defend as it gets larger, this is IMO the better measure.

Either way, the future President deserves nothing but contempt and rage.

It's still perfectly possible that Obama will drop his polished-up Broderism bipartisanship shtick, focus in on making real change the way he has successfully focused on running his highly effective campaign, and turn out to be a great President.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 9:22 PM
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other countries have massive union and labor influence in wage setting and working conditions, and that has been completely and totally shredded in the U.S.

That's true, but apart from Australia's government-set wage schedule, which ones have a major government role in that union movement's wage setting? Now, I agree that we should be more labor-friendly. There's a reason I support stuff like card check which undermines some of the worst regulations that undermine union expansion. But I would say that's not a major government program, that's more like some government regulation changes paired with a massive grassroots change in the perspective of workers toward unions.

America is absolutely further right than most other countries. Bob seems to feel this is the fault of the government. I feel it's only partially the fault of the government (election agendas do have some major effects on the Overton Window, and few people are willing to drop a progressive program like universal healthcare after implementaion), but a lot of it comes from ground-level attitudes among many Americans. It's something we're working hard to change, but that's where you'll see it first, not among the top politicians.

400 may have some truth, but it has just as much in the opposite direction. Conservatives keep trying to shore up anti-gay rights laws or segregation policies or polling purges or anti-abortion laws, yet they keep getting chipped away. Transparency laws are passed, marijuana is decriminalized, a more progressive tax code is successfully pushed only 6-7 years after the last major regressive change. There's no doubt that conservatives are fighting scared as well. This country's split, and neither side wins all the battles. You only remember the ones you lose because they sting the most. But I think in the long run, liberals are winning more of them.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:07 PM
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That's true, but apart from Australia's government-set wage schedule, which ones have a major government role in that union movement's wage setting.... I would say that's not a major government program, that's more like some government regulation changes paired with a massive grassroots change in the perspective of workers toward unions.

I don't get your distinction between a "government role" and "government regulation changes". I would argue that every advanced country with a strong union movement has a very significant government role in supporting that movement. It's a standard neoliberal error to view government as separate from the institutional framework of the economy, with the interaction only occurring through "social welfare programs" and the like. This comes from passively accepting the American legal framework, which is very business-supportive. Institutional power is set by the legal framework. In a country like e.g. Germany *most* of the income redistribution is happening through the legal/regulatory system, which mandates everything from minimum vacation to works councils. Certainly Germany's unions would be nowhere near as powerful without that support. So saying, hey, we have a corresponding social welfare program, at least in name, to most of Germany's "social welfare programs" misses the point. (And in addition, social welfare programs in other countries are more redistributive and tax codes are often more progressive as well).

Also, one cannot separate the question of American workers' grassroots support for unions from the legal framework that governs organizing and union power. Change the union power would change grassroots support.

All that said, I don't disagree with the last para of 424 either. A lot of this stuff is a matter of perspective and priorities. By some measures, America is more progressive than European countries. Very different cultures, adapted to different economic systems.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:21 PM
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A lot of what Po-mo talks about is stuff that might happen, such as decriminalization of marijuana or a reversal of the regressive tax cuts. He also still underestimates the scope and significance of the regression since 1968.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:29 PM
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I don't know guys, Obama's only up by 10 points in the polls. There are polls that put him up 10 points in Indiana, up in Montana, up in North Carolina, only down by 10 in Texas. Doesn't that indicate that he's gone a little too far in his attempt to be popular? Wouldn't it be a lot more encouraging if he was winning by the slimmest of margins? Then we could be fretting about that instead.

Who knows how Obama will do. Some politicians are better than others but all are politicians (I'm sure David Broder said something similar once, so you may want to discount that). At any rate, I'm not sure why we need to look across the Atlantic to find an example of a charismatic neoliberal who pushed his centrist and conservative policies while disappointing the left. We had this guy in America named "Bill Clinton" who fit the bill; he should work fine as that type of historical precedent. But there's no English street cred for pointing that out, is there?


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:32 PM
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Institutional power is set by the legal framework.

Absolutely right. And the legal stuff gets virtually no coverage at all. When people do talk about, say, the Supreme Court, it's usually because of some social issue like gay rights or abortion.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:37 PM
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I could have said that too, Barbar. Sorry to have offended you.

Nobody here is sorry that Obama is winning. We're just asking what we can expect or hope for from him, and are concluding "probably not much". We even are asking whether he really knows what he's getting himself into, which is a different and somewhat contrary fear.

"Disappointing the left" is sort of a shitty way to state the problem.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:38 PM
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425: Yeah, but that's exactly what I was talking about. Stuff like increased progressiveness in the tax code, new worker legislation like the minimum wages, probably vacation legislation and card check, these are all smaller legal changes rather than giant new government programs. In a way, they're a lot easier to pass because they're more able to fly under the radar. Of course, the current political system is also pretty stacked against them, since they don't get enough attention for prominent support but they get just enough attention for the corporate money to try and shut it down. But that's why we're working through the progressive blogosphere, and trying to establish an alternative source of funding through which we can get progressive politicians who can stick to these smaller-bore measures.

My main point was that, whereas Bob seems obsessed with giant statement legislation that will seize all the money from rich people, or implement a massive new social program, that view will necessarily ignore a lot of potential liberal ground to gain. I might be wrong, he might actually just be meaning things like more sensible and pro-union legislation, or a more progressive tax code with increased EITC (which Obama considers a high priority), or even a fully-funded and staffed SEC, FDA, EPA, and other regulatory agencies to just enforce the fucking controls we've already got on the books. But I think that's where there are enormous gains to be made, and I think they're ideas that the prospective Congress and President are behind. I'm quite sure Obama supported the Employee Free Choice Act, which included card check.

I'd be surprised if the other big stuff like UHC and childcare aren't coming. Many in the liberal blogosphere are out there making the case for it each day, and people like me are trying to whenever politics comes up. Also, rich (and getting richer) countries can afford a lot, including decent housing and healthcare for all. But we'd be foolish to consider any other progressive victories as worthless just because we won't get a proper single-payer system this election cycle.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:40 PM
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428 is correct. I have read one pundit (Thomas Geohoeogoeogoan) in the last eight years mention how, oh, actually, you know, there is actually a 7-2 or 8-1 majority right now in every single business-related case on the Supreme Court, ruling in favor of business and against workers or customers. Including Souter, or maybe Breyer, I forget which, but often both. And Kennedy, and O'Connor, always. Nobody ever mentions this. The "liberal/conservative division" is strictly defined as being on culture war issues or occasionally women's rights.


Posted by: Shatlas Rugged | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:42 PM
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He also still underestimates the scope and significance of the regression since 1968.

This is quite possibly true. It's a problem with being a young pup, I don't see the more subtle changes that happen over time. I can really only see the major social changes, and those have been almost overwhelmingly toward our (or at least my) side.

Plus, I do agree with some of the legislative changes since that era. 91% marginal tax rates for the top bracket were fucking ridiculous. But I'm sure there've been other rollbacks that weren't so good.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:47 PM
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I'd be surprised if the other big stuff like UHC and childcare aren't coming.

I would. How old are you? I have no living memory of liberals achieving anything over this country's government except in the realm of gay rights.

Many in the liberal blogosphere are out there making the case for it each day, and people like me are trying to whenever politics comes up.

Does the liberal blogosphere have any influence over the government? Maybe the next Democratic president after Obama will be one who grew up in an era where the center-right position wasn't the conventional wisdom on every issue.

Also, rich (and getting richer) countries can afford a lot, including decent housing and healthcare for all.

Are there any rich countries that are getting richer?

Hmm, my new politically charged pseudonym is making me more irritable. It must be discarded, sadly.


Posted by: Shatlas Rugged | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:49 PM
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He also still underestimates the scope and significance of the regression since 1968.

I think this is true, but that's very easy to do if you didn't live through it (and maybe even if you did). Personally, I really had to study some economic history before I got an understanding of the post-WWII economic arrangements and how they were set up to prevent the kind of widening in income inequality we saw over the post-1980 period. PMP, you should check out this this Levy and Temin paper contrasting the economic institutions of 1948-1970s to those of the last several decades. Very interesting stuff. It's probably true that the post-WWII institutions could not have lasted unchanged, but what replaced them was the product of a reactionary laissez-faire backlash that was a social choice, not a natural law.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:51 PM
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The right wing has given up on the election and now their number one priority is stopping EFCA.

They'll win it, too. They've completely framed the issue around the secret ballot and the left doesn't have a persuasive way out of it.

I can see BHO bailing on card check. The Chamber of Commerce will pull of a few Blue Dogs. They'll only need a few.

One bright way for him to make it happen would be to say, "I believe in the sacrosanct right to a secret ballot. Therefore I will only sign a card check bill that allows for take-home ballots that remain secret, like Americans' absentee ballots."

It would accomplish the main thrust, which is to get the elections off of company property and company time. And push back hard on the line that it still allows "union intimidation" at home. Unions can't fire you. They can be as annoying as Jehovah's Witnesses. That's it.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:56 PM
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Wow, I had no idea you're also a young person. I am quite surprised that you're so optimistic and see recent events as reinforcing that. I just can't get over the total disappearance and demonization of labor unions. That is not the direction in which civilization is supposed to go. But I'm sure I am overlooking a lot of things.


Posted by: Shatlas Rugged | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:56 PM
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PGD is sixteen years old. He talks a good game.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 10:59 PM
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Maybe the next Democratic president after Obama will be one who grew up in an era where the center-right position wasn't the conventional wisdom on every issue.

this is the issue. When I look closely at Obama, I see one of those guys I went to college with, hell one of those guys I was back in the mid-90s, who thought being sensible would always lead me to something with a vaguely laissez-faire, deregulatory, flavor, and domestic policy was mainly about redistributing the fruits of capitalism to poor people who just hadn't gotten enough education to keep up. To say nothing of the idea that U.S. foreign policy was always well-intentioned, if mystifyingly prone to bloody disasters.

The right-wing ideological victory on the conventional wisdom level has been so striking. It's why we're doing everything on the fly now.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:01 PM
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They'll win it, too. They've completely framed the issue around the secret ballot and the left doesn't have a persuasive way out of it.

Even I am not this pessimistic. The idea that a union you don't even belong to can "intimidate" you more than the company that you work for isn't completely laughable? And I really think that in a non-booming economy people will be particularly willing to agree that one's financial success is not entirely within one's own power to achieve, and that employers might have a bit too much power over employees.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:04 PM
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Maybe the next Democratic president after Obama will be one who grew up in an era where the center-right position wasn't the conventional wisdom on every issue.

Exactly. My (naive) view of American 20th century political history is mostly one of swings between the two major philosophies of conservatism and progressiveness. Secular bear markets are particularly good for progressiveness, and it looks like we're in another one. The past few decades of conservative power rolled back and prevented a lot of useful things from passing, but I think their spring tide has come and gone. If you look at generational registrations and polling data over the past few decades, I think we've got the makings of a progressive political generation who will make some stuff happen.

But yes, I'm quite young and a major optimist.

PGD, I'm having some trouble downloading that paper from SSRN and neither author seems to have it on their site. Would you be able to email it to me? I'll have plenty of reading time on the 3 hour bus ride into Indianapolis tomorrow, and they look like pretty interesting researchers.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:07 PM
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A little out of order:

Nobody here is sorry that Obama is winning.

Let me refer you to the last lines of 319 and 321.

We even are asking whether he really knows what he's getting himself into

I see really good alignment of incentives on that front -- you may not want to see Obama get derailed by an angry right-wing mob, but Obama really has a deep personal stake in the matter.

We're just asking what we can expect or hope for from him, and are concluding "probably not much"

Of course this is a reasonable question to ask, and a reasonable conclusion to draw. But not expecting much from Obama because he's "a fake Democrat"? Sorry, that's crazy talk. Maybe he's a seekrit Muslim too.

Similarly, this general notion that progress is being held back by so-called "experts," and thus we need a renegade outsider to grab the system by the horns and implement the simple solutions that everyone in their gut knows we need? This is a myth. I understand completely that the Washington consensus conventional wisdom is often incredibly and disastrously wrong; that doesn't mean Sarah Palin would be a better candidate if I simply identified with her values more.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:07 PM
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That is not the direction in which civilization is supposed to go.

A sentiment which is music to my ears: things don't have to be like this.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:12 PM
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Even I am not this pessimistic.

I heard a dude from the Weekly Standard on To The Point today, and no one was contradicting him in the slightest.

National labor law progress simply has not happened in two lifetimes. It's exciting to think about EFCA making it through two houses of Congress, but hearing the dude today I was reminded just how hard they push when they want to stop something good, and how quickly Dems fold.

It should not be lost on any of them -- especially unsafe-seated Dems -- that more union members means more Democrats.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:18 PM
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I don't see the difficulty in making allowances for hyperbole in Bob's case.

Similarly, this general notion that progress is being held back by so-called "experts,"

A valid notion.

implement the simple solutions that everyone in their gut knows we need?

Not the same as the above notion.

The problem with the idea that Obama is a fake Democrat is the underlying assumption that there are "real Democrats". But it's true that the dominant wing of the party for about 20 years has been happier to work with Republicans than with left-wing Democrats, and for all his "Change" talk, Obama seems to be part of that wing.

But it's increasingly a one-wing party.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:25 PM
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I would be overjoyed with two steps left and one step right.

I would be sad at two steps right and one step left.

But for forty fucking years what I have gotten is two steps right and then one step right, and I have no reason to believe Obama is going to be that much better than Carter or Clinton.

Yeah, he's better than apeshit McCain/Palin. I don't feel I have to celebrate that just to be sociable.

Y'all are comparing Obama to maddog Bush and he looks great. I am comparing Obama to LBJ and he's a nightmare.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:33 PM
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Po-mo, you don't win the hearts and minds of America with midnight basketball & card check. You win loyalty with huge risky programs that make people feel really safe. Social Security & Medicare. Household words/

I want big things for two reasons:

1) It's a conservative country, and progressives don't get many chances.

2) Incrementalism doesn't build lasting broad majorities.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:41 PM
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I'm comparing him to Godzilla and he's pretty fucking short.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-23-08 11:41 PM
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Po-mo, you don't win the hearts and minds of America with midnight basketball & card check. You win loyalty with huge risky programs that make people feel really safe. Social Security & Medicare. Household words

So now the goal is to win the hearts and minds of America? I thought the goal was to actually make people's lives better, not to implement huge risky programs that make them feel safe. How many elections did Social Security and Medicare win for Democrats between 1968 and 2008? I guess LBJ really was a nightmare for the Democrats!

Why worry that Obama isn't sufficiently concerned about accumulating power and winning hearts and minds? Do you also worry that he hasn't thought about raising money and getting people to vote for him?


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 12:07 AM
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Barbar, we're assuming that Obama will be elected. We're worrying that either a.) he won't get his program through, because he thinks that bipartisanship will work when it won't, or b.) he'll water his program down in the neocon / neoliberal direction, so that it doesn't actually make people's lives much better.

And we'd all be happy to be wrong.

And I'm becoming increasingly uncertain as to what your point is.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 12:22 AM
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449.last to 449.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 12:27 AM
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McManus worries that Obama won't be as good as LBJ, because Obama will be an incrementalist, while LBJ was a gamechanger who ushered in the golden age of 1968-2008, and you wonder what my point is?

Is my 448 really unclear? I quote Bob, and then directly respond to him by explaining why what he's saying doesn't actually make sense.

Obviously I want Obama to implement programs to make people's lives better, and this is a legitimate thing to worry about. I just have an irrational preference for these worries to at least have a consistent direction. You know, if you worry that Obama might be Mussolini, then you worry he might be Jimmy Carter, and then you worry that he might not be a great hero like LBJ (even though LBJ himself fails miserably by the previously invoked standards) I might start to get the idea that you don't actually have a specific set of fears that trouble you. Maybe you just like worrying.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 12:38 AM
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This discussion feels precisely as edifying as talk of electability did nine months ago. The reality is that we have no clue how Obama will govern -- because his governing style will be determined by, more than anything else, the unfolding of unforeseen events. Add to that the grim fact that the current geopolitical and economic context is so unstable that any predictions about what things will look like after the next president is inaugurated have to be laughed off as the purest form of speculation.

Still, even given all of that, am I willing to admit that there troubling signs indicating that Obama's a cautious centrist? Sure. Are there also some hopeful signs suggesting that he might be able to defy expectations, particularly when it comes to mobilizing support? Again, yes. I could go on and on like that for hours. But, absent some sense of what the world is going to look like come January, what's the point?

In other words, someone wake me after Obama's actually been elected, taken the oath of office, and done some governing. Let's talk then.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 12:55 AM
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he won't get his program through, because he thinks that bipartisanship will work when it won't

Trust me, if the Democrats have the White House and massive majorities in Congress, this dreaded "bipartisanship" is going to be a Republican problem, not a Democratic one.

You want something to worry about? Worry about obstacles to your goals that will still have significant power next year. The insurance companies, for example. I dunno, coal companies. Conservative Democrats. "Bipartisanship" is (1) a political propaganda term used by stronger parties to bully weaker ones (2) something Presidential candidates say to seem above the fray. If Barack Obama doesn't actually need the Republicans to get his legislation passed, he's not going to bend over to do them favors. This is where rational choice theory is actually quite useful and applicable.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 12:55 AM
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This discussion feels precisely as edifying as talk of electability did nine months ago.

Sometimes I love you, Ari.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 12:59 AM
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You had me at "sometimes", Jetpack.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 1:03 AM
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And I'm becoming increasingly uncertain as to what your point is.

Barbar is just beating on an easy target to make himself popular.

Note his constant cries for attention:"Look, look! I just punched Bob again. Do you really like me now?"


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 5:41 AM
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In other words, someone wake me after Obama's actually been elected, taken the oath of office, and done some governing. Let's talk then.

Does this mean that if McCain takes the oath (not saying he'll *win* the election, but many a slip between cup and lip...), you never want to be woken again?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 6:17 AM
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452:I almost linked to Yves Smith, but I better not in a context of criticizing Obama. Also Rittholz.

Big popcorn day. S & P has stopped trading before the markets have even opened.

I think the Bailout Bill was an excellent introduction to how Obama will govern, in both style & substance. He certainly didn't need 10 more Democratic Senators to get it passed, or to get something different passed. Obama liked that bill just fine as it was, very popular with technocrats & the Beltway, wide bi-partisan support, Christmas-tree style pork, etc.

I could go on about how that episode revealed the Obama administration. We have already seen it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 6:37 AM
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458:Oh

I forgot to add the words like "corrupt" "useless", and "incompetent".

Libor etc back up big this morning.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 6:41 AM
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Barbar is just beating on an easy target

In fairness, bob, not everyone understood your comments equating McCain and Obama (or suggesting that Obama is worse than McCain) as hyperbole.

I certainly didn't - I regarded you as being literal and serious, and therefore as being ludicrous.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 7:04 AM
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Of course he's a cautious centrist. Has no one been paying any attention at all? I understand the people who complain that he's basically JFK (the real one, who got elected on 'missile gap' and sent advisors to Vietnam) rather than FDR. Two things: FDR wasn't FDR in the election campaign either, and the times drive the man, such that even GWB is moving FDR-ward.

Our Jeremiah doesn't care that in the world we actually live in, the choice isn't between JFK and FDR, it's between BHO and JSM. A damn easy choice. But that's why being a prophet is such a difficult job.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 7:05 AM
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452: I hereby award Ari 10 bonus points for this comment. At least give the guy a chance to take the oath of office before decrying his presidency as an orgy of capitulation. By January, the economy could be in totally uncharted waters; extraordinary times create unpredictable events.

Also, I'm not sure how Obama is more responsible for the shape of the bailout bill than any other senator who voted for it (which includes all but 9 Democratic senators, not counting the absent Ted Kennedy), given that he isn't a member of the committee that drafted it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 7:34 AM
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I want to join in the approval of Ari's comment, but shouldn't we be building up lists of expectations for stuff Obama should be able to do, fast -- both for diagnostic purposes and substantively?

A huge weak point of mine in talking about politics is that I'm terrible at keeping people straight, so the Kremlinology of who the top advisors are is beyond me. But Cabinet picks are going to mean a lot: shouldn't we be thinking about, say, who Obama would appoint Secretary of Labor if he really cared about card check; Secretary of Agriculture if he really cared about saner food policy, and so on? That's stuff that can be productively discussed now, before Obama does anything.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 7:50 AM
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I'm not sure that staffing choices tell us all that much. Cheney and Rumsfeld were sober old Republican hands. Powell and Rice were logical choices of a president who promised a more humble foreign policy.

Truly, I think we know an awful lot about an Obama administration, just as we had plenty of clues in advance about the shape of Bill Clinton's administration. We won't be leaving Iraq with any kind of haste, and we won't be leaving Afghanistan at all. The ever-malleable Powell would fit right in as Secretary of State.

Bernanke will obviously still be there, and someone pretty indistinguishable from Paulson will occupy Treasury.

Unions will get card-check, and some kind of serious-minded healthcare reform will pass. Nobody is going to make any ill-timed effort to balance the budget.

Otherwise, Yglesias is rightly fond of quoting MacMillan. I'd add that the mood of the electorate is going to matter a lot, and so far the signs in that regard are fairly auspicious, I think. The cautious thing and the liberal thing might coincide for awhile.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 8:14 AM
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In fairness, bob, not everyone understood your comments equating McCain and Obama (or suggesting that Obama is worse than McCain) as hyperbole.

My position here doesn't exactly go away when you recognize the McCain=Obama comment as hyperbole. What about the silly comments regarding LBJ? If Obama enacts a big safety net program, massively escalates the war in Iraq, and leaves after one term to be followed by 40 years of the likes of Nixon, Reagan, and Bush, then I guess Bob will die satisfied because we'll finally have had a real Democrat in charge.

I'll stop attention-whoring now.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 9:23 AM
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"Will Obama be a Hoover?"

From a respectable, mainstream source!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 5:16 PM
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From article linked in 466:FDR didn't campaign on New Deal legislation: he campaigned on curbing Hoover's wasteful spending. ...Bousquet

I know I am getting a little tired of this myth. Tugwell and the other Brain Trusters were well known by at least the East Coast elites and associated with FDR by the summer of 1932. They were not Trotskyites, but were pretty far on the left of any acceptable mainstream. FDR did not run as a centrist. Hoover was a centrist.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 8:42 PM
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? FDR really did campaign on curbing Hoover's wasteful spending. It's not a myth.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 9:01 PM
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468:Since, according to the Wiki article, Governor Roosevelt took office in 1929 with a 15 million surplus and left NY in 1932 with a 90 million deficit, I doubt anyone paid attention to that promise. OTOH, FDR did have a very public record as Governor of the largest state.

Been doing some googling, trying to place FDR as NY Governor into some sort of context. If FDR wasn't on the left side of America's governors, it might be only because the center had already moved so far left in three years of depression.

That's a lot of history, 50 state responses, or the top ten states 1929-32. The only state I know anything about local politics in the early depression is California, and IIRC it could be characterized as eclectic and random. Crazed.
...
If the next four years go as badly as I expect. I do expect Obama to be Hoover II, and get a primary challenge from some smart innovative courageous Governor, who actually tries to help the poor more than help Wall Street, in 2012. At least we can pray.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 9:34 PM
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Minnesota's 30s politics is great fun. The governing Farmer Labor Party represented farmers, miners, laborers, and even small businessmen and independent bankers, and had Trotskyite, Communist, organized crime, and isolationist affiliations. In 1936 a Minnesota crypto-Communist Farmer Labor congressman was the only one to vote to support the Loyalists in the Spanish Civil War, and in 1941 Farmer Labor Senator Lundeen was implicated in Nazi propaganda activities and died shortly thereafter.

Roosevelt's turn to the left ca. 1936 was motivated by a tremendous amount of pressure from various populist and radical groups. (A friend of Frowner and Minneapolitan and occasional blog poster is writing a book on a related topic.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 9:50 PM
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We advocate an immediate and drastic reduction of governmental expenditures by abolishing useless commissions and offices, consolidating departments and bureaus, and eliminating extravagance to accomplish a saving of not less than twenty-five per cent in the cost of the Federal Government. And we call upon the Democratic Party in the states to make a zealous effort to achieve a proportionate result.

We favor maintenance of the national credit by a federal budget annually balanced on the basis of accurate executive estimates within revenues, raised by a system of taxation levied on the principle of ability to pay.


Posted by: 1932 Democratic Platform | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 10:08 PM
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Oh, I forgot this:

The removal of government from all fields of private enterprise except where necessary to develop public works and natural resources in the common interest.


Posted by: 1932 Democratic Platform | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 10:11 PM
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I sometimes think that John is the last stand of the Progressives, poor bastard.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 10:28 PM
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Minnesota 1930-1938 was the high tide of American leftism. The Progressives tended to be Republicans, though, except the 1948 Progressives. Minnesota today has converged to the mean, with quirky aspects.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 10:49 PM
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The myth of that single item about the 1932 campaign, a complicated campaign in a chaotic context, is that it is supposed to prove that FDR ran as a centrist.

I have given a lot of other evidence that shows FDR shouldn't have been perceived as such. Look up his record as governor. Look up Tugwell.

1) FDR never balanced a budget.
2) FDR didn't balance as President
3) Do you evidence that the nation was disappointed with the profligate spending?

What are y'all saying, that the nation perceived FDR as to the right of Herbert Hoover in 1932? If not, you are just repeating a hackneyed irony, that really says nothing about the campaign, FDR, or the country in 1932.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 11:06 PM
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Award-winning historian Donald Ritchie looks at how candidates responded to the nation's economic crisis and how voters evaluated their performances. More important, he explains how the Democratic Party rebuilt itself after three successive Republican landslides: where the major shifts in party affiliation took place, what contingencies contributed to FDR's victory, and why the new coalition persisted as long as it did. Ritchie challenges prevailing assumptions that the Depression made Roosevelt's election inevitable. He shows that FDR came close to losing the nomination to contenders who might have run to the right of Hoover, and discusses the role of newspapers and radio in presenting the candidates to voters. He also analyzes Roosevelt's campaign strategies, recounting his attempts to appeal to disaffected voters of all ideological stripes, often by altering his positions to broaden his popularity.


Posted by: Link here | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 11:40 PM
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All the people arguing with crazy bob on his crazy trolling spree should be ashamed of themselves. Anybody agreeing with him is presumably beyond shame.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-24-08 11:42 PM
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Casting Obama as a Hoover somewhat misses the mark, I think. He'd be something swipplier, like a Dyson or a Roomba.


Posted by: elemund | Link to this comment | 10-25-08 12:28 AM
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Those "8 pound Oreck XL" commercials always kind of confused me. Is 8 pounds supposed to be particularly light? Were we supposed to have some intuition wrt the weight of a more ordinary vacuum cleaner?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 10-25-08 12:39 AM
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So I totally can't stop watching this, which I assume has already been linked.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-25-08 12:42 AM
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What's with people not being around to comment on unfogged in the middle of the night on Friday night? You nerds!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-25-08 1:04 AM
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You assume correctly.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10-25-08 1:05 AM
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Well, good. What, like I was going to read every thread? I had griping about being insufficiently entertained to be getting to!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-25-08 1:12 AM
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We're here, Tweety. Entertain us.

I hadn't seen the original ad*, but I sensed that the parody was great.

*Really, I swear to God.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-25-08 1:17 AM
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That parody is so astonishing. It makes me want to go to grad school for semiotics so I can write a master's thesis about it. F'real.

484: quoting Nirvana won't get you off the hook, old man.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-25-08 1:24 AM
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Okay, entertain you. Uh, okay, ready?

Okay, yeah, ready?

Boo, Singularity!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-25-08 1:30 AM
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Sifu, I have hard copies of all the official Democratic Party positions on everything stacked in my closet under the obsolescent pornography. I don't actually need your input.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-25-08 6:29 AM
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475

Regarding FDR's 1932 campaign I checked what the NYT claims is their endorsement (pdf file) of FDR. It is rather peculiar to say the least.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-25-08 2:58 PM
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Imagine what would have been done by a man like William J. Bryan with such combustible material ready to fire! There would have been hot talk about a revolution, and hints that rioters would soon be laying their hands on the only rememdies available to them. Nothing of this kind has come from Governor Roosevelt. He has dealt with unemployment as a difficult problem to be solved, not as an incitement to political vengeance. His great aim in all this business he has tersely defined as "work and security." The people have seen, in these ways, that there is nothing of the unscrupulous agitator in Franklin D. Roosevelt.


Posted by: 1932 NYT Endorsement | Link to this comment | 10-25-08 5:59 PM
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