Late Night Drift

I’ll bet Dakinikat can’t wait to start plowing through the New York Times Magazine’s cover story this week: The White House Looks for Work: Inside Obama’s Struggle to Bring Down Unemployment, by Peter Baker.

Who knew Obama was involved in a struggle over jobs? As far as I can tell jobs are about the last thing on Obama’s mind. But what do I know? Apparently, there has been a life and death struggle going on within the President’s economic team over jobs.

Let me just buy them a clue: the answer isn’t cutting the deficit and wiping out the social safety net. Anyway, back to the Caucus blog’s preview of the upcoming NYT mag story and some of the “surprisingly newsy nuggets” we can look forward to reading on Sunday morning.

Mr. Baker writes that the president’s economic team “fractured repeatedly over philosophy (should jobs or deficits take priority?) and personality (who got to attend which meetings?), resulting in feuds that ultimately helped break it apart.”

Wait…that’s news?

The most sensible “tidbit” in the article comes from Christina Romer.

“In Washington, she said, ‘you’re not supposed to say the obvious thing, which is that in retrospect of course it should have been bigger. With unemployment at 10 percent, I don’t know how you could say you wouldn’t have done anything different. Of course you would have made it bigger.’”

— In the article, Ms. Romer said the Obama administration should have gone back to Congress for more stimulus money to bolster the economy when it was clear how bad things really were.

He writes: “‘In my mind,’ she said, ‘the problem was not in the original package; it was in not adjusting to changed circumstances.’ Once it was clear that the situation was deteriorating, she said, the White House should have gone back to Congress for more stimulus money. ‘That was where we could have been bolder,’ she said.”

Duh. For that kind of truth-telling, you get sent to Siberia UC Berkeley.

There’s a supposedly funny story about Larry Summers that I don’t understand. Can someone explain it to me?

Mr. Baker offers this fun tidbit about Mr. Summers: “Tan from a holiday in Jamaica and trying to get his bearings again at Harvard, where he plans to teach a course on Obama’s economic policy and write a book, Summers sat at a corner table and ordered bisque and — from the lighter-fare menu — a steak ‘as rare as your chef will make it.’”

On second thought, maybe Dak should skip the NYT mag article. If these are the highlights, it sounds like a crashing bore. And I didn’t see anything about jobs in there either.

16 Comments on “Late Night Drift”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Silly question: Does anyone actually believe Obama cares about jobs?

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Another silly question: How come Obama gets to chide China about “human rights” when he is busy renditioning and torturing people?

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Cool! Rosanne is on MSNBC.

  4. WomanVoter says:

    Churchill Club live twitter chat about the Twitter subpoena etc… You can listen on the link below and post tweets, but must aren’t too detailed. The panel is good though, and we can chit chat points here (much better 😉 )

  5. dakinikat says:

    Riddle me this: If you have two corrupt justices on the Supreme Court who don’t recuse themselves from cases with which they have conflicts, can some one impeach them? How do you take care of their ethics problem?

    To mark Friday’s anniversary of a court decision that allowed corporations to sink millions into politics, Common Cause, a reform group, is asking the Department of Justice to investigate alleged conflicts of interest involving two Supreme Court justices – in hopes of forcing the court to vacate the 5-4 ruling.

    Common Cause officials and at least one legal expert acknowledged the difficulty of getting the landmark case overturned in this way. But in a document to be submitted to the department Thursday, Common Cause President Bob Edgar cites appearances by Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Antonin Scalia at retreats sponsored by Koch Industries, a corporation run by two major Republican donors who helped finance some of the new GOP groups founded after the ruling.

    “It appears both justices have participated in political strategy sessions, perhaps while the case was pending, with corporate leaders whose political aims were advanced by the decision,” the Common Cause petition asserts.

    Read more

    • WomanVoter says:

      Justice Antonin Scalia should excuse himself from any issue involving women, since he thinks we don’t have equal rights to men! Justice Clarence Thomas has issues with women, some of which were kept in a hotel by VP Joe Biden when the Thomas hearings were being held and the women were never allowed to testify, thereby, allowing or helping to promote the idea that Anita Hill lied.

      Arrrg…boy, those two ‘Justices’ raise my blood pressure.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      This is disgusting! What about ethics? I guess we lost that a long time ago.

  6. WomanVoter says:

    Daniel Ellsberg has a great mind and, is he ever funny too.

  7. WomanVoter says:


    The photo is both awe inspiring with beauty and a little unsettling all at the same time.

  8. Minkoff Minx says:

    Okay, what the hell is that last nugget of love about? The part about Larry, the tan, and a rare steak? Is Baker making a joke about Boehner and his “orange glo” or is he making some sort of reference to Silence of the Lambs? (Remember Lecter had that rare lamb chop, and a nice Chianti when he escaped the monkey cage jail?) BB, was there any mention of fava beans?

    That looks like some sort of fluff piece, like when TV reporters have to go and interview a woman who puts on a parakeet fashion show for an old folks home. That Barker story looks like it will be insulting and lame.

    Love the picture up top though. Very cool!