Archive for December 7th, 2008

Philly Deja Vu Sculpture Photoblogging

Very cool sculpture “installation” in the Comcast building:

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But I couldn’t help feeling a bit of deja vu…

Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened.

December 7th, 2008 at 06:29pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Photoblogging

Why Does Obama Keep Hiring Smart People? Jeez.

Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of a lot of Obama’s appointments so far, but it’s sure as hell not because they’re too smart and edumacated…

All told, of Obama’s top 35 appointments so far, 22 have degrees from an Ivy League school, MIT, Stanford, the University of Chicago or one of the top British universities. For the other slots, the president-elect made do with graduates of Georgetown and the Universities of Michigan, Virginia and North Carolina.

While Obama’s picks have been lauded for their ethnic and ideological mix, they lack diversity in one regard: They are almost exclusively products of the nation’s elite institutions and generally share a more intellectual outlook than is often the norm in government….

(…)

But skeptics say Obama’s predilection for big thinkers with dazzling résumés carries risks, noting, for one, that several of President John F. Kennedy’s “best and brightest” led the country into the Vietnam War. Obama is to be credited, skeptics say, for bringing with him so few political acquaintances from Illinois. But, they say, his team reflects its own brand of insularity, drawing on the world that Obama entered as an undergraduate at Columbia and in which he later rose to eminence as president of the Harvard Law Review and as a law professor at the University of Chicago.

(…)

The Ivy-laced network taking hold in Washington is drawing scorn from many conservatives, who have in recent decades decried the leftward drift of academia and cast themselves as defenders of regular Americans against highbrow snobbery. Joseph Epstein wrote in the latest Weekly Standard — before noting that former president Ronald Reagan went to Eureka College — that “some of the worst people in the United States have gone to the Harvard or Yale Law Schools . . . since these institutions serve as the grandest receptacles in the land for our good students: those clever, sometimes brilliant, but rarely deep young men and women who, joining furious drive to burning if ultimately empty ambition, will do anything to get ahead.”

The libertarian University of Chicago law professor Richard Epstein, who is not related to Joseph Epstein, worries that the team’s exceptionalism could lead to overly complex policies. “They are really smart people, but they will never take an obvious solution if they can think of an ingenious one. They’re all too clever by half,” he said. “These degrees confer knowledge but not judgment. Their heads are on grander themes . . . and they’ll trip on obstacles on the ground.”

Damn those stoopit smart people!  We need more government by the rich and stupid, of the rich and stupid, and for the rich and stupid, because that worked out so well for us over the last eight years.

Seriously, where Obama’s choices like Summers, Rubin, Geithner, Clinton, and probably Holder, have been problematic, it’s not because they’re members of the educational and intellectual elite, it’s because they’re members of the establishment and corporate elite.  But that’s not something the media would ever acknowledge to be a problem, so instead they complain, absurdly, that Obama’s picks are too educated.

1 comment December 7th, 2008 at 01:44pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Media,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

This Can Only Be Good For Republicans

Tom Curry at MSNBC presents the economy as largely a liability for the Republicans in 2010, but I worry that it will be the exact opposite.  Odds are pretty good that: A) Whatever idiotic plans the Republicans advocate will be defeated, and B) The economy will continue to tank, or at least underperform.

Which will allow the Republicans to blame everything on Obama and the Democrats, because their own terrible plans never get exposed for the trainwrecks they are (that’s what the last eight years were for).  Their narrative will be something along the lines of:

“Okay, yeah, we may have had a teensy bit of responsibility for the initial meltdown, but Obama and the Democrats are prolonging the problem.  If they had just embraced our very bipartisan plan to deregulate everything and cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires, the economy would be doing so much better than it is now.  The American people need a Republican Congress so we can pass our brilliant economy-saving ideas and block the Democrats’ terrible economy-destroying ones.”

Sure, it’d be total bullshit, but all they really have to do is point out that the Democratic policies aren’t fixing the economy, and then claim that that’s proof that Republican policies would, and I bet they can find enough frustrated suckers to actually win some elections based on that fallacy.

Of course, if Obama and the Democrats actually do make some visible progress on the economy with policies that the Republicans oppose kicking and screaming, the GOP is totally screwed unless they can find a way to take credit.  (“Our principled opposition to the Democrats’ totally unworkable plans is what forced them to reshape them into the incredibly effective and successful policies you see today” would probably be the best and most likely way to go.)

December 7th, 2008 at 09:44am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Economy,Obama,Politics,Republicans


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