Friday, November 14, 2008

The Wind Is In From Africa


Just A Little Green. Paul Krugman writes that President-elect Obama must learn from Franklin Roosevelt's errors as much his successes:
The economic lesson [of the New Deal] is the importance of doing enough. F.D.R. thought he was being prudent by reining in his spending plans; in reality, he was taking big risks with the economy and with his legacy. My advice to the Obama people is to figure out how much help they think the economy needs, then add 50 percent. It’s much better, in a depressed economy, to err on the side of too much stimulus than on the side of too little...

Put On Some Silver.
E. J. Dionne agrees that Obama must ignore the voices that claim America is still a "center-right" nation and act boldy: "Timidity is a far greater danger than overreaching, simply because it's quite easy to be cautious..." I don't think that the United States is defined by its political orientation so much as a preference for solutions, wherever they come from. If Obama and the Democrats get things turned around, the amount of people who describe themselves as "conservative" will drop until only the wingnuts remain...

My Old Man. Monday, Obama meets with John McCain to discuss issues on which they can cooperate. One thing you gotta say about our guy: He doesn't hold a grudge.

Fancy French Cologne. Meanwhile, world leaders have plenty of advice for the President-elect, who plays it cool...

We Don't Need No Piece Of Paper. The entire contents of The New Yorker election issue (see brilliant cover illustration above) are available free on-line. But since you can't display that cover on one of your kitchen cabinets without buying the news stand issue, you might want to pick up a copy of the 20th Century version. Especially worth reading is literary critic James Woods' assessment of Obama's victory speech, which unearths the speech's rhetorical roots in Lincoln and Martin Luther King...

All Romantics Meet The Same Fate Someday...Mark Illa explains how intellectual conservatism in effect turned on itself:
But their [intellectuals] function within the conservative movement is no longer to educate and ennoble a populist political tendency, it is to defend that tendency against the supposedly monolithic and uniformly hostile educated classes. They mock the advice of Nobel Prize-winning economists and praise the financial acumen of plumbers and builders. They ridicule ambassadors and diplomats while promoting jingoistic journalists who have never lived abroad and speak no foreign languages. And with the rise of shock radio and television, they have found a large, popular audience that eagerly absorbs their contempt for intellectual elites. They hoped to shape that audience, but the truth is that their audience has now shaped them...

...Cynical And Drunk And Boring. Harold Meyerson tells Fox News to keep on doin' what it's doin' -- things are working out just fine:
Your work remains dangerous and disintegrative to the nation. But it is also, more narrowly, tactically, for now, a great gift to liberals and Democrats. You ensure the ongoing Palinization and marginalization -- electorally, the terms are synonymous -- of the Republican Party. And to think that you're doing all this not on the Democratic National Committee's dime but on Rupert Murdoch's...

Blow This Damn Candle Out. "Our aim should not be more government, it should be smarter government." George Bush actually said this. Yesterday. Had he figured that out eight years ago, John McCain might be our next president...

Friday's Choice. Discerning readers of a certain age may have inferred that we've been listening to Blue, Joni Mitchell's 1971 classic. With a nod to John and Cindy, here's Joni singing "My Old Man" at a 1970 BBC session:

4 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Ah, you always have a wealth of interesting information! I, too, read Krugman's column, thought it was great, but I'm a big fan of his. Thanks for keeping me current! Have a great weekend!

Ima Pissdov said...

Oh I LOVE this posting......thanks for all the info!!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

my all time favorite joni album.

very creative.

K. said...

Definitely Joni's best. Anyone's best, you get right down to it. I'm a long-time fan of Hejira.