FROM AT IT AGAIN. Ah, they apparently unlimbered the Jaws Of Life to pry Al From out of a corporate hospitality tent long enough to write another op-ed, this one for The Washington Post on Sunday. The equally inevitable Bruce Reed is accessorial to the argument in which the Democrats (again) are urged to knuckle poor people sufficiently so as to build a shining new Clintonism on their spavined bones. This is an old tune played badly, but even my cynical eyes popped at the following sentence: "Clintonism has never been about mushy compromise and electoral expedience."
The Post has a piece this morning about the non-enforcement of laws against hiring undocumented workers. The article includes several statements, including one from Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, to the effect that native born citizens will not do the jobs that are filled by undocumented workers. Believers in markets would say that if wages rose, then plenty of native-born citizens would be willing to fill the jobs.
It is remarkable that ostensibly intelligent people can be made to fear the possibility that Europe and Japan will be less crowded places in the years ahead. The Financial Times has an article that reports on a warning from "top fertility experts" over "Europe's chaotic response to its demographic crisis."
It is hard to find the evidence for the crisis in the story. The article reports that health care spending as share of GDP is projected to rise from a Europe-wide average of 6 percent at present to 8 percent by 2050. Since the U.S. currently spends 15 percent of its GDP on health care, it is difficult to get too concerned about this prospect.
The New York Times reported on Saturday that China's central bank is adopting a more contractionary monetary policy in order to slow its economy and reduce inflation. If China's central bank is concerned that inflation is getting out of control, then it would be an ideal time for the country to begin to raise the value of its currency against the dollar.
"The Fed chairman may be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, but his real bosses are on Wall Street." This isn't the ranting of some crazed radical; it is a line from a column in the Washington Post's Outlook section, by Richard Yamarone, an investment analyst.
PRACTICALITY. I recommend that folks read Garance's sharp analysis of Mark Warner's impact at YearlyKos. Most interesting to me was news that the famously pragmatic, nonideological Markos is scornful of a potential meeting with Team Hillary. When a Hillary staffer reached out to him a year ago, Markos ignored the invitation. Indeed, he offers a willingness to take it a step farther, saying that if Clinton requested a meeting today, �I�d probably say no � I don�t think she has anything to say to me.�
UNFOUNDED CONFIDENCE. Responding to claims that America's apathy towards soccer adds to international irritation with us, Jerry Taylorwonders whether the world would really be happier "if America took this game seriously and, as a consequence, cut through their footballers like a hot knife through butter?"
BUT WHAT WILL BE THE CAUSE OF DEATH? I spent this morning at a Brookings/New America Foundation event on the future of employer-based health care. The consensus? The system, captain, she canna' take anymore!
IDEALISM AND SUCH. Writing like this from Richard Just makes me suspicious. Ostensibly, the argument is that "there are plenty of ways short of military action that America can oppose tyranny in Iran and elsewhere" and that we should do so. The post doesn't, however, name any such ways, cite any arguments that such ways would be effective, or debunk any counterarguments against any such proposals. Instead, the actual weight of the post is just dedicated to bashing liberals. I'd be interested in hearing about what these ways are -- really!