THE DEVIL READS TAP. Dig the plug for our fair magazine in the opening graf of this New York Timesarticle on the new movie version of The Devil Wears Prada. The concerned father described in the piece seems to be operating under a couple of notable misimpressions about relative status and prestige in the journalism business, but it's probably best not to discuss those too explicitly here on the The American Prospect's website.
JUST POSTED ON TAP: HARD LABOR.Harold Meyersonnotes in our July/August issue that the Change to Win leaders had big plans last year when they left the AFL-CIO to do more organizing. The resolve is there -- but so are all the usual impediments.
MOTIVATIONISM. Picking up on Greg Sargent's latest post on the media, let me note that there's something rather illogical about the habit of dismissing media criticism from progressive blogs or, say, Media Matters on the grounds that it's "partisan" in its motivations. After all, what's motive got to do with it? If The New York Times were to, say, slander a new car from Toyota as unsafe when it was, in fact, quite safe, one assumes the Times would hear about it from someone at Toyota. Toyota's interest in the matter would, of course, be the corporate bottom line rather than an abstract concern for journalism.
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.�