Everybody was talking about …
Whether the Greek elections will lead to the end of the euro. But the conservatives won, so a lot of Chicken Littling went to waste. Background here. Krugman’s take here. Most insightful conversation I heard here:
Jamie Dimon’s “grilling” by the Senate Banking Committee, where all the senators other than Merkley and Menendez fawned over a bankster who learned nothing from the financial collapse other than how to do it again. As Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi wrote:
This was an opportunity to show Americans how a too-big-to-fail commercial bank like Chase – supported by vast amounts of public treasure, from Fed loans to bailouts to less obvious subsidies like GSE purchases of mortgages and implicit guarantees of bank debt – uses the crutch of government support to gamble recklessly in search of huge profits, with the public on the hook for any potential downside.
That opportunity was missed. Only Jon Stewart fully captured the absurdity.
Disrespecting the president. Daily Caller reporter Neil Munro wouldn’t let President Obama make an uninterrupted announcement Friday in the Rose Garden. Like Congressman Joe Wilson shouting “You lie!” during a presidential speech to Congress, this is an example of President Obama getting less respect from the Right than President Bush got from the Left. (Well, there was the shoe-throwing incident, but that was an Iraqi reporter in Baghdad, not a member of the White House press corps. That guy went to prison for nine months and came out missing a tooth. And W’s head briefly appeared on a pike in Game of Thrones, but I regard being just two pikes down from Ned Stark’s head more as an honor than an insult.)
Gawker’s Emma Carmichael commented:
Press conferences have a very simple etiquette that is only heightened when the speaker in question is the leader of the free world. You listen to someone speak, you roll your eyes in the back row, you check your email and play Tetris on your smart phone, and as soon as the speaking is over someone says “time for questions,” and you raise your hand and ask a question that will lead directly into your column the next day.
What you can’t say in the Michigan legislature. The Michigan legislature is considering a bill that would severely restrict abortion. (The House passed the first part of it Wednesday.) Democratic Rep. Lisa Brown from West Bloomfield spoke briefly against the bill, making two main points: The regulations in the bill would cause clinics to close and people to lose their jobs; and not allowing abortions to save the life of the mother would force Jews to violate Jewish law. She closed by saying:
Finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but “no” means “no”.
That got her banned from speaking on the floor of the House.
… but this also was worth your attention
Judicial restraint was a useful concept for conservatives when the Supreme Court was liberal. But now that the Court is conservative, George Will wants to “unleash” it.
Conservatives, however, cannot coherently make the case for Romney as a shaper of the judicial branch until they wean themselves, and perhaps him, from excessive respect for judicial “restraint” and condemnation of “activism.”
The journal Democracy held a round table on “Politics in 2024“. This deserves more than a line, which maybe I’ll give it in a future Sift.