President Obama nominates his Chief of Staff, Jack Lew, to head the Treasury Department and the Republicans are having a fit. Why? Jon Chait has the answer:
Lew’s disqualification, according to numerous Republicans quoted in the story, is that he doesn’t agree with Republicans on public policy issues. The quotes are sort of amazing:
Johanns said it’s also about policy, saying a Lew choice would be “controversial.”
“I just think there are economic policies in this administration that haven’t been well received, and Jack Lew is in the middle of that,” he said.
“We’ve got to have a person who has credibility with the leaders of the American and world economy, someone who has credibility with the Congress, and I would feel like Mr. Lew’s nomination would be a mistake,” Sessions said.
This is the problem with Brennan and Hagel, fundamentally too. None of these people sufficiently reflect GOP policy. Someone should remind them that they aren’t in charge. And conservatives reading should remember this next time one of their guys is in the White House. I don’t see Lew as representing policy different from that Geithner pushed, so it seems stupid of the GOP to make a federal case out of this.
Nate Silver is still on his book tour, and he did a Q&A at Reddit on Tuesday — the NYT has an edited transcript of the session:
Q. Which do you find more frustrating to analyze, politics or sports?
A.Politics. I don’t think its close. Between the pundits and the partisans, you’re dealing with a lot of very delusional people. And sports provides for much more frequent reality checks. If you were touting how awesome Notre Dame was, for example*, you got very much slapped back into reality last night. In politics, you can go on being delusional for years at a time.
Full disclosure: I said in a NYT video yesterday that I’d bet Notre Dame against the spread.
AIG’s Board declines to join in the lawsuit against the US for bailout terms unfavorable to shareholders. AIG also notes that it will not let Hank Greenberg’s company (Starr International) pursue any damages in AIG’s name, either. Good for them — especially since some of them (including Greenberg) who ought to be enjoying some extended time at Club Fed.
For the rock and roll geeks among us — Grantland is running a 7 part series called The Winner’s History of Rock and Roll. Part 1 covers Led Zeppelin. Why the Winner’s History?
If [Marshall] Mathers had been born in the ’50s instead of the ’70s, he probably would’ve made his dreams real by forming a rock band. For decades, rock and roll was fueled by the same greed for cultural capital that now powers the hip-hop generation. You don’t always get that impression reading the rock history books; critics have long focused inordinately on the rabble-rousers who gathered outside the gates of castles constructed by purveyors of commercial decadence and Middle American ubiquity, and cheered as these artists waved their pitchforks at mass consumer culture while asserting their autonomy from it. Rock history is written by the losers, in other words, which is why the importance of insurgents is overstated while the people inside the castles — the rich and famous rulers of middle-of-the-road rock and roll — are disregarded or flat-out ignored.
So the author wants to write a rock and roll history based on his admittedly “mainstream” music tastes rather than any tastemaker’s effete list. And then he writes this bit of hilarity:
Before Led Zeppelin was the Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin was Nickelback. Led Zeppelin was routinely slammed for being derivative and crass.
No idea how true this is, but it is a hilarious line.
So what interests you today?