GODDAMMIT GERALDINE, you just had to drag me back down into your withering wackjob abyss. I said I was never going to post about the Clinton campaign and sexism, since more than 12 out of 12 Clinton campaign surrogates agree that's not why she lost to Obama (despite that, congrats on winning Kentucky yesterday!), and then you go on Fox News and tell Shep Smith that Bob Herbert is a "black journalist who is a surrogate for Obama" on the basis that he is an unremitting misogynist who "hasn't had anything nice to say about Hillary in the last six months." Well, Geraldine, your charge that the media ignores sexism brought me back to a column I read about five months ago. "If there was ever a story that deserved more coverage by the news media," it opined, "it's the dark persistence of misogyny in America." Well, if it wasn't written by BOB HERBERT himself! Not that you'd bother reading the writings of such a blatant token with a political leanings so simpleminded he would support a candidate solely on the basis of a shared RACE. Anyway, that and oil prices, Hezbollah, a new World Bank report and how come there are no black people in Kentucky with Megan and (a somewhat irate) me after the jump.
MOE: Did you check out Geraldine Ferrarro giving Shep Smith a beej? How could someone be SO HYPER AWARE OF anything even remotely construable as "sexist" still be saying things like "black journalists who are Obama surrogates like Bob Herbert." Because yes, Bob Herbert is so simpleminded, so singlemindedly focused on electing one of "his own" that — oh yes, and the only reason he has his New York Times platform is surely tokenism in the first place — why would a progressive white woman even read him to begin with?
MOE: You know he doesn't have anything worth saying about misogyny
MEGAN: Like Shep wants a beej from a girl...
MOE: I'm shaking from anger.
MEGAN: Also she wants an "independent group to do a study on media." Like Media Matters?
MOE: Yeah maybe they should check out that Obama surrogate Bob Herbert who hasn't had anything nice to say about Hillary in the past six months because he's so sexist
MOE: OH EXCEPT WELL THIS FIVE MONTHS AGO
If there was ever a story that deserved more coverage by the news media, it's the dark persistence of misogyny in America
MEGAN: Also, so, can we check her crazy hair? She's got a tuft sticking up in the back. How did that happen?
MOE: Okay, I can't handle it anymore, let's just have a moment of silence for Ted Kennedy's brain. I had dinner with Jennifer Gerson last night and she said that as an intern for MSNBC she was once charged with escorting him up a platform and he was outraged to find that he had to climb steps. "There were literally two steps," she said. My kind of septugenarian! Although…not if I stay in this apartment!!
MEGAN: Well, I think his knees are shit. But, yes, it doesn't surprise me. But brain cancer sucks. I'll bet he thought his heart would get him.
MOE: Okay, in another window SinisterRouge is calming me down. (Imagine if Geraldine Ferrarro was a commenter! She'd get put on notice, and then she'd just go crazy and her last comment would be something like "Hang that darkie from a tree!" and then she'd claim it was a joke and then no one would pay attention to MY brand of "controversy" anymore.)
MEGAN: I love that she's the one calming you down today. I mean, Ferraro just makes me sad. I'm sad that's she's turned into this caricature of a nasty old woman whose racism shows and who is so concerned with her supposed victimhood that she dismisses the claims of others. She was the first female candidate for the vice presidency of the United motherfucking States of America and she's stomping all over the legacy of that. I realize that not everyone reading this would remember, but I remember 1984 and I remember thinking it was, like, totally normal that a woman be running and then realizing it wasn't and thus how cool she was. Only now she's not cool. So I'm more saddened than outraged.
MOE: Uh, in other news Hillary won Kentucky by a 30-point margin. Um, dumb question: are there no black people in Kentucky or something? What's up with that? Also oil went above $130 a barrel, another new record.
MEGAN: I have deliberately avoided looking at gas prices while in New York, a situation helped by the fact that the only times I've passed any have been in a cab and I've been intoxicated. I'm sure they're high.
MOE: A friend of mine asked me the other day why oil prices were so expensive and I was like "1. China 2. India 3. The market tends to overreact 4. no exploration or real incentive for exploration." But I forgot to add "the dollar." And seriously regarding the exploration thing I'm not sure whether that's still true.
MEGAN: Also, Obama barely campaigned in Kentucky. I think despite his crazy fundraising skills, he's conserving his money at this point to get through the convention and Pennsylvania sort of proved that sometimes its just a waste. He doesn't need Kentucky, so he didn't spend so much to make that margin tigihter.
MOE: Kentucky is only like 7.5% black.
Gross reports having students of his at the University of Kentucky tell him they had never seen or talked to a black person before coming to Lexington, a college town of nearly 300,000 people. In some areas of Kentucky, Gross says there's perhaps only one or two black families there.
MOE: Also Kentucky declared neutrality during the Civil War…
MEGAN: I actually met someone once in her forties who had never seen a black person until she left her state. It was, um, interesting. I'm amazed it still happens.
MOE: Though it was a slave state and in the early 1830s slaves comprised a quarter of the population. They just never had much of a plantation economy…Is it possible my perception of Kentucky has been skewed because some huckster from Indiana decided to dress in "stereotypical Southern gentleman type clothing to promote his restaurant chain"?? Um why yes it may be!
MOE: Oh in other news Hezbollah has veto power over everything the Lebanese government does now.
MEGAN: Oh, well, that's great. I love how having the power to scuttle stuff is important.
MEGAN: Kentucky was an okay state. I drove through it once. It was sorta pretty, plus, obviously, bourbon.
MOE: So, here's something else. I was on the train yesterday with this lady who was really nice and let me use her phone. Her computer said "Property of the World Bank" and she told me how she was coming up to New York to present a new survey on economic development and by George it would appear she was not pulling a fast one on me! And check this:
But departing from free-market orthodoxy, the panel also said that governments had a far greater role to play in development than was recognized in the markets-are-king 1980s and 1990s. To boost growth, the panel urged developing nations to spend heavily on infrastructure and endorsed, with some reservation, government subsidies to build local industries.
MOE: You don't say!
Among the findings that are bound to stoke the most controversy: democracy isn't essential for growth. Autocratic governments that allow "vigorous debate" internally on economic policies are sufficient, the report said. Free trade isn't a prerequisite either. Some fast-growing economies kept barriers high to imports, even as they promoted exports, the report said.
MEGAN: Oh, wait, someone noticed China! Cool!
MOE: Well yeah and who did China notice? Why…Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and also Thailand!
MOE: But what I really love is this:
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers praised the commission's focus on government-led growth policies, but said its emphasis on economic winners didn't fully take into account how industrial policies deepened corruption in many countries and failed to ignite growth there. "It's like looking only at those who made fortunes in the stock market without diversifying their portfolios" to figure out the best way to get rich, he said.
MEGAN: Indonesia's kind of a hot mess, though, and has oil/natural gas, so I think that's a little different. But otherwise, I agree with your list.
MOE: Um, actually, looking at the United States economy is what that is like.
MOE: Well yes, Indonesia is an incredible mess, which is why China managed to grab so much manufacturing business from them as Suharto's government crumbled.
MEGAN: Indonesia is one of those places I'd really like to visit. I don't know why. I wish I was like my friend Tim, who parlayed a Masters in theology to a job as an investment banker, saved a shitload of money and bailed on life to travel the world for a year. I am really jealous of him right now, and not just because I keep looking at his flickr account.
MOE: Which speaks to Larry Summers' point, but the fact is that Korea and Taiwan both paid close attention to Japan's climb up the "economic value ladder" into more sophisticated manufacturing. When you manufacture computer chips, for instance, which are by definition very small and shrink in size every 18 months, the cost of sending them down the Insatiable Consumption Esophagus toward the US is not that great. So your population can eventually see much more of the cost! But semiconductor plants are incredibly expensive and sophisticated to operate, so while they're harder to transplant in other countries — though the Taiwanese have certainly been doing just that in China despite the fact that you still can't get a direct flight between the two countries — they also require a lot of PLANNING. INVESTMENT. An educational strategy.
MOE: And then! Much to the chagrin of shareholders…semiconductors are a highly cyclical business! So while the demand keeps growing, sometimes you have to sell them at a loss!
MOE: It can be painfully low-margin…again something the market doesn't reward!
MEGAN: Oh, God, stop, visions of grad school case study horrors dancing in my head!
MOE: BUT. Your countrymen will thank you!
MOE: Sorry, it just completely kills me that you mention how we need better economic and industrial planning in this country to some people and they act like you're fucking advocating the next Great Leap Forward.
MEGAN: I mean, the problem with industrial planning is that you take the concept, throw in 20,000 businsess lobbyists and 535 Members and Senators and you come up with a bullshit plan that won't help anyone that really needs it and will help whomever has the political capital to get help. Ahhh, democracy.