Friday is the day of the punditocracy, which means there's plenty of periodical crazy for Moe Tkacik and I to talk about when we're not discussing the subtle, but sexy, homo-eroticism of this much-used (and likely abused) photo of Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel. Click through to see it larger, and then read our shake downs of Peggy Noonan, David Brooks and Dick Armey, along with our discussion of the merry-go-round in Congress, the new potential Treasury Secretary and where Moe should eat in Coolidge Corner today.MEGAN: I just know it's not going to be a good day when I've been awake for less than an hour and already want a nap. MOE: Hi neighbor. Guess who did not really go to sleep last night? I'm at a Marriott in Brookline and I just took a nap. I don't have much processing power but I can tell you that I am thinking of Rahm Emanuel's head right now. Oh, also David Brooks invokes MLK in a column about how Obama's administration needs to act more like one of those financial institutions and be "ostentatiously pragmatic and data-driven" and "hunt good ideas like venture capitalists." You know, those venture capitalists who only have to invest in one good company out of every ten for them to make shitloads of money! Those venture capitalists, maybe their next good idea will be a bailout package that magically renegotiates mortgages with homeowners and gives them jobs too! MEGAN: When will the hagiography of venture capitalists end? Also, are you really in Coolidge Corner? Could you please, please go to JP Licks and get an Oreo ice cream and text me how good it is so I can live vicariously through you? And if you're still there tomorrow, have brunch at Zaftigs while you're at it. MOE: Ha, yes, I am, that is so weird. I actually dreamed about texting you my location so you could call the hotel if I didn't wake up, but then I remembered there was such a thing as wakeup calls. How come there is no wakeup call for people who are not in hotels? I really need this service. Or perhaps I should redefine "need." Unemployment is back where it was when Reality Bites was in theaters and no one is buying anything anywhere. Which brings up something interesting; I felt kind of guilty reading about the falloff in retail sales thinking how I hadn't sufficiently changed my spending patterns, especially seeing how I am unemployed, but then I realized I don't think I have been in a store in months save for this one trip to American Apparel I made with a friend that resulted in one wife-beater purchase. MEGAN: I have been shopping exactly twice since I went on a shoe spree in about May: once I bought two shirts on sale; and last weekend, I bought a dress for Glamour's Woman of the Year awards on Monday. So, I'm at least partly at fault, too. MOE: Um, also, did Omaha get its own electoral vote just so it could vote for the candidate that sounds like "Osama"? And if they have always done this, is this the first time they've split with the state? MEGAN: It is, indeed, the first time Nebraska has split its electoral votes. I don't think the state went with proportional electoral votes just for Obama, but it is kind of interesting that that's how it worked out. MOE: I wonder if Omaha voters were more swayed by the candidate's nice familiar sounding name or that billionaire of theirs begging the government to take more of his hard earned wages away. MEGAN: I mean, I don't want to belittle Warren Buffet, but he could, like, not take all the credits and deductions that contribute to his low effective tax rate and simply pay his actual rate which is, I guarantee, not lower than his secretary's. Just sayin'. MOE: The picture of Rahm whispering in Obama's ear is kind of sexy if you are into pictures of skinny big city boys whose eyes look sort of hollowed out like they have not slept in weeks conspiring with one another. (To…dance ballet! JK.) It's here and everywhere. In other news, Jeremiah Wright spewing anti-hate rhetoric again. MEGAN: I do not find Rahm that hot, but somehow, yes, the homoeroticism of that photo kind of is. Yeah, Jeremiah Wright is such an asshole:
Speaking at a forum at Kingdom of Life Christian Church on “The Bible, Race, and American History,” Mr. Wright told the more than 400 people who attended that the next step for the country must be to find jobs “for people locked in poverty” and to end “every vestige of dehumanization” in America.
How exceedingly hate-filled and un-American of him, though I guess "finding jobs for people locked in poverty" would be one of those Scary Big Government programs that Dick Armey will decry as un-American and something the American people just won't accept. MEGAN: By the way, if you haven't read Dick Armey's laughable Op Ed, you really should. He decries the New Deal and the thing that hurt the American economy in the 30s, among other things.
Ronald Reagan, for example, held an unshakably positive vision of American capitalism. He didn't feel a need to qualify the meaning of his conservatism. He understood that big government was cruel and uncaring of individual aspirations. Small government conservatism was, by definition, compassionate — offering every American a way up to self-determination and economic prosperity.
Oh, ok, who needs a government to give out WIC funds when the market can just take care of it, you lazy bitches! MOE: And yeah, I read that; it was nutjobtastic. I actually don't think Warren Buffett could do that. I mean, he is Warren Buffett and he can't not accumulate wealth. The tax code doesn't need to be reformed because of people who leave money on the table at tax season. MEGAN: No, the tax code needs to be reformed because it serves as little more than full employment for accountants and is so inscrutable that we spend millions upon millions of dollars ineffectively enforcing it. Hence, the tax gap. MOE: Oh Noonington is happy for the children; you can tell they had her at Malia's pretty dress. Which was purchased at Neiman Marcus for approximately 0.07% of Sarah Palin's wardrobe budget. Peggy Noonan is very excited for the children that they are watching Obama and not those angry dark radical rappers such as Kanye West and T-Pain. MEGAN: Are they the "still-menacing if increasingly antique rappers" of Peggy's imagination? In fact, calling rappers "still-menacing" might be the reason for this:
Though it is also true that many of the indices for the GOP are dreadful, especially that they lost the vote of two-thirds of those aged 18 to 29. They lost a generation! If that continues in coming years, it will be a rolling wave of doom.
MOE: Maybe she means "menace" in the "Dennis" sense of "the exact opposite of!" Also, the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page loves the Emanuel pick, because of his pointy elbows. Which will bleed for the sins of his "wacky" former colleagues in the House of Representatives. MEGAN: Peggy quotes Begala on that:
At any rate, props to Paul Begala for once calling Mr. Emanuel's leadership style as "a cross between a hemorrhoid and a toothache."
I don't think that's fair, because a hemorrhoid or a toothache is a long, dull pain. Emanuel's leadership style is more like a kick to the nuts, were one to have nuts. MOE: Oh god can we discuss Henry Waxman swooping in to steal Dingell's committee chairmanship? Because, oy, Nancy Pelosi is not going near that one. Barney Frank said he was shocked too. Is Waxman not hogging enough other people's turf already? What is the deal? And like, it is really courageous of you to take on Dingell, this octogenarian lifelong supporter of the American auto industry and really PRESS for those tougher environmental standards of yours EXCEPT UM. MEGAN: Really, Barney Frank was shocked at Waxman's move? Waxman wanted that chairmanship so. bad. He is probably also sick to death of chairing Oversight and Government Reform, which is totally where you stick the guy who might get too much done and piss you off (see: Tom Davis). I'm wholly unsurprised that Waxman is making a run at Dingell, whose chairmanship of Energy and Commerce was so singularly uninspiring and pander-y to the car companies (not that it helped them) that Nancy Pelosi created a whole new quasi-committee on climate change to get the issue out from under him. MOE: I dunno, it sure seemed like he was having fun in Oversight that day he had Greenspan in. Barney Frank lets him take all the "villains" of the Crisis because Barney Frank doesn't get off on that sort of thing, and that is the big issue right now, and anything pertaining to the auto industry is just fucking depressing is all I'm saying. Frank said he was waiting to hear from Ed Markey till he expressed an opinion about it. I guess, though, though, that if you're looking to expand your jurisdiction, all energy and commerce is not a bad start. MEGAN: Well, whomever is at Government Reform is going to be stuck in the doldrums investigating stupid Bush-era shit while the Energy and Commerce chair is going to have a role in shaping Obama's energy plans. MOE: Though "Ways and Means" is a better name. MEGAN: The real question is whether Pelosi has the balls to yank W&M out from under Rangel after his Year of Scandals. I'm betting she doesn't, but after he spent the year getting caught cheating on his taxes (which is the jurisdiction of the motherfucking committee) and his low-income housing-turned-cheap-office-space, I think she should. MOE: And yeah, re: Rangel, does the year leave him less equipped to pass a decent stimulus bill? I never understand how these things work. In other news, the Treasury search has mostly narrowed to Summers and Geithner, the former of whom has apparently learned a lot from writing his Financial Times column and the latter of whom is Obama's same age and nebbishy cute but if they yank him they leave his replacement up to the NY Fed which I guess leaves the whole crisis management thing with that one uncertainty. MEGAN: The real question is whether this year leaves Rangel unable to put together a coalition on tax reform that he put off doing until this year, let alone the stimulus package and, I think, the answer is yes because when he wasn't being a corrupt piece of shit, he was being a more arrogant SOB than even his predecessor Bill Thomas — and that is something most people in Washington would have previously thought impossible. On Summers and Geithner, I think Summers has to be a red herring because he's so old school and, worse, the whole Harvard thing and women in the sciences. MOE: Oh GOD, did you see the shoes Sarah Palin wore for her Wasilla homecoming??? Here if you missed.
Finally Sarah and Todd stepped off the plane, and down the stairs, Sarah teetering on the most rediculous shoes I’ve ever seen in my life. Let me just say….Sarah Palin knows Alaska. She knows what it’s like when it’s 10 degrees in November at the airport, but there she was tromping through the snow cover in 5 inch black stiletto heels. She reminded me of a little girl playing dress up, the way she walked.