My review of Hillary’s What Happened has just been posted on Washington Babylon.
Great moments in political analysis: Bill Clinton, November 2016: Bill Clinton branded Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn the “maddest person in the room” in a speech he gave explaining the resurgence of left-wing politics in Europe and America. Documents released by Wikileaks show the former President joked that when Mr Corbyn won his leadership contest, it appeared Labour had just “got a guy off the street” to run the party. Barack Obama, December 2016: President Barack Obama has suggested that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party is “disintegrating” because it has lost touch with “fact and reality”…. Read More
Back in the summer of 2011, McKinsey released results of a survey they’d done of employers showing that many would not offer health insurance coverage when Obamacare* takes full effect. The liberal establishment united in loud criticism of the consulting firm’s report—but it’s looking like they were right. I wrote up the original report (“Bye-bye employer health insurance”) and experienced some of the loud criticisms, prompting a follow-up (“McKinsey: more right than wrong”) based on reading the full survey, something that some of the critics, including apparently Paul Krugman, hadn’t done. Ah,… Read More
Last week, Dylan Matthews made some strong claims about how damaging teacher strikes were to student achievement—claims that I spent some time challenging (here and here). He has softened his line now. Today, writing up Rahm Emanuel’s suit to have the strike declared illegal, Matthews says: So the “clear and present danger” argument seems a more promising avenue for Rahm than the strikable issues claim. But still, the empirical burden of proof there is weighty. While there exist studies suggesting that strikes, insofar as they reduce instruction, reduce student achievement, CTU could try to poke holes in those or dispute… Read More
I have uncanny experiences reading the bigtime press sometimes. I’ve complained before about how Paul Krugman brings up the rear, sometimes years after I’d written about them. See here for some examples. Or here. The newspaper of record—do we still call it that in the post-print days?—has done it again. Catherine Rampell the other day (“Does It Pay to Become a Teacher?): The United States spends a lot of money on education; including both public and private spending, America spends 7.3 percent of its gross domestic product on all levels of education combined. That’s above… Read More
Mike Tomasky writes with some surprise in The Daily Beast (“The 24 and the 42 million, and Basic Competence”) that both the job market and the stock market have done better under Democratic presidents than under Republican. He comments: “ And yet, no one in America knows. No one.” That’s not true. Subscribers to Left Business Observer knew that years ago. I first reviewed the post-World War II record of the two parties in 1996, and updated the study in 2004. The results: Dems are better for growth in both jobs and GDP, and for… Read More
More nuggets from Obama’s interview with the freshly renamed Bloomberg BusinessWeek, now under new management. The irony is, is that on the left we are perceived as being in the pockets of big business; and then on the business side, we are perceived as being anti-business…. You would be hard-pressed to identify a piece of legislation that we have proposed out there that, net, is not good for businesses…. We are pro-growth. We are fierce advocates for a thriving, dynamic free market. Some scene-setting from the piece: As Obama defended himself against charges he… Read More
Ha, so Van Jones is out (“White House Adviser on ‘Green Jobs’ Resigns”). All you people who said I was being too “cynical” in my reading (“Obamamania, a febrile disease”) of Obamamania during the campaign: I’ll be holding an at home today and tomorrow to accept apologies. Line forms just outside the door. PS: Why did they appoint him in the first place? Did they not get just how relentlessly nasty—and principled, actually—the right-wing is? Did they think they’d be reasonable about the appointment of a former Maoist, even one who’s been running… Read More