The Spectacle Blog
Quote of the day (from National Journal's "Hotline"):
"That's one of those things where you have to wait and see whether that would be a good idea."
-- Rep. Anne Northup (R-KY) on whether she wants Pres. Bush to campaign with her in '06, NPR, 10/24.
This from a Republican. From Kentucky. Who wins re-election with 60% of the vote.
I'll be subbing for Hugh again today, 6-9 pm EDT on the Salem Radio Network. We'll come out of the blocks fast. First guest is Gen. Peter Pace, USMC, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. You don't want to miss this one. (Hugh is back tomorrow. Rats. I was really getting used to this.)
The Village Voice has a quick reaction to the Bernanke nomination. It's unremarkable, but not short of entertainment:
There will probably be some debate about the process, and history will confirm the wisdom of the pick, but no one can dispute that this was yet another superior pick by the President.
Bernanke is a bit of an unknown. Some more politically inclined -- and conservative -- economics types don't think he will be a strong supporter of tax cuts, but believe he will be a strong advocate, as Greenspan has been, of contained budgets and spending for government.
But you can't dispute the background and experience Bernanke brings to the table. This should be another day of solid high-fives in the White House for a good pick that surprised folks a month earlier than expected. Instead, it inevitably brings to mind another pick that went awry.
Can we stop talking about Wilma and Harriett for a minute? In Iraq, as the Beeb reports, two Sunni provinces have voted down the Iraqi constitution. If the Nineveh province vote is the same, the referendum fails, and the Iraqi constitutional process is set back. Which may not be a bad thing. If the Sunni become convinced of their political power in the democratic process, the long-term gain should outweigh greatly the short-term loss.
With itsÂ writers and editorsÂ attacking each otherÂ within the same pages, theÂ New York TimesÂ at this point looks like an unsupervised college newspaper.Â What I had hoped was anÂ autobiograpical column, "A Woman of Mass Destruction,"Â turned out to be another explosion of envy from Maureen Dowd.Â The sexism in the column -- Dowd charges Judith Miller with a "tropismÂ toward powerful men" and this from Howell Raines' favorite employeeÂ --Â is very disappointing.Â If only Judith Miller had protected a liberal source -- and cut corners on behalf of aÂ story that would give the left a triumphant storyline -- she too could shareÂ column space with Dowd.
If Ben Bernanke is the nominee to replace Alan Greenspan, our guess is that reaction will be somewhat muted on the fiscal conservative side of things. In speaking with sources up on the Hill who know Berknanke, they say he is extremely bright and talented and more than capable to do the job, but they doubt his commitment to some of the core supply-side tenets, i.e., tax cuts.
As we reported earlier, there is little information about how much consultation was done on this pick with either the House or the Senate. As of 10:30 this morning, House Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas had not been notified of the pick, according to House sources.
"We've basically known who the three or four people were who were under consideration," says a Senate staffer. "If people wanted to consult, they've had plenty of time to give their two cents. I'm not sure there is an issue here."
Ben Bernanke's nomination as fed chairman is not unexpected -- his name had been circulating for the last few weeks. The New York Times offered reluctant praise in an editorial earlier this month:
Mr. Bernanke is deeply conservative, economists say, but respected for independent thinking and not inclined to wear that conservatism on his sleeve.
So surely they'll endorse Bernanke in tomorrow's editorials? And Daniel Gross regarded Bernanke as an enigmatic favorite in a nomination preview:
Bernanke doesn't have much of a public record when it comes to deficits, and he's a latecomer to the Bush White House.