14 February 2011

Cynical Link Sausages for Monday Morning

These link sausages are exceptionally cynical, even for me.

  • The Egyptian protesters are starting to discover Pete Townsend's clairvoyance: "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." Mubarek had been in power for so long that almost nobody remembers that he and his predecessors Sadat and Nasser were all members of the top council of Egypt's military immediately before assuming power. That's nearly sixty years of, in essence, military rule... and the Egyptian military has imposed martial law and has not (as yet) stated when it will defer to civilian authority — if ever. That's not how one gets democracy; on the other hand, what the hell do we expect from former European colonies? The US, Canada, Australia, and India are outliers!
  • Professor Krugman's editorial in the NYT this morning concentrates on the realities of what people want cut from government budgets. As he puts it, "Republicans don’t have a mandate to cut spending; they have a mandate to repeal the laws of arithmetic." Such as mandating that 2 + 2 = 5 (and if you don't understand that reference, particularly since the PATRIOT Act1 is up for partial renewal/extension at the moment...). His key point, though, is that the Heffalumps are essentially expecting the U.S. government to behave exactly like the great unwashed and impoverished: The first thing to go when one falls into poverty is not luxury consumption, but investment in the future. That says more than a little bit about the class-warfare aspirations of the Heffalumps in general and the Mad Tea Party in particular.
  • Cui bono the Huffington Post/AOL deal? Not the actual providers of the content — and even the MSM is noticing. The contrast with the preceding items is, and should be, quite disturbing... especially in light of the converse case: celebrity ghostwriters. It appears that the new meme is that "the actual writer can have either the credit or the money, but almost never both." What's really disturbing, though, is a recent survey of publishing figures that essentially says "we think a mail-order MBA is more important than being able to select and develop content to be successful in this industry" — which is really not at all surprising, just irritatingly obvious to me even when I was in-house.

  1. The USA Totalitarian Regime Activity Incitement To Obscure Reality Act, Pub. L. No. 107–56: they had to destroy representative democracy to save it.