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I love when Washington political reporters inadvertently reveal that they live in a beltway bubble and talk to no one other than those inside of it. As was the case today in a Washington Post piece about President Obama raising up to $3 million yesterday from the financial industry during a swing through Manhattan.
His success at drumming up the dough, said the article, eased “some qualms that the economic downturn might spook major donors at a time when the financial industry is aggravated by the administration’s populist tone but also under pressure to avoid the appearance of excessive giving.” Whose “qualms” were eased by Obama’s success? The story’s reporters clearly talk to too many political and financial muckety mucks, because the rest of the country has not been worried a lot about this matter.
The story did have a few good moments, though:
In a $15,200-per-plate dinner at the Mandarin Oriental hotel, Obama asked for cooperation from Wall Street. “If there are members of the financial industry in the audience today,” Obama said, “I would ask that you join us in passing what are necessary reforms. Don’t fight them.”
I have to assume Obama winked when he said that, or he truly is a naive soul and believes donors are going to fork over money to the Democrats in hopes that they press for reform instead of oppose it.
There was also this, which requires no comment:
Large public banks have long been loath to get involved in politics, a major Obama donor said: “The stronger base is among private equity guys, hedge funds, et cetera. People in private firms feel a little more flexible.”
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”