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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:
Commentary — November 17, 2015, 6:41 pm
The Clintons’ so-called charitable enterprise has served as a vehicle to launder money and to enrich family friends.
The new docudrama The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX) isn’t really about Orenthal James Simpson. It’s about the trials that ran alongside his — those informal, unboundaried, court-of-public-opinion trials in which evidence was heard for and against the murder victims, the defense and the prosecution, the judge, the jury, and the Los Angeles Police Department, to say nothing of white and black America. History has freed us from suspense about Simpson’s verdict, so that the man himself (played here by Cuba Gooding Jr.) is less the tragic hero he seemed in the mid-Nineties than a curiously minor character. He comes to the center of our attention only once, in Episode 2, at the end of the lengthy Ford Bronco chase scene — which in real life was followed by a surreal cavalcade of police cars and media helicopters, as well as an estimated 95 million live viewers — when Simpson repeatedly, and with apparent sincerity, apologizes for taking up so much of so many people’s time. It is an uncannily ordinary moment of social decorum, a sort of could-you-please-pass-the-salt gesture on a sinking Titanic, in which Simpson briefly becomes more than just an archetype.
Amount an auditor estimated last year that Oregon could save each year by feeding prisoners less food:
Kentucky is the saddest state.
An Italian economist was questioned on suspicion of terrorism after a fellow passenger on an American Airlines flight witnessed him writing differential equations on a pad of paper.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”