What’s Her Angle?

In the comments on the last post about Nevada Republican Sharron Angle, there was some concern that I was overconfident about Harry Reid’s chances in that race. If you don’t believe that being unable to talk to local media isn’t enough to doom Angle’s campaign, this post is for you.

Let’s take a quick trip to the FEC website and follow the money in Nevada. Reid has a mere $9 million in cash as of his last FEC filing. Angle has a whopping $138K in cash, and $170K in debt.

Compare those totals to the last race where a Democratic Senate Majority Leader was knocked off, the Daschle/Thune steel cage death match of 2004. By the same time in that race, Thune had $2.5 million cash on hand. Together, both candidates had spent more than $30 million after all the dust settled. Thune had already been a three-term Member of Congress, South Dakota is more Republican than Nevada (R+9 vs D+2), third parties were not a factor in the South Dakota race (as they may be in Nevada), and, unlike Nevada, SD doesn’t have a “none of the above” choice.

Knocking off a sitting Majority Leader isn’t a wish your heart makes. It takes a few million bucks. There’s no evidence that Angle is on track to raise anything like that kind of money. Put that together with her media savvy, and you have one really shitty candidate.



Just Shoot Me Them

It must be the off-season, when everyone goes on vacation, because neither DougJ nor the Sadly-naughts have discussed this particular travesty yet. Ken Layne at Wonkette tells us “The Atlantic [Is] Hiring 29 Journalists and an Idiot“:

The media industry has fully recovered, as evidenced by this job listing seeking thirty (30!) journalists at the Atlantic Media Group. But Atlantic Media Group’s National Journal just got rid of thirty (30!) journalists through buyouts, so the net gain of Journalism Jobs is zero (0). Still, this is enough for a shitty trend column by banal global golfer and language rapist Tom Friedman. Wait a minute, that’s just what The Atlantic needs!
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Wonkette operative “Tom Y.” sent along this Want Ad with the subject line, “ATLANTIC SEEKS TO CLONE WORLD’S WORST COLUMNIST,” which is about right. Except for the cloning part. Atlantic Media Group clearly wants to find and groom and create the next awful conventional wisdom hack on the bestseller list, and they hope to find this Mustache of the Future while the economy’s still in the toilet and every journalist fears for his or her job, every single day…

The ad itself seeks “two dozen reporters” to fill “30” openings, which is either an unusually clear signal that each new hire will be expected to perform 125% of a full-time job, or Economist Math in action. It goes on to promise:

… In all of its hiring, Atlantic Media seeks two pillar qualities – force of intellect and a personal spirit of generosity.
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Recruiting down two paths:
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Recognizing that these gifts may not present in the same individual, Atlantic Media is recruiting for individuals working down either of two paths: relentless breaking news or original, rigorous commentary.
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Breaking News – especially web savvy: The intention here is to identify reporters made for – naturally wired for – breaking news. High metabolism. Relentless. Unstoppable. Prolific.
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Original Insight: The intention here, harder to realize, is to identify individuals made for – naturally wired for – original insight, original frames for comment on the large, national issues. Economist rigor; Tom Friedman insight.

I repeat: “Economist rigor, Tom Friedman insight.” The ad may claim that “In the moment, our recruiting is focused on the National Journal magazine” (and can the person responsible for writing that ever be punished as they deserve?) but these traits in combination suggest an even more horrible possibility: Megan McArdle is getting an intern of her very own.

I guess The Atlantic board figured a nameless flunky to fill all those gaping interweb inches would make a nice wedding present, and that selfish little pommy bustard Sullivan wouldn’t give up one of his. Or else they assume that McArdle will pull the standard “conservative feminist” trick and refuse to return to paid employment after the honeymoon, on the grounds that waiting in line for the latest piece of hipster technology and researching the perfect brand of imported Himalayan pink salt is a full-time job in itself.

Whatever the reason, it remains a golden opportunity for anyone seeking revenge on an unemployed liberal-arts major who’s done something truly unpleasant, or possibly a young stupid relative with a boundless sense of entitlement and a poor grasp of social boundaries. (I wonder what Joran van Sloot is doing these days?) Any suggestions for crafting the perfect resume to properly respond to this solicitation gratefully accepted…



Early Morning Open Thread

Happy Hump Day.
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Thank gods John Cole doesn’t pay me, so I don’t have to use these tactics here.








Better Than An Unpaid Internship?

I was looking for my first full-time permanent job during the Republican (Ford) Recession of the mid-1970s, so I’m having a hard time finding the flaws in Robert Reich’s latest jobs-program argument:

Friday’s job report was awful. For most new high school and college grads finding a job is harder than ever. Meanwhile, states are cutting summer jobs for disadvantaged young people. What to do with this army of young unemployed? Send them to the Gulf to clean up beaches and wetlands, and send the bill to BP.
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Florida’s panhandle beaches are already marred with sticky brown globs of oil. Workers with blue rubber gloves and plastic bags are already losing the battle to keep them clean. Pelicans and other wildlife coated in oil tar are dying by the droves.
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It will get far worse. Most of the oil hasn’t hit land yet. When it does, hundreds of thousands of workers will be needed to clean beaches, siphon off oil from wetlands, and rescue stranded wildlife. Tens of thousands more will have to bring in new landfill, replace tarred sea walls, and rebuild shoreline infrastructure.
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Yet we’ve got hundreds of thousands of young people sitting on their hands right now because they can’t find jobs. Many are from affected coastal areas, where the tourist and fishing industries have been decimated by the spill.
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The President should order BP to establish a $5 billion clean-up fund, and immediately put America’s army of unemployed young people to work saving the Gulf coast. Call it the new Civilian Conservation Corps…

Of course, these will not be permanent jobs, they will be physically (and to some degree psychologically) grueling, and it will require supervisory talents that our Republican-decimated government may no longer possess to make sure the workers are given whatever safety equipment and training is necessary. But plenty of young people would volunteer to do this work, if only they had the familial resources that permit the offspring of those at the top of the economic pyramid to spend their summers networking in internships on Wall Street, Fifth Avenue, or K Street. Forcing BP to take a tiny fraction of its responsibility for this disaster by giving young Americans a respite from the unemployment nightmare seems like a political win for President Obama and Congress, and a social win for all of us.



Screwing You is Job One

Oh, hey. More bankster criminality:

A telephone call between a financial adviser in Beverly Hills and a trader in New York was all it took to fleece taxpayers on a water-and-sewer financing deal in West Virginia. The secret conversation was part of a conspiracy stretching across the U.S. by Wall Street banks in the $2.8 trillion municipal bond market.

The call came less than two hours before bids were due for contracts to manage $90 million raised with the sale of West Virginia bonds. On one end of the line was Steven Goldberg, a trader with Financial Security Assurance Holdings Ltd. On the other was Zevi Wolmark, of advisory firm CDR Financial Products Inc. Goldberg arranged to pay a kickback to CDR to land the deal, according to government records filed in connection with a U.S. Justice Department indictment of CDR and Wolmark.

West Virginia was just one stop in a nationwide conspiracy in which financial advisers to municipalities colluded with Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Wachovia Corp. and 11 other banks.

They rigged bids on auctions for so-called guaranteed investment contracts, known as GICs, according to a Justice Department list that was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on March 24 and then put under seal. Those contracts hold tens of billions of taxpayer money.

And yet our dysfunctional Senate still can not pass meaningful financial regulation. At least the Bloomberg piece says they are ready to name names and there will be prison terms.

I eagerly await the Reason magazine treatise on how this is the fault of too much regulation.