Just when I thought that things would get better

It’s probably not fair to whiny-ass titty babies to call Politico a bunch of whiny-ass titty babies:

Politico editor-in-chief John Harris and chief executive Jim VandeHei are expected to visit The Washington Post on Wednesday to discuss the paper’s recent scrutiny of chief White House correspondent Mike Allen and his influential Playbook newsletter, according to a source familiar with the meeting who is not authorized to discuss it.

The Politico higher-ups are scheduled to sit down with both editorial page editor Fred Hiatt and media critic Erik Wemple, who has aggressively covered Allen and recently suggested the Politico star writer rewards Playbook advertisers with favorable coverage. After digging through Playbook’s archives, Wemple concluded in November that “the special interests that pay for slots in the newsletter get adoring coverage elsewhere in the playing field of Playbook.”


“Erik’s posts about Playbook are false and insulting,” Allen wrote. “I haven’t responded because his obsessive, anti-Playbook agenda has been obvious for some


During an December appearance on WNYC, VandeHei said he thought Wemple’s “piece was nonsense, which is why we didn’t play ball with him on it.” On Fox News, Harris described Wemple’s report as “more of a suggestion, insinuation, innuendo in a really unfair way.” Playbook, Harris said, is “totally transparent.”

Check out this awesome Wemple piece (via) on Allen’s non-stop fluffing of Roger Ailes:

Copyright considerations prevent the Erik Wemple Blog from dropping the plenary glory of “FRIENDS PUSH AILES FOR PRESIDENT” into this blog post, yet a few excerpts hint at the genius behind its formulation. The lede: “Friends and associates are encouraging Fox News chief Roger Ailes to jump into the political arena for real by running for president in 2012, top sources tell POLITICO.” The flattery: “Ailes, 69, has an aggessive, winning personality that made Fox News a huge success — and a huge target for liberal critics.” The meat: “Talk of an Ailes run, which informed sources said is based on more than mere speculation, could escalate the White House war with Fox war in wildly unpredictable – and fun – ways.”

I wonder if Hiatt will shut Wemple down. If so, I hope the Times or HuffPo hires him.

Why we can’t have nice things

Citi Bike, New York City’s new bike-share program (you know, the one that represents creeping totalitarianism), while already very popular, is not without its problems. For some of the city’s wealthiest residents, for example, the issue is not so much the existence of the program but rather the fact that its bike-share stations have to be so, y’know, close.

From the Village Voice (because I’d rather not link to the NY Post), some examples:

In a New York Post exclusive, it was discovered that the DOT agreed to move at least 10 Citi Bike stations either right before or just after the program’s initiation–all of which are nearby a concentrated wealth epicenter. Ritzy spots include the IAC Building in West Chelsea, designed by Frank Gehry and housed by Newsweek/The Daily Beast; a loft on Spring Street; the Milan Condominium on East 55th; and a handful of other expensive locations.

A few of the angry 1 Percenters were represented by Manhattan attorney Steven Sladkus. As the stations push uptown, “you won’t see a Citi Bike station in front of Mayor Bloomberg’s town house,” he argued to the Post. “Maybe the same [courtesy] should have been given to all other property-owners in the city.” 

You see, this is really an issue of equality. If billionaire Mike Bloomberg can treat the entirety of NYC as his fiefdom, why can’t multimillionaires do the same within a few block radius of their home and/or place of work? This is America, dammit! Occupy Citi Bike!

Oh, it’s almost enough to drive one to drink. But since it’s still morning here, I’ll just recommend you read this recent interview between David Dayen and Chris Hayes. The focus of their discussion is, primarily, elite and institutional failure. Hayes’ point about inequality breeding social alienation strikes me as particularly relevant…

Are you so superior, are you in such pain?

Predictably enough, the martyrdom of Niall Ferguson has begun. This letter is WATB bingo — hurt fee-fees, “vituperative online critics”, “enemies of academic freedom” and best of all…the friendship with Gay Brother Number 1. I also like the “I’m apologizing but what I said was true” twist that is becoming so popular:

Not for one moment did I mean to suggest that Keynesian economics as a body of thought was simply a function of Keynes’ sexuality. But nor can it be true—as some of my critics apparently believe—that his sexuality is totally irrelevant to our historical understanding of the man. My very first book dealt with the German hyperinflation of 1923, a historical calamity in which Keynes played a minor but important role. In that particular context, Keynes’ sexual orientation did have historical significance. The strong attraction he felt for the German banker Carl Melchior undoubtedly played a part in shaping Keynes’ views on the Treaty of Versailles and its aftermath.

All we need is back to England with a GBCW piece, preferably one that appears in the National Review or Weekly Standard. (Daily Caller would be too much to ask for, right?)

Open Thread: The GOP As A Bunch of Pouting Teenagers

rohrbacher blowing smoke
Per the NYTimes:

One day after Republicans rolled out a detailed proposal aimed at eliminating the federal deficit through steep cuts and repealing many of the president’s accomplishments, Mr. Obama told them pointedly in a rare visit that their highest fiscal priority was not his.

“Our biggest problems in the next 10 years are not deficits,” the president said, according to accounts from the meeting, bluntly rejecting an idea that has become Republican fiscal dogma…

The hourlong discussion at the Capitol, and the release of a new budget by Senate Democrats on Wednesday that adds $100 billion in new stimulus spending and would impose higher taxes on large corporations and wealthy Americans, illustrated anew just how difficult it will be to resolve the issues that have split the Congress for years and created a perpetual cycle of deadline-driven short-term fiscal policy. Given the gap in the budget approaches, the president conceded as much in an interview with ABC News that ran on Wednesday before he went to the Capitol for the second consecutive day.

“Ultimately, it may be that the differences are just too wide,” said Mr. Obama, who will meet Thursday with Senate Republicans and House Democrats. “It may be that ideologically, if their position is, ‘We can’t do any revenue,’ or, ‘We can only do revenue if we gut Medicare or gut Social Security or gut Medicaid,’ if that’s the position, then we’re probably not going to be able to get a deal.” ….

Per Dave Weigel, from whom I swiped the embed at the top:

Disgruntled Republicans Livetweet Obama’s Closed-Door Speech
The typical way to report on a House Republican conference meeting is to wait until the off-the-record affair is over and prod members for details. That was less useful today. Members, reacting to the president’s offer of a Q&A, livetweeted the whole thing. It started as they walked in….

They really are a bunch of spoilt, angry teenagers, aren’t they? President Mean Dad keeps insisting the family’s summer vacation will be a week at a rented timeshare at the lake, because that’s “affordable”, when there are, like, tens of thousands of dollars in that 401K thing that could totally pay for a real trip to Cancun or somewhere kewl! Well, maybe the GOPTeens can’t force Mom & Dad to take everyone on a reality-tv- style trip, but they can most definitely bitch, whine, complain, snark and make sure that nobody enjoys their stupid condo at the boring lake!

Oh, and of course they’ll still have their hands out at the lakeshore arcade, per Time:
Even in this new age of austerity, sequestration and budget cutting rhetoric, powerful members of Congress are having their way, defending favorite programs and finding money for pet projects…”

Manning Update and Open Thread

Not much going on.  It’s a grey, blustery day here in OKC.  Light rains off and on.  We’re hoping they can get the footers dug out in the next couple of days and maybe pour concrete for footers on Friday, when it’s supposed to be in the 60’s here.  At work, we are in a full court press to update the entire medical center and outlying clinics to Windows 7 with Office 2010 from XP/Office2007.  It’s mostly going smoothly, but we are running into the usual teething pains involved in replacing or upgrading 2300 computers and 14 servers spread over western Oklahoma.  Lastly, with the weather change, my left shoulder and arm are fucking killing me.  You all remember the accident I got in last June.  Well, I’m service-connected on my shoulders anyway (occupational illness of Infantrymen) and I can’t get into the Neurology or Pain clinics till next month.  It was so bad yesterday that I had to take a couple of oxycodone and hang out doing nothing.  Today is a little better. Read more