great zombies of our time

Rude Failure Larry Summers Is A Candidate For Another Top Job

blarrrghLet’s go through the last 15-20 years of perfect, brilliant top economist Larry Summers’ career: He joined Robert Rubin and Alan Greenspan in their successful attempt to tear down long-standing financial regulations and keep derivatives totally unmonitored as a Treasury official and then secretary during the Clinton administration, directly leading to the 2008 financial collapse; he became President of Harvard, where he was a total failure who was eventually kicked out; he made $20+ million giving bad advice and speeches to gullible financial firms; he returned to government to head President Obama’s economic team, where he was overbearing, crude to his colleagues, and incorrect about the depth and severity of the Great Recession; and then he went back to his plum sinecure at Harvard, where everyone hopes he will stay, quietly, forever. But oh, what’s that, the World Bank is in need of a new president? And who is at the top of the list?

Just look at the creativity shown in selecting candidates for this big ol’ job: Larry Summers and… who is this… Hillary something… Hillary Clintock… Hillary Chinten… Hillary Clinton, yes, that’s the person:

President Barack Obama may nominate Lawrence Summers, his former National Economic Council adviser, to replace Zoellick, two people familiar with the matter said last month. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is also being considered, one of the people said.

Clinton has said she doesn’t plan to stay in her post if Obama wins a second term and plans to leave government.

“After 20 years — and it will be 20 years — of being on the high wire of American politics and all of the challenges that come with that, it would probably be a good idea to find out how tired I am,” Clinton told State Department employees during a town-hall meeting on Jan. 26.

We actually do believe Clinton’s people saying she has no interest in this job and just wants to leave town after Obama’s first term, to vacation for a week or so and then commence plotting her next move. And since it’s a post that doesn’t require Senate confirmation, that makes Larry Summers pretty much a given. (Because it’s a well-known fact that the super-genius most brilliant economist in history who is the only person capable of doing these top-level jobs, Larry Summers, would never be confirmed for any job by the United States Senate. This not something that should raise a red flag regarding his competence, we’re regularly told.)

The lack of long-term planning here is especially worrisome. Has anyone thought about what we’ll do in the future when Larry Summers is dead and no longer available to ruin our powerful institutions and global economy? Who will we look to then?

[Bloomberg]

About the author

Jim Newell is Wonkette's beloved Capitol Hill Typing Demon. He joined Wonkette.com in 2007, left for some other dumb job in 2010, and proudly returned in 2012 as our "Senior Editor at Large." He lives in Washington and also writes for things such as The Guardian, the Manchester paper of liberals.

View all articles by Jim Newell
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171 comments

  1. BarackMyWorld

    He also gave really bad advice to the Winklevoss twins, based on the premise Facebook wasn't actually worth anything.

        1. Not_So_Much

          No, and you can totes disregard all the really negative shit that's about to show up on your 'hotornot.com' page…

          1. Tilley

            Who are you (your linky name thing leads to nothing, which seems odd), and why do you have a higher "p" value (whatever that is) than I do?

  2. nounverb911

    “If at first you don't succeed, try again. Then quit. There's no use being a damn fool about it.”
    –W.C. Fields

  3. iburl

    Has anyone thought about what we’ll do in the future when Larry Summers is dead no longer available to ruin our powerful institutions and global economy? Who will we look to then?

    A chimp with a dart?

    1. BlueStateLibel

      Jim has written a lot of great stuff, but this has got to be his best line yet. Don't ever leave us again, Jim, sob.

    2. comptoneffect

      Analogy fail: you didn't consider the possibility that the chimp has a chance to hit the bullseye.

    3. tessiee

      The Koch Bros. will ruin our powerful institutions and global economy from beyond the grave — assuming that they're even dead by then.

    1. MilwaukeeKent

      Still doesn't answer what made Claire Booth Luce.
      Someone had a long routine on these…Multi-upfists to you if I could.

  4. RavenRant

    God, I swear, just when I start liking Obama again – THIS!

    WTF? How badly do you have to fail to be recognized as a failure? This grotesque parasite should be in a prison cell next to Blankfein and Dimon and about a thousand others.

    1. Chichikovovich

      How badly do you have to fail to be recognized as a failure?

      Once you get into the "Serious Person" club and learn the secret handshake, it's impossible to get kicked out, apparently, no matter how many things you get flat wrong.

      Also once all the cool kids decide you're not cool (which will happen if you don't pretend to believe their favored whoppers) it doesn't matter how many things you get dead on correct, they'll never pay attention to you. Witness Paul Krugman.

      Really, we are being ruled by the student council of a Hollywood high school.

      [Hey - and it's good to see you! I was missing your comments.]

      1. HistoriCat

        we are being ruled by the student council of a Hollywood Beverly Hills high school.

        You pretty much nailed it – I just think you were off by a few miles.

      2. RavenRant

        I've been finding the news too enraging for snark. This birth control bullshit has me ready to go to war, and not in the metaphorical sense. The 'racist Fox comments on Whitney Houston's death' story was unsurprising, but sickening.

        My hope is that the GOP nominates Frothy and he gets whipped like a red-headed stepchild, worse than Goldwater, throwing the party into the dumpster of history where it belongs. I want Republicans to be humiliated to such a degree they'll flee the public sphere. I have a dream.

        One bright note was Cenk Uygur telling Breitbart to “Stop having gay sex in bathrooms!” I might have to put that in an endless loop to snap me out of my funk.

        1. Tilley

          Hi Raven! — so, what's this about Faux saying something racist about Ms. Houston? I must have missed that, making it a point to always avoid anything that emanates from that particularly viscous outlet/orifice.

          1. Tilley

            whoa — LGF's Charles Johnson has repented/found Jesus? Wow, am I behind on my blogosphere. Will click, as long as you promise I won't get the horrific graphic/audio assault it once had for unsuspecting innocents.

          2. RavenRant

            He's actually ferocious in taking down his former allies. Fun reading.

            Don't know about the graphic/audio assault. Doesn't happen on my browser (Safari).

          1. RavenRant

            My apologies – that's a lot of goodies that will be off limits.

            Perhaps a brisk scrubbing with brain bleach?

        2. Chichikovovich

          I understand – I'm also finding myself angrier and angrier. I was at a dinner party with a bunch of supposedly well-informed people the day after the Komen débacle ended with their supposed "cave". Chichikovna mentioned to the table that I had been seething about it (I figured I would just keep my own council on the subject so as not to ruin the mood, but dearest beloved finds it entertaining to see my ears turn red, apparently.) One woman – a professor of political science for Christ's sake! – said "but the good guys won, right? They backed down.", as if now we could accept that Komen had had an uncharacteristic and inexplicable spasm, and now all was forgiven and back to normal. Chichikovovich Gasket-Blowing Event ensued.

          But the birth control stuff, the Catholic Church deciding to go all in on this when it's flank is so exposed by the constant stream of abuse revelations (cf: last week's revelations in the Milwaukee case), Santorum – Santorum! A character from The Handwives Tale – as Republican front-runner, is just insane. This is so obviously a losing hand that it's hard to see what the idea is. My best guess is that it's a combination of:

          i) the Republican establishment finally losing control of the tiger they've ridden for so long (Krugman had it nailed in his oped a couple days ago. Bush's second campaign was Republican strategy for decades, in a nutshell. Campaign on saving the nation from gay-marrying muslim terrorist abortionists, and then after the paper-thin victory announce that you have a mandate to privatize Social Security. But the base wants to take control of the tiller now and the establishment doesn't know how to react.)

          ii) Increased desperation as a result of the improving economy and the improving Obama approval numbers. As if they realize that they are staring into the abyss of a defeat of the scale you describe (oh, sweet, seductive dream) and they're launching a political Ardennes offensive – a desperate attempt to gain power to do something about the demographics against them – young and even middle aged voters don't care about gay marriage, Latinos a growing population, probably alienated for at least a generation. The Iraq catastrophe made the usual sabre-rattling less effective. But if they can get hold of enough power now, cripple the Democratic party contributors, put in place vote supression schemes, etc. they figure they might be able to keep on top. So the desperate one-time grab. But the most horrifying instincts are coming out starkly. They aren't even bothering with dog-whistles anymore ("teach blacks to want a job"? câlisse de câlisse ).

          Man – now I'm getting all worked up. Reste calme, Chich….

          Well, just wanted to say that the place is less fun for me when you're not posting, so I hope you don't stay away too much. An entertaining therapeutic angry rant is always acceptable substitute for snark, y'know.

          1. RavenRant

            Rants-R-Us. It is nice to be appreciated. Thanks!

            I think the deep dark secret of the Wonkette snarkmeisters is our soft and tender hearts, and the supportive culture that flourishes in the comment threads.

            Re: Komen. They are dead to me, whatever they do in the future. Hiring Ari Fleischer!?! And Brinker pays herself more in salary and perks than she was giving to Planned Parenthood in the first place.

            I always hated that pink crap anyway.

          2. Tilley

            I've previously posted on my animus toward all things Komen, so won't do it again here, but yes, they are the primary corporative whoremongers of breast cancer and I hope that they die, and their death will come soon, to paraphrase Bob Dylan.

          3. MilwaukeeKent

            I know AM radio is seriously losing it, the talkers were all up in arms today about a "Federal Lunch Inspector" somewhere seizing a kindergarten or daycare student's healthy sounding home-packed lunch for not being healthy enough and replacing it with "Three chicken nuggets". It sounds so bogus and implausible I may not bother with Snopes. They took a huge hit on the dust-up over Komen/Planned Parenthood combined with 3 percent of Catholics/Contraception and they know it. They've likely blown the female vote big-time. A second term looks more certain every day. I think you're right that they've lost control of the base.

          4. Chichikovovich

            Yeah, turned out it was a nearly complete fabrication. There was some special program for supplementary, healthy food, and the food was given in addition to the regular lunches, at no point was anything taken away, etc. I can't remember the precise details but really, what's the point – once again the rule prevails: if it sounds too insane to be true, then it isn't. (Unless it's something done by a Republican politician or mouthpiece, in which case it sadly almost surely is true.)

            Edit: Here's a good de-bullshitting of the whole thing. http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/blog/2012/02/15/a-n

          5. MilwaukeeKent

            So much "Cry Wolf" to this crowd. A parking lot fight in St. Louis between a a flag-and-button vendor and an SEIU member means "purple-shirted SEIU thugs" menacing Tea Partiers nationwide, two goofballs at a polling place in Philly means New Black Panthers intimidating voters at every location. They carried on like they finally had enough to impeach Obama.

          6. RavenRant

            Yeah, it took a jury 40 minutes to dismiss Kenneth Gladney's bullshit.

            I wish I could remember who coined the phrase "Fraudney King" to describe him. I think it was a fellow Wonketteer.

  5. ChernobylSoup

    The World Bank is a hell of a post for a disciple of Greenspan. Developing markets are particularly well-known for their self-policing abilities.

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      As a student of political strategy and a fan of 3D chess, I'm wondering at this moment why the Obama administration wants the world bank to fail publicly, decisively, fatally, catastrophically in the next few years

  6. JudasPeckerwood

    What, no prior stint at Goldman Sachs? It's like a missing front tooth in an otherwise perfect smile.

      1. Loaded_Pants

        My existence proves that men are not necessarily better at math & science. I look at my bank statement & am completely confused by all those negative signs. And I still don't think I was "conceived" so much as having spontaneously generated in the backwoods where my father found me while he was deer hunting.

    1. Guppy

      I was about to say that, since Strauss-Kahn is currently "between jobs," he'd be the perfect man for the job.

    2. Chichikovovich

      Strauss-Kahn is gone – Christine Lagarde is on the job now. Which is good, because if Summers tries any of his patented assholeishness on her, she will strangle him with her bare hands.

      1. RavenRant

        I have been curious about Lagarde. Not curious enough to actually do any research, but…

        Is she good? Potentially strangling Summers suggests good things about her to me.

        1. Negropolis

          Well, she had been France's Finance Minister under Sarkozy and his prime minister. I'm sure she's real smart-like, but she's still a deficit/debts-focused conservative, even when the Western world economy is still fragile. She wouldn't exactly be a tea partier in her vociferousness if transported across the pond, but she'd still be a solid Republican in terms of where she'd focus, fiscally.

        2. Chichikovovich

          She's on the conservative side of the French political spectrum, but that's still quite liberal by US standards. Hard nosed and ruthlessly competent – worked for many years in Chicago for an investment bank there, so knows more about US finance than most euro finance ministers. Tough as nails – famously chewed out Hank Paulsen for irresponsibly putting the world financial markets at risk (fx. by allowing Lehman to go bankrupt) without so much as acourtesy call to the finance ministers of the countries who would go down if the US did. Was an Olympic calibre athlete in her youth (French Synchro swimming team).But I don't know that much about her myself, just what I heard from my French-French friends when she was being considered as a replacement for DSK at the IMF. She was known to have left many a French political backside withstilettoheel marks.—

  7. Rotundo_

    Considering the talent they have had there in the past, he will fit right in. Summers is the stereotype of the sort that gets a gig like this. I wonder what the next step up in promoting fail for him will be: Pope Larry or perhaps just direct appointment to the right side of Gawd! The Father!

  8. Not_So_Much

    How does this fat pantload of always-wrong have even a shred of credibility?

    Fuck him. Fuck Rubin. Banish them to an island and let them experiment with a coconut-based economy.

    1. HateMachine

      If there's one thing I've learned from watching Washington, it's that if you run around yelling about how important of an expert you are on a given subject, people will believe you.

      This is usually in spite of, or sometimes even because of, mountains of evidence to the contrary.

  9. JackObin

    This nation leads the world in excessive chins. It appears just about everyone is one burger away from a fatal heart attack. This Summers lipid is no exception. Maybe it would help this inert citizenry to have physically fit leaders.

    1. Fukui_sanYesOta

      He got caught channeling Charlie Sheen:

      "I'm an AMC Gremlin, man, I've got sloth blood! FAILING!"

  10. SayItWithWookies

    Just because people with money are usually smug assholes doesn't mean that if you need money looked after a smug asshole is the person to choose. Especially when his mentor has gone on record repudiating his entire worldview. Can't they find someone who hasn't destroyed whole national economies and millions of lives to run this shit?

    1. HogeyeGrex

      For some reason this reminds me of an old Tucker Max bit about leaving a club bathroom after a combination of explosive diarrhea, vomit and drunken aim, and saying to the line waiting “I am Shiva, Destroyer of Worlds.”

      I'm not sure whether Summers is the shit or the vomit in this scenario, but it hardly matters.

  11. V572 Flambé

    When LBJ had to solve The Robert McNamara Problem (seems his Romney-esque MBA skills were of little value in running DoD or winning a war), he made him president of the World Bank, or maybe it was just head teller. In any case, Summers will be following in a great tradition of being kicked upstairs. It's all a question of body count, as usual.

  12. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    Maybe we could send Ron Paul to the World Bank, just to see the conspiracy theorists minds blow?

  13. donner_froh

    The World Bank is a bloated, incompetent institution whose policies keep the worst Third World kleptocrats in power. They fund environmentally disastrous mega-projects while excluding smaller, more efficient undertakings that would actually help the extremely poor.

    Sounds like a perfect job for Larry Fuckwitz Summers.

    1. DustBowlBlues

      donner–Most brilliant and erudite description I've ever heard of the World Bank. Kudos to you.

    2. Negropolis

      Yeah, many people have in their minds that it's some kind of egalitarian, public good operation, when it's about as much a commercial bank gussied up as a utility than anything else.

  14. Biel_ze_Bubba

    Considering some of the other bozos who've held the job (Paul Wolfowitz, Robert McNamara), the bank seems to be relatively immune to incompetence at the top. It was probably carefully designed to run itself, by people who knew that a parade of well-connected stooges would be rotating through the corner office.

    1. Chichikovovich

      Good point. Summers needs to be one of the architects of at least one unnecessary, catastrophic US military invasion/disaster before he will have the obligatory credentials for World Bank service. Looks like we'll just have to go with Rumsfeld.

  15. jaytingle

    Don't let's get confused. Inability to win approval in the US Senate may be regarded as a sign that one might actually be qualified. Besides nobody will be able to run the World Bank as effectively as Paul Wolfowitz. Ya gotta love these serial failures.

  16. DahBoner

    "…he returned to government to head President Obama’s economic team, where he was overbearing, crude to his colleagues, and incorrect about the depth and severity of the Great Recession…"

    You left out the part where he slipped massive quanitities of Date Rape drug in the White House Human Resources water cooler…

  17. BlueStateLibel

    Entrusting Larry Summers with anything to do with finance or economic policy is like hiring Lindsay Lohan to babysit your five-year old and hoping she doesn't get high or drunk.And with both, you know there's guaranteed to be a crisis and tears sooner or later.

    1. weej_bain

      Or perhaps having the Boy Scouts appoint Penn State's Jerry Sandusky as a Cubmaster.

      Please show us on this balance sheet doll where Mr. Summers…

    1. Tilley

      I just saw an ad in my Facebook page margin that Gregg Allman's got an autobiography (titled "My Cross To Bear") coming out in May. I may have to break down and go to the evil Amazon and pre-order.

  18. coolhandnuke

    Remember that Beverly Hillbillies episode where Mr Drysdale puts Jethro in charge of the bank instead of Miss Hathaway…substitute Hillary for Miss Jane and Summers for Ellie Mae's chimp and viola.

    1. Chichikovovich

      Was that the one where Granny was mad at cousin Pearl and Cousin Jethrine played the piano, then Ellie got in a shootin' contest with her squirrely rifle and Jethro got some crazy idea and Jed said "Someday I gotta have a looooong talk with that boy" and Mr. Drysdale makes all those funny faces?

      I love that episode.

  19. hagajim

    I swear to God that the way the financial system works in this country is that the bigger a fuck up you are the more important job they give you. IMHO Larry Summers ought to be shoveling the shit out of the horse stalls at some bodega racetrack – because he seems to know shit really well.

    1. Tilley

      I think it's called "The Peter Principle." IMHO, if actual hard work = $$, the goddess/woman who cleans my house should be a millionaire, not shitheads like this guy.

  20. starfanglednut

    If this asshole starts running around and privatizing things in the 3rd world as a condition for obtaining loans, a lot of people will suffer. There's a subsidiary of Bechtel that has bought wells in Africa, and then charged the villagers (who dug the fucking well) $.25 of the $1 per day they live on, for water.

    1. Tilley

      Fuckers. That kind of shit makes me actually wish I wasn't an atheist, so I could believe that when horrid people like this die they might actually finally get what they deserve.

  21. Monsieur_Grumpe

    The Peter Principle is true!

    By the way, has anyone figured out why my Wonkette keeps jumping back to the top everytime I click my mouse?

  22. Slim_Pickins

    If Larry and Newt were in a room together, how would you decide who the smartest guy in the room is?

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      1. Fill the room right up to the ceiling with water.
      2. Wait 60 minutes.
      3. Flip a coin: Heads, it was Larry, tails, it was Newt.

    2. tessiee

      You shoot Newt, and then you shoot him again to make *absolutely sure* that he's dead.
      Oh, wait, that wasn't what you asked, was it?
      Meh *shrug*, I'm sticking with my answer anyway.

    3. flamingpdog

      If Larry and Newt were in a room together, and Chris Christie walked into the room, they'd better hope the room is on the first floor, with no basement.

  23. arcadesproject

    Larry looks kinda unhealthy to me. Phisically as well as mentally and spiritually. Maybe he'll have a heart attach and drown in his ice water at some fancy World Bank Dinner celebrating penury and hunger for lots of people who are not in the room.

  24. DustBowlBlues

    Just like Paul Wolfowitz, the Iraq war's biggest cheerleader. My favorite quote about Wolfowitz is from an anonymous retired army officer Thomas Ricks' book, "Fiasco."

    "[Wolfowitz] is dangerously ideological and crack-smoking stupid."

  25. ttommyunger

    I know Barry's 'nads are locked in somebody's desk drawer, I just don't know whose. I'm guessing they are in the general vicinity of Wall Street, NY, NY. What a fucking shame!

  26. chascates

    Poor Callista must be better at blowjobs and jewelry shopping than public speaking:

    Reading from handwritten notes and stumbling at times through her five-minute remarks, she explained that her time on the trail has been met with both criticism and warmth.
    “It has been very encouraging to meet so many people who generally believe in the greatness of our country,” she said. “Newt and I are engaged in this race because we believe America is at a crossroads.”
    Gingrich then posed for photos in a blue-skirt and gold jewelry as the roughly 25 attendees filed past, even taking a few questions from reporters, chatting first about the burgers.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0212/72881.h

    1. Tilley

      In fairness, when she negotiated her agreement to actually be married to Newt, speaking aloud was not in her job description.

    2. Man0nTheStreet

      In fact, Callista is soooo good at blowjobs and jewelry shopping that she usually does both simultaneously – and as well as the various Mrs. Trumps!

  27. Sassomatic

    Once you've risen to the level of your own incompetence, you just sort of bobble around up there, like a hot air balloon bumping up against failure over and over.

  28. Veritas78

    Ahem… everyone here at Harvard is being reeeally quiet, hoping that this will actually happen and we will at long last be rid of our local poster child for Asperger's. We know we haven't treated the rest of the world so well lately (okay, for 375 years), but if you could do us this one tiny favor we promise to go away and rule the world verrry quietly thank you amen also.

    1. Tilley

      Hey Harvard, ix-nay on the Asperger's "humor." You never know whom you might be offending with such jocularity. Just sayin'.

    2. Radiotherapy

      Harvard’s Original Motto:
      “Veritas Christo et Ecclesiae”
      Truth for Christ and the Church

      This motto has been abandoned
      for the shorter:
      “Veritas”
      Truth

      This has been further modified to:
      "Linsanity"
      Cualguiera.

  29. slowhansolo

    See the hookers and the heaps of blow, in the evening on a Friday night
    Rubin's lips and the safe word, let me know everything is alright

    Summers' sleaze makes me feel fine, leaking from the hole in Summers' hind
    Summers' sleaze makes me feel fine, leaking from the holes in Summers' mind

    Feed the paper through the shredder, and foreclosure on the house next door
    So I walked on up to the doorstep, through the screen whisper "fuck you, you're poor"

    Summers' sleaze makes me feel fine, leaking from the hole in Summers' hind
    Summers' sleaze makes me feel fine, leaking from the holes in Summers' mind

    Sweet days of pillage, the smartest in the room
    Obama's dressed up, and playing their tune
    And I profit from your hard day's work
    while you shoulder every care in the world

    Now you've lost the family kitchen, no food cookin' and the bills are due
    Disaster cap'lism, it will make you blue

    Summers' sleaze makes me feel fine, leaking from the hole in Summers' hind
    Summers' sleaze makes me feel fine, leaking from the holes in Summers' mind

  30. C_R_Eature

    Why is it that we do these things to ourselves? If the purpose is having people in positions that will be guaranteed to achieve Spectacular Failure, why not just appoint Charlie Sheen?

    1. More Entertaining
    2. Cheaper.
    3. At least, we'll be Winning
    4. I forget. Cocaine is a helluva drug. Maybe that was it?
    5. Charlie would probably cause far less global economic damage. He'd be passed out most of the time.

    Anything I forgot?

      1. C_R_Eature

        Thank you! How could I have forgotten Pornstar Girlfriends?

        Porn is a noble, upstanding, globally useful career. Unlike laissez-faire Ideologue Harvard Economists.

      1. C_R_Eature

        If I had a choice between Larry Summers and looking at a living warthog thrown into a burning septic tank I'd take the warthog. Every time.

  31. coolhandnuke

    With this new appointment, Larry will finally land that much coveted and lucrative endorsement deal with Summer's Eve. Their douche nozzle will be re-named Larry.

  32. Millennial Malaise

    Well, he must be doing something right. It's just not for our benefit. Sorry to see you go, Larry! I pray for all the emerging markets you'll be ripening for plunder by your value-sucking douchebag banker friends.

    /takes off tin foil hat

  33. chascates

    The World Bank and the IMF are America's financial ninjas, leading the neoliberal idea of capitalist domination of other economies. Financial problems in your country? Bailouts are available only if you privatize all state-held industries (to our friends), eliminate labor laws and safety nets, and let the invisible hand of the free market pick your pocket.

    Democrat or Republican, leftist or rightwing, monetary control is the end goal.

  34. Man0nTheStreet

    Y'a know, Summers only took the Hahrvarhd gig so he could have 3-ways with the Winklevoss twins – Twins, people – TWINS!

  35. Negropolis

    OT: Santorum is leading in every Michigan poll, now. This is a thing of beauty. So, Romney parachutes into Grand Rapids, a few hours back, just stringing together random bullshit and just cold bashing the UAW…and everyone has seen through it. There is even a new poll out for the general showing that Obama leads Romney in Michigan by 16%. That's by nearly as much as he won the state by in 2008. Swing state, my ass.

    1. tessiee

      I have a feeling that as much as the general population dislikes Romney (and he doesn't exactly warm anybody's cockles, does he?), everyone in Michigan knows him better, and thus, dislikes him exponentially more.

      1. Chichikovovich

        Also a massive miscalculation to go after UAW in Michigan. Not just because they have such a large presence here, but because everyone with even passing familiarity with the successfully escaped-from (let's hope) auto crisis knows exactly how much the Big Three owe to the UAW for (among many other things) taking all of the health care obligations off of their hands, getting just a pittance in return. The UAW leaders risked getting roasted alive by their members, but people realized that it was that or goodbye Big Three.

        News and Business radio in Michigan covered the various negotiations between the unions and the companies scrupulously. Just driving the kids to school and back, I got daily detailed updates. As did everyone else in Michigan, Because we all knew that the economy of the entire state was hanging on what happened. And anyone who doesn't regard the UAW as one of the heroes of the story either wasn't paying attention at all, or is so blinded by anti-union sentiment that no facts can penetrate. There are some such people in Michigan, as there are everywhere. But you're not going to come close to winning even a Republican primary here if you make a huge pitch for them, at the cost of losing everybody else. You can get away with lying about the UAW's role in the bailout if you're talking to people in Alabama. But here in Michigan, everybody is intimately familiar with what went down.

        1. Negropolis

          This is the truth.

          BTW, apart from the sacrifices the UAW made during the restructuring people either forget or never knew that the UAW had been giving things back to management for nearly a decade before the crisis hit. Early in the previous decade they did pension reform with the Big Three, and during the mid-decade they did retiree health care reform (the VEBAs) with them. By the time the crisis hit, the UAW had nearly defanged itself save the rare strike or two. The union knew that given that the US didn't have single payer that they had to compromise with the companies who essentially had been healthcare companies selling cars on the side.

          Even a lot of conservatives, here, have a hard time saying with a straight face that the UAW did the Big Three in. You'll still here it, but only from the politicians who know they can work the rubes. Serious conservatives simply steer clear of the issue of they give it a bit more nuance.

  36. imissopus

    Meh. Talk about a thin story. The reporter spoke to "two people familiar with the matter…last month." Familiar with the matter? Could have been a bureaucrat in the Treasury Department repeating gossip, or a VP at Harvard hoping to get rid of Summers. Save your venom for a more solid story.

  37. SpiderCrab

    If the Norwegians hadn't elevated this shitbag to Nobel-God status, he would have stayed embedded in Harvard's economics department, where his potential to do harm was minimal. Damn 'wegians.

  38. Negropolis

    OT: GM records its highest profit ever: $7.6 billion

    It's a bit of mixed news in that the European operation is struggling, and just yesterday, GM announced it was freezing the pensions of all its pre-2001 salaried/white collar workers and switching them to a 401(k)-type dealy (white and blue collar workers, alike, after 2001 are already put in these plans). But, it gives the company some room to work with, and the unions — who've taken a good kick to the balls for a good decade — a bit of an argument during future negotiations. It was also announced that salaried workers would be given large bonuses instead of a pay raise given than GM is still a little shakey about what's going to happen in the near future.

    Anyway, things are looking cautiously optimistic, and it makes the Republicans look really bad for continuing to flog to death the bailout. There are two columns in the conservative-as-hell Detroit News, today, where even they concede it's stupid for conservatives to re-litigate the auto loans.

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