Thursday, May 8, 2008
Hillary Clinton's inexcusable bigotry
"I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on," she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article "that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me."Naturally, the debate is over whether Clinton's linkage of "hard-working Americans" to "white Americans" carries just the teensiest tinge of racism.
That's not my concern. My concern is that she links "hard-working Americans" to those "who had not completed college." The notion that college-educated workers do not work hard is, I'm sorry, complete and utter horses**t.
[So, have you finished your grading for the semester?--ed. Er, yes. Are you teaching this summer?--ed. Not really, no. Do you see where I'm going with this?--ed. Sure -- if you don't count editing one book, writing part of another book, prepping two grant proposals, drafting two additional articles I've committed to writing, and refereeing a few articles and book manuscripts, I have no real work to do. I think I've made my point about your "job," Mr. Hey-Look-At-Me-I'm-A-Full-Professor!--ed.]
For some reason, whenever I'm told that I don't work that hard, my mind drifts to end of this scene:
So Tuesday was a pretty good day....
Earlier this week I received official word that I've been promoted to full professor, after a remarkably transparent and stress-free process.
So how does it feel? Pretty damn good. After all, this happened just two and a half years years after the late unpleasantness. Despite that, it happened before I turned forty (I was genuinely surprised how pleased this last fact left me).
The real reason this is great news, however, are the benefits that come with being a full professor. The benefit of being promoted to associate professor* -- tenure -- is pretty friggin' obvious. What's the difference between associate and full?
Unless you're actually a full professor, you would never know. Now that these
By some interesting quirk of fate, there are exactly ten benefits that emanate from the promotion to full professor.....
THE TEN BENEFITS OF PROMOTION TO FULL PROFESSOR:
10) You get to pig out. More attractive professors tend to do better in student evaluations and other metrics to rate professors. This is not surprising -- after all, the attractive receive a similar dividend across professions.UPDATE: This list should have gone to 11, as Tyler Cowen points out. Also, apologies to everyone trying to post a comment -- they're still down. Now that I'm full, however, I promise to blow off important committee work and get cracking on fixing the problem.
*For the purposes of this post, we're just going to ignore the rather bizarre Ivy League system of being assiciate without tenure.
The best commencement address you'll never hear
Tis the season for commencement addresses. In the Los Angeles Times, P.J. O'Rourke provides advice you're unlikely to hear elsewhere. My favorite bit:
Here we are living in the world's most prosperous country, surrounded by all the comforts, conveniences and security that money can provide. Yet no American political, intellectual or cultural leader ever says to young people, "Go out and make a bunch of money." Instead, they tell you that money can't buy happiness. Maybe, but money can rent it.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Some final thoughts on Hillary Clinton
In the wake of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign being declared effectively dead by one and all, it is worth reflecting on what she gained by staying in the race for the past two months and change.
Primarily, she managed to graft Bill Clinton's reputation as the indefatigable fighter who can always come back from the dead onto herself. There's also the working class hero thing, though I suspect that will fade. Finally, she's managed the rare reverse Greenhouse Effect, earning Strange New Respect from Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Patrick Buchanan.
These are not insignificant gifts. When her political fortunes are discussed from here on out, they will frame the media's perception of her. She will always be painted as someone who should not be ruled out in a political fight, and it will surprise no one if she mounts another presidential candidacy.
There's a more important reason why these past six weeks have helped her immeasurably. Had she dropped out of the race back in early March, the narrative frame would have been how Hillary Clinton blew the nomination in spectacular fashion.
Stepping back, it's hard to overstate the advantages she brought to the primary race. She possessed unbelievable name recognition, a well-oiled fund-raising machine, a strong association with the most successful Democratic president of the past 50 years, an, er, Clintonian grasp of policy detail, strong ties to the women's vote and (until very late in this electoral cycle) the African-American vote, and tight connections with the Democratic party establishment. In the aftermath of New Hampshire, she could claim, plausibly and simultaneously, to be the most experienced candidate and a candidate that would represent a real change from the staus quo. With no appreciable domestic policy differences among the Democratic candidates, there was every reason to believe that Hillary Clinton was going to win.
Despite all this, Hillary Clinton did not win the nomination. Her failure to win says less about her defects than Barack Obama's strengths. But if nothing else, her performance over the past few months has managed to shift perceptions about her in ways that salvage her reputation as a politician of national standing.
Monday, May 5, 2008
America's awesome influence over the G8
From today's Financial Times:
Dan Price, the international economics official at the White House National Security Council, said the Group of Eight rich countries must “lead by example”. Mr Price, one of the key officials preparing for the July G8 summit in Japan, told the Financial Times that the group should issue “a strong . . . statement on open investment and trade policies”. This should be “aimed not only outward but to the G8 countries themselves”.Also in today's Financial Times:
In one of his last acts as Russian president, Vladimir Putin on Monday signed a long-awaited law restricting foreign investment in 42 “strategic” sectors, including energy, telecoms and aerospace....
Hillary Clinton's contribution to the all-purpose excuse genre
To date, this blog has observed the political innovation of the All-Purpose Excuse -- the signature line that can be used to justify anything. Two examples:
1) "If we don't do it, the terrorists will win."Hillary Clinton came up with a new one yesterday on This Week:
"I’m not going to put my lot in with economists."Try it around the house -- it's easy and fun!:
Honey, you should really brush your teeth before you go to sleep.Or:
Will we have enough money to pay our bills this month?Or:
That cop has his sirens on... maybe you should pull over.