Soros Speaks Sense

Friday, May 9, 2008

Billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros spoke with Judy Woodruff about the financial crisis, inflation, Obama (whom he supports), and more. In the interview from the New York Review of Books, he debunks the myth of pure free market fundamentalism, pointing to the recent bailout of Bear Stearns and the organized assist to Long-Term Capital Management in the late 90s as examples of government intervention in markets.

This blog believes in capitalism and supports free markets. But every gasbag bloviating about unfettered free markets and then crying for the Fed to cut interest rates should read this interview and then take a look at themselves in the mirror.


Lebanese Civil War?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Shiite militia forces loyal to Hezbollah have apparently taken control of several neighborhoods in Beirut and briefly seized “the television station and newspaper and political offices of the Sunni parliamentary majority leader, Saad Hariri” before handing them back to the Lebanese Army.

This is all in response to the government’s threat to shut down the private telephone network that links Hezbollah’s military infrastructure.

Lebanon has been a flash point for hostilities in the region for seemingly forever, including the 15 year-long civil war (1975-1990) that started it all. The place is a crazy quilt of competing sectarian interests often acting on (or reacting to) the state interests of Syria, Iran, and Israel.

It looks like things are calming a little, but if this gets out of hand, watch out.

Oil Hits $126

Friday, May 9, 2008

Not much to say about this except those $200 a barrel predictions are looking more prescient every day.

“Easy” Ehud Olmert on the Brink

Friday, May 9, 2008

I haven’t followed this particular story too closely, but it seems like every time I read about Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, he’s under investigation. I know he’s enormously unpopular there, and is felt to bear direct responsibility for the botched campaign against Hezbollah last year.

In any case, he promised “that he would resign if indicted as a result of a developing investigation” into bribes he may or may not have received from a Long Island businessman.

My prediction? He’ll be out by the end of the year.

Obama-Webb: The Winning Ticket

Friday, May 9, 2008

There has been a lot of ink about Obama’s potential weaknesses matching up against McCain. Specifically, the pundits believe, probably rightly, that Obama will lose a fair number of the white, working-class voters who cast their ballots for Hillary.

This is a problem. But it can be solved by Senator Jim Webb for VP (not Hillary as Ed Kilgore ludicrously suggested yesterday in the New Republic).

Webb, as noted previously, is a military man (graduate of the Naval Academy; served in Vietnam) with a political background as Secretary of the Navy under Reagan. He beat George Allen in Virginia and is sponsoring the new “GI Bill” that is exposing Republican hypocrisy on the military. He is a direct, tough, blue-collar type who, as one Republican commenter put it, “strikes me as an honest, sincere, and well-meaning public servant.” Webb, frankly, looks like he’s never had a glass of white wine in his life.

In short, he is a conservative (white) democrat / citizen-soldier that would add experience and national security credentials to the Obama ticket. Send Webb out there speak to the Jeremiah Wright issue and people will listen.

Obama-Webb is the real unity ticket; a dream team that represents, truly, the best that America can produce. Look for it, coming soon.

Here’s Webb’s Senate website (with bio).
Here’s a video of Webb serving Lindsay Graham on Meet the Press: