Peas in a pod, &c.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on 60 Minutes (CBS)


As you probably know, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton sat down for a joint interview with 60 Minutes. (Something tells me they weren’t anticipating any difficult questions.) A few words caught my eye, when I was reading about the interview. Let me give you a bit of the transcript:

Hillary: “. . . despite our hard-fought primary, we had such agreement on what needed to be done for our country.”
Obama: “Made for tough debates, by the way, ’cause we . . .”
Hillary: “It did. We could never figure out what we were different on.”

This is what I said my own bad self, during the Dem primaries in ’08: There wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between those two candidates. Didn’t nobody listen to me.

In addition to talking to 60 Minutes, Obama talked to The New Republic. (Real risk-taker, he is.) Drudge had a headline: “A New Republic . . .” Made me think of an old Bill Buckley response: The New Republic was hitting him, and he said (something like), “While you’re busy devising the new republic, someone has to look after the old republic.”

Believe it or not, I think Bill said this in response to Charles Krauthammer (who was a major New Republic figure). Not long after, ’twas nothin’ but love between WFB and Dr. K.

I guess I’ll never have a chance to question President Obama, but I have a million questions for him, including this: “Do you regard the economy as a pie? So that if one person has a larger slice, another person necessarily has a smaller one?” I know he does, because (a) he acts like it, and (b) he told someone I know that he does. I’d just like to hear him discuss the matter in public.

A lot of people regard the economy as a pie — probably more than half of the people. Economic illiteracy is the Democratic party’s best friend.

I thought of something, when reading about the House GOP’s recent gambit: That gambit is called “No budget, no pay.” If one of the two chambers fails to pass a budget (that’d be the Democratic Senate, of course), the members of that chamber don’t get paid. That’s what the Republicans want to establish, anyway.

You see what they’re reduced to, in the House — the chamber they control: gambits, gimmicks, guerrilla-ish tactics — stunts. I like it. You do what you can. (As Newt and the boys knew, way back in pre-’94 days.)

Conservatives took note of an article published in Salon, in which a writer said she knew that life begins at conception, but favored abortion anyway, because a mother has the right to decide whether the child lives or . . . you know: the alternative.

I thought of something that Wesley Clark said, when he was trying to get the Democratic nomination: “Life begins with the mother’s decision.” Essentially, that is the belief of the Democratic party, it seems to me. Sometimes they don’t say so so clearly.

Put this in the category of Plus ça change: When I was in high school, a kid in our dorm had a bumper sticker telling about the number of gun deaths in Japan. Very low. His point was, gun control.

Yesterday, I saw this item, in the Associated Press’s “10 Things to Know for Today”: “6. HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE KILLED BY GUNS IN JAPAN? Just seven were shot dead in 2011 in a nation of 130 million, compared to more than 11,000 gun-related killings a year in the U.S.”

The pro-gun side always says, “Switzerland!” The citizens of that country are very heavily armed, and the gun deaths are very few. The anti-gun side says, “Japan!” This has been happening for decades.

Obviously, culture matters a great deal. And I wonder whether the AP would ever tell you about Switzerland. They’re keen for you to know about Japan.

See if you think this’ll be a fair trial:

Russia is preparing to put lawyer Sergei Magnitsky on trial, even though he is dead . . .

Magnitsky, a lawyer for the Hermitage Capital fund, died in jail in 2009 after accusing Russian officials of colluding in stealing $230 million from the state. He was arrested on suspicion of tax evasion by the same Interior Ministry officials he accused.

(Full article here.) Something tells me, maybe not a fair trial. We might even have cause to use the S word, “show.”