Saturday, July 24, 2010

Harvard first, conservatism later and a little
Tom Smith

Former conservative etc. etc. and Harvard this and that Charles Fried (not to mention not letting that poor Massachusetts couple jailed on trumped up child molestation charges out of prison) comes out to bravely support Elizabeth Warren, also a Harvard professor, to head the new US Consumer Finance Protection agency will will, with Her guidance, protect us all from swallowing small financial objects.  I would hazard an opinion on how much significance conservatives should assign to Fried's endorsement of the outspokenly lefty-liberally Professor Warren, whose parents lost their house to evil bankers during the Depression or something, but, as a non-mathematician, I am not comfortable dealing with numbers that small.  Maybe one over ten to the hundredth power?  The smallest number there is?  I guess there isn't one.  Anyway, a vanishingly small quantum of importance.  This is your country, and this is your country on in the great neck massage circle that is our ruling elite.

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Tom Smith


Miss McArdle (as was) seems to take the view that Ms Warren isn't much good with numbers. In a job like that, to be not much good with numbers is to be functionally unintelligent.

Posted by: dearieme | Jul 24, 2010 10:35:28 AM

The big banks on Wall Street hate her. That's prima facie evidence she's the right person for the job.

Or do you think we need more Friends of Goldman in high places?

Posted by: Mike | Jul 24, 2010 1:19:14 PM

Come on, if she were both competent and a foe of Goldman Sachs, O wouldn't appoint her. So which isn't she?

Posted by: dearieme | Jul 24, 2010 3:35:18 PM

Nonsense. Giving more power to an anti-credit zealot couldn't possibly delay economic recovery.

Posted by: Jonathan | Jul 25, 2010 7:06:09 PM

It's beginning to look like we're being governed by the Harvard Law faculty.

Tom - is that more of a concern that being governed by our alma mater?

Posted by: randy | Jul 26, 2010 8:05:46 AM

The reason why Prof. Warren should or shouldn't be appointed as the consumer tsar is the job, and whether we want to see it executed well or not.

The new tsar will be responsible for creating a new bureaucracy and promulgating a set of rules to control the behavior of many people. The job is daunting, and it would be for the most skilled administrator. Law professors, no matter what their qualities as teachers or scholars, have no background in administration, nor in bureaucratic politics.

Whatever the new tsar does, she will face immense bureaucratic resistance inside the Fed, which does not want her, and is not kindly to outsiders. Just getting office space, tables, and chairs will be a challenge.

The rules will be meet with challenges from every lawyer and lobbyist on K Street. The tsar will come to believe that the proposed rules were kidnapped and replaced by Jonathan Swift's "Modest Proposal". The tsar will be denounced by politicians from both parties on the evening news and the Sunday morning gabfests.

The only conclusion I can draw is that the tsar will have to have the political skills of a Bismark and the hide of a rhinoceros. My best guess is Prof. Warren, if she were to be named tsar, would be on the road to Cambridge with her tail between her legs within a year.

Whether that is a good thing or not depends on your view of D-F and whether its provisions are a good thing or not. I think D-F was a bad thing designed to produce a million times more bureaucratic cluster#&%@! than financial stability. Naming Warren as consumer tsar would only increase the amount of bureaucratic cluster#&%@!ing.

Confusion to the Enemy!

Posted by: Walter Sobchak | Jul 26, 2010 8:23:29 PM

Harvard....supposed to be the best and brightest....sure seems to come up with one idiot after another. And their ideas seem to consistently fail.

In Texas we call it big cattle.

Posted by: Army of Davids | Jul 26, 2010 8:57:24 PM

Perhaps a candidate will make the campaign promise that s/he will improve the economy by never appointing any Harvard law grad to any position.

Posted by: Poole | Jul 26, 2010 8:58:12 PM

Poole : Perhaps a candidate will make the campaign promise that s/he will improve the economy by never appointing any Harvard law grad to any position.

Too good to be believed.

As to the OP, I am sure those Harvard types are gathered in a circle, but those jerks don't look like they're giving a neck massage to me. Oh. Riiiiight. Maybe that's what you call it in your part of the country. ;-)

Posted by: Reasoner | Jul 26, 2010 9:06:57 PM

That's Hahvahd boys and girls. Let's get the accent right.

Posted by: Nick Reynolds | Jul 26, 2010 9:26:12 PM

So, what if we don't want a new US Consumer Finance Protection agency?

Bill Buckley's nightmare is coming true. Shall we get out the Boston phone book? Please.

Posted by: Sukie Tawdry | Jul 26, 2010 9:35:58 PM

...swallowing small financial objects...

Coins or jewels ? The Tax Man waiteth :)

The Romanov Tsarevnas had so many
diamonds sewn into their corsets
that they acted as bullet-proof
vests; They still lost everything.

One must be prepared to defend
Life and Property while Congress
is in session.

Posted by: M. Report | Jul 26, 2010 9:36:21 PM

I'm with Sukie Tawdry on this one. We have too many academicians in the executive branch, whose only experience is talking about (fill in the blank). We need more people in the executive, who have actual experience in the non-academic world.

At this point, the default position might as well be that O and his cronies are going to f--- up whatever they touch. Truly qualified personnel would do well to steer clear of O'Bambi, lest their reputations be tarnished by association.

Posted by: Account Deleted | Jul 26, 2010 11:17:43 PM

"Harvard....supposed to be the best and brightest": supposed by whom?

Posted by: dearieme | Jul 27, 2010 2:06:50 AM

The number you were looking for was "epsilon, arbitrarily close to zero".

Posted by: Acad Ronin | Jul 27, 2010 4:08:12 AM

If government by professors was a good thing, then imperial China at the end of the Manchu era would have been the best-governed of all the nations.

Posted by: Dave | Jul 27, 2010 4:20:30 AM

The notion that we need a new "Consumer Finance Protection Agency" bureaucracy is simply the notion that the American people need to be protected from themselves -- which means, it is the notion that we are only fit to live under the dictates and rules laid down by our betters, as children are obliged to follow the rules laid down by their obviously wiser parents.

This notion, of course, is nothing new. We are not frogs being thrown into boiling water -- we merely sit there while the likes of a clown like Obama gleefully turns up the temperature notch by notch. Some are protesting -- others are applauding.

One thing is now quite clear: We are no longer a nation of individuals possessing the inalienable right to live our lives as we see fit -- constrained only by the requirement that we not violate the same right of our fellow citizens. We are now a nation of serfs, permitted only the luxury of choosing our masters from among those wishing to wield the whip.

Whether or not Americans are willing to accept the status of servants to an all-mighty and all-powerful fascist government -- and thereby accept the long, agonizing slide from prosperity to stagnation, then decay, then collapse and ultimately economic chaos -- remains to be seen. November will tell us much.

Posted by: Michael Smith | Jul 27, 2010 4:42:26 AM

gus3 | July 26, 2010 at 11:17 PM

"We need more people in the executive, who have actual experience in the non-academic world."

No they're all eeeeeeeeeeeeevil!

Posted by: bandit | Jul 27, 2010 5:52:03 AM

Harvard is not all it's cracked up to be. BHO, BHO's wife, Caroline Kennedy (remember her?), Al Gore, etc., etc. prove that. Even the Harvard grads in the public eye who aren't outright buffoons (OK, it's hard to think of one - Barney Frank, as an example, isn't an affirmative action or legacy beneficiary like the aforementioned, but he's still a buffoon) couldn't hold a candle to my local lawyer, a graduate of Mercer Univ. Law School, or my local accountant, a graduate of the Univ. of Ga.

Posted by: will r. | Jul 27, 2010 7:11:02 AM

I love that phrase "great neck massage circle of our ruling elite." That's an incredibly vivid image.

Posted by: Bill Peschel | Jul 27, 2010 7:51:11 AM

Book at Bookworm Room has weighed in as an actual ex-student of Elizabeth Warren:

"As one of Warren’s ex-students, I find the thought unpleasant, not just because I disagree with Warren’s politics, but because Warren distinguished herself as a spectacularly inept professor. Bottom line: I have no confidence in the woman, whose was a very, very nice person, but a muddled thinker and an incoherent communicator. Of course, since Obama, an ex-law professor himself, is precisely the same (off teleprompter), I guess it’s just like calling to like."

Posted by: SovietofWashington | Jul 27, 2010 9:04:52 AM

See my comment on Prof. Bainbridge (double for Prof. Fried).

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