Joe Gandelman rounds up reaction from… everybody, I think.
The French are revolting! OK, really they’re only on strike:
French commuters faced serious travel disruptions from a one-day nationwide strike that was also expected to ground hundreds of flights from Paris’ two main airports.
France’s civil aviation authority predicted that 175 short- and medium-haul flights would be cancelled from Orly airport south of Paris and 212 from Roissy Charles de Gaulle north of the capital. No disruptions were expected on long-haul flights.
In the capital, around one underground metro trains in two were operating, while only one third of suburban trains were in service.
Of course, the reasons for the strike are pretty revolting:
Five of the country’s biggest trade unions called the stoppage to protest policies the centre-right government has brought in to invigorate France’s sluggish economy and to push for public sector pay rises.
That’s the way to help your country get out of a sluggish economy – increase public debt while making it impossible for people with real jobs to do anything.
Speaking of social-conservative overreach, Jeff Goldstein found a doozy of a story from Indiana:
Republican lawmakers are drafting new legislation that will make marriage a requirement for motherhood in the state of Indiana, including specific criminal penalties for unmarried women who do become pregnant “by means other than sexual intercourse.”
I’d get all angry and write some very nasty words, but Jeff already has it covered.
Harry Forbes thinks the RNC has forgotten who their customers are.
The most brutal savaging George Will ever gave a Republican President was to the first President Bush, back in 1989 or ’90. I don’t have a link to a column that old, but I remember it clearly enough.
Early in his administration, GHWB gave a closed-door speech to a group of high-ranking Federal civil servants – and told them his talk that day would be “the most important” of his entire presidency. And Bush didn’t just throw out those three little words to please his audience. His entire speech was about how important those civil servants were to him and his ideals. If you’re a fan of Will’s, you can probably imagine how he felt about a Republican president making that kind of statement.
Well (as Will himself would say). Will spent about 1,200 words on the back page of Newsweek ripping Bush a new one, in that special way only Will has. You know what I’m talking about – he makes you either want to string him up by that silly little bowtie, or build a shrine to it.
Anyway, all of that invective from 15 years ago pales in comparison to what Will has to say about Bush 43 and Harriet Miers.
Honestly, I didn’t know what to think of Miers. I needed something to say, so I ran quotes from righties who didn’t approve of her, if only for the sheer pleasure of being contrary. I’m still trying to withhold judgment of her until the confirmation hearings
John Podhoretz also thinks Harriet Miers is a crony selection:
Without the patronage of George W. Bush, Harriet Miers is nothing more than a fairly obscure lawyer from Texas who served as president of a relatively minor law firm and served in state government on a lottery commission for five years.
They are the kind of credentials that might, under other circumstances, get someone a post as assistant secretary of labor, or even (in an administration’s second term after a productive stint in the White House) a minor Cabinet post. These are not credentials for the U.S. Supreme Court, whose nine members essentially preside over the third co-equal branch of the federal government.
The editors of National Review aren’t impressed either, arguing that Miers is little more than “a Bush loyalist and friend.”
Harriet Miers doesn’t pass muster with Randy Barnett – or Alexander Hamilton. Read:
Harriet Miers is not just the close confidante of the president in her capacity as his staff secretary and then as White House counsel. She also was George W. Bush’s personal lawyer. Apart from nominating his brother or former business partner, it is hard to see how the president could have selected someone who fit Hamilton’s description any more closely. Imagine the reaction of Republicans if President Clinton had nominated Deputy White House Counsel Cheryl Mills, who had ably represented him during his impeachment proceedings, to the Supreme Court. How about Bernie Nussbaum?
Hamilton might just be my least favorite Founding Father, but as Barnett quotes him, Hamilton was dead-on about patronage. Read the whole thing.
As a political blogger, I guess I’m supposed to say something about Harriet Miers. So, here it goes:
Robert D Kaplan’s Imperial Grunts.
Two chapters in, and it’s damn fine reading. Of course, I’d read Kaplan if he was writing FDA nutritional information pamphlets.
How am I doing, now having gone two weeks without reading any editorials or op-eds in The New York Times? Have I suffered any withdrawal symptoms, any detox shakes, any sleepless nights? Is it really possible for the news & opinion masochist to go 14 days without Herr Krugman or Madame Dowd? Has “Times Select” put a crimp in my already-crimped blog?
Nope. I’m doing just fine, thank you.
The only thing different after two weeks is that I realize now just how gladly I’d pony up $50 a year for the NYT’s news content.
Here we go:
NYT TUESDAY FRONT PAGE: Real estate slowdown that began in a handful of cities this summer has spread to almost every hot housing market in the country… In Manhattan, the average sales price fell almost 13% in the third quarter… Developing…
I’ve been harping on the housing-market bubble meme for three years now, making me an awful lot like those MSM economists who have correctly predicted six of the last three recessions. (That’s not a typo; it’s an old joke, recycled.)
But just because I got the timing wrong (and might have yet again) doesn’t mean that I’m wrong (or that Will is wrong) about the dangers you’ll find in the many links above.
UPDATE: Here are the numbers:
In Manhattan, the average sales price fell almost 13 percent in the third quarter from the second quarter, according to a widely followed report to be released today by Miller Samuel, an appraisal firm, and Prudential Douglas Elliman, a real estate firm. The amount of time it took to sell a home was also up 30.4 percent over the same period.
In Fairfax County, Va., outside Washington, the number of homes on the market in August rose nearly 50 percent from August 2004.
In the Boston suburb of Brookline, Mass., where many three-bedroom houses cost $1 million or more, the inventory of homes for sale has increased in just the last few weeks, said Chobee Hoy, a broker there.
For-sale listings have also swelled throughout California, according to the California Association of Realtors. In the San Francisco Bay area, they have increased 16 percent in the last year, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage said.
“We are seeing a market in transition,” Leslie Appleton-Young, the association’s chief economist, said.
The samples used are pretty limited, so it’s impossible to tell just how wide-spread the housing decline is. It could just be regional problems – the coasts burn hotter in the up times, and fall farther in the down times. Then again, we might really be in a housing bubble, and we might have suffered a very large prick.
So. Let’s take an informal poll of VodkaPundit readers. If you’re a real estate agent, or you’re in the process of buying or selling a home, click on the Comments and let everyone know what your recent experiences are. I’ll summarize and publish the results at the end of the week.