The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, January 27, 2003  

Just a Few Things Today

BLAME IT ON BUENOS AIRES: Go ahead, cry for Argentina. The country just can’t seem to live up to its potential. This comes from the Washington Post:

Argentina was among the world’s 10 richest countries at the turn of the last century. A succession of military dictatorships and corrupt civilian governments ate away at the country’s productivity and development, but Argentina remained Latin America’s richest country. Its standard of living rivaled that of many European nations, and it was seemingly insulated from the poverty and yawning chasm between rich and poor that characterize countries such as Brazil and Mexico.

Argentina undertook a free-market restructuring in the early and mid-1990s, but was then swept by the global financial crisis that began in East Asia in 1997. It sank into recession and has not fully recovered. Profligate public spending, financed with debt, led Argentina to default on loan repayments to international lenders and forced it to devalue its currency in 2001. Nearly one-quarter of the workforce is now unemployed. [Note: Emphasis added.]

One in four unemployed? Sounds like a typical week for the Bush dynasty.


HERE, KITTY: Tina Brown is special. Very special. God or the media has granted Brown nine lives or something, each seemingly destined to be less interesting -- and less successful -- than the last. Soon to come: a new show, hosted by Brown, on CNBC.

The Associated Press reports:

The first edition of “Topic A with Tina Brown,” on March 20 to coincide with the Oscars three days later, will be about Hollywood, hype, and the wars between art and commerce.

Imagine that! Tina Brown talking about Hollywood and hype -- during Oscars week no less. Brown, though, I’m certain, will insist we call it not “hype,” but “buzz.” And no doubt her party’s going to be great. Just really great -- with its own buzz.

There’s more:

Brown, the former editor in chief of Vanity Fair, [t]he New Yorker[,] and her own defunct magazine, Talk, has been writing for The Times [(London)] and since her magazine went under.

“Topic A” will invite viewers to drop in on conversations that explore unexpected perspectives on business, politics[,] and media,” Brown said. “CNBC has a great demographic and that means I can cover complex and intriguing topics in depth.”

Well, if true, that would be a first for Brown.


THE GUY FROM WHEN TNR WAS GOOD: Yes, I know, everyone else already has linked to it, but if you missed Michael Kinsley’s piece, “How Affirmative Action Helped George W.,” go read it now.

Why is it that so many conservatives, reacting to various proposals regarding government spending and taxation, reply with wails of, “Nobody ever said life was fair!” only to go ballistic about the “unfairness” of affirmative action? “Merit! Merit! Merit!” they scream. Yeah, right. Go read Kinsley.


NEXT!: And when you’re done with Kinsley, go read Bob Somerby at the Daily Howler. He’s on a roll lately, with great articles about the vile Sean Hannity, the inexplicable Howard Kurtz, and lightly regarded “Beta Girl” Richard Cohen.


KIDS TODAY: Welcome -- yet again -- to the age of selfishness.

We are raising a nation of spoiled brats and no one seems to notice, least of all the parents of said spoiled brats, and that’s because they’re too busy making sure their kids are brattier than the Jones’s kids.

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