Posts Tagged ‘Niall Ferguson’

KAMPANJ | Det var bara en tidsfråga innan Newsweek också skulle ge sig på Barack Obama med ett kontroversiellt reportage.

För ett par veckor sedan var det Michael Tomasky som skrev om Mittt Romney och The Wimp Factor”. Denna gång var det presidentens tur.

Obama’s Gotta Go” är professorn, och tidigare rådgivaren till John McCain, Niall Fergusons analys av de senaste fyra åren.

In an unguarded moment earlier this year, the president commented that the private sector of the economy was “doing fine.” Certainly, the stock market is well up (by 74 percent) relative to the close on Inauguration Day 2009. But the total number of private-sector jobs is still 4.3 million below the January 2008 peak. Meanwhile, since 2008, a staggering 3.6 million Americans have been added to Social Security’s disability insurance program. This is one of many ways unemployment is being concealed.


It is a sign of just how completely Barack Obama has “lost his narrative” since getting elected that the best case he has yet made for reelection is that Mitt Romney should not be president. In his notorious “you didn’t build that” speech, Obama listed what he considers the greatest achievements of big government: the Internet, the GI Bill, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Hoover Dam, the Apollo moon landing, and even (bizarrely) the creation of the middle class. Sadly, he couldn’t mention anything comparable that his administration has achieved.

Now Obama is going head-to-head with his nemesis: a politician who believes more in content than in form, more in reform than in rhetoric. In the past days much has been written about Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s choice of running mate. I know, like, and admire Paul Ryan. For me, the point about him is simple. He is one of only a handful of politicians in Washington who is truly sincere about addressing this country’s fiscal crisis.


But one thing is clear. Ryan psychs Obama out. This has been apparent ever since the White House went on the offensive against Ryan in the spring of last year. And the reason he psychs him out is that, unlike Obama, Ryan has a plan—as opposed to a narrative—for this country.

Till skillnad från Tomaskys reportage om Romney har Fergusons fått ett kritiskt mottagande p.g.a. sina påstådda sakfel.

Paul Krugman gick i taket och avböt sin semester för att kunna skriva svaret ”Unetthical Commentary”. Vilket naturligtvis genererade ett svar från Ferguson.

Och sedan har det bara rullat på i media. The Daily Beast har samlat en rad kommentarer från olika debattörer på sin hemsida.

 Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är från den 27 augusti 2012.

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PORTRÄTT | Den brittiske historikern Niall Ferguson har tagit på sig att försöka beskriva David Cameron för de i huvudsak amerikanska läsarna av Newsweek.

[F]or all their differences in temperament and lifestyle, Cameron clearly identifies strongly with Churchill. “It does still thrill me when I walk in and see the Cabinet Room [which adjoins his office] and think of the days in 1940 when Britain stood alone against Hitler.” Last December, when Cameron refused to sign on to the latest European plan to rescue the euro, many Conservatives saw it as an act of Churchillian defiance. The parallel is not one Cameron disavows.

In another respect, too, he and Churchill are kindred spirits. It is often forgotten that Churchill began his career as a Conservative, switched to the Liberals in 1904, then returned to the Conservatives in 1925. Cameron has often described himself—in a phrase that sounds oxymoronic to American ears—as a “liberal conservative.” (Think Rockefeller Republican.)

Revealingly, Cameron defines his version in terms of foreign policy (though he could equally well reference the fact that he leads a Conservative-Liberal coalition): “You get the instincts of a conservative—skeptical and worried about grand plans to remake the world—but [you are] liberal in that you want to see the spread of democracy and rights and freedoms that we enjoy here.”

It is in the realm of foreign policy that Cameron is most obviously Churchillian. Like Tony Blair, he is drawn to the idea of military intervention where human rights as well as national interest are at stake. It was he, not President Obama, who pressed for military intervention in Libya last year. And while Obama was careful to occupy the back seat during the NATO air campaign that helped topple the dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Cameron was up front, fighting with Nicolas Sarkozy for control of the steering wheel and gas pedal.


While American politicians merely talk about deficit reduction, Cameron’s government has already raised taxes and is poised to make drastic reductions in public spending. According to the nonpartisan Institute of Fiscal Studies, the planned cuts are on a scale not seen in the U.K. since World War II.


Given the parlous fiscal position he inherited, fiscal stimulus was not an option. Indeed, any policy short of austerity would have risked the kind of bond-market revolt that has sunk continental economies like Greece and Portugal. “The idea that the answer to a debt crisis is more debt,” Cameron insists, “is wrong.”

The gentleman is not for turning. “It is a difficult path, but a path the country has to take…We have a very clear multiannual plan to get on top of debt, deficit, and public spending…But we’ve accompanied that with an independent and very active monetary policy. We are fiscal conservatives but monetary activists. I think that is the right way round.”

Bild: Artikeln och tidskriftsomslaget ovan är Newsweek den 19 mars 2012. Kuriosa: På den europeiska upplagans omslag säger Cameron ”Hi! I’m Dave! I’m the British Prime Minister, and I love Winston Churchill”.

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KAN Tina Brown vända utvecklingen för Newsweek? Med sin efarehet från bland annat Tatler, Talk, Vanity Fair och The New Yorker har hon förutsättningar att lyckas.

Och när det gäller Newsweek skriver Peter Stevenson från The New York Times Magazine följande:

Since her first issue of Newsweek on March 14, newsstand sales are up 57 percent over the dismal 2010 numbers; ad pages are up 14 percent, with new advertisers like Credit Suisse, Progressive Insurance, Charles Schwab, Omega watches and Poland Spring coming aboard.

Brown’s early issues show signs of blood starting to pump through the veins again. A section called News Gallery showcases emotionally powerful photojournalism. “You can do a lot with photographs in telling a story, because it means that you’re in the news but you’re not pretending you can be profound about it,” Brown said.

At the same time, Brown’s early issues have been strewn with standbys from her Rolodex: Hillary Clinton, Harvey Weinstein, Judith Regan, James Carville, Arnold Schwarzenegger. A new section called Omnivore: Want has featured $2,100 Chanel shoes, a $6,500 Audi bicycle and a $10,000 Burberry “Python” trench, items that would not be within reach of your average newsmagazine reader but that would feel right at home in, say, Vanity Fair.

“There’s a great kind of high-low, newsy, sexy thing that the European newsmagazines have,” Brown said. “They have this great sort of slightly freewheeling pagination, where they go from a great sexy picture of an expensive watch to Libya or something. So I’d like to have more of that feeling in Newsweek. I think that’s a great thing for a magazine, because that’s where we all sort of are now, we’re all multiplatformed, everything’s messed up with everything else.”

Brown can’t spend the way she used to, but she has made significant hires, like persuading Andrew Sullivan to airlift his wildly popular blog from The Atlantic into The Daily Beast. […]

Other new NewsBeasties — everyone Brown hires will work for both Newsweek and The Daily Beast — include the British financial historian Niall Ferguson, The Washington Post’s Pulitzer-winning fashion critic Robin Givhan and the longtime New Yorker writer Peter Boyer.

Övrigt: Artikeln ”Tina Brown Is Still Hungry for Buzz” visar tidskriftsomslagen på Browns första nummer av Tatler och The New Yorker. Se också 25 omslag till tidskriften Talk.

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EGYPTEN: Utrikesminister Carl Bildt (M) har fått hård kritik för att han inte tydligt och klart krävde Egyptens president Hosni Mubaraks avgång.

”Vi låg före USA. Att Mubarak skulle avgå var bara en tidsfråga. Vi ställde krav på fria val och en rättsstat, och det är fortfarande inte uppfyllt”, var Bildts försvar.

Men Bildts försvar imponerar inte med tanke på den förvirring som har präglat president Barack Obamas hantering av krisen i Mellanöstern.

Omslaget till vänster säger allt om hur man nu i USA ser på adminstrationens agerande.

”The result has been a foreign-policy debacle”, skriver historikern Niall Ferguson.

This failure was not the result of bad luck. It was the predictable consequence of the Obama administration’s lack of any kind of coherent grand strategy, a deficit about which more than a few veterans of U.S. foreign policy making have long worried.


These were [Barack Obamas] words back in June 2009:

America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles—principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.

Those lines will come back to haunt Obama if, as cannot be ruled out, the ultimate beneficiary of his bungling in Egypt is the Muslim Brotherhood, which remains by far the best organized opposition force in the country—and wholly committed to the restoration of the caliphate and the strict application of Sharia. Would such an outcome advance “tolerance and the dignity of all human beings” in Egypt? Somehow, I don’t think so.

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