Ah yes, London’s G-20 clearly means ‘the end of Anglo-Saxon capitalism’ as Carla Bruni’s husband put it. Quite. And as the near politically irrelevant Gordon Brown put it, London’s G-20 ‘marks the emergence of a New World Order’. Quite.

The scene just screams Dmitri, Barack and Berlusconi knocking back a few Stoli shots. With Hu the amused if exasperated designated driver.

There is still hesitancy to make a break with the old patterns. The Europeans for their part wanted to preen for their public while basking in the Obama halo. Check. Obama just wanted to get by without a fumble and make clear he’s not the Warlord. Check. Certainly, China is indeed the most interesting player, not Obama, in structural possibilities and ramifications. The mini G-2 by all reports occurred without incident. And Hu remains circumspect about pushing further for now the inevitable Chinese call on the ‘Obama Dollar.’

So chalk another confab up to inertia. For all the political improbability and outright operational economic impossibility, the Europeans have contrived to maintain their equally delusional belief that as ever since 1917, the Americans will take both the vitriolic abuse and responsibility for making things right. Leaving the Old World to pursue their lily-in-the-fields existence. Oh they may demand this or that or scheme for this or that, but who really cared then or now that DeGaulle pulled out of NATO’s chain of command? Or Sarkozy put France back in?

Off topic, Dmitri, apparently smitten, gazed into Barack’s eyes and . . . wished he got an iPod, too. As long as Dmitri plausibly can saddle Vlad with his public’s fury at the economy’s fallout he can indulge in smiles, however fleeting. Besides, they don’t have to deal with ‘Russian expert’ Cher Condi and her husband. What’s not to like?

We wonder who will fall to the floor first when the music stops in the months ahead. It won’t be pretty.


Meanwhile, as noted in the comments here, this is cherry blossom week in the Imperial City. Today, in fact, the festival closed downtown. Here’s what it looks like not too far from the Bunker . . .

Springtime After 8 Years Of Winter

And two more, one from this morning . . .

A Thing Of Beauty Is A Joy Forever



  1. Comment says

    Alex from Yorkshire posted this gem from your ol pal Newt calling for Palin-esque Death Panels just a month before he denounced Obama for including the same provision:


    This was Newt in his typically ungracious style – his oafish inability to play at statemanlike non-demagogue role at key times – You can go back to his whining about seating on AF One trip to Israel with Clinton.

    Alex also raises one of the key points of American Health Care madness – joblock in crappy jobs just to maintain so-so healt insurance.

    re Newt – he could have been a leader – but he is his own enemy.

  2. Comment says

    We generally agree with Conrad on this — though we really don’t know and when we do pontificate on world affairs we are mostlt winging it and BSing. We can’t hold a candle to Conrad in this art – In his neoconish style he writes with complete confidence about things he has a sketchy knowledge about. One would think – after reading this, Conrad has been in and out of China, rather than jail, for the past few years.

    Also – gotta laugh at his snobby important designation for nations:

    “There are about 40 reasonably important countries in the world (of a total of 192), and the major powers will compete to build relations within that group.”

  3. Dr Leo Strauss says


    NC was also the last BP who stood up to the difference between British and American interests and acted (albeit imperfectly) accordingly before Sept. 1939.

  4. cato says

    Is it not a delicious irony
    that Chamberlain’s appeasement
    may have been crucial to give Britain
    the time it needed to produce/develop its military armament?

    How prescient of him.

  5. Anon says

    Some good art work on those comics – We love Sarah like that. Oh wait – the rare Caribou is overdone, gotta go …

  6. Anon says

    Pat – on the level – probably crafts his words intentionally to be misunderstood a bit and taken out of context. This provides the pretext he needs for further punditry and book sales – He could have just worded as you did above. VDH, on the other hand – is a bit dense – We do not think he really groks a real difference between the use of Hussein as an insult (laugh at) or the use of Hussein (laugh with) as self description on Obama’s part.

    We all know a certain type of person who watches black comics on TV make black jokes and sincerly wonder why the same comics disapprove when people who hate them make the exact same jokes. VDH is a bit like that. Classic scholar, yeah. He seems to be still baked from his UC Santa Cruz days.

  7. Anon says

    It’s sort of interesting that a master-wordsmith like Pat has not found the proper language to convey a broadly understood, though partially revisionist (actually clarified) ironic wrinkle to the prevailing consensus narrative. It’s one thing for Rush – when comparing Obama to a Conservative Tory like Neville Chamberlain – to not realize or care that he is contradicting more than the spirit of his other marxist charge. But Pat’s wording always seems to convey what he says he is not intending to convey – namely, making excuses for the Corporal.

  8. Dr Leo Strauss says

    Pat is 15% right. The Corporal did not want a general European war over Poland, which von Ribbentrop kept stupidly promising would not happen (against all other opinion in the entourage) up to Sept.3 and the famous acidic “What now?” to the Champagne Salesman.

  9. Anon says

    “Hitler did not want a war with Poland … Nor did he want war with a Britain he admired … Nor did he want war with France, or he would have demanded the return of Alsace … But Hitler was out on a limb with Danzig and could not crawl back … Repeatedly, Hitler tried to negotiate Danzig. Repeatedly, the Poles rebuffed him.”
    -Pat Buchanan
    (out on a limb w/ the Corporal)

    -It’s pretty hard to see how the Corporal did not want war with Poland (et al) – since he actuallly attacked them. But Pat somehow sees that and sounds almost like a neocon saying Dubya did not want war with Iraq

  10. Anon says

    I would always defer to my former boss [Newt Gingrich], if you will, as I was a pup freshman as he was speaker, on issues of foreign policy. ~Gov. Mark Sanford

  11. Hunter says


    “The priorities include … “fundamental overhauls” of the military’s procurement, acquisition and contracting process.”

    “The proposed overall fiscal year 2010 Defense Department budget is almost $534 billion, or nearly $664 billion when including the costs of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    The current Pentagon budget totals slightly over $513 billion, or almost $655 billion including the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.”

    I guess those “fundamental overhauls” don’t include general budget cost controls. Change we can be…

  12. Hunter says

    re: the Gasparino – Greenberg article:

    “He went on to criticize the current management that accepted bonuses, and the bailout plan itself: ‘The goal of government should not be to liquidate large companies that have demonstrated they can succeed if properly managed,’ he said. ‘It should be to restore them so that they can be employers and taxpayers.'”

    A little behind the curve here, no? ‘Large companies’ are seen (mostly correctly) as a large part of the ‘systemic’ problems we face, by virtue of their largeness. Talk about a rear-guard action…

  13. Anon says

    Hey, it’s too bad those trees don’t stay that way forever – What can you do?
    re Conrad – hegets some good lines off – But – most of his points about Breeden et al seem beside-the-point, legally speaking. Breeden and Paris and the others probably see themselves like corporate oncologists receiving terminal cases that appeared healthy only on first blush and then they had to operate while a tsumami took place.
    Conrad and Hank Greenberg should open a commiseration club and lecture the world on the usurpers and whipper-snappers who undid them

  14. Anon says

    Recall even when Dubya became President there were some gasps in the media when he seemed under deferential to Alan Greenspan.

    Our establishent is rotten to core.

  15. DrLeoStrauss says

    Conrad harms his cause with this one. First, it is largely incoherent to a general reader unversed in his long standing narrative. Second, if bankruptcy and probate are deadly dull, the Delaware Chancery Court’s doings to the lay reader are not far behind (and we say that being more than somewhat familiar with its actual proceedings and opinions). Finally, it all ends a somewhat forced mawkish note.

    Far better for him to have said simply – I wanted to sell high. It is now worthless. What they framed me for is peanuts. He unfortunately is not his best advocate. And the factual record (testimony aside) provides more than a few inconveniences.

    By the standards of ‘look what they are getting away with now on Wall Street’, we should release 60% of our prison population with full pardons, at least. Quite amazing that people are amazed that the President of the United States should talk bluntly to CEOs. That cult meme still lingers far too strongly.

  16. Anon says

    We had to laugh watching Bill Moyers tonight – He was his usual unctious self interviewing Amy Goodman and Greenwald and then suddenly asks why people aren’t more angry at the whole Bush mess etc – He then pauses, after calling for the media to speak truth to power, and relays that the cabbie who drove him to the studio tonight was angry as hell. That cabbie anecdote most certainly never happened – It’s a Freidmanism – Moyers probably made it up –

  17. Anon says

    re Obama in Strasbourg – we had to laugh after they cheered his beginning he almost paused after thanking Sarkozy – allowing for some tepid boos to develop.

  18. Anon says

    We did not see the whole thing, but watching Hank Greenberg testify we see Congressman failed to do his homework – their staffs did not prepare very good questions – A missed opportunity.

  19. Anon says

    We watched Bernie Lo on Bloomberg and they were basically calling the summit an Obama triumph – a woman reporter in HK said Obama resolved some conflict between sarko and Hu with some deft chit chat. Then we turned on FNC and David Asman was screaming about the nanny state – So maybe somewhere in between.

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