Time for the Washington Post to Retire Robert Samuelson (Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps?)
Covering the Economy: Budget: What Do You Do When Officials Lie?

China's Leadership Cadre

Blood and Treasure points us to interesting stuff:

Blood & Treasure: after Hu : Willy Lam on the next generation of CCP leaders:

In general, however, the two Lis as well as other Hu protégés have conformed to the CCP tradition of quietly waiting in the wings and keeping a low profile so as not to be seen as upstaging their superiors in the Politburo Standing Committee. Diplomatic analysts agree that it is almost a foregone conclusion that Hu will largely achieve his objectives at the 17th Congress. After all, the other major faction in CCP politics, the so-called Shanghai Clique once led by ex-president Jiang, has been fading fast since the latter’s retirement from his last significant position of commander-in-chief in 2004. Moreover, Hu has been adept at building bridges to other important factions such as the “gang of princelings”—-a reference to the offspring of party elders or retired generals—by elevating a significant number of these high-born cadres to senior party, government and military slots.

The Shanghai Faction. The Gang of Princelings. God, I love this stuff. But then I’m a China politics geek. Anyway, here’s a bit of Kremlinology. Chinese leaders usually summarise their opinions or policies in lists, like human powerpoint presentations. As the “third generation” of the CPC leadership, Jiang Zemin used to summarise in threes -- with the three represents, for instance. Hu Jintao puts everything in fours, because he’s the fourth generation. So if you see some modest looking fellow speaking in fives, then there’s your future main geezer.