Friday, November 05, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
It will be an ugly scene, and it will be dangerous, too. The 1990s were a time of peace and prosperity; this is a time of neither. In particular, we’re still suffering the after-effects of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, and we can’t afford to have a federal government paralyzed by an opposition with no interest in helping the president govern. But that’s what we’re likely to get.
If I were President Obama, I’d be doing all I could to head off this prospect, offering some major new initiatives on the economic front in particular, if only to shake up the political dynamic. But my guess is that the president will continue to play it safe, all the way into catastrophe.
It aint gonna be pretty, folks.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
I’m finding it hard to read about politics these days. I still don’t think people in the administration understand the magnitude of the catastrophe their excessive caution has created. I keep waiting for Obama to do something, something, to shake things up; but it never seems to happen.
Here’s what I wrote in February 2009. It’s pretty rich that now the usual suspects are accusing me of having shared the administration’s optimism. But that’s a trivial point; the important thing is that all signs are that the next few years will be a combination of economic stagnation and political witch-hunt.
This is going to be almost inconceivably ugly.
It is not hard for me to conceive of how ugly it will be. One political party is saying we will tank the economy for political gain. The other party wants to believe that they fixed the economy. Yet we have 10% unemployment. I do not see how we avoid 20%-30% unemployment in the next couple of years.
Friday, August 27, 2010
It is indeed difficult to believe that the country will so quickly return to power the same Republican Party -- in an even more warped and primitive form -- that virtually destroyed the U.S. over the last decade through a mix of extreme corruption, recklessness and lawlessness. But nothing is more foolish than underestimating the dangers that come from this potent mix of economic oppression and the aggressive fanning of racial and ethnic resentments.
The administration has less freedom of action, since it can’t get legislation past the Republican blockade. But it still has options. It can revamp its deeply unsuccessful attempt to aid troubled homeowners. It can use Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored lenders, to engineer mortgage refinancing that puts money in the hands of American families — yes, Republicans will howl, but they’re doing that anyway. It can finally get serious about confronting China over its currency manipulation: how many times do the Chinese have to promise to change their policies, then renege, before the administration decides that it’s time to act?
Which of these options should policy makers pursue? If I had my way, all of them.
He is a Nobel Prize winner.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
So where is this “media?” Two sources, and they are — no surprise here — the usual suspects. The first, of course, is Rush Limbaugh, who claims the largest radio audience in the land among the microphone demagogues, and his word is Biblical among Republicans. A few quick examples of the Limbaugh method:[....]
Climate-change denial is a special category all its own. Once on the fringe, dismissal of scientific consensus is now an ariticle of faith among leading Republicans, again taking their cue from Limbaugh and Fox.
It is nice to see that other people understand republicanism is a religion and you need faith to believe in it.
As with trust, faith involves a concept of future events or outcomes, and is used conversely for a belief "not resting on logical proof or material evidence.