Meh Culpa

Fandango Friday: Hang your head low



There are days when you just want to go back to bed.

  • Blago was indicted by Patrick Fitzgerald yesterday–as if we didn’t all see that coming.
  • Coleman conceded today.  Maybe he asked his erstwhile backers to show him the money and they claimed that Bernie Madoff had run off with it.
  • Obama had his first date with the G-20 and he didn’t get a goodnight kiss. “I think we did all right,” he said.  Not really.  Many Americans don’t know that the rest of the world blames us for the  sand trap we’ve all found ourselves in, but they do.   Rightly.  We failed to regulate our financial system and we got pwned as a result. Now we’re going to have to learn to make do with less, to not being the Head Muckety Muck of the World.  It won’t kill us to reduce our exceptionalism.  We’ve been living off its insidious fruits for too long now.
  • Bristol Palin’s ex-beau, and the father of her child, thinks he and Bristol could conceivably get back together someday.  Dude, before 2012?  Ya think?
  • Robert Reich says “It’s a Depression.” Oh yeah. And in California there are predictions of 12% – 15% unemployment by next spring.  (I think I am going to move.)
  • The Guardian has posted a brutal video of a young girl being whipped (literally) by the Swat Valley Pakistani Taliban a day or two after Karzai declared rape legal in Afghanistan.   The girl in the video was punished for leaving her house with a man who wasn’t her husband. She begged them to stop beating her and just kill her. This beating was not about the religion of Islam as some may believe, it’s cultural and it’s local.  Still, it makes you want to hang your head low that there are such bad men in the world.

April 4, 2009 Posted by | Afghanistan, Depression, diplomacy, Economy, Foreign policy, human rights, Obama, Pakistan, politics, religion | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just a quickie: Bernanke on the economy

I wanted to say he’s on crack–although I still want to know what he’s smoking–but I think I’ll stick with Head in Clouds disease (because it might be kinder): Ben Bernanke, for saying the recession will be over this year, and that 2010 “will be a year of recovery.”   I actually cackled when I read that.  The guy is seriously deluded. Just like his previous boss.

Anyhow, for your consideration, an excerpt from Robert Reich’s blog:

We’re in a deepening recession, in case you hadn’t noticed.
The biggest challenge is to ramp up aggregate demand. Yes, we have to borrow lots from the Chinese and Japanese to do this, and, yes, it’s costly in terms of additional interest payments to them. But there’s no choice. In fact, if the slump gets worse — and I have every reason to fear it will because that’s the direction we’re heading in as fast as you can imagine — we’ll probably have to have a second stimulus. And if the second isn’t enough, a third. And so on. FDR’s biggest mistake was doing too little until World War II. (No one should interpret this as a recommendation for more military spending — I’m just saying Obama will probably have to think and do much bigger than the $787 billion stimulus so far.)

That post was dated yesterday.   How could all that change in a single day?

I would say Paul Volker agrees with Reich, and though we’ve never met, with me.   Yet even  Volker was surprised at how quickly the world’s economy has collapsed. Just last Friday he said, “I don’t remember any time, maybe even the Great Depression, when things went down quite so fast.”  With “shocking speed,” no less.

Maybe Bernanke has ripped a page out of Bill Clinton’s Playbook of Hope , but what he’s doing is  spreading false hope, delusion, or even a baldfaced lie.  Americans aren’t that stupid.  We all know how bad it is. (Well, except for those rich folks that represent us in Congress, we do.)   Encouraging us probably more apt at this point.  We American may not be used to exerting determination and confidence–after all, it has been a long time–but grit is in our genes.  We are pioneers and innovators from way back, and don’t you forget it.

I would like very much to talk about Israel’s deepening paranoia and belligerence, which hasn’t been working for the Israelis at all, thankyouverymuch, but  I have a paper,  fortunately my last, to write on ovarian cancer.  I will try to get a grip on my compulsion to  research everything on the planet and thensome, but that’s what I tell myself every time I write a paper and it ends up being way more knowledgeable and detailed than it has to be.  And then I revise for a day and a half, which I don’t really do here.  Meh blog is more or less a purge.

Ah, well. Drudgery calls.


February 24, 2009 Posted by | Economy, Federal Reserve, recession | , , , , , | 2 Comments


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