Saturday, November 24, 2012

Random Comments on the Economics and Politics of the Day

Filling in the News Vacuum

As the holiday weekend slowly crawls to an end, there are no real major stories to comment on.  So here are the snarky comments on the minor stories of the day.

The Republicans just will not let the election go.  They want to make political points on the tragedy in Libya.  There is no political story here, there was nothing to cover up and most Americans want to move on.  Republicans hear only the base.  They need to stop that.

And speaking of Republicans, a number of prominent members of that clan have said they need to stop saying stupid things.  But Republicans are not getting the message, and it may be that they are not capable of not saying stupid things, like questioning how old the Earth is.  The problem here, stupid people are the ones who generally say stupid things.  Really Republicans, think about it.

President Obama has the chance to repeat the second term of the Clinton administration.  If the economy recovers, the deficit declines and employment is up the President may be able to avoid the 6 year losses that incumbent parties tend to suffer. 

College football is much more entertaining than pro football, just as college basketball is much more entertaining than pro basketball.  The cost of this entertainment to the higher education process though is getting to be unacceptable.

A top Romney advisor, Dan Senor has severely criticized Republicans who have turned against Mitt Romney.  In a “Profiles in Cowardice” moment Mr. Senor has refused to identify who he is talking about.

A lot of people think the billionaires who supported the Republicans in the last election suffered by spending tens of millions of their own money.  They didn’t, this was pocket change to them.

The world should breathe a small, very small sigh of relief over the restraint showed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Gaza conflict.  Mr. Netanyahu is very hawkish, but in this case was also very realistic.  He may be a better leader than he sounds like, but then he would almost have to be wouldn’t he?

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did himself a world of good for his re-election chances by his response to the President and the hurricane.  His national ambitions now rest of a huge re-election margin and his hopes that the Republicans have a short memory.  The first of these is probably in the bag, the second, we don’t think so.

Two big political issues that loom for the 2014 Senate elections.  Will Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss ( R) get a primary challenge and lose, and will South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham(R)  get a primary challenge and lose.  The betting here, yes and yes.

There is not just one fiscal cliff looming, there are two.  The first is the expiration of all of the tax cuts and the automatic reduction in military and social program spending.  Everyone is aware of this.  The second is that the debt ceiling needs to be raised.  The President caved pretty badly last time these two issues were on the table.  The most fascinating story of the next six month will be to see what Mr. Obama does this time.

Real Clear Politics has a piece about how Mitt Romney lost the race between no one other than very rich people believed he cared about them.  If so, then Mr. Romney never had a chance, because in reality he doesn’t care and he was not a good enough of a politician to convince people that he did care.  But the millionaires that thought he did care about them should not have thought that.  The election campaign made clear that Mitt Romney cares only about Mitt Romney.

Virginia’s Democratic Senator Mark Warner has decided not to run for Governor of the state and to stay in the Senate.  This probably means he won’t be running for President in 2016.  He is one of the leading candidates to be the VP nominee on a Hilary Clinton ticket if that happens.

John Podhoretz is one of the more irrational Conservative commentators, and that assessment is confirmed in this essay where he tries to spin Mr. Obama’s huge win into a huge loss.  We guess than helps him sleep at night.  But he does get the award for the best punchline on the Romney nomination, how Mr. Romney beat the likes of Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and the like.

As someone said, Romney got the job because he was the only one who came to the job interview in a suit.

A good way to end this, because even The Dismal Political Economist cannot come up with a better quip than that.

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