Saturday, April 30, 2011

What Mattered This Week?

Well, you know what I'm going to say didn't matter: the birther junk. Also, the Trump campaign. I'm not sure how to classify Ben Bernanke's press conference, so I'll farm it out to Matt Yglesias.

But it was a very newsy week, it seemed to me. Started with the Gitmo information dump -- I'm really not sure whether to put that in the "matters" side or not. Then there was continuing developments in Syria, Libya, and other spots around the Middle East. Special mention for reconciliation among the Palestinians, which I'd say could wind up being quite important (as was the Egyptian role in making it happen). We also had the Obama administration's national security shuffle. And a disappointing GDP number -- economic growth not only being important for electoral politics, but also for people's lives, in the meantime.

That's a lot, no? What am I missing? What do you think mattered this week?


  1. It's a week of ending pretense:

    -Bernanke abandoned the pretense of worrying about inflation and unemployment equally
    -the Obama administration abandoned the pretense of any major change in military policy
    -we all can now abandon the pretense of a recovery with any juice

  2. What acrossthestreet said. Obama is following Bush’s lead on monetary and military policy and there’s every indication that will continue. Unfortunately.

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  4. I think several things.

    1. How clever and in tune the president is with how many Americans who arent his natural constituency put a premium on soldiers they admire. Once again placing General Petraus in a job some might think not extraordinarily attractive (like the last job he took on) gives him someone almost impregnable from military criticism (and keeps him from attacking the administration from the outside).

    2. In Panetta Obama gets someone very much like himself -- competent, serious in his work, and not one for drama. Panetta also has a wonderful sense of humor. He could confirm that being a very competent individual and very able politician is more important by far than expertise in a cabinet position. Let me add that if there's anyone to whom it occurred two and a half years ago that Panetta would soon be Secretary of Defense I'd like to know their name on which horse they're picking in the next Kentucky Derby.

    3. Finally, one more week with a Republican field still looking weak (Romney and his hanging reference could be his final noose). Seems almost as though the GOP would be just as happy not taking back the mess left behind by President Bush. They're enjoying the tomato-throwing and the ability to block almost anything they like too much, while being held mostly unaccountable. Pretty good gig if you can get it. Controlling 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue might not be worth the price of having to take some responsibility.

  5. Well, there was that thing about Usama Bin Laden being killed, and the US having the body, and the president's announcement.

  6. Wow. I thought the above was an odd joke. Then, because the joke was so far out in left field, I checked Google News ...

  7. I'm going to have to go with the dead Osama bin Laden.


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