Saturday, July 30, 2011

What Mattered This Week?

You know, I've been so focused on the debt limit stuff that I really haven't been fully alert to whatever else is going on. So, yes, the debt limit situation; the truth is that it's already damaged the economy no doubt, and it's likely to do more before it's over. That's not even counting that any deal that cuts the deficit short-term will, at least in my view, damage the economy. And then there's the damage, short and long term, that could escalate this week.

Sorry, I don't have much good news for anyone on this one.

The other very big news was the terrible GDP numbers, both in the recent quarter and the downward revisions over the last few years.

What else? Libya, I suppose. It's close to the end of the month; I might as well note now that coalition deaths in Afghanistan are off sharply year-to-year for the second month in a row. Indeed, barring a terrible weekend, July 2011 losses will be lower than the last two Julys, something that hasn't happened (month-to-month, that is) since February 2008 was lower than Februarys 2006 and 2007.

But I'm sure I missed stuff: what else? What do you think mattered this week?


  1. This mattered:

  2. Watch out for that guy! He'd be a fool not to consider running for president.

    As an aside, that may be the first time anybody said the words, "grossed out" on the floor of the Senate.

  3. Hey, on a ligher note, something that didn't matter but was fairly interesting, is the underwhelming first couple of days of free agency in the shortened NFL offseason.

    Pundits fretted that free agency would be historically chaotic because, we're shrinking a six month process into two weeks! Increasingly it seems that the six month process is six months because, otherwise, what would football fans talk about the other 5 1/2 months of the year?

  4. Anon: Yep. Mattered a ton. We got the whole situation fixed because of that speech.

    Oh, no, wait a minute. Rubio voted nay on tabling the Boehner bill, which lost by 59-41, so it wasn't even close to becoming law (never mind a veto threat).

    Then, Rubio's speech signalled a willingness to negotiate with the majority party in 2/3 of the relevant parts of government, the Senate and Presidency! Nope. He says that he can't negotiate, because Obama hasn't offered a plan.

    And the debt limit isn't the problem, it's spending. A deficit is because spending is more than revenues. But not once does his speech mention any kind of notion of raising revenues one iota. He talks about compromise at the end, and seeking solutions. To put out a fire in his house, he needs to save the whole house. Now, some folks favor using water to put out the fire, even though there really isn't any more water in the well than what we need to drink in the near future. Other folks favor using fire extenguishers, although if everyone gets to comfy with having fire extinguishers, maybe people will get too casual with fire. Now, maybe we could use water on one part of the fire, and fire extinguishers on the other. But there's no mention of fire extinguishers as an option. Rubio is willing to negotiate over how much water we use to put out the fire. Never mind that our use of fire extinguishers is the lowest its ever been in over a half century. Never mind that the rich people in town have large water towers, and wouldn't even notice a decrease in the public water supply, while the poor people depend on it for much of their day-to-day living. There's a fire, and Marco Rubio has a hose. Oh, it's a grease fire? Still, let's use a hose.

  5. Oops, almost forgot.

    Rubio proposes that we ration our water use, that we only use what water falls out of the sky that day. If we do that, then he would consent to fighting the fire. Now, some months we get 5 inches, and other months, we get none. But, we need to ration it. The hope is that we would save some in the winter months and use it in the summer.

    Of course, people who are like Marco Rubio spent an entire 8 year term throwing away fire extenguishers and starting fires. So, excuse us if we don't trust them when they suddenly claim to be the fire brigade.

  6. The economic numbers were all that mattered. We should be debating $2 trillion in stimulus and relief for underwater mortgages not $2 trillion in fiscal contraction.

  7. "Mattered a ton. We got the whole situation fixed because of that speech."

    It's important because he's going to run for President, friend.

    But by all means, continue ranting. Though it seems to be made up mostly of sarcasm.

  8. Anon: sorry if you missed any of the sarcasm. It was entirely composed of it.

  9. Rubio isn't running in 2012, and only in 2016 if Obama wins in 2012 (i.e., even if President Romney is a failure sufficiently spectacular to attract a primary opponent, Rubio is unlikely to be that opponent).

  10. The debt ceiling negotiations and the economy are the two key issues this week. And on the first the Aministration should have had a chance to look good and probably won't either look great nor serve their cause particularly well. They don't be particularly good at politics (they are better at policy than politics and may care too much about policy to be good enough at politics). I suspect that the downward slide in the economy endangers Obama's reelection but might help it as well since if it emboldens the Republicans to go with someone they really like instead of someone they think can beat Obama, it might have been a lucky break.

  11. Blue Dog retirements -- Mike Ross of Arkansas announced this week, Dan Boren a while ago, Heath Shuler's been making noises, Gary Matheson may run for statewide office -- and possibly the Republicans getting a real Senate candidate in Michigan ("possibly"=if things get bad enough that Stabenow would lose to a good candidate but not bad enough that she'd lose to just anyone).


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