Saturday, February 9, 2013

What Mattered This Week?

I'll try some wishful thinking: Perhaps the confirmation hearing for John Brennan was a sign that the Senate will start taking their responsibilities more seriously -- and that issues of war, peace, drones, torture, and the rest will be a bit higher-profile.

Hmmmm...I don't have a good "doesn't matter" one. I suppose I can go with the decision for who would give the SOTU response; then next week, I can use the SOTU response itself!

That's what I have. What did you notice? What do you think mattered this week?

20 comments:

  1. The media reports about the Obama Administration drone policy mattered. I know for me personally, I've been wrestling with my desire to see Dems in office (and progressive policies enacted) and with my sense that someone needs to reign in executive branch power over drones and targeted killing. It will certainly effect my view of the Democratic primaries in '16 (sorry Hillary... first Iraq, now drones... will I ever vote for you?). Maybe someday us pathetic Cali progressives will primary our loser Senators and force them to be accountable to the Left... and maybe this is finally the issue that convinces us?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fellow Anon, I agree that there needs to be more oversight on extrajudicial killings.

      However, there's something that bothers me about this. The CIA has had the authority to conduct assassinations for many years now. Since the Bush II administration, the CIA has also had permission to conduct operations on US soil. I haven't heard anything about either of these authorities being reined in. Nor have I heard a peep from any of my fellow left-wingers about it.

      So, what is the difference between assassination by drone and assassination by human? It seems to me that dead is dead.

      So if we're going to ask for oversight on drones, can't we also ask for oversight on all extrajudicial killings?

      Delete
    2. Anon 1 - Yes, that's my top pick of the week.

      Anon 2 - Targeted killing of US citizens is new. In any case, I do think that using drones is different, because it makes the killing much easier.

      Delete
  2. How about Cantor's speech to rejuvenate the GOP for the 'doesn't matter' column? Or really any of the rumblings from various GOP pols about softening the rhetoric, appealing more to working families, etc. without changing policy positions one bit.

    ReplyDelete
  3. And for stuff that matters? How about increased willingness of GOP governors to accept the Medicaid expansion? This seems like the kind of thing that could actually affect actual peoples' lives.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congress hasn't considered any proposal that will substantially improve employment in the US.

    I know, I know, they haven't done that for years now. But I think it matters, and I want to complain about.

    ReplyDelete
  5. complain about it. Sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  6. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-02-09/after-freezing-prices-argentina-bans-all-advertising

    The WSJ reports that the Argentine govt. is forbidding the use of advertising in newspapers in an increasingly frantic attempt to lower inflation after years of loose monetary policy. Watch as the Argentinian government annihilates the savings of the Argentinian people again!

    Plainblog favorite and Nobel laureate P. Krugman has been a booster of Argentinean policy up to now, which can shed light on his views about US economic policy.

    http://www.cato.org/blog/krugmans-love-affair-kirchner-model-argentina

    ReplyDelete
  7. @Drew, bingo that speech certainly didn't matter.

    @Backyard, well South American economics are a bit out of Plain Blog's wheelhouse, but I guess if we are going to go there the big focus on cutting deficits in the UK has cause a triple dip recession in the last month. Also horrible out of control inflation hasn't started in this country in the last week.

    Large scale demonstrations in Iraq against the government have started, who knows, if we didn't have the surge the Iraqi government might be seen as incompetent and morally abhorrent by large chunks of it's people: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/arab-spring-style-protests-take-hold-in-iraq/2013/02/08/f875ef7e-715f-11e2-b3f3-b263d708ca37_story.html

    Can I make an irrelevant point? There's a cool new documentary coming our called Our Nixon that is made from literally hundreds of reels of super eight "home movies" taken by senior Nixon White House Aides like Haldeman and Ehrlichman. Anyway it looks pretty cool and it's premiere is next month: http://www.ournixon.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not only has the UK entered into a triple-dip recession, its debt-to-GDP ratio is rising (while ours is falling) because of the damage austerity has done to their economy.

      Delete
  8. longwalkdownlyndale,

    Quoting Bernstein:

    You know, because the three great examples of hyperinflation are Zimbabwe, Weimar Germany, and Bernanke-era US. I know I've gone through three wheelbarrows already this year...

    Has he stopped snarking about Republicans on inflation?

    When the left's favorite economist lauds policies that quickly turn Argentine, I would expect a little self-reflection.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'll ad the new California gun control proposal, which would ban:
    semi-auto rifles
    shotguns that take more than one shell
    detachable magazines

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you don't like the liberal proposals, Couves, lobby your fellow Republicans to get their butts to the table and talk something resembling sense.

      Holding to the NRA absolutist position will get everything you love about firing lots of rounds at a time banned.

      Delete
    2. Anon, California has already closed the "gun show loophole," so I'm not sure what concession you expect from the NRA in that state. I've come to the conclusion that each new gun control measure is intended to be just a step towards the next gun control measure. The latest proposal in CA represents the true gun control agenda. Whatever the outcome, it will be fodder for NRA fundraisers for many years to come -- and with good reason.

      There are two sides to this -- those who want to nullify the second amendment and those who don't. I'm with those who support the Constitution.

      Delete
    3. Let's all agree that double-barreled shotguns of a certain length (I think 19 inches) should be legal for all adults to buy.

      Let's further agree that fully automatic machine guns should not be legal for all adults to buy. Same for shoulder-held RPGs.

      Let's then say that between these two well understood examples, a line needs to be drawn where some guns are legal, and others are not.

      Either you will come to the table with your opinion of where that line should be drawn, or you will sit and complain on a blog about other people drawing it for you. Nonetheless, it is happening now.

      Delete
    4. Anon, I'd like to see semi-automatic firearms with standard capacity magazines remain legal. All manual action firearms should remain legal as well.

      Delete
    5. That's a start. What do you think should be illegal, recognizing that current law will be changed?

      Delete
    6. I don't want to change the law, except to repeal the assault weapons ban in the states that already have it. The AWB limits magazine capacity to less than what the firearms were actually designed for.

      In turn, if you want to ban true high capacity magazines, such as the 100 round drum mags, that would be fine with me.

      I'm guessing that we're not going to agree on much here. I only raised the issue because the new gun control proposed for California is breathtakingly restrictive, which is certainly a news item that matters.

      Delete
  10. Hmm, haven't people been wishing for this type of thing to occur since 1789?

    ReplyDelete

Who links to my website?