Sunday, September 15, 2013

What Mattered This Week?

Delayed for the holiday, but here it is.

And...I'll go with Syria again. Sure.

What didn't matter? I suppose I'll stick to what I've been saying: the tactics of the Tea Party types against the budget. I've written about that plenty, but basically: if they were going to be "no" votes anyway, it doesn't matter why.

Anyway, let's see what you have. What do you think mattered this week?

9 comments:

  1. The probable collapse of the House GOP leadership's strategy on the CR. In a weird way, we're seeing the system "work" as one would normally hope it would: ordinary citizens are paying attention and learning better how legislation actually works, so it's getting harder for inside players to disguise what they're really doing. The GOP base finally "gets" that voting to fund government operations means acquiescing in current policy, so they're making any further appropriations their line in the sand against Obamacare. Which means big trouble for the leadership, the Republican Party and probably the country. But hey! We have a more informed citizenry.* That's good! Right? Right?

    * At least, more informed on some points, if hopelessly deluded on others.

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  2. A few notes ...

    1. Juan Cole has a post up calling the Kerry-Lavrov accords over Syria a historical marker of a return to a more normal (over the last few centuries) "polycentric" international relations system, and an end to the abnormal situation since about 1990 of an American "hyperpower" or "unipolar" system. In this historian's estimation, the extent of America's "unipolarity" was always a bit exaggerated.

    2. The important things are perhaps the institutional evolutions that go on un-noticed? Specifically, the national security state rolls on unhindered by recent revelations and is probably thinking up more ways to monitor, mine and anticipate you and your data, while the citizenry remains completely apathetic (despite a few noises on the intertubes). Example, no one is giving up cloud storage of data (through a tech industry full of intermediaries) even though it is now known that all of that is open to the security agencies. I am like most people, I don't even know how and where my data might be going into the cloud (Carbonite backup??) to begin with.

    3. Maybe I'm being deluded by the hype of another lying politician, however I must admit have noticed and am impressed by Cory Booker's ads showing up on the web, "it's time to reform the criminal justice system."

    I'm on the left coast, I only know Booker from the headlines, I don't know what specifics he has on this, yet as a radical who has been looking at this for several decades, it is some sort of big change when an ambitious rising politician takes on the "meme" of fundamental reform (of a fundamentally corrupt and twisted aspect) of our basic constitutional/common-law framework. Even if he's just trying to blow hype up our posteriors to get a few donations, it is the type of issue that rising Democratic politicans have been avoiding most of my adult life, and it means something that he thinks it's a wining line.

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    Replies
    1. Polls show a real shift in public opinion on electronic monitoring by government. But it's definitely going to take more active involvement to curb the security state. We need an NRA for the fourth amendment.

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  3. typo in the last sentence, "it means something that he thinks its a winning line."

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    1. You had it right the first time!

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  4. Larry Summers' withdrawal matters--even if it could be shown that it doesn't matter economically in that he would have been as much an inflation dove as Janet Yellen, it matters *politically* that enough Democrats came out against him to force his withdrawal.

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    1. That's basically what I was going to write, it matters a lot that Congress basically shot down a Fed Chair candidate before a vote, Congress really hasn't been this involved in monetary policy to this degree since stuff like Hawkins-Humphrey in the 70's.

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  5. I suspect there's been a rather profound change in how the US and Russia will handle trouble spots in the world after this week's events; rather it's a change for the better or the worse remains to be seen, but to my mind, this seems the biggest shift in things that will have long term global impact.

    So put me down for Kerry's gaff that proved prophetic, Russia's quick response, and Putin's editorial in the NYT as being the harbingers of what will matter the most this week.

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    Replies
    1. And yes, that once again means Syria.

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