Saturday, November 19, 2011

What Mattered This Week?

How many weeks in a row is the economic situation in Europe the first thing on the list?

What else? Syria, certainly. Congress managed to kick the can down the road a bit on FY 2012 Appropriations, plus actually finished some of it, so that's nice. I don't think anything important happened with the Joint Select Committee...I don't remember much of anything of importance in the presidential election, either.

The Supremes took the health care case this week, too...also the Prop 8 case in California moved ahead. I'll call both of those things that matter.

And I guess the Occupy developments, although I can see arguments either way.

What did you think mattered this week?


  1. Well, Europe is slipping down off the list. Still relevant, but it's on glide path now. The Center holds, it appears. It's Germany vs. the UK... the classic matchup. As per historical, the UK can't survive that matchup without the US' support, and I'm guessing the US ain't gonna be quick to provide it, meaning the Londonistan banksters are gonna take a major league hit.

    Of related importance here, Corzine's name ain't disappearing from the radar screen... the criminal prosecution radar screen. I highly doubt that will ever happen, as the shysters will take care of their own, but the diverted funds ain't fully accounted for yet it appears, and that means brother Corzine is still in minor jeopardy of some jail time.

    But long term, the biggest event this week is the Obamabots' decision to deploy 2,500 US Marines permanently in Australia. 2 hard leftist governments pulling off major strategic alignments and commitments... absent any current military threat requiring same... and all in time of major US fiscal crisis. This is a quite questionable decision, and a signature Obama move, coupled with the usual fiscal irresponsibility. Watch this space.

  2. Well, and I guess Bloomberg's decision to evict the Occupy folks, which should serve to remove the beard that the Left actually supports these people in any significant way. Why would they? They're on the WS take. Bloomberg represents everything that the OWS folks hate, and Obama and Schumer might as well have a Wall Street tattoo plastered in the middle of their foreheads, so the Left sure ain't got no use for OWS.

  3. Well, speaking from the standpoint of my non-lucrative history degree I guess we never know what's important until we get a perspective on things. There were several things that COULD end up being important this week. The OWS situation, possibly. The Joint Committee could, actually, be important I think, but for political rather than policy reasons. The good economic indicators could end up being important, or perhaps not.

  4. It seems neutrinos travel faster then light, at least in second CERN experiment.


    Obama's shift of US foreign policy from the Middle East to Asia.

  5. Great points zic. The end of the theory of relativity probably is more important than Rick Perry having difficulty forming a coherent sentence or Cain getting Secret Service protection. Burma is huge and the Australia thing is big too in the grand scheme of things.

    I’d also say that the Obama fundraising numbers count as something, if only as the counter point to the new media theme of Obama is having trouble. He did raise 53 million (I think) largley from donors under 200 bucks , or something. It shows he still has huge support among left/liberal/progressives/Democrats even if the Washington Post/NyTimes/FOXnews can churn out yet another story about three people who are young/black/liberal/Jewish/environmental/working class/Democrats or whatever who are less stoked about Barack Obama than they were the day before election day in 08.

  6. Maybe the relatively strong domestic economic data matters? They may not matter in a few weeks if the economy turns sour again, so maybe not. Still that was a nice bit of news after reading about Europocalypse for the past few weeks!

  7. Oddly enough, I think that a bullet meant for President Obama lodged in a window of the White House was kind of important. Or maybe it's odd that no one else does.

  8. Well I did make a direct living off my history degree for 10 years, and hope to again, and the direct knowledge gained and the knowledge of how to find more knowledge in difficult situations gained from the history degree has been valuable in my other business careers.

    Nevertheless I am confused by the Anonymous of 11-9 7:43 pm's comments. "remove the beard that the left supports these people in any significant way..." do you mean the the undefined left doesn't support Occupy or doesn't support Bloomberg? Either way it's a non-sequiter, it seems.

    I'm of the left, (although I did have a brief right-wing phase around 1961 and I did try to be a left libertarian for a months around 1978), I sure wish we looked as firm and unified and able to enforce our likes and dislikes so instantly as you seem to imagine we are doing. In the article I wrote almost a year ago, which described and predicted the problems of the Occupy Movement (and which you can probably find by searching my screen name), I tried to point out to my leftist friends that while the right finds it easy to self-organize over a few basic slogans and attitudes, we on the cultural/political left are who we are because we are different, both different from conservatives (whom we must interact with everyday, whether in families or jobs or unemployment lines or homeless hangouts) and from each other. None of the various major and minor tendencies and sects of the left agrees completely with any of the others, and we will never come together one single platform or agenda. (However I do try to show how we make progress nevertheless).

    So I am very amused by Anonymous 7:43pm assuming the left is somehow enforcing its "line", flopping around to support Obama because of his wars (?)or something, again it's very unclear what A 7:43 is trying to say.

  9. Syria, but only in a sane world. Remember Libya?

    On the left, Syria doesn't matter until either a.) Obama and the UN/EU/Israeli/NATO petro-capitalist war machine invades, or b.) the dictator-coddling crypto-Republican Obama administration refuses invade.

    On the right, it depends on what the administration decides, and then the opposite will be the wise and prudent course of action. Unless Binny says different.

    The plight of the Syrian people, and the peace and stability of the region, have no part to play in this discussion.

  10. DXM,

    On a practical level, there are some differences between Libya and Syria. Libya was a chance to do something positive with little cost or risk, and the "little cost or risk" part was as important as the "something positive" part. In Libya, the rebels were a relatively organized group, with a functioning leadership council that controlled real territory and had an army of sorts (not a great army, but then neither was Qadhafi's). There was, in short, someone to help without putting your own troops on the ground. Intervention (to save civilians, at least) was endorsed by the Arab League, an unprecedented move by a group that's always been more concerned with sovereignty than with who's getting killed. The Arab League endorsement made it politically easier for Russia and China to abstain rather than veto at the UN and made it harder for Qadhafi to rally support by crying neo-colonialism. And, of course, Qadhafi's regime appeared to be falling apart already, with some cabinet members and whole military units defecting to the opposition right from the beginning.

    In Syria the situation is still evolving. The regime has not yet split in any major way and it's not quite as diplomatically isolated, though it may be moving in that direction. There's now a self-proclaimed leadership council, but it still operates outside the country. (From what I understand, they may still not all have actually met each other yet.) There's apparently a growing military potential as individaul soldiers defect, but they don't control any territory. There's still really no one to help without your own troops on the ground, unless you want to bomb the same neighborhoods that you're condemning the Syrians for bombing. You could support guerrillas based in Turkey, if Turkey goes along with it, but that smells of quagmire. Also, the Arab League, the Russians, and the Chinese are feeling a little burned by the way the Libyan intervention escalated (though I suspect the Arab League is still the key). I suspect some folks in the White House are probably a little gun-shy as well. They didn't set out to be serial interventionists, and Libya (although incredibly quick when you consider the possibilities) took longer and ran up against more pro-Qadhafi resistence than they had anticipated. (Remember, it was going to be "days, not weeks.")

  11. I said this last week, (and forgive the two it-mattered,) but escalating use of riot-geared police/pepper spray at OWS demonstrations.

    The UC Davis videos circulating are chilling.

    I cannot help these images are helping us abroad, either. Rather, the tactics seemed to be mimicked in Tahrir Square.

  12. Anon #1 -- It’s hard to justify borrowing more money just to face-down the Chinese. It’s probably time to be asking ourselves some basic questions here -- are Americans really prepared to go to war to defend Taiwan? Are we willing to fight to defend the gas and oil interests of Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines in the waters neighboring China? There has to be more of a public conversation about this stuff -- it’s too important to leave to policymakers.


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