Saturday, December 3, 2011

What Mattered This Week?

The jobs numbers, the latest from know the drill.

Also, the elections in Egypt, and the continuing story in Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere. As I said yesterday, in my view the falling US and coalition casualty numbers in Afghanistan matter.

I'll write something later about the end of the Herman Cain campaign, but that was already a done deal a while ago, although it could have played out somewhat differently. This was the week of the Gingrich surge, but other than it not being Perry, you all now that I don't think it's a big deal.

What else? What do you think mattered this week?


  1. On Cain: why does one "suspend" a campaign in December? A few reporters are even reporting it right: he's withdrawn from the race.

    However, I'm guessing that someone with more knowledge than I on the picayune details of campaign finance might chip in. I'm guessing it allows him to settle up accounts.

    I mean, theoretically, Cain could believe that he could ride in on a white horse after everyone looks wounded in Februrary or something, but that's just plain stupid. Doesn't stop Cain from believing it, of course, but I'm wondering if there's an actual rational reason to "suspend."

  2. By "suspending" his campaign he remains eligible for federal matching funds.

  3. Corzine gettin' subpoenaed by Congress. That's huge, although his mates will protect him, no doubt.

    This occurring after minor recent hubbub about the congresscritters' investment portfolios performing at 12% on average, double everybody else's, and even outperforming hedge fund managers'.

    He should get roasted alive, but as I say, I suspect his mates will protect him. Wall Street has paid plenty of good money for that protection, and Corzine was one of their bag men for a number of years, before passing the baton to Schumer (McConnell being a helpful participant as well, as McCain and some others).

    This is where a Left that was truly committed to the OWS crowd's scattered ideals would rise up, but I'd predict they'll remain silent. They know what side their bread is buttered on.

  4. The Newt surge (or pseudo-surge) strikes me as a big deal. Obviously the inTrade markets are capable of being wrong, but right now they are saying Newt is 12 times more likely to win the nomination than Perry, and only slightly less likely to win than Romney. Media coverage of Newt seems to confer a patina of credibility on his surge that (justifiably) wasn't there when Cain had his moment in the sun.

    I'm not jumping ship on your appraisal of this as still a Romney-Perry race with Romney a ~90% favorite. But this is such a weird race that very little would surprise me.

  5. Yeah, I'm surprised that the bettors have moved so strong on Gingrich, if that's true. That seems a good betting opportunity. I'd bet against Gingrich in almost any case, even in this strong ABR environment. You could wheel Gingrich against the field, and clean up. The Gingrich IED could end matters at any point.

  6. Europe matters every week these days. And this astonishing comment flagged by Jared Bernstein ( ) strikes as (Jonathan) Bernstein bait:

    Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg put it this way: “We all know what to do, but we don’t know how to get reelected once we have done it.”

    What's a 'good' elected rep to do?

  7. ASP: That shouldn't be Merkel's problem. She only has the choice between remaining orthodox and not helping, which will lead to her losing the election for letting the eurozone collapse, or helping to bail out the troubled countries, which will lead to her losing the election for giving German taxpayer money to irresponsible foreigners.

    Furthermore, all the polls are showing a red-green coalition being stronger than the current one, and two more parties (Left Party, Pirates) strong enough to gain seats even to the left of red-green.

    Merkel is politically so dead that she shouldn't be afraid of suffering for doing the right thing, since there is no option that's better for her.

  8. Ambi: I used to follow German politics very closely - but it's been a while, and I had no idea that there was such a thing as a Pirates Party! Any word on the Ninjas? (Though it'd be just like them to launch a surprise attack...)

    Is there a clear Red-Green position on the potential Eurocalypse?

  9. CK MacLeod: They are barely a thing, they're a small party (based on a similarly small party in Sweden) focused around significantly loosening copyright and patent laws (thus the name), privacy, government transparency, and anti-censorship policies. They actually don't have any seats in the Bundestag at the moment, (so Ambi was probably being somewhat facetious) although they managed to get some seats in Berlin state elections.


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