Normally this is the day I write about the vineyard, but it is almost winter and describing leaves falling to the ground can get fairly monotonous. I could describe my never ending battle with the almighty gopher, but they are winning and it is too depressing. So I thought I would resurrect WTF Fridays because there are so many things happening in the news these days that make absolutely no sense whatsoever yet we don’t even blink:
- Simon Johnson, one of the economists you can depend on to give an unbiased view of the economic world, and generally an unswerving supporter of stimulus (austerity doesn’t work) wrote a column yesterday about why Jon Huntsman is the only one talking sense about reforming the banking industry (The Huntsman Alternative). And Obama wonders why his support is tepid when he is running against true fruit loops who are leading in the Republican primaries.
- By the way, the only sane Republican is Jon Huntsman and he may not qualify for the next debate (You need 5% rating). Does that tell you anything about the state of the Republican Party?
- Speaking of moronic Democrats, did you see where Congressman Jim Clyburn (D-SC) thought we ought to renegotiate the automatic cuts that kick in if the Deficit Committee failed because they are too onerous? Gee Jim, ever hear of moral hazard. What was the point of establishing them in the first place? Sending that great message that Democrats stand for nothing.
- Oh, and here is a heads up for next year. Once again the Democrats will cave on the Bush Tax Cuts. Here is the real problem: THEY ALL NEED TO GO UP. But Democrats will continue to pander to the below $250K crowd, thinking they are principled and nothing changes.
- Does anybody know what Obama thinks is the right solution for banks, fixing the economy, a real health care plan? Does anybody know his vision and I am not talking about what he thinks might pass, but what he thinks will really fix the problem? And again he wonders why his support is tepid at best.
- Did you see where the Senate passed 93-7 a new defense spending authorization yesterday that included language that allows the President to authorize the murder (euphemistically called a drone strike) or to detain Americans at Guantanamo without review? Oh I misspoke. There is a process, but it is secret. Anybody besides me see a real contradiction here with the whole philosophy and principles behind our Constitution? Just label me a terrorist and I no longer have a Constitution to protect me. It makes our Constitution void and we freedom loving Americans a laughing stock of the world
- The numbers are in from Great Britain and austerity is a total failure. Not only are things getting worse (no confidence fairy yet), but it may be pushing them into another long recession. So what are leaders in that country doing to respond to reality? Doubling down.
- Am I the only one to notice that when governments do something they think will help the European problem (Euro Crisis), which careful analysis says doesn’t address the real problem, the markets go crazy and then die out in a day or two when reality sets in? Maybe the markets shouldn’t always be depended on to tell us what to do.
- Does it scare you that as policies in Europe prove to be wrong headed, the politicians double down? That they can’t say, oops, wrong direction so let’s change course? It almost makes Romney’s flip flopping refreshing. At least he can change his mind if votes depend upon it, although doing the right thing doesn’t seem to apply here.
- Back to the failure of austerity and a no-show by the confidence fairy. This should be big news and raise questions about our whole near term deficit cutting mania, but hear it even discussed on the news? We are all atwitter about what Herb Cain’s wife will say to him when he gets home today (I know what mine would say. Nothing. I would just find all my stuff at the bottom of the driveway and rightfully so.)
- Oh, and in Afghanistan where we are fighting for democracy and freedom, the woman who was thrown in prison for adultery when she was raped is being released if she marries her rapist. What the hell are we doing there and why oh why should we respect any religion with these kinds of beliefs? Well actually I wonder why we should respect any religion, but that is a personal problem.
- And last but not least in the WTF category, I guess you saw where the Republicans voted down the payroll tax cut because they refuse to pay for it with a levy on the wealthy. First, this is the fight we are having in Congress and this is a drop in the bucket to a real problem so you kind of get a sense of the fact that Washington is totally irrelevant to solving our real problems. But second is their alternate proposal for paying for it. That would be cutting the pay of Federal workers and cutting the workforce by 10%. We just saw where austerity doesn’t work, we refuse to take our wealthy when we have a historic transfer of wealth to them, and we want to pay for a cut in payroll tax by cutting the payroll of those who would benefit from the cut? Oy Veh.
- I almost forgot, the Republicans are against taxing the wealthy because they are job creators? Does anybody ever ask these morons why we have the lowest tax rates in 50 years and there are no jobs? Oh, I know, Clinton or Obama are at fault, or there is no confidence, or regulations are too onerous or…..
Oy Vey, WTF, whatever. It is just amazing that reality keeps telling us stuff and we blithely go on our path ignoring it. But it gives me lots of material for my blog which is good, but I really don’t want to be fiddling while Rome burns. Some where some time, this country has to restore its path to sanity.