Monday, May 7, 2012

Quick Takes

Just some quick takes on current events, etc.:

1) Biggest issue facing all of us, sooner or later: The European Crisis. That economic crisis is still not over no matter how many times the media says it is. I think what we are now seeing is a backdoor crisis taking the form of political pressures triggered by the economic ones. The political instability will probably create a lot of economic volatility for years to come in markets throughout the world. And, it may very well eventually put the brakes on our own economic recovery as one European country after another goes into Recession.

What could have prevented this? More government spending there, not less. Britain has now entered a double-dip recession, it's first since the 1970s. Thanks to David Cameron's dumb decision to cut back on government spending, his policy of austerity. Economics 101: You spend your way out of Depression and Recession. That is the absolute worst time for government austerity. And now they are seeing the results.

One of the scariest developments from this crisis is something I just read about that has been barely reported. Greece, which has been forced to accept austerity because of Germany's financial lending/recovery plan, just split its vote between far left and far right politicians in its most recent election as a protest against the Depression it now finds itself in. Hmmm, what does that remind me of?

2) Most unimportant news story you'll hear tons about over the next several weeks: The second alleged "underwear bomber plot." Please... Airline travel is so much safer than just driving your car around the block. And I know it's not politically correct to say so, but do we really need billions of dollars spent on counter-terrorism and wars to find out about some kook who puts explosives in his underwear? There's a point where we act just as crazy as the "terrorists." Spending billions of dollars to go after the couple of thousand people around the world who might want to down an airliner is pretty crazy.

Do we spend billions of dollars to stop you from eating those Doritos you're munching on while you read this? I have news for you, you have a million times more of a chance of developing heart disease from those Doritos and dying of a heart attack then you do of dying on a plane that crashed because of an underwear bomber.

3) Presidential Election 2012: As the presidential election starts to gain steam I've heard a lot of grumbling from those on the left about President Obama's performance. (Needless to say, the Right has been grumbling since Day One, or rather shouting, so nothing new there.) My take? I have never changed my mind about President Obama. When he came into office I thought he just may well be one of our greatest presidents ever. And his first few years have done nothing but affirm that in my mind.

There is only one single thing I would have liked him to do differently. Somehow get the public option for health care passed. I understand he didn't have the votes, but still. There had to be some way to give us another option to compete against those insurance companies.

Otherwise, every single decision President Obama has made has been sound and showed the quiet wisdom I would have expected. From his rescuing us from the second Great Depression (remember, we were hanging on by a thread when he took office, thanks to W. spending his time clearing brush on his ranch while the economy collapsed), to the rescue of the automobile industry to the breathtaking operation to get Bin Laden to his position on human rights, to his appointment of actually intelligent people to the Supreme Court, oh, I can go on and on and on but don't have the time :(.

4) Interesting reading: Robert Caro's latest book on Lyndon Johnson, "The Passage of Power." I am reading an excerpt from it in The New Yorker from some weeks ago and it is just gripping, especially the portion about the Kennedy assassination as told through the perspective of LBJ. Here's the link to it online, but you have to be a subscriber :( :

5) Great New Television Show: Girls on HBO. I'm a guy and I love Girls. What a great show. Do catch it if you get a chance...

No comments:

Post a Comment