Give that girl an "A"

So I just showed our 11-yr-old this page demonstrating what a TRILLION dollars looks like.

Her comment: "They're spending that much money to fix the economy? That's just stupid."

H/T to Frank J.


Just so we're clear...

Is being behind on taxes actually one of the job requirements?


I'm a little tired

of hearing Barack Obama refer to the current economic situation as the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. As if a recession were ANYTHING like a depression.

Besides that, it doesn't appear to be remotely true. The generally accepted definition of a recession is 2 consecutive quarters (or more) of negative GDP growth.

I've had a little trouble finding officially published monthly GDP data for the third quarter, and the third quarter summary hasn't yet been issued, but:
According to this site in July, the GDP shrunk by 1.9%, grew by 1.1% in August, and shrunk again by 1.0% in September for a net loss of 1.8%.

According to the Department of Commerce:
  • Q4 '90 and Q1 '91 had 3% and 2% drops in GDP.
  • Q4 '81 and Q1 '82 had 4.9% and 6.4% drops.
  • Q2 '80 and Q3 '80 had 7.8% and 0.7% drops.
  • Q3 '74 thru Q1 '75: 3.8% drop, 1.6% drop, 4.7% drop (3 quarters)
  • Q4 '57 and Q1 '58: 4.2% and 10.4% drops.
  • Q3 '53 thru Q1 '54: 2.4%, 6.2%, and 2.0% drop (3 quarters)
  • Q1 '49 and Q2 '49: 5.8% and 1.2% drops
These are SEVEN significant recessions in the last sixty years. Three of them were in the last thirty years. The thing is, people have gotten so used to the stock market going up - like home values - that they started to believe it would always happen. People have extremely short memories.

So how bad was the depression. Heck if I know. I wasn't around at the time. That's true for most of the voter base, and that's why Obama gets away with saying it.


This is probably really good

But I can't figure out what tune it's supposed to be to.
Yakko’s Bailout


So if I were Barack Obama...

What's the harm in calling McCain's bluff?

First of all, I don't think the responsible thing to do is to rush through some half-baked "aid" package which will increase the national debt by hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars. I work on the general assumption that neither McCain or Obama trusts the free market enough to let it sort itself out. I'll grant that most of the nation doesn't either.

McCain has tied the credibility of his campaign to the urgent (by definition rushed and poorly considered) passage of a bailout plan - ANY bailout plan. Well, more of an idea really, than a plan. He's reacting to a developing economic crisis as if it's part of the 24-hour news cycle. This isn't a media event that will be forgotten in a week. It needs to be carefully considered as though it will impact the largest economy in the world for the next ten years. And if it demands a response, then we should be very careful that the impacts of the response aren't deeper and longer-lasting than the original problem. You know, like the precedent of nationalizing large swaths of the financial sector.

But what if there wasn't a trillion dollar boondoggle solution before the election? How would that play out? There are only two ways that could happen, and both require large numbers of our congressmen to act more like statesmen, and less like politicians.

One would be for congressional republicans to recognize the value of waiting to more carefully consider any action until after the election. Perhaps a modest and narrowly focused aid bill in the short-term as a goodwill demonstration, with the promise to review the matter more fully when more facts are known. If enough democrats signed on to that idea, it could gain some momentum. Most importantly, it could allow a more carefully considered solution without anyone in congress feeling as though they had a gun to their head. McCain would be free then to declare his goal acheived and resume his campaign. Realistically, I think the majority party has enough leverage to prevent this from happening, and to force the congressional republicans to accept a broad, pork-filled package, stuffed to the gills with over-regulation.

The other possibility for a delayed financial package would be that congressional democrats would delay any bill themselves. They, too, could claim the wisdom of delaying action until more facts are known. They could follow John McCain's lead by holding hearings to show the nation how serious they are about getting to the bottom of the mess. They could abandon their own campaigns to call witness after witness to demonstrate how the rich have caused this problem, but it's the middle class Americans who are suffering for it. They could save the last five weeks worth of campaign funds and continue to add to their lead in public opinion polls, guaranteeing a continued lock on both houses of Congress. And John McCain's campaign would be faced with the no-win choice of sitting the campaign out to demonstrate his non-partisan concern for the economy or abandoning Senate deliberations he stressed the importance of in order to return to his campaign.

The right thing to do is not to react too quickly, and John McCain has unfortunately failed this test.


So on a completely different tone

Anybody else think Governor Palin looks a lot like Tina Fey? Just wondering.

Update: Apparently so.

Really didn't want to talk about politics.

But I just couldn't resist.

I just can't help but be amazed at how FREAKED OUT the media are about McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate.

It's pretty much common knowledge now that just about the entire media establishment is in the tank for Obama. Maybe subconsciously, somewhere deep in the reptilian part of their brains, they have some fuzzy awareness that Obama's most excellent quality - his ability to speechify - might not be enough to carry him through to victory in November.

But her candidacy obviously scares them, or they wouldn't be offering up so many objections to her candidacy:

  • Won't have time to care for her (too large) family and (special needs) baby. Never mind that Obama has a family of his own, and is running for a much more demanding job.
  • Not experienced enough, or old enough. Of course, she's only a couple years younger than Obama, and as has been noted elsewhere, she has been governor of Alaska, which has a 40 billion dollar economy.
  • Wasn't really vetted by the McCain campaign. Supposedly, this is because they were surprised by the news of her daughter's pregnancy, but somehow I think they would have brought that charge in any event after being surprised by her pick.
  • Not even a very good parent, letting her teenage daughter get pregnant.

I think they've got a number of reasons for being so afraid of her. The popular assumption is that she'll carry the disgruntled Hillary voters (and that most of those voters women, and are only disgruntled because they won't get to pull the lever for a woman in November). It's a pretty shallow assumption of people, that they vote only based on how many things a candidate has physically in common with them: gender, skin color, what kind of adult beverage they drink, or what kind of car they drive. There may be a small percentage out there who will vote for another woman just because she's a woman (and maybe that will make the difference in another close election year). But I think Obama and his adoring fans in the MSM have much more to fear from Sarah Palin than her chromosomes.

Obviously, she gives McCain a way to connect with the conservative base of the republican party. Pro-life - and lives it. Also, it will be very hard for them to tar her with an anti-gay brush, when she's come out with essentially the same position Obama has. Also, it's going to be very hard for them to debate her without it looking like they're beating up on a girl.

But the biggest thing, in my mind, is that she's running against the supposed candidate of Hope and Change. Change, I get - sort of. Still struggling with the hope thing. But that could be a whole other post, and this one's already getting long. Anyway, he picks as his running mate a six-term senator who's never held a non-government job, and has been in Washington since January 1972. Palin has worked in and has experience owning a private business, and has never worked in Washington.

Change? Where? Oh wait, it looks like it just blew in from Alaska.


So seriously

Am I the only one that thinks this whole Mark Penn kerfuffle isn't just a leak by the Obama campaign to try to weaken the McCain campaign?

Have I missed something here?

Things I've done and said that have surprised people in the last couple months

  • Publicly commented that the Clinton administration wasn't a disaster. Taken as a whole, I'd take four more years of WJC over four more years of Jimmy Carter.

  • Bush was something of a disappointment as a president. I should have expected it, though - the whole "compassionate conservatism" thing really rubbed me wrong.

  • I switched my voter regisration to the Democratic Party this year. I'm in good company there, I know. Still, it surprised me.

  • Refused to give John McCain more support than at the ballot box. I don't want a yard sign or a bumper sticker, and have no plans to contribute to his campaign. This after going to see Bush in person in 2004, and sporting a Bush/Cheney bumper sticker and pin for four years.


Woo-hoo (Or, watch this space please)

A personal record: six months without posting.

I'm not dead. I'd like to think this site isn't either. This is me developing the motivation to come back and post.