While some polls suggest that a stunning percentage of Americans give no credit to the Obama Recovery Act, and everyone really hates the Bush bailout that the Obama administration administrated, two economists with enough clout to get the NY Times' attention say that the data shows that without them, we'd be knee-deep in Great Depression II.
The study, authored by two economists with names straight out of a Thomas Pynchon novel (Blinder and Zandi), says that without the measures taken--including others by the Obama administration--the economy would be tanking, eight and a half million more people would be unemployed and we'd be into a deflationary spin. In other words, a Depression.
Their conclusion: "When all is said and done, the financial and fiscal policies will have cost taxpayers a substantial sum, but not nearly as much as most had feared and not nearly as much as if policy makers had not acted at all.”
Meanwhile, Marc Ambinder summarizes the Democratic message going into the midterm elections: "The Democratic strategy in a nutshell is small enough to fit in one but has the protein of a good, tasty nut. The Republicans want to be mayors of crazy-town. They've embraced a fringe and proto-racist isolationist and ignorant conservative populism that has no solutions for fixing anything and the collective intelligence of a wine flask. This IS offensive and over the top, and the more Democrats repeat it, and the more dumb things some Republican candidates do, the more generally conservative voters who might be thinking of sending a message to Democrats by voting for a Republican will be reminded that the replacement party is even more loony than the party that can't tie its shoes."
More evidence that California is not fond of candidates trying to buy high office, especially when the state is going broke: yesterday's poll showing Barbara Boxer up by 6 over nutjob Carly Fiorina was matched Wednesday by Jerry Brown up 6 points over billionaire Meg Whitman, who has already spent enough on her campaign to fund a school district.
BP Fallout: While Congress may actually pass a slimmed down energy bill that puts the force of law behind getting BP to pay for damages, and the Justice Department is investigating BP and other oil corps, there's positive news about future drilling. After a federal judge halted a drilling project in Alaska last week, on Wednesday the Obama administration announced it's canceling two offshore oil and gas lease sales: one in the Atlantic off the coast of Virginia and another in the Gulf of Mexico. The White House also told CNN that the previously approved BP mega-project in the Arctic is under review.
Beginner's Mind - Finding a very nice hardback copy of Bruce Chatwin's last book in a bargain bin, a kind of miscellany of previously uncollected pieces called What Am I Doi...
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