Good Monday to you all. Cool and sunny for the moment--we may get some rain later. I didn't do anything I had planned to do yesterday. My get-up-and-go got up and went before I got started. Oh, well. I'll see what I get done today.
I have been somewhat disgruntled by the 'manic-depressive' attitude of the press over just about everything. Last Friday the pundits were in the depths of despair over the jobs report and the 250+ point decline in the Dow. Me--I was remembering the fantastic job growth during the winter and the utterly dismal job losses at the tail end of Bush II and beginning of Obama and wondered what the fuss was all about. I am equally disgruntled with the translation of economic data of uncertain duration into the political situation giving rise to heated discussions of how bad or good it is for which candidate. Ezra Klein makes some similar comments on his Wonkbook this morning. I will not that it is fascinating how the Repthuglicans focused on 'moral' or 'social' issues when the economy looked like it was recovering and how they have now shifted to economic issues. They think they smell blood in the water (sharks that they are) but I, for one, remember that it was Bush/Repthuglican policies (with the approval some Damnocrats and their financial industry masters) that got us into this position and the extremely nebulous non-policies Romney has spouted foreshadow more of those same policies.
This article on an Australian report critical of fragility of long food supply lines in times of disaster and crisis reflects some similar articles I have seen on this side of the ocean. I thought the two points concerning relying on the willingness of the food industry when their profits might be concerned and on the effectiveness and efficiency of their military, both questionable, interesting. I wonder if they looked at Hurricane Katrina for any information.
Susie Madrak on Crooks & Liars put up this piece on a new book which blames hardline Republicans for the gridlock of the recent past. Interestingly, the authors are conservatives who have been regulars on the Sunday talk shows but have had only one appearance to discuss their book. I wonder if the authors have been read out of the conservative ranks.
This idea is being resurrected. I think it will come. After all we do have to repair roads and bridges and relying on sales taxes has become problematic with lower consumption. Shifting from a per gallon tax to a per mile driven tax makes a lot of sense today. Combine driving less with hybrid or electric vehicles and you get lower gasoline taxes which crimps the state budget. The question is how you make sure the only data collected is how many miles are driven not where they occurred.
I read a snippet of an article this last weekend that some experts predict that this year's presidential election will consume $2billion alone. That doesn't cover the other elections on tap this year. I thought at the time that the very notion of that amount of money (one-eightth of the U.S. GDP) was a totally obscene amount. And I wondered what the donors would expect in the way of pay back. Ronni Bennett has a post this morning that gives some answers. As the King in the Wizard of Id comic strip once said 'Remember the Golden Rule: He who has the gold rules.'