Voting: I escaped the frenzy and hid out in Europe, where acquaintances didn't understand why we let partisans run elections. I said the wine was quite nice and US elections are simply pro-forma. They asked why everyone wasn't required to vote. I asked for another glass. Athens? No, I didn't go there - I wanted to get away from austerity and its friends. Spain? Yes, but only to change
Bigger Deal: Yes, the US had a storm, an election and another storm, but the real news is that worldwide Samsung smart phones are outselling those other ones.
Wiggle Room: John Boenher, describing himself as "the most reasonable, responsible person" in Washington, began the GOP obstructionism to any progress on the "fiscal cliff" by insisting that raising tax rates is "unacceptable" while Obama says he will veto any deal that does not raise taxes on the rich. Boenher claims the Republicans "will put new revenue on the table", by which he means they will propose new goodies ofor the rich on the (disproven) assumption that letting the dodge even more taxes will help the poor and "secure our entitlements." Secure in the GOP useage means cut, reduce, dwindle, diminish, and possibly privatize. But all is not lost; Boehner admitted the voters had finally gotten it through his head that Obamacare was "the law of the land" so instead of trying to repeal the act once a week, they will now try to 'improve' or 'extend' or - heaven help us - even 'secure' it.
Dream On: Now that we have Ms. Warren, what are we going to do with her? Pile on unrealistic hopes and then be disappointed - a familiar theme.
Once More, With Feeling: Senate Increased Majority Leader Harry Reid says it is time to reign in at least the most egregious mis-use of filibusters to paralyze the legislative process. Either this is the first thing the new Senate does in January, or it's gonna be minority
rude rule for another four years. Reid also promised not to “mess with Social Security". Sure.
Tautology: When you buy a car on credit, that's deficit spending. You now have debt. But you created a job for the guy who makes the car. Same deal when your Uncle buys a whole bunch of whatever it is that Sam keeps going into debt for – it creates jobs. Anything that cuts spending cuts jobs. Would the lower taxes stir the 1% to create enough jobs to offset those lost by reducing the deficit? Nope. What we do know is that raising taxes on the rich (to lower the deficit) results in less jobs lost than any other measure. So if we must give the Republicans what they want, a lower deficit, let's do it by raising taxes on the rich.
Foreshadowing? Same-store sales at McDonalds fell 1.1% in October, after a 1.9% gain in September. This is the first monthly drop since 2003 and was spread across the US, Europe and beyond.
Reflections: The Justice Department has not put a single Wall Street mandarin in jail for ruining out economy and millions of lives, but 750,000 people were arrested for marijuana possession last year.
Which Way Out? The S&P 500 has fallen beneath it's 200-day moving average which is supposed to mean something bad is going to happen. Or has.
A Profit In His Own Country: Republican mail order guru Karl Rove claims that Obama got re-elected because he convinced voters not to cast their ballots for Romney. Duh? Rove, ever on the cutting edge of political insight, said this constituted vote suppression. “Fifty-three percent in the exit polls said on Election Day that Mitt Romney’s policies would only help the rich,” Rove said. “And they voted for Obama by a 9 to 1 margin.” Talk about dirty politics...
Daily Special: All of the drama and disappointment and demagoguery of previous year's budget histrionics will be revised and repeated in 2013, when once again nothing much will be done until Obama gives in. Again.
The Bigger Tent: “We need to welcome people who believe in different things than we do, like math and science. Just because we don’t believe in those things doesn’t mean we can’t get along with people who do. We want to send this message: math and science Americans are Americans, too.” What? Yes, yes, it's a spoof. A good one.
The Parting Shot:
A trail's a trail.