Who knows? Maybe the Dow will rally tomorrow, and here’s hoping it does. But so far the markets have greeted Obama’s program with a resounding thud. I have never thought that Obama’s rhetorical tone was making much difference one way or the other, that he was “talking down the markets.” The problems are much deeper than that. Indeed, after his resounding pledge of recovery last week in his quasi-SOTU, markets have continued to slide. Obama’s debut is quite different from FDR’s. FDR took office in the midst of a total meltdown of the banking system and acted boldly to arrest it. In March 1933, the Dow was at 52. It climbed 75 percent in the first 100 days. By December 1, 1933 it was 99. Obama is temporizing with his financial crisis in favor of moving quickly on his big spending plans, and watching the Dow trip steadily downward by the day. It’s as if FDR skipped the bank holiday and focused first on passing the CCC. The last day before Obama was inaugurated, the Dow was at 8,281. Today, it closed at 6,763. Two political points: 1) Every day the markets continue to slide, it makes it harder on Obama to blame the mess on President Bush and forswear any responsibility himself; 2) if I were Eric Cantor or John Boehner, I’d be talking about a “real recovery package” every day– payroll and corporate tax cuts, regulatory reforms for the financial and auto industries, relief for small business. None of it is going to pass, of course, but it will dispel the idea that they aren’t for anything and show they are zealous about trying to check the economy’s downward slide.
Trumpism is sometimes derided as an updated know-nothingism that rejects expertise and the input of credentialed expertise. Supposedly, professionals who could now save us tragically have their talent untapped as they sit idle at the Council on Foreign Relations, the economics Department at Harvard, or in the ... Read More
Every now and then, I’ll read some news that makes my eyes bug out and my jaw drop to the floor because I can’t believe how stupid it is. This week, it was the news that fired FBI agent Peter Strzok has raised over $400,000 for his legal costs and lost income via a GoFundMe campaign. Let me rephrase: ... Read More
Well, we all knew it wouldn’t last. Weeks after two different Ninth Circuit panels surprisingly upheld Second Amendment rights by blocking California’s confiscation of large-capacity magazines and Hawaii’s ban on open carry, the nation’s most progressive circuit returned to form. In a ruling earlier this ... Read More
After eight years of displeasure with Barack Obama’s presidency, Carla Johnson was ready for a drastic change. The 41-year-old lab technician from Cresco, Iowa, fell for Donald Trump very early in the 2016 primary season. She loved his “take-no-[sh**]” style, his conservative stances on gun control and ... Read More
Let’s take a short walk down memory lane. Not long ago, on January 2, 2016, a small group of armed protesters seized an unoccupied federal building in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is located in a relatively isolated area in eastern Oregon, and the occupied building itself was far from any ... Read More