Conservative outrage du jour: Jonathon Gruber, on video as “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage” http://keithhennessey.com/2014/11/10/honesty-about-lying/ You could easily say “lying is a huge political advantage.” I don’t know how it’s not fair to call playing on ambiguity, opacity, and misdirection ‘lying’. But in politics the bar is high if you want to call someone a liar and make it stick. We are right to be reminded I guess that it’s OK for liberals to lie, as there’s not a moral equivalence between liberals lying to further the greater good and the Republicans lying for the Koch brothers. And this certainly qualifies amirite? I tell ya, that “we have to lie (a little / sometimes / often) to get past the recalcitrance of the stupid American voter” is a Democrat touchstone if there ever was one, from the dorm room to campaign war room. What’s the word…. I’m thinking its ‘anti-democratic’.
This certainly puts the lie to the value of the CBO, insofar as superficially earnest arguing liberal sycophants liked to throw that out there as a trump card. Its BS. Give them fake numbers, they’ll give you a fake forecast.
#Pointergate. This is again one of these things where people need to lose their jobs pronto. Ideally Hodges would be able to defenestrate the leadership of entire departments. It’s disappointing that can’t happen.
Now that ain’t ‘gang signs’, sayeth me, a middle aged white guy. But as a cultural matter I was moved to contemplate where the hand signs thing comes from. Fair to say it’s kind of urban and street, and mostly just plays off hip-hop iconography. So really, it’s just Hodges saying ‘I’m down with this guy’ and him saying ‘I’m down with Hodges.’ It’s goofing.
At WWP, both Joey and the Dooosh have critiques up on Pointergate. You’ll all probably remember that I’ve critiqued Lambo’s political insight as poor at best, trading entirely as it does on tropes that flatter liberals for their intelligence and supposed lack of bigotry. I don’t see any real weakness in his analysis here, however.
The President’s economic ‘successes’. I don’t think there’s any characterization to be made that convincingly argues for the mastery and adeptness of Obama economic thought. They got lucky. There’s been an energy boom in the country, one which Democrats wouldn’t have allowed had it happened on public land.
The stimulus didn’t do anything, the left / center critique is it was too small and too focused on tax breaks. What has occurred since 2010 is a kind of budgetary stasis identical to the Clinton / Gingrich stalemates of the 90’s, which makes for some economic stability. And QE, which has benefitted the wealthy as asset prices have been buoyed. Yay trickle down.
So yeah, the economy is ‘OK’, with a certain vibrancy of institutional commerce. I’m hooked onto one of those teats, and as a credentialed middle ager I can pull down 100K until the time comes that economy moves past me and I can’t. Its perilous, there are high barriers to entry, and I don’t think it’s a ‘good’ economy, certainly as evaluated against progressive aspirations. Where the money is going completely disqualifies the notion this is a ‘good’ economy.