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Having been up on the House side for the last two days, I can report that the fog of war has enveloped the Speaker and will attempt to explain why the Speaker is losing. CNN puts the Speaker down 11 votes, FireDogLake puts the Speaker down 25 — Yes at 190 — she needs 216. This is a classic political battle: conflicting reports, disinformation and propaganda (two distinct things) moles, the light and dark roles of key operatives, overlaid with the impact of time — and those “inside the decision cycle” of their enemy. The basic problem for the Speaker and her team is the enemy (to them, that’s us) is inside their decision cycle. The greatest defense the Speaker has had against this happening before now has been her irrational behavior. But the predictability factor has skyrocketed because the Speaker and the White House — aka Axelrod and Valerie J. and the One — are fully committed to a knowingly destructive course of action: a vote to “pass the Senate bill without voting on it.” This is what we know . . . Please click here for the rest of the post.
Okay, they are trying to bully the entire country, so this may not seem like such a big deal in the grand scheme of things. But, it’s a symptom of a much larger problem in the halls of Congress. Plus, it’s still really jerky, Better Than You ™ behavior. It’s also incredibly stupid ; the Hill cops are meant to protect them. Please click here for the rest of the post.
Ordinarily I might have just passed on to the next headline, shaking my head in amazement at today’s edition of elitist patronization from this NYT drivel, but I was frozen in place when I got to the part about originalists being racists and bible-toting torture-loving Confederacy-worshipping rubes. Once the author bridged this description of “Originalism” to the “Tea Party” movement, the conclusion was easily enough reached. But, we’re told, don’t hold it against them; they’re young still, and haven’t gotten the memo yet about Originalism being for small minded racists. Please click here for the rest of the post.
About the value of China’s currency: we all know it’s undervalued. The Chinese know it’s undervalued. They can see it in consumer-price inflation, which is now up between 2 and 3 percent after being subdued for much of 2009. They can see it in a 15% jump in housing prices in some cities. And they can see it in the growing concern among ordinary Chinese about the falling real value of their savings and their ability to keep up their headlong dash to prosperity. For all the talk about China powering a global recovery on a flood of government-driven investment, Chinese authorities have been steadily preparing the country for some tightening in bank lending and monetary conditions. They overstimulated, and they have to get this inflation under control. People are even starting to mutter darkly about a Chinese financial crisis caused by terrible credit quality among the (rampantly corrupt) local government authorities who borrow heavily against land to finance investment, using the central government’s credit. Against this backdrop, we had one of the mainstream media’s patented story clusters this past week, complete with heavily-publicized statements by favored pundits, innocently timed to coincide with statements by policymakers. Of course, none of this ever happens by design, since we all know the media are objective and only report what they see. PR has nothing to do with it. Please click here for the rest of the post.