IMF (Politely) Confirms: Austerity Doesn't Work

Wow, it just doesn't get much more stark than this. Via Paul Krugman: On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund came out with a new report which states, albeit in dry, fact-based bureaucratese, that the world's governments (particularly though not exclusively those in the Eurozone) ought not continue down the path of fiscal consolidation (debt-reduction), lest they risk slowing the world's...

Debt Ceiling Endgame

It's Christmas time in Washington, The Democrats rehearse Gettin' into gear for four more years Of things not gettin' worse. ~ Steve Earle, "Christmas In Washington" I see at least one fairly prominent left-ish blogger has started to point out that Republicans have essentially won the debt ceiling debate. By "won," Ezra means essentially that the GOP has maneuvered the debate into a position...

When (and HOW) Will Our Manufactured Debt-Ceiling Crisis End?

I will leave this poll up in the sidebar for new votes until the crisis is actually resolved - however (and whenever) it gets resolved. I stopped at seven answers (including the ever-popular "other"), but in truth, I could have just as easily constructed a poll with eleven or fifteen answers, all slightly different. Between the "Grand Bargain" floated by Obama, the McConnell deal (both the...

More Obamania

Readers of this blog will recognize that this isn't the first time I've referenced Matt Taibbi's seminal article from December, 2009, entitled "Obamania." 'Twas Taibbi who coined the phrase "Obamania" which I use today for this post as well. He wrote it during culmination of the frenzied battle over the PPACA ("Obamacare"), and I've returned to it more than once because it describes in some of...

Broken Clock Ron Paul Gets One Right

Has hell frozen over? Is it a late April Fools' joke? No, your eyes aren't deceiving you, that really IS progressive firebrand economist Dean Baker endorsing and throwing his intellectual heft behind one of Ron Paul''s ideas.Like a lot of people on the left side of the political spectrum in this country, I consider Ron Paul something of a loose cannon. It's not that he's an inconsistent...

Paul Krugman Crushes One Into The Bleachers

In a blog post today at his perch over at the New York Times. Krugman's post concerns once again finding ourselves in the baffling circumstance of having the Democratic President we voted for sounding almost indistinguishable from the Republicans, this time on the issue of the deficit and debt limit. To stave off in advance one of the most common, shopworn ripostes to any criticism of Obama from...

Two Cheers For Barack Obama, AKA: Update On The State Of The Economy…?

Apologies for the long delay between the last post and this one. I've had my mother visiting for the past two weeks - always a pleasure, but means I have much less time for doing other things like, say, keeping up with current political happenings by posting here.So, last time I posted, I had the then-breaking news that the President was supposed to have endorsed most of the...

Budget Strategery and Real World Effects

The Washington Post is reporting today that - as many progressives feared - President Obama will be endorsing the general (and possibly specific) recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles Fiscal Commission, long since dubbed the "Catfood Commission" in his budget talk tomorrow evening:Obama will not blaze a fresh path when he delivers a much-anticipated speech Wednesday afternoon at George Washington...

Adult Conversations

Made you look. ;o) -- Not THOSE kind of "adult conversations." I'm talking about the kind of adult conversations the GOP both ran on last fall, and came into power in the House last week claiming they wanted to have. Here's Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) using the phrase referring to Medicare "reform" last November, just before the election. Here's newly-minted chair of the House Budget Committee and...