The scandals that aren’t

Some perspective on the recent Obama scandals, from Paul Krugman:

I picked a good week to be away — and I am still away, mostly, although playing a bit of hooky on the notebook right now. For it has been the week of OBAMA SCANDALS, nonstop.

Except it seems that there weren’t actually any scandals, just the usual confusion and low-level mistakes that happen all the time, in any administration.

Does the evaporation of the scandals matter? I don’t know. Unfortunately, I remember the early Clinton years, when ridiculous stuff — restructuring at the White House travel office, for God’s sake, and a money-losing land deal — led to years of front-page headlines, endless investigations,and nothing at all in the form of proven Clinton wrongdoing. If the press decide that scandals are going to be the topic, the absence of actual scandals may not matter.

Oh, and the ongoing disaster of economic policy? Boooring.

Which political party is touting non-existent scandals, and which one is doing nothing to address economic issues. Appears to be the same party.


The president and the Cards

Last night, the Louisville Cardinals won the Big East basketball tournament for the second year in a row, after coming back from a 13 point halftime deficit to beat Syracuse by 17 points. But despite that miraculous win, this gathering, which happened a couple of days ago, has to be the highlight of the tournament:

5646_423300774420720_2096740604_n_mediumThat’s (from left) Russ Smith, Bubba and Peyton Siva in the front row and Chane Behanan and Luke Hancock in the back.

I saw former President Bill Clinton on the University of Louisville campus in 2010, the day before Election Day. From what I remember, the candidate running for the U.S. Senate, who was standing beside him for a couple of hours, did not display any desire to stick out his tongue.

But then, Clinton seems to be having a better time here …


… than he did at the rally for the guy who ended up losing to Rand Paul.

The ‘socialist’ stock market rally

The next time our friends on the right say President Obama is leading us down the path to socialism (it’s early in the day, they should say it in the next hour or so), hit them with this (from Neil Irwin at Wonkblog):

We are living through the strongest stock market rally since the late 1990s–though this one has far, far more solid fundamentals underlying it.

The rise is a major, major reason that Americans’ household finances are looking better. …

The U.S. stock market has been on an absolute tear, rising back to near its pre-crisis level. Tuesday was a typical day in this long rally, which has proceeded with only a few interruptions since March 2009.

The above sentences were written on Tuesday, Jan. 23, and by the end of that day the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 13,774.33. As of the Feb. 1 close, it’s at 14,009.79.

Obama inherited a dying American economy (from Republican President George Bush the Dumber) when he took office in January 2009, and when things bottomed out on March 2, 2009, about a month and a half after Obama was inaugurated, the Dow stood at 6626.94.

Think about it. In less that four years, the Dow has gone from 6626.94 to 14,009.79. That’s a 111% gain.

Meanwhile a deluded GOP based its past presidential campaign on Obama’s “failed economic policies,” and how Mitt Romney, the capitalist champion, was going to lift us back to economic prosperity by essentially bringing back the policies of Bush.

Let’s take a look at the market since 1993, when Bill Clinton became president.

January 1993: 3310.00.
January 1997: 6813.09 (A 106% climb. End of Clinton’s first term.)
January 2001: 10,887.36 (A 60% gain. End of Clinton’s second term.)
January 2005: 10,489.94 (A 3.6% decline. End of Bush’s first term.)
January 2009: 8000.86 (A 24% drop. End of Bush’s second term.)
January 2013: 13,860.58 (A 73% rise. End of Obama’s first term.)

So, the right wing said Clinton and Obama were leading us down the path to socialism, and the stock market soared. They insisted that economic policies that prevailed during the Bush administration are the path to prosperity, and the stock market tanked.

Whose policies do you think Wall Street prefers?

Actually, don’t think about it. The numbers are the answer.


Bill Clinton explains Romney’s tax cuts

It’s just a matter of arithmetic over illusion. The second presidential debate is tonight. Keep this in mind while you watch.

Obama says he’ll compromise with GOP if he’s re-elected

Obama’s view of a different second-term dynamic in Washington, even if both he and House Republicans retain power, seems a stretch given the stalemated politics of a divided government. He said two changes – the facts that “the American people will have voted,” and that Republicans will no longer need to be focused on beating him – could lead to better conditions for deal-making.

If Republicans are willing, Obama said, “I’m prepared to make a whole range of compromises” that could even rankle his own party. But he did not get specific.

OK. He’s starting to piss me off.

Maybe he’s playing some kind of four dimensional kung-fu chess that my little brain can’t possibly understand, but there is no way in hell this is going to happen. And here’s my proof.

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan on Wednesday held Bill Clinton up as a model of reform and Barack Obama as his opposite, hours before the former president’s speech to the Democratic National Convention.

Campaigning in Iowa, Ryan lauded Clinton administration action on welfare reform and spending reductions – areas where the GOP ticket has aimed some of its sharpest critiques of Obama, the incumbent Democrat.

Anyone who had a functioning brain during Bill Clinton’s second term must remember a certain impeachment. If the GOP is saying what a great guy Bill Clinton was, and they impeached him in his second term and tried to get him thrown out of office, they will so something even more insane if (when) Obama wins a second term. … I don’t know, like charging Obama with murder for ordering the death of Osama bin Laden?

I’ve posted on this before, and my thoughts still go with this: