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DECEMBER 23,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

THE BACKLASH BUILDS – FROM HOTAIR.COM:  As you may have heard, shootings and murders are up around the country. That’s especially true in Philadelphia which had already recorded more murders this year than either New York City or Los Angeles. Progressive DA Larry Krasner’s response to that spike in violence has been denial. “We don’t have a crisis of lawlessness, we don’t have a crisis of crime, we don’t have a crisis of violence,” Krasner said earlier this month.  Today, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports Krasner’s office is in chaos after 261 attorneys have decided they’d had enough of working there and quit. That’s out of an office of about 340 lawyers.  Don't look for any headlines about this at CNN or The New York Times.

THE INEVITABLE EXCUSE – FROM FOX:   Vice President Kamala Harris is reportedly expressing discontent with the news coverage surrounding her performance as the nation's second-highest office holder, citing her race and gender.  According to a piece by The New York Times, Harris has been privately complaining to her allies that the media's coverage of her would be better if she were any of her 48 White male predecessors, and has reportedly confided in them about the difficulties she's facing with her assigned portfolio from the White House.  The Times's piece, which focused on Harris's struggle to "define herself" within the Biden White House, noted that she held no "headlining role" when it came to some of the administration's most difficult decisions and that she was caught between criticism that she wasn't performing the job well and resentment from supporters that she was being "undercut" by the West Wing.  Yes, we recall how warmly the press dealt with Vice President Richard Nixon .

December 23, 2021       Permalink



SUMMERS PREDICTS A WINTRY ECONOMY – OVERNIGHT:  Larry Summers, smart economist and former president of Harvard, doesn't have a warm greeting for economic conditions.  From Fox Business: 

Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers on Thursday warned the U.S. economy could slide into a recession as the Federal Reserve takes what he described as long-delayed action to cool the hottest inflation in nearly four decades.

Summers, during an interview on a Bloomberg Economics podcast, said the U.S. central bank has been late to spot the dangers of inflation, and that steps it takes now to mitigate soaring prices risk tipping the economy into a slump.

"If I thought we could sustainably run the economy in a red-hot way, that would be a wonderful thing, but the consequence – and this is the excruciating lesson we learned in the 1970s – of an overheating economy is not merely elevated inflation, but constantly rising inflation," Summers said. "That’s why my fear is that we are already reaching a point where it will be challenging to reduce inflation without giving rise to recession."

Summers, a Harvard University professor who served in both the Clinton and Obama administrations, has repeatedly sounded the alarm over rising inflation and has spent much of 2021 arguing that the Biden team, as well as Fed policymakers, have underestimated the risk of soaring consumer prices. 

He has warned that putting off tackling inflation will only require more severe action down the road that could undermine the economy's recovery from the pandemic.

"We’ve got a fairly serious inflationary situation," Summers said. 

Soaring inflation that has shown no signs of slowing down has forced the central bank and the White House to shift closer to Summers' stance. The government reported earlier this month that prices jumped 6.8% in November from the previous year, the fastest pace since June 1982, when inflation hit 6.1%. 

COMMENT:  Clearly, the economy is building as a key issue, maybe the key issue of the upcoming 2022 midterms.  But don't take that as gospel.  The economy is almost always at the top of the issue list, but I wouldn't be shocked if, next year, culture, and especially the culture of our schools, is at the top as well.  Remember what happened just last month in Virginia, where a parents' revolt played a key role in putting a Republican in the governor's chair.

December 23, 2021       Permalink

 

 

 

 

DECEMBER 22,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT: 

GLUM NATION – FROM BREITBART:   Americans’ confidence in the economy is the “worst since the Great Recession,” according to a Gallup poll released on Wednesday.  The Economic Confidence Index (ECI) is down to -33, which while far from the record low of -72 in October 2008, reflects a negative growing sentiment toward rampant inflation. Notably, the ECI is just as low as it was in April 2020 — the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.  “With inflation in the U.S. at its highest point since 1982, Americans’ confidence in the economy has dropped to where it was in April 2020, when nationwide shutdowns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic plunged the nation into a recession,” the poll report states.   The percentage of U.S. adults who think the economy is the country’s most important problem increase three percentage points to 29 percent, which is the highest level in roughly five years. The percentage is still “well below” 86 percent in February 2009 and 73 percent in 1991 during economic recessions.   Happy New Year.

December 22, 2021       Permalink

 

INTENTIONS – OVERNIGHT:  Mr. Biden publicly addressed speculation over whether he'd run again in 2024.  His comments are noteworthy mainly as human interest.  Many things, obviously, are out of his hands.  From the New York Post: 

President Joe Biden said he would run for re-election if he was “in good health” and he believed “fate” would help bring him a second term.

Biden, 79, made the caveat in an interview with ABC News Wednesday, telling “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir he would welcome a rematch with former President Donald Trump.

“If I’m in the health I’m in now – I’m in good health – then, in fact, I would run again,” Biden said.
“I’m a great respecter of fate. Fate has intervened in my life many, many times.”

Biden also said a rematch against his 2020 rival would make him more likely to run.

“You’re trying to tempt me now. Sure. Why would I not run against Donald Trump if he were the nominee? That would increase the prospect of running,” the Democrat said.

Trump, who is 75, would also be in his 80s in the White House if he won a second non-consecutive term.

Biden also said the US response to the Omicron variant surge was not a “failure,” but regretted not ordering millions of free rapid tests for Americans “two months ago.”

Biden was grilled by Muir on the lack of availability of tests in the days before Christmas, a year into his presidency and two years into the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Nothing’s been good enough,” he conceded. “But look, look where we are. When last Christmas, we were in a situation where we had significantly fewer vaccinated — people vaccinated, emergency rooms were filled. You had serious backups in hospitals that were causing great difficulties.”

Biden, who announced plans Tuesday to purchase 500 million at-home tests and give them out for free next month, said the administration should have been better prepared to combat the highly transmissible variant and the long lines at testing centers and empty pharmacy shelves.

COMMENT:  If the president thinks he's in "good health" now, I'd love to see what he'd mean by bad health.  The fact is that he often comes off as confused and out of touch.  I will not speculate about 1984, but the Democratic Party had better have a new team ready to take over. 

December 22, 2021       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

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