Joseph Stiglitz reminds us that our current economy is not a "good" economy, regardless of any propaganda from our President or our media -- and also says we should be looking at indices other than Gross National Product or the Dow Jones Industrial Average to determine our economy's health. "Neither tells us what’s happening to ordinary citizens’ living standards or anything about sustainability," he says, and thus he offers life expectancy, disposable income, percentage of citizens with health insurance, and "deaths of despair" (i.e., deaths from suicide, alcoholism, and drug ODs) as better indicators of our economic health. We'd need more kinds of data to measure the effects of climate change on the economy, of course, though measuring property damage due to extreme weather events is a good start. (And if you're still wondering how to counter our Administration's constant bellowing about TEH LOWEST BLACK UNEMPLOYMENT RATEZ EVERZ!!!!!, consider that black wages still lag well behind white wages.)
Jonathan Chait reminds us that our President has long desired to weaken the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, even once saying, out loud, that "(i)t’s just so unfair that American companies aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas." His economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, says the Administration is still "looking at" changing the law, though it's hard to imagine the House going along with that, having just impeached our President after he essentially tried to bribe a foreign leader with the prospect of getting more business overseas in mind. When you hear statements like we need to bribe people more -- and when you contemplate, frankly, everything else he's ever done -- you'll find it easy to conclude, as Mr. Chait does, that our President "actually approves of corruption." But, sadly, our President's votaries also approve of corruption, and not just because our President is Their Bastard -- it's also because they think they're a lot smarter than everyone else when they're just a lot more cynical than everyone else.
In the wake of reports that our President apparently called our highest-ranking military officers "a bunch of dopes and babies" to their faces, I feel compelled to remind you, again, that nothing will split the insane 25% of the electorate away from our President -- they'll insist that our President loves the soldiers so much that of course he hates their leaders, and I suppose that's what passes for class solidarity among that lot. They'll also point out that our President loves winning wars, and it's true that we don't dominate the world despite spending more on defense than the next eight big-spending nations combined, although, well, there may be another lesson in there. And naturally they'll also scrub their memories of all those times they slammed Barack Obama for "not listening to the generals enough," since being a votary of our President means (just as being a Bush Mobb votary meant) never having to admit you've ever been wrong about anything, ever.