As regular readers know, I like to make a habit of putting up one post a day. You would think this would be easy to do in a state of underemployment. Well, not so. Doing one a day means doing ONLY one a day, and if you have to choose from five or six topics, sometimes it ends up being late in the day, and I say I want to forget it. The tyranny of choice.
Maybe a silver lining in an otherwise unfortunate natural disaster that is about to hit the East Coast of America (Hurricane Irene) is that it looks like many people will be stuck indoors for a good part of the weekend. Maybe I can do a Hurricane Blitz then–as long as the power stays on.
Some topics I’d like to hit:
1) Barack Obama begins his descent into wrapping up his first term. The debate in America is about whether Obama will be re-elected. I’d like to offer that the real question might be when Obama’s second term will begin. The more I see the screwing up out of the White House, the more it looks like Obama will be the first president since Grover Cleveland to serve two-terms non consecutively, as in the 44th and 46th President. He is letting the economy and the core base of the Republicans (so-called “Tea Party”) drag him down. I can’t lose any sleep over it. I have enough to worry about in my own life.
2) The greatest value in the Republican Party used to be integrity. Now, it seems to be who can make the most wild-a$$, extreme statement, or who can outdo the other with the policy position that is the most odious to the rest of America. Penn alum and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman seems to be the only person running more like a traditional Republican, and as Rachel Maddow points out, he’s polling at 1%.
3) Does it really matter who is the prime minister of Japan? Unaccountable bureaucrats and wealthy people in the shadows run the country anyway. Everyone says they can’t figure out why the Minshuto revolution of 2009 has been such a disaster. Well, nobody asked the bureaucrats if it was O.K. to change policies without their approval. Why isn’t more Japan reporting based on a (cleaned-up) analysis more like that? In America, we know that money buys politics and politicians, because our court system defined money as speech. In Japan, it’s clear that the people who run things are not the same as the people who have the title.
4) George Will had an article out about the career prospects of New Jersey governor Chris Christie. I think he is another Grover Cleveland.
5) Is the coming of the new Zairyu Card (Residence card in Japan) going to mean that people will finally have to enroll in the National Health Insurance and Pension? Would you believe me if I tell you, no? I am convinced that the government will simply leave those spots blank when it comes to foreigners, and there will be a large enough number that no one will think otherwise about it. There are too many business interests that stand in the way of making sure that treaty rights are respected between totalization countries (for the pension); and Japanese elements still feel it’s better not to have foreigners in their health system. So all of you who have been hitting the web for this issue in the last two weeks, why don’t you stop worrying. You are believing that the right thing will happen in Japan–those are the long odds in Atlantic City.
6) If Warren Buffett puts money in Bank of America as an investor, on special terms, doesn’t that mean the situation is as bad as what the market had sensed?
7) John Visentin gets a promotion at Hewlett-Packard.
8) I know when Lehman’s Repo 105 fraud transaction will be in the news, before it’s in the news–thanks to my WordPress dashboard . . .