Timothy Noah

Rick Perry, Weird Husbands, Stimulus, and More

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[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner]

Some random pickings from the day's news:

1. Rick Perry paid a visit to Sean Hannity's show last night, and the host asked the following question:

You have to think about people that you want around you as president on a daily basis. Give me the names of a few people, just off the top of your head, I won't ask you specifically, Vice President, Secretary of State, Defense, who would you like to have around you on a daily basis, giving their insight, their experience, their thought process...

This is what's called a softball. Perry said he'd speak to same of the same advisors he has today, before adding:

You know, I have had some great foreign policy conversations with Liz Cheney and with John Bolton, I mean, people who actually understand intimately where these countries are.

"These countries" were unspecified, but no can could possibly doubt Cheney's and Bolton's geographic prowess!

2. Hard to imagine why this guy's wife wanted a divorce...

3. Ramesh Ponnuru's and David Beckworth's piece on our site raises some interesting questions about monetary and fiscal policy, but I found one bit confusing:

The more fiscal stimulus Congress provides, the less monetary easing the Fed feels inclined to offer. Liberals feel they are compensating for the Fed’s lack of action, but they are really just encouraging it: the main effect of any current fiscal stimulus is not to expand the economy but to shift economic activity around (and especially to shift it from the private to the public sector). Spending may have an economic payoff if it raises the nation’s productive capacity, but it won’t increase total economic activity in the near term because monetary policy, given the Fed’s predilections, will adjust in response to the stimulus. [Italics Mine]

If this is the case, why is Bernanke pushing so hard for more fiscal stimulus?

4. Political junkies must click here.

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