For more than 20 years we’ve heard about the greatness of Ronald Reagan and his economic policies. According to those who believe, everything was better under Ronald Reagan. The sunshine was brighter. Oranges were tastier. Jobs were more plentiful. People sang and danced in the streets as if in a musical. Well, the ’80s were good, but they weren’t great.
Yesterday, I revealed the unemployment rate over the last several decades. The one thing that jumps out is that during Ronald Reagan’s presidency the unemployment rate was higher than at any other time in the last 40 years. Conservatives continue to point to Ronald Reagan as an economic guru. So, I thought I would look up the GDP since 1960. Since our gross domestic product (GDP) is somewhat related to our population, it’s not fair to compare the GDP of the 1960s with the GDP of today. Our population is much bigger. Therefore, we should standardize GDP by looking at gross domestic product per capita. Also, we need to take inflation into account. So, this would be the real GDP. Finally, to make it fair, we should look at gross domestic product per year. Got it. Real GDP per capita per year.
Now we get out pencil and paper. The John F. Kennedy/Lyndon Baines Johnson administration seems to have an annualized growth rate of 3.48%. Bill Clinton seems to have an annualized growth rate of 2.49%. Ronald Reagan seems to have an annualized growth rate of 2.45%. (More explanation of real GDP – http://faculty.hacc.edu/jhuang/econdata/htm/rgdp_pc/rgdp_pc.htm) So it looks as if the economy didn’t do its best under Reagan. Instead, it did its best under Kennedy/Johnson. Second to note is the much aligned Bill Clinton. So, when conservatives are telling me that the economy did better under Reagan, I’m not sure that the data support that notion.
Before this gets more out of control, let me say that I thought the Arizona Cardinals, if they played a perfect game, could stay with the explosive New Orleans Saints. The Saints have an average defense, which is clearly vulnerable. The one thing that stands out on this defense is that they are ball hawks. They create turnovers and they capitalize on turnovers. Although this game is far from over, for all practical purposes, it’s over. Reggie Bush is playing like the player we thought he would be two years ago. He has become explosive.
Indianapolis Colts versus the Baltimore Ravens. Can the Ravens’ defense control and slow down the Indianapolis Colts offense? This is the big question. I simply don’t think so. I think that the Ravens will have to play an almost perfect game. I look for Peyton Manning to find other targets besides Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark. I look for them to attack Ed Reed. Ed is a great safety who likes to wander and ball hawk. I think the Colts can take advantage of this. On the other side of the ball, I think that everyone expects that the Ravens will try to control the ball and shorten the game. This is exactly what the Miami Dolphins tried to do earlier in the season. Just like Miami, I don’t think that the Baltimore Ravens will be able to control the ball enough to win the game.
By ecthompsonmd|2010-01-16T18:47:54-04:00January 16th, 2010|Sports|Comments Off on NFL: divisional games on Saturday
Maybe Governor Sarah Palin needs a new speechwriter. Maybe Mark Sanford will be free soon. Alaska Governor Sarah Palin gave a rambling and somewhat confusing speech today. She is stepping down as governor of Alaska because she wants “no more conventional politics as usual.” During her speech, she took a couple of digs at the press and at “big government.” She used an analogy on basketball which almost made sense… kind of. Then she came back to the analogy later in the speech and mentioned something about an “audible,” which I thought was a football term and not a basketball one, but what do I know? The one thing that is clear is that she wants to “build up and not tear down.” Yet she seems to want to fight for something. But what?
Then there is an interesting part of her speech where she seems to be telling conservative Republicans that she is open for business. She’ll be happy to come and campaign for you. She’ll be happy to raise money for you. The only thing she didn’t do was leave a too-free number (1-800- I can fundraise for a fee).
Not only will she not be seeking reelection, but she’s stepping down as governor almost immediately. She talked about not being one of those who “goes with the flow.”
The governor couldn’t be stepping down because she’s just penned a multi million dollar deal to write a book. With that kind of money, she could hire consultants and Republican strategists to teach her conservative philosophy and learn the issues. Naw, I’m sure I’m just being too cynical.
So after listening to her speech for over 10 minutes, I know she’s stepping down as governor but I have no clue as to why. My question is whether if she were vice president would she be doing this same thing? Would she be stepping down as vice president now?
Update: Sometimes you just know there is more to this story that it first appears.
Max Blumental reports on The Daily Beast that Sarah Palin may have quit her job today because she was trying to avert a major, yet-to-be-disclosed corruption scandal. The gist of the rumor is that an Alaska building company called Spenard Building Supplies (SBS) was awarded a contract by Palin to build a hockey arena in Wasilla, AK, and in return, SBS helped construct Palin’s home:
Many political observers in Alaska are fixated on rumors that federal investigators have been seizing paperwork from SBS in recent months, searching for evidence that Palin and her husband Todd steered lucrative contracts to the well-connected company in exchange for gifts like the construction of their home on pristine Lake Lucille in 2002. The home was built just two months before Palin began campaigning for governor, a job which would have provided her enhanced power to grant building contracts in the wide open state.
SBS has close ties to the Palins. The company has not only sponsored Todd Palin’s snowmobile team, according to the Village Voice’s Wayne Barrett, it hired Sarah Palin to do a statewide television commercial in 2004.
Though Todd Palin told Fox News he built his Lake Lucille home with the help of a few “buddies,” according to Barrett’s report, public records revealed that SBS supplied the materials for the house. While serving as mayor of Wasilla, Sarah Palin blocked an initiative that would have required the public filing of building permits—thus momentarily preventing the revelation of such suspicious information.
Just months before Palin left city hall to campaign for governor, she awarded a contract to SBS to help build the $13 million Wasilla Sports Complex. The most expensive building project in Wasilla history, the complex cost the city an addition $1.3 million in legal fees and threw it into severe long-term debt. For SBS, however, the bloated and bungled project was a cash cow.