Monday, November 16, 2009


It appears that lobbyists and members of Congress got caught making each other's job much easier. Statements made by House members during the health care debate were written either in part or entirely by lobbyists from Genentech, one of the world's largest biotech companies.

No surprise here.

Members of Congress have been writing favorable legislation and doing industry business for some time now (the dergulation of the financial sector is just one example). Still, it's interesting that the NY Times actually got a hold of e-mails confirming what most of us already know: Lobbyists are writing legislation, and they're also telling our members of Congress what to think.

Also in the news ... As I've been arguing for some time now, it appears that things will get worse on the job front rather than better.

Economist Nouriel Roubini, who was one of several people telling the world that the market was going to collapse in 2008, says the worst is not over. The result of our job's picture isn't good. According to Roubini:

... we can expect weak recovery of consumption and economic growth; larger budget deficits; greater delinquencies in residential and commercial real estate and greater fall in home and commercial real estate prices; greater losses for banks and financial institutions on residential and commercial real estate mortgages, and in credit cards, auto loans and student loans and thus a greater rate of failures of banks; and greater protectionist pressures.
Those of you who read this blog regularly know why I agree with this assessment. I'll be posting some graphs by the end of the month showing why things will get worse, rather than better.

Finally, on the war front (with a hat tip to Dogan). We have former Marine (who served in Iraq) and U.S. diplomat in Afghanistan, Mathew Hoh, discussing why we need to leave Afghanistan

Hoh - who resigned his diplomatic post recently - has been hearing from active military who see no end in sight, and who don't have any real sense what the mission is now. This is not good. Still, I'm sure, the military crazies in this country we cry foul if we don't stay, in the process propping up a corrupt and kleptocratic regime that only wants us to stay to help keep them in power.

- Mark

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