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Hopelessly out of touch 

Barry Ritholtz’s The Big Picture has some interesting analysis of how the economy will affect the US presidential election.

He points to the steady drop in non-farm payrolls since the recession ended and notes, “This chart screams seismic shift in something very basic. THAT is the the vulnerability of the incumbent — something very different is happening, and due to a slavish and dogmatic policy, the White House continues to miss it. The old Supply Side playbook hasn’t and won’t work in response to these issues. Any incumbent whose economic platform can be painted as ‘old school’ or ‘hopelessly out of touch with a modern and rapidly changing world’ is potentially vulnerable to ‘new economic ideas’.”

Another terrible Bush decision 

President Bush seemed to be with the good guys when he announced the US would cease using dumb landmines.

But as Stuart Hughes comments, that’s nowhere near enough.

“The Bush administration is increasing spending on mine clearance and mine awareness programmes by 50% as a way of deflecting attention from the real issue — that five years after it was accepted into international law, the USA still has not signed the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty. That puts America in the same category as every other country in its much-vaunted Axis of Evil — Iran, Iraq and North Korea (the full list of non-signatories can be found here.)”

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