The Good, the Bad, and the Insightful – October 21, 2008

Today’s good, bad, and insightful is short… Very short.

The Good

Christopher Hitchens demands on Slate that the press ceases its coverage of Palin until she gives a press conference. The highlight:

Again, I have a question: Did Palin know that she was telling a lie? Or did her handlers simply assume that she would read anything that was put in front of her, however mendacious? And which would be worse? And when will she issue the needful retraction? There seems no way of putting her in a forum where these points could be raised. So, continued media coverage of her appearances is no better than lending a megaphone to a demagogue, the better to amplify her propaganda.

The Bad

Nothing bad today, it seems.

The Insightful

Paul Kedorsky’s post at the Daily Beast is the best blog post I’ve seen, bar none, in two weeks. The money quote:

That country has spent more than fifteen years stumbling in and out of recession after its own massive real estate bubble burst. Japan’s government has tried repeatedly, to use stimulus packages to bring the economy back to life, only to have it backslide each time almost as fast as the checks were cashed. There are many explanations for why the Japanese economy has been so unobliging. High among them is a view that the stimulus applied was poorly timed and in the wrong amount. Netted out for goofy subsequent tax increases and the like, most of the Japan stimulus packages was smallish, less than 1.5percent of GDP. And rather than doing it in big chunks, the Japanese did it in dribs and drabs. Done right, Japan would have spent more money and done it once, or twice at most—not smaller amounts spread out over a decade.

How much is the right amount now in the U.S.?

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