Monthly Archives: September 2004

Things to Do During Tonight’s Recitations

I’m planning to work out and watch the tape later.
For those of you watching live: Follow These Instructions. Just start at the top and work your way down. Though you may get locked into this one:

Yawn. (no, REALLY yawn), then immediately curl your tongue backwards and force it against the roof of your mouth. The saliva glands under your tongue will squirt like a squirtgun! You can only squirt once or twice before another yawn is required.
It’s probably what the off camera contender will be doing.
Via Fantastic Planet.

The Recitation

Yes, the recitation. This is a much better than ‘debate’ as a descriptor of tonight’s marketing fluff piece involving bush and kerry. Thanks to Will Baude for pointing out Professor Leiter’s post that led me to this term:

Which means, as these letter writers put it, that, “Instead of a debate, we will be watching two men reciting the lines they have committed to memory to prepare for this occasion” and that “the presidential debate is more like a joint news conference.”
Really, this event won’t even rise to the level of a news conference.
And, what’s the deal with the TV folks being allowed to only show the one speaking? Are these guys not able to look presidential for more then 90 seconds at a time? Are they going to read crib notes while off camera? Pick their noses?
I had hoped the series of debates between kerry and bush might be substantive events but it appears that this will not be the case. Sadly, it seems the media is, so far, going along with the joke. The losers, of course, the American people.

A Benefit of the Deficit?

In 2003 US business invested $153 billion in foreign countries. This is about 27% of the world wide total foreign direct (FDI) investment of $560 billion and the second largest total on record. Sounds pretty positive.
Until you look at the other side of the picture. Historically FDI in the US has been about 20% of the world wide total and was $314 billion just four years ago. In 2003 FDI in the US was $29.8 billion, 5.3% of the total. Why has then been such dramatic slippage:

One explanation looks to the re-emergence of large budget deficits after the tax bills of 2001 and 2003. These can diminish confidence in America’s longer-term growth prospects, and simultaneously give foreign investors the choice to put money into government securities with a guaranteed return, as opposed to tangible businesses whose future can never be entirely certain. Security concerns and intensive media coverage of recent business scandals may also affect perceptions.
But the US doesn’t really need the jobs that this investment might have created, right?
Read the rest of the story.