It really is starting to look like "That 70s Show." The consumer price index measure of inflation showed a big jump this morning (though maybe it is a temporary spike from volatile energy prices, which are already coming back down, but then. . . what happens when the economy really does recover and China starts gulping down oil again?). In any case, the rapid money supply growth of the current period surely looks to be storing up a world of trouble in the future. I hope the smart folks who say we still face a threat of deflation are right.
Meanwhile, in Washington the left is beating the drum to investigate the CIA further, apparently about a targeted assassination program that was never put into operation (why not?), and hopefully charge former Vice President
Darth Vader Dick Cheney with some kind of crime. Haven’t we seen this movie before? In the mid-1970s we crippled the CIA with the Church and Pike committee investigations. If Attorney General Holder does indeed appoint a special counsel to investigate Cheney it will mean the end of Obama’s legislative program, because the GOP on Capitol Hill will go to war. I suspect this is why the White House is publicly disdaining Holder’s proposed investigation.
I wonder if Cheney isn’t secretly hoping they’ll come after him. Cheney was a member of the joint House-Senate Iran-Contra investigation in 1987, which abruptly fizzled when Oliver North humiliated the Democrats (and some Republican squishes) on the committee. What the liberals never grasped about that whole episode was that most Americans were more angered by the arms sales to Iran than the diversion of funds to the contras, but single-minded liberals wanted to exploit the contra angle because they hated Reagan’s policy and wanted to kill it. It backfired badly on them; public support for Reagan’s contra policy went up as a result of the hearings, for the first time in his presidency.
So I can imagine Dick Cheney before a congressional hearing, calmly doing what North did in 1987: "Yes, we were considering an assassination program against Al Qaeda personnel. You got a problem with that? [NB: Obama is continuing to kill Al Qaeda personnel with Predator drone strikes in Pakistan today. The CIA was apparently pondering how to do it with human teams for people whom the Predator bombs can’t reach.] Of course we didn’t inform Congress about this while it was being put together; we didn’t want to read about it in the paper tomorrow morning." Go ahead, Democrats, make my day.
Finally, I see the Sarah Palin story continues to chug along with new stories every day. I notice she’s on the cover of Time magazine this week, as "The Renegade." Renegade indeed: she’s wearing bright blue toenail polish. I’m not a fashionista, but someone will need to explain this to me. Is she subtly channeling Ronald Reagan’s slogan that the Republican party should be a party of bold colors, with no pale pastels?