Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Issues: May 4, 2011: bin Laden, Iran, Gas, GOP's budget, Cities w/Jobs, & Divorce

Most of the Western world continues to celebrate the death of bin Laden, many in Pakistan vow revenge. See this slideshow. The president's approval ratings went up 11%, but if you're an Obama supporter, don't get too excited. Not to be a Debbie Downer but these rally effect approval rating hikes tend toward the ephemeral.

Remember the hike the first Bush received after repelling Iraq from Kuwait? His approval ratings reached an all-time high, but he failed to win reelection when voters blamed him for a stagnant economy. This is why there is a sense of "foreboding" (NYT) in the polls despite personal satisfaction with Obama.
Joshua Tucker believes this might be "a bit of a game-changer."
I've heard lots of calls from liberals that now is the time to get out of Afghanistan because the wars cost too much. How much? Read here. I disagree. Now is the time to double-down on non-military foreign aid. It's important to remind the Middle East that we're than just about hunting down terrorists. We want economic and democratic opportunity everywhere for everyone. This chart show U.S. aid in the Middle East.

Violence, in the case of bin Laden's death, can actually be a good, however, in the case of Syria, violence, as it typically is, is quite bad. Follow that? One outcome is the Iranians have shut up. They know they are next in Spring Revolutions.

In related news, George W. Bush's declination to Obama invitation to appear with him at Ground Zero should not go unnoticed. I appreciate the fact that the former president has stayed out of the limelight. It shows grace that he's not seeking to hog the limelight. Obama gave the order to get bin Laden after serious debate, but what president would want to be known as the one that let bin Laden escape.

In unrelated news, this chart breaks down the cost of gas. No, most of it is not in taxes. The economy is what most Americans care most about and the GOP, if it loses big in 2012, according to Anson Kaye, will have to blame their proposed and enacted budget cuts. For those whom the economy is not so hot, you might want to consider relocating to these cities where the economy is hot. Whether or not you think the economy is hot or not largely depends on how much money you make.

What do Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Maine have in common? They are high divorce, low-education states.

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