These were the items that were most important this week:
*Health care vote put off until September. Gorilla thinks health care reform is dead as a serious issue, and we’ll get some half-assed insurance exchange where a few Americans can but not must buy. This will be disguised as a “co-op” and called a “public option”. Employers will continue off-loading workers, benefits, or both. Obama has blown this one in exactly the same way as he blew the stimulus, by negotiating with himself and letting the opposition define every aspect of the “debate”.
*Beers all around. Racism and racial profiling by police departments remain, but that’s not the conversation people want to have about race in their increasingly segregated communities. We want to feel good about how we feel about the other. Gorilla believes we’ve seen the last of the post-racial society.
*The economy is still contracting. GDP was much worse in Q1 than first reported, but not as bad in Q2 as feared (until those numbers are revised). Consumers and businesses are not spending at all; without government spending, the numbers would be far worse. Gorilla believes the economy will not recover for at least another 12 months and that unemployment will be at or above 10% until 2011 or 2012.
*The curious refusal to face reality goes on, from Washington to Kabul and from Cambridge to Wall Street. Americans want lots of things, but don’t want to pay for them. They don’t trust government, except when they need government. They know that things are getting worse, but at a much better rate than they used to. Gorilla isn’t sure which planet is in more trouble: the one with economic, geopolitical, and environmental disasters or the one Americans think they live on.