Mr. Chavez, who has been running Venezuela into the ground for the past 13 years, still insists he will contest the next presidential election in October, which will feature a credible opposition candidate running on a platform borrowed from Brazil’s successful, market-boosting socialists.
The bond market’s early bet is that Mr. Chavez’s political prognosis is poor. Even if he prevails in the election, chances of serving out another term are considered remote. And it would be hard to find anyone outside his inner circle who thinks Venezuela wouldn’t be far healthier and considerably more market friendly without him at the helm. But give the former army officer and Castro acolyte his due. It’s quite a political feat to transform an oil-rich nation into an abject basket case, with high unemployment, rampant corruption, an overvalued currency, stunning inflation of about 30 per cent and a continuing flight of capital, despite exchange controls. Average economic growth during his time in his office: 2 per cent. The average for all OPEC producers during the latest period of stronger oil prices: nearly 7 per cent.
So the Globe and Mail is basically oozing vitriol against Chavez. But really it is kind of impressive what a terrible job he’s done despite having started out with such reasonable goals and huge natural-resource endowments.
Best-case scenario is that Venezuela gets a legitimate socialist government who realizes that poor people are better served by subsidies to basic essentials and access to safe and steady employment rather than by six-hour long television diatribes and threats to invade every country within marching distance? But not really all that optimistic that the military won’t just take over or something if Chavez dies or the election goes poorly for them.
I just want to point out that even though Chavez is a colorful character he did survive Bush’s attempts to have him overthrown because Chavez would not Corporate America steal all of Venezuela’s resources (after bankrupting them).
I read an article about Merle Hoffman, the activist who, at age 25 and two years before Roe v. Wade, opened a Long Island City abortion clinic that is still in operation. She urges us to stop treating abortion like a dirty secret. “I think it’s important to own it,” she said, “one out of three…
When the woman answered the door, she looked at my daughter and said, ‘We don’t support Girl Scouts because they support abortion, which kills babies.’
Girl Scout troop leader Kim Douglas • Discussing a recent situation her 10-year-old daughter faced when going door-to-door to sell cookies. Douglas’ daughter, by the way, didn’t know what abortion was. “It left my daughter very shocked, confused,” Douglas said. “She said, ‘Mommy, something creepy happened to me.’” By the way: The Girl Scouts, which have faced much culture war heat of late (including this guy we posted about Monday), take no position on abortion or contraception, so the woman was incorrect. (via shortformblog
Pantsless Progressive: If I mail my birth control pills to any of these Republican candidates, is that now like mailing Anthrax?
The reactions to contraception from Gingrich, Santorum and Romney - with Gingrich claiming that Obama has “legalized infanticide” - are practically deafening. Paul’s response: “The pills can’t be blamed for the immortality of our society.”
The divorce from reality here is phenomenal. They’re…