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The ice-cube theory

BY BEAU ELLIOT | SEPTEMBER 20, 2011 7:20 AM

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Which brings us to Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Though it always gets a bit weird when you're brought to Rick Perry. How's the hair today, Ricky? Are you any relation to Ricky Nelson?

Which is no dumber than so many of the questions asked of a man who, whatever you might think of him, is a quite serious candidate for the Republican nomination for president. And, unless something quite weird occurs, the jogger-turned-coyote killer should be a major force in the Iowa caucuses.

(How much weirder can things get? you ask. And probably you're right. But to steal, sort of, a line from No Country for Old Men [which itself is a line taken from W.B. Yeats], this weird will do until the real weird gets here.)

And when you're brought to Rick Perry, should you be so fortunate, his security handlers don't want to hear any questions about U.S. policy vis-à-vis Iceland. His security folks are sick and tired about questions concerning the good governor's stance on Iceland (those thermal seams belong to us, through an ancient, almost-never-used treaty with the Inuit, not that we can prove the Inuit were ever actually on Iceland), and they have the Texas death penalty to back it up. (Y'all want to try to get that overturned? Boy?)

And that brings up, I have to admit, this weird little bit:

Why are cocktails and sodas not chilled in Texas anywhere outside of trendy Austin spots?

Because in the Texas outside of trendy Austin, in the Texas Perry calls the "real Texas" (and we'll take his word for it, because of, you know, the hair — can anyone truly tell the difference between the Perry hair and the Romney hair? — and why are we so interested in hair, anyway?), some years ago, some Texan misplaced the recipe for making ice cubes.

They're still searching for it.

Finding that recipe, you have to understand, would go a whole long way to disproving that evolution, global-climate change, and the Earth revolving around the Sun have ever taken place.

Not to mention disproving that the Texas Rangers lost the 2010 World Series.

So many things to disprove, so little campaign time.

Ricky, are you any relation to Ricky Nelson?

The good governor said something curious recently — perhaps even weird. Talking about President Obama and his record on the economy, Perry said Obama "has proven for once and for all that government spending will not create one job."

Republicans eat that stuff up as though it was a free lunch.

But.

As John Cassidy writes in The New Yorker, "The record demonstrates no such thing."

And the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reports Obama's stimulus package created close to 3 million jobs. Which, excuse me for being an arithmetic fanatic, sounds a whole lot more than not creating one job.

As Cassidy writes, the federal government recently revised its statistics on the recession, and from the end of 2007 through second quarter of 2009, it was much deeper than officials and economists had previously thought — GDP dropped 5 percent, the largest decline since World War II.

Further, Cassidy points out, there was something of a recovery in the summer of 2009, when the stimulus money arrived, and then the recovery slowed at the end of 2010, when the stimulus money ran dry.

If the government cuts spending now, as Perry and many, many conservatives argue, it could trigger another economic downturn, perhaps another recession, as many, many economists and observers have argued. That occurred in the U.S. in 1937, Japan in 1997, and in Britain at present, where conservatives took over the government and began cutting spending drastically.

The British economy is in the dumps.

So, if you want to remain jobless, or if you want your neighbors to remain jobless, or if you don't particularly care if you can get a job when you graduate from college, vote for Perry.

If Perry's in the White House, maybe the real weird will get here.


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