It’s been quiet here for some weeks – with all spare time devoted to the photo blog. But we’ll try a few posts about news and politics again, and see how it goes…
It’s been some interesting weeks experimenting with a bit longer and “self-produced” stuff with analysis and opinion about politics, all wrapped in a more magazine- and weeklytype of format and style. Trying to write like that sharpens your mind, it makes you sort out your thoughts better, you really learn a whole lot while making an argument – and it makes you appreciate the true professionals in places like NyTimes and WaPo in a much different way. All this has been very good.
One drawback though, has been the loss of the more light-footed blogging thing where you just bring out some nice stuff and share it with people.
But now, we’ll try to do both!
Using the categories/sections feature in wordpress – we’ve put up a new item on the menubar on top and on the right – that brings you straight to the T&P blog. Check out the featured pic for directions.
We’ve also set up a separate widget on the front page listing the latest post from the T&P blog only. So if all this goes well – we’ll do some light blogging daily – and then write some longer stuff a few times a week, but everything put together and sorted out for you on the frontpage.
Hope this works out for everyone!
Each day the stakes are growing a little bit higher and the tensions a little bit stronger. And this week, finally, the leverage seemed to be tilting towards the pragmatic, fact-based, majority-supported and straight-forward attitudes of finding a right mix and get moving. How many years are we supposed to be hampered by this nonsense and gridlock in times of crises.. There are so many big and more important issues to solve, and the problems are only growing.
But in some ways it feels like the most significant watershed moment was during the presser on Monday. The President seemed to realize that niceness and optimism doesn’t solve these issues anymore. And the reports from yesterday largely confirm those impressions. As well as the sudden spikes in pressure from wall street and clear symptoms of panic among the right-wing leadership.
Now, some reflections:
- The process is working in brutal ways. The psychology and fear of another crash is slowly changing the minds of those involved. Some get hardened, some get paralized, but most are getting more realistic.
- The crash will not come Aug 2nd, but probably before. Moneypeople behave in herds, and once a few start panicking – the rest follows.
- The business-community is solely focused on the debt limit, not taxes. As many of them admit – taxes means nothing in terms of cost of running a company, and affects nothing in terms of hiring.
- The rightwing game of whipping up blind ideology to gain seats in congress backfires in some very bad ways. And everybody loses. It’s like discovering a shortcut, only to realize two steps later that it maybe wasn’t such a good idea after all. And then you don’t really have the time to go back and do it over.
- The President might be growing as captain and pull it off next week. If he could keep his good, positive nature – and add some realism and do the necessary yelling and retribution once in a while – he’ll do good.
- The news and movements from the talks are coming much faster than expected. Maybe the stakes are just too high to settle this on the last day.
- Finally, things seem to have slowly reached an end-point for the theory-driven kill-government mantra many seem to enjoy that much. And to some irony, the pushback is coming from business and brokers – who might partly realize that a healthy and sound Government and State is essential for their own existence. If that is a lesson for some people, we’ve had a very productive summer. At a silly price.
But in the bigger picture, let’s hope this summer will be a turning-point after a decade of dogmas and hurtful policies. Let the disease of hyperpower and ideology slowly ease out, and let’s get back to work, pragmatism and setting some inspiring goals for the future.
Rumors are – the WH lobbied for S&P to drop the negative outlook. Reassuring the capacity for leveling spending and revenue. To no avail.
But the brewing irony is this: That a corporate grip on Washington has driven down federal revenues and made congressional gridlock a permanent feature. The 1% takes all – government goes bust. But then, as agencies now predict – markets collapse and drive down corporations and wealthy.
Some model for running society.
As usual – weekends are slow on news. Just did the full sweep of papers in Mideast, China, Russia, Europe and NorthEast US. No story with significant moves.
Same goes for blogs.
Waiting for Monday.
After some months of disappointments and disbelief – T&P has landed on this: The President is failing – in dangerous times – and should be replaced as soon as possible. Better to have someone like Chris Christie in charge than this. The ship is sinking – and the captain is out playing golf.
So David Brooks nails it today with the phrase “I’ll do it tomorrow”. From his column:
Jonathan Alter wrote a book about Barack Obama’s first year in office called “The Promise.” That’s a great title because it works on so many levels. For example, over the past four years, Obama’s career has been marked by a constant promise: He has continually said he is on the verge of doing something serious abut the national debt.
After the stimulus package passed, he and his aides said it would soon be time to turn to deficit issues. The same promise was made after health care reform. He made the pledge yet again at a press conference this week. Right now is not the time, the president always says, but tomorrow we will get serious.
But tomorrow never comes.
After the little sigh of blogging-fatigue last week – things are starting to take shape here again, and we’re planning to add a little structure to Talk and Politics moving forward.. to keep it more steady. The normal publishing rhythm is thought to be something like two posts on politics and one on photography every weekday, in the am, and then the weekends should be a bit lighter with a weekly sunday post on various topics, and mabye some other stuff that comes along.
The first year of blogging has been great, both in writing and making friends – moe, jb right from the start – and lately bruce, minnesotafarmer, esnl, razoray and all the other folks that are visiting here.. The driving force has been to write a post whenever something interesting pushes an emotional button, but to base the production purely on passion seems to be too unreliable in disturbing times.
Therefore – we’re gonna mix in a little “posting schedule” for this blog, and make it “official” to try to keep it.. and then let it blend in with the rest..
Looks like Gov. Christie’s plans to scrap the tunnel – and use the money elsewhere – is meeting more resistance. Diverting dedicated funds to other projects is not that easily done..
From the CityRoom blog:
“In essence, the governor wants the Port Authority to help fill his budget gap,” Mr. Schumer said in the speech [..]. But, he added, “asking the Port Authority to take capital funds and redirect them on this scale, a scale never before contemplated, would be a mistake that rivals, and perhaps even surpasses the cancellation of the ARC tunnel as a risk to our region’s future.”