Archive for July, 2012

The Launching Pad | The New York Times

By Thomas Friedman

I can remember bad presidential campaigns in good times and good campaigns in bad times, but it is hard to recall a worse campaign in a worse time. Mitt Romney’s campaign has been about nothing, and President Obama’s has been about Romney. I’m sure Obama’s attacks on Romney’s career at Bain Capital have hurt Romney, but they also seem to have hurt Obama — diverting him from offering a big optimistic message that says: here is the world we’re living in; here’s why my past policies were relevant; here’s where we’re going next; and here’s why it will work. The president is punching so below his weight. It’s like watching Tiger Woods playing Putt-Putt or Babe Ruth bunting. Obama is better than this. (more…)

“O’er the Land of the Cruel and the Home of the Saved”

All across the nation, rustbelt wasteland cities and rural fly-over counties beg for justice and renewal. From unending industrial abandonment to newly fracked regional residential superfund-sites-in-waiting oozing out of gas-land drill-belts, today’s manna from policy heaven consists of austere and unforgiving catch-22 budgetary recession ironies – we’re going to defund what you need – to save you from what you don’t have that already you can’t afford. This new “American Disconnect” between our recollected sense of historical frontier shared sacrifices and real-time absence of practicing shared rewards exposes the inherent “best and brightest” fallacy of elites providing disinterested, altruistic and enlightened leadership by personal example to a country of payday borrowers, middle class refugees, and incoming immigrants from sea to shining sea.

It’s time to rewrite the final line of our national anthem. In a “star-spangled” banner society overtly dedicated to increasing unequal wealth exponentially, national qualifiers such as “land of the free” and “home of the brave” seem like oxymoronic luxuries priced out of reach for the vast majority of “repurposed” Americans bargain hunting in their neighbors’ yard sales for any logical metaphor to explain the past decade’s economic headwinds that capsized their lives. (more…)

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