You’ve probably heard that there’s a joint House-Senate stimulus bill agreement. It’s all over but the signing.
I’m listening to Jonathan Alter on Countdown saying he’d just passed through Times Square, and that it is empty. Times Square is the theater district. In the evening it’s usually swarming with tourists. Yes it’s a weeknight, and February, but empty? That’s so sad. I’m sure he meant it is empty compared to what it usually is, not completely devoid of people. But still, it’s sad.
On September 13, 2001, still in shock from the terrorist attacks, I left Grand Central and walked west on 42nd Street to Times Square. It was bustling. There was considerable construction going on, and the construction workers had hung American flags on the scaffolding. Some of them had flags attached to their hard hats. There were many expressions of defiance against the terrorists, spraypainted on signs and sheets and flapping in the wind high above the streets.
Most of all, Times Square was busy. New York City was bursting with prosperity in those days. As terrible as the week was, as grief-stricken and as angry as people were, outside the financial district the city was beautiful. The cafes were overflowing with diners, and shoppers were everywhere.
Did Republican economics finish the job the 9/11 terrorists started?
On to dumb, dumber, dumbest.
Dumb — Kathleen Parker and other “pundits” who are tsk-tsking Barack Obama for being an amateur. In short, she said, he lacks maturity, toughness, and gravitas. He’s too puppy-eager for people to like him. He won’t give up his Blackberry.
Yea, if he were a real leader, he’d have his stimulus bill by now. Oh, wait … See also Andrew Sullivan.
Dumber — Republicans in Congress, who steadfastly refused to discuss the stimulus bill in good faith, who spent the past several days lying and grandstanding, and who voted against it but for three Senators who are now being targeted by right-wing organizations. Dumb enough? Now the liars and grand-standers are whining that they were cut out of the final House-Senate negotiations. See John Cole.
Dumbest — You’ve heard this one by now, I’m sure — Rep. Steve Austria (R-OH) thinks FDR caused the Great Depression.