It's really hard to see circumstances under which the brake should not prevail over the accelerator if both are pressed. When you're building complex and potentially dangerous instrumentation, like lasers, you frequently build in interlocks that keep the wrong combination of things from happening. But I guess those high-performance customers, like the banksters, take precedence over ordinary people.
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer tells his banksters to stop feeling sorry for themselves.
The Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future will provide recommendations for developing "a safe, long-term solution to manging the nation's used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste."
I wrote a post back last summer, I think, about President Obama's community organizing strategy, but I can't find it now. This one bears some resemblance, but it's not the one. Anyhow, I think that community organizing strategy is working. Short version: propose broad goals and then let the people involved develop how to reach them. If you've got some slackers and generally confused participants, let their peers straighten them out.
That strategy doesn't give quick results, and watching it play out can be nerve-wracking. But the results it gives are much more durable and likely to be even better than anything you could have expected.
I think now, more than ever, after the State of the Union speech, that this is President Obama's strategy. Some other bloggers are starting to get it, too. Steve Benen and Kevin Drum, for two. Benen has a series of posts today in which he begins to recognize some of the problems (first step to solving them) and begins to think about solutions. In this kind of strategy, the recalcitrant will eventually be called out. And recalcitrant is what the Republicans have been. But they have a big megaphone, and the Democrats are inherently not inclined toward that sort of thing. But maybe they need to think about it and develop some of their own tactics.
And here's part of what my argument, earlier this week, with Andy was about: the Republican meme that Democrats think people are dumb. But our electorate is uninformed. This is a problem. Our founding fathers assumed an informed electorate. If you have one group of people jumping up and down ragging on the theme that another group thinks yet a third group is dumb, however, it misrepresents the situation and prevents a discussion. And you can't solve problems without discussing them. But maybe that Republican meme is designed not to solve the problem, but to keep the electorate uninformed while feeling that they are certainly smart enough to see the virtue of the Republican program of ponies for everyone at no cost, and oh yes, bread and circuses too.
I'm headed out in a few minutes, so I can't read or watch the rest of this. I'd very much like to annotate the State of the Union speech for indicators of the community organizer strategy. Maybe over this weekend. In the meanwhile, James Fallows annotates the speech with his views.
And, moving toward unmasking that pony program, President Obama was talking to Republican members of Congress today. Seems as though Fox and others had a hard time with it. Their team didn't look so good when they had to face up to the opposition, instead of just using the big media microphone. Transcript here, video here. After reading a few of the reports, I'm looking forward to seeing or reading this.