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Everyone seems to have an opinion about how to fix the economy and what forces came together to make it happen. I’m not sure we’ll ever know for sure. But I imagine, a logical way to go about solving it would be talking to as many experts as you can (you can’t listen to everyone or you’ll go crazy and never make a decision). President Obama has talked to Republicans, consulted with Economic Experts and I’m sure he’s listened to what the media is saying, too. I trust we can all agree Barack Obama has a good mind, well-trained, the product of a fine, expensive education. I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of mind I want on this problem.

Perhaps I don’t really know enough about politics, but at the moment anyway, what would possibly be Obama’s political agenda in this? What does he need right now? He has plenty of resources, a nearly full Congress, stacked in his favor and he’s the leader of the free world. He’s a Smart Man, he knows he has to do it. How would it be in his best interest to make things worse in this country?

There are ideological differences here. The Obama plan is about fixing things from the bottom up. And there are some who think that’s the wrong way to go about it. People are shouting he’s not changing things fast enough. Others think he’s going too far. He’s only had 6 weeks at the helm. The Washington Way has been going on a long time. It can take a while to turn the tide. Almost everyone agrees (certainly all the economists I’ve heard) that SOMETHING has to be done.

This Rush Limbaugh thing is so absurd. Sounds more like its coming from the Karl Rove play book of The Art of Distraction. (How I wish we had Al Franken commenting on all this. I pray he’s writing, while he waits.) Republicans, for the most part, are doing the talking about this, not President Obama. Why would it serve him to divert attention from what he’s doing when he’s busy changing the world one community at a time? I refer to the photo-op with the rehired police in a small community in Ohio. Not seen nearly as much as the disturbing video of Rush bopping up and down at CPAC.

Rush has become a story for the media to chew on. Put Lipstick on Limbaugh and everyone will talk about it. What we have is TV Entertainment News. (See the fabulous movie, Broadcast News with Holly Hunter, Albert Brooks and William Hurt!) I admit, I get most of my news from that very Same. I regularly watch the MSNBC night crew and never miss a Daily Show. But since they spend a lot of video on what the Right is saying, I feel I have the gist of it. Television News these days seems to distill what’s happening into neat little bits flavored with their own particular spice rub. This week’s “news cycle”, is doing nothing to solve the economic situation (desperate as usual). It’s just raising Rush Limbaugh up there with Joe the Plumber. I would so much rather hear about what’s going on with the Stimulus bill, learn more about it, hear economists debate it.

This, I suspect, is the province of Newspapers. And what about our Newspaper Crisis? To Be Continued . . .


What with Twitter being in the news lately, I thought it a good time to talk about this phenomenon.

Online Social Networking is superior to Physical Plane Networking in several keys way. It matters not if you have the latest designer wear or that you’ve just grown a rather large pimple on the tip of your nose. It has no travel or incidental costs such as food and drinks. The only cost is time. And it can be on your time. Being online eliminates the stress of not knowing what to say or saying the wrong thing because you have plenty of time to compose your response without anyone hanging their jaw or tapping the table, waiting for you to get it together

Social Networking allows you to skip over the introductions of What Do You Do and the endless questions to find out what you like. People can check your profiles first. With every tweet you leave, every wall you write on, every blog you comment on, you display who you are and what your passions are.

I admit I haven’t quite figured out the tactics. I have a feeling that much of Twitter is just about leaving messages, rather than getting into conversations. You can have real-time conversations but that means everyone has to be there at the same time. To me, that defeats one of the benefits. On Twitter they ask you what you’re doing. Top newsman Brian Williams said on The Daily Show the other night that he didn’t think he was ever doing anything interesting enough to put down. I always want to say, “What do you think I’m doing? I’m Twittering!” It is a good medium for spreading the news about something you’ve got going far quicker and cheaper than many other disseminating avenues. But unless you have a big event coming up, I’m not sure what you say. I guess you try to say something important, meaningful, witty.

I’ve come to see that it’s about having lots of little sweet candies to leave with others. Small, mouth-watering droplets. The younger folks, I think, have come to think more in these sound bites. It might be particularly well-suited to writers, but even those who are not so endowed can say what they need to say in short little bits. Twitter limits how many words you can use. So, it doesn’t take the time that most people fear it does.

I really like that this works by sharing what you know. The strategy seems to be to talk to and listen to a large number of people on topics that interest you. You spread a wide net for those you can collaborate with for things like getting together for drinks, working on a project together, supporting a cause or just helping each other.


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