Not Allowed at the Party

I like politics where lots of "stuff" happens because the nature of political governance is that lots of "stuff" happens - small and large. The ridiculous charade that we collectively put candidates through mirrors much of the scrutiny and complexity of actual office, though the stakes of "what shall this tweet reply say?" are much less than "what's the best way to implement the Iran Deal?"

A static race with unchanging narratives does not accomplish this purpose. Indeed, the shuffling, sorting and surfacing of new candidates that we saw in the Republican 2012 primary was a handy way to apply scrutiny to a wide group of candidates. I worry that right now, I'm not seeing a path for this process on one side of the political spectrum, but rather a long and slow burn towards a general election that's already being planned.

Strong candidates that want the best for the country should welcome other strong candidates from their party, even as they seek to rise above each other. Campaigns provide platforms for messages and visibility, and the universal dominance of one candidate in media coverage has a subtle choking effect on other candidates, especially those with valuable contributions to the national political conversation.

That's why, in general, whenever I see articles or coverage to the effect that someone or some group is trying to silence someone else, politically, I'm disappointed. Give voice to the argument from someone else, then win it. I want to get my mind changed by an argument I hear from a candidate, and I'm not sure that's ever truly happened. Let's hear from more voices, as many as possible. The votes of the people will winnow the field.

Congress Is Making Life Harder for Economics - Bloomberg View

Congress Is Making Life Harder for Economics - Bloomberg View: "Whatever the reason, the BLS reductions are part of two dismaying trends in our legislative priorities -- cuts to research funding, and a disregard for the importance of social science. In the case of the BLS, it would be a mistake to further hobble an agency that does so much to aid our very understanding of the economy around us.


'via Blog this'

For the First Time in History, Less than 10% of Humanity Lives in Extreme Poverty | Foundation for Economic Education

For the First Time in History, Less than 10% of Humanity Lives in Extreme Poverty | Foundation for Economic Education: "According to the World Bank, for the first time in human history, “less than 10 percent of the world’s population will be living in extreme poverty by the end of 2015.”


'via Blog this'

Joy in the audience

Tonight, I met the perfect audience person. There's a rare joy in performing when you know - know - that you've nailed a part, or a piece, or a phrase, or a "thing" that helps make a song what it is. (Example: skip to 1:15, watch his face for a radiant grin at 1:56) Then there's a second joy when the crowd "gets it" in a way you don't expect; see the embedded video at 1:28 for Lea Salonga getting that feeling from rowdy bar.


The third feeling is when you see it in a particular person. It can happen in speaking as well - when you know that your words have reached and changed a person, but in music - it's the feeling of creating something beautiful and watching someone else immerse themselves in the music. I didn't start singing tonight with the intention of making that connection, but once I noticed it, I couldn't completely ignore it - how this person sang under her breath, eyes closed, breathing in the music and experiencing more fully than I typically can.

It was lovely.