Late at night I watched the tube, and while my eyes were fairly glued
At the economic graphs and stats they’d all excitedly report
I resolved to flip the channels in a search for greater annals
That made sense of all the tales that flew by rather short.
When they got us to the trillions for the banking world’s support
“What’s it mean?” I did exhort.
One Hundred Days. The phrase rolls easily, pausing just long enough to sound as though it means something. President Obama’s first Hundred Days has been compared to FDR by many commentators, most of whom found something where the new President was worthy of comparison. It’s been a fun exercise, but what does it mean?
The usually reliable Escort Wagon was dead. The starter motor cranked, but nothing happened. Being stranded with my young son might have seemed like a small nightmare, but it was one of the best moments we ever had. I told him, “There are only three possibilities – fuel, air or spark.” I showed him how the air cleaner was clear, and whiffed the gasoline that came out of the tailpipe unburned from the cranking. Leaving only spark, I fiddled with the ignition wires until I found the main distributor lead had come off. A few seconds later, the car roared to life and we were set to go.
Why haven’t I been writing about the economy with the ferocity I used to? Because as we were waiting for something to happen, it all got weird. The fun we’ve been having is just the hurricane party before the real storm hits – people with a happy sense of doom only deepen a good disaster plot. But their antics are always just the prelude to the real show.
As someone who likes to look for historical parallels, it’s only natural that I’d have the rash break out that I get every few years or so; a burning desire to read up a bit more on ancient Rome. No, it’s not that I think our own nation is about to fall as Rome did – far from it. What’s far more interesting to me are the times when Rome was right on the verge of terrible disaster but somehow managed to pull back – to start the games and the parties all over again. It’s that resiliency, carrying on despite having several unquestionably mad Emperors, that I find interesting.