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The movie Margin Call might teach us a thing or two?

‘This is not going to be fixed quickly. It’s going to be a long, complicated conversation. And if we just put our heads back into the sand and say “You’re bad, I’m good” we’re going to be right back in the same place.’ J.C. Chandor, Writer and Director of Margin Call on what he learned about our economic crisis

Breaking news: Senator tells unvarnished truth

“The world is waiting for us to see: Are we going to be Greece in two years or are we going to be grownups? And our problem is our political class in this country refuses to take the responsibility and actually maybe lose an election to do the right thing for the country. And we don’t have that leadership. In either party, it’s how do we protect our own? What we ought to be asking is how do we protect our future.” — Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn (R) on MSNBC’s Morning Joe

The elephant in the room is self-interest

“I think we need political courage and will right now. We need big bold ideas. We’re not going to solve these problems incrementally by putting bandaids on things. If this was a business the business would be bankrupt… We need transformation and that transformation comes from leadership. We’re in a crisis, we need decisiveness… I don’t think this is that hard. What’s hard is when you get people in a room who have ideology and re-election and polling. The elephant in the room is not the problem, it’s self-interest.” –Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS on Sunday. (Photo credit: Cody Simms)

It’s pretty self-evident that we don’t delay gratification well anymore.

“The great scholar Daniel Bell once summed up the essence of the Protestant ethic that spawned industrial civilization in the West: Delayed gratification, the ability to save and invest today for a better tomorrow. That’s been at the heart of ever society’s leap from poverty to plenty.” –Fareed Zakaria, CNN Global Public Square this morning. Watch the video of the entire commentary here.

It’s been a while since we solved a problem together…

“What we lack in the U.S. today is the confidence that is generated by solving one big, hard problem… together.” — Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric

Howard Schultz: “A stunning lack of leadership & courage throughout Washington”

This morning Starbucks has announced some interesting community partnerships that will profit-share in neighborhoods like Harlem and the Bronx. We just mentioned Starbucks yesterday with news that its CEO Howard Schultz was recommending that companies consider sitting out this election cycle until the kids in Washington start behaving like grownups. What an interesting turn of events this would be: Our elected leaders stop leading and our companies stop funding their expensive campaigns to keep the jobs they aren’t doing; take the money and lead themselves… Check out the initiative at www.starbucks.com

Where a lot of people think we went wrong

“We’re blowing things up – and have been for a decade. And China’s been building things.” — Joe Scarborough, Morning Joe

(Photo credit: C Law)

The power of “AND” once again…

“The fundamental problem that we’ve got in America today – apart from the economics – is that conflict makes good politics. Sharp ideology and all this stuff that’s been very successful politically, but it’s lousy for economic policy making. If you look at the places that are really successful in America today – look at Silicon Valley, look at the computer simulation boom in Orlando and lots of other examples – those places without exception you have cooperation between a vibrant private sector and a smart government. And cooperation is great for the economy, but it doesn’t work as well politically. So we’ve got this big disconnect between politics and economics and until we close it, we’re going to have a hard time coming back.” — Bill Clinton, Meet the Press on Sunday. (Check out this great essay by Lea Marshall on “The Power of And” on our We the Wiki)


“There are a number of people in Washington whose tray tables are not in the full upright and locked position.” — Austan Goolsbee, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers

Tim Pawlenty: Fusion… good for yogurt, bad for civics?

“There’s a fusion of news and politics and entertainment now in a way where just experience, just knowledge, just policy grasp and presentation isn’t enough. There has to be an entertainment or schtick or novelty component to it to capture and sustain the public’s interest, and to lead it, and that’s part of leadership, to have that dynamic quality. As I like to say jokingly, it’s the Kardashian’s world… We’re just living in it.” — Former Minnesota Governor and presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty (R) on Morning Joe

(Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Making the world safe for propaganda

More from Farhad Manjoo in True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society:

“Investigating the rise of carelessness toward “reality” is, of course, the headlong purpose of this book. But I’ve been driving at a theory more pervasive than the peculiar psychology of one president, the transgressions of a single dominant political machine, or the aims of certain powerful players. The truth about truthiness, I’ve argued, is cognitive: when we strung up the planet in fiber-optic cable, when we dissolved the mainstream media into prickly niches, and when each of us began to create and transmit our own pictures and sounds, we eased the path through which propaganda infects our culture.”

(Photo credit: TJ Morton)

Frank Bruni: “We know it’s true because our ideology tells us it’s true”

“… right now, with the stock market floundering and our credit rating downgraded and millions of Americans stranded in unemployment and Washington frozen in confusion, the temptation to look for one summary prescriptive” for certainty, even miracles” is strong. We’d be wise to resist it. To get us out of this mess, we need a full range of extant remedies, a tireless search for new ones and the nimbleness and open-mindedness to evaluate progress dispassionately and adapt our strategy accordingly.” –Frank Bruni, The New York Times (read the entire article HERE).

Peter Wehner: The Public’s Complicity in its Own Outrage

“It’s a comforting game many of us like to play, to insist the American people are the font of all wisdom and our politicians are nothing but knaves and fools. Perhaps they are; but if they are, it’s worth at least a moment’s self-reflection on the part of the public, which after all elects (and often re-elects) our public officials. We may not like the political jars of clay that have been produced. But in America, it is worth recalling that the people are, in the end, the potters.” — Peter Wehner

Read the whole profoundly (and sadly) true article from Commentary Magazine’s Peter Wehner HERE. Thanks to Bill Mattox for pointing us to it.