Friday, August 05, 2011

Sitting on the dock of the Potomac, life seems pretty good

I've been in D.C. less than 24 hours and I've seen more sunburned tourist skin than dark suits.

Congress is on vacation, you see. They are back on their home turf staging town meetings. Guys like Tea Party Slim are mad as hell at Congress for agreeing to raise the debt ceiling. They are going to raise Cain at town meetings. Meanwhile, guys like me will be haranguing Congressional reps for being such babies before agreeing to raise the debt ceiling.

These town hall meetings are sure to sparkle with wit and charm.

Watching CNN yesterday in the Dallas-Fort Worth airport, I noticed that the Dow fell 512 points, give or take. That's a big chunk, 512 points. Add that to the losses suffered the day before, the DJIA erased a year's gains in the blink of an eye. The wink of John Boehner's eye.

But in Dupont Circle, the citizenry still spends money. As I sat in a window seat at Kramerbooks Afterwords Cafe and Grill, I watched an unending stream of humanity quaff beer and munch on soft shell crab sandwiches. It's Friday night! Everyone be of good cheer!

A group of Boy Scouts trooped by the Kramerbooks' window. The kids looked pretty healthy. They seemed to be having a good time. In the store, people bought books. Young people partied in the bars and in the streets. They didn't appear overly worried about the fate of our nation.

Sometimes, looks can be deceiving.

UPDATE: While I was writing this, I hadn't yet seen the news that Standard & Poor's had reduced the U.S. credit rating for the first time in history. Its main reason was the recent debt ceiling fight. Thanks Sen. Enzi and Sen. Dr. Barrasso. Next time I'm thinking of putting you two in charge of our country's credit rating, I'll think twice.

UPDATE: From the New York Times:
“The U.S. government has to come to terms with the painful fact that the good old days when it could just borrow its way out of messes of its own making are finally gone,” China’s official news agency, Xinhua, said in a harshly worded commentary.
Next time we need a loan, better call Don Corleone.


John A. Bartelloni said...

Politics and Prose is up near Connecticut and Nebraska. It is another good book store you might enjoy.

Michael Shay said...

I'd forgotten about Politics & Prose. The food was pretty darn good at Kramerbooks Cafe. Books too!