Some change is as small and simple as a handshake. Melissa McCarthy starts to hike up her dress.
She hoists her body up onto the sink. She is fully on top of the sink now. The kicker. The cherry on top. The camera cuts. We are above now. We look down from a safe perch as the release we have been anticipating and dreading begins. A woman has just pooped in a sink. The revolution has begun. I think they both shared a belief in the art of the possible, and they both did not think compromise was a dirty word. When our cover was blown — a Wall Street Journal editorial came out saying that Boehner and Obama were working on this and attacking the whole premise — that was devastating.
It resulted in Cantor being a part of the talks. Paul Ryan said if we do this deal, it will guarantee your reelection.
If we agree with Barack Obama on spending and taxes, that takes away one of our big weapons. That conversation was quite illuminating. Both parties like their daggers. That was the dance. There was a moment in time where they had the outlines of an agreement and we went off to fill in some additional details between the two staffs pursuant to a meeting that had occurred on a Sunday morning at the White House.
We shipped them some paperwork Sunday night. Monday — nothing. I literally probably had a couple hundred hours of private meetings at my home with them. One of the problems, though, is that old bad joke: What happens when the dog catches the bus? Well, they caught the bus in But we spent an awful lot of time in detailed, detailed discussions about how to deal with everything from the potential for a government shutdown in to the budget deal in to the fiscal cliff in and beyond.
Not a single thing leaked out of those discussions, and we went through the budget literally line by line — where would they be willing to raise revenue? Could they, for example, raise revenue by eliminating the tax cuts for small aircraft that are not taxed the same as commercial airlines? It got that detailed. We would shake hands and have a deal. Illustrations by Lauren Tamaki. And the very next year, I was one of the most hated men in America. What I remember from my show is the fact that I did get an opportunity to warn people of what could be over the horizon.
I was trying to teach them the history of our country and the Founding Fathers. They would be horrified by his policies and by everything he says. But because he has an R after his name, they suddenly accept it and hold him up as the great savior. And I was worried our country was hurtling toward a disastrous, self-inflicted economic crisis. That morning, when it became clear the vote was going to be close, my husband, Mark, and I knew we needed to get to Washington quickly. I went straight from my rehabilitation appointment to the airport, and Mark was at our house in Houston packing our bags so he could meet us at the plane.
That night, I remember seeing the Capitol for the first time since I was injured and feeling so grateful to be at work.
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I will never forget the reception I received on the floor of the House from my colleagues, both Republicans and Democrats. And then, like I had so many times before, I voted. After I resigned from Congress to continue my recovery, and Mark retired from the U. Navy and NASA, we hoped to have a second chance at service. We wondered what our path might be. The tragedy at Sandy Hook gave us the answer.
There is a sea change happening in the movement to prevent gun tragedies. Groups like ours are finally helping to bring some balance back to the politics of this issue; no longer does the gun lobby have the playing field to itself. I worked so hard to get my speech back, and honestly, talking to people who share my determination helped me find my words again. Best of all, I got back on my bike. Riding my bike once seemed like such a huge challenge. It seemed impossible. It was a nice tactic on their part—they set up a meeting in the Great Hall of the People with more press than I thought lived in China.
All the financial reporters came too because Biden was going to get his comeuppance: Man, the United States was downgraded for the first time. I walked in, and Hu was being very smart. He looked at me and said he thought America would come back and that they wanted to be able to help, but he wanted to be sure their investments in our Treasury bills were secure.
I went and saw him in midst of that at the White House. We went down to the basketball court. He went off on vacation shortly after that and he spent a lot of time thinking about how to come out of this and fight his way back. On September 17, , three years after the financial crisis and the dawn of the Great Recession, there was every reason to believe that public attention to bank fraud, massive foreclosures, executive wealth, and middle-class debt had come to an end — if it had ever really begun.
While the city and the current owners bickered over who should eject the unwanted public, they built a library, a free canteen, a sleeping village, a drum corps, and a media center, and held a twice-daily town meeting to deliberate the running and political purpose of their Occupation. It was, more or less, a working model of real democracy, steps from where the Bill of Rights had been adopted, in the heart of the financialized fake Manhattan that had paved democracy over.
The sitting and talking of a few hundred, then many thousands, of people, in Manhattan and then at sites across the United States and Europe, for about two months accomplished several things. It pushed media, not very skillful with abstractions, to focus on long-known truths about the redistribution of wealth upward to the richest one percent. Historians are obligated to use positive data: unemployment reports, foreclosure peaks, homicides eyewitnessed and livestreamed. But those of us who lived through it can insist on the importance of mood, of atmosphere, and of silence.
There was the belief, at the election in and after, that even though Obama propped up the big banks in the Great Recession, he was going to save the rest of us, too. He would prosecute wrongdoers, at least, or halt foreclosures and fraud. A three-year lag. And there was a belief in that Obama, in his second term, would now have the political safety to launch measures to save African-Americans specifically — to deliver the country from the era that threw people in jail for practically nothing and shot them for black skin and a justified fear of the cops. A two-year lag. Yet its curious effect was primarily to set the stage, through caution and blocked action, for an upsurge of genuine social movements that began from his absences.
Perhaps the old community organizer knew that for a real democracy, citizens must do things for themselves. That winter and going into , we began raising rounds pretty quickly. At one point, we were growing at new people every two weeks in the Chicago office. So you would come in and not only would your desk be gone, but that entire wall would be missing. We did pranks for our own employees, just so they were excited to come to work every day. We got accustomed to things like that. You were wondering what fun, crazy things happened.
Every day we would share by email different success stories of merchants whose businesses we had saved. I remember there was one about us saving a zoo, where this woman had a llama farm and she was going out of business. We put her on Groupon, and suddenly she was booked for six months.
I would wake up ina cold sweat and think: Oh, maybe I have a cold. Oh my God, it was difficult for me to go into a crowd.
I isolated myself. After I left work I stayed in my condo. Total-shutdown mode.
- Movies on TV this week: Sept. 29: ‘Almost Famous’ and more.
- Elite (Eagle Elite Book 1).
- Böcklin und Thoma. Acht Vorträge über neudeutsche Malerei (German Edition).
- The Doctor of Second Chances.
- Justice Integrity Report - News Reports;