The resident faculty left a pile of knotted string outside the mail room door this morning. Now what could that mean? (More)

First our thanks to last week’s writers. On Monday, the Squirrel ranted on GOP claims of being Persecuted in Wisconsin in Furthermore!, addisnana discussed Asking for What You Want in Midday Matinee, and Lady Jrnlist finished her series on New Urbanism with Growth Management in Evening Focus. On Tuesday, we had a Nutshell on Plutonomy in Morning Feature, JanF updated her Recall, Repeal, Rebuild series in HEMMED In, winterbanyan said It Could Be Worse in Midday Matinee, and JanF discussed Illinois’ repeal of capital punishment with Cruel and Unusual in Evening Focus. On Wednesday, Winning Progressive discussed The DOJ Takes on DOMA in Morning Feature, the Squirrel chittered on Giving Directions or Not in Furthermore!, addisnana challenged the meme of Government Waste in Midday Matinee, and JanF challenged politicians to set aside the Rhetorical Flourishes in Evening Focus. On Thursday, we began to review Paul Gilding’s The Great Disruption with The Crash in Morning Feature, JanF wrote about the ‘Do Nothing Congress?’ Not Exactly in HEMMED In, and Winning Progressive said Take Down the For Sale Sign on Our Democracy in Evening Focus. On Friday, we continued our review of The Great Disruption with The One-Degree War in Morning Feature, addisnana railed against Michele Bachmann in Furthermore!, and JanF brought our news Week in Review in Evening Focus. On Saturday, we finished our review of The Great Disruption with The Pursuit of Happiness in Morning Feature, and JanF shared Saturday Videos in HEMMED In. Yesterday, we answered mail on Fund-a-Mental Mistakes in Morning Feature, Winning Progressive offered Weekend Reading in Furthermore!, winterbanyan shared a poem On Calves, Paths, and Tradition in Midday Matinee, and JanF compiled our Eco News Roundup in Our Earth. All are worth reading if you missed them.

Tonight, Winning Progressive will ask us to help the EPA save lives in Our Earth, and we have plenty of openings for writers this week. As always, Chef will present coffee and bagels, and the Professor of Astrology Janitor will present cleaners and buffers.

Please join our Authors! We have Morning Feature openings this Tuesday and Wednesday (July 12th and 13th), and Evening Focus openings this Monday and Thursday (July 11th and 14th). We also have openings or our campus soapbox Furthermore!, our afternoon people-watching series Midday Matinee, and our evening environmental series Our Earth. Share your insights with the BPI community!

If you are already a BPI Author, you will find a complete list of category openings in the Authors Notepad in your Dorm Room. To reserve a slot, type in your user name, topic, and date, and click “Save Notes.” I will remove your note when I add you to our Schedule.

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Also: Please share your stories of offline activism in Things We Did This Week.

That leaves the pile of knotted string left outside the mail room door by the resident faculty, as they made their way from the wine cellar library where they spend the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”) to the hot tub faculty lounge for their weekly game where the underwear goes flying planning conference. Pootie the Precious is grownup and doesn’t need a cradle, plus the string was too thick for that game. So we think they were attempting macramé. The key word is “attempting.” Unless they were trying to macramé The Blob, they did not achieve their desired result.

Or maybe they did. Maybe that tangled knot was their clue for the week.

After all, many of have grown frustrated watching President Obama wrestle with the Gordian Knot of Republican political hostage-taking and obstructionism. Many would like to see him adopt a more Alexandrian approach, setting aside the reverse macramé of negotiation, cleaving that knot with a rhetorical sword. While Alexander did encounter the legendary knot at Phrygia, historians dispute whether he cut it with a sword. But as with FDR’s pugnacious “I welcome their hatred” and LBJ’s “arm twisting,” legend and history often diverge in the details.

Still, President Obama has not yet achieved greatness. The Affordable Care Act and Dodd-Frank bank reform act were incomplete victories. Unemployment and home foreclosure rates remain high. Emboldened by their success in the 2010 midterms, Republicans are willing to sacrifice our middle class on the altar of supply-side ideology, and President Obama has not yet shown he can defeat them, or even lead the debate. With the debt ceiling deadline looming, many reasonably wonder whether President Obama will stare down House Republicans and get a clean bill, or once again accept a compromise that arguably advances the conservative agenda more than our own.

Why do Republicans seem such an unstoppable juggernaut? Why do Democrats seem so divided? And why hasn’t President Obama done more to unite us?

The resident faculty will explore such questions this week.


Happy Monday!