The Monday Morning Teaser

I’m in a weird position this week. Normally, I think of the Weekly Sift as a balance to the hype of the TV news networks: They fixate on one story at a time and tell you the same five details over and over with breathless anxiety; my role is to remind you that there’s a lot more going on in the world, and to calm you down on the One Big Story they’re overblowing.

But I can’t play that role on the shutdown/debt-ceiling story, because I’m probably more obsessed with it than you are. And I keep wondering why people aren’t more freaked out about this than they are. So if you are coming to the Sift today looking for a steadying, calming voice and a reminder that we’ve been here before and it worked out fine — I have to warn you that you’ve come to wrong place.

I’ll be posting two featured articles this week: One that I haven’t named yet (actually I have; it’s “N Points About the Shutdown”, but I still haven’t determined the value of N) about the specifics of the current debate, and “Countdown to Augustus” discussing how this confrontation fits into the long-term story of the decline of the Republic. Those two articles give the weekly summary a shutdown theme also, so it’s called “Burning Down the House”.

I don’t know what to predict about when those articles will appear, because I’ll also have one eye on the breaking news. (The Dow futures point to the market opening sharply downward. Is this the crash I was talking about last week, or just another step in an orderly retreat?)

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