The Monday Morning Teaser

This Sift doesn’t have a featured post this week. In part that’s because the weekly summary has a lot to cover: the continued delay in either publishing the Mueller Report or delivering it to Congress, the reports that Mueller’s people feel that their work is being misrepresented, Joe Biden’s response to charges that he touches people inappropriately, the ongoing Brexit follies, Kristjen Nielsen’s resignation and a series of other stories about the border (pointing to Trump’s increasing frustration at being bound by US law), Democrats’ attempts to get Trump’s tax returns, and so on. Buried under all that: Congress invoked the War Powers Act for the first time in history, in an attempt to end our role in Yemen’s civil war.

But there’s another reason: I’m not sure exactly what made this week different from all the others, but it got under my skin in a way that most weeks don’t. Whenever I started to write any longer piece, it turned into a rant. Ranting is not what I’m trying to do here. I’m sure you get plenty of that elsewhere, and I’m not convinced that my rants are that much better than the general run of rants. Again and again, I would write some line that felt emotionally satisfying, and then not have a good answer to the question “How does this serve my readers?”

So this week I plan to ramp up my mental hygiene practices and try to get back to my usual relationship with the news.

The weekly summary should be out maybe around 11 EDT.

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  • steveflax  On April 8, 2019 at 8:25 am

    Hey Weekly Sift Guy,

    You could rant. We’ll tolerate it (at times) from you.

    Be well and rant-worthy.

    Best regards,

    Steve 518-577-5512


  • Anonymous  On April 8, 2019 at 10:05 am

    I’ve retreated into my garden. You’re one of the few I keep up with.

  • Bill Camarda  On April 8, 2019 at 11:10 am

    It’s clear that you’ve organized this blog (and made it weekly rather than continuous) in order to protect your ability to step back and be thoughtful. Still, even for you, the relentlessness of Trump’s morning, noon & night despicableness is too much. I don’t blame you. I was blessedly out of the country for a week, where CNN was avoidable, and after a week back it feels like I was never gone.

    All of us liberals and Democrats who are evaluating some of our candidates skeptically needs to think about: What would four more years of Trump look like? Four more years of this?

  • Sara Robinson  On April 8, 2019 at 11:23 am

    You, too, eh? Seems to be hitting everybody. I’ve fallen into a pit of depression the likes of which I’ve not seen since Kennedy retired. It’s taking me a long time to pull out of it.

    A friend suggested that these episodes are a natural part of how we adapt to a new, increasingly hostile reality. I’m not sure that was a comfort.

    When this happened during the Bush years, we pulled together via blogs and e-mail lists. Those technologies are passe now, but modern social media doesn’t allow for thinking and planning together in nearly the same way — which may be by design. The upshot is to leave us feeling much more disconnected, in a way that seems hopeless and hard to overcome.

    • weeklysift  On April 8, 2019 at 3:56 pm

      I hang around with a generally liberal crowd, and I’ve noticed a general downdraft in people’s moods these last three years (going back to the 2016 campaign). It’s not that we’re all depressed all the time, but it keeps taking more attention and effort to stay sane.

      • Deborah  On April 9, 2019 at 7:27 pm

        Yes, I noticed a few weeks ago that I was becoming completely negative. Too focused on what a horrible man Trump is. I realized I needed to modify my focus, and I am working on it everyday, because Trump is 24/7 in the news media. You can’t really get away from it unless you crawl into a cave. But even just with TV, there are lots of shows to watch that don’t involve current affairs. Then there are books to read, walks to take, household chores to do etc.

  • Stephen Morillo  On April 8, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    Since you explained the lack of a featured post this week by saying that the week’s news had gotten under your skin, I recommend the fabulous song “Under My Skin” by Briston Maroney:

    • weeklysift  On April 8, 2019 at 3:52 pm

      Shot on Amelia Island, I notice. Friends keep telling me I should go there sometime.

  • SamuraiArtGuy  On April 8, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    Whenever I started to write any longer piece, it turned into a rant. Ranting is not what I’m trying to do here. I’m sure you get plenty of that elsewhere, and I’m not convinced that my rants are that much better than the general run of rants. …

    I do hear you. And I most certainly do rant, it’s clearly an affliction of the times. I am reminded of the more thoughtful early Dennis Miller (before he befan to frotn at the mouth) and would finish his show’s monologue with, “I don’t want to get off on a rant here, but…” and we’d be off to the races on some topical outrage. Of course the absolute master of the Rant was George Carlin, who had us so busy laughing, we didn’t realize it wasn’t comedy,… it was journalism.

    From time to time out on the interwebs, I take on the persona of The Zen Basterd and take on some topic or another from a Taoism-influenced sideways perspective to try and shake loose peoples habitual, shallow, and lazy thought processes. People do feem almost painfully deficient in historical perspective and big-picture thinking. I don’t always manage to get outside the box, but I do at least manage most of the time, a bigger box..

    A lot of what seems to be happening to both our society and governance, is the spreading stress fractues of decay and decline rippling around the globe, driven by the modern horsemen of apocalypse, overpopulation, economic inequality, resource depletion, and environmental degredation, all of which made worse by climate change. Of course the traditional riders will turn up in their own time if the aforementioned issues are addressed in a coherent way, and few politicians on earth seem willing to take them on, least of all our own.

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