Something weird is going on. The Washington Post reports today that 50% of the Americans in its most recent poll think the country is going in the right direction, compared with 8% last October, just before we elected our new president.
Then you look at the headlines in the New York Times. "Where Home Prices Crashed Early, Signs of a Rebound" or "Health Officials Begin to Ease Public Alerts About Swine Flu" or "S and P 500 Erases 2009 Losses as Stocks Jump" or "Chrysler and Fiat have hopes for Happy Relationship." Good news? Breaking out all over? What's going on?
Well, maybe things are getting better, I don't know. But news is never unmixed; there's always some good in the bad and vice versa. And good news, of course, is bad for pundits, columnists, commentators, the grumps who need something to worry about on the air or in print two or three times a week. What are we going to do now?
Relax, that's what. To paraphrase Bogart to Bergman in "Casablanca," we'll always have Pakistan. No chirpy headlines coming out of that place. Taliban seizing this province, and that one - getting closer to the capital. And if they knock over the government, it isn't one imperfect set of rogues replacing another. So what? If the Taliban win, they'll control Pakistan's nuclear bombs. And if that doesn't worry you, you're just not trying.
So the next seventeen columns may be about Pakistan. It's easier, I guess, to write about fear than cheer.
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