Thursday, October 18, 2012

Brain Food

Instead of watching the debate Tuesday night we headed into Baltimore for the first lecture in the Baltimore Speaker Series. I've often described these evenings as brain food. It’s not as if we escaped an evening of politics either, the featured speaker was Bill Clinton.

It is not all that uncommon for protesters to show up at some of these lectures. A few years ago when we went to hear Pervez Musharraf, a sizable group of protesters in the park across the street from the Meyerhoff greeted attendees. Tuesday night a handful of protesters were on hand for the 42nd presidents appearance but their cause was much more benign. The signs they held read “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for Hillary.”

Even if you don’t agree with the mans politics or find his presidential behavior to be abhorrent, you probably would have enjoyed his lecture. He spoke at length about the work of his foundation but also offered his perspective on current affairs, um, I mean events.

As reported in this story by John Fritze in The Sun, the former president told the audience “he is confident Washington will work quickly through the nation's looming fiscal crisis after the election despite predictions that partisanship will continue to leave the federal government gridlocked next year.”

It’s easy to forget that before the impeachment mess he actually enjoyed a pretty good relationship with Congress, much better than Obama has. That being said, he was hopeful that things would soon improve.

“He reiterated calls for Congress to adopt a 10-year budget plan front-loaded with new spending to boost the economy that would then begin to impose cuts to reduce the nation's debt in the out-years. He said the Nov. 6 election would be a defining event that would force Republicans and Democrats to work more cooperatively.

"I think you'll be surprised after this election," he said.”

Next up in the speaker series is Jeanette Walls, author of The Glass Castle. I doubt there will be any protesters for her but we’ll still enjoy another healthy serving of brain food.
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