.. There is such a thing as tact. It has to do with a sense of touch—an ability to apprehend another’s position or circumstances, and doing or saying the right thing. There is, believe it or not, such a thing as political tact. It too involves knowing the positions of others, and knowing what time it is.
.. “The only way this great big experiment you and I call America is gonna survive is if we’ve got tough hombres like you. . . . We don’t frickin’ scare, that’s the bottom line.
As we depart, Rio de Janeiro is left with stadiums for which it has little use and swimming pools far removed from the working class who could dearly use them. Tens of thousands of residents were displaced, a golf course sits atop a former nature preserve ..
.. The greatest honor we can pay to a nation is to take its maladies seriously. Brazil overthrew a dictatorship and remains a gloriously messy democracy.
.. Our Salt Lake 2002 Winter Olympics were a bacchanalia of bribes, doping and corruption.
.. he could recall no reporters poking around impoverished corners of London during its Summer Olympics. If that is so, that is our failure.
.. What if the I.O.C. instead had awarded Rio de Janeiro three cycles of Olympics: 2016, 2020 and 2024?
.. If city leaders did not offer measurable progress, the I.O.C. could withdraw the next two rounds of Games.
The Republican establishment thinks the grass roots have the power but the grass roots think the reverse. The unions think the corporations have the power but the corporations think the start-ups do. Regulators think Wall Street has the power but Wall Street thinks the regulators do. The Pew Research Center asked Americans, “Would you say your side has been winning or losing more?” Sixty-four percent of Americans, with majorities of both parties, believe their side has been losing more.
.. Americans are beset by complex, intractable problems that don’t have a clear villain: technological change displaces workers; globalization and the rapid movement of people destabilize communities; family structure dissolves; the political order in the Middle East teeters, the Chinese economy craters, inequality rises, the global order frays, etc.
.. Those institutions have been weakened of late. Parties have been rendered weak by both campaign finance laws and the Citizens United decision, which have cut off their funding streams and given power to polarized super-donors who work outside the party system.
.. The fact is, for all the problems we may have with Wall Street or Washington, our biggest problems are systemic — the disruptions caused by technological progress and globalization, mass migration, family breakdown and so on. There’s no all-controlling Wizard of Oz to slay.