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How does one conduct herself each day among such partisanship, isolation, domestic and international disasters, and what seems like the daily fracturing not only of our nation, but also of our relationship with other nations? It's been a harrowing week trying to figure all of this out -- here's what I've established.
This week showed how celebration can often go hand-in-hand with desolation. In Bangladesh, a woman was rescued from the rubble of the collapsed garment factory, having been buried alive for 17 days -- even as the death toll passed 1,000. In Cleveland, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were freed after years in captivity, touching off celebrations that were tempered by revelations of the horror of their prolonged abuse. With the raising of its spire, 1 World Trade Center became the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, nearly a dozen years after the devastating losses of 9/11. And though a lowered deficit is good news, any celebration should be tempered by the fact that fiscal belt-tightening has come with a high price: disastrous unemployment rates. As The New York Times put it: "Consensus about the result is clear: Immediate deficit reduction is a drag on full economic recovery." Consensus, that is, everywhere but in Washington.