Monday, July 26, 2010

My Dad Knows Everything

The Morning Joe Rebuttal for July 26th, 2010


1) Is it just me or was the self editing of the Scarborough take before and after Zbigniew Brzezinski’s segment gargantuan? Joe Scarborough declared war on all of Pakistan at approximately 7:05 AM EST, then Brzezinski called all pundits who describe all of Pakistan as the enemy dangerous for their lack of dimensional understanding. Then Joe Scarborough came back on the show after Mr. Brzezinski had left and claimed they had agreed all along.

Brzezinski showed a 360 degree view of Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Iran, Russia, China, Israel, and Saudi Arabia that contained each of their inter-connections. No one else aside from maybe Richard Haas with an Ipad could possibly have done that. Maybe it was unfair to Scarborough, who deserved to have his opinion evolve given the watershed of thought brought by Brzezinski. I just would have preferred to have it be more honest, with Scarborough using his own comeuppance as a teaching moment for all Americans trying so desperately to understand what we’re facing.

That’s right, what we’re facing. If we are spending all this money, blood and treasure over there, why should it be so hard to arrange and prioritize all the facts? Why can only one guy out of a thousand potential guests be able to adequately explain what’s going on? And why does it seem that the only reason Morning Joe is relevant or dominant on this issue is that the co anchor is related to that one guy who takes the time to explain what our reality in that region is?

Is it possible that there are interested parties out there that want this information to remain scarce? Is it possible, if you follow the money, that we are only actually accessing this logical path by accident, but money would have otherwise lined up the other 999 pundits to dilute the issue prior to any possible crystallizing moment?

There must be a reason for the lack of clarity here somewhere. But the persons out there nudging the conversation towards it’s logical center are heroes. Julian Assange of WikiLeaks is among those people who peel away the scab now and again. When I see Democratic administrations use the “put American lives in danger” red herring in the face of this kind of activity, it moves beyond the hypocritical pale you would normally have labeled a Republican response, it moves into a post partisan ‘who is left to trust’ zone.

Zbigniew Brzezinski talked about this a little bit today, but from a distance. He talked about the dangerous progression of policy in Afghanistan that started in the early Obama speeches, into a nuanced tightrope of a US national policy last December, and now into a space where the policy is dictated by ‘events on the ground’. The summation of this path, said Brzezinski, is that Obama has ceded control to the military. The conflict of interest in having the military running this war is what Assange is talking about. Obama’s speeches in Turkey and Egypt were about a new American accountability, one that has re-vanished in 20 months.

Assange, for his pursuits, is targeted in the US with arrest in connection with the last WikiLeaks project that showed a US helicopter mowing down tens of Iraqi’s for no apparent reason, and has been forced by the certainty of his eventual arrest by our government, to release all the information he has prior. He wants to be sure that the people who might hope to contain damaging information have to continuously remain accountable. His arrest would be catastrophic for American foreign policy.

2) Before the fireworks concerning the WikiLeaks situation got underway, there was another quasi-scuffle early when Harold Ford tested out a pro-Bank of America sound byte. It didn’t go well. Ford wanted to make the point that the big banks paid back the TARP money and should be credited for making the US taxpayer and the US Treasury whole.

When you have Pat Buchanan lunging out of his chair at you and you are pro-commerce, it is not a good day in lobby land. Ford made what amounts to the classic ‘this little sliver of the story is the whole story – the end’ attempt. It’s a great tragedy that any credibility that he may have possessed left today, and that he chose to try and airbrush out the zero interest fed window loan direct to T-bills for profit scandal that will be in history books everywhere in 25 years. Harold also got called out on the AIG 100 cents on the dollar windfall scandal, one that will be in the same history books, and in his hasty back pedal admitted those derivative repayments probably shouldn’t have been at full value.

So, Harold, it’s just you and Brian Moynihan at lunch later today, and you’re reviewing how it went, you made Bank of America look like it wanted to move on, the TARP signified the end of the bad part of the financial crisis, that the tax free windfalls from the AIG bailout and the Fed window were deserved riches, and the future is bright.

Bank of America bought Countrywide during the meltdown. Countrywide owns more toxic mortgages than anyone. Wait, it owns the contract to service those mortgages having long ago transferred the nefarious valuation of those assets to either Fannie, Freddie or the Treasury, even Pat Buchanan knows that. So does that make the Halliburton-like relationship BofA now possesses to extract fees in maintenance on all these horrible loans scandal number 3? Did Bank of America see the future and buy all the toxic loans knowing the US government was going to trade insolvent assets for for T-bills so that two broke entities could shell-game up their part of the 23 trillion dollar scam?

And did you Harold, highlight this stuff as if you were a new pro consumer, anti BofA WikiLeaks, by simply sticking your toe in the water to see if you could float? “Hey Brian, watch this!”

3) After all that why I would embark on what is next is beyond me. The mid term elections and all elections subsequent are going to get so much media attention that a voter should be understandably overwhelmed by the coverage. While you watch people like Chuck Todd try and explain where “it” will be found in November, are you really able to tether to that singular fact which may or may not drive whatever faraway congressional election, and be convinced that result may have some bearing on your life?

What Americans don’t have is a personal relevancy scorecard. What companies do you do business with? What is your stake in the war in Afghanistan? Is it employment based or do you have a participant in your family? What is your prognosis for employment for the next 18 months, 5 years, to retirement? What is the effect of the last question upon your ability to provide health care for yourself or your family? What is the condition of your school system? What major corporations have recently infuriated you with predatory fine print, or made you wealthier via investment?

All too often, we are fighting someone else’s battle. It’s a common theme here that many of the votes cast in American elections are proxy votes. I tend to illustrate the fear proxy vote that elects my opponents, but in fairness union votes are generally the same. But this isn’t a sinister plot, it’s more a battle to empower the population that would normally enumerate voter attrition. People don’t vote because they don’t have access to what the choices mean to them. Proxy votes get them to the ballot with a thought in their head, it’s just not their own thinking.

These days even the big newspapers make a scorecard that shows their voting choices and their reasons, but essentially turn their readers into proxy votes. The right thing to do to promote voting in the new independent world would be if those same newspapers printed the architecture of the personal relevancy scorecard alongside their choices so that a person could look at the equation result of their vote.

I think Joe Scarborough would agree with me on this. We differ on abortion, not the act, but the legality of the act. But I have heard Mr. Scarborough complain consistently about litmus voting, and that is precisely what I am talking about here. I would hate to have a person find out later that they voted away their United Airlines pension based on a litmus issue like abortion. Understanding the various effects of their vote might be a solid way to get a centrist voting base to begin to generate votes that truly govern their country.

The first step is to admit proxy votes are votes for the dark side, and attrition would have been better. That might be “it” Chuck, Barack, and Rahm!

That’s all for today, see you tomorrow.

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