Monday, September 13, 2010

Have We Lost Yet?

The Morning Joe Rebuttal for September 13th, 2010


1) Joe Biden had it figured out before all of us. What was amazing about the seemingly enlightened conversation that took place between Joe Conason, David Ignatius, and Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough was what was missing. Seeming like a retroactive genius, Joe Biden had this Afghanistan debacle figured out light years before anyone else. Whether he was blasting Karzai to his face, or making the Pakistan math plain, or showing us the right solution, Joe Biden has been out in front for a long time. A lot longer then myself, a lot longer than the panel today.

We need to go back to a 15,000 person expeditionary force under CIA control. Maybe even less. And we need to control the airspace, freely using the predator system to make no corner of the vast, uninviting terrain of Afghanistan safe for enemies of the United States. That skeleton force should be agnostic to the government of Afghanistan and should rightly be as empowering to the opposition as it is to the ruling party.

The implication that the surge is having an opposite effect actually makes a lot of what Morning Joe has been wishing for suddenly realistic. If we can go from $100 billion in meaningless to $500 million in no one is safe if we’re not safe targeting, that’s a lot of fiscal change for our country.

I do understand that the last of the surge troops just got there in the last few weeks. That doesn’t make me happy, and should bring up continued charges of slow walking by the Pentagon. I am no longer sure if that slow walking was residual effect from the McChrystal regime or if it is a lingering issue, but either way the strategy by those doing it is fatally flawed. The flaw is that there was little calculus in a slow walking strategy for the deteriorating domestic fiscal situation.

A second possible scenario that would disturb anyone may have been that the slowing of the implementation was a process of obstruction by the Pentagon similar to what legislative Republicans do every day: we just won’t do our jobs until a friendly governing regime takes over in Washington. No one knows whether that is part of the calculus, but if Wall Street and Mitch McConnell are doing it, if United Technologies is openly endorsing regime change in the United States, what would generals in the US armed forces do if they want post retirement high paying work?

Nonetheless, now the December evaluation can’t come soon enough, and look for the Biden plan to get several million more eyeballs now that throwing $150 billion more dollars into the ocean didn’t work.

2) Who is retarded now? How can you not be motivated by the Frank Rich article over the weekend? When Rahm Emmanuel slighted the base of the Democratic Party over their incessant calls for real reform instead of lip service, all of us got a reality check. Did we really have a naiveté of a level that made wanting to fix our crumbling governing services on a real level an exercise in Shangri-la?

Reminded by Rich of the FDR vitriol spewed at the robber barons who used fallacy optics to try and populize their self serving enrichment, reminded of the Obama claims made on the way into the oval office that it was real change not something titled change that is being heralded as change but can’t pass any reasonable muster as change, you have to feel at least a little better that you weren’t just dreaming irrationally for the last 22 months.

Rahm is jumping ship. We are left with his awful compromises, and in need of someone who has his moxie, but aims that moxie at adversaries instead of eating his own young with it.

What happens next is clearly indicative of whether we were duped at the outset, or if this is the most cardiac arresting new scale yet of the Obama ‘real good in the fourth quarter” phenomenon. Is it a setup where all the Goldman guys got the finance gigs, Rahm the chief of staff gig, Gates stayed on as defense chief to keep the wolves circling? Will the Goolsbee appointment, a Warren nod, a new Defense Secretary, and a street fighter with the people on his prevailing agenda as the new chief of staff be Obama setting the tempo for a 6 year run of cementing the loose cornerstones into a formidable new style of US governance? Or is it next stop, Manchuria?

3) Can I get an economist, please? I’ll remind you of one other nugget from my month long pro Paul Krugman rant: part of Keynesian doctrine insists that the private sector be harnessed in times of crisis and made to work towards a common goal of full employment. That is not from any Krugman rant, surprisingly, but is a most valid connection to this weekend’s Frank Rich column. You have to not let the Wall Street guys hold you hostage, it has to be the other way around. Listen to the Joe Scarborough harping on capital gains taxes today and you will see my point. Joe Scarborough desperately needs to have an economist on set at all times right now because he rarely makes more than base algebraic sense when he talks about the subject. But when you raise the capital gains tax without going the extra step of steepening the raise for gains made at the expense of the domestic tax base, and lessening or removing the tax for gains made that evolve the domestic tax base you leave a resonating point on the table. When you make numbers move without a substantive reasoning you give hipshot anecdotes like what came from Scarborough today a whole new round or repetition, and repetition outlasts, and can ultimately undermine, more logical paths when mixed with political rhetoric.

You, Mr. Obama, also have to not let the guys running around without a logical leg to stand on maintain the high ground simply by attrition of your will. I’ll gladly continue to take a pickaxe to Scarborough’s fallacy economics every time it comes up. He has yet to be right with that argument about the top-level tax expiration. The only reason he is almost right about the capital gains thing is that the administration lacked the conviction to use targeting of the capital gains tax to grow the economy, a reason Scarborough didn’t cite or base his argument on, he just got lucky.

Mr. Scarborough, you got the high ground via attrition, don’t get used to it.

That’s all for today, see you tomorrow

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Paint The Target Orange

The Morning Joe Rebuttal for September 9th, 2010


1) Morning Joe did a great job of presenting a diverse news program today and avoiding Koran-gate as an overwhelming force. It did get some high altitude observations here and there, but Mika made some pretty stringent requirements for how the show was not going to get sucked into a self perpetuating publicity stunt as a unwitting enabler.

They get it, I wish they would’ve gotten it during their plagues that overwhelmed them previously like Professor Gates, Reverend Wright, the ground zero muslim center, or the other 25 cover up assisting noise makers that Morning Joe helped blow completely out of proportion. The golden rule is if you talk about it, you might as well be burning a Koran yourself.

Mika seems to have circled in on this logic without fully realizing why. Here’s hoping that she will connect the dots and be the person to discover how to filter stunts from news. The amount of good that can be done by the program if it could properly filter out white noise and junk would be exponentially higher.

2) It’s not lost on anyone that Joe Scarborough ducked a major embarrassment today when he did not engage Ezra Klein on Social Security. Ezra is not alone in his finding that the real demagoguery belongs to those who call Social Security a doomed entitlement that needs to be stopped in the interest of America’s solvency.

The demagoguery claim is really simple, and Ezra Klein made it, and the Washington Post printed it: going after Social Security is the path of preying on the weakest amongst us because the antagonist himself is in fact too weak, or is motivated otherwise, to go after the segments of the government’s fiscal problems that need it more. You need to fix Medicare more, and you need to understand that Medicare is an entitlement whose subscriber base is going to grow whether the country adopts single payer or continues the horrific systemic disassembly into chaos it paths to currently. Same for the $700 billion defense budget. Same for the $2 billion a week wars. Same for the amalgamated subsidies, earmarks and sweetheart contracts that came in with teaser coverages but now at maturity cost the taxpayer a premium for less service whether its $578 million dollar schools, sugar and corn subsidies, or tax credits for business engaged in outsourcing our economy.

The problem is that there is collectively zero spine in our current form of government to fight those necessary battles, so what’s left of that group just goes after the weakest among us like a bad episode of Survivor. Joe Scarborough, promised to have Ezra Klein back at some point to have that discussion, probably on a day that is hosted by Willie Geist.

Just to finish the thought on the growth of the Medicare subscriber base. Sure in the hypothetical world of single payer in America it will grow. That is not what I’m talking about. Sooner or later the 50 million Americans that are currently uninsured will all grow into some form of qualification for Medicare. You may believe that the new Health Care reform will insure more Americans, but the morass of remaining fiefdoms like the state monopolies and the wrist slap punitives of not insuring people with preexisting conditions will continue to allow maneuvers that create uninsured citizens everywhere. And those people will walk into hospitals, and hospitals will find way to get Medicare reimbursement for them. Its similar to a back door draft in our wars. The private health insurers are still motivated to not insure the same 50 million citizens they didn’t insure last year, and you can bet they are quick at work finding ways to not cover them.

It’s something the Republicans simply don’t understand. You don’t have the option to not provide health care to people. I know it’s a deep concept, but until you start the conversation ready to admit that 100% of the population is going to get medical care if they seek it, you continue to throw useless histrionics at the problem.

The only real conversation you can have about Medicare is cost control. The industry paid you dearly to not have that conversation, so you opportuned elsewhere. Can anyone tell me the pro Social Security lobby budget? I know AARP will be up in arms when Social Security gets demagogued, but financially they are a flea in comparison to the combined forces of the health care interests.

So go ahead Joe Scarborough, tell us all how you want seniors to cut their entitlements first and those other problems can go on. I can’t wait.

3) One thing that Scarborough got right: Phil Griffin is panicking right now because he gave Lawrence O’Donnell his own show. That performance today was nearly on par with Joaquin Phoenix’s rap movie.

That dress down of Richard Trumpka was disgusting. The guy who has previously gone jugular on Marc Thiessen, Paul Cantor, Phil Musser and a cast of others can’t wait to have everyone whom he feels needs a good screaming at on his own show. The new show should be titled:

“When Crazy Larry Attacks”

I really am a fan of the in control version of Lawrence. His ability to find saliency on complex political issues leads the way whenever he is on Morning Joe. He is less effective in his various fill-in hosting jobs because the structure leads him to the bent version of himself that stops all debate and starts heaping vitriol.

That in control version comes from the framework of being a moderate foil to the combination of Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan. Those guys need a moderate foil. Especially Joe Scarborough due to his penchant for projecting wishful thinking on the likelihood of outcomes.

Take today, Boehner is too much of an unknown to be targeted in the Obama speech in Ohio. Pat Buchanan: “Targeting Downward” , Joe Scarborough “no national traction”. But wait Ezra Klein “it was in Boehner’s home state”, Tina Brown “Obama should call these do nothings out and forcefully” John Heilman “ditto on the ‘good to see Obama fighting” and Chuck Todd “they do need a target for their message” and O’Donnell: well, O’Donnell didn’t have a take because it was the Crazy Larry version and he was busy doing the Joaquin thing. But only Buchanan and Scarborough roped off the negative critique and presented it as obvious doctrine.

I am pretty sure it’s incumbent on the Obama administration to point out the cast of nobodies voters are about to put in charge of the legislature. I understand voter anger about the economy, about alienation of the white middle of America viewing a leadership that includes an African American, a woman, and Harry Reid. But as they go the other way with a tidal wave force they have to know these guys they’re putting in are known shoplifters and they are about to finish the pilfering they started under George W. Bush.

There’s a reason why there is no visible leader of the Republican party: no one wants to be the mug shot when their disingenuity is found out. That’s why John Boehner seems like Roland Burris right now. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime for Boehner who’s career path should’ve topped out a long time ago.

But don’t expect Pat or Joe to figure that out for you, they’re busy trying to sell a script.

That’s all for today, see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Armed With 15% Of The Facts And A Howitzer

The Morning Joe Rebuttal for September 8th, 2010


1) How embarrassing is Tim Kaine? Audacity is defined as making that quip “I don’t pretend anyone remembers a DNC chairmen 3 minutes after they’re gone”. Ummm, I think every registered Democrat remembers the last DNC chairman, that guy who WON elections. Howard Dean.

But rather than just lament the critical velocity in reverse that the above misquidedness represents, it’s more important to point out the sheer lack of lucidity when Kaine speaks. It is all rosy if you ask Mr. Kaine. Often you hear people say this would all be a little easier if someone in government was simply speaking like adults or business men (not their publicists).

That is the opposite of the effect given off when Kaine describes how strong the Health Care Reform polls. That is just wishful thinking and amateurish projection of that wishful thinking. Health Care polls as poorly as possible because the part people need is 40 months away, and all we can think about as we wait those 40 months is the sheer capitulation that occurred defanging the needed reform. When HCR gets in place will we then find out it actually has been outflanked by defensive maneuvers by the insurers who’ve had the 40 months to get back to status quo?

The bottom line on our current DNC chairman is that he is the doctor whose bedside manner is so bad that he just lies. He tells the cancer victim that recovery is imminent so that he doesn’t have to do the tough work of telling them to write their will. Kaine is selling lottery tickets with his prediction that the Democrats will come back. All of the ‘he has to do that rationale’ is actually the strategy of the other side. This side gets its backbone by saying the truth, which is not centrist doctrine. The Kucinich's and Weiners of the world don’t go down making false promises that a nonexistent turnaround is just around the corner. They appeal to passion, and in Tim Kaine representation of the role of the DNC chairman today, could you spot that passion in any lucid form? No, it just seemed like a door to door Xerox salesman who would say anything.

While I’m throwing darts at that guy, I want to point out that there was a publicity stunt in February where it was leaked that Kaine would finally fulfill his potential as DNC Chair because Virginia inaugurated a new governor and Kaine would no longer have to split his time. His focus in the six months since has made things worse as he has been free to make more half pronouncements in a day than previously possible.

2) Now, its actually good news that Joe Scarborough can’t actually stop talking about the positive economic effects of extending tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. That opposing the extension is “mindless”. You can already see the retort on the Daily Show. Joe Scarborough would walk into this ambush like a basic training flunkee.

You can pick from about 87 3 minute rants all with the same message, jump to Mika endorsing with a “you’ve been saying that all along”, and then play 25 guests on the Morning Joe show that have lined up to say in a deep as available science that the economic foundation of Joe Scarboroughs argument is 100% fallacy.

One would say on an ROI basis with limited available funds, tax cuts to the rich are in last place, another would say it’s not 2% small business its less than that, a third small business growth we seek primarily offshoots from manufacturing growth, not singular business. At the end of 25, none of which would need to be Paul Krugman or Robert Reich mind you, it would be obvious that Joe Scarborough stands in distant opposition to genuine economic consensus, and makes you wonder about his motivation in doing so.

I fully realize that this rationale has zero effect on Joe or John Boehner’s complete rejection of letting the tax cuts expire, but I think there is also a growing consensus of people forced into a better understanding of economics by tough times asking why those leaders pursue this path? It seems dishonest with great costs to America associated to those dishonest claims.

The more middle America hears a false argument, the more a baseline realization that we're being duped sets in. We used to talk about how in polls Americans embarrassingly told pollsters they thought Iraq was behind the 9/11 attacks. It’s safe to say that the awfulness of that national misunderstanding has corrected itself through repeating with great frequency just how embarrassingly wrong it was.

Similarly, Americans on the right, in the Tea Party or towards the middle right of America, will look with a degree of humiliation at where they were duped into making the comparatively poor investment of repealing a tax on the top 2% of America instead of directly investing in new jobs for their constituencies. You aren’t in that 2%. Supply side economics is the economics of waiting for crumbs, and you don’t have time to wait. Direct investments in your constituencies revive economies at a 2 to 1 rate compared to tax repeals for the rich, because the rich have the option to NOT spend the money, which they exercise at least HALF the time.

Why do John Boehner and Joe Scarborough make the trickle down case at every opportunity in defiance of any logic except the artificial one they simply concoct on the spot? It can only be one of two reasons: they are in the 2% or they are paid to protect the interest of the 2%.

3) As suspicious as I am about Maria Bartiromo, it was happy to see her on the show trying to find common ground with Arianna Huffington. But before that Willie Geist did a connect the jobs duty by asking Maria to weigh in on the small business negative impact of the tax cut for the rich debate. She of course ducked the question, instead going with the fact that if you want to talk negligible, talk about the amount of money the government gets via the top 2% returning to a 29.9% federal rate. It’s insignificant, its $36 billion dollars. Does that seem insignificant to you? Or did she just put some words together and hope nobody would check?

But yes, Arianna and Maria found middle ground. It’s as if Maria had a bit of an awakening working on her book where she was forced to analyze the role of market touts in explaining away the criminal behavior that’s taken control of Wall Street. Well, I obviously took it too far, but let’s see if over time Maria starts to look for an exit from fallacy island.

That’s all for today, see you tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lucidity Takes A Holiday, Part Seven

The Opposition Rebuttal to Morning Joe for September 7th, 2010


1) Boy, this show is all about piling on. Don’t let it deter you that the Morning Joe cast sat around the campfire for the same 14 months they now complain about and predicted the end of health care and provided exactly zero jobs solutions while cynically complaining about that thing they couldn’t refine themselves.

So when Erin Burnett says that you need $2 trillion in infrastructure investment to simply find competitiveness with the Chinese, and you trot out the Zbigniew Brzezinski line about getting off of the plane from China and feeling DC to be comparatively in 1975, do you think that’s where you put the period?

See, that’s where your take is supposed to go. Yea, the whole cast was on vacation last week, and when you get to the non multiple choice part of your show it gets cumbersome, but that’s why you had to say the word ‘cynical’ about yourself all day today: it’s so easy to bash your opponents that when you have to set the bar for yourselves low, red herring baiting without detail provides the best return on investment.

Let’s not forget that you killed the stimulus from day one, but never said where you would have stood if it had been effective stimulus instead of the Pelosi handout. That is a defacto obstruction on par with what the Republicans have done this entire congressional term. I’m sad about the $787 billion too, but you’re Google away from being able to see an MJR blueprint in detail for the $2 trillion Erin mentions above. You? Tax cuts? Or just spurious kill the bill sound bites?

2) So, did Morning Joe think they were just gonna slink their new ad planner through and no one would notice? Are you kidding me? Remember when Joe Scarborough said as loud as he could that repealing anti-trust for health care insurers was key to a free enterprise solution? Let’s count the number of times that he brings that subject out of it’s box now that United Health is running lobby level endorsements of the Morning Joe show.

I was pretty depressed when Tom Daschle and Howard Dean took the money. I am a lot less depressed about Morning Joe taking the money. But just don’t go around pretending that you are no longer free of compromise on an issue that will continue to kill more people than smoking in the United States until change manifests. That’s right United Health owns monopoly health care operations in states like California, where individual plans go up 30% October 1st without debate. They are the operational equation behind where does that 32 cents of your health care dollar go that doesn’t go to health care? Switzerland and the Netherlands mandate that private industry health insurance revenues flow through at 90%. But your new sponsor will masquerade as the benign endorsement of Mika’s health walk in a BP-esque attempt to have a neutral credibility derived from that endorsement.

And oh yea, Ethanol? I was going to predict that you were re-upping with Extenze on the west coast, then the ethanol lobby beat me to it. Maybe Morning Joe has stumbled on a new business venture. Howitzer some part of the political spectrum, the least nationally useful the better, and see if they turn around and counter your message with those Archer Daniels Midland style branding ads to keep their momentum.

What I think Chris Licht should consider, is during the next round of mass vacations Morning Joe pre tape a segment with people who look like newscasters but actually work for either the Ethanol lobby or United Health. Then read editorials about the validity of these entities as if they were news. Maybe 10 minutes each? Possibly add a witty title like ‘Shine A Golden Light On Ethanol’ or 'Health Care Is A Privilege And Not A Right’.

That’s called double dipping my friend, a paid segment that looks like programming that you can repeat, thus lowering programming cost at the same time. Credibility? That sand castle found high tide a while ago.

3) I’m not as horrified by the sameness as I might sound. This is really just where Morning Joe and the country are going at nearly similar trajectories. But, alas, I do need to write everyday and the show doesn’t seem like it can provide content at that frequency in it’s current form. Sort’ve like that playground that seems smaller and smaller upon each return.

I’m happy to check in when the urge to throw the remote at the TV strikes, but the show seems incapable of surprise or traction at this point. Joe Scarborough is going to pontificate on approximately 15% of an issue as if it was the whole range of description or analysis available, Mika Brzezinski is going to be unconvincing in an Alan Colmes sort of way as the lefty foil, Mike Barnicle is going to take the days events and boil them into 60 seconds of Will Rogers without a call to action, and friends of the show will join them not in bringing about a new dynamic understanding of the world, but a hallow hip shot of the sort that gets us the election results of 2004 delivered in a nice mid term version this November.

It’s not like there are a million options out there. I haven’t watched Chris Matthews in a very long time, Dylan needs a spokesman, Keith is funny, but not helpful, Rachel is funny, but just funny, Ed is radio with a camera, and Lawrence’s new promo clip for his show shouts needs work at the top of its lungs. CNN is really out in the wilderness, save Fareed, Fox requires decompression, and Jon Stewart works a 4 day work week when he works, with a 39 hour delay. And Stewart, as funny and on point as he is, is really committed to less is more with 100 or so writers doing 2 segments and an interview as their semi daily yield.

As a collective cable news returns far less social good for money invested than our government run health care or educational systems. Television in general is a chief enabler of the breakdown in our political system. The news part is wholly owned by status quo industry barons, and the commercials that run the lions share of campaigns cost so much money, they are the real reason lobbyists have so much power. If you are GE, NBC, MSNBC or channel 39 in San Diego, you have a vested interest in keeping politics viewable best via your prism. Every single service to that interest is slightly defeated by solution, slightly leveraged by status quo or stalemate conflict.

We talked about the perverse dollar motivations in our health care system where cost control has zero incentive at any part of the health care process, doctors and patients feel best when they spend far beyond rationality. Television’s command of politics is that same reverse logic. In England when another not paid for advertisement runs, an executive at Sky News cries a silent tear for the what could have been as it exists in the US. Marketers are having a field day and myopic optics like the 'Young Guns' prove the point at each turn.

It’s an important addendum that political advertisement is sky rocketing at 312 times the rate of job growth. The only other multiplier out there that is similar is the current CEO to average employee pay in the United States. It’s a growth industry, a gravy train because it’s a war between the nations corporations and the nation’s people. Guess where the money is?

I still think that Joe Scarborough is a populist at heart. But remembering his core reasons for that populism isn’t getting any easier every day results like this are on his timecard.

That’s all for today, see you tomorrow.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Elements Of Disintegration

The Morning Joe Rebuttal for September 3rd, 2010


1) What should have been a ho-hum Friday filler with vacation coverage casting turned into a 9 way labyrinth of economic upheaval. Chris Jansing was quoting Anne Kornbluth, and Willie Geist was Eddie Haskell-ing his way through Pulitzer prizers and wunderkind like it was easy.

I’m not so sure that Carl Bernstein is right in his pessimism for the future, and actually Matt Lewis made the most salient point to counter said pessimism by encouraging all parties to not fear the shared power version of government. So what if the Republicans own some part of the legislative body? Won’t it just draw them out into actually having to govern as opposed to the convenient cover they have right now to not actually having to do anything, and the gain they make as a minority via obstruction?

You may not like Republican obstruction, or negative campaign ads. But it is now doctrine that both practices are highly effective. There are only two ways to end the obstruction, share power or bury the Republican Senate below 40 votes during a Democratic House. The only option that is in our future is the former, and embracing it isn’t such a bad thing. In fact, if you are pro government effectiveness, you have to see the shared power scenario as more useful than if the Democrats squeak out two victories.

I really take issue with the fact that we have to give up the House to the Republicans, when it is the Senate that is the most compromised away from effective government. It would actually be far better for America in a shared power environment if the Senate went Republican and the House stayed Democrat. That makes the Republicans responsible for the filibuster nonsense, removes the Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson corruption, and leaves subpoena power in the vault where it belongs.

2) The news surrounding the on air debate was fair cause for Bernstein’s depression. The Obama administration coming out and saying no second stimulus is a very bad optic showing that administration as hapless. That message should have been ‘we will do whatever it takes’. Instead the message is we are hamstrung by the political will of Washington and Congress.

The point above about Matt Lewis noting the effective possibilities in a shared power environment was even more shocking given that he made an idiot out of himself trotting out Bush era fallacy economics, which was torn apart by 4 other guests like a zebra on the Serengeti Plain. But listening to the Carl Bernstein part of the tear down was particularly poignant because it hit the Obama headwind right on the head. Obama can’t win with logic because the Republicans have succeeded in making a nonsensical economic theorem stick in the voter psyche. The ideology that serves the Republican theorem is not made to make the economy better or life better for the middle class, it is to arrange words in any order possible to say you are making the economy better while actually pilfering the tax base, cutting services and entitlements to the middle class, and privatizing government via sweetheart deals that enrich enablers. All this and then Lewis finishes by proving the double speak mantra with the unemployment number.

The unemployment number ticks down but the rate ticks up because of the good news, and the brutally honest Matt Lewis take is if Republicans parade the negative optics of the rate around then the voter won’t ever see the positive fine print number that carries it. That is Lord Of The Flies stuff, up is down, down is up, make the negative louder, making sense be damned.

3) Then, with a very long base of information feeding it, Eugene Robinson comes on and uses unfortunate words to describe the phenomenon of voter irrationality. The voter isn’t irrational because they suddenly became selfish or ‘spoiled brats’. They were taught. Taught by the Republican Party that says no taxation is ever safe on their watch. Taught by the Democratic Party that includes corrupt expenditures masked as provision in its spending plans.

Voters were more accustomed to an employer who provided many of the services other countries rely on their government for. As those employers turn the page on honestly providing job security, health care and pensions, that voter has been forced into an irrational position of having to go back to the government looking for those services.

The ultimate genesis of this voter irrationality, at least on my radar, was California proposition 13. A promise was made to find ways other than property taxes to pay for the Rolls Royce educational system and local governments in California, but those governments were no longer going to have the power to stay solvent via property taxes. This morphed over 35 years to become the mainstay public persona of the Republican party. The problem was whenever it was time to discuss solvency, the promise to remain solvent was broken, and deficit governments emerged everywhere. The California education and services systems are fatally wounded at this point, and the voter base doesn’t find it convenient to look at solutions. They have been taught when the dirty little secret of solvency shows up, you can turn your head the other way.

35 years ago, 99.9% of people never considered that they would be propped up by unemployment insurance, or that privatized health care would be afforded monopoly power and allowed to consume 32 cents of every health care dollar spent on ‘administration’, or that United Airlines would be allowed to use bankruptcy to void pensions and tell retired mechanics to go drive a truck to live out their days on this planet because their pension was gone. There was no such thing as a 401k 35 years ago.

No you have taught the voter that government can get real small just by cutting off the tax revenue spigot, but you conveniently left out the fact that your new sevices partner is the unwilling potpourri of for profit banks, for profit health care companies, for profit colleges and student lenders, and for profit security firms. They don’t want to be taxed, they lobby the government into a hapless quivering mass, and they consider the middle class to be useless eaters unless they have a dollar left to spend.

The only thing left in the hands of the voter is the voter booth. But even that ‘vote the bums out’ ability seems to be operating in a manageable range. The Democrats have been forced to lie about their accomplishments, calling them ‘health care reform’ and ‘financial regulatory reform’ and ‘the end of combat operations’ when what’s left of the objective journalists in the country uniformly state that each of those descriptions is a misnomer.

It’s not a temper tantrum, Mr. Robinson. When that plane crashed into Rockaway Beach, the FAA figured out that the pilot, while trying to regain control, thrust the rudder all the way left then all the way right so many times that he eventually broke the tail of the plane off causing disintegration.

The voters are right there, right now.