Friday, October 8, 2010

A Tunnel To Tragedy

The Hudson River tunnel stoppage is a national tragedy. Rather than rant as I’ve done repeatedly about the Krugman-Keynes versus Republican denial debate, it’s more important to ponder how Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough can have formed a blind alliance with Chris Christie and immediately came down in favor of his work stoppage order. They then went on to cite the travel musings of Chrystia Freeland in Turkey and the second Zbigeniew Brzezinski compare and contrast observation in the last few months, and went further citing Germany’s austerity program, and could not make cohesive sense if their life depended on it.

Germany can afford austerity because its public works is at a rate of completion that it isn’t perpetually 20 years behind in terms of infrastructure maintenance needs like the US is. The two recent foreign travelers are basically saying every day we do things like stop the second Hudson River tunnel the closer we come to having the infrastructure of the third world and having global business look elsewhere.

Freeland and Erin Burnett have made this as clear as they can, but choosing talking points over logic, Morning Joe has pre-aligned itself with the Republican party and cheers any new loss of momentum in governing as some great victory. Freeland and Burnett pointing out the money we would use to make public works happen is beneficial as a whole economy revival and is cheaper now on both a nominal interest basis and a real cost basis than when we had a budget surplus in 1999.

But Morning Joe’s mind is made up and that’s all there is to it. Stop building infrastructure and reverse anything else in the name of austerity. Tragic.

Conveniently the unemployment numbers boost critics either way. The unemployment figures released today were the opposite of the numbers released last month. Last month the nominal jobs lost was better than expected but because more people entered the workforce and looked for work the rate ticked up to 9.6%. The good news caused the uptick but the critics went crazy looking for ways to blame the administration for the rate.

This time the rate was expected to go up to 9.7% for the same positive reasons, but it didn’t, because again we didn’t lose as many jobs as we thought. But now the critics are camped on the fact that because there was a net job loss at all, Obama must be held accountable. It all looks like the analysis of convenience.

In a weird convergence with, Morning Joe just seems to scroll itself to whomever is complaining and cover that. Again you have that future commerce secretary Maria Bartiromo on the show chomping at the bit to show business is ready to revolt because Obama can’t give them the rest of the wealth they haven’t already pilfered.

Objective types continue to fail to break through with rational mathematical reasoning with the Morning Joe cast. In fairness the White House is having the same problems reasoning with people, as we talked about yesterday. But the inability of the show to connect the dots seems intentional.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

NY Pro-Choice Ad And Marketing In The New World

The shock and dismay displayed on the faces of the cast of Morning Joe upon viewing the Pro-Choice for New York ad came off like theater at the same level as the casting call for hicks ad for West Virginia. The claim that any non economy or jobs related ad is missing the national point is a group of analysts showing their age.

Seth Godin has laid it out for you, and Malcom Gladwell has spent two books worth of time supporting him: modern advertising revolves around speaking to the different factions or tribes of your target market in a way that moves them.

Many of the people who would be targeted by the pro choice ad have jobs and money. They would be chief candidates for voter apathy on jobs and economic elections, but a reminder of the social Trojan Horse that rides along with Tea Party and Republican candidates gets them out of their safe haven to the voter booth.

Chris Hayes has accurately depicted the atmosphere in Washington DC is that of an island of full employment where people with money go out to dinner and live normal lives in blissful ignorance of the situation on the ground one mile off the I-15 freeway opposite the Las Vegas strip where one in four is unemployed and a new member of the poverty class, a former resident of the middle class.

The tribe of those who have not been affected by the economic downturn is not likely to vote unless something that actually affects them is brought into the equation. The Democrats do themselves a disservice by not bringing all subjects to the table in a way that moves the most people to vote.

The consensus at the Morning Joe show that the two parties run solely on the generic ballot and the single most important issue isn’t just misguided it’s also not how American politics functions, thus they are asking for voters to be duped. I wish I could believe this is just a senior moment, but I don’t, I think it was another Fox & Friends moment of palpable dishonesty on display.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Trojan Horse

The Morning Joe Rebuttal for October 6th, 2010


1) I feel like the national club of persons interested in providing a counterpoint to the Morning Joe show has left the show’s subscribers in good hands in my absence. The show appears incapable of seeing itself as a biased take on events, not in the Roger Ailes way, but in the inherent stubbornness borne of Joe Scarborough’s personality. Over time Scarborough has morphed into a second period Bill O’Rielly, the version that dug a moat around his version of events and took on all comers not by real debate but by a form of fact free semantic wrestling that timed out opponents rather than built a more resolute consensus. This type of phenomenon needs critics. Critics with the voracity to overcome dime store defense mechanisms and make those painfully constructive observations that allow resolute consensus to form with or without the self appointed protagonist.

And man have these critics come out of the woodwork. Two of note are @CallOutJoe and @The_AntiJoe. The former is a direct attack twitter feed that real time tweets on the show on a daily basis and is at this point a required resource for viewing. @The_AntiJoe has no direct correlation to the show but has come into the picture as an accidental resource of Deepak Chopra level enhancement to the aforementioned bias. Neither of these entities are Trojan Horse faculties of political action committees. These are real people like myself who seek catharsis. Cathartic relief from the volume granted to at a very important time to a single program in such a way that the bias would otherwise be a false consensus.

This Morning Joe megaphone has shouted at the top of its lungs that Clinton would be president, that health care and financial regulation would fail, that tax cuts for the rich have a dominant effect on job growth, and that we could have done without the financial interventions of late 2008 and early 2009. Not since the pre invasion propaganda of 2002 and 2003 has a source of opinion been allotted a factual, objective platform with such a large probability of false prognostication. The Morning Joe show needs critics and left to its own devices would morph into the echo chamber it seeks to evolve out of.

2) The real Trojan Horse is the collection of pirates and proxy dupes that will combine to attempt to elect Republican candidates in this and future elections. If you listen to the “Pledge”, if you look at the money going into campaigns, if you watch closely the Jim Demint snafu, you get a pretty good picture that the embittered gun-clinging, god-justifying voter is the swing voter in play here. The business owner, or the highly educated citizen is not that swing voter and was not ever in play. The business owner is not content with his single vote, or his citizen level contribution to his pro commerce political agenda. The business owner is in constant search for the right trigger mechanism to enlist by proxy the guns and god crowd, and boy does that Citizens United case help his cause. The academic is unfortunately trying to reason with the electorate, but its no news flash that the electorate is irrational because it contains a significant population of swing voters willing to vote against their own interests for either short term gain or when victimized by mirages conjured up by political artists.

Matt Taibbi has documented this reformation of the Republican party extremely well in his latest article. In it, he draws the direct time line that once it became obvious that the libertarians phenomenon grew into a movement that became known as the Tea Party, the Republicans waited for their chance to coop it and re-define their own long standing principles as the core principles of the Tea Party despite the fact that it was often an ideological 180 degree shift. We have known this about the Republican party for some time, whether it’s foreign policy or domestic politics, you’ve got about 22 seconds of loyalty and in the 23rd second it’s on to the next exploitation.

So this concoction of opportunists and meek march on to bring about reversal of change meant to empower the middle class. The meek are prepared to vote for the next great transfer of wealth, their own wealth, to a ruling financial class. It’s insane, and it’s happening, and Morning Joe is doing its part to let it happen, mainly by not covering the identifying news stories that show the process as described above as a national myopia.

And don’t get me started on the elements of a political Trojan Horse bent on social restriction and non secular enshrinement of evangelical mores. This, my friends, is a business deal. If you are a rich banker and need to make the transfer of wealth described above happen, wouldn’t you, too, make deals with the southern evangelicals to make laws banning abortion and gay marriage or military service if it enabled said wealth transfer? Nothing like a zealot to bring you South Carolina’s electorate, and it’s wealth, all for some moral illusion. That is something for nothing, which by definition should be an illegal contract for its lack of consideration.

3) The Democratic party seems to be on autopilot with a programmed descent. In the face of all sorts of attackable phantom logic by their opponents, the Dems are shrunken academics attempting to reason with an impassioned voter. They don’t bring up the obvious points about themselves, elect us and we will get the health care program moved up two years, elect us and we will end outsourcing with powerful domestic corporate tax strategy that forces growth within our borders, elect us and we won’t let the next transfer of wealth happen. Elect us, middle class, for you have no other friend.

Nope, this is the party thinking about who to put in charge, and thinking of Robert Gibbs, the guy who could not communicate any of the things above for the last 2 years. In fairness he had help, for the architect creating the bird’s nest messages that came out of the White House was David Axelrod, who several satellites have spotted crying in the rose garden every time another of his uneventful near placations fell short of the resolute message required to lead a nation in tough times. These are good guys, they did one thing really well and expected to run the table. Joe Scarborough was all too happy this morning to make this point. Running the table certainly has not happened, you’re not special, and you need Daschle and Dean immediately. The fact you demonized Dean can now be forgiven as misguided youthful exuberance when you though you were going to run the country like Mark Zuckerberg runs Facebook. You might have wanted to have some practical experience before really believing your self estimations, and now it’s time for a best and brightest moment to shore up your camp, and fend off hordes of looters hoping that 2010 is remembered as the year hypnosis on the right, and rookie missteps on the left conspired to hand them the nation, lock, stock, and barrel.

That’s all for today, see you tomorrow.