Saturday, November 20, 2010

For Keith, My Brother

The Morning Joe Rebuttal for the Week ending November 19th, 2010


1) It started off innocuous enough, with the Morning Joe cast failing to demonstrate equal vision by taking a “stand” regarding the royal wedding news while stumbling through every media trap set by the Palin family. It was so obviously a double self imposed standard that they were left muttering to themselves on air about why the Palin non news kept getting devoted segments. On two consecutive days this occurred with Palin scoring devoted sets while the gang on Morning Joe attempted to pat itself on the back for its “filtering” of the wedding news. Even Willie got caught up trying to sell his features bit with a line about how the news portion of the show had standards but he could show a horse in a car. It’s really off putting when even Willie Geist loses leverage on what should have been a pretty good one liner because he suddenly realized the show had shown a horse named Palin in a car with zero filter for most of the week.

2) Then the cast took its Reagan era wood chopping technique and trained it on the House not passing unemployment extensions while simultaneously proposing tax breaks for the rich that are nearly 6 times as costly to our deficit. Joe Scarborough trotted out the line and logic that small business owners can’t get people to work for them for 17 dollars an hour because they don’t want to risk losing their unemployment. Like it’s a bad thing. Between the two revenue sources, which one has used the economy to reduce staff at every opportunity in the last two years, and which one has kept up its end of the bargain faithfully ever since the jobs began pouring out of the country? So if I can make 17 bucks an hour is that full time or part time? Does it have a 99 week guarantee of continuous employment or is it a casual? When you find an apples to apples comparison call me, but while interesting, your attempt to explain away the congressional action is really just the banal analysis of someone who has steady work in a ‘haves and have nots’ mentality.

3) No one is talking about the most disturbing element of the Palin presidency. If Sarah Palin rides a populist wave to the White House, she will be in the top office with at best an extension college education and the temperament of a me-first school board opportunist. Who will be her Dick Cheney? Is this the same line of action that brought us George W Bush? He is nice enough but just not of the mold required to be a leader of the free world. It is very interesting that Morning Joe crew and guests use the same ‘intellectual curiosity’ quip in describing Palin but are unable to connect the dots that this was the chief gripe about W.

Somewhere out there is Mr. Burns. Is he with United Technologies or Sempra now? Does he have some shadow elite position in a near government think tank? Was he already chosen as the next steward of our nation in the event that the nation can be stolen by Sarah Palin? We now lucidly acknowledge that the 43rd presidency was largely run by Dick Cheney, that there was an internal coup powered by Bush 41 executives somewhere around 2006 to wrest absolute power away from Cheney in a failed attempt to install Romney as successor, but that in the end it was best to use a placeholder, McCain, once the presidency was a foregone conclusion. This year’s midterms cast a foreboding image of what the next two years hold as the Republican party wants to have multiple paths to reinstalling it’s regime, one with Romney, one with Palin, probably another with Jeb.

4) Speaking of temperament, you have to hand it to the Republicans for having superior temperament. Mainly it’s Bill Maher that speaks to this issue, and shockingly in the Jon Stewart Obama interview, the superior temperament belonged to Stewart. Republicans do what they set out to do and compromise as little as possible. They telegraph that their foreign partnerships are only going to last as long as needed, that nothing is permanent, without any moral hesitation, and with remarkable purpose. It’s not fair, but it’s not a surprise. The lockstep obstruction of the last two years is simply remarkable as an extension of the Dick Cheney remorselessness from the previous regime. Maher’s reflection on compromise when it is really just goading Democrats closer to the Republican line systematically is spot on.

We are watching an erosion of the higher level consciousness in our government to a lower level consistency based attack organization. It appears to the naked eye to be a game of breakout where the obstacles to a Republican return to rule are being cast aside one brick at a time. The Democrats have only a couple of fighters, but a lot of marshmallow place holders who apparently know nothing of Machiavelli’s power vacuum.

I think it’s interesting that Joe Scarborough reads this megatrend and thinks independent candidates are the answer. I feel like he misses Bill Maher’s critical point, that the independent voter just got compromised and cooped, just like the Democratic Party. Independent voters just voted to bring back the architects of the failure because the party of consciousness didn’t appear to them to have the verve to drive the ship through rough seas. Independent voters have just made a type I statistical error. They got the hypothesis right in 2008, but irrationality made a false positive outcome occur in 2010. This is a critical theory for understanding what lies ahead. The voter is nowhere near getting what they want so they are just going to swing 180 degrees every two years. They are not rewarding any success or repudiating any failure anymore, they are simply reacting to the same negative state of things with randomly opposite outcomes.

A graph

Shows what irrational voter outcomes do for the next few election cycles. We will likely be in an economic malaise for some time, and with it the voter will toss out whatever bums they find in office every two years. Unfortunately, the midterms will destabilize the government, but unfortunately for Republicans, randomness favors Democrats during presidential elections.

When the message prevails over the substance, this kind of thing occurs. When reforms are mirages with doublespeak names, this kind of thing occurs. When a Democratic party enters into an unfavorable arena, one that asks it to compromise with an uncompromising adversary, and it lacks the LBJ will to toe its own value line, this kind of thing occurs.

5) John Tyner’s San Diego airport blowup is a martyrdom operation no doubt. He is simply asking that the humiliation stop, that US citizens not be seen as lambs in the face of yet another government contracts scandal. Scandals like subsidies nearly always cause anomalies that can over time turn a normal situation into a boundary-less one that needs citizen revolt to right the ship. In the United States it takes individual attack to correct this stuff, because unlike Greece or France, we have lost out civil protest gene somewhere along the way.

The scandal is clearly the Michael Chertoff lobby effort to install these radiation expelling body scanners, then enforcing their involuntary application by putting a typically Chertoff-draconian negative pat down as the alternative. The pilots aren’t saying it’s an inconvenience, they are saying the machines aren’t safe, and aren’t making us safer.

Neither is wanton disregard for the airline consumer. What other economic opportunities are there for the $500 it cost to fly these days? A washer or some other durable good? An Ipad? A new sofa? My point is that Janet Napolitano has flatly instructed the American consumer to explore alternatives to flying if they don’t want to submit to Chertoff gate. Did she check with the airlines before undermining their marketing message?

It is with untold embarrassment that I admit that this is likely the clearest example yet of an administration that just does not comprehend how business works. It is also confounding why they would dismantle the trust of the TSA, an organization whose trust is vital to the survival of our free and open society? I’m quite frankly on board with opt out day, if I wasn’t busy finding and employing alternatives to flying. Before there was this, there was already an all out war against the airlines for anti consumerism, they didn’t need this kind of help.

6) Speaking of martyrdom, the Joe Scarborough suspension might appear to be a martyrdom operation as well. Politico and Scarborough basically turned themselves in and demanded that MSNBC prosecute them similarly, so that they don’t get trapped later. It is by no means what the title of this week’s rant implies, a statement of support for arch rival Keith Olbermann. It is a self serving cleansing to undermine later turmoil before it starts.

Hey Phil Griffin, for those two days, I’m available, and I could fix a lot of stuff.

That’s all for now, see you Monday.

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