Thursday, September 24, 2009

Regan Diplomacy

Readers have perhaps heard the noise about tea bagger Thomas D. Young's filing the paperwork for a recall of Congresswoman Giffords (D-AZ CD8) in a publicity seeking stunt that violates federal law. I won't get into the Arizona statutes regarding recalls, but as pointed out in the comment thread at the recent Star article, the timing aspects of a recall make such efforts utterly ridiculous for an official running for re-election in a year. Young knows this, as he expressed in an 9/9/9 comment at the Tucson Tea Party website.

Yes I understand the time required to launch a recall, BUT That is not my intent, Just the appearance of such a thing spread across 18 states would send a shock wave through the nation, we need recognition to get more of the fence sitters engaged. If there is a way to just file, to start the process then, perhaps the major news media will wake up that we are not a fringe group. If you think of it like the art of war, or chess or poker, if you will some times just the appearance of a BIG STICK is enough to get a result (Regan Diplomacy).

Think and pray on it, get some others to discuss it, I really think that this will work , if you really wish to UP the ante this is the next best step! We could show up with 2000 people out side her office, it may help with awareness locally but we need to get the 60% of the nation to wake the hell up!! Getting behind a candidate 1.5 years from now does not help the cause next mouth, at the rate that O-but-head is pass and changing things we may not get a chance to vote again !!

Thomas D Young

I think "mouth" is a typo for month. I speculate that "pass and changing" means "passing and changing." I tend to be forgiving of grammar and typos in a blog environment, but no distinction at all between commas and periods? Whatever, but to assert Obama can take away our chance to vote?

I have a degree of confidence that by "Regan" he means Ronald Reagan and not the Binghamton University political science professor. So what if Young can't spell butt, but a tea bagger misspelling Reagan?!

Young's inane recall is not what warrants this post. What warrants this post is that Young's "Regan Diplomacy" reasoning for the recall perfectly captures the bankruptcy of the crumbling conservatives who have no big stick. Void of any solutions or ideas, let's fake it. His comment above, in many ways, says a lot.

Occam's Razor.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

You Build a Car to Drive It

Eugene Jarecki's 2005 documentary Why We Fight won a Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival for its accurate and thorough exploration of the machinery at work behind America's lust for war. It featured footage of Eisenhower's famous farewell speech at the end of his second term warning of the military industrial complex, a union of the military and defense corporations. You build a car to drive it. The film shows how over time Eisenhower's worst fears not only proved true, but have been far exceeded.

The complex has long since deeply embedded itself into the Congress, and Congress has become the third of the four cornerstones of the machine. The fourth, emerging during the 1990s, are the unelected think tanks well paid to create and influence policy, in particular The Project for a New American Century (PNAC), that all but drafted the blueprint for the US invasion of the Middle East.

The film also deepens one's grasp of the sophistication of strategic misinformation and manipulation of public opinion, a strong reaction to wounds suffered by humiliation and defeat in Vietnam. Never again would the war machine allow public opinion to chance. The film notes the creation of the Office of Special Plans that managed the discourse prior to the invasion of Iraq.

Perhaps the most disturbing take away from the film is the pervasiveness, power, breadth, depth, and reach of the corporate interest apparatus. We don't spend trillions of dollars to provide the means to make war. We make war as a means to support spending trillions of dollars, a fair chunk of those dollars finding their way into campaign coffers.

The scheming, conniving, and sophistication of the machine is overwhelming. It is no accident that the B-2 bomber is built with parts coming from every state in the country.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


One could easily speculate that the first African American President would face extraordinary adversity perhaps ironically rivaling that of Abraham Lincoln as he took the hard stand against slavery and endured the brutality of a civil war. While the civil war we face now (and we do face one) thankfully consists more of words than muskets, the hatred and animosity is just as heart felt.

Sore losers to the core, and they are losers in a losing battle, conservatives choose fiction over fact, fabricating nontroversy into false controversy regarding birth certificates, death panels, dictatorship, fascism, socialism, racism, and most recently, allegations that a speech to school children on personal responsibility and scholarship was actually a plot to indoctrinate them into Obama's version of the Hitler Youth. I wish I were exaggerating.

I thought the end of Bush/Cheney would restore the sense of middle ground for my Independent inclinations, but the opposite has occurred. Instead of embracing the humility offered by defeat, usually leading towards the center, compromise and the willingness to work for common ground, those on the right have grown more extreme and obstinate. The shrill hatred hurled at President Obama is positively frightening. Clearly, they only believe in majority rule when they are the majority. If not, the other side are fascists.

Paul Krugman has an excellent nine page piece in the Times eloquently distinguishing the saltwater and freshwater economists. Summarizing, the financial meltdown last fall has permanently and irrevocably cemented the demise of free market worship. Game over. Smith and Friedman are dead. The free market gets you AIG. The new paradigm, behavioral finance, will end up farther from their positions than Keynes himself.

The GOP has a huge opportunity in the face of blue bungling, the opportunity to get out in front of the transformation that has to occur. If they really were about addressing the issues, they would seek to understand them and craft solutions. They are doing the opposite. Instead of grasping the new reality of economics, they're howling that Obama will seize our bank accounts. Instead of recognizing that status quo health care is unsustainable, they're screaming about granny death camps. Instead of considering the needs posed by changing demographics, they become more xenophobic. Wide eyed fanatical hysteria at nontroversies may jerk the chains of the drama addicted media and swing some polls a few points here or there, but it is not sustainable against the hard facts regarding who gets to see a doctor and who doesn't, who has a job at what pay, and the actual reality that the average American voter faces.

Why does the GOP attack every proposal yet make no proposals? Why NO to everything and YES to nothing? The answer is deceptively simple. Their YES is to a system now obsolete, disproved, and bankrupt. To grasp the new ideas required at the front, one must learn, grow, and adapt. The obsolete must be discarded. What one cannot discard one must protect and defend. The GOP is a cornered animal protecting and defending what no longer works. No wonder they're cranky and riled up.

If you want to lead people, you have to have somewhere to go.