John McCain: The ‘Low-Information’ Candidate

I was requested to re-post this article that was written during his Presidential run against President Obama – VAC
30 October 2008

Weapons-grade contempt

One need not be detective or forensic scientist to determine the extent of the weapons-grade contempt emitting from John McCain.  The list of recipients is endless.  While the non-stop tirade begins and ends with the “media” it’s the other accusations that are startling reminders of John McCain’s profound lack of leadership skill, his shudderingly feckless statesmanship and his blatant and purposeful dishonesty in his campaign rhetoric.  McCain’s lead among low information voters is not only because he has pandered to them by appealing to the remnants of our National disgrace, but the fact that he is the ‘low-information’ candidate.

Meanwhile, moving in a consistent and progressive manner, Barack Obama does not respond to McCain’s routinely personally offensive talking points.  In fact, Obama never mentions Sara Palin, and only mentions McCain’s name when associating him with policies that he’s supported.   No personal attacks, no inferences of subversive activity.  Most surprisingly, McCain who has staggered through some very questionable professional relationships, has apparently not sobered up enough to realize that he has probably finished himself as an American statesman, period.

Lost the Media Friends

John McCain, of late, has complained about the press – something he didn’t generally do.  The problems between McCain and the press occurred in a number of events with different people that decided that it was time to ask John McCain real questions since he was waging a war against the survivor of the modern history’s longest Democratic race.  There was much more on the table and without question demonstrable differences between the candidates in demeanor, education, life experience and political experience.

Apparently though, John McCain’s witty remarks and warm gestures to junior and senior journalists, treating them like the neighbors puppies, was not going to sell this time around.  There was a public demanding information – and McCain had a endless stream of banalities, slogans and generalizations – but often his facts were wrong at the first, second and even third attempts and reexplaining himself.  Each juncture resulting in another journalist losing their seat on the McCain traveling press corps for asking a question that was not on the McCain preferred question list.  While there is no real list – one would surely realize when they asked a question that didn’t appear on the non-existent list as the Straight-Jacket Express would figuratively leave them sitting in the middle of nowhere while it sped away.

Not Mavericks – Desperadoes

The most remarkable example of how John McCain equates campaigning to war.  Most clearly he’s adopted a plan that isn’t from the ‘Dao of Strategy’ but only from the ‘Dao of War.’  In doing so he has conflated military actions with political campaigns and he and his minions have set their sights on destroying Barack Obama.  While it’s true, politics does use military terminology, including the word campaign, it is about ideas – not blood. The critical mistake he’s (McCain) made is that it is quite apparent that the American public does not aspire to be like John McCain, but are more attracted to the persona and temperament of Barack Obama.

This goes to one central point – that being the primary obligations of the next President.  Team builder, confidence builder, critical thinker, calm and careful consideration and a keen intellect.  With all due respect, as shamefully small as that amount may be – John McCain possesses none of these qualities.  Obama rises to all of them and it simply means there is no choice for the American electorate to make – John McCain has made that most emphatically clear.

Just Do It

It has been my pleasure to talk with readers, friends and loved ones. A very few in disagreemnet with my judgment, and to them I simply state – it’s time to give it up.  I heard the story about life-long Republican support, frankly there have been enough career politicians that are Republicans and supporting Obama to shatter your argument.  I’ve heard about silly ramblings about free-lunches.  Sadly, there is no shred of truth to equate Obama with free-lunches, that is a silly argument that Herbert Hoover will forever have as a legacy.  And lastly, it was a collective hubris that got us into this mess.  It was many of us thinking that we were more important than our neighbor and going to great lengths and expense to prove it – so much in fact that we’ve consumed ourselves into a very unhealthy state.  Our egos are long out of the reach of our economics and our faith in religions that preach about walled communities have created division where there was none.  It is time for us to act like intelligent beings that hope to heal society so that there is an equality in opporunity.  In that case our next discussion will be about personal responsibility – but now is not the time for that discussion to be the focus.  You know that the right thing to do – even if you have a lot invested in thinking otherwise.  Just do it and stop wasting your energy on your ego – just pitch in – we need to do this together.

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Gov. Spitzer Set-up? More to Eliot Mess Story?

Reprinted by requests

– Originally pubished – 11 Mar 08, The Almost Daily Binx, San Jose, Ca, by Binx101

Is Prostitution Prosecutor being Persecuted ?

“… he did knowingly transport and hire the hooker … “

Spitzer swearing inNot a full day has passed before the story seems to already have gotten thrown off (or perhaps ‘on’) the rails. We think that the countermeasures were predictable. There is an article at Raw Story that is more revealing, but not convincing. In brief, the story suggests that Scott Horton, NY Attorney and Harper’s contributor believes Gov. Spitzer was set up. We think Raw Story just wanted to scoop because they didn’t even use Horton’s first name in the article. Right there was a tip-off.

Secondly and maybe even more revealing, the article features a picture of Horton, not Spitzer. We think that this is more revealing about the purpose of the original article as a way to self promote Horton than to point to any definable plot against Spitzer. After all … he did knowingly transport and hire the hooker, no ? He did confess to having, at least, disappointed his family and State, no ? But to listen to Horton’s suggestion, he thinks Spitzer should be invoking the ‘Shaggy’ defense “It Wasn’t Me!” We think Horton’s premise is a self-aggrandizing attempt to throw his name in the political spotlight.

Sad But True

“… didn’t require the skill of Sherlock Holmes …”

As for the original report by Brian Ross at ABC, it was a good and the many other reportsHolmes have made it clear that Spitzer was the object of the investigation and that suspicious money transfers were the original object of the investigation. It is not difficult to understand, certainly for a crime fighting prosecutor, that criminal investigations are a continuous set of theories that lead professionals in various directions. It doesn’t matter whether its a U.S. Attorney or Daschell Hammett – everyone with a pulse over the age of 12 pretty much understands this global reality. This didn’t require the skill of Sherlock Holmes to uncover. Perhaps he and his wife have an understanding. No doubt they do now.

At the Speed of Might

“… paranoia would have served him as a better mistress.”

We think it highly likely that Spitzer has made an enormous cast of enemies in his rise to power. He has been noted for a fierce fighting style and he has been quoted by a list of Msters Bookdetractors – having made direct threats about prosecuting prominent evil-doers. We think paranoia would have served him as a better mistress. In an instant, the Eliot Spitzer has become a household name that will likely be the new “Hypocrite” for a time.

While Spitzer would have to prefer being defined by his successes, as he is portrayed in a highly flattering Eliot Ness-ish portrayal of an avuncular crime fighter in Brooke Masters’ book: Spoiling for a Fight – The Rise of Eliot Spitzer; we are loathe to think of the next books that will sum up the corporate rocking Governor Spitzer because he, essentially, cheated on his wife and hired very expensive hookers.

The Political Process Will Pay the Price

“… everyone’s vision will be obscured by the political food fight.”

Make no mistake about it, allegations will fly – novels will be written and a few fortunes made over Eliot Spitzer’s indiscretions and quite possibly, crimes. It’s the very fuel the that keeps the lights burning so that as we stare at the fire – Washington insiders are busy shredding the Constitution. He’s a Democrat and before long some bloated Right Wing hate monger is going to reveal that he once dated Hillary and before long the Left will respond and everyone’s vision will be obscured by the political food fight.

So Eliot Spitzer’s romp was more than just a whipped cream and a trip on Amtrak. This was a harpoon to Democratic Politics and a further leg-up to the neo-cons, who have hijacked the Republican Party and replaced it with politicians – the likes of highly offensive and disturbing Rep. Steven King of Iowa, or Rep. Jack Kingston of GA, two of the House’s most blatant graffiti artists, who will, most assuredly, tie this into Barack Obama’s middle name.

Insurance is NOT the Prescription for American Poor Health

This article was originally published in May 2009 –

The Almost Daily Binx, San Jose-CA, V.A.Caminiti – [Second in a series]

Public Safety / Public Health

…capitalism mutated in the very same way as we encouraged the banking industry to strip safeguards

Can you imagine if you had to be insured to receive basic police services?  How about clean water?  Sewer?  What if you dialed 911 and the operator asked you for your location and your 911 insurance code?  How did the American public become so disinterested and callous in only a few short very greedy years.  Once again, our flaws have seemed to overwhelm our instincts.  Even self-preservation and our natural desire to propogate the species seems to have been compromised to our own detriment.  Isn’t it unnatural for us to not be concerned with the health of all our neighbors – their well being.  How did we become cheerleaders against ourselves – humanity ?

Be very careful and very thorough when approaching this discussion.  The rules, the basis and the players have all changed.  When this discussion took place back in the 1960’s – the very same insurance companies that were prohibited from engaging in risky investments with their financial reserves were essentially providing a public service.  But alas, this is where American capitalism mutated in the very same way as we encouraged the banking industry to strip safeguards and effective regulation, such as Glass-Steagall.

Capitalism is a particularly useful economic tool.  It inspires great things and great philanthropy.  Unfortunately, there is a selflessness to philanthropy and charitable deeds that seems to have eluded many Americans.  While it is a great transition to move from selfishness to selflessness – the journey of the transition is a school unto itself.  Humility knowledge and the gift of discernment may in fact be the destination; however this is all as personal as prayer.  Our public practices are the product of this personal investment; and our business practices can be joyful in the fact that as capitalists and business owners we are part of a community of those that make our business run efficiently and profitably.   Whether a business owner, operator or employee … we all have the responsibility to contribute to the public welfare as well as for those around our own campfire.

This article doesn’t have sufficient literary real-estate to foot-note all the particulars so without apology we’ll aim for bold points.

Cui BonoWho benefits?

Shareholders, stakeholders and investors benefit.  And any departure from this financial turbine is described by the neo-con extreme rightists as a move toward Socialism.

This Latin phrase familiar to many means – ‘who benefits?’  Precisely.  Who benefits if our Health approach is saddled with not one, not two but three layers of profit for absolutely no value to the insured?  Who?  Well it is shamefully simple – the industries that have self-proclaimed they are essential to the delivery of health care – but actually – they deliver the illusion of health care and enormous amounts of red-tape and acrimony.  Millionaire doctors are common-place.  We’re not talking about upper middle class, respectable gentry – we’re talking millionaires in alarming disproportion to the ability of their customers to deliver that kind of wealth for services.

The answer to this puzzle is even more alarming.  Just imagine that a group of entrepreneurs managed to create a collective of physicians and hospitals and convince them that they could guarantee payment for performed services.  We’ll call them the health insurance group analysts.  Now imagine that small private and institution run hospitals are bought up by another entrepreneurial enterprise offering consolidation of services in order to increase profit and contain costs.  Sounds great, right? And then let’s round it off with yet another group that helps design and counsel physicians and hospitals in how to play the game.  The only thing we haven’t actually talked about yet is delivering health care to sick people – so far the discussion is only about money.  And there’s more to come.  Public offerings, new consolidators of health administration and create the fertile birth canal for an entirely new industry; that is, Medical Administrative Services companies whose primary deliverable is processing the voluminous medical insurance paperwork for corporate physicians.

Who benefits?  Shareholders, stakeholders and investors benefit.  And any departure from this financial turbine is described by the neo-con extreme rightists as a move toward Socialism. After all, the promotion of the public well-being has been removed from the very essence of corporate capitalism in stark contrast to its very reason for existing – so why not replace the beneficiaries of health system with shareholders instead of citizens.  The neo-cons and the convoluted agenda they promote have altered the course of modern society, backward to the 1920’s.  It appears the only public services left that haven’t been dismantled are Police, Fire, Water and Sewer – but not for the lack of trying.  In many enclaved real-estate developments around the country, insurance company underwritten private fire companies have been put into service.  They respond to fires of their insured – only.  Sound like the roaring 20’s?  Does it ring of ‘protection’ schemes during the height of the Volstead Act and other ancestors of the equally disturbing Patriot Act?

Debating / The Baiting

…and other buzz words that are the intellectual equivalent of knock-out drops are still the descriptive terms for the argument.  That is to say – the arguments they are having in the public forum have been crafted by the insurance industry.

The Argument for Basic Public Health – what the disrupters call Socialized Medicine – has never been stronger or more sensible.  Tragically though, half the support for the argument disappears because Progressives and Liberals have not been represented – graft free – through the Democratic Party.  The public may be “trusting” their Democratic President with unprecedented solidarity – but they are not as trusting of the Democratic Congress.  Much of this is the result of desperate Rightist pundits working the rope lines whenever and wherever possible.  Hillary Clinton was famously lampooned by ultra-rightists talking heads for her clumsy declaration of a ‘Vast Right Wing Conspiracy’ – but as history has revealed, there are plenty of Right Wing C0-dependents deserving of scrutiny and deposition, at the very least.

However, a significant amount of skepticism haunts Democrats and will continue to haunt them because of the public perception that they were nothing more than ‘eloquent shoulder-shruggers’  that argued vociferously during elections but actually accomplished little else during the 12 years, including 6 years of total American National Government madness.  The bulk of the screaming and dissent ultimately emanated from the Internet wired public. Very few voices in the Democratic Party were brave enough to live their convictions and distinguish themselves with articulate disagreement or simply brave fundamental disagreement.  Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis and Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, respectively, come to mind as demonstrative of some of the distinguished few.  And while there are more – most played it safely by putting on their war-paint for Kodak moments, while the public groundswell shook them up.  If nothing else, the Democratic Party went through some significant changes it hadn’t planned when many of the dinosaurs were retired during the last Democratic portion of the last Presidential contest.  So keep in mind – supporters of the President are admiring him for being a Republican and a Democratic dinosaur slayer, although Congress does not share that distinction.

Surely the endless stream of Congressional tidbits about entitlements, insurance reform and other buzz words that are the intellectual equivalent of knock-out drops are still the descriptive terms for the argument.  That is to say – the arguments they are having in the public forum have been crafted by the insurance industry.  They haven’t been crafted around American Health, yet we bought the bait and are fishing with it.   The simple fact is – the reason our health care is so expensive in this country is fundamental.  Unlike public safety, Police, Fire, Water, Sewer and other basic citizen’s services – health is for profit and the ultimate goal of the insurance companies is to minimize benefits and maximize profits. That might even work in a well running capitalistic economy, but that train is most demonstrably off-the-rails as well.

We have been, in effect, brain-washed into believing that our health system is requires insurance reform, when simply – no insurance would be the better solution.  A public health system serves everyone and if those of significant wealth chose to have private health services – the system would in no way prevent it.  Similarly, insurance fraud – one of the singularly most expensive non-return expenses of our health system, would essentially vanish.  The opportunity for young people to participate in community service by volunteering as part of National health programs could help end the reign of terror held over us by the collective avarice driven by the requirements of  ‘return-on-investment’ of  insurers and health services companies.

What’s the Prescription?

… recapture our self-respect and once again become brave good neighbors and partner with our brave young citizens who have put their healthy young blood on the line without question, while we have sat idle and permitted the looting of our treasury and over 55 years of international good-will and leadership.

It seems as though we need to finish the diagnosis in order to prescribe a fix.  But this becomes particularly difficult because Congress has made some startling assumptions.  That is to say, that by empowering only the parties that abused the system and engineered a health insurance paradigm that ostensibly circumnavigates accessible efficient health care – we’re in actuality only treating symptoms and not the underlying disease.  At the very least, this is an overwhelming deficit in our overall public safety and Homeland Security approach, which should be of paramount concern when talking about the overall health of Americans.

The health care reform discussion continually addresses improving the obfuscation as though there were legitimate solutions to be found, therein.  There haven’t been and will not be solutions by supporting an approach that at its roots is health-for-profit.  That would be as inane as suggesting that an alcoholic should be treated by changing brands of Gin.

We need to call-0ut the writers of the new public lexicon that have indoctrinated an alarming number of Americans in believing that a responsible functioning public health system is tantamount to Communism.  We need to demand that public figures be held accountable for their rhetoric and challenge those that have used their seat or office in Congress as a personal lobbying firm shilling for corporate interest instead of representing the public good as they promised by taking their Oath of Office.  So we must begin with ourselves.  Our understanding of health – preventative medicine – education – exercise – nutrition needs and enormous overhaul. But, equally important – we need to consider how insurance became the controlling factor in delivering health services.  After close historical and modern perusal, it is clear that these additional burdens to the pockets of Americans were designed out of greed, not an interest in protection as is suggested by aid or relief, but perhaps more in line with “protection” as in type of policies the Sopranos’ might offer their clients.

Here’s a prescription for another common unfortunate ailment – complacency:

  1. We recapture our initiative to think in private and practice in public.
  2. We stop promoting bad practices and stop habitually adopting talking points of broadcast ideologues that profit by misinforming the public and further profit by shilling for financial interests.
  3. We exercise our capitalistic right to withhold business from broadcast personalities that pretend to be journalists and actually engage not in commentary but in propaganda, even if inconvenient.
  4. We (many of us) must admit that we were willing accomplices and contributed to this mess by our actions or inactions.
  5. We take responsibility not only for the welfare of our families or those we hope to impress – we take responsibility to think on a larger scale than our personal comfort and thus improve our Nation.
  6. We take the time to know things that are important and stop making excuses because it takes time or interferes with our leisure.
  7. We recapture our self-respect and once again become brave good neighbors and partner with our brave young citizens who have put their healthy young blood on the line without question, while we have sat idle and permitted the looting of our treasury and over 55 years of international good-will and leadership.
  8. We do not live in fear and we practice rules of law – instead of languishing in rules of exception.

Info-tainers Faking Journalism

San Jose, CA – The Almost Daily Binx, V.A. Caminiti

It was Sunday night and the sunset was the backdrop for some light reading and a cocktail before deciding what to do for dinner.   We opted for light fare and decided to watch (or at least skim through) some of the Sunday morning news talk that we had recorded.  This was not a good idea nor a particularly good digestive aid.

All the News that's fit to miss

All the News that's fit to miss

First up was Meet the Press with David Gregory.  Mr. Gregory is one of those that seem afflicted with inappropriate facial expressions – a Monty Python sketch if ever there was.  I’m hopeful this is not a medical condition but rather a bout of conscience taking place while he’s interviewing.  In the latest episode of this veteran info-tainer’s race away from journalism, Gregory squandered an opportunity to ask President Obama important and relevant questions in place of positing ridiculous mis-quotes and strange conclusions, yet managing to intone an interrogative.   Not only is it distracting, it truly becomes bizarre when Gregory starts suppressing a sardonic smile mid-question as he trolls the waters of conversation trying to get the President to bite on the racism bait.  Obama won’t and Gregory and his ilk are determined to get him to bite – because – there is big media money in racism.

More disturbing though is the casual nature in which Gregory approaches speaking to the President of the United States.  One would believe it to be a talk show with the President hawking a book – instead of a Network News broadcast featuring a very lucky reporter getting to ask the President some tough questions.  And to that end, this is the thrust of my objection.  How could you waste an interview with the President of the United States with such terrible, ill prepared questions ??  How could you squander the opportunity to ask follow-up questions in a one-on-one interview ??  Was this about you and your career ??  Was this about you and your media exposure ??

Regrettably, I fear the answer is obvious – that’s Info-tainment.  Following the interview was Minority Leader Boehner and Sen Lindsey Graham with a further explanation that no racism exists in the USA – a particularly poignant claim more believable from the heavily bronzed Boehner than the pasty South Carolinian – both of whom claim no connection to the wing-nuttery of their national party chairman who has been repeatedly hurling undignified insults at the President.

After the Gregory botched opportunity it was time to check out George Stephanopoulos’ interviewing skills.  It didn’t seem possible that Gregory would have competition for the worst squandered moment in interview history but George managed to do it.  Repeated questions about the President’s critics instead of the President’s vision.

Stephanopoulos, though, managed to take it to a new low by repeatedly

Please begin to answer my question so I can interrupt you ...

Please begin to answer my question so I can interrupt you ...

interrupting the President of the United States, like an impatient pooch that wants to go out and chew on the mailman.  To top off this unpleasant departure from journalism, Stephanopoulos began to sound annoyed that President wasn’t biting on his tabloid-styled interrogatives – clearly meant to create ‘sound bites’  for the ideologues to surf like the Big Kahuna rather than a genuine examination of President Obama’s vision and detailed challenging questions thereof.

The constant interruptions were handled with aplomb by the President, although at times, he seemed as shocked as me as to just how shallow and misleading the questions were to the central burning points.  Not a single question about the mechanisms of finance as it pertains to health care; not a single challenge as to the actual philosophies that drive the reform; not a single solitary follow- up question.  Just sound-bitey stuff from an uncomfortable twitchy and squirmy info-tainer who believes his mother’s claim that he’s the smartest boy in the world.   Another wasted opportunity that any journalism major, irrespective of stripe, would have ventured their eye-teeth to score.

Following the non-interview interview of President Obama came the round table discussion with Stephanopoulos, George Will, Peggy Noonan, Bob Reich, Ed Gillespie and Donna Brazile.  Viewers were treated to the political framing of info-tainer George Will, now unable to contain his dyspepsia in the feeling that his conservative  banner has been stolen by wing-nuts and his career decision to disagree with any Liberal thought, even if it proves to be a good idea.

Let's make funny faces while the others talk.

Let's make funny faces while the others talk.

The others all chimed-in throughout the limited broadcast with their team song – however Peggy Noonan is hell bent on staying in the headlines.  In this episode, she decided she would characterize the President as being boorish in his attempts to use the media to advance Health care.  But if that wasn’t strange enough, Noonan erupted into a series of head-nodding, eye exercises and the oddest facial expressions while Reich was taking his turn. However, the topper was when she began moving her lips as other’s were talking.  Now, certainly if this were the result of Tourettes or some other medical disorder, we’d know, after all the woman seeks these public appearances for compensation.  My guess though, is that she’s just about completely made the transition into the happy place where journalists who have decided to sell-out and become part of the problem and work the media financial turbine as info-tainers.  Plus the fact, there’s ample circumstantial observations that she’s just plain nuts.

No follow-up questions ??  Is this possible.  Certainly.  This isn’t journalism.  Journalists have follow-ups.  These are info-tainers.  They have a tickler list and essentially aren’t doing any listening – just talking.  Alex Trebeck delivers more probative value when he introduces the contestants on Jeopardy than Gregory or Stephanopoulos.

Well, why stop there … as long as this stroll down info-tainment lane has already proved to be quite an appetite suppressant, let’s give Fox a whirl just to see what the co-creators of info-tainment are up to.  No surprise here, including vignettes from  the recent past.  Earlier in the week Bill O’Reilly decried he was being quoted improperly and illegitimately by the Left, who were spreading rumors that he allegedly broad-casted support of a public option.  Of course, after listening and relistening to the segment of his broadcast that allegedly contained the misinformation – O’Reilly clearly said he was for a public option. It is indisputable – that is what he said – yet – he’s disputing it.  Now it’s party time because Up is not only Up it is also Down in O’Reillyville.

Why is everybody always pick'n on me?

Why is everybody always pick'n on me?

Next, Fox News Sunday – where Chris Wallace, who’s been taking pot shots at Obama since before the inauguration; and recently permitted Sean Hannity to outright lie when he purposefully and willfully mis-characterized the President’s words on a Speech that Fox declined to carry –  whined and whined and whined that the White House didn’t agree to any Fox interviews.

Mr. Wallace has adopted a strategy that some of my relatives used to advance; whereby the bizarre behavior of an insulting avuncular figure was attributed to his affection for the object of his abuse.  So considering this barely conceivable shard of behavioral detritus, Chris Wallace is furious that the President isn’t returning his calls with love and has been throwing a temper tantrum for at least three days.

Add to the Fox line-up an array of characters that could form their own comic book  genre, former disgraced Clinton administration adviser Dick Morris – losing his breath screeching anti-Obama remarks irrespective of the logic or lack thereof; the very indictable Karl Rove – apparently in a parallel universe; and the sad-eyed Britt Hume – who mastered speaking while clearing his throat through an entire broadcast.  A line-up dedicated to disgracing Americans around the world with unprecedented interference and engagement in promoting dissonance and dishonesty in reporting and actually creating news events.  That’s info-tainment !!!

Lou Dobbs CNN Crew: The Magpies of Media

The journo-tainment industry may not be factually relevant or inspire an intellectual curiosity … but it sure does sell soap powder and create a compulsion to stay tuned.  After all, when Lou Dobbs says he will be right back to smirk about how pathetic Congress is … right after the toilet bowl cleaner commercial … one may very well be compelled to not miss a single  of his latest diatribe.  It is this scat singing /  “s” talking that has so attracted droves of viewers to become a part of the ‘not-a-clue’ forum. And no one needs a clue – because this isn’t an exchange of informatoin – it is battleground of emotion.

With the precision of a military drill team, people without a working knowledge of our government or history begin to talk, argue and even publish their criticisms on the subject.  You can always spot the chronically uninformed.  They are precisely what you need if you are casting extras for a riot scene in a film.  They are noisy, ostensibly without direction and even though they are talking or shouting, it is impossible to discern what it is they are saying … however … they’re common bond is fear.

Lou Dobbs, the Eddie Haskell of journo-tainment,  has the easiest job in broadcast history.  It is difficult to perceive that he does any personal research.  His journalism requires sniping from a high altitude and then surrounding himself with people that are very glad for the evenings’ wages.  They don’t actually disagree with him as he criticizes anything and everything.  Dobbs and company rarely recommend any risky alternative.  In fact, even their criticisms don’t seem to be able to endure a  junior high school debate team’s scrutiny.

He smirks and hrrmmphs at world calamities as though he were in the cafeteria with cohorts ridiculing one of the less stylin’ teachers.  Flanked by terminally partisan hacks that have managed to get paying gigs as “S” talking chorus members – there are no actual facts.  Instead, Dobbs and his compatriots all over the dial, frame their opinion as though it were in actuality, representative of facts – but these are fact-free diets of mostly fiction with nary a scintilla of fiber.

Yesterday, while at the gym working out, I tuned my headset to the CNN broadcast with Lou Dobbs.  It was just what I needed to do another set even though my arms were fatigued.  The roundish honest faced broadcaster repeated the words “largest transfer of wealth” three times without ever considering the fact that if tax payer money was moving towards job creation the operative term would be “transferring back.”  On the same broadcast, comments about John McCain’s objections about long-term investment in Broad-band infrastructure was unacceptable without recollecting that only a matter of months ago, John McCain promoted the idea as second only to Green initiatives in its job creating  potential in order to help the economy.  Singing back up was Ed Rollins, a political consultant with no political consulting gigs, yet he gets to peddle is head-shaking admonishments as they are needed.  His role is color commentary and additional head shaking while agreeing with Lou Dobbs disagreement.  The ball is often passed with the instructive – “right?”

At least the Magpies didn’t have tele-prompters.  They also didn’t pose as anything but trouble makers.  They didn’t prance around with turkey feathers to wet our appetites, but they would close the glass door on the poor sap while distracting him.  They constantly gave commentary – but never called themselves commentators.  Is one a commentator when sitting in the bleachers screaming “throw da’ bum out !!! ??

The list of these Journo-tainers is without end as are the stories they broadcast.  It is a serialization of the news designed to sell products and advertising by dramatically creating a series of vignettes that give the viewer a sense that they are actually engaged in reasoned discourse, while in actuality it is a dramatic rendering of the days events with incredible license.

Obama Stepping Up – Bush Falling Down – Media Doing Schtick

A Cultural Smorgasbord

Not for nothin’ but …

this dialectical delight has traveled the world

This column is going to employ a timeless and original piece of Brooklyn linguistics as an expressive literary device.  It may, in fact, be the only etymological tool of its kind.  One that expresses dismay, disbelief and amazement – imbued with sarcasm yet in the form of an interrogative.  Indeed, this expression has siblings, but in the truest Brooklyn traditions, this dialectical delight has traveled the world and the world has traveled to it – and although in its spoken form, it is generally accompanied by a raised eyebrow and half puckered smirk …  I am confident that it is the only expression in English language use that can accomplish it’s goal in written form, without relying on the inclusion of profanity.

Team Obama, Low Grade Fanfare – Team Bush, Weapons-Grade System Gaming

by further rendering the Constitution a comedy sketch.

obama-transition

Not for nothin’ but …. even the usual suspects have opted for silence while the Obama team plans the transfer of power – fully engaged – and driven by actual data.  Meanwhile, George W. Bush has a team with the singular task of selling a huge “Nah !!” to the American public, with the goal of transmuting responsibility for the Iraq catastrophe, Bushonomics and the shredding of the US Constitution to Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Democrats.  Considering that this has been a script written by Newt Gingrich and adapted for screen by Karl Rove – the corporate media may in fact have a field day by having a puppet theatre revival.

Apparently it’s begun with endless playing of more unearthed Nixon tapes.  While engaging as an historical reminder of dangerous personalities, while one of the most dangerous in history is still living in the White House and still signing dangerous orders that will create hurdles for years to come by further rendering the Constitution a comedy sketch.

kristolWilliam Kristol and the Body Politique Snatchers

his broadcasts are taking on the unmistakable sounds of desperation.

Not for nothin’ but … why do these people still have jobs?  Who are the people that continue to invest money and encourage these folks to continue in their roles as propagandists, long after the little dog has pulled the curtain open.  The Conservative Media Industrial Complex has begun to feed on itself in recent weeks, because their circular logic has driven their ratings into a nose-dive.  It apparently requires more than drug abuser Rush Limbaugh, or harangued fast-food aficionado Glenn Beck or even Roger Ailes’ Frankenstein-ish monster Sean Hannity can do in order to hold on to their disillusioned listeners.  These are quite often folks that invest in such tasteful decolletage as ‘truck nuts’, US Flags flying from poles bolted to the beds of pick-up trucks and inexplicable battles with skin disorders.

Is there actually still a market for neo-conservative political graffiti?  One would think that after 8 years of the deconstruction of the US Constitution, the neutering of the US Military and the largest re-distribution of wealth since the Roman Empire, some of the cheerleaders would fear for their lives – but alas, they apparently have made an industry, overnight, of re-writing history and attributing that last eight years of malfeasance to President-elect Barack Obama and his yet to be confirmed / installed Cabinet and team of advisers.  It is nightmarish world of make-believe that is subsidized by advertising dollars from companies that want your business, and just like gas prices that plummeted because the US population has fractionally reduced fuel consumption – these advertisers will react when we stop watching and listening to industrial propagandists.

George Will has been reduced to being corrected on air, continuously, while appearing in his weekly gig with George Stephanopoulos. Much of the legitimate Conservative establishment has taken to begging forgiveness from the public by covering Obama fairly, reminding folks that they predicted he would win and had sufficiently kicked dust in McCain’s eye’s before the election.  (Even though they didn’t actually do it until it was clear McCain was a goner.)

Most curious though, is the porker Limbaugh, who apparently has determined that no matter how bad thelimbaugh-pig1 situation is – as long as he makes the news a few times a week, it is better for him in the long run.  So with reckless abandon, the corpulent radio political satirist goes into overdrive and with a penchant of the absurd, has begun contradicting himself on daily basis.  So much, in fact, his broadcasts are taking on the unmistakable sounds of desperation.

tableAnd the Corporate Media

round table of journalists that are made even more uncomfortable by the mention of Nate Silver

Not for nothin’ but … I’ve seen more investigative journalism from Pravda during my time on the ground in the former USSR.  The news, news-talk and talking head cable streams have become a caricature of themselves with talking boxes, spinning circles and the latest and greatest gadgetry in order to distract viewers from noticing there is absolutely no substance whatsoever to the dialog.  Merely a series of ponderings, strung together with the same 20 film clips – snippets from competitive news programing, and, the ever irrelevant round table of journalists that are made even more uncomfortable by the mention of Nate Silver who out predicted the Beltway punditry so badly, a select group of disgraced pundits became unusually unavailable for nearly a week after the election.  But fear not … the newly re-relaxed hand-gun laws in DC notwithstanding, no one is fearing mass suicide.

Night after night, more of the rotating self-aggrandizing league of political know-it-alls, sit across from the former journalists, former speech writers and plethora of TV personalities that begs inquiry as to how they may have been hired – in endless provocative dialogs that have emerged as a new fiction art form.  Some consider it info-tainment, others classify it as commentary  My preference is to  classify it as Horror / Sci-fi and opt out of any further viewing.  There simply too many fine books to read to waste that much time sitting still while people I don’t like, say things – they don’t even understand.  An art form  perfected by DC’s favorite lunatic and possibly treasonist – Bob Novak.

Barack vs. The Volcano (Redux)

The Candidate is the Campaign, Period

…inexplicable disassociation with current events, stunningly inadequate communication skills, dubious team building expertise and an endless stream of banalities…

McCain’s campaign deserves the ‘Ship of Fools’ moniker, and they prove it daily – not only in the fact that they defy reason in the overtly fictionalized representation of the Senator’s leadership skills, but with their flagrant disregard for facts.  The campaign’s message is confusing hot air and ash; noxious, dirty and deadly.  The representations of the future are in direct conflict to McCain’s past record. In fact, many of the conflicts have been navigated by McCain within a single news cycle – whereby he reverses course on his own comments within hours of his original.  We’ve said it before, McCain does more about-faces in a day than a Naval Drill Team and it is hardly understandable how he hasn’t screwed himself into the ground where he stands.

The McCain Volcano is replete with a cast of the ‘Usual Suspects’ that make Keyser Söze seem like Captain Kangaroo.  It’s not just that they  represent the ruling class that created the volcanic cone that is impacting America, but because their ideological scam has devalued the American worker and fleeced the National wealth.  A re-distribution of wealth that not only has devalued currency but has gambled the American legacy by decimating the US Military, inspired greater global terrorism in a manner most fiction writers wouldn’t have felt was believable and created the necessity of corporate welfare that is undeniable, yet is placed directly on the shoulders of an abused middle-class.

Yet, without skipping a beat, John McCain goes news cycle after news cycle displaying an excess of poor leadership style, inexplicable disassociation with current events, stunningly inadequate communication skills, dubious team building expertise and an endless stream of banalities, slogans and staggering contradictions.  However, the patented GOP response to what must be global observations of McCain is always preceded with an attack on Barack Obama.  This is the sensibility that riots are made of – not important political decisions.  The mere fact, that Phil Gramm (the birth parent of the Financial Services Modernization Act which abrogated Glass – Steagall) is an economic adviser and former co-chair of the McCain campaign should be reason enough for any reasonable human being from disregarding McCain as an option in November.  When punctuated with McCain’s stating that he’s not for the privatization of Social Security this week, after a decade of his vociferous support for privatization should shake even those that haven’t been paying attention to politics.

Even GPS Can’t Locate McCain positions

…it is unquestionable that John McCain is the Republican stooge who permitted his campaign to chose a VP running mate for him that was certain to distract the electorate…

“You can’t make this stuff up” was almost an appropriate sub-text for every McCain speech in the past week.  It was expressed by journalists, journo-tainers and the Obama campaign.  It was irresistable, as was the line that Obama worked into every speech declaring that the ‘Ole boy network was a McCain staff meeting.’  Truly, even those not enamored with shtick could resist broadly smiling each time it was repeated.

McCain would literally contradict himself within hours of taking a position. While great fodder for news / opinion / comedy – John McCain’s campaign activities are not just confined to the US airwaves but are making US Politics the laughing stock of the world we so desperately need to re-engage in a healthy way.  Imagine a President John McCain addressing the UN while the suspicious membership recall his attempts at detente by quipping ‘Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran’  Just think about a man who has claimed in a Nationally broadcast interview “I know how to win wars!” as though the empty words had value.  He, to this day, he has not been challenged by the corporate media with access to him to back up that claim.  It is not only a sad commentary on John McCain’s grip on reality, but a revealing glimpse of the corporate media’s dubious attempts to keep the game going as long as possible.

After the disgrace that was billed as the Republican Convention, not limited to but including highly questionable police activity and the jailing of credentialed US Press journalists and the vile words of the resentful bridesmaids – it is unquestionable that John McCain is the Republican stooge who permitted his campaign to chose a VP running mate for him that was certain to distract the electorate from the facts and potentially build support.

Skill with Hope, Faith and Charity

When the talking heads and paid political analysts (even the friendlies) called for him to get into the street fight – he acknowledged their concern but won their respect for not blackening his own eyes with his own knees

It is our opinion that the premiere qualification for a presidential candidate is their ability to lead.  The skills required are a nimble mind, an ability to assemble heroic teams and reduce complex problems to a series of actionable events.  This is commentary and not a campaign ad – but Obama detractors have engaged in propoganda that borders historic proportions in order to disavow his accomplishments and the McCain campaign has engaged in politics that rival the disinformation of the current Bush administration.  In fact, Bush political operatives have been engaged by the McCain campaign in successful recruiting effort that the US Army wishes it could accomplish.

Hope:  Barack Obama adopted the word ‘Hope’ as an operative tool over a decade ago – it wasn’t born of a campaign. While there have been numerous accounts of it’s importance and volumes written mocking the emblatic overtone – it is overwhelmingly apparent that this is a fundamental precept of what makes Obama tick.  In contrast the McCain campaign has posited that Hope is not enough – even though it is abundantly clear that the Obama campaign has admirably operated with a positive mental attitude throughout the campaign.  The importance of this is evidenced in the fact that the current presidential race has been observed by many as being pivotal in the history of the USA and the Democratic contender rose from the ranks with a grassroots political organization that has out-raised any US Politician in history and defeated the tenured Democratic political machine in accomplishing the Party’s nomination.

Faith:  While this is of the most personal individual freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution, Obama’s faith has been challenged continuously with disturbing allegations.  Some of these allegations still being hoisted by still employed yet hardly relevant paid propogandists posing as commentators, are offensive not only to Obama, but to many Americans that are not fundamentalist Christians.  There is no question that these businesses celebrating non-profit status have provided cover for political operatives intent on tainting Obama.  To his credit, Obama has run the gauntlet of incomprehensible assertions with aplomb.

Charity:  This is the most evident of all the attributes of the Obama campaign.  Even when the neophyte political activists, supporting Obama began to call for his head-on-a-stick, because of his skillful manuevering of positions placed in his path by a concerted effort of the Republicans in Congress – team Obama managed to get the activist leadership to focus on singular actionable event that was more important – that being winning the election.  He did it without creating huge or lasting divisions.

When the talking heads and paid political analysts (even the friendlies) called for him to get into the street fight – he acknowledged their concern but won their respect for not blackening his own eyes with his own knees and patiently permitted the opposition to choke on their own hubris.  He has repeated this throughout the campaign and his control under fire has stunned the McCain rioters.