As I watch the civil war going on in Republicanland, and the different prescriptions their members offer for their ailments, it occurs to me that it’s not going to be as simple as ‘rebranding’, or returning to ‘big ideas’ or even putting together a broader coalition.

First let’s make something clear: The Republican party is not really about ideas or positions.  They stand for fiscal responsibility, but run the biggest deficits.  They claim to protect ‘moral values’ but their candidates and elected officials often lack them.

No, its sole purpose is to protect ‘special interests’, which is just a euphemism for saying large corporations (especially energy and military-industrial) and ‘old money’ (wealthy families that didn’t earn their wealth in their lifetime).  The people that benefit directly from this protection make up a ridiculously small part of the citizenry.  I’d say about 1%.

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PR Genius

November 24, 2008

The ‘leak’ of Tim Geithner for Treasury with one hour to go before market close Friday was pure genius.  He’s the man the market (and every talking head on CNBC) wanted, so it was no surprise the quick 600 point jolt that ensued.  And then there was a whole weekend to dwell on the good feeling.

I was willing to be the market would have a great day Monday as the econ plan and team was announced.

But I’m not so sure anymore with news of a second Citi bailout and all.  However the market was already pricing in Citi’s troubles, so maybe this will be welcome news too.

Either way, it’s going to be interesting.

I must have read a thousand articles that point the finger at someone or another for our troubles.  The latest one zeroes in on the baby boomer generation, especially its politicians which failed to lead on anything the last three decades (case in point our lack of an energy policy… only when oil hit $145 did they try to actually do something).  Others blame the Republican philosophy of everything-goes free market.  Or a Bush administration that didn’t even enforce the rules which actually were on the books.  Lobbyists.  Exotic derivatives.  Speculators.  And of course plain old Wall Street greed.

But politicians have always been fickle, financiers always greedy, and our market free all along.

I believe these are all mere symptoms.  The root cause is a national media that fails to inform the citizenry and whose sole objective is to increase their audience (and their income).

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Like an oracle

November 14, 2008

It is incredible how Peter Schiff saw it coming, every step of the way:

And notice just how wrong everyone else at Fox is (starting with Ben Stein), and how they make fun of him.

Taking the plunge

November 9, 2008

I have been meaning to start a blog for a while now, especially in the last year and a half I’ve followed Barack Obama’s improbable rise, and had so much to say, predict and rejoice over.

But no one particular idea or comment ever seemed important enough to sit down, compare platforms and choose one (it felt like a bigger commitment than buying a new car!).  In the meantime, my opinions and ideas have been left homeless as comments to articles, digg entries and blog posts everywhere.

So here I am.  The day has come.

I don’t know what exactly will become of this blog.  I’ll be happy if I can exchange some ideas with a few friends.

Mostly I’m just excited I can record what’s on my mind, even when I can’t discuss over a beer with someone just then.