Friday, August 17, 2012

The Ultimate Super Pac Campaign

Mr. Stewart and Mr. Colbert,
First of all, thank you for taking the time to form an exploratory committee to orally examine the exchange of information and funding through available now utilizing the post-Citizens United Super Pac. After your Super Pac made $1,023,121 as of January 30, (I am sure it has gone up even more at this point); I remember you discussed what to do when you determined Mr. Colbert running himself was not a tenable option. So I was wondering if you are trying to figure out where to spend that money in the upcoming weeks (even though the amount in it seems barely consequential considering the $512 million the ad total reached today for the 2012 election). While it would be too partisan to use it for either candidate or party; I think both sides would potentially agree (and do be careful, because both sides agreeing may in fact cause the galaxy to rupture!) on the following proposal.
The Super Pac campaign I’m proposing is simply enforcing the Americans right to criticize, whine, complain, and protest the result of 2012 election by voting. While there’s still time, for voters of all demographics, let's encourage them to take the time to make sure their registration is current, make sure they have an ID and get out there to vote for who they want. Basically tell them; "If you sit on your *expletive* and don’t show up, you are abandoning your inalienable right to b#$%^ about it. If you don’t vote, we don’t want to hear about it for four years!”
Broadcast, print, and non-traditional means such as blogs and social media platforms have already made so much money off of the 2012 election so far that they may even permit the potential people below to participate, (if their acting agents can watch and use it claiming to have been part of it and using the campaign in future schmoozing at a later point). Some who would likely assist you both gratuitously include:
·         Alec Baldwin
·         George Clooney
·         Hillary Clinton
·         Chris Christie (if he can fit through the studio door!)
·         Rush Limbaugh (as above with Christie!)
·         Brad Pitt
·         Angelina Jolie
·         Paul Rieckhoff
·         Bruce Springsteen
·         Martin Sheen or Jeff Daniels (heck, bring along Aaron Sorkin for the ride!)
·         Meryl Streep
·         Tim Tebow (but only if you give Eli Manning a shot too!)
·         Rachel Maddow
·         Seth Macfarlane
·         Clint Eastwood
·         Bruce Willis
·         Will Smith
·         Tommy Lee Jones or Josh Brolin if you want the younger version!)
·         Even Sarah Palin (Heck, have Tina Fey sit in; nobody will be able to tell the difference anyway and she may appear saner or at least smarter!)
To accommodate the lovely 10 states that recently passed photo ID laws; efficiency matters now as there are less than 100 days left for such a campaign any efforts would have a somewhat tight deadline at this point. I also realize that you are both probably going to be a bit busy bouncing around the conventions for the next couple weeks, but if you’re interns have a chance to research whether the Colbert Super Pac funds (in whichever of your control it is although I don’t know if you can confer with one another to ascertain whose role that is now) are allowed to be utilized for such a purpose. Ah well, give it a shot and see what happens!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Is 2012 An Ultimate Political Acquiescence or Inevitable Real Conflict?

As I begin to reach a saturation point from multiple political pundits this month, I have also had the opportunity to be party to multiple conversations providing copious perspectives. Nothing however compared to this past weekend. Republican friends of mine, particularly Caucasian males in their twenties (and even their sixties) who, (although vehemently anti-gay), seemed almost homosexually orgasmic with the Vice President choice of Paul Ryan. The next day, another colleague of mine, was more than slightly amused by the nomination noting, “If the Republican contributors get even a hint that Ryan could be put to the top of the ticket, Romney may want to hire a food tester over the next few months!”

While Republicans appear in high spirits about Ryan, The Democratic Party still seems buoyant rather than anxious about Romney. They seem happy with him as an adversary and some even personally ecstatic regarding the constant favors he seems to bestow upon Jim Messina, David Axelrod and Jay Carney with alarming regularity. They keep receiving metaphoric manna from heaven from Romney through his trying to constantly distance himself from Bain Capital. Rather than standing up to his critics and noting that his job was to gain profit for his investors, he keeps enabling them to slant it on him and doesn’t seem to realize that.  If Romney would get a little more comfortable with himself, he’d do better.  He could have taken on the Bain attacks head-on using a tag-line like: “If America becomes my client, they will profit from that.” Instead, Romney continues the democratic gravy train by allowing his lack of diplomatic prowess to provide gourmet fodder not just for not just for his wife Ann’s horse Rafalca (who ultimately barely reached the top 20 in the Olympic dressage competition); but for Obama’s Campaign staff and policy team as well. When Romney’s lack of tact caused our ally Prime Minister David Cameron to begin commenting on how uncomplicated an Olympics can be; “if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere;” it is not hard to develop an added arsenal for his opponents. Neither is his method of in one fell swoop having our least popular ally Israel amused at our expense while requiring Hillary Clinton’s team to burn up hours on phone lines and email to provide diplomatically triage to the angry Palestinians and numerous others. Whenever Romney (or any other Republican candidate), causes GOP strategist Karl Rove to despondently note, “You have to shake your head," he is going to be having causing misgivings with not only opponents but also supporters. The choice Romney made this weekend is a vice presidential candidate who not only has a more dynamic personality but also is more comfortable inside his own skin. This is not particularly helpful for Romney overall.  In fact, 24 hours later Ryan began to make Romney seem even more stiff and awkward than before Ryan.  
Romney’s campaign manager Matt Rhoades is certainly intelligent and tactical enough to realize that there was no scenario where Ryan’s role of chairman of the House Budget Committee and an economic plan directly accredited to him would not unswervingly encroach upon any discussion of Romney as President. However often Romney wants to claim that he has his own economic plan, until the media and the citizens see some real specifics, they do not generally believe him. Public perspective by and large on political figures and policies is: when they can’t see it, it does not automatically exist. When a candidate cannot at least provide basic talking points with one or two specifics then the man behind the curtain will absolutely be noticed.  A Republican ticket which, to quote POTUS, would “end Medicare as we know it,” but that his own would experience complete nirvana if it could somehow move Ryan into the top of the ticket. Republicans may be assuming that the overall interest in Bain Capital or in the Ryan Plan will die down and they will move back to the economy but they need to be a bit more introspective and more honest with themselves.
Introspection is not merely absent on the Republican side however.  Democrats’ talking points generally assume that Obamacare will solve a great deal of the country’s current problems and in all scenarios improve the economy overall—however slow the progress (and even if in the drips and drabs), the economy currently is (theoretically) moving in the right direction. 
A better question for both of them may be whether any current elected officials understand that their role is officially advocating for the people of their city/state/country who elected them. Do they realize that? Or is election to an office simply the door to entrenching their friends and their own financial future or possibly a simple hunger for power without responsibility? While I hope that Candy Crowley, Jim Lehrer, Bob Schieffer and Martha Raddatz will take the necessary steps to encourage both sides to put their cards on the table on October 16, I’ve held my breath before and nearly suffocated in the past. Maybe if they have been sneaking over to HBO on occasion and considering  potential methods conceived of by Aaron Sorkin and used by Jeff Daniels as anchor Will McAvoy trying to re-define the role Americans have generally perceived the First Amendment to not only provide the media rights, but also responsibilities. 
Simply put, Media's relevance is reduced further every time editors, management and CEOs of broadcast, cable, print, on-line or even blogs like this one fail to base their choices on maintaining their long-term integrity and potential survival rather than looking at merely their short-term cash flow and direct profit. This year that goal should be significantly easier to achieve than in previous elections for any and all journalists; all bloggers and, in fact, all media worldwide. Especially when they consider the multiple income portals and extreme levels of Super-PAC funds and massive increases in marketing profit and insane cash flow they have experienced in a post-Citizens’ United world that has been so momentous that the majority of beltway think tanks are rarely willing to even attempt speculation on what amount of money will ultimately be made in the advertising for all local, state; and yes, the presidential election of 2012. So overall, journalism venues will hopefully become liquid enough to actually enable their anchors, writers and copy editors to revisit being apolitical. At least, they should be able to relax on the obsession for short-term profit for their investors just a bit.

Preconditioned Problems

No matter how many advertisements or how much ducking and weaving both sides are doing politically this year, health care and the US economy are both extremely intertwined at this point. Many demographics throughout multiple US voting populations are already in a different nebula than ever before (even compared to the 1930s). In 2010 a friend who was a salaried employee was laid off and became a contractor.  She had Cobra and stayed true to her republican roots telling me that she was a good worker and she would be able to get a salaried position for benefits again. I gently tried to ensure her, but also knew that she was in her early 50s and not in perfect health, so frankly, when her checks from Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) ran out, she had a snowball’s chance in hell of being gainfully hired for a salary even in the ballpark of her previous job when everywhere she was looking, the agencies could take a 22 year old at less than half the price and train them at a lower cost while only being required to provide them hourly rates with no benefits.  Under all scenarios, she would cost more on the books as a salaried employee and now had the most risk taking a contractor role, but would be on food stamps and in section 8 housing if she did anything else. She, like many others who were gung-ho for the Tea party or Libertarianism previously continue their idealism in the abstract, but are a bit more realistic at this point about what they have to lose or have already lost. Don’t allow her example to make you assume that the students are any better off as they get out with a B.A. or an M.B.A. they are in debt for close to 100K for where they are likely to still be paid a pittance and no benefits while basically being told, “take it or leave it.” Obamacare was more likely to get renamed Romneycare the instant the election was over, before Ryan came into the picture, but that will be a harder sell at this point.

The economic trickle down model (as many can infer from the overall aroma what that trickle seems to actually be); only ever worked if there was some long term incentive for the top 1 percent to maintain the peace. It oddly enough would require only a minimal amount of effort. Even Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un seem to grasp where the threshold is before their people have nothing to lose and their economy along with their safety becomes insurmountable. As the Euro jumps through hoops before the inevitable, they are less secure in that the comfort quotient may be even more tenuous before a collapse. The irony is that the America I’ve seen will put up with the hardships and believe the potential for getting rich enough to put up with an awful lot. They are also very brain-washable to a certain degree, but unlike any of the other countries mentioned they are both more armed individually and often do not take things lying down when their patience runs out. How do political or economic analysts determine that the American people will simply lay back in complacency and continue to watch their homes be foreclosed on, their jobs permanently gone, the suggestions by the government to be go back to school and get retrained to do the current trends of work but to do so you need to be eligible for a student loan on top of your current debt with the odds being tenuous that when you get out with that debt, just like your son or daughter, you are unlikely to make enough money to pay that loan off for over 20 years even if you are diligent and frugal from here on out. Topping all of this with an estimated 123,524 Veterans of the 1990-1991 Gulf War and of Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and projections by Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government  of 712,551 additional Veterans who are all trained and able to access weapons and requiring medical care to some degree that they are generally not receiving or having to go through enough hoops to further aggravate PTSD and make prior ground operations seem less harrowing, 270 million guns in the hands of United States civilians, it is unlikely to result in a 1789 format where they were in an organized way executing the theoretically elite class in a civil war. Rather, they are more likely to look like a lynch mob. In 1970, when Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster had experienced multiple artists from Janis Joplin to Gordon Lightfoot to Roger Miller singing their lyrics, “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose…” I wonder how well they realized that commonly throughout the history of the earth, different people have generally had their majority be complacent until they had nothing left to lose and at that point, the end result of that “freedom” was never submissive and almost always brutal.