Tuesday, March 29, 2011

You might be affected by "John Kerry Syndrome"

There’s an epidemic invading our country, it’s called “John Kerry Syndrome.” Basically this syndrome causes people to be in favor of something before they were against it.

You may never have heard of it or never knew it existed. You may have been affected and refuse to admit it, for you would be admitting you were wrong the entire time. And who wants to admit they were wrong.

It’s expected of those in the Media. It’s expected of those in our Congress and other elected offices around the nation. It’s an epidemic that’s been destroying our country for decades and those that brought it to us, refuse to admit they were wrong.

If you are wondering whom I am speaking about, well it’s the majority of those that brought the great counterculture war to us during the 60’s. These same people that pushed for extending Freedom of Speech and the Right to Assemble, can be blamed for the likes of the Westboro Church. Yes the very same church that will protest any soldier’s funeral or protest any person that passed away that made national headlines.

As it was for those in the 60's that started the great hatred for our soldiers that protect our Constitution of a free nation. It was their job to follow the orders of the President during the Vietnam War. It was their life that was drafted to serve, while others ran to Canada or used family connections to differ their draft status (some did so 4 times). Funny how some of those that differed their draft status went on to become powerful men in American business and politics some 30-40 years later.

It’s those from the 60’s that expressed a desire for a Great Society. A Society that would bring Health care to all, yet never had one notion how it would be paid for and now are the ones protesting against a Universal Health care system because they finally figured out that the Government and their taxes would pay for it. They cheered for the likes of Medicare and Medicaid, yet now those entitlements are breaking the bank with costs soaring close to 35% of the GDP.

(The GDP is not growing, why? Well because our corporations barely make anything in this country, so the less that’s made the less the GDP grows, but Medicare and Medicaid keep growing. Many of those corporations are not paying corporate taxes either, but that's a blog for another day.)

People are living longer and Medicare can’t keep up. There are people making less and using Medicaid for what it was created to do, help the poor with medical issues, yet as the gap keeps growing between the economic classes, Medicaid can’t keep up with the demand of the lower income bracket and the unemployed.

It was those of the 60’s that fought for equality for all, no matter their sex or skin color or physical ailment, yet now complain that it’s not fair that Joe works his tail off for little recognition while Tim does less and they both make the same salary. How about the fact that women are still making less than men, even if they both hold the same equal CEO position? How’s that working from those 60’s bra burning protests?

Many of these people from the 60’s are the very same people protesting against the entitlements they fought for 50 years ago, but not a single one will admit they were for all these entitlements then yet are against them now.

The calls of “the Government should take care of all” bred citizens into believing that notion and now are the ones abusing that very same system, yet will not take blame for the end result. Their current actions are not a cure, but adding to the disease they created.

The Media is not immune to this action either, best example is what is going on in North Africa. Many in the Media, especially those political opinionaters I loathe, cried for weeks that the U.S. take action in Libya. They talked of how oil prices would drop and a tyrant leader will be disposed.

Now, they received their action and in one breath turned the table and asked why are we bombing Libya? It’s not our fight to protect European oil interests, for we have nothing to gain from the action. It has cost the taxpayers $600 million so far, and we don't have $600 million to spare!

Is it because the U.S. did not take the lead in the action or was it because it’s a Democratic President? These same opinionaters said the same when Pres Clinton took action in Kosovo and helped stop another genocide of people. Once again, they were for the action before being against it.

And those in Congress over the Libyan involvement have much to blame as well.

Senators McCain, Kerry, Graham along with Speaker of the House Boehner called for “No Fly Zones” for weeks in Libya. “We should be patrolling the skies over Libya to protect the rebels” was the Sunday show mantra by these infected fools, yet when the action begins, they cry “foul” and want answers.

It’s safe to say Senator McCain has suffered from “John Kerry Syndrome” his entire political career. Examples are many, beginning with the Border Fence.

Depending if it’s an election year, Sen McCain is for a Border Fence, when it’s non election season he is for open borders. The man has jumped back and forth on Cap & Trade so many times it’s hard to tell in which direction he is standing.

And there is not a single strong candidate in the current GOP 2012 class and they are all culprits of “John Kerry Syndrome” from week to week. Gov. Pawlenty can’t keep his stories straight. He was for against a government shutdown two years ago, yet now thinks it’s a good idea.

Newt Gingrich has made every notion to be for/against something that he is only response is that Media is confusing his words. Newt, sweetheart I think you’re one of the smartest people in the pack, but the timely video interviews show you are one of the biggest victims of "John Kerry Syndrome."

We can blame those from the 60's for much of all our societal ills. The Rachel Carson's and the environmental brigade, the bra burners for Women's Rights, for "Having a dream" of a Great Nation, and destroying the idea of a "Great Society" by bankrupting that Society.

So for my generation, find a former Hippie drinking a latte at Starbuck's and thank them. Find a Feminist and buy her a bra with a Thank You card. Find an Environmentalist, offer him a ride in your Prius.

It’s the people of the 60’s that are to blame, but they won’t admit it. They are the carriers of "John Kerry Syndrome" and they are multiplying.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Glenn Beck, the next Ted Turner?

I always enjoy the story told by WWE owner Vince McMahon concerning a conversation he had with Ted Turner in the 80’s. As the story goes, McMahon received a phone call from Turner to which Turner was obnoxiously saying “Well Vince I did it, I’m in the ‘wrassling’ business.” A very forward talking McMahon answers “well good for you Ted, but I’m in the ‘Entertainment’ business.”

Both men are entertainment visionaries from all aspects of the business. McMahon’s business prowess from taking a regional wrestling company, swindling the other regional owners into giving up their regions to him and created an Entertainment giant. Wrestlemania is as much an American event as the Super Bowl. Sometimes the vision is far strung, such as McMahon’s plans for the XFL, Extreme Football League. The idea was ideal; you win, you get paid. The quality of player was good, but it was the production that destroyed the XFL.

Turner’s vision is equal to that of McMahon. Turner’s idea of owning his own TV station to air his baseball and basketball teams was ahead of its time. And a 24 hour news cycle was laughable when it debuted, many telling Turner it wouldn’t last 6 months and yet now there are more forms of the 24 hour news cycle then anyone could’ve imagined.

Sure Turner eventually bowed and sold the rights to his WCW product to McMahon’s WWE, after a decade of TV ratings battles. Turner’s big mistake was sizeable contracts, giving out the large money contracts with little incentive while McMahon prefers the mid-range contracts but loaded with merchandizing incentives.
What does this have to do with political TV? Well quite a lot when it comes to creating viewable political commentary and a viable news corporation.

Without Turner’s vision of CNN, there wouldn’t be a FOX News or even MSNBC. It took these two some time, but eventually CNN lost its identity and has been trying to find its voice again. However, slowly FOX News and MSNBC are seeing their stars leave for brighter and (hopefully) greener pastures.

When MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann left, the opinionating media flipped. Where would he go? How could they let him leave? It didn’t take long for Olbermann to find a gig where he can be free to do as he pleases. His ultra left views found their way to Al Gore’s struggling Current TV channel. Honestly, I’ve look on the TV guide to see what is being shown and I have no clue what Al is trying to do. I truly believe it’s just a tax write off for globetrotting Al.

Now rumors have been flying that Glenn Beck is about to leave FOX News this December. What would Glenn Beck be without FOX News?

Well Beck has slowly built his own Media empirical monster at Mercury Radio Arts with books, online magazine, pay-per-view webcam, etc. Beck employees some 100 employees and his product is growing. Yes, his ratings have been dropping on both radio and TV. His radio broadcast was dropped by New York City’s WOR, NYC’s 2nd largest station, and by Philadelphia’s WPHT, the very place that gave Beck a second chance in the business.

But these rumors of Beck’s possible departure have many looking into the Magic 8 Ball for an answer, but I think I have an idea, “RightNetwork.”

RightNetwork is the brainchild of Kelsey Grammer. Yes, the very man that gave us Dr. Frazier Crane for decades to enjoy on our televisions. Grammer is of conservative mind and has been trying to get the larger cable providers to carry his product. Now, wouldn’t it be interesting if Grammer and Beck joined together and sell this product. Seriously think about it. Conservatives could have two channels vying for their sofa viewing.

There are many conservatives in Hollywood, more than anyone would guess because unlike their liberal counterpart, they do not feel the need to distribute their political view whenever a camera is nearby. I think Alec Baldwin has finally learned when to speak politically, now if Janine Garofalo could do the same.
Both Grammer and Beck have a feel for the business of Entertainment and the resources to back the vision. Beck’s whole television idea would be given a larger freedom on a higher cable channel. Both know opinonators, both know talkers, both know talent to get their vision across.

Even though Beck still loves to say “I’m an Independent voice” in politics, is a bogus mantra, for his words speak for themselves. I am not knocking Beck for being something that he believes he is not; I’m just saying that he is blinded by not believing he crossed the political mindfield.

There’s one more aspect I forgot to mention in this idea for Beck and Grammer. That’s Tucker Carlson and his Daily Caller site. Why Carlson you may ask? Well after all, Carlson did bring Rachel Maddow to his failed MSNBC show as a liberal voice to counter his conservative view. Maddow gives Olbermann too much credit for her success, yet it was Carlson who deserves the credit. It was apparent on Carlson’s show, he missed counterpart James Carville, for the chemistry between Carlson and Maddow just didn’t match up.

Bring these three to the table and build upon the idea. They may not challenge FOX News, MSNBC or even CNN in the ratings, but their product will have a successful following, much more successful then Air America could’ve ever dreamed of producing. Air America didn’t work for they let too many celebrities run the airwaves. Talent was minimal on the political spectrum.

Build around what you know and that’s political theatre. Build it, it can thrive, but do not try and copy a “Right” version of Stewart or Colbert. Still boggles my mind that people actually think the character “Stephen Colbert” is the actual Stephen Colbert… It’s a comedic interpretation of Bill O’Reilly you @SSclowns (WWE reference)!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The United States needs an enema and it starts with Wisconsin

I love the theatrics of the Media. There always has to be good vs. evil, a hero and a villain, only in an abbreviated 10 minute story. And usually that story is rewritten by a colleague for their 10 minute abbreviated version and so on.

Or it's simply video snippets and creating or adding more depth to the story. Bill O'Reilly's show recently got caught doing so by using video clips from an old Union rally in Sacramento, but adding it to the Wisconsin public union battle story, yet no one thought to edit out the Palm Trees during production. It's "yellow journalism circa 2011" and everyone is falling for it. Only this time it is not the sinking of the U.S.S. Maine, just the sinking of our States.

Everyone in the U.S. has heard in one form or another of the happenings in Wisconsin, the hero Gov Scott Walker, voted in by a 62%majority on Election Day, vowed to cut spending and not to raise taxes. The villain, those evil Public Union Leaders and their minions of Public Union Worker members. But this is not a story about Wisconsin alone, it's a story that all States are running into. Only the villains are more then just Public Union Worker members, it's everyone within the States themselves. That's right, all of us, all taxpayers, all citizens are the villainous creed that the Governor heroes are trying to protect us against.

Yes, we are all villains for wanting our tax dollars to pay for "perks" such as clean parks, whether County or State, to walk in or let our children play baseball or swing.

We are the villains for wanting our tax dollars to pay for "pot holes" to be filled so our cars stay aligned and tires do not get destroyed while traveling to work or the grocery store.

We are villains for wanting our tax dollars to pay for snow removal during the harshest winter storm and sewers debris free so heavy rainfall can flow without flooding.

And yes, we are the villains for wanting our tax dollars to pay for the latest technology in our schools and the best stadiums/gymnasiums for our student athletes to play in so the district can call itself "State Champ!"

It's easy for any Governor to say "the State is going to cut back on services in Education and Health care, for those costs make up about 70% of State spending." Educational cuts will simply fall back on the Counties and Townships to increase to pay for those educational "perks." But what cuts are the Governors, and the State Legislature taking? Any?

Where are their cuts in their paychecks? Are any of them taking a 10%-15% cut in pay to help pay for their pension plans? Are any of them taking a 10%-15% cut in pay to help pay for their Health care costs? Is the Governor paying rent for that Mansion at the State Capital?

The average yearly salary of all 50 Governors is roughly $130,000. That's not rich, but it's well enough when you consider the following;

1. 44 of the 50 Governors live in an official state residence, with maintenance costs, utility bills and food expenses paid for by the State. Unless you're Texas Governor Rick Perry, who has been living lavishly in an Austin Mansion for the past 5 years while the Governor's Mansion is being remodeled costing taxpayers triple the normal cost.

2. 46 of the 50 Governors have transportation of all sorts at their disposal. Some States have a fleet of Planes and Helicopters available for the Legislature to use to get across the state. And just about any staff member can get a state vehicle to use no matter their position.

3. Oh! the benefit "perks" are fruitful as well. Some Governors have pension plans that they can start to collect on at retirement age. And some are even sweeter in the fact that they grow along with the current Governor's pay. So the retired Governor made $100K while in office and the current makes $135K, the difference of $35K gets added to the former! So how many Governors are getting this type of retro-pay? About 6 from my research. That nice nest egg of $1 million from being governor for 8 years and you've been out of office for 14 years and ready to collect, just got sweeter.

Sure Mitt Romney, when Governor of Massachusetts's, can gladly state he never raised one tax while Governor. This is true, but he omits the fact that while he didn't raise taxes, that the Counties and Townships in Massachusetts's had to raise theirs to make up the difference.

Many are talking about the lopsided pension plans of Public Union workers. Yes, there is a lopsidedness to it and many of those Public Unions have agreed to pay more in concessions, but one cannot blame the Union member alone. One can lay blame on the State Auditors and the Union themselves, for many put a greater faith in the stock market and many took an ass whopping in Ponzi schemes.

A good example comes out of St Petersburg, Florida. Apparently Bank of New York Mellon defrauded Florida's pension fund with the secret markup on billions of dollars. Basically BNYM collected upon a higher converted currency and pocketed the difference. BNYM holds $150 billion belonging to Florida from future and current retirees, cities, counties, school districts, and state agencies equaling over 1 million assets. The loss to Floridians could lead up to tens of millions of dollars. So who's to blame here? Will we hear about how the Florida Public workers are near criminal actions for not wanting to have to pay for more in concessions as they are being proclaimed by the Media concerning Wisconsin?

In 2009, Sacramento County Employees' Retirement System, University of Pittsburgh, and Bowling Green University all lost an estimated $77 million in pension money thru investments. University of Pittsburgh lost an estimated $35 million and Bowling Green lost an estimated $15 million in the Westridge Capital Management investment fraud case. Westridge Capital was handling over $554 million in investments at the time and much of the syphoned money was used on lavish vacation and obscene bonuses.

So all our States are in some sort of financial discourse and yet there always has to be someone to blame and someone to take the fall. Usually it's the teacher unions that are blamed and the taxpayer that takes the fall.

While everyone is looking at blaming State Public union workers such as teachers, road crews, police officers and so on for destroying a State's fiscal responsibilities, why is not the Media looking into the state run universities and colleges? I'm not talking about the teachers or professors at these universities, I'm talking about athletics.

Yes, it's true that a big name state university athletic program can bring in millions of dollars if successful. Big games against interstate rivals or a huge payday from a Bowl victory or even making the Final Four in basketball. Head coaches of these programs earn an average of $1.5 million annually, not to mention the "perks" of subsidized housing, incentives, and other benefits. Some of those benefits include private jet usage, land deals, family travel accounts, and some get a percentage in ticket revenue!

In Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh's men's basketball coach Jamie Dixon recently unseated Penn State's Legendary football coach Joe Paterno as the highest paid employee at a public university. Both Pitt and Penn State plus the other state funded universities receive a combined $657 million in state money. It's coming to a point that one university head coach's salary can equal up to 6 university professor salaries.

Where's the FOX News outrage on that paragraph? Why is not CNBC's Rick Santelli reporting outside Penn State's Beaver Stadium? Is Anderson Cooper hiding in a secluded dorm room reporting on this? No, because it's not as villainous in terms as the 52 year old unionized sanitation worker making $40k annually in New York city keeping it clean. It's not as villainous as the 35 year old unionized school teacher making $52k annually that is educating children with disabilities because both parents need to work to help pay for the overbearing health costs to care for that child.

It's easier to blame someone else, you just have to pick the right villain, or hero depending on your choice of action.

Freedberg, Stephen P., Florida investigation charges that bank defrauded state's pension fund, St. Petersburg Times, Feb 5, 2011

Upton, Jodi, Contracts for college coaches cover more then salaries, USA Today, Nov 16, 2006

Murphy, Jan, Pitt's Jamie Dixon unseats Joe Paterno as highest paid employee of Pennsylvania's public universities, The Patriot-News, June 18, 2010