Point of View Columns

Weekend Edition – October 28, 2011

The business of fortune telling is not an easy one. But channeling my inner Sister Cleo, I predict that will conclude that the recent positive economic news somehow reflects negatively on President Obama. Meanwhile the Occupy Wall Street movement has gone viral, nationally and around the world. What the OWS protestors want may be a bit more complicated than a Tea Party menu. And finally, Rick Perry is the latest G.O.Tea Party presidential wannabe to genuflect at the altar of Donald Trump. Shouldn’t that be an automatic disqualification?

Fortune Telling in the Age of Obama

You may remember the now discredited Miss Cleo. Fans of Richard Pryor may remember Miss Rudolph. Whatever the case, we all know that predicting the future is a tough business. Nevertheless, I am willing to face the risks and make an absolute prediction based upon the news that the GDP for the United States increased by 2.9% during the third quarter of this year.

While this increase has been greeted as good news by most economists, I predict that the G.O.Tea Party candidates for president will spin the news as a negative for President Obama. The spin will go something like this – the reason why the economy is improving is that the business community is becoming convinced that Barack Obama will lose the 2012 election and the upturn in the third quarter is an indication of investor confidence that Obama will lose.

This approach is in keeping with the approach of all of the candidates in saying that anything bad is the fault of President Obama and it is impossible for President Obama to be responsible for anything good.

If nothing else, the G.O.Tea Party is consistent – consistently negative and truly the Party of No.

The OWS Wish List

The Occupy Wall Street Movement has gone international. From London to Oakland to Washington, protestors are occupying public venues to protest the seeming dominance of corporate agendas of 1% of this country at the expense of the other 99%. The staying power of these protests has been remarkable and there is no end in sight.
There has been significant commentary to the effect that the OWS movement is not like the Tea Party movement because they don’t have a “specific agenda”. And there is a reason for that.

The Tea Party came into being with a negative agenda: No taxes, No government and No Obama. It is a very simple matter to craft a negative agenda. A positive agenda is more nuanced.

It appears that the members of the OWS movement are concerned about increasing opportunity and improving the quality of life for people who have been trampled by the stampede to greed. The strategy that expresses these goals is not easily distilled into one word or a catchy slogan.

Being negative is simple. Being progressive is…………well, it’s complicated.

The Mountain Comes to Trump…..Again

Amazingly, Rodeo Rick Perry counts Donald Trump as a source of advice and (possible?) inspiration. This should disqualify Rick Perry for consideration as a serious candidate.

Donald Trump has been very successful at promoting Donald Trump. His ascent to fame began with his father, Fred Trump, one of the wealthiest real estate tycoons that you never heard of. Beginning his faux business career with a multimillion dollar starter kit, Trump has left a trail of bankrupt companies, unpaid creditors, disgruntled bondholders and enough lawsuits to establish a sub-industry in the law profession.

During his tepid presidential campaign, a thinly disguised attempt to boost the ratings of his television series, Trump was literally laughed off the national stage as he trumpeted the totally discredited birther tune. That Rodeo Rick Perry would think that Donald Trump could have anything valuable to say to him speaks volumes about his judgment, or lack thereof.

Have a great weekend!

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