Saturday, 13 October 2012

Sprinkling YouTube Magic Dust on Everything

Yesterday....they had this nifty question and answer episode over at the State Department.  The State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland....jumped right in, and went right back to the claim started three weeks ago....that the YouTube video was the root cause of the ambassador being killed in Libya.  Course, over the last ten days....that story got squashed by a dozen high-level government folks who had to appear in front of cameras or congress.  But she went right back to the original claim...after VP Joe this week said the same thing.

A guy could get this feeling of the Paraguay government being more competent than these guys in DC.

So.....this is how this would all work.

A guy could ask how the recession occurred, and be told that some guy started a rumor in California on YouTube of bank failure....then the next day....banks just all failed.

A guy could ask the gov’t spokesperson how Fast and Furious worked, and they’d respond that a YouTube video from upstate Michigan started the whole thing.

A guy could ask how GM came to bankruptcy and fail, and they'd respond that a YouTube video clip from a Ford muffler guy....started the whole thing.  GM never would have failed unless the Ford guy tripped them up on the clip.

A guy could ask how these solar panel companies came to fail, and they'd respond that a YouTube video from some guy name Hung Jung in China....started this whole failure rumor, and collapsed the company.

A guy could ask how 9-11 really occurred, and they'd respond that some Ossama guy from Afghanistan started a YouTube video suggesting planes hit the towers, and the towers collapsed....which started this whole "rumor" of Taliban terrorists.

A guy could ask who got the stimulus money from Congress, and they'd respond that a video clip on YouTube started a rumor of stimulus money, but it's just not true that money ever got spent or allocated like Fox News says.

Eventually....folks would ask if Santa Claus was real, and they'd respond that bogus video clips on YouTube started this Santa rumor, and it's just plain false.

At some point, we'd determine that shutting down YouTube might be in our national interest, then discover that it didn't have much to do with any mess.

Confusing?  Yeah.  It's like asking a Baptist minister if you sipped one bit of whiskey on Saturday night, and if that was enough to send you off to hell.  It's all dependent on how foolish the minister wants to be.  (the truth is....six sips....would cross the line and you'd have to carry a Bible around with you for six weeks straight to get the hell-curse off your back).  But don't go looking on YouTube for an explanation for this.

My Hillary Scenario

When VP Joe tossed a piece or two of poor State Department handling from the Libyan episode of a few weeks ago at the debate....he opened up a can of worms.  There's fairly strong words now that exist in public debate that maybe the State Department screwed up.  You can sense that the White House might be willing to toss Hillary to help explain things.

So I have a scenario.

Hillary starts to add up these words and comments....loses her patience....and quits two weeks before the election.  Hillary-supporters....probably twenty percent of the Obama base....will look at what was said and done, and decide to quit this election and just stay home.

Election day results....Obama loses by twelve percent.  Most analysts will point at this large group of people who just plain stayed home.  Democrats are mostly angry over how the White House ran the Libyan explanations, and how Romney won.

Sequestration actually occurs because no Democrats cross the line to support any legislative solution.  By April of 2013, there's thirty thousand government employees in DC, who are given a termination notice.  By October of 2013, another sixty thousand government workers in DC are added to the list.  Across the nation....around 500k government workers are given notices.

Sequestration now starts up a recession, with unemployment blasting along at twelve percent, and in the nation's capital....it's near sixteen percent.

Without Democratic support....the Republicans can't get anything done in the Senate.  Stagnation becomes the trend in 2014 and 2015.  The office of the Presidency is worthless....without things being agreed upon in the House and Senate.

Behind the scenes....Hillary takes a year off....writes a book about a "new" America.  Hillary travels to Iowa and spends four months living with an Iowa family and learning new personal skills.  A reality show covers the new Hillary.

By 2016, America is fairly desperate now.  The Romney solution wasn't ever able to take off because sequestration destroyed early opportunities.  Lack of agreement doomed them from the start.  The Republicans couldn't even doom or change Obama-Care....because they just didn't have enough votes in the Senate.

It's only a scenario.....but if you notice right now....Hillary hasn't been seen in public in at least ten days.  She hasn't made a single comment to change what she said originally after the Libya episode.  I suspect that she's simmering with a bit of hostility right now.  Just a humble opinion.

The Boat Sailed

Once upon a time....at least for a couple of years....there was this cruise boat which lent itself out to being a piece of a TV show.  The cruise boat?  Pacific Princess....was the background for most of the shots used for the TV show.

This week...and you won't notice it much in the press....but the Pacific Princess, which has sat around on an Italian dock for several years....will now be sold for scrap.  No one wants to refit the ship, and it's glory days are long gone.

From 1971 until probably ten years ago....it was probably still in some strong operational shape.  But there's a limit to what a vessel can sustain, and I imagine rust was an ongoing issue.

The Love Boat was an active show for nine years, with 249 episodes made.  I know it's fairly shocking that these guys could actually 249 hours of material to keep the public interest on the show....but it's the truth.

It started in 1977....the year I went off to the Air Force.  To be honest, I don't think I saw a single episode of the show until January of 1980, when I finally returned to the US after two years in Germany.  At the time, it probably was a decent TV show....compared to some really bad shows (BAD Cats, the Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo, and Hart to Hart).

Today, a show like this would last through twenty episodes and then be tossed at the end of the season.  Most folks would say it doesn't reflect real cruise situations: lousy food, sanitation issues, passengers drunk for 24 hours a day, drugged-up women flashing old guys, and violent assaults.

So it'll be dragged into some port....torn apart....gutted, and sold for scrap.  Maybe some Turkish guy will video this whole process and make a new TV show where iron men take on various Love Boat characters as they get into the guts of the ship.

Million Muppet March

In the last couple of days....a couple of guys....apparently from the 'other' coast (always meant to be west coast)....got around to this idea of the Million Muppet March.  The deal is that millions would descend down to Washington DC...the weekend prior to the election....just four weeks away.

I sat and looked over this story.  First, to organize and put this out and get folks in the frame of mind to make an event like this.....in less than four weeks....it'd be practically impossible.

Showing up on the first Saturday in November in DC?  Well....I can typically vouch that it'll be in the high 30's at 6AM on a Saturday like that, and it's a thirty-percent chance of rain.

So, you'd meet with your associates down near the Metro station, and walk out, to walk a mile or two....with signs or Muppet gear in your hands, and talk up saving PBS, Big Bird, Ernie and Bert, and the NPR folks.  The possibility of the real Big Bird showing up?  I'm guessing if you make $300k a year as the feathered guy....you have a stake in this, and he probably will be there.  Fake Big Birds?  Republican fake Big Birds?  Well....yeah....they might be there too.

How many folks will show up?  With 100k college students within an hour's drive of DC....I'd be guessing at least 60k people do show up.  Folks from New York City will take the train down.  A couple of dozen buses from various states within a eight-hour drive will make it too.

My humble guess is that the PBS guys might need a "wing and a miracle" in the coming financial negotiation period. At the very least, they are looking at a ten-percent cut in their budget....which means the big billionaire charity guys who will be asked to make up the difference.  The worst case scenario?  Around half the 400-odd million government budget is cut, and some serious decisions start to be made.....with some folks connected to PBS asked to take a thirty percent pay-cut.

A political fight brewing in 2013 over radical folks upset with PBS funding cuts?  Yeah....expect it.  Sadly, you as a local Representative in Louisiana might suddenly find an intellectual swing vote in your district of seven hundred folks who want you to sign a contract to "love" PBS....meaning you will vote to fund them completely.

A comedy?  Yes.  You can imagine this whole story getting out to various foreign countries, and some French news guy is asked to explain the whole PBS mess.  The details of Big Bird making $300k a year on his PBS contract?  This will all be treated as a comedy in the end.

Will I attend the Million Muppet March?  I'm debating this.  It's a Saturday and just twenty minutes away by bus and train.  I dig up a Cookie Monster puppet, and just walk around like an idiot for two hours.....to view the mess in DC as it unfolds.  There might be some great human interest stories out of this in the end.

Saving Ernie, the Count, and Kermit....have crept into American politics.  You can tell....something is just plain wrong here.