Friday, September 25, 2009


Wherein I Agree With Micheal Moore. Really!

Having a surplus of vacation time, most of which I'd lose Jan. 1, 2010 if I don't use it, I've been taking off the Fridays my son has an away football game. This leaves me with plenty of time during the day to surf the web, blog, watch TV and such. Today while surfing and blogging, I tired of CNN and FoxNews and ended up at MSNBS where Dylan Ratigan interviewed Micheal Moore about his new movie.

Being the open-minded, intellectually curious guy that I am (and too lazy to get up and change the channel), I listened to Moore and Ratigan. Despite Moore's use of the term "teabagger" (maybe he's having fantasies), I found myself agreeing with everything he said unless I wanted to argue meaningless semantics.

Moore asserted that politicians, both sides, were willing to change the rules of banking that allowed the financial crisis because of the money the politicians receive from banking institutions, Plus, he points out many also get jobs once out of Congress. He recommends forbidding Senators and Representatives from ever being lobbyists as well as be forbidden from working in certain industries for at least 10 years.

Moore also describes his experience of going out and meeting middle class and upper class people who believed in the system, worked hard, had success and then got screwed. He points out the anger just under the surface and seems to give at least some credibility to the "teabaggers" as does Ratigan when he mentions "valid anger and rage." Ratigan also speaks of the current system as being designed to commit "generational theft" and Moore agrees.

Speaking of the broken democratic process, Moore asserts that if the process is so broken that it doesn't hear the people, doesn't let them in, doesn't allow them to run for office because they don't personally have the millions to run for Congress, we can't expect "a pleasant way." He recommends publicly financed elections with a short, defined campaign period.

Making this point, Moore comes close to thoughts I've had for a long time. That is, why should either party be able to forbid anyone from voting in their primary if the cost of the primary election is publicly funded? I wouldn't mind having elections which are a preliminary/run-off format. For instance the top three candidates from the preliminary face-off in the final election with no division by party lines.

Moore and I disagree on many issues, I'm sure, but not on the issues discussed in this interview. I see some hope. Maybe we can get some change.

Watch the whole interview and be and sure the clip about Timothy Geitner at the very end. It starts out "Geitner has been a failure at pretty much everything he's done in his life."

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