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Be still and observe the crazy
Observe. Orient. Decide. Act.
That is the OODA loop. It is a decision-making framework that was conceived by the brilliant and misanthropic Colonel John Boyd in response to unacceptable air combat losses during the Korean War. The concept has spread far beyond the cockpit, and is viewed by many, including me, as the most genius decision-making structure ever articulated. It is simple, elegant and foolproof. The OODA loop can be applied in every conceivable type of situation — from navigating the Southwest airlines ticket counter to managing a presidential campaign, to quarterbacking in the Super Bowl, to landing on the moon.
What does it mean to observe? Is it a different type of action than watching or seeing? What is there to observe on the 11th day of the new year in America? What could we see yesterday that will help us orient towards the realities of this moment that will guide our next decision and action around what to do?
The elemental questions, in the end, will always be these:
What is our action?
What are we to do about this?
How will we stand opposed to it?
How will we be effective?
What should we do in the end?
The Gallup organization released a survey measuring ethics in 13 different American professions. Unsurprisingly, the results confirm hundreds of other public opinion research studies that conclude that the American people hold their politicians and journalists in near equal contempt. This makes sense given the co-dependency between the two. America’s corporations have corrupted the newsroom every bit as much as they have corrupted Capitol Hill. Among the findings:
A 42% plurality of Americans think journalists have “very low” or “low” ethical standards, 35% rate them as average and 23% as high.
At the bottom of the rankings, solid majorities rate the ethics of members of Congress low. Less than 10% rate their ethics highly.
For now, let us just observe what happened yesterday.
Fox News has merged with the MAGA House. Sean Hannity played a leading role in constructing the secret deal that bought Speaker in Name Only McCarthy to temporary and limited power. Let’s watch this disturbing town hall meeting with the MAGA House leadership, including the sociopathic Elise Stefanik, whose lack of principles was recently celebrated as shrewd and canny in the pages of The New York Times.
Beyond the utter lack of diversity in the room itself — which looks like a scene out of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ — the most amazing part of this is Hannity’s denunciation of the East Coast elite. He lives in the Hamptons. He makes $36 million per year, owns more than $100 million in real estate, has a home in Palm Beach, and flies in a G-V.
George Santos was feeling very confident in his position yesterday. He was confident enough to taunt Adam Kinzinger over at CNN:
Santos is a member of the United States Congress in good standing. He is an impostor. He may not even be a US citizen. He appears to be a criminal, and he is most certainly a fraud. Nobody in the Republican Party seems to care.
The media was filled with “experts” absurdly declaring that Donald Trump’s theft of the United States’ most closely-held secrets and most classified information is suddenly a closed issue because of a developing story concerning President Biden mishandling White House documents.
Hundreds of Americans died from Mexican fentanyl yesterday, and it was barely talked about.
New revelations were reported on CNN by the estimable Jamie Gangel in the developing sexual assault allegations against Matt Schlapp, the leader of the largest North American fascist organization and Victor Orban’s chief American lieutenant.
The MAGA House majority is getting ready to destroy the president’s troubled son in a spectacle of political blood sport that will set every record for shame that there has ever been.
The MAGA House also announced the formation of a grotesque investigation that will quickly be the equal of the House Un-American Activities Committee. It will become the MAGA coliseum where the American people and the US Constitution are abused.
What we observed today is brazen lying, staged propaganda events, an emboldened sociopathic imposter, MAGA threats to women’s rights, further developments in the sexual assault allegations of an American fascist leader and the mainstreaming of Marjorie Taylor Greene.
The American people narrowly created a MAGA majority of extremists in the United States House of Representatives. This week’s extremism is the first steps towards a type of abyss that will get very close in the months ahead. Have no doubt. The actions of this week guarantee a default on the US debt ahead. We are just getting started.