Thursday, January 08, 2009

Obama’s Message

James Fallows taught me to look for the sub-message in this blog entry about Mr. Obama’s selection of Eric Shinseki as Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

”But in his (reported) choice of Eric Shinseki as Secretary of Veterans Affairs, there is also an extremely refined aspect of sticking in the shiv. “

”...not to mention a Japanese-American honored for lifelong military service on Pearl Harbor Day. “

”As for the other symbolic element -- that Obama is elevating the man who was right, when Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Cheney, et al were so catastrophically wrong -- that is something that neither Obama nor anyone around him need say out loud, ever. “

When I watched Mr. Obama’s speech from today, I almost failed to notice that it was at George Mason University (GMU). In my constant reading since retirement, I thought I had noticed a correlation between GMU and conservative talking points -- such as “Business Good, Government Bad.” The speech (and Mr. Fallows) inspired me to take a look. It didn’t take long.

From Media Transparency

”The heavy stream of money invested in George Mason University offers a striking example of the attention that conservative foundations have paid to the recruitment and training of college youth. Located just outside the Washington, D.C. beltway and offering good access to national decision makers, George Mason University has been a magnet for right-wing money for over a decade.

From 1992 through 1994, the 12 foundations invested a combined total of $8.55 million in various academic programs and institutes of George Mason University. This amount placed the University third among all academic and non-academic grantees, traiing only the more prestigious University of Chicago and the Heritage Foundation. “

From The Washington Post

”The law and economics program at the University of Chicago and a famous program founded at the University of Miami and now part of the George Mason University Law School in Fairfax have received millions from Scaife. “

”Scaife has given tens of millions to favored academic departments, from the George Mason University department of economics (a bastion of free-market economic theory) to a now-defunct security studies program at New York University.“

Richard Mellon (yes, those Mellons) Schaife is a name you need to remember.

I’m not savvy enough to know for certain that I’m getting the sub-message. The main message was loud and clear. Wall Street and Big Business have failed leaving the Government as the only player left, capable of cleaning up the mess. In other words, Big Government is back. That isn’t exactly what GMU has been teaching. Again, I could be wrong but I’m thinking the sub-message was, “Get on board or get run over.”

Don Brown
January 8, 2009

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