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Anyone listening to Timothy Geithner testify this morning to the Senate Financial Services Committee has to have the image of nailing jello to a tree come to mind.  Okay, maybe you have to be Southern or a bit strange to have that particular thought, but you get the idea.  It’s a perfect description of what is occurring in the dog and pony show of the day playing out on Capitol Hill today.

To their credit, some legislators are starting to get it or appear to be getting at least an inkling of what “it” is.  Maybe it’s just their self-preservation gene kicking into high gear, but perhaps a few of them are also starting to see the light of day.  Hope springs eternal, but surely SOME of them will realize we are all up the creek without so much as a paddle, much less a rudder to steer us and we’re heading for the falls.

It’s more and more clear however, that the administration has no direction nor concept of what the American people are thinking.  The news today that Mr. Geithner was going to seek broad new powers to regulate non-bank financial companies should be chilling to us all. 

Geithner joined Bernanke in calling for greater governmental authority over complicated and troubled financial companies…power they likened to the authority wielded over banks by the FDIC. That includes the power to seize control of institutions, take over their bad loans and other illiquid assets and sell good ones to competitors as they see fit.  All designed of course, to save us from ourselves.

Here’s an idea.  Just STOP!  Freeze!  Don’t pass go or collect another gazillion dollars.

Give ANY of the few dozen ideas and trillions of imaginary dollars yet to be printed but already thrown into the economy time to percolate and see if they have any effect at all.  To constantly dodge and weave by shifting direction and message without letting anything work through the system, is a process doomed to fail.  To THEN make the next move before anything already done can produce results, is simply ludicrous.

It makes no sense at all to keep confusing, avoiding or adding to the initial problem.  We’re trying to fix the credit crunch, the housing industry meltdown, national health care, energy consumption, unemployment, and anything else in the kitchen sink all at the same time.  Next we’ll be worried about price gouging on the price of tea in China or in fixing the relationships of psychotic Hollywood starlets.

Work on the most immediate problem first.  Pay it more than lip service.  Don’t just throw money we don’t have at the wall to see what sticks.  Think a plan through all the way for once, from start to finish..with actual details and step by step contingency plans. 

I was a computer science major and geek before it was cool to be a computer geek, years before the age of personal computers.  We had to learn how to make a flowchart before we began to program.  We were taught to think in a linear manner from point A to point B to point C and allow for variables along the way.  The end result however, was a fixed point and destination.  There was order..it made sense.

Let’s get back to basics.  The old ways are sometimes best.  I tell my students all the time that I have no problem if they use a calculator or a computer for work or research.  The one catch I give them is this…you can only use the tools that make it faster and easier to get the work done, IF you already know HOW to do it without using them.  You have to know and learn the process before you start to take shortcuts. 

We’ve made things too easy or too quick for too long.  We’ve lost our basic skills and let the machine overtake us rather than paying attention and keeping watch.  It’s time to backtrack.  It’s time to re-learn to do things the right way.

It’s time to stop trying to push through agendas.

This is a matter of survival, not time for Romper Room game time.

Quit trying to nail jello to a tree and take a stand without being slimy or trying to wiggle out of a definitive answer.

Take a stand.  Then even if you’re wrong, you don’t end up looking like a weenie.

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