Our Political Opponents Believe Whatever We Say They Believe

I can think of two groups with whom I have some sympathy -- the Tea Party and climate skeptics -- who share one problem in common:  the media does not come to them to ask them what their positions are.  The media instead goes to their opposition to ask what their positions are.  In other words, the media asks global warming strong believers what the skeptic position is, without ever even talking to skeptics.  It should be no surprise then that these groups get painted with straw men positions that frequently bear no resemblance to their actual beliefs.

Paul Krugman provides an excellent example.  He writes:  (shame on the blog author for not linking Krugman's article, here is the link)

Or we’re told that conservatives, the Tea Party in particular, oppose handouts because they believe in personal responsibility, in a society in which people must bear the consequences of their actions. Yet it’s hard to find angry Tea Party denunciations of huge Wall Street bailouts, of huge bonuses paid to executives who were saved from disaster by government backing and guarantees.

This is really outrageous.  I am not a Tea Partier because they hold a number of positions (e.g. on immigration and gay marriage) opposite of mine.  But to say they somehow have ignored cronyism and bailouts is just absurd.  TARP was one of the instigations, if not the key instigation, for the Tea Party.  As I have written any number of times, the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street actually shared a number of common complaints about bank bailouts and cronyism.

David Harsanyi has more here.

By the way, it is Hilarious to see Krugman trying to claim the moral high ground on Cronyism, as he has been such a vociferous proponent of the Fed balance sheet expansion, which will likely go down in history as one of the greatest crony giveaways to the rich in history.


  1. ErikEssig:

    Perhaps someone should write a book called The Strange Case of Dr. Krugman (the economist) and Krugtron the Invincible (the hack op-ed writer). Harsanyi is always worth a read.

  2. Matthew Slyfield:

    You won't run into too many problems from assuming that whatever Paul Krugman says is wrong.

  3. Ignoramus:

    Your theme is that it's unfair and misleading for the media to define you by only talking to opponents. But you're doing the same thing with the Tea Party.
    The "Tea Party" is not a political party. Rick Santelli started a movement with an epic rant before Obama took office. The focus was concern over a runaway federal government. Many politicians glommed onto this and muddied the message. e.g., Michelle Bachman, including by renaming a religious right organization to be the Tea Party Express. Media have played along, because it favors the Establishment, especially Democrats, with whom they're allied.
    Ironically, within the Republican party, true Tea Partiers get marginalized because they have a narrow objective that doesn't fit with the goals of the Big Statists and the Religious Right.
    If we had better media reporting more Americans would know of the dangers of the deficits we're running, and they way that the Fed is papering it over. That's one of the main concerns of true Tea Partiers. Instead, the Tea Party has been vilified and the brand trashed,

  4. HenryBowman419:

    I didn't think the Tea Party had a position on gay marriage. It was started almost exclusively about runaway Federal spending, and I thought focused on that issue more than any other. That is not to say that some candidates supported by the Tea Party did not have some anti-gay-marriage views, but I figured that the Tea Party supported such candidates for other reasons.

  5. W. C. Taqiyya:

    It's far too convenient to blame the media for the shortcomings of the messengers. Had the tea party or movement or grass roots eruption put some effort into developing a coherent platform and leadership cadre, they would still have most of the problems you discuss but at least we would have a better idea about what positions they take on the issues. Their message would have been delivered. Instead, they have frittered away opportunity and time by declining to organize. This failure to organize has fragmented it's message and is the fault of those in the movement or party or whatever it is. Ross Perot attracted millions more voters than the tea party can muster. He did it by organizing and broadcasting a focused economic message. This political stuff isn't easy, but it's not rocket science either. If the tea party can't get it done, I blame them first. Heck, I still have no idea where they stand on most things and I'm not inclined to find out on my own since all I see is a bunch of conflicted, scattered messages. Screw em. The tea party is a flash in the pan bunch of whiners from easy street. Tax em till they they decide they have something real to say and aren't afraid to say it. First thing I want to know is where they were when Ross Perot was telling them what was going to happen to the middle class? That boat sailed and now they complain? Sheesh.

  6. Russ R.:

    Rick Santelli's epic rant took place in February 2009, after Obama took office.

  7. Carl:

    Even if you believed Perot's message about deficits and cronyism, you had plenty of reason to doubt Perot the man after he jumped in and out of the race on a whim.

  8. W. C. Taqiyya:

    Perot was dead right about that giant sucking sound of jobs and industry going to points south and east. NAFTA. Those blue tinged middle class jobs are gone. But, Perot the man is hardly the point. The point is, he got his message out. Which is the topic addressed above. Moreover, the economic issues he addressed are directly related to the issues the tea party folks claim to be interested in. They notice the high tax burden a bit more now do they? Why? Maybe because there are fewer middle class taxpayers? Whether Perot was the ideal man for president or not did not prevent the tea party people from joining the broader cause. Or, if it did, I guess they just didn't care. But they cry a river now. First they came for the manufacturing jobs, textile, heavy industry and assembly plants but the tea party didn't care because they had comfortable white collar jobs. And now? There's not enough people left to make any difference, to listen, to care. And they STILL won't organize, develop leaders or put a coherent platform together. No wonder so many mock the tea party. No wonder the tea party is a major fail and no wonder I say it is their fault.

  9. marque2:

    NAFTA isn't a problem to most folks. It was a problem for Perot who had an airport with a free trade exemption. If Nafta passed there would be no need for his airport. Billionaires saying things usually say things that will line their pockets most.

    Next up T Boon Pickings and his slimey support of wind power that had the left in love with him - when Pickens stood to make billions off of government subsidies and expansion of the Natural gas market ( for windmill power backup)

  10. Not Sure:

    The issue isn't a lack of organization or leadership or communication. The problem is the fact that any of that is necessary at all, in order to attempt to keep yourself from getting gutted like a fish by other people who want to use the power of the government to take what's yours.

  11. MNHawk:

    I don't recall one single Journalism School Graduate of Genius (outside of one in Wichita) capable if asking a couple of Koch Brothers what Libertarians believe. They're only capable of asking Harry Reid what they believe.

  12. W. C. Taqiyya:

    Since the topic of coyote's blog post was the issue of messaging, I think you have wandered in another direction. However, to the extent that effective messaging requires organization, leadership and communication, you are flat wrong to say they are not or should not be required. What strange utopia do you envision where politics is about anything but power and nobody gets hurt or unfairly advantaged? Of course people are trying to advantage themselves, that is the purpose of politics. And in that process, there are losers and winners. Just now, the topic is how and why the tea party is having a dificult time getting their political message out there and drumming up enough support to prevail. If they were to prevail, they would get more of the money now going to others. It's always about money and power. Always.

  13. W. C. Taqiyya:

    Yep, you are correct, if you don't mind, it don't matter. Lemme guess, a tea party sympathizer? LOL

  14. Ignoramus:

    Russ R corrected me. The Santelli rant was in Feb 2009. But the movement started before Obama took office with concerns over TARP and the initial Detroit bailout.

    The Tea Party isn't a political party. It's an autonomous collective trying to work within our de facto two-party system, which mostly means within the Republican party. You can't expect the same level of organization and focus that a billionaire like Perot could pull off. That said, the Tea Party primal scream is what delivered the House to the Republicans in 2010.

    As to social issues, here's Rand Paul currently saying the Republicans need to soften on social issues, including gay marriage.
    I'd say that Rand Paul is closer to being a true Tea Party spokesman than the likes of social conservatives like Michelle Bachman who glommed onto the label when it was trendy.
    Current MSM coverage enables vilification of the Tea Party, which tends to marginalize it. But if you believe as I do that our fiscal hose is so out of order, and that so many parts of our federal government have run amok, then the Tea Party and its core precepts will hopefully be ascendant, and the sooner the better.

  15. Matthew Slyfield:

    Perot has no connection to the tea party. He was a political has been long before the tea party formed in the wake of the TARP bailouts.

  16. marque2:

    You are absolutely correct - but some folks still pine for his incoherent set of policies. And my point is "That giant sucking sound" wasn't NAFTA stealing from all of us - it was NAFTA making his billion dollar free trade airport - an exemption he lobbied hard to get - irrelevant.

    When billionaires say populist things you need to be careful. They became billionaires by being shrewd business - not by being soft and nice.

  17. Not Sure:

    " Just now, the topic is how and why the tea party is having a dificult time getting their political message out there and drumming up enough support to prevail."
    Actually, the topic is the media's tendency to use a group's opponents to define that group's position(s). The tea party and climate change skeptics are used as examples of such. Aside from that, well- carry on.

  18. WasteNot:

    I live in what used to be the utopia of a strictly limited federal government of only enumerated powers in which there was little enough discretion to pick winners and losers on a national basis. Wise judges on the Supreme Court, urged on by contestants determined to be political winners arguing before them, have concluded that we should expand the regulatory power of the federal government to better allow politicians to more winners and losers and to accept the graft that attends the process. I'm generally far left of the Democrat Party on social principles - I favor not only gay marriage, but polygamy, multigamy, and even pederasty for those who can consent and I think even unpopular speech is a right under the First Amendment. I consider myself a tea partier (small initial letters) because I think government should be restrained to the extent possible (and that governments over time have inflicted orders of magnitude more misery on people than any corporations and therefore are far more dangerous than corporations), that political correctness is nothing more than tyranny, that markets are fairer than the political process for the most part and are more effective at solving issues than bureaucrats, and that individuals are best positioned to solve their own problems. I know lots of other people who have similar views who also think of themselves as tea partiers. They hate the Republicans, like I do, because the Republicans like the opportunity for graft that large government and dependent client groups afford. I think the Murray Gell-Mann Principle assures that tea partiers' true message does not ever pass through the media filter accurately. I hardly recognize what I see reported as against my personal experience.

  19. Matthew Slyfield:

    You haven't said anything I can disagree with. I was just commenting on W. C. Taqiyya's odd desire to somehow connect Perot to the Tea Party.

  20. W. C. Taqiyya:

    I'm very happy for you and super glad that you were kind enough to share your political views with us. That part about once living in a utopia of a strictly limited government is the only item I hesitate to believe. And that is only because you have to be a darn sight older than me to have lived way back then, never mind remember it. Happy trails pardner, glad they didn't get you at the Alamo.

  21. W. C. Taqiyya:

    I hesitate to respond to you yet again because I feel this may risk offending you. But it should not if you pay close attention. Here goes; there is no substantive difference in meaning between what coyote described in his post and what I described as the tea parties failure to deliver its message. There will always be political opponents twisting your message. There will always be counter messages. It is in the nature of political discourse. The difference between coyote and myself was the degree to which we assigned responsibility for said interference. I placed more of it on the tea party. That is all.

  22. W. C. Taqiyya:

    OK, giving a troll his due, I'll run with the bait for a bit. Oh, didn't you know that Perot was the godfather of the tea party? His connection to the tea party is well established and even discussed in polite society. Unfortunately, there are some ugly rumors going around that Perot's financing of the Texas Tea Party is connected to Sarah Palin and some hanky panky. The numbers are huge and may even involve millions of dollars. I hope there are no pictures or videos to derail Sarah's bright political prospects for 2016. Oh sure, Perot is not easily diverted from his dreams of duty free shops in his new airports staffed entirely with topless Mexican girls. Moreover, confident informers say T. Bone Pickens has recently joined up with Perot in some gas for oil for silver for cigars deal that will topple the Cuban government and place Pickens on the throne. Then, it's gonna be horse racing and casino boogie nights all over again. Good times.

  23. Bram:

    Wasn't Krugman in favor of the bailouts? Weren't the big bailouts at the end of the Bush Administration - before the Tea Party even started?

    What kind of drugs is Krugman on?

  24. marque2:

    The extent of Perot's T-Party activity is his family donating $172,000 to GOP candidates for the 2010 election. Some happened to be "Tea Party." The rest is some kinda conspiracy theory or some rant you made up in your own head.

    I also note one or two left wing blogs making similar claims as you are. All the Reform Party folks are claimed to be Tea Party now for no really solidly apparent reason.

  25. W. C. Taqiyya:

    Sigh, I think you may have missed something rather pertinent marque2. This ----> "OK, giving a troll his due, I'll run with the bait for a bit." <---- Huge Hint. The last time, a year or three back, I spent any time on this blog I do not remember seeing as many dull comments. Coyote had a better audience back then and he deserves one now because his opinions are very good and mostly correct. But the level of reading comprehension I see is ridiculous and nobody seems to be able to stay on topic. Government schools.....what can you do?

  26. Matthew Slyfield:

    Asking the Koch Brothers what Libertarians believe wouldn't get you any better an answer than asking Harry Reid.

  27. marque2:

    I think you just like to make fun of people. And you change your POV with the wind to do it. Are you sure you aren't the troll?

    The topic is whether or not it is fair that the T-parties opponents get to define the T-party. Do you have any serious comment about that? Or did your government school preclude you from staying on topic.

  28. rst1317:

    " as the sociologist William Julius Wilson has documented, the flight of industry from urban centers meant that minority workers literally couldn’t get to those good jobs, and the supposed cultural causes of poverty were actually effects of that lack of opportunity. " ~Kurgman

    Weird, the paper here doesn't really claim what he says. And what Krugman says doesn't quite make sense. If those were good jobs, one could afford a car. If you couldn't, by it's very nature, it wasn't a good job.

    If you had a good job, jobs merely moving out to some burb weren't a problem if a minority. You could just drive all that much further to it. And you'd probably end up moving out there too. The job didn't switch location and somehow magically since you were a minority you got left behind.

    Williamson's paper is addressing the current situation. He points out that if you grow up poor in the city today, it's hard to find access to those jobs. Interestingly enough he acknowledges that Mexican immigrants have managed to overcome this by social means and organizing van pools.

    In fact, Williamson explicitly calls for car-pool and van-pool networks. Krugman on the other hand is too busy playing politics as a team sport to acknowledge that those sort of networks are difficult to pull off due to all sorts of regulations and laws restricting them and even flat out banning them.. It's rare to find a place where dollar vans are legal, often because of regulations and laws outlawing them put in place my "progressive" Democrats.



  29. rst1317:

    FYI, it's T Boone Pickens Jr.

    For what it's worth, Pickens claims to have lost $300M on his giant wind project, @ a 1/4 of his personal wealth.

    Regardless of the details, I don't want to take away from what you're really getting at. T. Boone Pickens clearly was and still is using legislation and regulatory captures to steer $$$$$$$$ toward businesses that he has invested in.

  30. rst1317:

    For those not familiar with Krugman, all sorts of other people have long documented false claims he's made. Most entertaining to me are the claims that he makes and then later denies.

  31. W. C. Taqiyya:

    I guess the consensus is that the tea party is not a political party. And, maybe it's not important to precisely define it in institutional terms. Maybe a new name besides 'tea party' would be something to consider or maybe they should get organized? There is no doubt that Rick Santelli struck a nerve with his rant and I like to think that was a good thing. The bank bailouts and numerous financial bubbles are an outrage and very dangerous. I also agree that the political interest Santelli provoked gave control of the House to Republicans. Another step in the right direction, small though it was. In the intervening years however, I have watched as opportunistic politicians and a variety of snake oil salesman types have jumped on the tea party bandwagon to increase their public profiles and fatten their bank books. An unwitting, largely rudderless tea party gave Glen Beck, a shyster/inspirational speaker/self-promoter of the first order a lot of air time for a while. Sarah Palin demonstrated a great talent for milking her fame for TV and book deals. Michelle Bachman likewise. Hey, she fooled me to. Looking at the fresh crop of endorsed candidates and chairman of the tea party nodes, I can't help but notice the prevalence of laywers, 'financial planning' experts and recent Obama supporters in the front ranks. This can't be a good thing, but this is what comes from being an autonomous collective, you get milked for free.

    Perusing the main blog sites for the tea party patriots, express, etc. I noticed a pattern. The issues are all framed in the negative. They are against this, that and the other thing. Make no mistake, they are good things to oppose, overspending, complex tax laws and regulatory strangulation of everything, But there are better ways to express policy preferences. Always being negative is one of the blunders of the tea party. Again, no organization, no leadership leads to poor messaging. All of you corporate types know exactly what I'm saying. Focus, clarity, optimism, inclusiveness. Why and how would it make things better for everyone if we simplified the tax code? You tea party folks need to sell that message to those who may not have a giant 401k or operate their own business. Why is border control and a reasonable path to citizenship good for the hispanic and minority community? And it is. Get away from the xenophobic mantra of 'round em up', 'throw em out'. Run away from xenophobia as fast as you can. It's stupid and it turns people off. Coyote is almost 100% correct with his immigration opinion. I could drone on, but I will spare you. Two more items only, Ignoramus is pretty smart and maybe the tea party, absent any desire to organize, should work within the republican party. Energy multiplies numbers.

  32. Jay Hawk:

    Immigration and gay rights are not on the Tea Party agenda. Not one your more informed posts.

  33. W.C. Taqiyya:

    Even a fast review of the main tea party web sites will show their high level of concern about "illegal' immigration. On the gay rights thing, you may be correct.

  34. T Party:

    "I am not a Tea Partier because they hold a number of positions (e.g. on immigration and gay marriage) opposite of mine." Actually the Tea party has no position on gay rights or immigration. The Tea Party stands for 1. Lower Taxes,2. Less regulation, 3. smaller government. That's it. Maybe you should have asked the Tea Party what it stands for and not present their positions for them.

  35. Dogbumps:

    As a long time lurker, I have to chime in. The misconceptions about the t-pty abound. The fundamentals have not changed since day 1 when us hard working everyday Americans were brought awake by the financial crisis and the loss of the rule of law. For me, it was the bailouts plus the GM bk. when the union got preferential treatment over the bondholders, I became one. Our host, Mr coyote, is at heart, a t-pty person, because it is as low level as you get. It is not any politician, or CvL or Bluev.red. It is in any American liberty loving heart that instinctively just knew that what was going on was wrong. Most of us t-pty people abide by only 3 principles + my 1= Con-limited govt, open markets, individual responsibility, less taxes. That is it, and that is where local people in local different areas may diverge in our ( what is left of) Republic. No social issues whatsoever where I am. This is why the elite are afraid of us, both D and R.

    That is why the IRS was used to shut down any fundraising efforts by very, very small groups, so nothing could coalesce into something bigger. Perot had his own funds, tpty does/did not.

    My t-pty 2cents

  36. W.C. Taqiyya:

    Thanks for your two cents. Your general description of the tea party is helpful. Social issues are apparently optional depending on location. We seem to have addressed the messaging issue at some length, so I will leave that behind. Now, it is about those few primary policy issues that I have some questions. Picking one or two at your discretion for simplicity, what does the end game look like? If you chose to describe, in concise, practical, real life terms, what lower taxes and limited government would look like if the tea party won, how would you describe it? If you chose to envision what increased personal responsibility or open markets would mean on the ground, how would Americans be affected? And please don't answer with trite slogans like, "we will all have more money in our pockets" or, "we will have more liberty". I want to know what, where and who you will cut and why and how everyone will be better off for it. You can answer for yourself or your local node, as you wish.

    Maybe more important for me is the question of what, if anything, the tea party members are willing to do to achieve their goals? But first a quick review. It seems to be established and agreed by all that the "movement" of autonomous groups have failed to communicate their message to the population at large. It seems clear also that each group has it's own set of priorities, mostly focused on lower taxes and less government but sometimes including social issues. The autonomous groups will not try to join together as a national party nor work within an established party structure. Fund raising has been very difficult. Leadership, maybe not so great so far. So, the question needs to be asked, what expectations do tea partiers really have? I see that scaring the established parties, the elites, is seen as a positive thing. Beyond scaring the elites, what actions need to be taken to achieve success? Is the tea party prepared for civil disobedience? If so, at what level? Will they hold candles or erect barricades? Will they stop paying taxes or write letters to the editor? These are the some of the questions that have to be asked and answered. It's easy to say stuff. Obama says stuff all the time. It's the only thing he can do well. But it doesn't help at all. Medical costs should be lower. Everyone should have medical care, good education and a nice retirement. Roads should be built to last. Everyone should have more money. Air travel shouldn't suck. But, it's the details that count. Get those details worked out, run them up the old flagpole and let's see where you are.

  37. skhpcola:

    I bet that you wished fervently that Ron Paul had won the nomination so you could vote for him. That vibe oozes from your screeds.

  38. obloodyhell:

    Krugman somehow manages to be wrong when he makes simple arithmetic statements, like 1+1=2...

  39. obloodyhell:

    }}} But if you believe as I do that our fiscal hose is so out of order

    LOL, the funny thing is that the above assumed typo/misspelling is actually a more accurate description of what we've got than the presumed intended word... S:-{

  40. obloodyhell:

    "Polite society" of WHAT? Lunatics you know and talk to?

    I have NEVER EVER heard ANYONE assert any connection between Perot and the Tea Party, who has any valid basis for the claim. Show us a half-dozen legitimate sources -- none of them liberals -- making a connection somewhere outside your own head and that of your friends at the Happy Glades sanitorium.

    }}} Perot was dead right about that giant sucking sound of jobs and industry going to points south and east. NAFTA. Those blue tinged middle class jobs are gone.

    Those blue-tinged middle class jobs were already headed out of the nation towards other nations where labor was not so ridiculously overpriced. All that NAFTA did was keep the government from taxing us via "import fees" for actually recognizing it with our manufactured goods.

    The manufacturing sector of the USA alone, in financial terms, is tied with Germany for the fourth largest economy in the entire world. Yeah, the USA makes the same amount of money from manufacturing that Germany does for its ENTIRE economy, and that is only behind the whole economies of the USA, China, and Japan.

    That does not translate into jobs, and never, ever will again -- manufacturing is going through the final steps of the same process that started with agriculture in the 1880s and with manufacturing in the 1960s -- Agriculture went from 90% of the workforce in 1870 to less than 5% today, as mechanized agriculture took over and reduced the number of people needed to produce farm products. So, too, is robotics doing the same thing with factories, as robotic machinery reduces the number of people needed to produce factory goods towards 5% of the population.

    We are in an IP and Services Economy now, and have been for several decades

    That's where all new jobs are going to come from -- knowledge work, and providing services -- not from the manufacturing sector -- that ship has sailed, and rightly so. An effort to hold onto the status quo would have been stupid beyond any rational justification.

    There's a reason why "Luddite" is an aspersion. Holding onto the status quo in a universe of change, of "creative destruction", is positively ephtarded.

  41. Matthew Slyfield:

    If Krugman said the sky was blue I would look out the window to make sure it hadn't turned green or something.

  42. W. C. Taqiyya:

    I'm sorry, your response does not compute. If you had something constructive to contribute or a specific answer to my specific questions, you would earn a gold star. However, your obsession with Ron Paul, while amusing, does not advance the ball and will only earn you a well deserved trip to the principles office. While you sit in detention, you will be asked to read the introductory passages of several fourth grade story books. After you read each passage several times, you will then describe what you think the author's point was. After carefully comparing your opinion to the actual words and phrases of the author, you may, after much practice, learn to discriminate between what you wish to see and what the author is actually trying to communicate. Good luck in your endeavors.

  43. skhpcola:

    "What the author [sic] is actually trying to communicate" actually comes through quite clearly. You are a megalomaniacal assclown that enjoys bloviating at length about nothing, in a condescending fashion. You make the ideal liberaltarian booster...a know-nothing retard that has an elevated opinion of himself.

  44. W.C. Taqiyya:

    Yes, I am an evil person. I must be, because my questions upset you. My questions about nothing. I'm glad to finally make your acquaintance Mr. Oz and thank you so much for clarifying what the tea party is. First, it is really nothing. The Wizard of Oz said so. Thus, it is nothing serious and therefore not to be pitied or sympathized or supported. Also, it is peopled with lazy, extrememly self centered people who can't be bothered with any of the work associated with politics. Like organizing or developing a coherent platform of policy ideas. They are each content in the firm, even fanatical knowledge that their individual vision of the tea party is the correct one. They are correct, anyone who disagrees or questions is wrong and that is what matters. Lots of luck tea party. By which I really mean, hello failure!

    Name calling is the best the Wizard can muster. And yet, he claims perfectly "clear" understanding. Jeepers, the Wizard is a scary guy. I was going to send him back to the principle's office but no, it's back to mommy this time for some really serious remedial training. That potty mouth for starters. Thanks for playing though.

  45. marque2:

    I might not have great Google fun - but I couldn't find anything on the Internetnre Reform party = to tea party. There were only two blogs I found one was a comparison of the rise and fall of reform vs the state of T. Seems they see hope that the t-party is going away.

  46. marque2:

    We had big bailouts and stimulus both at the end of Bush - which is what got the T party started. I was one who called my congress critters and told them no. We also had a trillion more in the first year of Obama.

    If you think the t-party is just an anti Obama thing you would be wrong.

  47. mjazzguitar:

    I take it by your use of quotation marks that non citizens entering the country without passports or visas isn't "illegal"?

  48. marque2:

    T Boon Pickens Jr. made a big bet that he could convince Americans to be "green" when a lot of us didn't care, many didn't want to give Pickens money, and we were all getting overwhelmed with Green garbage.

    He made a bet, and this time he lost. I am sure he found ways for the Government to pay him back for the losses, and many of the losses were from investors he duped. I doubt it was a $300 million personal loss.