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When you first teach the art of psychotherapy, you realize that there are some people who naturally understand the language of emotions and some who do not.

I'm glad you said "art" rather than science. I am a bit skeptical about a "science" in which each decade, the fundamental guiding theories are completely turned on end, but the application and practice which is supposedly based on those theories never seems to change. Hop in my couch and tell me about your relationship with your mother ....

We always expected that the president was elected by the people. ... We always thought presidents wanted to win by the vote counts and not use the Federal courts to override voters.

Once Gore contested the election certification in Florida, the process was certain to be decided in court. The contest procedure explicitly includes a central role for the judiciary. It was Gore, not Bush that put the final determination of the election in the hands of the courts.

We always thought presidents collaborated with the head of the Fed on economic policy. We always thought presidents tried to calm us and not to stir up fear or support for their own policies by recklessly proclaiming a recession on the horizon. Many of us with these expectations have been shaken by the events of the last weeks.

Presidents must lead. Leadership is not found in looking at clear evidence of a recession and proclaiming all is well.

Keep in mind, that all of the economic indicators that are commonly used to measure the strength of the economy are backward indicators. That is, they measure trends that are already established. The fact is that consumer confidence is shrinking, the capital markets have dried up, the equity markets are in full retreat, unemployment is rising. All of the major auto manufacturers are showing losses - with record sales, and have idled plants due to over production (and the auto sector is one of the big engines of the economy). The retail sector, for which this time of the year is critical, is reporting slower than usual sales.

So how is the President Elect being reckless by just pointing to plain facts and saying that the economy may be slowing down? Would you rather the emporer blithly stroll naked down wall street proclaiming all is well?

Don.
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