The President’s Silence Speaks Volumes. He Has Been Digging a Hole That He Can’t Get Out Of

Why is the President being so quiet on twitter lately?  I think I know.  Since his approval rating has significantly risen, the last thing he wants to do is inject some controversial commentary on issues such as the porn star scandal.

I am sure he would really like for the whole scandal to fall off the national and cable news cycles.  In some ways, the story has become more of a tabloid sex scandal than an important matter effecting many Americans.  By deliberately being silent on the issues that can affect the perception of his morals as well as his controversial behavior, he seems to be waiting for the shit storms to pass so that he can get the message out regarding his recent accomplishments as well as getting on with governing. Interestingly, he continues to trot his press staff out to the briefings to defend him.  Unfortunatley, they have not been afraid to lie on his behalf, yet by him not personally sending out outrageous tweets, he has been able to avoid some of the blow back.

 

To me, I think his silence is serving a more personal purpose.  We have to remember that he is married with a young child. Whether he acknowledges it or not, his behavior as a father and a husband does have an effect on his day-to-day life.  I am sure that he wants to put the wreckage of his past behind him.

His wife, sons and daughters perception of him has a huge impact on his life.  Although many in the media portray him as a monster, I am sure he would like to be perceived as someone of high moral character.  The problem with family is that you can only bullshit them so long.  They will only tolerate his shenanigans until they rub off on them.  As with any family, as a group, they together make up the whole of the family culture.  As far as Melania is concerned, being humiliated and jilted as a result of his morally bankrupt actions is probably not good for their relationship.  People say that she knew what she was getting into when she married him.  I don’t care what anyone says, the truth is that she expected him to be faithful and when he wasn’t, she never expected to have her nose rubbed in it.  As far as his kids and grandkids go, I am sure he wants to have them look up to him.  Given all of that, as any member of a family, when faced with such controversy, it is probably best to be quiet.

For President Trump, he must be worried about the truths that will be unmasked regarding his behavior with Stormy.  Remember Stormy is a porn actress, not a librarian. I don’t think he can just say it didn’t happen and make the whole scandal go away. Between the affair and the cover up, he knows the whole thing won’t dissipate with his normal practice of distraction.  I also believe that whatever Putin is holding as leverage over him has forced him to be unusually supportive of him.  Otherwise I believe he would act like a bull in a china shop and treat Russia the same as he does with any other country.  Once again, if and when the truth came out it could further distress his relationship with his family.

No matter what he says, I think that his family and his real friends are more important to him than the current disaster that is his Presidency.  I almost believe that if he had his druther, he would rather be running his businesses.  At least then, he could control everything that is going on around him.  He is far more comfortable and expertly more knowledgable about the realty and hospitality businesses than the government.  Even if he fails at that in the short run, he believes that he could work through it without the constant criticism he and his family face everyday while he is the President.

If you think about it…there is so much of a mess he is making as President and as we all know, he has never been silent about anything.  Should he fess up, he will believe that he will be percieved as loser. That is not an option for him.

I think that the the walls seem to be closing in on him and he can no longer stop it.

 

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Protest and Government

Whether you have been paying attention to the “March for Our Lives” movement or not, you have been affected, whether you recognize it or not.

The large and extremely well-organized protests on Saturday demonstrate the influence that young Americans have on the culture of this country.  The message and call for action at its core reflects a collective voice determined to challenge those who claim power and influence over our government, thus our citizens.

Out of control gun violence in America is something that needs to be acknowledged and addressed by all of us…now…not later after hundreds more innocent people are gunned down and murdered by individuals who have no business owning or carrying a gun.

The solutions are complicated, if not elusive.  If a group of high school students can organize and articulate specific demands in order to stop the violence, they are obligated to pursue change.

Although the protest is anchored by the events at a high school in Florida, the movement is inclusive of all those affected by the horrific and tragic killings happening all over this country.  Collectively, they can flex their muscles to further their message with far more strength than any one individual.

Interestingly, the entire subject of gun violence as well as possible solutions including specific gun controls is a part of a debate.  A debate…we can not forget this.  As American’s we have the right to be passionate and vocal regarding our beliefs, principles and points of view.  The whole definition of debate starts with two opposing points of view, followed by thoughtful conversation and hopefully an agreement based on compromise and respect.

As it stands now, when it comes to many in politics there is no thoughtful debate.  Those who have the ability to make changes are fighting tooth and nail to oppose anyone who challenges their agendas, regardless of how sound the demands and expectations may be.

It is discouraging to me to listen to many of the politicians and special interests try to say that their positions are based soley on what they perceive as being in the best interest of their constituents and for the associations, their membership.  For this, I call “foul”.  If you listen to some law makers and special interest groups including the NRA, you can plainly see that there is a common theme.  If you listen to the opposition speak, they are expressing some ridiculous examples on how possible solutions, in this case gun control are going to jeopardize the second amendment rights of responsible gun owners in this country.

Rick Santorum was on the Sunday shows saying that it is wrong for the protest group to expect government to do something,  He said that the students need to look at themselves for a solution, not try to force someone else to do it for them.  He said they would be better served by learning CPR.  His comments are ridiculous.  Who else are they going to seek out to force change?  Is he saying that the government and it’s representatives are not responsible for changing the laws in this country.  The NRA is also pushing arguments that are weak and diliberatly in opposition of anyone who questions their position on gun related issues.  For the NRA to push the narrative that these groups are trying to take the guns away from citizens is dangerous and ludicrous.  By getting some of their members to believe this message, they are undercutting their own mission.  I hear people say that the kids are trying to say that they will no longer have the right to defend themselves. This mis-information is based on the messages propagated by media connected to the NRA. As far as legislators, it is immoral to accept money from the special interests and demonstrate their willingness to be owned and influenced by the agendas of these groups.  If they take the money, they are obligated to support their contributors causes…This applies to the influence of all special interest groups such as oil companies, agriculture lobby and many other industries, not just the gun manufactures.

Nobody can or will destroy the second amendment.  This doesn’t mean that reasonable regulation isn’t important and appropriate.  Why would anyone say differently? Regulations that work to make the country safer are at debate, not the second ammendment.

You don’t have to be a constitutional scholar to understand how the second amendment works.  The framers of the constitution included the right to bear arms as a provision to allow Americans to take up weapons, organize and defend our democratic form of government from being overcome by any attempt by an authoritarian group to take over control of our country and our people.  More recently, the Supreme court added to the ammendment, the right for citizens to possess firearms to protect themselves.

By the way, the NRA was not created to be a special political interest that represents the gun industry.  The association was founded in 1872 to provide training for military and American gun owners to improve their accuracy and marksmanship.  Back then rifles had smooth barrels and were incredibly inaccurate.  Even today, Shooters, when hunting or range firing, would or do have to fire off several shots to hit their target. Today, safety and marksmanship are still the major components that benefit the association’s membership.  Most of the best ranges, safety and marksmanship facilities in the country are supported by the NRA.  Their lobby is really not related to those functions.

Today and for the last several years gun manufacturers fund the NRA and their political efforts, not the members.  The gun manufactures count on the association to help sell firearms. This is not to say that some gun marketing isn’t beneficial to gun owners.  In depth product demonstrations and reviews are good for the consumer.

For me the rub is that the NRA didn’t become overwhelmingly political until a few decades ago.  The first candidate that they endorsed was Ronald Reagan.

It is very relevent and important to consider that gun regulations are prescribed by state and local governments based on their individual principles, not the federal government. There are examples of these laws all over the country.  Where I live it is illegal to discharge a gun within the city limits (very small town).  Just outside the city is some of the best hunting in the country.

The fact is that three percent of the country owns half of the nations guns.  Basically, the NRA, even with five million members represents a small part of our population.  If the The political debate and the opposing arguments for gun regulation is good for America…What is not good, is forcing such opposition through funding and support of American politicians.

There in lies the argument for blaming the government for not enacting laws to protect the American people no matter what the issues are.  The truth is that the NRA as well as groups such as shale energy special interests spend a fortune on forcing individual politicians to support their industry through legislation. There efforts have nothing to do with what is in the best interest of the participating representative’s constituency, just their industry’s profits.

For the young American’s, opposition to the NRA’s message and their seduction of politicians serves them well in forcing their message.

At the end of the day, this new movement has big muscles to flex.  If not, why would the politicians and groups such as the NRA care?  Why would those that support the NRA and some politicians care about the student movement?  Why don’t these groups organize eight hundred thousand people to get their opposing message across?

I can tell you why.  As I have pointed out in many posts, those of us who are older will soon have to give way to the younger citizens who will dictate the culture and social environment of this great country.  Voter turnout has been the downfall of many good efforts to force change.  This movement promotes and strives to increase voter participation by getting our young to vote. Remember, many of these kids are around seventeen or eighteen years old which is the demographic of the lowest voter turn out.

As with any group protesting for change, the most important, effective component is their voices.  If I was on the other side of the issue, I would worry about the millions of people who will soon be able to vote as well as their parents who will support their causes at the voting booth.  No amount of money for influence will change the overwhelming effectiveness of millions coming together to insist on change.

Remember the woman’s march and the conversations and actions that continue today. Remember the protests of the sixties, when young americans were drafted into the military without a choice.  In this movement’s case and because the French were defeated, President Johnson elevated the conflict in Vietnam just to demonstrate America’s military power while causing hundreds of thousands of American servicemen’s lives.  This war was not won by anyone…Remember the Black American protests led by Martin Luther King and civil lberty groups?  We still today have a very serious need to force action to close the gap of inequality and oppression.  These examples have or will change the course of this great country’s history.

It is important to respect all sides of any argument made by any citizen of this country. We have a responsiblity to listen to everyone and take action when we can.

Just my two cents worth.

Political Bias In Congress, In The Media, And Within The Administration. Is It Really What America Needs?

two fighters   The recent Deven Nunes memo release sheds some light on very serious culture issues within our government and media.

The levels of bias between the two government parties is being raised to a potentially dangerous level given the constant us versus them behavior.  I say dangerous because each opposing party is constantly trying to discredit the other with their political point of view and applying it to some very important legislative issues.

There seems to be no middle ground.  There seems to be an attitude that one party is right on any given issue and that their counterparts are wrong.

How can 530 plus legislators all be wrong, according to their adversarial counterparts?  How can their constituents and the citizens they serve be so wrong in supporting and electing them?

I was taken back by one of the comments that Nunes made during an interview with FOX news surrounding his relationship with his counterparts on the Intel Committee.  He said that he has had to play whack a mole with them throughout the investigative process. To me those kinds of comments represent his level of maturity and a condescending attitude.  It makes me question his intentions and agenda.

His actions are just one example of party bias in both parties.  The democrat’s are not afraid to express their distane for any republican efforts.  The republican’s are not afraid to express their distane for any democratic efforts.  There is always gridlock present when it comes to furthering some very important legislative issues. When it comes to the President, it is a whole different world.  Below are some bullet points that I feel offer some insight into why our government is so dysfunctional.

  • We need to seriously take a look at what our congressional representatives are doing to further the agenda and important issues for their constituents.  If you reflect on what they promised to do and what actions they are taking towards that end, you can see that some of them purposely or involuntarily fall short. In other words,they can’t or won’t fulfil their promises.
  • Congress is a peculiar animal.  Just think about the phenomenon that happens as soon as they get into office.  They start working on the next election.  That I don’t get.  It is important however, to recognize that most legislators do the work of their constituents and thoughtfully accept responsibility for their actions relative to national issues.  It is to me, unfortunate that those who don’t, negatively reflect on the affirmative and positive activities of those that do.
  • The adversarial posture of some can at times appear to be juvenile.  Just like in high school, many of those who represent us act like their popularity within their peer group is more important than their basic responsibilities.  It is also sometimes obvious that we have law makers that have antiquated and obsolete points of view and principles. I think this contributes to why there is so much stealthy corruption, racism and good ol’ boy posturing.
  • Sooner or later (hopefully sooner), the dysfunction of our two-party branches of government will come around to reflect the culture and needs of Americans today.  I think that our government will also come around to respond to, and represent our commitments and mutual interests of our allies.  The solution is obvious, we need to inject a more current open-minded roster of ladies and gentleman into our government.  They will continue to need the mentorship of those who wield wisdom, knowledge and historical context in order to educate them an bring them into the fold.  By the way, I am referring to those that know the mechanics of government and maneuver them to the benefit of the country.
  • When we look at the media, there are several examples of inappropriate behavior. Watching some media coverage can be like a car accident.  You weren’t involved, but you can’t take your eyes off of those that were.
  • There is conservative media, liberal media, far right and far left media, conspiracy theory and propaganda media.  Think about it, they all have listeners, viewers and readers who subscribe to their viewpoints and representations.  That is the beauty of our country and the provisions of our constitution.
  • There is also some in media who behave irresponsibly or debate a  point of view just because they have a talent to manipulate their audience.  It is kind of like an attorney.  They are sworn to vigorously represent their client, no matter what the truth is.  This is a common practice among those in media who pander to their audiences with the goal of improving them or their company’s bottom line.  I personally believe that there is at least one member of the mainstream media who has abused his first amendment right and crossed the line to the point where he is meddling in our government processes.  Often I think his actions can be construed as criminal (you know who I am talking about).
  • With a couple of major exceptions, most media organizations succeed as a result of there responsible, research, knowledge and dissemination of information that is important to their audience.  Like I say, with the exception of a couple of dangerous media operations,  those that are effective are still in business, those that aren’t, are gone.
  • incidentally,  the “expert” contributors on some of these outlet’s panels are more amusing than expert.  This is not to say that most aren’t fascinating, knowledgeable and informative.  I am just saying that some are just plain out there.  Sebastian Gorka is an example of one of the many that are just plain strange.
  • What does “everyone knows this” mean when Trump speaks to a point during discussions with the media?  Why does he run his presidency on the advice of a couple of people in the media?   I can understand why he is critical of our institutions, he doesn’t know how they work.  Why does he always say that our country is a mess?  Isn’t he the maid?
  • By the way, many talking heads lately, try to compare the crap that is going on today to previous administrations, especially Obama.  At the rate Trump is going, he will be the benefactor of the worst number of scandals of all times by the end of his term.  Of course, he will say that he had the fewest and less serious ever and the scandals that he did face, he fixed them himself.

If you are interested, this link will take you to a Wikipedia page that lists scandals by Presidents and Congressional men and women.

Historical Scandals

 

 

Who is this Devin Nunes, And Why Is He So Sketchy?

Nunes    When it comes to the Republican party, it seems that there is always someone involved who marches to the beat of a different drum.  I cringe every time I hear Representative Nunes’s name in the media.  If you go to the Library of Congress site, or Wikepedia (make sure you verify the information on the site), you can see what his activities are in the House including his activities with respect to his home district.  His core positions in congress are identical to the President’s.

He dismisses global climate change.  He is for the deregulation of several laws related to environmental protections.  He is for major regulation repeal, including the provisions of the clean air act.  He supports wholesale deregulation, especially when it benefits groups such as the fossil fuel industry.    He supports in some fashion the Tax bill which overwhelmingley benefits the wealthy.  He supports Trump’s ban on muslim travel to the US.  He supported the Benghazi investigation and has maintained the position that their was a cover up by Secretary Clinton, even though all parties were eventually cleared of wrong doing.  He supports major changes to Medicare and Social Security including rasing the plan’s rates which negatively affects the growing elderly population.  He voted in favor of the 2013 government shut down which furlowed 800,000 federal workers.  In his district, he has not done a whole lot to represent central California.  With any substance, he has been active in introducing legislation related to water and irregation managemt in the San Joaquin valley.  He is also involved in highway infrastructure within the state including legislation to improve state highway 99.  It is worth pointing out that the Governor of California has played a more significant role.  Incidentaly, most of the legislation that he has been involed in may get the support of the House, but rarely does he and the committees he is associated with garner discussion or even a vote in the Senate.

Representative Nunes is an advocate of undoing any legislation or laws that President Obama passed.  He is very party biased and most of his federal efforts reflect support for the defiant GOP membership.

He has recently garnered attention because of his behavior in the house relative to the Russia investigation.  He is becoming well known for embracing and spreading conspiracy theories.  He has leaked classified information many times during his time in Congress.  He repeatedly runs to the White house to share any information he has garnered relative to the President’s involvement in the Russian meddling in our electoral process.  My sketchy label for him is because he is always very sneaky and continually leaves the democrats on the house Russia investigation out of the loop.  For a guy who says he has recused himself, he sure spends a lot of time being intimately involved.

One reason why I am sharing my thoughts about the Representative, is to point out that for the administration’s claim that they are draining the swamp, they sure support a serpent and revere him as a significant player in the GOP’s efforts to manipulate and hamper the investigation into the President’s involvement with regard to the Russian meddling.

Just look at him, he even presents himself as being shifty.  To me, it is disgusting that he and others have become lap dogs for the President.

Popular Political Talking Points. In My Opinion.

I think these talking points that are common in our daily lives deserve some of my onorthodox input and opinion.

Congress:  Currently, our government’s legislative branches are generally not working the way that they are supposed to.  The Republican party is advancing flawed legislation, repealing sensible regulations and obstructing and dismissing any Democratic party efforts to advance their agenda.  The Democratic side of government does not have a clear and productive agenda.  Instead, some Democratic law makers spend most of their time expressing their dissatisfaction and disdain for the Republicans.  In all fairness, there are members of both parties who take their roles seriously and work towards the best interests of their constituents as well as their role to work for citizens of this country as a whole.  For those that don’t, they need to step down or face a certain demand for their replacement.  This includes party leadership.  It is as simple as that.

The President:  The role of the President is to represent the best interest of all Americans.

Our president is expected to behave in a manner that reflects strong leadership, statesmanship, compassion and common sense.  While in office, the President is to focus all of his energy and efforts to this end.

The basic requirements for the job include a solid knowledge of the mechanics of government, the rules and processes of the legislative bodies and the necessary structure of the executive administration.  Another requirement is the ability to champion causes that improve American’s quality of life, safety and security.  He is required to represent our country abroad through solid relationships with our allies and on the flip side effectively manage relationships with our enemies.  As with all branches of government, the President is required to provide oversight and interaction with state and local governments including providing needed resources of the federal government.

If the President is unable to fulfil his responsibilities and job requirements, he should step down or be terminated and replaced by a qualified candidate.  As a business man, he should know this.  Again, it should be as simple as that.

The First Amendment:  This common and well publicized provision of our constitution affords all americans the right to speak freely without reprisal from our government or any group or individual that opposes us.  With this right comes responsibility.  The first amendment does not provide protection for individuals who purposely propagate malicious, defamatory or libelous statements against another,  This includes making accusations of wrong doing towards any person that are not supported by facts which could be recognized by a “reasonable” person.  The processes with in our system of justice would be the place to make such claims or statements.  Once again it seems pretty simple to me.

Free Press:  Put simply, our forefathers made provisions for the Free Press to have access to all branches of government in order to inform the public.  The first amendment, however, does not protect activities of any member of the press that includes any form of media to purposely report false information designed to damage or defame any individual in government through unsupported and non factual claims of wrong doing.  Ultimately, the free press establishes a form of checks and balances by playing a role to hold government accountable.

Russia:  Russia is an adversary of the United States, not a friend.  Any efforts by our government to recognize them differently, would not be in the best interest of the security and principles of the United States.  Any relationship, whether political or business related must be measured and reflective of the fundamental values of our country.  We need to remember that Russia does not value human life and global civility. This is contrary to the principles of the United States and our Friends.   As far as mutual agreements, Ronald Reagan used to say, extending any trust between the two countries must be verified.  It is ill advised to treat any relationships with Russia and other adversaries differently.

North Korea:  The North Korean government is an example of an authoritarian society that has little regard for the health and well-being of their population or actually, anyone else in the world.  Through propaganda, the government is able to garner allegiance even when their citizens suffer sometimes unbearable living conditions.  Kim Jong Un is one of the most dangerous and immature leaders of any country we are subjected to.  He couldn’t care less who he kills in order to establish himself and his country as a nuclear world power (or at least he thinks so).  Interestingly, Russia and China are a couple of his allies.

The Environment:  Sensible people of the United States expect our country leaders to do whatever they can to improve and preserve or environmental health.  Pollution in many forms needs to be addressed with appropriate consequences.  The only way this can be accomplished is through sensible regulations and enforcement with regard to the practices of our citizens and businesses.  The same priority is evident in the commitments of many other countries.  It is probably a stretch however, to believe that all countries will live up to their commitments.  The administrative office of the Environmental Protection Agency is tasked with enforcement as well as corrective actions and established activities administered by scientific and real world expertise.  If the Secretary can’t or doesn’t want to do his job…he should be replaced.  That is pretty simple to me.

Education; Energy; Urban Developement; Health and Human Services and Treasury:  In previous posts, I detailed my take on specific administrative departments and the functions of their leaders.  These departments are currently being run by people who have no clue of what their responsibilities are.  It is not worth trying to explain them.  If I were their boss, I would get rid of all of them.

The State Department:  The State Department is one of two of the most important departments in our government.  The other is our defense related departments.  With out the functions of this department,  we would be at war with many countries.  Our allies will be unable to understand any substantive activities, supportive positions and mutual expectations.  Appropriate diplomatic relationships relative to our enemies is almost non-existent.  We have a president who maintains that he can represent us better than anyone else in government.  Representing diplomacy through Twitter and interviews with hard right individuals in conservative media will most likely not end well.  It is imperative that he allows our Secretary of State to do his job and build an effective organization to accomplish our goals.

The Russian Election Meddling Investigations:  The Mueller investigation has a purpose and is happening as a result of the concerns of the American people surrounding the circumstances of Russia’s meddling in our free elections.  The investigation as it has evolved now includes the possibility that a group or individuals involved with Trump’s businesses or election campaign are complicit in the activities of the Russian government.  The Mueller investigation is the most comprehensive and effective of any of the legislative bodies and their specific investigations.  I strongly believe that it is in the bests interest of the American people to support the special counsel, accept their findings whether crimes were committed by Americans or not.

The President and Republican Efforts to criticize and undermine the counsel’s investigation by suggesting that there is political bias that is influencing the investigation of the FBI is self-serving and dangerous.  The principles and missions of the FBI is fundamentally and overwhelmingly bi-partisan.  Trying to get the country to turn on them really points out the possibility of  sinister motives by the accuser.  Ironically, Imagine a person who lives in a community that believes they can’t trust law enforcement.  (remember the fuzz and pigs of the late sixties).  The vast majority of them will still call 911 when a crime involving them is committed.  Who are a misinformed and misanthropic group of republican’s and some media going to call when they are subjected to a major crime.  It won’t be their cousin, it will be law enforcement including the FBI.  The services of law enforcement including medical assistance are not pre qualified based on an evaluation of party affiliation as some might suggest.  There is a very interesting component to particular groups insistence of a scandal.  It has been recently revealed by the media that a very small group of republican representatives have been meeting secretly to put together a plan to derail the Mueller investigation.  Is it just me or wouldn’t this group represent the most hideous example of political bias?

On this topic and as an aside, have you ever noticed that when one of your kids have done something wrong, you know it, even though they unleash a plan to cover it up.  The tells are obvious and usually include them attaching themselves to you and over and over denying any involvement even when you don’t ask them.  They also blame shift.  Is this happening in our government?

Personally, I think that our government needs to clean up their act.  Those who do effectively function in their positions need to expose and neutralize those who don’t.  I still have faith in our institutions.  It may just take a while for them to get grounded again.