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

 

 

The Truth About Chain Migration. It is Really About Family Reunification.

diverse images

First off, let me say that the term “chain migration” is a terrible way to describe family reunification.  To me, chain migration is a term better suited to describe the migration of slaves.

President Trump is hell-bent on eliminating the family reunification program because he believes that people who migrate to the US to be with their families are murderers, ignorant and in no way contribute positively to the success of the United States.

Family reunification is simple.  When a foreigner migrates to the US and is issued a green card, they can petition the government to allow them to bring a member of their family to the US to be with them.  The program is limited to spouses, grandparents and immediate siblings.  The application and vetting process takes many years and does not guarantee that the family member will be allowed to come to America.

The system is not perfect and has been exposed to abuse and fraud.  To me, the program needs more oversite and enforcement rather than dismantling.  Remember, we are talking about legal immigrants.

Also, the family reunification program applies to all countries.  Trump is focused on the Hispanic population and he purposely avoids bringing up participants from other countries.  For example, what about European migration, what about the Asian and Indian communities.  Ironically, some people from these countries can also be “Bad Hombres”.  Trump’s comments about welcoming more people from Norway shows that he does not have a grasp on the world labor market.  In the case of Norwegians, a majority have no interest in coming to the US.  Actually, the same applies to Canada. If I am not mistaken, with regard to the imigration of the criminal eliment, the Pilgrims didn’t always include the best citizens of the countries that they migrated from.

The Mexican and South American populations are made up of people and their families who want the opportunity to live the American dream.  Some misinformed Americans including the President and his advisors don’t understand or desregard the positive impact that a majority of the Hispanic population have on our culture and economy. Statistically, this group of immigrants, along with DACA recipients are or become some of the most productive people in our country.

For as long as I have been on this earth (a long time),  there has always been the argument that immigrants are taking American jobs away from American people.  What jobs are they taking?  There are over two million jobs in this country that remain unfilled.  What this administration needs to focus on is training a population of people to fill these jobs, many of which are in the technical and renewable energy industries.

Bill and Melinda Gates are doing what the country should be doing.  They epitomize the concept of the free enterprise and capitalistic systems that make up the fabric of our society.  The ability of employees to grow and prosper is fundemental.  This includes the cultivation of our immigrant population.

Border security, the practice of Russian women coming to America to stay in Trump hotels and have babies; the opioid and drug crisis; the gang crisis; the education crisis; the womans movement among other topics are for future posts.

I just wanted to way in on the important issue of our president’s plan to reduce the legal immigrant population.

Whoa Democrats; In My Opinion We Need Hold Our Horses.

On Tuesday, the voters of Alabama made it clear that they didn’t want to have Roy Moore represent them in their state.  If this is what it takes for a Democrat to cross the finish line, the Democratic party may be a little premature in thinking that the future is so bright for the party.

In Alabama, had there been any other Republican in the race, the Democrats would have lost.  The evidence is in the numbers of write-in candidates.  Remember that red states are made up of traditional republican values.  These principles are what make up the party.

Unfortunately, for both parties and all Americans in general, we have a Republican President who is at the very least, ideologically miles away from the principles of most Americans.  He also lacks many of the character traits such as wisdom; maturity; knowledge; sincere compassion; integrity and respect among others.  As an aside, why does everyone think that the promises he made during his campaign are good?

I don’t believe that having a leader that behaves more like Biff in Back to the Future rather than the leader of the free world can be a good recipe for either party’s success.

As it stands now, the Republican majority is doing everything they can to flex their muscles as evidenced by their actions.  If the President and both parties adhered to the principles and compromises that were important to the framing of our constitution (the bundle of compromise at the Constitutional convention in 1787), we would have a more effective government.  Just think about it, we apply these principles in business and even our own daily lives.  If we have two opposing views, working together towards a common end makes any relationship much stronger.  I guess this demonstrates we all know that the concept works.  Incidently, I believe this is one reason the President’s business practices don’t translate well to the job he has now is mostly because he employs the old school management style of “my way or the highway”.

As it goes for elections, the opposing principles can be a good thing, not a battle field. When a party takes over the majority, generally, most american’s would be more accepting when both parties have substantive and thoughtful debate.

As it stands now, the Republican party is doing everything they can to dismiss and oppose the contributions of the Democratic party.  The Democratic side is doing everything they can to oppose and dismiss the efforts of the Republicans.  How that is working for them?

It’s kind of like two neighbors feuding over whether or not to cut down a tree.  Whoever owns the tree can cut it down no matter what their neighbor wants to see happen.  If the tree was sick and leaving it standing would endanger both sides, there would be common ground to come together and at least listen to each others viewpoints.  At the end of the day the tree has to come down in order protect everyone.

The elections and the structure of the many demonstrations prove that party differences are really important to American voters.  A perfect example of this is healthcare.  A part of the bill that is in effect now and is doomed to be repealed is the mandate requiring everyone to have health insurance.  Fundamentally, the Republicans believe that the government shouldn’t be involved in a person’s decision to have health insurance or not. They also believe that as a country, we can’t afford to expand Medicaid and related entitlements.  On the other hand the Democrats want the mandate.  In order to accommodate everyone, Democrats also want the government to pay the healthcare bills of anyone who can’t afford it.  The truth is that without the mandate, the insurance companies can’t turn a profit if there isn’t a significant pool of insured that are healthy and statstically stand less of a chance of  getting sick.  If we want healthcare, it doesn’t really matter what the demands of either party are.

In this case a middle ground would benefit all Americans.  To me, a simple compromise that benefits the Republican ideology would be to support some sort of mandate in order to keep rates down and maintain coverage for the broader population.  On the other side, the compromise could be for the democrats to make a concession to reduce the swelling of a bureaucracy and accept reforms of entitlement programs that would ultimately lower costs while keeping an important program functional.  Think about it, this would make the whole issue palatable and beneficial for both sides.

The us versus them mentality has to stop.  Americans and the voters that represent them need to see their party look out for them, not just win the pissing contests.  Until then the make up of our government by party line can’t be effective.

The point is that the democratic party shouldn’t be so confident moving forward.  Just as the Democrats take one seat by defeating a bad candidate, the Republicans can do the same in 2018 and 2020.

Personally, until we elect a new President, fresh congressional leadership and as long as Washington State is represented by one of the strongest Senators in the country, my views will lean left.  I also strongly believe that compromise is the key to all Americans being effectivly represented by the strongest form of government in the entire world.

For me, our government as a whole needs to get their act together. Yes, that includes state and local governments.