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

 

 

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The Nunes Memo and Our Security and Safety, Are We Missing the Point?

justice  After listening to a Sunday morning interview with Representative Jordan and an interview between Chris Cuomo and Representative King (an excellent interview), I decided to stand back and look at the investigation and the related accusations by Nunes and his gangs in the larger picture.  The GOP members of Congress have based their belief that the memo outlines FBI and DOJ misconduct and demonstrates extreme bias by the agencies and their efforts to damage the Trump candidacy.  Apparently, the accusation stems from the handling of a warrant issued by the FISA court.  The actor and actions that their complaints are based on is related to Trump advisor Carter Page and his interaction with Russian agents and the subsequent actions of the FBI in monitoring his phone calls to the Russians.

I feel very strongly that the GOP’s position is solely based on a political agenda to eventually stop the investigation of Trump’s activities relative to the Russians and their activities in compromising and the manipulation of the American election machine.

I also believe that congress has no business making classified information public.  It doesn’t matter if the President declassifies the data or not.  He of all people clearly has a selfish agenda.

Here is what I think:

  • The President and the Republican members of the house maintain that the public has a need to know in the interest of transparency.  That is so much BS.  The President as well as Nunes and their clans have been everything but transparent. Sneaky behavior, secret meetings as well as keeping the Democrats out of the loop demonstrates that they are acting hinky and deceiving the public.  Nunes accusations are definatley not in the people’s best interest.
  • The President talks about how important the security of our country is and how paramount his efforts are in order to protect us.  The fact is that the FBI and DOJ are the groups tasked with protecting us by appropriate means and by using all of the tools available to them.
  • The FBI stands for the Federal Bureau of Investigation whose sole function protecting all of us. It doesn’t stand for the Federal Bureau of Trump’s Interests. DOJ stands for the Department of Justice representing American’s and is not the Department of Justice exclusivley to protect President Trump.
  • The Trump administration and his gang of liars do not represent the security interests of the United States.  Far from it.  No matter how right or wrong the gathering of evidence, no matter what internal malfeasans is exposed, the information garnered by activities such as phone monitoring have uncovered inappropriate activities by Americans and their relationships with the Russians who are fundamentally our adversary (enemy).
  • I am of the opinion that the Trump sphere’s real and inappropriate activities and communications with the Russian supports the underlying discovery that crimes were committed.  Ironically, not one of the people directly involved told the American people the truth. Not one of them.
  • If the illegal activities by people like Trump Jr, his cousin, Sessions, Page and others is discovered by listening to their conversations and exposing their coordination, then so be it…The investigators unearthed their inappropriate activites, even after they all lied and deceived us. This is what the public should be concerned about. Remember, the FBI did have authorization granted by a very strict and conscientious court as to allow (or not) their methods of extracting information.  It doesn’t matter what the GOP committee members and the President think, the truth is the truth.
  • If someone within the FBI and the Justice department break the rules or demonstrates bias, it is the job of their leadership to put a stop to it, not Devin Nunes.
  • The FBI and its rank and file are currently involved in thousands of cases involving serious felonious activities of criminals.  It is important that we support them, even though we don’t always get the details of their investigations.  We typically do however, get advised of the outcomes of some of their efforts.  You know, the bad guys go to prison, the good guys are exonerated and we hear about it on the evening news.
  • The FISA court is saddled with the sole responsibility of determining what appropriate activities are necessary for the discovery of information that would be pertinent to protect the security of the American people, nothing else.  If a citizen gets caught up in the FBI’s investigation and it is discovered by any means, I believe that it would become obvious that they are up to no good.  The terms of a FISA warrant does not allow for willy nilly unmasking of people like Joe the ferry-boat captain, unless he is breaking the law and his actions are discovered by an investigation.
  • Who is members of the government going to call when they discover serious crimes both domestic and international.  My advice would be not to contact Nunes, he doesn’t know crap about law enforcement.
  • Sooner or later the ships that are our intelligence agencies will be refloated and will no longer be treated as a source for political games.
  • As I said, I strongly believe that crimes are being committed by some who are using ill-gotten information to suggest that they are being treated unfairly.
  • Other than wacko news organizations like Info Wars, the media has done a good job in reporting the facts surrounding the whole Russian scandal.  This does not include some talk show hosts and contributors such as Sean Hannity and the Judge Judy wanna be on Fox.  In fact if you take any time to watch them or listen to Hannity’s radio show, you could make a case that they have overstepped their civil rights provided by the constitution.  To my point, their actions when they suggest that they have intiment and especially when they suggest they have individual knowledge, relationships and input into how the government operates could be construed as criminal meddling that may compromise the security of all Americans. Not good.
  • As US citizens, our constitution provides us with the right to say or otherwise express whatever we want as long as we believe in our minds that we are right and that doing so doesn’t break the law.  If you just plain and simply have no confidence in our form of government, I am sure you can get a visa and a plane ticket to go hang out in Putin’s neighborhood.

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.

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.

Excellent Health, Not Surprising. President Trump’s Physical Results

There is no reason why Doctor Ronny wouldn’t find Trump to be in good health.  He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t smoke and he doesn’t take drugs.  Also, as we know, he gets his exercise on the golf course.  Maybe he should use his health as an excuse to play golf so often.  High cholesterol is common in older people, yet we have to remember that high blood pressure and cholesterol are the main cause of heart attack.  I think his high cholesterol may be effected by the carbs and calories that he gets from fast food.

The cognitive screening test or worksheet is not that comprehensive but it does give a doctor a good idea of whether the patient is showing signs of cognition problems.  Mental disorders are a whole different ball game.  A majority of people who suffer mental disorders would be deemed healthy except when self-treatment is involved (alcohol, pills etc.)  Certain health deficiencies can also be caused by the symptoms of a mental illness. Insomnia, diet, lack of engagement (motivation), even grooming can pose some significant health problems.

Below is an example (and link for full size image) of a standard mental health screening form.  The form covers basic identifiers that can tip off say a psychiatrist to any possible mental health issues.  When you look at the form you will notice that it is filled out by the patient.  I guess a person can answer the questions any way that they want.

Mental_Health_Intake_Form

Mental_Health_Intake_Form

It is possible that President Trump does not suffer from any traditional mental condition. It is quite possible that his odd behavior could be a result of the culture he grew up in.