Archive for the ‘white house’ category

Don’t Blame Trump

July 22, 2017

The first six months of the Republican Administration has not lacked for fireworks. Most pundits, however, would describe this rare period of Republican control as a “nothing” burger. If so, who’s to blame?

President Trump has blamed Democrats and the “fake news” media. The Republican controlled House has blamed the Republican controlled Senate while the Senate has quietly pointed to the lack of White House leadership. President Trump when not blaming Democrats counters, instead, claims the first six months have been the most successful first six months ever!

What else would you expect the “mistruth commander in chief” to say?

The frightening aspect of this question is that many claim that the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans could have passed much of their legislative objectives had they approached matters differently. And then there has been that pesky “Russian thing”, the investigation into Russian collusion with the 2016 Presidential election. Hmmm.

For Americans the way things have progressed could be a blessing. Both President Trump and the Republican controlled Congress have been exposed as what they really are, mean spirited, unprepared to govern, and hand maidens of certain wealthy interests.

The center piece of the hopeful Republican legislative program has been the Obamacare repeal and replace. As Congress processed this legislation, slowly but never the less, step by step, it has become clear Republicans lacked a plan and more importantly were clueless over improvements. “Beautiful healthcare Americans can be proud of” instead turned into “healthcare that gamers and the very rich can be proud of”. Replacement legislation passed in the House by a single vote and floundered in the Senate altogether. Not surprisingly, tweak after tweak fell short too. Why?

Each of the Republican healthcare proposals failed in the same way. Each insured fewer Americans, provided less coverage, and benefited the very wealthy. So, how did President Trump get it so wrong?

President Trump is not the architect of this Republican farce. The President is more interested in the pomp that goes with the office, flattering headlines in the media, and a slam dunk reaction win in 2020. There is not much more substance than that.

So don’t blame President Trump for proposing defective healthcare replacement legislation or proposing tax reform which masquerades as (you guessed it) tax cuts for the rich, or for the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Each of these topics is that straight out of the Republican handbook and 100% the responsibility of the Republican controlled Congress.

Troubling is the realization that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is far from perfect legislation and is badly in need of fixes. And who can not agree that the US tax code is more aptly a “jobs” program for accountants than a fair method of raising government revenue. But these goals were not part of any Republican agenda.

The news media has published plenty of reports claiming Trump White House dysfunction and most of it seems well deserved. Never the less, the greater tragedy would be to hold Congress blameless and clear of the ugliness and mean spiritedness of President Trump’s rhetoric.

Democrats had better be taking notice and realize it is not impossible that they will be given the reigns of Congress in 2018. Democrats should be wondering, WWDD?

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Massive Win

December 12, 2016

Over the weekend during a TV interview, President-elect Donald Trump describe his victory as “massive” so as to indicate he had a clear mandate and those who questioned his actions were sore losers. Hmmm.

Mr Trump is projected to win the presidency with 306 electoral votes. This will be recorded as the 46th largest margin in US history, hardly a massive win. Add to this that Hillary Clinton is leading in the popular vote by almost 3 million votes. Tell me again about a massive win.

Trump’s margin of victory was far less than Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, and Barack Obama.

So is there a pattern here?

President-elect Trump is quickly establishing that “honesty” has no place in his Administration, at least when he is speaking. (Honesty in the sense of accuracy and hopefully not in the sense of corruption.) This is a dangerous path to take, one would think. Events far beyond Trump’s control could call upon the President to speak (like from the fireside) to Americans and ask for sacrifices. Would you believe a compulsive “mistruth” speaker?

I assume (we all should hope so) that Mr Trump will speak with far less hyperboles with his staff and Cabinet Officers. As had been said before, everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not to their own facts.

There is an even more serious consequent to President-elect Trump’s propensity to “tell it like he thinks it is” and that is Mr Trump may be intentionally trying to distract, confuse, and misdirect his audience. Case in point, President Putin was said to be in policitcal trouble following the Sochi Olympics because under his leadership, the Russian Government had spent more than 60 billion dollars which the treasury didn’t have and much of the 60 billion for purposes which were viewed corrupt. Mr Putin instinctively got the average Russian and his political enemies eyes off the Sochi corruption by annexing the Crimea.

Spreading misinformation can be humorous or maddening given ones political views. What no American should want is the use of misinformation to cover up government failure.

Trump’s Hidden Message

March 3, 2016

While GOP leaders are breathlessly talking about stopping Donald Trump’s candidacy, no one seems to be taking stock of why Trump has been so wildly popular with his supporters.

These GOP big shots seem to have correctly diagnosed the shattering effect his candidacy could have on the current amalgam called the Republican Party. Trump as the Presidential nominee would expose the GOP for what it is – a collection of ideological desperate elements with no single unifying purpose, save one. The one unifying GOP theme is “we are not Democrats” whatever that means.

The current Republican Party rrepresents a collection of regular Americans mixed in with “bible thumpers” who instead of espousing Christian values like “love thy neighbor” prefer to hate others for their gender or sexual preferences, “wealthy Americans” who want to pay less taxes despite any consequences, “xenophobes” who may even be one generation in the US but want the door closed for other immigrants, “budget hawks” who want to reduce the deficit without regard to any consequences, and “hard core of anti-Obama critics” who see anything done by the President as inherently worthless.

So, which of these groups has Trump successfully satisfied? Hmmm.

The hidden Trump message appeals to a few of these segments, but resonates strongly with a differently defined group, the Trumpskiites.

These new Trump frontier fighters are feeling an economic pinch, have looked around and see a lot of government spending going to assist this designated group or that one, and no noticeable sign that homelessness or poverty is improving.

The Trumpskiites see the US throwing good money after bad and want one of two things. (1) Stop spending money on the poor, refugees, and corporate welfare seekers. Or, (2) energize the economy so much that they (each Trumpskiite) gets a good job or pay increase so big that their lot in life improves so much they can overlook the tax money going to the other “freeloaders”.

The Trumpskiites are not ideologues. They may or may not care about abortion or women’s rights, they may or may not care about refugees, they may or may not care about religious symbols in public spaces, they may or may not care about gender and sexual orientations, and for the most part they are ambivalent about Obamacare. What they care about is their own personal lot in life and see the government wasting a lot of money on the poor and a diverse collection of other things.

Trumpskiites are first and foremost about themselves. They are relatively content to let others get along with their lives providing they do not adversely impact their lives. Hmmm.

If this observation is correct, it is not a large step of logic to recognize that Trumperskiites should exist within the Democrat Party too. In fact, they might make up the real “silent majority”. Hmmm.

Trump’s hidden message exposes Republican and Democrat shortcomings: Republicans may wish not to spend any more Federal dollars even though the bridge in their hometown is about to fall down, and Democrats are only to ready to spend money to build a new one even though the bridge might be cheaper to repair or might not be needed at all. Trumpskiites could support either position, let the bridge fall down or repair it but only if life gets economically better for them first. Hmmm.

This is a dangerous message pitting individuals against common good while exposing politicians more interested in perpetuating their time in office than caring for the public good.  Will Americans wake up and demand better from their elected officials?

Children At Play

September 23, 2014

Bureaucracies are great fun, if you have a sense of humor. None are funnier, in a sad way, than the Federal bureaucracies.

Case in point, the Secret Service has provided us a cynical chuckle.

The Secret Service has been known as the agency where its agents are prepared to “take a bullet” to protect the President. Valor, honor, and integrity are their watch words, or so we thought. Recent events have cast the service in a different and more confusing light.

First, agents were sent home following a “drinking” and “shake down” of local Columbian prostitutes. Senior officials tried to make like the issue was the prostitutes and waving their “no-no” finger, pronounced the agent’s behavior as unacceptable and inconsistent with the Service’s mission. Hmmm. (What about fitness for service?)

Second, about two years later, after being warned about drinking and duty, three agents went out on the town in Amsterdam. One agent had such a good time that he collapsed in the hotel hallway and had to be put to bed. The agents were sent home.

This past week, saw the inexplicable. Someone scaled the 7 foot White House fence along Pennsylvania Avenue and proceeded to run across the lawn and enter an unlocked door. No damage was done but one cannot help but think “what if”?

The Secret Service response to what amounts to a dereliction of duties was to propose establishing “check points” several blocks away from the White House. One can only surmise that government officials are seeking a diversion. Let citizens get mad about being searched (under the name of security) while the Secret Service is let off the hook for not having performed as was presently expected.

Where were the dogs whose task it is to catch anyone sneaking over the fence? Where were the Secret Service Agents who are authorized to shoot such intruders? And why do we have a seven foot fence if there is not secondary lines of defense?
When any organization begins to behave in ways inconsistent with its mission, the best advice is to go back to basics. The mission may have become too routine for the current cadre or the long hours (when nothing happens) and frequent trips have dulled the responsiveness of the agents.

Clean house by bringing in new agents and transferring current agents to other government branches.

Oh, and yes begin with supervision and senior management.