Tag Archives: Shut-down

146. Slowing Trump’s Runaway Train

17 Feb

For about three years, the runaway Trump train, filled with Repubs,  raced down its tracks and seemed unstoppable. Trump felt like a king. He could get away with anything, and his sycophant crew totally backed him up.  But now, with the Democrats taking over the House of Reps., the train is slowing and starting to come under control.

A subsequent event was another defeat. The Trump wall was blocked and a gov shut-down was prevented. A woman was mostly responsible for this result. In a way, Trump has always waged war on women and now what could be called his second major defeat, was by a 78-year-old remarkable woman, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. This mild-mannered, polite, soft-spoken woman demonstrated the kind of power that we need to  guide our country. The threat of a second gov shut-down is over, Repubs are now, more than ever, getting off the Trump train. Senate leader Mitch McConnell now feels able to act more independently.

We now have a powerful Democrat party that is beginning true (unbiased) investigations. Trump lost his only way of defeating the Dem. House, which was the threat of a gov shut-down. Many people suffered from the long shut-down, but more would have suffered from an unchecked Trump. Primarily Nancy Pelosi made the extremely difficult decision to sacrifice the few, to save the many. Every US President makes almost impossible life-and-death choices. Soldiers are killed in our wars, shifting economics can cause deaths from starvation, healthcare policies will result in patient deaths, even taxation rules can elevate some and destroy others. Nancy P. stopping Trump truly saved lives.

Now, the Dems are better organized and have a wonderful choice to make: who will they select to beat Trump in the next election? Most of the candidates are well-qualified and would do a good job, a few, would do a great job. I stated some preferences in previous  blogs, but I am still gathering info and my mind is still open. When you have a difficult choice to make, it is really nice to have several really great alternatives.

So much more could be said but this (unlikely) story of the USA gov. But I want to close this blog with a thought. I can’t help thinking that Trump could have made a few different choices and could have gone down in history as a hero. He just did not have the intellect to see the best path, and was influenced by conservative radicals like Rush Limbaugh.  Briefly, he could have stopped the name calling and whimsical decisions. He could have continued vital international agreements like the Paris Climate Accord, the Iran Nuclear Deal, and genuine support of NATO. He could have built a coalition of allies to deal more effectively with China’s unfair trade policies. He could have consulted with true experts instead of his wealthy (and greedy) friends. He could have left alone regulations designed to protect the citizens.  All of these factors  would have been possible for any well-educated normal person, but not for him. The limited skills of a real estate developer are not applicable to the profound complexities of POTUS.


Added note: I am increasingly concerned about the gov neglect of climate-change solutions, and we are running out of time. Please talk about and contact our leaders re this vital topic. I have discussed and explained climate factors in many previous blogs.

141. Recent Events Suggest Government Improvements

27 Jan

The recent government shut-down, the election of Donald Trump, and changes in the Republican party, all suggest the need for gov reorganization and  revision. Below is a discussion of troubling events and possible solutions. The unfortunate thing is that fair and reasonable system changes maybe nearly impossible under the current political climate (but we must still try).

In the past, our USA government has worked so well that many of us have ignored it. This general lack of concern, which is entirely understandable, has led to serious damage to our country. The emergence of a president totally unsuited for office is one result. Another result (maybe more serious) is the gradual shift in the Republican party from ordinary limited greed and self-serving interests — to those factors in the extreme. More responsible Republicans have gradually left the party and those remaining, cowardly and foolishly devote themselves to Trump. This is not currently the party of men like John McCain, who was highly respected by almost everyone.

Looking back on where we went wrong, here are some observations. Our gov system needs some fundamental changes. The executive branch has too much power and we might do better with a small committee instead of a president. Perhaps a committee of five persons should make executive decisions. The chairman of that committee could assume some special (presidential) functions, but all major decisions would be based on a group vote. And the “executive committee” could change the chairman at any time. The five men of the executive committee would be elected by all  USA citizens (independent of state).

We need a special non-political group to control elections. Our elections are extremely important and must be protected from foreign and all other illicit influence. All USA elections must also be reliable, efficient, inclusive for all citizens, and must provide good methods for any needed recounts.  Currently, in the USA there are hundreds of different systems for voting, which vary from good to dangerously vulnerable. Voting machines should be standardized and carefully selected and monitored.

Understanding Trump is important for dealing with his chaos. Commentators emphasize and search for strategies, because that is what they know. But it must be recognized that he does have serious mental problems (like ‎narcissism) and probably moderate Alzheimer’s syndrome. I think he has some strategies, but also memory loss and confusion. Trump’s doctor Ronny Jackson reported that he only gets four to five hours of sleep per night. This can account for much of the “demented” action and can promote Alzheimer’s disease (according to recent research). He could be called a sociopath and has no empathy for struggling people. I think more philosophical orientations have come from close associates like Bannon, Stone, and Manafort. But there also are influences by others like family members, and extremists like Rush Limbaugh. He is like a billiard ball bouncing off various “advisors” and also generating his own whims and egocentric thoughts. An “executive committee” (see above) could prevent this kind of problem.

Like the presidency, there is too much power given to individual leaders of the Senate and House. In terms of the bringing bills to the floor, there should at least be an override for the judgment of a leader.

In the Senate, some western states with a small population have equal representation with California and New York with huge numbers of citizens. Having two legislative bodies definitely leads to gridlock. Why not have one very  fairly composed legislature make all decisions. And as a safeguard, say 54% yes votes would be required. By careful structuring the one-body could represent all concepts of fairness (with very little gridlock).

Our whole governmental system could be improved based upon almost 250 years of experience. The original US Constitution was a wonderful thing. But, it is foolish to think that rules developed that long ago are still perfectly applicable to today, with our:  Internet, jet airplane travel, TV, complex trading systems, international monetary systems, mult-national stock markets, computer viruses and hacking,  many cultural changes, drug epidemics, nuclear bombs, Facebook, climate-change dangers, multi-national alliances, etc., etc. The body of case-law helps, but only in certain areas. One of the impediments for this kind of change is that current leaders were elected with this outdated system and so are not interested in change. In a recent TED talk, Katharine Hayhoe said that the best thing the people can do about remedying climate-change is to keep talking about it. It may not be the only good solution to all our governmental problems, but definitely could help. Better education will help. Ultimately, if a large majority of people want something, there is a good chance that legislators will take note.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

140. Shut-Down Reveals Motives

25 Jan

The government shut-down, resulting from failure to pass a spending bill, is a national tragedy.  Many government workers and gov projects are severely affected by the lack of wages paid and other various non-funding. I sometimes suspect that this serious problem is Trump’s revenge for the investigations.  An interesting result of this conflict is that the negotiations and numerous related comments have revealed hidden motives and strategies. (Maybe not so hidden, for many analysts.)

I am sure that many Trump supporters are living paycheck-to-paycheck. These devotees must be shocked by the lack of concern about gov shut-down employee, that have unpaid wages.  While most employees will eventually be reimbursed, regular contractors may not receive anything. Here are some comments. Trump says that these people will “adjust,” they can always find a way. Really? His daughter-in-law Lara says that they will only feel “a little pain.” Sec. of Commerce Wilber Ross says they can get a loan. The Trump family and administration is mostly composed of hugely rich people. Does it sound like they have any appreciation for the results of lost wages ??

When Trump terminated the DACA law, he said that Congress can restore it. This sounded puzzling to me. Now I understand. DACA was terminated so that it could be used for future leverage  negotiations, and it just has been. Obviously, Trump does not care about these people (mostly good tax-paying people) at all, they are just pawns in his schemes. For Trump, everyone is a pawn except for his super-rich buddies, family, and a few of associates.

The way that Congressmen vote on various “shut-down” bills tells you a lot about their character.

Nancy Pelosi has been very adamant about not supporting any money at all for the wall. I have thought about this a lot and today I think I better understand her strategy. My initial thought, and what others have said, is that it like NOT negotiating with terrorists, because more people will get kidnaped if it is rewarded. So don’t give in to Trump to avoid future leverages. But there may be an additional factor. Instead of moving on impeachment, which is chancy, she wants to stop Trump by giving him a major defeat. Losing the shut-down battle may inhibit him from doing other worse things. Continuing the shut-down is harmful, but may less so that an unchecked Trump.

The USA, our lovely homeland, is caught up in traps that have possible remedies, but the remedies will only be achieved with a great concerted effort. Some damage, like radical conservative judges at every level. will be relatively permanent. The current administration has reversed climate-change efforts. Lack of worldwide climate efforts is already causing hurricane and flooding catastrophes, and will ultimately cause the death of many more people. My last word is to thank the many politicians and citizens that have good will and are working on our many problems.

 

 

 

 

138. Did Trump Order Cohan to Lie?

22 Jan

The question is: Did Pres. Trump order his lawyer Michael Cohen to lie about a deal to build a Trump Hotel in Moscow, in his congressional testimony?  An excellent article in the Washington Post, January 18,  by Devlin Barrett et. al. discusses the Buzzfeed News report on this matter. Buzzfeed stated that the Trump order existed and that Mueller had certain evidence regarding this.

Here is the quote by Peter Carr who is a member of Special Counselor Mueller’s team:

“BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the special counsel’s office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony are not accurate”

This statement of Mueller’s office has been misinterpreted by many commentators. Mueller did not state the basic story of Trump’s order to Cohen is false, he merely said that some “specific statements … are not accurate.”  He could have stated that the whole story was false, but he did not. You can see that the words by Peter Carr were chosen carefully.

    MUELLER REPORT could be altered by Trump’s  AG

The best interpretation of what Robert Mueller is saying is: wait for my authoritative report before drawing final conclusions. He is trying to keep down a lot of more speculative assertions, so that resulting actions can really be justified. But also consider that Congress (let alone the citizens) may never see the true Mueller report because it could be modified or summarized by the AG or even Trump himself.

The problem in waiting of course, is that the Presidential carnage will continue and many of the effects will be long-lasting. My thought is that articles of impeachment should be developed and during this process more definitive info will appear. Even if impeachment is not followed by Senate conviction, it still establishes an objection to policies of the current administration. The world needs to see that most Americans do not support recent USA governmental actions.

Let’s look at it this way. If we do impeach now and it later turns out that some of the articles are not accurate, will we be making a terrible mistake? NO NO, most Americans believe that our President needs to go. For example: Trump has stated that the government “shut-down could last for years.”

135. “Shut-Down” Resolution

12 Jan

This government shut-down dilemma could be ended by some intelligent negotiation. The last meeting could have led to something more productive, but was cut short by fear and anger. Each party has vital needs. Trump is desperate to keep his voting-base and have a win to raise his spirits, in the face of frightening investigations.  “Chuck and Nancy” are really angry about a betrayal by Trump reversing his gov funding position; caused by radical right-wing dingbats (Rush and Ann). Dems  know an expensive full wall is very wasteful and the five or so billion could be spent in better ways.

A really good negotiator could quickly resolve this difference. Fear and anger emotions play a part in preventing a compromise, but I also think both sides are not very skilled in this type of situation. It might be good to call in a top professional negotiator to work with a representative from each side.  I would suggest Trump himself and Chuck Schumer alone with the chosen negotiator. The result would be a compromise that both parties could stomach.

Here is a possible resolution. Three or four billion would be allotted for Southern border security to include improved fencing/walls and implementing a variety of relevant electronic devices. The details could be left to border control experts. This or some similar variation could work for both sides. Dems could accept some improved fencing and Trump could say some wall would be built — shut-down over.  I had hoped for a clear win for the Dems, but this terrible destructive situation must be ended. We NEED A WIN FOR THE COUNTRY. 

Added thought: Democrats, being more idealistic, should lead the way and a  representative should send an email or other message to Ivanka Trump (or someone similar) proposing this method of shut-down resolution.  She could convince her father to work on this.