The Next President May Be A True Socialist

Congress has proven to America that it is dysfunctional. It’s difficult to believe that duly elected lawmakers are unable to enact new laws of any real consequence. Even more incredible is that they are not concerned about the damage being caused by obstructionism relating to the biggest issues facing the country.

Both parties are participating in the emasculation of our legislative process. Democrats are unwilling to support any Trump initiatives even if they would benefit the country. Nor have they offered new ideas to improve disastrous entitlements such as Obamacare.

Several Republican senators, after lambasting Obamacare for almost eight years, refused to pass legislation that could have “improved” our health care problems. Ironically this could have been done without one Democratic vote. Many Americans hope that every one of the Republican dissenters is challenged in their next election. They are not loyal members of the party and totally unreliable.

So what are the real motivations behind all the sanctimonious and unproductive jaw flapping taking place on Capitol Hill? Do Republicans and Democrats really despise each other so much?

The most important considerations of a politician are retaining his position and building a power base, which are on the line every time a vote is cast or speech is made. These hacks don’t really care about America despite their rhetoric to the contrary.

Things are likely going to change in Washington even if the current crop of political misfits finds some iota of nonpartisanship in the months ahead. Many in Congress will thankfully be tossed out in 2018 and 2020. More importantly is that another political outlier will likely be given a chance to govern the country, as Donald Trump was. The electorate will resist candidates from the old regimes.

This candidate will be far different than typical Washington hacks currently skulking the Capitol. I predict the next person Americans elect as president will be a socialist. It’s the only untested political perspective that country has yet to adopt. This person will be more liberal than Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Obama governed as a populist and a socialist regarding many issues. But he was not really extreme even though he despised wealthy Americans. Millennials who already are the largest social group in the U.S will support more change in government.

The candidate will promise to bring down our capitalist system and install new federal government controlled entitlement programs relating to health care, education, wages and employment. To accomplish this the wealthy will be taxed heavily, and the benefits of being affluent will be stripped away. We will all be economically equal. Income inequality will no longer exist, nor will American exceptionalism.

Wake up America. The people you have sent to Washington are flunkies that are destroying our ways of life. Replace them with others that want to make America better, before it is too late.

The Liberal Press Is Unduly Influencing Americans

Newspaper and TV outlets are breaking journalistic traditions and supporting the most liberal political perspectives in America. They are becoming a truly formidable force given the influence they have on everyday Americans.

Journalism has historically been presented in two distinct manners, reporting and editorial commentary. The lines between these techniques have blurred in recent years.

Reporters are supposed to offer readers facts. They may be helpful or harmful to either side of the political spectrum, but they should be unbiased.

One of the major roles of the press is to act as watchdog for the average citizen. With this in mind our forefathers added protection of the press to the Constitution. This ensures that the press will never be censored, and it will always have the ability to keep Americans informed about current events and political issues.

It’s folly to think that any writer can completely cast off his or her biases when reporting the news. Informed readers must appreciate that some tilting of the news is inevitable. It should be considered when reading or listening to a news article. But if the slant becomes to extreme the piece should not be part of the reporting of a newspaper.

This may seem like a relatively unimportant issue, but so many readers form opinions about current events based upon what they read and hear in the media. This includes commentary disguised as reporting.

The editorial section is the place where opinions of editors and journalists should be domiciled. This serves as a warning to readers that facts are being presented in such a way as to move public opinion.

In the editorial section the senior editors of the newspaper offer readers biased analysis of critical issues such as health care reform. In this commentary a newspaper may vociferously support one side of the debate. The experienced reader understands that writers are interpreting news facts as they offer their perspectives on controversial issues. While reading these pieces the reader can make mental adjustments to reflect his or her inherent biases.

Commentary includes opinions offered by columnists that are extraordinarily biased. In fact newspapers encourage readers to respond positively and negatively to these articles. Supposedly the authors are “experts” and/or experienced about the subjects they write about. Note: This essay qualifies as an op-ed because the author is offering his personal assessments of how the press is behaving, and whether it is adhering to generally accepted journalistic principles.

How is the press doing? If you ask President Trump he would say the press is overly critical of his administration. He would say many news outlets are liberal-based and are exaggerating and misrepresenting the facts. He would say the liberal press is responsible for “fake news” in an attempt to discredit and destroy his administration. Keep in mind the president is not really directing his venom towards editorials and commentary. Rather he is saying that reporting of facts has morphed into reporting of opinion.

The liberal press would counter Trump’s criticism by indicating that he is irresponsible, making a mockery of the Constitution, trying to take money from the needy and reduce taxes for the affluent, starting wars with Iran and North Korea, destroying our health care system, etc.

All this may be true and would be entirely appropriate commentary if delineated in the opinion section of the newspaper. But if a reporter wrote that Trump’s health care plan is tantamount to murder, as the needy will not receive essential medical services, it’s inappropriate.

Another issue that weighs heavily on Americans is that the press thinks it has a divine right to interpret news for the uninformed public. The primary function of the press as mentioned earlier is to report the facts. Nobody including our forefathers ordained the press as the final word about controversy.

Exacerbating the situation are efforts by reporters trying to scoop stories. Often times they cut corners to publish a story before ensuring that all their reporting is substantiated. This has resulted in a string of firings at major news organizations.

Further, news stories are fraught with numerous sources that are anonymous or unnamed. Who are these sources, many readers ask? How can readers be sure of the truth when so many leakers and “deep throats” are dominating reporting?

The liberal press decided to destroy Trump the minute he made them look like fools after the 2016 Election. Never in modern times has the press so obviously and viciously attacked a duly elected president even before he began his term in office.

Readers beware. The press does not have noble intentions. Reporters are overstepping their bounds and intentionally trying to mislead the public. In the long run this strategy will backfire.

Is North Korea An Existential Threat To America?

The threats and propaganda emanating from North Korea are quite disconcerting. The specter of having nuclear weapons aimed at America may soon be a reality. What’s the endgame for North Korea and how will the global community of nations react to the growing nuclear ambitions of a two-bit despot?

Kim Jong-un has managed to intimidate China, South Korea, Japan and the U.S. with his tough talk and belligerent attitude. It’s astounding that a dirt-poor nation with 26 million people and gross national product of $25 billion (Vermont’s GNP is $30 billion) can generate so much angst for two of the world’s super powers. It goes to prove that a nuclear capability can be a game changer for any country.

Let’s examine the options available to China and the U.S. since they are the only nations with enough clout, militarily and economically, to subdue North Korea.

Most people believe the Chinese are in the best position to rein in North Korea. The latter is totally dependent on China to survive. North Korea has very few other trading partners. If the Chinese were to pressure Kim it’s possible that he would relent. Exactly what that would mean is up in the air.

Would North Korea end its nuclear development program? It’s highly unlikely because a nuclear capability is the only diplomatic stick at Kim’s disposal. Without it all other countries would ignore him. It should be noted that North Korea has a huge standing army that is a threat to South Korea.

China could cease trading with North Korea and bring down its economy. This action would profoundly increase immigration of North Koreans into China, something Beijing wishes to avoid. However it could also destabilize the government and result in regime change.

The principal reason why China is reticent about taking drastic action against North Korea is the likelihood that North and South Korea would attempt to unify if Kim’s regime failed. The resultant nation would be dominated by South Korea, capitalistic and allied with the U.S. China will do almost anything to avoid having an ally of the U.S. on its border.

The U.S. is North Korea’s other main foil. Currently the U.S. is applying various types of pressure to force North Korea to end its nuclear efforts. These include United Nations sanctions, which have been supported by China and most of the world, economic sanctions prohibiting other countries from trading with North Korea and relocation of military assets to the region as if a military strike is inevitable.

The urgency for the U.S. to act militarily is increasing at a feverish clip as North Korea continues to test its nuclear arsenal. The main problem is that no one knows the true capability of North Korea’s missiles at this moment. Can they transport a nuclear package? What is their range and can they reach South Korea, Japan Hawaii, Alaska or the continental U.S.? Are they accurate?

If the U.S. were sure that North Korea was unable to deliver a nuclear warhead at this time it would be advisable to forge ahead and attack the country now. But if North Korea could retaliate with nuclear-armed missiles the ensuing damage would be horrific.

So the conversations and speculation continues in China and the U.S. reminiscent of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Does North Korea have deliverable weapon of mass destruction or not? In the meantime North Korea is testing its weaponry regularly evoking fear among its neighbors. Moreover Kim has further infuriated the U.S. by torturing and ultimately killing a college student for a petty misstep.

The stakes are growing every day. The Trump administration will have to make some tough decisions in the near future regarding North Korea. In any case it’s doubtful that a diplomatic or military solution is possible without significant Chinese participation and concurrence.

 

The Trump Administration In Freefall

I just returned from a trip abroad to find that not much has changed in the world of U.S. politics. Washington is still abuzz with a never ending leaks by government officials seeking to discredit the president, inane tweets by our leader, indecision relating to foreign relations and anticipation of the special counsel’s investigation of Russian influence over our election.

However certain issues are beginning to crystalize. Obamacare continues to be more of a problem as insurance premiums are increasing while coverage is deteriorating. Our lawmakers are incapable of piecing together a compromise to fix the entitlement. Repealing the law is too aggressive for many Americans, and one special interest group or more will likely block amendment of it.

Every American wants tax relief. It could be in the form of lower rates or tax credits for those that pay little or no taxes. But how will these be funded is up in the air. The obvious choices are to decrease certain tax benefits currently available to the affluent, such as mortgage interest deductions, tax deductions for charitable contributions and deductions for depreciation of equipment. These are all nonstarters because of intense lobbying.

Internationally conflict is intensifying all over the globe. The Sunni/Shiite feud is revving up with agitation by President Trump. He’s decided to side with the Sunnis against Iran, the leader of the Shiite world. The problem with this strategy is that the Saudis and other Sunni states fund terrorist groups. It’s becoming more difficult to justify the hypocrisy of our federal government as it lambastes certain countries for supporting terror while looking the other way when economic powers like Saudi Arabia and China are violating the human rights of their constituencies.

Trump is entertaining and visiting with foreign leaders regularly. But as soon as the meetings are concluded criticisms of the president abound. Great Britain, Australia and Canada (historically strong allies of the U.S.) have even denigrated our president.

Possibly one of the most dangerous situations is the discord within the White House. The president’s advisors are unable to control what their leader says. His off the cuff remarks in speeches and on Twitter are contradicted or walked back by presidential aides daily. What does the world think when our government appears so disorganized? And what are they to think when Trump’s own party doesn’t support him with any enthusiasm.

Regarding terror, it’s clear to many Americans that our immigration policies must change. No longer can we freely accept visitors, students and immigrants without doing more diligence. Europe, the most receptive place for immigrants, is becoming a shooting gallery because of previous decisions to allow easy entry.

There are no precise statistics, but it sure seems like the gunmen, bombers and reckless drivers attempting to run down innocents are usually people influenced by radical religious groups in the Middle East. How long will law enforcement continue to ignore the facts? Some ethnic groups are bound to feel persecuted if America takes action, but it’s just too bad.

The ultimate nightmare is a heartbeat away. Americans hope and pray that 9/11 will never occur again. The impetuous to stop a new attack should be stronger than ever. Our first responders should be allowed to work without idiotic encumbrances mandated by the politically correct. Americans should opt to protect their families, friends and their way of life at all costs. If someone or some group is offended, we can apologize later after the terrorists are in jail or killed.

And finally there are our leaders. Some Americans think that liberals are more concerned with destroying the president than anything else including the welfare of our nation. And it’s obvious that short-sighted Republican traitors are prepared to let Democrats have their way. Trump is in a worse predicament than Julius Caesar. His enemies and a growing number of political allies are plotting to stab him in the back (metaphorically speaking).

In times of distress Americans have always rallied and joined together to fight those that threaten us. Many Americans now believe that the insatiable drive for political influence has superseded our instincts to fight as one against oppression.

 

Public Theater’s Presentation Suggests That Trump May Experience The Same Fate as Caesar

There was treachery amiss in Central Park during a presentation of “Julius Caesar” produced by The Public Theater. The play is a modern day interpretation of the magnificent work by William Shakespeare. But something was rotten in Denmark to quote “Hamlet,” another play by the Bard.

Julius Caesar was a “magnetic, populist, irreverent” leader of the Roman Empire. After his victories in the Gallic Wars , Caesar increased his control over Rome thereby creating opposition in the Senate, most notably from Cassius, Brutus and Casca.

Cassius convinced the others that Caesar longed to be emperor of Rome, and he would usurp the power of the democratic Senate. They agreed to assassinate Caesar after Brutus concluded, “his love of Caesar was less than his love for Rome.” The dastardly deed occurred on March 15, 44 B.C.- on the Ides of March. The balance of the story pits the assassins against Mark Antony (interestingly played by a woman).

The character that stole the show was Julius himself for all the wrong reasons. The producers opted to present the characters in 21st Century attire, suits and ties for the men and dresses for the women. The most significant aspect of this sidebar to the actual play is that Julius looks like, sounds like and acts much like Donald Trump.

In a very clever way Caesar delivers Shakespeare’s actual words in a way that the impersonation of the president is unmistakable. Even more important was that Caesar’s actions, which were treacherous in the eyes of Brutus and Cassius, were correlated to the policies and agenda of the Trump administration. The very strong implication is that like Caesar, Trump is a traitor to democracy and deserving of a similar fate as Caesar- assassination.

Many people in America dislike and even hate President Trump. Yet has a strong group of supporters and was fairly elected in a democratic election. In our civilized society changes in government are supposed to happen in the voting booth.

In Julius Caesar it is reasonable for the audience to be sympathetic with Brutus’ perspective but his actions were not good for Rome moving forward, and he committed a capital crime. For what it’s worth Dante relegates Brutus and Cassius to his ninth ring of hell in his Inferno. He called them the vilest sinners in history along with Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus Christ.

As I was preparing this essay I came upon an article indicating that Delta Air Lines and the Bank of America “were [revoking] sponsorship of New York’s famed Public Theater because . . . [it] is staged with an assassinated title character who resembles Donald Trump.” The article also referred to the despicable posting by Kathy Griffin of herself holding a fake severed head of Trump. Griffin was fired from CNN and elsewhere for the misstep.

Encouraging assassination of public leaders, even for artistic purposes, is inexcusable and immoral. Julius Caesar, the play, was excellent, but the imagery of our president was disturbing.

Humpty Trumpty is having a big fall . . .

The American experiment to elect an outsider president has been an unmitigated disaster. Yet voters should appreciate that there are forces at work that will not accept an anti-establishment politician under any circumstances. Nevertheless many of us have been surprised that a duly elected president would be treated so shabbily and the liberal press and radical elements would join together to ensure his failure.

Donald Trump was elected because he was not part of the political establishment, which has done such great harm to our country over the past few decades. Trump is not responsible for the horrendous conditions prevailing across America. Rather he promised to expose inequities and problems domestically and internationally and make America great again.

When you consider the countless missteps of previous presidents who were clones of the types of men our country has always elected, you may be scratching your head asking why shouldn’t we try something new?

Trump is an outsider for sure. He criticizes all the bonehead decisions by his predecessors regardless of their political affiliations. Today Democrats and Republicans alike don’t support him. Senate and House Republicans have stabbed him in the back and resisted the implementation of many items that they endorsed in their political campaigns a few short months ago.

Trump is a political neophyte who naively thought he could reorganize the bureaucracy of our country the way he would a bankrupt company. His objectives are to eliminate waste and make the system more efficient. He’s discovered that the parallels between government and business are very different.

The response to Trump’s growing pains as president was most harsh when Republicans lost their courage to back him even after he led a clean sweep of the presidency and both houses of Congress. Political hacks will do anything, including threaten the very core of their own party, to fortify their own positions. While it suited their purposes they rallied around the brash outsider with his ill-regarded Twitter account. But when it came to brass tacks they dropped Trump like a hot potato. We now can be sure that political hacks will never accept an outsider. Their mantra is that every candidate must pay their dues and drink the party’s Kool-Aid.

Most Americans know that Trump is a self-promoting egomaniac. It was clear to New Yorkers for a long time and became evident to the electorate after a few political rallies and during the Republican debates. Yet change was so important that the electorate strove to bring in new blood and avoid four more years with the Clintons.

To a great extent Trump is responsible for the way he’s being treated. He doesn’t think it’s important to be liked. He believes that performance will ultimately win the day. Most people loved John F. Kennedy. He won the hearts of all Americans regardless of their political affiliations. We all mourned his early demise. It’s a testament to how far charisma can advance a politician’s career.

As a citizen Donald Trump stewed over the problems in America. He was perturbed that so many gamed the system, in Congress, at work and in their personal lives. Taking advantage of America’s generosity has resulted in a great corruption and waste.

Internationally Trump is right on. Most NATO members have not met their commitments to defense spending even as the threat of global terrorism and aggression by nuclear powers has increased materially. These cheaters know that the U.S. will take up the slack in a crisis, so they use our tax money to subsidize the cost of their security. When Trump called out the NATO members who have not increased spending they were insulted. Frankly the gall of our supposed allies should be an insult to Americans.

Climate change is another example of American generosity being abused. If the U.S. agrees to cut gashouse emissions it will happen. Is anyone so naïve to think that China, India and Brazil are going to do their part at the expense of their economies? Trump rightly walked away from the Paris agreement because he wants assurances that every signatory will do their part. Moreover the pact is non-binding and greenhouse gases are supposed to be reduced over a number of years.

Specifically if the U.S. imposes pollution requirements on a widget manufacturer the company’s costs will increase. If a competing Chinese widget manufacturer is not subjected to the same pollution standards, and costs, they will trounce their U.S. competitor in the marketplace and go out of business. This is an example of how American workers will lose out if the Paris accords are not carefully negotiated.

In trade agreements around the world the U.S. always gets the short end of the stick. Why is Trump’s desire to ensure that trade deals are fair a bad idea? Why should we allow other nations to unfairly prop up their industries at the expense of ours?

Even now many Americans believe that many of the things Trump wants for the country would be beneficial. Obamacare is a disaster, and every informed American knows it. Yet Trump’s opposition and his own party are making it impossible to amend.

Illegal immigration has cost Americans untold billions over the past two decades. And yet so many liberals are fighting tooth and nail to give these interlopers citizenship without any strings attached. It’s baffling to many Americans.

Immigration from certain places in the Arab world is creating greater and greater risk for countries around the globe. ISIS is determined to undermine western nations by brainwashing and financing suicide murderers. All non-Arab countries should take a time out and initiate action to lessen the peril of murderous acts on their homelands. The U.K. has been devastated three times in the past few weeks with terrorist acts. It’s hard to believe the U.S. is not being targeted at this very moment. Restricting immigration won’t end the problem, but it will decrease the odds of it occurring.

Many experts agree that the U.S. is being taken advantage of by its allies. For instance we should not be subsidizing the United Nations for international forces that are sent to far off hot spots around the world, climate change, efforts to decrease famine and disease and all other military and humanitarian efforts. Every U.N. nation should be paying their fair share.

It may be too late for Trump to rally. The press and liberal lawmakers are relishing the president’s struggles. “I hope Trump fails miserably” is the mantra of Trump haters. Talk about an un-American perspective.

Trump’s bureaucracy is not coming together because he is such a wild care, a grown up child that thinks tweets are the best way to put down enemies. Communicating on social media is here to stay. But in politics this form of reaching out to constituents has a long way to go.

From the start of the Trump era I said he could be a success based upon performance, notwithstanding his temperament. The political hacks in Washington just will not allow this to happen. And the traitors in his own party should start preparing to be the minority in as early as 2018 or no later than 2020 when a Democrat will surely be elected president. Humpty Trumpty is about to take a fall, and he will be dragging Republicans down with him.

Eliminate The Senate Filibuster And Save The Republican Party

Given the current state of affairs in Congress the time may be right for Senate Republicans to consider the ultimate nuclear option (elimination of the filibuster). The nuclear option is a parliamentary procedure that allows the United States Senate to override a rule or precedent by a simple majority of 51 votes, instead of by a supermajority of 60 votes.

This action would expedite new legislation and decrease the ability of the opposition to preempt bills passing through the upper house. Twice the majority in Congress used the nuclear option. Democrats applied it in response to Republican efforts to forestall the confirmations of justices (other than to the Supreme Court) when they controlled the Senate. Now justices can be confirmed with a simple majority rather than 60 votes. This year Republicans applied the same rule to the Supreme Court so that confirmation requires a simple majority.

A filibuster that would require 60 votes still can impede all legislative work. It is this parliamentary procedure that makes the enactment of new legislation so difficult, particularly in a hostile political environment.

The nuclear option could have an impact on Republican members of the House who are having some buyer’s remorse after passing health care legislation. They know that the Senate, impeded by the threat of a filibuster, will have a difficult time enacting the legislation without massive changes. Some Republican lawmakers are asking themselves why they should step up and support Trump’s efforts relating to health care if the chances of its passage are remote. In tumultuous town hall meetings with constituents Republican lawmakers are experiencing a great backlash regarding health care. Killing the filibuster would virtually insure passage of a bill in the House that includes Senate changes.

Republicans will incur huge losses in the 2018 mid term elections if Trump is unable to execute his agenda. Already his most important campaign promises are in jeopardy and severely delayed. A Democratic political tsunami is likely in upcoming elections. It will set the stage for a Democrat presidency in 2020.

Republicans are committing political suicide by refusing to work with their president. Similarly it is a death sentence for Trump and his party to not implement the president’s stated goals. If Republicans knew legislation was assured with 100% participation of their caucus, the needed votes to push through legislation may suddenly materialize for all of Trump’s initiatives.

Executing the ultimate nuclear option and the death of the filibuster is something not one senator is in favor of, according to Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the Senate Leader. Why would Republicans allow tradition to impede their goals? True filibuster protection would not be available to them if Democrats take control of the Senate. But if they don’t find a way to pass legislation Senate Republicans will surely be in the minority come 2018. The survival of the party may be at stake. The un-American and spiteful actions of Democrats towards the Trump administration deserve an in-kind response.

The filibuster played an important role for many years. But the hyper-partisanship that exists on Capitol Hill has made the filibuster a tool of outright obstruction for the minority rather than a way to encourage compromise. Today the filibuster makes it nearly impossible for Congress to do its job.

The filibuster enables the party that loses the election to have an important veto power in the Senate. It makes no sense to reward the party that is defeated in the election. The majority party knows that at some point their adversaries will be in control. This is enough of an incentive to not abuse the opposition party assuming the nuclear option was to be implemented and the filibuster killed.

Trump and the Republican Party need some legislative success in the near future. This is not going to be possible if Republicans are not united and if the filibuster continues to be an obstructionist weapon wielded by the minority.

Considering the disrespect and venom that flows from the ranks of Democrats neither the president nor House Republicans should be concerned about hurting the feelings of Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi.

The filibuster should be eliminated and Republicans should fall in line with the president.