Trump’s Most Challenging Issues

Given all the drama in Washington during the past nine months, it might make an American wonder whether Donald Trump is capable of getting our country back on track. In what areas is the US most vulnerable to missteps by the president?

By far the most troublesome issue is the nuclear showdown with North Korea. If Kim Jong-un can launch a missile with a nuclear warhead and hit a target several thousand miles away, the US is facing a real existential threat. What does this mean?

If Kim decides to attack either the US or any of our allies, it would result in the total obliteration of North Korea. This of course would have a devastating effect on both the target of North Korea’s missiles, North Korea itself and possibly the US.

Trump’s role in this dire scenario is critical. Unlike the Soviet Union during the Cold War, North Korea may not appreciate the concept of mutual destruction. The US and its archenemy at the time would never launch nuclear warheads because it would forever change mankind. Are we sure Kim feels the same obligations to protect mankind?

Antagonizing North Korea could lead to further tension or a snap decision by the maniac in North Korea. In recent days Trump’s unconventional rhetoric towards Kim has had in impact. Kim apparently is unsure about Trump’s ultimate objectives. He seems to be as concerned about his adversary initiating a military invasion, as the US is about him doing the same thing. Detente will be critical in avoiding a nuclear showdown.

Longer term the prospects for peace are not good. North Korea will continue to enhance its nuclear technology. This problem is not going away, and it will necessitate extraordinary diplomatic efforts to avert all out war.

Another issue that Trump will impact greatly is the way the presidency and Congress relate to each other. Historically Washington did business and met the needs of Americans through compromise. Give and take negotiations resulted in a vibrant and effective government.

Today bipartisanship, comity and concern for our country are less important than political gamesmanship and the desire for power. Exacerbating the situation is the horrible relationship between the president and his own party. Previously members of the same party in Congress supported presidential administrations. No longer is this the case. Ideology has overwhelmed the Republican Party. Compromise and good government are no longer a high priority.

Trump has done more than his fair share to worsen this situation. He should be slighted by his party’s obstructionist mentality. But much of what the president is experiencing is of his own doing.

Radical elements in both parties will continue to plague Washington. The old guards need to be replaced. But with no term limits, this ray of hope is weakening every day.

The financial strength of our country is on a decline. Overspending, poor accountability and an inability to terminate programs that are no longer needed are causing our nation’s debt to rise to epic levels.

It will be impossible to ever balance the budget unless spending for entitlements are reined in. In one regard the financial problems of our country reflect demographic changes. We have more older people than ever who need affordable health care protection and social security. These have become albatrosses that are slowly bankrupting our country.

Obamacare was ill-conceived even though its objectives are noble. The program is too expensive for the government and too costly for the insured. Political nonsense has prevented any needed changes to the entitlement.

Social Security is another huge weight on our country. Americans are living longer and need a security net. But the old are effectively stealing from the young. The program needs to be redesigned to meet the future needs of an ageing population. Once again partisan politics has made any needed adjustments impossible.

Trump is in a position to make positive changes in these debilitating entitlements. However it does not appear that he will ever have the political capital or the savvy to get the job done efficiently and expeditiously. Further he has not employed the right people to help develop new strategies that could be acceptable to a majority of lawmakers.

The final issue is the attitude of Trump, Congress and the American people towards each other. Many think Trump is a sexist, racist and self-aggrandizing megalomaniac. Many think that Congress is totally inept and driven only by a desire by members to keep their seats. Many think that their fellow Americans have social and political agendas that are extreme. Many think our brave first responders treat members of the community unfairly. Many think that immigration has severely weakened the nation and made it less safe.

These feelings, true or not, are tearing our country apart. We need a leader who is able to temper the most radical elements of our society and bring them back into the fold. Is Trump the right person? Many think not.

 

Don’t Waste Your Money On Clinton’s New Book

After 268 pages of torturous reading (out of 469 pages) of “What Happened” by Hillary Clinton, I’m prepared to make some comments. It will come as no surprise to my readers that I think I wasted thirty bucks on the tome. But, as I mentioned in a previous blog post, the money Clinton receives in royalties from suckers like me together with speaking fees paid by groups that she continues to lambaste, may encourage her to finally get out of the American public’s hair once and for all. Fat chance.

Frankly I was hoping to read about Clinton’s take on umpteen scandals she initiated during her notorious years in public service. The Clintons have been power mongers, manipulators and liars for three decades. Bill is the real deal. He started with nothing, swore to be president some day and did it. His wife would have been just another liberal political hack if her husband’s coattails were not so great. In the book Clinton tries to convince her readers that she deserves more credit for all her personal achievements (over and over again). Her relationship with Bill was not the reason why she has been so successful (in her mind).

I didn’t expect Hillary to spend such an inordinate amount of time lauding her achievements. I did expect her to attack her enemies. Crying foul and regurgitating her whole repertoire about how sexist America dealt her a bad hand has become more than trite. What we expect from Hillary is on full display. Americans, Republicans, Democrats, Russians, Comey, Trump, Sanders and numerous others caused her presidential campaign to turn to crap. Some say she just forgot to visit Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio in the final moments before the election. Who made those decisions?

It’s amazing that she and her hubby created such great political turmoil and suspense over the years going all the way back to Whitewater, Vince Foster and Lewinsky and ending with email scandals, the Benghazi deaths of Americans and her ineptness as her presidential candidate.

Clinton is pissed Bernie Sanders had the audacity to run against her and offer really stupid and outrageous proposals. She was unable to put away the ancient socialist early on. She was forced to move left (if that’s possible) to fend off his plans to give away our tax dollars unconditionally. She wasted time and money responding to Sanders’ inane and crazy worldview.

Clinton spends a tremendous amount of time telling her readers that she earned the right to be president. She helped destitute people when she worked at some no-name law firm in Arkansas. She was an activist in college (an all women school). She is a friend of women, children and the needy (scores of examples are presented); men are only referred to negatively. She fought male chauvinism her whole career and broke the glass ceiling a number of times to benefit all womankind. She tirelessly and generously gave her life to America. She thinks she is a model wife, mother, grandmother, daughter and colleague. She didn’t say it but it appears she expects beautification in the future. Give me a break.

Clinton is a hack, a power and money hungry person. She does not have the self-esteem to admit what nearly everyone believes- she was unable to defeat a horrible opponent. Clinton is possibly the only politician alive who could not defeat the former real estate magnate that so many despise. But it wasn’t her fault.

The novel gets syrupy way too often. I never met Clinton, but I, as well as millions of others, find it hard to believe she is the nicest, sweetest person on Earth. Laughable is the laundry list of people that made it possible for her to lose. It was like the Oscars. At least in that venue the band starts playing when the award winner thanks too many people. Not so with Clinton. Her list is endless containing so many names that few Americans will recognize.

Of course the commentary about Trump is vindictive. She could not be more disparaging and unsupportive of the new president. She associates Trump with every negative trait that a man could possibly have. She could not get more personal about Trump, something that I’m sure endears her to many women.

One of the more humorous vignettes (and there are very few funny anecdotes) was Clinton describing how Trump stalked her during the debates. It was said in a way that evoked every woman’s fear of aggressive men. Trump was doing everything to make her feel uncomfortable on stage. In every debate contestants do whatever they can to make their opponents uneasy. The question is, is Clinton a lousy debater, or is Trump a good debater?

The book is very biographical and not informative. It has endless uninteresting memories of the election campaign that I skipped over. The thank-yous were extraordinary. I suppose Clinton is trying to help these people in their careers. I would think being named in her book would negatively impact them. Thanks for helping me lose and be humiliated, everybody.

Frankly I’m running out of steam. I can barely stand to read any more of Clinton’s sob story. She is one of the luckiest women alive having married Bill. Of course the benefits of having him support her political ambitions is offset by his bizarre lifestyle.

In conclusion don’t buy the book. Borrow it from a sucker like me who did. I have a number of people already asking to read my copy.

Protests By Students, Hate Groups And Athletes

Free speech continues to be a controversial issue in America. Protestors are popping up all around the country to a great extent influenced by racial injustice and President Trump’s seemingly defiant attitude.

Three recent events immediately come to mind. The first is Berkeley where students protested the scheduled speech of a conservative commentator. The individual involved and the subject matter is moot. The violence that ultimately resulted in the cancellation of the speech was earth shattering for anyone with a sense of history.

Berkeley was the epicenter of free speech protest in the modern era. The courage of those that protested the Vietnam War (in which 50.000 Americans died unnecessarily) and civil inequality (impacting an entire race of people) is inspirational. Great things were at stake and the influence these protestors had on our country is titanic.

In spite of all this this history, liberal protestors would not allow a conservative to express his opinion. This was a disgraceful episode in our country’s history. Where it all began became the place where it all came crumbling down. Free speech took it on the chin.

Next came Charlottesville. Irresponsible people marching to showcase their hatred of every minority incited a riot with anti-protestors. The confrontation between the groups pitted those who believe all Americans have the right to speak their mind (even if what they say is odious and offensive) against those that have a different definition of protected speech that does not include venomous comments by neo-Nazis and other hate groups.

The mistakes in Charlottesville were many and profound. The hate groups were clearly looking to incite violence and the anti-protestors obliged them. By the way protest that incites violence is not protected free speech.

The police were negligent because they did not keep the groups apart. This resulted in violence that should have been avoided. In 1977 a neo-Nazi march took place in Skokie, IL without violence because the police effectively kept protestors and anti-protestors away from each other.

In the aftermath the president poured gasoline on the fire by attempting to justify the objectives of the protestors. In essence Trump made a case that protestors and their opponents were equally responsible for the violence. From every perspective this pathetic attempt to give hate groups cover was disastrous. Politically the president lost votes. Economically he alienated virtually every business leader in the country. Morally he was on thin ice and fell through. Denigrating hate groups was the smart and righteous move for the administration.

The National Football League players brouhaha is yet another version of the free speech debate. Do football players have the right to protest? Yes, all Americans do. Could they have chosen a better venue to express their misgivings about race relations and police aggression? Many believe so. Was it wise for some owners to look the other way and avoid a confrontation with players? Not in my opinion.

There are other things at play regarding athletes. Most importantly they are denigrating our flag, our freedom, our country and our heroes who have fought for our liberty since the country was founded. The real culprits from the perspective of the players are the police who sometimes do not treat minorities with dignity. The leap from cops to country was inappropriate.

Moreover the crowds that attend football games are tilted towards the patriotic (they are “USA” people for the most part). Boos were prevalent as some (about 13%) of the players protested. It appears that the owners were more concerned with the feelings of their players than their season ticket holders.

The majority of players in the league are from minority groups. And many are sensitive to the improper actions of police in urban centers. This is no small matter. But the judgment of all the parties comes into question.

The protestors could have organized a much more effective protest without desecrating our national anthem. And every player (not just 13%) would have participated. The owners could have helped the players to professionally and effectively present their perspective without offending thousands of spectators.

It should be noted that protests were not violent. In fact, they were silent. Yet many spectators think these athletes should be thankful that they are paid inordinate amounts of money to play football. It was risky for the players to bite the hand that feeds them.

When it’s all said and done the players short-changed their own protest by acting impetuously and not in an organized fashion. And many viewers are disillusioned by acts against the country they love.

 

US Must Stop North Korea Nuclear Advances Now

Recent events involving North Korea should have Americas, Japanese and South Koreans in a tizzy.

Despite the number of ominous stories in the media, Americans are relatively ambivalent about the existential threat of North Korean intercontinental ballistic missiles. Many experts have said that NOKO has the ability to deliver a nuclear missile to US soil. Nevertheless no one is pressing the panic button to this point.

The fear and anxiety in Japan has to be much greater. Kim Jong-un is launching missiles over the heads of Japanese citizens, which are plunging into the ocean a thousand miles beyond them. The implications are clear- NOKO could easily reprogram the missiles to hit Tokyo.

South Korean soldiers can see the build up of arms and men just across the 38th parallel that separates North from South. If a war began NOKO would likely launch an assault with its million man army and unleash short term conventional missiles at Seoul, the capital of South Korea. The city has a population of almost 11 million and is a short 35 miles from the border.

Americans and their government need to be more aggressive with Kim. It is utter insanity to stand aside and allow the maniacal despot to threaten our homeland. We must assume that NOKO has not yet perfected  missile technology that includes a nuclear warhead and accuracy to hit Guam, Hawaii or California. If NOKO can already accomplish this, the security of our country is in dire straits and all the US presidents since the Korean War are responsible.

But why aren’t Americans pushing the president and our leaders to do more to deal with this deadly situation? Why are we still sticking our heads in the sand giving NOKO more time and more practice launching missiles? In his great work Machiavelli wrote, “. . . you ought never to suffer your designs to be crossed in order to avoid war,  since war is not to to be avoided, but is only deferred to your disadvantage.”

Truer words were never spoken. The KOKO situation is going to become more problematic. Kim is intent. His only claims to fame are his nukes. They give him a seat at the negotiating table. Great powers, the US, China and Russia, will be kowtowing to him if we wait any longer.

Informed people appreciate all the reasons to avoid war with NOKO. It has many missiles (some of which are mobile) so the US could not destroy them all in a preemptive attack . Seoul will be NOKO’s primary target. Hundreds of thousand will perish. Japan will be a secondary target. It is staggering that so many in Japan still grasp onto non-militaristic ideals while the nut case in NOKO is shooting missiles over their heads.

The only thing that we can be sure about is that NOKO will perfect a capability to his American soil in the near future, if it hasn’t already done so.

It’s time for the US to employ our most advanced weapons, cyber warfare, special ops and crushing sanctions with our without support from the United Nations, China or Russia.

Harvard Shuns Political Correctness For Principle

Douglas Elmendorf, head of Harvard’s School of Government, reversed an explosive decision to offer Chelsea Manning a fellowship. Manning is the convicted traitor who leaked secret government information.  Hats off to those at Harvard who admitted they made a mistake and had the courage to rectify the situation. This situation was discussed in the Sunday New York Times.

Manning, a transgender, served seven years of a 35 year prison sentence for her treacherous behavior. She was pardoned by President Obama late in his tenure. This decision by the former president had many people scratching their heads.

The response to the original announcement of Ms. Manning’s fellowship was decidedly negative.  Noteworthy was a former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency under Obama who gave up his fellowship in protest saying the invitation “honors” a convicted felon and leaker of classified information. Soon after Mike Pompeo, the CIA Director did not appear at a scheduled event at the school because “Ms. Manning betrayed her country . . .”

Harvard has indicated that it strongly supports the ability of noteworthy people to express their opinions at the college even if their beliefs are “odious” to others. It honored this tradition by offering an opportunity to Ms. Manning to speak on campus. A fellowship has a small stipend attached to it. Speakers receive no compensation.

It was gratifying to see Harvard deftly avoid “uncomfortable controversy over whether it should confer its prestige and honor on people who broke the law. ” The smell of the over-the-top political correctness of a Manning fellowship was too much for Harvard.

Unlike several other colleges in the country where the announcement of conservative speakers resulted in riots, injuries and destruction of property, Harvard found a path that should be amenable to most parties. Of course some indicated that the college was “kowtowing to the powers that be.”

Ms. Manning responded with the following, “this is what a military/police/intel state looks like . . .” Others think this is how a highly sophisticated and principled institution can protect free speech and avoid physical confrontation. Good job Harvard.

 

 

 

Hillary Plays All The “Cards” In New Book

As promised in my last post, I purchased Hillary Clinton’s new book. I’ve read about 125 pages and HRC has already played every conceivable “card”- the spurned female card, the race card, the misogynist card, the sexist card (she explains in detail why these are different), the sympathy card, the grandmother card, the Cinderella card, the ugly ducking card, the conspiracy card and so on. She pretty much used the whole deck in the first few pages. The beginning of the book is basically about HRC’s journey through life fighting discrimination and social injustice directed specifically towards her like Joan of Arc.

Frankly this is not what I want to read about. I rather hear her side of the story as it relates to the scandals, lies and deceptions that are directly related to her unsuccessful campaign. There is no way that I or any other informed reader is going to change our mind about HRC’s 2016 disastrous political campaign.

While reading the first pages of her book, it was if she won an Oscar. She spent an inordinate amount of time naming scores of people who worked so hard for the HRC campaign and were denied the joy of seeing her win the big prize (I never heard of most of them). However in Hollywood only the winners get to make these speeches where they thank all those that brought them success. The losers stew in their own disappointment, have another glass of Chardonnay and try to think of ways to win a statue next year. HRC thinks she is a gigantic success on the heels of an incompetent, naïve and misguided election campaign. She continually says she can’t understand why this happened to her.

I hope the book soon gets on point. I want to know “what happened” during the election. She can save the whining and gnashing of teeth resulting from her resounding defeat. Most astute analysts have said HRC’s performance, not a massive societal conspiracy (or Russian involvement), resulted in the election of Donald Trump as president.

HRC keeps discussing the possibilities for women and then apologizes for telling her tale of woe. She doesn’t want to discourage women from running for office. But she can’t control herself because of her bitterness. She even alluded to the fact that her husband was able to achieve his destiny because he is a man. Some people would say Bill became president in spite of his overactive male libido. Being a man hurt her husband.

HRC seemingly is trying to inspire a revolution by women in America because of her loss. This narcissistic perspective that the whole world revolves around her life is so un-American. She even admits that her plight was so much less complicated and difficult than others who fought serious racial and sexual discrimination. For goodness sake she grew up in a middle class family from Chicago, went to the best schools, married a man who became president of the United States and road his coattail to become an activist, a senator and the Secretary of State. She even receives hundreds of thousands of dollars to make speeches to bankers, who she still contends she despised. Should HRC’s female colleagues lose sleep over the fact that she was unable to win a presidential primary in 2008 and an election in 2012?

The fact is America is sick and tired of hearing from and being scammed by the Clintons. Even though she won the popular vote (you must win the electoral vote to become president), the resentment in the country towards her was greater than the negative feelings the electorate had towards Trump. That’s why she lost. Trump was, and is, one of the most obnoxious men ever to hold public office. Hillary was the only person in America that he could defeat even as his sexist, misogynistic, xenophobic, self-aggrandizing perspectives were on display. Turning it around HRC was unable to defeat a person who was arguably the worst presidential candidate in history.

I hope the book gets more interesting. HRC has been taking potshots at Trump and Comey, her two most hated foils. I want to read about some juicy tidbits. If not I will regret my $20.00 investment in the HRC retirement fund.

 

Hillary Clinton’s Latest Sob Story

I have not read Hillary Clinton’s new book (only a review in the New York Times). It is titled, “What Happened.” Yet this “defiant” and one-sided effort makes both Democrats and Republicans cringe.

Hillary Clinton rode Bill’s coattails into politics. She never had the charisma of her soul mate, but she is equally conspiratorial. In spite of never ending scandals going back to Whitewater, the suspicious death of Vince Foster and the Monica craziness, and ending with illegal computer servers and lies about Benghazi, the Clintons were never guilty of anything, so they say.

Hillary has resorted to every excuse trying to convince America (and maybe herself) that she should have been elected president beginning with the “popular vote” argument. Fact is, in the US, the candidate with the most electoral votes, not the total number of votes received, determines the winner. If you have a problem with the system change the Constitution, good luck with that.

Clinton says sexism was prevalent (yawn) and America is bias against a female president. It is commonplace for spurned individuals to create straw man arguments to justify their own shortcomings. For sure some men, ignorant ones, cannot deal with women in power. But to indict our electoral system with speculative sexual accusations is not productive.

Clinton even plays the race card. I thought this strategy was only legitimate for minorities. I guess I was wrong. Clinton believes that because her agenda was fraught with benefits directed at poor people (and many minorities), white people voted against her.

Clinton apparently did a hatchet job on James Comey, former head of the FBI, who indicated he was, and then wasn’t, investigating her. Supposedly his behavior cost her the election. Comey has been both the darling and devil of the left. It depends upon whether one is discussing Clinton or Trump.

Even Bernie Sanders takes it on the chin. Clinton is angry that his proposals were popular but totally unachievable. So she had to compete with his agenda even though it was not feasible. What she’s saying is that Sanders pushed her to the left.

Let’s discuss some of the reasons why Clinton lost the election.

 

-America wanted change, especially the middle class. Clinton did not recognize, or chose to ignore, this phenomenon and took blue-collar workers for granted.

 

-The country is sick and tired of the “Clinton dynasty” and all the drama associated with it. The couple is fast and loose with the truth and was continuously exposed by the media.

 

-The Clintons are scandalmongers. Hillary has left a trail of deceit and lies wherever she worked.

 

-Hilary thought she was above the law. The computer scandal is a perfect example of her attitude. Using personal servers for confidential government business is illegal. Clinton did it anyway. She broke the law, and average Americas resent those who believe they need not follow the rules.

 

-The Clintons and the Obamas have been feuding for a long time. This made it impossible for Barack to support Hillary sincerely. In fact he expertly tempered Clinton and demanded her support in 2008 by naming her Secretary of State. It was a fatal flaw to not engage Obama more deeply in the 2016 campaign. I doubt Obama was unhappy that Clinton lost the election.

 

-Hillary is a terrible candidate and campaigner. She is not authentic. Every word out of her mouth is calibrated to garner votes (unlike the man who defeated her who has loose lips and an overactive Twitter account).

 

-Hillary made enemies when she served Obama, including Putin and many other world leaders. She hurt the country diplomatically. It seems that she made Putin so furious that he authorized his minions to influence the election against her.

 

-Hillary too often whines about conspirators that are intent on bringing her down. It’s a tired perspective. It often happens when you are powerful and no one really likes you.

 

There are many other issues, which I’m sure will be exposed in Clinton’s tome.

I will be buying the book and putting money into Clinton’s pocket. I really hate to do it. But perhaps she will earn enough from her latest sob story to finally retire along with her husband and give us some relief.

 

Is America Safe?

On the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Americans are wondering whether they are safer now than in 2001. Rogue nations are developing nuclear weaponry and terrorist activity has increased throughout the world so say no.

After 9/11 our leaders, backed by most Americans, took very aggressive steps to punish Al Qaeda and weed out terrorist in the country. During this time the pendulum of political correctness swung far to the right. Draconian measures were initiated to try to preempt other attacks. To this day airport security has significantly inconvenienced most Americans but decreased the odds of an incident in the sky.

A large group of Americans believe that more steps should be taken to ensure that foreigners visiting and settling in the US are not affiliated with terrorist groups. The PC pendulum has moved to the far left in recent years so that efforts to screen visitors and immigrants more vigorously have been resisted.

What has the US done to make us safer, or not, since 9/11, aside from the tedious checks at our airports? One of the obvious missteps was to allow North Korea to develop a nuclear bomb. The US and its allies kicked the can down the road during the past two decades as Kim Jong-un and his father and grandfather signed agreements and then violated them. To make a long story short, the US, China and Russia are responsible for allowing a two-bit wacko to actually develop weapons that are existential risks to the US, South Korea and Japan.

The Obama administration signed a nuclear deal with Iran that will enable it to build a bomb legitimately in less than ten years. The lack of foresight and logic that American negotiators exhibited in the negotiations is mindboggling. Arguably the US is enabling its most despised and untrustworthy enemy to produce a nuclear weapon. Since when should anyone treat purveyors of religious fanaticism and terrorism with favors?

The irony is disconcerting. Without significant monitoring North Korea would likely sell nuclear technology to Iran and other rogue nations to generate cash reserves.

Getting back to immigration, Donald Trump was lambasted when he tried to limit the entry of individuals from unstable countries. Democrats and the liberal press branded his efforts xenophobic. Some Americans call it common sense. Foreigners are not a party to our Constitution. They do not have the same rights as our citizens, and certainly do not have a divine right to come to our land.

Terrorist attacks are prevalent across the globe. The more inundated an area is with Middle Eastern immigrants, the greater the risk of attacks. It is a reality that the left refuses to recognize at the risk of all Americans. How can we be sure that individuals from Yemen, Syria and other religious hotspots will be peaceful and productive visitors or immigrants when there is no way to verify whether they were good citizens in their home countries?

Al Qaeda has been weakened, but terrorist cells supported by Iran and any number of smaller violent groups threaten us. America is not safer, all things considered, and our government should act accordingly to rectify this situation.

Is Trump A Republican Or A Democrat?

The Republican Party is imploding before our very eyes. After cajoling legislators for eight months President Trump has seemingly given up on the G.O.P. He abandoned the ineffective and disloyal senators and representatives who have been unable to enact laws that reflect his vision of America.

The most recent catalysts for this phenomenon are the hurricanes that are devastating large portions of the southeast part of the country and immigration rights for children of illegal aliens. Ironically Trump, Sen. Schumer and Rep. Pelosi came together after so much mudslinging and venomous rhetoric over the past several months. But this wonderful moment of bipartisanship will be short lived. As soon as Chuck and Nancy (Donald’s new bff’s) push back on any one of Trump’s other initiatives they will be his sh-t list once again.

The fact of the matter is that the president really does not get along with anyone. Republicans rode his coattails into absolute power in 2016. This did not amount to anything, as the Trump administration has not been able to rein in conservatives and enact legislation reflecting the president’s views.

Democrats mistakenly believe that their obstruction will give them an edge in the 2018 midterm elections. True, a great portion of the electorate despises Trump and Congress. But congressional elections are local, not national. Odds are that Republicans will retain their position of power. However we may see a number of the Republican traitors lose in primary elections.

What the hell is Trump up to? Does he really think that he can switch parties less than a year into his presidency? What’s most important to the man is his determination to enact legislation consistent with his agenda. Apparently he does not care if Republicans or Democrats enable him to get it done. Nor does he care about collecting political allies.

Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are being cast aside by the administration because of their inability to control the Republican caucus. Neither is capable of managing the growing number of neo-conservatives who put ideology ahead of good government. Many predicted that the Tea Party era would ultimately disrespect Trump, and it has come to fruition.

Some of the most important issues affecting the country remain on the table. Obamacare is on the verge of total collapse. Trump has not decided if he will provide support to the floundering entitlement to halt draconian increases in insurance premiums across the nation.

Tax reform is the next major legislative challenge. The administration has broadly outlined its proposals, but the devil is in the details. Trump claims his plan would increase employment and turbocharge the economy. We shall see whether his aides can convince Congress of this.

The carnage from this year’s hurricane season is going to cost taxpayers a bundle. Congress will have to come to the aid of those who have lost their homes. It will severely impact budget conversations.

And finally there is the international scene. Nuclear proliferation is rampant, terrorism has the free world on edge, Russians are influencing our elections and China is stealing our technology. Trump has not made a dent in any of these growing, and increasingly existential problems.

The question is how will the president get anything done if he is neither a Republican nor a Democrat?

Iran, The Next Nuclear Bully

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, made a speech to the conservative American Enterprise Institute this past Tuesday. In the speech “[she] presented the administration’s argument that Iran was in violation of the spirit, if not the letter, of the [2015 nuclear accord].”

Donald Trump has called the agreement with Iran “the worst deal ever negotiated.” Notwithstanding the certification by international inspectors that Iran was in compliance with the terms of the deal, the president has a greater mandate to ensure the national security of the US and to consider the larger picture of Iran’s behavior.

This picture reveals that Iran is testing missiles, fomenting violence in the Middle East and sponsoring terrorism, all items not addressed in the nuclear document. In this regard Trump will likely not certify compliance by Iran in the future, which he is required to do every six months. If this happens Congress must respond and could ramp up sanctions against Iran.

In her speech Haley indicated that inspectors only look at a small number of sites in Iran. There are many more military locations where Iran could be conducting prohibited activities related to its nuclear program. If inspectors request to visit a site not on the approved list, Iran can delay it for up to several weeks. Obviously they would clean up any unauthorized activities.

The Iran accord is reminiscent of the North Korean conundrum. For years North Korea made promises, signed agreements and cheated. Ultimately (now) North Korea has nuclear bombs and is on its way to developing intercontinental ballistic missiles that  threaten South Korea, Japan, Guam, Hawaii and the continental US. It would be irresponsible to allow yet another rogue nation to develop existential weaponry.

In less than ten years Iran will be free to build a nuclear arsenal. The basis of the 2015 accord is therefore totally flawed. When the clock runs out Iran will be threatening the US, Israel and Sunni states the same way that North Korea does now.

What can we expect until Iran can produce nukes without restrictions? The Sunni nations, in particular Saudi Arabia, will develop or buy nuclear technology to counter Iran’s weaponry, and an arms race will be under way. It is mind-boggling to think that the region could be anymore dangerous than it already is, but it will be.

President Trump should react aggressively to Iran’s uncivilized, anti-social and bellicose activities. Virtually every action by Hezbollah and other anti-Sunni and anti-Semitic groups is being supported and financed by Iran. The conflict between Shiites and Sunnis continues to escalate, but now both sides will eventually have weapons of mass destruction.

Ms. Haley’s speech was a real eye opener for America. In essence she predicted Iran will soon join North Korea as another nuclear bully in just a few years.

The US has an opportunity to stop the proliferation of nukes and should enthusiastically do so.