Thursday, March 09, 2017

Trump Is Different But Not Different Enough

Viva La Differance. This is America. The shining city on the hilltop. We are the place where huddled masses find comfort. We are the place where black, white, yellow, red, guy, girl, rich, poor, straight, or not-straight all legally, morally, and (more than any other country) actually created equal. We don't simply acknowlege being different either. We shout it out in football stadiums. We blast it out over concert speakers. We wear it everywhere from Skid Row (see what I did there?) to the boardroom, from construction sites to Congress. We don't do homogenus. And that gentle reader is why the Donald is your President.

He's different. His opponents were not different enough. They were birds of a feather who fell together (sorry couldn't help myself) because they were "Establishment". All of them were either career politicians who had been crooks and liars for years or they were different but not different enough. His final opponent was crushed because of the difference. She was blah, boring, dishonest, unaccomplished, and untrusted; by her own people. He was loud, brash, and made it a point to connect to everyone who was different fromt the typical Democrat Voter. And of course he is now vilified by the ones who missed what they thought was a date with destiny. Hell hath no fury like a Democrat Voter scorned. Just look at the ongoing riots and other violence.

Donald Trump has a max of eight years to parlay that difference into something worthy of the office. He needs to get on twitter and lose the #SnowFlakeTrigger tweets. Instead he needs to tweet out what is going on in real time. How about a tweet that says "Getting ready to Veto a Bill that infringes on 1st Amendment". Or a Facebook post that says "Congress wants to penalize Almond Growers and not admit that Almond Milk is a thing. #DairyLobby #CronyCapitalism". Or an Instagram of him signing an executive order telling the DEA & the DOJ to leave non-violent drug users alone. #MyBodyMyChoice right?

He needs to be more Presidential. His Bearing, discussed in my previous post, sucks. Now is the time to be more different than ever by acting like the no compromise grown up in the room. If he thinks that Obama wiretapped him then he should say it. Then, taking a cue from Ross Perot, he needs posterboard sized documentation intended to prove the allegation. When he says the press is against him he needs to substantiate it by quoting facts that defy the press to prove him wrong.

Trump has a golden opportunity make different cool again. Imagine that, a no nonsense POTUS that stands up for the Constitution, tells Congress to do it right, appoints Judges who will also care for the Constitution, keeps the American people reliably informed, and tells the world that we are a leader of nations and not an empire. Trump could break the lock of cookie cutter crooks and liars that parade in every two to four years for their time at the trough.

Right now though he's #NotGettingItDone.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

On Bearing and Trump

Bearing.It's one of the Leadership Traits as taught to Marines. Bearing is how you present yourself. When you walk into a room your presence should fill it. Bearing means that you exude the qualities people look for in a leader. In a military leader it is the qualities that help to get your people to follow you into places that sane people steer clear of. In a political leader it means projecting honesty, empathy, wisdom, and the ability to get things done with subtle charm. Bearing can also be acting. Just because you come across as a nice guy without a dishonest bone in your body doesn't mean you are. The world is full of snake charmers who convinced others in hundreds of intangible ways that they were the real deal.

What did Bearing have to do with the recent election? How about now? How is President Trump's Bearing helping or hurting him? During the election he projected exactly the persona needed to bring the apathetic and marginalized out to vote and shockingly derail the Clinton's manifest destiny. Even if you don't like Trump, I don't, if you opposed her then it was a thing of beauty. 

But now the President is displaying the same #Snoflake bearing that spoiled, thin skinned, and overly protected college kids are projecting. If you are critical of him then you can stand by to be assaulted by him personally on Twitter. So, if you think that today's liberals are a bunch of whining losers who need to grow the hell up ... you better think that of the President as well.

Now is the time for him to excoriate his opponents and visciously remind the media that they are there to report the news without bias. He should embark on a scorched earth, take-no-prisoners, diatribe to point out everything he will be working to dismantle, destroy, or improve. Let his supporters see it and revel in it. Then he should tell those supporters that it is time to shift gears. It is time to extend the hand of friendship to the utterly defeated foe and give them an opportunity to grow up and get on board with (his words) making America great again.

In short it is time for President Trump to become Presidential. It is time to take his strategic plan and implement it using tactics that will work. Because even if you believe in him (and I don't) he is not going to be effective if he continues to act like the spoiled little college brats that are rioting because they are not getting their way.

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

It's Time For A Political Reboot

h I am sooooo very sick of politics. So, this installment of Reboot America themed articles ( the first is here) will talk about the character of the people we elect. It is time, past time, to demand that our elected leaders be men and women of character. It is time to differentiate Statesmen from mere politicians. This will be a long read. So, gather your beverages, take a deep breath, and read on please.

In the sixties, I was a kid and we all wanted to be one of three things. We wanted to be President, an Astronaut, or a Marine. I got the best of the three deals. Today, I know kids who still idolize Astronauts and people in all kinds of uniform. I don’t know a kid that wants to be President. That’s pretty sad. I can’t prove it, but I think the stench of political corruption has finally permeated down to the point that even grade schoolers know that “politician” isn’t a word that inspires images of trust and selfless service.

The first thing I would propose is a Constitutional Amendment that mandates integrity and honorable character be demanded of our federally elected officials. I don’t mean something vague like “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” either. I mean an amendment along the lines of “Any elected Member of the United States Government, or Member of an Appointed Federal Judiciary suspected of violations of the current code of ethical conduct will be removed of his or her official duties during the duration of an investigation of said allegation. If said allegation is substantiated, the member shall be removed from office and where applicable referred to appropriate judicial proceedings for prosecution.”

The next thing we must lobby for is the complete revision of the rules used in each house of Congress to define and investigate ethics complaints. Like the Constitution itself, if you get to make the rules, you should at least try to live by them. Currently, the process of identification and investigation takes entirely too long. The Office of Congressional Ethics, for the 2nd Qtr of 2012, conducted 32 preliminary reviews. Of those 32, 10 were sent on to the actual House Ethics Committee for further review. The OCE was a great idea by Pelosi in order to drain the swamp as it were. But it is a ‘civilian’ committee with nothing more than the authority to tell the HEC that they should or should not pursue an investigation. So, what happened to those ten cases sent from OCE to HEC?

The House Ethics Committee has swallowed them up. There is no easy to find information of what or who the allegations pertained to or progress of investigations. The best I could easily find were three press releases on the HEC website. I read one of them and noted that Rep Waters was personally cleared of violating house rules. One of her employees was issued a “Letter of Reproof”. More on that later.

Finally, even in cases of egregious misconduct, House Members are rarely hit with more than a “Sanction”. For all it’s ominous sounds, a sanction is nothing more than a public slap on the wrist. From there it is up to the Justice Department to determine if they wish to pursue a criminal action.

For brevities sake I omitted the Senate. I strongly feel that we need an amendment to remove the self-policing action of either house, the judiciary, or the executive branch. The process needs to be brutally swift, decisive, and draconian on those who violate the peoples special trust and confidence.

Remember Rep. Waters employee who received a “letter of reproof”? I’d say that the wrong person was punished. I’d say that as a Leader, Rep Waters is responsible for everything done or not done in her name. I’d say that her employee is accountable to her, and to the law when required, but that she and she alone should bear the official blame.

To be a Leader, one must strive to be unique in that matters of character do not surface. Each of the uniformed services clearly sets a standard for every leader from the most junior (Corporals, Petty Officers) to the most senior (Generals, Admirals). Amazingly the standard is the same. If we can expect such a high level of performance from our 19 year old Corporals, we damn sure should expect it from our elected officials. Leadership Traits for Congress as well as Leadership Principles for Congress explores the military leadership standard and how it can translate to better elected leaders. I submit that if we are people of integrity we will want to hold our elected leaders as close to these standards as humanly possible regardless of party affiliation. I actually dare you to read the two articles, then do a mental matchup and see how your current Presidential favorite stacks up. If he or she doesn’t measure up; do you have the moral courage to not vote for him or her? Remember, voting in the lesser of two evils is still supporting evil.

The final part of this reboot involves the President of the United States personally. He or She really isn’t the long term leader of the nation. That is Congress. He or She cannot really influence the law. That is the Judiciary. But, He or She has their finger on the button. The POTUS is the person who determines when, where, and how your friends and neighbors die all over the globe. The POTUS determines when, where, and how our enemies and the noncombatants they hide behind die all over the globe. The POTUS has the power to unconditionally pardon mass murderers if he so chooses. Someone with that much immediate power must be held to an even higher standard than those under his command.

I propose another Constitutional Amendment. This time it is for a vote of no confidence and removal from office to be initiated by the States themselves. I envision any state drafting a letter of no-confidence. Then the letter is sent to all the other state legislatures via the senior of the two Senators. Why? Because per the Constitution, the Senate is the voice of the States as opposed to the people.

Once this letter is received, each state legislature and Governor will debate it and either approve, ignore, or reject it. If a supermajority of States approve the letter of no confidence then it is delivered to the Congress stating that the President has been declared unfit for continued service. At that point the Amendment would grant the House of Representatives the option of drafting Articles of Impeachment. If the House declined or ignored the States declaration (silence equaling contempt or consent), then the States themselves would convene its’ own version of the Senate court to try the President with the ultimate penalty being removal from office. It would require a three-fourths majority to convict. And, as in the case of impeachment trials now, would not be subject to judicial review.

There’s a point to the alternate impeachment amendment, or simply revising the relevant parts of Article I, II, and III. It’s purpose would be to ensure that a partisan Congress could not ignore egregious violations from the executive by virtue of numbers in office and political party affiliation.

I would leave you with one last thought. It is often said we get the government we deserve. It is said that the government is a reflection of the people and the times. If this is true; what does it say about us?
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Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Integrity matters, more than any other single leadership or character trait that I can imagine. Lack of integrity leads to misery, ruin, and sometimes people die. Lack of integrity is a hallmark of our elected officials. Lack of integrity is also a hallmark of our military leaders that have been placed into the media spotlight for sexual misconduct of all types. My question to everyone is why we tolerate this state of affairs? How is it that we accept such poor examples for ourselves and our kids?

Having integrity means that you can trust someone to have your back. And lack of integrity means that while you're moving forward you have to constantly be scanning around you to make sure the person guarding your back is still there. Look at your elected officials. Do you actually expect them to tell the truth, mean what they say, and execute the promises that they made before you elected them? If you do, great, you are not falling for the tyranny of low expectations. If you don't, then you need to evaluate the standard to which you hold your leaders to. If there is not a Disqus comment box at the end of this post, click the title one will appear.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A General's Court Martial

There's a news story floating around that a U.S. Army Brigadier General is actually being court-martialed for sexual misconduct. Isn't it amazing that he attained that exalted rank and no one knew beforehand that he was a sleaze? This officer has also had several charges removed or reduced. If nothing else that will placate the crowd that says "it was only sex" or "look at everything good he did". In the first place, it wasn't only sex. It was abuse of authority and abrogation of integrity. Both of those can be especially harmful, even deadly, to his subordinates both in the field or in garrison. And, in the second place, we put our military on a higher pedestal than anyone else. They are one of the few institutions we actually expect great things from instead of tolerating human failings. Look at what goes on in Congress that we tolerate.

I admit I don't know the facts of the case. But, what I do know is that had this been an enlisted soldier, they would still be measuring the rope they were going to hang him with. This guy is a sleaze. He has totally lost any respect that was due to him for his accomplishments in the army. I sincerely hope that his sentencing is more than a slap on the wrist. We expect leaders to set an example. Hopefully the example will be that if you don't measure up to standards that you will pay a real price. If there is not a Disqus comment box at the end of this post, click the title one will appear.