We Can Already Hear The Footsteps…

We can hear the footsteps off in the distance.  Those footsteps belong to a former President who intentionally sits in waiting for the prime opportunity to jump back into the D.C. fray to reassert himself.  He might’ve thought he’d have to wait a bit longer but it must be very, very tempting for him to get back to Washington in a day or two given the fat, juicy target that President Trump has provided him; the firing of the acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, for her refusal to enforce the President’s Executive Order on immigration and lawful entry into this country.

I suspect many of us knew this would occur given the fact that former President Obama found housing in the District of Columbia and that their two daughters were still attending the school they had for the past several years.  It was unusual for a departing President not to return to the home state from which he had come, or at least move on to a different more comfortable and safer clime than Chicago,  such as Hawaii.  But, crossing the red line of staying in the nation’s Capitol area was sufficient for many to be able to foresee the return of Barack Obama at some point in the not-too-distant future to salvage what he could of his disastrous eight-year reign.  Or at least to meddle with the new President to the lauding of his former worshippers in Congress who, frankly, do seem a bit lost without his direction.

That sure didn’t take long, did it?  The rumblings are already being heard in a tacit admission of this grand plan by Obama and the rumors center on the actual President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, exercising his executive right to fire Yates for refusing to support his Executive Order.  The charade is so transparent as to be ridiculous, but it is there nonetheless.

The idea that the person who caused the Democrats the very problems they now experience would be standing at the ready to return to the stage in full voice riding to the rescue is resplendent.  This is nearly as feeble as having Hillary Clinton come back to town to whine and harangue about President Trump and the rudeness, no matter that it was perfectly within the powers of his office, of his action.

This wasn’t the time for the former President to exert himself but I think we all know that time lies ahead of us somewhere in the not-to-distant future. It is as close to a sure bet as one is likely to see other than for betting the sun will rise tomorrow.  We know the former President will be unable to control himself when that glorious microphone is before him and the TV camera light is burning.

So, where does this leave us?  It leaves us where we were the day before.  President Donald J. Trump is still sitting in the Oval office.  He has shown he’ll truck no foolishness.  The Democrats are in the decided minority in Congress.  The former president will soon be back in D.C. and he’ll simply bide his time until an appropriate situation presents itself, which will certainly happen given the quest Obama is on.

It is probably likely that we’ll have occasional such occurrences given the press’ decidedly liberal bent, and given the handy physical location of the former President and given President Trump’s propensity to carry a big stick.  It is probable given the self-proclaimed profundity of the combined wisdom of the liberals.

The only problem is that we have a sitting President who is not likely to step in the proverbial cow pie as often as the liberal press would hope.  But, we have an immediate past President who will continue to be in quest of creating a legacy since that didn’t occur during his eight years in office; and we have liberals in Congress who have significantly insufficient clout to do much else other than pout.

On top of all this, we have the liberals all over this country still in shock at this outcome.  They, if they sit in seats of power, will let their feelings be known as did a UW-La Crosse, WI campus leader over the past weekend by e-mail.  Liberals are notoriously poor losers, but they did lose and that is not going to go away in a month or two.  The more they decide they’ll act up, the longer their time in the desert-of-politics will last.  There are those people described as political independents and they will grow very, very tired of what appears to be the plan for constant whining and attempts at disrupting our nation’s government.

There are limits to everything, including the willingness of the people to accept this kind of whining and assortment of delaying tactics by the losing side.  The sooner they can get on with their lives as the minority, the better it will be for them.  And, certainly, the better it will be for the entire country.  If former President Obama decides he will try to be the voice of opposition, I fear he’ll do significant damage to how he will be remembered beyond being the first black President.  His record is not that great!

Instant Media & The Press

I read an interesting opinion piece this morning that triggered some thoughts about President Donald Trump and the ‘revolution’ he represents in national politics.  He obviously sensed this quite some time ago and made it his business to remake the typical approach to a national campaign.

President Trump has been a Twitter user for quite a comparatively long time, as time is measured in the modern era where news is reported instantaneously and consumed the same way.  The mainstream media, especially the print media, had already taken a very decided turn to the political left.  You and I have recognized that for a long time but the press is only finally coming to understand just what it has become.  It was very conveniently mired in believing that it was the same as it had been for decades.  The press was still “The Press”…until President Trump outmaneuvered, and unnerved, the press with his tweets.  He was everywhere while their ink hadn’t even begun to dry.

This change in technology has been coupled with the media slide to the decided left on virtually all issues of the day.  Historically, we readers were fed a strict diet of liberally-slanted ‘news’.  Some of us had made our way to the conservative side of the political equation despite that constant stream of political pablum.  Many more are making that change today simply because they have more access to more types of thinking and it is found on the devices they use instead of newsprint.

Needless to say, but I’ll say it anyway, the press has learned a hard lesson; it may never recover its role as a primary thought leader.  This is among the reasons that we have a President Trump today.  More and more of us are making our own decisions and not simply being hand-fed our thoughts as was earlier happening.  In the newsprint days, one had to work to find conservative opinion and conservative thought leaders.  Today that thought and those leaders abound.

We see the results in many different ways.  Among those are the fact that newsprint versions of the ‘truth’ are being disregarded and those who opine on those pages have lost their primary gullible audience.  We are actually thinking for ourselves today!  And we are enjoying that relatively newfound freedom.  The very idea that we are capable of making up our own minds is not so novel an idea as it was in an earlier era.

The greatest casualty of this shift seems to have been the print media in all its forms.  We get our news instantly today and we are usually well-enough educated to be able to digest that news and form our own opinions without being told what we ought to think.  We have emerged from the needy era we had been living in, and have found this great new free flow of information that is distinctly more digestible and distinctly more conservative.

President Trump played this to his advantage and appears pointed at doing so from the Oval office, as well.  Some tweets are aimed at informing and some are aimed at convincing of a particular position.  He drives the press wild because they do not move quickly enough to pre-digest this news for us needy types.  They are seeing his words at the same time we are seeing them and each of us, the press and us, make up our minds as to what the tweet means.  The press is still the press even though it is trying to reform itself.  We have become independent of the press and we make our own decisions.

The new world of media is never going to be tilted in favor of the mass print or television media again.  And that simple fact has those entities wild beyond imagination.  They see that they are in the very real fight for their continued existence.  They see their very underpinnings being eroded.  That is very apparent if you have the ability to watch what passes for a ‘press conference’ in this age.

Exciting times are upon us and the changes wrought will be permanent.

Trump vs. Putin…

There is significant concern expressed by some over what the relationship might be between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.  Is Trump too cozy with Putin?  Is Trump smart enough to engage with Putin one-on-one?  Is Putin simply playing Donald Trump to see how far he can take that and what he might be able to gain from this game?

I wonder how many business people who felt they had the upper hand in Trump negotiations learned too late they’d been played by a master negotiator, or who thought they’d won the match only to learn they hadn’t for whatever the reason.

Donald Trump has already demonstrated the ability to view a situation and find all the subtle nuances that exist, recognizing just how those can be aligned and then going on to strike a deal that worked for both sides but gave Trump the edge.  His ability to grasp situations quickly and to exploit those to his bargaining advantage is remarkable and there are examples all through his business history.

There is no reason to believe that these skills and abilities will not transfer to this latest management/negotiation position.  Does anyone expect that Mexico’s President is going to best our President in a one-on-one negotiation?  Who is it that set up the need for this negotiation and who was it that framed the topics to be resolved?  And who is it that is pushing the envelope?  Mexico was placed on the defensive from the moment that Trump was declared the winner of the election.

Vladimir Putin has risen to power through cunning, timing and behind-the-scenes exploitation of others in his quest for power.  I suspect that he is probably one of very few who is fairly evenly matched when it comes to putting a deal together with Trump although he will do that without his typical ace-in-the-hole of being able to say “it will be the way I want it to be, or I’ll walk away.”  Putin is not going one-on-one with the immediate past president of the United States.  Putin had the decided, almost lop-sided, advantage over Obama and I think both knew that.  I am sure Putin knew that even if Obama thought he’d be the winner against Putin.

I suspect Obama’s fear of being embarrassed in a one-on-one with Benjamin Netanyahu is why he treated Netanyahu as he did.  I don’t doubt for a moment that Netanyahu and Trump will have a solid working relationship because each has genuine respect for the other.  That is a big, big part in the art of making the deal.  Each person is comfortable in his or her own skin so the discussion can center on the issues rather who can bark louder or jump higher or make the loudest noise.

We have witnessed the ease with which President Trump has taken on his new role in the world.  He has already taken actions where his predecessor toyed with situations for months before making a decision.  The daily activity in this Oval office is astounding especially compared to the past eight years.  Everyone in a position of leadership in the world sees it as plainly as do we.  Even the media has met its match although most of the players on that side of the game will need months to reach that conclusion.  Few are up to a one-on-one with this President.

China is the far greater issue from the world perspective given our indebtedness and continued need for borrowing huge sums.  I suspect we’ll see some Trump moves in that regard, such as in the South China sea situation, but we have to understand that we are operating under an entirely different set of circumstances in that case.  By the way, I believe that President Trump recognizes those situational differences and did even before he took over the Oval office.

Democrats and those in the press corps loyal to the Democrats (you can guess that number as easily as I) make a big mistake if they underestimate the consummate skills of this new Commander-in-Chief.  He is new to the politics in Washington, D.C., but he has played in world sandbox of politics for many years.  Trump is not likely to pussyfoot around on any major issues, and that will draw ‘clucking’ sounds from many Democrats and some Republicans.  They are as unaccustomed to a person with Trump’s experience and negotiating skills as many of the world’s leaders.

The process of coming to understand just what we have in the Oval office will move more quickly for some than for others no matter what stage they are on.  What we have gives us a decided edge at least for now and, for that reason, I am not at all concerned with the situation with Mexico.  That will be resolved in due time, and it will have tilted to our advantage when the dust has settled.

Walls, Sanctuary Cities, Mexico Issues…

President Donald Trump has several balls in the air and there promise to be additions on a regular basis.  He is likely able to control the issues given his propensity for making deals right and left without missing a beat.  He is, however, driving the pundits and the press goofy…goofier…with his approach to governance.  Among the primary reasons is the fact that President Trump has not worked his way up the slopes of the political world and he knows how he intends to run the Oval office without being too concerned as to whether or not Congress, or the press, can keep up.  He has broken the mold and that frightens those who have become dependent on a government that always looks and works the same.

He has taken on our next door neighbor to the South and has nailed a major issue on the amount of the outflow of money initiated by Mexicans working in the U.S., not all of whom are legal.  The amount has been pegged at $25 Billion annually.  He has, of course, insisted that a wall will be constructed across the southern border with Mexico to completely seal that border.  And, he has made it clear that he expects Mexico to pay the cost for that wall.  There are obviously ways in which U.S. financial support can be curtailed in addition to other tactics designed to offset the cost of construction.

Wall scoffers need only look at the Great Wall of China constructed centuries ago to see that where there is a will, there is a way.

The relationship between Mexico and our country is a complex relationship.  It involves tourism.  It involves Mexican citizens working in the U.S. sending funds back to families monthly.  Not all those working in our country have the documents required to be doing so, but they represent relatively low-cost labor and are taken advantage of by American businesses.  A symbiotic relationship.  The border between Mexico and the U.S. has long been used by narco gangs to bring drugs into the U.S.  Former President Obama saw fit to pull border control agents off their duties for whatever his reasons were, so it seems obvious this border issue was deemed unimportant by him and therefore by his Administration.

Rolled into the mess that President Trump has inherited are the so-called ‘sanctuary’ cities where illegal immigrants are welcomed and sheltered in obvious violation of the laws of this country.  Those sanctuary cities are proud of their reputations and make no bones about understanding that what they’re doing does not recognize the laws of this country.  Again, the Obama  Administration found no problems with this movement for whatever its reasons.  That Administration believed that laws were not meant to control what it wanted to cause to occur.  I suspect that sanctuary cities will find themselves under more scrutiny by this Administration compared to the scrutiny of the last administration.  And the cries of outrage will be loud indeed!

Mexico cannot win a trade war with the U.S. and yet its government continues to wage the war of words.  A visit to the U.S by Mexico’s president has been canceled by him apparently to show Mexico’s ‘resolve’ in matters concerning the border and mutual trade agreements.  Many of the automobiles rolling on America’s highways and byways were built in Mexico.  President Trump has been jawboning the U.S. auto and manufacturing company bigwigs ‘suggesting’ it behooves them to build their products stateside.  Mexico’s response is to threaten that it will pull out of NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement).  That is a wonderful picture of the old adage of cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.

These are issues that have existed for some time without having been the subject of concern by our former leaders.  In fact, many of the laws governing/banning such activities have been ignored by the most recent Administration, thus being encouraged rather than discouraged.  President Obama’s administration made choices as to what laws it would enforce and what laws it would ignore thus making violations increase exponentially.  And, it was proud to make that known since the immediate past president had his own ideas about what should and shouldn’t be legal; Congress be damned, unless it willingly rolled over and went back to sleep.

Two Most Important Historical Events

My Colorado-based son-in-law sent this to me and it is too good and too humorous to pass up.  I have no idea who originally authored this, but s/he did a masterful job of summing up centuries of ‘history’, so with tongue in cheek:

“The two most important events in all of history were the invention of beer and the invention of the wheel.  Beer required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture.  Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can were invented yet, so while our early humans were sitting around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the brewery.  That’s how villages were formed.

The wheel was invented to get man to the beer and vice versa.  These two were the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups:  1. Liberals and 2. Conservatives.

Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to BBQ at night while they were drinking beer.  This was the beginning of what is known as the Conservative movement.  Other men who were less skilled at hunting (called ‘vegetarians’ which was an early word meaning ‘bad hunter’ ) learned to live off the Conservatives by showing up for the nightly BBQs and doing the sewing, fetching and hair dressing.  This was the beginning of the liberal movement.

Some of these liberal men evolved into women.  Others became known as girlie-men.  Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy, group hugs, and the concept of democratic voting to decided how to divide the meat and beer that Conservatives provided.  Over the years Conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant.  Liberals are symbolized by the jackass for obvious reasons.

Modern Liberals like lite beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water.  They eat raw fish but like their meat well done.  Sushi, tofu, and french food are standard liberal fare.  Another interesting evolutionary side note: many liberal women have higher testosterone levels than their men.

Most college professors, social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, filmmakers in Hollywood, group therapists and community organizers are liberals.  Liberals meddled in our national pastime and invented the designated hitter rule because it wasn’t fair to make the pitcher also bat.

Conservatives drink real beer.  They eat red meat and still provide for their women.  Conservatives are members of the military, big game hunters, rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, police officers, engineers, corporate executives, athletes, airline pilots and generally anyone who works productively.  Conservatives who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.

Liberals produce little or nothing.  They like to govern the producers and decide what to do with the production.  Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans.  That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when Conservatives were coming to America.  They crept in after the Wild West was tamed and created a business of trying to get more for nothing.

Here ends today’s lesson in world history.  It should be noted that a liberal may have a momentary urge to angrily respond to this post.  A Conservative will simply laugh and be so convinced of the absolute truth of this history that it will be shared immediately to other true believers and to just tick off more liberals.

And there you have it.  Let your next action reveal your true self; I’m going to grab a few beers and grill some steaks!”

# # # # #

You have to admit there is quite a bit of humor here if you can just get beyond politics, and enjoy it for what it is; tongue-in-cheek humor that someone with a great sense of humor  (although maybe slanted a bit to the right) put to print.

A Cure for Trumpitis?

Trumpitis appears to have hit hard and likely will reach epidemic stage very soon at the current rate of progress.  It strikes Democrat politicians almost solely, except for a handful of Republican politicians who seem to have been infected, also.  There may be some kind of immune deficiency in the Republicans who have also contracted this disease.  Testing continues to determine why this anomaly is being seen.

So far, few, if any, cases have been discovered in the population-at-large giving further credence to the assumption that this is restricted to those in politics.  That having been proved to this point, there is a hue and cry for new political benefits for those affected by this disorder.  Those benefits are, so far, restricted to only national political leaders where the outbreak appears centered to date with rare exceptions.

The symptoms are unusual but then again Donald Trump has proved to be unusual; that leads to the supposition that Trump and his election to the office of President of the United States may well be the root cause of this debilitating disease which appears to cause those affected to go into a session of ranting and raving periodically throughout their daily sessions and meetings.  It also appears to be more acute when those affected find themselves in front of television cameras and microphones.

Of course, there have been previous outbreaks of similar conditions but those outbreaks have been brief in duration typically lasting only a day or two following election results being affirmed.  This outbreak seems to be a much more severe occurrence and seems to be spreading rather than abating as has been the case in other such outbreaks.

There is a strange side-effect in that the few non-politicians who have contracted the disease are all members of the media and/or the press.  There is some discussion that attendance at press briefings might have caused this spread beyond politicians.  There is, however, some evidence that the members of the media and the press typically are of the same political persuasion as the politicians, leading to the current effort to determine if the two are somehow related.  The only indication of such a possibility at the moment is found in the brain where a peculiar protein has just been isolated.

This finding has, of course, led to outcries from both sides of the aisle.  The Republicans initially brought this possibility forward and the Democrats have reacted vociferously; there has been one report of fisticuffs having been witnessed in a Capitol hallway between a Democrat and a Republican.  No witnesses have come forward although it is believed that some twenty people, many of whom were cheering, were present at the time.  Sooner or later, someone from that group will come forward likely after some deal has been cut to keep his or her identity confidential.  It is not known yet if a cell phone photo might have been captured, but there has been a reward offered by the Associated Press for such a picture should it exist.

More to follow based upon findings.

A Refreshing Press Conference…

Sean Spicer, Press Secretary for President Trump, got his tenure off to what I thought was a great beginning.  I have long believed that these people, these Press Secretaries, deserve hazardous duty pay given the tug and pull displayed during the typical Press Conference.

Spicer turned the old protocol on its head when he bypassed the usual sequence of question-givers and bounced all over the auditorium to pick the people who would ask the questions.  I suspect that the hand of President Trump might’ve been present with that display; it seemed likely to have been intentionally designed to set the tone for the future between this Administration and the press corps.  No more ‘business as usual’ where the press was seen as the aggrieved party due all kinds of goodies.

Spicer proved he is, in my estimation, quite capable of handling this job with finesse and good humor.  This was actually enjoyable television although I suppose you have to be a bit of a political junkie to say something like that.  He was in virtually complete control, his fact-based responses were such that there were hardly any follow-up questions with sharper edges displayed.  In the few cases where the edgy follow-up was involved, Spicer stood his ground and simply reiterated the facts of the particular matter.

So, another facet of Trump’s Administration has been unveiled and has passed muster.  For a guy we were told had no business running to become our President, he is doing a remarkably good job.  The freshness of this approach is exciting.  It will likely mark yet another point upon which it will be difficult to attack this Administration.

Among the ‘issues’ advance by the press was the conflict over how many people saw this inauguration versus past inaugurations.  The press fought diligently but lost this fight.  Spicer walked back over the statements made and cited the issue of all the people not visible who participated in televised inaugural partaking, and who used the Internet to get their news.  This effectively demonstrated that we are in a new era given virtually instantaneous worldwide viewership of this event…and furthered the belief that the numbers had to have been much greater than ever before contrary to what the press had reported…rather gleefully, it seemed until they were reminded of the new reality.  Even then, there was the stilted silence by the members of the press who didn’t like having been bested by this newbie Press Secretary…and by this President whom they had planned to excoriate during the conference.

As each day of this new Administration unfolds, we see something else to be excited about, and not just the measure of the man we elected.  He has made excellent staffing decisions even though the Democrats in the Senate continue to ‘slow-walk’ the hearings.

We citizens are not the only people witnessing the new President and his obvious preparedness for the office.  Leaders around the world are also watching very closely trying to get the measure of the man down pat before stepping in a pile of dog do-do with a misstatement or by erring in the approach they’ve planned to use.

There is a time coming when we will see that President Donald Trump has easily surpassed former President Obama in abilities and preparedness for this office.  I suspect that time will be upon us quite early in this Administration.  It will, obviously, take the media some time after you and I have witnessed this to admit it on their pages and over their air.  The longer they take to admit he is good at what he does, the more they will wear the egg on their collective face.

This is not to say there will be no moves that might’ve been better set-up, or that here and there improvements could’ve been effected.  The major difference is simple:  President Obama erred by not performing; President Trump will err while performing although he seems to be showing us that there will likely be nowhere near the quantity of “unforced errors” in his tenure as compared to his predecessor.  His immediate use of Executive Orders shows that he has assembled a very top level staff.  These people know their way around politics, and that tends to pave the way to eliminate some of the contrived obstacles usually thrown under the President’s wheels by the opposition party members in Congress.

President Trump’s cabinet selections have, so far at least, seemed very well done.  Will it be shown there was a dud in the group down the line?  Maybe but I doubt that such a person will be tolerated for very long until he or she hears “You’re Fired” coming from the White House.  This is not a person who has no experience making decisions, and making big decisions at that.

Donald Trump is about as far from a Barack Obama as one can even imagine when each took the seat in the Oval office.  The levels of differences in experience are so great they are difficult to verbalize.  I believe we’ll continue to see a significant difference in the pace of things coming from this White House when compared to the last White House.  And I feel certain that the quality of those initiatives will be very noticeable even though the press, so liberal as it is, may have a difficult time admitting that.

I wonder if an intentionally do-nothing Congress headed by Democrats doing their best to slow-walk his initiatives will a price for their intransigence?  Time will tell.