Beyond the Cusp

November 10, 2014

What the New Republican Majority Congress Must Not Do

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I have seen near countless articles and editorials, is there a difference between the news and editorials any more, making every sort of suggestions for what the Republicans must do to make their majority count for something and be successful. What was a constant for virtually every suggestion of what they must do was how almost none of it would get passed the White House Obama veto. As President Obama once warned that he has a pen and a phone could also imply that he could veto legislation passed by the Republican Congress and then phone them to come pick up their worthless pieces of paper. So, with the veto pen and the insulting phone call in mind I thought suggesting what the Republicans should avoid if they desire to be successful in the ensuing Congress over the remaining two years of the Obama Presidency. Where they should pass certain principled legislation initially which defines their principles but not waste months doing so, they should also repeat this procedure in the summer leading up to the 2016 elections to augment a candidate for President that hopefully can excite the Republican voters across their spectrum and can express the core conservative and constitutional principles in a manner similar to President Reagan but also able to use social media to good advantage.

The Republicans must not fall for the media mantra that what voters demanded from the new Congress was for them to reach across the aisle and work with the Democrats and President Obama as a great number of their voters wanted no such thing, something I learned about through personal and close up observation and a listening tour in Oklahoma which ended about one year ago. They should not make attempts to modify the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obama Care, and also should not spend great amounts of time repealing it as having President Obama veto one single protest legislation repealing Obama Care should suffice. The electorate did not send their representatives and Senators to Washington to waste time playing political games; they sent them to relay a message, no further damage to their nation and the future in which their children and grandchildren will live. The one message the Republican voters want delivered is no automatic and immediate amnesty by Presidential edict even if it requires cutting funding for the entirety of the Immigrations and Naturalizations Department. The people want the budget to be carefully crafted and the wasteful spending reduced as much as can be accomplished. This means no omnibus spending bills or full budget bills which leave discretional spending by the administration. If that requires passing tens or hundreds of individual pieces of legislation funding each department and even each program individually even if it takes the vast majority of their efforts in order to prevent monies from being diverted to places and programs they were not intended to finance. The people want the spending trimmed down by any means necessary. Do not worry about what the media accuses you of being as their name calling will not affect your voters if you treat their desires with respect and do their bidding.

The people who sent many of you to Congress do not want any compromise immigration reform, especially if it includes amnesty. They do not want another immigration legislation which grants a path to citizenship in the immediate and a future sealing of the border and completing the double fence as such legislation in the past never did build the fence or seal the border. Immigration reform means sealing the border and building the fence the entire length of the borders, northern and southern as either border can be used by those who desire to harm us just as easily as the other. The Democrats will be doing everything in their power to force the amnesty to come first but that must be resisted. Now that you are controlling both houses you can refuse to permit adding riders and amendments to legislation which are unassociated with the subject of the legislation or simply add little treats for the home districts as the people you presumably serve do not benefit or desire these little favors which have become part of business as usual and waste billions upon billions of dollars every year. Whatever you decide to do, do not pass any legislation which is more than two or three pages unless entirely unavoidable due to the complexity of the subject such as a manned mission to Mars or a moon base. Your constituents will be very unforgiving of any legislation which is hundreds of pages, let alone thousands of pages in length and are, as Nancy Pelosi once stated, that we have to pass it to see what is in it. Know that there are many amongst your supporters who will read every last page and then write notes, articles, comments and convers on social media and across many places on the internet and you will hear their disgust loudly when they replace you at their earliest convenience. Ask those Republicans who lost primaries and thus never got to seek reelection, they understand.

The voters who elected you are sick of deficit spending and expect that you will not spend more than the government takes in from taxes and other various fees, licenses, fines and whatever. Even if this means that there must be some cuts in services or programs, then so be it. They want jobs, economic growth and fewer regulations which strangle economic growth. Many may not understand the mechanics of the interactions between the government actions and economic matters but they do understand unemployment, low growth and the other effects such things have on their lives and that they can detect whenever they balance their checkbook account. They really do not want excuses for why you had to enact certain legislation in order to make compromises with the Democrats and get other items passed with Democratic help. They remember how the Democrats acted completely unilaterally and passed Obama Care without a single Republican vote and see no reason for compromise now that the Republicans control Congress. Do not repeal the nuclear option that Harry Reid put in place so that any Presidential appointment could be ratified by simply majority in order to freeze out any Republican dissent, turnabout is fair play. You were not sent to Washington to be invited to all the Georgetown parties and other social functions, nor were you sent to get along with the other side, you were sent to Washington to ruin President Obama’s last two years and ending his reign of terror over the United States as well as its people and allies. You were sent to Washington to send a message and prove that the Republicans have finally learned from their past mistakes and are prepared to return to their roots and basics and are able to resist any influences and pressures from the Democrats, the media or the lobbyists and NGOs who are paid to persuade you to forfeit the trust of your constituents and instead serve their moneyed interests. Feel free to also not do any of these things and ignore all the warnings if you choose and enjoy your one term for as long as it lasts. The new face of the most active elements of the Republican Party are done with business as usual or go along to get along politicking and will continue to seek new faces until they get the representation they desire. The choices are yours to make for now but eventually the final decision over whether you are returned to Washington is that of your constituents and the one disadvantage you have is as a Republican you must win the minds more so than the hearts of your constituency and that constituency are high information voters, a phrase used by talk radio personalities to describe their listeners and these are also your voters. If your get nothing more from this article than those who sent you to Washington are awake, politically savvy and watching your every vote and will hold you to account for every vote should you betray their trust and cross their red lines, and they will use the nuclear option on your candidacy should you cross their red lines as they are not like the President, they mean what they say and vote what they believe. You have been warned and if you are aware, then it should be easy for you to understand the situation and act accordingly or else it has been nice knowing you and hope you enjoy your next day job.

Beyond the Cusp

May 20, 2014

Beware Russian Revenge and the Space Station

Unfortunately for President Obama, the Russians utilized an actual and effective response to the weak and ineffective sanctions placed on Russia over the Ukraine crisis by the United States. Where President Obama laid sanction freezing accounts and financial dealings on a number of Russian oligarchs who are reputedly close to Russian President Putin, the institutions he placed such sanctions on had little if any dealings and no accounts or holdings of the Russian targets of the economic sanctions. Then the Obama administration announced further sanctions in the form of travel restrictions on Russian government and industry officials including Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. The Russians responded by placing a freeze on selling RD-180 rocket engines manufactured by NPO Energomash to the Boeing-Lockheed Martin joint venture United Launch Alliance (JLA). Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin went further and appeared to take great glee announcing in addition to the refusal to sell the vitally necessary rocket engines to JLA that additionally Russia simply “doesn’t plan to continue cooperation” with the United States on the International Space Station after 2020 and added a suggestion where he stated, “I propose that the United States delivers its astronauts to the ISS with the help of a trampoline.” This likely has set JLA scrambling seeking a new rocket engine provider otherwise they are either out of business or need to immediately set to work on design and development of an in house produced rocket engine. Such an endeavor would be costly, time consuming but also would have the advantage of providing a United States source for the future removing any reliance on outside the border dependence.

 

There will be those who will attempt to blame this entire fiasco on Elon Musk and SpaceX as Mr. Musk testified before the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee a few months back in hearings over whether or not to open up bidding to provide launch vehicles for United States military and special satellite and payload launches instead of the current practice of simply holding closed bid allowing only JLA to present bids. The blame game will point to the testimony given by Mr. Musk that there was a serious deficiency and risk taking single source bids and especially from JLA as they were completely dependent on Russian provided rocket engines for their main Atlas V booster and rocket systems. We can definitely expect the Senators from Washington State, home to Boeing, and Maryland, home of Lockheed Martin, to protest the loudest and bring as much scorn as humanly possible, or Senatorially as they are of a special breed apart, on Elon Musk. This will be another instance of the old guard, established with near monopoly control of an industry blaming every hardship and difficulty on the upstart new kid on the block in an effort to vilify them out of contention in a desperate attempt to retain their monopoly and cash cow, which in this case pays them with American tax payer’s money. The American spirit that the small guy has an equal chance to the gold ring and if he plays it straight and fair he is presumably guaranteed an equal access to any government contract. I just love American sloganeering about equality and other such, especially when it pertains to the little guy or start-up companies having equal footing when it comes to competing for government contracts like the government isn’t a fully vested partner with so many of these major and established companies. There will be those with what will be the greatest act of indignation of severe distress and harm caused by this disruptive attempt to disrupt the United States space program which has operated so efficiently and smoothly that any bumps or wrenches in the machinery must be prevented at all costs. Then will come the finger pointing at Elon Musk and SpaceX spouting viscous vindictive invectives impugning his person and his company with special emphasis on how opening up the bidding on launching of military and special satellites and payloads will increase costs, make these launches far more risk susceptible, and threaten secrecy and require added onerous requirements when assembling such satellites and payloads. Then there will be the references to the important history and dependable service of the rockets provided throughout the history of the United States space program and raising questions of the intelligence in rocking the boat at this point. Basically the argument will be to deny that competition might force improvements and added efficiency and eventual greater potential for savings by allowing more competition, after all, it would be un-American to snub the established and longstanding standard efforts of JLA in providing the needs of the space program over the decades since the initial challenge to reach the Moon with an astronaut and return them safely to Earth. We may even get to see President Kennedy’s speech challenging the United States as a nation to go to the moon before the end of the decade.

 

The interesting item which applies to this as inclusively as possible is the warning from President Dwight David Eisenhower who as the commanding General over the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II was more than qualified to have the specific knowledge, stated in his farewell address on January 17, 1961 stating, “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” The sole item that President Eisenhower might have gotten wrong is that the symbiotic relationship between the Federal Government and so many of the top established industry leading corporations, financial institutions, information technology companies, automobile manufacturers and companies throughout the full spectrum where government largess and corporate welfare provide so many of these institutions are almost completely dependent on the government for their profits and not solely with the military. As with so many warnings, this warning too went pretty much unheeded until it was too late and the problem had become institutionalized and intrinsically intertwined not only with numerous government agencies and departments but also with the politicians in Congress and the White House. Nowhere is this more true than the space agency both civilian and NASA. Hopefully the American people will demand that these bids to provide launch capabilities be opened to all companies for bids as this was the manner that many of the greatest advancements which made much of human space exploration possible came through completely open application methods where NASA placed a requirement out offering a prize for the person or company which came up with the best and most complete solution. This was essential in the development of much of the spacesuit designs, the Moon buggy and numerous other items which contributed to the race to the Moon’s success. It worked well then and I bet it would work today and some of the sources of the best solutions will be people who simply amaze the world and come out of their garage with the best space glove or whatever is required. Let the competitions begin and let’s be amazed.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

December 29, 2013

China Making Foundational Maneuvers for Preeminence

This end of 2013 may be depicted in history as the period where China cemented her role as the up and coming super power ready to take up the call when the United States collapses into a financial and economic shambles. There are three items in particular signaled that China is ready and desires a seat at the head of the table, not just a seat among coequals. The first of these was covered with headlines it deserved as China claimed an unparalleled maritime and air defense zone over the East China Sea that includes the Senkaku Islands, islands which are claimed and recognized as belonging to Japan which China has disputed over the years. The Japanese, Philippine and South Korean governments all denounced China’s claim giving orders to their military and civilian air and shipping companies that they were not to recognize this bullying from China and continue to operate as normal. This was a blatant challenge of the Chinese claim as the Chinese demanded that air traffic must gain permission from Chinese air controllers in order to penetrate into their newly claimed zone. The United States was far more compliant as their military has orders to continue as normal and ignore Chinese demands while civilian and private cargo flights are to request Chinese approval before entering these claimed areas of the South China Sea. The United States partial recognition and capitulation was seen by her allies as surrender before the Chinese giving them reasons to doubt the will of the United States to back the treaties and promises made to the nations in the far Pacific Ocean and South China Sea. Now that Far East Asia has been given a taste of the new Obama America similar and in kind to that received by the Saudis, Egyptians and Israelis over President Obama’s weak and tepid doctrines and responses to Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, Libya including specially Benghazi, Syria and the basic abandonment of Iraq and soon Afghanistan, they too are having doubts about depending on the United States and her word.

 

The second event announcing the Chinese arrival and crossing a definitive demarcation was their successful landing of an unmanned probe on the Moon. The Chang’e 3, named after a lunar goddess in traditional Chinese mythology, landed on the lunar surface Saturday, December 14 softly placing the probe to survey the lunar surface and dig into the soil and test samples. Xinhua news agency said, “The dream for lunar exploration once again lights up the China Dream.” This is all part of an ambitious Chinese space program which includes the building and manning of a fully operational spacestation by 2020. Where, in my opinion, that will prove to be a formidable task to complete in such a short period but this landing is a huge step towards that goal. The Chinese most definitely have the technology to place a spacestation on the Moon and likely even keep it supplied and operational on a permanent basis. The question is not one of capability but of affordability. Such an operation would probably consume funding equal to their entire current military budget and then some. The only feasible way to finance such a venture would require two items, mining the Moon which contains almost unmeasurable quantities of Helium-3, also called Deuterium which is an isotope of hydrogen that has a neutron next to the proton in the nucleus, which can be used in energy generation by fusion along with claiming sole possession of the Moon and collecting a sizeable charge from any nation wishing to land on the Moon and even more so if they require or wish to use the Chinese facility. Betting that the Chinese would respect the United Nations treaty which made space universal and a place free from the claims by any one nation may not be the wisest way of proceeding.

 

The final was more of a brandishing of their naval sword as a Chinese warship cut across the bow of the United States missile cruiser Cowpens on December 5, 2013 causing the latter to take emergency procedures in order to avoid a collision. United States warships were in the area observing China’s new aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, which was on maneuvers. The Chinese warship crossed the Cowpen’s bow at a distance of less than 200 yards. Other commentary has claimed that the Chinese actions “was particularly aggressive” and definitely “unhelpful in trying to increase cooperation between the two navies.” This was also a further move by the Chinese to demonstrate their newly claimed area of the South China Sea is unwelcome waters for other nations by their acting with disregard of the United States warship probably intending to send a warning for all to stay out. Such maneuvers are uneasily reminiscent of Cold War provocative maneuvers and challenges which occurred regularly between the Soviet Navy and the American Navy. This may simply be a foreboding of things to come as China spreads her newly established blue water navy further into the Pacific Ocean that she had previously operated. This along with the other actions will have allies of the United States in the Pacific near China worried and rightfully so. Japan especially as the Japanese and Chinese have a less than amicable history and there is little love lost between these two nations. South Korea also will feel the threats strongly as they may also find North Korea being more forceful and bold as China becomes another force in the Pacific Ocean.

 

The glove has been tossed at the feet of the United States by China, will President Obama pick up the glove or run scared from any confrontation and simply resign giving the whole of the Far East over to Chinese hegemony. Hope and Change has worked well in Basically Transforming the United States. Maybe somebody should have asked for what we were hoping and what we were changing and into what would that change lead. Why do I have so little faith that the majority of Americans remain clueless and actually work to remain clueless?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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