Beyond the Cusp

November 10, 2016

Trump Trumps Clinton Now What? (Electoral College 279 to 259)

 

The total as of this writing was Trump with 279 Electoral votes from approximately 59,441,968 (47.5%) popular vote while Clinton held 259 Electoral votes from approximately 59,649,606 (47.7%) popular votes. Once again the election goes opposite the popular vote, something often criticized as are the men who designed the Electoral College such that the big state numbers have their advantage but face it being slightly marginalized by the setup of the Electoral system. First let us indulge in a quick review on how the Electoral College works and the reasoning for it being used by the United States. The system is easily broken down. Every state and the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. all get two electors for what is their Senatorial representation (Washington D.C, is treated as if it were a small state with representation of a single delegate in the House of Representatives and two Senators). After this each state receives an elector for each Representative they hold in the House of Representatives. California receives fifty-three Electors for their fifty-three Representatives plus two more for their Senators for a total of fifty-five Electors. Wyoming receives a single Elector for their sole Representatives plus two for their Senators for a total of three Electors. This allots greater representation per person for Wyoming over California by a ratio over five-to-one and it is this type of disparity which causes many to loathe the system. The reason the Founding Fathers went with this seemingly convoluted system was identical to the reason for a bicameral Congress with one side, the House of Representatives, set by population thus favoring the larger states and the other side, the Senate, with two per state providing the states themselves with equal representation regardless of population size or land mass. The Founding Fathers realized that should they have permitted straight democracy that this would have produced mass rule, followed soon by mob rule and then collapse as had every democracy throughout history, and they desired building a nation which would be more stable. The main difference came about when the House of Representatives ceased being based on one Representative per set number of people to a set cap of four-hundred-thirty-five Representatives and the States receiving a minimum of one Representative and the remainder allotted proportionally. This also capped the Electors in the Electoral College at five-hundred-thirty-eight once Washington D.C. was allotted three Electors despite not having any actual representation in the Congress.

 

NBC News Final Electoral College Election 2016 Map

NBC News Final Electoral College Election 2016 Map

 

Next we need talk about the polling data being so skewed throughout the campaign and only closing in the final thirty-six hours though the lead did narrow slowly before the rush to even the night before Election Day. There are numerous claims as to why the polls consistently favored Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. One claim was that their intent was to press the idea that Trump could not win, period. This would, in theory, berate Trump supporters with so much bad news wearing them down such that they would give up and not bother to vote. The problem with this tactic is the vast number of Trump voters fell into two main categories, those who believed that a President Trump was the answer to America’s woes and those who were voting to emphasize their view that America was failing them and its Constitution. The first group was true believers with many voting for their first time despite having been registered for years. This was evidenced by the record number of voters in Republican primary elections. These people would have walked over burning embers to have voted Trump just as Hillary Clinton’s true believers were voting for her no matter what. The second group was making their voice heard loud and clear as they had a message for America and thus were determined to vote. A majority of Trump voters were with him at the start when he was one amongst seventeen and stayed the course. The third group of Trump supporters was the “stop the Hildabeast” and would stop at almost nothing to prevent the catastrophic consequences of Hillary Clinton being coronated President. Trump was not their choice, he was their life raft and these people were highly motivated to vote but were also motivated not to tell pollsters the truth about their vote choice. There was a minimum number of people who were pulling the Trump lever in the voting booth who were not firmly entrenched in the ranks of Trump supporters though for many a varied and different reason but were all there for the whole four quarters and would have remained just as committed should the race have gone into sudden-death overtime, which it came close to doing.

 

Then there is the fact that the media is skewed to the left end of the political spectrum. When one considers that Fox News is touted, even victimized cast as a reactionary, right-wing, extremist, conservative to the point of reactionary news station where every anchor and host must prove their ultra-conservative bonafides in order to get in the door, then it becomes obvious that the remainder of the news is far more liberal and even leftist by comparison. What then pushes the rest of the news syndicates even further left is this definition of every and any-body of note at Fox News is, by definition, ultra-pure reactionary-conservative which presumably includes, wait, wait, wait for it, Chris Wallace (see image below). As per the link, Chris Wallace worked at ABC News for 14 years where he served as the senior correspondent for Primetime Thursday and a substitute host for Nightline. Before that Chris Wallace served a NBC’s Chief White House correspondent from 1982-1989. Chris Wallace moderated Meet the Press from 1987-1988. Chris Wallace also anchored the Sunday edition of NBC Nightly News from 1982-1984 and 1986-1987. Chris Wallace began his career with NBC at WNBC-TV (NBC 4) in New York in 1975. Chris Wallace is, at the most extreme of his leaning right, a moderate of impeccable discernment. Fox News is considered to be so far to the right because the rest of the news groups live with the academics in unassailable Ivory Towers found only in the extreme leftward climes. Fox News is to the right of almost all news services with the exception of CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) and a few select others and many on-line commentators most of whom have their following and limited audiences. Like in all things political, it is all relative to where you yourself choose to stand. Us, well, we stand so far off to the outside that we fall Beyond the Cusp.

 

Chris Wallace

Chris Wallace

 

Meanwhile, let’s get back to the election. Donald Trump did win, so stop pinching yourself. Hillary Clinton gave an honest and worthy concession speech in which she expressed her hopes that though she was not fated to break that glass ceiling, that perhaps one of her many supporters, possibly one in the hall listening as she spoke, would be the woman to break through shattering that glass ceiling once and for all. Trump was gracious as well in his victory comment where he praised Hillary Clinton for her determined and high pressure campaign which had pushed him to strive and become a better person in response. Trump thanked and congratulated the Republican candidates and politicians who backed him for their support. He thanked Dr. Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani, his family including parents, brother, his other brother who has passed on, his wife, children and so on and thanked a number of workers he noted in the crowd. He was the real Donald Trump, the Donald who stops and talks with the guys digging the ditches at a construction site and the carpenters, brick layers, crane operators all before, after and even during holding higher level talks with the foremen, supervisor and engineers. This is one trait which makes the Donald who he is and why so many speak so highly of him, he actually takes the time to recognize everyone and give all a piece of the praise and credit. We will need to wait and see how this translates to the insular nature of the Presidency and life in a bubble, a very nice bubble, but a big white mansion style bubble called, remarkably, the White House. One thing for sure, being President is far more challenging than running for President and we are about to watch a capable man try and meet the biggest challenge of his life and starting out with two outs, man on second base, a three balls two strike count down five runs in the top of the third inning. It will be vital to equip himself with a top notch team as he cannot, nor would we here at Beyond the Cusp wish, run the effort almost singlehandedly. His pick for running mate showed good judgement and was wise but it will have to wait for more trust, let alone praise, to be lauded upon Donald Trump. He will have an excellent chance to prove his metal right out of the box filling the huge gaping hole left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia in the Supreme Court bench. This selection will act as an initial window to Trump’s soul, an entity which was called into suspect early on by some stalwarts of the Republican Party. Should this choice not fully measure, up these suspicions are very likely to reappear and do so very quickly.

 

The main Cabinet appointments will come at the State Department, Secretary of Defense, Education Secretary and United Nations Ambassador. For this last office returning John Bolton, should he decide to be available, would be a strong start. Rudy Giuliani would be a strong choice for any high profile position but might be best used to either lead the deconstruction of the Department of Education returning virtually all power down as locally as possible and keep almost nothing in Washington D.C. which could save many a school system as they would be liberated to spend all their time on teaching and none on meeting testing requirements, indoctrinations ordered from Washington and meeting near endless paperwork requiring additional staff who are not in any manner connected to teaching. They simply document compliances and send the forms to their school district, county, city, state, Washington D.C. and file copies with the office, every vice Principle, the Principle(s), Advisors, required teachers, required parents and whomever and whatever else is demanded. Some of these forms are actually daily reports and that is what many school systems have become, report generators which produce endless streams of paperwork and uneducated graduates whose school years are documented thus presumed productive. Donald Trump’s choice on who leads the Veterans Administration will be carefully watched as will any changes which are implemented. Here is another place where paperwork takes precedent over actual work. Hopefully Donald Trump will be able to bring a fair number of real administrators and managers from the real world into government positions where they can do some real good for the government and its ability to serve the people. Needless to go further than to simply say his appointments will speak very loudly and hopefully be armed with Teddy Roosevelt style big sticks. Tell the truth, not only do the people of the United States await Donald Trump’s important appointments’ names, but many around the world are also waiting to see who he is able and desires for top spots, especially his inner circle which includes but may not be limited to the Foreign Affairs Advisor, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Security Advisor, Joint Chiefs of Staff amongst others. What will be another indicator is who a President Trump calls to the White House from the Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate as well as who, if any, he invites from the Democrat side of Congress. These choices could prove to be greatly tactical as it may establish who a President Trump feels will best work with him on his agenda.

 

Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick

Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick

 

In conclusion, it will be educational once we start to see the choices Donald Trump makes officially sending to the Senate for their review and vote and those he keeps close under his vest and does not seek the Senate’s approval. Will a President Trump continue the underhanded and unethical practice of having “Czars” who actually perform an identical function as the Secretary over a department who the Senate passed review such that the President had two advisors for all too many departments and the actual Secretary was often left out of the loop and the Czar would actually run the show dictating policy and decisions to the actual Secretary serving the Cabinet. This was simply the means President Obama appointed some controversial people granting them the power equal or higher than the Cabinet Secretary while avoiding Senatorial oversite as per the Constitution. Ending this practice and setting up even a Constitutional Amendment which would define people with certain powers and responsibilities regardless of their title requiring Congressional oversight and be vetted and approved by the Senate as does any other appointee with such powers. Such a move might not prevent a future President from acting in a similar manner but it will empower Congress to then act having the Constitutional leverage to do so. Remember that the first hundred days often set the tone between a President and the Congress, people, national leaders and the world in general. Trump’s initial steps in the Middle East and North Africa will reveal his true foreign policy outlook. The man will be walking into the middle of a forest surrounded by swampland with an angry beehive just over his shoulder and a bear coming for the honeycomb sure to disturb the hive. It will likely be a dark and threatening sky with a hard rain approaching and tornado sirens blaring in all directions. Welcome to happy old Washington D.C. where this is the standard start of a day with a bright outlook and do not ask how a bad day starts, just hope you never find out but as a hint, it usually follows a night where you did not sleep and will be making a speech to the nation the coming night to explain that which you are not totally sure you understand, but make that speech and speak of the solution and whatever you do, do not let them see you sweat and make sure you are dressed appropriate to the news and pray that you get to sleep more than three hours the next night. Mr. President; President Trump, welcome to the world where real people play the game of risk with real wars full of intrigue and always an unknown factor lurks just beyond the cusp out of view arising only at the worst possible time, and we have not even spoken about the media. Media has a single rule you must always remember, they are not your friend, your buddy or somebody you should ever trust because you are the biggest story they have even if they need make up two thirds, they will do so thus be ever vigilant when speaking and they are visible as that places them within hearing that one-third out of which they can manufacture a scandal, and they get paid to do just that. Good Luck and may Heaven assist and guide you throughout your Presidency.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

 

February 6, 2016

Iowa Results and Insights

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The biggest lesson we learned was that the media placed far too much emphasis on the caucuses. What we learned was that in cases where there was no definitive winner, then the entire choice would come down to a coin toss, how perfectly random. In the six instances where these rules were applied it was apparent that team Hillary got to call the coin-toss and call them they did. Apparently Bernie Sanders was perfectly happy to allow her team to call it, “Heads we win and Tails you lose.” And in six caucuses that appears to have been the call as Hillary either won each or Bernie lost, either way, Hillary went forth and declared a great victory while Bernie, being Bernie, claimed he and his supporters gave it a good fight and promised to continue the “Revolution” on to New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina and beyond. When one looks beyond the primary delegates to the “Super Delegates” which are more or less decided by the Democrat Central Committee, one sees the reality of the delegate race as Hillary has 357, Bernie has 14 and O’Malley has 2 all going towards garnering the 2382 delegates needed to win.

 

We learned that Hillary can place way too much emphasis on her phantasmal ability or luck by her precinct chairs abilities to call coin tosses. Her grand claims of victory soon turned to sand in her mouth and she probably sputtered and spurted still insisting she had a mandate. Perhaps she was looking at the super delegate count which is made up of party hacks and people of whom Hillary had their FBI files on another server which was not used for State department e-mails but whose contents would be just as interesting to the voting public but has zero chance of ever seeing the light of day as it would be burned as soon as it was taken in as evidence. There are far too many people the files held there could damage and who have the power to destroy evidence just as well as Bill and Hill have proven capable. We also learned that Bernie has excited and tapped into an interesting voter group, the young and first time voters. Some of these first time voters have been of sufficient age to vote before but have now found their candidate. This is a large part of the voters eight years ago which propelled Obama into the White House and are just as likely to spoil Hillary’s last chance saloon and give her a really bad case of déja vu hiccups as she watches another upstart, this time a seventy-four year old hippie socialist who never let go of the dream from his college days, or is it daze? Should Bernie Sanders pull this off he will have proven that Hillary is fated to never grasp the golden ring in politics and Bill will never hear the end of how it was supposed to be hers but that Obama beat her and then Bernie the crazed lunatic stole it and it just was not fair. I guess nobody ever had the nerve or the suicidal tendencies to tell Hillary that life quite often is not fair. We learned also that Bernie had a solid and faithful following and that his challenge to the chosen one is real and very possible no matter how many delegates Bill can line up on Hillary’s side as in this day and age of the voters, as a collective intelligence, choose the candidates and the final elevations of a President. We also have seen the inside of the “Feel the Bern” generations and they are coming on strong and this might make Bernie Sanders the more electable Democrat and the real candidate the Republicans should fear facing.

 

The Republicans gave us a different message. The evangelicals, the Christian Right, was supposed to decide the Iowa vote and put one of two candidates on the short list for failure; they did not come through that way but have written the last swan song for Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz needed to corral, he is from Texas you know, the Evangelicals but he somehow lost about half the herd which left him limping into first place by a small margin, though it was a landslide by Hillary standards. Ted Cruz did do well as many had predicted claiming that the majority of the polling numbers for ‘The Donald’ (Donald Trump from here on) were mostly fictitious and when the time came to actually support a candidate, these polling numbers would prove to be a phantasm and disappear. Well, they actually did but not as far as predicted and Donald Trump has proven he is for real and will become a viable and potential winner should he start to actually express serious steps and reasons for his bombastic statements and clarify them into a reasonable platform people can stand behind. Ted Cruz, as wonderful as his supporters claim, will very likely fall flat in New Hampshire and rebound in South Carolina and Florida though it will remain to be seen if that is sufficient for him to remain in the race. After the caucuses in Nevada and Colorado it will be definitively decided who is the acceptable alternative to the establishment choice which appears currently to have fallen from Jeb Bush to Chris Christie to John Kasich and now on the Marco Rubio. Other than Cruz, Trump and Rubio who finished in close proximity to one-another, the rest should start taking stock of how much is this worth pursuing and what actually are your actual chances of emerging from the background in a positive manner. The media will ignore you until you make a mistake, and then they will crucify you until you fall on your sword; trust me, I’ve been there. For a good number, probably larger than those willing to vote for him, Ben Carson leaving will be heart-wrenching. We want so much to just once have the nice guy who refused to go negative and was an exemplary person whose life reads like a storybook where underprivileged youth from the worst part of town rise to prominence and was not only a success but also a solid positive force and contribution to society become Mr. Smith Goes to Washington except with a much happier result as he rises above the political machinery and does great and wonderful things lifting the nation by his inspirations. That would have been Ben Carson but perhaps this is better as the media have not torn him to shreds which would have come next had he shown he might succeed. The media will praise you to the hills and as soon as you start to succeed, partially due to their building you up, they will tear into you until you let out a personal secret, say that one time you lost your temper, we all have at least one such moment, and then that will become your defining moment as if nothing else you ever accomplished really made up for the momentary weakness when you were eight years old.

 

 

Mr. Carson Goes to Washington

Mr. Carson Goes to Washington

 

 

So the result in Iowa placed Ted Cruz momentarily in the cat bird seat with Donald Trump close behind and Marco Rubio in tightly behind Donald Trump. There being merely 8,500 votes between the three out of close to 175,000 they finished in a photo finish which their margins only looked large compared to the difference, or lack thereof, between the top Democrat candidates who basically resulted in a dead heat. The reality hopefully will become obvious to the three that for the race to be determined honestly then one of the non-establishment candidates will need to bow out if the other will have even a chance of taking the nomination. Should all three remain in the race and the contest continue to have similar results then there will be the definite possibility that at the Republican Convention there will be no definitive winner and as long as the three remain holding their delegates to their vote then there will be an arranged result which is basically a fixed convention where a candidate is chosen in some back room with some establishment and insiders making a choice and then bringing their golden boy forward and sweeping the convention as the party machinery steamrolls any opposition and presto, Jeb Bush is brought forward as the great hope of the party and we end up with the potentially lowest turnout election percentage in American history as we end up with that dreaded Clinton-Bush family rerun of the 1992 election without the drama or concern as the people show their disgust by staying home. Should this scenario become reality, then there need be a slight Constitutional Amendment making every Federal elected office have an additional choice at the bottom such that the people can demand better choices than the party line who has scratched the most backs and it is decided to reward them by making it their turn for the House of Representatives and then later the Senate and finally, for the real party hardliners, the Presidency by voting for “None of the Above” and if “None of the Above” receives the greatest plurality then the parties must find new candidates and a reelection will take place six weeks later, so they better choose well and somebody the people would rally to or they could face embarrassment after embarrassment and perhaps allow a primary if it is a Senate or House of Representatives for unaligned people to attempt to gain ballot access and allow the highest independent vote getter to also be on the ballot as it is doubtful such a person could do any worse in the performance than some of those currently in office. We really need to get better quality candidates and until the parties are forced to consider that they have to win over the people or face challenges from what are usually referred to as Joe-six-pack meaning it as a pejorative label when actually that may be a person who would do a far better job of representing the people with their being from amongst them. Still, there are the gems amongst a sea of party functionaries and the quality, or lack thereof, of the candidates on the average ballot simply proves George Washington correct when he claimed, “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.” Enough said.

 

We regret that nowhere in the conglomerate of offerings is there a single candidate with military service in their background. Some of the candidates I doubt could reduce their self-worth to a sufficient level to survive basic training nor would they know when to stand on principle and when to stand down as that is also something they test in basic training and for the select few who respond accordingly they offer them to attend OCS which is the one way that an enlisted man can become an officer, and maybe a gentleman. The world stage being what it is, we believe would be best served by somebody who has served and our first choice would be Lt. Col. Alan West.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 14, 2012

The False Chimera of a Brokered Republican Convention

The idea of having the Republican Convention going well enough beyond the first ballot without producing consensus on a candidate appears to have increasing appeal to some conservative commentators. But would there be any advantage to having a brokered convention produce a compromise candidate drafted from some ephemeral list of alternate choices from those who will have endured over a year of the primary season with its travails, trials, exposure and disclosures. Granted a compromise candidate would have been spared the barbs and scorn from the press and thus may have the appearance of a clean slate. They would be able to take that magic combination of a base from Mitt Romney’s best policy positions, moderated by a smattering of Ron Paul financial and foreign policy restraint, with a moral spine from Rick Santorum, adding some spice and disdain for slanted posing of the press from Newt Gingrich’s arrogant ripostes and then fill in the gaps with Tea Party banter and smooth it all out with classic Republican rhetoric. Such a candidate would be a package of goods assembled a few short months before Election Day which may allow them the advantage of not being pinned down and fully vetted by an overly aggressive press. So, what could possibly be the problem of such a candidate? It appears on paper to be all benefit and little risk, a kind of the best of all worlds rolled neatly into one assembled package.

 

It is the best of all worlds rolled up into one neatly assembled package that would be the problem. Such a candidate would have all the appeal of a dress-up doll. Such a candidate would compare to President Obama in the same manner as a manikin shows off a clothing line compared to a model walking the runway. President Obama comes off well-spoken and relates well with the crowds when on the campaign. He may not be all that smooth when it comes to actually doing the job of President, but he can sound and appear very Presidential on the campaign. He will be as polished as polished can be. Hand-picking a candidate outside of those who endured the primary campaign and paid their dues to get the nomination will give the impression of a manufactured candidate which would be a grave misstep against President Obama. By the time the Republican Convention rolls around at the end of the summer the primary contest will present well vetted and known entities and the American people will expect one of these who have persevered and gained the support of at least a significant portion of the Republican electorate to be acknowledged and chosen to carry on to the election. To place somebody chosen in what we refer to as smoke-filled backrooms filled with faceless impersonal powerbrokers would be an insult to those who had toiled with their chosen candidate through the trials and tribulations to get to the convention. Such a move would be perceived as insult by many conservatives who have faith in a system which includes the votes and voices of the people. If we did not want to have a real influence in choosing the eventual candidate for President from our party, then we would not spend the time, effort, and wealth in a primary campaign season and would not even bother with a convention, we would just rent a conference room at a Motel 6 and be done with it.

 

But there is an even better argument against the brokered convention. Who? Simply, who? Give me the name of who it is that would be such a magnificent name that they would have the vast numbers of voters necessary to win the election and realize that this is the candidate of candidates. Bobby Jindal? Chris Christie? Paul Ryan? Sarah Palin? Glenn Beck? Rush Limbaugh? Clint Eastwood; after the Super Bowl commercial, why not? Really, who is there that would make such a wonderful candidate that it would be worth throwing all the toils and tribulations suffered by those who sweat and bled through the grueling primary endurance trial a wise and intelligent move. No, a brokered convention would be the closest thing to a disaster as the Republicans could pull. We need to continue with the people who have shown the willingness to ante-up and play the hand they are dealt. We need to choose from the warriors who have taken up their armor and survived the barbs and arrows of outrageous fortune and earned the right to represent the Republican voters on the ballot this fall, or is the plan to broker away the people’s trust and support. Note, they are the Republican Party candidate but they represent the voters who came out and supported them in the primaries. No brokered candidate can make that claim.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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