Beyond the Cusp

September 22, 2017

Did the Republicans Out Maneuver the Republicans?

 

President Trump made a miscalculation at the beginning of his term which he is unlikely to make again. He believed that as he had won the Presidency that he was now the leader of the Republican Party. He assumed that the Republican Party was very similar to the Democrat Party which he knew rather well having seen them operate for many of his years. He believed that the Republicans would be assisting him with his agenda. He now knows that his assumption was not quite valid. There were Republicans who believed that they had the right to control the Republican Party and that they were going to force President Trump to allow them to control the agenda no matter what it took. Their first stand was over repeal and replace of Obamacare where they prevented all three proposals from passing and brought President Trump to his realization that there was a sufficiently sizeable group of Republicans who did not care about the good for the American people, they cared solely about their power and control. They would sacrifice the Republican Party from holding the White House if it meant they could impose that they were the real powerful members of the Republican Party. They had everything figured out, they would hold the promises made by candidate Trump hostage until President Trump submitted to their control. Then they would dictate policy as they were meant to do. One felt particularly cheated because he should have been the Republican in the White House the past eight years but he was robbed by President Obama. Then they threatened to foil President Trump’s tax reform plans unless he allowed them to take charge and do what was the right thing to do. These rebelling Republicans were a motely group of very liberal Republicans plus a few very angry Republicans who despised that this upstart who has never held any elected office or paid his dues to the Republican Party was now the President and leader of their party, that is their party. They were not going to bow before this upstart and he was going to bow to them and they would finally dictate and make things right, make them how they had always believed they should be, finally achieve those things they knew were necessary.

 

President Trump is a different kind of politician, a business politician who believes in making deals as necessary. When he realized that because of this small band of aggravated Republicans who were bent on refusing him any victory, President Trump did the only thing which makes any business sense, he went to work with the Democrats. He offered the Democrats hope for a deal but first they had to prove they could produce the votes by giving him something he badly needed, raising the debt limit. The Democrats gave President Trump his debt ceiling increase and the will to achieve more things which they hold in common. There are Republicans who have accused and thought that President Trump would be right at home amongst the Democrats. Now there will be howls from the Republicans about President Trump joining with the Democrats and deserting the Republican Party. The discussion will be interesting between the Republicans and President Trump as each one accuses the other of betrayal. Which one honestly betrayed the other will depend upon one’s own views and probably which side your political bread is buttered. It might even just come down to which of the two main characters in this grand opera you believe is the better person, President Trump or Senator McCain. What comes next will prove to be telling and it will depend heavily on whether President Trump actually cares about working with the Republicans or now feels he has new friends he can depend upon.

 

Senator McCain versus President Trump

Senator McCain versus President Trump

 

The one thing, which we can tell President Trump, is that the Democrats suffer from an ideological block that only permits them to serve their own purposes. Then President Trump also needs to know that those renegade Republicans who appeared to hate his becoming President with so much passion that they refused to do things even that they had promised for the last seven years to their own constituents are just as untrustworthy. But it is very likely that the President already has this game figured and will work with whomever wishes to play ball with him and assist him in getting certain ideas pushed through to fruition. This may mean working with the Democrats on Tuesdays and Thursdays and working with the Republican on Mondays and Fridays and working with a combination made up from both parties who are simply interested in advancing what is best for the people of the United States on Wednesdays. In such a scenario, we predict that Wednesdays would be outstandingly productive. But the real question is what is the immediate path the President might try as neither party has a proven record or appears completely committed to his ideas and programs.

 

President Trump is going to need to prove that he really can perform the art of the deal. The question will be with whom he will be dealing. President Trump will most likely move to have the Republicans take a shot at passing his tax reform plan, something they will probably demand not be as deep a cut or that so many of the loopholes and deductions be removed. The Democrats would be even more averse to working with President Trump on any form of tax reduction unless he would agree to raising other taxes or enacting Single Payer Healthcare, otherwise known as Medicare for All. The Democrats have always been the deal makers where their half of the deal always has to be enacted first and too often their agreement to enact more later often does not come to fruition. At least that has been the record in their past, especially when it comes to amnesty for illegal aliens (undocumented immigrants) and closure of the border to prevent additional illegal aliens (undocumented immigrants). Fortunately, the President’s next major fight will be tax reduction and reform. This would be an area better suited to working with the Republican Party. That would be a good starting point for President Trump if that is his next venture, but he should also enlist any willing Democrat assistance available just in case the Republican rebellion is still in vogue, then the tax program could still have a good opportunity for passage. Wherever President Trump’s agenda plans may be, he might be required to enlist the willing on each program from both parties in order to bring his campaign promises to fruition. The immediate problems facing President Trump is finding a coalition of the willing from both parties and proceed with the work at hand. To do anything less would be disrespectful of those who elected him to accomplish those items he promised during the campaign. The voters did not care who President Trump works with, they just wanted him to work on those items he promised. They do not even care if he believes in that which he promised, they just demand that he deliver or he will have only one term. Then again, after the way President Trump has been treated, he may not desire another term which makes him even more of a problem as then he has nothing to lose by doing whatever he feels is necessary. At least things will be interesting, and that is very good for those who write about politics.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 28, 2016

It’s Final and It’s Clinton and Trump

 

Sure it is still possible for Cruz/Kasich or Bernie Sanders to steal the limelight with the teaming up of Cruz/Kasich to temporarily stop Trump or for Bernie to turn the world on its head and win the nomination outright, but pigs have a better chance of flying. So we may as well face it that the United States election will place a criminal against an egotistical buffoon. Such a choice will likely produce the smallest turnout for a Presidential election in American history with over half the eligible voters blowing off the election out of sheer disinterest. The election will be won by whichever of the two candidates sickens their base less than the other. Call it the election where large portions will be voting for the one that makes them less ill. The question must seriously be looked at as to what each Presidency would look like and what the world can expect.

 

Hillary will quite likely be the more predictable of the two as she will be a true leftist performing exactly as advertised. She will continue to spend on social issues taking it from the military. She will cut the NASA budget and we will hear repeatedly about the billions of dollars going to NASA and how such expenditures cannot be justified when the social issues are so dire. She will raise taxes even further on businesses forcing even more companies to flee from what will be an even more oppressive atmosphere. Amnesty for illegal immigrants will be a given and will include a number of millions additional from the troubled Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The flood gates will open for Syrian, Afghani, Iraqi, Libyan, and who knows where else from the failing MENA nations and will be brought in as Europe refuses to accept millions of these immigrants and their nations of origin will disavow them leaving them as people without a country until Hillary rides to their rescue. All financing will be returned to Planned Parenthood. All this and more will result if Hillary has a democratic Congress, especially if they remake the rules preventing filibusters in the Senate by requiring a mere majority vote for cloture as was enacted early in President Obama’s first term.

 

Clinton vs Trump

Clinton vs Trump

 

There will also be a push towards raising the minimum wage above $12.00 and eventually up to $15.00 an hour. This will speed up the automation of fast food service centers, calling such a restaurant would be a stretch. The first company amongst the burger giants to come out with a completely automated service and retrieval and cleaning using robotic servers and cleaning robotic units, especially if they appear humanoid but still obviously robotic to avoid that gulch where they are too humanlike but just enough off to be spooky. We believe the term for such robots are they are in the Uncanny Valley where they freak people out and make them uncomfortable. Unemployment will skyrocket along with the minimum wage hike as more and more jobs simply disappear either through automation of certain sectors of industry or simply fleeing to Asia and other places of lower production costs.

 

There will be pressure by the green movement to tighten pollution standards and a strong push to tax gasoline internal combustion engine vehicles to higher prices making electric vehicles more attractive. Expect a European style carburetor tax or even cylinder tax with a tax based on number of cylinders where production of a car has such a tax pushing the prices skyward. Gasoline taxes will also push gas to European levels or higher. Expect a mileage tax to be levied with GPS mileage tracking systems required on all cars including retrofitting older vehicles. If such a requirement makes keeping your old vehicle on the road too expensive to install the GPS mileage tracking system, enjoy walking or the bus. Automated trucking with self-driving vehicles will become more common. This too might also be another item built into the GPS mileage tracking where every vehicle signals its GPS location, direction and speed which can be read by the automated vehicles to assist them in driving decisions. Such systems could also automate speeding tickets as your speed would be recorded at all times and exceeding the speed limit could result in an automated system sending you a ticket for each violation. Who needs speed cameras when the vehicle itself can turn itself in for speed violations? Cities might even enact car free zones where vehicles are forbidden forcing people to use mass transit. All this and more could be a result of a Hillary Clinton Presidency.

 

Donald Trump will be far more difficult to predict as it will depend largely on whom he appoints as his Cabinet and advisors. The biggest danger of a Trump Presidency would be if his policies become unpredictable, especially in economic programs. Should he start one set of economic programs and after five or six months not have the results he desired so he changes the game and again every four to six months then investors will sit on their money as such a game would become too risky and they would turn into risk adverse investors placing their investments in predictable sectors or overseas. Trump might react to pressures from ecology lobbies and make some concessions and it would depend on which as to the effect. CAFÉ standards might be increased demanding higher MPG ratings for vehicles. Taxes on businesses would likely be lowered which would be a positive; and minimum wage, where it may be raised, would not approach $15.00 which would permit for lower unemployment numbers.

 

Certain advances are going to be unavoidable. The driverless automated trucks are coming and there is no preventing that short of making them illegal, not going to happen. Mileage taxes will be levied by the individual states even if not done by the Federal Government. Requiring GPS reporting mileage and possibly constant recording and reporting trip data to the government is coming and will be used to try and force driverless vehicles to replace human drivers even before the technology is perfected, though it is very close, which is why it will be unavoidable. Trump might actually listen to the car manufacturers and allow for hydrogen powered vehicles as an alternative to electric cars. What the ecology lobby does not want people to know is that electric cars do little to lessen pollution and just change the location of the pollution as charging the electric cars requires greater output by power plants most of which burn fossil fuels with extra demand making up for the pollution presumably not produced by driving gasoline powered vehicles. The hydrogen powered vehicles exhaust is water vapor and its main pollution is thermal as the exhaust is in the form of steam predominantly. Perhaps some system could be installed which would permit some degree of condensation before release into the atmosphere, but the efficiency of such a system would need to be proven before any great claims could be made.

 

The area where either a Trump or a Clinton Presidency would be most in doubt would be foreign policy. Hillary might be more willing to intervene militarily and then leave too quickly after declaring job accomplished which may or may not be a better policy providing the parties understand that intervention remains an option if things are not improved after any regime change. Another Libyan style disaster would serve nobody. Trump, on the other hand, is a complete unknown and the sole plus is that as a complete unknown and with his reputation as being somewhat unstable and capable of flying off the handle, other nations might be tempered in their desires to test a President Trump. There will always be at least one foreign country which will test any new President and how they react to such a test can set the mood for the remainder of their term. After the Bay of Pigs disaster Khrushchev tested President Kennedy by shipping nuclear capable missiles into Cuba sparking the Cuban Missile Crisis and the rest is history. Needless to say there were no more tests after President Kennedy literally blockaded Cuba and prevented any additional missile deliveries and demanded the removal of those already in place. Things got a good deal quieter after that faceoff.

 

What will be the test for the incoming President? We predict it would likely come via the situation in what used to be Syria and potentially Iraq and could be either from Russia or Islamic State. There is the already existing threat in the South China Sea with the Chinese literally building and arming islands right in the heart of the existing sea lanes forcing shipping to detour adding hundreds of miles to the routes between Japan and Asia as they need to circumnavigate around these Chinese newly-fashioned and militarized islands. These also could be utilized to prevent any reinforcement in a timely manner of Taiwan should China finally attempt to make good on their standing threat to restore their province which they claim Taiwan actually should be. Then there is the challenge which is sure to be presented by Iran as they continue to flaunt their disregard for any limitations presumably set by the Iran deal which likely was simply an agreement that Iran not announce or test a nuclear weapon until after President Obama has set off for golfing and placing his Presidential Library between the ninth hole and tenth tee next to the clubhouse on his Presidential Golf Course. Foreign challenges are always an area where second guessing is commonplace as nobody can predict everything accurately as there is always that surprise awaiting around every corner. The one predictable item is foreign powers are less likely to challenge Trump than they are Clinton. That might be a very seriously bad mistake, period. Hillary Clinton could be their worst nightmare if she was having a bad hair day when they pushed her; she could be far more vicious and unpredictable than Trump could ever be. Trump, though potentially unpredictable, would at least be relatively logical even if that logic might be unfathomable to some. Hillary Clinton would be simply terrifying should she feel threatened or being made a fool of or made to appear hesitant and weak as she would be more likely to overreact to any situation and press it to unnecessary levels or even use overwhelming force where a strong show of force without pulling the trigger was all that was necessary to end the threat peacefully. We have far more trepidation when it comes to Hillary over Donald when it comes to foreign threats despite both being unpredictable. No matter which wins there will be no telling the results until either has settled in and the initial actions and reactions have been initiated.

 

The final item is Israel. Trump will depend on who his advisors are on foreign policy, but we believe he will be more even handed and accommodating regarding Israel once he is made fully appreciative of the situation. Trump will need to weigh what the Pentagon and Defense Department give him and what the State Department tells him. With such conflicting information, he will necessarily have to choose and hopefully will have visited Israel and talked to both sides and gotten his measure of the land. Hillary Clinton will likely make President Obama appear to have been a supporter of Israel and best of friends with Prime Minister Netanyahu. We already are fully aware of the lack of good relations between Bibi and Hillary and the special hate she holds for Israel. Expect the chill between Israel and the United States to become an ice age under Hillary with no possible thaw and open threats to become commonplace from the White House to Jerusalem. There will be nobody to answer the calls from Hillary as her animosity is well known in Israel and she will manage to even alienate the Israeli left within the first year of her screeching demands for Israel to surrender completely to Abbas. Any dealing with Hillary by Israel would be suicidal. Trump may initially be an unknown but would at least not enter the situation convinced of their preconceived notions as Hillary would be, and she would be completely anti-Israel no matter what lies she told AIPAC.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

November 21, 2014

A First Step to Immigration Reform Obama Did Not Propose

 

Last night President Obama decided that the new Congress which will be sworn in come late in January of next year had been dragging their heels and not addressing legislation proposing solutions of comprehensive immigration reform. Since he will be giving his speech after my deadline for submitting my article, I will just assume, always somewhat dangerous but I feel confident my assumptions will prove safe and valid, it is distinctly possible that President Obama might give everyone a surprise, potentially a pleasant surprise, and actually suggest or even, drum roll please, promise to take his pen and enact any of my proposals. The first thing which must be resisted is the urge to take grand sweeping steps aimed at solving everything all with as few steps as possible starting with any form of blanket amnesty, especially a general amnesty with only the smallest of punitive requirements or inconveniences such as fines or complex forms. Unfortunately, President Obama has given indications that he will at least propose rigidly stringent guidelines he will expect, even demand, Congress meet within a relatively short deadline and put legislation on his desk meeting every last iota of his expectations or expect his veto followed by him using his pen and phone to enact exactly what he desires without Congressional input. We can expect some form of amnesty for the large number of those labeled ‘youths’ which were part of the huge tens of thousands of illegal children and young adults all unaccompanied by adults who entered the southern border to much media coverage, almost fanfare, this past spring and early summer. How much further President Obama may decide to go will be revealed before this article gets posted, but why guess when it will only serve to be anticlimactic, so on to what we believe is not to be expected but would have been a better course to have followed.

 

The first step to begin to solve the immigration problem has to separate those who are in the United States and are seeking to work within the legal system since their arrival, are gainfully employed, are paying taxes and simply desire to make a better life for their family from those who are here in pursuit of illegal activities, are chronic lawbreakers or are here to take advantage of government support programs designed to assist the needy and disabled such as welfare, food stamps, disability programs and other similar programs. Basically, one need differentiate between those here to gain from the system from those here who are working and contributing to the system. The American people are usually a forgiving people but not if they feel somebody has betrayed their trust and is out to game things and taking advantage of the Americans’ generous nature. Where the American people might be persuaded to accept somebody who may have entered the nation illegally in order to make a better life for his family and has worked steadily and even paid taxes, paid their rent, utilities and other daily bills, provided health insurance and were not causing any undue strain on the society, such a person would be more acceptable than anyone who had not shown such respect for the society and abused the systems instead of being fellow contributors to that system. This brings into consideration reports that the Justice Department gave its blessings, some even claim facilitated, the release of tens of thousands of illegal immigrants who were incarcerated on felony charges across the nation. It was rumored that these illegal immigrants were released in a preparatory move in order for making them legal in some expected subsequent amnesty, an amnesty which, in all fairness, has yet to have occurred. There is an initial step which could be used to separate out those who are working within the system and being a contributive member of American society from those who are taking advantage of the various support safety net systems within that society. This would be to require that everyone who applies for government assistance give proof and be required to pass a citizenship check before being given any support. This would remove those on such programs who were unable to pass such a background check and might be sufficient incentive for many illegals realizing they would likely be dropped from any forms of government support to return to their nation of origin or perhaps become contributing members of society seeking out gainful employment. Either result would be a positive result which most American might find acceptable and possibly even advantageous.

 

The next phase would require formulating what is referred to as a path to citizenship for those illegal immigrants who would be capable of providing sufficient evidence and desire to become documented and even take on additional requirements as further proof of their honest desire to mitigate for their initial illegal entry. They might be required to also take and pass a one year comprehensive American history course on a college or community college level designed by judges and professors specifically to provide a general knowledge of the important points in American history as well as stressing legal codes and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and the important themes and origins of the triumvirate of America’s founding documents, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and their effects on the government and the legal code. They should be subjected to a full background check and also have to take the full citizenship courses and pass the test for citizenship all before being considered for final citizenship. The path should be more strenuous than the normal track to citizenship to make them have to pay a price as proof that they are aware that they have been granted a privilege which their effrontery of knowingly breaking United States immigration laws by entering the nation by illegal means. There have been discussions that those illegal immigrants permitted to seek citizenship should also be made to pay a fine as well as make good for any back taxes they may owe. The fine should be determined to some extent on a case by case basis on some established sliding scale which would take into consideration whether the illegal immigrant had paid taxes or avoided paying taxes amongst other criteria. Whatever the cost demanded from an illegal immigrant in order for them to achieve citizenship, that price will prove astonishingly low as it grants their family a prize others have applied for and waited what must seem to be a lifetime to achieve legally, a wait made that much longer by the numbers of illegal immigrants who reduce the numbers of legal immigrants accepted each year, they owe those people a debt which is impossible to repay or even determine a sufficient price. Whatever the United States government decides about what the price and path if any should be demanded from those who entered their country illegally, the people would very likely have demanded a much higher price if they would allow any price other than expulsion back to their nation of origin made to begin the legal immigration path from square zero. Whatever would be decided by the Congress, any such decision would better represent the people than whatever edicts fell from President Obama’s lips last night, but then President Obama has been showing a steadily growing lack of concern for the American voters which will only grow as his time left shortens. No matter what immigration policies the President will have introduced the world to last night; such ignominies will only pale when compared with what he has in store over the last two years in office. After all, did not President Obama claim that he will be listening to the two-thirds of voters who failed to vote in the midterm elections and would he not be able to claim that his intimate familiarity possessed with these silent voters is far more accurate than even they might know as he has already channeled their desires, he said so.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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