Beyond the Cusp

July 7, 2017

Where has Compromise Gone?

 

Obamacare passed completely on the weight of Democrat supermajorities. From all appearances, should there come a Trumpcare bill, it too will pass simply from a supermajority of Republicans. That is where the problem comes in as far as any new healthcare legislation. The Republicans are in deep discussion and even some argument over the particulars and thus taking far longer than many would prefer. But there is one wall in reality and another described in the media. The media are screaming that the Republicans are completely inept and unable to pass a simple piece of legislation that President Trump claimed would be his first and primary consideration. The media keeps pressing how the Republicans are failing but they are missing one simple truth, it is not all Republicans who are making things impossible. The House of Representatives sent a bill to the Senate where everything got jammed up both in committee and on the Senate floor. The Republicans have twice introduced legislation for debate and when calling for a vote, there came the problem, there were those demanding more debate. These debates were nothing to do with the legislation but were intended to block any vote by demanding cloture, something that just the mere mention has led to a new reality in the Senate that in order to call for any vote those desiring a call for a vote must have sixty votes of guaranteed support. This means that every piece of legislation must have cloture because the essential reality is that all legislation is considered to be being filibustered by those who oppose the bill. There no longer is any requirement for legislation to actually be opposed with a real filibuster, it is simply assumed that if one person opposes legislation, then they would be capable of filibustering the legislation indefinitely without recourse for food, sleep or other nourishment or relaxation. Anyone who has seen the film, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” (see entire film video below), realize that no individual person would be capable of carrying on a filibuster alone and even two would be hard pressed. There was a reason that the Senate believed that forty Senators would be sufficient opposition for a principled stand and no less would suffice. No longer, as now one must have the support, public support if pressed, of sixty Senators. We are not sure when such a decision was reached and became tradition, but it sure makes progress far more difficult and cumbersome as getting Senators to commit could be compared with herding cats.

 

 

The United States Senate was once referred to as the most dignified and austere deliberative chamber in the history of the world. The House of Representatives was to represent the fury of democracy filled with bluster, crude and terse yelling producing responses to the insanities and demands of the populace often flinging reason to the wind. The Senate was to be the barricade which imposed reason on such madness. But politics in the United States has reached a crucial and, as one might say, desperate point. The partisanship has boiled over and is simply waiting to explode. Debate is no longer permitted as the space for debate has slowly closed down. Now, one enters into the debate either armed with the skin of a rhinoceros or prepared to lose friends as taking a side other than those approved by your peers is akin to treason. Even relatives finding themselves on opposite sides have refused to speak to one another and even a few marriages have broken up simply because the partners voted for opposing candidates in the Presidential elections. Now the demand on both sides is to prevent the other side from ever managing to pass any legislation and nowhere is this battle more obvious than the healthcare debates. The left is fiercely set to defending Obamacare and simply pressing that the only reason that Obamacare is failing is because that imbecile in the White House demands that it fail as his entire esteem rides upon its failure. They claim if only President Trump would allow minor, Democrat-approved adjustments and put in the proper financial investment, then Obamacare would produce everything as promised. The Republicans insist that nothing will be able to save Obamacare and some even press that it was designed to fail so as to allow for the enactment of the Democrat dream of a Single-Payer Healthcare System. The response from many on the left demand to know what would be so terrible in adopting the identical healthcare system which has bankrupted many a European nation who do not have anywhere near the populations nor a military budget anywhere near to comparable to those of the United States. The sides on this debate find no middle ground nor do they seek any. Both demand absolute victory and this comes to a head in the United States Senate. The House of Representatives currently have a majority of Republicans which leads to the Republicans being able to pass whatever legislation they desire, and have done so on healthcare and other legislative time bombs.

 

The time bombs which pass the House of Representatives with much noise but ineffectual opposition run smack into the polite deference found in the Senate where every piece of legislation had come to require a filibuster proof vote to simply pass. There is no longer the requirement to actually filibuster; one just has to oppose legislation and the filibuster is considered to be in force and cloture required. Additionally, the Democrats have come together in such a manner that they will act like a single entity and oppose everything the Trump administration favors. There is no concept even remotely resembling doing the nation’s business because as far as the politicians and their parties are concerned, there is no single nation but instead two warring camps between which no bridges can be built and no compromise can be permitted. With compromise out, then business is done because without even the slightest opening for compromise and doing what is best for the country, the two parties remain in gridlock with both sides controlling over forty votes in the Senate and thus neither being capable of reaching the magic number of sixty votes. This is a new development which has not been faced previously. And no, this was not the case during the Obama administration. The only legislation which was passed with total Republican opposition, to the best of our knowledge, was Obamacare where the Democrats had the supermajority of sixty votes in the Senate. Factually, the Democrats had to rush that passage as when Ted Kennedy died, the replacement elected in the November elections in Massachusetts was a Republican as he promised to vote against Obamacare, the Democrat promised to vote for Obamacare, and that was the deciding factor many voters gave for voting for a Republican for the first time in decades. That gave the Democrats in the Senate until the following January, so when they returned after the election they rushed a vote through and passed basically the legislation as the House of Representatives sent it without reading it, debating it or amending it. Some have pointed to this as the reason that Obamacare is failing, that it was incomplete when passed. Trust, it was complete and has done exactly what it was designed to do, bankrupt medical insurance industry and force the United States to adopt a single payer plan medical insurance and be just like Europe. Many are unsure if the United States would work well if it became more like the European Union than the United States. One might say that the leftists are trying to turn the United States into Europe one vote at a time. The Republicans are trying to avoid this and retain capitalistic principles at all costs. And that is a large part of the debate, capitalism versus socialism, and democratic republic versus single party unopposed rule, also known as fascism.

 

The United States of Europe Turning the United States into Europe One Vote at a Time

The United States of Europe
Turning the United States into Europe One Vote at a Time

 

I can hear the screeching, gut-wrenching, blood curdling, nails across the blackboard yelling already, what do you mean leftists are fascists, its Trump who’s the fascist. Well, as much as we love controversy, and we do, let’s hash this out looking back at history. Be calm, I know, Hitler was on the right, therefore fascism is from the right and the Republicans are on the right, game, set, match. Well, not exactly as the truth is that NAZI stood for Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National-Socialist German Workers’ Party; NSDAP). That is not exactly a group which stood for a Democratic Republic which is what their government replaced, which was known as the Weimar Republic. The government under Adolph Hitler came to power only after the leaders of the Weimar Republic approved some critical changes to their constitution granting the Chancellorship additional, unprecedented and near total and quite unopposable power. Then after taking the position, Adolph Hitler then assumed additional powers leading to his being a fascist dictator. The methods he utilized to take power were textbook examples of how to take total power and control of a government. You cause a situation where the government is stymied and unable to accomplish or even address the needs of the nation, add unrest and increasing violence, invent a critical point where the people will feel their nation threatened, demand the problem you are orchestrating be immediately resolved, offer on a wave of public demands that you be granted the power to end the strife, take power and demolish the people at the bottom who were instigated into violence at the critical point and then claim unlimited power because you accomplished the impossible. This was Hitler’s plan, Lennon’s plan, Chavez’s plan and far too many others for such methods to be considered ridiculous. The simple plan is create a national problem such as the collapse of the healthcare system, propose to solve the problem if given the tools, use the tools and the popularity gained in solving the problem to change the remainder of any constitution and make your party the only political entity and you its unrivaled leader, instant fascist governance.

 

The fearful condition in the United States currently has been the inoperability of the federal government which is locked due to the Senate being the dam obstructing business being accomplished. The media is fully backing the story that President Trump is a buffoon and an idiot who has no concept of how Washington works or how to accomplish things. Granted, much of the President Tweeting has backed this portrait. Despite his less than intelligent Tweets, the President cannot be blamed for the lack of legislation ever reaching his desk, the problem being faced by the United States government. But this will not prevent the near constant media blame President Trump first, second, last and always. There are those who have cast the President as attempting to take dictatorial steps to shut down debate on his agenda. This claim is given credence by those so opposed to President Trump as he committed the most horrific crime which may be cast as the crime of the century; he defeated the anointed one, Hillary Clinton. This is the crime for which President Trump will never be allowed to live down and for which many are infuriated to the point that they are still spending much of their free time posting to social media every remote piece of media coverage which can be found even to the point of having established chains where people post such a vindictive piece of editorial media and it goes around as they send it each on to the next in a great circle such that it returns to the fist poster who posts it as if it were new again weeks later. There are numerous such rings, all secretive and never to be admitted, and these will see to it that President Trump’s detractors will have a never ending and always increasing amount of material. Oh, and if you desire to be blasted into a different time zone, decry the unfairness or inaccuracies of these posts at your own risk of hearing loss as some responses you will receive will be in all caps, possibly bolded and even italicized in red if at all possible. Of course, should you be so struck, then you obviously deserved such treatment.

 

Where will all of this lead? That depends very heavily on the 2018 election and whether the Republicans can attain sixty Senate seats while retaining control of the House of Representatives. That is a tall order as very often in midterm elections the party of the sitting President lose seats in both houses of Congress, especially the House of Representatives. But these are different and new times and nobody can predict things political in this new era. The fact that Trump even lasted until the first primary was strange, that he did so well was astonishing, that he became the Republican candidate was unbelievable. This was the end of politics as had previously been known in the United States. The near come from behind win by Bernie Sanders in the Democrat primaries was a further established proof of the changing political scene. Will politics return to the old normal? It very probably could but then again, there have been such drastic changes before when things came to a head, but the United States does not need to have a new party rise and one fall to the side and disappear as happened when the Republicans became a major party. Those days eventually led to the Civil War and that is most definitely not something needed by any nation. Further, as much as it has been claimed that the election of President Trump could lead to the end of the Republican Party, that is probably just as unlikely if not more so than the Democrat Party disappearing. The only potential threat the main two political parties have in the United States will be if they continue to refuse to see any means of working together. Such refusal to be capable of seeing things as the needs of the nation rather than the unacceptable policies of the “other” could lead to one of the third parties to become a real third party. The existence of an actual third party which could gain sufficient support that they would hold the swing votes required by the other two parties to achieve their agendas, that party would become quite powerful and determine the direction of legislation and the nation. It might also lead to a fourth and fifth and soon, the United States would look like European nations with a party for every taste instead of coalitions forming two parties. Who is to say whether or not such would be a good thing or such fracturing of political power would make for some politicking so strange than nobody could ever establish anything resembling an actual solid policy. The future of the United States is at a crucial point in her history challenged only be the era around the Civil War and perhaps the divisions are just as deep and unresolvable. The next decade or two will be determinable for the future of the United States and whether she will remain the leader of the free world and a superpower unrivaled in the world. Nothing short of her place in the world is at stake but asking for the two sides to tread softly will fall upon deaf ears as they are all screaming far too loud to listen.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

August 4, 2013

Why the Secrecy Mr. Secretary?

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United States Secretary of State Kerry has emphasized twice that the peace negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians will be held in complete secrecy from the Press and that both sides have been instructed not to release any information concerning any progress, problems, concessions, agreements, or probably even what the menu was for lunch. The clamping of such secrecy can only lead one to surmise that the negotiations are going to be controversial and that there will be positions resulting that would prove provocative and very possibly disheartening. Since Secretary Kerry has also pointed out that any information which may become public will not have any validity unless it comes from Secretary Kerry himself, and he added that he will not be speaking about the talks very much if at all, so anything that is stated by any media will be purely conjecture. Well, I almost feel like sending Secretary Kerry a thank you note for his kindness for putting the rest of the media with yours truly on a level and equal playing field. With such a challenge, how could one not make predictions and estimations of what will be the final outcome. Let the guessing games begin.

 

Well, my first supposition is that while Palestinian President and Chairman of the Palestinian Authority and the leader of the Fatah faction of the PLO which also includes the al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades terrorist wing Mahmoud Abbas may have been forced to declare he will forgo requiring the entire litany of preconditions of the Israelis before allowing negotiations to proceed, Palestinian Chief negotiator Saeb Erekat has made no such promise and will begin to threaten to refuse to return to the negotiations unless Israel meets the very same preconditions. Rumors have already been spreading on Saturday night when this article was written that he has already demanded that Israel once again implement a complete building freeze. Maybe you remember the building freeze was the brilliant suggestion from none other than United States President Obama at the beginning of his first term when he boldly announced he had the answer to the Israeli-Palestinian deadlocked peace process. President Obama had the impression that Israel was the impediment in the peace process and if Israel were to be leaned upon and forced to negotiate from a weak and compromised position that the Palestinians would receive their state and Palestine and Israel would then live side-by-side in peace and security. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu under pressure gave President Obama a ten month building freeze which Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas wasted almost the entire ten months waiting until well into the ninth month to agree to meet only to use the meeting to demand that the Israeli Prime Minister extend the building freeze until a peace agreement was reached. We will never know whether President Obama attempted to pressure Netanyahu to comply or not, but Prime Minister Netanyahu refused to bend to that further demand and the peace process remained frozen.

 

So, now Mr. Erekat has assumed the responsibility for running interference by demanding the imposition of the preconditions in order to avoid any possibility that any negotiations may accidentally lead to a peace agreement. His announcement that went along with his demand for Israel to reinstitute a building freeze Mr. Erekat said, “The talks have ended. The government of Binyamin Netanyahu is trying to scrap all what was agreed upon in previous sessions of negotiations. They want to take us back to point zero.” The next claim when pressed on why the Palestinians are attempting once again to push for preconditions, which if accepted by Israel would be a total surrender on every single one of the final status issues, will be to claim that he is not demanding Israel meet preconditions but rather these demands are for Israel to meet their obligations and he is only asking for the world to assist the Palestinians in enforcing these obligations which Israel has refused to meet. The Palestinian leadership does not desire to negotiate and will only accept a complete Israeli surrender, and by a complete Israeli surrender they do not mean to the pre June 1967 positions which are the Armistice Lines from the 1949 end of hostilities from the initial war to eradicate Israel. The only solution the Palestinians will ever accept is the complete eradication of Israel replacing it with their Palestinian state. Whether they will allow the Israelis to continue to remain within the Palestinian state as a protected Dhimmi people or if they intend to simply deport or worse every Jew currently living in Israel, their intentions have not yet been definitively stated. The only question is what will President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, and the now apparently unemployed mediator Indyk going to do now that Mr. Erekat has walked away from the negotiations almost before they officially started. At least the Palestinian negotiating tactic has continued to be consistent, meet once for the initial handshake and walk away crying foul and demanding Israel unconditionally surrender by precondition. This has just begun to get interesting. How much abuse will President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry take from the Palestinians playing them in this disrespecting manner before they decide that they have been presuming the wrong side as the obstructionists and finally demand an initial concession from the Palestinians, that they actually negotiate in earnest and end their obstructionism? This will never happen though I do believe that the leadership of the United States will probably figure out the realities of the situation long before the Europeans even get clue one.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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