Beyond the Cusp

December 5, 2016

So Trump Took a Call from a Woman, Big Deal

 

President Elect Trump has been being roasted for taking a phone call from a woman, a Chinese woman, an important Chinese Woman, an Important Chinese woman who happens to be Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. The Mainland Chinese (some still refer to them as Red China, imagine that) Dictator’s underlings Foreign Minister Wang Yi and another Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang went on the record demanding that President elect Trump recommit to the One-China Policy. Wow, are they overly-sensitive or just really insecure and jumpy? He exchanged congratulations with another recently elected President of a nation which the United States forsook in exchange for their one-billion-three-hundred-eighty-one-million give-or-take a few million potential customers and inexpensive workers over the paltry twenty-three-and-a-half-million potential customers and more expensive workers. Red China (see above, we’re troglodytes and use old terms) need not worry, their place as the main supplier for WalMart is secure. Some people really get bent out of shape jealous if you talk to their rival suspecting you don’t love them anymore. Don’t worry Red China, or with their new capitalism is it now Pink China, America never really loved you in the first place, it just made economic sense to pretend America threw our friends in Taiwan overboard. Wait until America sends them more arms and you really go bat-crazy on us for selling arms to one of your claimed provinces. What, you don’t want your provinces armed or just this province? Get serious and maybe America will as well.

 

Let’s get honest here. If you asked the man on the street in any major city which nation the United States recognizes and has relations with and made them choose between Taiwan (and you explained that was also called Formosa and was often called free China) or Mainland China (and informed them it was also Communist China and previously called Red China) the total would overwhelmingly choose Taiwan. That is who the American people desire as their friend, until they would find out things in WalMart would have their prices rise, then they would pick Red China, oops, sorry, Mainland China. The Americans know who their real friends are and who assists North Korea with their nuclear program and thus assist Iran with their nuclear program. They are not the ignorant rubes you have been told they are; they just are mostly hard working and need to worry more about feeding their families, clothing their families and keeping a roof over the heads of their families and do not really have tons of time to keep up on foreign affairs. Anyway, if they know any history, then they know that should a war break out, then one really decides who they side with and who is required to put down the infinitely worst enemy which may or may not require siding with a lesser current enemy. When that war is over, we can go back to disliking whomever we choose and this applies to all nations. Israel would even side with Saudi Arabia and Egypt against Iran and there is nobody we can think of at the moment which would have us ally with Iran, they count as worst enemy. Not to worry, that was not exactly a secret.

 

Back to Mainland China and getting serious. The United States remade their bed in the Far East all the way back in 1979 and tossed Taiwan to the seven winds of fate and allied officially with Mainland China in order to actually recognize them in the Security Council of the United Nations and allow for formal trade relations and a billion other things; they are called potential customers and the makings of a very large military force if necessary, also called the Chinese people. Still, every decade or so the United States takes a risk and modernizes the Taiwanese military with a large weapons deal and Mainland China goes ballistic and whoever is the President grovels for a while promising that he will never allow such a deal again. That President keeps his word but that word does not apply to the following Presidents. We suspect that there will probably be one of these explosions should Donald Trump be reelected as such deals are most often executed during second terms so as to minimize the damage to reelection chances. It looks bad when your opponent can label you a treaty breaker and unreliable and all those nasty things and actually have proof in the form of Mainland China. Then again, Donald Trump has not exactly been a by the book kind of guy though many of his cabinet picks have been from the right wing conservative branch of the Republican Party, that might be a twig that far out on the right wing when you get to Retired Marine General James “Mad Dog” Mattis for your Secretary of Defense, a choice we heartily love and approve.

 

The flap over the phone call was very similar in the mainstream media as it was to the choice of General James “Mad Dog” Mattis for your Secretary of Defense. Retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor will likely continue to ruffle the feathers of the snowflakes reporting for NPR and the self-proclaimed objective media. I mean two former military men, what is Trump planning for, a war, an invasion, against whom? Well, the far left would be our guess as it appears they are gearing up for the long war, may it last twenty years as that is what is required to restore from the damage done since the assuming of the Presidency by Lyndon Baines Johnson after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Reagan checked the damage temporarily but with a Republican Congress, if the leadership can get their acts together, Trump can make real gains in restoring sanity and deregulating small businesses which get caught in the regulations battle the government claims to be using to check the “Big Guys.” The aims of these regulations almost always are skirted by the “Big Guys” and squarely smack the small businessman when he tries to progress and build his business. For far too long the government has actually been in the business of making sure the wealthy remain wealthy with no taxes or levies against wealth but with tons of taxes and other fees and regulations to prevent anybody else becoming wealthy and challenging the existing moneyed interests. Sure there are exceptions, but that is the problem, there are exceptions and it is not the normal flow for the little guy to make it big. We can hope Trump is different but that remains to be seen.

 

Uncle Donald Wants You

 

Reince Priebus is one choice which should be about as milquetoast and scrambled eggs as one can get. He will make the smallest ripples but does know how the Republican machine works, though many might claim the machine malfunctions more than running smoothly. Reince Priebus is one person who could quietly still get what Trump needs going and is far less controversial than say Newt Gingrich who would have been another good choice to get results but at what costs. Stephen Bannon is another choice which the media will blast as being bigoted and troublesome but he is no paleo-conservative and is more the middle of the road conservative with good monitoring for the mood of Congress and world affairs and should be an asset. The claims against Jeff Sessions and the regurgitating of his lynching by a Democrat Congress which also gave us the expression of somebody being Borked after the treatment which culminated on the rejection of Judge Robert Bork for a Supreme Court nomination where innuendo and snide commentary proved enough to slur the good name of a competent and righteous juror who would have been an asset and great Supreme Court Judge and would likely have been nominated to be Chief Justice instead of Roberts had he been on the court. His loss and the lynching of Jeff Sessions will be recorded as stains on the reputation of the members of that Congress who performed their positions in the Senate as more a lynch mob than an approval and validating body.

 

Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and David Patraeus have all been names floated for Secretary of State. David Patraeus should not be a viable choice despite his qualifications and proven work ethic but it is his ethics which failed as he shared classified information with a person not cleared to receive such privilege. That was just as wrong as Hillary Clinton’s transgressions even if to a much lesser degree and he served his time and lost his position and should remain that way at the very least at this time. Perhaps in a second term but not up front. As far as between Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani it comes down to what attitude does Donald Trump prefer to be the face of the United States? He has already made one choice in such a position with Nikki Haley as the United Nations Ambassador where her straight forward style will be refreshing and her professionalism a statement to the world that the United States takes reasoned and solid stances and represents exactly what they claim to be. Rudy Giuliani would be a similar, if not more vocal and sharply stated, style appointee and would make for a great compliment to Nikki Haley with both being out front kind of people and shy wallflowers. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, is a quiet, professional choice who would be a good negotiator though very unlikely to be brash or grating. His style is grace and competence will win the day as long as one remain steadfast and steady on the path and refuses quietly but still forcefully to stand their ground. The main problem with Mitt Romney is he screams Republican political tool and would offend many Trump supporters which is why he will be the media favorite.

 

Other choices, include Steven Mnuchin for Secretary of the Treasury who was chosen from the media film and Wall Street business world. Wilbur Ross for Commerce Secretary comes from a venture investment capitalist background where he rescued failing companies often making them profitable. Such work does not make one popular, especially if you are successful as often one is required to step on more than a few toes and restructure companies releasing sometimes most of a workforce. He will be interesting to monitor. Elaine Chao as Secretary of Transportation will make an excellent choice. Not only a woman but a minority woman with impeccable abilities and great loyalty to those she works with. She was Secretary of Labor under George W. Bush for eight years, making her the only cabinet member to serve his entire term. Mike Pompeo for Director of the CIA is an Army veteran who spent years as a businessman before entering politics, now in Congress, voted as a Tea Party candidate from Kansas, and sits on the House Intelligence Committee which gives him the necessary experience factor. Still to cover are Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services and Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education; both of which have the needed qualifications but are really lesser known Republican Party regulars and should prove efficient in calming any jitters from the Party elites. Will the elites of the Republican Party be mollified? Not likely, but they will have less than they expected to use as pry bars when speaking to the media, and that will be an asset in and of itself. In all too many ways, the detractors of Donald Trump and his performance as President are jumping the gun slightly as he has not taken office or even cleared the Elector College which meets to vote later this month. The actions of some Republican Party elites, many in the media and now Mainland (Red) China are all very similar in that they grab ahold of a single incident, a particular appointee or any other item even as small as a tweet and just sink their teeth in and, like a bulldog, refuse to release and will remain attached in attack mode even if it kills their credibility because they are serving the cause. What cause? Don’t ask us, ask them. They probably believe they are serving some purpose saving the party, nation, free world or even the planet, possibly the solar system; and this drives them right over the edge, we would say beyond the cusp, but whatever edge they are running off, it is not here.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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November 18, 2016

Trump Transition and the Usual Blame Game

 

The long knives are being unsheathed at both ends of the elitist political scene, both Democrat and Republican establishment players, all in efforts to protect their critically threatened turfs. Those who have long suspected in a means of collusions between the duly entrenched of the two parties to defend their mutual interests are about to watch as the proof will be represented by the allied and mutual attack front put forth from both camps. Their target will be every last appointee and proffered candidate to fill out the cabinet and others in the thousands of positions President Elect Trump will be needing to fill by the time he takes the oath of office. We have already seen some of the attacks coming from the political spectrum presumably from both ends. There have been assaults on the suitability of John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani where remarkably they were both accused of warmongering and of displaying poor quality in their choices in previous positions they held. The proof was their unwavering support for Israel which was translated into attacking nations solely because they threatened Israel and not due to any threat they might pose against the United States. Oddly enough the nation given as the example was not the usual Iraq War but the support for bombing the nuclear sites of Iran as such only is a threat to Israel. I guess Iranians chanting every Friday “Death to America. Death to Israel,” and their referring to the United States as the Great Satan and Israel merely the Little Satan is evidence of their not being a threat to the United States but solely a threat to Israel. The inclusion of Rudy Giuliani was due to his having attended the 2012 Paris rally of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, or MEK, an Iranian dissident group that was on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations. Well sure, that makes him a neocon warmonger if ever there was one. Anyone caring to read Rachel Marsden’s reasoning can find it in this article titled, Trump Shouldn’t Choose a Neocon as Secretary of State. Needless to point out, she would likely also be against either of these solid conservatives from holding any appointment under a President Trump.

 

A group of Democrats have already called for an investigation and possible grand jury to look into members of President Elect Trump’s transition team as having broken campaign laws for having worked towards the election of Donald Trump should now forbid their working on his transition. Who, one might ask, would these people expect to work for the President elect’s transition team. Probably Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank would pass inspection but surely not any supporters of Donald Trump. Another group had come out against Trump calling into service anybody from Wall Street or who have held high office in any of the Fortune 500 Companies because of their ties to big business. These people solely want tried and true political appointees who are simply retreads of the very people who have gotten the United States twenty-trillion-dollars in debt and have been all but totally unable to balance a budget and then stick to that budget rather than break the back of the budget at the first opportunity to spend additional funds for the worst of reasons, to stimulate the economy from Washington D.C. If there is one thing we all should have learned by now, it is that no amount of spending from Washington D.C. will ever create as many jobs as cutting taxes an equal amount will cause. Monies from Washington D.C. always seems to have caveats and cut outs which result in political allies getting wealthy and the people becoming that much the poorer. Perhaps the time has come to try and run the Federal Government in Washington D.C. as a corporate board which meets to solve problems which are impeding progress at the state and local level and otherwise simply seek ways of trimming the Federal Government back to the barest of bones as possible. We all know that should the Federal Government outside of border enforcement, military defense budget, and foreign policy be cut by sixty percent that it would still mismanage just as well as it does now but would do so with much greater efficiency on each dollar spent.

 

John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank

John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani
Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank

 

A number of honest researchers and academics, yes such people do exist as Thomas Sowell and Ben Stein both have proven repeatedly, have sought for the entire Federal Government take each and every law and legislation previously passed and still enforceable, every single regulation written, and all other forms of Lawfare or enforceable code or related orders including every standing executive order to be reviewed. These Constitutionalists propose a simple test be applied, does it pass as Constitutional and if so under what Clause or Amendment. Anything surviving such review need undergo another test, does it impinge upon the restrictions of the Tenth Amendment. Anything found wanting is to be dissolved, repealed or otherwise stricken from the record. The governance that remains would find great pleasure and support from the common man. Of course we could never count on the government to all but slit its own throat thus such will never happen as long as the people are not demanding such. Still, to dream is one of the few pleasures which has yet to be regulated and taxed, but the government is most assuredly working to repair such oversight.

 

We can expect the assaults to rise after every name is floated, leaked or, dare it occur, actually be named as intended for a position in the Cabinet, Ambassador, Under Secretary or any of the myriad of positions; there will be a cacophonic clamoring in the media with editorialists, guest columnists, political expert testimonials and general discontent from letters to the editors not to mention the full page ads in the New York Times, the paper of record for such political shenanigans, discounting these individuals character, suitability for service, previous suspected faults, previous faults somehow gone unmentioned till now, reprehensible views, complete lack of a nuanced approach and potentially a general threat to the governance as we have known it. That last one in particular would be seen as a compliment and endorsement here at BTC. We could use a few people who call into question the current modes of operation in government and hopefully mix things up in such a way that some of the less necessary parts fall away, that would be wonderful. Still, the coming negativity will be double the norm as both party machines will be working overtime to tie President elect Trump and his coming administration into knots so tight that they never manage to fill a single position, especially Cabinet posts and then demand to know why the Administration was unprepared for what will come directly due to these pointed attacks aimed at subsuming any power or functionality from the White House.

 

Hopefully President elect Trump has researched how previous Presidents facing such universal opposition courted the necessary coalition of politicians in order to carry out the responsibilities of the Presidency. One of the earlier Presidents facing opposition unlike any President previous or since was President Lincoln but his resolute and severe actions would not be tolerated in today’s political climate. A President just as forceful but who played within the boundaries was President Truman. His down home charm, though many who opposed him might witness otherwise, and force of will came through and he has only gained in stature over time. President Lyndon Baines Johnson played hardball as well as having collected a lot of credits with members of Congress and was not above using brutish dirty politics when necessary and will not win you many friends, and Trump needs friends almost as badly as he needs allies. Then there was President Reagan who knew the art of a deal and also realized the most powerful weapon in any politician’s armory, the people. As long as a President can reach the people, something a President need not even rely on the mainstream media to accomplish today, and explain in simple, understandable terms what they desire to accomplish, the means by which they can reach those goals and how such will benefit the average man, then that President has his secret weapon, the will of the people supporting his programs. Yes, the media can play just as hard at that game and even attempt to twist, spindle and mutilate the President’s message sixteen ways come Sunday, but the President can reach the people in a manner even the media will find difficult to blunt. The President can even use the media fighting his proposals as a selling point with the electorate as divided as it appears to be today. Still, all a President needs is a decent start and some positive results. Nothing sells like success and we bet Donald Trump is as aware of that adage as we happen to be.

 

So, where can a President Trump turn for such victories which will help the average man and family across the nation even including the left and right coasts, or should we say the left and the other left coasts? The first and most obvious and the one place President Trump already has the support of the people, repealing and replacing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare. The best ideas in this case are the most simple and direct measures. Simply propose that the few and best measures such as insurance companies cannot refuse coverage for preexisting or chronic conditions and set the increased percentage allowable for certain widespread conditions such as spinal injury, diabetes, HIV and maybe as many as a dozen such conditions. Further allow full portability of one’s health insurance and a deductibility of all healthcare costs including insurance premiums up to a set figure, perhaps five-thousand dollars. There could even be a set price for a simple plan which cover only major medical such as emergency room treatment provided further in hospital treatment is required such as being admitted or setting a broken bone or other trauma or injury treatment but not to allow use of an emergency room as your physician to treat colds, flu and other minor medical needs, cover surgical procedure, cancer treatments and other major medical needs. This once was exactly what medical insurance was for coverage and everything else was one’s personal responsibility but government and work provided insurance pushed such cost effective measures off the road and replaced such with expensive regulations, paperwork, government mandates and soon medical costs were beyond reason. Finally, allow insurers to sell their insurance in any state once they offer plans across any state lines. Provide coverage in two states your plans are available to any state you wish to offer coverage while insurers wishing to take advantage of situation is one state or a few choice states can restrict their own areas of coverage but the states will no longer control who may offer insurance and as long as an insurer meets federally set minimal coverage, they will be able to be licensed in any state. Increasing competition should control prices bringing to an end the spiraling health insurance and hospital fees. Another ready to roll would be a tax simplification and reduction proposal. Such would also stimulate the economy and show results within a few months. If presented in a proper format then taxes on industry, corporations, companies and a rollback on regulations which stifle business coordinated with a simplification and reduction in taxation of the regular tax payer might get an entire package through Congress. Such easier to press through accomplishments could be used as their advantages begin to be evidenced to gain popular support for other needful legislation. One of the main items from day one must be the liberation of the energy industry from the oppressive regulations often pressed through by fiat of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) or by Executive Order. Both forms of restrictions can be removed just as easily as they were imposed and completing the Keystone Pipeline would be a jobs program in and of itself. Drilling permits should also be issued as should fracking and allowing BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and limited Park Service lands for grazing would also give farmers and ranchers greater freedom to expand and better serve the people. Environmental restrictions which have unfairly favored solely the electric car for the benefit largely of General Electric and a few heavy political donors and have all but destroyed the development of the hydrogen powered vehicle should be repealed and the playing field leveled allowing all alternative fuels and sources for power to gain share of market equal to the quality and desirability of their product. These are but a few of the areas where government does not belong and time has long been coming where the entrepreneur is released from the shackles placed on too many industries by government.

 

The environment will be damaged will be the cry of the leftists. They will decry the sins of the United States ignoring the transgressions of many scales of magnitude more damaging by China, Brazil and much of the developing world. If they truly desire that the United States improve the carbon footprint of the world, they should be calling for programs where obsolete environmentally cleansing technologies are replaced in the coal, oil, gas and other power generation plants and taken by the government to be provided and installed on power plants in nations who have no such pollution treatment and mitigation technologies. Having lived long enough to remember chokingly bad air days in Los Angeles, seeing the brown inverted bowl over Denver coming down from Ft. Collins and roasting hotdogs and marshmallows over the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland as it burned in August of 1969 and reading that year of the death of all fish in Lake Erie. All the above mentioned problems are ancient history and there are fish in Lake Erie, the Cuyahoga River has been cleaned and air quality across the United States is excellent by comparison. China had to all but close down the entire area for more than three weeks when they hosted the Olympics so as to provide breathable air for the games and the athletes; otherwise, the air quality would have affected their performances and their general health. That is a reality which need be repaired. There were similar restrictions for the Rio de Janeiro games held recently. There is much which can be accomplished with simple, ready to install technological upgrades which Western companies, especially those of the United States, could be provided using older technologies which are obsolete in Western nations but would benefit developing nations. The same can be done for potable water supplies and virtually every area of environmental technology. As such technology proceeds making older technology obsolete and it is being replaced, the old technology should be made available to developing nations and could be a central part of assistance to these nations bringing them into the developed world and improving their standard of living. Innovative thinking and planning are friends and the means to making friends, and who doesn’t need more friends?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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