Beyond the Cusp

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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November 15, 2016

Trump Trial by Fire Revving Up

 

Donald Trump has barely had the votes counted and has yet to even been elected officially into the office by the Electoral College, let alone been sworn in and the tests he will be facing from day-one onward are already manifesting themselves. In a fair and basically sane world an incoming President elect could expect the current administration to work with their transition team and address the most threatening and serious problems in order to maintain a smoother transition of power. That is very unlikely to be what we will be witnessing. President elect Trump can fully expect that in its final two and a half months in office that President Obama and his top cabinet officials and others in his administration will be want to raise a finger to remedy any situation. Instead we can expect inaction at best and complete failure to resist or hold any ground with withdrawals seemingly so poorly planned as to give the appearance of having been routed and lost all nerve to stand to defend any position anywhere. The announced suspension of routine services by the United States Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan in response to increasing terror threats as a “temporary precautionary measure” will set the pattern for the remainder of the time until the Inauguration in late January of 2017. These partial and potential complete closures of embassies, consulates, smaller military instillations and virtually anywhere that American foreign based personnel even hear a loud “Boo!” in the night will simply make hitting the ground running impossible as much of the advanced frameworks will need extensive re-manning and rebuilding before they will even return to normal operations, let alone execute any needed actions.

 

This should be no surprise as it has been the modus operandi of the entire Obama eight years in the Presidency. We witnessed this with the immediate pull down and collapse of everything accomplished in Iraq, the debacle which was Libya, the response when bluff was called by Bashir al-Assad in Syria as well as reactions to Syria generally, the lack of coordination within NATO to the obvious infiltration of Europe and starting in the United States with embedded terror forces included as a fair percentage of the “refugees” allowed to enter in torrents. This resulted in waves of unvetted and unchecked immigrants against any terror watch lists. We saw it as the response to the situation in Benghazi which cost the lives of Ambassador to Libya John Christopher “Chris” Stevens and four others (pictures below) left unaided and alone to fight a hopeless battle holding on desperately waiting for the cavalry to ride over the hill and rescue them, but the cavalry was never even permitted to try. The assault on the Benghazi Consulate and Safe House will be recorded by history as an embarrassment not of Embassy staff or the meager security attachment as Former Navy Seals Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty put up a resistive fight holding a surrounded position under both direct and indirect fire for up to eight hours through the night before succumbing to a withering mortar barrage backed by significant RPG fire coordinated on their position all but destroying the entire structure. Theirs was a herculean and heroic stand which deserved being rescued and given, at a minimum, air support from the Mediterranean Fleet or any of numerous United States military operation throughout Europe. The abandonment of these four individuals was an unconscionable act of pure cowardliness and dereliction of duty on both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her superior, President Barack Hussein Obama. This will also be the model for any coming security threat, pull out all unessential personnel or even simply flee completely leaving everything behind, even those printouts with a large letter ‘C’ in the top corner classifying the document as sensitive information contained within. There will be no holding of ground between now and the inauguration under the guise, the excuse, of not wishing to establish policies and impose them on the incoming President though that is exactly what they are doing, imposing a policy of tucking tail between legs and scampering away and never fight any day.

 

Ambassador John Christopher Stevens and Information Officer Sean Smith Former Navy Seals Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty

Ambassador John Christopher Stevens and Information Officer Sean Smith
Former Navy Seals Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty

 

Meanwhile, as the enemies and others seeking to make threats and force the hand of the United States into complete routing before even the slightest of offensive gestures will be gaining more and more courage as these cowardly tepid responses at best and flight responses at worst become more and more evident as an actual policy. This will place incoming President Trump in a tighter spot than was necessary, but that is the whole idea. When your rules of engagement (ROE) read something along the lines of when facing any threat to security or personnel, at all costs do not discharge weapons as this may provoke a situation. The proper response is to hastily pack your personal belongings and any pictures adorning your cubicle or office, grab your awards and then make all haste to departing vehicles and depart. Those with weapons and charged to guard the building and personnel should depart last as once the people have left the building, why guard the building. Any classified State Department documents inside have likely already been pilfered from selected computer systems within the State Department which were cracked way back during a previous Secretary of State whose computers in her basement or wherever fed on the darkest recesses of the State Department and who knows where else, the White House, Pentagon, Joint Chiefs of Staff and even NORAD central command. Whatever was left behind is not worth defending as it is only information which has reached around the world twice over after being hacked. The new mission statement for overseas personnel is please do not make waves or cause a need for anybody to make a stand or protect anything as if it has value, just stay out of the way and maybe the President will get out of Washington D.C. without any further legacy, oh, wait, we mean damage, not necessarily legacy, that would have been mean spirited and we are supposed to be magnanimous because, hey, anybody remember why we’re supposed to be magnanimous? Well, somebody suggested we be nicer from now on and we promised, well, promised absolutely nothing of the kind, we will remain the mean-spirited skeptics we’ve always been. As the saying goes, “It’s worked this far, why change now?”

 

These actions of retreat first will collectively be one item which will have a definite and hard-hitting effect on the incoming administration as well as on President Trump. Hopefully the damage can be mitigated and a reversal can be implemented. Such a policy directive on day one or two can prevent further damage and should Trump manage to have any input before being sworn in, this should be high on the priority list as it will parallel with his intent to restore military funding and strengthen American forces making them more readily deployed. Trump would be advised to have ready to submit to the Senate an entire list of Ambassadors, chiefs of operations where the position is an appointee, any changes to the General Staff and other high ranking military positions, placement of ranking and overseeing staff for intelligence gathering and making the President’s daily briefings and all the major cabinet and other positions such as Attorney General. President Trump should also announce the name of the person to fill the Supreme Court vacancy caused by the unfortunate and untimely passing of Antonin Scalia and pass it along to the Senate. These items need to be a top priority and Trump needs to find where to strike the balance between established political entities and bringing in people from the private sector in order to make the changes promised and run the government as a profit making entity as far as productivity and strict budgeting. Granted, we understand that President Trump is somewhat stuck with the budget as it has already been laid out and approved but that does not mean that this is a completed job. Just sticking to the budget as written will be sufficient challenge. That said, President Trump’s first major hurdle where the bar could be raised higher than desired will be the next yearly budget and though it is not necessary to get approval until the fall, starting to propose and work with Congress as soon as possible will pay off in that the excessive lead time will permit using the secret weapon possessed by this administration, the people who voted for change.

 

Donald Trump’s Presidency may require utilizing the public pressure method of pressing Congress to ally with the President’s efforts. President Trump might consider making prime time (6:00 PM on the West Coast) addresses to the nation every three weeks or even more frequently and lay out his plans on what need be accomplished in the ensuing period. A President Trump should announce appointments he feels are necessary and explain who and what each appointee brings to the table. Such announcements will work best for those people Trump can convince to take the bite of a huge drop of income and placing their investments with a trusted investment agent who manages their financial affairs while they serve the people and the President. These actual civilians who are not beholden to any party or lobbying groups will be the greatest tool that Trump will be able to pursue and we hope he succeeds in getting those people he most desires and trusts. Vice President elect Mike Pence is going to be an indispensable assistant and advisor on who from amongst the political community can be trusted to perform in a position serving to cut waste and trim the budget with skill and ample enthusiasm. People brought from the business world already understand the idea of getting the most possible for the least treasure spent, allocated rather than the spend as much as possible so we can demand even more next year in order to finally take a stab at last year’s set goals. Trimming the government does not mean less services for the population, it means doing more with fewer employees and having only one team of four people to present a simple report instead of eight teams of five people and a committee to hear all the proposals and choose which three get to spend yet another year working on the project before the final team is selected and then set off to start from the beginning because objectives changed over the two and a half years it took to get this far. That is much of the current system which produces some of the greatest boondoggles known to mankind; oh, sorry, not mankind, peoplehood, that’s the word from the newspeak dictionary of double-plus good and approved words.

 

There is one set of events which are seldom talked of but which can break a President and fill them with such dread that they are reduced to inaction. These are the briefings from Military Intelligence, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Joint Chiefs of Staff and an alphabet soup of agencies and departments we have and never will hear about that exist in the darkest crevices of the world and country. An incoming President earns one-third of their grey hairs on these first days and the briefings they receive. A few weeks or even months the President will awaken sweat pouring off his body, eyes fluttering, breathing hard and unable to speak immediately. Once relatively composed he tells his wife to go back to sleep, it’s nothing and then goes to his study in the White House and grabs the secure phone and sets up meetings for 6 A.M. and everybody better be there and be sharp. Then the President will demand an update on what was first discussed right during that first week where everything was a whirlwind and the memories are blurred some. The President will know it is important when Generals and other advisors are made to leave the briefing due to not having ample clearances. These are the briefings we the people will never learn about but are behind a rare few of the conspiracy, world is about to end, martial law is coming lunatic fringe stories. That’s right, there are little grains of truth the size of a grain of sand within that gallon can of end of the world stories. The secret is finding that little grain and combining it with other grains of sand plucked from an hourglass, just one grain, and from a sandbox around the corner, another single grain and then there are many along the beach, the trick is knowing which grain and where it fits in the great sculpture which nobody has ever viewed the entirety all at once. There are those working on the knee joint, another on the big toe and yet another the parting of the hair but all except three never see beyond where their piece is to fit, the three seeing it all are the appointed head of the agency, the head of the entire project and the President, and the President gets to see most of these programs and their designs and this is what ages them, knowing exactly how close the world is to falling beyond the cusp and into the chasm of oblivion. Such knowledge and then watching the insane dancing with nuclear weapon of Kim Jong-Un, the North Korean Dictator and Supreme Leader; the bombastic proclamations for the destruction of America and death of Zionism by the Supreme Leader, Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei of Iran (what is it with this ‘Supreme Leader’ titles?); the madness of island building and militarily arming them to the teeth by Chinese President and an up and coming choice for Paramount Leader (they stress this term should not be translated incorrectly as Supreme Leader, whew, that’s a relief, not!) Xi Jinping, and Bashir al-Assad and Islamic State and Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (isn’t Caliph kind of like supreme leader?) or Putin or who knows who or what else as for all we know there might also be the Supreme Leader Gnodsnarkch who rules the Seven Planets and Three Systems of the Lizard Elites Empire who are negotiating with the leaders, all the other Supreme Leaders of Earth and we expect Presidents not to completely lose it from time to time. The only thing I can think to add is to pat Donald Trump on the shoulder and state, “You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!”
full poem Gunga Din by Rudyard Kipling.

 

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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