Saturday, August 27, 2016

Do We Expect Too Much from the Presidency ?

Image result for mount rushmore

By Chuck Marshall

The election is drawing to a close in the next couple of months and I have to say I echo what most Americans seem to be thinking these days "None of the Above".  You may read the polls and see that Clinton is ahead of Trump by 10 points but to dig around the details shows that  most people are not happy with the options.  There is Gary Johnson, the Libertarian but the media largely ignores him and from some of what I've seen of him... I'm not sure I blame them.  (Stay tuned for another blog on Gary Johnson, Jill Stein and Evan McMullin)    But at the end of the day, are we placing too much emphasis on the White House/President ?

There is no one person that can fix the problems of a nation.  I think it's highly naive to think we can hand the keys to the White House to ANY one person and then have them move on to rule the nation with great positive effect in regards to our problems.  The reasons for that are multiple;  partisan politics, massive government, a three chambered government with checks and balances that contains the President (thankfully !).  So, the true power comes from the people and right now the people are looking for President Washington or Lincoln or Kennedy or Reagan.  That kind of leader only comes along once every generation and I think history tends to treat some Presidents a little too kindly through "rose garden" colored glasses (Ha, Ha).   Were they all really that great, or were there just glimpses of greatness and they are treated with higher reverence- in part- because they made two or three great speeches and then "got shot"?   You could pick any of the "Mt. Rushmore" presidents and make a list of their mistakes and lack of effectiveness or absence of personal morals.  They were all human.

Today we have President Obama who was swept into office with ringing oratory and high intelligence and a great deal of help from the mass media in love with "making history".   In addition, it didn't hurt that John McCain picked Sara Palin as his VP choice frightening many thinking people away from his candidacy.   Wall Street was in free-fall and the real estate market was cratering and the Republicans were suddenly the goats of public opinion.  You could make an argument for how "good" or "bad" a president he was but I doubt there are too many people that think he should be on Mt. Rushmore.  But... so what?   My life  has not changed much since Obama became President., and I don't think in all that time he really fixed much of anything.  However,  I don't buy that he's "ruined our country" like a lot of Republicans seem to think.  Health care sucks but it sucked before.  The lobbyists do their bidding just as they always have.  The national debt has doubled but it went up "times five" under Bush.   Also, in his defense the economy was pretty scary back in 2009 and, in my humble opinion, we did need heavy action on the part of the federal reserve- Obama could be said to have steered us through the icebergs.   I hear both sides saying "but" this and "but" that .... but nothing.... The President is not that powerful, and is essentially in charge of steering the ship to the right or to the left.  Yes, he can declare war but if he gets out of hand, then Congress has the power to impeach him.  

Folks, if there's a failing here, it's us.  If we really want our government to become more effective, if we really want the problems we face to be solved we all need to walk into our bathrooms and peer into the mirror.  It's not going to happen with any one "savior" single person.   It has to come from where the real power is and where the real power "IS" is with the people....thanks to our founding fathers...  John Adams, Franklin, Jefferson, Madison and Washington-- if anyone is to be revered it's this group of men and a few others from the late 1700's that set up this remarkable republic in which they empowered the citizenry from the very beginning.  The only reason we have lobbyists directing legislation, and Presidents overriding the constitution and a moribund congress and  a grotesquely overgrown federal government is because "We the People" have let all that happen.

In My Humble Opinion.....

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Is Donald Trump A Shill ?

By Chuck Marshall

Shill,/SHil/:  an accomplice; a person who helps and abets another for the purpose of manipulating the thoughts or actions of a third party.

     Our favorite Chocolate Mousse Cake, Donald Trump is again being openly accused of being in the midst of some sort of conspiracy to purposely lose the Presidency for the benefit of Hillary Clinton.  Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R) of Florida publicly contemplated the possibility that "The Donald" is acting as a sort of "shill" and is purposely losing the presidential election in order to assist Hillary and perhaps the Democratic party to win back control of Washington, DC.   I have no hard proof for my theory, but I think the relevant question is do people actually think that Donald Trump is trying to win?” Curbelo asked on the Fernand Amandi Radio Show.….“To all my passionate friends who are Trump supporters,” he continued. “And I understand why, there are a lot of people who are angry and frustrated in this country, they really don’t like Hillary Clinton for some obvious reasons — put together his recent conduct together with the fact he’s a close friend of the Clintons, they attended his wedding, the pictures are there to prove it. Donald Trump spoke to Bill Clinton three weeks before launching his campaign. I mean, again, I don’t have any hard proof, it may be nothing, but is this the conduct of someone who is trying to win? I just, I don’t see it.”  

I mentioned this theory in my last blog "Donald Trump is Chocolate Mousse Cake", as a reference to my wife's suspicion which she has had since she was a Marco Rubio supporter back during the primaries.  I've always chuckled (no pun intended !) at the possibility as do most people.  BUT, why did Bill Clinton meet with Donald Trump 3 weeks before he declared his candidacy last year ?.  The Clintons HAVE been friends with "The Donald" for a long time.  The Trump family WAS in the Democratic party until just this past couple of years.  

So--- Let's Paint a picture;

Hillary and Bill, the two most powerful Democrats meet with Donald and discuss a way for them to get into the White House with his help.  But it isn't money they want, they already have plenty of money from their charity "The Clinton Foundation" of which they are the main beneficiaries.  No, what they want from "The Donald" is his showmanship, his pizazz, his capacity to entertain the masses.  "Get into the race, Donald and throw a wrench in the works of the Republican party and we will reward you.  Not with money, but with enormous power.  Be our friend and you and your family will have front row seats at the most powerful address in the world.  At the same time we will be the "good guys" offering help and influence to "our old enemy, Donald Trump" who said such awful things about us during the elections, yet still we extend the olive branch."  Finally, bipartisanship in Washington, DC thanks to Hillary and Donald  !  There's nothing anyone in the Republican party could do about it.  They would have no choice but to work with President Hillary Clinton.    

During the primaries it was "kind of" believable that Donald was winning because he was catering to the right wing of the Republican party and the frustration so many have with the lack of action on the part of our so called leaders.  Donald "tells it like it is"  which turns out to be the BIGGEST desire of the Tea Party wing of the Republican party (never mind the budget deficit, the constitution, or any realistic solutions to our nation's problems) so he was swept to the nomination for his "plain talk" and his monosyllabic sentences that they find easy to follow.  "That, I promise you".   Donald himself must be truly mystified that he is the nominee for a position he truly does NOT want.  Now, he has to lose the election to avoid getting the job he doesn't want and back into his garish penthouse in Manhattan.   How does he do that ?  He continues the same behavior in the general election as what worked in the primaries. Not because he thinks it will work., but because he knows it won't work. 

Just a thought.  The idea of something so devious and crooked is hard to even imagine for most people, that's why it's shrugged off by decent people.  But we're not talking about decent people here.  We're talking about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump - If there is ANY couple of people on earth willing and capable of doing such a devious thing it's these two.  "That, I promise you". 

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Donald Trump is Chocolate Mousse Cake

     Wow, Donald Trump  is really making this an election to remember.   To be perfectly honest, I am in the habit of glancing first through headlines to see what he did today to  offend or shock because it's always a good read.  I love to read what he says, I love to hear the media's exasperated interpretation and then I love to hear him clarify his position according to what he thinks we all want to hear but certainly NOT apologize to anyone, ever.   I also love to hear those that defend him and how they try to spin it in defense of him and rationalize his behavior - as if there's some logical plan in his mind other than "speaking his mind".   (I use to think that, but more and more I realize that's wishful thinking.) I love to hear those that hate him and watch them wriggle around in agony as they try to vocalize their acrimony that he's the Republican nominee.  I love to see the media misinterpret (supposedly) his comments when he's obviously being sarcastic.  I love that he's the worst speaker in a generation but he still has the nerve to stand in front of the country and explain that only HE can fix our country.  I love that he tweaks the "powers that be" in the Republican party and has knocked them off their high horses to the ground where they now run around in panicked circles.  (The Republican party should change their symbol from the elephant to the squirrel.)  I love his temerity, and I love his sarcasm, and I love his weird, rambling speeches,   "Huge", "It's going to be great", "It's going to be a beautiful thing", "THAT I promise you".    Trumpisms,   I love that my wife and a lot of people sincerely suspect he and Hillary set this up so she could win this election and we are witnessing the  biggest conspiracy in the history of the world.  Is Donald Trump a shill ?   All so delicious !  He's political chocolate mousse cake -sweet, decadent, rich and  fluffy.  Pure instant satisfaction.

     Unfortunately, like any rich desert after overdoing it with two to three pieces I get a crawling sensation on my skin and an odd sense of anxiety.  I don't think I need to review all his "incidents" for you, dear readers  just google search "Donald Trump news" and allow yourself to enjoy it while it lasts.  Let the latest outrage settle on your pallet and enjoy the fluffy nonsense for the utterly absurd situation that it is.

     If Donald Trump is Chocolate Mousse Cake then what is Hillary Clinton ?  She's a glass of curdled milk;  the same old political song we've heard forever and boy does it smell and taste bad.

     So, how do I feel about  this election for our country's future  ?  "Not Happy" I say in the manner of  Donald and his stunted sentences.   Not Happy at all.  But am I enjoying it for the Reality show that its become ?  You better believe it.  It has truly become, a guilty pleasure.