Encore of Revival: America, February 12, 2018

The budget deal in Congress declares two myths, one from time travel budgeting, the other from silence. When the “experts” project a deficit based on the current spending plan, 1. none of the money has been spent yet and 2. none of the spending tax money has come in yet. They aren’t only counting chickens before they hatch, they already have them buttered on the Christmas dinner table.

The spending projection assumes the previous year’s tax income. If tax rates drop, so does the projected income drop, proportionately. There is some “trickle down” account for the assumption that consumers may spend more and employers hire more since they have the funds not taxed, but they don’t consider synergy. They don’t use AI simulations to project the slew of companies who haven’t announced—but will anyway do—investment within the market. New companies will be capable of coming into being which weren’t able to without the new financial ecosystem. Those aren’t accounted for because they can’t be predicted. The forecast we have is based not on synergistic outcomes—AKA reality—but on comparing last years results against this year’s new methods—AKA time travel.

The second myth comes from silence, namely renegotiating trade agreements. Adjustments making the US market part of a two-way street will also bring new revenue sources—rather than a one-way street that screws the US economy into the ground. These are part of separate agreements already promised, already underway, but largely unfinished and unreported. Budget forecast about those factors are simply silent.

The budget forecast isn’t any accurate prediction of the future, but a kind of comparison for number geeks in black-tie offices. What actually happens is never known until it happens.

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Encore of Revival: America, January 15, 2018

This was the week of rouses and houses. Trump called a bipartisan meeting from Congress at the White House and, to the surprise of many, much of the meeting showed on video. Everyone seemed to get along. Viewers could see real, actual video of leaders in real, normal conversation. It was somewhat unusual and not the least bit jarring.

Then began the rouse and purported fake news. The Wall Street Journal is accused of reporting that Trump claims a good relationship with Kim Jong Un rather than that he would have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un. This was one of the more obvious misreports. Another included Trump speaking vulgarly about unfortunate nations in his bipartisan meeting at the White House.

While there is no recording of his comments to members of Congress, there is a recording of what Trump said to the Wall Street Journal, which so far has refused to change the disputed quote.

Whether Trump actually spoke the dirty word as reported is left up to a whosaidhesaidit argument on Capital Hill. The big change: Republicans actually spoke in Trump’s defense, that he didn’t use such words. That should be notoriety enough, when someone receives support from his own enemies.

Then, there was the rouse in Hawaii with a false invasion alarm. Don’t worry, Hawaii will think through what any Product Manager worth half of his salt would have drawn-up for a product roadmap well in advance. They will make it harder to press the “panic” button and equip their system with a “cancel” button to turn off the panic. Of course, it was all an accident and a big misunderstanding, nothing anyone needs to lose a job over.

In fact, the slew of rouses that trailed after the video of the president getting along with leaders in Washington was all a complete and coincidental “aligning of the planets”, such a celestial event that does happen in nature, such as blue moons and Halley’s Comet, except that the unusual string of rouses itself doesn’t seem to be worth covering in the press—at least not elsewhere.

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Encore of Revival: America, December 11, 2017

Little to nothing new happened this week. The supposed Democratic attempt to fry Moore by frying Franken only fried Franken. Franken’s seat is secure for Democrats; Moore’s seat would be up for party grabs in Alabama. The theory goes that the Democratic party viewed Franken as expendable since a Democrat would likely replace him, but Moore, a Republican, would be replaced by a Democrat, thus the Democrats would gain a seat in the Senate. By accusing and frying Franken of the same kind of sex scandal as Moore, it seemed to be non-hypocritical for Democrats to expect that Moore step down.

That’s the theory anyway as to why so many Democrat-leaning voices went after Franken.

Theory or no, it didn’t happen. The Clinton years cemented the unofficial Democratic position that “sex and morals” don’t affect politicians—that a man can cheat on his wife and remain loyal to his country. Republicans are the party of “morality police”, in a sense. Once a sinner proves he is a sinner, it’s time to hang a “scarlet letter ‘A'” around his neck and burn him at the stake. But, especially with the public being tired from having to remove Kevin Spacey from their “favorites” lists, the Republican voters don’t want anymore. “A Republican proves to be a sinner in need of forgiveness” no longer means that “moralless Democrats need to gain power” in the minds of Republican voters. The press “pooped in its diapers” over scandals one too many times and the Religious Right just doesn’t care anymore. The “scandal trump card” is no longer part of the rules as of this political season.

With the Alabama special election coming up tomorrow, and a tax bill about to get through Congress, headlines may finally change a little from what they have been for the past month. Thanks to the continued distraction provided by Mueller’s ongoing and seemingly directionless investigation of Russianewsgategate, the White House is moving forward and may start creating new headlines soon. Not having to write the same story week after week will come as a relief to some writers, but a disappointing alarm to get off the couch for the mainstream.

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Encore of Revival: America, December 4, 2017

Demagoguery hit the fan. It’s never been more obvious. Reputable news sources—not the average British tabloids trying to tell Americans what to do—are rehashing old plays from the playbook: Congress is worried about the president saying things on Twitter. If the president doesn’t obey someone he hired and can fire, now that’s called “finding a loophole”.

The president can say what he wants. The president can do what he wants in the White House without having to find loopholes. That’s especially true with the village of cards Obama made with his executive orders that he knew would be so easily blown away by whoever the next guy was to take office. If Obama can create czars with no legal basis, the president should be allowed to talk to a White House staff member without getting permission.

But now, the Russianewsgategate scandal is making its full about turn, though the boomerang isn’t quite back in hand yet. The DOJ oversees the FBI; Congress oversees both. Whatever—whatever—Congress says, the FBI and DOJ must do, including answer questions. It seems that they didn’t answer questions. Congress is moving for contempt action, which isn’t pretty. Though the president kept his peace, now the “directionless” special investigation is so obviously without good purpose that the president feels it’s okay to say so.

The funny part is, had Jeff Sessions not caved into the anti-Trump pressure to recuse himself, he would be hit with the contempt action from Congress. But, he played by anti-Trump rules, so, ironically and poetically, Congressional action against a seemingly anti-Trump motive won’t hurt him. Grab your popcorn. This will only get more entertaining.

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Encore of Revival: America, July 10, 2017

Donald Trump Tweeting himself is important. It’s more important that Jame’s Comey writing classified information in his personal memos, more important than cutting the environmental red tape holding back pollution, more important than DeVos re-making 1965 education law, more important than Dodd-Frank regulations being scrapped, even more important than Obamacare about to bite the dust!

In fact, Trump’s Tweet about himself is more important than a young man’s privacy, than his dignity—it’s even more important than CNN’s own credibility with the public.

America’s new president is anything but a fool. He knows exactly where to throw a scrap of meat to the dogs, how big it should be, exactly how long it will take for them to scramble for it. He is the master of the spotlight, whether his own spotlight or shining a spotlight on someone else to blind them from what he is doing.

And, he is doing a lot.

He has made massive rollbacks in Obama-era rules. This is arguably one of Obama’s biggest failings—that Obama left everything he worked for so easy to undo. He made rules with the stroke of a pen, Trump undid them with the stroke of a pen. But under Trump, Betsy DeVos is exploring fundamental legislative changes to education—and that’s just the beginning.

The Trump administration is pushing legislation that rarely gets mentioned in light of top titles—military, tax… Obamacare… While Republicans are fighting amongst each other over the optics of disagreeing with Obamacare, other laws are getting passed without any scrutiny from the media. And, it’s all thanks to pop culture’s obsession with everything that doesn’t matter. Pop culture got Trump elected and pop culture will get his policies passed.

Obama’s legacy is being undone because he didn’t work. He didn’t work with Congress to get laws that would outlast a Republican majority. He spent too much time golfing. He gave too many long-winded speeches and didn’t produce enough hard-earned, well-manufactured product. Compared to Trump, Obama was lazy. That’s why Trump is getting his way: work.

No attack can harm a man who works. No media smear can hurt him. It’s not that all press is good press all the time. Rather, all press is good press for those who work.

Right and wrong, for both better and worse, we are entering an era dominated by people who work.

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