Encore of Revival: America, January 29, 2018

The biggest problem with analyzing Trump’s next move is speculation. Talk is talk, nothing more. America seems to be obsessed with talk far before action can confirm, acquit, deny, indite, prove, or disprove. We don’t know what Trump will sign into law on Immigration until he signs it. But, he seems to be wise to America’s priorities where talk and action are concerned. Once again, he plays the rhetoric-obsessed section of society like a harp. He makes an offer, he sends a Tweet, he proposes a bill, and everyone gets up and sings in concert.

Take the removal of Taiwan’s “ROC” flag from the US government website as an expanded example. By not having any flag there, the flag can’t be wrong. The original ROC flag has the symbol of the KMT-Nationalist party in the upper corner—the same party that lost both the presidency and the legislature for the first time in history during the last general election. Many have called for the flag to change. So, removing the flag from the website could mean that the US no longer supports the KMT-Nationalists. If Taiwan were to declare independence from the mainland, the US government wouldn’t have the “wrong” flag on the website, nor if China were to attempt an invasion. While China may be thrilled and Taiwan may be angry, much more was involved by replacing the flag with pure white. Maybe “surrender” was the message, though it remains unclear to whom the word would be directed, even if that was the direction. What does remain clear is that the US government website is more important than anything else.

Once again, this time in the international sphere, the Trump administration won the war of words, this time without using any. What will happen, however, always remains yet to be seen until it happens.

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Encore of Revival: America, January 22, 2018

The Russianewsgategate scandal is turning out even better for Republicans than was first anticipated. GOP members pretend to not be as excited and more surprised than they actually are—and they are also pretending to be quite angry, aghast, and indignant. In truth, Republicans finally found a way to go after some long-neglected corruption since they now have the socio-political wherewithal without starting a cycle of post-election political persecution.

Corruption is abundant. Even Amazon faces backlash after a suspicious settlement while contractors pass the buck. The biggest scandal of all: the lie that government shuts-down during a so-called “government shutdown”. Some entitlements may be interrupted, but that’s about all. A true shutdown of the government only exists in the most radical Conservatives’ wildest dreams.

The tradition of panic over a rumored government shutdown dates back to the Clinton era when Bill vetoed the budget. Before then, no one dared touch a spending bill as it made way through the murky aisleways of Washington. It has since remained a threat politicians dangle over each other’s heads in attempt to hold the American people captive to their petty partisan playbook. That myth, also, is being exposed.

Then there is immigration. Sanctuary cities are making themselves unpopular with flyover country. Administrative action to merely enforce existing law should soon be heard by the Supreme Court where Justice Kennedy will once again rule in favor of Justice Kennedy being the deciding swing vote who takes orders from no political party. Remember, Supreme Court justices always vote for the supremacy of the Supreme Court. The best guess is that his ruling will be half-and-half, mixed with a few doses of seemingly off-topic “surprise”.

The American people are being played once again, from confronting corruption to budgets and bills. Washington could do much more, it’s just waiting for the people to get all excited first. But, the Democrats may have overplayed their hand this time.

The premise behind Republican support for amnesty and programs like DACA was to gain votes by gaining new voters. The memo leaked from the Center for American Progress rallies the call that DACA is ‘critical’ to Democrats’ ‘future electoral success’. That basically suggests that Americans don’t support Democrats—that Democrats don’t serve their current voters.

Republicans spoke the same way during the Bush years; Jeb has piped in just to make sure the world knows that the Bush family still thinks that way. But, today’s Republicans are starting to step away from all that rotgut and even push back on the “shutdown” threats.

Democrat politicians are now known to believe that a permanent class of voters dependent on government handouts is necessary to their future. DACA held a flickering hope of offering that. But, by shutting down the government to save DACA, the Democrats have alienated current voters dependent on those handouts. Their chances in 2018 look to be turning downward. It almost seems as if the Democratic party is self-destructing on purpose. And, that raises deeper questions.

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Encore of Revival: America, October 9, 2017

One way to reconcile Americans to agree on taxes could be in the so-called “fourth tier”. States, counties, and cities could be allowed to set that rate themselves, keeping half of their rate, but it still be taxed as a federal tax. That could also solve “no deduction for state and local taxes paid”. We’ll see.

Trump has new immigration proposals that could be enough to solve problems for the “Dreamers”. But, Washington likes its gridlock. It just wouldn’t be the same without telling we the people that we have to hate each other because of who is in office.

Both guns and gun laws can become a false sense of security. The big “takeaway” from the Las Vegas Rampage is how Americans are not only irritated with the news media, but are losing respect for celebrities “shooting” their mouths off only because they have an audience. Sometimes, “it” happens. It’s easy to exploit any tragedy to justify one’s own ideals. Las Vegas victims deserve better than to become politicized squabble fodder. Respect demands that those discussions offer freak disasters a moment of silence before resuming.

The NFL is getting back to its own rulebook. That may solve the controversy. Pence didn’t walk out without prior warning or plans. If players kneel to the flag that defines them as “not British”, they can’t object to their Vice President leaving their game.

The genuineness and individual integrity of the players should not be questioned. They just don’t know that disrespect of the flag isn’t activism; it’s a request that a different government to take over. But, when government-funded schools don’t teach that, players can’t be expected to know. Perhaps they could hold a fist over their heart to indicate they are “heartbroken” over the country they love.

There is also the issue of “raising awareness”. Martin Luther King, Jr. brought much progress by “making waves” when the Evangelical community objected to just that. Perhaps this is the only way players feel they have at their disposal to raise awareness about ongoing grievances. That  is understandable. Awareness has, indeed, been raised. Now, NFL rules—that players stand, hold their helmet in their left hands, and refrain from talking—will be enforced even among dissenters. The country can get back to important discussions and the NFL can start playing football, hopefully.

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Encore of Revival: America, September 4, 2017

Sheriff Joe Arpio was pardoned, as predicted. His case could set precedent to defend future situations in years to come, notoriety only granted because he was prosecuted in the first place.

Trump will end the work permit program for “Dreamers”, children who entered the US illegally with parents who entered the US illegally. Trump has not officially announced, but notified Ryan’s office and the press on Sunday, though Trump’s official announcement will come on Tuesday. Obama’s program being shut down will continue for six months. If Trump were a heartless tyrant, there would not be such advanced notice.

Those at-their-entry-illegal children now understand America’s culture and will retain the skills necessary to more likely re-enter America with better opportunities than Obama’s quick-fix policy ever offered them. Their road ahead will be rough, but without hatred from even Trump’s gentle yet firm hand. The rewards awaiting them at the end of that road will be all the more gratifying and those who supported Trump will applaud the Dreamers when they reach that goal. The road of the American spirit was never easy, it included pressing through the hard times that come with multicultural and international life.

Territories, provinces, cities, counties, continents, and countries need borders as much as homes need walls, bedrooms need doors, and private property needs marking. Suspending enforcement of those rules hurts everyone. Obama could have worked with Congress to make laws for Dreamers, but Obama chose not to help the Dreamers in the long run. Republicans in Congress have had more than half a year to present their Republican president with a bill to help the Dreamers, but they haven’t. Congress still has six months to help the Dreamers.

But, Obama and Republican Congress have done nothing. They delegated action to Trump, who only has the power to enforce or not enforce. By himself, the president, whether Trump or Obama, can’t dictate the perfect law for “Dreamers”. Trump won’t give false hopes because setting up people for disappointment is heartless. It was Obama who had less of a heart by cultivating false hopes in the first place, but not taking action to secure those hopes in the future. Still, there still is time, if Congress actually wants to do its job rather than just talk all the time.

Houston saw a great flood. Evacuating would likely have caused more problems and saved fewer lives. Individuals are responding from around the country. The good guys and bad guys had a chance to show their true colors. In the end, uncompassionate “Churchianity” that wouldn’t open the doors of “Church Ma Hal” lost, along with the mainstream news casters who debated the first lady’s shoes and interviewed victims in shelters rather than helping them. As much as Hurricane Harvey pounded Houston, it utterly destroyed shallow institutions in America and only strengthened America’s spirit.

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Encore of Revival: America, February 6, 2017

Trump is going head on against judges. So far, the judges are keeping their power, which is a good precedent. It’s too bad that Senator Feinstein didn’t object to overuse of executive power a few years ago, but her reversal is both welcome and typical of a politician. The resistance will give more power to Trump’s base and he will gain sympathy for his cause. The “see I told you so” speeches and headlines are coming.

Californians are getting serious about seceding from the Union. If California left it would not be abandoning the US, but its sister State, New York. Without Los Angeles and Manhattan, Trump would have had the popular vote as well, even with Hillary keeping her estimated 800k illegal voters. Keeping some things separate has always been a goal of the United States since its founding. Californians should, however, be thankful that they are asking to leave the United States rather than asking to leave Mexico.

Senate Republicans have claimed that they can’t repeal Obamacare because the employee they can fire at any time, the Parliamentarian, says that Obamacare can’t be repealed the same way it was passed. VP Mike Pence can overrule the Parliamentarian without firing him. These are the same Republicans who said that they couldn’t change Obamacare without the presidency and that their fellow Republican, Trump, would never win the presidency. Now that they have what they said they needed that they said they couldn’t get, they say they can’t do what they said they would do if they got it. Whenever Republicans whine about what they can’t do, they always get more power. The best interpretation is that Republicans are hoping to inch toward a 60 vote Supermajority in 2019. Again, the trend is for slowness to stir sympathy to the cause. May Heaven help the United States if any political party ever gets a Supermajority in the Senate while having control of the White House.

The term “unemployment” has as honest of a definition as the lawyer-defined word “natural” on a box of cookies. The media has finally discovered that there are six ways to track “unemployment”, specifically U1-U6. U3 has been used recently and most famously during the Obama years when the claim was that “unemployment was low”, without emphasizing the qualification “U3”. The U3 figure only considers people who were looking for jobs while U6 considers all Americans without a job—a definition more likely associated with “national unemployment”. Congratulations to those in the media who have finally discovered the six degrees of unemployment figures.

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