Encore of Revival: America, May 8, 2017

Police departments are ceasing patrol due to unpopularity with the people, according to an FBI report. France, like Canada and the US 12 years ago, also has new, young president. The new president, Emanuel Macron, who won by more than 65%, ran on a campaign of cutting spending, loosening France’s ever-so-strict labor laws, and protecting the self-employed. Regardless of what you think you know of Le Pen, who lost, French politics aren’t what they seem. The same can be said of the new politics on Capital Hill.

Trump’s budget deal is complex. It angered people, he knew it would, he wanted it to. But, the backlash will also be complex. His two-part Tweet tells it all.

Trump could have used the budget reconciliation rule to pass a budget bill or to repeal Obamacare, which suspends the 60-vote rule over matters of Constitution and budget. Democrats used it to pass Obamacare, which seemed to be misuse of the rule; Republicans didn’t use it to repeal Obamacare. He could have suspended the 60 vote rule, but he didn’t and he hasn’t. He won’t because he wants the 60 vote rule removed—a rule which, more or less, allows “auto filibuster”, so opponents can keep needless discussion going to stop a law from being voted on, without actually having to attend any meetings. It’s a silly rule in the Senate. It’s a relatively new rule in the Senate. The House has no such rule. Thankfully, families and business also don’t have such rules. Trump is playing smart. The best solution to bad rules and laws: rigorous enforcement. He wants his supporters to support efforts to eliminate the 60-vote rule so that, as in the House, a law only needs a simple majority to be passed.

There is still no wall. Obamacare isn’t gone. Some Trump supporters are angry—though, keep watching: They’ll cool off around election time when they see what pops over the horizon.

One very important thing happened: military. China, Korea, and the Middle East are heating up. China is making huge strides with constructing its first aircraft carrier. We needed that military cleanup from eight years of rust. Otherwise it would be the North Koreans vs ISIS jihadists fighting over who gets to keep your women, brainwash your children, and kill the rest of your family—no matter what country you live in. Like it or not, evil or good or somewhere in the vast in-between, the decaying US military is all that keeps people who don’t apologize away from the shores of the people who do. This budget kept that military going.

Yes, it did make other milestones. It was a first: A new president actually influenced the current year’s budget—because we were over-budget from eight years before. Yes, the bill boosted military spending without having to boost non-related programs. And, yes, Trump will be in a better position to threaten with a shutdown later, since the military is finally operational again.

But, the people won’t have it. Trump was supposed to drain the swamp. Where’s the wall? Why is the US spending over $1B on non-citizens in our prisons? Why not fix Obamacare with the same rout that it was created? The people want results now. They will come back to support Trump in 2018 and 2020, but only briefly; and in between, they will get thirsty for a third party. Perhaps that was also part of Trump’s plan in the first place. Let’s be frank; the Republican party likes Trump and his base about as much as Britain liked General George Washington and the American colonies.

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Encore of Revival: America, April 3, 2017

Federal interference and wielded “power of the purse” miraculously became unethical in Seattle when Trump took the helm from Obama. Nearly everything the new president does is bad, not because it is bad in principle, but because it is done by the president whom the media didn’t predict would win the election.

The “Freedom Caucus” in the US House of Representatives will gain power. By defeating a half-baked “repeal and replace”—a bill that reaffirmed the power for a US Secretary to create whatever related policy he willed—the Freedom Caucus proved that it was not only powerful enough to defeat a bill that it’s own voting bloc presidential candidate sought, but that their defeat was so powerful that they provoked him into giving them credit for wielding such power.

But, an understanding of President Donald J. Trump suggests much more. This is a mere game of “catch” with a hardball. Trump didn’t get what he wanted, he negotiated hard line, so did the Freedom Caucus. In the end, he will surely make an awesome deal. Republican party unity will increase. Paul Ryan will object every bit as much as he takes public credit for “party unity”. And, a bitter few will seethe in smoke-filled back rooms while the Republican party feigns unity through Trump’s tenure. After that, the Freedom Caucus will have to find a new home.

The big news this week is that third party politics already had its cornerstone laid, and that nobody noticed.

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Encore of Revival: America, March 27, 2017

Trump has his “Russian election help” just as Obama had his “fake birth certificate”. While the Democratic base pushes for investigations of an election for which they still can’t accept their loss, there is little to no complaint on Capital Hill about the Clinton Foundation’s involvement in Bernie Sanders’ defeat at the primaries. The so-named “Russian hack” investigation puts all of its hopes on the FBI director whose “investigation” ordered the local Sheriff to enter random passwords into the San Bernardino iPhone until it locked, rather than following Apple’s instructions from the start. This is the same man whose investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails also went nowhere.

The truth doesn’t matter in these outcomes of legitimacy to hold public office. Once in office, the victor stays, the entire investigation is bravado for the base. Some call this “demagoguery”. And, half of America is finding the excuse they need to panic. America is headed toward a face off, not of facts or testimony, but of one opinion versus its opposite.

Take “Repeal and Replace” over Obamacare for instance…

In the first half of the week, headlines were dominated by the unproven accusation that the Obama-governed election was hacked by the Russians, as if that would somehow be a problem for Trump. Then, “Repeal and Replace” neither repealed nor replaced.

Republican leadership puts together a package to phase out Obamacare without harming the few who actually benefit from it. The “Freedom” caucus objects to it not being conspiracy-proof enough, more or less. Trump, author of “The Art of the Deal”, isn’t finished negotiating; it’s smoke screen time.

“Smoke screen time…”

Trump Tweets “Watch Judge Jeanine… tonight.” Judge Jeanine opens her show by saying that House Speaker Paul Ryan should resign. Chief of Staff Reince Priebus tells Sunday show host Chris Wallace that Trump’s Tweet was to help a personal friend promote her show and that the White House doesn’t want Ryan to resign—but, the discussion is now on the table. Suddenly, the White House supporting people in the media is a bad thing because Trump is the one supporting. Suddenly, reaching across the isle is a bad thing because headlines portray that Trump wants to be the one reaching. Like dogs begging for doggie biscuits, talking heads freely advertise that Trump is willing to accept any votes Democrats want to give him—as if that is something new. Now, the investigation into whatever the Russians were allowed to get away with under Obama’s watch is creating questions for Obama officials to draft answers for. What does it all mean?

It all means that players who try to “trump” Trump, are gonna’ end up in a dust storm. Trump’s election didn’t merely metaphorically “blow up” Democrats, or Republicans for that matter, but the entire political landscape with them. That’s what his supporters really wanted, and that’s just what they’re getting. That’s what this is all about: blowing the dust off an archaic stronghold.

Right or wrong, Washington has a new general in town. No more business as usual. No more politics as usual. The games aren’t going to look like the Harlem Globe Trotters vs the Washington Generals anymore.

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