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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, November 13, 2017

At the APEC summit in Vietnam, Putin told Trump that Russia had not interfered in the 2016 election. Putin was sincere. At the same time, Taiwan is beefing-up cybersecurity, ostensibly to counter “daily” and “Russian style” attacks originating in China. If everyone’s rhetoric holds true, that means that there aren’t any threats at all.

Trump offered to help settle disputes in the South Sea. The Philippines’ finance minister complemented Trump on knowing “the art of the deal”. The Filipino president does not want any problems in the South Sea. China would rather settle disputes one-to-one. Will everyone get what they want? We’ll have to see. This is a chance for China also to earn compliments about negotiation skill from Filipino leadership.

Trump was very friendly in China. He underscored the importance of cooperation between the US and China. It was one of the kindest things he ever said. He publicly conducted himself in some of the kindest ways he ever has since running for office. China received him with respect and his public appearances went smoothly. If there ever was a good chance for peace, now is the best chance there has been for a long while and is probably the best chance there will yet be for a long while.

Will things go peacefully? We’ll see.

Read More

Encore of Revival: America, October 30, 2017

Many establishments are imploding—Europe, big entertainment, the political establishment. Many people press forward for love, truth, and life without animosity. Old establishments resist and impugn themselves.

Suspected Russian money dubiously making its way to Trump’s campaign advisor, Manafort, neither indites nor acquits Trump or Russian collusion, but suggests that someone was attempting to interfere, both through secret operatives and smear campaigns. Mueller is getting into deeper hot water, now including CNN. Russianewsgategate, continues to expose corruption, but not where originally purported by the “exposers”.

Reconciliation and loyalty are powerful. As of press time, the best bet for Kevin Spacey and Anthony Rapp would be to repair damage and cooperate against the immoral addictions that plagued their industry long before either of them became actors. Neither attacks the other, but they only speak in humility. They have a perfect recipe for lemonade. If NetFlix drops Spacey, their own “house of cards” will fail, just as “acquiesce-management” style backfired on the NFL, Limbaugh’s sponsors’ response over Sandra Fluke, General Motors’ surrender to union demands, politicians’ white flag addition, and others. If Spacey stays on, House of Cards ratings will rise and Hollywood corruption will fall. Anthony Rapp needs a soapbox role in Season 6.

Read More