The Great Experiment: Making Sense Common Again

The Great Experiment: Making Sense Common Again

Feature Posts, News, Politics

Donald J. Trump has been known to describe himself as a “common sense politician,” as opposed to a traditional partisan ideologue. He is not wrong. He is now a walking and talking embodiment of the empirical impossibility of introducing common sense to the dysfunctional cesspool of Washington. 100 days in, I’ve seen enough to know I’m witnessing a controlled political experiment that will illustrate our worst fears as traditional republicans in a two-party system. A place where common sense is exceedingly uncommon, where results are as rare as a lunar eclipse and happen under similar lighting conditions.

President Trump is not a contradiction, it just looks that way to those immersed in the beltway scene. I recently spent an hour a few feet from the man as he gave a furious and surgically strategic speech to a capacity crowd in deep blue Harrisburg, PA. Shoulder to shoulder with the masses, I joined the fray in expressing my outrage towards a rogue and irresponsible media. I joined in the somewhat good-natured cat calls towards the congressmen present for the lack of resolute and actionable results. For a few shining moments we all once again embraced the promise, the tantalizing precept that a common sense, deal maker could usher in a new era of American prosperity. Then, with tragic and swift speed, that precept was challenged yet again by the news of another six month budget extension. Ostensibly, it appears an even-handed deal sparing both parties the political suicide of embracing a government shutdown. Deeper, though, we see the hallmarks of classic beltway capitulation…common sense meeting the immovable object.

The president didn’t pick this team. He didn’t draft them or sign them as free agents. He didn’t pick the coaches and he can only make strong suggestions as to the game plan he wants to deploy. His “team” is named Congress, and they’re pretty much the Cleveland Browns in the world of politics. Nonetheless, the president must own this team and find a way to win. Only this metaphor fails to reveal the deep divisions of power that cloud our current political landscape. Trump can’t unilaterally replace Speaker Ryan. It doesn’t work that way (but that doesn’t stop me from internally visualizing the act on a daily basis as a part of my meditation exercises). After all, even if you want to fire a head coach, make sure your GM isn’t his best friend from back home. Continue reading “The Great Experiment: Making Sense Common Again”

60 Tomahawk Missiles & a 1,000 Questions

60 Tomahawk Missiles & a 1,000 Questions

Feature Posts, Military, News, Politics

Politicians, per se, are not a complicated bunch. Oh, sure, they fancy themselves worldly and mysterious guardians of democracy; but they’re easier to read than my daughter’s edition of “Everybody Poops” and the commonalities don’t end there.

Donald J. Trump is no politician. That’s precisely why he confounds the media and Congress, alike. He’s not a man given to structured policy schematics, abbreviated session calendars or choreographed PowerPoint presentations. He has an objective, and every day that objective isn’t reached is a day that must produce tangible momentum towards reaching it the next day. Everything we do know about the man, is outweighed only by what we don’t know.

Normalizing the abnormal seems to be the order of the day; so why be surprised we have a president who will fire off 60 tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base unannounced on a Thursday evening…after dinner with the Chinese President…from his beach resort residence? Wait, what? Yeah, that’ll grab your attention if you’re a low information voter. You must’ve thought Trump would be buried in a White House bunker calling out coordinates. That’s not Donald Trump and that’s not how he handles business.

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Folding Before the Flop: Trump Sizes Up DC

Folding Before the Flop: Trump Sizes Up DC

Feature Posts, Healthcare, Media, News, Opinions, Politics

So you think you’ve got Donald Trump all figured out, huh? As John Wayne would say, “not hardly.” In fact, if the Duke were alive today, I doubt there would be a bigger fan of the president. Certainly there’s a machismo shared by these two American legends, if nothing else.

While most of Washington buzzes in a self-obsessed flurry of analysis regarding the health care legislation getting pulled, some of us can detect a clear Trump maneuver in the mist. After all, not everything can be learned about Donald Trump by reading the Art of the Deal. That was business, this is politics. The differences are as telling as they are necessary. For instance: some enemies identify themselves at the door, others must be flushed out. Hence, the great health care bill debacle of 2017…

At first glance, you might render the opinion that the president waded into the depths of murky congressional waters, such that he wasn’t prepared to navigate. That would be a critical error in judgement, if you ask me. What better way for Trump to assess the playing field, then to allow Speaker Ryan to roll up his sleeves and fire up his PowerPoint? Make sure it’s called “Ryan Care,” which it was, and make sure your much maligned chief-of-staff knows it’s his job to push the bill. If you’re Trump, do just enough to create the illusion you want this bill, but never allow it to be conceptualized as anything that could taint the “Trump brand.” Then, stand back and watch as all your enemies show their hands, while others blow precious political capital on a clunker of a bill.

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The Assange Effect: Killing the Future of History

The Assange Effect: Killing the Future of History

Feature Posts, Media, News

Julian Assange is arguably now the most powerful conduit and clearinghouse of information in the modern world. He is bold, determined, and quite possibly the most controversial “journalist” on the planet.

Allow me to explain. Journalists, scholars, and futurists are beginning to wake up to a profound new altered reality. I would call this Vault 7 dump a moment of singularity for recorded history as we know it. Sounds dramatic, right? But it’s really not. Governments, corporations and global organizations everywhere now know that they, too, are ripe for catastrophic leaks from within their own walls. Vault 7 gives life and legs to every one of our deepest-seeded fears about our own government’s ability to peer into our homes, offices and cars.

But, how does that kill the future of history, you might ask? Well, I would posit to you that this moment is singularity requires the acceptance of knowledge that no created code or encryption will ever be deemed sufficient again. Each, with its very existence, will be subject to the blurry and morally muddled dissemination we call “whistleblower” action. Ah, what a tangled web we weave, when first practice to leak.

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Revolution ’18 – The First Fork in the Road

Revolution ’18 – The First Fork in the Road

Feature Posts, Media, News, Opinions, Politics

If there is one thing I learned from my recent trip to CPAC, it’s that the fickle fringes of the Republican Party are coming together. Some grudgingly, some enthusiastically, but almost all embracing the notion of “winning,” over personal litmus tests for their own brand of puritanical conservatism. It was a pleasant and enduring surprise to witness in person, punctuated with a dazzling and inspiring speech by President Trump. It was a well deserved moment, too, for all of us to pat each other on the back and dole out kudos, where they were warranted. As fulfilling as the experience was, it will need to be a cemented mentality going forward, or we will have one hell of a short-lived victory dance.

For all the harmony I noted above, there was also an obvious lack of congressional vocals in that harmony. A full month into the Trump presidency, here is what we know for certain: The media and the democrats have joined together to form a cacophonous blob of opposition, and the congressional republicans are, well, they’re not quite sure what to do. They remind me a lot of the players on those interesting New York Yankee teams in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Bear with me…

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The Russians Are Coming? Uh, No…

The Russians Are Coming? Uh, No…

Feature Posts, Media, News, Opinions, Politics

Well, the media has officially jumped the shark. They spent their weekly political capital cash cow, the Sunday talk shows, which I refer to as the “left express,” chattering like nervous monkeys about the ubiquitously cited Trump/Russian investigations. Calls were made for AG Sessions to recuse himself from an “investigation” the FBI has already classified in the “BS file.” It’s absurd theatre and one that will continue to exacerbate the divide between the propaganda press corp and the White House.

Let’s be honest, this is a snipe hunt. There is no Russian connection to be found, never mind one that could influence our incredibly diverse and balkanized election process. Where is the evidence? What exactly are these 17 “intelligence agencies” telling the press and NOT showing us? I can answer that for you: nothing much. It’s a nothing-burger with a side of rumor. The media continues to purge themselves from the encumbrance of reality and run freely through their fertile imaginations. Continue reading “The Russians Are Coming? Uh, No…”