Present State of the Union:
Update 12-18-15: Is it possible that the electorate is finally expressing the start of a peaceful revolution, an awakening? Is it possible that the people are finally sick and tired of the behavior of our dysfunctional congress, and their abject failure to represent the people, all of the people; and to govern in a manner that is beneficial to our great country? I believe that the election results in 2012 were misread by the pundits, although they always read the tarot cards, in the manner that best represents their self serving agenda. Possibly the take away should be that the people are fed up with the divisive, childish behavior exhibited by our congress, and they voted to fired a significant number of the Washington insiders, irrespective of the party they represented. Could that move be the beginning of our electorate taking back our government from special interests, PACs, and the attempts by a handful of billionaires to buy elections, and impose their will upon the people? I believe so, and in the next election more dysfunctional insiders will be fired, and after the deliberate rejection of career politicians by the voters, over the course of four election cycles, our congressmen will finally get the message, that We the People will use our votes to exercise our power to hire and fire, and seek out men and women that have the will of the people at heart, rather than selling their vote and influence to the highest bidder. Remember that most elected officials are feeding their appetite for power, and their goal is to do whatever it takes to maintain that position of power, so when it becomes obvious that self serving politics focused upon party positioning, and selling out to special interests no longer guarantees their job, and that the only way to insure re-election is to represent the people, all of the people, the dynamic will change.
During a meeting I had with Representative Sam Graves, in late 2009, to discuss the Affordable Healthcare and Patient Protection Bill, which neither he or his two staff members had read, and only came prepared to read the stock republican talking points, including the stupid death panel conspiracy made up by Sarah Palin, I asked them how they could convene a meeting to discuss a bill that they had no knowledge of. I then asked for a show of hands in the room, to determine how many of the 15 people in the room had read the bill and came prepared to have a meaningful discussion. My hand was the only hand raised. Later in the meeting, I suggested to Sam Graves that the simplest way to get re-elected, was to simply work hard to represent the best interest of all the people, rather than perpetually trading your vote for money, perpetually campaigning, and selling out his constituents, rather than working at his job. That hard work, would endear him to his constituents, and thereby guarantee perpetual re-election and satisfy his need for power.
This may well be an over simplification, but I mention this fundamental test to all elected officials that I meet with:
1. If you ask yourself does this proposed legislation benefit all of the people, and the answer is yes, endorse the proposed bill. If the answer is no, run like the wind.
2. Does the proposed legislation benefit the common good? A similar, but slightly different test. I use the example of the Americans With Disabilities Act, a piece of narrowly written special interest legislation, that benefited a select group of people with physical limitations. The legislation had some cost to the taxpayers, but was certainly justifiable, and long over due. It was unanimously approved by congress. If it benefits the common good, get behind the bill, and if the answer is no, run like the wind.
3. Is it good for our children? If the answer is yes, give it all the support you can enlist. If the answer in no, run like the wind.
These three simple tests would go a long way towards earning back the trust of the people........
We have to put a stop to the attempts by the media and congress to pit us against each other. The divisive, pot stirring drama will eventually take down our great country. After having served on the Board of Directors for a number of organizations, I think I am in a position to positively state that political experience is certainly not a prerequisite for making things happen in the real world. The qualifications only include an IQ greater than your age, an average amount of common sense, the ability to listen and think objectively, and the willingness to check your ego at the door. The Boards of organizations all around the world avoid contentious behavior while, having vigorous debates, reach consensus, and develop beneficial policy that results from collaborative energy, and insures the success of the organization.
It is time that We the People, put an end to politics as usual, demand change, and demand representation. Only the people have the power to make that happen. We have the power to hire and fire. We have the vote. We have allowed congress to become public enemy number one! With an approval rating of 9% none of us would be able to retain our jobs, why do we allow our congressmen to keep theirs? It's up to you and I.........
Update 10-15-15: I have watched the infighting within the republican party intensify in the last few weeks since Speaker Boehner announced that he was resigning, with absolute amazement, and today a great analogy came to mind. They remind me of the hot shot football players at the high school home coming dance that were all huddled up together in the corner of the gymnasium bragging about mine is bigger than yours, while their girl friends, out of boredom, went onto the dance floor and danced together or danced with guys from the band. I'm not sure what they had to brag about, because I also showered in the same locker room. One caucus within the republican party makes the statement that they are the true conservatives, and that the other caucuses are not self righteous enough to lead the party.
Let me recount the history here. On November 3, 1992, President Bill Clinton was elected the 42nd. President of the United States. From day one, Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the House, along with the band of self righteous republicans, set out on a mission to discredit President Clinton. Of course we have to acknowledge that late in his second term, President Clinton certainly gave them some ammunition with the Monica Lweinsky scandal, which was the only ammunition they could dredge up after spending millions on special investigators and congressional hearings, attempting to find some dirty laundry. Shortly thereafter, Mr. high and mighty himself, Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the House, was outed for having an affair, and filing for divorce while his wife was on her death bed. Representative Bob Livingston, good friend of Gingrich, and designated heir apparent to the throne, as Speaker of the House, was outed for having an affair at the same time Gingrich was whoring around, and he silently slipped into the shadows. Dennis Hastert , basically a do nothing, party loyalist, that appeared to be of pristine character, and conservative enough to dictate policy and lifestyle to all of America, rose to the throne on January 6, 1999. His ship left the conservative port in Washington DC, and sailed off to jail, when on May 29, 2015, two men accused him of molesting them when they were young, and wrestling on a team coached by Hastert. That was discovered by an investigation into possible tax fraud, which identified payments totaling $1.7 mil. in hush money paid to one of the men.
I sincerely believe that the electorate may well be fed up with the childish, non-productive behavior, and that the crescendo may be reaching the point where they will finally take action and fire the bums. See Surprise below. I sincerely believe that it is time to fire all of the congressional jocks, that are huddled up in the corner bragging that mine is bigger than yours. They refer to themselves as the freedom caucus, which is probably a good name for the group, because they appear to be free from logic, sensability, and an intelligence quotient............... Believe it or not, there are some admirable characters in the republican party. Unfortunately they appear to either be cowards, or be more interested in the power drunken occupation that is being a U.S. congressman. They would rather dance with the girls, while the jocks sit in the corner and brag, than stand up for the people that they were elected to represent. I guess that makes them guilty of insubordination also, so let's fire them all.
This rant just came from a true non-partisan member of the electorate, and while it may seem one sided, all I can say is look at the behavior, and make your own call. Vote intelligently. Fire them all, all 535 of them, for four or five election cycles, and you will suddenly find yourself well represented, by representatives that realize that, We the People of the United States of America......., have the power to hire and fire, and to express our disgust.
Surprise?? Really?? It should not come as a surprise to anyone that Donald Trump has taken the political arena by storm. Except of course to the other candidates and their political pundits that all have their head buried in the sand. Wouldn't it be interesting to sit in on the closed door meetings at campaign headquarters for the other candidates. You know they are going berserk. Let's break this phenomenon down to the lowest common denominator. Our political system is a disgrace and completely devoid of leadership. I toured Philadelphia a few weeks ago and the tour guide gave a wonderful presentation, at Independence Hall, about the debate that took place before the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. There was fierce debate, but in the end, they came together, compromise and effective leadership prevailed in drafting two of the most important and timeless documents and policies that have provided the guiding light for our country for 239 years. Today, our congress believes that division and divisive behavior is the basis for leadership. It isn't us against them, the right vs. the left, republicans vs. democrats and independents, black vs. white, the bloods vs. the crips, it's about the people, all of the people! We the people, are fed up with the childish games that have prevailed in Washington for several decades, and our elected officials just keep exacerbating the problems rather than digging out of the hole they have dug. Here is the explanation for why someone like Donald Trump can move to the front of the pack, as a Presidential candidate. We need leaders with the energy, passion, and drive to represent all of the people. To hear them out and relate to their daily challenges. Leaders that are willing and capable to stand up for what they believe in, to dispose of the current attempts at political correctness, and address the issues head on. Leaders that have no desire to be all things to all people, leaders that don't use weak politically correct excuses, but leaders that are willing to call it as they see it. Accountable leaders. Leaders that understand what made America great, and are willing to replace political correctness with policies and laws that are good for America, all of us Americans. Leaders that will place America and Americans first, above foreign countries, above immigrants, above lobbyists, above special interests, above those that are dead set on tearing away the very fabric that made us the greatest country in the world. Our current crop of elected officials are not leaders. They are power hungry, self serving politicians with their own agenda, interested in imposing their own narrow sense of idealism, or the idealism of their owners upon America at any cost. They have proven to be willing to sell out America to the highest bidder, rather than allowing each person a voice in our government. Citizens United, my aching butt!
Divide and conquer is a well proven war strategy, but has always failed as a nation building strategy. If the current crop of elected officials and candidates were leaders, they would be all about building a strong America for all Americans, rather than catering to a handful of very rich people that don't have the best interest of the people in hand. They would each stand up for all of America and offer a detailed strategic plan to make America the greatest country in the world, for all Americans, not just those people fortunate enough to be able to write large campaign contribution checks. They would stand up against party lines rather than reading off the same moldy set of party talking points. It will be very interesting to see how Donald Trump's campaign plays out, it may just be sustainable. I have not been a fan of Donald Trump, but the more I watch, and the more I listen, the more I agree with his message. It's frankly refreshing and I can relate to the positions he has taken. I commend him for taking hard positions against illegal immigration. It's ILLEGAL, and we should enforce the law. A wall sounds like a good idea to me. I have walls around my home, my office, and my property, and they do a pretty effective job of keeping unwanted people out. Hold Mexico and other foreign countries accountable? I believe in accountability, and that's how I lead my life. Fight wars to win. If we had fought Hitler like we fight today, we would all be speaking German. There were horrendous collateral loses in all of Europe, which is the nature of war, but we won. I am not advocating war, I am not a lobbyist for the military industrial complex, but if we have to go to war, after exhausting every other means to avoid war, let's pull out all of the stops and fight to win. Scorched earth was the policy on all sides, and the winning strategy in WWI and WWII, and it proved effective. Collateral damage can't be avoided, and we have no obligation to make excuses for it. It is time to take America back, time to elect leaders, not career puppets for special interests! It shouldn't be a surprise!
Solutions for U.S. is a non-partisan public service organization, with no outside funding, or hidden agenda dedicated to disseminating factual information and developing meaningful, and achievable solutions for us and for U.S.
Never in the history of America has congress had such a low approval rating, currently 9%. Our government is bogged down with in fighting, continual campaigning, fund raising by selling their votes to the highest bidder; and attempts to position each party for re-election, all at the expense of the People. We, you and I, have lost our voice in government. No one in Washington is working for us. Today, during this election cycle, the Supreme Court has personified big business with the Citizens United decision. 96 severely wealthy individuals control the Super Pacs that are influencing the choice of the republican candidate for President of the United States. Those 96 write and pay for most of the media advertising that bombards the airways on a continuing basis 24 hours a day. Each of those 96 undoubtedly have some expectations of their candidate, should he be elected to the most powerful office in the world.
Our basic expectation is that our elected officials, especially those campaigning for re-election, should be able to tell the truth, and they should be attempting to impress us with great meaningful solutions for solving some of our structural problems such as getting America back to work, incentivizing reinvestment in productivity enhancing technology for our manufacturing industries rather than looting the corporate treasury, reducing spending, requiring real ethical standards and accountability in government, providing regulatory over sight on our financial institutions to insure that we never allow Wall Street to cause a melt down of the entire world economy, reversing Citizens United, so that one vote, one voice means something once again, meaningful campaign finance reform.
With few exceptions our congress has no higher goal than being a career politician, being perpetually re-elected. They want to feed their egos and bask in the power of elected office. In doing so they quickly forget who they are supposed to work for, and become pawns for big business, special interest groups, PACs, trade unions, and the lunatic fringe (base) of their own parties. Today their behavior reminds me of inner city gangs, it's the us against them warfare, devil be damned, to heck with the People, it's all about me and my inner circle. Well, we need to remind them who they work for, and who really has the power, "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and pledge to fire each and every elected official that does not represent the will of the People!"
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Vote wisely, and that's probably not along party lines.