Posted on May 2, 2017
As I knew I would be — I’ve been fervently working on some projects outside of this site. I’ll get back to this with much more frequency in the next 2 weeks or less. In the mean time, there are a few recent examples of some things we already discussed being put into action. It’s useful to take a close look at them.
Let’s break this down into small sections.
- Intellectual honesty
- Congressional Mechanics
First, intellectual honesty is something that I practice. I say practice because there are very few (if any) people that are completely neutral whilst still advocating for a policy prescription. Hopefully we have established that I value such practice in others as well. For example – remember when people rightfully criticized the Clinton Global Initiative for taking massive amounts of money from foreign governments and pretending that it wasn’t a thinly veiled pay for play scheme? I do … and guess what is happening now? Ivanka Trump has just opened a global charity — that is accepting donations from foreign governments — while she works in the Whitehouse. (SOURCE) Is this putting up any red flags? You can’t criticize one party for doing this and yet turn a blind eye when it’s your preferred party. This is hypocritical. I won’t even comment on the Washington Post hammering Ivanka when they ran pieces in defense of Clinton last year.
Speaking of hypocrisy, there always seems to be grandiose examples that go unnoticed by the liberals. Allow me to shepherd you along this journey. Barack Obama spent a significant amount of time in 2008 criticizing Hillary Clinton for taking money from wall street (among many other parties) and suggesting it improperly influenced her policy. (SOURCE VIDEO) Okay okay – he called her corrupt. Then, just last week, former President Obama accepts $400,000.00 to speak, for less than an hour, to a group of wall street bankers (SOURCE). Oh that’s not enough for you? Then senator Bernie Sanders calls Obama’s choice “distasteful.” (SOURCE) This is the guy that campaigned on the concept of removing big money from politics — all while accepting MILLIONS in donation from multiple large worker’s unions across the country. (SOURCE) Oh that’s not enough? Then Bernie purchases a third home late last year right before criticizing “billionaires” for buying too many cars. Can’t make that stuff up. There’s nothing wrong with someone accepting a high speaking fee, but you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
I bet you thought the Republicans were gunna get off scot-free huh? Nope
Donald Trump spends his entire campaign talking about how stupid our leaders are. On everything from trade deals and tax policy to foreign affairs and border security – we had the stupidest leaders negotiating for us. Sad! Bad (or sick) People! Then, in his wonderfully articulate way, he turns around as says in an interview that he thought “being President would be easier than his old life.” (SOURCE) I mean … come on. It’s the hardest job there is. Not that we can’t criticize the actions of our presidents (I practically made a morning routine out of it) but this is just silly. Among many other things, statements like this make him look weak.
Additionally, Trump spent a significant amount of his campaign touting his 100 day plan of all of the things he was going to get done in the first 100 days. That included everything from regulation rollbacks to repealing Obamacare. Of course, Trump spent the weekend criticizing the media for making up an “arbitrary time line”. (SOURCE) Now this is true of the media when evaluating other presidents – but he cannot legitimately criticize the media for evaluating him based on a standard that he perpetuated. He made promises and, thus, it is grounds for legitimate criticism. Trump would do well to learn from this lesson to not strap himself to “arbitrary timelines” set up for him by people outside of his campaign. He should also stay clear on his message without too much diversion. Now I’m not going to spend time criticizing Trump for caving on the border wall funding or not even touching Obamacare. I already did that and I mostly blame the Republican party (but with a healthy dose of Trump’s mismanagement).
That brings me to my last section – congressional mechanics in action. If you remember, in early April we discussed budget reconciliation among other congressional procedures. (you can re-read that here) It appears to me that the Republicans are cooking up a ridiculous plan to utilize this procedure to their advantage. I thought it would be a good time to solidify the political effect of the rule.
Remember that the reconciliation process basically has a stipulation that you can pass adjustments to the budget based on simple majority senate vote IF the adjustments do not add to the federal budget deficit. That being the case — it looks like the Republicans are trying to bundle their tax cuts with their “replacement” of the affordable care act. The logic being that the tax cuts would add to the federal deficit in the short term (because the government would initially take in less money) but the repeal of the affordable care act would significantly reduce the federal deficit (as it would no longer have to pay for Medicaid expansion and the subsidies of personal health insurance plans). I wouldn’t mind this if it passes …. but there is a big problem with this approach. There is absolutely NO REASON to operate in this manner and they are only doing so because they were embarrassed at how unprepared they were to repeal Obamacare in the first place. They won the election and hold BOTH houses of congress and are still acting like the losers. They need to be clear about their plans, their methods, and their reasons so they can maintain whatever shred of credibility they may have left with the American People. Republicans have always had a problem clearly articulating their ideas and, at this point, I doubt they even have any. Why? Well because they have abandoned their core principles and gotten lost playing the concession game in Washington until there was nothing left for them to give. They’ve lost both credibility and power … and that’s squarely because they have not leaned on true conservatism but rather embraced the growth of a bloated and unnecessary government. (I have some more commentary about how that started with Truman/Eisenhower for you really nerdy politics people)
Looking at the “stop-gap” omni-bus spending bill just agreed upon this week that funds the government and all it’s services until the end of the federal fiscal year in September of this year — I am absolutely furious. ( SEE THE BILL HERE) The Republicans got a small increase in military spending, continued funding for Obamacare and planned parenthood, expansion the H2B visa program, and received NO funding for the border wall so far. This is literally the biggest fumble they have ever participated in — and I said the same thing about the last attempt to repeal Obamacare. I am beyond angry at the “we’ll get them next time” and the “we are taking a strategic approach”. That garbage doesn’t fly anymore and the American People are going to abandon them in 2018 if they don’t do an immediate flip and I’ll be right there with them. There is no reason to vote at all anymore if these people can’t deliver on ANY CAMPAIGN PROMISES. Rush Limbaugh slammed Vice President Pence for this very thing. You can see that HERE. Pence thinks this is a “win for the American People.” — I’m sorry Mr. Vice President … but that is an outright lie.
I enjoy writing these accounts of how I see things and think it’s interesting (exasperating) to watch people make complete fools of themselves while actually trying to run our country. It’s scary but that’s all the more reason that people need to be involved in discussions like ours. Maybe one day we will have some sensible people in government — or maybe I’m just dreaming.
As always, have a great week, focus on and achieve your goals, and thanks for reading.