The Changing United States

We can simply forget the United States of the 40s and 50s , as well as , the US from the 80s and 90s. Those days and those ways are long gone. Unfortunately, we (and that includes me) don’t always acknowledge it.

The Nuclear Family with a “Father Knows Best Dad”, a “Claire Huxtable” mom and “Brady Bunch” kids , is pretty much behind us now. The values of a family have not changed because these are traditional values. However, they are now applied to single parent families, to mixed race families, and to extended and multi-generational families. It’s a different America at home and in the work place. Color and gender ceilings are broken almost daily.

What remains now is the blending of American and Rest of World cultures. Asian, Indian, Muslim, and other cultures are not melting into the American pot anymore but are becoming their own flavors of a new American dish. And we don’t recognize this is happening as well as we might. Yes, we have always had enclaves of different cultures but this is different.

Yesterday’s Blue-Plate Special of Caucasian America is changing and those cooks who have been making it for centuries are not adjusting their recipes. Call them what you will, but Caucasian primacy in America is devolving ever faster in both politics and the work place. Old timers like me can’t adjust fast enough. The attributes that guided us in the past six decades are eroding and being replaced with something new and it is a work-in-process activity.

President Trump, much to his dismay, is the second-to-last white male who will govern this country as though it were a single Caucasian constituency. Joe Biden will be the last one.

The model going forward will be multi-ethnic mixed-race candidates. We will be ahead of the European countries thanks to our history. The ruling Houses of Europe will be the last to adapt to the world.

Yeah, I know you other old timers don’t see it yet. Put your glasses on the next time you read the tea leaves. You will see what I see. A new America with a new vibrancy and a new kind of world leadership. We will not only embrace the ethnicity and culture within the US but we will embrace the Rest of the World, too.

Our manifest destiny is not over, we are extending it across both oceans until our fingers touch from around both sides of the earth. We will seek to blend in and not to stand out. It will become our new way.

Capitalism at your expense will give way to blended socialism. Much of that road has already been paved. We just don’t see it yet.

Portland: Protests vs Riots

I watched about an hour’s worth of Portland videos before writing this only to learn that my thoughts two months ago are still valid today.

a) The daytime protests are in line with non-violent protests I have seen for the past 50 years. Regular people wearing regular clothes singing, carrying signs, shouting their cause through megaphones and at the top of their voices. These are the ones who care passionately about reducing police brutality and preventing the death and injury of people being arrested for a crime.

b) Towards dusk and later, the crowds wear black, they don helmets, they hurl objects, and they attack bystanders as well as police and property. If I were to stereotype the Antifa, the violent people, the destroyers of social order, I would say that if they wear gas masks, wear black, shout their hatred towards the police, and taunt the police, these are the ones I would target for arrest as a police officer assigned to maintain social order.

I read with disgust the statements of Mayor Ted Wheeler, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, and the Oregon Governor Kate Brown related to the death of a Trump supporter. They blamed the death of a Trump supporter on …the presence of Trump supporters… who the officials say were there to incite violence.

The Trump supporter was shot dead by someone in a red car. This is not intimidation, it is not Trump-oriented violence. It is an occupant of a red car who shot the man as he was walking in the street. The video is on the internet if you look for it.

When I read and hear what the officials of Portland and state government say, I am reminded of the expressions “Well that’s what she gets for dressing like this” and “well, what did you expect being there at that time of night”.

If any one needs to be “woke”, it’s the Mayor, the County Chair, and the governor. The violence does not stop until they make it stop. It is their job to provide for the safety of everyone. They have failed to do that. They are illegitimate as a government.

Trump may not do anything now, but if this is still happening on November 4th after the election, I expect the US Military to be on the streets of Portland to quell the violence. And I expect they will remain until January 20th if Trump is not elected to a second term… and longer if he is.

It is UnReasonable to permit civil unrest for social injustice to exist this long. The Governor, the Mayor, and the County have had four months to craft a new police policy as a way to stop the riots and they have not done a thing. Shame on their leadership. Shame on them.

Primary Chaos

Kentucky. Mitch McConnell’s state. A test for creating election chaos.

Any excuse will do. COVID works exceptionally well.

Having reduced the number of polling places from 3,700 to only 170 and using COVID as an excuse, can Mitch McConnell win in a ginned-up Republican primary? That is the question.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/22/politics/kentucky-poll-locations/index.html

What if the November election is chaos and the President claims the election results can’t be valid , will the Electoral College still meet? Could the President sue the Federal Election Commission and have a do-over election?

Probably not. The Constitution was written to have the House vote for the President and the Senate vote for the Vice President when the Electoral College vote fails to attain 270 votes for a President.

In all cases though, this President puts his thumb on the scale and distorts the truth of the weigh.

Who can the President fire and substitute a lackey to do his bidding?

Good question.

And now that the Attorney General is a new hired gun, will he obey the law or twist it to the President’s ends?

Another good question.

Can anyone vote Republican anymore?

There’s a title I never thought I’d write. And yet the rot and decay in Republican Party values has created an overwhelming stench.

Evidence demands a verdict. Consider the evidence:

a) A President who blames all his troubles on someone else. A President who demeans 49% of all Americans. A President who is actively wrenching Republicanism away from its core values of decency, respect, the rule of law and God, and replacing those values with buffoonery, humiliation, and maniacal tweets.

b) A Majority Leader in the Senate who perverted the impeachment process and emboldened and enabled a cover-up of criminal and unethical Executive Branch actions.

c) A federal Republican party that will not display nor support the humble and decent values of Ronald Reagan and countless other Republican presidents.  A congressional Republican Party that seeks to break the US Treasury during times of crisis.

d) A Republican Party that no longer believes in a Republic and instead seeks Presidential immunity from prosecution and immunity from congressional oversight,  a party who seeks a King to revere,  and a party who asserts that all accusations against the President are a crime.

How can and why should anyone vote for the rot in the Republican Party?

And how can anyone vote for the Democrat Party either? Socialistic, bleed-the-bank programs, corrupting the ethics of self-reliance, independent thinking, and the advancement of the greater good in all men, the Democratic Party has failed to engage its collective brain and has failed its mission to rear decent Americans.

If you believe in the decency of the common man, for goodness sake, vote for someone other than a Republican or a Democrat. If you want to save America, vote independently and vote for a different set of legislators.

 

Unum Supra Multa

The Treasury Department has ordered President Trump’s name be printed on stimulus checks the Internal Revenue Service is rushing to send to tens of millions of Americans…

It will be the first time a president’s name appears on an IRS disbursement, whether a routine refund or one of the handful of checks the government has issued to taxpayers in recent decades either to stimulate a down economy or share the dividends of a strong one.

If I were a Trump loyalist, I might pee my pants over seeing his name on my  stimulus check.

This is only on checks, not on direct deposits, and will be under a line that says “Economic Impact Payment”.

As the greatest President ever (ROFL), I imagine he will one day want his face carved into Mt Rushmore and perhaps replace the Washington Monument with the Trump Monument.

I predict this check will become a symbol for the moment when America lost its way in the world. No longer a nation of laws and moral convictions, this check will mark the turning point in which American government serves the President…instead of an America in which the President supports the government of America as established by the Constitution.

When the President’s name appears on the check, you can forget “E Pluribus Unum” (Out of many, One). Instead it can be changed to “Unum supra multa” (One over Many).

God help us.

 

 

When should you fear the power of the President?

This is a good question and might even be an urgent one to answer.

A friend sent me the following link.

https://news.yahoo.com/oversight-erased-supreme-court-hijacked-071510076.html?.tsrc=daily_mail&uh_test=1_04

Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress have been pushing the boundaries of how much power to grant POTUS. I’ve written before how the Supreme Court never fails to accede to POTUS perspective and always fails to rein him in. I’ve also written before about the Unitary Executive Theory that once elected, the President can do whatever he wants.

Now imagine a President unfettered by the rule of law and unphased by decorum. President Trump was given a get-out-of-jail-free card by Mitch McConnell three months ago, and the President is using it to control his political future, reduce Congressional oversight, and subvert the Constitution of the United States.

Is it time to fear the power of the President?

Let’s imagine for a moment that this virus began in September of an election year like this one. Would and could a President suspend a national election under the threat of public infection? This President would order it if it served his purpose to get re-elected.

Would the States go along with it, or would they hold the election anyway? I propose to you that the Republican governors under control of the Republican Party would defer their elections. The Democrat State Governors would hold their elections. The President would challenge the results, and this would end up in the hands of the Supreme Court, who would support the President.

Let me know when you would fear the power of the President in the comments.

 

The President Doesn’t Know…shhhh!

The President is supposed to be an administrator. Too bad President Trump doesn’t know this. (The President is not a king)

In the Executive Branch, the President is responsible for the quality of the cabinet level processes. He is not in charge of them, he is responsible for them. Which means if they are not working, he is supposed to do something about that. The President is supposed to faithfully execute the administration of laws in the United States.

Unfortunately, Presidents always want to be in charge and bend the laws to meet their personal agendas. Nobody cares if he/she adds a little emphasis here or there, but President Trump believes the cabinet should accede to his wishes like they were marketing or operations departments.

He doesn’t care about the law. His opinion is better than the law. Just ask him.

President Trump Removes Many IGs

From the New York Times:

Mr. Trump also nominated a senior Customs and Border Protection policy official, Jason Abend, to be the Defense Department inspector general. That position is vacant and is held on an acting basis by Glenn A. Fine, the deputy inspector general at the Pentagon and a longtime Justice Department inspector general with a reputation for independence.

This week, a group of fellow inspectors general named Mr. Fine to be the chairman of the new Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, with control of an $80 million budget to police how the government carries out the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill. If Mr. Abend is confirmed, Mr. Fine would lose his acting role and could no longer lead the committee.

Mr. Trump also nominated three current and former Justice Department officials to be the new inspectors general at the C.I.A., the Education Department and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

The president has been focused for weeks on rooting out administration officials perceived as disloyal.

In February, after the Republican-controlled Senate acquitted Mr. Trump of charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress, the president ousted other administration officials who cooperated in the impeachment inquiry by providing testimony, including Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, and Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, a National Security Council aide.

The White House marched Colonel Vindman out with security guards, along with Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, an Army officer who also worked on the National Security Council staff but had played no role in the impeachment inquiry, but he happens to be Colonel Vindman’s brother.

Before his role in bringing to light Mr. Trump’s actions toward Ukraine that led to his impeachment, Mr. Atkinson had been nominated to the position by Mr. Trump and confirmed unanimously by the Senate.

The two top Democrats on the intelligence oversight panels expressed vehement objections on Friday, portraying Mr. Trump’s move as political and retribution.

Autocracy in the New Millenium?

It appears to be true.

Across the globe, elected leaders are seeking to kill democracy and assert themselves as rulers for life in their countries.

In March 2018, Donald Trump, addressing a crowd of donors at his Florida estate, told what sounded like a joke. He was talking about the recent amendment of China’s constitution to remove presidential term limits, allowing Xi Jinping to serve in that office indefinitely. About Xi, Trump said: “He’s now president for life, president for life. And he’s great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give it a shot someday.” The crowd cheered and applauded in response. In fact, Trump has told one version or another of this joke many times since becoming president.

And though Trump’s remarks are generally perceived as facetious, many of his counterparts on the world stage are quite serious. In January, Vladimir Putin addressed the Russian nation in an annual State of the Union–esque speech. Alongside pledges to improve living standards by, among other things, offering free hot meals to schoolchildren, he proposed major constitutional reforms that could see the presidential office weakened and the prime ministry and State Council strengthened—measures very likely aimed at ensuring that Putin can remain in power after 2024, when constitutional term limits will force him out of the presidency.

I remember when President Bush II  was reported to have said (paraphrasing?) “The Constitution is just another God-Dxxx piece of paper”. (You can read that here if you like.)

Do you remember reading about Kings who sought legitimacy for their rule by having the Pope recognize their earthly authority?

And what about The Divine Right of Kings. ?

It seems that every autocrat seeks legitimacy when they assert they are the rulers over others.

And as near as I can tell, there is a steady progression towards The Unitary Executive Theory in the US in which no other branch of government can challenge a sitting President even when the President overrides Congressional intent.

The Autocrat of the United States may be just around the corner. It might be President Donald Trump…

…or maybe Jared Kushner…

Should Congress spy on the Executive Branch?

The IRS lost all of the emails related to Lois Lerner and the Tea Party attack by the IRS. Of course this was no accident. It was directed by someone who wishes to prevent the President from looking bad and to prevent Congress from having any physical evidence of wrongdoing.

Not even President Richard Nixon had the poor judgement to destroy his taped evidence of misdeeds but then President Obama is no President Nixon by any measure.

This leads to my question: Should Congress set up a surveillance process to watch the shenanigans of the President?

1) The Executive Branch has all the authority of a dictator in a third world country.

2) The Executive Branch is increasingly filled with sycophants who refuse to do their duty to care for the Constitution and the country. Instead these sycophants hide the misdeeds and refuse to prosecute offenders. They no longer police themselves. The government is no longer by and for the people but by and for the political parties.

3) If Congress does not do this then who will?

We know that the CIA, NSA, and others surveill Congress but who watches the watchers?

The Executive Branch has too much authority and control without oversight. Maybe it’s time to put in place some covert oversight through Congress.