POLITICAL CARTOONS

July 31, 2017


If you read my post on a regular basis you know I don’t concentrate on politics.  I try to stick to subjects involving the STEM professions—in other words, subjects I know something about and have an interest in.  There is nothing wrong with being a Democrat, Republican, Independent, Libertarian, etc.—there is everything wrong when our elected officials refuse to “throw together” to solve our most-pressing problems.  That is exactly where we are today and I’m probably not the one to solve that problem.

On a daily basis, our “state-of-the-nation” is displayed with remarkably creative and compelling political cartoons.  These guys and gals are truly good at what they do and provide a pictorial summary of where we are as a country.  A picture is truly worth a thousand words. Let’s take a very quick look.

As you well know, the Republican party is having, or has had, remarkable difficulty in fixing or repealing the Affordable Healthcare Act—or Obamacare as it has come to be known as.  I suspect, but do not know, it may be because there is no suitable replacement.

The cartoon above provides a glimpse into a terrible situation existing in our country today. Opioid-related deaths have reached an all-time high in the United States. More than 47,000 people died in 2014, and the numbers are rising. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this month released prescribing guidelines to help primary care physicians safely treat chronic pain while reducing opioid dependency and abuse.  That’s where we are in this country.

Senator John McCain cast the deciding vote that killed Congressional efforts to repeal the HCA.  It was dramatic and certainly made the point.  The JPEG below tells the story also.

Our new Director of Communications for the Fed is Anthony Scaramucci and boy does he know how to make a first impression.  I’m probably one of an ever-growing few who remember my mama telling me she was going to wash my mouth out with soap if I did not mind my peas and ques.   Maybe Anthony needs to listen to my mama.  Do we really need another trash-talker in la Casa Blanca?

Washington D.C. leaks like a fifteen-year-old garden hose.  I would definitely hate trying to keep a secret within the beltway.  Imagine you’re a somewhat senior government official — one who doesn’t get a lot of face time with the president, but who has access to pretty important information — and you need to send a message to President Donald Trump. You can try to write him a memo, or get the message into a briefing paper his staff is preparing. But the staff is trying to squeeze a ton of information into the incredibly narrow aperture of “what the president is actually going to read.  Your message had better be less than a page (ideally a lot less, so that it can fit on a page with all the other messages all the other officials like you are trying to send). It had better include a visual aid — a map is good.  Or you can go the easier route: You can just leak the information to someone so that it ends up on Fox & Friends.

The picture above is one of my favorite.  Senator Jeff Sessions was the very first to indorse Donald John Trump for the Presidency.  Apparently, loyalty does not work both ways. If I were Sessions, I would be cleaning out my desk right now.

As always, I welcome your comments.

 

Advertisements

JOBS JOBS JOBS

April 5, 2017


I think we all hope meaningful employment for everyone wishing to work and physically able to work.

According to CNBC, we have the following statement:

“Companies added 263,000 jobs for the month, ADP and Moody’s Analytics said. That was well above the 185,000 expected from economists surveyed by Reuters and also better than the 245,000 reported for February.

The February number was revised significantly lower, however, from the originally reported 298,000.

In addition to the big gain on the headline number, the month also continued a trend away from services-oriented positions dominating job creation. Goods-producing firms contributed 82,000 to the total, as construction led the way with 49,000 new jobs.

Professional and business services was the leading sector, with 57,000, while leisure and hospitality added 55,000 and health care was up 46,000. Manufacturing payrolls grew by 30,000 and trade, transportation and utilities rose by 34,000.

In terms of company size, fewer than 50 employees represented the greatest growth area, with 118,000. Firms that employ 50 to 499 workers added 100,000.”

“The report comes amid hopes that President Donald Trump can deliver on his pro-growth agenda of lower taxes, less regulation and more infrastructure spending. Economic data points have been mixed lately, with sentiment surveys outpacing actual hard data of activity.”

The bar graph below indicates private sector job growth, or lack thereof for the last several months.  I do not think anyone would argue with the statement we are facing a growing economy but that growth is not robust by any stretch of the imagination.

Another very good sign our economy just might be on the mend:

“The U.S. trade deficit shrank by nearly 10 percent in February, hinting that the economy may be growing at a faster pace than many economists expect.

The deficit fell to a seasonally adjusted $43.6 billion, lower than the $44.6 billion economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal had expected. Exports rose 0.2 percent to $192.9 billion in February while imports declined 1.8 percent to $236.4 billion, the Department of Commerce said Tuesday.”

 

The chart below indicates that drop.  We still are running a trade deficit but with the push for more “on-shoring” that deficit may continue to shrink.  This will undoubtedly improve the job market “state-side” and provide added employment.

The bar charts below will show Annual GDP growth rates, corporate profits, and single family home process.   I think each chart indicates recovery is still very incremental and some would say sluggish.  Our politicians in Washington indicate the following:

  • The repeal and replacement of the Affordable Healthcare Act will greatly reduce healthcare costs for the individual consumer.
  • The reduction of “red tape” and regulations for business owners will provide incentives for investment in companies and individual businesses.
  • Rework of the Federal Tax Code and subsequent reduction in corporate and individual tax rates will provide for much greater growth in GDP and corporate profits.
  • Increased trade with other nations will reduce the trade deficit and promote job growth
  • Significant increases in infrastructure spending will definitely improve job growth and job outlook.
  • “Leveling the playing field” relative to NAFTA and other global trade agreements can greatly improve job growth in the United States.

CONCLUSIONS:

All of these things can and possibly will improve job growth and aid our economy.  The big questions is—can Congress get together and pass legislation to get things moving again and in the proper fashion?  This week Congress is going home for Ester vacation.  Another vacation.   What if they remained in Washington, worked through Easter, stayed on the job, and provided their constituents with value-added?

THREE DAYS IN JANUARY

January 31, 2017


In looking at the political landscape over the last fifty (50) years I can truly say I have no real heroes.  Of course, ‘beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder’.  Most of our politicians are much too concerned about their base, their brand and their legacy to be bothered with discerning and carrying out the will of the people. There are two notable exceptions—Sir Winston Churchill and President Dwight David Eisenhower.  Let’s look at the achievements of President Eisenhower.

DOMESTIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

  • Launched the Interstate Highway System. Also known as the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act, this act came into effect on June 29, 1956, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it. It authorized $25 billion for 41,000 miles of interstate highways to be constructed in the United States.
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). On July 29, 1958, President Eisenhower signed the Act that created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) which provided for the peaceful and collaborative exploration of space.
  • The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency. Launched the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which ultimately led to the development of the Internet. (Cry your eyes out Al Gore!)
  • Established a strong science education via the National Defense Education Act
  • Sent federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas for the first time since Reconstruction to enforce federal court orders to desegregate public schools
  • Signed civil rights legislation in 1957 and 1960 to protect the right to vote by African-Americans. After declaring that “There must be no second class citizens in this country,” PresidentDwight Eisenhower told the District of Columbia to use their schools as a model of integrating black and white public schools. He proposed the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960 to Congress, which he signed into law. The 1957 Act created a civil rights office within the U.S. Justice Department and the Civil Rights Commission; both departments had the authority to prosecute discriminatory cases and voting rights intrusions. They were the first significant civil rights laws since the late 19th Century.
  • Opposed Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy and contributed to the end of McCarthyism by openly invoking the modern expanded version of executive privilege.
  • Desegregated the Armed Forces: Within his first two years as president, Eisenhower forced the desegregation of the military by reinforcing Executive Order #9981 issued by President Harry Truman in 1948.

FOREIGN POLICY ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

  • Deposed the leader of Iran in the 1953 Iranian coup d’̩tat .
  • Armistice that ended the Korean War: Eisenhower used his formidable military reputation to imply a threat of nuclear attacks if North Korea, China and South Korea didn’t sign an Armistice to end the three-year-old bloody war. It was signed on July 27, 1953.
  • Prioritized inexpensive nuclear weapons and a reduction of conventional military forces as a means of keeping pressure on the Soviet Union and reducing the federal deficit
  • First to articulate the domino theory of communist expansion in 1954
  • Established the US policy of defending Taiwan from Chinese communist aggression in the 1955 Formosa Resolution
  • Forced Israel, the UK, and France to end their invasion of Egypt during the Suez Crisis of 1956
  • Sent 15,000 U.S. troops to Lebanon to prevent the pro-Western government from falling to a Nasser-inspired revolution

ACCPMPLISHMENTS PRIOR TO BECOMING PRESIDENT:

  • Becoming a five-star general in the United States Army
  • Serving as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II
  • Serving as the supervisor and planner of North Africa’s invasion in Operation Torch in 1942-43
  • Successfully invading France and Germany in 1944-45, attacking from the Western Front
  • Becoming the first Supreme Commander of NATO
  • Becoming the 34th President of the United States for two terms, 1953 until 1961

All of these accomplishments are celebrated in a new book by Bret Baier and Catherine Whitney. Bret Baier, the chief political anchor for Fox News and talented writer Catherine Whitney, have written a book that comes at a timely moment in American history. I found a great deal of similarities between the transition of Eisenhower and Kennedy relative to the transition of Obama and Trump.  Maybe I was just looking for them but in my opinion they are definitely there.  “Three Days in January” records the final days of the Eisenhower presidency and the transition of leadership to John F. Kennedy. Baier describes the three days leading up to Kennedy’s inauguration as the culmination of one of America’s greatest leaders who used this brief time to prepare both the country and the next president for upcoming challenges.

Eisenhower did not particularly like JFK.  Baier writes: “In most respects, Kennedy, a son of privilege following a dynastic pathway, was unknowable to Ike. He was as different from Eisenhower as he could be, as well as from Truman, who didn’t much care for him.” Times of transition are difficult under the very best of circumstances but from Eisenhower to Kennedy was a time, as described by Baier, as being a time of concern on Eisenhower’s part.  There were unknowns in Eisenhower’s mind as to whether Kennedy could do the job.  Couple that with Kennedy’s young age and inexperience in global affairs and you have a compelling story.  During those three days, though, Eisenhower warmed up to Kennedy.  There was a concerted effort to make the transition as smooth as possible and even though Kennedy and his staff seemed to be very cocky, the outgoing President was very instrumental in giving President-elect Kennedy information that would serve him very well during his first one hundred days and beyond.

On January 17, 1961, three days before inauguration ceremonies, Eisenhower gave a notable and now-prophetic farewell speech in which he looked into the future, warning Americans about the dangers of putting partisanship above national interest, the risks of deficit spending, the expansion of the military-industrial complex and the growing influence of special interest groups on government officials.  Eisenhower’s concerns have become reality in our modern day with technology outpacing legislation and common sense to oversee development of hardware that can destroy us all.  This book is about those three days and brief time-periods prior to and after that very meaningful speech.

If you are a historian, a news junkie, or someone who just likes to keep up, I can definitely recommend this book to you.  It is extremely well-written and wonderfully researched. Mr. Baier and Ms. Whitney have done their research with each reference noted, by chapter, in the back of the book.  It is very obvious that considerable time and effort was applied to each paragraph to bring about a coherent and compelling novel.  It, in my opinion, is not just a book but a slice of history.  A document to be read and enjoyed.

INAGURATION 2017

January 20, 2017


Unless you live under a rock, you know by now we have a new President and a new Vice President.  Here is the way I look at this.  I don’t know if you have ever done any computer programming but programmers have to plan for stored data.  Data goes into a “place-holder”.  Each place-holder is given an appropriate name that is descriptive of the information going into and being removed from that digital location in the program.  Let’s say we have a place-holder named POTUS or President of the United States.  The data we wish to move into or remove from the place-holder is the name of each individual President starting with President George Washington and going to President Donald J. Trump.   Data is moved into POTUS every four (4) years as elections are won or lost.  This remarkable transition of power is accomplished without a shot being fired. Even in very difficult elections, such as the one we have just experienced, outgoing and incoming Presidents recognize they exist in the “continuum”.  Each living President is a member of a very very exclusive minority.  They have been there—been tested—done that—got the “T” shirt.

We have six (6) living presidents as follows:

In my opinion, and it is my opinion, the President of the United States of American is the second most difficult job on the planet.  OK, who’s first—a continuously loving, caring, supportive, time-giving, education-loving parent.   Also, in my opinion, our very best Presidents grow into the job.  I feel no one, and I mean no one is prepared for the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” that befall the most experienced individual in a four or eight-year term in office.

In looking quickly at several decisions made by our Presidents, we see the following remarkable challenges they encountered on the way to the Oval Office:

  • Thomas Jefferson—The Embargo Act of 1807
  • Abraham Lincoln—The Civil War
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt—Executing success after the attack at Pearl Harbor
  • Harry Truman—Decision to drop the atomic bomb
  • John F. Kennedy—Cuban Missile Crisis
  • Jimmy Carter—The Iran Hostage Crisis
  • George Bush—Decision to invade Iraq knowing American lives would be lost

I could probably go on and on but you get the picture. How would you handle the decision to drop the Atomic Bomb?  Could you make it?   It certainly helps if each President surrounds himself with competent and capable cabinet members and advisors.  Sharing the burden is an absolute MUST for successful accomplishment of each task presented each day.   For this reason, I wish President Donald Trump God’s speed in executing duties associated with the office.  No matter how you voted, you have to admit our country definitely needs to come together and rally around our leadership. Let’s get this done.

As always, I welcome your comments.

DODD-FRANK

December 26, 2016


WARNING—This might be a little, if not a lot, boring to some of you maybe most of you.

O.K., with that said, what is the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act? I hear many people indicate the restrictions placed on banks, both national and regional remain THE reason for significantly tight credit since its passage in 2010.   Let’s take a look at the Act, the basics and how bankers feel it is crimping their style.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is a massive piece of financial reform legislation passed by the Obama administration in 2010 as a response to the financial crisis of 2008.  There were early signs of distress relative to the impending crisis: by 2004, U.S. homeownership had peaked at seventy percent (70%); no one was interested in buying or eating more candy. Then, during the last quarter of 2005, home prices started to fall, which led to a forty percent 940%) decline in the U.S. Home Construction Index during 2006. Not only were new homes being affected, but many subprime borrowers now could not withstand the higher interest rates and they started defaulting on their loans.  This caused 2007 to start with bad news from multiple sources. Every month, one subprime lender or another was filing for bankruptcy. During February and March 2007, more than twenty-five (25) subprime lenders filed for bankruptcy, which was enough to start the tide. In April, well-known New Century Financial also filed for bankruptcy.   According to 2007 news reports, financial firms and hedge funds owned more than one trillion ($1 T) in securities backed by these now-failing subprime mortgages – enough to start a global financial tsunami if more subprime borrowers started defaulting. By June, Bear Stearns stopped redemptions in two of its hedge funds and Merrill Lynch seized $800 million in assets from two Bear Stearns hedge funds. But even this large move was only a small affair in comparison to what was to happen in the months ahead.

1.) In simple terms, Dodd-Frank is a law that places major regulations on the financial industry. It grew out of the Great Recession with the intention of preventing another collapse of a major financial institution like Lehman Brothers.

2.) One of the main goals of the Dodd-Frank act is to have banks subjected to a number of regulations along with the possibility of being broken up if any of them are determined to be “too big to fail.”

3.)  To accomplish the goal stated in item number two above, the act created the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC). It looks out for risks that affect the entire financial industry. The Council is chaired by the Treasury Secretary, and has nine members including the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or CFPA. It also oversees non-bank financial firms like hedge funds. If any of the banks gets too big in the council’s determination, they could be regulated by the Federal Reserve, which can ask a bank to increase its reserve requirement—the money it has ‘saved up’ and is not using for lending or business costs.

4.) Under Dodd-Frank, banks are also required to have plans for a quick and orderly shutdown in the event that the bank becomes insolvent—or runs out of money.

5.)  The Volcker Rule is part of Dodd-Frank and prohibits banks from owning, investing, or sponsoring hedge funds, private equity funds, or any proprietary trading operations for their own profit.  The Volcker Rule does allow some trading when it’s necessary for the bank to run its business. For example, banks can engage in currency trading to offset their own holdings in a foreign currency.

There are many financial types that see real issues with Dodd-Frank.  These are as follows:

  • Codifies Too-Big-to-Fail. Rather than eliminating the market’s expectation that certain big financial firms are too big to fail, Dodd-Frank creates an explicit set of too-big-to-fail entities—those selected by the Financial Stability Oversight Council for special regulation by the Fed.
  • Threatens Small Businesses.Dodd-Frank’s complex web of regulations favors large financial firms that can afford the lawyers to analyze them. New requirements will be disproportionately costly for small banks and small credit rating agencies. Dodd-Frank’s complex derivatives rules will further concentrate an already concentrated industry. (I can attest to this fact.  My company has been trying to obtain financing for a local CNG project for over two years.  Just now getting that financing in place.  We are not asking for millions of dollars but even that has come under intense scrutiny.)
  • Hurts Retail Investors.Dodd-Frank gives the Securities and Exchange Commission a new set of responsibilities that distracts it from its core mission. New rules impose costs on nonfinancial companies that will be passed on to investors and consumers. Commission resources will be diverted to protecting the wealthiest investors.
  • Consumer “Protections” Harm Consumers. The consumer financial products regulator established by Dodd-Frank, rather than helping consumers, threatens to raise the prices consumers pay and limit the products, services, and providers available to help them achieve their financial objectives. Various rules, such as price controls on banks’ debit charge fees to merchants, are likely to increase bank fees for consumers and drive low-income customers away from basic banking services.
  • Sows the Seeds for the Next Financial Crisis. Dodd-Frank forces complex derivatives into clearinghouses. These entities will be large, difficult to manage safely, and very deeply connected with the rest of the financial markets. If one of these clearinghouses runs into trouble, the economic ramifications could be massive, which means the government will be tempted to engineer a bailout.
  • Creates New Unaccountable Bureaucracies. Dodd-Frank establishes several new bureaucracies, including consumer protection, data management, and stability oversight agencies that operate with limited transparency and little accountability to the American people.
  • More Power for Failed Regulators. Despite their past regulatory failures, Dodd-Frank gives the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Fed broad new regulatory powers.
  • Unchecked Government Power to Seize Firms. Dodd-Frank allows the government to sidestep bankruptcy and instead seize and liquidate companies. Vague criteria define which companies may be seized, and there is limited judicial oversight of the whole process. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation might use the process to prop up failing firms and to favor particular creditors.
  • Interferes with Basic Market Functions. The Volcker Rule, which prohibits banks from engaging in proprietary trading and limits their investments in hedge funds and other private funds, is proving to be difficult to implement. It will be more difficult to comply with and will interfere with the functioning of the market.
  • Replaces Market Monitoring with Regulatory Monitoring. Dodd-Frank relies on the hope that regulators that failed before and during the last crisis will be able to spot problems in the future. For example, Dodd-Frank gives broad new systemic risk oversight responsibilities to the Fed and the Financial Stability Oversight Council. It also raises the deposit insurance cap to $250,000, which will discourage large depositors from monitoring banks and correspondingly increase the likelihood of regulatory intervention.

If you aren’t asleep by now I can’t help you.  This is the long and short of the Dodd-Frank Act.  I would say reform was needed to reign in banks and financial firms that had grossly overstepped their mandates.  GREED was their goal.  They achieved that goal for a short period of time with consequences that have shaken our country and global finance.  Please not that now one banker, insurance company, hedge fund manager or other individual was charged with criminal activity.  Heavy fines were assigned but no one is now doing time for their misdeeds.

 

DRAIN THE SWAMP

December 13, 2016


Sometimes the only way you know where you are is to look back and see where you have been.  My grandfather use to say this to me when I was a kid.   Heard it a thousand times.  It was his way of saying that frequent reflection is “good for the soul” and reminds us we are going to have good days and bad days, at least on this earth.  Countries are like individuals in that respect—not really that different at all.  We still live in a great country, full of promise.  For the most part, a kid born today can be just about anything he wants to be as long as he has a dream AND the work ethic to put that dream into motion.  This fact has been demonstrated time and time again and with a diverse cross-section of our population.  Woody Allen was pretty much correct when he said that 95 percent of success was just showing up.  A dude names Thomas A. Edison indicated that 90 percent of his success was due to perspiration and 10 percent to inspiration.  A fairly smart guy named Einstein said the world is not dangerous because of those who do harm, but because of those who look at it without doing anything.  Years ago, when I played high school football, I had a coach named E.B. (Red) Etter.  Coach Etter had two great sayings, “You boys had better show me something and damn it, if you make a mistake, make it at full speed.”  “The next one seen loafing will do laps to Pittsburg and back.”  Coach Etter did have a way with words.   One more and I will get to the point; “I don’t get to blow the whistle, I don’t get to ring the bell, but just let the train jump the track and see who catches hell.”  Some of us, are quick to place blame, throw someone under the bus, cry foul, put on that “poor me” attitude.  Ever listen to talk radio?  We do have problems and it has become evident, forgive me—more than evident, that the American people are going to have to help themselves.  We are going to have to work around our Federal government if we get any problems solved.  We start by getting “liquid”.  Eliminate debt, become much more independent and much less dependent upon Federal services.  Employ our full resourcefulness.  Engage.

The significant inactivity we see today from our “Executive” and “Legislative Branches” of government results from nothing more than fear.  Fear of taking a stand.  Fear of performing.  Fear of engaging.  Ever hear these before?

  • If I do something to make the train jump the track, I might not get reelected.  Then what would I do?  Better not even try.  Stalling is the best policy.  Let’s consider action AFTER the mid-term elections.
  • I definitely don’t want to offend the unions.  OK, so what if our kids can’t read.  How is that my problem?  I send my children to private schools.  After all, I am a member of Congress.
  • If I protect our borders I will lose 12 million votes.
  • There is more ( and better ) officiating in an NFL game on Sunday than we get from the SEC relative to oversight of the stock market.  Then again, porn sites are much more interesting than working a “day job”.
  • Tort reform!—Do you know how much money those guys contribute to our PAC?
  • We know that “Freddie” and “Fanny” are in terrible shape but a “re-org” right now would be too disruptive.  Besides, fixing them would mean admitting they need fixing and we have been saying all along that they were in “fine working order”.
  • We can fight two wars.  We just have to make sure we send our best and brightest back—again and again and again.  PTST doesn’t last forever—does it?  After all, those prosthetic devices seem to work well enough.

You get the picture.

Ever wonder when these guys work?  Is “The View” more important than sitting at your desk in the Oval Office, with your sleeves rolled up and your tie loosened?  Head down, plowing through.   We have viable information that most of Congress did NOT read the new health care bill.  We have viable information that the most of Congress did NOT read the 2500 page “jobs bill”.  We have viable information that the Attorney General did NOT read the bill passed by the Arizona Legislature BEFORE the Federal suit was levied.  I don’t think in my lifetime (and I’m 74) I have seen a president that travels more than Mr. Obama.  It seems as though he relishes the spotlight and finds great pleasure in conveying absolute minutia to just about anyone who will listen.  When you think about it, what great revelations come from Washington anyway?  I’m not talking about news; I’m talking about “stuff” you can use.  Information that, once known, changes your life; makes every day living easier; reduces stress; promotes a minimal feeling that things will eventually be OK; addresses a growing unemployment; addresses the feeling that there may be a  double-dip recession and does something about it.  Where are the “guys and dolls” we elected?  Well, they are feeding at the public well.  We are truly on our on so, let us act that way.  Develop a resourcefulness that is indicative of our American heritage.  Can do spirit.  The difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little longer.  We know that if we don’t they won’t.  Let’s learn from history.

I wrote the above post three years ago.  Since that time—we have a new sheriff in town, Donald John Trump. His message— “Make America Great Again”.   Drain the swamp.  I have absolutely no argument with this but can he do it?  According to the web site POLTIFACT, “the Donald” has promised to do the following during his first four-year term as president:

  • ‘Build a wall’ — and make Mexico pay for it
  •  Temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States
  • ‘Bring manufacturing (jobs) back’
  • Impose tariffs on goods made in China and Mexico
  • Renegotiate or withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement and Trans-Pacific Partnership
  • ‘Full repeal of Obamacare’ and replace it with a market-based alternative
  •  Renegotiate the Iran deal
  • Leave Social Security as is
  • Cut taxes
  • ‘Bomb’ and/or ‘take the oil’ from ISIS

I am assuming he will accomplish these things using executive orders where necessary and obtaining Congressional approval when available.  When I was a kid it was always easier climbing up a tree than coming down.  Governing is complicated even when you have a majority in both houses of Congress.  The time it takes to make corrections may take as long as creating the problems in the first place even without objections from the rank and file Senators, Congressmen and Women.  I can NOT imagine what might take the place of the Affordable Heath Care Law or how long it will take to implement corrections allowing a better and more workable system.  At an average of 1,100 words per page, the 10,535 pages of Obamacare regulations consist of approximately 11,588,500 words. By contrast, as officially published by the Government Printing Office, PPACA is 906 pages long and HCERA is 55 pages long.  It would take me four years to read it.

Our tax code–takes 73,954 pages to define and explain.  Light reading for a rainy Saturday afternoon.  Nothing that long can be completely understood by any individual. You see the problem.

I personally would be satisfied if he accomplished reinvigorating manufacturing, once again creating jobs, reducing our individual and corporate tax burdens and removing regulations that unnecessarily restrict commerce.  Then again, that’s just me.  I suppose we “hide and watch”.  TO BE CONTINUED!

CLINTON CASH

July 10, 2016


I m absolutely convinced the best and most enduring writers are avid readers and they know how to research a project.  That statement certainly applies to Mr. Peter Schweizer.  Schweizer includes fifty-eight (58) pages of notes used to research and document the money trail left by Secretary Hillary Clinton, former-President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation.  These notes are categorized by chapter with each fact being numbered as presented in the body of the work.  “Clinton Cash”, written in 2015, was the eleventh book by Schweizer and serves to investigate donations made to the Clinton Foundation by foreign entities, paid speeches made by Bill and Hillary Clinton, and the Clintons’ personal enrichment after leaving the White House, in 2001. All of his works to date are non-fiction, real life; political exposes unearthing corruption in governments and institutions in our country.  Let’s take a very quick look at Mr. Schweizer’s biography.

BIOGRAPHY:

Peter Franz Schweizer, born November 24, 1964, is an American author, academic, and political consultant. He is the president of the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) and a former William J. Casey Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.  He is also Breitbart News  Senior Editor-at-Large.

Peter Schweizer is the President of the Government Accountability Institute and obviously a best-selling author. He is a partner in the Washington, D.C. firm Oval Office Writers which provides speechwriting and communications services for corporate executives and political figures.

From 2008-2009 he was a consultant to the Office of Presidential Speechwriting in the White House. He has also served as a member of the Ultraterrorism Study Group at the U.S. government’s Sandia National Laboratory and is a former consultant to NBC News.

Schweizer’s early work at Jeremiah Denton‘s National Forum Foundation (NFF) focused on major fronts in the Cold War. He co-authored a National Review article with Denton’s son, James “Murdering SDI”, about the suspicious deaths of several European officials who supported the Strategic Defense Initiative.  While at the NFF, Schweizer also published a report titled “The Meaning and Destiny of the Sandinista Revolution”.

In 2012, Steve Kroft used Schweizer’s work as the basis for a blockbuster report on CBS‘s 60 Minutes about Congressional insider trading. Titled “Insiders: The road to the STOCK act”, Kroft relied heavily on Schweizer’s reporting in Throw Them All Out, which CBS independently verified, to demonstrate how members of Congress trade stocks unethically.   The book demonstrates how politicians like Nancy Pelosi and Spencer Bachus have inoculated themselves against criminal charges for insider trading.   The following year, Kroft revisited Schweizer’s work to create another 60 Minutes report on how members of Congress use the funds of their political action committees for private gain.

A year later, Schweizer authored another GAI report about the Obama administration, which said that Obama failed to meet often enough with Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius during the height of the botched roll-out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).   He publicized the report with a story for Politico titled “When Barry Met Kathy: Almost never, it turns out.”  Schweizer’s report relied on publicly available information about Obama’s schedule. Three months later, after making a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request of non-public documents, The Hill found evidence of multiple meetings with both scheduled to attend, including seven specifically about the ACA.

I hope you can see from his bio that he is a very serious writer and one not given to innuendo.  All pronouncements are well researched and documented.

CLINTON CASH:

Now let’s take a look at the book itself.

  • “Clinton Cash”—The untold story of how and why foreign governments and businesses helped make Bill and Hillary rich.
  • Published by Harper Collins
  • Copyright: 2015
  • 256 Pages
  • Eleven (11) chapters as follows:
    • The Lincoln Bedroom Goes Global
    • The Transfer: Bill’s Excellent Kazaka Adventure
    • Hillary’s Reset: The Russian Uranium Deal
    • Indian Nukes: How to Win a Medal by Changing Hillary’s Mind
    • The Clinton Blur(I): Bill and Hillary’s Global Nexus of Philanthropy, Power and Profit
    • The Clinton Blur (II): The View from Foggy Bottom
    • Podium Economics: What Was Bill Being Paid For?
    • Warlord Economics: The Clintons Do Africa
    • Rainforest Riches:  Hillary, Bill and Colombian Timber and Oil Deals
    • Disaster Capitalism Clinton-Style: The 2010 Haitian Relief Effort
    • Quid pro Quo?

I am not going into detail relative to the contents of the book because I know my readers,and you are one intelligent group of people.  You can figure it out from the chapter titles.  I don’t think Mr. Schweizer’s book would have that much significance because after all, Bill and Hillary are nothing more than opportunistic political types, but she is running for President of the United States.  If you look at Benghasi, the e-mail server scandal AND the fact that Secretary Clinton is running for the White House, do we really need another Clinton in the Oval Office?  Then again, what about Mr. Donald Trump?  We really may be in a mell of a hess vice versa, as my grandmother Westbrook used to say. I may just be writing in Elvis again this year.

As always, I welcome your comments.

%d bloggers like this: