Impotency of our Democracy

The U.S. democracy is severely broken. 

We are supposed to be “one out of many,” but instead we are many out of one.

There is a tearing at our nation’s fabric. 


Resistance.  Obstruction.  Polarization.  Gridlock.  Shutdown.  Identity Politics.  Hating on each other.  Can’t get anything done. 


Legislatively we’re at an impasse.


It’s not just the border wall…


– No full year (let alone multi-year) budgets for all Federal agencies.


– No Healthcare Fix


– No Immigration Reform


– No Education (STEM) Improvement


– No USA Infrastructure Bill 


– We are losing our edge to a resurgent Russia and a China taking world stage militarily and economically. 


Executive Branch has its hands tied. 


Special Counsels.  Congressional Inquiries.  Judicial injunctions.  Media Lynchings.


Alone.  Thwarted.  Unable to lead or act. 


Presidential hand tied by mommy Pelosi and Daddy Schumer.


State of the Union cancelled. 


Presidency is compromised in the eyes of every national competitor and demagogue in the world. 


Without a strong leadership reestablished and permitted to act, we are running a very strong risk of losing our superpower status and becoming just another has-been nation.


Don’t think it can’t happen.  


The three branches of the government should be working together and helping each other to strengthen our nation’s survival, prosperity, and success.


If we don’t stop the madness, then we will implode and it won’t be a pretty or a happy day for anyone–Democrats or Republicans. 


Last chance for E. Pluribus Unum.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Dysfunction Society

So the world is continuing to go nuts–and it’s like everyone is behaving like Negan from The Walking Dead!


North Korea has achieved ICBM capability with a missile launch yesterday to 2,800 miles altitude—11 times higher than the International Space Station—giving Axis of Evil, North Korea the ability to now hit Washington, D.C.!


At the same time, a career civil servant tries to pull a fast one on the Trump Administration—challenging the President’s right to appoint an Acting Director over the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, which is part of the Executive Branch of government—and hoping that the Senate then won’t confirm Trump’s new appointee for Director, all of which would leave her in charge of CFPB for the next 3 years!  Of course, the courts don’t see it her way, but as the Wall Street Journal noted her coup attempt is definitely something to take note of in democratic, America.


In the background, the Democrats and Republicans continue to beat each other silly and senseless, and not only with stalled legislation on almost every front from Healthcare to Immigration, but now minority leaders Schumer and Pelosi are even refusing to meet with the President over enacting a government budget leading us to another looming government shutdown in December…we can’t seem to keep the government functional or even running for the most powerful nation on Earth.   


Finally, Bitcoin—an artificial computer-generated currency, advanced 1,000-fold this year to hit $10,000! Talking about another financial bubble reminiscent of the manic investment in tulips in the 17th century. What’s the value of Bitcoin or sunflowers? Whatever you want it to be! It’s not about the technology, which may be great, but rather the phony valuing of cryptocurrency, which few understand, and we all know how these bubbles end.  


So overall, we have national security, the administration of our government, and economic stability all in grossly abnormal territory. 


When things get this crazy, eventually you can be sure that something will first start to crack and then potentialy really break, and when it does, will we see more Negan with his brain-bashing baseball bat, Lucille? 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Anarchy Senses Opportunity

anarchy-jpeg

So this is what they are reading in Washington, D.C. now:


To Change Everything…An Anarchists Appeal”


Anarchists and Anonymous are no longer underground, but are coming up and above it. 


Legions of people looking not to change the system, but to violently overthrow it. 


According to the anarchists’ video propaganda:

“The more stable our structures, the less stable our lives…No piecemeal reform can fix this, we have to rethink everything to fix this.”


They are advocating the power of the masses to overthrow ALL authority!

“The only way to secure the things we care about is to build a leaderless mutual aid network capable of self defense…to abolish domination all together…not to stabilize the system by reforming it. Rather than calling for more legitimate rules and rules…set our own agenda on our own terms…develop the power to act autonomously.


Unfortunately, with the extremely low ratings and low trust of the government, people are turning to anarchy instead:

“To change everything. Start everywhere.”


The fearsome hacker group Anonymous’s tag line is:

“We are a legion.  We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.”


So, while left and right are fighting and denigrating each other, the political system, and our institutions, and gridlock–rather than effective governance and progress–is the dominant force in DC, a frightening vacuum is opening up to those who seek chaos and mayhem.


Stupid, stupid, stupid!


Everyone is so busy fighting for a larger slice of the pie for themselves, that we are putting the entire societal pizza in danger of landing flat. 


It’s not just Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and ISIS taking advantage of the selfish and greedy aspirations of politicians and special interests in our society.


Those individuals and groups–internally–that distrust and dislike what they perceive as “Big Brother,” and the arbitrary and abuse of authority, for power and money’s sake, are sensing their chance to agitate, disrupt and overthrow the civilized society we depend on. 


Apocalypse is not just World War III, weapons of mass destruction, and earth-shattering disaster, but it can be the disaffected masses that decide there is no reforming the system, only overthrowing it and taking their chance at chaos, rather than continue to live with corruption. 


And if this is what people are reading in the Capital of the United States of America…if you are not afraid of this awful mess, you most certainly ought to be. 😉


(Source photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Politicized Justice

fullsizerender

DC is in partisanship chaos once again, but this time it’s our very justice system at the heart of it. 


There is widely publicized internal fighting at the FBI and Department of Justice over whether and how far to investigate, let alone ever prosecute, emails and foundation issues from a presidential candidate. 


As the FBI can only investigate, they have no jurisdiction over whether prosecutors are willing to then take the case forward. 


Downtown today, there were signs that said:


“I Need Some Good News.com”


This was referencing the new soundtrack of “Good News” by Ocean Park Standoff, but it could easily summarize the standoff between the FBI and Justice Department and the political parties lining up behind them. 

So there is certainly the need for some good news, as a dour mood settles over the capital and the people around the nation watching this play out so awfully, where politics have gotten in between us and our candidates and doing what’s right. 


From the song:


“I need some good news baby ’cause the world’s gone crazy.”


When even our law enforcement authorities can no longer function without impediment, and when there is no core impunity from political infringement and recriminations, we know even our most basic system of justice has gone awry with political dysfunction. 


Yes, it’s crazy and it’s definitely not good news for the progress and righteousness of this great nation. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Left or Right?

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This sign from yesterday reminded me of the debates last night. 


Arguments, attacks, and counterpunchs between the candidates (and the parties they represent).


But in the end, the sign is pointing us in the wrong direction anyway. 


While we keep hitting each other up for getting and maintaining the awesome scepter of American power, our competitors on the international stage are moving on with their personal and national agendas, and we are in seemingly perpetual gridlock. 


The big problems that we face are not going away, and declaring who is the winner of the showtime debates, daily rallies, and witty sound bites, may feel good from the standpoint of whether our candidate is winning or not, but frankly is not solving any of our problems either.


A good fight is spectacular to watch, but we can be our own worst enemies as we are lost in shallow policy and rhetoric debates amidst leadership confusion, indecision, and (un)popularity contests, and even the winner may take home nothing but the rights to hoist another upside down sign.


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Is Blame A Leadership Quality

Blame

One of the most important qualities of a leader is responsibility and accountability–as they typically say, “the buck stops here.”

So why do we have so much of this:

1. “Blames his guards [the U.S. Secret Service] for closing White House Tours


2. “Blames [former U.K. prime minister] David Cameron for Libya Descending into a ‘Sh** Show‘”


3. “Says GOP is to Blame for Rise of Donald Trump


4. “Blames [former House Speaker] Boehner for Ongoing Government Shutdown


5. “Blames Democrats for Midterm Losses


6. “Shifting Blame for Bergdahl Trade to [former Defense Secretary] Hagel


7. Blames “Detaining Terrorists at GITMO Helps ISIS [recruit terrorists]


8. “Blames media for losing war against ISIS


9. “Blames U.S. for Gun Violence in Mexico

10. “Blaming [former HHS Secretary] Sebelius” for botched Obamacare rollout


11. “Blames ‘bad apple’ insurers for cancelled [Obamacare] coverage

12. “Blames his Low Approval Numbers on Racism


13. “Blames China…for not playing fair [as competitors]


14. “[Russian President] Putin largely to blame for Syrian crisis” 


15. “Blame Middle East Turmoil on [Israeli Prime Minister] Netanyahu


16. “Blames Christians from Holding Back America from Doing ‘Big Things


17. “Blames Founding Fathers’ ‘structural’ design of Congress for gridlock


18. “Blames the rich–big banks, big oil, big hedge funds…[and] recklessness of Wall Street” for economic crisis


19. “Blames [former President] Bush for Economy While Standing Next To Him


20. “Blames the Messenger” for “legitimate criticism


21. “Blames Everyone but Himself for Failed Economic Policies


Do you think that there is probably a lot more blame to go around? 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Wild Trees)

A Political Teddy Bear

Teddy Bear

Thought this was an awesome photograph.


Taken on the Washington, D.C. Mall…


You can see the Capitol of the United States in the background.


The gate is surrounding the construction being done.


On the fence is a Teddy Bear–representing so many of our national challenges–sort of just hanging there helpless.


This political bear looks like he’s clutching for dear life, but unfortunately he is left hung out to dry as we just keep chugging away…but where is the real progress? 


– ISIS and radical Islam is still growing stronger.


– Iran continues building toward a nuclear WMD.


– China and Russia are “becoming [ever more] aggressive as they perceive U.S. pulling back.”


– North Korea achieves capability for a “nuclear ICMB.”


– Cyber insecurity is a “real and growing threat.”


– There is a growing danger of a catastrophic EMP attack with a “staggering human cost.”


– Immigration crisis remains in “limbo.”


– Economic growth is “grinding to a halt.”


– National deficit is “projected to skyrocket over next decade.” 


– American economic competitiveness is in ongoing “slow decay.”


– U.S. education “still lagging” significantly in science and mathematics. 


– Life expectancy in U.S. ranks 26th, “right behind Slovenia.”


This doesn’t mean that good things aren’t continuing to happen especially with innovation despite all the gridlock…there is the Apple Watch (ok, the jury is still out on that one too).


Why don’t we let the bear down gently please. 😉


(Source Photo: Minna Blumenthal)