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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Draining the swamp

From the President-elect's actions and appointments, Trump's strategy is straightforward. He wants to reduce the size and actions of government. To do that; he appointed adversaries to nearly every department presumably so that the directors will purge what they don't like or want. The caveat to that is that the Executive Branch cannot act without Congressional approval because the bureaucracies are created and funded by law to perform legislated services. Arbitrary actions by the Executive Branch would be illegal in many, if not most instances.

On another front, and Trump has opened many, he has launched attacks on prime defense contractors. Important to understand is that military defense contractors employ people who are part of the critical industrial infrastructure without which national security would be at significant risk.

Already, since the 1970s, the U.S. manufacturing base has been eroded to the extent that machine tools and metrology instruments are no longer made in America. The knowledge and skills to produce them are crucial to passing the baton from one generation to another. Therefore, we have created knowledge, engineering and manufacturing experience gap.

The rate at which military weapon systems is produced is determined by obsolescence, threats, and the nation's limited capacity to produce them. Given the debt, deficit, and dependency problems that include having China being a principal lender, it is imperative to keep the industrial based healthy as it is already not.

When the federal government decides to shrink in size, that also means that the commercial industry must be growing to employ those who are displaced. It also means that the federal government executives must understand the situation in the industrial base as its policies could make matters worse while further increasing national security risks.

Attacking the Chinese with aggressive foreign policy gestures doesn't seem prudent without having studied the situation.

"Trump strikes fear into defense contractors 
President-elect Donald Trump is putting a target on the defense contracting industry.

Trump’s criticism of projects from Lockheed Martin and Boeing has put contractors on notice, suggesting that the incoming administration intends to put a new emphasis on cost-cutting at the Pentagon.

"There's a lot of concern within the industry," one defense industry official told The Hill. "You don't want to get your program called out by the president." 
Email from The Hill

Attack dog

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Vetting presidential candidates

The process of vetting presidential candidates in America is historically ad hoc and accomplished by American institutions that include:

  1. Political parties
  2. The press
  3. The voting public
  4. Electoral College
  5. Law enforcement agencies at every level

The book, How to Select an American President by James A. George and James A. Rodger (c) 2016 Archway Publishing, suggests a process for voters, political parties, and candidates for presenting their resumes for evaluation, validating and verification.

Political parties have a responsibility to endorse and approve candidates bearing their brand. That includes ensuring that the candidates are free of conflicts of interest and of any legal impediments that include Constitutional minimums and more. "The more" part is ensuring that taxes are paid and that the presidential candidate would pass musters for obtaining the highest security clearance. That would require a background check.

The Electoral College is the last institution standing between a president-elect and becoming a sitting president.

Because president-elect Trump has not been forthcoming with his IRS filings and because he appears to have conflicts of interest with Russian entities through his associates, if not directly, the Electoral College must ask for a briefing by the CIA and FBI to ensure that Mr. Trump has no conflicts or impediments.

Much more work needs to be accomplished by political parties to improve the process.

His two latest rumored appointees suggest that loyalty and image, not qualifications, matter most to Trump. 
NOVEMBER 23, 2016 11:20 AM"

Getty Image/ Vanity Fair

Monday, December 12, 2016

Trump, emboldened by ignorance

Apparently, President-elect Donald Trump shoots from the hip and is emboldened by ignorance. From observing his behavior throughout years of campaigning and television performances, Trump's personality is no secret. Being brash and arrogant on a tv show, or being that way in his company, he is accountable only to him. 

A sitting President has more responsibility and is expected to act with preparedness, armed with knowledge and facts about situations before acting. That is not his style.

Trump is a dangerous President because he exposes the nation to significant risk resulting from his temperament and deficient command of the facts before acting.

He attacked the Boeing Company with allegations about the high cost of two new presidential jets before he had the facts. Now, he is doing the same by attacking Lockheed Martin over the expense of the Joint Strike Fighter. It is not bad for a President to review high-cost profile programs. However, he is not yet sworn into office. He and his staff have not had the opportunity to study the situations. He is just "mouthing off."

He is also Tweeting to the Chinese about his opinions that do not yet change American policy. He may think that it is diplomatic negotiating, yet, his actions are premature and unprofessional. If he acts like a one-man band, he will mount a heap of trouble not just for himself, but for the nation. That is worrisome.

Add to that; he attacked the intelligence community.

Oh, and he is still at war with the Republican Party. Trump is a divider, not a uniter. It surely appears that he is leading with ignorance, and that is basically how the Chinese summed it up.

"Trump targets Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighter jet costs 
Donald Trump on Monday criticized Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighter jet program as too expensive, the latest attack by the U.S. President-elect on large defense contractors."

"The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" Carl Sagan

'Ignorant as a child' say the Chinese

How to make Democrats a winner

While leading Democrats wrestle in real time with lessons learned from the Hillary disaster, they won't want to hear that this is a large problem requiring a longer view and process to engineer a fix. The word "engineer" is purposeful as it implies skilled and artful crafting based on having performed an audit of the Democratic Party processes and organization.

Winning the presidency is not necessarily a win for the party. Obama proved that. He won based on organizing skills and intellectual brute force. He won by winning hearts and minds with smooth talk. His policies and actions rescued the economy and nation from certain disaster.

However, the Democratic Party failed to hold control of the Congress. It failed in the district and state trenches to gain confidence in their competence to manage communities. All politics are local, and Democrats forgot that.

Obama didn't help the party by establishing Obama for America (OFA) either. That side-brand usurped the clout of the Democratic Party host. Subbranding dilutes the national political organization.

Along the way, the Democratic Party's leadership, such as Deborah Wasserman Schultz, failed to do what the party needed her to accomplish. First, she needed to deliver Florida. Second, she needed to deliver women. Third, she needed to provide minorities of all kinds. She failed.

A short article cannot provide all that the party needs to address, but it can point to several things:

1. Produce superior qualified candidates by a new higher standard. (Define that)

2. Produce a superior platform to which constituents and candidates can align with confidence (Define that too)

3. Audit the entire Democratic Party processes and organization from top to bottom. (Hire a performance auditor)

"Dems grapple with lessons from Clinton disaster
BY NIALL STANAGE - 12/12/16 06:00 AM EST

Democrats are grappling with how to draw the right lessons — and avoid the wrong ones — after an extraordinary presidential election. 
Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump is an unmitigated disaster for Democrats, who want to ensure nothing like it happens again. But Clinton’s popular-vote lead over Trump is so large that it complicates the question of how to recalibrate for future elections.
Clinton led Trump by almost 3 million votes as of Sunday, according to a Cook Political Report tracker, with some final results still to be tabulated. More than 128 million votes were cast for the two main candidates nationwide, and Trump emerged as the victor by winning three Rust Belt states by margins of roughly 11,000 (Michigan), 23,000 (Wisconsin) and 44,000 (Pennsylvania).”

James George, Author and Independent Journalist

Sunday, December 11, 2016

How to Select an American President: Call for a new election

How to Select an American President: Call for a new election: The evidence likely shows and confirms that the Russians and WikiLeaks interfered in Election 2106 with criminal acts and with the intent t...

Call for a new election

The evidence likely shows and confirms that the Russians and WikiLeaks interfered in Election 2106 with criminal acts and with the intent to change the outcome of a free election. Interference came several ways:

1. Hacking and leaks
2. Fake news and propaganda
3. Hacking and attempts to manipulate voting results

When candidate Donald Trump directly called for interference by Russians to act on his behalf, that act crossed the line to make him a collaborator. His continued praise for Vladimir Putin reinforces bad behavior. Furthermore, Trump's personal conflicts of interest remain a secret because he has failed to make his IRS filings public.

Actions and alternatives lie ahead. One action would be for the Electoral College to void the election. Another would be for the Electoral College to seat the winner of the popular vote. Neither of those alternatives is as clean as having another vote.

If the court agrees that the process has become hopelessly flawed by manipulation, then perhaps the entire election should be done again including all of the Senators and House Members since their elections were also swayed by a corrupted presidential election.

This is no longer pie-in-the-sky conjecture because the charges and findings are deadly serious.

"Ex-CIA operative: We may need a new vote 

Former CIA Operative Robert Baer says if the CIA can prove that Russia interfered with the 2016 election then the US should vote again.Source: CNN"

Do it again.

Friday, December 9, 2016

How to Select an American President: State of the Union Epiphany

How to Select an American President: State of the Union Epiphany: I had an epiphany after having written the first draft of a new book. It goes back to a book that I published in 2010, Smart Data, Enterpris...

State of the Union Epiphany

I had an epiphany after having written the first draft of a new book. It goes back to a book that I published in 2010, Smart Data, Enterprise Performance Optimization Strategy, (c) Wiley Publishing. In that work, Dr. Rodger and I advocated the creation of a U.S. President's Performance Management Dashboard. The dashboard would provide performance metrics, aggregated from all of the programs and service initiatives under the Departments and Agencies of government such that the President and Congress can see metrics at any level that they desire. It is absurd that the federal government doesn't have such a thing already, but it doesn't.

If it did, then the State of the Union would be readily available for all to see at any point in time. The epiphany part is that the State of the Union report from Presidents is probably not delivered always at the right time.

The U.S. Constitution is rather casual about it.

"The formal basis for the State of the Union Address is from the U.S. Constitution: The President “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” Article II, Section 3, Clause 1."

Historically, it has been an annual message, of a sort.

Think about it. A new President arrives in January. Would it not have been useful to have a State of the Union report from a credible system having been delivered, say in October, before the national election? That way voters can evaluate the past performance and understand the stepping stone to the next administration.

The next government could be a continued incumbency for a second term. Or, it could be a new presidency.

The dashboard and its metrics would be inherited for the next incumbent to assume control to produce new metrics.

Having a standard system and approach would ensure continuity in accountability. Now, that does not mean that the dashboard would not change. In fact, the contents would reflect the actions of the Executive and Congress at changing and amending legislation, funding, and schedules. Otherwise, it must be dynamic and accountable for real-time results.

A Presidential Dashboard is a management tool for which the results are the U.S. Government Performance Dashboard that should be available and accessible by Congress and the citizens with some caveats particular to national security.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Democrats search for a leader

Unfortunately, the Democratic Party can't call a timeout to retool. It has to go to battle with the leaders it has. A story in The Hill today points to the party's decline in sources of leadership.

Since the number of states with Democrat Governers is way down, there are few choices. Therefore, they turn to the Senate for leadership.

In my new soon-to-be-released book, How to Select an American President (c) 2016, Archway Publishing, Dr. James Rodger and I suggest a template for building a candidate's resume. Here is a sneak preview:

"Describing the ideal candidate for President of the United States

Here we have developed an outline to guide your consideration and to encourage candidates to tell their story following this guide.

•    Candidate name:
The kind of candidate I am: (Their words)
•    Met the statutory requirements: 1) Citizen born in USA, 2) Age 35 years or greater, 3) Lived in the country for past 14 years
•    Birth date:
•    Place of birth:
•    Residences during the past 14 years:
•    Intelligence Quotient (IQ): (Provided by candidates from an accredited source)
•    Education:
o    High School (School Name/Location)
o    College Graduate (College/University Name/Location
•    Degree Type:
o    Major areas of study:
o    GPA:
o    Honors/Distinctions:
o    Post Graduate (University Name/Location) (for each)
•    Professional Certifications:
o    Bar
o    CPA
o    Engineer
o    Medical Doctor
o    Other
•    Occupation/Vocation/Profession:
•    Health Status: Healthy, sick, recovering, recovered: Verified with doctor’s report
Voter’s assessment of candidate age: (Will the candidate be able to complete two terms? Does the candidate have sufficient knowledge and experience as evidenced by the time spent to acquire it?)
•    Young 35-50, Middle 51-60, Older 61 >
•    Affected Class:
•    Candidate description:
•    Verified by Census filing
•    Voter assessment of character and behavior
From reviewing past president’s we identified certain terms that are helpful in differentiating and describing candidates listed in alphabetical order.
•    Adaptive
•    Allegiant to the Constitution and nation
•    Brave in the face of adversity
•    Leader, follower
•    Listener, talker
•    Passionate, impassionate, easy-going
•    Process-oriented (how), task-oriented (what), results-oriented (outcomes)
•    Thundering or reassuring
•    Visionary, administrator, integrator, independent, loner
This category is refined further, though this is a thought starter.
•    Voters’ assessment of leadership style
Similarly, we captured some words used to describe leadership styles.
o    Collaborator
o    Creative and inventive
o    Delegator
o    Detailer
o    Do it yourself
o    Hands-on
o    You’re fired
•    Education and Training (Professional Development)
Life-long learning – It is beneficial to observe how presidential candidates have stayed abreast of contemporary knowledge and skill requirements.
•    Knowledge:
o    American government system
o    Concept of operations
o    Concept of the role of the president in optimizing the nation’s government performance
o    Constitution
o    Economics
o    Entitlements
o    Foreign policy
o    Information and communications technology
o    International trade
o    Knowing each governmental department and primary expectations for them
o    Knowing how to create laws
o    Knowing how to work with Congress
o    Law
o    Operational architecture
o    Primary presidential tasks and associated outcomes

•    Skill:
o    Administrative
o    Budgeting
o    Strategic planning
o    Writing
o    Speaking
o    Negotiating
o    Collaborating
o    Debating
o    Planning
o    Problem-solving
o    Decision-making
o    Sense-making
o    Predicting
o    Modeling
o    Recruiting and staffing
o    Organization development
o    Program evaluation and management
•    Life History (Childhood to adulthood status)
The kind of person that can relate to me; the kind of person to whom I can relate; my kind of person:
o    The person next door
o    The person who lives on the best street
o    Successful
o    Hobo (like Harry Truman)
•    Ability to manage the economy: The job of president is to create an environment in which private enterprise can flourish as that is what increases revenues.
o    Optimization = Increasing GDP and higher quality service for the least cost and labor intensity
o    Presidential Platform and Agenda: Priorities, Issues, Causes, Programs, Solutions, Vision
o    Banking
o    Fossil fuels
o    Energy independence
o    Entrepreneurs
o    Food supply
o    Green renewable
o    Housing
o    Infrastructure
o    Job creation
o    Manufacturing
o    Nation-building
o    Nuclear
o    Peace-building
o    Preemptive war
o    Promote democracy
o    Sustainable economy
o    Transportation
o    War is last resort
•    Relationship with Powerful Forces: Military Industrial Complex, Wall Street, PACs and Lobbyists
•    Political Party
o    Relationships with party leadership
•    Values:
o    Attitude about big business
o    Attitude about campaign contributions
o    Attitude about educators
o    Attitude about free speech
o    Attitude about government regulation
o    Attitude about gun control
o    Attitude about health care
o    Attitude about immigrants
o    Attitude about organized labor
o    Attitude about public service
o    Attitude about rural America
o    Attitude about small business
o    Attitude about women and minorities
o    Attitude toward immigrants
o    Attitude toward monitories
o    Patriotic
o    States’ rights versus Central government
o    Work ethic
•    Military Experience:
o    Rank
o    Combat Veteran
o    Unit
o    Command
o    Wars and battles
o    Citations and awards
•    Public Office Experience:
o    Vice President
o    Judge
o    Department Secretary
o    Governor
o    Senator
o    House Representatives
o    Mayor
o    State Legislature
o    Other Public Service
•    Private Sector Experience:
o    CEO/President
o    Large Corporation
o    Medium Corporation
o    Small Business
o    Vice President
o    Director
o    Professional Manager
o    Entrepreneur
o    Inventor
o    Patents
•    Memberships: Organizations and Leadership positions
•    Voters’ assessment of candidates on religion: Faith matters; Faith is irrelevant; Faith is private."

How to Select an American President by James A. George with James A. Rodger (c) 2016 Archway Publishing.

Senators Warner, Warren, and Gillibrand scored well. The leaders may reside in the private sector. Keep looking.

"Depleted Dems look to Senate for 2020 nominee 
BY ALEXANDER BOLTON - 12/08/16 06:00 AM EST  1,174 
The Senate is emerging as Democrats’ most promising recruiting ground for a presidential candidate in 2020 — in part because of the party’s deep losses in gubernatorial mansions.  
The ranks of Democratic governors have been hit, with a string of losses reducing their numbers to a paltry 16. 
That’s leaving the Senate as perhaps the most likely place for the next Democratic star to rise."

Democrat Senators who are good leaders

How to Select an American President: Operation Military Overload

How to Select an American President: Operation Military Overload: President-elect Donald Trump has nominated a third former general to the executive branch, raising eyebrows among some about the possible bi...

Operation Military Overload

President-elect Donald Trump has nominated a third former general to the executive branch, raising eyebrows among some about the possible bias. It isn't a military overthrow they are concerned about, yet.

"Trump hires a third general, raising concerns about heavy military influence 
Trump picks Kelly for homeland security; the third general tapped for his administration. 
By Philip Rucker and Mike DeBonis" 
Washington Post 

Actually, in my book, How to Select an American President by James A. George with James A. Rodger (c) 2016 Archway Publishing, points are added for military service. In fact, the military has a system of advancement and promotion that is worthy of reference as a model for performance management and personal and professional development. Advancing in the military system is based upon certifications that are verifiable.

The government Senior Executive Service has a similar system. The federal government Office of Personel Management does too.

The trouble is that some presidential appointees could not pass the standards for the hiring of the people and organizations over which they will manage.  There is a complete mismatch among some nominees who have never managed a sizeable bureaucracy and now are made the senior executive. That reflects upon the President as being incompetent and irresponsible. The Senate still must approve. However, they are not guided by specific standards either.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Hostile takeover

What we have here in America is what business people call a hostile takeover.

"A hostile takeover is the acquisition of one company (called the target company) by another (called the acquirer) that is accomplished by going directly to the company's shareholders or fighting to replace management to get the acquisition approved."

In the case of President-elect Trump, he is the acquirer. Voters are the shareholders, and Trump is fighting with governance, Congress and the bureaucracy to install his team and his brand. The trouble with this metaphor is that the US government is not a private enterprise, it is a pluralistic democratic republic. The rules are different.

Given that more people voted against Trump than for him, and given his and his party's penchant for attacking programs and services that help people, sooner than later, he is going to run into a buzz saw of public opinion.

Like him, or not, his actions are inappropriate.

"The Six Ingredients of Trump’s ‘Hostile Takeover Playbook.' 
By FRANK GREGORSKY Published on December 7, 2015

How many political insiders do you know who are opposed to Barack Obama and his nefarious works — IRS abuses, corporate bribes, climate fantasies, bailouts for Iran, importing saboteurs — yet save their peak agitation for Donald Trump, a presidential candidate they say “can’t” be nominated? 
If it “can’t” happen, why sputter to the point of apoplexy? Perhaps because “it” is being defined too conventionally. 
Let’s try a different lens: Trump’s terrain-shifting methods fit the Hostile Takeover Playbook. The rules of corporate raiding are quite different from the ordinary rules of primary politics and seem to fit the mood of over a third of the Republican rank-and-file, who favor Trump over his primary rivals and over the timid “Directors” they sent to Congress to stop the Obama Onslaught. Seen in this light, what we’re watching is one heck of a Proxy Fight for “GOP Incorporated.” 
(1) Trump is a long-suffering “shareholder” himself. He speaks of backing John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. He described the latter as a competent golfer who starts to choke on the final three or four holes. Isn’t that the way one business guy sizes up another? 
(2) His track record is pragmatic and opportunistic. Trump has backed candidates from the other party, including Hillary Clinton for Senator in 2000. Like classic corporate raiders Carl Icahn and T. Boone Pickens, he treats consistency as the hobgoblin of small minds. Lucky for him that many Republicans no longer see “ideological correctness” as Priority One. 
(3) As of June 2015, the stage is set: He opens the Takeover Campaign by floodlighting an issue — one product line, one pulsating niche — starved for attention by the existing Management: Border Control, Sanctuary Cities and most graphically the violent crimes committed by illegals. 
(4) Because every another presidential candidate except Ted Cruz has been evasive on that matter, Trump’s candidacy quickly gains critical mass, which grows further as he shows how to escape the boxes long used by Big Media to constrict Republican officeholders and policy options. 
(5) As personal attacks arrive, he either flicks them off — e.g., handing out Lindsey Graham’s phone number — or responds with tactical nukes. Yes, the latter has made Trump look like a hypersensitive Tweet-monger. But such pinpoint aggression also shows he’s comfortable sustaining a battle. And it strongly indicates he won’t be a calculating controversy-dodger in 2016. 
(6) Trump mixes big-picture opportunity with kitchen-table directness. For the latter: “If I win, we will not have to listen to the politicians who are losing the war on terrorism. We will keep America safe. And we will make America great again.” The takeover sketch also includes new suppliers and new customers: Trump can win 25% of the Black vote in 2016, one poll suggested. No national Republican ticket has done that since the 1950s.”

How to Select an American President: Tyranical Unpredictability

How to Select an American President: Tyranical Unpredictability: What Donald Trump doesn't get is that he is not a dictator operating a family-controlled enterprise. The US government works in a plura...

Tyranical Unpredictability

What Donald Trump doesn't get is that he is not a dictator operating a family-controlled enterprise. The US government works in a pluralistic democratic republic with a division of power. Trump acts like a tyrant when he "tweets" pompously as if he is a one-man band.

Attacking businesses, one by one, is ludicrous. Oppressively acting as if Trump can without checks and balances (he cannot) makes him an abuser of power. As a result, that makes him a tyrant.

Trump and many American citizens have issues about corporations outsourcing jobs and about dodging taxes, for instance. However, Trump is the pot calling the kettle black.

If he wants to make a difference, he needs to settle down and show discipline that he can produce legislation and rules with Congress that will incentivize businesses while also imposing disincentives for doing the wrong things. He hasn't stepped foot in The White House yet, and he is off to a destabilizing start.

“Trump’s unpredictable style unnerves corporate America 
By Drew Harwell and Rosalind S. Helderman December 6 at 8:49 PM 
The turbulence began Tuesday morning with one of President-elect Donald Trump’s signature tweets of wrath: a public jab at Boeing alleging that the cost of building Air Force One had spiraled out of control.”

Image from

Monday, December 5, 2016

How to Select an American President: What is optimal employment in the US?

How to Select an American President: What is optimal employment in the US?: With monthly reports about job creation and employment statistics that span political administrations, the data presents a consistent pictur...

What is optimal employment in the US?

With monthly reports about job creation and employment statistics that span political administrations, the data presents a consistent picture of the circumstances. However, many citizens and some experts believe that the data may not adequately describe and explain the quality of life in America by these measures alone.

The years beginning at the end of the George W. Bush administration and continuing during the first term of the Obama administration portray economic disaster and a slow recovery. The second term of the Obama administration has employment and the economy on a better track. However, is it the right path, and to where is it headed?

President-elect Trump won the election because he wants to "Make America Great Again," and that means that he doesn't believe that the present course is acceptable. Critics of the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports believing that many people have given up looking for work and are otherwise not counted in the potential labor pool.

Having a precise understanding of the situation is imperative to producing a sustainable economy from optimizing return on national resources. If we can't agree on simple things such as the number of people employed and unemployed, that is a nonstarter.

The US Nation is confronting a pivotal time in history in which leaders need to have an accurate understanding of the economic situation and a vision for a sustainable economy that ensures a good life for all in the absence of poverty. The questions for today's leadership is what their assessment? What is their vision? What is the way forward?

This topic deserves more discussion.

Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

How to Select an American President: Failed Parties and the Flawed Political System

How to Select an American President: Failed Parties and the Flawed Political System: News today is that Democratic Party members and leadership blame one another for their loss to Donald Trump. It could just as well have been...

Failed Parties and the Flawed Political System

News today is that Democratic Party members and leadership blame one another for their loss to Donald Trump. It could just as well have been about the Republican's loss to Democrats, yet it wasn't.

Clinton won the popular vote. Trump won the electorate. Republicans gained complete control of Congress and control of communities across the nation at the local level. The latter fact underscores that the Republicans may well have secured a mandate, even as Trump did not win the popularity.

The facts are that Democrats lost local elections which are the trench warfare. Success begins in a Democratic, pluralistic republic by winning hearts and minds locally.

Most communities in America are corporations which are staffed and managed by a combination of elected officials and professional managers with citizen oversight.

If one wants to improve the American system of government, it begins by how local citizens select and elect their leadership. The basic tasks fall on citizens:

1. Know your government organization, how it is structured and the work to be performed.

2. Know the job tasks of officials in government positions.

3. Know and understand the skill, knowledge, and experience necessary for elected officials to be successful in attending to the citizens' needs.

Independent from political party affiliation, do candidates and incumbents have the requisite resumes for their offices?

The next question is how do political parties recruit and nurture superior candidates for public office?

Montgomery, Ohio

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

How to Select an American President: Progressive Insurrectionist

How to Select an American President: Progressive Insurrectionist: Americans today are ostensibly divided into different camps. There are different ways to define and segregate the audiences. While I conside...

How to Select an American President: My Worst Day as an American

How to Select an American President: My Worst Day as an American: I can't get over it, and won't accept it. Donald Trump's behavior and history are so morally corrupt that he cannot be tolerated...

How to Select an American President: Renewing Manufacturing America

How to Select an American President: Renewing Manufacturing America: A part of President-elect Donald Trump's plan to "Make America Great Again" includes focussing on making domestic manufacturin...

Renewing Manufacturing America

A part of President-elect Donald Trump's plan to "Make America Great Again" includes focussing on making domestic manufacturing competitive. Increasing competitiveness results from several things:

1. Restraining costs
2. Sustaining best product quality
3. Ensuring and enforcing fair trade rules

The government is about the business of creating an optimal environment in which individuals and their corporations can thrive. The government is about optimizing return on national resources. It is also about developing national resources including people and natural resources.

The modern paradigm governing public and private performance is called "triple bottom-line." That is, aggregate performance is measured in three dimensions:

1. Economic responsibility
2. Social responsibility
3. Environmental responsibility

In America, economic performance is a product of public and private partnerships. All government and business enterprises are corporations that are governed by laws and regulations. A President of the United States is the executive leader of the federal government enterprise and can modify, retire, and replace and eliminate laws and regulations subject to Congressional approval.

Otherwise, a President leads the effort to manage the business rules that govern all enterprises. Business rules that are embodied in laws and regulations carry a cost. They may also provide incentives for what is determined to be strategically positive performance. They include constraints and punishment for deficient performance.

In America, there is regulated capitalism. Unrestrained capitalism would have the business and industrial corporations maximizing profits and maximizing markets at the expense of clean air and water, for instance. They may produce products that compromise safety. History shows that is true. Therefore, laws and regulations are necessary to mitigate errant performance that may not be regulated by consumers alone.

Other instances of the necessity for government intervention in capitalism include worker health and safety. It includes protection for workers and their right to organize and express their contracts collectively.

The structure of business rules extend into the global environment and include consideration for finance and banking as well as the environment and competitive working conditions.

The modern paradigm is to pursue sustainable economies from the bottom up. That is, the challenge for local community viability is to achieve the justification for their existence by demonstrating value-adding worth in the greater context. Local performance is based upon local economic systems and networks among public and private enterprises.

Manufacturing products that are superior in market performance begins with unique and exceptional design, engineering, and production as well as logistics and distribution, marketing and sales.

Manufacturing products includes a pyramid of goods and services, leading to the final assembly of parts into finished products.

In my lifecycle of work experiences, I have been engaged in nearly every type of enterprise including all types of manufacturing. I have learned the strategic importance of having robust domestic manufacturing capabilities for several reasons:

1. The manufacturing industry is a primary source for progressive capability development and upward mobile opportunity for individuals including entrepreneurs and workers.

2. Manufacturing is strategically essential to national security because it ensures domestic skill, knowledge, experience, proficiency and capacity to produce a hierarchy of advancing technologies.

3. American industrial policy has permitted the dangerous erosion of manufacturing capabilities that includes the loss of knowledge and skills essential to competitive performance throughout all levels of the manufacturing and production processes.

Renewing Manufacturing America is, therefore, a strategic imperative.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

How to Select an American President: Temperament vs Character

How to Select an American President: Temperament vs Character: Presidential historian, Doris Goodwin said to David Axelrod, "I think overcoming adversity is an extraordinarily important trait for a...

Temperament vs Character

Presidential historian, Doris Goodwin said to David Axelrod, "I think overcoming adversity is an extraordinarily important trait for a leader." She also described "the positive transformations some of our presidents underwent after being struck by tragedy -- FDR's polio made him feel more connected to people; Lincoln's bouts of depression made him more empathetic; Teddy Roosevelt's personal losses gave him needed perspective." Donald Trump had large financial losses that he overcame with help from the US tax code. Apparently, that counts.

In my new book, How to Select an American President by James George with James Rodger (c)2017, Archway Publishing, there is the consideration for presidential candidate behavior. Not being a psychologist, I defer to members of that profession for a certifiable profile of candidates, similar to what many corporations require when hiring high-level executives.

Goodwin is not a behavioral scientist either. What is the difference between "temperament" and "character?"

Temperament may be defined as the combination of mental, physical, and emotional traits of a person; natural predisposition. If one reviews President-elect Donald Trump's history of temperament, you will discover a consistent pattern of disruptive behavior that is often mitigated with intervention and assistance of powerful people to cover and absolve his wayward mistakes. You can verify that yourself and may have witnessed such behavior during the campaign.

What is character? Character is the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing. To understand the composition of such things: qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity, requires professional assessment.

"Character matters: Character dimensions’ impact on leader performance and outcomes 
Gerard Seijts 
Article (PDF Available) in Organizational Dynamics 44(1) · January 2015: DOI: 10.1016/j.orgdyn.2014.11.008 
In a recent commencement address at the Ivey Business School, Domenic Barton, the head of McKinsey Et Co.'s global consulting practice, said: "When we think about leadership we focus too much on what leaders do... and we don't spend enough time on who leaders are the character of leaders." Similarly, in a speech to Ivey students, Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, said that "... to restore trust in banks and in the broader financial system, global financial institutions need to rediscover their values... Employees need a sense of broader purpose, grounded in strong connections to their clients and their communities." Few among the hundreds of C-suite leaders and board directors with whom we have discussed this topic in focus groups sessions, conferences, and executive development programs over the last five years, would disagree with them."'_impact_on_leader_performance_and_outcomes

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Monday, November 28, 2016

How to Select an American President: Trump is a propagandist

How to Select an American President: Trump is a propagandist: When the US President and his government engage in propaganda, what does that mean? First, propaganda is information, especially of a bias...

Trump is a propagandist

When the US President and his government engage in propaganda, what does that mean?

First, propaganda is information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view. In this instance, Trump would like Americans to believe that he won the popular vote and the electoral vote. According to multiple news sources including the President-elect's tweets, he claims widespread voter fraud propelled Hillary Clinton into the popular vote lead. If that were the case, then why would he not want an investigation?

Here is an email message from the Huffington Post.

"THE AFTERMATH OF DONALD TRUMP'S FALSE POPULAR VOTE CLAIMS The president-elect tweeted Sunday that "millions of people who voted illegally" were the reason Hillary Clinton won the popular vote after responding to a recount push in three states. The tweet appears to be based in a stat circulating from Infowars. And here's how the media plays into tweets like this. [Michael Calderone, HuffPost]"

The headline here is not just about the accuracy of the vote count. If Trump pressed for an accurate count amid allegations of voter fraud, then that would be warranted. Instead, he made a wild claim without any basis in fact. That is propaganda.

Authoritarian, tyrannical leaders employ propaganda. Is history making a repeat here?

"Propaganda in Nazi Germany 

Goebbels, Hitler's chief propagandist 
Goebbels sought to Nazify the whole of German culture, wiping away what Hitler saw as the ‘decadence’ of 1920s Weimar Germany, painting instead a picture of a Germany with traditional values and with Hitler as the beloved F├╝hrer. 
The promotion of Nazi racial policy was at the very centre of Goebbels’s message.
The re-writing of school books and the production of antisemitic books, films and exhibitions supported this policy. 
In 1929, Hitler chose Josef Goebbels as his Minister of Propaganda. Goebbels developed extremely successful campaigns using simple slogans and images repeated over and again in order to win public support for the party. The Nazis spent huge sums on newspapers, leaflets and poster campaigns. 
Once the Nazis came to power Goebbels developed the Nazi’s use of propaganda to even greater effect. He orchestrated large political military ‘rallies’ to build support. These were vast, highly organised events with banners and marching bands. Using his own skills of oratory Hitler appealed to the patriotism of the German people. 
Mass media 
Control of the mass media was at the heart of Goebbels plan as he developed the cult of personality around Hitler. The rallies and Hitler’s speeches were broadcast on radio, purchased very cheaply as they were produced by the state."

Was the election rigged?

First to introduce the idea that the American election system is rigged was President-elect, Donald Trump. That happened when he believed that he might lose.

Pundits and politicians mostly scoffed at the notion of large-scale voter fraud because the facts do not support those accusations. Another variable became apparent when WikiLeaks introduced private emails that they allegedly obtained through Russian sources. US Government Investigators confirmed that indications pointed to efforts by the Russians and sources close to Vladimir Putin to interfere in the American election process.

How were they doing that? First, evidence now shows that there was a concerted "fake news" campaign directed to undermine Hillary Clinton. Other, less conspicuous indicators lay in the cyber world where some computer experts believe that some outside source attempted to manipulate election results at voting locations in the US.

If any political party, elected official, or voters had any indication about the following, the proper action would be to call law enforcement and initiate legal action:

1. Donald Trump alleged widespread voter fraud.

2. Hillary Clinton alleged Russian interference in collaboration with WikiLeaks.

3. Both now claim possible manipulation of results and voter fraud.

Since Hillary Clinton conceded the election to Donald Trump, there are new data and evidence that characterize the process and cast doubt about the outcome.

1. The national vote tabulations indicate that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by a significant margin.

2. Indications in some states where the vote count are statistically close point to possible irregularities.

President-elect Trump's response is mixed, claiming that he disputes the national tabulation and claims to be the victor of the popular vote. Why does it matter? It matters because a big win in the popular vote may constitute a mandate for Trump policies that he otherwise would not have.

Trump claims that the national count is inaccurate. If so, then he should call for a recount. He doesn't because he has already won the electoral college vote, and that is definitive.

However, if there is fraud, manipulation, or inaccuracies in competitive states, then a recount is warranted. Before moving on, part of the American process is to get the count correct.

It isn't so much a question about rigging as it is about getting an accurate count of the votes. Is there evidence of wrong-doing?

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Progressive Insurrectionist

Americans today are ostensibly divided into different camps. There are different ways to define and segregate the audiences. While I consider the marketing plan for my new book, How to Select an American President by James George with James Rodger (c) 2017, Archway Publishing, it is necessary to gain understanding about who will be most inclined to read it.

I wrote the book as objectively as I could. However, I am a progressive liberal by known definitions.

Author, David Sirota wrote in the Huffington Post saying that being progressive and being liberal are two different things.
"The answer, in my opinion, is no - there is a fundamental difference when it comes to core economic issues. It seems to me that traditional “liberals” in our current parlance are those who focus on using taxpayer money to help better society. A “progressive” are those who focus on using government power to make large institutions play by a set of rules."
Following that distinction, yes, I believe that investing taxpayer money to improve society is acceptable to some extent. I also believe that government must regulate society to ensure that public and private corporations operate by the rule of law and abide by legislated rules.

Therefore, I wrote my book for people who are aligned with those ideas.

Who are they?

Most likely, my audience includes everyone who voted for Hillary Clinton for President and those who are progressive insurrectionists. It could also include conservative insurrectionists to the extent that both want to address the need for changes and improvements in the American Political System. Everything is on the table from fixing parts of it to defenestration.

Using the word "insurrection." is halting because the definition includes a range of possibilities: rebellion, revolt, uprising, mutiny, revolution, insurgency, riot, sedition, and subversion. To be clear, I believe that citizens have every right to criticize and pushback against the major political parties. Both the Democratic and Republican Parties have failed to perform acceptably to produce superior candidates for President. Furthermore, there is a systemic flaw common to both sides about how parties and their constituents evaluate all candidates for elected offices.

As an author and independent journalist, I am not attacking my government or seeking to subvert or overthrow it, not even close. My focus is on the performance of political parties and the behavior of citizen voters where it is essential to make improvements in the process and to develop new standards for acceptable operation.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Importance of Character

Individual character is the mental and moral qualities that define a person. When evaluating candidates for public office, understanding an individual's character is a starting position. Character assessment is a challenging task for voters in a democratic, pluralistic republic. What makes it so?

By way of comparison, when corporations embark upon the task of recruiting and filling management positions, the initiative is supported by human resources professionals. For significant management positions, a corporation may hire a psychologist to help perform an assessment that results in a profile.

The VIA Institute on Character describes "personality" as the total of our psychological makeup and how we uniquely express ourselves in the world. It is the pattern of emotional qualities, behaviors, thoughts, feelings, attitudes and habits that make us who we are. But for many of us, it can be difficult to describe our personality.

When citizen-voters evaluate candidates for public office, what do they have to go on? Otherwise, what are the sources of evidence and facts that define the prospective candidate?

A candidate's resume is the starting position. What have they accomplished in their lifecycle to date? Is there sufficient evidence to support the claims? Does the candidate have references who can provide relevant insight about them? What is relevant?

It may seem obvious, but candidates for public office should not have a legacy of financial and legal difficulties that might compromise their integrity in their position. A candidate should have a clean record. They should not have conflicts of interest. Trusted and certified sources make those determinations and declarations.

What is the process in the American political system that supports voters and ensures candidate viability and integrity?

This is a new avenue for research and evaluation.

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

How to Select an American President: What purpose seniority in government?

How to Select an American President: What purpose seniority in government?: Donald Trump wants to "drain the swamp" in Washington. What does he mean by that? Change the leadership Abandon traditions De...

What purpose seniority in government?

Donald Trump wants to "drain the swamp" in Washington. What does he mean by that?
  1. Change the leadership
  2. Abandon traditions
  3. Defenestrate obsolescence
  4. Introduce radically improved systems and solutions
Those are things that executives might intend to do. In the American political system that is a product of the U.S. Constitution governed by laws and regulations, making change begins by understanding the capacity to do so. Constraints include the debt and deficit. Other constraints include time and ability to engineer systems and solutions that manifest in laws, regulations, and processes including enabling people and technologies.

Stacked alongside legacy obligations from which priorities are determined, change and improvement are a discretionary investment.

The starting position for the Trump government includes:
  • Deficiently prepared cabinet
  • Misaligned Executive Branch and Congress
  • Deficient and controversial popular mandate
  • Inexperienced and unknowledgeable President
Underlying this chaotic starting position is a bureaucracy that is staffed by a seniority system with certain rules. The seniority system is also prevalent in Congress. Seniority implies higher rank based on having served longer. Often, that condition portends that the incumbents are more knowledgeable and experienced about how that system works. Of course, there are downsides because when there is an insufficient movement among the senior incumbents, the system stifles upward mobility and progress.

President Trump declared that he wants term limits in Congress, for instance. That is his shot at seniority. It is also a shot at the dynamics that ensure continuity in the performance of government.

The American political system that is our government is not something that a newbie President should be tinkering with lightly.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

How to Select an American President: My Worst Day as an American

How to Select an American President: My Worst Day as an American: I can't get over it, and won't accept it. Donald Trump's behavior and history are so morally corrupt that he cannot be tolerated...

My Worst Day as an American

I can't get over it, and won't accept it. Donald Trump's behavior and history are so morally corrupt that he cannot be tolerated as the President of the United States no matter how the votes are counted. The outcome proves some things.
  • The process of selecting candidates for president is catastrophically flawed and obsolete. 
  • Political parties that govern the process of candidate selection are ineffective and obsolete.
  • There are no standards for evaluating candidates.
  • There is little understanding about the jobs that are sought by candidates by the voters who must evaluate candidates.
Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Ignorance about our government and process that is essential to selecting and electing superior candidates is without excuse.

The American electorate may not be more ignorant than the past. However, the electorate is not keeping pace with what is needed to select and elect excellent candidates for public office intelligently.

What can be done about it?

Legally, we are stuck with Trump at least for four years. His moral integrity as a person and role model cannot be improved.

We the People can demand improvement from both political parties. We must audit their performance, their systems, and leadership from bottom to top. We must become better educated about what is the need to address the considerable needs of the nation. We must select and elect candidates whose personal constitution aligns with our highest ideals.

I am going to do something about it.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

How to Select an American President: Conspicoulously absent

How to Select an American President: Conspicoulously absent: While it is clear that the Republican Party is hostage to Donald Trump and a separate band of right-wing conservatives, the Democratic Party...

Conspicoulously absent

While it is clear that the Republican Party is hostage to Donald Trump and a separate band of right-wing conservatives, the Democratic Party is in the same bad shape. What they have in common is brand erosion. That is, Republicans have lost the middle ground.

Democrats have a sharp edge among the creative left wing. However, they "manned it" with Bernie instead of Elizabeth Warren. Both are too old for the next move. The party is stuck with old-guard Hillary and all of her personal baggage.

Hillary needs African Americans and Latinos to win, as well as millennial voters. Where is the appeal?

Michelle and Barrack Obama have made an effort for Hillary. You can sense Michelle's heart is in it, but Barack is more passive. Where are those Latino leaders who were present early in the campaign?

Joaquin and Julian Castro could have made a big difference. Where did they go? They stayed home because Hillary left them on the curb.

Where is Lujan Grisham, US Representative from New Mexico and Leticia Van de Putte from Texas?

The real trouble is that most of the up and coming Latinos are Republicans and not Democrats.

Where is Oprah? She is protecting her nest egg and reputation.

Can't leave anyone behind

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Affordable Health Care for all Americans

Who believes that it is a national imperative to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable care? Do Republicans and Democrats believe it? If they do, that should be included in their party platforms and their candidates' manifestos. Let's see.

From reviewing Donald Trump, his view parallels that of the GOP in believing that ensuring all Americans with affordable care is too expensive. He believes that the free market approach is best. That is the more competition among health care insurance providers the lower the cost for all. He believes that insurance should be tax deductible.  He appreciates the Medicare model and wants to protect and expand it. He believes that the Affordable Care Act is a deficient law and that it should be rescinded. The question for him, and for the GOP remains, how will you address the 30 million Americans who could not afford health insurance? What is your legislative solution?

Hillary Clinton has studied the need and problems for many years. Analysis of her concerns seems to segregate the prescription drug cost component from medical services. She believes that children come first and that they should never be without health care. She believes that health provisions should not be up to insurance companies. She believes that health care should be a legislative mandate to employers and individuals such that everyone participates according to their means. She favors a managed-competition model. As it is, Obamacare costs appear to be increasing, and health care in America is deficient when compared with best-in-the-world models. What is your legislative solution?

Donald Trump on Health Care: 
  • The whole of ObamaCare was a fraud. (Oct 2016)
  • Educate public on value of comprehensive vaccinations. (Oct 2016)
  • Lack of mental healthcare is greatest tragedy today. (Oct 2016)
  • Focus on greatest bang for the buck, not public health. (Oct 2016)
  • Let vets see private doctors or VA: that's not privatization. (Sep 2016)
  • Create V.A. mental health division to reduce veteran suicide. (Sep 2016)
  • Keep pre-existing condition coverage; not individual mandate. (Feb 2016)
  • Removing cross-state barriers solves many insurance issues. (Feb 2016)
  • Taking care of poor sick people isn't single-payer. (Feb 2016)
  • Insurance companies love a lack of competition. (Nov 2015)
  • Stockpile treatments against future pandemics & bioterrorism. (Sep 2015)
  • Ebola virus in America is Obama's fault. (Sep 2015)
  • I'm for vaccines, but in smaller quantities to avoid autism. (Sep 2015)
  • The insurance companies have total control over politicians. (Aug 2015)
  • Don't cut Medicare; grow the economy to keep benefits. (Jun 2015)
  • Make health insurance premiums tax-deductible. (Mar 2015)
  • Save Medicare & Medicaid without cutting them to the bone. (Jan 2015)
  • Increase insurance competition across state lines. (Dec 2011)
  • 1988: Flew sick kids cross-country on his private jet. (Apr 2010)
  • We must have universal health care. (Jul 2000)
  • ObamaCare
  • ObamaCare will never work; repeal it and replace it. (Oct 2016)
  • Chief Justice Roberts: a disaster who gave us ObamaCare. (Feb 2016)
  • Replace Obamacare with Health Savings Accounts. (Oct 2015)
  • We didn't have a free market before ObamaCare. (Jun 2015)
  • ObamaCare is a catastrophe that must be repealed & replaced. (Jun 2015)
  • ObamaCare deductibles are so high that it's useless. (Jun 2015)
  • Kill ObamaCare before it becomes a trillion-ton weight. (Dec 2011)

Hillary Clinton on Health Care: 
  • Early diagnosis and intervention for mental illness. (Oct 2016)
  • Assisted suicide acceptable with appropriate safeguards. (Jun 2016)
  • Medicare-for-all is not economically feasible. (Feb 2016)
  • No easy answer on end-of-life; but open to listening. (Feb 2016)
  • The VA has failed our veterans & needs to be revamped. (Nov 2015)
  • The science is clear: vaccines work. (Feb 2015)
  • Ebola won't stay confined; put resources into Africa. (Oct 2014)
  • Don’t legitimize end-of-life decision, but ok to help decide. (Apr 2008)
  • Decrease generic drug costs for developing countries. (Apr 2008)
  • Taxpayers pay for drug R&D, not drug companies. (Jan 2008)
  • Need a health care system that manages chronic diseases. (Jan 2008)
  • Universal health care is a core Democratic principle. (Jan 2008)
  • Pledges to support $50B for AIDS relief in US and world. (Dec 2007)
  • Worked on education & welfare in Arkansas but not healthcare. (Oct 2007)
  • No parent should be told ‘no’ for healthcare for their kids. (Sep 2007)
  • Local smoking bans ok, but no national ban. (Sep 2007)
  • Outcry if AIDS were leading disease of young whites. (Jun 2007)
  • Electronic medical records save $120 billion in health care. (Jun 2007)
  • Insurers must fund prevention without preexisting conditions. (Mar 2007)
  • Require electronic medical record for all federal healthcare. (Mar 2007)
  • Increase America’s commitment against Global AIDS. (Nov 2006)
  • FDA should compare drug effectiveness--not just safety. (Oct 2006)
  • Supply more medical needs of families, & insure all children. (Jun 2006)
  • Healthcare system plagued with underuse, overuse, and abuse. (Oct 2005)
  • Fought for pediatric rule: new drugs tested for child safety. (Oct 2005)
  • Low-tech low-cost water treatment for developing world. (Nov 2003)
  • Millions uninsured is source of America's healthcare crisis. (Nov 2003)
  • Recommended "managed competition"; not single-payer system. (Nov 2003)
  • Fund teaching hospitals federally because market fails. (Sep 2000)
  • Regulate tobacco; fine of $3000 for every underage smoker. (Apr 2000)
  • Be prepared with defenses against infectious disease. (Oct 1999)
  • Medicare should be strengthened today. (Sep 1999)
  • GOP overwhelmed by her health reform knowledge. (Jun 1995)
  • $100B to get started on healthcare reform. (Jun 1994)
  • Smaller steps to progress on health care. (Jan 2000)
  • 1990s HillaryCare
  • Hillary appointed 8 days after inauguration to health cmte. (Oct 2007)
  • A plan is necessary; but consensus is more necessary. (Sep 2007)
  • 1993:Ambitious role plagued from start by secrecy complaints. (Jun 2007)
  • 1990s plan failed after big pharma & insurance worked on it. (Apr 2007)
  • 1990s healthcare reforms laid groundwork for today’s reforms. (Mar 2007)
  • Still scarred from 1990s reform, but now doing it better. (Feb 2007)
  • 1997: Helped found State Children’s Health Insurance Program. (Dec 2006)
  • More people read my health plan abroad than in the US. (Nov 2005)
  • 1993 health plan initially praised as moderate & workable. (Jun 2004)
  • 1990s reform called “secretive” but had 600 in working group. (Nov 2003)
  • When last Republican backed out, HillaryCare died. (Nov 2003)
  • Despite failure, glad she tried system-wide reform. (Nov 2003)
  • 1994 "Harry & Louise" ads exploited consumer fears. (Nov 2003)
  • 1990s plan based on employer mandate. (Feb 2003)
  • Learned lessons on health care; but hasn’t given up goal. (Aug 2000)
  • 1979: Developed program to deliver rural healthcare. (Aug 1999)
  • OpEd: 1993 debate was highest level ever reached. (Jun 1997)
  • 1994: can't fix just part of problem; it's all or nothing. (Jan 1997)
  • 2008 HillaryCare
  • 2006: If I can't do universal coverage, why run? (Aug 2009)
  • AdWatch: Got health insurance for six million kids. (Mar 2008)
  • Include everyone, to avoid cherry-picking and its hidden tax. (Feb 2008)
  • Healthcare without mandate is like voluntary Social Security. (Feb 2008)
  • Many uninsured are young & don’t think they need coverage. (Feb 2008)
  • Make it illegal to discriminate against sick people. (Feb 2008)
  • Tired of health insurance companies deciding who live or die. (Feb 2008)
  • Universal health care will not work if it is voluntary. (Feb 2008)
  • Mandate insurance AND make it affordable for all. (Jan 2008)
  • Health care tax credit ensures affordability. (Nov 2007)
  • Insurance companies cannot deny people coverage. (Oct 2007)
  • Condemns insurers as motivated by greed. (Oct 2007)
  • American Health Choices Plan: keep yours or pick Congress’. (Sep 2007)
  • Pay for health plan by $52B tax repeal & $77B efficiencies. (Sep 2007)
  • Mandated responsibility by individuals, industry & employers. (Sep 2007)
  • Since 1993, new consensus developed on need for healthcare. (Sep 2007)
  • Include insurance industry in discussions, but rein them in. (Sep 2007)
  • Universal health care coverage by the end of my second term. (Feb 2007)
  • I have the expertise to achieve universal healthcare for all. (Feb 2007)
  • We need a uniquely American solution to health care. (Oct 2006)
  • ObamaCare
  • ObamaCare benefits the insured as well as the uninsured. (Oct 2016)
  • I'll fix ObamaCare; they'll repeal it. (Oct 2016)
  • OpEd: Settling for ObamaCare abandons single-payer. (Jun 2016)
  • Go from 90% coverage under ObamaCare to 100% coverage. (Feb 2016)
  • We worked since Harry Truman to pass healthcare; defend it. (Jan 2016)
  • The Affordable Care Act has had successes. (Dec 2015)
  • States that didn't extend Medicaid drive up costs still. (Dec 2015)
  • Non-employer system better; but don't turn back ObamaCare. (Mar 2014)
  • 2007: recast 1990s disaster as experience to make it happen. (Jan 2010)
  • We need a movement to get healthcare done this time. (Aug 2009)

Health Care, just for fun

Monday, October 31, 2016

How to Select an American President: American democracy at stake

How to Select an American President: American democracy at stake: It is not an exaggeration to declare that the American political system has reached a point of entropy. The signs have been apparent for yea...

American democracy at stake

It is not an exaggeration to declare that the American political system has reached a point of entropy. The signs have been apparent for years. Consider recent history.

American foreign policy has been adrift since WWII. While the American spirit and values are to advance democracy wherever possible, the nation's capacity is constrained. It is easy to take on more than is possible to achieve. Prioritizing and making strategic decisions is required of responsible government.

Forms of governments that are misaligned with that of a pluralistic democratic republic such as America are defined as enemies and frenemies. That is, governments that declare war on America are overt enemies. Governments that coexist through trading partnerships may compromise for economic convenience and are called frenemies. On the one hand, governments in the Middle East that are the source of essential fossil fuels have been a strategic necessity. American presence there has been tolerated as Americans tolerate them. However, neither party wholly accepts the other because foundational conflicts remain.

In the late 1940s, with Elanor Roosevelt's leadership, the United Nations advanced the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That declaration is intended to be a foundation upon which governments can declare their alignment. By signing the declaration, governments agree to protect individual human rights. Some signees have abridged or otherwise violated the resolution. However, enforcement or policing of abuses have but two consequences: 1. diplomatic, and 2. war. Economic sanctions are a part of the diplomatic tools. Implementing them requires universal discipline and compliance among all parties, and therein lies much complication.

Among American foreign policy shortcomings include (among others):
  • Russia
  • China
  • North Korea
  • Viet Nam
  • Iraq
  • Afghanistan
  • Korea
  • Syria
  • Iran
  • Mexico
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Israel
Iraq is one of the most visible American foreign policy disasters because attacking Iraq under false pretenses caused precipitous consequences:

  • Cost of war nearly destroyed the American economy and accrued debt
  • Simultaneous irresponsible tax policies exacerbated the debt and deficit problem

Those catastrophic failures were created by a Republican-led administration that was corrupted by influence from the military industrial complex whose leaders became members of the Bush administration, including Vice President, Dick Cheney.

With the nation on its financial knees at the start of the Obama administration, emergency action was necessary to restore stability. That happened with President Obama's leadership and a Democratic-led Congress.

Republican leaders in Congress declared war on the Obama administration. While voters elected Obama to two terms, they ousted the Democratic leadership in Congress. The consequence has been the dysfunctional government that has deteriorated in effectiveness ever since.

Political parties, whose processes of vetting and advancing candidates are woefully flawed, out of date and without standards, have produced inadequate and controversial candidates. If that were not enough, now a member of the executive branch has violated the Hatch Act to engage the politics with the intent to affect the outcome.

The present situation is a dire state.

America's enemies include state actors and terrorists which remain at large and active while the American political system is melting down with no resolution in sight. In fact, one might see insurrection on the horizon regardless of the outcome.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

How to Select an American President: America, can we call a mistrial?

How to Select an American President: America, can we call a mistrial?: Donald Trump alleged that the American political system is rigged. Now that the FBI is politically manipulating the process, maybe it is. Ca...

America, can we call a mistrial?

Donald Trump alleged that the American political system is rigged. Now that the FBI is politically manipulating the process, maybe it is. Can We the People call it a mistrial? It is surely a miscarriage of the election process.

No matter what happens, can citizens appeal to the US Supreme Court that this entire scheme that resulted in the production of flawed candidates is a "do-over?"

How can Americans restore more acceptable choices? Can we replace Clinton with Bernie or Joe? Can Trump be replaced with Mitt or Jeb? How do we get out of this mess before it becomes worse still?

There's a feeling in the country that there is anger in the land.

FabilusMaximus Image

Friday, October 28, 2016

How to Select an American President: Vote for a functioning government

How to Select an American President: Vote for a functioning government: Members of the Republican Party continues to fight among themselves for leadership and direction. Their nominee for president is flawed in c...

Vote for a functioning government

Members of the Republican Party continue to fight among themselves for leadership and direction. Their nominee for president is flawed in character and has racked up sufficient evidence that indicates he is misaligned with Democratic principles. He was unvetted and is a dangerous choice.

As for Congress, it is imperative that voters elect qualified members of the House and Senate who are committed to supporting the leadership and direction of the President. If the choice for President is Mrs. Clinton, then, voters must produce a Congress that will render bipartisan support. If congressional candidates indicate that they will oppose the democratically elected President, then they should not be elected to office. The reason being that Congress will continue to perform with dysfunction in the absence of cohesive and supportive members.

Of the choices before the nation today, Democrats offer a more functioning alternative than do Republicans.

It can be argued that both parties have failed to produce the best possible candidates. However, Americans need continuity in governance and higher functionality. The best choice is Democrat.

Needed are representatives who are committed to the work of the people.

Michael Mann is an entrepreneur and instigator behind an initiative called the Better Government Party. The third-party may never take off, but the list of their ambitions and ideas is worthy of consideration.

Better Government Party is formed with independent consensus builders and Libertarians, with disenfranchised Republicans and Democrats adopted from congress.
It is a coalition meant to overthrow status quo of corruption, waste, and ineffectiveness.
  • Agrees to forget past political differences 
  • Fiercely anti government corruption 
  • Believes in healthcare for all US citizens
  •  Believes in the best education for all US citizens 
  •  Believes in very strong environmental protection
  •  Believes in an extremely simplistic tax structure like a flat tax or value added tax
  • Believes in free market economics
  • Believes in promoting pure American ideals globally – like human rights, political freedom, free speech, and environmentalism
  • Better Government Party believes in more and better intelligence infrastructure and more special forces, with less overt warfare
  • Better Government Party is fiercely antiterrorism (defined as any person or group who would support the death of noncombatant innocents – ie affiliated with any suicide bombing group for example – or most groups that define themselves as “jihadists”, “white supremacists”, “skinheads”, “racists”, etc.)
  • Better Government Party is highly Internet centric.
  • Believes in electronic government
  • Real time participatory community
  • Believes in propping up the poorest and weakest citizens
  • Believes government should promote nonprofit work and volunteerism
  • Does not believe in subsidies for special interest groups – other than considerations for charities helping the sick and poor, those which government has failed to provide
  • Believes in advancement only by merit
  • Does not believe in “pork” or “horsetrading”
  • Does not believe in educational quotas, affirmative action, or the 8a program
  • Believes in transparency in government
  • Embraces all relevant technology to evolve the political model
  • Believes in a line item veto
  • Does not believe in a nonmarket minimum wage
  • Believes in job training not welfare
  • Believes in teaching people to fish but not fishing for them, and believes the government should do same
  • Believes in fair trade
  • Believes in much higher standards for the press
  • Believes in much higher standards for Hollywood
  • Believes low taxes are good for rich and poor alike by encouraging additional investment of capital that will cycle through the economy – enhancing opportunity for all and perpetually raising the GDP, whereas raising taxes generally has the opposite effect
  • Believes in facts and statistics as opposed to political rhetoric
  • Believes teachers should be paid more than politicians or businesspeople if they live up to the highest standards
  • Believes companies who hire illegal aliens should be prosecuted for illegally harming the earnings power and security of American families
  • Better Government Party represents only common people; corporate interests just to the extent they reflect the interests of common people
  • All members stick to strict ethical guidelines as rolemodels and representatives of the common people
  • Concerned about the opinions of the average American taxpayers and encourages real time townhall and online townhall feedback.
  • The key is that Better Government Party constituency is Americans whose opinions count, and they are paying their fair share to support the success of the union.
  • The opinions of companies, lobbyists, and foreign countries or citizens do not count except to the extent it happens to align with the interests of average Americans.
  • Believes in “legal” immigration exclusively, for that matter everything else qualified as “legal” and nothing else “illegal” – do not support or condone the anarchy of illegal immigration
  • Believe immigration problems can be solved with government process reform (fix INS and ICE) and passage of new laws that enable more legal immigration and deal with existing illegals
  • Better Government Party specifically works against the interests of groups they identify as rich corrupt industries and lobbyists. While tobacco, alcohol, Hollywood, gun dealers, etc. may have legal products there is certainly nothing illegal about working against their interests in congress and in promotional arenas as First Amendment expression on behalf of the interests of common Americans
  • Better Government Party believes in international coalition building and evolving crosscultural communications