Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

I just finished Season 5 of House of Cards.

I wasn’t as taken with 5 as the previous 4.

I like “big reveals,” but I think subterfuge can be abused and that’s not fair to the audience.

With that said, I do think there are two new characters that are particularly intriguing, however:  Jane Davis and Mark Usher.

Now, I don’t like the way they were introduced — here are two major, major political power brokers that the Underwoods had never heard of… that seems unrealistic to me.

However, each are intriguing… and their relationship is intriguing… because, unlike the blatant world of D.C. politics, they seem not to be seeking the spotlight.  Instead, they are operating “in the shadows”… true puppet-masters.

You know what I think?  I think they’re ALIENS.  They are too mysterious.  Too subtle.  Too all-knowing.  They really, truly seem to care not for material wealth, but rather for completely altruistic, humanitarian goals.  Almost as if they know better… as if they are from the future… or from an alien race… or both!

Another ground-breaking series, Star Trek, had to deal with these kinds of story arcs, too.  They invented the “Prime Directive,” essentially:

“A guiding principle of the United Federation of Planets prohibiting the protagonists from interfering with the internal development of alien civilizations.  …  This conceptual law applies particularly to civilizations which are below a certain threshold of technological, scientific and cultural development; preventing starship crews from using their superior technology to impose their own values or ideals on them.”  (Source:  Wikipedia)

Sure, Captain Kirk may not have ever stepped over the line with the Prime Directive, but you can damn well be sure, in the name of entertainment, he stepped right up to the line several times.  Just like Jane and Mark have been doing.

Now, I know you may say that Star Trek had to come up with the Prime Directive because, after all, the entire show was all about aliens, i.e., space ships and space outfits, five year mission, seeking out new life and new civilizations, boldly going where no [man] has gone before, etc., etc.

But — using Kellyanne Conway logic — I think that misses the point, because there now what appears to be ALIENS on House of Cards!

So you’ve heard the proof here first.  I now can’t wait for Season 6… and to hear Jane and Mark say:  “Two to beam up, get us out of here now!

;)

For some reason, I feel compelled to share an email thread I’m having with a friend.  It might represent the birth of a new political party… The Moderate Party.

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From: Royal Farros
To: Mark
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 110:05 PM
Subject: From Royal Farros… re: WTF…

Hey, Mark! Hope all is great, it’s Royal Farros, it’s been a long time!

I just read about your WTF and the following quote:

          “We can’t just startup and be like, ‘Hi, we’re a new party and we’re going to run all these people for office.’

Years ago I would have agreed with you. But I’m not so sure now. I wouldn’t say I’m a political guy… but I am a responsible citizen, follow issues, and vote. I was a lifelong republican… because when I grew up, for lack of a better way to say it, that was the “business” party… the party that was fiscally responsible.

Hasn’t seemed that way for a few decades, though. In fact, I got sick and tired of extremist hijacking the political agenda… for both parties.

I wish there was a party for me… fiscally conservative and socially liberal. There isn’t, so I “unaffiliated” in 2016.

I was blown away to find out that, as of 2016, the largest political party was neither republican or democrat but — as I’m sure you know — unaffiliated… by a wide (and widening) margin.

So, maybe there’s a party for me… call it the “moderate” party… which is where, I believe, the majority of Americans stand. It just needs to be organized. Maybe you *can* just startup a party?

I may be way off base here, just sharing some non-expert thoughts.

Best–

–Royal.

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From: Mark
To: Royal Farros
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 10:36 PM
Subject: Re: From Royal Farros… re: WTF…

Thx for the note.

Youre saying dont bother with dem party. Start a new one?

Sent from my iPad

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From: Royal Farros
To: Mark
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 11:33 PM
Subject: Re: From Royal Farros… re: WTF…

Mark–

Always amazing to me when a small, hot, killer start-up gets acquired by a big, lumbering giant. The small company always believes it’s going to somehow change the big company. But that never happens. Inevitably the small company gets chewed up in the machinery.

So, yes, I think:

* It would be easier to start a new party… than to try to deal with the “politics” — and I mean that quite literally — of changing one or both parties.

* Technology has disrupted just about every industry out there… and in 2016, add “politics” to that list. Proof? The Dems with a massive war chest, a massive infrastructure, massive mindshare, and a supposed massive lead… couldn’t beat a blowhard with a Twitter account.

* People — especially young people (yikes! did I just say that?) — are tired of the same old crap… on both sides of the isle. I heard tonight that a big Republican is becoming (or threatening to become) unaffiliated. I suspect a lot of moderate politicians don’t really like aligning themselves with the loonies in their parties. Said even more strongly, there probably are a lot of moderate Democrats and Republicans that share more core values with each other than the extremist in their parties. All of this means that a new moderate party would probably have a fair number of qualified incumbents from both sides of the isle signing up — bringing with them a ready-built voter base.

The iParty. ;)

–Royal.

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Trump often ridiculed Obama for playing golf and even went as far as saying that if he became president he was “not going to have time to go play golf.”

This chart from BusinessInsider shows why it’s difficult to take anything Trump says seriously:

TrumpGolf

Forget about yet another false statement, President Trump spent almost 20% of his first 100 days playing golf?  Really?  Nothing better to do?

 

 

 

I like celebrity gossip.  But I don’t like celebrities that are knuckleheads and waste my time… I simply don’t listen or read anything about them.  I “vote” by turning them off.

Kanye West is a good example.  West doesn’t have any talent in my opinion… nor does he have anything cogent to say.  And whether you like or dislike Taylor Swift, West was simply a bully to the young girl several years back at the Grammys.  Therefore, I choose to live a “Kanye West-free” life.

Meryl Streep — probably THE MOST IMPORTANT ACTRESS OF OUR TIME — tee’d off on President-Elect Trump at the Golden Globes the other night.

Even if biased, she did so professionally… tastefully… and effectively.

All the news headlines the next day were about Trump’s tweets in response.

Knowing (dreading?) what I’d see, I almost choose not to look at these stories…

… and then it hit me smack in the face that I — literally — almost relegated the future President of the United States of America to buffoon status!

How can you ignore the President of the United States of America?  You can’t.

So I looked at what he wrote.

It was worse than I could even imagine.

Will someone tell Trump that HE WON… HE’S PRESIDENT… and he doesn’t have to keep acting like an idiot?

He could have taken the high road, something like:

          “I apologize to Ms. Streep if there are things I am doing that she may not agree with.  It is certainly her right as an American citizen to voice her concerns.  She is a wonderful actress.  I only hope at the end of my term America will be better off than it is today and that history will remember me similarly.  I appreciate being given a chance.”

THAT would have blown people away… because THAT is the REASONABLE response from a person that doesn’t have to immaturely squabble and bicker… because THAT person already occupies THE HIGHEST SEAT IN THE LAND.

You’re already President, President-Elect Trump, PLEASE START ACTING LIKE IT!

I was fortunate enough to spend a weekend with Warren Buffett a few years ago.  On the golf course, it was incredibly surreal having Warren (and Bill Gates) cheering on an impossible putt that I almost dropped.  But that is a story for another time.

Spending any time with Warren, one quickly learns he’s an eminently practical person… he just the type of guy that exudes common sense.

So it’s absolutely no surprise to me that Warren would know how to solve the debt crisis in 5 minutes.

And, it’s no surprise that I would completely and utterly agree with his plan.

Below is an email that everyone is forwarding to everyone… it’s not long and worth reading all the way through… and probably worth pounding our fists on the table for as well!

—————————————————–

The Way It Is Now

Salary of retired US Presidents .. . . . .. . . . . .. . ……….$180,000 FOR LIFE

Salary of retired House/Senate members .. . . . .. . . . $174,000 FOR LIFE

Salary of retired Speaker of the House .. . . . .. . . . . . .$223,500 FOR LIFE

Salary of retired Majority / Minority Leaders . . .. . . . $193,400 FOR LIFE

Average Salary of a teacher . . .. . . . .. . . . . .. .. . . . . . .$40,065

Average Salary of a deployed Soldier . . .. . . .. . . . . . . $38,000

I think we found where the cuts should be made!

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling: “I could end the deficit in five minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election”.

The 26th Amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only three months and eight days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971 – before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc. Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven ( 7 ) took one ( 1 ) year or less to become the law of the land – all because of public pressure. Warren Buffett is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise. In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.

The BUFFETT Rule – THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!

Congressional Reform Act of 2017

1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they’re out of office.

2. Congress ( past, present, & future ) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 3/1/17. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women. Congress made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and go back to work.

Donald J. Trump is the 45th President of the United States.

I’d love to know what the odds of Trump winning were from his very first presidential rally… one I remember like it was yesterday… the one where Trump bragged about “thousands and thousands of supporters” in attendance… but most media reports pegged at barely a hundred or so of allegedly paid participants.

The odds had to be astronomical.

My take is the American people voted for N-ABC… Not Another Bush or Clinton.  People were — are — simply fed up with politicians being, well, politicians.

I get that in spades.

The good news is we get an outsider that has been both a democrat and republican during his lifetime.  And a business person.  After watching the left and right hijack the election agenda for waaay too long, maybe Trump will finally be what I’ve always looked for:  A fiscally-responsible moderate.  Common sense about money… and freedom to let people “live & let live.”

The bad news is our new president is a blowhard.  And a spin-meister… someone I feel like I have to fact check every time he opens his mouth.

For the sake of the United States of America and the entire world, fingers crossed that the good outweighs the bad.

CNBC did a fascinating analysis of who’s better for the stock market, a Democrat or Republican.

Below are the visuals.

While the initial conclusion here is, “Democrats are better for the stock market”… I believe what these charts actually show is what happens when the Republican party abandons its long-standing partyline of being fiscally responsible.

That is to say, while it may have been helpful to the military complex, dragging us into needless and endless and massively expensive military action is simply bad for business.

I think the charts below prove that in spades.