Posts Tagged ‘Republican’

Okay, we have covered some of this ground before in various other postings, but maybe given the current state of the “leadership” in D.C., and, the blaring ignorance of the most basic principles and the unrivaled gullibility of sheeple to ignorantly comment on and perpetuate the endless streams of stupidity run rampant on social media sites, it is time we break some of these key points of American Civics.

1.  We are NOT a democracy.  I know hard to believe after all these years of the blind following the blind for the truth to come out, but what we are as a nation is a CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC which uses the democratic process.  Now that you have that term readily available, feel free to do something you have probably never done before; research something for yourself, and, in this case, Wikipedia will probably suffice as a somewhat accurate means of getting an answer.

2.  Impeaching the President will not actually remove him from office.  I know, I know, you have read three words from a really cool meme or skimmed an article from a less than reputable website that included the words: Impeachment; President; and, Obama, and think that is the end all be all of the current administration, but, before we go on remember that it would be the Vice-President who would replace him.  That would be Joe Biden for those of you who are not quite read up on current events.

So on with the act of impeachment.  What that really means is to bring charges against, and the sole responsibility for that rests in the hand of the House of Representatives.  Today, for those of you so inclined to hope for the process to begin chances are in our Republican majority House, it is quite possible that this may happen since bringing charges only requires a simple majority at this phase.  This however, is only step one of an intentionally difficult process created by our Founding Fathers.  So, on to phase two.  Charges are preferred and the defendant is now tried in front of the Senate with the trial presided over by the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.  Here is where it gets difficult folks, each individual charge requires a 2/3 majority of the voting members of the Senate.

***BREAKOUT SESSION*** Just a little simple math before we go on.  There are 50 states in our Union with two (2) Senators per state. 50 (states) x 2 (Senators per state) = 100.  2/3 of 100 is 66% or a minimum of 66 to 34 YEA votes per charge of guilty  ***END BREAKOUT SESSION***

At the start of the 113th Congress this year the political party breakout is as follows: 52 Democrats, 2 Independents, and 46 Republicans.  So, now, refer back to the previous breakout session and math and factor in the fact that there has not been a partisan decision in either house of Congress for years and what do you think would be the likelihood of a 2/3 majority vote in favor of any of the charges preferred by the House?  Do I even at this point need to go on with the process should there be a miraculous vote of YEA for any of the charges?  I think not.

3.  Only the House of Representatives can provide funding for the government.  That is spelled out plain and simple in the Constitution.  This is regardless of whether or not we actually have a budget.  Appropriated funds, bills of taxation and programmatic funding are the sole responsibility of the House.  Senate approval and Presidential signature are pro forma if the House does not come up with the appropriations to begin with.  The Senate and the President can suggest a budget to the House, but the act must originate there.

4.  The President cannot create law, or, fund a program they create beyond the fiscal year, by Executive Order.

5.  Our current “2 Party” system of government is not the law.  What it is, is the inability of American citizens to give enough of a fuck about the state of affairs to demand better from our elected “leaders” and force them beyond politics and party representation.  We have allowed our President to be the leader of the party as well as the leader of the Nation and not always with the best interests of the country in mind (this is not limited to the current administration, it goes back YEARS).

The Tea Party is not a party.  It is a bunch of extreme right wingers who are further dividing an already out of touch party.  Libertarians are at least making an attempt to represent themselves as a legitimate third party by candidates running for offices as actual Libertarians.  And, let us not forget the Democrats in their entirety, they run the gamut from extremely left wing hippy-dippy give it all away for the greater good liberal to centrist moderation.  Say this for them though, they are good at rallying around a cause, using social media and deflecting attention away from a problem when it is more convenient than doing anything about it.  To sum it all up, we would all be better to vote on actual facts than by party politics and choose the right person to represent us and our needs, regardless of party affiliation.

6.  It is our responsibility as American citizens to insure that those we elect are representing us on the national stage.  Contrary to popular belief this is not representing us as individuals, but as the will of their constituency (that would be the best interests of all those they are elected to represent).  If we are not happy, and it would seem based on the recent satisfaction polls that we are not, then it is up to us to make sure that we are satisfied.

7.  The President is limited to two, four year terms in office with the possibility of an additional two years if they were elevated to the post as a result of the sitting President vacating the office (death, resigning, etc.).  This was done as a result of Congress ratifying the 22nd Amendment of the Constitution in 1951.  This was their means of curtailing the power of the President and the possibility of unlimited power growth after the unprecedented four successful elections of FDR.  In all their forethought in regards to limiting the ability to build a kingdom by the President, they conveniently overlooked limiting themselves and their ability to become career politicians rather than elected people who SERVE at the WILL of the Nation and respect the OATH to the Constitution when they take office.

For those of you who may require a refresher in the Constitution click the word.

And for those of you old enough to remember when they tried to add a little bit of education to our Saturday morning cartoon time, a little School House Rock

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One of the multitude of problems with being me is the fact that I just refuse to join the crowd.  As a matter of fact the last thing I joined that I put any effort into was the Army.  I have to say, 18 years after I joined, the reasons I enlisted were not the reasons I have ended up staying, but that is one of the benefits of being me, I can change my mind or reasons.  During my career I have pretty much seen every leadership style, or lack there of, available to mankind.  Those leaders with which I held in high esteem, I attempted to emulate.  All of the others, from just outside of emulation to how the hell did they ever get promoted, offered up bits of themselves to be used or discarded.  One thing all of us shared is the bond of this special little society that you need to be a part of to understand.  One of the reasons from the Army standpoint that we can have such a radical shift from awesome to less than stellar is the philosophy that everyone is a leader.  It used to actually state in one of our Field Manuals that leaders are made not born.  This is not a philosophy I agree with and have been to enough of the required schools for promotion to solidify that belief within myself.

I am well aware that not every leader is just born for it.  I have seen people that come from a long lineage of military service who could not hold a candle to their familial legacy, and I have seen the least likely of people step up and inspire “Patton-like” followings and capabilities.  Some folks have the natural inclination and just need some formal training to round out the knowledge base and bring out the finer qualities.

So what are the qualities that I use to judge the quality of leadership?  This is not so easily answered as it would seem.  If it were a Hollywood movie, it would be a ruggedly handsome, 6 foot something, broad shouldered, more than likely piercing blue eyes, the ability to hold the attention of his men with his brains, wit and unsurpassed ability to rapidly formulate the perfect plan and sell it to them even when they know they will not come back.  More often then not in the movies this dude is a Captain or Major with the unlimited power of the government behind him, and he is the only one to survive by the end of the movie, with the hot chick of course.

The reality of course is far from the Hollywood version.  Audie Murphy is an exception not a rule.  Most leaders I have seen as the epitome of leadership have been a patchwork quilt of qualities.  They are usually not even realized until after that person has been moved on and even then the view is a bit skewed.  The success of a leader is best represented by what he hands over to his replacement.  This to me is one of the universal qualities of dynamic leadership, it transcends the military.  What you pass on to the next in line should be done with the intent of it not being able to be made better.  Their challenge should be to take what you gave them, make it better, place their stamp on it and pass the challenge on to the next guy.

Now that I have provided a little frame of reference for how I see leadership, I am going to move this out to the public circle and try to address the intent of my title.  This is an election year, a year in which we will vote for the next President of the United States and my Commander in Chief.  I am going to spend just a very small portion of my words on our current president.  He is my current Commander in Chief, the man every person in the military takes his marching orders from.  I may not agree with all or even most of what he says or does, that is my right as a citizen, but I will not bash him.  I do not agree with all of his policies.  I do not think that he falls into my opinion of a great leader.  I do believe he was handed a shit sandwich, not as much of GW’s doing as a culmination of poor policy decisions from the Clinton era that came to an untimely culmination.  I think much like Kennedy, he made it into office as a direct result of his constituency and the inability of his challenger to sell himself in the same way (the wack job VP choice did not help things any).  Unlike many, I do believe despite his faults, he is an American, he does not intend to do harm to our country and as small as they may seem, he has made a few hard decisions that had they failed would have resulted in a negative light.  The limited invasion of Pakistan to kill Bin Laden took balls on his part.  Comparatively speaking Clinton chose to launch some cruise missiles given the same opportunity back in 98 rather than go into Sudan and kill the same guy. He missed.

Now lets move over to the competition.  I generally lean more towards the right then the left, but I try to maintain an overall centrist viewpoint.  Like a train wreck I am drawn to the Republican process as it unfolds, despite the fact that in all reality I do not think any of the candidates have the ability to do any better of a job than my current boss.  Given the misguided perceptions of our Constitution, the religiosity and the inflexibility that comes with it and the ebb and flow of popularity between the candidates, it will be amazing to me how they intend to pick a viable candidate and overcome the injuries the party has inflicted upon itself by November.  Oh, I know how, we are Americans.  Our attention span is roughly 90 seconds long, Wikipedia is a viable resource for research and we have an innate ability to filter out the parts we do not like and make the rest seem stellar and true.  We can Evangelize any piece of information and denigrate anyone who is of a differing opinion, questioning their right to do so as un-American all the while touting the Constitution as the guiding light by which they live; oh and cannot forget their bible too.

So where do I stand now that I have spewed forth such insults to the potential future leaders of our country?  I do not know.  I do know, given the criteria I listed earlier for leadership qualities, the only reason I will go to war for them is because they are the Commander in Chief.  That is a pledge I made, regardless of the opinion I have of the person.  I hope to vote my conscience for the right person in November.  I am not a member of any party, nor will I ever be.  I will not even register as an Independent.  Until there is more than a two-party system, that is just how I will be.  Chances are, whomever wins, will do so more with Jim Jonesian persuasion than a demonstrable ability to lead us forward.

Despite all the hoopla and bipartisan lip flapping, there is only ever one leader of this country.  That is the President.  Every other elected official is elected to represent the people, the President is elected to represent the people and the country, therefore only he is the leader.  There is an order of succession in the case of an untimely death of the President and that is set up with the hope that as you follow the layers down, each person in that current seat has grown with the responsibility and has acted with the qualities of a leader of their area of responsibility.  The scary part to that is Nancy Pelosi was third in order not too long ago!

So why all these words?  It falls into the entire intent of this blog, that is why.  When November comes around, make your decision because it is yours, not because you are a sheep.  When a candidate makes a claim as their own, question it, chances are it really was just something they were part of rather than their own device.  When a candidate denigrates the other, question why.  When the mud is flying, be smart enough to stand off to the side and not get hit by it.  Essentially, do not drink the Kool-Aid any candidate is serving, it will either be too sweet or too sour and it may even be laced with a little bit of poison.  Hopefully, by November a real leader will step forward and we will recognize them when we see them and they will be rewarded with the keys to the country for doing it.  Chances are even greater that six months after they take office we will be vilifying them for not following through on a promise we knew they had no authority to make but still fell for it anyway.

Republican NJ governor Chris Christie is starting to lose some of the shine the GOP has heaped upon him over the last few months.  The voice of reason in the GOP over the last year or so and the one person they were actually interested in running against President Obama, has somehow managed to step on his crank by ordering the flags across the state lowered in honor of the death of Whitney Houston.  This particular order has given rise to a multitude of criticism from citizens of NJ and across the country in general.  Christie has defended his order as a sign of respect for “a daughter of New Jersey”.  In my not so humble opinion there are numerous points of contention with bestowing an honor such as this upon Ms. Houston as tragic as her death may be for her family and fans.  Let me start with the Governor and work my way out because in all honesty, this ended more about him than it actually did Whitney Houston.

Like members of both parties and the Repubilibercrat Ron Paul, Christie is so convinced that HE IS AMERICA, that no matter how the people speak out, he obviously knows better and is not afraid to use his authority to do so.  Christie is the Governor of a state, which has a flag.  He could very well have chosen to lower the flag of the Garden State in memoriam to the entertainer, but no he had to elevate his power to the point of allowing his office and his state represent the collective sense of loss for the entire American Republic when he ordered the American flag be lowered as well.  Like many, I will be so bold as to say MOST, politicians these days, Christie took the authority of his office and despite the criticism, decided to do what he wanted simply because he could and he was arrogant enough to do so.  Admittedly he does exude quite the air of confidence and calm despite his rotund and portly figure, but considering America has turned in to one of the fattest nations on earth, I guess he is just representing us in a physical sense as well.

Politically speaking NJ has always been a bit schizophrenic.  Traditionally it is labeled as Democrat and a liberal state, yet the ideals when you speak across the people are more conservative in nature.  One of the many reasons for this is NJ is a heavy union state and they traditionally vote more towards Democrat than Republican.  I remember working construction back in 90 and talking to a union man who had just come back from voting for Clinton because that is what his delegate told everyone to do since that is who they were backing.  This despite the fact he was a Republican.  Since just about every career field in the NJ area is represented by a fairly robust and strong union, the state tends to run blue.  Considering the liberal bent of NJ from a political standpoint it was also not a surprise to see Christie exercise his capacity to be the Master Calibrator of the collective moral compass and veto the legalization of same-sex marriage.  He claims he wants it to be based upon the voice of the people and a public vote held.  We should all be aware that this generally means a politicians does not have the balls to say or do what he needs to do, they are trying to appease their party by not going against it’s core beliefs and give themselves the appearance of a person of the people.  Too bad he blew that appearance when he did not listen to the people and NOT lower the flags to half-mast.

Ok, to get back on track to the original topic.  Lets address Whitney Houston and her role in this whole mess; she died.  Period.  Honestly, was anyone really surprised when they heard about it?  I am not trying to be callous about it, I am sure to her close friends and family it was a tragedy, any death of a family member should be a tragedy for the family.  That is one of those things that goes undefined when you try to explain family.  But members of the general public, were we really surprised. really?  Maybe by the timing or of the circumstances, but this was not exactly a Black Swan event in the history of the world.  Like many entertainers that came before her, it was the circumstances of her chosen career which in some way led to her death.  Just in the last 40 years or so alone, how many musicians have succumbed to not only the immediate ravages of addiction and abuse, but the continuing effects that happened as a result of that abuse, despite no longer using mind altering chemicals.

In some way Whitney Houston died as a symptom of her inability to deal with her fame.  For longer than she was famous and viable as an entertainer, she was just as famous as a sideshow.  Her battles with drugs and alcohol were not hidden from the public.  Bobby Brown and she had a regular television show that showcased the issues weekly.  She was known to be a moody and contentious personality to work with.  Ego grown of her success did not diminish at the same rate as her gifts did.  In other words despite her ability to sing, she was, human.  As a human, like the rest of us, we are born to die.  you cannot beat it no matter your talent.

Here is a link to the United States Code which covers Old Glory and who/when it is proper do display under circumstances other than normal. US Code Title 4 .

The particular paragraph below should draw your attention, but please read the entire chapter.  I hate it when people take a line and twist the context to suit their needs without supplying the supporting phrases that surround it.

(m) The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. On Memorial Day the flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff. By order of the President, the flag shall be flown at half-staff upon the death of principal figures of the United States Government and the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, as a mark of respect to their memory. In the event of the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries, the flag is to be displayed at half-staff according to Presidential instructions or orders, or in accordance with recognized customs or practices not inconsistent with law. In the event of the death of a present or former official of the government of any State, territory, or possession of the United States or the death of a member of the Armed Forces from any State, territory, or possession who dies while serving on active duty, the Governor of that State, territory, or possession may proclaim that the National flag shall be flown at half-staff, and the same authority is provided to the Mayor of the District of Columbia with respect to present or former officials of the District of Columbia and members of the Armed Forces from the District of Columbia. When the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, or the Mayor of the District of Columbia, issues a proclamation under the preceding sentence that the National flag be flown at half-staff in that State, territory, or possession or in the District of Columbia because of the death of a member of the Armed Forces, the National flag flown at any Federal installation or facility in the area covered by that proclamation shall be flown at half-staff consistent with that proclamation. The flag shall be flown at half-staff 30 days from the death of the President or a former President; 10 days from the day of death of the Vice President, the Chief Justice or a retired Chief Justice of the United States, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives; from the day of death until interment of an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a Secretary of an executive or military department, a former Vice President, or the Governor of a State, territory, or possession; and on the day of death and the following day for a Member of Congress. The flag shall be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day, unless that day is also Armed Forces Day. As used in this subsection—

(1) the term “half-staff” means the position of the flag when it is one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff;
(2) the term “executive or military department” means any agency listed under sections 101 and 102 of title 5, United States Code; and
(3) the term “Member of Congress” means a Senator, a Representative, a Delegate, or the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico.
Here is just one of many requests to a local official to not recognize Governor Christie’s proclamation.  I think this is probably the best written one I saw over the last few days.
What do you guys think?