Archives For politics

Last week was a brutal week for some of us. My prayer: Lord, let that have been the absolute high point of the Trump presidency. Rather than whining, I want to say, “take heart, and take note.”

Remember that in November 2018, voters (almost) everywhere gave us a Democratic House. Has Trump done anything since to reverse that trend or deplete that energy? I don’t think so. Even before the celebrating had played out over his very good week, he fired outspoken administration critics, publicly denounced the impeachment process as b******t, and diminished the National Prayer Breakfast by airing his soiled laundry. He won’t stop. He can’t stop. He will get worse. Take heart.

I’m figuring that his 49% approval rate shown by one poll last week was a sympathy vote. Poor baby. Approval will get back down where it belongs as soon as it can, I believe.

I’m also holding out hope that Mike Bloomberg will either get nominated by the Dems or will gift the country an anti-Trump ad campaign with a script by Martin Scorsese. That should scare us all straight.

So, do not fear. It will all turn out all right in the end. Women voters will not forget his many insults and abuses. Non-whites and voters from immigrant families with not forget his insults. We who respect and admire the military and other servant-leaders—the ones who really make America great—will not forget his dismissals, broken promises, and utter incompetence. On voting day, we’ll all come out in force and roundly thump Trump and his minions. Unless the minions and the Russian hackers invalidate our election process. Unless we get discouraged. Unless we forget about right and wrong. Things always work out, except when they don’t.

Number 65

Guy Cicero —  02/02/2020 — Leave a comment

They (courts of impeachment) are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself. The prosecution of them, for this reason, will seldom fail to agitate the passions of the whole community, and to divide it into parties more or less friendly or inimical to the accused. In many cases it will connect itself with the pre-existing factions, and will enlist all their animosities, partialities, influence, and interest on one side or on the other; and in such cases there will always be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.

Hamilton, Alexander. The Federalist Papers.

Two things. First, Congressional impeachments happen because a “public man” engaged in “the administration of public affairs”—is accused of violating the public trust. Nothing more, nothing less.

Second, we might say that Hamilton had a fantastic crystal ball—or, that he was expressing what was then and is now, common sense. For the Senate, “resting entirely on the basis of elections,” will be “too often the leaders or the tools of the most cunning or the most numerous faction, and on this account, can hardly be expected to possess the requisite neutrality towards those whose conduct may be the subject of scrutiny.” Common sense.

But in the end, Hamilton chooses optimism, asserting “where else than in the Senate could have been found a tribunal sufficiently dignified, or sufficiently independent? What other body would be likely to feel CONFIDENCE ENOUGH IN ITS OWN SITUATION, to preserve, unawed and uninfluenced, the necessary impartiality between an INDIVIDUAL accused, and the REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE, HIS ACCUSERS?” Optimistic. Just like us.

And he would be disappointed. Just like us.

Counting people

Guy Cicero —  02/01/2020 — Leave a comment

Our local kindergartner asked about my new job. “Grandpa has a job counting people,” he was told. Sometimes the simplest explanations are the best.

I am a temporary member of 2020 Census team, helping to see that all US residents are counted so we can have more fair and equitable elections, among other objectives.

A good friend called yesterday and said he is vying to become a member of the independent redistricting commission in his state. Redistricting is the outcome end of the process that begins with the federal census.

What about after this process is completed? How should I remain involved in helping to insure we have valid redistricting and elections open and available to everyone qualified to vote? Important stuff.

Here’s some good background:

M&A

Guy Cicero —  06/13/2018 — Leave a comment

My first grown-up job out of the Army was to work as a researcher for a mergers & acquisitions (M&A) consulting firm based in McLean (home to the CIA), Virginia. Our clients were large New York and American Stock Exchange, publicly-listed companies bent on growing their earnings bases by acquiring other companies. My job was to identify every business, usually in the USA, that fit the ideal prospect profile—usually $10-20 million in sales with strong profitability and growth prospects—call their presidents, and ask them all sorts of nosey questions about their financials on behalf of a client I couldn’t name. After a while, I actually got good at this. My work product was a “one-page report” that usually went to 4-6 pages and provided basic info that our “closer” could take to the client and try to arrange a “first meeting.” Our compensation consisted almost entirely of closing bonuses we recevied when a deal we started actually happened. My pay consisted of a monthly check for about $350 plus these bonuses. In four-and-a-half years I got two, totally about $15,000. I was rich.

NOTE: $10-20 million in sales equates to maybe ten times that now. My tools were a telephone, a yellow pad and pen, and the Dunn & Bradstreet directories, and I spent abot 40 hours a week dialing for dollars. I would turn over my draft reports to a typist, and off we went toward a first meeting.

These days, I take special interest in news about anticipated and actual mergers and acquisition such as the merger of AT&T and Time Warner. These cause me no particular concern, in contrast to many commentators who seem to see it as their mission to right the wrongs of business concentration and the formation of behemoth companies bent on taking over their markets. Wouldn’t any business owner do just the same given the chance?

I cried when the country elected JFK over Ike’s man Dick Nixon. It’s true; I was thirteen and a lifelong Republican, or so I thought. The Democrats got lucky again when we elected their Georgia peanut farmer, (although he turned out more than OK as an ex-President), and later, a glad-handing, wanna-please-everybody, philanderer who just kept […]

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globalization

Guy Cicero —  09/05/2016 — Leave a comment

Get with it. Globalization is good for you. Well, most of the time.

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I expect excruciating suspense from a Hitchcock movie, not so much from the presidential primaries. When will Trump followers finally say, “OK, we’ve had our fun. We didn’t think it would get out of hand like this. We didn’t mean it. We’re sorry.”

DBrooks-160318But isn’t this really something? I’ve been following David Brooks and a few other observers closely, and they’re clearly embarrassed, although they have nothing to be embarrassed about. No one, apparently, considered that America’s anger over a do-nothing Congress would translate to the Trump phenomenon. I’m still sure we’ll get it right in the end, do we look silly now. But fear not, for like a bad burrito, this too, shall pass.

The GuyCicero.com tagline is personal reflections on politics, society and culture…. What better time to get political in what is shaping up to be a presidential campaign year destined to be among the great ones? Ought to make some use of that poli sci degree.

My track record at predicting who will make a good president is not impressive. As a thirteen-year-old, I was distraught at JFK’s election in 1960. This was the end of life as we knew it, but in a good way, as it turned out, despite the ultimate tragedy of it.

In 1980, I thought, “The country has drunk too much of its own Kool-Aid and elected an actor as president. What can they be thinking?” This was the only year between 1968, when I voted for the wrong guy, and 2008 when I did not vote Republican. My man was John Anderson (This was Hollywood versus the Midwest, in my view.). Of course, as we know now, Reagan made the right economic moves for the times … and was awful good on TV.

This year the only thing for sure is that I won’t vote Republican for the third election in a row, unless someone with an emotional age above 21 is nominated. Then, I probably still wouldn’t vote for them because of my utter disappointment in what it seems to mean to be a Republican these days.

Now, I understand that it’s been a slow news day for the past couple of years. Not. But why is so much time being devoted to coverage of the gang of 17, or however many Republican contenders there are? Well (as the Great Communicator was wont to say), we know the answer to that. Ratings.

Sorry for digressing, but as you see, there is just so much to be put out about this year. The sorry state of American presidential politics. The news media. And so much more. Guy will be busy.

The Republicans want to take us back to some other time, long ago and far away. You know, when everybody was, or wished they were, evangelical Christians, with family values, 2.5 kids and a Chevy in the garage. Never mind that hidden away to be dealt with in another time were American society’s cancers: divorce and its impact on the very idea of family; child and various other forms of abuse of the innocent; injustices against a wide range of minorities and the real “silent majority,” women; and poverty.

What I want to see is a candidate who recognizes that America is undergoing radical transformation as it absorbs and assimilates massive numbers of immigrants. The parallels between these years and the time between 1890 and 1920 are awe-inspiring. Just different ethnic groups.

Maybe the Republicans really do get this and are just afraid to say anything for fear of offending…anybody. Maybe they are thinking that preserving long-standing American character values is job #1 as our population swells with new minds who need educating about what we stand for, or stood for.

But I doubt it. By their own statements and positions, Republicans make it clear they are out of touch and out for ratings. They and the mainstream media make excellent bedfellows.