Friday, September 22, 2017

The Painful Pragmatism of NOT Impeaching

The "Non-Lethal" Alternative

Which is only about 23% "non-lethal,
 but we have to run with what we have.

Yes, MeanMesa understands that the entire world is waiting for Americans to permanently rid the White House of all these dangerous types. Unhappily, such a possibility would rest far too heavily on the foundational requirement that these Americans emerge from the darkness as a prelude. However, to the point of this post, no matter how much American voters want to force Trump out of the White House, MeanMesa is convinced that the "bigger picture" of what things might look like after that "cleansing" are far from anything even remotely similar to an "unequivocal step ahead."

Here, we can spend just a minute reviewing exactly how horrible things have become for the President's political future. For anyone still not fully aware of the dismal facts, MeanMesa offers these links:
FOX News Poll August 31, 2017/FOX

Although there remains an unsettling "disconnect" in the results derived from FOX News polling participants and Republican sympathizers in general, the wider demographic of national numbers depicts an unstable Trump more and more as a "wild animal trapped in a corner." This is not a casual, academic conclusion, either. Un-elected Republican Presidents -- when they find themselves tormented by such a stubbornly durable predicament -- almost inevitable turn to war as a mechanism for political revitalization.

Because Trump prides himself with continuously manifesting a nerve wracking strategy of  complete unpredictability, there is no telling what nation might be selected as the ["politically suitable"]  target for such fevered dreams or -- importantly -- the severity of the war making munitions he might command for use in the attack on the unfortunate recipient.

So, why not Impeach him? 

MeanMesa has organized a list of "complications" which would emerge almost immediately if the process were to begin in earnest. Any conclusion drawn concerning the matter's likely consequences should include a frank weighing of the gravity of either acting or not acting to take such a step.

The Republic After Trump Is Gone
The problem may be even greater than just Ryan, Pence and McConnell.
What challenges emerge from having Republicans,
 billionaires and oligarchs in charge of everything?

Although the United States is currently obsessed with how the Russians manipulated the election which left the unlikely Donald Trump as President, very little public curiosity is being directed at the adjacent question of "How in the world did Republicans wind up controlling the House of Representatives, the Senate and the Supreme Court in addition to the White House?"

This is not indulgent sarcasm, either.

Trump, himself, received significantly "less" of the number of votes which would have normally been required to beat Hillary Clinton. The Republicans controlling the US government haven't offered anything beyond oligarch-funded hate media for the US voters and haven't won nearly enough elections for decades to suddenly be at the helm. The "tipping point" Supreme was brazenly shoe horned into power by the meat handed Senatorial treason of Mitch McConnell.

Stir faster! The fake news is catching up to your narrative! [image source]
Well, it has become shockingly clear that the Russian targeted propaganda -- often artificially driven into the appearance of actual political inertia by Russian or right wing domestic "click bots" -- was also the driving factor in the unexpected Republican Congressional and Senate majorities. Voters didn't spontaneously begin to support these vacuous candidates. They were saturated with individually targeted propaganda, tailored to "hit the sweet spot" by massive, corporate analytics firms contracted to Jared Kushner.

MeanMesa has posted it before. The Trump voters are essentially nihilists. There is, basically, no possible policy the Presidency or these fabricated Congressional majorities can "hand over" to placate the Trump base. It amounts to a "going out of business sale" for a failing "bargain basement" five and dime store. The only "on-going investment" is the cost of keeping these already addled voters aflame with every incendiary pitch from racism to very suspiciously convenient tenets of biblical lunacy.

1. The DEEP BENCH waiting in the Wings
Trump's bench of oligarch loving toadies is deep, indeed.

It turns out that this is possibly the most promising of all factors which might serve to keep Trump in the White House. If Trump were gone, a line of equally corrupt Republicans would be awaiting their own chance "to rule." Both Pence and Ryan have already been paid generously for their enduring promises to turn the Social Security Trust over to Wall Street at the first moment they might have the chance. 

There aren't really many other alternatives to fill an Oval Office desk once it were to be abandoned by Trump.

A quick glance at the fist fulls of Wall Street bankers surrounding Trump is telling. The question quickly develops two important sides. First, these "captains of industry" [Sometimes they prefer to be called "masters of the universe."] were already incredibly rich before Trump selected them -- far too rich to be tempted by the modest Federal salaries paid to Cabinet Secretaries. Second, Wall Street brokers, bankers and hedgies have never had much of a "patriotic impulse" which might have served to explain their sudden interest in "working as public servants."

No, this crowd, saturated with Goldman-Sachs suits, is chasing cash. Further, it has to be a LOT of cash to persuade them to dump their old jobs which were already paying them LOTS of cash. Whatever scheme Trump laid on the table as an incentive, the "pay out" had to be monumental to compete with what these Cabinet members already had going.

There is, as a matter of scale, only one visible collection of money large enough to entice this crowd to walk away from their 1% status. The US spends $6 Trillion annually on health care. We've already seen this starting with the Trump plan to gut Medicaid. So far, the estimated amount of money targeted for "extraction" ranges between $20-30 Bn to $100 Bn. 

During his campaign Trump boasted to his rally attendees that he "knew where the money" could be found. This is, apparently, one of those rare occasions when Donald J. Trump was telling the truth.
In 2015 video - Donald Trump explains "I know where the money is."/2paragraphs

[Remember, this style of "nation wide" looting is very inefficient. The amount of cash successfully "stolen and pocketed" is almost always much less than the total damage. Still, a "target amount" even as high as $100 Bn to be "liberated" from a $6 Tn total amounts to one sixtieth -- 1/60. The only example of the process being even more efficient is that of Putin as he patiently "monetized" the assets of the old Soviet Union.

First, Vlad collected a couple dozen "cash heavy" mobsters with the ambition of becoming oligarchic billionaires, then he slowly sold them everything of value for a dime on the dollar. Although all these criminals are now billionaires, each one of them remains vulnerable to Putin's "destruction," hence, the unusual loyalty we see.]

2. Sometimes Paralytic Obstruction in DC Is A "Good Thing"
The actual contest is between twisted ideology and bitter, personal resentment.
[Happily, no Democrats will be harmed in this free for all.]

The GOP "policy" ambitions hidden below the shadows are horrendous. Happily, the Republicans in the current House and Senate have been the victims of a true "political gnawing" conducted by an increasingly frustrated Trump. The brave faces of those still claiming a good natured stoicism -- an eerie, self-destructive "party loyalty" --  are quietly wincing over their Trump inflicted scars and bruises in private.

Congressmen -- but especially, Senators -- really don't like vicious, repeated political betrayal from their same party President. The question of the day is a simple one: "Are the constituent voters who elected these frightened politicians listening to them or to Trump?" Soon enough the same question will include: "Who is now listening to the recently discharged Steve Bannon?" Such a spirited contest for the hearts and minds of roughly 30% of voters is disturbing. 

MeanMesa has posted about Trump's war with the Senate. Trouble Ahead Trump and the GOP Senate/MeanMesa

Nonetheless, ignoring public poll results brings its own...uh...reward. The brash, observed behavior of the shell shocked, tattered remnants of the GOP suggests that these Republicans believe their political support is growing instead of precipitously dwindling.

A Glimpse At Our Not Too Promising Near Future

There is practically no prospect for much of Trump's GOP policy to advance in the GOP controlled Congress. Although preventing a massive default and a government shut down for three months would have been a very modest accomplishment in times past, Trump's recent [shockingly out of character] deal with Senator Schumer and Nancy Pelosi was a startling break in the total inaction we've seen on about everything else.

There is a possibility that what we've already observed of the Trump Administration might prove to be a "revitalizing" water shed for the Democrats, but MeanMesa has seen that Party demolish every opportunity it has encountered for years.

Unhappily, we should probably be planning for a war. This is practically a "no brainer" for an un-elected Republican President once matters reach a desperate, political nadir during an administration. Trump has already shown his complete willingness to corrupt the DIA for his personal political use in the N. Korean matter.

On the brighter side, MeanMesa is probably safe - neither Trump nor Sessions is much of a reader.

So, don't lament national paralysis. Consider it a possible path leading to national survival.

After Trump - Reconstructing the Republic

Trump's Fevered Fantasy:
Deconstructing the Administrative State
Is it possible to discern a "method" in Trump's "madness?"

MeanMesa has watched with morbid wonder as the President has unleashed a strangely psychotic "roman candle" attack on everything in his sight. In fact, perhaps the most coherent "direction" -- a "direction" which might serve to explain the chaotic lurching in the Oval Office -- is to be found in Trump's obsessive hatred for "all things Obama."

A superficial glimpse at the Trump Presidency reveals a desperate rat-like mentality which compels the rat hosting it to rush head long toward any target which offers even a faint promise of eliminating an Obama era accomplishment. If a list of these "targets" showed a "common thread" -- i.e. obliterating environmental regulations, limited the wild, casino avarice of Wall Street and the hedge funds or even handing over "Putin-style gifts" to oligarchic friends, Trump might not appear so dangerously flippant.

However, such a comforting, coherent conclusion is no where to be found in the domestic media's bouncy, reactive account of what the man has been doing. There is no "easy" model to be constructed which might -- dependably -- predict a target to which Big Daddy might careen next.

Trump considers his penchant for indulging in this reckless mayhem to be "one of his strong points."

Perhaps, we have heard the phrase "desconstructing the administrative state." Perhaps, a clearer understanding of what the meaning of this phrase might be will clear the air as to what Trump's "primary mission" actually is. Have a look at excerpts from this March 2, 2017, article.

The point of this post is to describe what post-Trump reconstruction might be. Establishing the pattern and motivation of the wild destruction occurring during Trump's mad reign will be a necessary place to begin. What elusive pattern might congeal all of these seemingly disconnected rants and tirades into a comprehensible picture? We must understand the priorities which have driven this fevered mind to propel us to our present state. 

Further, we must be prepared to present the new priorities which will be the guiding principles for the reconstruction's efforts.

Why Donald Trump needs the ‘administrative state’ that Steve Bannon wants to destroy
By David Lewis

White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon recently announced that he wanted to deconstruct the administrative state. Bannon believes that the bureaucracy is staffed by liberals and is committed to subverting the president’s plans.

There’s one big problem with Bannon’s goal: Trump actually needs bureaucrats if he wants to accomplish his goals. So Trump’s real challenge isn’t how to deconstruct the bureaucracy. It’s how to secure the bureaucracy’s cooperation. But that may be quite difficult. Here’s why.

What bureaucrats do:

The career executives who staff and run the approximately 250 federal departments and agencies not only formulate and implement executive orders, they also make choices every day that influence large swaths of public policy — from immigration to law enforcement to education to the environment. They use their legal authority to do what all executives do: interpret the power given them by their board of directors (in this case, Congress), set organizational priorities in formal guidance or memorandums and make decisions about where to allocate people and dollars.

1) Determining what an agency can do.
2) Deciding what an agency should prioritize.
3) Choosing how an agency should enforce the law.
4) Allocating people and resources. 

Although it may be hard to "generalize" the direction of the destruction of the early administration or to attach any ideological explanation to the chaotic, moment to moment attacks, we must accept the reality that Trump is not accomplishing all of this exclusively by himself.

An eagerly cooperative right wing of the Congressional GOP has continually pumped a daily flow of "minor" legislation designed to obstruct or remove hundreds or thousands of existing laws, policy priorities, regulations -- especially both rules and laws regulating Wall Street's penchant for unbridled looting.

It has been, frankly, almost impossible to "see through" Trump's myriad of antics and distractions to accurately tabulate the damage being accomplished by these essentially invisible legislative salients. MeanMesa uses the description "invisible" because the "visible" consequences of these quickly signed "laws" will not possibly begin to emerge nearly quickly enough to flash a warning about the literally dozens of equally destructive "laws" being ushered into the process at the same time.

Now, now. Don't get overly dramatic. [image]
The Administration was inebriated at least by the pace of this action if not by the actual policy  accomplishments reflected in these new laws. Trump and his Cabinet explain nothing. The outrage of rational Americans was a "given," and Trump's supporters couldn't comprehend any thread of reality more complex than the President's rambling, television style blather. Even amid the dismal hours when it had already become quite clear that the President was accomplishing nothing, blindly vengeful Trump supporters continued to offer up amazing perceptions that "He is keeping his promises."

This is why we as more rational citizens must be ready to spell out the reconstruction -- and be ready to stand by our plan!

Putting the Nation Back Together
Don't you dare to blankly refer to the "good old days."
It's time for good citizens to "put on their big boy pants" and get to work.

The prospect of electing a majority of Congressional Democrats and commencing to re-establish the vacated "social norms" is a grim one, indeed. These "norms" weren't working well already, and there is painfully little reason to expect that simply regurgitating their Trump digested remnants back to life will be any sort of durable solution.

Nonetheless, with far fewer Republicans around in the Congress following the 2018 mid-term, a few, delectable possibilities jump right out at us. The short lived Republican Congressional hegemony has "turned a hand" at every one of these "priorities." Although most of the perfidy was conducted in the opaque, oligarchic mechanisms of the billionaire party, more than enough of the results of these "putrid efforts" have escaped into the light of day for even the uninterested to see them -- and the Republicans who authored them -- very clearly.

It's not just undoing what Trump has done. While this may be a tempting course for the battle beaten Democrats, MeanMesa suspects that the process would be roughly as chaotic and rashly designed as Trump's Presidency. After all, there is no "inertial center beam" of actual policy -- or even something which might be mistaken for a guiding ideology -- lurking anywhere in the actions of the Trump White House. Why would Democrats respond to reckless confusion as they sought direction for the reconstruction?

The feckless, moribund 2016 policy platform of the Democrats should have served as a "herald of future events." [Take a look. 2016 Democratic Party Platform/DemocraticParty] Worse, already famous for "destroying every political opportunity within seconds of its emergence," the Democrats have now proposed a preview of their equally depressing, "block buster" Party Platform for 2020. [Take a look. 2020 Democratic Platform - The Democrats New Agenda Is Everything Wrong With The Party/Bill Moyers]

American voters may be quite finished with their abusive romance with Trump, but they are clearly not yearning for another plate of traditional, political mush. The Russians are already focused on this fact like a rabbit hunter zeroing in with his rifle. Republicans in the House and Senate are doing absolutely nothing about "hardening elections." They love the results of what happened last time.

Preparing for 2018 and 2020
MeanMesa's Version of a Democratic Party Platform
Don't laugh. It may be better than anything currently surfacing in the Democratic Party.
It's not rocket science.

The Democratic Party platform should include the following items -- and, not many more. We can consider them in three groups: 1. Short Term Concrete Imperatives, 2. Longer Term Concrete Imperatives, and 3. Fundamental, Abstract Imperatives.

Short Term Concrete Imperatives:

a. N. Korea  -- the weakest, poorest dictatorship in the world has the United States quivering in terror. Solve it.

b. Hire enough Federal employees to return the US Federal government to its full staff levels. Especially the State Department and the Justice Department. [Remove the Liberty University "law grads" from the DOJ.]

c. Harden election processes to prevent Russian interference. Eliminate the electoral college. The Civil War needs to end.

d. Make Citizens United illegal political corruption. Republican gerrymandering and voter suppression must also be illegal -- with prison terms for convictions. MeanMesa has posted about this previously. A Mathematician Redistricts Congress/MeanMesa, election courts Election Courts/MeanMesa]

Long Term Concrete Imperatives:

What a coincidence. [chart source]
a. Increase median wages for the middle class. Most Americans are earning at about the same levels as in 1969. Lift restrictions on labor organizing.

b. Fix public education. [Public education produced the voters stupid enough to believe the Russians {and to get targeted by Jared's analytics contractor}]

c. Legislate environmental protection. The 2017 hurricanes should have silenced the fossil fuel funded climate deniers. Drive the blade home. The planet is falling apart.

d. Repair American infrastructure. The US Society of Civil Engineers estimates that this will take $3 Tn. The same bunch states that the current state of US infrastructure is at "D+." Infrastructure plans had better include serious climate change mitigation projects.

e. Fix health care law. After the GOP House launched their draconian "switch Medicaid to tax cuts" health plan, ObamaCare is finally becoming more popular. And, most Americans of all income classes are now prepared to send ALL private health insurance corporations to the wood chipper. Finish it. The current disaster is an embarrassment, and it is killing Americans. 

f.  Solve immigration law. Face reality. The US is moving toward becoming a "minority majority" population. There are a LOT more non-whites than white supremacists.

Long Term Abstract Imperatives:

a. Affirm US loyalty to NATO -- without conditions.

b. Start managing the trade deficit. This includes boosting domestic manufacturing. [Any legislation directed at increasing domestic manufacturing is automatically "proved" to be "utterly unworkable. You get the idea.]

c. Reduce wealth inequality. Obliterate laws which direct Congressional looting to the oligarchs. Make laws which prevent to return to the looting with regulations. Improvements to wealth equality can be empirically obvious if they are accomplished.

d. Fix the tax code so that Americans who make money, pay taxes. Create enforceable tax law, and then enforce it.

There, now. That wasn't so hard, was it?

We have lived so long in an artificial political "reality" in which the billionaires have slowly convinced us that these sorts of social culture and political advancements are impossibly expensive. Well, they are, in fact, "impossibly expensive," but only so long as they contradict the existing plan to create the dream of a permanent oligarchy exclusively existing for the sustenance and benefit of various, perpetual, dynastic fortunes.

The adoption of these highly relevant and attractive, social political goals will either become the over arching ambition of the nation's reconstruction or there simply will not be a reconstruction. Every element of the alternate downward path ahead is already in place. There is no additional construction required for our "final descent" to the enduring depths of the Bannon-Trump nightmare. The oligarchy's scheme didn't begin with Trump's Inauguration. However, every one of its tactical schemes was already totally prepared to proceed through its final lap.

Not a single one of these simple objectives represents any sort of priority for the oligarchs intending to take over the United States.