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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 18,889

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Last Night, [Redacted] Asked Congress for an Enabling Act

If you don't know the history of the Enabling Act of 1933, research it at your leisure.

Here's the quote:

"Tonight, I call on Congress to empower every cabinet secretary with the authority to reward good workers and to remove federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people.

In other words, he wants to implement a purge, government-wide, of anyone his appointees deem as insufficiently loyal or helpful.

Not only would this require rolling back more than a century of Civil Service reformation, it is the very essence of authoritarianism.

I cannot understand why every news organ in the country didn't headline with this.

But I think we each and every one of us need to phone our congresscritters NOW to tell them that such an Enabling Act would be neither Constitutional nor acceptable in a free country.


Draft "Dodger" vs Draft "Resister": A not-so-subtle difference

Just a refresher, and maybe a primer for you young peeps who were born too late to worry about your lottery number:

A draft "resister" describes a person who actively sought, based on a variety of principles, to circumvent, and/or eliminate the draft. Some of the methods resisters used:

Seeking Conscientious Objector status (and lemme tellya, that was NOT easy to get. If you sought it, and were not granted it, your number was up and if you refused to go, you faced jail)

Publicly burning draft cards as a statement against the institution of the draft, or against the particular war that conscription was a tool for prosecuting

Fleeing the country and living as an exile to avoid being part of a military intervention with which they had ethical or moral issues

Facilitating the resistance of others by providing sanctuary and or assistance in fleeing the country, registering as a Conscientious Objector, or working with many of the anti-draft and/or anti-war organizations

Simply refusing to go, and/or fleeing, and facing jail for refusal. Yes, many DID serve time, in jails, prisons, and stockades

A draft "dodger" describes a person who didn't give a rat's ass about the political and ethical principles at stake, they just wanted to save their own ass. Some of the methods resisters used:

Seeking college deferments. Often more than once

Seeking other forms of deferment

Using family influence to circumvent the lottery

Inventing and/or displaying real or faked medical conditions as a means of obtaining deferment

Personally, I have considerable sympathy for both during the Viet Nam war. Conscription enabled the United States to make a terrible error that was fatal for more than 60,000 Americans and millions of Southeast Asian men, women, and children. By the time we were up to our necks in it, there were plenty of clear justifications beyond cowardice for dodging the draft, even if the person doing the dodging wasn't necessarily interested in becoming part of the larger resistance fight.

Finally, however, there IS a third category: the "Chickenhawk". This is the individual who never met a war they didn't enthusiastically fund, support, and/or profit from, as long as neither they, nor their offspring, were required to actually put their own asses in the firing line.

Hope this will clear up some of the confusion regarding what it is, and isn't, nice (or accurate) to call people and why.


Presidential Qualifications

Disclaimer: I am not advocating, nor would I ever advocate, any kind of 'test' for holding public office beyond those required by the Constitution. This post is merely a set of observations and wishful thinking. Feel free to ignore.

Ideal Qualifications
General qualifications: Maturity of temperament, compassionate, history of ethical and effective public service.

Specific qualifications:

Superior multi-axis and multi-medium communications skills. Knowledge of world history, cultures, current and past economic and political concerns, some language proficiency for communicating with other world leaders and sophisticated audiences. Empathy, clarity, and ability to project sincerity, trustworthiness, and understanding at a second-grade level for communicating with the American electorate.

Superior personnel selection, management, and supervision skills. A deep and well-filled contacts file of highly competent, public-service-oriented individuals experienced in all aspects of public service, governmental operations, and political communications. The ability to delegate with confidence and hold the delegated accountable, as well as taking personal and ultimate responsibility for the establishment and achievement of policy and administrative goals.

Superior analytical and integrative intelligence. Ability to understand complex policies and their interrelationships, perceive how they affect operational outcomes. Ability to articulate and frame complex policy-related goals and communicate them in clear and compelling terms. Ability to prioritize many layers of competing policy and operational goals, identify when priorities can and/or should change, and develop consensus and support for priorities among many competing interests.

Superior negotiation and leadership abilities: Excellent listening skills. Ability to promote understanding and build support for challenging policy goals and administrative objectives across a broad array of competing and conflicting interests. Ability to mediate effectively among people with differing understandings, goals, and strongly-held personal interests in carrying out administrative objectives and political initiatives.

Historical Actual Qualifications
Extensive history of Party leadership, increasingly high-level and publicly-visible offices held without excessive bad publicity/scandal, an established pattern of delivering on negotiated agreements, acceptable management of patronage-related appointments, and demonstrated willingness to work effectively with intra-Party factions in promoting Party interests in midterms and other elections.

Recent Past Apparent Actual Qualifications
Some history of visible office-holding, ability to raise funds effectively for general election, ability to effectively trash primary opponents and win primary elections, high public profile with American electorate.

Current and Near-Future Apparent Actual Qualifications
Skeleton-free closet. No history of public service that can be turned against them by primary opponents or opposition parties or Russian media puppets. High public profile and likability. Some effectiveness at communicating on a second-grade level, some ability to raise buttloads of cash.

There has always been a dichotomy in American electoral politics between those who can be elected to the office, versus those who can effectively fulfill the responsibilities and duties of the office. But we have finally reached the point where those two things are entirely mutually exclusive.


White House Insana (with apologies to Barry Manilow...)

His name was Bannon, he was a showoff
With zits and splotches on his face and a massive dandruff case
He would confabulate and peddle racist plots
And while he tried to stir the pot
Donnie tweeted a whole lot
With every alt-right crowd, they made them roar so loud
They were toads and they had each other
Who could ask for more?

At the White House (White House) White House Insana (White House Insana)
The strangest spot on this whole planet
At the White House (White House) White House Insana (White House Insana)
Racism and fascism were always in fashion
At the White House they colluded

White House, White House Insana
His name was Mueller
He had subpoenas
He opened quite the special case, sending shivers through the place
While press corps covered, and FBI hovered
John Kelly buttoned up the joint
And fingers started to point
And the indictments popped and known associates copped
There were departures and flipflops
But who ratted out who?

At the White House (White House) White House Insana (White House Insana)
The strangest spot on this whole planet
At the White House (White House) White House Insana (White House Insana)
Racism and fascism were always in fashion
At the White House they colluded

His name is Bannon, he was a showoff
But that was several months ago, when Bill O'Reilly had a show
Now it's a shitshow, but not for Bannon
Still in his greasy rumpled shirts
And trousers stained with hershey squirts
He sits there stewing with rancor and tattles to every news anchor
He lost his job and he lost his clearance
Now he's lost his mind

At the White House (White House) White House Insana (White House Insana)
The strangest spot on this whole planet
At the White House (White House) White House Insana (White House Insana)
Racism and fascism were always in fashion
At the White House they colluded

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