PEOPLE IN GLASS HOUSES

Should We Take Matt Gaetz Seriously?

I have always disliked two kinds of people. One is a person who relishes kicking a guy when he’s down and the other is a person who has inherited his affluence and power and misuses them to abuse people. I am not describing Donald John Trump, although he is guilty as charged, I am talking about the Representative of the Congressional 1st District of Florida, Matt Gaetz.

A while ago I suggested here that we should use the popular “cancel culture” to cast off young Matthew, but ultimately decided that was a foolish idea because it would probably give us another like Marjorie Taylor Greene. But let’s focus on Rep. Gaetz and who he is.

Gaetz was born in Hollywood, Florida in 1982, making him 38 years of age. He grew up in a house that was used in the film The Truman Show. As of 2018, his parents still lived in that Seaside, Florida house. A sign on their white picket fence reads, “the Truman house” but it has nothing to do with Harry Truman.

How did Matt get so powerful so fast? Well, that’s where his father Don Gaetz comes in. See, old Don was immensely powerful in Florida politics. He served in the Florida Legislature from 2006 to 2014 and during some of those years he was the President of the Florida Senate. Don sent his son to Florida State for a B.S. degree, then Matthew attended the College of William and Mary where he got a law degree.

Young Gaetz worked at a law firm in Fort Walton Beach, Florida which is near his home in Pensacola. His old man groomed him for the family business and Matt started his political career at age 25. He represented the 4th district in the Florida House of Representatives from 2010 to 2016, when he was elected to the US House of Representatives, where he’s been reelected two times since.

Gaetz became a supreme Donald Trump fanboy. Documentaries have shown him calling Trump at all times of the night and day to give him pep talks, advice and major ego stroking. I’ve always viewed the Trump/Matt relationship as a father/son situation. Remember, Matt’s father’s name is Donald and, while I am not a shrink, I think Matthew’s desire and efforts to please the Donald would be a great topic for a psyche class term paper.

When US Representative Liz Cheney voted to impeach Donald Trump, Matt felt he needed to protect his father, ah, I mean, his “president.” Gaetz traveled to Wyoming to be part of an Anti-Liz Cheney event and a small part of my brain whispered, “He better be careful.” You see, Liz Cheney’s father is the Dick, as in Dick Cheney, who has a soft spot for his daughter and will protect her in all ways at every turn. Now here’s a quick backstory. Not only was Dick Cheney, George W. Bush’s VP, but for years he ran the CIA and then worked for Haliburton. He’s the best example of a “deep state” you could find in America.

In a statement sent to Insider, Matt Gaetz’ office said that, “Over the past several weeks, my family and I have been victims of an organized criminal extortion involving a former DOJ official seeking $25 million while threatening to smear my name. We have been cooperating with federal authorities in this matter and my father has even been wearing a wire at the FBI’s direction to catch these criminals.” Okay, so Mr. Gaetz confirmed the investigation but deflected to a claim of extortion. First, if he’s involved in some kind of sting operation why the hell is he talking about it?

Next, he’s going on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show to explain things? I’ll get to Tucker, but let’s back up a bit. Matt Gaetz is no stranger to controversy. Remember that he wore a gasmask in Congress to poke fun at Covid-19. There have also been some ethics inquiries into him.

In June 2020, following an argument with then-Representative Cedric Richmond, Gaetz said he had been living with a 19-year-old immigrant from Cuba, Nestor Galbán, since Galbán was 12 and he considers Nestor to be his son. Later he clarified that Galbán is the brother of an ex-girlfriend and that Galbán spends time with his sister, with Gaetz’ family and with Gaetz. In 2017, Gaetz called Galbán “my helper.”

In December 2020, Gaetz announced his engagement to his girlfriend Ginger Luckey. She’s the sister of major Republican donor Palmer Luckey, who was the founder of Oculus, a virtual reality company. So, punk, are you feeling lucky? December 2020 is also when the probe by the William Barr Department of Justice was opened into Gaetz, who allegedly had sex with a minor and engaged in sex-trafficking. He admitted on Tucker Carlson’s show that he flew a young lady to Washington.

Here’s another tidbit from USA Today. In late 2017 Gaetz was the only member of the House to vote against a bill allowing the Department of Transportation to assist in combating human trafficking. Gaetz argued that he was against expansion of the federal government, which seems like a lame reason to me.

Tucker & Gaetz

Now here’s where today’s news gets weird. According to the Washington Post, Gaetz said to Tucker Carlson, “You and I went to dinner about two years ago, your wife was there, and I brought a friend of mine, you’ll remember her.” Matthew connected that friend to an ongoing Justice Department investigation saying that the woman had been “threatened by the FBI” and told “she could face trouble” if she didn’t confess to authorities that Gaetz was involved in a “pay-for-play scheme.” I don’t know how many FBI questioning sessions Mr. Gaetz is aware of, but generally the agents give you a standard warning that if you lie to an FBI agent it can be used against you in court.

Then, live on-air, Carlson took on an appearance of stunned astonishment and said, “I don’t remember the woman you are speaking of or the context at all, honestly.” At the end of Matt’s appearance Carlson seemed to distance himself from the Gaetz tale by saying, “That was one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted.” Okay, Carlson didn’t want to be used, how rare for him.

Something is going on with Gaetz. He’s been alienated by many of the old guard Republicans in Congress, even though they won’t publicly admit it, and several news outlets are reporting that Gaetz has expressed doubts about seeking reelection in 2022. The word on the street is he’s considering a job at the conservative media outlet Newsmax, which would be a good landing if this investigation doesn’t lead to charges.

I live in Florida and have little to no respect for Matt Gaetz. He seems to be a pathological liar, just like his hero Trump, and I cannot understand why anyone would take him seriously. The problem with “made men” and what we used to call “lucky sperm” in business is that Daddy can protect for only so long and their assumed power can be taken away at any time, especially after making a big mistake. We need to know more about Gaetz’ relationship with Nestor Galbán and we certainly should hear from the 17 year-old young woman. I’m not out to cancel Matt Gaetz. I just want him to be honest and transparent, you know, like the glass house he lives in.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


SELFISH INSENSITIVE OR BOTH

Predicted by Politics?

The comedian-actor Timothy Alan Dick, known professionally as Tim Allen and sometimes known to me as a dick, is often not the smartest Allen wrench in the toolkit. When he got successful and didn’t agree with the government taxing half his salary, he became a conservative, or more accurately, a Republican.

As I studied both Republicans and Democrats over the years, the word ‘selfish” has come up many times. Here’s a story that pops into my head when I think of selfishness and try to understand how some people can be so downright insensitive. On April 1, 1996, the Cincinnati Reds and Montreal Expos were playing an Opening Day game where John McSherry was the home plate umpire. McSherry called a timeout seven pitches into the game, then he stumbled forward and collapsed. Resuscitative efforts were begun immediately on McSherry and he was taken to Cincinnati’s University Hospital but was pronounced dead upon arrival. He was 51 years old. The story doesn’t end there.

Marge Schott, who was the rather colorful and outspoken owner of the Reds, supposedly said, “Snow this morning and now this. I don’t believe it. I feel cheated. This isn’t supposed to happen to us, not in Cincinnati. This is our history, our tradition, our team. Nobody feels worse than me.” Schott said she was concerned for the 50,000 fans who might be unable to attend a makeup game if that day’s game was postponed. Selfish? Yes. A veteran of the baseball game died of a massive heart attack on the field, but it was her party and she wanted it to continue.

Cincinnati’s name was derived from the German name “Zinzinnati,” and the city has a large Oktoberfest every year. Ms. Schott was banned from managing the Cincinnati Reds from 1996 through 1998 due to her statements supporting German Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler. Her disqualification came as no surprise to the many German descendants living in the city and Schott sold most of her shares in the team shortly after her suspension. Marge Schott’s maiden name was Unnewehr, and it’s ironic that she inherited the Cincinnati Reds when her husband died of a heart attack in 1968, just like umpire McSherry was taken down in 1996.

This research startled me. A recent CBS News poll found 34% of Republicans say they will not be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Independents aren’t too far behind, with 30% saying they will refuse the shots. Only 10% of Democrats say they’ll abstain. Republicans are the least likely to say “yes I will get the vaccine” or “I already got the vaccine” — 42% — compared to 46% of independents and 70% of Democrats. Why these vast differences?

I have a strong hunch that Donald Trump is lurking behind the numbers. He milked the position that “it’s only a bad flu” and “there’s nothing to worry about” so much that many of his party loyalists not only believe his crazy theories about light and bleach but they have never taken the pandemic seriously. Why should we have to postpone a baseball game just because someone died? Why should I have to get a shot? Someone else can do it. There are whackos who believe the government is using the shots to “track” people or think inoculation will change their DNA. It’s all crazy stuff. Most of them don’t realize that Trump and Melania got their shots back in January.

When we get a terrible headache, we don’t sit around and complain about it, we take an aspirin or pain killer. When someone breaks a leg, they get to the hospital as fast as they can unless they’re a Christian Scientist, which is a totally oxymoronic name for a religion. It’s selfish and insensitive for anyone not to do their part in defeating this virus. Why should political party affiliation have anything to do with it?

I’m not going to say that 66% of Republicans are good people and the remaining 34% are stupid, ignorant, self-serving bastards, but I could. I’m thinking about the jacket Melania Trump wore to see kids in cages at the border, “I really don’t care, do you?” I’ve come to the realization that if you don’t want to get the shot, fine. If you get Covid-19 and die, well, read the jacket, Jack.

Had Marge Schott been more thankful about all she had, perhaps she might have been more sensitive, but that wasn’t the case. On November 13, 1992, Cal Levy, a former marketing director for the Reds, stated in a deposition for Tim Sabo, a former employee who was suing the team, that he’d heard Schott refer to then-Reds outfielders Eric Davis and Dave Parker as “million-dollar niggers.” Oops, we all know that lady karma eventually gets her say.

Schott was a long-time chain smoker and toward the end she suffered from health problems. In 2004 she had to be put on life support, a ventilator, and she died in the hospital on March 2, 2004 at the age of 75. I had to laugh when a satirical comedy website posted, “Trump campaign announces they have received endorsement from Marge Schott’s reanimated corpse!” Of course, had she been alive she certainly would have endorsed Trump.

There’s another deep irony here. Many thinking people with conservative leanings tell us that each person should have a right to accept or decline the COVID vaccine. They think it should come down to a person’s choice. While being so pro-choice on this health measure, they are the very ones who would like to deny women’s reproductive rights. They would rather decline a Covid shot and put older adults at risk than terminate a fetus. Great logic.

It’s all a matter of whether THEY want to take the risk for themselves and their families. If they don’t get the vaccine and then get sick, or if they infect their loved ones with the virus, they are not only prolonging this crisis but potentially killing those they should be protecting. It’s way more than selfish, it’s stupid and foolish.

But hey, if 34% of Republicans don’t want the vaccine, and still want Trump to be president, what possible argument could I make to convince them of their bad thinking? 81 million Americans voted for Joe Biden and he is now the president. I’m going with the majority on this one. I got both shots, and I will soon see my grandkids. If you refuse inoculation, why don’t you reserve a ventilator now? Think ahead. And please stop telling me coronavirus is a hoax. I guess you will get the shot only if someone dies right before the start of the game. It’s the game of life. Do your part or fuck off.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


THE PROSECUTION RESTS

Worst Case of Disregard by a Party

If you have been watching the second Impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump, you must realize by now the flaw in this whole matter before us. The Democratic House Impeachment Managers have done a terrific job demonstrating that a mob of far-right neo-Nazi, white supremacists and braindead militia attacked the Capitol Building and killed people, but they have failed to convince the sycophants in the Senate that Donald Trump had anything to do with it. Why?

You see, this is not a matter of truth and facts, but that may be appropriate because Donald Trump has never been honest with the American public. I would go so far as to claim Trump isn’t even trustworthy with himself. That advances a premise that the Donald suffers from not only dual personality but schizophrenia. I am suggesting the former president has a long-term mental disorder involving a breakdown between thought, emotion and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions, improper feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships and mental fragmentation resulting in extreme fantasy and delusion.

The big mystery to me is how could seemingly intelligent people in Congress not see this glaring disorder or disease? It could be they have been sucked into a “power guy syndrome.” An alcoholic doesn’t see that his drinking buddy is a drunk, he sees him as a friend. But I get it, they don’t want to piss off Trump who holds all that power they give him. They are literally letting Trump control them, and somehow, they see that as a positive.

The moderates in the Senate who would like to see Trump go away forever so they can get to the job of repairing their party, can’t muster the courage of voting for conviction and disqualification. If they were smart, they would encourage the Spartacus procedure. Remember when his troops were confronted with a demand to turn Spartacus over to the enemy, all the soldiers exclaimed, “I am Spartacus!” thus protecting their leader. If the Republicans wanted to camouflage those who would be hurt by a vote against Trump, they could all vote to convict and take pressure off specific members, but they won’t. They don’t have the courage to do what is right. They are puppets of party loyalty who are incapable of delivering justice to this horrible man.

Trump’s lawyers were given a direction and a big pep talk last night by far-right radicals in the Senate, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee. Where in American justice do the jurors ever have a meeting with the defense to help them convince their jury to get an acquittal? Of course, we’ve been told many times that this is not a real trial, as the process veers further and further away from true American courtroom justice, I’m starting to see the wisdom in an off the cuff remark by one of Trump’s lawyers. Maybe it’s time to move the adjudication of this crime to a criminal court. Let’s make Trump defend himself along with the insurrectionists he gathered and directed. I’m sure things would go much differently.

We have seen many court cases on TV and in real life where two of more people have been charged with a crime and each says one of the others made them do it. Yes, it’s common for a defendant to argue that they were under the mystical spell of another who made them cheat, steal or even, murder. The good news is we can handle that situation. We usually give one of the defendants immunity in exchange for their testimony against the person the prosecutor believes was the ringleader. Unfortunately, that falls short of imposing proper punishment over all who share responsibility.

Had the same evidence that was presented in this Trump impeachment trial number two been presented in a criminal proceeding, Trump would have already been convicted and waiting for the pronouncement of sentence. Most experts believe that one who incited an insurrection could get a one-year jail sentence which would, at best, be embarrassing for Trump.

Far too many times in the last 14 months we have been told that impeachment is a political process, not a legal action. Why it is that? Why should impeachment be relegated to political theater? It would seem to me that a sentence of disqualification from holding any future office makes the process profoundly serious, but the partisan insanity downgrades it. I have lived through three impeachment trials now, and I have a suggestion. Why not first convict — in a court of law — the president of his crime and then hold a vote on disqualification in the Senate? Who would want a convicted felon in the White House?

My idea would require changing the Constitution to detail all the possible actions a president or vice president could engage in that would be considered criminal. This would eliminate the scenario of a president telling us that making a shakedown call to a principal of another country is “perfect.” Why not simply spell out that it’s not? Yes, I am suggesting that we need the details of every possible criminal act to be defined as illegal and applied when the need to remove a bad person from office becomes necessary. If the act of a president inciting a riot and attack on the US Capitol is a crime, spell it out then arrest the guilty son-of-a-bitch!

Man Behind Bullet Proof Glass

We already have a solid legal structure in place to do deal with criminal infractions, and if the President of the United States is not above the law, now is the time to prove it. One might argue my idea doesn’t account for a deeply corrupt and partisan magistrate who wants to remove a president, but that is precisely what we have now. There are presently 17 Republicans lacking the guts and moral fortitude to convict “their” president. It’s a miscarriage of justice. When those sycophants acquit Trump, again, the “real courts” will have to deal with his fraud and criminal behavior. Justice delayed, for sure.

This is an extreme case of disregard by a political party that we all must remember. There is already discussion about starting a new Republican party without Trump, but any astute political mind will remind us that a third-party is always the kiss of death. That tactic usually splinters the vote and delivers a victory to the other guy. Just look back to what Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose did to the run by the incumbent, President Taft. Remember what happened in 1992 when Ross Perot ran unsuccessfully as an independent candidate but siphoned off enough votes to help Bill Clinton beat George H.W. Bush.

Much will be written about impeachment part two against Trump, but there are not enough words to solve the problem of division and political polarization in our country. He has been nothing but bad for America. A true crisis is the fact that months after he was soundly defeated in the 2020 Election, we must still deal with him daily. The sooner we can stop talking about Donald John Trump the faster we can begin healing our nation. Until he goes away, he remains a cancer on democracy.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

 

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


THE COUP THAT COLLAPSED

Trump Stoked an Insurrection Based on Lies

Everything that Donald Trump has said and done shows he is one pure-ass fake. Some might call what I am about to state here treason, but I will speak my mind without fear of intimidation or party affiliation, unlike those spinless Republican Senators who will not convict the former President of crimes against America.

In a different time and age, Mr. Trump would have been brought into magistrate court, charged with treason and shot on the public green the next morning. I’m not saying we should do this today, but he should know that had he lived in France during the two decades after that country’s revolution, he would have been beheaded. Sedition, treason and insurrection were not crimes one could argue away in court.

Most of America has now seen the freshly released images of the Capitol Hill riot on January 6. If Donald Trump is not to blame, then who is responsible for those crazy people who stormed the Capitol? Is it Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, 4Chan, 8Chan or maybe Charlie Chan? Could it have started with Carlos Danger and Anthony Weiner’s dick pics, or has it simply “been brewing for some time now” as I hear endlessly from the puckered pieholes of pundits and prognosticators reading the grievance tea leaves in Russian restaurants? They are all full of shit, just like Trump and his ludicrous lawyers.

Attorney Castor

I say they are stupid. Why? Trump lawyer Bruce Castor actually offered these words in the halls of Congress during the impeachment trial, “We are so understanding of the concept that people’s minds can be overpowered with emotion, where logic does not immediately kick in, that we have recognized examples that otherwise would be hearsay and said that, no, when you’re driving down the street, and you look over at your wife, and you say, ‘Hey, you know what, that guy is about to drive through the red light and kill that person,’ your wife can testify to what you said, because, even though it’s technically hearsay, it’s an exception, because it’s the event living through the person.”

Okay, let me wipe some of this horse shit off my shoes before I launch into my own personal rant. What the fuck does any of that mean? I can only assume that he’s trying to plant a seed that the bad things you will hear about are being were told by people who don’t know what they are talking about, so just ignore them. YES, that must be it! Trump’s personal lawyers are saying that there is nothing to see here and we should ignore hearsay even when it comes out of the ex-president’s mouth.

If a person lies to their attorney, and their lawyer then presents that lie as a defense in a court of law, that doesn’t make it any less of a lie. His attorneys are going try to sell the Senators and the American public a premise that Trump was merely using his First Amendment rights while talking to a group of really good people and he bears no responsibility for what they later did on Capitol Hill. Okay, let’s examine that. There are only two conclusions one could draw from that scenario. One, Donald John Trump is such a bad communicator that no one understood what he was saying or, two, the group assembled that day was so stupid they misinterpreted him.

Trump’s more than 11,000-word speech, complete with audience reaction, is right here, Donald Trump JAN 6 2021 Speech should you wish to read it. Without a shadow of doubt, his words were an incitement to insurrection. His detailed, final pitch to sell the big lie about election fraud also featured a compendium of grievances of those who have so mistreated him. Poor baby. In his final act, the martyr stood before his adoring crowd saying it’s time to take back your country, be strong and fight like hell. And let’s not forget that there is nothing good about hell.

Trump used the words “fight” or “fighting” 27 times, but only used the word “peaceful” once. It came near the end of his 75-minute speech, “We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” So, there is the “out” that his lawyers will argue for 16 hours at trial. Really? That’s it? The other 11,000 words don’t matter?

To delegitimize the rightfully elected 46th President of the United States, Donald pulled this one out of his index box of hate and lies, “I just spoke to Mike [Pence]. I said, Mike, that doesn’t take courage. What takes courage is to do nothing. That takes courage, and then we’re stuck with a president who lost the election by a lot, and we have to live with that for four more years.” Yes, Mr. Trump, that is how elections work. You should remember; you won one.

Mike and Karen Pence Rushed Away from Danger

Trump’s berating of his Vice President and confrontation with his inability or desire to break the law could have cost Mike Pence his life, along with those of his daughter and wife. Not only did Trump stir up the mob’s viciousness, he also directed their ire to Mr. Pence. But it didn’t end with his spoken word, Trump made it worse by tweeting to the insurrectionists at 2:24 PM, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.” So, the Donald turned up the heat on Pence as the mob was in the Capitol building screaming, “Hang Mike Pence.” Loyalty?

What if the pack had captured and murdered Mike Pence? Would the Republican Senators then be more likely to convict this loser of a president and disqualify him from ever holding Federal office again? That’s a tough question, but it gives me no certainty they would convict. Their vote is always for sale and Donald Trump bought it with lies, fear and intimidation. No man or woman should have that much power.

Donald Trump’s attempted coup failed, just like most of what he tried to do as president. Hundreds of thousands of people died from COVID because of his lack of comprehension, terrible messaging and misguided policies. And five people died because of the insurrection. He should be tried in criminal court, with testimonies of those who were in the room with him as he watched the riot on TV. How did he act then? What did he say? Donald John Trump intended to upturn the results of a valid election, and we must do everything we can to make sure such a thing never happens again. Ten years in jail for the perpetrator just might be a good deterrent for future presidents.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

 

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


OLD GUYS ROCK IN AMERICA

Oldest President, Oldest Quarterback

We are now starting to see years of hard work and focus paying off for some notable people. We just witnessed the oldest quarterback to ever take the field in a Super Bowl game win for his team and the oldest man to ever be sworn in as US president now living in the White House. We are dealing with a pandemic that sometimes gets us down, but we continue to move forward as we observe lower numbers of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. And while not a precise indicator of our entire economy, the stock market has certainly not suffered in the first months of a new administration.

I obviously love these events because I am an older guy. I have always been respectful of experience, but I have also railed against old fashioned, regressive ideas gumming up the works, no pun intended. The celebration of older age is seen on TV all the time. When a reporter honors a person who has reached 100, their standard question is, “What is your secret?” The reply is often some snappy advice, like drinking white wine at dinner or taking daily walks. Some say simply that the secret is to just keep breathing. The United Nations estimated that 316,600 centenarians worldwide were still breathing in 2012.

George Shultz, economist, diplomat and businessman, died the other day. He was 100 years old and served four presidents over the years. He certainly earned his stripes and staying around for a hundred years provided ample opportunity to make a difference. Perhaps more so than a younger, dead man could.

When I saw 43-year-old Tom Brady win the Super Bowl, I couldn’t help asking myself if 43 is old. Football is a young man’s sport, but Brady is a wonderful example of an older guy taking care of his body and mind while continuing to do the work he loves. While Brady is susceptible to injury at his age, the opposing team’s defense never got to him. Protection is more important to an older person, and one of their safeguards is knowledge about how to avoid the possibility of danger.

The Biden’s & the Brady’s

I am extremely aware of what I can and cannot do physically. As for mental acuity, I rise to the challenge of staying sharp and on top of things. Being old and retired gives me more time to read and deeply dive into various viewpoints that keep me astute. Old age becomes bad only when one holds rigid positions, outdated viewpoints or off base opinions. The world constantly changes, and a wise and experienced person like George Shultz could always pinpoint the moments of movement and change course accordingly. That’s what kept him successful and young.

I have never accepted modernity without question, but I have always remained open to new ideas, new partnerships and seeing things through the eyes of another regardless of their age. I am invigorated by learning new ways of doing things, especially when it comes to technology and culinary arts. I had no idea that spaghetti could be made from zucchini until just a few years ago.

Throughout my life I have always posed this internal question, “Why is this good for me or society?” I remain unconvinced that being a far-right conservative is good for anyone. The position seems to exist only because someone said it should. Despite pondering it quite a bit, I still have no idea what values Ted Cruz holds or, more importantly, why he is so inconsistent.

I’m sure you’ve had a birthday party or two where you looked around and thought, “Gee, I made it through another year.” Take that to the next level and think about the funeral of a 95 year old person. The church is empty because all of their friends are gone. So, I don’t focus on age as the decline of the journey. I use my acquired wisdom and knowledge to concentrate on those things currently before me. What can I do today that will make a positive difference?

I become frustrated when seeing people get mired in events that enact past mistakes. It brings a pause and makes me wonder if they are stupid. It was tried back in 1967 and it didn’t work then so why would you think it will work now? I admit to getting some satisfaction by saying I told you so to those repeating bad history. As those words tumble from my mouth, I hear the mental echo of things my parents said to me when I messed up as a kid. Yes, I have become my parents.

My mother and father never stopped learning. Even after a rather cult-like allegiance to Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew, they eventually admitted that they misjudged both of those goofballs. As for me, I hope that folks who glued themselves to Donald Trump will wake up one day and realize how ill-informed they were about a man who was totally incapable of handling the responsibilities of a US president.

Native American Judge

The community hierarchy of America’s tribal nations was based on law and order. Interestingly, a group of the tribe’s oldest women were the ultimate judges of right and wrong. They not only sat in judgement, but they also decided the punishment for offenses. It was logical to Native Americans that their oldest, most experienced tribe members should execute the laws of the land.

Something great flows when younger people can learn and be motivated by giving older folks their day in the sun. I am sure Patrick Mahomes II, a 25 year old guy from Tyler, Texas, will remember what happened when he played in the 2021 Super Bowl. I have a feeling he will be motivated to work harder because of a 43 year old man named Tom Brady. Oh, to be 43 again, or maybe even 53. Hell, I’ll take 60! Okay, I’m suddenly feeling the need for my afternoon beauty nap. I’ll have more for you another day.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

 

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


LOONY LIES & CANCER

Mitch McConnell’s Last Term

American politics and governance provide only a few examples of true leadership. The process is based more on gamesmanship and less on leadership. Our former president was far from a leader; he was a psycho complainer.

Today the new Trump lawyers threw their first pitch and revealed what they hope to pull off during the former president’s second impeachment trial. They will claim that Donald John Trump never urged his followers into insurrection and has always promoted peaceful assembly and protest. They will assert that Trump bears no responsibility for the Capitol Hill riot and, above all else, they will argue that an impeachment trial for a president who has left office is unconstitutional. Isn’t that like saying the man who embezzled money from the company the day before he was fired has neither guilt nor a legal obligation to pay back the money? What country is this?

If Trump did not commit the crime of inciting an insurrection, why do those who carried out the treasonous and seditious acts say they were following his orders? I’m sure the trial will cover the content of Mr. Trump’s speech right before the mob marched to the Capitol and killed people, but Trump’s hired hands will say his words couldn’t possibly incite a normal person. What a convoluted court drama! The accused blame the leader while the leader faults the accused. Who can we believe, or should we simply let all of them go Scott-free? But let me move on to today’s main story.

The Lady in Black

Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made a dramatic and surprising statement yesterday about some of the lunatics in the House of Representatives. Although he didn’t speak her name, McConnell denounced newly elected Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Monday, calling the far-right Georgia Republican’s embrace of conspiracy theories and “loony lies” a “cancer for the Republican Party.” According to the Associated Press he further said, “Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality. This has nothing to do with the challenges facing American families or the robust debates on substance that can strengthen our party.”

The former Senate leader’s pronouncement drew a line in the sand and boxed in his House of Representatives counterpart Kevin McCarthy, who should now act. Perhaps he will condemn those Republicans who endorse such bullshit and strip them of leadership roles, or maybe not. We have to wait and see.

The outrageous claims of Trump wannabe Marge from Georgia are the direct result of Republicans ignoring all the daft lies of the past four years. Maybe they’re all crazy, and I mean that in the mental illness kind of way. Greene garnered only 229,827 votes in a district with slightly under one million people, but she was elected and that gives her a megaphone. I believe she’s not highly intelligent. I know saying that is politically incorrect, but if she were the least bit aware, she would know all that QAnon stuff is fantasy. What any of that made-up shit has to do with America being great is lost on everyone except the other dumb people. Maybe her boredom with older anti-Semitic tropes is what led her to say that the California wildfires were ignited by Jewish controlled laser beams coming from secret space satellites.

Mitch is attacking Marjorie because he thinks her lunacy will cost Republicans future elections, including her own election in in Georgia two years from now. The Democrats can easily find someone with more creditability than Miss Georgia Greene. By the way, have you ever noticed that when a Senator or Representative announces they are retiring from Congress they begin to say what they should always have said? It’s ironic that they become truthful when no longer seeking reelection.

Old Man McConnell

McConnell is 78 years of age and he was just reelected to a six-year term. He will be 84 when his term is up and it’s unlikely he will run again. So, this is probably the end for Mr. McConnell and all of a sudden, he’s telling us what he honestly believes and thinks. Using his great political skill, McConnell was able to manipulate Trump to cause himself the least amount of pain, but he surely doesn’t like what has happened to his party.

Mitch will forever be labeled a failure because he couldn’t stop the election fraud scam within his caucus and an insurrection occurred under his watch. For the next two years McConnell will have to work at cleaning up his party while the Dems trample over him. He’s now much less relevant, but at least, he’s finally speaking out.

The loony lies McConnell has called out could very well destroy the Republican Party and, if given enough oxygen, might ruin the House and the Senate as well. If we were to line up Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marjorie Taylor Greene to ask why they are being so stupid, they would endlessly tell you why they are right, and we are wrong. Their lies, conspiracies and misinformation make America look bad. Consider Rand Paul saying that masks do not protect against COVID-19. Yeah, he really said that. Think about Ted Cruz’ belief that a president cannot commit a crime. What about murder, Teddy? As for Josh Hawley, he just wants to be president one day. God help us all!

We need to keep our eyes on Mitch McConnell to see if stands his ground. If he recapitulates and walks it all back, we’ll know, he’s just another dirty, grifter politician. We have accepted mediocrity for so long it will be hard to know a real leader when one comes along. It’s as if we are as brain dead as Q himself. I assume he’s a man, but I know he’s a dick.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

 

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


ULTIMATE ABUSE OF POWER

Trump’s Pardon of Bannon & Others

Every morning, I read a passage of dialog from the Broadway musical A Thousand Clowns. “I gotta know what day it is. I gotta know what’s the name of the game and what the rules are without anyone else telling me. You gotta own your own days and name ’em, each one of ’em, every one of ’em, or else the years go right by and none of them belong to you.”

I know that if I break a rule, I will have my day in court, and if found guilty of a crime, I will certainly do the time. With that in mind, it’s numbing and discouraging to realize that a single person in America has the power to overrule a judge or jury. The power to pardon was awarded to the United State president by our founding fathers. It was intended as a means of intercession when corruption, partisan political rancor or other such nonsense put an innocent person in jail. Things changed when President Gerald Ford gave Richard Nixon a preemptive pardon, which set an absurd precedent that a person who hasn’t even been convicted can be pardoned.

Beach Bum Bannon

Let’s examine the case of Steve Bannon, whom Donald Trump just pardoned. Bannon was an officer in the United States Navy for seven years, and after his military service he landed a plum job as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs. In 1993, he became acting director of the research project Biosphere 2, which was a total failure because its hubristic, pseudo-scientific experiments never accomplished their mission.

Then, Bannon became an executive producer in Hollywood and between 1991 and 2016 he produced 18 films. Because of his early investment in Castle Rock Entertainment, which produced the phenomenally successful TV show Seinfeld, Bannon will never need to work again.

In 2007, Steve Bannon co-founded Breitbart News, the far-right website he described as “the platform for the alt-right.” In 2016, Steve joined Donald Trump’s campaign as the Chief Strategist, and then after the election he was named Senior Counselor to the President. That position latest only eight months when Trump realized that Bannon was a destructive force and dismissed him.

After Bannon left the White House, he and Trump continued to talk, and it seemed there was unity between the philosophies of the two men. In many post-White House interviews, Bannon was extremely supportive of his Frankenstein monster.

So, why does Steve Bannon need a pardon? It begins with this lead story in the in the August 20, 2020 edition of the New York Times, “Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s former adviser and an architect of his 2016 general election campaign, was charged on Thursday with defrauding donors to a private fund-raising effort called ‘We Build the Wall,’ which was intended to bolster the president’s signature initiative along the Mexican border.”

Seven men In the Trump administration were charged and or convicted of felonies, including Paul Manafort, Michael T. Flynn, Michael D. Cohen and Steve Bannon. All of them except Michael Cohen were awarded pardons and will go free. Interestingly, Cohen turned on Trump publicly and reverse logic indicates if one says nice things or nothing about Trump, they’re awarded a get-out-of-jail card.

I get miffed and aggressive when I see someone get conned out of their hard-earned savings. I know people who have given their money to swindlers who claimed their investment would double or triple in months, but eventually learning they were the victims of a Ponzi scheme. Bannon attained large investments by using the President’s words that a wall was on the southern US border to protect against the murderous caravan that was coming to get us. Allegedly, Bannon and his co-conspirators skimmed millions off the top of those investments for themselves.

Why do I care that Steve Bannon was pardoned? It’s just my silly, middle-class mentality that people who hurt others should be punished. Even if they don’t go to jail, they should be made to pay back the money they stole and apologize to their victims. In the case of Bannon, none of that will happen now. I am even more frustrated because the broke-dick wall was erected too close to the river and parts of it washed out during a flood. Investment dollars were in the coffers and the wall failed to deliver on its promise of security. Bannon and his crew are just like those shyster aluminum siding sales guys who bilk families out of their savings.

I find the number of white-collar criminals on the Trump list of pardons interesting. It’s part of the Trump foundational philosophy that Mary L. Trump outlined so perfectly in her book about her uncle. Donald’s father Fred preached an anti-IRS, antigovernmental mantra that eventually led to his brainwashed son barking orders at his rabid followers to storm the Capitol Building.

Trump’s presidency enforced the heartfelt belief of many Americans that there are two rule books, one for the rich, entitled and connected and the other for everyone else. Here is something all those Trump-loyal Republicans need to realize; Today they must separate themselves from this man who just left the White House. They must disassociate the party from the man. As for Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, they are not Trump and would be wise to stop acting like him.

Unjust Judge Pirro

And just before I posted this, Trump remembered that he forgot one more person to pardon. This tweet was posted, “New: Trump has pardoned Al Pirro, who was convicted of tax fraud. Pirro has previously worked with Trump on real estate deals and is the ex-husband of Fox host Jeanine Pirro.” She must have called him and screamed “bloody Mary” murder when she saw that her husband’s name wasn’t on the list.

We must address the pardon power of the president for the future. The chief executive should have to stay the crime, the date range of when it was committed and why they gave the person a pardon. A simple, “I like his wife!” would do.

The seriousness of America’s situation would not be resolved with jail time for Steve Bannon, but for many of us that would be a positive indicator that justice works in America. The stench of Trump will take time to dissipate, but in the meantime, we should focus on the future. Let’s try to heal the hurt of a corrupt and useless president and let only good thoughts in. Let’s stop building the wall and joyously celebrate the reality that America survived a total fucking idiot of a president.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here


A MOB IS A NOT A CONSTITUENCY

Trump’s Mythical Math Means Nothing

We should all respect people who have a gift of working with numbers, math and equations. Understanding the solar system led us to exploring the world. Knowledge of math helped us comprehend the human body and create chemistry to heal the sick. Complex equations gave us the wings to fly to the moon. While all the brainiacs in high school were tackling algebra and trig, I was playing sports and focused on abstract thought. At least that is what my tests told me.

This week in Georgia we’ve learned that for all the things Donald Trump understands about manipulating people he knows nothing about math. I don’t mean reading a spreadsheet or making money; I’m talking about the reality of science. The college course is named Political Science, not Political Opinion. And, as they say, opinions are like… well, you know.

The more we hear of that shakedown phone call Donald John Trump made to Georgia’s Secretary of State, the more we realize his disconnection from reality. He continues to claim the presidential election was rigged. I say prove it or shut the fuck up.

For hundreds of years, powerful white men in this country have suppressed the votes of women, African Americans and ethnic minorities. When US Senate leader Mitch McConnell blocks legislation he doesn’t personally or politically like, he’s just the latest white man in power putting his knee on the necks of those who cannot fight back.

We should heed the advice in Bob Dylan’s song The Times They Are A-Changin:

Come gather ’round, people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’

Bob Dylan

Bulbous, overweight Donnie is sinking like a stone, while the results of the Georgia runoff Senate election are showing us the pure realities of science and math. First, why is Georgia even having a runoff election? Isn’t every office in the land decided by popular vote? This is where history gets rich. Because multiple white candidates ran for Georgia’s House of Representatives, Senate and other offices, over time each candidate netted a smaller percentage of the vote. This wasn’t a big problem until a Black candidate got a larger percentage of the popular vote and won. White men then decided that an African American couldn’t just walk in there with the most votes to win, so they stipulated a winner must get 50% or more of the vote. Failing that, a forced runoff election of the top two vote getters would determine the winner. Some think this is a good idea, and it might have some merit if the original intent wasn’t thwarting minority representation. Viewed in that light, it’s downright racist!

While the cult followers and sycophants in the US Senate attempt to delay the inevitable Joe Biden presidency, they have no clue that the times they are a-changin’. Now freed from voter suppression, American minority groups have become a powerful voice. Women have also become a force in the voting booth, especially those in the suburbs who are not only managing a family, sometimes alone, but also busting it in the workplace to keep things together. Today’s voters are more informed and less likely to fall for unworkable solutions built on hyperbole or blatant fear mongering.

The results of this week’s runoff election in Georgia reveal a lesson about the soul of America. We aren’t become whiter. No, we are becoming more of that melting pot we speak of so romantically. When it looked like Bernie Sanders was gaining ground in the 2016 primaries, someone asked me how he would do in North Carolina. I simply said, “He’ll lose.” When the person probed me, I explained that his Jewish heritage was being used against him. The person was offended by my observation, but the guy never lived in the south. I would be remiss if I didn’t say, the south, it is a-changin.’

When African American candidate Stacey Abrams, who has what some think is a “Jewish name,” ran for Governor of Georgia, she made a big deal about voter suppression. Because she lost, some thought her “angry Black woman” complaining was a case of sour grapes. Time has a way of bringing slime to the top of the swamp, and people want to rid themselves of it. Minorities do better when their votes are not suppressed. It’s just science and math.

A wise old man once told me that the faces in Washington would look much different if more people voted. Because women vote, more are elected these days. People of all walks of life and persuasion now take office, and soon we will have the first African American Senator from Georgia. Yes, there will be calls for a recount and Kelly Loeffler will roll out the Trumpean playbook by claiming dead people voted and the election was rigged, but in reality, the people have spoken. The truth is Ms. Loeffler is not likeable and everyone in Georgia knows she is a grifter.

The other seat for Congress is still too close to call, but this speaks to the fact that if you don’t show up you will appear to not really want the job. It’s amazing to me that people don’t learn from history. There once was a woman named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She hailed from the Bronx borough in New York and decided to run for Congress. Her opponent was Joe Crowley, a veteran Democrat, who took his standing for granted. Mr. Crowley didn’t take this “young girl” seriously and he refused to debate her on TV. The result? Well, as they say, Crowley was successfully “primaried” and A.O.C. won the 2016 general election. At 29 years of age, she became the youngest woman ever to serve in the United States Congress.

Ossoff & Warnock

When I saw the empty podium during the Ossoff – Purdue debates in Georgia, it became clear to me that David Purdue is a total political dolt. Should Jon Ossoff win the other Georgia Senate seat, it will be because Purdue didn’t present any new ideas. He’s a total Trump dummy, and if you look closely you will see a tiny presidential hand rammed straight up his ass.

We now face the possibility that Mitch McConnell will no longer be the “grim reaper” who stands in the way of Congress getting things done. Isn’t that the real problem in America? Nothing good has happened in the last four years. Nothing.

Donald John Trump told the masses it was okay to be dumb and ignore science, and now we have more than 358,000 people dead. Trump is no smarter than the bards and blowhards of the 1500s. We have been arguing so long we can no longer see that we are killing ourselves. I know, I know, it’s just one election, but somewhere in the songs of our land we may find answers:

Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway, don’t block up the hall
For he who gets hurt will be he who has stalled
The battle that’s ragin’ shakes windows and walls
For the times they are a-changin!’

Brand New Book for the Recovery

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

 

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


HE BROKE THE LAW

Trump’s Self-Pardon Parlay

Because he was not removed from office during his impeachment proceedings, Donald Trump has developed an inflated view about his power. This Includes a belief that he can grant himself a pardon. I’m sure he’ll try.  It’s the kind of doubling down a drunk gambler does in desperation. The greed and excitement of going all in only looks smart when there’s a winning outcome. If Trump loses the battle of self-pardon in the Supreme Court, he will be the target of endless litigation and charges. This man’s mad acts have made America vindictive and about 60% of the folks in the country will want their pound of flesh.

Brad Raffensperger

By now, most Americans have heard the damaging excerpts from the conversation between President Donald Trump and Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger. With all the hubbub surrounding the legitimacy of the 2020 election, more people than ever understand the responsibilities of our secretaries of state (SOS). It’s ironic that the SOS acronym also means Save Our Ship, the distress call of the high seas.

The work of our state secretaries is easily seen because it involves the public interest. Here is an example of the investigative results by Georgia’s SOS office. These people do good work, and they should be respected unless they are suppressing the vote, which sometimes happen when they navigate the rough waters between partisan desires and public duty. Some pilot that craft well, while others are just as bad as those who desire to control them.

My hats off to Raffensperger for his honor, honesty and valor during the horrendous misuse of power Donald Trump and his enablers wielded on that phone call. The obstruction of justice and attempted law breaking is embarrassing for America and a dark stain on Democracy itself. As we hear legal experts pontificate and explain whether this man in the White House broke the law, some answer by saying a president cannot be indicted while in office. Yes, I get that, but it doesn’t answer the question if Trump’s behavior was illegal. Had anyone else made a phone call like Trump’s they would have been charged. Ask Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted of attempting to sell a Senate seat and sent to prison. By the way, he owes his freedom to Donald Trump, the friend who pardoned him.

That brings us to whether Trump will pardon himself. Will he take the risk of executing a flawed and thin authority of self-pardon? Maybe he will pull a fast one by excluding himself from a bunch of new pardons, then resigning with a diabolical plot in place. After the Chief Justice swears in Mike Pence as the new president, Pence would then pardon Trump. Is such a plan viable? It would most certainly bring political destruction and death to Pence. Is such ass kissing worth it Mikey?

Trump’s Last Stand

Trying to parlay power into his next life would be a giant risk for Donald Trump. He’s got little credibility with anyone except the tyrants and dictators who rule some other countries. Even Israel, who appears to kowtow to him, would reject any attempt on his part to move there. Their hardcore political partisans are worse than anything we have in the US. In the bitter end, when banks and lenders come knocking on Trump’s door to collect on their loans, he’s going to have to pay up. The regulatory agencies in many countries are wise to the con and will be opening major inquiries into their corporations. For example, we’ll probably see Germany launch a major investigation into Deutsche Bank. There is a reason for this kind of extreme caution and oversight, it’s called money laundering.

So, Trump faces a serious conundrum. If he resigns, he will seem weak and guilty to his loyal followers. If he stays in office until January 20th, he could lose his chance of pardon. If he finds out that his “self-pardon” ruse didn’t work, he will have to continue his pattern of lies and lawsuits to avoid the inevitable, being charged and prosecuted. Donald believes he never does anything wrong and, in his tiny mind, can’t possibly think that his actions are above the law.

Trump’s weekend phone call was illuminating because it showed, once again, what Michael Cohen and James Comey have said about the Donald. Like a mafia boss, he never directly says what he’s asking. It’s coyly done with intimidation and a slight nudge and wink. He never said, “You need to say I got more votes.” His words were, “What I need…” leaving the listener to intuit his actual meaning. When Trump said that he “won the election,” Raffensperger swatted back with a polite, “Your numbers are not correct.” Someone with less balance and political savvy would have retorted to Trump’s allegation that their action is criminal by asking, “Are you threatening me?” To the credit of the Georgia officials, they didn’t escalate the matter in that way. Smart.

“It’s like Donald Corleone,” Howard Stern

When I was a young man in Pittsburgh, I had a friend who ran the jewelry store where number slips for the local boss were collected. One night, he, I and a group of others went to a restaurant in the East Liberty section of town called, Win, Place and Show. When our group of partiers wanted to get another round of drinks, the waiter replied, “Okay, is this one check?” Being the jerk in the group, I barked, “How about one more drink for the road?” The waiter then peered at my jeweler buddy and quietly said, “It’s time.” After we made our way to the parking lot, I saw five black limos with their motors running in the back. I asked my friend what this was all about, and he apologized saying he forgot it was the night for the weekly meeting of the mob families. I froze.

This encounter taught me two things. One, actions can be easily provoked and, two, even though a place serves great food one must never assume the establishment believes that the customer is always right. I survived my naivete to write this blog and eat Italian food.

Should the time come when Donald John Trump announces that he will pardon himself for acts during his presidency, we must all ask these questions. What are the next steps and who will launch the lawsuit to erase this pardon? Should Trump attempt to pardon himself for all things during his presidency, then someone needs to open that can of worms and address each of the slimy lies. After all is said and done, the Donald will slink away to Florida, watch TV and throw continuous tweet-shoes at the screen, becoming a caricature of himself. As he ages and his bloated face slowly melts into long wrinkles and sagging jowls, people will walk away from him. He’s certainly the worst president in my lifetime, and that’s a seventy-plus years run.

There are times lawyers criticize me for making a statement they consider to be my “opinion.” Well, there are three reasons beyond my opinions about why I believe Trump broke the law during his call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. First, there is a law that says such behavior is illegal. Next, the officials in Georgia knew that Donald was attempting to intimidate them, so they recorded the call and then released it to the press. It doesn’t matter what Trump says about his intent. The people on the other end of the call believed he was asking them to commit fraud.

Finally, there’s this. Trump attempted that call 18 times, obsessing over his need to have that conversation. He had a plan to overturn the election and was antsy to press the deceit. It’s like a three-strikes and your out legal matter. Donald Trump is guilty of violating the fundamental tenets of the law: “…prohibits any person, in an election for federal office, from defrauding or attempting to defraud the residents of a state of a fair election through casting or tabulating ballots that the offender knows are materially false or fraudulent under state law.” This isn’t obstruction of justice, it’s a clear case of soliciting and encouraging fraud. Case closed.

Brand New Book for the Recovery

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

 

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


THE GREAT CONUNDRUM

Clearing Trump’s Debris Field

I was living in Washington, D.C. when Jimmy Carter was elected president. Right after his win, I began seeing many Georgia license plates on the cars around town. It was an amazing, visual representation of the changing of the guard in the nation’s capital.

I am so curious about what will take place at the White House on January 20, 2021. Traditionally, the outgoing president and first lady host the president-elect and their spouse before going to the Capital together for the swearing in ceremony. The attendees usually include the vice president, members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, high-ranking military officers, former presidents, living Medal of Honor recipients, and other dignitaries. Only five former outgoing presidents have chosen not to attend the ceremony, and that list will likely grow by one this year. I can’t imagine Donald John Trump allowing himself to be seen in such a defeatist setting.

JFK, 1960

Trump would much rather have the title “former president” rather than “loser” or “one term president.” Still clutching the myth that he won the election, I have a feeling he will hold a rally during the inauguration, just to pee in the punch bowl. He’s never shown respect for America, democracy or our Constitution, and I’ll go out on a limb by saying he has no respect for the Holy Bible on which he laid his hand four years ago. However, maybe I should temper myself and allow a person without sin to throw the first stone.

Trump’s debris field is extensive. Here are some big picture items. First, let’s consider executive orders and the implications of each. To date, Trump has signed 203 orders. The new administration will have to review each one to determine if it can be unplugged by a new executive order, and how that might affect process and policy. Big job.

Next, we need to unravel the disastrous environmental changes and terminate agreements that upheaved areas such as the US-Mexico border. We must halt the destruction of federal lands and reverse the ridiculous Trump policies that disregarded climate change initiatives and increased pollution. There is nothing more important than our environment.

The wealth inequalities in our country have been skewed by Trump’s non-middle class tax cuts that gave more money to the upper 20% and cheated the lower 80% out of a better life. The deficit the Donald created with his foolish gift to corporate America must be reworked to get more tax dollars into the Treasury to pay for the COVID disaster. Yes, I’ll say it again. The pandemic’s damaging impact would have been must less if only the Trump administration had effectively managed it.

Unlike many others, I am not jacked up on the theory that more conservative judges means less democracy. Our judges looked directly through the eyes of justice when deciding the more than sixty lawsuits brought by Donald Trump in his feeble attempt to overturn the election that Joe Biden fairly won. Now they might overreach in the future on healthcare or pro-choice issues, but basic law precepts require a plaintiff to prove their case using facts, not fantasies. Yes, a new president will appoint judges of their choice, but the net effect will be a stronger judicial.

The biggest job Joe Biden and his team will face is using words and acts to restore confidence in our basic institutions. We must believe in the FBI, ATF and Homeland Security so that we don’t have to fear those miscreants who want to bomb and shoot us. We need to believe in the CDC, WHO and the National Institute of Health and rely on their medical guidance.

It’s time to end this hyper transactional attitude that has dragged down America these past four years. Productive and progressive life cannot be based on an endless “quid-pro-quo stream” in which decisions are based on the personal gain of the president rather that appropriate action for the masses. We need to stop the Trump minions from outrageous and idiotic acts such as placing the entire country of Cuba on a terrorist list. Policies like that are more vindicative that logical. Trump lost a past bid for a hotel-casino in Havana, and that is the reason he pushes normalization away from Cuba.

We must educate the masses about many complex concepts and challenging conundrums. Take China, for example. Our outgoing President has blathered on about China’s trade imbalance and theft of American intellectual property, but there are much deeper and darker problems there. The Chinese government is rounding up people of certain religions and cultures and making them work in labor camps. Human rights issues such as these must be confronted, but it’s complicated. We rely on China for their production lines and products and we will suffer for years without a proper peace treaty that reconciles their governmental overreach with our needs.

The most important goal of our new government is facing the COVID crisis and overcoming institutional inertia so we can start to make progress in fighting the virus. We must get 75% of the population vaccinated and bring forth a viable healthcare system for America’s future. We were totally unprepared for a global pandemic and its fallout will linger for a decade or more. Trump spent so much time, so many words, spreading misinformation about Obamacare that people have no idea how a more robust national health plan would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives. It’s time to be smarter and sharper. An effective health system is needed to keep our workers healthy and, oh yeah, working.

I don’t care what Donald Trump will do when he leaves Washington. If he starts a cable network, I won’t be watching. If he tries to force his kids on the Republican party of Florida, good luck with that. Here’s my big closer. We need more long-term planning and less government-by-tweeting. I don’t need a daily diatribe of the top guy’s grievances; I would much rather know what challenges we face and which improvements we made today. Where are we going and how are we going to get there? Over time, the answers to these daily questions will make America great again. Donald Trump is the conundrum. Ironic and simple, isn’t it?

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The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.