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.


MOVING FORWARD IS TOUGH

The Era of American Grievance and Lies

Imagine an 11th grade high school class comprised of devout Evangelists, Islamists and Hasidic Jewish kids. Now, think of their teacher arranging a debate in which the students have to defend the firm religious beliefs of their debate opponents. Boy, I’d love to be a fly on the wall for that one! It would be quite a challenge for the kids.

We know that Congress is full of contrarians. One camp is filled with those who oppose or reject popular opinion while folks in the other have an unusually strong sense of self and are vocal about their differing opinions. Florida Representative Matt Gaetz fits into that category. Ohio’s Jim Jordan can be labeled as a defender by some, but to others he’s a vindictive source of torment. When the tactics of blocking, arguing and criticizing get in the way of discussion and compromise, nothing productive follows.

Thanks to Mother Jones

I have a theory about Donald Trump and those people who want to be like him. Every shove raises an opposite force of equal proportion. All too frequently, I find myself screaming at the TV “That’s not true!” when hearing something like “All democrats hate America!” The true meaning of one who says that is “I hate anyone who disagrees with me.” When COVID-19 hit, most Republicans simply blamed China and offered precious little in the way of solutions. It’s the typical tactic of a contrarian. Usually, a ton of ad hominem surfaces while arguing such a point and speakers attack the character of those opposing them instead of dealing with the facts.

I tend to merely wave my hand at the older bigots in Congress and dismiss their perverted views and attitudes as the result of just being there too long. Ted Cruz, who is a small-minded person parading as an intellectual, introduced TERM LIMITS, but made sure they would not affect those who, like himself, are “grandfathered” in Congress. It’s like the “reform” we sometimes hear from successful immigrants, “Hey, I’m in now so close the door and don’t admit any others like me.” By the way, Ted Cruz’ father came to America from Cuba.

The daily discord in Congress is disturbing in many ways. Their lofty talk about compromise and unity is meaningless; they don’t care about those ideals at all. They would rather win the argument, massage their base and ask for more money from their voters, concepts far removed from keeping America great, or at least safe. The best recent example is the way Republicans decried the terrible Capitol Hill riots but, once the smoke cleared, were incapable of punishing the members who supported Trump’s incitement. It’s like they weren’t there. These same folks feel that convicting Trump by an impeachment trial in the Senate would be outrageous.

Master & Slave

Minority House Leader Kevin McCarthy cannot bring discipline to new House member Marjorie Taylor Greene for her anti-Semitic, racist, xenophobic, and hurtful rhetoric. Even though McCarthy personally condemns such words and thoughts, Trump is still the puppet master of his political actions. McCarthy believes he can dodge the pressure by letting the Democrats vote Greene off committees. Wait and see how that won’t work. McCarthy will ultimately become the target of the malcontents, malicious traitors and cancerous contrarians of Congress.

Politicians have learned how to lie and take dark money to get elected. They have a naïve notion they don’t have to give the devil his due after he’s delivered the dinero. Such fools! Taking the money destines one to eventual ball playing on a burning field in hell.

We have always elected a certain number of whacked lunatics to Congress. We’ve had KKK grand wizards and outwardly racists fools like Steve King of Iowa. He was voted out after his neighbors learned his ways. I must believe that Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert have embarrassed their constituents and will be replaced in 2022, but right now they need to be controlled. I just read a story about Ms. Boebert claiming 38,000 miles on her House expense report. Wow, stealing gas from the government; shouldn’t she be fired right now?

It’s easy to see that we are living in weird times. The fact that I was backing Liz Cheney 100% on her fight to keep power in the House of Representatives is proof. Now before you possibly start thinking things couldn’t be stranger, consider last night’s story from Reuters, “Newly unsealed court documents and other records show that Merck & Co and U.S. regulators knew about reports of suicidal behavior in men taking the company’s anti-baldness treatment Propecia when they decided not to warn consumers of those potential risks in a 2011 update of the popular drug’s label.” Donald Trump uses this treatment every day. Could the 45th President be suffering from a drug induced depression that has turned him into a monster? Hey, I am just reporting the news here. Yes, it comes with a large dose of opinions and fearful conjectures but at least you don’t have to pay for it.

As I have said before, getting rid of one goofball just causes another to pop up. You can play whack-a-mole all day but, like a rat’s tooth, break one off and another will grow in its place. These politicians raise money on being “persecuted” and maligned by the other side, but like any good martyr they desperately seek love. I guess the love that Matt Gaetz never got from his own father, was replaced by the “love” Donald Trump fed him. He’s so beholden to Trump that he wanted to resign from the House to become Trump’s lawyer during his Senate impeachment trial. Matt took an oath to protect the Constitutions of Florida and the US but has done much harm to both. This attorney is now risking his membership in the Bar Association. Disbarment would end his career as a lawyer, but not as a liar.

It’s going to take years for us confused voters to uncover the real criminals here. I do have some hope, given that hardly anyone in my generation has anything kind to say about Richard Nixon. The sycophants and losers hanging onto Donald John Trump’s shirttail should wake up and smell the covfefe. They are so stupid that they don’t even realize they are complicit in crimes against America. Like I said, it’s going to take a long time and moving forward in conflict is never an easy process.

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 RIGHT OVERSIGHT

Trump & Truman, Birds of a Feather?

Why don’t more people compare Harry Truman and Donald Trump? They should because it would provide insight into oversight. Most people don’t go there because Truman was a Democrat and Trump is a “sort of” Republican, but that won’t get in the way of this history lesson.

Harry Truman was not President Roosevelt’s only Vice President. Most younger Americas don’t remember that FDR served eight terms, a loophole that was taken away when the Twenty-Second Amendment said a president may be elected for only two terms with a total of eight years.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President, had three Vice Presidents. He changed his VPs more often than his boxer shorts, mostly for political reasons. Harry Truman was kind of like FDR’s Mike Pence. He hailed from the Midwest and was more conservative than FDR. His claim to fame before becoming Vice President was running a committee that investigated waste and corruption in the military. He became president when FDR died shortly after being reelected for the eighth time.

Here’s where the comparison between Trump and Truman gets a little scary. President Truman made the decision to drop the atomic bomb on two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some say the two bombings killed as many as 230,000 civilians and they remain the only use of nuclear weapons in the history of armed conflict. Thank God. Truman claimed that dropping the big bomb had saved more than a million US lives by not prolonging a war with Japan. Well, we proved it could work and learned how terribly bad a nuclear weapon truly is.

When Harry Truman was confronted about waging war in Korea without a formal declaration and vote in congress, he allegedly told reporters, “I don’t ask their permission — I just consult them.” Appalled by Truman’s comment, Robert Taft from Ohio proclaimed that Harry Truman was courting a “Constitutional crisis.” Trump may say he’s a deal maker, but he’s just doing what HE THINKS is best. At least Truman took advice.

Like most presidents who have Congressional monkeys on their backs, Truman was not liked by the “other party” in Congress. When Truman fired General Douglas MacArthur for insubordination, the not so fearful General went to Capitol Hill to speak before a joint session of Congress. Many of Truman’s rivals wept openly. They thought MacArthur was infallible. It has been said that Truman was disgusted by the sight of “damn fool Congressmen crying like a bunch of women” after hearing “nothing but a bunch of bullshit!”  The description of Democrats is that they wet their seats when witnessing such emotional loyalty to MacArthur. If Trump gets reelected, Democrats and the nation will need a big box of Depend adult diapers.

When a person hears others saying they are the world’s most powerful person, they start to believe it. Oversight simply becomes an unnecessary burden on their lifestyle and ego. Trump’s similarity to Truman comes in the form of mismanaging crises. Truman used the atomic bomb to end a war but played the Korean conflict like he was walking on eggshells. He also showed the world he was afraid of China and Russia.

Trump is walking away from the fight with the coronavirus like he’s worried about making a mistake. His failed response is only made worse by his inability to know what Americans really need right now, a decisive leader. I question the loyalty to home and flag on the part of those who think Trump’s doing a good job. He’s not.

What makes our situation with the coronavirus even worse is that Trump, like Truman, will leave behind a pile of dung that we will have to clean up. By not using Congress to endorse his war, Truman paved the way for Vietnam, with all its feature creep and death. Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon believed they didn’t have to consult Congress on war because Truman set a precedent. Trump doesn’t believe he must engage with Congress during a crisis. Where was he all weekend? Playing golf and entertaining rich people.

Trump is unwilling and incapable of enacting an aggressive plan to end this insane attack on the health of Americans. It’s beyond deer in the headlights. The Donald is nothing but roadkill at this point. COVID-19 is his Korean Conflict and Vietnam war rolled into one and the virus has already killed more people than those conflicts.

We must not get too cocky here. Truman’s approval rating was down to 29% at one point and America elected him. Maybe Donald Trump thinks getting the US into a war will help him win another term, but he’s too chicken shit to fight a germ let alone the Chinese or the Russians.

Russia Claims Vaccine

One of the post-COVID cow patties we are going to have to scrap off our collective shoes is a notion of oversight, and it’s going to take smart people in the White House and Congress to pull it off. The old school politics of Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell and old goats like Chuck Grassley and the slowly withering Dianne Feinstein are over. On a cautionary note, we don’t need frat boy pranksters like Florida’s First District Representative Matt Gaetz or troublesome formulators of English words like Representative Ilhan Omar. They are trying to make their mark, but they’re trash ideologs who should never be taken too seriously. Watch the HBO documentary called The Swamp and you’ll see why.

Our inspector generals must be better vetted and protected. There are currently 1,600 people working in the 73 offices of US inspectors general. In the beginning we had only 12 offices. What caused the growth? Harry Truman used those offices to investigate fraudulent contracts and financial improprieties in military procurement. Harry was called on the carpet for employing his wife, Bess, in the government. Trump has his family working for the White House, his campaign and the government, while the family skims money by commanding departments to support Trump kingdom’s hotels and services.

Sure, Harry Truman advanced the concept he called the Marshall Plan, which was a US program to provide aid to Western Europe following the devastation of World War II. Those ideas, like NATO, were designed to keep us out of war yet they’re the very things Donald Trump wants to throw away. Dumb.

As many as 34,000 Americans and allied troops died in Korea, and we ended up right where we started, the 38th Parallel. Sure, Truman avoided a war with China and Russia by not letting MacArthur take the whole Korean peninsula, but Truman’s fear of World War III gave us Kim Jong-Un with a nuclear arsenal. Some would say reasonable tradeoff, but our current president has made that worse.

Trump wants to kowtow to Moscow while taking on China. In the nightmare vision pictured in George Orwell’s classic book, 1984, three nations survived an atomic war. There was Oceania, then, Eurasia, and finally Eastasia, and they were not democracies, at all. They were in constant conflict with two ganging up on one. Then, they would switch sides and do the same thing to the new “enemy of the state.”

The three most powerful nations today are the United States, Russia and China. Truman knew more about the world than Trump could ever dream to fathom. China might be a stronger economic force than Russia, but how many nuclear bombs do you need to end the world? Think about all the terrible things that could possibly happen to the United State of America and there’s Trump, stumped by a virus. It’s totally pitiful and embarrassing. Trump with a phone and a Twitter account thinks he’s the big player. They are laughing in Beijing and Moscow and the Donald doesn’t even know it.

NOTE: Read this book, it’s where I am learning a lot about presidents.