Monthly Archives: January 2017

Lawful Vs Legitimate

Ever since the election there has been a great deal of talk about whether President Trump is the legitimate or illegitimate.  I’d like to put my two cents in for what it is worth.  To place my bonifide’s on the table let me just state the following for those of you who do not know me.  Just about 50 years ago I was granted a B.A. In Political Science by CSUN.  One of the things I studied was the many arcane definitions, like all sciences, that are used in Political Science.  The definition of Legitimate and Lawful were two among many.

Like all sciences, political science has many words that have definitions that are ‘discussed’ (read that argued hotly) by holders of deferent theory’s.  Legitimatcy is one of the favorite words to discuss. (If you don’t believe me just google “Political Science definition Legitimatcy” and see what pops up.). Like all other students of Political Science I, too, have my own preferred definition which I will now try to write down here.  To me a office holder is “Legitimate” when

A person(s) is elected or appointed to an office by following the excepted laws, norms and customs of the polity the to which the office is a part of.”

Not very clear is it?  ;) To try and make it clearer what I’m trying to say is this.  The legitimacy of an elected official is not just following the letter of the law(s) governing the election.  There are customs and’ norms’ of the process and these ‘norms’ and customs are often not stated, or not stated clearly and far worse they are only held/ expressed at an individual level.  This means that each and every person of the polity in question has the right and privilege of deciding if the office holder is legitimate or not.

This is where President Trump gets into trouble.  He is the lawfully elected President of the United States of America.  All the “T’s” were crossed and all the “I’s” doted in the election procedure.  The Electoral College members were lawfully elected in the several states. Thier ballets were lawfully cast and properly counted and Donald Trump got over 270 of there aforesaid votes.  He won and has duly and lawfully sworn in.  He is The President.  By Law.  But now the problems start.

Unlike the President, or CEO, of a Company, POTUS does not get his job done by telling everyone else what to do.  He has to work with both Houses of Congress.  He has to work with the governments of the  several states, often as not.  In fact, if a President try’s to tell the Congress, ‘do this because I say so!’ He can get in trouble, even when they agree with him, Congressmen/women and Senators will get their back up and say “Wait just a God Damn Minute, Mr. President”.  An sometimes they will just not do what needs to be done because they are mad a him or don’t think he has the legitimate ‘right’ to do what he want’s to do.  To get things done the President need to have what is called now “Political Capital” and a primary source of Political  Capital is how many people view the legitimacy of the President at any given time.  An here is where President Trump has his problem.  His entire election has been about defying norms and customs.

President Trump has not released his tax returns before, or after, the election as has become the norm.  He has show he does not care if there is any conflict of interest, either apparent or real, between his own personal wealth and the Office of the Presidency, as has been the norm for over a hundred years.  He has attacked the White-house press publicly and personally and has stated he wishes to ‘ban’ some of the press corps from the White-house.  I could go on but these few items do illustrate my point effectively.  President Trump not only does not follow the Norms and Customs of our government he seems to be seeking out ways to violate them.  Sometime in the future, sometime very soon if he keeps on going the way he is going, he will finally over steps the bounds and then all hell is going to break out.

When he does step over the bounds it is vitally important that those of us who work to bring him to justice stay with in the bounds of American protests.  We must stay peaceful, no mater how hard it is and don’t mistake me, it will be hard.  For some of us it will be the hardest thing we will ever do.  But do it we MUST!  We must follow in the footsteps of the great peaceful protesters of the twentieth century, people like Gandi and Dr. King.  We must be willing to let the forces of oppression knock us down and then stand back up and not strike back.

The time is Now, the place is Here.

Why Size Matters

Ever since Saturday’s interesting press briefing about how large the turnout was at the Trump Inauguration there has been a great deal of talk about just why it is so important to him.  I think most everyone is missing the most simple and obvious answer.  President Trump is a businessman and he measures success and failure using business  metrics.  since is is mostly a Marketer/Salesman/Showman he uses the metrics he is used to.

So ask yourself the, what is most important to the entertainment impresario?  Not the performer, but the man who owns the show?  Is it not the size of the house?  Is not the size of the house how the impresario measures the success of his show? Sure good reviews are great, but only if they pull in the crowds. It won’t mater how many rave reviews the show gets if it doesn’t translate ‘gate’. Is this not what he and his people are talking about?  The press is saying he had a poor house compared to the preceding show.  How Demeaning.


What also is important  to a Marketer/Salesmen is the size of the crowd because a small crowd means you have to have a higher conversion rate to make the same amount on sales with a small crowd vs a large crowed.  Example for all those not conversant:

Say you need to make $1000 to break even if your crowd is 1000 people and each individual sail is $1 you will need to make 1000 sales and if only one sale per person can be made you need a conversion rate of 100%.  Now if your crowd is 1,0,000 people you need to only a conversion rate of 1% to make the same $1000.  Now most Marketers go into a sales situation with a known or expected conversion rate.  Given what you are selling you can then estimate from the crowd size just how many sales should be made and this is the sales goal given the salesman. A good Marketer wants to maximize the number of people he is selling to so he can have a lower conversion rate and still meet his sales goal.

See, President Trump is not using the traditional metrics used by politicians to measure success/failure he is using his old, familiar metrics.  The metrics he as used for most of his adult life and the press has told the world he didn’t get good crowds and he is afraid the ‘boss’  is watching, even though he’s the boss, he can’t quite shake the fear of being called out at the next sales meeting for a poor show.

So get used to it America, you asked for a Businessman to run the country just like a business.  Get used to him using the wrong metrics to measure success/failure because don’t expect Pres. Trump to change.

This Historic Day

On this historic Inauguration Day, and believe me it is historic, I thought I’d take time to share just why I think it is historic.  By historic I don’t mean something that historians and people who love history think is important. Not there are not, already, many things to make the Trump Presidentcy interesting.  Being elected without getting even a plurality of the vote, having the lowest approval of any any President since approval was measured, just to name two interesting historical points.  No, I’m talking about JFK, or Harding, or Hover historic.

Not since FDR took over from Hover has this country embarked on such a great political science experiment.  We are now going to see if what many business schools have been teaching for decades, that at high enough levels of management it is all the same.  That knowing what the job is about doesn’t have much effect on doing the job as it is all the same.  Managing Banking conglomerate is much like managing an Manufacturing conglomerate.  Now we get to find out if making deals in the financial stratospher is just like making deals in international politics.

Decades from now Political Scientists will marvel at our audacity/  courage/foolishness/stupidity to take radical move.  Think I’m being pulemic?  Well, lets just look at a few facts.  President Trump has absolutely no experience in any kind of politics, other than the petit politics of business, and now he will have to work with some of the most practiced practitioners of the arcane art of gran politics.

Most, if not all, of his cabinet has no experience with the departments they are going to be running.  Some, like his Secretary of State, do have some experience running ultra large corporations.  But corporations are not nations and they do not play for the same trivial stakes like money and personal power.  These people play for real stakes, life, death and the existence of whole nations and people.

Others, like President Trumps Secondary of Education, comes in with no experience in education other than promoting her idea of how education should be run.  She has no expreance in management, other than being a board member, in running a business and not even that in running a school.  She has not even been in a public school herself.  So now we have a non-academic (aka dilettante) theoretican running a national department. We are really putting to the test the hypothesis that anyone with half a brain can do the job.

So now we are on the road to find out if the long held belief that the government should be run just like a business.  We have a Business President and a business cabinate.  Let the experiment begin!

Where is the Earth Shattering Kaboom?

Earth Shattering KaboomOne of my favorite Bugs Bunny cartoons has Marty the Martian asking ‘Kaboom!, Where is the Earth shattering Kaboom?”  I don’t wish to make any predictions as to when, or how soon, or how, things are going to blow up for the GOP and the new Administration but I’m sure it is there should be an Earth Shattering Kaboom.

To all the supporters of the New President,  please rest assured I’m not dissing you.  In fact I’m taking you at your word.  For the entire election we have just been thru I have listen to you talk about how Trump is going to shake things up in Washington.  Well, congratulations you have just lit the PU-36 Space Modulator and we have no Bugs to put it out.  We can only wait for the KABOOM and then start picking up the pieces.

Don’t believe me, lets just look at the flying sparks:

1:  POTUS is in a running fight with ALL of the agency responsible for giving the Government the information it needs to do it’s job.

2: POTUS would rather believe what Wikileaks, Brightbart, and than the FBI, CIA, and NSA.

3: The Republican House leadership has ordered the CBO to NOT run the numbers on the repeal of ACA (Obamacare) so they, and we, are running blind.

4: The Republican congressional leadership has been told by many (I shan’t say all since I can not fact check it) of the Insurance industry’s associations that “Repeal and Delay” is the worst possible thing they can do.

5: The Republican majority is giving a pass to several of Trumps major appointments a pass on completing the basic background check.  The same one they insisted be completely finished before they would even start the hearings for Obama’s appointments.

6: Trump is now the target of Anonymous.

7: Trump is now in a fight with Congressman Lewis over his  legitimacy as President.

8: The stories about the connections between Trump and Russia just keep coming.

9: Trump is now come out supporting having a replacement law before the GOP repeals the ACA without coordinating with the GOP congressional leadership.

I could go on but these sparks will do for now.

Say It Ain’t So

Say it ain't so, Joe.I selected this plaintiff cry from a young baseball fan from almost a hundred years ago for a good reason.  I am asking everyone out there who reads this and for the past eight years have talked so strongly about how corrupt, unethical, criminal, etc the Democrats in congress, POTUS, Hillary Clinton, etc was, is to now to do something both very hard and very easy.

If you live in a state with even one Republican Senator, please contact them, phone is best (it is the ‘hottest’ medium) but email will do, and tell them you want them to insist that every one of POTUS-Elect Trumps nominations must compleate the Office of Government Ethics review(s) before they will progress past the  Committee  hearings.  Do this for for two very good reasons.  First, and foremost it is the right thing do.  You and every other American deserves people in government who can unabashedly show history.  Who can smile and say, “See I did all this and I have everything to be proud about it.”  This is after all this is what you were asking of the last Admenistration so why not use this opportunity to show you mean what you have said.

This leads us to the second reason to do what I am asking.  Show us that it is not “Just Politics” when you told us that you opposed Hillary because she was ‘crooked’.  You have an excellent opportunity to take the high ground in new year, new congress and new Admenistration.  You can show anyone who will bother to look that you believe in what you have said about honesty and eithics so much you will hold those who you believe in and support to the same standards you have held others too.

If you do this and if the Repubican controlled Senate does it you will be able to put to LIE those of the left you say you are just a bunch of hypocrites.  So I challenge you, Do you really so believe what you have been saying for ever so long.  Are you strong enough, brave enough, believe in your rhetoric enough to put your words to the test.

I wait with bated breath.