Monday, August 14, 2017

OUR DERELICT CONGRESS


Published in Newsmax
#DEEPSWAMP #RINOgator

Republicans on Capitol Hill are doing everything possible to lose their majorities in 2018.  They always seemed uneasy in the Majority.  They may get their wish and have the voters return them to a permanent Minority.

Senate Republican Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, recently railed against President Trump about “excessive expectations” and not knowing the “reality of lawmaking”.

Is it “excessive” to think the Senate and House should pass a Budget Resolution?  Every previous Congress passed one by April.  The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 mandates Congress pass an overall Budget Resolution to guide Appropriations.  This year’s budget resolution was introduced on July 21, with no action scheduled. Republicans have majorities in both Chambers, what is the hold up?

Is it “excessive” to think the Senate and House should pass eleven Appropriation Bills to fund the government?  Up through 2014, the House passed all eleven bills by July.  Since the Republicans took the Senate in 2015, only a few Appropriation bills even passed the House.  Not one has passed the House in 2017.   Hearings haven’t even been scheduled.

Is it “excessive” to think the Congress should spend time actually working?  The House met for only eight days in April, twelve days in May, and will not meet in August. Worse, in 2017, House votes are scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, and none are scheduled on Fridays.  This means most House Members only work two and a half days a week.  They can fly in Tuesday afternoon and leave Thursday night without being recorded as absent on the other days.  So in July there were only nine days of actual voting.  The same nine days of voting are scheduled for September, even though there is a firm end of month deadline for funding the government past September 30, 2017. 

Is it “excessive” to expect Members of Congress to work for citizens and not for themselves?  When Members are “in session”, they spend up to four hours every day making political fundraising calls out of the Republican and Democrat national headquarters near the Capitol.  Instead of participating in debate, attending hearings, and listening to constituents, Members are sitting in cubicles, wearing headsets, and making calls to shake down donors for campaign money.

Does the “reality of lawmaking” include casting fake votes for use in direct mail fundraising?  That is what happened in 2015 when Senators Alexander, Capito, Heller, McCain, Murkowski, and Portman voted for a straight repeal of Obamacare.  They knew President Obama would veto the legislation, their votes were used in campaign ads and fundraising.  These six Senators voted against a straight repeal of Obamacare in July 2017, because they knew President Trump would sign the bill.  When do votes reflect real policy instead of fake propaganda acts?

Does the “reality of lawmaking” include crippling President Trump’s ability to have his team running the Executive Branch?  Since Trump was sworn-in, Republicans and the conservative media blamed Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats for holding up Presidential appointments.  However, on the last day before the Senate left for their August Recess, Republicans unanimously invoked a procedure that prevented Trump from naming Recess Appointments.  This has never before been used against a Party’s own President.  Why didn’t Senate Republicans negotiate with Trump allowing him to Recess Appoint key nominees stalled in the confirmation process?  This act of treachery shows Senate Republicans truly want Trump to fail.

If they were in the military, Capitol Hill Republicans would have been Court Martialed for dereliction of duty.  Their actions, and inactions, are the very definition of dereliction: 

United States Code Title 10, Section 892, Article 92 - Member who is derelict has willfully refused to perform his duties or has incapacitated himself in such a way that he cannot perform his duties…Article 92 also applies to members whose acts or omissions rise to the level of criminally negligent behavior. 

Why are Congressional Republicans so determined to obliterate themselves and their Party?  

Americans deserve better.

Monday, July 24, 2017

RINOgator UNBOUND


#TRUMPING  #RINOgator #DEEPSWAMP

Congressional Republicans are compiling an historic record of failure. Even though they control the Legislative Branch, they have not passed anything meaningful, cannot confirm Trump’s appointments, and refuse to reopen investigations into the last eight years of Democrat corruption and collusion with America’s enemies.  They remain stupefied and inert while Democrats and their media allies create fake scandals designed to disembowel Trump and his inner circle.

A growing number of Americans are asking, “Do these Republicans want Trump to fail?” Congressional Republicans do not comprehend the danger facing them.  If things continue as they are, Americans in 2018 will toss out Congressional Republicans for gross incompetence. 

If they lose power, Republicans will have difficulty convincing the voters that they ever deserve a return to power.

It is time to reacquaint ourselves with the denizens of the Deep Swamp who are undermining President Trump and America from both ends of Pennsylvanian Avenue…

A very dangerous species is loose in Washington, DC.  If it’s not eradicated it will bring ruin to Trump’s Administration and the nation.

RINOgator is a subspecies of fake Republicans (as in Republican In Name Only) that lives in the Swamp of our nation’s Capital.   The Swamp is its natural habitat, filled with conflicts of interest, incestuous relationships, avoidance of accountability, hiding documents and information from the public; waste, fraud, and abuse. 

RINOgators’ role in life is to expand the Swamp and to destroy anyone who tries to drain it. Any reduction in the Swamp reduces their numbers and threatens the species.

RINOgators eat tax dollars and absorb energy from reform minded humans. They have insatiable appetites and are never full.  There is always one more meal to eat.

RINOgators are highly territorial.  They relentlessly defend their turf among Congressional Committees and special interests. It is far more important to maintain their turf than for anything to be accomplished.

RINOgators live in close-knit family units.  One generation promotes the next through education, internships, sinecures, and contracts.  There is constant intermingling and intermarriage with other RINOgator family units. 

RINOgators can also be highly incestuous. They will give awards, place media stories, hire, and promote family members at every opportunity.  Multi-generational RINOgator family units hold more territory and become impervious to elections.

RINOgators may migrate to corporate, academic, and media positions, to promote the Swamp, but will always return to their native Swamp.

RINOgators are pernicious.  They use their knowledge of the Swamp to convince their prey that they are necessary.  Their prey willingly appoints them to office, listens to their advice, and invites them into their inner circles. Like cowbirds, RINOgators lay their eggs in the nests of reformers, setting the stage for their young to devour the souls of competing species.

RINOgators have a distinct call, which is heard on cable news, in policy forums, and reported in the mainstream media.  Its call is for maintaining the status quo, no matter what.  Lesser calls are for “further study”, new programs, new legislation, and more funding.  Squawks of alarm are heard whenever reformers call for accountability, transparency, “running government like a business”, “doing more with less”, privatization, and cutbacks.  Squawks are usually accompanied by assertions of “we are unique”, “it cannot be done”, and various lies about how THE PROCESS “actually” works.

RINOgators have an array of formidable defenses.  Their most effective is delay. Their other defense mechanisms include the ability to erase memory, dismiss facts, and divert attention so reformers pursue only irrelevant or tactical issues.

RINOgators are chameleons.  They adopt the rhetoric of their enemies to better blend in until the right moment to strike. 

The Trump era has become a major threat to the RINOgators and their Swamp.  The RINOgators did not see Trump as a threat until he had entered their territory. 

That is why the RINOgators have forged elaborate family groupings, nesting on Capitol Hill, to thwart Trump initiatives.  RINOgators chose not to attack the past foibles of Obama and Hillary.  They think it is better having Democrats on the offense against Trump instead of on the defense.

RINOgators have the innate ability to rebound after being stunned.  That is why, after being surprised by Trump winning the nomination, they insinuated themselves into Trump’s transition planning, transition team, and Administration.  Legions of RINOgators wrote Trump Transition briefing books and developed personnel “vetting” processes that slowed the staffing of Trump’s Administration to a crawl. They adjusted selection criteria to favor Swamp preservationists and surrounded incoming Trump Executives with them, instead of Swamp drainers.

RINOgator eradication efforts have been sporadic and only partially successful.  The main barrier to eradication is convincing people RINOgators exist. Their chameleon defenses allow them to avoid detection.  RINOgators and their allies have the unique talent of reflecting problems and disappointments back onto Trump.  This reflective surface is a key part of the RINOgator’s outer armor.

Thankfully, RINOgators have weaknesses.  They are susceptible to sunshine when light is shown on their true selves.  They are too smug, leading them to make wrong assumptions about the American people.

The RINOgator eradication program must begin with Americans unmasking the species and ripping away its reflective surfaces.  RINOgators are especially vulnerable during primaries. 

Trump and the nation must track down and wipe-out the RINOgator, before it is too late. 
This is critical to draining the Swamp.

[Scot Faulkner helps global corporations flatten their organizations; achieving dramatic and sustainable cost reductions while improving operational and service excellence. He served as the Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives.  During the Reagan Administration he served on the White House Staff, and in Executive Appointments.]


Monday, July 17, 2017

TODAY’S MASTERS OF DECEIT


Published in Newsmax

The thundering chorus of alarm over the neophytes who attempted clumsy networking pales in comparison with decades of Left-wing Democrat collusion with Russia.  The so-called “Progressives” in politics and the press aided and abetted America’s enemies for generations.  Their current cacophony of indignation is just another round of deceit. 

For a hundred years, these newly minted anti-Russians among Congress and the media were actively pro-Russia, pro-Bolshevik, and pro-Soviet Union, the Russia Putin served and was shaped by. 

Let’s review actual Russian collusion.

President Woodrow Wilson bungled the U.S. response to the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, paving the way for decades of terror and the Cold War.  One reason may be that his Russia Advisor was John Christian Bullitt.  Bullitt was a close associate of the famous communist author John Reed.  In fact, Bullitt married Louise Bryant, Reed’s widow.  He tried to convince Wilson to recognize Lenin‘s regime within months of the Bolshevik Revolution.  He later went onto to serve as Franklin Roosevelt’s (FDR) Ambassador to the Soviet Union.

In 1921, leading liberal Democrat thinkers met with Lenin in Moscow to learn about his New Economic Policy and assess its adaptability for America.  This group went on to be the highly feted “Brain Trust” that formed FDR’s inner policy circle and launched the New Deal.  One of Roosevelt’s first acts was to open diplomatic relations with the USSR and name Bullitt as the first U.S. Ambassador.

Ambassador Joseph Davies followed Bullitt in Moscow.  He did everything he could to cover-up Stalin’s great purges and the gulags.  He is best known for his official declaration, “Communism holds no serious threat to the United States.”  His book and subsequent movie “Mission to Moscow” remains the purest example of Stalin worship.  He ended his diplomatic career as an advisor to Truman at the Potsdam Conference, which sealed the fate of Eastern Europe within the Soviet “sphere of influence”.

Davies’ pro-Stalin efforts were supported by Alger Hiss.  Starting in 1936, Hiss advised Cordell Hull, FDR’s Secretary of State, and rose in influence until he was FDR’s key Russian advisor at the Yalta Conference.  The Yalta Conference was noteworthy for the tilt of FDR toward Stalin and away from Churchill.  In 1948, Hiss was unmasked as a Soviet Agent.  To this day, many liberals defend Hiss and deny the mountain of evidence against him.

President Truman is idolized as the President who stood-up to Communism.  Yet his team mishandled the rise of Mao and the Communists in China, losing China in 1949.  Worse, they deprived South Korea of tanks and artillery in the hopes of not “provoking” North Korea.  On June 25, 1950, North Korea invaded anyway.  The lack of tanks and artillery allowed Chinese and Russian backed North Korean forces to capture Seoul, the Capital of South Korea, in three days.  In less than two months North Korea nearly drove anticommunist forces off the Korean Peninsula and into the sea at Pusan.

The exposure of Hiss was the first of many actions taken by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).  Truman denounced it.  Liberals to this day assert HUAC ushered in the darkest days of America and dismiss its investigations as witch hunts. HUAC was abolished in 1975, after the Democrat post-Watergate landslide. 

Secret Soviet intelligence documents, known as the Venona Papers, surfaced in the 1990s.  In 2000, former Intelligence Committee investigator, Herb Romerstein, published the translated papers, which revealed Soviet agents in the State Department and Hollywood (1943-1980), vindicating HUAC’s work.

The Venona Papers, and other intelligence disclosures, ultimately proved Russian collusion with the “New Left” in the 1960s and with John Kerry’s antiwar activities in the 1970s. 

Defectors and additional documents also outlined how the unilateral Cold War capitulations of the Carter Administration were guided by an array of Russian agents. In particular, the National Security staff of Zbigniew Brzezinski was known for its overly cozy interactions with America’s foes.  This social and professional collusion led to ten significant security breaches including exposing Trigon, America’s highest placed agent in the Kremlin.

Reagan’s White House staff and Bill Casey’s newly invigorated CIA eradicated the Russian and Cuban agents, and their associated “agents of influence”. This cleared the way for America to finally go on the offensive and destroy the Soviet Empire.

Today’s apocalyptic rhetoric about Trump and the Russians takes Left-wing hypocrisy into yet another round of deceit.

Americans should call for a day of reckoning for Trump’s holier than thou detractors.

[Scot Faulkner led the legislative team for Rep. John Ashbrook (R-OH), ranking Member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence.  He served as the Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives.  He also served on the White House Staff, and in Executive Appointments, during the Reagan Administration.

Currently, Faulkner helps private corporations by flattening organizations; achieving dramatic and sustainable cost reductions while improving operational and service excellence.]

Friday, June 30, 2017

UNCIVIL WAR


Published in NEWSMAX.  #TRUMPING   #RINOgator

Republicans are now in charge of everything, but control nothing.

The June 14 shooting of Republicans at their softball practice is a harbinger of worse things to come.  The “kill Trump”, “hunt Republicans” drumbeats emanating from the media and Hollywood created a hateful environment that triggered one warped mind to take violent action. Liberals, who were so quick to blame conservative rhetoric after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords, just as quickly dismiss their role in the current poisoning of civil discourse.

America is more divided now than at any time since the Vietnam War.  Back in the 1960s, the radical anti-American elements were considered fringe.  The war being waged against Trump, the Republican Party, and America has expanded into the mainstream.  On a daily basis, Americans experience fake news reports, witness obstruction to the point of sedition, and view mounting evidence of radical liberals waging an unrestricted war on our civic culture and institutions.

It is tragic that public discourse and the functions of government are sinking into uncivil war.  More tragically, Republicans, especially the “RINOgators” who defend Washington’s swamp, refuse to fight back.

Republicans prevail when they do fight, but this is only being done in isolated and fragmented ways.  Most remain clueless to the unrelenting foe, while others clearly want the other side to prevail.

Trump’s win shocked the Democrats, but they immediately recovered.  Democrats relentlessly assailed the credibility of the election, mounted concern over Russia (after spending the Cold War dismissing Russian threats), and obstructed everything from Trump’s appointments to even nonpartisan public forums.

Trump’s win also shocked most Republicans.  They have not recovered.  Republicans, especially in Congress, have been negligent in taking advantage of their November 2016 victory.  Instead of launching 24-7 investigations of the last eight years under Obama, Republicans immediately broke ranks on healthcare, taxes, immigration, and the budget.  They remain mostly silent about the border wall and needed infrastructure.

Congressional Republicans only met for eight days in April, twelve in May, and will vanish for five weeks of vacation at the end of July.  Major legislation continues to be pushed off deeper into the year.  Worse, Republican lethargy allowed the Democrats to regroup and control the news during most of 2017. 

Prior to the 2016 election, pro-Hillary forces ignored laws to dismiss charges.  Since the 2016 elections, anti-Trump forces have made-up laws to create charges.  Trump, and his team, are playing defense when they should be playing offense.

Republicans are only now looking into potential obstruction of justice by Loretta Lynch, Obama’s Attorney General.  They have remained inert on revisiting scandals at the FEC, IRS, EPA’s over reach, Fast & Furious, the Clinton Foundation, and countless other Democrat shenanigans. 

Congressional Republicans had seven years to prepare for repealing and replacing Obamacare. They did nothing and it shows.  Republicans rail against big government in fundraising letters, but are balking at Trump’s cuts, and are woefully behind on passing any spending bills.  Inevitably, a Continuing Resolution will be needed to fund the government after September, unleashing all sorts of mischief and brinksmanship.

Republicans’ main argument since 2009 is that if Americans gave them the House, then the Senate, and then the White House, everything would change.  It hasn’t.

President Trump has been ill-served at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. 

Congressional Republicans defer to Senator Schumer like he is in control.  Until they fight, he is.  Trump’s own inner circle allowed a ridiculously slow transition, opening the door for Obama holdovers, Obama career loyalists, and the “deep state” resistors to rule the Executive Branch.  Leaks have diverted Trump’s attention.  Lack of appointees has crippled Trump’s ability to implement substantive change.  

Trump’s White House and Agency teams are only now sporadically clearing out the entrenched Obama networks.  Such house cleaning usually takes place within weeks of the Inaugural, not five months later.  Trump’s political takeover of the Executive Branch remains minimal as 70 percent of his policy positions remain unfilled.  Obama loyalists serve in acting capacities.  Even the White House Correspondence Office, a key interface with Americans, remains staffed by Obama holdovers and Democrat volunteers.

The slowest transition in modern times has created a “Trump-centric” Presidency.  Executive Orders are issued, speeches are given, briefings are held, but these are all from the White House.  When Trump appointees go on the road, Obama careerists still mind the store.  Trump has no “band width” to move forward when he is diverted by fake news or fratricidal Republicans.

Republican mistakes have caused substantive damage to their cause.  They need a real awakening to the threat, a real resolve to counter it, and a real strategy to defeat it.

Americans voted for a real revolution.  Their patience is wearing thin.

[Scot Faulkner helps private corporations and governments save billions of dollars by flattening organizations; achieving dramatic and sustainable cost reductions while improving operational and service excellence. He served as the Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives.  He also served on the White House Staff, and in Executive Appointments, during the Reagan Administration.]


Sunday, June 11, 2017

When Is a Narrow Victory a Victory?


[Guest Contributor - Donald G. Mutersbaugh Sr.]

I want to open this article by saying I’m very proud to be an American! I am not so comfortable with many of my fellow Americans who just don’t get it: there is one nation (under God); one flag; one national anthem; and one President. News flash: Trump won; Hillary lost; get over it.

I have to say that this post electoral period has been the most politically venomous time in my life that I have had the misfortune to experience. It has been hateful and destructive to the nation. I cannot believe the “seemingly” large number of people who would rather destroy our country than accept the results of the election. President Trump, his family, his supporters – basically anybody who is not a liberal – have been and continue to be treated terribly by the media. To the MSM there just doesn’t seem to be anything about this administration to report in a positive fashion – it’s as if they can do no good even though Mr. Trump has many, positive post inaugural accomplishments.

I get why the Democrats are in this crowd. I get why the main street media is in this crowd. But it is like they are living in a little bubble world of their own, oblivious to what’s going on outside. The media is becoming irrelevant; in fact, I believe that there is no media anymore. Fake news is everywhere, but it is being presented as news. The MSM are using gaslighting (“…a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or members of a group, hoping to make targets [i.e., the electorate] question their own memory, perception, and sanity. 

Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target's belief”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting). They use muckraking to try to influence public opinion. Let me expand a little bit on this term: “In British English the term muckraker is more likely to mean a journalist (often on a tabloid newspaper) who specialises [sic] in scandal and malicious gossip about celebrities or well-known personalities and is generally used in a derogatory sense. The term is a reference to a character in John Bunyan's classic Pilgrim's Progress, ‘the Man with the Muck-rake’, who rejected salvation to focus on filth. It became popular after President Theodore Roosevelt referred to the character in a 1906 speech; Roosevelt acknowledged that ‘the men with the muck rakes are often indispensable to the well being of society; but only if they know when to stop raking the muck...’" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muckraker The last sentence (my italics) of this quote pretty much says it all!

I believe several things are true about the American people. For one thing they are tired of this hysterical, biased reporting. I believe that most people still watch and listen to the news, but they tune out or change the channel when political news, campaign ads, etc. come on because voters do not trust nor like the media. It is because we realize that these people are not journalists; they are not news people: they are opinion writers and entertainers who are competing for ratings, not accuracy and journalistic integrity. When all of their articles say: "If…"; “According to unnamed sources …”; “Supposedly...”; “Allegedly…"; “Insiders tell us…”; “Our understanding...”: how are you to believe anything is true?  Overall, there is this fact: “Americans' confidence in the media has slowly eroded from a high of 55% in 1998 and 1999 [to 40% in 2015]. Since 2007, the majority of Americans have had little or no trust in the mass media. http://www.gallup.com/poll/185927/americans-trust-media-remains-historical-low.aspx

I want to close with a couple of examples of biased reporting. Does anybody remember Montana’s special election – before the election and how important it was to the Democrats? Funny,  after the election, this is what they had to say: “Republican Greg Gianforte claimed a narrow victory [he won by roughly 7 points] in Montana’s closely watched special election for the state’s at-large congressional seat, defeating Democrat Rob Quist in a race that is likely to be mined for clues about how the voting electorate feels about the political turbulence of Donald Trump’s young presidency heading into next year’s midterm elections…. Though their candidate lost, Democrats still tried to claim a moral victory in the race… [even though there was a misdemeanor assault charge pending against Gianforte!]” https://www.yahoo.com/news/gianforte-wins-montana-special-house-election-despite-charged-assault-044756860.html 

“Republican Ron Estes defeated his Democratic rival in a high-profile special congressional election in Kansas Tuesday that had been seen as a referendum on President Donald Trump. But the narrower-than-expected outcome [Democrat James Thompson finished behind Estes by 7 points]  may worry Republicans across the country as they try to decipher how much Trump's low approval ratings might hurt his party's candidates.” http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/democrats-vs-trump/republican-wins-kansas-election-seen-trump-test-n745396

How about the upcoming special election in GA? “Ossoff [the Democratic House candidate] “…focused his campaign on a promise to ‘Make Trump Furious.’” How is that for a politician who is going to represent you? Trump’s tweet: “With eleven Republican candidates running in Georgia (on Tuesday) for Congress, a runoff will be a win [the result was a runoff]. Vote ‘R’ for lower taxes & safety!”  “http://www.euronews.com/2017/04/19/georgia-democrat-puts-donald-trump-s-popularity-to-the-test-in-congress-vote

Bottom line: I hope the MSM and Democrats continue this strategy! They continue to poke the bear (i.e., the American people) to challenge our intellect: they think we are unable to understand the media bias and misdirection – and that makes us angry! They will continue to lose national elections because of this; in fact they have only won a handful of state and local elections since the inauguration. However, they have lost two congressional elections and they are about to lose a couple more (GA and SC). I hope that all Americans continue to realize how dishonest the media is being in trying to unduly and inappropriately influence our elections instead of providing information to help us select the best candidate to represent us.


Donald G. Mutersbaugh, Sr. earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland and his Master of Business Administration degree from Mary Washington College. He is the former Associate Administrator of Information Resources for the U.S House of Representatives under Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Beware the RINOgator


Also published on Newsmax.  #TRUMPING  #RINOGATOR

A very dangerous species is loose in Washington, DC.  If it’s not eradicated it will bring ruin to Trump’s Administration and the nation.

RINOgator is a subspecies of fake Republicans (as in Republican In Name Only) that lives in the swamp of our nation’s Capital.   The swamp is its natural habitat, filled with conflicts of interest, incestuous relationships, avoidance of accountability, hiding documents and information from the public; waste, fraud, and abuse. 

RINOgators’ role in life is to expand the swamp and to destroy anyone who tries to drain it. Any reduction in the swamp reduces their numbers and threatens the species.

RINOgators eat tax dollars and absorb energy from reform minded humans. They have insatiable appetites and are never full.  There is always one more meal to eat.

RINOgators are highly territorial.  They relentlessly defend their turf among Congressional Committees and special interests. It is far more important to maintain their turf than for anything to be accomplished.

RINOgators live in close-knit family units.  One generation promotes the next through education, internships, sinecures, and contracts.  There is constant intermingling and intermarriage with other RINOgator family units. 

RINOgators can also be highly incestuous. They will give awards, place media stories, hire, and promote family members at every opportunity.  Multi-generational RINOgator family units hold more territory and become impervious to elections.

RINOgators may migrate to corporate, academic, and media positions, to promote the swamp, but will always return to their native swamp.

RINOgators are pernicious.  They use their knowledge of the swamp to convince their prey that they are necessary.  Their prey willingly appoints them to office, listens to their advice, and invites them into their inner circles. Like cowbirds, RINOgators lay their eggs in the nests of reformers, setting the stage for their young to devour the souls of competing species.

RINOgators have a distinct call, which is heard on cable news, in policy forums, and reported in the mainstream media.  Its call is for maintaining the status quo, no matter what.  Lesser calls are for “further study”, new programs, new legislation, and more funding.  Squawks of alarm are heard whenever reformers call for accountability, transparency, “running government like a business”, “doing more with less”, privatization, and cutbacks.  Squawks are usually accompanied by assertions of “we are unique”, “it cannot be done”, and various lies about how the process “actually” works.

RINOgators have an array of formidable defenses.  Their most effective is delay. Their other defense mechanisms include the ability to erase memory, dismiss facts, and divert attention so reformers pursue only irrelevant or tactical issues.


RINOgators are chameleons.  They adopt the rhetoric of their enemies to better blend in until the right moment to strike. 

The Trump era has become a major threat to the RINOgators and their swamp.  The RINOgators did not see Trump as a threat until he had entered their territory. 

That is why the RINOgators have forged elaborate family groupings, nesting on Capitol Hill, to thwart Trump initiatives.  RINOgators chose not to attack the past foibles of Obama and Hillary.  They think it is better having Democrats on the offense against Trump instead of on the defense.

RINOgators have the innate ability to rebound after being stunned.  That is why, after being surprised by Trump winning the nomination, they insinuated themselves into Trump’s transition planning, transition team, and Administration.  Legions of RINOgators wrote Trump Transition briefing books and developed personnel “vetting” processes that slowed the staffing of Trump’s Administration to a crawl. They adjusted selection criteria to favor swamp preservationists and surrounded incoming Trump Executives with them, instead of swamp drainers.

RINOgator eradication efforts have been sporadic and only partially successful.  The main barrier to eradication is convincing people RINOgators exist. Their chameleon defenses allow them to avoid detection.  RINOgators and their allies have the unique talent of reflecting problems and disappointments back onto Trump.  This reflective surface is a key part of the RINOgator’s outer armor.

Thankfully, RINOgators have weaknesses.  They are susceptible to sunshine when light is shown on their true selves.  They are too smug, leading them to make wrong assumptions about the American people.

The RINOgator eradication program must begin with Americans unmasking the species and ripping away its reflective surfaces.  RINOgators are especially vulnerable during primaries. 

Trump and the nation must track down and wipe-out the RINOgator, before it is too late.  This is critical to draining the swamp.

[Scot Faulkner helps private corporations and governments save billions of dollars by flattening organizations; achieving dramatic and sustainable cost reductions while improving operational and service excellence. He served as the Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives.  He also served on the White House Staff, and in Executive Appointments, during the Reagan Administration.]


Monday, May 1, 2017

TRUMPING THE PARKS


#TRUMPING
[Also published http://www.newsmax.com/ScotFaulkner/trump-national-parks-preservation-friends-groups/2017/05/01/id/787459/] 

President Trump signaled his commitment to the National Parks by donating his first quarter’s salary to their upkeep.

America’s nationhood is based upon ideals.  America’s National Parks are the physical touchstones that reaffirm who we are and why we are.

America remains America if our Parks remain integral to our lives.  It means making our Parks relevant and relatable to all Americans through the 21st Century and beyond.

National Parks have three primary customers.  Each requires diverse actions to meet their needs.  Visitors are one customer.  However, the environmental and historical resources a Park protects are also customers with their own unique needs. 

Making sure a Park’s plants and animals are healthy and thriving is grounded in science linked to creativity.  The 1995 reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park was a master stroke that is improving the Park’s environment on a daily basis.

Making sure the historical resources of a Park remain viable is a daunting challenge.  Natural parks even have historic structures, sites, and viewsheds.  Time, the elements, and visitors constantly assault this historic fabric and context.  A leaky roof today may become a collapsed one a year later. Unfortunately, Park maintenance has been neglected by Presidents and the Congress far too long.

Making sure visitors gain the intended insights, and leave with a sense of civic renewal, is complex.  Young people no longer bring to their Park experience the language, historical, geographical, or scientific knowledge of previous generations.

There exist highly successful best practices that will help President Trump, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, and the Park Service address these challenges.

Expanding Partnerships – every National Park should have its own Friends Group, corporate partners, and, where appropriate, Cooperating Association.

Lack of funding has devastated America’s National Parks for more than a generation.  There are less than 100 Friends groups among the 415 National Parks.  These groups are formed by local citizens and chartered by the Department of Interior.  Friends groups generate support within the communities surrounding each Park.  Partners can supplement Park resources with volunteers to staff special events.  They also serve as advocates to win preservation battles.

Cooperating Associations are another vital Park partner.  These groups run Park bookstores, build a membership base, raise funds, and co-develop and present interpretive programs. 

Corporate partners have provided vital funds for major maintenance projects. Target raised $5 million to help repair the Washington Monument in 2000, while Chrysler CEO, Lee Iacoccca, spearheaded raising $36 million for the restoration of the Statute of Liberty in the 1980s.

Embedding Parks in Schools – Young people must grow up with National Parks being an important part of their life.  Parks need to be a learning resource. This will help the next generation embrace the role Parks play in preserving America’s civic culture. 

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (HFNHP) has been at the forefront of highly successful education initiatives.  In 1988, the Park partnered with the local county schools to create an award winning living history immersion.  Each year the Park provides educational material to local K-12 schools, including a full day Civil War simulation where students experience being raw recruits.

In 2009, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground and HFNHP developed “Of the Student, By the Student, For the Student” video workshops.  8th grade students studied a major Park theme (i.e. John Brown’s 1859 raid) and then, working with media coaches, wrote, acted, directed, and produced short videos on some aspect of that theme.  The multiple avenues of learning, from history to film making, has become a national model for engaging young people.

Making Parks Virtual – iPhone and Android screens have become our window to the world.  Bringing the Park to the visitor, creating unique experiences, is one way of engaging more people, without expanding the number of Park staff.

Recently, HFNHP launched “Time Trek” which uses smart phones and virtual reality to immerse young people in history.  They peer through their smart phone cameras with images from historical story lines overlaying their surroundings.

Google Street View now has technology for mapping trails and off-road environments.  “Guide by Cell” and applications like “Wikitude” and “Detour” enable nonlinear tourism.  Imagine virtually hiking the Appalachian Trail from your own home or having real time access to experts in a park you are visiting.

President Trump’s and Secretary Zinke’s leadership and vision can make Parks Great Again.

[Scot Faulkner is President of Friends of Harpers Ferry National Park and a former Trustee of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground. He helps private corporations and governments save billions of dollars by flattening organizations; achieving dramatic and sustainable cost reductions while improving operational and service excellence. He served as the Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives.  He also served as Director of Personnel for Ronald Reagan’s Presidential Campaign and on Reagan’s Transition and White House Staff.