” House Republicans are the Opposition now ” – November 6, 2018.

          It’s six hours since the Election Night coverage began in America.

          True to expectations that midterm elections prove unfavorable depriving some of the resources and privileges of the ruling party have held  on this time too.

          Democrats take control of the House of Representatives,  and Republicans take control of the Senate more firmly than before the elections.

          This now spells the end of a chapter and the beginning of a new era, an era where the Democrarts’  power flies aloft, mounts high, enabling them to be more aggressive with checks and balances.

          A popular vote,  a bigger number in the House,  even if the blue wave has not been as huge as expected.

          Propelled by women,  propelled by heavy parts of suburbs that have mostly remained loyal to Republicans hitherto –  the significant change that has taken place in this midterm.

          What does this mean to the Democratic Party immediately :  

          1.  The Power of Impeachment  (article I ,  Section 2 ) ;  but it is still the power of Senate to ‘try’  all Impeachment and decide whether or not to remove any government officials accused by the House.

          2.   Origination of power for bills intended to raise revenues (Article  II,  Section 7 ) ;  but it is still the Senate which can propose or counter amendments to revenue bills as with any other bill. House’s ability to prevent the Senate from expressing its views is pretty limited.

          3.   Choosing the President in the exceedingly unlikely case of an Electoral College Tie ( Article II, Section 1 as amended).  Senate nevertheless gets to approve appointments through the executive and judicial branches (Article  II ,  Section  II ). House gets no say in these appointments.

          4.   House Ways and Means Committee,  House Appropriations Committee,  House Rules Committee,  House Foreign Affairs Committee,  House Intelligence Committee,  House Oversight Committee,  plus the two that are critical to the Founders’  promises of Security and rule of Law from Defense to Justice –  ‘ Armed Services Committee ‘,  and  ‘ House Judiciary Committee’   –  all of the above become more powerful in the hands of Democrats after this election.

 

House Committees

          There has been general apprehensions as to how the stock markets will play. During the last two years of President Donald Trump there have been measures adopted causing a very healthy stock market pride. His promises of going further on tax reform may be slowed;  the new US-Mexico-Canada deal may face rough weather in the House, but with some concessions granted there will be light at the end of the tunnel ;  no real threat of Impeachment and stock market may well be emboldened;  stocks, nevertheless, may retreat a bit with dollar losing some strength in the immediate aftermath. Overall, it is expected that the stock market fears may lose steam soon.

          Republicans will have a difficult time from now. But they will still be the final “Decision-makers”  is  the  final judgement.

 

     ” Dieu avec nous “

     Wednesday,  November 7, 2018  –  10.29 a.m. (IST).

     Tidbit  :  ”  Senate is truly the most powerful of the two Houses – justified “

” U.S. President Donald Trump Hits the High Spots ” – October 7, 2018.

          President Donald Trump scored a  ‘hat-trick’ – a highly productive and efficacious accomplishment before midterm elections –  last week that included (a) a good job report with 134000 jobs added in September with unemployment at a 50 year low of 3.9 % ,  (b)  successful negotiation of USMCA that will replace NAFTA,  and  (c)  the highly valued symbol of success earned in the case of Brett M Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court on Saturday.

          Of the three, the third assumes greater significance as the course of events since his July 2018 nomination has turned it into a prestige fight and a referendum on the President’s style of governance.

–  September 27, 2018,  hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee remains as one of the highly watched events on work computers, televisions, and cellphones;

          –  Quite a few employees spent 2 to 3 hours watching the event during workday; 

          –  Productivity loss estimated is about $ 1.8 b per hour;

          –  With further discussions and disceptions between employees and people, the total loss is estimated to be about $ 8.8 b ;

          –  Estimate based on calculations is also that 80 % of workers attend their jobs on any weekday;

          No other nomination of Justice in history has witnessed this huge cost. This is a reflection of the importance accorded to this event this time specially.

          Brett M Kavanaugh is now the 114th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

          He will be officially sworn in on Monday night 7 p.m. (ET) at White House’s  East Room.

          What appeared to be an easy path descended into one fraught with accusations of sexual assault ;  a final FBI  investigation after the hearing ;  and before the motion to confirm his nomination by the Senate was set in quickly.

          This was something that could have been avoided.

          What happened in reality was the spread of ultra emotions and extreme displeasure of most citizens who may not have been even initially concerned and knowledgeable about the nomination itself.

          This is Politics, where the basics of unconscious manoeuvres to put a lid on emotional outbreaks do not see the light or reason.

          The accusations and counteraccusations are perhaps the result of what psychologists often term as  ” Gunnysacking” – (accumulating all grievances and letting it all go in one final moment  – after 36 years in this case –  with the sack punctured).

          “What goes around, comes around” has been the open reaction revealing the feelings of the accused bluntly to say that  he “won’t suffer in silence”.

          ” 100%  certain ”  utterance of the accuser in this case is a reaction coming as it did from a lady – who in society was not supposed to blaze up –  that sounded credible and assertive.

          Now that the final outcome is before everyone, the focus shifts to the oncoming events and policies/programs for the safety, welfare, and prosperity of citizens.

          Nobody can doubt that the true “winner”  standing tall at this moment is President  Donald Trump.

 

P.S.  This is for info, res. and education.

 

     “Dieu avec nous”

     Sunday,  October 7,  2018 –  2.39 p.m. (IST)

     Tidbit :  ” Most of those who would like to move mountains don’t like to practice on the little hills “.

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” Make Way for Women ” – September 29, 2018.

 

Arizona senator, Jeff Flake, tilting the scales as at present.

          Will of Heaven finally had its word in terms of a supplemental background investigation by the FBI into the current credible allegations against Judge Kavanaugh no later than a week from this day.

          True to a proverb in my vernacular language, Tamil, that goes : ” You’ll most likely get what you don’t want;  and you’ll most likely not get what you want “.

          While the proverb held true for the Republicans, the Democrats have every reason to feel happy that it didn’t in their case, eventhough the timeframe and the limited scope of the investigation may not be enthusing.

          Whether Judge Kavanaugh comes morally uncontaminated and wins his spurs to sit on the Supreme Court ultimately;  whether Christine Blasey Ford’s case comes out uncertain, unclear, and unclean ultimately; – the  ‘Winner’  finally is the transformational power of  “Women”  that is already on the rise and set for a great leap.

          As a  ‘common man’  I am strongly tempted to place the frank encounter, the two women (allegedly suffered assaults in their lives though not pertaining to this case directly) had with the Arizona senator, Jeff Flake, in the elevator on his way to the Judiciary Committee room in the morning of 28 September 2018 as the event that triggered the historic order for the Supplemental investigation by the FBI.

 

Lady questioning senator Jeff Flake in the elevator.

          Their words, specially, “Sir, you’ve children too. Are you prepared to accept a tainted individual to sit on the Supreme Court?”  are the  “voices”  of the hearts of women as a whole.

          That probably was ringing, and moving almost every cell of the Senator, Jeff Flake, to change his decision firmly, finally.

          The Senate Judiciary Committee examined the accuser and the accused with their faces and words during the hearing, but could probably have missed their hearts and minds really, which possibly will be revealed in clearer terms from the Supplemental Investigation. ( I mean any extra evidence supporting or otherwise of accusations from anyone, anytime, from any place through the investigation.)

          That character is the most difficult thing for a human to recover makes the task of FBI all the more onerous in this case.

          Both Judge Kavanaugh and Christie Blasey Ford must have already lost a lot in terms of trust, reputation, words of praise, and recognition – specially during the last two weeks – that the results of FBI supplemental investigation assumes the role of a ‘fortuneteller’  in their lives.

          Hope is their bread now.

          Notwithstanding the outcome and the final decision of the Supreme Court nominee in a week from now,  Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona and the two ladies who interrupted him in the elevator on his way to the Judiciary Committee room  should  be credited with bringing about the transformational change in the  Voices of Women in future while assigning a special pride of place for them that will likely grow faster than the speed of sound from now on.

 

     “Dieu avec nous”

     Saturday, September 29, 2018  –  3.09 p.m. (IST).

     Tidbit :  ”  women’s thumb may have a man under it”.

 

 

Scene of the lady questioning senator Jeff Flake in the elevator.

 

” Brett Kavanaugh – Christine Blasey Ford – ‘Hearing Womanfully’ – September 27, 2018.”

 

Brett M Kavanaugh, Supreme Court nominee.

          News regarding accusations of sexual assaults against the U.S.  Supreme Court  nominee,  Brett M Kavanaugh, in the last couple of weeks is more than just disquieting.

          Senate Judiciary committee hearing is to begin in 3 hours from now. Christine Blasey Ford will be heard first followed by Brett M Kavanaugh.

          Leadership in Government is perhaps the highest form of  ‘Leadership’  as it deals with all citizens. “Government by the people, of the people, for the people’ – said Abe Lincoln.

          Hence, there is this special need for strong commitment to arrest the elevation of tainted individuals (if confirmed) to power in Politics  (Executive, Judiciary, and Legislature) where the potential to set trends in behaviour and actions among people is high.

          Political leaders and leaders holding venerable positions in government should hold the highest standards of moral, ethical, and cultural characteristics that their citizens will demand and can be proud of – in any country.

          Every ordinary citizen in the country in one way or the other, at any one particular point in time one way or the other,  needs to have interaction with the Government for a ‘service’.

          Tainted leaders are a source of hindrance and discouragement as their credibility is in question.

          Many assaults go unreported for a variety of reasons;  chief among them being the ‘Socially Damaging Consequences’  resulting from such reporting.

          As for the perpetrator(s) of such serious misconduct it is the mere sense of superiority – power, position, wealth, strength, network – that promotes the courage to indulge in such acts in society.

          We talk of inclusivity in all government programs.  As a victim, the lady (Christine Blasey Ford, CA) needs all the moral support at this juncture.

          This is what will signify inclusive culture with respect for women.

          This is what will determine the way the leader makes decisions (leads in effect), and the “brand”  one wants to build in government (Supreme Court in this case).

          For any leader, the ‘value’  he/she holds is the most important aspect. From ‘value’ arises the passion to create work environment, relationships, skills, knowledge, actions, and not the least the decisions that are taken.

          These are what will help judge the individual’s authenticity and credibility.

          Senate and Congress may perhaps see the wisdom in adopting this incident (in this millennium) as an opportunity to bring about necessary changes to make it encouraging for the citizens to firmly repose faith in Political Leadership.

          The Democrats for their part are sending a clear message of lack of tolerance of inappropriate behaviour and disrespect to women in general.

          Overlooking this aspect of behaviour is akin to overlooking the nation’s culture in holding the diverse categories of people well knit.

 

     ” Dieu avec nous”

     Wednesday, September 27,  2018 –  3.29 p.m. (IST).

     Tidbit :  ” No one is a greater leader of men than woman”.

 

     P.S.  Commonsense perspective, not an expert view.

” My Thought(s) on Mother’s First Death Anniversary ” – September 25, 2018.

          Exactly a year ago, this day, I lost my mother with whom I spent 23 years supporting her with Confidence building measures. The thoughts that went through my mind at that time didn’t quite happen in reality.

          I thought I will become more confident, but I only became more tremulous;  I thought time will heal the sorrow and affliction,  but it only grew more;  I thought I’ll begin life afresh quickly,  but I couldn’t move on comfortably.

          I am now left with more anxiety, more emotional instability, and feelings of more helplessness. But yes, I have to begin my life afresh seeking a different trajectory.

          All of one’s own making, it would seem and perhaps rightly so. Huh ..huh.  hmm.

          Everyone, near and dear, knows that I am in the last phase of my life. Memory has already become a seive;  energy completely depleted;  self-confidence thoroughly shaken;  decisions going wrong mostly;  and sense of insecurity looming large with more questions than answers.

          How do I plan my last phase ?  Who do I really trust most ?  How do I gain self confidence back while most organs of the body fail to respond?  How and when do I sleep permanently ?  How do I embrace the ultimate reality ?

          I ponder,  ponder,  …  …  …  ponder . ever !

          I am one in the family who is trained by the mother more than the father both in my childhood for 18 years, and later in life as someone fulfilling her needs for 23 years,  something that none of my brothers and sisters can speak proudly or confidently.

          Mother had only school education;  but as a home builder she excelled in decisions vital to the needs and wants of everyone.

          It was also the time when culture and customs;  means of living;  roles of individuals in family & society;  and household enhancements were just beginning to change in our society for the first time since independence. Beginning of the First Home Revolution, as I prefer to term.

          ‘Respect and Connectedness’  within family have been the two main ingredients that made our family pride stick.

          I vividly remember the occasions at dinner every weekend when she would first ask me to cite and describe the best incident/event that happened in school that week. That sowed the seeds for my debating skills and such other competitions even when she was not asking me with that intent.

          She has been creative without ever having a grasp of what good it can do to her children.

          This has been the best attribute of attraction that we as children characterised in her. This was how she played a positive role in the family. This was how she built the image of our family which many in our complex soon started following.

          She carried the light in all our lives.

          To me, specially, she is the mother’s role model in many  middle-class, intelligent, and hardworking south Indian families.

 

     ” Dieu avec nous”

     Tuesday,  September  25, 2018  –   6.19 a.m.

     Tidbit :  ” No good bye;  I want to join you soon, mother. ”  –  SR

” Adversity is the Trial of Courage ” – September 7, 2018.

          

          US  President Donald Trump has been served two well crafted  ‘bouncers’  scraping his helmet and racing to boundaries with the audience sitting on edge(s) of their seats looking shocked and shattered in the last couple of days.

          Reference here is to highly  reputed  writer/journalist, Bob Woodward’s book that reveals the  ‘crazy town’  atmosphere in White House,  and  NYT’s  anonymous op-ed  piece   –  ” I am part of the Resistance”  by a senior official.

           That President Donald Trump has been pushed aside for quite sometime is a fact, though it was not clearly visible to all common men.  He has been leading the country dangerously – is the opinion of a major chunk of analysts, intellectuals, media personnel, experts, past administrators, opponents, and even ordinary citizens. Few are out to get him out of the position he holds now for his flawed strategies and bad decisions – justifiably or otherwise.

          1.  President Donald Trump wanted to transform the normal order of governance. (It requires great amount of sacrifice and changing aspects that people hold dear to their hearts in terms of privileges and benefits. It requires a new kind of adaptation to life that is often detested or resisted by individuals. People seem to be unwilling at this juncture.)

          2.  President Donald Trump talks about the growing economy, low unemployment, deregulation,  tax reforms, and military build up as some of his accomplishments since he took charge.  ( These may hold good in short-term;  these may also be viewed as camouflaging the real big mistakes impacting the society in the long-term.)

          3.  President Donald Trump, as one leading the change, has been treading the path of thorns without being oblivious to the threat to his power and position. His leadership style and character (tweets, insults,.  …  …  heaped on opponents to his policies and opinions) have been under constant attack, more so during the last eight months, to the risk of even losing his support base and with potential to distract from his proclaimed goal of nation’s security and prosperity.  (Result has already started manifesting in disorder and disequilibrium making the leader further more vulnerable to attacks.)

          4.  What he does, perhaps,disturbs the status quo;   what he does, perhaps, makes people feel more insecure combining a sense of personal and collective loss;   what he  does, perhaps, causes uncertainty requiring levels of adaptation that seem unwarranted and unworthy by most citizens.  (People who have prided themselves in their customs, means, and habits possibly could feel the change difficult.)

          5.  President Donald Trump tries to do things at his own command with rigid plans and programs hoping to bring about disruption in governance. (The real world of today is far removed from the effectiveness that can be brought about by the above method. Keep allies and foes closer to you is today’s dictum. Malaise ought to be erased quickly.)

          Will the following three things open a strategic window in tackling the criticism and assault while making amends ?

          1.   Saying what he means  :  Convince aides and other people, those beyond his own constituency, that you really mean what you say in respect of programs and people. Each program will have plans of actions and courses. As one walks through the programs unforseen elements are likely to show up contrary to what is anticipated in implementation and peoples’ reactions. The implementer (agency) and people benefiting/impacted by the program will need to make some changes in behaviour, lifestyle, and social interaction. Leader needs to keenly watch if the actions are encouraging his broader perspective or otherwise. This is where the leader needs to excel in  ‘communications’  reflecting his attitude to embrace the change himself and alter the plans suitably to fit the needs of society. This is what will signify saying what one means.

          2.   Faults are thick when love is thin :  Avoid/minimise tweets and insults;  instead embrace the gracious act of  acknowledging responsibility for what goes wrong setting a new standard that people on both sides of the aisle would feel proud to follow. You may feel disappointed, but it has the tremendous potential to seek the same behaviour from the people in return to boost the leader’s plans, actions, and programs to a new level. It also sends a clear signal that you are ready for changing your image while spending less time, energy, and effort on unwanted criticisms and conflicts. You will also protect yourself from attacks of various hues undermining your authority and style. Your disadvantages turn to become advantages even while the opponent’s negative potential converts itself into a positive agent. Hope and not fear engages people. It is imperative that you seek to relax the constraints that may have already engulfed the minds of those who want to play a significant role in defending you.  Your faults will be dismissed easily as people start loving you.

          3.   Little said, sooner mended :  Answer with facts and less in time to questions,  and concentrate more on  work and problem solving. President Donald Trump has been in position and authority because of his promises to people on, (a) enhanced quality of Life, and  (b) a change in the way of Governance. Whether the economic growth witnessed is a continuing sequence of the earlier policies, or of his own – President Donald Trump is in a situation where he can deliver what is promised. Rather than risking the narrative to slip into a tit-for-tat rebukes and counteraccusations,  reorienting the primary task to solving people’ problems;  getting Canada on board in his new deal with Mexico replacing NAFTA;   and scripting development strategies for mid-term elections vigorously can take the heat away from the wound inflicted now. A small identified group can engage in defusing the bomb with other damage control measures to bring a sense of order. Highlighting prominently the strategic partnerships that US has forged with India in the last couple of days ( Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo;  US  Defense Secretary, Gen James Mattis;  with  Indian Foreign Affairs Minister, Ms Sushma Swaraj;  Indian Defense Minister,  Ms Nirmala Sitaraman )  may well serve as the mithridate in this context.

          These above will make clear that the present environment is apt to concentrate on work in progress and not for indulging in distractions resulting in distress and disaster to people and the nation. These will constitute the real answers to any and all charges.

 

          P.S.  This is not an expert view, this is just a common-sense view for info/edn.

 

     “Dieu avec nous”

     Friday,  September 7,  2018 –  7.29 p.m. (IST).

     Tidbit :  ” The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.”  –  Theodore Roosevelt.

 

” Argy-bargy in Defence of ‘HE’ ” – August 24, 2018.

 

 

” Riding fast with your fixed agenda “

          ” HE ”   has been knowingly or otherwise a follower of the number 1 rule for  Human Relations :  i.e.  ‘If there is an opportunity that presents itself to assert your program and zero tolerance, then assert them’.  HE does it but the real dividends are yet to be seen or felt.

          Miscommunications and incorrect assumptions are cast to further the causes of stalemates and conflicts rather than complete disagreement. Many arguments may probably dissipate if people take the step of revisiting – in goodwill – the promises behind  HIS  own and others’  thinking processes.  This has not happened to HIS benefit as at present.

          HE  is at this moment powerless, although HE  need not feel powerlessness (criticisms, not having full support/agreement)  to make changes in the policies or programs for people welfare;  but merely by changing the status quo  (providing change making solutions, and ultimately correcting workplaces of future)  can bring about progress. This is HIS dictum – for good or worse, only future can tell.

          HE  shows courage, integrity, and insight while forwarding and pursuing  HIS  agenda.  This is  HIS  mainstay;  key feature to inspire and influence the followers and people.  HE uses limited/specific feedback as a learning opportunity ( although not clearly visible in the public domain).  That  HE  has learned or not is also left to the perception of people which at this juncture is not strong, and perhaps leaning to the contrary.

          As  ‘people oriented leader’  HE proactively claims and dedicates resources to improvement as seen fit to suit  HIS  agenda even while seeking to understand the people progress made due to these programs.  HE  is not reactive or focused on short-term;  HE  is proactive and focused on long-term. Future is uncertain.

          HE  exudes positive attitude and receives positive attitude from people ( although the percentage statistic may not be in full support now).  HE  has as ministers who can match themselves as personalities;  with goals assigned and aligned;  while creating shared values and perspectives promoting  HIS  agenda. Performance, however, is not extraordinary. Dissatisfaction, however, is mounting.

          We need to watch whether  HIS  change driven responses and actions will cause positive disruption in governance.  Accomplishments or otherwise should not be allowed to scatter the leader’s efforts and reduce his choices. It is now on its low, though. Mindfulness is probably the need of the moment.

          Fear of failure or lack of confidence/preparedness can make  HIS  act and others’  questions vulnerable to further criticisms making the scenario daunting. Misdemeanors spring up by the day. Rehearsal is the best answer. 

          HE  willingly takes heavy risks for his opinions ( although HIS very continuation is being debated);  so do we award points for opinions being good or HE  HIMSELF  being good or neither ?  Not clear yet.

          World has changed from self motivation/determination to peer comparison as the key driver to performance.  HE is still in the process of learning  LEADERSHIP can well be the conclusion.

          P.S.  The  words  –  ‘HE’,  ‘HIS’,  and  ‘HIMSELF’  –  referred to in this piece is left to your imagination.

 

     ” Dieu avec nous”

     Friday,  August 24, 2018 –  6.19 p.m. (IST).

     Tidbit :  ” Hard  work is respectable, but not popular “.

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