Archive | March 2019

” Adam Schiff’s Fight to the Ropes ” – March 29, 2019.

 

Adam Schiff, (D) Chairman, House Intelligence Committee.

           In an aggressive and substantive speech, Adam Schiff, D- Chairman, House Intelligence Committee, pointed to 18 facts as in the 18 step Quality Assurance in Business, to support his statement(s) that he has consistently be holding firm in respect of Donald Trump having  ‘colluded’ with the Russians in 2016 Election contrary to what Attorney General, William Barr’s four-page principal conclusions already provided.

           Attorney General, William Barr’s principal conclusions of the Mueller Report has been the basis on which both President Donald Trump and the 9 republicans in the House Intelligence Committee called for Adam Schiff’s resignation from the position of the Chairman of the Committee.

           The letter seeking resignation reads : “Your actions both past and present are incompatible with your duty as Chairman of this Committee. As such we have no faith in your ability to discharge your duties in a manner consistent with your constitutional responsibility and urge your immediate resignation as Chairman of this Committee.”

           Adam Schiff has been one of Donald Trump’s strongest critics in the last two years.

           Mueller’s report is over 300 pages in length. The report, possibly after it is redacted is expected to be released within weeks.

           What it means :

           1.  Resignation is not a somber affair where some members make the call bacause they want a change in something the Committee is working on, without a serious critique on the overall performance of the person individually or the Committee collectively.

           2.  Adam Schiff has presented the points in his speech in the hope that people will listen to his arguments ;  think for themselves ;  and also make a judgement whether the arguments signal clearly any wrongdoing or not. 

           3.  Adam Schiff stated the points for continuing with some aspects of investigations like the part of Obstruction of Justice that was left to the interpretation of AG, William Barr  and  Rod  Rosenstein  by Mueller. There was no expression of grudges in this.

           4.  It now becomes imperative to further establish whether they are really ‘truth bombs’  or simply a case of defense.

             5.  Republicans’  call for Adam Schiff’s resignation may well be a strategy to push the Democrats who had tasted mid term success elixir back where they (Republicans)  think they (Democrats)  ought to be.

           Can the Democrats do anything more at this juncture to keep the discussion on Trump’s wrongdoings alive and how long is uncertain.

Figure below represents the strategy triad that Democrats may well adopt :

           (a)  Anger to action :  They may like to show that they are passionate about elimination of corruption and wrongdoings at the highest level of Leadership and try to influence people through social media, party discussions, town hall meetings, and other public forum.

           (b)   Repeat Narrative :  They should aim for the right narrative conveying the intent to repeat itself by someone in the middle rungs of the party periodically in every State to earn confidence of the people.

           (c)  Build Trust  :  A simple way to do this is to describe experiences where people feel let down by corrupt and unethical leaders, thus broadening the knowledge and insight into their impact.

           Adam Schiff seems determined. He may well carry on his fight to the ropes.

( For the full transcript of Adam Schiff’s speech, please refer to the article : ” Under partisan fire, Adam Schiff presents his case without apology”  by  Steve Benen. )

 

   “Dieu avec nous “

   Friday, March 29, 2019 – 10.59 a.m. (IST)

   Tidbit  :  ” People are filled with zeal to protect oneself from the other in this critical moment “.

” CNN Town Hall with Senator Cory Booker – Optimism to Beat Trump is His Watchword ” – March 27, 2019.

          Tonight’s CNN Town Hall featured the ever  effusive Democratic Senator Cory Booker, New Jersey,  in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

          Don Lemon of CNN has been the moderator.

 

Don Lemon of CNN, moderator.

          Senator Cory Anthony Booker announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for President in 2020 Election on February 1, 2019, by inviting people ‘to help each other’ through a video.

          The audience questions covered a diverse range of topics :  Education ( Cory Booker’s stance – Education for all,  fight for Public Education ) ;  Healthcare ( Access to expand ) ;  Gun violence control (Stringent background checks ) ;  Criminal Justice System ( Strengthen further ) ;  Environmental stability ( Measure of Planetary Safeguard ) ;  Green New Deal ( Give  Support ) ; LGBTQ rights ( Preserve rights ) .

          It will be fitting to present what I took from this Town Hall proceedings : 

          1.  Figure below represents his Vision Triad for America :

          ‘Unity’  is the chief component – ” not to meet hate with hate, but to meet with love ;  not to meet darkness with darkness, but meet it with light “.  ‘Love and Compassion’  can win more people with an imperative to inculcate a sense of togetherness (with all communities) at this critical moment in America. He cited his ‘Environmental Justice Bill’  as an accomplishment to his credit.He felt that public good and public welfare will be undermined in the absence of this movement. 

          2.   Figure below represents his Healthcare Triad for America :

          As with other Democrats, Senator Cory Booker, placed Healthcare in the top rung of the lists for enforcement. Specially, he emphasised ‘lowering eligibility’  to 55 years with a view to cover a large number of citizens even while ‘ ‘expanding access’  to healthcare. ‘Reducing drug costs’,  especially the prescription drugs will constitute his third aspect of focus here. That Healthcare is in the DNA of Democrats cannot be missed.

          3.   Figure below represents his Priority Triad to make America the best of all the worlds:

          “Moral Vandalism” is how he described Trump’s governance. ‘Beating Trump’ is the first priority.  ‘Pursuing Justice’ to all, and  ‘Ensuring American Core Values’  are the other two priorities. He is keen to enhance the belief that every problem is directed to take the best solution ;  he is keen to get people with the right disposition to take the best of every program ;  and he is keen to achieve the highest efficiency in all his actions.  This is how he will defend the triad of priorities.

          He portrayed himself as a person in a hurry to make things right for people.

          Final conclusion :  

          Democrats this time seem more inclined to support a candidate who has the winnability gene in his/her nucleus, than perhaps anything else, anyone can offer through any programs. Cory Booker exuded through his oratory his power of work, vigour, and action with a willingness to give strength, force, and meaning to the requirements and needs of the citizens. He also received complete approval of the audience in the Town Hall as evidenced through the unstoppable clappings for his every answer.

           Senator Cory Booker’s performance speaks of a great beginning that needs to last for the next 595 days to be the first bachelor in more than 130 years to become the President of the U.S.A.

 

   ” Dieu avec nous “

   Thursday, March 28, 2019 – 10. 09 a.m. (IST)

   Tidbit :  ” You can’t campaign wrong and govern right ” – Senator Cory Booker.

” Little Relief ; Accelerated Initiatives ” – March 27, 2019.

          Mueller’s report provided the much needed relief that President Donald Trump has desperately been missing in the last two years.

          If the investigation has been the main reason for limiting the progress of the constructive programs and actions of the President, then it is logical that the President reengages to actively and vigorously pursue them without losing time from now on.

          Yes, there still are other investigations of great consequence against the President which have the potential to nail him in the woods. How long ? Nobody knows.

          But there is no denying that many would like to see this as the opportune moment to devise fresh strategies for the 2020 race.

          Figure below depicts the President’s strategy triad :

          Economy,  Healthcare,  and  Border Wall could well be his key components of Strategy.

          Figure below represents the President’s Strategy and how he plans to meet them broadly at this juncture :

          No new model of Healthcare is in store now ;

          Economy staying strong with the deals is being disputed by some experts and analysts who view the threat of  “Debt”  as playing a larger role in causing a depression ;

          Seeking funds from the agencies involves processes and may not fully meet the construction promised.

          Can these become his election mantra will be interesting to follow. It may be worthwhile conducting a study on these aspects of Strategy for a better insight, understanding, and influences.

 

     ” Dieu avec nous “

     Wednesday, March 27, 2019 – 9.49 a.m. (IST)

     Tidbit  :  ” Abraham Lincoln’s father was a poor farmer and labourer “.

” Mist Dispelled with A.G. William Barr Report ” – March 24, 2019.

 

William Barr,. A.G.

          President Donald Trump has been granted a Second Term within his First Term given the 4 page principal conclusions of A.G.,  William Barr,  spelling out no evidence of Conspiracy or Coordination between the Trump Campaign and Russia in 2016 Election.

          President Donald Trump now claims “complete and total exoneration”  and  “illegal takedown that failed”  regardless of what can happen days into the future.

          As the entire world was going through synaptic hyperactivity in their brains with a host of information/disinformation,  confounding propaganda,  and expert conjectures/opinions;  it is important that the conclusions (as at present) make everyone recognise imperatively the American System born out of the idea that an investigation of great significance as the one involving the President (the First Individual) has been allowed to be successfully completed without an iota of interference or disturbance to the team of investigators. America scores a victory that is special here.

          There is already clamour for the full report  and the underlying documents to be given to the Congress (and the public should also know it) raising the possibility of further determination clearly.

          Here’s  presenting a short, preliminary, skeletal format of the possibility of “further determination”  as a Top Event taking shape or otherwise. The  Figure below depicts that part of the management framework clearly  : 

          Two things need for the Top Event  to happen.  An  ‘incitant’  and an  ‘irrational response by either party’ . At the next level the above two conditions are further expanded. ‘Strong calls for further determination’ by the party,  and a ‘clear irritation to one party’. These will constitute the sub events.  There is no doubting that the Democratic Party is the one that is clearly irritated here (at this moment). At the next level, we’ll set to expand the underlying causes further for the two sub events. ‘War of words’  between parties  and ‘seeking the full report/underlying documents’  for the first sub event ;  and  ‘extreme public pressure’  and  ‘seeking A.G.  William Barr to testify under oath’  for the other sub event. We can also assign a probability for the Top Event to occur statistically, but that will need a good amount of data to be generated, or waiting until data is generated.

          This is the first test in my risk assessment management framework to determine whether the level of risk can be held acceptable or is severe requiring immediate corrective action.  There is no standard criteria for a clear assessment here. Anybody can contribute so a set of our own criteria for acceptability or otherwise can be formulated. We can further develop this figure with more information and inputs as they emerge.

 

     ” Dieu avec nous “

     Monday, March 25, 2019 –  9.59 a.m. (IST)

     Tidbit :  ” Democracy :  Government by popular ignorance ” – Elbert Hubbard.

 

” Democrats’ Academic Path to Mueller Report ” – March 22, 2019.

Robert Swan Mueller, Special Counsel.

          Friday, March 22, 2019,  marks the completion of Robert Swan Mueller’s  675  days old investigation of the Russian interference in the 2016 American Presidential Election.

          Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered the report to the Attorney General Barr this evening. Attorney General Barr is expected to communicate the  ‘principal conclusions’  to the lawmakers by the weekend.

          ” No further recommendations of indictments ;  No further Grand Jury proceedings ;  and  No charges of Collusion ” – are the major findings as per media reports now.

 

Donald Trump, President

          This stands as a clear vindication of what President Donald Trump has been repeating in many meetings, and rallies all through the nearly 2 years of Mueller’s investigation – a position that is held by some in the GOP.

          I am thrilled and delighted to see some Democrats taking an “academic path” to this event while calling for the report in full to be given to the Congress and also for Robert Mueller to testify on Capitol Hill.

 

Senator Blumenthal, ( D- Connecticut )

          Here’s how I draw a parallel between an “academic project investigation”  and a  “political project investigation” like the one for which the Chief Investigator, Robert Mueller,  released the report.  Presented below is the Figure detailing in simple terms the various stages of the academic and political projects :

          The stages are self explanatory and obvious bearing clear meaning.

          Democrats claim there could be powerful evidence of wrongdoing in the report, a position they take and argue about when asked. Senator Blumenthal, Senator Jack Reed, and Senator Klobuchar to cite just a few of them. 

Congress has a responsibility for oversight. Public has the right to know the full facts.”-  they add.

          Presented below is the Figure detailing the similarities of actions sought by the Democrats :

          Democrats want to call Robert Mueller for clarifications and possible disclosures relating to the contents of the report. A Senate Judiciary Committee member even mentioned the possibility to  subpoena  the Chief Investigator, Robert Mueller, for his presentation before the Congress  in public. This is the key step here academically.

          In academic investigations it is customary for the ‘Principal Investigator’ to be called for a presentation of the Project Activities/ Methodology/ Analysis/Conclusions and even likely benefits arising out of the process to an “Expert Committee”  constituted by the sanctioning authority. This is not just on completion of the Project, but each year through the project period in full.

          It is for the  “Expert Committee”  to give an examination and a searching look at the findings;  assess the beneficial impact of the findings;  and to approve/suggest implementation of the findings.

          What the Senators want seems akin to the above academic ordeal, trial, or examination as one may term it.

          Congress may be interested in determining whether any political action(s)  important for the future of democracy are necessary or not.

          It is in the above context that the Democrat’s call for inviting the Chief Investigator, Robert Mueller, for a presentation and discussion session assumes significance.

 

     “Dieu avec nous”

     Saturday, March 23, 2019 –  10.29 a.m. (IST)

     Tidbit : ” When a Congressman is awake, he counts his complaints in millions.”

 

” Democratic Presidential Town Hall with John Hickenlooper – Connectedly Yours ” March 20, 2019.

          Tonight’s  Democratic Presidential Town Hall featured John Wright Hickenlooper Jr.,  former Colorado Governor,  with CNN’s  Dana Bash moderating the event.

 

John Hickenlooper, former Governor, Colorado.

          A socially progressive and pro business Democrat, John Hickenlooper, announced his candidacy for Presidential Election in 2020 on March 4, 2019,  through his video titled, “Standing Tall”. He is the 14 th  Democrat to do so.

          John  Hickenlooper  did stand tall with his short, firm, and accurate answers to the questions posed by the audience in the Town Hall.

 

Dana Bash of CNN, the Moderator.

          The questions covered a wide spectrum of issues on Healthcare, education, gun violence, death penalty, climate change and governance.

          ‘ Legalization of recreational marijuana’  was seen as his landmark accomplishment by the audience in the Town Hall.  I would, however, term his idea and implementation of (a) pre-K  to  4 year old(s),  and  (b)  the on-line service he launched in 2016 to help people without degrees find skill based jobs in a tie up with Allen Blue, LinkedIn Co-founder,  and Zoe Bird, CEO of the Markle Foundation as his signature accomplishment.

          Now to turn to the three aspects that I gleaned from the Town Hall session :

          1.   Presented below is John Hickenlooper’s  triangle of achievements as Governor of Colorado :

          Economy expansion ( Colorado as the number 1 economy in the country );  Medicaid expansion ( Colorado as significant achiever in delivering healthcare to more than 95% of people );   and  Gun Control package ( achieving stupendous success in stringent background checks from both sides of the aisle )  –  constitute his outstanding moments of glory during his term as Governor. He was at his best while defending questions on these issues in the Town Hall. These are also his key strengths.

          2.   Presented below is John Hickenlooper’s triangle of strategies to be adopted in this election as I understood from the discussion :

          Consensual approach to problem solving  ( as with his Gun Control Package where success on stringent background checks were largely due to his consensual approach from both sides of the aisle ) ;   Fair Legislation  ( as in the case of Women’s right to decide her/their health priorities will be met with ‘legislation’ ) ;  and a Positive Campaign ( a Campaign centred around his accomplishments without rhetoric ) –  constitute his strategic strengths in his bid for Presidency.

          3.   Presented below is John Hickenlooper’s triangle of  ‘Priorities’  as I see from the discussions in the Town Hall  :

          ‘Equality in Economic Opportunity’ ;  ‘Equality in Social Welfare’ ;  and  ‘Equality in Safety & Security’  –  will constitute the three pillars of his fight in the election. He gave meaning to the above without expressing them by every word while answering the questions. The audience seem convinced too.

          General Observations  :

          (A)  John Hickenlooper bonded with the audience swiftly and easily, and the audience also created a similar bonding in true spirit and practice (questioning and listening) with John Hickenlooper. He seemed to portray himself as a  ‘people person’.

          (B)   John Hickenlooper said : ” Nation is on a Crisis of Division “.  He sees himself as the best person to unite all people at this critical moment. This will be the transformative change he will aim at. Can he do that.

          (C)   One significant positive in the general population scenario now is the ‘rise of common class’.  If in Business we welcome this as a key market segment,  it should hold true in Politics also. John Hickenlooper has brought this out clearly in the discussions.

          (D)   Instead of  ‘ talking it out ‘  as many in Politics do,  he should adopt  ‘ thinking it out ‘  without the rituals of  rhetoric as experienced in campaigns in general.

          (E)   John Hickenlooper’s ideas came out of his personal experiences –  good and not so good –  like his brew business, like his driving on the influence of alcohol inviting repudiation,  like the lesson he learnt from his 11 year old son of ” get the facts, make a decision, check next ” – as per his admission in the proceedings. People will be eager to watch what and who will trigger new ideas in the election for him.

          The three key departments of the  U.S. government are :  (a)  President, who rules the World ;  (b)  Governor,  who rules the State ;  (c)  Mayor, who rules the City. John Hickenlooper has held the two coveted positions of Mayor, and Governor for two terms each. Will he get to hold the third key department is what analysts and people will keenly follow in the weeks and months to come.

 

     “Dieu avec nous “

     Thursday, March 21, 2019 – 10.39 a.m. (IST).

     Tidbit :  ” For years he pried among strata;

Collecting various sorts of data ;

Uncovering many a fossil phiz ;

We hope nobody digs up his. “

–  Jane W Stedman.

 

 

” CNN Town Hall with Senator Elizabeth Warren – ‘ from divide et impera to entente cordiale ‘ ” – March 18, 2019.

          CNN  Town Hall with Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren tonight was held in Jackson, Mississippi, and Jake Tapper of CNN moderated the event.

 

Senator Elizabeth Warren

          US  Senator, Elizabeth Warren, known to be a progressive leader and academic,  announced her candidacy for the 2020 US Presidential Election at a rally in Lawrence, Massachusetts, last week.

 

Jake Tapper, Moderator.

          The Town Hall witnessed questions from the audience and her responses were candid and precise. She seemed to promise less and do more, a key trait of good  ‘Leadership’.

          The Town Hall audience posed questions on a range of issues :  from immigration,  safety & security,  tax reforms,  Climate Change,  healthcare,  education,  military policy,  unions and minimum wage.

          A brief account of three important aspects in the session is cited below :

          1.  Senator Elizabeth Warren’s prescription for the ills that America is plagued with lies in  (a)  Grassroot Foundation,  (b)  Infrastructure Building,  and  (c)  Minimum Wage as depicted in the Figure below :

          Strengthening Grassroot Foundation will make people stronger and confident ;  Infrastructure Building will make things easier for Small and Medium Industries ;  and Minimum Wage will make families to live peacefully – according to her.

          Her emphasis on Minimum Wage supporting a family is rooted in her own times at the end of tether when that ‘minimum wage’  for her mother came to her rescue and progress in school and further in life. Hence her determination to fight for Minimum Wage and not support concerns for the big profits of giant multinational banks. She also brought her intelligence to the fore through comparisons of George Washington’s words of what a decent minimum wage can do to a family as opposed to the Washington D.C.’s  motif in enhancing the profits of big companies at the cost of common people. This was the impact making moment of the Town Hall.

          2.  Senator Elizabeth Warren’s “Medicare for All”  constitutes  (a) Defending the Affordable Care Act ;  (b)  Reducing the Cost of Prescription Drugs ;  and  (c)  Making Insurance Companies Accountable –  as depicted in the Figure below :

          Healthcare for Americans is a basic Human Right and according to her, the Democrats are trying to expand the ACA while the Republicans are interested in repealing that. She strongly feels that improvements to the healthcare system is possible even without eliminating private insurance companies. Drug prices reduction, importing drugs from Canada, and encouraging generic drugs are some measures she advocates.

          3.  Senator Elizabeth Warren’s  “Big Structural Change” is her chief contribution comprising  (a)  Anti Corruption Drive ;  (b)  Minimising Wealth Inequality ;  and  (c)  Improving Electoral Fairness  –  as depicted in the Figure below :

          Her chief message here is that the present system does not work for companies that want to drill ; the present system does not work for companies that want a prescription bill ;  the present system does not work for companies that want to encourage workers and unions ;  the present system works only for big companies in Wall Street. This needs to change. She is confident that Unions will help build American middle class and big investment in housing will spread the opportunity for making more people to become buyers.

          America is founded on the principles of liberty and freedom, and the impact of discrimination has to be faced head on and tackled. Reparation Conversations are essential to make the nation do what is right. When the moderator, Jake Tapper, asked her to elaborate on a specific solution, the Senator cited  ” Direct Financial Reparations to descendents of slaves without ignoring the problem ”  as the best way to deal with it.  This was one specific answer that emerged in this Town Hall.

          General Observations : 

          Senator Elizabeth Warren put that common people above the wealthy while answering every question in the Town Hall. Not one answer was left without loud cheers or resounding applauses from the audience. I have not seen this in any of the earlier 2020 Democratic U.S.  Presidential Election Town Halls.

          Senator Elizabeth Warren, as is her wont, touched the hearts and minds of the common people with her genuine concern for their lives on all the issues questioned – be it safety,  education,  healthcare,  migrants, investment, minimum wage  ..   ..

          Senator Elizabeth Warren, in her answers, centred around programs towards the path of a  “Supreme Nation ”  she has been hinting on in her career.

          Will Senator Elizabeth Warren become the hero(ine) of the common people is what many would like to follow in the days and months to come.

 

     “Dieu avec nous”

     Tuesday,  March  19,  2019 –  10.19 a.m (IST)

     Tidbit : ” Few people have good enough sight to see their own faults “.