Public Service-221009

During the four years of Donald Trump’s term as president I often wondered why he gave his son-in-law Jared Kushner recognition. Kushner served as Trump’s advisor, but in his memoir he writes very detailed accounts of his role as a leader on several high level and huge projects. Among them were re-negotiating the NAFTA trade agreement with Mexico, Criminal Justice Reform, Middle-East peace, and the COVID-19 response. All of these yielded major benefits to the country.

Jared tells his story in a fast moving narrative that held my interest through out. His writing style is mesmerizing. Since I lived through this period, it was refreshing to learn the inside details of how success was achieved, i.e. not easily, but required persistence and constant brainstorming to come up with creative solutions to problems. I was particularly moved by the response to the pandemic. The process used was classic engineering project management, and reminded me of similar situations that I faced in my role as Chief Engineer of a manufacturing company. His process as facilitator of the Mid-Eastern peace deal was one of classic “think outside the box” management. Unfortunately, bureaucratic thinking and processes cannot move past the traditional forms and age old methodology of years of failure. Each administration and career diplomats merely continued to rehash old talking points for the past fifty years. Too many people within the system are interested only in advancing their own career over what is best for the country. The result is a swamp full of creatures whose only interest is to live off each other, and to procreate the process. Kushner kept repeating the old adage that he must not keep repeating the same unsuccessful steps over and over and expecting a different outcome. He made this point repeatedly to Arab leaders throughout his negotiations.

One fact that Kushner writes about never appeared in the press. During his tenure, he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and underwent surgery and follow-up treatment. He never let the diagnoses affect his ability to serve, and he continued to look forward and not let the past affect his drive. Luckily, his treatment solved the problem.

As an engineer, I had many opportunities to write reports and to present them. So many times I was disappointed by the revisions that the CEO made to my work. Eventually, I learned that drafting a report from scratch is much more difficult than it is to revise it. Once the main man has the basis for a decision he can then modify it to arrive at a better outcome. I used this argument in mentoring sessions with engineers. I followed the same process as my boss, and learned that my revisions made a report more valuable than the original. I always gave credit for the final report to the engineer. Kushner’s presentations to the President almost always triggered Trump to make revisions that led to a better solution.

Working in the White House is vicious, stressful, fast paced, and relentless. Too many of the people who work there are constantly seeking power and favor from the president. The most notable tactic for a staff member to feel powerful is to become a leaker. It seems that people who feed inside information to the outside gain an adrenaline rush from the knowledge that their information was obtained because of their position next to the president. Many times the leaker is someone who opposes the president and is seeking to destroy his agenda. Kushner describes experiencing many incidents of leaking. One of the advantages Trump had within the White House was to have his son-in-law. Working directly for him. Kushner being a family member was there to serve his country and to protect his father-in-law.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who has a penchant for history and the inside machinations of top level government. If you are not that interested in government I still recommend the book as a biography of a young man who served his country at the highest level.

Community Organizer versus Business Guy

In a recent debate, the press forced Mitt Romney into disclosing his income tax return just as they had forced Obama to show his origin of birth and his college records. There is no law that requires a candidate to disclose his tax return, and Mitt wanted to do as Obama did, i.e. disclose after you are president. Instead he caved, and now the topic of discussion is how much money Mitt has and how little tax he pays. Actually, I think the guy is pretty smart to have accumulated so much wealth in a lifetime.  However, he is not as rich as the president’s chief advisor on tax matters, one Warren Buffet whose net worth is at forty-seven billion. Warren Buffet takes a small salary, therefore most of his earnings are capital gains which are taxed at  taxed at 15%. Buffet reportedly paid 17% tax. I don’t see Warren donating his fair share. One of Buffet’s companies, NetJets is  suing the IRS to avoid paying 643 million in taxes thee IRS says it owes. Mr. Buffet follows the law, I’m sure he is paying exactly what he owes and not a penny more. He is correctly lobbying Congress to change the laws to make him pay more.

Romney is nowhere near as rich as Microsoft founder Bill Gates at fifty-three billion. Mitt’s net worth of 231 million is even with that of Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin and below Congressman Daryl Issa. Mitt’s paltry family fortune pales in comparison to that of Oprah, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Jay Z, Beyonce, Mark Zuckerberg, Donald Trump or Michael Bloomberg. I’d like to see their tax returns too.

So what’s the big deal about Mitt’s tax return? The press will over analyze it and try to use it against him by widening the gap between the rich and the poor. In other words, they are supporting Obama’s class warfare efforts.

If Congress passed a law today requiring Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to give everything they own (100 billion dollars) to Obama it will pay for fifteen minutes of his spending.

President Obama recently filed a tax return showing earnings of 1.5 million dollars. The presidential salary is $480,000.00/yr. Where did the difference come from? Is Obama moonlighting, or does Michelle have a job?

Mankind has always experienced differences in wealth between people. It is normal for some to become more wealthy by their efforts than others. To even out the wealth of everyone requires a system called communism, and even that doesn’t do the job perfectly nor does it come close.

I Love Donald Trump, Faux Conservative

I never thought I would say this, “I love Donald Trump.”  He is one of a handful of people who are not afraid of Obama. In his current run for President he is using all the buzz words and phrases that turn conservatives on. He is kidnapping the Tea Party vote. If the poles are any indication, he is succeeding.
I am a Tea Party person, and I love his tactic to expose Obama. He is delivering a message that the rest of us have voiced without any  attention from the media. Trump doesn’t seem to care. He forges forward with the birther controversy, you get into a war to win it, believes China is a thieving trade partner, Iraq takes advantage of our blood without any gift of spoils (oil), the debt is unsustainable, and suddenly he sounds pro-life, what else?  Best of all, he voices the opinion that Obama is ruining our country and taking it away from “We the people,” and he is the one to get it back.

Every tactic Trump uses takes it to Obama. His attacks are all arguments of  the Tea Party. We believe we they are correct, so why would we not love Donald Trump? He has awakened the country by voicing his opinions and by attacking Obama.  His current vocal opinions are all mine too.

Where I veer away from Donald Trump is in his background. He hasn’t got a conservative bone in his body. He supports far left politicians like Rangel, Reid, Schumer, Pelosi, and more. I, as a conservative would not support those candidates for any amount of favor or influence. Donald is a business man. Most likely, his support for them is greasing the wheels of a business transaction, or does he really share their philosophy?  Either way, he is ethically wrong. If he is greasing wheels he is influencing political leaders for favors. If he supports the same political philosophy, he deceives us with Faux Conservatism.

Donald Trump sounds good in the news, but his character is on the same level as that of Obama; say what we want to hear, then take an opposite action.

If Trump is the patriot he claims, and truly wants to save the country as he proclaims, he will not split the vote and guarantee Obama a second term. Or is a second term what he really wants to effect?