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    As Politicians Claim Victory, America Becomes the Victim

    After the longest government shutdown in history, Congress and the White House have three weeks to make a deal on immigration reform or the country faces the choice of another shutdown or a presidential proclamation that we have a national emergency that requires his unilateral action to build physical barriers on our southern border.  Three weeks to settle arguments that have failed resolution for over fifteen years.  Only a Las Vegas handicapper is capable of putting odds on any bet that the two sides will come to an agreement.  Even with odds, that is not a bet I am likely to make.

    We do have an emergency but it is not just about our southern border or immigration.  While that is certainly a crisis, the true emergency facing our nation is a failure of leadership on both sides of the aisle.  In response to President Trump’s offer this past weekend that could be a start to compromise, Nancy Pelosi immediately criticized it as “not enough” and continued her rhetoric that a wall is immortal.  Senator Chuck Schumer echoed similar sentiments.  On the right, pundits like Ann Coulter accused President Trump of caving and others said he “lost” the fight.  Everyone took sides, ignoring the issues for the sake of partisan politics.

    So once again, we watch the spectacle to which our politicians seem addicted.  A spectacle that is not about what might or might not be best for Americans, Dreamers, DACA and TPS recipients, and the border agents risking their lives as illegal immigrants continue to flood the country.   Instead, it remains a partisan fight over who wields power in Washington and who will win the White House in 2020.  Neither side appears ready to compromise as each continues to kowtow to the extreme wings of their respective bases.  As the leaders of the two parties continue their mindless bickering, no one can argue against the reality that people are suffering and dying – both Americans and illegal immigrants – throughout our country because of a failed immigration policy.

    Three weeks.  That is how long our Washington politicos have to prove to America that they can lead through reasonable debate and compromise, putting aside partisan politics at this critical time.  Whether that will happen depends on all of them and I will not blame the Democrats or the Republicans if they fail.  I will blame them both and urge anyone I know to vote every one of them out of office, from top to bottom, in 2020.



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    Rhetoric Not Reason

    As we enter yet another day of a partial government shutdown, we continue to hear the rhetoric on both sides of the aisle without any semblance of reasonable debate or compromise.  This is not leadership by Democrats or Republicans.  As Americans, we cannot allow ourselves to be caught up in their partisan politics.  Instead, we need to pressure all of them to bring reason to the debate and embrace compromise as the way of ending their inexcusable behavior.  We have to tell our politicians in the White House, House of Representatives, and Senate to STOP.  Their idea that governance means appealing only to their base is ludicrous.  They represent all of us, not just those who chose to vote them into power.  We elected them to govern, not divide.  It is time for them to stop labelling the other party as the “owner” of this shutdown.  They all own it.  If these elected officials were a business, congregation, or family, such divisive behavior would not be tolerated.  Compromises would be made and we would all move forward.  The truth is that border security, whether you call it a wall, a fence or, as Nancy Pelosi described it, a beaded curtain, is critical to our national security.  Yet they all sit and debate semantics while irresponsible parents abandon innocent children and illegal aliens kill innocent people, including law enforcement officers trying to protect us.  While our borders should be open and our success as a nation be shared and made available to anyone who is oppressed or denied human rights, there must be rules and limitations.  We simply cannot absorb the world’s human rights problems regardless of how compassionate we may be.  The same politicians who once said they support a wall, now say they do not.  Their hypocrisy could not be more obvious.  Politicians on the other side of the aisle, caught up in wordsmithing are equally hypocritical.  It reminds me of the movie, Network:  “So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it and stick your head out, and yell: I’m mad as Hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”  Maybe someone in Washington will hear you.  Unfortunately, I doubt they will.

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    Everything You Need to Know About Mick Mulvaney

    Who is Mick Mulvaney?

    Born in Alexandria, Virginia, John Michael ‘Mick’ Mulvaney has a strong Southern background. He grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina and later moved to Indian Land, South Carolina. Mulvaney attended Georgetown University where he studied international economics, commerce and finance, and then went on to law school at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill focusing on antitrust law. In 2006, Mulvaney was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives, but when an unexpected vacancy in the South Caroline Senate arose in 2008, he decided to run as the GOP candidate. He achieved victory after running in one of the hardest legislative races of that election.

    In 2010 Mulvaney entered the race for U.S House of Representatives, and won, against John M. Pratt. He was re-elected for the following three terms. According to the Washington Post, Mulvaney was elected as a member of the Tea Party movement and was a co-founder of the House of Freedom Caucus.

    President Trump previously nominated Mulvaney in December 2016 to serve as director of the Office Management and Budget and Mulvaney was confirmed by the Senate in February of 2017. The White House also appointed him to be the interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau until the Senate confirmed Kathy Kraninger on December 11th (Springfield News Sun).  President Trump has now appointed him to be his next Chief of Staff.

    In a December 14th tweet, Trump enthusiastically welcomed Mulvaney to the team.

    “I look forward to working with [Mick] in this new capacity as we continue to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

    I hope you’re right, Mr. President.

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    Thoughts on Selecting a Chief of Staff

    Kelly is gone and Mulvaney will be “acting” in the role of chief of staff for President Trump.  With all the media angst regarding Kelly’s departure, and public reaction on social networks, I wonder if most of us know what this position is or does?

    In business and in government, any executive will tell you that selecting a chief of staff is no easy task. The job is both administrative management and political; therefore it’s essential to choose someone you know and trust who will help carry out your overall goals while maintaining a prioritized flow of communications in and out of your office.   In this case, the Oval Office. Take former President Bill Clinton, for example, who appointed childhood friend Mack McLarty to the position. While choosing him seemed like a good idea given his esteemed business background and strong friendship, advising people/procedures in the White House is a whole new ball game.  McLarty lasted just over a year and a half.

    It’s hard to pinpoint the exact criteria for the perfect COS candidate. The person in the position will need to adjust to his or her boss’s style and needs.  The choice mainly depends on the individual executive: Who would they work well with? Who can they trust? Who would best represent them?

    While it’s crucial to ponder these queries, let’s not forget relations between a chief of staff and the people they manage. A COS should be able to analyze their staffers’ work and report back to the boss with appropriate, fair, and adequate recommendations for optimal efficiency. The chief of staff needs to be an extension of the executive’s personal decision making so that all minor issues are filtered out or solved before reaching “the big boss.”

    It’s easy to comment from the bleachers on whether the President is hiring or firing the right people.  But what’s he’s doing is no different than what every President has done for decades.  The revolving door at the White House never stops turning.