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I Take Bob Corker Serious

by John Jazwiec

Even after you consider that GOP Sen Bob Corker is retiring, the bluntness and his lack of ambiguity regarding Donald Trump is both troubling and confirmative. 

"I think Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Mattis, and Chief of Staff Kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos, and I support them very much".

Myself and many others see Trump as someone not fit to be president. I respect the other 40% of the country that doesn't feel that way. But perhaps their needs are not the same as the other 60%.

I want a president that cares about all Americans. Trump doesn't. I wan't a president that is humbled by the office he holds. Trump doesn't. I want a president that is empathetic to other human beings. Trump doesn't. I want a president that understands that drama is a recipe for failure. Trump doesn't. I want a president that works with his cabinet and staff in collaboration. Trump doesn't. I want a president that takes domestic and foreign policy seriously enough to read briefing books. Trump doesn't. I want a president that may disagree with the media - all president do - but respects the 4th estate. Trump doesn't. 

I don't want a president that that talks loudly and carries a little stick. Trump does. I don't want a president who's own finances are entangled with the constitutional power he possesses. Trump does. I don't want a president that is not even-keeled and doesn't stays on message. Trump does. I don't want a president that forces his people to say nice things about him. Trump does. I don't want a president with authoritative tendencies, who want's military parades. Trump does. I don't want a president that doesn't care, that as the head of state, he has to act presidential and in the continuum of its past office holders. Trump does.

To some 60% of us, we worry about the damage Trump has made and can create in the future. Senator Corker confirmed those worries this week. 


Alternative Headline - "Trump Take's The Time To Mention Puerto Rico While Bragging About Saving Money On The Invisible F-35"

by John Jazwiec

GOP Tax Plan - Continued Balkanization Is Self-Fulfilling

by John Jazwiec

The GOP - why it took 8 months to put together such a bare-bones plan is beyond me - has outlined a tax reform plan that (a) doesn't help the middle-class as advertised, (b) punishes states that pay high state and local taxes and (c) is a tax plan for the rich.

More concerning, is that while establishment Republicans may support the plan (a dying species), the GOP Freedom Caucus - sans inflating economic growth rates that will not pass the snicker-test - will not vote for it, due to the reckless deficit effect inherent in it. 

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 10.34.44 AM

Where the blue line and the black line intersect is today. Moving upwards and to the right, in black, is the future based on the current laws. Call that the fault of Obama from a GOP perspective. The blue line is the enhanced deficit impact of the proposed tax reform. Deficit hawks and their voters expected to see the black line going down. How can these same deficit hawks and their voters "like" the line getting worse?

Historically, you would have to go back to the end of World War II, to see deficits => than our national GDP.

The balkanization of the GOP is only getting worse. Besides establishment Republicans and the Freedom Caucus, you now have the Roy Moore phenomena. There will be more Roy Moore's primary-ing establishment Republicans. Their appeal and potential success will be fed by the GOP continuing to not getting anything done. 

Despite multiple attempts, and aspirational wishes for the future, the GOP has not been able to repeal and replace Obamacare. For the reasons explained above, I don't think they are going to get tax reform done either. 

Which is why GOP balkanization is likely to be self-fulfilling. 

The good news for the GOP though, is that despite such a GOP mess, I don't see any Democratic strategy that offers any consistent alternative yet.


The Real Lesson Of Vietnam That Was Absent In Ken Burns "Vietnam"

by John Jazwiec

Perhaps this is unfair to say, but as someone who read about the Vietnam War in the 1980s - being too young to remember it - I found little new insight.

The narrative has been straightforward for at least 30 years. The US thought or conspired to make the war about communism. While in fact, North Vietnam wasn't so much Marxist, as it was a grassroots movement for national independence for both the North and the South; against a historical backdrop of being ruled as a colony by China, by the French, by Japan, and back by the French. The French capitulated. Then the US allied itself with the wrong side of history - with corrupt South Vietnamese regimes - that nonetheless did have brave and dedicated soldiers.

It's also a narrative of US teenage lower-class fighters who bought into US nationalistic propaganda, returned to the US where they were vilified unfairly and in some cases came to see the war as immoral. 

What Burns missed and was largely absent from his 20-hour special, was - then and now - the lesson that mistakes lead to progress. And, as such, should be timely.

Go do the research yourself. Vietnam and the US have transformed their relationship. Vietnam has one of the highest approval rates of America in the world. It started from the ground up. And it has been continually codified by its sovereign institutions. More and more Americans have come to respect Vietnam and in turn that has meant more and more Vietnamese have come to respect the US.

Go to YouTube and watch young students talking to President Obama. Two-thirds of the people of Vietnam were born after the war. The young students look and sound no different from American students. Vietnam always has and continues to be hungry for education and Western Civilization literature. Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Our children have already discovered the treks through Vietnam's beautiful country, enjoyed their great beaches and their cuisine. 

The point is, the US has and always will make mistakes. But we do seem to learn from those mistakes. And what is happening today, is no different from what happened during World War II and the Vietnam War. We think it is permanent. But it never is. 

Some say our country is as divided as it was during the Vietnam War. It's not my place to opine on division metering. But what history tells us, is that our divides are always a step back, but they lead to two steps forward.

The main lesson of Vietnam that was absent in Ken Burns special, was that Vietnam shouldn't be an analog to the current divide in of our country, but rather a lesson that these "times" will pass and the country will be better for it.


Trump, The Flag? What About John McCain!

by John Jazwiec

At the height of World War II, the Supreme Court struck down a law that forced students to salute the American flag, by a 6-3 majority.

I realize that the reverence to the American flag is deeply personal and divisive. My wife comes from a family of Marines. The flag to her is sacrosanct. 

Trump's deflecting comments - not being able to fulfill his campaign promises on repeal/replace for one - regarding the NFL and its players, was meant to be divisive. While I don't respect an American president making such bombastic comments - this is just the latest one - I do respect fans having differing opinions.

What I can't abide is Trump lambasting John McCain. He said he wasn't a war hero. John McCain was. McCain was told by his captors that he could leave anytime he wanted. He stayed until all of his fellow prisoners were released. 

Now while John McCain is fighting for his life, Trump - because no one is more important to Trump than Trump - is blaming McCain on the defeat of the latest repeal and replace of Obamacare. 

The American flag is supposed to represent our freedoms and the sacrifices of our military to preserve them. 

Trump - the draft dodger - has a problem with a piece of cloth, in which his argument is unconstitutional. But he doesn't have a problem deriding someone who fought for his country, suffered years of voluntary torture to maintain solidarity with his fellow prisoners, who served his country in the Senate for 30 years and is fighting for his life with brain cancer?

That's patriotic? No, that's hypocritical. 


Biden Passes The Biden Test

by John Jazwiec

https://www.sppa.udel.edu/bideninstitute/research-policy/biden-institute-blog/Let%E2%80%99s-Choose-a-Future-That-Puts-Work-First

The only Democratic left center candidate, I can think of today, that is capable of beating Trump is older than Trump. His name is Joe Biden. Biden also has something just as important as being left center. He is a fighter and a street brawler. He would be able to go toe-to-toe with Trump when Trump goes into rough politicking. Finally, Biden is a real-blue collar guy who can appeal to white blue collar voters. Trump can successfully pretend he cares about blue collar whites. While Biden doesn't have to pretend. That's who he is. And voters would see that.

Am I saying Joe Biden should run for president in 2020? Yes and no. I think he should, but that is not my decision. What I am saying, is that the Democratic Party needs to think of its nominee in 2020 as someone who passes the Biden test. The person must be a centrist. The person needs to have blue collar bonafides. And the person needs the temperament to be more presidential than Trump, with the wherewithals to verbally punch him in the gut.  

Read Biden's short blog post. It speaks to what is the biggest casualty of "working class job" loss. Dignity. It rejects corporations as villains. It rejects the far left's Bernie-like universal income plans. It is a sober and historically-based view of how American's change their education to befit the times they live in. It is right down the center. And that is the only anti-Trump anecdote. 

Some will say Biden is too old. So is Trump. Some will say Biden some times puts his foot in his mouth. Next to Trump, I don't think that is going to be a problem. Some will say Biden is too scrappy. Too scrappy against Trump is feature, not a bug. 

Amtrak Joe isn't a populist. People know he is smart, but he isn't perceived - nor should be - as an elite. 

And Obama, who now enjoys high favorability ratings - due to Trump - would be a full throttled campaign asset because Biden is his friend as opposed to HRC who was a marriage of convenience. 


Democrats - Bernie Sanders Debating Graham-Cassidy - What Are You Thinking??

by John Jazwiec

Graham-Cassidy health care "reform" is a political and humanitarian disaster.

Giving states more flexibility with less money, is not going to win any governor's support. By 2020, each state will have to build, from scratch, a new health care policy without Medicare. Yes, they can opt of preexisting conditions, but every governor will have to fight a political fight in shaping a plan, that hurts its citizens. That's a recipe for losing their jobs.

According to polling, only 20% of Americans support Graham-Cassidy. People might want to drain the swamp. But not their swamp.

Graham-Cassidy doesn't pass John McCain's rule for parliamentary order (committees, CBO scores). It doesn't pass Graham's own rule for cutting separate deals with states (the bill includes candy for Alaska and Montana). The only reason for the bill - seemingly - is to fulfill a repeal Obamacare promise made almost a decade ago. It's not about helping people or their states. It's about keeping their jobs. Period.

The bill has no health care professional support. Even insurance companies don't want it to pass. The bill has only 8 more days to get done. It has all the appearances of a dead dog.

Except, Bernie Sanders - presumptively with the Democrat's blessing - is going to debate it with Graham-Cassidy - in a televised debate this coming Monday.

I wrote this a few posts back -

Bernie Sanders - despite his appeal with millenniums - was a narcissistic populist with dangerous radical leftist ideas that were and are now unattainable. He kept pushing Clinton to the left. He now keeps pushing the Democratic Party to the left to its own detriment.   

Instead of Graham-Cassidy dying a natural death, with only 20% American supporting it, the narrative moves from a status quo that the majority of Americans want to keep, to a choice between a reckless Graham-Cassidy bill and a more reckless single payer Sanders system. 

It is said that Trump isn't really a Republican. Well, Bernie Sanders isn't a Democrat. Both appear to be out to destroy their adopted parties. The GOP, against all reason, just let Trump happen. And the Democrats, appear to have the same weakness. 

While this post is a political puzzle, 10's of million Americans isn't. People will die. People will be bankrupted. And all for the livelihood of 100 senators and two narcissistic populists - Trump and Sanders - who only care about themselves.


Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

by John Jazwiec

Hurricane Harvey was terrible. Irma was too. Although, our home in Naples was ground zero - and we don't have any idea what's left, as of this writing - our thoughts always go out to others. 

We set up a Red Cross fund at my company for both hurricanes. We gave money. And as of today, we adopted a Harvey dog. 

Meet the newest member of the Jazwiec family.

Dog


Hillary Clinton And Bernie Sanders Must Go

by John Jazwiec

I haven't had the time to write for the last two weeks.

But watching Hillary Clinton whine about the 2016 election and Bernie Sanders promoting unattainable universal health care, is an admission that the Democratic Party isn't ready to move on.

While I am a feminist to a fault, Hillary Clinton was a fatally flawed candidate from the start. Not because she was a women - although there was always going to be a misogynistic block of voters - but because she wasn't a natural politician with a fresh face. The nation saw her as an extension of the Clinton recking ball. The nation saw her as a 2008 Democratic presumptive nominee that lost despite her advantages. The nation saw her as a privileged 2016 nominee who hadn't changed and learned the lessons from 2008. She had no particular message, except it was my turn.

Bernie Sanders - despite his appeal with millenniums - was a narcissistic populist with dangerous radical leftist ideas that were and are now unattainable. He kept pushing Clinton to the left. He now keeps pushing the Democratic Party to the left to its own detriment. 

They must now go and shut up. 

The return to the center - that muddy place where liberals and conservatives loath - is where elections are won. 

The majority of Americans don't support Trump. His favorability ratings continue to remain below 40%. But that is only an absolute number in the middle of his presidency. His numbers would be higher relatively when set against a poor candidate and/or someone who is too far to the left. 

Conversely, a reincarnation of Barack Obama would destroy Trump. Liberals weren't satisfied with Obama. Conservatives hated Obama. But the center always wins. Obama understood that. 

You may think Trump is an idiot. I don't. He is in the process of pivoting to the center. Which makes the Hillary/Bernie problem more acute. 

The GOP has a large bench of right centrist candidates as alternatives to Trump. The Democrats? Not so much.

The only Democratic left center candidate, I can think of today, that is capable of beating Trump is older than Trump. His name is Joe Biden. Biden also has something just as important as being left center. He is a fighter and a street brawler. He would be able to go toe-to-toe with Trump when Trump goes into rough politicking. Finally, Biden is a real-blue collar guy who can appeal to white blue collar voters. Trump can successfully pretend he cares about blue collar whites. While Biden doesn't have to pretend. That's who he is. And voters would see that.

Am I saying Joe Biden should run for president in 2020? Yes and no. I think he should, but that is not my decision. What I am saying, is that the Democratic Party needs to think of its nominee in 2020 as someone who passes the Biden test. The person must be a centrist. The person needs to have blue collar bonafides. And the person needs the temperament to be more presidential than Trump, with the wherewithals to verbally punch him in the gut.  


The Problem Isn't Trump - Four-Dimensional History

by John Jazwiec

I couldn't keep up with all the events in August. I didn't know what to write. I was trying to grapple with what the bigger picture is/was. The following are my thoughts. 

There is a retired DePaul University professor, who argues that history has four dimensions - tradition, vision, time and place - and they all interact and influence. 

Let's take Martin Luther King for example. If you were trying to explain why he was important to a young student today in China, you couldn't properly make them understand, unless you told them a four-dimensional story. 

First, let's start with place. MLK's story only makes sense in the US. Next, time. MLK's story took place at a unique time. Finally, tradition and vision. MLK and his influence - at a certain juncture of time and place - was an internal and external struggle between the traditions of African-Americans and how people viewed those traditions. 

Which brings me back to the history of us today. How will people explain it, hundreds of years from now? Of course I can't predict the future, but I can describe today's four-dimensions. 

Time. The world has always changed; mostly through violence. But the world has changed historically rapidly - from the late 20th century to today - and it has been less violent. If I had to put a label on the time we live in, it would be something like "darwinistic mass commercialization without borders". This has come about from three main forces. The first is technological. Computing and the internet have enabled unprecedented information flow across the word. But they also have enabled unprecedented tribalism within a country, where such like minded people, never would have had a chance to congregate. The second force, is the drive to produce more for less and sell it for less. Prior to the late 20th century, profits came from steadily growing prices. Now profits come from ways to cut costs of production and increasing demand by lowering prices. The third force is the most overlooked - the lack of world-wide violence. One can get caught up in the headlines of Syria, Iraq and terrorism to name a few. But the world has never been more peaceful than it is today. Without a peaceful world, the other two forces are not enough to create today's "darwinistic mass commercialization without borders".

Place. The US is the world's most powerful economic and military country. It is physically isolated from most of the world by two vast oceans. It has one border to its north - Canada - that has cultural/economic similarities and has been an ally for two hundred years. It has one border to its south - Mexico - where there is less cultural/economic similarities, but nonetheless has been peaceful since the beginning of the 20th century. Through NAFTA, and tourism, many Americans - of a business nature and of a non-business nature - are familiar enough to interact with Mexico. So, the intersection of time - with "darwinistic mass commercialization without borders", and place - within the economic powerhouse of the world, is a self-reinforcing relationship.

Tradition. The US is the melting pot of the world. The country's success, in no small order, has been the assimilation of generations of immigrants - from a population of 100 million to 300 million in the last 100 years - who drive economic growth from being new producers and new consumers. A car in the driveway of every house. That is how most Americans have seen themselves since the end of World War II. There is a fairly-distributed economic upper class, middle class and lower class. Each economic class, can dream of and achieve, moving up in class and/or remaining, in the case of the upper class. Finally, a rising tide lifts all boats. Each economic class is either positively or negatively impacted by overall economic growth or contraction respectively. 

Vision. Vision is defined as how each person views tradition, through time and place. Too many Americans - place - have a negative view of time. "Darwinistic mass commercialization without borders" isn't a particular good time to live through. Today, too many Americans view its traditions with either skepticism or downright contempt. I might view immigration, through a traditional lens, due to what I do for a living. But many more Americans view immigration as a threat. A car in every driveway of every house also isn't a shared view today.What is a shared common view, is a fairly-distributed economic class system is now non-existent. And so goes the idea of a rising tide lifting all boats. To simplify the prevailing national vision, is to acknowledge an unsustainable continuing yawning of the wage gap. 

When you consider a time of "darwinistic mass commercialization without borders", in a place where traditions are falling by the wayside, being reenforced by electronic tribalism, you inevitably can see why too many people are angry and/or have given up. 

You can also see why such people took a chance on Trump. Trump isn't the problem and he isn't likely the solution. If HE isn't the solution, what comes next?

In summary, the US is the most powerful economic and military country in the world. But its main threat doesn't come from foreign foes. It comes from a wage gap that divides the 1% from the 99%. It comes from a continuing cycle of hope and change devolving into pessimism and the status quo. It comes from the tribalism that pits the 99% against each other instead of the 1%. And one is left to wonder - when people step back from Trump and his news cycles - will the author of our destruction be ourselves. 


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From athletic scholar and satirist to computer programmer to CEO success, John Jazwiec brings a unique and often eccentric perspective to business and supply chain challenges. Exploring how they can be solved through the leadership and communication insights found in untraditional sources. This CEO blog demonstrates how business insights from books on history to the music of Linkin Park can help challenge and redefine “successful leadership.” Read Jazwiec’s Profile >>

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