Deal of the Century

What if I could guarantee you that during your next political discussion, one of two things will happen. Either, 1) you’ll be able to demonstrate that the person you’re talking to won’t actually know what they are talking about and you can inwardly rejoice because you’ve known all along they are just an idiot, or 2) they will give you a piece of information you hadn’t actually considered and you’ll be better informed – and be able to retain all the moral high ground you could ever grow crops on.

And, not only that! What if I told you that you can come out of these conversations having avoided an argument, and feeling significantly less stress?

There is a skill set for this. I should sell it to you for millions of dollars, but tonight it’s free:

1) Ask for clarification. Example: can you tell me more about why you feel that way?

2)Rephrase and repeat: Example: so if I’m understanding correctly, you’re saying that…?

3) Reflect their emotions. Example: it sounds like this is something you’re very passionate about.

4) Repeat

This is a revolutionary skill set “listening”. It’s new, and very few people know about it. Get in on the ground floor NOW, and you won’t regret it.

BONUS if you order in the NEXT 35,040 HOURS!!!: Win the respect of your friends by appearing empathetic and wise!

 

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Sanity Trumps Flailing About Part 1

I’m going to do an experiment for my mental well-being, and I’ll invite you to observe, if you want to. I’m going to look at Trump’s contract with the American voter (me), and do a quick review of where I agree and disagree.

Summary:  starting with the first three of the “Six measures to clean up the corruption and special interest collusion in Washington, DC”:

Agree: 1
Disagree: 2 

Commencement

Starting at the beginning: Six measures to clean up the corruption and special interest collusion in Washington, DC:

1) FIRST, propose a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress.

 I AGREE with this. Despite the potential downsides, I think it’s an important step in making Congress more effective.

Activities so far: There are no actions take on this yet by the administration.

Quick issues research: http://www.balancedpolitics.org/term_limits.htm

2) SECOND, a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce the federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health).

Generally, I DISAGREE with this.  I’m not opposed to taking a hard look at Federal program and possibly reducing the workforce in conjunction with getting rid of ineffective program; but having been a Federal employee, I understand that this isn’t a straight forward process.  Hiring freezes have not historically been effective and have unintended side effects, including potentially increasing costs.

Activities so far:  on 1/23, Trump signed an executive order freezing federal hiring, excluding the hiring of military personnel. Other exemptions include hiring heads of agencies and personnel deemed essential for public safety and national security. Here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/23/presidential-memorandum-regarding-hiring-freeze

Quick issues research: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/23/what-does-a-hiring-freeze-mean-for-the-federal-workforce/?utm_term=.a530d4afd111

3) THIRD, a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated.

Generally, I DISAGREE with this. I’m not opposed to thinning out federal regulations if and where they need thinning. However, federal regulations are a result of the law making process and to get rid of existing regulations is arduous and time consuming.  They are also a fairly open process to the American public via https://www.regulations.gov/. To say that for every new one, we need to get rid of two old ones is arbitrary.  We need to get rid of regulations when they are no longer useful.

Activities so far: on 1/20, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus issued a memorandum asking federal agency heads to postpone or freeze any new or pending regulations, with some exceptions noted in Sec. 3 of the memo. Regulations are defined by the Office of Management and Budget as “general statements issued by an agency, board, or commission that have the force and effect of law”. Page 1: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C2qCm-qXUAAUlKn.jpg  Page 2: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C2qCoX8XEAA0Vy3.jpg

Quick (not too) issues research: https://www.federalregister.gov/uploads/2011/01/the_rulemaking_process.pdf
http://www.ncsl.org/blog/2017/01/10/getting-rid-of-regulations-how-can-it-be-done.aspx
https://www.regulations.gov/
https://www.federalregister.gov/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/04/27/carly-fiorinas-claim-that-not-a-single-regulation-has-ever-been-repealed/?utm_term=.c4d350b4b335
https://www.reginfo.gov/public/jsp/Utilities/faq.jsp

To Be Continued….

Resources

Trump’s contract with the American voter: https://assets.donaldjtrump.com/_landings/contract/O-TRU-102316-Contractv02.pdf

http://www.track-trump.com/