Saturday, February 4, 2017

24 Hours

We each have 24 hours a day. What differentiates us is what we do with our personal 24 hours. President Trump and his political advisor, Steve Bannon, are focused on how they think terrorists can be kept outside our borders, and in President Trump's case, tweeting about it. Now, because for every action there is a reaction, they will need to devote part of their precious 24 hours countering judicial actions with which they don't agree. We may be in the middle of a Constitutional crisis, one that could have been avoided, if President Trump and Steve Bannon had focused on something else -- something like rebuilding our transportation infrastructure. Just think, there would have been good faith bi-partisan brainstorming. People who oppose President Trump would have been relieved or at least distracted, or perhaps, disarmed.

No such luck. President Trump and Steve Bannon have given those who oppose Trump, daily, cumulative, growing reasons to get organized, to keep the judicial branch busy, and vigorously oppose a solid appointment for the Supreme Court.

From my perspective, President Trump and Steve Bannon, have triggered an inevitable process -- aggressive use of the courts -- unnecessarily early in the Trump administration. It will eat up their time, it will take over their tweeting, and will delay or stop steps they could have taken to really strengthen the American economy and workforce.

Well, they could take a deep breathe and recalibrate, shift gears. They are only in week three after all.

Why not invite people who repair bridges to lunch?
Why not visit some inner city schools and talk to teachers, kids, and parents?
Why not nominate an educator to be Secretary of Education? One who gets unanimous bi-partisan support. If President Trump can nominate a powerful candidate for the Supreme Court, he can surely nominate a solid Secretary of Education, rather than Betsy DeVos.
Why not have a Skype call with some entrepreneurs who just happen to have disabilities?
Why not learn more about the farm-to-table movement?
Oh yes, how about letting Ivanka share her ideas about child care with more of us?
Why not talk to immigrants in Silicon Valley on H1B visas about what they are doing?

Make America great again, buy American, and hire American are slogans that scare allies and trading partners, which may be neither soon, and leave many of us scratching our heads and praying, in equal measure.

No one doubts President Trump's power or energy level. It is time to change how he uses his 24 hours. If he doesn't the history books will treat his time in office as a temporary deviation from true American values. I hope he makes the right correction now, and see the potential in consensus building and puts aside coercion, threats, and promotion of isolationism as his preferred tactics. The latter may keep his 40 percent base. But, as he has said, he will bring us together, he is the president of us all. So he needs to start acting like it.

Thank you.
Common Grounder

Friday, February 3, 2017


I was sent a link to a blog post by the Arc ( titled: The Arc On Leaked Draft Executive Order That Would Impact People with Disabilities Legally Residing in the US and Seeking to Legally Immigrate. The Washington Post was the first to share this draft executive order (

It covers three things.
1. No potential immigrant comes into the U.S. if the person cannot support himself or herself (not be a public charge).
2. Remove any immigrant who is in the U.S. and is a public charge
3. Get reimbursement from anyone who sponsors an immigrant who receives/received public benefits

The purpose of this policy is make sure the taxpayers aren't left holding the bag for these people and that everyone let in or is is here already, who happens to be an immigrant, is self-sufficient. There are no exceptions.

What about families? Children? Grandparents? Individuals with developmental disabilities? Perhaps, if the family is Christian the whole family gets in, but then again perhaps not.

I have learned that at Ellis Island, at the turn of the 20th century, potential immigrants were made to climb stairs. If you couldn't climb stairs you couldn't enter the U.S. I guess the Department of Homeland Security could shut down the elevators connected to international arrival areas at airports.

The drafter of the memo accompanying this draft executive order, Andrew Bremberg, recommends to President Trump that he sign it, although Bromberg gives him three options -- approve, disapprove, or needs more discussion.

Here's hoping Ivanka tells her Dad to trash it.

Thank you.
Common Grounder