POTUS

For those who don’t know, POTUS is the acronym for “President Of The United States”. Probably most Americans would say that it’s the most powerful position in the country, maybe even the world. The position is certainly one of, if not the most influential positions in the world; and in that sense, powerful. However, examining the actual “power” of the POTUS in the US may look a little different than you thought.

Reading the US Constitution, you’ll find the job description of the president to be one of:

  1. Service– The function of the position is to serve the welfare of the citizens of the United States. Every action of the office is intended to be to this purpose. Although the position carries honor (even if the person doesn’t), the president is a servant of the people.
  2. Accountability- POTUS is accountable first to the citizens of the US. Our government was founded on the principle of being “for the people, by the people”. We have the right to hold any elected official to accountability. Furthermore, if we do not exercise that right, then we’re releasing politicians to do whatever they please. Secondly, the president is accountable to the US Constitution and all branches of the government on every level that endeavor to uphold it. How can POTUS be accountable to an old document, especially one that gets re-interpreted all the time? That is an excellent question. Essentially, we elect presidents based on what they say¬† their interpretation of the Constitution is (that and their promises about things like economy and education, etc.). Lastly, POTUS is accountable to the world. Especially as we progress toward a global community (regardless of it’s dysfunctions), the President of the United States is an influential figure, a representative of democracy, capitalism, freedom, alleged prosperity, power, and peace-making.

Looking beyond the Constitution, into the reality of the presidency today, it is a burden beyond the imagination of most people.

  • POTUS is the biggest celebrity in the world. Every detail of the president’s personal life, past and present is under a microscope. Their effectiveness in office is, in part, based on approval. If their ducks are not in a row, spin doctors need to make it seem they are.
  • Perhaps a majority of Americans over-estimate the power of the president. For example, if the economy is good during a president’s administration, he gets the credit. And if it’s bad, Americans blame the president. The reality is POTUS has almost nothing at all to do with controlling the economy. That power lies far above that office, in offices such as the Federal Reserve Board and The World Bank, places like that… Congress has far more influence on the economy than the president, and they don’t have much. When Tip O’Neal was the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the republican party began romancing him to run for president. He responded [paraphrasing] “Why would I take a pay-cut for a less powerful position?”
  • Politics is a game. Jimmy Carter was a great man and humanitarian. He accomplished more toward peace than any other POTUS in over a century. He was an honest man. Unfortunately, these characteristics gave him a distinct disadvantage in the White House. History will remember Jimmy Carter as an ineffectual president. Politicians play a game, by certain rules. Things are done (or not done) a certain way. Special interests are pressed by lobbyists making behind-closed-doors deals with senators and representatives. Bills get presented, discussed, amended by other special interest issues that completely unrelated, but buried in the language of the bill so it can pass. It gets debated, back and forth. Eventually, what started as a simple idea plops on POTUS’ desk as a 1200 page bill, along with three more that twice as long. You get the drift?

I’ve gone really long on this post, and for that, I suppose I’m sorry. I feel passionate about this message. I have for some time. I just normally don’t go political. It’s timely. I believe it’s important. And I hope it is helpful.

 

The Appeal of Trump and Clinton

I don’t normally get political, but I just can’t resist. This has been occupying my mind, so I have to get a few things out there. I am not going to express my preference in this post; so if you’re wondering about that… too bad. I’m going to express my opinion about what I have observed as to why each of these two front-runners are front-runners. And we all know what they say about opinions, right? Everybody’s got one.

Let’s talk about Hillary Clinton first. I believe there are many reasons why she is the current Democratic leader:

  • She is a woman. Many Americans have felt for some time that it’s time for a woman to be President.
  • She is a straight party-line Democrat. Her platform is essentially the same as the party’s. That’s why I believe the party has been preparing her since her husband’s presidency. They got her elected senator for a state in which she didn’t live. The party got her into the key position of Secretary of State in the Obama administration (a position from which she was required to resign). At every opportunity to place Hillary in the political foreground, the Democratic party has taken advantage for the last 20 years.
  • Hillary has been a successful businesswoman. Although there were numerous allegations of felonious business practices, she has never been convicted. In fact, those allegations have been spun out of America’s short memory.
  • During her husband’s presidency, when it was finally revealed what had been known for many years of his decades of dishonesty and unfaithfulness in his marriage, America watched for Hillary’s reaction. She certainly would have been justified in divorcing him. But it was politically advantageous for her to remain. I’m not suggesting that was her motivation, but it hasn’t hurt her political career to be seen as the woman who stands by her man no matter what he does. And when Bill was impeached for lying on the witness stand under oath, she still supported his decision to remain in office.
  • Hillary Clinton is a thoroughbred politician. She knows the game and the players, and how to get things done in the political arena. The American voters who have approved of the Obama administration may be thinking her administration will perhaps be similar in objectives.
  • She has the experience in international affairs; although there were some questionable actions leading to her resignation.

But now let’s look at the Republican front-runner, Donald Trump, and what I think makes him appealing to many people:

  • He is diametrically opposite of the liberal platform of the Democratic party, the Obama administration, and the Clinton campaign. He is, in fact, so extreme in his views, he scares the Republican party.
  • Trump is a very successful businessman. Many believe his business acumen may be what it would take to set our country on the road to economic solvency.
  • Donald Trump is not a politician. He has no political background, and no knowledge of the political process. This actually appeals to many Americans, who are tired of politicians playing games. They desire a president who will step into office and kick butts and get things done. They believe Donald Trump can do that.
  • Trump seems honest. His brash words suggest he’s not very concerned about his opinions wining a popularity contest. He speaks his mind, and people seem to appreciate that.
  • His extremist views reflect some common feelings in many Americans. They not only respect his courage in giving voice to these ideas, but see him as a lone champion for causes they never thought they would ever hear from a White House hopeful.
  • Donald Trump has no experience in international affairs. However, considering his national-isolationist platform, there’s no need. He seems to be promoting the United States withdraw from our involvement in the world affairs: a “we stay in and we keep them out” strategy. Many Americans agree wholeheartedly with that idea.

Well, in a nutshell, that’s my opinion about the main reasons these two candidates are the most appealing to Americans. Me… I don’t know…

10 Funniest Grammar Jokes (Or: Don’t Dangle Your Participle Around Here!)

 

For those writers, readers, and English teachers who are familiar with the English language, here are the 10 funniest grammar jokes :

1. A guy walks into a bar, only receiving minor injuries. (Just kidding. That’s not even funny. Poor guy.) Okay, Let’s try again…

1. Commas can save lives. Ex: “Some people enjoy cooking, their families, and their dogs”. OR “Some people enjoy cooking their families and their dogs”.

2. The past, the present, and the future walk into a bar. It was tense.

C. When I was a kid, my English teacher called on me and said, “Name two pronouns”. I said ” Who, me?”

XII. Every time I see someone type “to funny”, I envision them raising a fist and heading out on a quest to find funny.

Yellow. AMBIGUITY… What happens in vagueness, stays in vagueness, baby!

6. A panda walks into a cafe. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air. “Why?” asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder. “I’m a panda,” he says at the door. “Look it up.” The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation. “Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.”

Still 6. Sign: “Attention: Toilet only for disabled elderly pregnant children”

11/3. From actual church bulletin: “ The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind. They can be seen in the church basement Saturday.”

eleventy-2. Another church bulletin one: Applications are now being accepted for 2 year-old nursery workers.

10. I hate that awkward moment when I spell a common word correctly, but it looks so wrong that I stare at it forever, questioning it’s existence.

Okay, there you have it. What’s that you say? You can think of 10 funnier grammar jokes? Fine. Go for it. Where’s your list at? Im sure your working on it right now;, theirs’ probably just some re-search too due. Good luck.