The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, December 01, 2016


When a politician speaks—any politician—pay relatively little attention to his or her words. If they're intelligent and seemingly focused, smile and nod, but apply healthy skepticism. If they're crass and unfocused, frown and shake your head, but recognize that they're just words. The only thing that matters is results—not good intentions, not histrionics, not sound bites, not a cool demeanor or a winning smile—RESULTS!

Results are achieved only when the politician has solid core principles (e.g., a focus on a strong economy, respect for the law, a recognition that Islamic terrorism is a long term threat, an aggressive, American-first foreign policy), when the politician and those around him have the experience to assess incoming facts and make sound, defensible decisions, and when based on those decisions, he or she can formulate effective strategies toward achieving measurable accomplishments. The key to the success of any politician—and by that I mean the benefit that politician brings to our country, not himself—is the people he has around him (and the degree to which those people are strong enough to influence him).

Daniel Henninger comments on the emerging Trump cabinet:
... the Trump transition has been talking to and appointing some of the most accomplished and serious individuals in Republican and conservative politics. Donald Trump isn’t pulling rabbits out of a hat. Somebody at team Trump has a first-rate Rolodex.

By now, it should be obvious that the Trump operation exists in two parts. One half is the operation’s face, Donald Trump. The other half is the operation behind the face. Mr. Trump’s persona has often made it difficult to take the entire Trump phenomenon seriously. That, we learned, is a mistake.
It's extremely difficult to be a business success, much less to build a business empire without knowing how to hire and fire. It is crucial to bring in outstanding people and let them build a path to success. It appears that despite Democrats and trained hamsters in the media accusing almost every Trump appointment of "racist" or a "bigot," being "too wealthy" or "alt-right", Donald Trump is building a "first-rate" team.

The problems this country has encountered over the past eight years occurred because too much attention was paid to words and style, and not nearly enough was paid to substance and results. Until fairly recently, the public seemed perfectly okay as they listened to seemingly intelligent and focused (?) words, while the media willfully refused to report results. Much to the chagrin of the Democrats, that all changed on November 8th. Now results are what will matter, the media will be merciless in assessing those results, and that's a very good thing.

Throughout the Obama presidency, regular readers of this blog read the phrase "Team of 2s" on many occasions. That's a play on the old management axiom that when assessing a manager on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being world-class), 9s hire 10s and 3s hire 2s. Obamas team of 2s generally had no private sector experience, no broad-based strategic experience, had identically the same ideological bent as Obama himself (thing: "yes men"), and were often hired more on the basis on identity politics than personal competence.

Donald Trump may be a 5, but it looks like he's hiring 9s. That, in an of itself, is a very good sign. We'll still have to wait on results (after all, he's not the president as yet), but first indications are actually quite good.