Legislation – The Hard Slog

Unfortunately, advancing legislation is not as easy a task as sending the media on another mindless wild goose chase after a Trump tweet.  At this game, Trump is the grandmaster.  But legislation requires fundamentals and a mentality dedicated to playing the long-game.

Two time-tested legislative fundamentals Trump would be wise to embrace in support of his Congressional maneuvers are outreach to business lobbyists and Conservative activists.  Both have infrastructure already in existence within the Republican Party that could be put to his advantage when it comes time to march legislation down the field.  He can convert their Party machinery into his machinery by coordinating with their officials in pursuit of their common objectives.

As resistant though they were to Trump during the election, business interests are generally best served by keeping Trump as an ally; if not in all cases, then most.  The repeal of Obamacare is an example of how the mutual interests of Trump and business coincide.

The insurance industry has much to lose if the repeal is only partial or fails:  The continued participation of insurers in Obamacare exchanges is untenable because those exchanges are in a death spiral.  These failing exchanges will not be saved by the administration.  But if they fail, the insurance industry will be faced with the unpleasant mission of operating in an Obama-era regulatory environment designed around a that only partially exists.

The best outcome for the insurance industry is for as much of Obamacare to be repealed as possible so they may adjust their Obama-era assumptions for a new environment.

Trump has his own reasons to not marginally change Obamacare.  Chief among these is the fact that the less Obamacare’s taxes and regulations are upturned the more his administration will have to manage what is left of a disintegrating law.

Their shared interest can be translated into joint  pressure on Congress to vote repeal through.  The insurance industry, now drifting in a regulatory limbo, cannot afford to have Congress continue to delay decisive action no matter their personal opinion of Trump.  The sooner Congress acts the sooner insurers will be able to implement new business strategies.

White House coordination with insurance industry lobbyists is called for and will help Trump strong-arm the Congress to his will.

Conservative activists had difficulty organizing during the Obama administration because they were prevented from forming non-profits by the Obama IRS.  The Trump administration should now have the IRS approve their non-profit requests and coordinate with as many conservative activist groups as possible.  Likewise, they should return in kind the actions the Left made against Conservative activists by having the Trump IRS revoke the non-profit status of Liberal activist groups.

Outreach to business lobbyists and Conservative activists will require Trump to assign White House staff to coordinate it.

Coordination brings us to Reince Priebus and his so far unimpressive coordination with Congress.  His role calls for acting as White House liaison to Congress, a role that Priebus so far has not shown much promise in.  For a President Trump, whose leadership style inclines him to delegate fine details to top advisors, having competent surrogates delegate matters such as Congressional and pressure group outreach will be a key to his success.  If Priebus continues to prove mediocre Trump should not hesitate in proving the observation of Scott Adams correct that Trump “knows how to fire well.

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29 thoughts on “Legislation – The Hard Slog”

  1. Enjoying your work.

    I want to ask you some general questions.

    1: How is the rapprochement going with Russia? I have not heard much on this front.

    2: You mention that corporations will generally fall in line. In your opinion, what are the most important, most powerful, corporations and industries in the U.S?

    3: What’s happening with the “Muslim ban”?

    4: I find it interesting that Rex Tillerson is’nt getting much heat. Anything significant there? Furthermore, any thoughts on State? I read that the they seem to be getting cleaned out.

    5: Have you ever heard of a guy called Julius Klein? What do you think of American Affairs?

  2. Enjoying your work.

    Your sentiments are appreciated.

    1: How is the rapprochement going with Russia? I have not heard much on this front.

    Neither have I. But that isn’t necessarily proof of anything. There could be work on this behind closed doors.

    2: You mention that corporations will generally fall in line. In your opinion, what are the most important, most powerful, corporations and industries in the U.S?

    Corporations grouped by sector or individually?

    3: What’s happening with the “Muslim ban”?

    All tied up in court.

    Trump will probably win the court battle because he is positioned to tilt the court right but it will take time to work through the judiciary.

    4: I find it interesting that Rex Tillerson is’nt getting much heat. Anything significant there? Furthermore, any thoughts on State? I read that the they seem to be getting cleaned out.

    Tillerson doesn’t make headlines because his public statements are very cautious.

    State is on Trump’s shit list. I’m not sure how far he has gotten in cleaning that clown show out.

    5: Have you ever heard of a guy called Julius Klein? What do you think of American Affairs?

    I haven’t heard of him.

  3. For Klein see:

    https://americanaffairsjournal.org/

    On Corporations, of the top of my head…. Sectors… I think energy would be the most important, followed by defence, then…… I suppose what I am getting at is what if any corps lean left or right, which ones are congenial, neutral or hostile to American restoration.

    So far, it feels to me, that after a flurry and provoking reaction, the admin is settling down, letting everyone neutral see that the sky has not fallen in. I am expecting some big things soon though.

    On other topics.

    Hasn’t been any big terror attack lately. Too early to tell if Trump is having any effect on that. I say we are due a big one in France soon, or Germany. The thing is, a big one, will play right into the hands of Trump.

    The declared strategy of ISIS etc is to eliminate the “gray zone”, but you wonder if Trump has given them pause.

    I would love to know what Hamas are thinking. Does not look good for them. If they start firing off rockets, Israel will hit back hard, and Trump will cheer them on. Hamas, if they are rational, will probably want to hold back – or maybe they wont. Be interesting to see.

    How concerned should we be over North Korea. The Vxing of his half-brother was something else, but also a subtle message to the West that they have Vx gas.

    Then there is a China denying ships passage – that is pretty major.

  4. I suppose what I am getting at is what if any corps lean left or right, which ones are congenial, neutral or hostile to American restoration.

    There are definitely sectors that lean in particular political directions. Those that lean Left do so because they have had their economic incentive structure warped under Technocracy. In my definition of Corporatism it is the non-Corporate sectors of the Cathedral (academia, non-profits, FedGov, etc) that are the active agents because they incentivize corporations to support Liberal causes they would otherwise have no economic reason to support under a proper Capitalist or Libertarian system.

  5. Hasn’t been any big terror attack lately. Too early to tell if Trump is having any effect on that. I say we are due a big one in France soon, or Germany. The thing is, a big one, will play right into the hands of Trump.

    The declared strategy of ISIS etc is to eliminate the “gray zone”, but you wonder if Trump has given them pause.

    I would expect ISIS to move up any planned Western operations they have in their pipeline because they are already being driven back in Syria by Assad and Russia before Trump sends Mattis’ Defense Department after them.

    They would probably prefer to have spectacular attacks coincide with this year’s election season in Europe. But if they feel like the end is near for them and its use your agents or lose them time they may launch smaller, less complicated, attacks while they still can.

    I would love to know what Hamas are thinking. Does not look good for them. If they start firing off rockets, Israel will hit back hard, and Trump will cheer them on. Hamas, if they are rational, will probably want to hold back – or maybe they wont. Be interesting to see.

    They will probably hold back, but Arabs aren’t disciplined enough to stick with a careful strategic plan for too long.

    How concerned should we be over North Korea. The Vxing of his half-brother was something else, but also a subtle message to the West that they have Vx gas.

    Containment has worked well enough since the Korean War ended. I would suspect they can continue to be deterred since, as Stalinists, they don’t have any 72 virgins waiting for them if they use the Vx in a suicide attack.

    The killing of Kim’s half-brother was most likely an internal squabble (and maybe Kim trying to one up Putin’s use of radioactive metals in his operations with Vx) and not North Korea testing Trump.

    China has no particular reason to escalate their naval operations. This is probably more testing how Trump will react.

  6. “because they incentivize corporations to support Liberal causes they would otherwise have no economic reason to support under a proper Capitalist or Libertarian system.”

    I think you’re right of course, but can you point in the direction of some good key examples of this…….

  7. I think you’re right of course, but can you point in the direction of some good key examples of this…….

    Example: the mortgage lending to minorities that preceded the 2008 housing crash would not have happened under Capitalistic or Libertarian systems. It was DC bureaucrats and their Progressive allies who forced them to lend to those who could not pay it back simply because they were minorities.

    Affirmative Action would also not occur in either a Capitalistic or Libertarian system.

  8. Ahh yes, good. Others, though this is more Europe demanding companies have more female directors.

    Other examples would be forcing business to sell to anyone, including the whole “gay cake” thing, but also racial deseg.

    One of my favourite examples was the Mozilla CEO getting iced over his support of traditional marriage.

    Following on from our discussion over Nazism, Fascism etc check out this:

    http://socialpathology.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/marxism-fascism-and-totalitarianism.html

    Seems like the same kind of analysis that you use, which is the tracing and development of a concept or ideology.

    I think you should start some kind of engagement with Julius Klein, though you are both on the right. ( I have heard the term applied to him as a “West coast Strussian” but I have no idea what they mean.)

    His essay on Burnham’s Manageralism reminded me of your Comte essay.

    I have to say, I think your work is far superior to his. Nevertheless, he has a fancy journal, and seems close — via Anton — to the Adminstration. His writing style is ponderous and lacks bite. My main critisim, though I will re-read it again, is that the problem with attacking (in both Burnham’s and his sense) mangeralism is that it is restricted only to the economy.

    The real enemy is the academic and bureaucrat.

    What kind of role do you think people like that (Klein, Anton, Gorka, Miller etc ) play?

    Is it just whistle? Or do you think it has some effect on policy?

    Intellectual bodyguards who combat other intellectuals.

  9. I want to kick off discussion about capitalism.

    Reading your stuff and MM, I think a major disctinction is between public and private.

    I also think your “MOOCH the Cathedral” is basically correct, as going after the administrative state (Polygon).

    So, how much of the public should be privatised?

    With exception of the U.S military and other security institutions (though the deep states intel boys require more thought) I am really trying to see what actually role, or provider of goods and services, USG should be.

    What can the state do, that capitalism cannot?

  10. I think you should start some kind of engagement with Julius Klein, though you are both on the right. ( I have heard the term applied to him as a “West coast Strussian” but I have no idea what they mean.)

    His essay on Burnham’s Manageralism reminded me of your Comte essay.

    I will have to check his article on Burnham out, I haven’t had time to the last two weeks.

    The article you linked to from prospectmag was an interesting look into Orwell’s thinking but it lacked focus on his great analysis of ‘Prig’ Fabians in London.

    Nevertheless, he has a fancy journal, and seems close — via Anton — to the Adminstration. His writing style is ponderous and lacks bite. My main critisim, though I will re-read it again, is that the problem with attacking (in both Burnham’s and his sense) mangeralism is that it is restricted only to the economy.

    The real enemy is the academic and bureaucrat.

    Correct. The Technocratic infrastructure needs to be dealt with. Without that American and European corporations have no incentive to bow before equality, greenism, and the like. Though because of the peculiarities of how Technocracy has evolved, actually disabling this thing is intricate and will be left as one of the objectives to Part III.

    So, how much of the public should be privatised?

    With exception of the U.S military and other security institutions (though the deep states intel boys require more thought) I am really trying to see what actually role, or provider of goods and services, USG should be.

    What can the state do, that capitalism cannot?

    The state – in my view of Capitalism which I feel best matches Hamilton’s – should set common rules and nurture the environment for all businesses.

  11. What kind of role do you think people like that (Klein, Anton, Gorka, Miller etc ) play?

    I don’t know anything yet about Klein. Anton and Gorka are sensible conservative pundits, Miller is a real political operative. Miller because he is an operative is the more important of the four.

  12. I admit, I’m extremely jealous, and thus fascinated by all these men. Miller came to my attention because I obsessively watched many, many Trump rallies, at which he spoke.

    Soon, I want to build a profile of the Admin, and start researching their background.

    Corruption….just saw this…..

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/01/gop-wants-to-eliminate-shadowy-doj-slush-fund-bankrolling-leftist-groups.html

    They are going after Sessions, sounds like more bullshit.

    War exists in a fog. I can’t describe my feelings, but you feel there is a lot going on in the background, big moves getting made.

    I feel like a shift happened after State of the Union. The Left tactically retreating.

    I’m waiting for a Trump assault, at some point. There is so much dirt, so many investigations. However, I wonder if he needs to wait to get his agenda passed first.

    Fascinating, and exciting.

    On Capitalism:

    Who regulates the regulators?

    Could regulation be outsourced to private companies who compete for the contracts?

  13. They are going after Sessions, sounds like more bullshit.

    Sessions will feature prominently in tomorrow’s article.

    I’m waiting for a Trump assault, at some point. There is so much dirt, so many investigations. However, I wonder if he needs to wait to get his agenda passed first.

    According to Politico Trump’s advisers are advising a purge of certain portions of the Civil Service.

    Could regulation be outsourced to private companies who compete for the contracts?

    If certain private companies have the power to regulate what government has the power to regulate, lobbyists will simply lobby officials of these private companies as they do regular government.

  14. Quick counter.

    Suppose they lobby, but suppose the penalities for lobbying was quite harsh. Suppose the private regulator lost a lot of money, share price, future contract etc. furthermore, competitor regulator companies could do investigative work on rivals and given dirt to gov.

    The idea I am proposing is to hire and fire companies to do the jobs that gov does. Do it with fixed contracts, with substantial penalities for breeches.

  15. Suppose they lobby, but suppose the penalities for lobbying was quite harsh. Suppose the private regulator lost a lot of money, share price, future contract etc. furthermore, competitor regulator companies could do investigative work on rivals and given dirt to gov.

    But who imposes these penalties on the private regulators?

    If it is up to government to regulate them then the government is still the ultimate judge of who obeyed regulations and you are back to square one with the problem of “who regulates the regulators”.

    The private regulators themselves can’t be trusted to monitor each other because their own individual profit motives are in a conflict of interest with their assignment to fairly defend the rules. At this point you are running into the same problem anarcho-Libertarians encounter: In an extreme scenario where private enterprises absorb all of the functions of a normal state the enterprises themselves become governments.

  16. Ok try this on.

    1. Separate state from education.

    2: Schools are run on market principles, using prices and signals, which include exams, university entrances, degrees, careers and earning. (Of course, this would take time to build up a database of information of this kind. However, parents would be able to assess and choose schools based on this kind of criteria.) Finally, of course, schools can be judged – by parents – by much profit they actually make

    3: You have informal, civil society and or non-profit organisations that are geared towards to gathering information, reviewing and assessing schools. The internet, and Yelp, Amazon ranking like apps could be used.

    4: Official, government contracted, regulation and inspection corporations. City X contracts for five years with Corp A to inspects schools in district or just the entire city 1,2,3. The inspection corporation is a specialised, private enterprise, that offers governments and private contractors a range of services which include accounting, efficiency, legal compliance, standard compliance, independent testing, employee assessments etc.

    They key is that it is contracted. Thus, contracts can be terminated or re-assessed.

    5: (Meta-market competition). Since different Corps are competing for government and private contracts, each inspection Corp is being monitored and assessed by others for mistakes, graft and waste.

    6: (Meta-civil society inspection). Civil society groups like in (3) also monitor and report on Inspection Corps (4).

    7: Centralised, Federal, Discipline, Standards and Inspection Agency (DSIA). This is a central agency which is tasked with investigating, assessing and reporting to the Executive, Congress and the general public how (2) and (4) are operating. This is a kind of “meta-analysis”. However, they would have the power to lunch full scale investigations and, with the approval of the Executive Office, can reprimand, fine, or terminate a Inspection Corp.

    8: (Meta Meta) civil society review of 7.
    9: The press (the good ones anyway) can review 1-8 and report to the general public.

    10: Think tanks, universities (do we want any universities?) can make reports and assessments on 1-9.

    11: The Executive (City, State and Federal Executives) can either offer new rules, clarify old ones, repeal and replace current rules and enforce current rules.

    12: The Executive can be replaced by……..

    Take this model and scale it to most of everything else….. Medical care. The law courts, policing and security, prisons……..

    13: Who,Whom? The Executive can hire and fire the top level management of the Discipline, Standards and Inspection Agency (DSIA). The top level management can hire and fire the second level of management and so on.

    13 requires a re-write of current federal employment laws.

    DISA should seek to recruit individuals of high intelligence, from good families, with the highest quality of moral probity.

    Additional idea….. Maybe the Agency should be structured like a military. At the top you have Officers, who are mix of long-serving, short-serving, with general and or specific skills. A middle NCO level who are long serving, and more specialised. A bottom tier, ranker level, who have high turn over, but with some who have considerable experience.

    Thoughts?

  17. 5: (Meta-market competition). Since different Corps are competing for government and private contracts, each inspection Corp is being monitored and assessed by others for mistakes, graft and waste.

    It still has the major flaw of anarcho-Libertarianism – the responsibility of individual corporations to regulate fairly conflicts with their individual profit motives. Suppose the most powerful corporate investigators collude to unfairly tag weaker private regulators as wasteful or corrupt in order to drive them out of business?

    13: Who,Whom? The Executive can hire and fire the top level management of the Discipline, Standards and Inspection Agency (DSIA). The top level management can hire and fire the second level of management and so on.

    13 requires a re-write of current federal employment laws.

    DISA should seek to recruit individuals of high intelligence, from good families, with the highest quality of moral probity.

    As long as the Executive can hire and remove staff in the public agencies at-will (I would grant an exemption to Federal law enforcement, the military and the Judiciary) then I don’t think DISA is necessary.

    And technically we sort of have a kind of DISA in the form of consulting agencies that contract with USG such as Booz Allen and Deloitte. T

    As flawed as the consulting industry is they are generally more competent than the dregs in the various Federal agencies. But because the agencies are immune or difficult to layoffs the relatively higher expertise of the consultants doesn’t improve government performance and make FedGov employees accountable.

    I agree with privatizing education.

  18. How good an idea, do you think it would be, to privatise the legal system? I think that guy Szabo has this idea?

    Still runs into the major roadblock of the anarcho-Libertarian system. Private legal agencies would have a profit motive to unfairly change the legal rules in favor of certain clients but not others.

    For enforcing common rules on behalf of all citizens (law, accounting standards, etc) a single government of some kind is the least bad option.

  19. We agree on a central government. The essence of your criticism is monopoly right? So, the central gov would need to engage, from time to time, in some trust busting. Also, you are forgetting that the are other levels (1-9) that are also in the formal and informal oversight business, so that adds pressure to be honest.

    We agree on the hire and fire thing.

    I would need to set out the legal idea in a bit more length than I am prepared to do here.

    The “wiretapping”! How big do you think this is? Then we have today’s wiki leaks on the CIA.

  20. The essence of your criticism is monopoly right?

    Conflict of interest.

    A conflict emerges whenever common rules can be setup or enforced by a private entity because their ability to set rules conflicts with their profit motive.

    Having a central government contract the enforcement, or creation, of common rules to private entities is not inherently better at solving Technocracy than having state employees enforce it because contracting does not address the sovereignty issue created by Technocracy, which is: Bureaucracy can act independently of the wishes of the executive.

    In your contracting scenario the central government still ultimately can overrule the contractors if it wishes. Under Technocracy, the bureaucracy will still be an independent actor even if the executive wishes to outsource some bureaucratic roles to contractors.

    Also, you are forgetting that the are other levels (1-9) that are also in the formal and informal oversight business, so that adds pressure to be honest.

    1-3 deal with education, which is providing a service. Providing a service like education is not technically part of overseeing common rules are adhered to, however much the education system would like to have that power.

  21. The education is just an example.

    Take health inspection as another.

    The outline would be that the central gov oversees contracts and common rules among the private actors and hires a private agency to inspect them. Furthermore, suppose the contracting was delegated to state and city level.

    Conflict of Interest. I thought you were worrying about a monopoly agency who could then essentially extort companies in order to get good inspections.

    To be clear, we have business A that produces goods and services X and a business B whose goods and service is in inspecting, or carrying out duties formally done by the civil service, businessness of type A kind.

    If the profitability of B rests on providing honest accounting, inspection and admin, I don’t see the conflict of interest. If cronyism developed, then the central gov, along with the other levels of formal and informal inspection, accounting and market mechanism would resolve the problem. That’s my hypothesis anyway.

    However, to get at the root of the problem, in a clear and simple way, which is your point, the civil service is no longer accountable to the Execuative, or indeed to anyone but itself.

    I imagine, therefore, that you will argue that the easiest way of solving the problem is by restoring power to the Execuative in that they can hire and fire at will.

    Ok, I think that is better than what we have currently.

    Finally, I imagine that critics will say that this is a return to the “Jacksonian spoils system”. Do you accept that critism? (My proposals are an attempt to deal with that in charge.)

  22. TUJ…..

    A while back I asked you for examples of how Technocracy has corrupted capitalism and you brought up the 2008 housing crash which saw banks lend to minorities who normally would not have been illegible.

    Did you see one of Sailer’s latest pieces? He notes that they are starting it again.

    Secondly, is the following another example:

    http://donsurber.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/obama-shook-down-business.html

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/01/gop-wants-to-eliminate-shadowy-doj-slush-fund-bankrolling-leftist-groups.html

  23. Conflict of Interest. I thought you were worrying about a monopoly agency who could then essentially extort companies in order to get good inspections.

    Not initially. Initially under anarcho-Libetarianism (which is not what you’re advocating for) there would be multiple corporate agents whose profit motives would be in conflict with their mandate to establish common rules for other private actors. Eventually they would leverage their power to establish rules to form a monopoly or a very well-protected cartel. But the initial problem would lie with giving multiple private agents power to regulate.

    Imagine what a mess this would become if individual accounting firms had the power to create their own accounting rules instead of a government regulator. Who would determine what rule to enforce if a private accounting firm creates two conflicting accounting standards?

    Then what happens if wealthier clients of the firms pay extra to have different rules applied to the client’s competitors?

    To be clear, we have business A that produces goods and services X and a business B whose goods and service is in inspecting, or carrying out duties formally done by the civil service, businessness of type A kind.

    If the profitability of B rests on providing honest accounting, inspection and admin, I don’t see the conflict of interest. If cronyism developed, then the central gov, along with the other levels of formal and informal inspection, accounting and market mechanism would resolve the problem. That’s my hypothesis anyway.

    However, to get at the root of the problem, in a clear and simple way, which is your point, the civil service is no longer accountable to the Execuative, or indeed to anyone but itself.

    USG, and I believe most Western governments, already contract out many government services to private companies. The Big 4 accounting firms, for example, are often contracted to do accounting and financial forensic work for government agencies.

    So, yes, as you point out, the root of the problem is not whether the executive-civil servant relationship is executive-private civil servant or executive-public civil servant, but that the controlling link the executive traditionally has held over the actions of the civil service (private or public) is broken.

  24. Finally, I imagine that critics will say that this is a return to the “Jacksonian spoils system”. Do you accept that critism? (My proposals are an attempt to deal with that in charge.)

    Actually, it would be the Hamiltonian spoils system because the Pendleton act was a response to the unrestrained Hamiltonian Capitalism of America from 1865 to 1932, not Jackson.

    Either way, yes, I would accept the charge.

    To mitigate the problems the original version caused, newly selected civil servants could be required to receive Congressional approval of some sort as cabinet members do. Since this would mean the Congress would potentially have to vote on thousands of new government workers, this could be done by block voting slates of candidates. A civil servant could be delayed assuming their role if a member of Congress objected to them, but anyone in a given slate who is not objected to could fill their role.

  25. Regarding housing lending to minorities, the Progressive machine has proven numerous times it can still corrupt normal market incentives even when a Conservative is technically head of state.

    Under Reagan and Thatcher the Progressive and Fabian infrastructure was not dismantled, it simply hunkered down while they waited patiently for a new Left government to arise that would expand their powers and sphere of influence again.

  26. Yes, I think see the problem. You would want simplicity and uniformity of rules across the board, unless for good reason.

    Ok, let me ask a different question. What if any government agencies would you eliminate?

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