The Process is More Important Than The Results

In this year’s NFL draft, the Seahawks had a decision to make with pick number 5. They badly needed to upgrade their defensive line–and the most talented defensive linemen, Jalen Carter (and some argued the most talented player in the draft regardless of position) was available. However, Carter had a lot of red flags relating to his commitment to the game and legal issues, among other things. A cornerback, Devon Witherspoon, who Pete Carroll said was a rare talent and compared his instincts and understanding to Troy Polamalu, was also available. Additionally, Witherspoon checked off all the boxes in other areas. But cornerback wasn’t a position of need. The Hawks chose Witherspoon.

I agree with this decision, even if Carter turns out to a great player and Witherspoon does not. To me, the rationale behind the decision is sound, and this is what I care about and focus on. Results matter. If Carter is great and Witherspoon is not, that has serious ramifications for the Seahawks. But the team can’t control the results, not completely. They have more control over their decision making–and the process they rely on for making decisions (which includes the way the gather and analyze information). I believe process is more important not only because one has the most control, but if the process is good, that increases the likelihood for good results.

This not only applies to the NFL, but almost anything. (I wonder what it doesn’t apply to.) Here are some other examples:

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What is the Debt Ceiling and Why You Should Care About It.

That’s the title of this ABC News report. I don’t know a lot about this topic, so I sought out some information. Here’s what I learned:

The debt ceiling is a cap on the amount of money the U.S. government can borrow to pay its debts.

Every year, Congress passes a budget that includes government spending on infrastructure, programs such as Social Security and salaries for federal workers. Congress also taxes people to pay for all that spending. But for years, the government has been spending more than it takes in from taxes and other revenue, increasing the federal deficit.

The government needs to borrow money to continue paying out what Congress has already OK’d. The debt ceiling puts a limit on how much money the U.S. government can borrow to pay its bills.

That seems fairly clear, but I’m confused about on the following point:

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Advice for Those Frustrated by Congressional Dysfunction

“I don’t care which party you vote for, but please stop voting for people who have no desire or intention to govern.” That’s a tweet I saw today, and wholeheartedly agree with. I assume the tweet primarily refers to the GOP members of Congress who oppose Kevin McCarthy for Speaker of the House. I would actually broaden this out to any politicians that enabled this group, as well as politicians preferred nothing to making any compromise or those who preferred nothing, rather than giving any political victory to the other side.

These politicians are the problem and primary source of the dysfunction. Here’s a message to those who have a low opinion of Congress because of gridlock:

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Should the Department of Justice Prosecute Trump?

I sense a lot of frustration with regard to what seems to be a lack of activity by the Department of Justice (DOJ), with regard to prosecuting Trump of crimes. A lot of people feel like Trump has committed several crimes, and while I’m not a lawyer, that’s my sense as well. (And if he didn’t, he’s done many things that deserve serious consequences–to deter this sort of behavior in the future.)

But assuming the DOJ has enough evidence to prosecute Trump and they feel confident they can win the case (It would be a disaster if they failed to convict Trump.), I may belong to a minority of anti-Trumpers who has unease about prosecuting Trump.

Yes, I understand and largely agree with those who argue that not prosecuting Trump (if the evidence is there) would be worst than failing to prosecute him.

But prosecuting Trump will set a precedence that I’m very uneasy about. To see why, think of the current GOP. I have no doubt they would prosecute Democratic presidents when they leave office (and I wouldn’t put it past them to prosecute past presidents like Obama)–for purely political reasons. And that would likely lead to Democrats doing something similar.

This would be an awful situation, one with no clear remedy.

Here, I should mention the congressional GOP–and my utter contempt I feel for them. The Founders created the mechanism to deal with someone like Trump–namely, impeachment and removal. Indeed, one could argue Trump was precisely the type of president Congress had in mind when it came to impeachment. I believe the majority of Republican members of Congress know/knew Trump deserved to be impeached (Same with many of the people working in the Trump administration.)

But they failed to use this mechanism. Twice!

And that’s why we’re in this position. The GOP seem to be waiting for the DOJ to do their dirty work–in spite of the problems this will likely cause for future presidency. It’s another example of the egregious way they put their party ahead of the country.

Are Congressional Republicans Violating Their Oath of Office?

The January 6 Committee has revealed information that bolsters the case that Trump and several of his associates corruptly and comprehensively attempted to overturn the 2020 election–in spite of being told this was illegal and wrong. My sense is that the upcoming hearings will make this case even stronger. Whether Trump and some of his associates will see jail time has been receiving a lot of attention.

But something, maybe a bigger matter, has received much less attention in my view—namely, did congressional Republicans violate—and are they continuing to violate– their oath of office? To put this more specifically and concretely, are they failing to “defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic,” and in some cases are they undermining and subverting the Constitution, either tacitly or actively? (Would it be fair to designate those who are undermining and subverting the Constitution as the “enemies” in the oath?)

Raising these questions makes me wonder if I’m being irrational, blinded by biases, but let me lay out my thoughts to see if others agree or not.