Sanders Campaign Implosion

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bernie_sanders_jef_AP

Bernie Sander’s campaign has already driven over the cliff, they just refuse to look at what’s coming up at them (jef/AP)

The Bernie Sanders campaign is about to implode, and it won’t have anything to do with unfairness, or a rigged selection process.

Money
The Sanders campaign has been spending massive amounts of money to win small states. This has been a tactic to keep up the appearance of having momentum, even though the New York primary effectively ended his campaign. Now he faces the June 7th primary in six states and the big prize is California. He needs money for ads, for campaign workers, for materials, for travel, and the thousands of expenses of running a national campaign.

On June 7th, Sanders would have to win in all the states to argue his legitimacy in the race, but California is the I-beam that will break his back. Without money to ‘burn’ in California he can’t effectively campaign during the critical final two-week push.

Summer Breakdown
Sanders campaign is more like a street gang, than a political organization. They need each other to maintain their passion. He has effectively used the micro environments at colleges and universities to build excitement and recruit supporters. The bad news is that almost every college in the United States is going or has gone on summer break this month. He has lost his core of his organization and while many students have been assigned to volunteer duties for his campaign over the next few weeks, the ‘gang’ nature of his organization has been lost.

Sanders would like to be able to storm through college campuses in California, whipping up support, but he can’t because most of the students are gone, and/or they’re working summer jobs. In effect, he has lost the foundation of his support and he has no money to replace wild-eyed college students with a real political machine.

Unpresidential Behavior
Some Sanders supporters have the tact and dignity of a Trump supporter. There are intelligent and respectful supporters in the Sanders camp, but the thugs are attracting the spotlight. The antics of the Sanders supporters at the Nevada Democratic State Convention, and their social media behavior following the convention, required Sanders to stand up and disavow his campaign from the thugs. He didn’t. 

In his response statement to the bad behavior of his supporters, he implied that he is not, and never was a Democrat. He has allowed himself to be deluded that real Democrats will suddenly become mindless Bernie Zombies, disavow their party, and select him to lead them into the abyss.

A qualified presidential candidate would have stepped up and made it clear that he or she would rather lose, than condone the behavior of violent and disruptive people. A qualified candidate would honor and respect the will of the people (Clinton won the Nevada’s caucus, not Sanders,) rather than offer a non-apology regarding his supporters who threw chairs, disrupted the meeting, and then called women sexually derogatory names. Sanders is not presidential. It is becoming difficult to distinguish who is less presidential material, Bernie Sanders, or Donald Trump.

Pushing A Bad Position
The hardest part of losing is accepting that you have lost. When almost everyone else knows the inevitability of the outcome, it is too late to back down. Sanders is beyond the point of any hope of winning. He lost on April 19th in New York when he failed to show that he could win a big state with a diverse population. Now, he is looking more and more desperate with each campaign speech. The line between a committed, passionate man, and an impassioned man who should be committed is a nanometer wide. Sanders is over that line.

Currently, Sanders is 264 pledged delegates behind. To win the nomination, Clinton needs 93 more delegates to add to her current combined totals of pledged and superdelegates. There is nothing Sanders can do to prevent Clinton from wrapping up the nomination on June 7th. He can pretend he is accomplishing something by staying in the race, but he is becoming the man who his supporters will pity, rather than admire.

The Road Out
Sanders does have an option out of his dilemma. He could suddenly announce he is dropping out, and throw his passionate support for Hillary Clinton. Some of his supporters would be angry at him, but those are mostly the thugs, who seek to disrupt the National Democratic Convention. By dropping out, he would gain the admiration of Clinton supporters who would celebrate the man who sought to bring the party back together. Then, he and his loyal supporters could continue to campaign on the issues that Clinton and he agree must be addressed.

The result would be the complete destruction of Donald Trump’s campaign before he was nominated in July. It’s not going to happen, but that is the contrast between a loser and a great person.

What Sanders Didn’t Do Yesterday

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Bernie Sanders: Encourages violence and disruption if it will help him lose by a smaller margin.

Bernie Sanders failed yesterday.

Yesterday, Sanders didn’t win Kentucky. Yesterday, Sanders didn’t have a commanding win in Oregon. Yesterday, Sanders barely moved the needle in pledged delegates.

But what Sanders didn’t do yesterday was show leadership. His supporters have become thugs at public events and when Sanders should have apologized and told his supporters that intimidation and bullying are not how he wants to win elections, he didn’t.

He actually denied that his supporters violently protested and disrupted the Nevada State convention, and then he added,

…when we speak of violence, I should add here that months ago, during the Nevada campaign, shots were fired into my campaign office in Nevada and apartment housing complex my campaign staff lived in was broken into and ransacked. 

Like a child who won’t admit he was wrong, Sanders starts blaming everyone else and implies his supporters were justified in their behavior.

Bernie Sanders wants to be President. He wants our country to believe that he can solve problems. He wants us to believe he is honorable and we can trust him.

We don’t need a President who encourages violent and disruptive protests, as Bernie Sanders does with his supporters. We don’t need an alleged ‘problem solver’ that creates problems, then pretends he didn’t, like Bernie Sanders. 

Bernie Sanders didn’t do the right thing yesterday, but that is why he is a failure as a leader.

What Trump Didn’t Do Today

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Donald Trump: The Republican Anti-Christ?

The SS Trump:  A disaster in progress

It didn’t happen. Trump didn’t do it. Donald Trump didn’t drop out of the Presidential race today as I predicted he would at 9:00 AM EDT. I was wrong.

If I ever wanted to be wrong about something, this was it. The SS Trump has set sail across the sea of stupidity and the Republican party is all on board. Trump doesn’t fear the icebergs of reality because he doesn’t believe in reality.

I knew my prediction would probably be wrong after I heard about last Thursday’s ‘Big GOP meeting.’ Instead of setting the stage for a Republican reality check and Trump’s departure, Paul Ryan played the role of Lucius Malfoy and pretended that our country’s Voldemort was going to be reborn and not be the laughing-stock of the world.

It is possible that the Republican leadership is really as stupid as they are acting, but I have a hard time accepting it. Our two-party system has had many bumps and bruises in the last two centuries, but when one party is going down in flames, the core believers in that party usually regain control and steer it back on course. That doesn’t seem to be happening this time.

But maybe I’m wrong about the date? Maybe he still is running a fake campaign but he’s going to drop out later? If he is going to drop out, he doesn’t have much time. Every day Trump adds another nail in the Republican coffin, and conservatives have been digging their grave since Reagan was President. 

Regardless, I was wrong about May 17….today is a great day!

Pledge of Loyalty to the United States of America

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US flagI, Paul Kiser, declare my loyalty to the United States of America.

I shall support my country and my government against enemies domestic and foreign.

I shall accept and defend the concept that all people are created equal, and no one has a right to limit or infringe on a citizen’s rights, so long as they do not endanger others, nor limit or infringe on the rights of others.

I shall not attempt to inflict my personal moral or religious beliefs on others, nor shall I support laws that do.

I have an obligation to financially support our government and I shall NOT support any effort destabilize, diminish, nor destroy public programs and projects by withholding public funds or other means, unless it is determined that those programs and projects are not in the best interest of our country.

I shall support a tax structure that places an increased tax burden on those best able to pay taxes, and minimizes taxes on those who are not.

I know that business is inherently unethical and must have oversight to create a level field for all competitors. I shall support government regulation and reject any rule or law that attempts to give a business entity equal or greater rights than given a citizen.

I support the concept that NO organization that is, in part, or whole, to provide service or benefit (education, healthcare, government contractors, law enforcement, etc.) to the citizens of this country should be investor owned, nor should it provide excess profit for the owners, executives, or managers of the organization regardless of whether the organization qualifies for not-for-profit status.

I recognize that visitors to our country shall be honored and given respect and aid.

I know that helping the less fortunate improve their living conditions, improves the living conditions for all citizens, and I shall support those efforts.

I shall refer to our country as the United States, or the United States of America, and avoid using the single term ‘America’ or ‘American,’ as those terms apply to all of North, Central, or South America.

I shall vote for the most intelligent, open-minded candidates for public office, as it is their responsibility to research and understand all issues and opportunities of our government, and then make the best choice for all people.

I shall support all efforts to assess, anticipate, and prepare for the needs and issues of our country’s future, and not dwell on past issues, except to avoid them in the future.

I shall honor my citizenship and my fellow citizens by making this pledge and seeking to serve our country to the best of my abilities.

Sanders To Have Good, Meaningless Days May 10 & 17

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Bernie Sanders:  Two laps behind at the finish (Steve Helber/AP)

Tomorrow (May 10) West Virginia holds their Democratic primary. Bernie Sanders will easily win and once again he will beat his breast and say:

…this campaign is about momentum….

What he should be saying:

…I only win in small, meaningless States with mostly rural, white voters…

West Virginia has 37 delegates at stake and Sanders will win about 20 of those delegates. He is, of course, behind by 290 pledged delegates, and a net gain of 3 pledged delegates will not change his loser status. After his loss to Hillary Clinton in Guam on Saturday, he will only gain two delegates.

Sanders will have another big win in Oregon on May 17, but again, his net gain will be 20 delegates or less, and he is almost 290 pledged delegates behind. Clinton only needs to win about 160 more pledged delegates, and with the superdelegates, she will win the nomination. That will happen on June 7, in the California primary, where she is likely to win over 200 delegates in one contest. 

It is like watching a foot race where Sanders is two laps down, and he passes Clinton just before the she crosses the finish line. He can brag about momentum all he wants, but he still is over a lap behind and he will still lose the race.

Trump and GOP About to End the Facade?

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Donald Trump: The Republican Anti-Christ?

Donald Trump: The Republican Anti-Christ?

Cruz is out. Kasich is out. It’s all over. Donald Trump wins, and the Republican party goes down in flames in one of the biggest political blunders since Nixon began recording his phone conversations.

Could it be true? No. 

I have a hard time believing that the current antics of the Republican party are genuine. A year ago all Hell broke loose in the Republican party. Every wacko came out to run for President, and the party was being divided up into little pieces. It looked like the 2016 Presidential race was over before it started. (SEE: The Trump Card – Aug 2015)

Joffrey: The Leadership Model for Trump

Joffrey: The Leadership Model for Trump

Enter Donald Trump. From the start, Trump’s tactic was to be the biggest and loudest wacko. It made no sense. The majority of voters of the United States of America were not going to elect the Joffrey Baratheon of conservative politics as President. Not even a majority of Republicans would fall for it.

But, Donald Trump was accomplishing one vital objective. He was rounding up all the wackos under one banner. That was huge.

The only problem was that, in the process, Trump alienated the rest of the country. Could Trump be so stupid to think that he could charm intelligent people after insulting them for a year? Could he be so stupid to not realize that he was inciting a backlash of voters who would not only send him down in flames, but send the rest of the party with him?

In August of last year, I said that I thought that Trump’s run for President couldn’t be real and in December I even predicted a date and time as to when he would drop out and order his minions to vote for the real Republican Presidential candidate. (SEE:  Trump Dropout Countdown – DEC 2015)

Last month I admitted that at least part of my prediction was wrong, and that Jeb Bush was apparently not to be the beneficiary of Trump’s fake campaign. (SEE:  Am I Wrong About Trump? – APR 2016)

Now it is less than ten days to my May 17th prediction and it there is no indication that Trump is ready to end the charade; however, I still believe Trump is faking it.

Why?

It’s Just Business
In big business, especially in investment and real estate, the game is deception. Make your competition think you’re doing one thing, while you are actually doing something completely different.

Trump is a businessman, and he is skilled at the art of deception. He is arrogant, but he’s not that stupid. Trump’s buffoonery is too much drama, and indicates he is trying to create the grand illusion.

To fake out the country, and then pull in the ‘hero’ who would save the day, would be Trump’s ultimate business deal.

Ryan’s Denials:  Methinks the Lady Doth Protest Too Much
Paul Ryan is the most likely person to play the hero role at the end of Trump’s melodrama. He has been exceptionally low-key in this past year, which would be expected if he was avoiding any political controversies prior to a run for the President.

One could make the argument that it is easy to be Mr. Invisible when you don’t do anything, but Ryan has never been shy about the political spotlight even though he does nothing. To go from a rank and file Representative with national recognition to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and become invisible doesn’t make sense.

He has denied he would run for President, but Ryan denied that he would be the Speaker of the House five times before he ‘reluctantly’ accepted the position. He seems to play coy, and then force people to woo him before he suddenly take pity on the poor mortals, and does what he says he won’t.

The more Ryan denies that he will run for President, the more likely he will.

Reince Priebus: In on the Big Secret?

Reince Priebus: In on the big secret?

Anemic Republican Leadership
Another clue is the attitude of Reince Priebus, the chairperson of the Republican National Committee. For over a month now Priebus has been playing peacemaker with Donald Trump. This is odd. The party is in uproar over Trump as their nominee, and the leader of the party is acting as if Trump is just a misunderstood child.

This behavior doesn’t make any sense unless Priebus knows that Trump is running a fake campaign, and that he will drop out and throw his support behind a real candidate.

The End Game
Donald Trump has achieved his goal. All the GOP wannabes have dropped out of the race. There is nothing more for him to do but drop out.

However, Trump can’t just announce that he is dropping out of the race and tell his supporters to vote for Ryan. He has to lay the groundwork first. The following is a scenario of how it might happen:

  1. GOP Uproar. There has to be enough outrage from high profile Republicans to make it look as if that Trump will not be able to win in November. This has already started happening, but this has to reach a crescendo just before he takes the next step.
  2. The Big Meeting. Once it appears that Trump has no support from the GOP establishment, a meeting between Trump and the Republican leadership would be needed. The meeting gives Trump a cover story, so that it doesn’t look like his campaign was faked from the start. The meeting will later be credited with laying the groundwork for Trump to bow out and for Paul Ryan to step up as the Presidential candidate. Last Friday (May 6,) the Republican leadership announced a Big Meeting with Trump and the Republican leadership, including Paul Ryan. It is scheduled for this Thursday, May 12.
  3. Trump’s Anguish. After that meeting, Trump will ‘have to think some things over.’ There will be leaks to the press that Trump was told he can’t win and that he will destroy the Republican party. Trump’s campaign will begin to leak that he is concerned about the damage he is doing to the Republican party, and there will be hints he is dropping out. The rumors will need a few days to soak in.
  4. The Big Fall. As soon as all the news media is speculating that Trump is about to drop out, and that a deal has been brokered, Trump will make his announcement that he is falling on his sword for the good of the party and the nation. Paul Ryan’s announcement that he is stepping into the race has to come at the same time, or almost immediately to keep anyone else from restarting their campaign. May 17 would be about the right timing, even though Kentucky and Oregon primaries are on that day.

Of course, I could be wrong. Perhaps Donald Trump is stupid enough to think that he can reinvent himself and win over moderates, but I have faith in the citizens of the United States. Whether Abraham Lincoln said the following or not, it applies to Donald Trump:

You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

Sanders is Still DOA: Math Trumps Rhetoric

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Bernie Sanders Math: If I lose, I should still win!

Bernie Sanders Math: If I lose, I should still win!

Bernie Sanders won Indiana. Well, sort of. 

If by winning, you mean he received 34,466 more votes, then yes, he won.

However, exit polls showed him pulling a surprise 12% win, which would have helped his famous, and endless claim of ‘momentum,’ but he only came in with less than half of that percentage.

But the real contest is who wins the most delegates. Before Indiana Sanders was 327 delegates behind, and his Indiana ‘win’ nets him six more. Six more delegates is not even close to what he needed. Now he is has a deficit of 321 delegates, and between now and the June 7th California primary there are only 262 delegates available. Even if Sanders won one hundred percent of every primary and caucus between now and June 7th, he would still be behind Hillary Clinton in delegates.

California is the end of the road for Sanders. He can refuse to concede, but it won’t matter. There are 548 delegates available in the California primary. Clinton needs 181 of those delegates, along with the superdelegates who’ve pledged their vote to her, and she has the nomination.

Sanders needed to have a stunning win in Indiana to keep up the appearances of a contender, and he didn’t. His campaign has even given up the idea that he has to win the most pledged delegates, and is now focusing on converting the superdelegates to vote for him even if he can’t win the majority of regular delegates. That’s just a fantasy.

Hillary Clinton:  In her 3rd decade of fighting for a government by the people

Hillary Clinton: Coasting to the nomination

The superdelegates are loyal Democrats. That’s how they earned the honor of being a superdelegate. Sanders is not a Democrat. He is an Independent who refused to join the Democratic party until he decided to run for President. His plan to ‘convert’ the superdelegates would require that some of the most loyal Democrats abandon the real Democrat who has won the most pledged delegates, to give the nomination to a candidate who is a Democrat in name only. It is not going to happen.

Under the rosiest scenario, Sanders will 129 delegates between now and June 7th. That would only give 66 more delegates to Clinton, but she would then only need 115 more delegates to win the nomination. Currently she is ahead of Sanders in California by ten points, but lets assume that Sanders wins by ten points. He would win 329 delegates, and Clinton 219.

Clinton will clinch the nomination in California by over one hundred delegates, even if Sanders wins every primary/caucus up to, and including California. Not only does Clinton win, but she also will still have over one hundred more pledged delegates than Sanders.

Sanders is claiming the system is rigged. He’s correct. It’s rigged to nominate the person who wins the most delegates, and that is Hillary Clinton.

The only question left is who she will face in the general election. Will it be the Donald Trump, or will there be an eleventh hour switch to Paul Ryan?

5 Reasons Why Sanders Should Be the Democratic VP Nominee

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Bernie Sanders is passionate, if he is anything

Bernie Sanders as Vice President. It’s not going to happen. It seems like the logical move, but there are too many forces working against it. Hillary Clinton will not want an adversary as Vice President. Sanders won’t want to play second fiddle. Contributors for the Clinton campaign will fear Sanders influence in the White House. The list goes on.

However, Sanders as Vice President is exactly what our nation needs: 

ONE:  He will energize the ticket and bring in supporters who might not vote
Sanders will bring in the youth vote, who very well may walk away if he’s not on the ticket. A Clinton/Sanders ticket will end any chance for a Republican win. The best they can hope for is to try to keep the House of Representatives, which is unlikely with Trump at the top of their ticket.

Hillary Clinton: In her 3rd decade of fighting for a government by the people

Hillary Clinton needs Sanders as her liberal standard-bearer

TWO:  He could be tasked with helping Democrats take back the House and Senate
There is no doubt that for Sanders to see anything on his agenda achieved, the Democrats have to control government. He would be the perfect catalyst to make that happen.

THREE:  As Vice President, Sanders can push a liberal agenda
Sanders is relentless on changing the conservative status quo. Even before he would be sworn into office, he will put conservatives on the defensive, instead of taking the offensive as they did when Barack Obama was elected in 2008.

FOUR:  Sanders on the ticket creates a big win
Red States, like Arizona, might turn to voting Blue if Sanders is on the ticket. Certainly, Clinton will beat Trump, but the win has to be so large that the unintelligent, immature, and racist Trump supporters must be humiliated. Sanders can make that happen.

FIVE:  Clinton will do better with a team of rivals
A spirited debate within the administration will lead to better decisions. Liberals value intelligence, logic, and empathy, and that requires a thorough examination of all viewpoints. Sanders would be a key element in challenging the paradigms of politics, economics, and social values.

Populism is a Symptom of the Failure of People, Not Government

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Mara Liasson, NPR/Fox News Journalist

Mara Liasson, NPR Political Correspondent/Fox News Contributor

Mara Liasson, political correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR,) reported on the Morning Edition segment that populism is a major force in this year’s Presidential campaigns, and she wanted to find out what effect it might have after the election.

In her report she featured people who feel ‘left behind.’ Her first interview was with a proud ‘Hillbilly.’ Her next interview was with Kathy Kramer, a political science professor from the University of Wisconsin. Liasson described Professor Kramer as one who has spent the last eleven years talking to Wisconsin people who “felt ignored, or dismissed by politicians, the media, the government, or big business.”

Liasson suggested through her story and her featured interviewees, that the Populism movement is not just a 2016 event, and is likely to have an impact in future elections.

Populism is not new to organized societies, and according to James Madison, is not an action that leads to a better society. In the Federalist No. 10 paper, Madison refers to populists movements as people,

Author, Political theorist, Constitutionalist, President of the United States of America

Author, Political theorist, Constitutionalist, President of the United States of America

…who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have tapped into the passions of many people, and at least in the case of Trump, exploited people who seek to impose their beliefs and interests on those who disagree with them. Madison continues his description of populist-type movements later in the same paper,

A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points, as well of speculation as of practices…have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good.

Missed in Liasson’s report is that the root cause of their dissatisfaction of government and politicians, the feeling of being left behind, is a direct result of the types of leaders that voters have been electing since Ronald Reagan in 1979. The populists anger, among conservatives, seem to be a combination of electing the wrong people, inciting a belief that the caucasian male is superior, and a desire to inflict personal religious beliefs as public law. Add to the their misplaced emotions, a failure to use reason to examine the issues effectively, and we have what James Madison described 228 years ago.

We can’t fix government or politicians until we fix the people. Madison knew that, but what Madison may not have known was that the twenty-first century news media would accept populist movements as valid political thought, when it is simply public masturbation of the uneducated, immature, and egocentric mind.

Siberian Elm: Trashy Tree Defines Less Affluent Neighborhoods

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Trees are beautiful. Trees produce oxygen. Trees absorb carbon. Trees are wonderful. …except for the Siberian Elm.

A Siberian Elm loaded up with seed pods (Reno, NV/April 2016)

A Siberian Elm loaded up with seed pods (Reno, NV/April 2016)

Hundreds of seedlings ready to infest the neighbor's yard

Hundreds of seedlings ready to infest the neighbor’s yard (Reno, NV/April 2016)

The Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila) in the Western United States is a weed on steroids. My family had a two of Siberian Elm trees in our front yard in northwestern Colorado, where I grew up, but we incorrectly called them a Chinese Elm. They are commonplace in most towns throughout the West, but typically they only grow in areas that are neglected.

The Siberian Elm was introduced in the United States in the 1860’s, and is now considered an invasive tree. It is primarily found in less affluent neighborhoods. It is a fast growing, rapidly spreading tree, that withstands cold winter climates. Once its root system is established the only way to kill it is to destroy the root system or girdle the tree.

Siberian Elm trees planted as a hedge with Spring growth (Reno, NV/April 2016)

Until recently, the Siberian Elm was sold as a plant to create a hedge. Its fast growing characteristics made it attractive to homeowners that wanted a quick barrier at the edge of their property.

Unfortunately, once established, its growth becomes an enemy to the homeowner and her or his neighbors. It requires constant trimming, and once out of control it reverts to its natural tree behavior by shooting up branches that can grow six feet or more per year.

A hedge of Siberian Elm trees trimmed back in the Spring

A hedge of Siberian Elm trees trimmed back in the Spring

Dead branches are a constant issue with this tree

As a mature tree, it typically will have large branches die that make the tree look trashy unless it is constantly maintained.

The Dandelion of Trees
The worst part of a Siberian Elm is its ability to spread. In the early Spring the tree will almost look as if it has dead leaves. These are not leaves but masses of rounded, flat seeds that cover the ground once released. These white to slightly yellow seedlings will blow around until they find a spot to take root. By the end of the summer, there will be thousands of new saplings growing anyplace that is neglected.

This is probably why the Siberian Elm is found in poorer neighborhoods. The tree thrives in areas where yard care is ignored and it has the opportunity to establish a root system before it can be cut or pulled. Once established, the root system will send up new saplings, that will continue to grow until it is dug up, or until a mature tree is established.

Leaves of the Siberian Elm look glossy in sunlight

Leaves of the Siberian Elm look glossy in sunlight

Bug Infestations
By mid-summer, Siberian Elm trees can be infested with bugs. The Elm Leaf Beetle (Xanthogaleruca luteola) is the most common pest. Both the larva (Spring) and the mature beetle (mid-Summer) will riddle the leaves of the tree with holes. By Fall, the leaves add to the trashy look of the tree or hedge.

Other pests are known to use the Siberian Elm as habitat, including the Cucumber Beetle and the Boxelder Bug.

A 2014 U.S. Forest Service publication suggested that more public education of the invasive nature of the Siberian Elm is needed; however, communities throughout the Southwestern United States may want to take stronger action, as the Siberian Elm is a mark of shame in any neighborhood.

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