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I appeared on Silvio Canto Jr's talk show from Dallas.  It's here.

 

 

 

JULY 12,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

CRISIS IN NORTH KOREA? – FROM FOX:   Speculation over internal conditions in North Korea and the stability of its regime is even more rampant than usual.  Reports of food shortages, a COVID outbreak and political volatility have fanned much of the speculation. Kim Jong Un’s recent extended absence from public view simply fueled the fire, triggering renewed rumors of health problems.  Still, it never pays to sell the regime short. It has outlived countless previous reports of its imminent demise.  Kim has now reappeared much thinner than before, but this has only fueled more speculation. His return to the scene coincided with senior leadership meetings in which he warned of dire food shortages, a dangerous influx of foreign influence and a "grave" breach of the country’s defenses against the COVID virus. Some experts interpreted the trifecta of failings as potentially leading to regime instability or collapse.  Kim acknowledged that the country’s food situation is getting "tense," going so far as to warn of another "arduous march," a reference to the 1990s famine that killed an estimated one million people. Crop shortages, skyrocketing food prices and closure of markets have led to increasingly dire conditions.   The Biden administration may soon be facing multiple crises, with no demonstrated ability to handle them:  a possible clash with China over Taiwan; a possible collapse of North Korea; the rise of a new, fanatical government in Iran; and an uprising in Cuba.  We are not in good shape.

THE GRIM REALITY OF CUBA – FROM FOX:   Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on Monday questioned an early tweet from the U.S. State Department that seemed to assure Americans that the right to peaceful assembly is observed in Cuba amid new reports of a punishing crackdown by the government and an emerging "list of missing persons."  Cruz, the son of a Cuban immigrant, posted a portion of an article from the Wall Street Journal that mentioned Cuba’s Communist government’s effort to snuff out protests. Havana deployed security forces across the island and arrested dozens. Reuters reported that it appeared police — many who were dressed in plain clothes — were seen beating some demonstrators.  "How is this possible??" Cruz tweeted. "The Biden State Dept told us that the Cuban communist dictatorship protects their 'right to peaceful assembly'?"  Cruz referred to the much-maligned tweet sent out by the State Department on Sunday that read in part, "Peaceful protests are growing in #Cuba as the Cuban people exercise their right to peaceful assembly."  The White House and State Department did not immediately respond to emails from Fox News. President Biden said in an earlier statement: "We stand with the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected by Cuba's authoritarian regime."  The Journal’s report said the Cuban government essentially sealed off much of the country’s communication with the outside world and arrested more than 100 people. The report, citing activists, said that the whereabouts of many protesters are not known.  The American response has been anemic.  This is a decisive moment in Cuban history, and there is no guarantee the protesters will win.   They didn't win in Iran, nor in Venezuela.  Should America intervene more directly?

July 12, 2021       Permalink

  

KAMI (CONT'D) – OVERNIGHT:  You gotta believe that Kamala Harris has become one of the biggest political headaches the Democratic Party has today.  What is it about her?  Why is she failing so badly?  She almost seems to be saying, "Look at me, I'm in over my head."  We just sense that the knives are out, and that many in the party would prefer her to be gone.  The issue becomes urgent when we look at President Biden, clearly an aging, infirm man.  Are people asking whether Kamala Harris could actually take over the Oval Office?  Are they concluding that she couldn't?  She seems to mess up day by day.  From Fox: 

Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume reacted Monday to Vice President Kamala Harris bemoaning "rural" residents who apparently cannot find an office supply store to photocopy their driver's license to send to state election authorities.

Hume told "Special Report" that voter ID is a "tricky issue" for Democrats, but that they are still trying to "make the most of" their argument against it.

"They're trying to label Republicans as people who want to suppress the vote. But a number of the things that the Republicans want to do in the laws they are passing across the country are things that are popular -- and voter I.D. Is very high on that list," he said. "I think it's politically really stupid to come out and criticize voter I.D."

Harris said over the weekend that there are a "whole lot of people who live in rural communities there is no Kinko's or OfficeMax near them," which she suggested they would need to locate in order to abide by legislation in states like Georgia, Texas and Pennsylvania that are seeking to strengthen election laws and integrity.

Hume added that Biden advisers are likely contemplating the effectiveness of having Harris out front as the point person on several such controversial issues like election reform, illegal immigration and border security.

"She seems at times lighter than air," he said.

Harris was previously criticized for her visit to El Paso, Texas, after weeks of being ripped by critics for failing to visit the southern border. Critics pointed out El Paso is some 800 miles upstream on the Rio Grande from the epicenter of the illegal immigration and human and drug trafficking crisis in places like McAllen, Del Rio and Roma.

COMMENT:  Please note the term "lighter than air."  If this gets wrapped around Harris, and the wrapping has begun, it could be politically fatal. 

The sound you hear is Washington knives being unsheathed.  It's the nature of the town.

July 12, 2021       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

JULY 11,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT: 

CUBA'S GROWING CRISIS – FROM THE NEW YORK POST:   Thousands of Cubans took to the streets Sunday in protest of the country’s food shortages and high prices amid the coronavirus pandemic.  The anti-government protest in the capital of Havana lasted about 2 ½ hours before it was broken up when a few protesters tossed cobblestones at police, leading to several arrests.  Before its conclusion, hordes of demonstrators, many of them young, marched around the capital chanting “Freedom,” “Enough” and “Unite” with police trailing behind them.  “We are fed up with the queues, the shortages. That’s why I’m here,” one middle-aged protester told The Associated Press.  The communist country is suffering from its worst economic crisis in decades and has recently seen a surge in coronavirus cases.  If these demonstrations grow, they can lead to a major crisis in American foreign policy.  Barack Obama restored relations with Cuba, without getting a single thing in return, and without seeing any improvement in the living conditions of Cubans.  Now America will have to decide whether to intervene should we see a full-scale revolution.  This will be a day-by-day story. 

KAMI SPEAKS AGAIN – FROM FOX:  Vice President Kamala Harris was criticized Saturday for arguing against voter ID laws because rural Americans couldn't get photocopies of their ID's.  "I don't think that we should underestimate what that [compromise on voter ID laws] could mean," Harris said in her interview with BET News. "Because in some people's mind, that means you're going to have to Xerox or photocopy your ID to send it in to prove who you are. Well, there are a whole lot of people, especially people who live in rural communities, who don't - there's no Kinkos, there's no OfficeMax near them."  "Of course people have to prove who they are," Harris continued, but "not in a way that makes it almost impossible for them to prove who they are."  The vice president's comments come in the midst of a nationwide battle over voter ID laws, with states like Georgia and Texas taking center stage. Many progressives argue that voter ID laws are "racist," while Republicans suggest the laws are necessary to prevent voter fraud.  Rural Americans took issue with the vice president's comments, suggesting she is out of touch with the nation.  "We built this country. We can manage to photocopy our ID's," tweeted former CIA officer Bryan Dean Wright.  Kami sounds more and more like the typical, wealthy, out-of-touch liberal who believes that she understands what the common peasants do not.  I wouldn't trust her in the Oval Office, even as a visitor.

July 11, 2021       Permalink

 

AFGHANISTAN FIASCO – OVERNIGHT:  American forces are pulling out of Afghanistan, with every expectation that our enemies will quickly take over the country.  Shades of Vietnam.  But will the American public care?  From Fox: 

Penntagon officials are watching the Taliban's sweeping advances in Afghanistan "with deep concern" and are encouraging its Afghan partners to "step up" and defend their country amid the pullout of U.S. forces, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Sunday.

With the Taliban claiming to have taken control of 85% of Afghanistan – a claim that U.S. government officials dispute – Kirby told "Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace that the Pentagon was "not unmindful" of the situation.

"We're certainly watching with deep concern, Chris, the deteriorating security situation and the violence which is of course way too high, and the advances and the momentum that the Taliban seems to have right now," he said.

Kirby said that officials are monitoring the Taliban's movements in the country and were working with the Afghan military "to encourage them to use the capacity and the capability that we know they have, and we know that they know how to defend their country."

He stated that Afghanistan's capacity and capabilities included a "very capable" Air Force and "very sophisticated" Special Forces that can help defend the country from the Taliban resurgence.
"This is a time for them to step up and to do exactly that," Kirby said of their Afghan partners.

With U.S. Central Command estimating that more than 90% of the withdrawal process is complete, Kirby said that even though U.S. troops won’t be supporting Afghanistan on the ground, the U.S. will continue to support the country and its people.

"We are not walking away from this relationship," Kirby said. "We’re going to continue to support them from a financial perspective logistical perspective and certainly aircraft maintenance."

COMMENT:  Yup, that aircraft maintenance will certainly turn things around.  No doubt about that.  There's no calculating what a new windshield can do.

Look, it's hard to place blame here.  We've been in Afghanistan for 20 years, since just after the 9/11 attacks.  Our presence has probably been effective in preventing the country from being used as another training ground for terror raids against America.  But, in the end, we're losing.  It's clear that the enemy is on the offensive, and there'll be little we can do to prevent a complete collapse of Afghanistan's current, America-friendly government. 

Once again our allies will wonder whether the United States can be depended upon.  Yes, 20 years is a long time, but we've been in South Korea some 71 years and Germany some 76 years.  And those are success stories.  Both countries are secure allies of the United States. 

July 11,   2021       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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