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Scene above:  Constitution Island, where Revolutionary War forts still exist, as photographed from Trophy Point, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
 

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JULY 17-18,  2023

JUST WHEN I WAS ABOUT TO LEAVE FOR THE SHOWROOM:  I was going to buy an Energizer Bunnymobile.  From Fox:

A new report published by the Manhattan Institute threw cold water on the purported climate and cost benefits of electric vehicles (EVs) widely touted by lawmakers and automakers.

Overall, the rapid electrification of the U.S. transportation sector would increase consumer costs, make the electric grid more vulnerable to blackouts, threaten national security and may not even lead to fewer greenhouse gas emissions, according to the paper titled "Electric Vehicles for Everyone? The Impossible Dream" and authored by Manhattan Institute senior fellow Mark Mills.

"I think it's morally consequential. It's geopolitically consequential and socially, economically consequential," Mills told Fox News Digital in an interview. "The subsidies and the mandates run the risk of causing maybe the biggest misallocation of capital in modern times in the industrial markets. Hundreds of billions of dollars are going to be spent chasing these mandates, requirements." 

"And it won't, as the report shows, it won't achieve the goals intended and the attempt to do so will have enormous economic and social costs because the underlying premises are either incorrect, too poorly understood or too difficult to quantify in order to take the actions that are being taken," he continued.

Mills said the government push to aggressively electrify the transportation sector over the coming years is based on the premises that it will both help the environment by lowering economy-wide carbon emissions and help save consumers money through lower fueling costs while keeping car prices co-equal with current prices.

However, Mills's report highlights that emissions and costs are subject to a wide range of conditions. 

"It depends on when and where you charge the vehicle," he told Fox News Digital. "Then you have to add to that, the emissions that occur before you get the vehicle in your driveway for the first time because all vehicles entail CO2 emissions associated with the energy you use to build the vehicle. Your use of materials and machines to build everything." 

COMMENT:  Read the whole thing.  There are more and more doubts about electric cars being raised every day.  But they are trendy, and trendy is what gets sold...at least for a time.  Let a parent try to rush a sick kid to the hospital after forgetting to charge the electric car, and watch "trendy" go down the economic drain.

July 18,  2023     Permalink

 

LOOK, THIS COULD HAPPEN – JOE MANCHIN I MEAN:  The independent "Democratic" senator from West Virginia is broadly hinting that he may just be available for a third-party run for president in 2024.  Once a guy drinks the presidential Kool-Aid, it's hard to say no. "If I get into the race, I'm going to win," Manchin says.  From the Washington Free Beacon: 

Senator Joe Manchin teased a third-party presidential run at a No Labels event Monday, even as questions linger about whether the self-styled centrist group has the necessary funds to mount a successful challenge in 2024.

Voters in the greater New Hampshire area gathered at St. Anselm’s College in Manchester for a question-and-answer session with the West Virginia Democrat and former Utah governor John Huntsman (R., Utah). Both Manchin and Huntsman flirted with the prospect of potentially running together on a "unity ticket," should they believe voters are unhappy with the Democratic and Republican Party options in 2024.

But Manchin was characteristically coy about his presidential ambitions.

"I’m not here running for president tonight. I’m not," the centrist Democrat said at the town hall’s conclusion. "I’m here trying to basically save the nation. I’m more concerned now than I’ve ever been concerned in my lifetime."

Whether No Labels—which says it will announce by Super Tuesday next year whether it plans to run a candidate—has the resources to mount a serious challenge to the two-party system is unclear. The group has repeatedly said it will spend up to $70 million on a campaign, but controlled just $10 million in assets at the end of 2021.

"We’re going to gain, as an insurance policy, ballot access," former North Carolina governor Pat McCrory (R.) said at the start of the event.

As of June, No Labels has gained ballot access in just four states. The Arizona Democratic Party filed a lawsuit in March to remove No Labels from the 2024 ballot. That litigation is still ongoing.

Still, the prospect of No Labels offering voters a viable third option in 2024 has caused severe anxiety among many Democrats, who are convinced such a scenario would hand the 2024 election to former president Donald Trump. A group of veteran Democratic operatives and former White House staffers, including former chief of staff Ron Klain, met with No Labels last month to implore the group to ditch their plans.

Manchin and Huntsman brushed aside fears from Democrats that a No Labels presidential ticket would hand the election to Trump, who holds a wide lead in the Republican presidential primary. Huntsman compared efforts by Democrats to intimidate No Labels out of the 2024 race as something out of "China or Russia."

COMMENT:   We must stress once again that the election is an eternity away.  Each party sees giant obstacles in its path – for the Democrats, it's Joe Biden's declining health.  How far down could he go and still stay in the race?  For the Republicans, it's Donald Trump's legal woes.  He can pound the table all he wants and shout "unfair,"and he might well be right, but could a party really nominate a man who's been indicted, and possibly even convicted? Everything we're seeing in politics right now is shadow boxing.  At this stage in the 1980 presidential race, a solid chunk of Republicans was getting ready to block the nomination of that "movie actor," Ronald Reagan. 

July 18,  2023     Permalink

 

 

 

JULY 15-16,  2023

THE FIELD MARSHAL MESSES UP AGAIN:  The commander-in-chief let it be known to the immediate world that we are running short on military supplies.  I'm sure the intelligence agencies of the world will take note.  From Fox: 

John Kirby, coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council, said the Biden administration is working with the defense industry to increase the production of munitions as concerns grow that the nation’s weapon’s supply is dwindling.

"We're working very closely with the defense industry to try to ramp up production, particularly for artillery shells," Kirby told Fox News’ Shannon Bream on "Fox News Sunday."

"You saw that we gave some cluster munitions to Ukraine as a bridging solution here while we ramp up production. We're having very, very strong conversations with the defense industry and we believe that we'll be able to get there."

Kirby was responding to a segment reporting that a Center for Strategic and International Studies report found replacing inventories for ammunitions such as 155 mm shells could take between four and seven years. Replacing Javelins could take up to eight years and Stingers up to as many as 18 years, according to the report.

Those numbers are shocking.  What if we were attacked tomorrow?  Would it take years simply to equip our forces?  This clearly calls for a Congressional investigation.  Someone hasn't been watching the store. 

Kirby said replacing the munitions, as the war in Ukraine continues and tensions rise in Taiwan, is not a matter of funding.

"The defense industry obviously wants to make sure that if they're going to increase production, that that production rate is going to stay elevated for a period of time. Because that means hiring more workers, it means retooling and adding capacity in their factories and manufacturing capabilities. So we understand that and that's sort of the central thesis here of the discussions that we're having with them, is to get them to increase production and let them know that we're serious about doing that for some period of time," Kirby said. 

We have allowed our industrial base to erode.  We used to be the arsenal of democracy.  The arsenal apparently is shrinking.

Kirby’s comments come after President Biden said on TV that the United States is low on 155 mm artillery rounds...

...Biden made the remarks while defending his administration’s move this summer to send cluster munitions to Ukraine as a "transition period" until more munitions are produced.

Conservatives slammed Biden on social media following the comment, while others facetiously said they "love when the president of America goes on CNN to tell everyone we’re low on ammo."

COMMENT:  This country is not prepared.  The president is a shadow.  Read the piece below for more evidence you can use at neighborhood parties.  The nation needs a change.

July 16, 2023       Permalink

 

THE INDICTMENT:   You can almost feel the unease in the Democratic Party, and almost hear the beginning of a mini-revolt.  Increasingly Democrats are realizing that Joe Biden may be leading them to a disaster.  His poll numbers are awful, almost as bad as those of his vice president, Kamala Harris.  Surveys show that the public isn't buying his economic program, and they've got the reason in the price of food.  And even CNN can't save the president from the whiff of scandal around him and his family.   

We sense that more and more Democrats would like Biden to step aside, and the nomination for president become an open contest, with Kamala given no special privileges.  

One can say "wishful thinking," but the wish is growing and is showing up in political polls.

Why is Biden in such trouble?  Doug Schoen, one of the brightest men in politics, a Democrat, and a former adviser to the Clinton administration, has written the most stinging indictment of Biden yet.  Displaying no hatred, he also holds nothing back.  I suspect many influential Democrats will be reading this.  From the Messenger: 

The Democratic Party generally — and President Biden specifically — have a profound problem: At home and abroad, seemingly everyone is mad at the American president, with severe consequences for American influence around the world.

Domestically, despite cooling inflation, just 30% of Americans say they agree with Democrats’ economic policy, while 42% prefer the Republicans’ approach. With the economy consistently ranking as the most important issue for voters, Americans’ pessimism — coupled with Biden’s consistently low approval ratings on the economy — figures to be a considerable problem as he seeks a second term.

Moreover, Hispanic voters — a critical Democratic constituency — are angry at the perceived leftward shift of today’s Democratic Party. Compared to 2018, the 2022 midterms saw a 10-point jump in Hispanic support for the GOP, according to exit polls and Edison research. In fact, the research shows that Hispanic support for Democrats in 2022 was the lowest it has been since the 1990s.

To that end, support for Biden among Hispanics has dropped more than among any other race or ethnicity, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis, and nearly two-thirds (64%) of Hispanic voters say that Biden has accomplished “little or nothing” as president.

Internationally, Biden’s campaign promises to restore American leadership as a more traditional statesman than his predecessor have fallen flat, as it seems almost every international constituency is upset with the American president.

While Biden has led a robust and determined Western response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including sending historic levels of military and humanitarian aid, Ukrainians are — rightfully — angry that Biden declared them “not ready” for NATO, despite arguably having done more for European security than any other country in blunting and eroding the Russian military.

Further, the White House has consistently slow-walked the delivery of weapons systems that Ukraine desperately needs, often refusing for months before ultimately relenting, wasting valuable time as Ukrainians valiantly fight for their survival.

Additionally, our Asian allies are angry that Biden has been weak in standing up to China’s growing militancy, and China itself is angry over restrictions on access to vital technology. Importantly, while the administration’s policy of preventing China’s technological rise is sound, sending high-level diplomats such as Secretary of State Tony Blinken or Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to our most formidable geopolitical adversary sends our allies in the region — especially Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Australia — the wrong message.

COMMENT:  That's not exactly a letter of recommendation.  Please read the whole thing.  If Biden runs, he can only win if the Republicans lose – in other words, run a weak candidate or a mediocre campaign.  It's hard to think of Biden actually "winning" anything.  When is the last time you heard "We want Biden" at a political rally.

We remind ourselves that the election is still a year and four months away.   We cannot predict, we can only speculate.  But I would not be shocked if neither Joe Biden nor Donald Trump were at the heads of their ticket.

July 16, 2023       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 "What you see is news.  What you know is background.  What you feel is opinion."
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      of The New York Times.


"Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred. "
     - Jacques Barzun

"Against stupidity the gods themselves struggle in vain."
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