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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 29-30,  2023

A NATIONAL SECURITY CRISIS:  Americans are losing confidence in their armed forces.  Enemies, and we have them, will note that in their planning.  What an accomplishment for the left:  From Gallup:

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans are now less likely to express “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the U.S. military, with a noticeable decline that has persisted for the past five years. The latest numbers are from a June 1-22 Gallup poll that also captured record lows in public confidence in several public institutions.

At 60%, confidence in the military was last this low in 1997, and it hasn’t been lower since 1988, when 58% were confident. From the late 1970s to the early 1980s -- during the Cold War and amid threats to U.S. power, including the Iran hostage crisis -- between 50% and 58% of Americans were confident in the military. Confidence generally improved during Ronald Reagan’s presidency in the 1980s. It then surged after the Gulf War victory (to a record-high 85% in 1991) and again after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Confidence generally held above 70% for the next two decades, until dipping to 69% in 2021 and declining further since then, following the poorly executed exit from Afghanistan.

Throughout nearly all of the past 48 years, Republicans have been the most likely to express confidence in the military, and they remain so today -- but the rate has declined by over 20 percentage points in three years, from 91% to 68%.

Independents’ confidence has dropped nearly as much -- by 13 points, from 68% to 55% -- and now independents have less confidence than Democrats do. While Democrats’ confidence rating did rise after President Joe Biden assumed office, those gains have disappeared in the past year.

Public perceptions of the U.S. military have fluctuated dramatically over the past five decades. The aftermaths of the Gulf War and 9/11 were followed by resounding upticks in confidence in the military. The latter of these surges ushered in an era of elevated confidence lasting nearly two decades.

Now that the U.S. has completely withdrawn from both Iraq and Afghanistan, the two most significant military legacies of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S., confidence in the military has continued to decline among the public. The declines this year were across all party identification groups, with Republicans remaining the most likely to express confidence and independents becoming the least likely.

COMMENT:  The introduction of wokism into the armed forces by leftists in the Biden administration will do nothing to improve these numbers.  The more the armed forces show themselves to be effective, patriotic outfits, the more confidence Americans will have.   We expect the military to have one mission – the protection of the United States of America.  Political correctness does not make the list.

July 30,  2023     Permalink

 

ANOTHER RISING REPUBLICAN STAR; WATCH THIS GUY VERY CLOSELY.  FROM THE HILL: 

Vivek Ramaswamy has emerged as something of a breakout star in the 2024 GOP presidential primary, raising speculation over his future within the party.

Many Republicans have praised the 37-year-old biotech entrepreneur, calling him an effective communicator with an impressive professional resume for a political outsider. 

While there’s heavy skepticism that Ramaswamy will win any of the early-state primaries, many see him as a rising figure within the party’s ranks.

“I think that his message is resonating well with the Republican activist crowd, and he is being positive enough with regards to [former President] Trump to basically be an alternative without being an anti-Trump guy,” said GOP strategist and former Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis.

“I think that resonates with many of the Trump supporters and let’s say soft Trump supporters who would like to move on, but yet see somebody who’s not running kind of on a message of attacking Trump and his legacy,” he added.

Initially considered a long-shot candidate when he launched his campaign in February, the “Woke, Inc.” author entered the race known in part for his staunch opposition to environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) policies. 

But the political outsider and first millennial to run for president on the GOP side has started to catch some momentum in the GOP primary. ..

...National polling, too, suggests voters are starting to give Ramaswamy a serious look. 
A RealClearPolitics polling average shows Ramaswamy placing third at 5.4 percent, behind Trump in first place with 52.4 percent and DeSantis at 18.4 percent.

Still, most national polls show the biotech entrepreneur in the single digits compared to Trump, who remains the front-runner in surveys. Some early state polls in New Hampshire and South Carolina show Ramaswamy trailing some of the other GOP candidates, such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.).

COMMENT:  He's an inspiring guy, clearly very thoughtful, and can have a great future.  He could even wind up on next year's ticket as vice presidential nominee.  He may also stand out in the first Republican presidential debate, scheduled for late August. 

With Trump's future in doubt because of the legal onslaught against him, a high-quality unknown could suddenly surprise us.

July 30, 2023       Permalink 

 

 

 

JULY 27-28,  2023

GOP WINNING ON MAJOR ISSUES:  Education is a major, hot issue, and Republicans are winning it.  But whose issues will actually decide the presidential election?  From Legal Insurrection:

Voters in four battleground states said they trust Republicans to do a better job than Democrats in education, according to a new poll released by Democrats for Education Reform (DFER).

The poll focused on four battleground states — Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and North Carolina — asking voters who they trust to ensure “public schools are preparing students for success after high school by ensuring they are teaching students to read and do math well.”

In Arizona, 34 percent went with Republicans on the issue, while 32 percent went for Democrats. Nevada was 35 percent Republican to 33 percent Democrat.
In Georgia, there was a tie at 35 percent for both parties, while North Carolina saw the biggest gap with 40 percent trusting Republicans and 32 percent trusting Democrats.

Overall, the states combined show 36 percent trust Republicans and 33 percent trust Democrats with education.

“The crisis in education has mounted into one voters simply cannot ignore,” said DFER CEO Jorge Elorza. “Voters — especially parents — want to see more choices for their children. Republicans are capitalizing on this. Embracing public school choice isn’t just the right thing today, but it will help Democrats reconnect with frustrated voters and families who know that more of the same won’t fix our public education system.”

When it came to where there needs to be an improvement in education, the states combined showed the top issue was more access to after-school and summer programs at 44 percent.
The poll also found Republican school choice programs were not as popular as expansions to public school options such as charter schools. Expanding public school options has 68 percent support overall, while Republican school choice policies only had 32 percent support.

COMMENT:  I would question that last statement.  From what I see, Republican school choice policies are very popular.  I wonder how the question was asked.

Bottom line, Republicans have a great opportunity next year to make education a major issue, possibly the major issue of the campaign.  But the issue can only be as effective as the candidate who's promoting it.  And that is the Republican dilemma.   Polls show the GOP leading on most public concerns.  Their positions are popular.  But the whole question of whether Trump should be their nominee must be settled soon.   

July 28,  2023    Permalink

 

OH HOW VERY JUICY:   Why, even The New York Times, once known as the Gray Lady, is acknowledging that Hunter Biden is not in line to receive the son of the year award.  This is one of the great moments in journalism.  From Daily Mail: 

The mounting evidence that Joe Biden was involved in his son Hunter's overseas business deals is so compelling even The New York Times is questioning the president's constant denials.

The Gray Lady's White House Correspondent Peter Baker said Wednesday night the administration's argument that Biden had nothing to do with his son's foreign dealings is becoming 'harder to make.'

He said Biden could previously frame the scandals as his son overcoming addiction - like he did during the 2020 campaign.

But he insisted that's now changed - and the White House can no longer use the 'wayward son' defense with more allegations coming out, and with his son facing further charges after the sensational unraveling of his plea agreement.

It comes just days before Hunter's former business partner Devon Archer is set to testify in Congress that Joe was on speakerphone when his son was conducting business.

Baker's comments to MSNBC came hours after Hunter Biden's 'sweetheart' agreement dramatically fell apart, leaving him open to charges over the millions in income he received doing business with China and Ukraine.

It is also a sign that the tide is turning with the networks and publications that mostly fawn over Biden in their coverage. 

Once the First Son found out the deal did not promise blanket immunity for his other foreign business dealings, he reversed course, pleaded 'not guilty,' and left the courtroom without a deal on the table.

Joe Biden and his team have maintained that he was not aware and, more importantly, not involved in his son's lucrative foreign business – and his communications team has repeatedly brushed off questions regarding whether the President's influence helped enrich his family. 

They have also subtly changed their story. First, Biden and aides said he never spoke to Hunter about the foreign deals.

Then, they said he was never 'in business'  with his troubled son.

Baker suggested that Biden's remarks about his son are now so far-fetched that they remind him of lies former president Donald Trump has spouted.

And Trump's comments, Baker pointed out, have made it so many wouldn't want to see him in the White House again in 2024.

During the 2020 general debate with Biden, Trump accused Hunter of 'making a fortune' in Ukraine and China.

'That is simply not true,' the Democratic candidate shot back at the time. 'My son, like a lot of people you know at home, had a drug problem. He's overtaken it. He's fixed it. He's worked on it. And I'm proud of him. I'm proud of my son.'

However, developments in the multiple cases against Hunter reveal that he made at least tens of millions from foreign business deals with multiple countries.

COMMENT:  The stakes grow.  There will be testimony Monday before a House committee.  And former President Trump now faces new charges.

Increasingly, we hear the murmur that neither Biden nor Trump will head their tickets.  As a show, it doesn't get much better than this.

July 28, 2023       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 "What you see is news.  What you know is background.  What you feel is opinion."
    - Lester Markel, late Sunday editor
      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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