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MARCH 24-25,  2023

THE GOP CAMPAIGN GOES TURBULENT:  The GOP race for the Republican presidential nomination is escalating into near-blows, with Donald Trump, a wounded campaigner, taking dead aim at Ron DeSantis, and DeSantis apparently planning on attacking Trump earlier than had been planned.  This could get bloody, which is just what the GOP leadership doesn't want.  From Michael Goodwin at the New York Post: 

It’s not news that Donald Trump is the worst of his own enemies, but he outdid himself with his latest bizarre behavior.

His social media warning early Friday that “death and destruction” could follow if he’s criminally charged in the Stormy Daniels case came as he posted an image of himself holding a baseball bat next to a photo of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s head. 

“What kind of person,” Trump wrote, “can charge another person, in this case a former president of the United States, who got more votes than any sitting president in history, and leading candidate (by far!) for the Republican Party nomination, with a crime, when it is known by all that NO crime has been committed, & also that potential death & destruction in such a false charge could be catastrophic for our country?” 

Sensible voters might reasonably ask what kind of person facing charges encourages mayhem.

And what kind of defendant calls the prosecutor “a degenerate psychopath,” as Trump also did? 

The unmistakable echoes of Jan. 6 complete the picture of a man incapable of remorse. 
The rant was perfectly timed — if Trump’s goal was to stomp out growing public unease over how Bragg is stretching a novel legal theory to indict him. 

The outburst also obscured signs Bragg was having either second thoughts or trouble convincing a grand jury Trump committed a crime.

Two scheduled sessions were canceled, with a source telling Fox News the DA was facing “major dissension” on his staff. 

Whatever led to the pause, Trump managed to shove potential good news for himself into the background with his Friday post.

It didn’t help his cause that Bragg got a letter later that day containing a death threat and white powder, underscoring Trump’s recklessness. 

COMMENT:   Goodwin is an excellent, disciplined commentator, and I think he's right. Trump is stepping all over his own case.  We've always known the man is his own worst enemy, and it's part of the reason he lost in 2020.  We can't afford that any longer. 

There are widespread reports that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will be upping his campaign against Trump in coming days.  The original DeSantis plan was to announce his candidacy shortly after the Florida legislature adjourns in May.  But DeSantis has been taking a verbal beating from Trump, and the governor's numbers have become wobbly.  It is clear he must get fully into the battle before Trump defines him as below presidential caliber.  We who follow politics know DeSantis well as a superb governor who has made Florida into a remarkable success story.  But most Americans don't know him at all.  That must change right now. 

March 25,  2023     Permalink

 

 

ANOTHER DISPLAY OF WEAKNESS:  The theater is now Syria.  In the last few nights there have been missile attacks against American installations.  Casualties fortunately have been few, but the attacks show a lack of fear of an American response.  Some Republicans say that is exactly the point.  From Fox:

Republican lawmakers on Friday lambasted President Biden for his response to the death of an American in Syria, arguing that he's showing weakness and failing to deter America's adversaries.

The criticism came one day after Biden ordered the U.S. military to carry out retaliatory airstrikes in Syria, where Iranian forces had killed a U.S. contractor and wounded six other Americans in a drone strike. The U.S. launches reportedly killed eight Iranians.

Iranian-backed proxy forces then proceeded to carry out their own retaliatory strikes on Friday, launching rockets that targeted a U.S. base in northeast Syria. There are no U.S. casualties and no damage to the base, according to first assessments.

Republicans in Congress said the apparent tit-for-tat between the U.S. and Iran is a sign of weakness on the part of the Biden administration.

"President Biden and his national security team are letting America down," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. "I fear General Milley and Secretary of Defense Austin are not proving to be up to the task of providing the deterrence America needs to remain safe. However, the ultimate blame for the failing foreign policy and military situation we find ourselves in lies with President Biden."

Biden was referring to Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

"America has only one path available when attacked – respond swiftly and vigorously with overwhelming, punishing force designed to make enemies wary of engaging with the United States. Being strong is the best deterrence against future attacks," added Graham.

The South Carolina Republican wasn't alone in attacking Biden.

"Indefensible that American life must be lost before Joe Biden acts," wrote Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. "Had he responded in force to dozens of earlier Iranian attacks, this tragedy could have been prevented. [Austin] needs to explain why he isn't doing more to deter Iran."

COMMENT:  I agree with the criticism.  If you look at the whole pattern of international activity in the last year, from Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, it signals contempt for American power and policy.  That is an inherently dangerous and preventable situation.   If our enemies don't fear us, they may start pushing and going too far.  It is a sure formula for a larger war.  An almost-sure formula for peace is peace through strength.  In the end, far less expensive in casualties and treasure.  It's how we won the Cold War.

March 24, 2023       Permalink 

 

 

 

 

MARCH 22-23,  2023

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE:

NICE GUY:   Send some people to college, and they come out nuts.  From Slay News:  World Economic Forum (WEF) advisor Yuval Noah Harari has declared that “we just don’t need the vast majority of the population” in today’s world.  According to Harari, most of the general public have now become “redundant” and will be of little use to the global elite in the future.  Harari, who describes himself as a historian and futurist, argues that modern technologies like artificial intelligence “make it possible to replace the people.”  He made the remarks during an interview with Chris Anderson, the head of TED.  Harari, who is a principal advisor to the WEF and the organization’s founder Klaus Schwab, assessed widespread contemporary disillusionment among “common people” as being rooted in a fear of being “left behind” in a future run by “smart people.”  I think he should set an example, don't you?  He should first declare himself surplus, and then...  I'm just joking, but I'm afraid he isn't.  We've heard similar talk before, and it often came with a swastika attached.

March 23, 2023       Permalink

 

BIDEN WOBBLES:  The president's approval ratings are sinking again.  And there ain't nobody else.  From Fox: 

President Biden's approval rating sank to nearly its lowest point ever in March, as the U.S. economy threatened disaster amid bank collapses and other economic struggles.

Biden's approval rating currently sits at just 38%, a significant drop from his 45% approval in February, according to a new poll from the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research (AP-NORC). The drop comes amid the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in recent weeks, compounding existing fears of a recession.
o"If Biden is doing his job, why in a state like this can you see people really suffering?" Theresa Ojuro, a 29-year-old doctoral student in New York, told the AP, saying she expected "just a little bit more stability with the economy."

AP-NORC conducted the poll from March 16-20. Researchers interviewed 1,081 U.S. adults, and the study reports a margin of error of 4%.

Biden himself appears unsure about whether he should remain president. While he and his office have long insisted that he "intends to run" in 2024, he has yet to make a formal campaign announcement. Many commentators expected him to formally enter the race shortly after his State of the Union address in February, but he has not done so.

Some members of the Democratic Party have expressed concern with his age, calling for younger blood to lead the party's ticket in 2024. Biden would be 82 by Inauguration day in 2025.

Biden has not had a positive approval rating since August 2021. His numbers hit the lowest point of his presidency in July 2022 amid record high gas prices and inflation, when approximately 57% disapproved of his job performance and just 36% approved.

COMMENT:  These very early polls are essentially insignificant, but they do pick up trends.  One trend is that Joe Biden has rarely approached 50% approval.  Another is that concern about his age and infirmity never diminishes. 

The Democratic bench is thin, and the heiress apparent has little support.  If not Joe, who?  Did someone say "Hillary"?

March 23, 2023       Permalink

 

WOKE JUSTICE AT WORK:  From the New York Post: 

The Manhattan grand jury hearing evidence against former President Donald Trump in the Stormy Daniels “hush money” case didn’t reconvene Wednesday as scheduled, court officials told The Post.

The afternoon session was unexpectedly canceled by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, the sources said.

Members of the panel were told to stay home and be on standby for Thursday, a law enforcement source said.

The move — which forestalls a potentially unprecedented indictment of the 45th president in connection with the payment of $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels — came because an unidentified witness was unable to appear, sources said.

The witness is believed to be someone who will rebut Monday’s testimony from lawyer and Trump ally Robert Costello, sources said.

The grand jury was put on standby because it was unclear whether the witness would be available Thursday, a source said.

But court workers began making preparations late Wednesday afternoon for the testimony to take place Thursday, a source said.

Wednesday’s turn of events came as a source with ties to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office told The Post that Bragg was concerned following Costello’s testimony. A spokesperson for the DA’s office denied this. 

“The last thing he wants is for the grand jury to vote against him,” the source said. “He wants a no-doubt-about-it case. He is pressuring the ‘Trump obsessed’ to step up and prove the case.”

A source inside Bragg’s office also said a substantial number of assistant district attorneys were “shaking their heads” over Bragg’s decision to pursue Trump, 76.

“They don’t understand how this case is going forward,” the source said. “These ADAs are not fans of Trump but they are professional lawyers and know the law.”

Fox News also reported “major dissension” inside Bragg’s office, with one source saying the “weakness” of the evidence against Trump was posing problems for prosecutors.

COMMENT:  We have serious foreign crises with talk of nuclear war coming from major officials.  We have continuing rampant inflation.  We have a weak, faulty national leadership.  We have violent crime rampaging through our cities.

And the Soros-bought district attorney of Manhattan, who has his eye on the governor's mansion, is trying to put together a case to wreck the life of a former president, evidence be damned. 

I really haven't seen a situation like this before.

March 22,  2023     Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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