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MARCH 9-10,  2023

THE DISGRACE, THE ABSOLUTE DISGRACE!  One of the saddest things is to watch the weakness of this country, under this president, displayed before the world.

It started, a few days ago, as an ordinary Friday in Washington, and then, the bolt from the blue – Saudi Arabia and Iran, presumed enemies, announced that they were restoring diplomatic relations in a deal brokered by...China.

China?  In the Mideast?  Isn't that where America used to be dominant?  China, sitting now in glory, drawing Saudi Arabia away from the United States and giving aid and comfort to our enemy, Iran? 

It wasn't many years ago when Barack Obama allowed Russia to return to the Mideast, even though it humiliated us and forced our allies to wonder if their link to the United States is worth it.  I wonder whose American fingers are all over this elevation of China.  I think we can all guess.  From CNN:

Abu Dhabi, UAE CNN  — 
Saudi Arabia and Iran announced on Friday that they had agreed to reestablish diplomatic ties after seven years of hostility, in a deal between the regional archrivals that could have wide-ranging implications for the Middle East.

Riyadh and Tehran plan to reopen their embassies within two months in an agreement mediated by China, Saudi Arabia and Iran said in a joint statement after talks in Beijing on Friday.

They also plan to reimplement a security pact signed 22 years ago under which both parties agreed to cooperate on terrorism, drug-smuggling and money-laundering, as well as reviving a trade and technology deal from 1998.

Friday’s announcement is also a diplomatic victory for China in a Gulf region that has long been considered part of the US’s domain of influence. It comes as the Biden administration tries to notch its own win in the Middle East by trying to broker a normalization pact between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Talks had been ongoing since March 6 in Beijing between Iranian national security chief Ali Shamkhani, Saudi national security council adviser Mosaed Bin Mohammad Al-Aiban and China’s top diplomat Wang Yi, according to Iranian state media.

Video of the signing ceremony aired by Iranian media showed officials seated around tables on opposite sides with the Saudi Arabian, Iranian and Chinese flags around them.

“We will continue to play a constructive role in properly handling hotspot issues in today’s world in accordance with the wishes of all countries and demonstrate our responsibility as a major country,” Wang said, adding that Chinese President Xi Jinping supported it since the beginning.

In an apparent push back to American influence, Wang said that “the world is not limited to the Ukraine issue” while emphasizing that the fate of the Middle East should be determined by the people of the Middle East.

“The foreign ministers of the two countries will meet each other to implement this decision and make necessary arrangements for the exchange of ambassadors,” the joint statement said. “The two sides agree to respect the sovereignty and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.”

COMMENT:  I fear we're reaching the point where American officials will have to wear name tags so people in other countries know who they are.  There are just so many signs of a nation in decline, from our rotting school system and contempt for our traditions, to this week's monumental failure of a major bank.

I do believe, and it is not original with me, that the next two years will determine the kind of nation we'll hand to our children and grandchildren.  We must do better, with or without the permission of our failed elites.  There is a point where a nation must stop losing.

March 10, 2023       Permalink

 

MONEY TROUBLES:  Increasingly, Americans at all levels are feeling the squeeze from the Biden economy, and it will get worse.  From CNBC:

More consumers are leaning on credit cards to afford increasingly expensive necessities like food and rent.

That helped propel total credit card debt to a record $930.6 billion at the end of 2022, a 18.5% spike from a year earlier, according to the latest quarterly report by TransUnion. The average balance rose to $5,805 over that same period.

At this rate, households are nearing a "breaking point," according to a separate study by WalletHub.

More from Personal Finance:

Using the Great Recession as a guide, the projected breaking point is the level of household credit card debt that will become unsustainable for most people, according to Jill Gonzalez, an analyst at WalletHub.

"It's when people won't be able to keep up with their bills," she said. "We're inching closer and closer to that breaking point."

Delinquencies are already on the rise, TransUnion found. A delinquency is a payment that's 60 days or more overdue.

"The increase in delinquencies is something to watch," said Michele Raneri, vice president of U.S. research and consulting at TransUnion. As long as unemployment stays down, households are better able to pay their bills, she noted. "If unemployment goes up, and we see a spike in delinquencies, then that indicates a longer-term problem."

For now, the number of job openings still far outnumber available workers, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's recent Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.

Credit cards are one of the most expensive ways to borrow money. Currently, annual percentage rates are around 20%, an all-time high.

If the Federal Reserve announces a half-point increase in its benchmark rate at the March meeting, those APRs will climb even higher. That will cost credit card borrowers an extra $3.4 billion in interest charges over the next 12 months, WalletHub calculated.

"Something has to give," Gonzalez said. It's time to rein in spending, pay off debt and avoid any new debt, she added.

COMMENT:  The key point here is that credit card debt isn't an abstraction.  Like inflation, it's faced by individuals and families across the nation.  The pain is growing, and how people will react politically is anyone's guess.  Desperate people can do desperate things.  Theoretically, Republicans should benefit from discontent with the Biden economy, but don't count on it.  The Dems have all kinds of reckless gimmicks to unleash on the nation, like free money of the kind we got during the pandemic.  Kinda keeps the voters in line.  Never solves the problem.

March 9, 2023     Permalink

 

SHE'S ONE HEARTBEAT AWAY:  Vice President of the United States and Heiress to the Kingdom Kamala Harris has spoken.  The whole world is listening, or at least reading the closed captions.  From Fox: 

Twitter users ridiculed Vice President Kamala Harris after she voiced the concerns of young children dealing with "climate mental health" problems.

Harris mentioned the climate change-related issue during her recent appearance at the "Aspen Ideas: Climate Conference" in Miami Beach, Florida.

Harris told the crowd in attendance about how she spoke to young climate activists who claim climate change is affecting their mental health.

Specifically, the activists told her they were struggling with "climate mental health," she said.

Launching into her anecdote, Harris said, "One of the young leaders was talking to me about climate mental health. I said, ‘Tell me what’s going on with your peers.’"

Speaking for the young activist, Harris repeated the concept: "Climate mental health."
he continued, "I said, ‘I think I can understand that but unpack it for me.' And she talked about how her peers are thinking about it."

Harris said the young woman gave her an example to help her understand, saying, "One example is you know whether, when they’re ready, could they start a family – worried about what that would mean and the stress of it."

The vice president continued, saying, "They were talking about in terms of their peers trying to figure out, you know, they’re going to have to get a job and they’re gonna have to make a living – but what they can do and how can they adapt the education that they are having now to their activism?"

Twitter mocked the speech, with some stating that if kids are stressing about climate change, it’s because politicians like Harris have made alarmist claims about it.

Heritage Foundation research fellow Delano Squire rebuked Harris for her anecdote, tweeting, "’Climate mental health’? We are being led by some of the most fearful, neurotic, and narcissistic people in history. Pack animals typically put those types way in the back. In this country, that dysfunction is part of their appeal."

Earth science professor Dr. Matthew M. Wielicki slammed Harris and other climate activists as the ones stressing kids out with this concept. He tweeted, "Climate alarmism is mental health abuse of young people. Many of my students also expressed concern about having children because the alarmists have convinced them the planet is ending. This will be the lasting legacy of climate alarmism."

COMMENT:  The frightening thing here is that Harris, who comes off as a nitwit, is one heartbeat away from the presidency.  If Biden should die, or step aside, she becomes president.  Can you imagine her managing a true international crisis?  Or having her hand on the nuclear trigger?

Kamala Harris is the cost of identity politics.  Eventually, identity politics drives a nation down, for it is based on the notion that mediocrity is fine, as long as the mediocre officeholder checks off the right racial and gender boxes.  And the once-great Democratic Party thinks that's perfectly okay.

March 9, 2023       Permalink

 

 

 

 

MARCH 7-8,  2023

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE

A NEW CANDY BAR IS BORN:  Something for our side.  From American Action News.
Jeremy Boreing, co-CEO of the Daily Wire, has launched a new business line, “Jeremy’s Chocolate,” which has already sold 300,000 units within 48 hours of its release. The chocolate bars come in two varieties, “HeHim” and “SheHer,” and are available on ihatehersheys.com. The move was prompted by Hershey’s International Women’s Day campaign, which featured a man who identifies as a woman as one of its spokespersons.  Boreing stated that The Daily Wire would not compromise on the definition of womanhood, which led to the creation of the non-woke chocolate bars. Boreing tweeted, “Fine, I’ll do it,” and introduced the chocolate bars as an alternative to Hershey’s. He also emphasized that The Daily Wire will continue to build alternatives as long as corporations and institutions continue to alienate half the country.  Many Twitter users were impressed by the speed of the launch, with some speculating that Boreing may have had prior knowledge of Hershey’s campaign. However, Boreing confirmed that he worked through the night to get the product off the ground and did not have prior knowledge of Hershey’s campaign.  Terrific idea.  Best candy bar since Milky Way dark chocolate.  Sweets for sweet conservatives.

March 8, 2023       Permalink

 

CHINA IN OUR HIGH SCHOOLS.  No, you can't make this up.  From Fox:

According to a bombshell report, one of the nation's most prestigious STEM schools has taken over $1 million in funding from Communist Chinese-affiliated organizations.

An investigation conducted by parents’ rights organization Parents Defending Education uncovered that Thomas Jefferson High School in Fairfax County, Virginia has received "over $1,000,000 worth of donations from Chinese interests since 2014."

The STEM-focused public school, which is consistently ranked as one of the top high schools in the nation, has taken money from three Chinese-affiliated groups over the last decade: Shirble HK, Tsinghua University (Beijing) and the Ameson Foundation through its "Thomas Jefferson Partnership Fund" (TJPF).

Parents Defending Education obtained the TJPF’s campaign donor list recently, which showed "all gifts and pledges to the Campaign for TJ as of June 30, 2015 and donations to other funding priorities since the Campaign’s launch in 2013."

As the report noted, the "Campaign for TJ" was "established to raise money for the TJ renovation project. TJPF is a 501c3, ‘charitable organization that raises funds to meet TJ’s unique needs as a premier public science and technology high school.’"

The list revealed that the three Chinese-linked groups each donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the campaign. Parents Defending Education detailed the ties each organization had to the Chinese interests.

PDE stated, "The Ameson Education and Cultural Exchange Foundation (Ameson) is a ‘non-profit, non-governmental organization headquartered in DC that is dedicated to promoting cultural exchange and educational cooperation between China and the rest of the world.’"

The report quoted Ameson representatives, who claimed that the high school "committed to assist Ameson as it embarks on launching its first STEM high school in China." As the document revealed, Ameson donated over $250,000 to TJ’s campaign.

COMMENT:  Even our high schools seem to be for sale.  I'd love to know how Communist China is portrayed in Thomas Jefferson's courses.  Do I really have to ask?

March 8, 2023       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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