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13 February 2020

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Vegetius

All good except #6 precludes #10, unless it was a bad faith offer.

I don't think the ZioCons will tolerate Trump offering Gabbard anything, even if he could ever get over her accurately describing him as the Saudis' bitch.

Jack

Sir

Trump is very astute. He gets it. Bloomberg is going to buy the nomination with the full backing of the Deep State/Wall St wing.

Mini Mike is a 5’4” mass of dead energy who does not want to be on the debate stage with these professional politicians. No boxes please. He hates Crazy Bernie and will, with enough money, possibly stop him. Bernie’s people will go nuts!

https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/1227946304057364481?s=21

Laura Wilson

6-8 You are so correct. The question is: how will this affect our national interest over the next 5-10 years? Will it matter to us?

I don't know and can't visualize the consequences very well. I assume the Muslim world will be arrayed against us for the foreseeable future. How dangerous is that to our own safety?

Dennis Daulton

With the fed now pumping upwards to 120 billion a day in the repo overnight loans market to keep the biggest banks solvent, I wouldn’t be so confident about the health of the economy. Candidate Trump said he was for a restoration of Glass-Steagal banking laws and he’d be wise to move on that before a 2008 style collapse hits again. Trumps emphasis on a blue collar boom and an NASA moon landing will be how the US economy remains strong not bailing out too big to fail Wall Street bank.

Felix

5. The Socialist Democrat candidates (Sanders and Warren) want to substitute a command economy run through central planning for what the US has now.

Like the five year plans in the USSR? I do not expect any democrat to win, but how could that work?

Castellio

Not directly related to any of these points, but important in the mix, is the relation of both parties to AIPAC. People don't want a government whose first priority is Israel.

The first meaningful push back against AIPAC (long overdue) was by a Minnesota Democrat, Betty McCollum, yesterday. A letter worth reading: https://mccollum.house.gov/media/press-releases/mccollum-statement-hate-speech-makes-aipac-hate-group

John Merryman

I think the essential Western paradigm of a monist idealism is reaching the limits of its effectiveness in an essentially cyclical, reciprocal, dualistic reality. Where if a synthesis cannot be derived from the thesis and antithesis, than both sides retreat to their extremes and only recognize the extreme in the other side.
Liberal and conservative are a politicization of the tension between desire and judgement. The heart and the head.
We either recognize the deeper elements at work, or we burn down another civilization and try again.

Harry

Re point 2. We are already paying for health insurance. At least I am. It costs me $26k per year to health insure my family.

All other countries with socialize healthcare systems spend a lower proportion of their GDP on healthcare and almost all have better health outcomes for their populations. The proportion less can be as much as half the percentage of GDP the US spends on healthcare.

Taxes may well go up. Healthcare costs will go down for most people. And for those whose healthcare is paid by their employers, the costs to the employers would go down too, meaning that wages could go up to offset (or more than offset) the additional taxes.

ambrit

Sir;
I have been advocating point #9 for a year now. Few understand the monstrous ambition contained by HRH HRC. (Her Royal Highness Hillary Rodham Clinton.)
The Clinton foundation basically took over the Democrat National Committee, (an avowedly private organization,) in 2016.
See: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41850797
One does not generally purchase a new toy without wanting to play with it. Clinton's 'toy' is the DNC. What is the primary purpose of the DNC? To run a political party. The primary functions of a political party, at least today's versions of political parties, are to secure power for the leadership of the party and 'compensation' for the efforts of the nomenklaturas.

Harry

The economy is bad for most of the young and some of the old. This can be inferred by the rise in 2nd and 3rd jobs among the workforce.

2 I have already addressed.

I think points 3 and 4 are obviously true. Im not sure if it is the Dems leading the charge or the neocons. But a group is attempting to block Trumps efforts to govern.

I am a Sanders supporter. I believe that 5 is partially correct. Sanders wishes to remove the free market operating in certain key areas - most obviously Healthcare. I do not think you are right about Warren. I think she is seeking progressive votes, but has no intention of delivering.

I think 6 is obviously true, although I also think Trumps instinct lead him to wish to withdraw troops. He is no match for the "Borg".

7 is also clearly true.

8 is also clearly true.

9. I would modify this. Hillary is the single most prominent example of a class of Democratic apparatchiks who make an excellent living (mis)representing the interests of working Americans and shaking down corporate America using their political clout. It is a matter of shame for America that in her and her husbands careers in "public service" they have amassed a $150mn fortune.

10. I doubt it but wouldnt it be fun!

FWLIW.

Keith Harbaugh

While I once read Michael Scheuer's blog for his wisdom on his areas of specialty
(some examples of that wisdom concerning Afghanistan,
excerpted from his books, are collected at:
"Afghanistan: Michael Scheuer's View"),
I was turned off by what seemed to be his appeals in his blog for violence
against those whom he sees as America's internal enemies.

However, reading Col. Lang's point 7 above,
which echoes what Scheuer said in his 2004 book Imperial Hubris (e.g., this),
prompted me to check out what he is currently saying.
One quote from his current blog I think will interest both Col. Lang and the CIA veteran Larry Johnson.
Scheuer wrote:

The current CIA Director [Gina Haspel] is one of the officers I worked with, and
she, almost single-handedly, helped CIA’s bin Laden unit destroy an al-Qaeda organization in Eurasia.
I have always admired her greatly for her brains, personal courage, and for never, in my experience, flinching from truth and duty.
I have no idea of the veracity of that,
but I certainly do respect MS for his knowledge of the CIA, the Muslims, and Afghanistan. Surely MS knows of what he speaks in this instance.
I think his recommendation is worth noting.

Deap

Israel did make the desert bloom and learned a thing or two about securing its borders, public safety and their international aircraft. Not a bad role model to emulate, so it should not be rejected out of hand.

On the other hand, too much of the rest of ME emulates California's open borders and explosive internal birth rates (illegals and anchor babies) which have swamped local resources, drained the treasury, generated massive resentments, and abandoned all semblance of sound governance.

Ergo, I prefer much of what Israel model is teaching us so disagree with #6, but find much merit in your other points. Thanks for sharing them.

Aurelius

Some off-the-cuff quick thoughts:

1. The Democrats are deceiving themselves about the economy. AGREE

2. The young people who favor policies like "Medicare for all" are ignorant of economics and do not grasp the fact that they would end by paying a great deal of taxes for that policy. AGREE

3. Democratic Party policy toward Trump is designed to prevent him governing. NOT SURE THIS IS TRUE AS A FORMAL POLICY, BUT SOME DEFINITELY FEEL THIS WAY

4. The Democrats are seeking a new issue (anything will do) over which to impeach Trump again. AGREE

5. The Socialist Democrat candidates (Sanders and Warren) want to substitute a command economy run through central planning for what the US has now. NOT CONVINCED THEY HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT IT IN THESE TERMS EXPLICITLY (MAYBE SANDERS HAS), BUT THAT WOULD BE THE END RESULT

6. Trump's foreign policy in the ME is ignorant of anything but Zionist desires and ambitions. SURE SEEMS THAT WAY SO FAR

7. In any deal with the Taliban the present Afghan government will inevitably be defeated and destroyed in the aftermath. AGREE

8. US ground forces are too large. We should adopt a foreign policy that will permit the maintenance of smaller ground forces. NOT CONVINCED YET. NEED TO NOODLE ON THIS ONE A BIT

9. Hillary has been behind much of the political devilment in the last three years and is scheming and hoping for a deadlocked convention in which she will be nominated by acclamation. A BIT TOO CONSPIRACY-MINDED ALTHOUGH THE RECENT ANTI-BERNIE COMMENTS COULD BE SEEN AS FLOATING A TRIAL BALLOON. I ALSO THINK THE DEMOCRAT POWERBROKERS REALIZE SHE WOULD LIKELY BE A LOSING PROPOSITION

10. Trump will wisely offer Tulsi Gabbard a job in his next administration. PROBABLY NOT A BAD CHOICE ALTHOUGH MY OPINION ULTIMATELY DEPENDS ON THE JOB.

seb


1. Sort of?

https://news.gallup.com/poll/1609/consumer-views-economy.aspx

Optimism about the economy is as high as in 1998-2000 boom years. BUT there's still 30%+ of people saying that it's a bad time to find a good job(vs 25-16% in the previous boom). I'd wager a bunch of these people are in Trump's base(deplorables, rust belt folk etc). Making a play for them ... might work? Trump's play did.

2. Medicare is cheaper than private insurance for better coverage. Currently (all?) young people have to pay for private coverage. If they could pay for Medicare instead of private insurance they would pay less. What is the actual argument here? Medicare for all would cover immigrants? It would almost certainly still be way cheaper than private insurance. Especially if Medicare were allowed to hardball negotiate prices the way other national health insurers do(that's the reason the average drug cost is literally double in the US vs Mexico or Canada or Europe).

To me the real argument against Medicare for all is not about cost, US medical expenditure (private + public) would drop by 20-30% overnight if the private insurance system was gone. The real rub is what it would do to the pharmaceutical and health equipment industries. The US is a cashcow specifically because buyers don't have leverage to negotiate prices down.

3 and 4. Yup and it's dumb and counterproductive but Trump Derangement Syndrome is strong.

5. There is no indication that this is true. Certainly not of Warren and probably not of Bernie. The most that can be said is Bernie might want this, but there's no way he'll take any steps towards it since he'll face even more opposition than any of Trump's policies have. Let's keep in mind the GOP and the Dems are both (mostly) lapdog parties to the rich. If Trump struggles to withstand the neocon war machine, Bernie sure isn't gonna have the support to nationalize the banks.

6. Sometimes I think that, but he's not escalated anything too much? So maybe it's fine? He sabre rattled at Iran... but then the whole thing seemed to deescalate. Maybe his "Talk loudly and leave the stick at home" method works.

7. Last chopper out of Kabul all over again.

8. On the one hand this seems part of Trump's policy. Getting people to pay for US military presence, pressuring NATO allies to meet expenditure commitments etc. On the other hand... it's a jobs program? I'm almost joking here, but cutting back on military personnel might actually be an big hit to some really poor communities. Is this a good reason to bomb Middle Eastern countries etc? No. But it's part of the military industrial complex shpiel.

9. Plausible in terms of her desires buuuut ... surely not? Who on earth would still be on side with her? It would just be deluded to a staggering extent.

10. He'd do anything for attention but honestly I don't think she'd accept.

plantman

You seem to be saying that "Medicare for all" is pie in the sky and can't work economically. But how do you explain the fact that all the EU democracies, the UK, Canada etc can provide full health care, but the richest country in the world can't?

Government-funded health care would put more cash in the average guy's pocket which he would spend on consumption which would strengthen the economy.

It's a "win win" solution.

When I was in business, I never minded paying for health care, but monthly payments have ballooned to the point that it's out of reach for many people.

I hope you agree with me that health care has gone from being a vital service to an extortion racket.

Sometimes government can do some good. They could start by creating a system that's either affordable or puts the screws to the health care Mafia.

These people are bloodsuckers!

Eric Newhill

1. Yes. The economy is doing very well. Lots of theories about a coming collapse, but there are always such nay sayers. Nay saying is a cottage industry for some.
2. There would also be rationing, long waiting lines and a total disruption of care providers networks that would impact everyone, but especially rural people. Just because they do it in Europe doesn't mean it will work here. We have gone down the road of private provision for too long to tear it all up in a few years. The young people don't care about the cost. They think cost will be lower (it won't be sans rationing) and they think the wealthy will be taxed sufficiently to pay for it (that's part of the fantasy they've ben sold).
3. Yes. The Ds are deranged and the majority of citizens can see it and don't like it. The polls are fake (again) and Trump is going to crush the Ds in Nov.
4. Same as #3
5. Yes. They are pretty open about a command economy - proud of it even.
6. Not so much ignorant. IMO, he realizes that the opposing countries can't do anything meaningful about it except make noise and pull off a terrorist attack here or there. C'est la vie.
7. Yes. Who cares though? If Afghanistan returns to harboring terrorists that seek to attack the US, we can always go back and carpet bomb some of their favorite stuff and people. Maybe they'll eventually learn - or not.
8. Yes. A strong Navy and Airforce can protect the country. Ground forces (Army and USMC) could be cut in half (at least). Politically, that's probably impossible. The US is obsessed with the ability to project power and all of that jazz. And the Russians would aggress against the world! (sarcasm)
9. Yes. The Ds are as insane as Hillary if they let happen. The Bernie crowd will not roll over and vote for Hillary if the Ds pull that kind of garbage. Sans Bernie supporters, the Ds have 0 chance - actually, they have about 0 chance with Bernie supporters. Any way you cut it, the Ds lose the bid for POTUS and they probably lose the house.
10. Trump should offer Tulsi a job and she should accept. She has no where else to go. Her own party now hates her and renounced her as a Russian agent.


Andrei Martyanov

All good, except pp.1 since the actual industrial output contracts (4 consecutive annual contractions) and manufacturing is even worse--6 consecutive annual contractions.

https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/industrial-production

Most "jobs" created are mostly part-time retail jobs due to season. Boeing situation devastated a contractor and supply chain with massive layoffs (e.g. Spirit Wichita laid-off the third of its labor force)--and those are REAL jobs. The rest--subscribe completely. Albeit, something has to be done with healthcare. What? I don't know.

jsn

1. Yes!
2. My wife and I, in the US private sector now, pay $12,000 a year out of pocket before we get any "coverage" at all from the Denial of Care industry. I'm 57, young people get even less for their money and will continue to vote for change until something gets better for them. Medicare and the VA already provide over one third of US actual medical care and do it for a fraction of what the Denial of Care industry does it for. It would be hilarious if Trump took up M4A and ran on it: he could probably implement it, which he was in favor of back when he was a private business man because the rent extractions of the Denial of Care industry make US labor uncompetitive against the rest of the world. The MED IC is in the tank for the Dem party and doing all it can to stop M4A.
4. Which would make sense if the Dems were interested in governing, but if Obama proved anything it is that all the Dems want to do is say, "those mean, evil Republicans won't let us do anything." Which is to say the current configuration of politics and economy are working just fine for the Dem apparatchiks who's main function is to fleece guys like Bloomberg.
5. There are a world of economic models between our NeoLiberal (see Slobodian's "The Globalists") hyper extractive capitalism and a Leninist command economy, it’s straw-manning to call AOC, Sanders and even Warren Leninists when they are all somewhere to the right of Eisenhower and Nixon.
6. Yes!
7. Seems likely.
8. Yes and they shouldn’t be deployed to create chaotic ground conditions to facilitate looting by Globalist Multinationals.
9. 4 more years!!
10. Wouldn’t it be nice.

Harlan Easley

Number 9. The Eve-Devil whose sole ambition is to destroy Planet Earth.

turcopolier

jsn "when they are all somewhere to the right of Eisenhower and Nixon." Hey! I remember Eisenhower and Nixon and you are completely full of it about them. Both of them were centrists.

turcopolier

plantsman

rationing of major procedures and underinvestment in facilities.

turcopolier

seb

Medicare for all is not Medicare. Medicare is a form of health insurance (with premiums) for the elderly. Medicare for all would be a single payer (government pays all) for everyone. The name is deliberately deceptive.

turcopolier

D Israel is a tyranny for all but Jews. You like that?

turcopolier

keith Harbaugh

I know MS and do not wish to be thought to be associated with any of his positions. My comment simply reflects the fact that the present Afghan government is utterly dependent on foreign financial assistance and firepower. They are incapable of funding their security forces and the Taliban WILL take them down. It may take a while but they will manage it.

turcopolier

felix

Poorly as it did there.

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