Closing Thought–05Mar20

Occasionally I write about my region and a recent report has me concerned.

The Coast is basically 30 miles….from bridge to bridge as we like to call it.

We have had our share of crime on the Coast but it is getting worse by the year……for instance homicides…..

Today’s fatal shooting in Biloxi makes number six on the growing homicide list in Harrison County.

Over the last week, a crime wave washed over the Coast, hitting Harrison County the hardest. Six Gulf Coast residents in seven days have been the victim of gun violence.

Monday, February 24th a Biloxi family lost 16-year-old Madison Harris after her family says they discovered on a doorbell home security video the suspects leaving the Harris grandparent’s home following an alleged robbery-turned-murder. The community held a vigil at the Biloxi Lighthouse to honor Madison’s memory on Tuesday.

Crime wave hits the Coast

I write about this because in a region with about 300,000 residents and a low incident of gun violence…this is a huge crime wave.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Take On Super Tuesday

By now everyone is aware that the media campaign of put Biden in the lead has done its job…..but what are the takeaways from the voting….

Bernie Sanders won the biggest prize on Super Tuesday—but the wider result was a stunning victory for Joe Biden, who scored wins in at least 9 of the 14 states that voted, including Texas, analysts say. “They don’t call it Super Tuesday for nothing,” the former vice president told supporters in Los Angeles on Tuesday night. The candidate, whose campaign appeared to be on the ropes before his big win in South Carolina Saturday, “cleaned up across the board,” writes Sarah Frostenson at FiveThirtyEight. “He performed well in states where he wasn’t even really competing, and he proved he’s more than a regional candidate.” Some takeaways:

  • Momentum is with Biden. Ryan Lizza at Politico calls the result “one of the most monumental political comebacks in the history of party primaries.” He notes that Biden, now seen as a frontrunner with momentum, was helped by strong support from black voters and the Democratic establishment—as well as the exit of centrist rivals Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar—but may have gotten the biggest boost from the “jackpot” of his landslide win on Saturday. According to one estimate, “the amount of positive coverage he received after the polls closed in South Carolina was worth over $100 million.”
  • A “bitter blow” for Sanders. The senator is still very much in the race—and could regain his delegate lead when the full California results are released—”but he faces some serious questions,” writes Niall Stanage at the Hill. “He lost at least two states on Tuesday night—Minnesota and Oklahoma—that he had won against Hillary Clinton four years ago,” Stanage writes. “The loss of Texas was a bitter blow. He also appears to have lost the black vote again by dramatic margins, a crucial factor in his losses across the South.” The surge of younger voters that Sanders had predicted also largely failed to materialize.
  • This could be it for Bloomberg. This was a terrible result for Bloomberg, who failed to meet his target of hitting at least 15% in most Super Tuesday states and is rumored to be considering dropping out of the race in the days to come. The former New York City mayor “staked his entire campaign strategy on dominating the Super Tuesday states,” writes Daniel Strauss at the Guardian. “He poured almost $500 million into advertising and field staff in these states,” but the only victory the big spend secured was in American Samoa, which only has six delegates.
  • Warren, too. Warren will also face some serious questions after a fourth-place finish in California and most southern states, Aaron Blake writes at the Washington Post. In her home state, Massachusetts, she was behind both Biden and Sanders. “Warren has been picking up some key endorsements in recent days, but without a win and with that Massachusetts rebuke, what’s the argument for her candidacy?” he asks.
  • A two-person race. The results show that the contest has “effectively narrowed to a two-man race,” and made it certain that the Democrats will “nominate one of two septuagenarian white men with conspicuous political baggage,” Matt Flegenheimer writes at the New York Times. “If nothing else, a Biden-Sanders matchup is the logical venue for the party’s foremost ideological debate about the proper scope and ambition of government—about whether Mr. Trump is a symptom of longstanding national ills or an ‘anomaly’ … whose removal should be the party’s chief animating priority,” he writes.

Now the media will continue its onslaught against Bernie…..pundits will make their opinions into news….and the news will be skewed.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

2020 Dems–Another One Bites The Dust–#19

About Damn Time!

$500 million later……Bloomberg has decide to do something truly useful and bow out of the Dem race to the nomination.

Billionaire Mike Bloomberg ended his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination on Wednesday and endorsed Joe Biden. It was a stunning collapse for the former New York City mayor, who set his 2020 hopes on the Super Tuesday states and sank more than $500 million of his own fortune into the campaign, reports the AP. Axios put his total spend at $600 million and quipped, “Never in American history has a presidential candidate spent more to get less than Mike Bloomberg, making his buy-a-nomination bid a big bust. … Bloomberg spent $600 million to win as many states as every American who chose not to run: zero.” On Tuesday he won only the territory of American Samoa and picked up several dozen delegates elsewhere. Bloomberg issued a lengthy statement that you can read in full at the Hill. Standout lines:

  • “Three months ago, I entered the race for president to defeat Donald Trump. Today, I am leaving the race for the same reason: to defeat Donald Trump—because it is clear to me that staying in would make achieving that goal more difficult.”
  • “I’ve always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it. After yesterday’s vote, it is clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden.”
  • “I am deeply grateful to all the Americans who voted for me—and to our incredibly dedicated staff and volunteers all around the country, who knocked on more than 2 million doors and held 12 million voter conversations in an incredibly short amount of time. No one outworked our team.”
  • “We made our campaign slogan a clear, simple promise: Mike will get it done. And I intend to keep working on the ‘it.’ I will continue to work for sensible, common-sense policy solutions that can get done. That includes passing gun safety laws that save lives. Fighting climate change. Improving health care. Making college more accessible and affordable. Creating economic opportunity for all.”

Just think of all the good Mikey could have done with that $500 million…..

Just saying.

But maybe his final result was to not win the nomination but help Biden get the lead and hold it….

A half a billion dollars later, Michael Bloomberg is out of the 2020 race. All that money and a novel strategy didn’t get him far. Where did it go wrong and what have we learned?

Bloomberg may have lost, but he walks away with a pretty hefty consolation prize, writes Perry Bacon Jr. at FiveThirtyEight. “With Biden now in a much stronger position than when Bloomberg entered the race, you could argue that Bloomberg provided what he and other more center-left figures wanted—to steer the race towards a more moderate nominee. … My guess is that Bloomberg would have preferred to be the candidate instead of Biden but knew that was a fairly unlikely outcome, since he is a one-time Republican who entered the race in late November.”

And now as with tradition……IST will shoe Mikey and his money to the exit….

And the race goes on……

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

After The Afghan Deal

We have a peace deal in Afghanistan with the Taleban…..good news if the deal holds…..

Now for the news after the ink on the deal…..The troops could be coming home in about 14 months….

With a peace deal signed Saturday, the US occupation of Afghanistan has entered the beginning of the end, at least ideally. If all goes well, all American troops will be out of Afghanistan within 14 months.

The ink on the paper is hardly dry, but US officials are already looking to define the terms of withdrawing from the deal, saying the pullout is conditional on the Taliban meeting many commitments along the way.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is already predicting a “rocky and bumpy” future in Afghanistan, which seems like it will give the US plenty of pretexts to back out of the peace deal down the line if they decide not to withdraw after all.

The plan has always been to cut US troop levels in the lead-up to the 2020 election, and it will likely be seen as preferable by the administration to do this as part of a broader deal, even if they don’t ultimately intend to finish the pullout.

Rumors abound of a secret annex to the peace deal allowing the US to keep some troops in Afghanistan, and while the Pentagon denies knowledge of this, there has yet to be any conclusive proof that secret annexes don’t exist.

(antiwar.com)

The Hawks in Congress are rolling in the seats…..they cannot let their owners in the M-IC lose their profits…..

19 years of US occupation of Afghanistan has built up some momentum behind the conflict, and despite how poorly the war has been going, there is still a sense among hawks that any deal that ends the war must be a bad one.

This has President Trump facing lobbying, some quiet and some not-so-quiet, from Republican hawks urging him to find a way to back out of the peace process and keep US troops on the ground.

That would surely be seen by most Taliban as a breach, and would restart the war. For the hawks, that’s likely not accidental, as many see eternal war in Afghanistan as a vital US interest.

President Trump is still answering questions with the catch-all “we’ll see what happens,” but has seen the pullout as politically important in the 2020 election. His commitment to peace clearly comes and goes, with previous abandonment of the Afghan peace a perfect example, but wanting troop cuts has been a persistent matter.

(antiwar.com)

Is this a violation?

U.S. forces conducted an airstrike against Taliban fighters in Helmand, Afghanistan, Wednesday, the first such strike since the two sides signed a historic peace deal.

The airstrike was conducted as a “defensive” measure as Taliban fighters were “actively attacking” an Afghan government checkpoint, Colonel Sonny Legget, the spokesman for American forces in Afghanistan, said.

https://abcnews.go.com/ABCNews/us-forces-conduct-airstrike-taliban-soldiers-days-agreement/story

The beat goes on….and the war will continue…..this whole thing was nothing but an election ploy……

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”