Closing Thought–16Dec20

Back in the 1980s the Reagan admin had this enormous hard on for Qaddafi…..he even got one of his top generals to sign on as a CIA asset in the covert war with the Libyan leader…..that did not work so well…..Haftar, the general, and his men were sent to the US to live off the government tit for 30+ years…..and then the revolution in 2011 in Libya gave the CIA their chance to put their man to work.

Qaddifi dies and the country slides into chaos, a typical condition when the West intervenes where they do not belong, after a decade of fighting Haftar has control over the Eastern part of Libya and all its oil wealth……and what does Haftar do with the cash? Does he make the lives of his fellow Libyans better?

Nope…he goes on a real estate shopping spree in the US…..

Libyan Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar owns real estate assets worth millions of dollars in the United States, reported the Arabic language service of Anadolu Agency.

Haftar fell out with Muammar Gaddafi in the late 1980s and lived in Virginia, before returning to Libya during the 2011 revolution.

He has bought 17 properties registered in his name in the US state, using funds he smuggled out of Libya, according to the agency’s sources.

Among Haftar’s assets in Virginia is a home and a farm in Falls Church. He also paid $8m in cash to purchase one of the other alleged assets and a 5,600 sq m house worth $2.5m in Great Falls, Montana.

Last July, Haftar bought a horse farm worth $700,000 in Boise City, Oklahoma, said Anadolu Agency.

(middleeasteye.net)

Here’s a thought…..should not this Haftar parasite be repaying the US for the free ride that lasted 30+ years?

Just A Thought

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Trump 2024

Our defeated president is working to possibly run again for president in 2024….something I have written about a bit since November and the last election…..

https://lobotero.com/2020/11/10/gone-but-will-not-be-forgotten/

https://lobotero.com/2020/11/13/is-there-any-trumpian-news/

I have read about the campaign of Grover Cleveland who won the presidency after losing an election…….

Hewitt draws lessons from the example of Grover Cleveland, the only man to win nonconsecutive terms in the White House. He first won in 1884, but when he lost re-election, Cleveland retreated to New York to practice law. In those intervening years, Cleveland stayed out of the political fray until it was time to run again. “Trump is unlikely to follow this course, but doing so would enable him to keep careful account of [the] successes and failures of the Biden-Harris team before running on the latter,” writes Hewitt. If nothing else, Trump might want to ration his availability for interviews, suggests Hewitt, thus keeping himself in demand.

“Memoirs and a presidential library and museum will help the next four years fly by,” writes Hewitt. “If he stays out of daily fights, his successes”—Hewitt ticks off Operation Warp Speed, progress on Mideast peace, his imprint on the courts, etc.—”will grow in comparison to the deadlock ahead.” Hewitt also notes that Cleveland attended his successor’s inauguration after his first loss in a “model of sportsmanship.” Trump hasn’t said whether he will attend Joe Biden’s swearing-in. In regard to Trump’s challenges of the election, Hewitt is confident the president will leave in orderly fashion next month. For now, though, he needs to satisfy his supporters that he is doing “everything within the law to preserve his tenure.”

Not everybody thinks Trump’s run in 2024 would be just a shoo in…..

President Trump and his supporters are making noises about a run in 2024, but John F. Harris predicts in a column at Politico that it’s not going to happen. In fact, he thinks Trump’s influence will fade pretty quickly once he’s out of office. “Outsized outsiders don’t have staying power,” he writes, drawing a comparison between Trump and the likes of Ross Perot, Joe McCarthy, and George Wallace. Yes, Trump is singular because he achieved the presidency, but all these men rose to prominence thanks to “flamboyant, self-dramatizing personas.” These types of movements are rather common in American politics, but they always fade, and “Trump has offered no reason to suppose he will be an exception.”

Harris has two other reasons behind his skepticism. For one, Trump may have once pushed topics such as immigration, trade, and globalization, but now he seems to be pushing only one issue—himself. “These days, no one can follow Trump’s Twitter feed and believe that he cares more about the public’s problems than his own, and that is not a recipe for sustaining political power,” writes Harris. And finally, Harris writes that Trump’s inability to moderate his blunt, “blame-casting” strategy is a fatal political flaw. Had Trump been able to do so during the pandemic, he would probably be getting ready for his second inauguration, writes Harris. Read his full column, in which he says potential Trump rivals won’t have to confront the former president, but rather “transcend” him, in the runup to the next election.

Nothing is set in stone for 2024…Trump could just decide to take the money and run…..

Regardless what Trump decides…there will be no going back to normal……https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/11/20/theres-no-returning-to-normal-after-trump/

I say that because a national poll shows that most republicans will vote for Trump in 2024

A majority of Republicans surveyed in a new poll — 54 percent — said they would vote for President Trump in 2024. 

The Morning Consult-Politico poll released Tuesday found that 12 percent of GOP voters said they would choose Vice President Pence in the 2024 primary instead, while 8 percent said they would vote for the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr.

In addition, 68 percent of Republicans voters said they consider President Trump to be more in touch with the GOP’s “rank and file,” compared to 20 percent who said the same of congressional Republicans

https://thehill.com/homenews/news/527301-most-republicans-in-new-poll-say-theyd-vote-for-trump-in-2024

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Could SCOTUS Screw The Poor?

The final word in this society, that is before Trump, was the Supreme Court….and it has before it now a case that they could screw the poor our of their health care…..

The Supreme Court announced on Friday that it will hear a pair of consolidated casesAzar v. Gresham and Arkansas v. Gresham — both of which concern whether the state of Arkansas may require Medicaid recipients to either work or take certain steps to find a job, or else lose their health benefits.

Arkansas, with the Trump administration’s approval, implemented a program called “Arkansas Works,” which requires Medicaid beneficiaries between the ages of 19 and 49 to “work or engage in specified educational, job training, or job search activities for at least 80 hours per month,” and to document that they’ve engaged in these activities.

The ostensible purpose of Arkansas Works is fairly straightforward. If Medicaid beneficiaries risk losing health care if they aren’t also employed, then they have additional incentive to find work. In approving Arkansas’s request to add a work requirement to its Medicaid program, the Trump administration claimed that this requirement would “encourage beneficiaries to obtain and maintain employment or undertake other community engagement activities that research has shown to be correlated with improved health and wellness.”

https://www.vox.com/2020/12/8/22158659/supreme-court-medicaid-work-requirements-azar-arkansas-gresham-obamacare-health

Forced to work during a pandemic where jobs are few and far between….really?  Is this what this country has become?

This might no interest most people but keep in mind that if this case is successful and the poor loses their access of health care….how long before they come for yours.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Gay Transportation

Please do not let the title confuse you…..

The news has broke…..Mayor Pete a candidate for the Dem nomination in 2020 has been tapped to be the next SecTrans…..and we will be beat about the head and shoulders with this news….you see in case you forgot…..Pete is gay.

Another of Joe Biden’s former primary foes is getting a key role in the new administration. The president-elect will nominate Pete Buttigieg to serve as transportation secretary, reports CNN. Assuming he’s confirmed by the Senate, the 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, will be the first openly gay Cabinet secretary, notes Politico. Buttigieg was widely expected to land a significant role. The Washington Post recounts that when Buttigieg dropped out of the presidential race, he endorsed Biden at a pivotal moment before the Super Tuesday primaries. Biden then compared Buttigieg, who served a tour in Afghanistan as an intelligence officer in the Navy Reserve, to his late son Beau.

“It’s the highest compliment I can give any man or woman,” Biden said at the time. “I promise you, you’re going to end up, over your lifetime, seeing a hell of a lot more of Pete than you are of me.” Biden has not formally announced the move yet, but after Reuters first reported the pick via anonymous sources, a slew of major outlets have confirmed it through sources of their own. One area of possible friction: Reuters notes that progressive groups and Black leaders fault Buttigieg for not doing enough to fight systemic racism during his mayoral reign in South Bend.

I say congrats to Mayor Pete….but the news needs to let his orientation go…..is he qualified?

His sexual preference should not be news.

Sorry to be a downer here…..

Once again Biden is rewarding the Centrists with NO policy ideas and ignoring the idea people of the party….and that tells me where this country is going…..nowhere…..his gayness does not alter the facts.

Predictably, Biden’s sterile roster of cabinet picks seem geared toward appeasing a mythical political center that no longer exists, if it ever did.

Biden is a politician who is unlikely to disappoint his followers for the simple reason that he has few truly devoted adherents and offers them little of substance. Mostly, he delivers on small things, tiny symbolic acts that serve to mask the broader betrayals of movements and aspirations he claimed to represent but never had any real interest in. Unlike Obama, idealism was never Biden’s calling card. His entire career he has sold a brutal brand of pragmatism behind a dental implant smile.

At least Pete is NOT an Obamite…..he can be said to be the future of the party…..I say nope….maybe his personality but NOT his policies.

Remember that “Blue Wave” that was predicted…..it fell on its face because there was NEVER any proof of this mythical “Wave”…..https://lobotero.com/2020/11/30/the-massive-blue-wave/

THe government is stuck in the “Centrist” mud……spinning its wheels and going nowhere.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is There A Conflict Countdown?

In the last few years there seems to be a ever perpetuating story that our next “big” war will be with China…..it all started with Obama, at least in the media and gained ground with Trump and now with the incoming president Biden…..the military has been feeding this scenario as well as the intel community…..

And now a top military commander is throwing fuel on the war fire….

America’s military priority in the coming years? China, China, and China—or so says the top US military commander. Speaking at a Wall Street Journal summit Tuesday, Army Gen. Mark Milley said China is aiming to equal America’s military might by 2035 and be ready to win a war against the US by midcentury. “They are on a path to try to do that,” Milley said. “It is certainly a significant security challenge for the United States now and in the years to come.” He added that the “great-power competition” between China and the US should not “turn into a great-power war. That would be a disaster.” Seapower Magazine quotes him as saying the Pentagon can offset Chinese power—and in theory, avoid a war—with a “consistent, predictable” budget boost of roughly 3% to 5%.

But Milley isn’t hopeful: “I don’t see that as a realistic thing in the coming year,” he said. In fact, he foresees Pentagon budget cuts, and favors modernizing forces over keeping current forces up to snuff, mostly to offset a rising China, per ABC News. He also suggested making certain international troop placements—like those in Bahrain or South Korea—rotational or “selective,” in part because such permanent bases reflect an outdated strategy: “I think that is something that needs a hard, hard look,” he said. “Much of that is a derivative of where World War II ended.” He also feared that US noncombatants, like family members, could get trapped if war breaks out between the Koreas. “I have a problem with that,” he said.

Trump’s DNI had thrown fuel on the fire awhile back…..

The nation’s top intelligence official just unloaded on China in unusual fashion. “The People’s Republic of China poses the greatest threat to America today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom worldwide since World War II,” writes director of national intelligence John Ratcliffe in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. Beijing’s leaders, he asserts, aim to dominate the US and the rest of the world on everything from the military to the economy to technology, and they are “preparing for an open-ended period of confrontation with the US.” China, he adds, “should be America’s primary national security focus going forward.”

  • Rarity: It is “exceedingly rare for the head of the US intelligence community to make public accusations about a rival power,” writes Mike Allen at Axios. Such assessments are typically made to the president and lawmakers behind closed doors.
  • Why? It’s seen as part of a push by the Trump administration to ramp up the case against China before President Trump leaves office. As Bloomberg puts it, the administration wants to “lock in its policies and posture toward China” and make it more difficult for Joe Biden to unwind them. The Hill notes that US-China relations have soured on a number of fronts, including over COVID, trade, and the South China Sea.

Biden is no different…he also wants to keep this storyline active (at least for now)……

  • What Biden says: In an interview with the New York Times, Biden says he has no plans to immediately loosen tariffs put into place by Trump. First, he wants to consult with other nations. “The best China strategy, I think, is one which gets every one of our—or at least what used to be our—allies on the same page,” he says. “It’s going to be a major priority for me in the opening weeks of my presidency.”
  • No leverage: Biden also told the Times that dealing with China requires leverage, and “in my view, we don’t have it yet.” He says his goal will “be to pursue trade policies that actually produce progress on China’s abusive practices—that’s stealing intellectual property, dumping products, illegal subsidies to corporations,” etc.
  • Assessment: Biden’s comments suggest that he “is focused on picking his spots with Beijing, shoring up alliances and US national power first, rather than rushing to accommodate a Chinese government that seems to think the burden for detente lies entirely with Washington,” writes David Wertime at Politico. “Friends and allies concerned about a US over-correction on China must be feeling some relief.”

I wrote in the past about the possibilities of the next war…….https://lobotero.com/2020/09/22/could-the-us-lose-the-next-big-war/

The next question should be…..could the US win the next ‘big’ war without the use of nukes?

Any sensible discussion of what a hypothetical World War III might look like needs to begin with the sheer size and force of America’s military assets. For all that China and Russia are arming up on various measures, US commanders have the power to dominate escalating crises and counter opposing forces before they can be used.

Take missile warfare alone. The US Navy already has 4,000 Tomahawk cruise missiles, and the Navy and Air Force are currently taking delivery of 5,000 JASSM conventional cruise missiles with ranges from 200-600 miles. Barely visible to radar, these are designed to destroy “hardened” targets such as nuclear missile silos. Russia and China, by contrast, have nothing of equivalent quantity or quality with which to threaten the US mainland.

https://theconversation.com/could-the-us-win-world-war-iii-without-using-nuclear-weapons-94771

Will the China bashing continue with the new president?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”