Closing Thought–24Jan22

“Join the Army–Visit beautiful and exotic places and kill the people”

That was a poster and slogan from back in the 60s at protests against war…..

It seems that the US military is offering the one thing that most Americans understand….MONEY.

The problem is declining enlistments…..

Labor shortages aren’t just hitting the private sector during the pandemic. The military has been affected, too, though the US Army is now offering a carrot it hopes will bring in more recruits. An enlistment bonus of up to $50,000—the Army’s biggest ever—is now on the table for newbies who embark on certain career paths and agree to a six-year active-duty enlistment, reports NBC News. “This is an opportunity to entice folks to consider the Army,” Brig. Gen. John Cushing says in a release. The Army hopes to use the financial incentives for jobs that are hard to fill or that it has a special need to fill at the moment, especially those that keep training bases up and running.

In the past, the most a recruit could hope for in terms of a bonus was $40,000. Now, officials have tacked on “critical accession” payments, as well as “quick-ship” bonuses if the recruit agrees to head off to basic training within 90 days. The example the release offers is someone who signs up to be an air and missile defense crew member, which comes with a $40,000 career-based incentive. Currently, that role also comes with a $9,000 critical accession bonus, and if the recruit packs up for basic training within the next 90 days, they can tack on an extra $1,000 quick-ship bonus to reach the $50,000 maximum.

That cap will admittedly be difficult to reach, as it’s for the most elite positions, such as signals intelligence and Special Forces, notes the AP. Maj. Gen. Kevin Vereen, who heads up the Army’s recruiting division, tells the outlet that recruiters have faced big challenges over the past two years, as the pandemic has prompted school shutdowns—”we lost a full class of young men and women that we didn’t have contact with, face to face”—and a competitive job market that’s been luring young people who might otherwise consider the military.

The Army is counting on greed to fill the ranks….let me ask is that money worth the chance of spending a life trying to recover from PTSD or debilitating wounds?

Is your life worth $50K?

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


Worse Than Trump?

Could anything in government be worse than Trump?

To answer that question let us go to the polls…..

Wrapping up his first year in office, President Biden is “undeniably weaker than [when] he began it, with his poll numbers having plummeted and his party in danger of being swept out of power on Capitol Hill,” reports Politico. A look at the victories, the failures, the challenges ahead, and how American voters see it all:

  • Grades worse than Trump’s: Biden fares worse than his predecessor did at this point in his presidency, according to a Politico/Morning Consult poll out Wednesday. Some 37% of 2,005 registered voters give Biden an “F” grade, compared to 31% who assign an “A” or “B” grade. In 2018, 35% of respondents gave Trump a failing mark, while 34% gave him an “A” or “B.”
  • Unhappy Democrats: More than 85% of Republicans and almost half of independents give Biden a “D” or “F.” Democrats have their gripes, too, with 25% assigning a “C” grade and 11% assigning a “D” or “F.” However, about 37% of Democrats and 18% of overall respondents give Biden an “A” for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • More approval ratings: Biden’s approval rating stands at 40% in the Politico/Morning Consult poll, with 56% disapproval—compared to 44% approval for Trump in early 2018. Gallup also describes a 40% approval rating this month, but puts Biden’s first-year average approval rating at 48.9%—higher than Trump’s 38.4%, which is the worst on record for a commander in chief, per the Hill. Biden’s rating reached as high as 57% in the first half of 2021 before falling to 43% in late summer.

Victories: On the other hand, there have been wins for Biden, among them the passage of a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill and a massive vaccine distribution program, per the BBC. Politico points to passage of a $1 trillion infrastructure bill to fix decaying roads, bridges, and water pipes, while CNN describes “a drop in poverty” and “a boom in hiring.” Some 6.4 million jobs have been added, per the BBC.

‘The job is not done’: With continued inflation, a threat of conflict with Russia, and the potential failure of voting rights legislation looming, Biden’s team now looks to reassure voters. “President Biden was elected to a four-year term, not a one-year term,” White House chief of staff Ron Klain tells Politico. White House press secretary Jen Psaki adds Biden entered office under “an incredibly difficult circumstance,” per CNN. And “the job is not done.”

  • Failures: That drop coincided with the deadly US withdrawal from Afghanistan, which followed Biden’s premature declaration of “independence” from the coronavirus. Amidst the virus’ continued spread, the country remains “as exhausted, angry and divided as ever,” despite Biden’s promise to bring unity, per CNN. Even Vice President Kamala Harris acknowledges a “level of malaisse.

None of this looks good for 2022 or 2024.

I told everyone a year ago that things would not get better with the Biden win….just that there would be a change in the White House.

But what will be our choices in 2024…..a raving lunatic or more of the same?

I weep for this country….as I have been doing since 1992.

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”