Pentagon Gets More

Recently SecDef demanded that Congress vote on giving the Pentagon their blood money….

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Monday urged lawmakers to pass a full-year budget for his department as soon as possible, warning that another short-term spending extension could imperil military readiness and family support efforts.

“If the [current budget extension] extends beyond December, we may be forced to reduce accessions or permanent change of station moves, impairing our ability to meet our missions and causing unnecessary disruption to our families and our ability to recruit personnel,” Austin wrote in a letter to House and Senate leaders.

“It is impairing our ability to hire the people we need to accelerate our efforts to eradicate sexual assault and prevent suicide. [It] is delaying needed investments in military infrastructure, including barracks and child care centers.”

Congress approved a short-term budget extension in September after lawmakers failed to agree upon a full-year spending plan by the start of the new fiscal year, Oct. 1. That temporary extension is set to run out on Dec. 16.

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2022/11/28/secdef-tells-congress-to-get-a-military-budget-done-already/

But not to worry the Pentagon gets what it wants and even more…..

The House and Senate have agreed to increase the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by $45 billion more than President Biden requested, POLITICO reported on Wednesday.

The $45 billion increase was agreed on by the House and Senate Armed Service committees, but other details of the NDAA are still being finalized. The increase the two panels agreed on brings the bill to $847 billion.

Including programs outside of the jurisdiction of House and Senate Armed Service committees, the NDAA will reach $858 billion.

Once finalized, it will be the second year in a row that Congress significantly increases President Biden’s requested budget. Last year, the president asked for $753 billion but was granted an NDAA worth about $778 billion.

The POLITICO report said that the chairs of the Senate and House Armed Services committees have largely agreed on the bill and have handed it off to congressional leadership.

Congress is looking to get the NDAA on the House floor for a vote as early as next week. Once approved by the House it will go to the Senate and then would head to President Biden’s desk for his signature.

Over the past few months, lawmakers have been trying to tack on amendments to the spending bill that would give Taiwan unprecedented military aid, but the contents and amendments included in the NDAA aren’t yet clear.

One plan reported by The Washington Post would give Taiwan $3 billion annually for at least five years. If the Taiwan aid isn’t included in the NDAA, the White House could ask Congress to authorize the Taiwan aid as emergency funds, which is what has been done for Ukraine.

(antiwar.com)

See how good it is to bribe Congress?

Think about it…..almost a trillion dollars for war…..and pennies for the infrastructure and such.

People are idiots!….they allow this to continue.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Advertisement

“The Day After”

For about 6 months the national leaders and MSM and bloggers have been fanning the fear of a new nuclear scare. That got me thinking about decades ago when millions of Americans became paranoid about the possibility of the nuke attack on this country.

The Pentagon issued its annual report on China……

The Pentagon this week issued its annual report on China’s military power that claimed Beijing could nearly quadruple its nuclear stockpile by 2035, bringing it to 1,500 warheads.

Current estimates put China’s nuclear stockpile at about 350, although the Pentagon claims the number has surpassed 400. Beijing has signaled it plans to increase its nuclear deterrence, but it’s not clear if they will build new warheads at the rate the Pentagon estimates.

China’s arsenal is vastly smaller than the US and Russia’s and, unlike Washington and Moscow, has a no-first-use policy. Including retired warheads that are expected to be dismantled, the US is estimated to possess 5,500 warheads, and Russia is said to have 6,250.

(antiwar.com)

Now this brings me to a piece of the past.

Does anyone remember the TV series “The Day After”?

Let’s look back.

Before Nicholas Meyer’s made-for-television film The Day After had its official airing on November 20, 1983, then-President Ronald Reagan and his Joint Chiefs of Staff were given screening copies. In his diary, Reagan recorded his reaction to seeing Meyer’s graphic depiction of a nuclear holocaust that devastates a small Kansas town, writing:

“It’s very effective and left me greatly depressed. So far they [ABC] haven’t sold any of the 25 spot ads scheduled and I can see why. Whether it will be of help to the ‘anti-nukes’ or not, I can’t say. My own reaction was one of our having to do all we can to have a deterrent and to see there is never a nuclear war.”

Just a few days later, the rest of America would see what had shaken their president. Preempting Hardcastle and McCormick on ABC, the 8 p.m. telefilm drew a staggering 100 million viewers, an audience that at the time was second only in non-sports programming to the series finale of M*A*S*H. According to Nielsen, 62 percent of all televisions in use that night were tuned in.

What they watched didn’t really qualify as entertainment; Meyer stated he had no desire to make a “good” movie with stirring performances or rousing music, but a deeply affecting public service announcement on the horrors of a nuclear fallout. He succeeded … perhaps a little too well.

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/when-em-the-day-after-em-terrorized-100-million-viewers-with-a-vision-of-nuclear-war

What made me think of this movie was something one of our nuclear chiefs has said….

The commander that oversees US nuclear forces delivered an ominous warning at a naval conference last week by calling the war in Ukraine a “warmup” for the “big one” that is to come.

“This Ukraine crisis that we’re in right now, this is just the warmup,” said Navy Adm. Charles Richard, the commander of US Strategic command. “The big one is coming. And it isn’t going to be very long before we’re going to get tested in ways that we haven’t been tested [in] a long time.”

Richard’s warning came after the US released its new Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which reaffirms that the US doctrine allows for the first use of nuclear weapons. The review says that the purpose of the US nuclear arsenal is to “deter strategic attacks, assure allies and partners, and achieve US objectives if deterrence fails.”

The NPR says the US “would only consider the use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States or its Allies or partners.”

US Nuclear Forces Chief Says ‘the Big One Is Coming’

I am wondering how long will it be until there is a remake or a re-issue of this movie to sell the idea more than their reports are doing so these days.

Whatcha think?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is China A Serious Threat?

We hear almost daily of what a growing problem China is becoming.

But is China a serious threat?

I realize that we need an enemy to keep the defense industry profitable…..I mean we have Russia right now but is that perceived threat going to last?

According to the MSM and the Pentagon China is just that.

Again I ask…Is it?

China’s recently concluded 20th Party Congress was highlighted visually by the Godfather-like scene of former president Hu Jintao being abruptly escorted off stage as an indifferent Xi Jinping mumbled a brief word to his predecessor and then let him depart. The results of the Congress were to consolidate control even further for Xi, as he prepares for a third five-year term in office with no signs of slowing down.  

Onlookers have understandably worried about a strengthening autocracy under Xi. Given that China has become more powerful during Xi’s reign, less tolerant of dissent at home, and more menacing to its neighbors as well, Xi’s strengthening position would seem to portend a more dangerous China in the years ahead. Together, these developments seem to support the Biden administration’s view, as expressed in its new National Security Strategy, that China represents America’s “most consequential strategic challenge” — even as it is Vladimir Putin’s Russia that rains down missiles and artillery on Ukraine, while driving up global energy and food prices and issuing nuclear threats to the world.

There is ample reason to worry about China, to be sure. The Pentagon has good cause to describe it as our “pacing challenge,” given that China’s military budget of some $250 billion to $350 billion is far and away the world’s second largest, its research and development efforts with national security relevance the second largest as well, and its manufacturing base easily the planet’s biggest. These realities combined with China’s avowed desire to absorb Taiwan back into the motherland as soon as possible, and its dangerous military activities in the western Pacific in general, give serious pause. 

But we need to approach the China threat with perspective. For all its potential seriousness, there remain at least three objective realities and structural restraints on China’s behavior to date. Factoring them into the equation should not make us lower our guard, or relent in the various kinds of economic and military efforts we are now making in the interest of vigilance. But our outlook should be tempered by a certain calm, especially in regard to handling crises that may occur in the western Pacific. China may now be the No. 1 strategic challenge to the United States, but it is not public enemy No. 1.

Just how ominous is the China threat?

All I am saying is that all aspects of the ‘threat’ needs to be looked at….we should not take the words from people and institutions that are on the payroll of the defense industry.

I am sure that there will be many more reports on the ‘seriousness’ of the Chinese threat….and we should make sure of the threat before we do anything stupid.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“kego ergo scribo”

The Looming Rail Strike

We hear about this from only one side…..that being it will screw the American consumer….this makes for a great campaign ad and of course it will be Biden’s fault and should give ammo to the GOP attacks as we enter into 2023.

But as with all issues that are used to divide the country there is more to this than the simplistic BS of the Right….

A new analysis shines fresh light on U.S. railroad giants’ “greedy behavior”—from gorging on their own stock to ramping up fees to pad their bottom lines—as workers struggle for basic rights and benefits in ongoing contract negotiations that could result in the first national rail strike in decades.

Updated figures compiled by the watchdog group Accountable.US and released Tuesday show that BNSF, a subsidiary of billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway that operates one of North America’s largest railroad networks, saw its net income rise 4% to $4.4 billion during the first three quarters of 2022. Union Pacific, meanwhile, saw its profits jump 11% to $5.36 billion during that period.

In those nine months, Union Pacific spent nearly $8 billion on stock buybacks and dividend payouts to shareholders, Accountable.US notes.

The rail transportation giant CSX reported a 37% surge in Fiscal Year 2021 net income, the watchdog added, and the company repurchased $3.7 billion worth of its own shares during the first three quarters of this year.

Rail workers haven’t fared nearly as well as industry giants and their wealthy executives and shareholders. For the past three years, many rail employees have worked under increasingly grueling conditions without a raise as management continues to resist demands for changes to draconian attendance policies, better pay, and foundational quality-of-life benefits such as paid sick leave.

“The same wealthy rail industry executives that say they can’t afford to pay their workers fair wages all had banner years in net revenue and shareholder giveaways,” said Liz Zelnick, a spokesperson for Accountable.US. “The big rail industry’s own earnings reports show they didn’t need to cut corners on safety and gouge businesses with excessive fees that get passed onto consumers. It only adds up to one thing: greed.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2022/11/23/greedy-behavior-profit-hungry-rail-industry-blamed-looming-strike

As usual it is the ‘robber barons’ that are the problem NOT the workers…..but not to worry Biden has a plan to avoid a strike….

President Biden urged Congress on Monday evening to immediately approve legislation that would head off a railroad shutdown by forcing workers and companies to enact the tentative agreement they reached in September. Without final approval of the deal, a shutdown could begin Dec. 9, per Axios. “As a proud pro-labor president, I am reluctant to override the ratification procedures and the views of those who voted against the agreement,” Biden said in a statement. “But in this case—where the economic impact of a shutdown would hurt millions of other working people and families—I believe Congress must use its powers to adopt this deal.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement later saying the House will consider the legislation this week, though she echoed Biden’s reluctance to interfere with ratification. A shutdown, she said, “would grind our economy to a halt.” The Senate would be next, and Democrats there would have enough Republican support to overcome a potential filibuster, per CNN. Members of four of the 12 unions involved have rejected the agreement, per Politico. Many workers want a few sick days added to the deal, which was brokered by the administration. Biden said further negotiation could cause delays leading to a work stoppage.

Under the Railway Labor Act of 1926, with interstate commerce in play, Congress could put the contract in force or extend the “cooling-off period” to keep trains running during negotiations. Business groups said a shutdown could lead to shortages, higher prices, and a halt to factory production with, for example, the movement of 6,300 carloads of food and farm products a day disrupted. And passenger service for 7 million people a day would be affected, the groups said. Railroads would suspend the shipping of hazardous chemicals and fertilizers, as well as perishable goods, before a shutdown so they wouldn’t be stuck someplace.

As a labor organizer from years ago I support the workers…..if these companies have extra cash to buy back their stocks then they have the cash to pay the workers descent salaries and benefits.

The GOP will try to inyervene….at least Bernie has come out in defense of the workers…..

A House Republican from Pennsylvania said Sunday that Congress will intervene to stop a nationwide strike if rail companies and unions don’t reach a contract agreement soon, a step that would likely force workers to accept a deal without any paid sick days.

Acknowledging that rail workers “have a very reasonable ask” for better benefits and wages as they continue to labor under a punishing scheduling system, Rep. Brian Kevin Fitzpatrick said in a Fox News appearance Sunday that “Congress will not let this strike happen, that’s for sure.”

“It would be devastating for our economy” Fitzpatrick added. “We’ll get to a resolution one way or another.”

Powerful industry groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Association of American Railroads have been pressuring Congress to step in after members of the largest rail union in the United States voted to reject a White House-brokered contract deal that rebuffed workers’ push for at least 15 days of paid sick leave. The deal, touted by the Biden White House as a victory for workers and profitable rail companies, does not include a single paid sick day.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2022/11/28/sanders-vows-stand-rail-workers-republican-says-congress-will-prevent-strike

Pressuring?  You realize that means bribing the Congress to see their way, right?

The one thing you can be sure of in the strike outcome…..the workers will lose and massive profits will flow.

Enough said!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

For All Those Canine Owners.

Sunday is always a good day for my canine best friend for we go to a local nature walk and she gets to visit with nature and chase something cool.

If you have a bestie then you have wondered just what do he/she think of me…..

Well science (so they claim) has an answer for you…..

Without that pesky language barrier, we’d talk with our dogs constantly. Or…would we? It’s possible that part of what makes our relationships with dogs so special is that despite our incredible differences, we’re highly compatible. Dog owners increasingly see their pups as family members, not pets. In fact, the phrase “dog owner” feels uncomfortable to some. We’re more like guardians, friends, parents. If they could speak, dogs would probably call us pack members. They’d tell us how predictable our habits are and, according to zoologist Jules Howard, how much they love us. Howard, a wildlife expert and science writer, discusses the dog brain in his new book, Wonderdog: The Science of Dogs and Their Unique Friendship with Humans. Based on Howard’s in-depth research, we’ve made some educated guesses as to what your dog actually thinks about you. 

(Read and see if you agree)

https://www.purewow.com/family/what-your-dog-thinks-about-you

This is a story about another ‘hero’ canine public servant…..

Police K-9 Finds Missing 80-Year-Old Hunter

A police K-9 unit in Michigan rescued a missing 80-year-old hunter on a frigid day. State troopers in Lovells Township followed Loki as the dog tracked the hunter’s scent and located him by the Au Sable River less than a mile from his home, reports the Detroit News. The lost hunter told troopers he had fallen into the river three times on a day when the average temperature was 26 degrees, per WILX.

A trooper gave the man his jacket, gloves, and fatigue shirt to keep him warm, and he was transported out of the woods by canoe. “We usually have one or two (missing hunters) every season in the Seventh District,” says a State Police spokesperson. “And age isn’t necessarily a factor in them.” In this case, the hunter’s wife heard him fire a volley of shots into the air, his signal that he was lost, and she summoned help. The hunter was later discharged from a hospital in good condition.

I have read many posts by bloggers who have lost a canine companion…..and they are usually heart tugging….

I recent read an article that tries to help people with their loss….I post it here with the hope that it can give some comfort for that loss….

It’s been three weeks since my partner and I lost our beloved 14.5-year-old dog, Kivi Tarro. It’s impossible to describe what Kivi meant to us, or put words to how his death has affected us.

As I am still working through what life without Kivi means, there’s perhaps no better time to examine how grief impacts those who have lost an animal. This is also what a new review of scientific literature, published today, explores.

The review aims to give counsellors perspective into how to help people grieving the death of a pet. The authors highlight that the bond between humans and animals can be extremely similar to that between two humans, and so the loss can be just as profound.

There is a tendency, however, for society to invalidate that grief. This can leave people isolated and feeling ashamed or unable to express their grief, which can increase the intensity of grief and inhibit resolution.

https://theconversation.com/profound-grief-for-a-pet-is-normal-how-to-help-yourself-or-a-friend-weather-the-loss-of-a-beloved-family-member-195099

My offerings for this Sunday…..

Have a great day and try not to eat too many leftovers….you have to start making room for all that Christmas food that is to come.

Be well….Be safe….

“lego ergo scribo”

That Usual Saturday News

It is the Saturday after Thanksgiving and since I avoid the ‘regular’ news on the weekends I thought a couple of food stories might be of interest to my readers….

This whole ‘plant based’ marketing has never been very appealing to me….after all I am a predatory and as such I eat meat and meat based products….for those people that think they are doing the planet a favor by becoming vegan I have story for you.

This story is about the company known as “Beyond Meat’….

This has not been a stellar stretch for meat-substitute company Beyond Meat. Both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal are out with stories attempting to explain why the company—which had a wildly successful IPO in 2019—is struggling this year. As in, the stock is down a staggering 83%, and the company has begun layoffs. Bloomberg, meanwhile, came out with a story Monday based on internal documents and photos suggesting the presence of “apparent mold, Listeria and other food-safety issues” at a Pennsylvania plant. The company adamantly denies any safety problems. (And all of this comes after a company exec made police-blotter headlines for allegedly biting somebody’s nose.)

As the Journal and Times explain, some of the company’s problems are out of its control. Inflation, for example, may be making consumers less thrilled about paying more money for plant-based products than they would for meat. Plus, the plant-based niche is now crowded with competitors offering their own products. But, while overall sales for plant-based substitutes are falling—by 8% in the 12 weeks ended Oct. 8—Beyond Meat’s sales are falling even faster (by 12%). What’s more, rival Impossible Burger saw its sales rise 49% in the same span.

The Journal story in particular singles out Beyond Meat’s founder and chief executive, Ethan Brown, for blame. Based on interviews with current and former employees, “Brown has struggled to stick to priorities and manage Beyond’s growth—switching gears frequently in ways that [have] left teams confused and frustrated,” per the Journal. Brown, though, maintains that short-term hitches are expected in such a new industry and that the long-term picture for Beyond Meat remains bright. Still, one big question is whether these problems are specific to the company or “a harbinger of deeper issues in the plant-based meat industry,” per the Times.

People are strange in their food desires….like spending hundreds of dollars for a coffee that is passed through a monkey’s ass….and then there is the outrageous story about the world’s longest waiting list…..

If you’re looking to hold a party in 2052 and would like to serve what the Mirror says are “arguably the most famous croquettes in the world,” you’d better order now. That’s because there’s a 30-year-plus waiting list for the “Extreme” Kobe beef croquettes from Japan’s Asahiya family-run butcher shop, which is located in Hyogo prefecture. CNN reports that Asahiya has been in business for nearly a century; after World War II, the deep-fried potato and beef delicacy popped up on the butcher’s menu.

But the croquettes didn’t take off until 2000, a year or so after Shigeru Nitta, the third-generation owner of the butcher, decided to sell the croquettes for $1.80 each—though the beef alone to make one cost $2.70 at the time. A newspaper article about the croquettes, which are made fresh every day using locally sourced beef and potatoes, brought them instant fame. People started placing their orders (domestic only) online, and the croquettes became so popular that Asahiya stopped making them in 2016 because the waiting list had become more than 14 years long. But the public clamored for their return, and Asahiya agreed, bringing them back the following year, but with a new price of $3.70 per croquette (a box of five costs $18.40 or so).

Despite the price hike, Nitta continued to take a loss on the croquettes, as the price of beef had also risen substantially. So why would he agree to keep taking such a financial hit? Nitta explains to CNN that once people get a taste of the croquettes, they decide they want to order more of the delicious Kobe beef via other menu samplings; Nitta estimates that about half of his croquette tasters end up doing so. Asahiya is now churning out 200 croquettes a day—the output used to be 200 per week—and folks wait patiently for them. One woman tells the Mirror she put in her order in 2013 and just recently received her box. In the interim, she’s been married twice and moved to Tokyo, and so she’s grateful the croquettes still managed to get to her.

Since Thanksgiving was only a couple of days ago….have you ever wondered why turkey is considered traditional?  Was it the Native Americans that helped bring this tradition to life?

The reality is this ‘tradition’ is not that old.

There’s a 91% chance there will be turkey on your Thanksgiving table. But why? As Texas A&M history professor Troy Bickham explains at the Conversation, it’s not just that it tastes good or even that we’re mimicking the Pilgrims. Firstly, it’s not clear that the Pilgrims ate turkey at the so-called first Thanksgiving, a harvest celebration with the Wampanoag tribe at Plymouth Colony in 1621. The only firsthand account mentions “fowle,” which could refer to various wild birds, though other accounts of the time make clear that wild turkeys were in great supply. Rather, Bickham traces the popularization of turkey at Thanksgiving celebrations to 19th century writer Sarah Hale, who happened to boost another animal in penning “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

Hale was also editor of the popular women’s magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book. “Fiercely religious and family-focused, it crusaded for the creation of an annual national holiday of ‘Thanksgiving and Praise’ commemorating the Pilgrims’ thanksgiving feast,” with turkey at the center, Bickham writes. Though the Pilgrims and Wampanoag may have also dined on deer, lobster, clams, and possibly eels, per Smithsonian, Hale’s fixation on turkey likely came from the bird’s abundance. It may have also come from President Abraham Lincoln, who sat for an “unofficial Thanksgiving dinner that featured roast turkey, reportedly his favorite meal,” in 1860, three years before he made Thanksgiving a national holiday, writes Debra Kelly at Mashed.

Four years later, organizations began collecting turkeys for soldiers so they, too, could have a proper Thanksgiving meal, Kelly notes. Kelly and Bickham argue Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, published in 1843, may have also played a role in bringing turkeys to our tables. It placed the bird at the center of “the prayerful family meal,” Bickham writes. The fact that a roasted turkey makes a lovely centerpiece and is great for feeding a crowd probably helped the tradition stick, the pair note. “Since turkeys are big and one bird can feed a whole family, that makes it easier than sacrificing and cooking a dozen chickens,” writes Kelly, adding a large part of Thanksgiving is “making sure there’s plenty of meat on the table.”

That is my offering for this Saturday….you may return to your normal holiday shopping routine.

If you are on the road either traveling or shopping please careful…..

Be well and be safe….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Thanksgiving–2022

Today we celebrate a day of thanks…..giving us time to think about all the things we could be thankful for in the past year.

Thanksgiving Images – Browse 892,138 Stock Photos, Vectors, and Video |  Adobe Stock

I will be enjoying our traditional meal with Sue, my daughter, granddaughter, Sue’s son and MoMo….the traditional meal is turkey (of course), mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, mac and cheese, green bean casserole and yeast rolls and for dessert blackberry cobbler.

I hope my readers will have an equally enjoyable day and have fun, food and family.

This will be my only post today for I shall be a bit busy and most people will be elsewhere and not reading blogs.

Have a great day my friends….

Happy Thanksgiving 2022 SVG Thanksgiving Sign SVG Turkey - Etsy

Be well and Be safe….

That Pelosi Replacement

The big news last week was that long-time Dem leader would be stepping down and making room for younger leadership…..

Rep. Hakeem Jefferies is being served up as the new Dem leader in the House.

As Nancy Pelosi steps down from her leadership post among House Democrats, she promises not to be a meddling “mother-in-law in the kitchen” as a new generation takes over, per the Daily Beast. And while her successor as party leader in the chamber has not been officially chosen, pretty much everyone is betting it will be Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York City, currently chair of the House Democratic Caucus. Jeffries formally announced his bid to replace Pelosi on Friday, reports NBC News. Details:

  • A first: Jeffries would become the first Black lawmaker to lead a party in the House or Senate, per the Washington Post.
  • New generation: Jeffries is 52 and expected lieutenants Katherine M. Clark of Massachusetts and Pete Aguilar of California are 59 and 43. They would replace Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and James Clyburn—who are all in their 80s—as the top three House Democrats.
  • Self-described: “I’m a Black progressive Democrat concerned with addressing racial and social and economic injustice with the fierce urgency of now,” Jeffries told the Atlantic last year in a profile. But he added, “There will never be a moment where I bend the knee to hard-left democratic socialism.” Elaborating on that distinction: “Black progressives do tend to tackle issues first and foremost with an understanding that systemic racism has been in the soil of America for over 400 years,” he said. “Hard-left progressives tend to view the defining problem in America as one that is anchored in class.”
  • But how progressive is he? At New York, Zak Cheney-Rice dubs Jeffries “Speaker of the Establishment,” and it’s not a compliment. Jeffries has seen a “rapid ascent up the party’s ranks secured by endearing himself to its elders and siding with longtime incumbents and party leaders even as they’ve grown out of touch with their constituents,” writes Cheney-Rice. “Much will be made of the historic nature of his promotion and the change it appears to signify. But for the party Establishment, the benefit of this generational change appears to be stasis.”
  • Bio: Jeffries is a lawyer and a Brooklyn native who has been in the House since 2013, per the BBC. The Post notes that he was once seen as an anti-establishment figure when the “Brooklyn Democratic machine” redrew districts to “stifle” Jeffries’ political ascent. The tactic was featured in the 2010 documentary Gerrymandering. Since then, however, he “has forged relationships with Democratic establishment figures in Washington while navigating the ascending left in his backyard.” The latter is a reference to figures such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
  • Famous constituent: During the Senate impeachment hearing of former President Trump, Jeffries made headlines by quoting a famous lyric of the late rapper Notorious B.I.G. “And if you don’t know, now you know.” See the video at CBS News. The rapper, real name Christopher Wallace, was from Jeffries’ district, and Jeffries previously praised him on the House floor as the “classic embodiment of the American dream,” per the BBC.

I agree that the Dems have needed new leadership for decades…..good to see it is finally coming to a head…..but I am not certain in these days when special interests the Dems are no better than the GOP as far as bought ideology.

Do you think change is coming?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

What Can We Expect From The New Congress?

To begin a cartoon by Pat Bagley….

Let the Games Begin | Pat Bagley

2023 will give this country a new Congress and a divided Congress….but what can we expect from this division?

With Republicans gaining control of the House by the narrowest of majorities and Democrats retaining control of the Senate, the midterm elections have sent the United States back to a divided Congress.

This may put pressure on obstinate Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to compromise so Congress can get a few things passed before the end of the year — namely abortion protections and voting rights, as they’ve been supportive of efforts to codify same-sex marriage protections — while Democrats still lead both houses, says Sunshine Hillygus, political science professor at Duke University.

Come January, Hillygus predicts that not many bills will get passed. “I don’t see a lot of room for forward progress.”

“It’s not just a matter of a stalemate,” she says, explaining that the presidential campaigns of 2024 are starting, and she expects that lawmakers in Congress will be focused on helping their party win favor. “This is why you’re likely to see a Republican House focus on investigating the Biden administration. It’s why you might see a lot of bills get proposed that actually have no shot of actually ever being passed — it becomes an issue of signaling and trying to keep particular issues on the agenda.”

https://people.com/politics/divided-congress-performative-gridlock/

In other words we can expect nothing of substance coming out of the Congress in 2023…headline grabbing bullsh*t….more theater….more antics…..more drama with no basis.

Many of us have many things to be thankful for during this season….but a new Congress will not be one of those things.

Whatcha think?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

But What Are His Chances?

GOP holds a razor thin majority in the House and not so lucky in the Senate…..and then the big announcement by his royal highness, Trump, that he will seek the GOP nomination for the 2024 election.

All is good, right?

But what are his chances of success?

“A former president hasn’t sought a nonconsecutive second term or faced criminal investigation in generations, and Trump is doing both,” writes Nathaniel Rakich at FiveThirtyEight. So what are The Donald’s chances of winning the Republican presidential primary? Pretty good, in Rakich’s view. Yes, it’s still very early but Trump currently leads in polling, registering “in the high 40s or low 50s, 20-30 points ahead of his closest competitor, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis” in most national surveys, Rakich writes. “Historically, from 1972 to 2016, candidates with high name recognition who polled in the 40s and 50s nationally won the nomination more than 75% of the time.”

Former Sen. Ted Kennedy is the only figure in that category to lose out. He “lost the 1980 Democratic primary despite polling at an average of 47% in the first half of 1979,” Rakich writes. Though Kennedy was up against sitting president Jimmy Carter, this “shows that Trump’s nomination isn’t inevitable.” The tide could easily turn against Trump. As Rakich notes, “DeSantis is polling higher than he did earlier in the year.” It’s also possible that an indictment of the former president “could affect Republican voters’ perceptions of Trump’s electability in a general election.” But for now, Republican voters are on his side. One poll shows 80% have a favorable view of Trump compared to 11% with an unfavorable view.

The midterms may have hurt Trump as his “endorsees did fail to win certain highly watched contests, like the primary for Georgia governor.” Overall, though, voters backed “82% of the nonincumbents he endorsed in contested Republican primaries for Senate, House and governor.” Sure, Trump occasionally “endorsed candidates who were already well on their way to winning,” but his endorsement did seem to benefit certain candidates, including JD Vance in the Ohio Senate race. All this suggests Republican voters are loyal to Trump “or at least his vision for the party,” Rakich writes. He adds a crowded Republican field “could divide the anti-Trump vote, making it easier for him to win.”

So his chances are good according to some….will this set a precedent for ex-presidents?

Donald Trump isn’t the first defeated ex-president to attempt another White House run, but he does join an exclusive club. Writing for Politico, Joshua Zeitz looks at previous comeback attempts, and though he finds no overarching pattern, he does find some perspective in the candidates’ motivations.

  • Four have tried, beginning with Martin van Buren, aka the “Little Magician,” a wily political operative who won in 1836 but was defeated in 1840 amid a recession. According to Zeitz, van Buren’s comeback was motivated by power, which he never regained. He lost the nomination to James Polk in 1844 and was resigned to running as a spoiler with the third-party Free Soil Party in 1848.
  • By contrast, Grover Cleveland ran again out of boredom, emerging from retirement to unseat an unpopular Benjamin Harrison in 1892. That election was decided by a few swing voters in a highly polarized electorate—one precedent Trump may take to heart.
  • Teddy Roosevelt served two terms from 1901–09 and declined a third, but he always regretted the decision. After being outmaneuvered by party bosses to lose the Republican nomination in 1912, Roosevelt created the Bull Moose Party, a third-party champion of progressive causes. Ultimately, he split the Republican vote and handed the presidency to Democrat Woodrow Wilson.
  • Last comes Herbert Hoover, a one-termer who was trounced by FDR in 1932. Hoover ran again in 1940—largely out of spite, according to Zeitz—but lost the Republican nomination to Wendell Willkie. What motivates Trump? According to an opinion by George T. Conway III in the Washington Post, Trump seeks vengeance and a shield from prosecution.

Whatcha think?

Is this a good thing or just another ploy by the former dude?

Thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”