No Room For Amateurs

I am a foreign policy wonk….I studied it in college………I worked for the country in the pursuit of foreign policy and I have been a writer on the subject for decades……so to say that I live and breath foreign policy/international relations/geopolitics would be an understatement….

I have been a fierce critic of our presidents actions for decades from Reagan to Bush to Clinton to Bush to Obama and now to Trump….but in all those years I have seen the track of our foreign policy, I did not always agree with their decisions but I could see their end game…..but this administration looks like a 3 Stooges episode……Lincoln had his Team of Rivals but Trump has a Team of Amateurs….especially when it comes to foreign policy….the clueless team is Mulvaney, Pompeo and Rudy…. we have a “Don” overseeing the actions……and dictate our policy.

The truth is I was surprised when Trump picked Tillerson as SecState…..

https://lobotero.com/2016/12/15/tea-for-the-tillerson/

Then he picked a even more clueless person to lead our diplomatic branch, Pompeo……https://lobotero.com/2018/03/14/my-opinion-us-state-secretarys-rex-tillersons-replacement-is-the-presidents-toady/

I have watched our foreign policy be reduced to a pale, very pale reflection of what it use to be….all thanx to Trump and his Team of Amateurs……

US foreign policy is increasingly hostage to a mind that is, as NPR’s Car Talk guys used to say, “unencumbered by the thought process.” That’s embarrassing, but it could also be lethal. If we’re not going to use nuclear weapons, Trump once argued, “then why are we making them?”

Set aside the delegation of Ukraine relations to liegeman Rudi Giuliani and campaign contributor Gordon Sondland, and ignore for a moment whatever caprice inspired last week’s abandonment of Syria’s Kurds. There’s already something amiss when, at any G-20 summit, the most powerful person in the world is also the most ignorant person in the room, an inversion of competence and power that you don’t tend to see in corporate boardrooms or in other organizations that wield significant public influence

There’s a reason society requires the credentialing of people who make highly consequential decisions — lawyers through bar exams, doctors through board certifications and state licensing procedures. It’s the same reason airlines don’t put untrained pilots in the cockpit and pray that they’re quick learners; pilots pass rigorous tests of competence long before they start moving passengers. And yet the most critical job on earth has no test for measuring what other professions call “job knowledge.”

Diplomacy for Dummies: Foreign Policy Is No Place for Amateurs

These same amateurs are helping the US to lose our war on tyranny…..

The dominance of the public debate by these two camps advocating a diminished international role for the U.S. is easily observed by our nemeses, who take great heart at the silence of some, departure from office of others, and tired repetitiveness of yet more of those who advocate a more muscular foreign policy. Absent the U.S., no great power stands in their way, and the regional allies which could have reinforced American power are left hunkering down in defensive postures.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/the-us-is-losing-the-war-against-tyranny

All this does not bode well for our foreign policy in the coming years and decades……the damage being done could possible be permanent….why?

The State Department’s civilian workforce shrank more than 6 percent overall during the initial eight months of the Trump administration, but that figure masks significantly higher departure rates in critical areas of the country’s diplomatic apparatus.

In December 2016, the department employed 2,580 people under the foreign affairs occupation series, according to data from the Office of Personnel Management. By September 2017, the most recent data available, that number fell to 2,273, a decrease of roughly 11.9 percent.

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/02/tillerson-trump-state-foreign-service/553034/

That expertise will be missed when we return to a ‘normal’ state department activity until then we are in the clutches of inmates ruling the asylum…..

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Professor’s Classroom

It is that time again…..a re-blog from 2007……this is an interesting question and has some interesting outcomes……enjoy and have some fun….chuq

In Saner Thought

Gaza is burning, Iraq IS burnt and all over the world people continue to kill each other; there seems to be no let up.

Good Morning, class! Todays lesson is on war, well the recognition of those who fight in the US miliatry.

The US gives the Medal Of Honor for courage in the face of war, the question is:

Where and when was the most medals of honor given for a single action?

This is not that hard and I expect great things from you.

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Impeachment Hearing–Day 2

I break with my tradition of posting very little news on the weekends but this is important enough for me to break with my routine…..

The House impeachment saga returns for a second day of witnesses…..as a service I will try and post my thoughts on these proceedings to help my readers become aware of the antics and evidence as it is made public…..

Today was the testimony of ex-ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch…….

We begin with the opening statements from the the ambassador and the two heads of the committee,,,,,

  • Opening statement: Read Yovanovitch’s in full via Axios here. “Our Ukraine policy has been thrown into disarray, and shady interests the world over have learned how little it takes to remove an American Ambassador who does not give them what they want,” she said. (Read a summary of her testimony from behind closed doors last month.)
  • Schiff: Read his opening statement here. He said Yovanovitch’s ouster as ambassador “was a stunning turn of events for this highly regarded career diplomat.” The ouster was purely political, he added. “Yovanovitch was serving our nation’s interest in fighting corruption in Ukraine, but she was considered an obstacle to the furtherance of the President’s personal and political agenda. For that she was smeared and cast aside.”
  • Devin Nunes: In his own opening statement, Schiff’s GOP counterpart slammed Democrats for acting like “some kind of strange cult” while seeking to “fulfill their Watergate fantasies,” per the Washington Post. Nunes also read an excerpt from Trump’s first phone call with Ukraine’s leader, in April, to make the case that Trump sought no favors. (The White House released a readout of that call on Friday.) “It’s unfortunate that today and for most of the next week we will continue engaging in the Democrats’ day-long TV spectacles instead of the problems we were all sent to Washington to address,” he said. His full opening statement is here.

Now the day’s doings…….

In his questioning of Marie Yovanovitch during Friday’s impeachment hearing, GOP Rep. Mike Conaway seemed to perplex the former ambassador with one of his queries. It happened after he referred to the testimony of diplomat George Kent earlier in the week:

  • Conaway: Kent “made some exemplary statements about you, really glowing,” said Conaway, per CNN. “All of us would like to be the recipient of something that worthy, and I believe you are as well. Any reason on Earth that you can think of that George Kent would be saying that because of some reason other than the fact he believes it in his heart of hearts?”
  • Yovanovitch: “Like, like what?”
  • Conaway: “Well, I mean like somebody paid him to do it?”
  • Yovanovitch: “No, absolutely not.”

Politico has video of the exchange and says Yovanovitch was “stunned” by it. Some other notable moments:

  • “Are you a never Trumper?” asked Democratic Rep. Terri Sewell, per the Wall Street Journal. “No,” responded Yovanovitch, noting that she has served under four Republican presidents.
  • Another response from Yovanovitch, who was ousted from her post as ambassador to Ukraine: “What I’d like to say is, while I obviously don’t dispute that the President has the right to withdraw an ambassador at any time for any reason, but what I do wonder is why it was necessary to smear my reputation also?”
  • GOP Rep. Jim Jordan mentioned criticism by Ukrainian officials in 2016 of then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016. “No one did anything,” Jordan told Yovanovitch, per the Washington Post. So “you see why maybe, maybe the president was a little concerned about what went on in Ukraine.” But the former ambassador responded: “I can’t speak for the president on this. … From my point of view, that doesn’t create a Ukrainian government strategy to interfere in our election. … It doesn’t necessarily constitute interference.”

Jimbo Baggins (Rep. Jim Jordan) and Willy the Weasel(Rep. Devin Nunes) accomplished the only thing they are capable of doing….attempt to disrupt and look like the spineless toads they truly are….their words were incoherent and rattled……these guys failed…… all they accomplished was to put their lip prints on Trump’s ass.

Day two of the hearings is in the bag…..Monday we begin again…..

Remember:  It Ain’t Over Until It’s Over!

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Read The Transcript–Part 2

Closing Thought–15Nov19

Just to be honest this the is memo of the second phone call made by the president to Ukraine……Trump has released his second transcript (it is not a transcript and says so on the document)…..(read the warning in highlighted yellow)…….

Trying to head off some of the fallout from the hearings evidence no doubt….

Read the Memo here……https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6429034-White-House-memo-on-Trump-call-with-Ukraine.html

Be sure to watch for my days summary of the Hearing in tomorrow’s blog.

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I Read, I Wrote, You Know

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It’s Official–Deval Is In For 2020

Speaking of a run to the Center…….

Oh goody!  Another do nothing centrist wanting to step into Obama’s shoes……just what we need another Dem with visions of sugar plums……..

I wrote a post when he said he might enter into the 2020 Dem race to the nomination…..and now I can report that he is in…..and we have yet another corporatist candidate….another wealthy dude wanting to do his thing and massage his own ego……

Deval Patrick joined the Democratic race for the White House Thursday morning, as expected. “In a spirit of profound gratitude for all the country has given to me, with a determination to build a better, more sustainable, more inclusive American dream for the next generation, I am today announcing my candidacy,” Patrick said in a video, per CNN. Patrick, 63, is a former governor of Massachusetts who now works for Bain Capital. But a far more important part of Patrick’s resume is his long friendship with Barack Obama, writes Edward-Isaac Dovere at the Atlantic. The gist of the analysis—and a similar one from Ed Kilgore at Intelligencer—is that Patrick may be a truer ideological heir to Obama than Joe Biden.

Don’t expect Obama to issue any endorsements. But “multiple people who know both men told me that they can’t imagine Patrick moving forward with a presidential campaign without him talking it through with Obama to get a frank assessment of his chances,” writes Dovere. Kilgore agrees: “The question you have to answer is whether Patrick would even be considering a race without Obama’s tacit approval.” But another point both agree on: Patrick’s late entry is a big problem. Obama reportedly urged him to run as early as 2017, but Patrick publicly opted out last year. Things would be much different had he not done so. Now, a successful candidacy “will require magic of Frank Capra–esque proportions,” writes Dovere.

Patrick was working for Bane Capital…https://lobotero.com/2012/01/13/the-bain-of-it-all/ …..remember them from the 2012 election?  That is the fund that Mitt started and raped companies….and now we have a Dem millionaire from the same thread as Mitt.

This race has enough centrist/moderate candidates…..voting for the person that can beat Trump is basically saying that you care not about their policies…..change NEVER came from the center of the political spectrum….NEVER!

Patrick is a wealthy centrist so change is NOT in his wheelhouse…..I think people like Patrick do not realize that the DEm voter is tired of these damn centrists that do nothing more than make the wealthy more so…..most want change and sre still waiting for a candidate that can actually bring that about.

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I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Dems Run To The Center

That is the lie from the MSM……that this country is a center left or center right country…..I disagree and I have written about this lie extensively….

https://lobotero.com/2011/06/27/centrist-vs-independent/

https://lobotero.com/2016/08/26/why-political-parties-are-unnecessary/

https://lobotero.com/2016/10/11/independents-the-lie-that-just-keeps-giving/

And then my favorite lie from the MSM….”electability”……

https://lobotero.com/2019/07/16/electability-the-lie-that-keeps-on-giving/

I bring all this up because we are in the throes of another election to pick a Dem nominee then the president and the media is doing all they can to elect Joe Biden….they give a whiff of not being biased by focusing on the front runners but with caveats…..

The media has its darling, Joe Biden, a ‘moderate’ that is in the same vane that lost twice and yet they are embracing and pushing a return to the past…..

Clinton lost in 2016 mainly because she ran a poor campaign. In retrospect, though, in view of all the nefarious things she stood for and all the political currents she embodied, it was bound to be tough going for her even with an opponent as preposterous as the one she had.

Democrats ought to take that lesson to heart. But Democrats will be Democrats and so many of them are hellbent instead on doing just the opposite.

Their moderation has become so extreme that Clinton, along with some of her unreconstructed supporters, have lately been floating feelers about her running again. Seriously!

Worse by far – not just because it is far more likely to happen — leading Democrats and their toadies on the cable news networks are still pushing the idea that only Joe Biden, the doddering dufus himself, can guarantee a Trump defeat.

First Lose All the Moderates

Personally I do not think that centrists/moderates/ whatever we want to call the spineless in the party will not win the White House in 2020……

I keep hearing that the Democratic primary is coming down to someone who’s “electable” versus someone who has “ideas.”

This is pure nonsense. Beating Donald Trump requires getting out the vote. And in order to get people to turn out and vote, a presidential candidate has to be inspiring. Which means big ideas, a vision of an America that could become a reality if we all got behind it, a sense of where we need to be heading.

Don’t be fooled. This primary is not a contest between someone who’s electable and someone who has big ideas. Big ideas are essential in order to be electable.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/10/09/please-note-2020-election-wont-be-won-democratic-centrists

The Mainstream media is picking the candidate for the public and so far they are winning the hearts and minds of the voter for Joe Biden…..

I refuse to let them do this to me….how about you?

Be Smart!

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I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–14Nov19

We all have read or heard about the mass shooting this year (348 so far) and the pundits and so-called experts have had a wealth of ideas to stop or at least slow down the rate of death.

One such ‘solution’ is to encourage the male fighting spirit…..

Horrific mass shootings routinely bring out strong and passionate views from all sides of the political spectrum. Is the breakdown in family to blame? Or is it not enough background checks and lax firearm regulations, violent video games, mental illness, a cultural fixation on aggression as a solution to problems? The pundits and politicians have all the answers—yet somehow the mass shootings don’t stop.

Behind this debate over violence, however, lies a counterintuitive truth about conflict.

In a certain way, mass shootings—most often perpetrated by males—are a sign that we need more fighting. They are a reclassification of violence from direct to indirect, a shift from confrontation to elimination. Let me specify what I mean here. Gun violence provides a false avenue for loners and sometimes mentally ill young men to store up resentment and then unleash it all at once in overwhelming, lethal force. Rather than direct conflict against bullies or a bitterly resented group as a whole, it provides a false alternative, a fake ace up the sleeve. Rather than confronting those who torture our psyches, weaponized violence gives the illusion that we can just eliminate such people and situations altogether.

In Defense of Male Fighting

Sounds nutty right?

Is this a “Fight Club”?

Well if it ends the mass shootings then I say let the suckers fight…..a couple of missing teeth is far superior than dying, right?

Just a thought!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”