2020 And Foreign Policy

This is not a prediction but rather a question to the Dems that will be running for the nomination.

Will the candidates run on any foreign policy chops?

After two years in office, President Trump finally made his first trip to visit U.S. forces in the field in Iraq. Having announced the withdrawal of American troops from Syria and a drawdown in Afghanistan, going to Iraq—where he is likely to maintain a U.S. military presence—probably made political sense. But, by visiting troops, what he plans to bring home is also a politically astute move, a fact that likely will not be lost on Trump’s challengers in 2020.

Indeed, the future of the United States’ role in Afghanistan—now America’s longest war at 17 years and still counting—will likely be a major issue in the 2020 Presidential campaign. By now dragging on 10 years longer than our second longest war in Vietnam, it appears to have come to a similarly inconclusive stalemate: Our adversaries (the Taliban) cannot win while American troops are on the ground, but our efforts to Afghanize the war and rebuild the Afghan government and nation have also come to naught.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/01/10/in_2020_will_candidates_campaign_on_foreign_policy_114094.html

So far the only candidate that has shown any interest in foreign policy is Tulsi Gabbard…..

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Beto: A White Obama?

***There is nothing derogatory in this post….only that the media is looking for someone they can push like the candidacy of Obama in 2008***

The media is looking for someone that they can caudal…..they like Kamala of the announced candidates but they truly want their pick, Beto, to say he is running….the MSM has dispatched many journalist to cover him no matter what he does…whether at the dentist or in some giant arena…just about everything he says is news (remind you of anyone?).

He is going to meet with Oprah and the world waits……but what is ahead of him…president, VP, senator……or just cash for talking?

Beto O’Rourke says he hasn’t ruled out being a 2020 vice presidential candidate, even as he plans to decide in the next 10 days if he’ll seek the presidency himself. Answering a question in Spanish about possibly being another candidate’s running mate after an El Paso event Tuesday, the former Texas congressman answered in Spanish: “I’m going to consider every way to serve this country. And, yes, that will include anything.” O’Rourke, who became a political star by nearly upsetting Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in November, said in English that he may yet opt to challenge Texas’ other Republican US senator, John Cornyn, in 2020.

“I’m trying to figure out how I can best serve this country—where I can do the greatest good for the United States of America,” he said in response to the Cornyn question, per CNN. “So, yeah, I’m thinking through that and it, you know, may involve running for the presidency. It may involve something else.

Beto has exciting news…..(but we already knew all this)….

Texas constituents may be disappointed to hear that, after trying to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018, Beto O’Rourke won’t be trying the same against Sen. John Cornyn in 2020. That’s what sources said to be “close” to the former Democratic congressman told the Dallas Morning News on Wednesday, though a short, cryptic statement from O’Rourke may give devotees something else to get fired up about. “Amy and I have made a decision about how we can best serve our country,” the statement notes, referring to his wife. “We are excited to share it with everyone soon.”

That announcement has fueled further speculation that O’Rourke, 46, is on the cusp of announcing a run for US president, which some political observers have been trying to steer him away from due to the oversaturation of candidates, per the New York Times. CBS News reports on O’Rourke’s incremental shifts on an Oval House run, noting that he first insisted he wouldn’t run during a 60 Minutes interview before Election Day, then changed that a few weeks later to say he and his wife would “think about what we can do next to contribute to the best of our ability to this community.” He then told Oprah Winfrey in early February that he’d make a decision on a 2020 run “by the end of the month.

Me? I do not like or trust him……he reminds me too much of that other “pretty boy” Dem….Bubba Clinton.

He will be a centrist to make all the old farts happy (everyone but me) and if elected will be a disaster as Clinton was……he will allow big money run rampant to add to the suffering of the Poor and the Middle Class…..

I do not understand the so-called excitement around this “candidate”……

He is NOT the candidate the country needs at this time……the media is coalescing around Beto (and Kamala for now) all I can say is…….do not let the media pick the candidate for you…..read and learn.

Bernie….Bernie….Bernie

My main man Bernie (that was last election in 2016) has made it official and thrown his hat into the ring for 2020.

Contrary to popular belief Bernie does have some foreign policy chops……at least he does now…I was not so sure in the early days of the speculation on whether he would run or not…..

I was disheartened when Trump’s Boyz started their chest thumping and Bernie and the Dem majority were silent on the prospect of a war…..

When Trump announced his support for the unfolding coup in Venezuela, Bernie Sanders remained silent for 24 hours.  This matters because coups are made or broken in the first moments or hours; a day during a coup can feel like a month or more.

With each hour Bernie’s silence roared louder.  So much was hanging in the balance with Trump at home and abroad, to the point where a finger could tip the scales—  yet Bernie refused to lift his.

Among the many Democratic Party candidates running for President, only Tulsi Gabbard made an unequivocal statement condemning the coup, while leftist darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez limited her criticism to a retweet.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/29/bernie-and-the-dems-flunk-trumps-test-on-venezuelas-coup/

Bernie was no so forthcoming….he has since jumped on the wagon of condemnation…..

In 2016, foreign policy was the area where Sanders distinguished himself least. For the first five months of his candidacy, his campaign website didn’t even include a foreign-policy section. At a debate on November 14, 2015, when the moderator, John Dickerson, asked Sanders about the ISIS attacks that had killed more than 100 people in France the previous day, the Vermont senator dispatched the subject in a mere two sentences and then pivoted to domestic affairs.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/02/foreign-policy-distinguishes-bernie-sanders-2020/583279/

This is good news to a foreign policy wonk like me….but I am not convinced that he will be an antiwar candidate…..

All that said let us look at Bernie’s candidacy…….beyond foreign policy…..

Bernie gave us hope in 2016 and in 2020 the Dem Party seems to be heading further Left than even Bernie could anticipate……

Can Sanders do it again? To get a sense of how the Bernie revolution might eat its own, let’s reflect on why he fell short the first time. Sanders is an old-school leftist who believes in the centrality of class, not race. Hailing from one of the whitest states in the country, he never made inroads in the communities of color that have become such a large part of the Democratic primary electorate—and the crucial reason Obama prevailed where Sanders’ fellow Vermonter Howard Dean did not.

Can Bernie survive the movement he helped create?

Bernie Sanders catalyzed the Democratic Party’s post-Obama move to the left. He nearly beat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primaries, and may have even been a stronger candidate against Donald Trump in the general. Now he’s back, and the party’s surging left wing is conflicted.

At one level, it’s thrilling for the left: If the self-proclaimed democratic socialist were elected president in 2020, it would represent a truly historic swing in the country’s political orientation. No one would be as committed to the party’s new, socialist-inflected policy agenda than the guy who came up with much of it in the first place.

 
I have waited and worked many years to try and move the American people to the Left…..to seed it happening before I die is just great…..but I am nor convinced that Bernie would be the best fit for this new found radicalism.
 
Even the American Conservative is worried about Bernie and even has tried to make its readers aware of the “march toward socialism”……(a little fear monger could not hurt)…..

Lately we have seen numerous conservative commentators posit the thesis that the Democrats are disqualifying themselves from a 2020 presidential victory by lurching too far left on key economic and social issues. The idea is that the American people simply aren’t prepared to follow the Democrats into the leftist territory that seems to be their nesting place these days. Ergo, the party is in the process of ceding the White House to the incumbent Republicans, meaning a likely Trump reelection triumph.

This may be comforting to conservatives, but it is based on faulty political analysis. There is a strong prospect that 2020 will see the emergence of a new leftist president who represents democratic socialism of the European style—a brand of politics eschewed by America since at least the end of World War II.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-coming-socialist-president/

Further Reading:
 
 
Let me say that to watch the media and pundits running scared is just a great feeling after years of controlling the dialog they are only by-standers.
 

A Disinformation Nightmare

If you follow the news for last 2 years or so then you probably have an opinion on the reports of the massive disinformation campaign waged during the 2016 election.

If not then where the Hell have you been?

That said here is a brief history of the situation in 2016……

We’ve seen many types of efforts to abuse Google’s services over the years. And, like other internet platforms, we have found some evidence of efforts to misuse our platforms during the 2016 U.S. election by actors linked to the Internet Research Agency in Russia. 

Preventing the misuse of our platforms is something that we take very seriously; it’s a major focus for our teams. We’re committed to finding a way to stop this type of abuse, and to working closely with governments, law enforcement, other companies, and leading NGOs to promote electoral integrity and user security, and combat misinformation. 

We have been conducting a thorough investigation related to the U.S. election across our products drawing on the work of our information security team, research into misinformation campaigns from our teams, and leads provided by other companies. Today, we are sharing results from that investigation. While we have found only limited activity on our services, we will continue to work to prevent all of it, because there is no amount of interference that is acceptable.

https://www.blog.google/outreach-initiatives/public-policy/security-and-disinformation-us-2016-election/

Well the prediction is that the 2020 election could be even worse for disinformation…..an attempt to obfuscate the issues and the candidates…..

As the field of Democratic presidential hopefuls slowly takes shape, so do the contours of a massive social media disinformation campaign that appears designed to torpedo individual candidacies, confuse voters, and create a general sense of chaos and mistrust within the party. A Politico investigation found that Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Beto O’Rourke appear to be the “main targets,” but that no prominent candidate is exempt. In other words: If you thought the fake news sites and Russian Twitter bots of 2016 were harmful to The Discourse, it looks as if 2020 is going to be a lot worse.

The tools of the trade—eminently-shareable memes, scandalous-sounding questions, and incendiary hashtags—are standard-issue gross Internet fodder. One post, says Politico, pushed a “false narrative…alleging that a blackface doll appeared on a kitchen cabinet in the background of the senator’s New Year’s Eve Instagram livestream”; another “widely seen tweet employed racist and sexist stereotypes in an attempt to sensationalize Harris’ relationship with former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.” The perceived distinctions between “centrist” candidates (you know who) and “progressive” ones (again, you know who) is also a popular pressure point. Many of the accounts in question were the same ones which, in the weeks before the 2018 midterm elections, tirelessly proclaimed that invading immigrant caravans would soon overrun the country if Americans didn’t vote as many Republicans as humanly possible into elected office.

https://www.gq.com/story/2020-disinformation-presidential-race

This will make access to true issues a bit difficult but will the voter try to cut through the crap to get to the heart of the candidate?

As the pool of candidates vying for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president continues to grow, so does a “sustained and ongoing” push to spread lies about them on social media—with one key aim being to sow division among progressive voters—according to an alarming Politico report published Wednesday.

Citing analyses by and conversations with data scientists and digital campaign strategists, the outlet reported:

Researchers and others interviewed for this story say they cannot conclusively point to the actors behind the coordinated activity. It’s unclear if they are rogue hackers, political activists or, as some contend, foreign state actors such as Russia, since it bears the hallmarks of past foreign attacks. One of the objectives of the activity, they say, is to divide the left by making the Dem primaries look as chaotic as possible.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/02/20/operation-divide-left-analysis-shows-2020-online-disinformation-campaign-already

Will the voter have access to “real” information?

My guess is NO!

They will have to hunt for the truth….are they up to such a task?

Feel The Bern!

Run Bernie Run!

All us people that supported Bernie in 2016 have been waiting for him to step up in the 2020 contest.

The wait is over!

Last time, he was the underdog, notes NPR. This time, he’ll be one of the favorites. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday told Vermont Public Radio that he is entering the 2020 race for president. The 77-year-old joins a crowded field, with big names including Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Amy Klobuchar already in the mix. “We began the political revolution in the 2016 campaign, and now it’s time to move that revolution forward,” said the independent senator. He will campaign on familiar issues, including universal health care and a $15 minimum wage.

As the Washington Post notes, a big challenge facing Sanders is that many of his 2020 rivals already embrace policy positions he’s pushing. In his announcement, Sanders didn’t mince words when talking about the man he hopes to replace as president. “I think the current occupant of the White House is an embarrassment to our country,” Sanders said. “I think he is a pathological liar. … I also think he is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, somebody who is gaining cheap political points by trying to pick on minorities, often undocumented immigrants.” (Sanders wants to raise taxes on the richest Americans.)

Now the MSM can make sure we all know he is a Democratic Socialist……sad that this nation has to use labels and not policies……the GOP is gearing up and some of the Dem candidates will join in…..candidates like Harris……

For now I like Bernie but I am leaning more to Tulsi at this stage of the process…..but I will be watching..

Is it possible that there is a path for Bernie to win?

Bernie Sanders is a famous, successful loser.

When he announced his run for the Democratic nomination in April 2015, Sanders trailed Hillary Clinton in the polls by nearly 57 percentage points. By spring of 2016, some polls showed him within single digits. Sanders was no longer an obscure senatorial frump from Vermont — he was a bona fide political phenomenon whose primary success embodied the Democratic Party’s leftward drift.

But 2020 is not 2016. Sanders kicked-off his 2020 run early on Tuesday, and as he navigates his second presidential primary, he’ll need to prove he can build on his past success, not coast on his 2016 coalition.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/bernie-sanders-2020-democratic-nomination-kickoff/

A few takes on the Bernie candidacy…..

  • Wide appeal? A common knock against Sanders is that his democratic socialist views would make it hard for him to win in a general election. But Sanders’ campaign says his appeal among minorities, the white working class, and independent voters could help him win in unexpected places, including typically red states such as West Virginia, Iowa, Ohio, and Indiana, reports Politico. The story talks to Sanders’ pollster.
  • Trump team: The president’s campaign is already out with a line of attack using the s-word. Sanders “has already won the debate in the Democrat primary, because every candidate is embracing his brand of socialism,” says the campaign, per the AP. Among other things, it cites Sanders’ support of a Medicare-for-all system.

  • The challenge: An analysis at Vox agrees that many of the issues championed by Sanders in 2016 have now been accepted by his Democratic rivals. In a way, that’s good for Sanders. “On the other hand, Sanders has to make the case that he’s still the progressive that voters should choose. He’s remained consistent; he’s fighting for the same things today that he was in 2016. The question is: Can he win at his own game?”
    Sign of trouble? David Weigel of the Washington Post writes that Hillary Clinton came off her 2008 loss in the primary by building on her support to become the 2016 frontrunner. Sanders has not done the same, he says. “In early polls of Iowa and New Hampshire, where he won 50 percent and 60 percent of the vote, support for the senator from Vermont has ranged from the low teens to 30 percent.”
    The basics: Axios has a primer on Sanders’ life and policies. One question surrounds his age of 77. More than half of Democratic county party leaders in Iowa said in a recent poll that they wanted a young candidate.

The fact that gives me a smile is that Bernie’s candidacy will have corporate Dems, like Kamala, will be running scared and their voice, MSM, will start the slander and the misinformation…..

With a launch of the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign on the near horizon, efforts to block his trajectory to the Democratic presidential nomination are intensifying. The lines of attack are already aggressive—and often contradictory.

One media meme says that Bernie has made so much headway in moving the Democratic Party leftward that he’s no longer anything special. We’re supposed to believe that candidates who’ve adjusted their sails to the latest political wind are just as good as the candidate who generated the wind in the first place.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/02/12/bernie-2020-campaign-has-corporate-democrats-running-scared/

FEEL THE BERN!

Here Come The Ladies!

2020 will be an interesting election….there will be more women running than ever before. (I will give my analysis a bit later in the post)

Advocates for gender equality are reckoning with what one called a “wonderful challenge”—four or more women running for president in 2020, the AP reports. To many activists, that means a field more reflective of a party that counts women as a crucial voting bloc. But the prospect of multiple women in the race also presents obstacles, with no single candidate holding a claim to women’s votes to the degree Hillary Clinton did in 2016. The women’s vote, and groups that provide financial and grassroots support, could split. Looming over it all is persistent gender bias and the question of whether Americans are ready to elect a female president. “We do realize there’s still sexism in this country, and what we’re trying to do is change minds,” says EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock, whose group aids the campaigns of Democratic women supporting abortion rights.

In the early days of the Democratic primary, leaders of many advocacy organizations are thrilled that so many women are seeking the presidency, but are not backing any particular candidate. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren last month became the first woman to launch a presidential exploratory effort, joined shortly afterward by New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota also are considering running. Among those candidates, Gillibrand is particularly vocal in invoking her gender as a driver of her campaign, while Warren’s campaign has emphasized economic inequity. So is gender still a problem for candidates? “Because there are so many women running, it doesn’t totally inoculate women from sexism, but it does provide some guardrails,” says a gender-equality activist.

(Amy has weighed in after this draft was written)

I think it is great that so many women are running but that does not mean that I think any would make a good president.

Warren…a populist message but I am not convinced that she is all that progressive.

Amy…..corporate shill

Kamala……resume padder

Gillibrand….another Clinton-esque corporate shill

Tulsi……seems to be a true progressive and an antiwar person (she is the closest to an antiwar candidate so this will probably get my vote)

Did I forget anyone?

Let us not forget a passing word for the men running…..

Castro……a DNC construct…..too ambitious

Booker…..a media savvy and a corporate shill….a made for TV candidate.

Some guy with a name NO ONE can pronounce….who knows?

And for God sake do not forget the media favorite….BETO!

I am sure there is more to come and my worthless analysis will follow.

Pick a candidate and vote!

Just Not Good Enough

We have finished the midterms and now all eyes will turn to the 2020 elections…..there is a wealth of opinions out there in what to expect with this voting…….

So why not let the old professor throw stuff out there for your consideration….

There is a small group that thinks that Trump will not run for re-election…they say that he would want to go out on top and not from a possible stinging loss that would follow him throughout the rest of his life both personal and professional.

There are Progressives that say that being anti-Trump is not enough to win in 2020….I agree…..

While affirming that he “strongly” disagrees with former Newt Gingrich, who led the GOP in the House in the mid-1990s, “on virtually every issue,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is calling on Democrats in Congress to rip a page of out the Georgia Republican’s playbook by creating—and aggressively pushing—a new progressive version of the Contract With America in order to galvanize the nation, offer real solutions to its most urgent problems, and go beyond being simply anti-Trump.

In stark contrast to Gingrich’s original version—”a radical right-wing agenda full of tax breaks for the wealthy, massive cuts to programs vital to working families, and racist and cruel bills to ‘reform’ welfare and our criminal-justice system”—Sanders argues in a Washington Post op-ed on Thursday that Democrats should instead forge a vision that “reflects the needs of working Americans — centered on economic, political, social, racial and environmental justice.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/11/22/just-being-anti-trump-not-good-enough-sanders-urges-democrats-new-congress-embrace

ME?

If he stands for re-election as it is today I think he can win the election…..why?   I cannot see anyone in the DNC that could win on a head to head election.

Why?

Too many Clintonites to make a difference…..the Clintonites are NO better than the big business GOP……they stand up for progressism but are just a neo-liberal pack of manure……

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/04/27/how-clintonites-are-manufacturing-faux-progressive-congressional-campaigns/

There is lots of noise coming from the Dems…but right now it is all noise and optics.

Sorry, wish I had better thoughts but looking at the political landscape these days and the Dems have zilch.

I agree…..anti-Trump is not a winning policy…..Dems need to dig deep and find some policies not rooted in the 1950s….or a placate of the big dollar donors.