Monday, March 28, 2022

THE AGONY OF BELTWAY POLITICS...Florida's Despot Gov. Ron DeSantis and a SCOTUS Insurrectionist Wife


From the words of the Washington Post's Dana Milbank: "Living in states run by a Republican governor is dangerous to your health." The Post article says...
"Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, consultant Doug Haddix reported Sunday that since July 1 (when the lifesaving vaccine was widely available), the 14 states with the highest death rates were all run by Republican governors."

There is no worse GOP governor in this country than the master of tyranny, none other than Florida's demented Ron DeSantis. But there is more to the story, according to the CDC study...

"This [CDC data)] included Florida (at about 153 deaths per 100,000 residents), Ohio (142 deaths per 100,000), Arizona (138) and Georgia (134). Contrast that with the deep-blue District of Columbia (only 27 deaths per 100,000) and California (58 per 100,000)."

That's right, Florida leads the way in U.S. states for governors who have royally botched the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic in their state. To date Florida has 5,877,973 cases, 72,704 deaths, but the lunatic DeSantis thinks he is doing a great job. Moreover, there are double-digit Floridians who agree with him. And...this moron wants to run for president in 2024. On the other hand, Milbank reports...

"The states with the lowest death rates, by contrast, were all run by Democrats — or, in the case of Vermont, Maryland and Massachusetts, by moderate Republican governors who had heavily Democratic legislatures and embraced vaccines and masks. The best jurisdictions were D.C., Vermont, Hawaii and California. Looking at data from the period since May 1 (by which time all U.S. adults theoretically could have been vaccinated) produced similar results."

Texts Show Wife of Justice Thomas, Ginni, Urged Mark Meadows To Overturn Election Results...

The problem is that Republicans have decided they can do anything they want to, this logic ushered in by Donald Trump's former administration, and for the last five years have proceeded to do as they please with that edict. Case in point, Ginni Thomas...
"The House Select Committee investigating the January 6 riot has in its possession more than two dozen text messages, 29 in total, between former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, a conservative activist and the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas [a radical conservative], according to multiple sources familiar with the messages. 

Thomas said "she "played no role" in planning the events of that day. However...

"The text messages, reviewed by CNN, show Thomas pleading with Meadows to continue the fight to overturn the election results."

Not only does Thomas think she can get away with this insurrection, she's convinced she can lie, like the infamous Trump, to get away with it. Here's more...

"Help This Great President stand firm, Mark!!! ... You are the leader, with him, who is standing for America's constitutional governance at the precipice. The majority knows Biden and the Left is attempting the greatest Heist of our History," Thomas wrote on November 10, 2020.

And then blatantly lying, saying she "played no role." Pathetic! 

President Biden has a wobbly Congress holding a close majority and two Democrats who should be on the other side of the aisle, namely, Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema. This position, unfortunately, ties Biden's hands at a time when he needs the cooperation of the Senate and the House in addressing this dilemma, plus a lot of other major issues on the President's plate, all to improve this country. But if the people do want things the DeSantis/Thomas way, God help us.


Friday, March 25, 2022

Bring on the Republican Clowns


From Lindsey Graham to Ted Cruz, the circus has come to town and the clown car is emptying at the Ketanji Brown Jackson SCOTUS nomination hearings. RawStory says...
"During the hearings, Republicans such as Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.) have congratulated themselves for declining to treat Judge Jackson the way Democrats handled the nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh. In fact, by the most relevant measures, Mr. Graham and a handful of other Judiciary Committee Republicans have handled themselves worse."

Ted Cruz was a student of former Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, prompting this from Dershowitz...

[he] "slammed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for his line of questioning of Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, demanding that she define the word "woman" in an apparent attempt to weed out whether she would be too supportive of transgender rights for his liking."

Dershowitz continues...

"So, would you discriminate against someone who changed genders, if they wanted to serve as a federal judge? No, no! That's bigotry," said Dershowitz. "People have the right to choose how to live their lives. Cruz asked a series of absurd questions — I hope he didn't learn them from me, he was my student — where he said, well, if a man has the right to choose to be a woman, I as a Latino person have a right to be Asian. No! No, you don't. You can't change into somebody who's Asian. You can parody someone who's Asian and live an Asian life and be part of Asian culture, but no, you can't do that. You can convert, you can be born a Jew and become a Catholic, you can be born a Catholic and become a Jew."

Watch two idiot Senators, Graham and Cruz make a fool of themselves in front of SCOTUS nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson... 

 Dana Milbank says, "Republicans promised ‘no circus’ at Jackson’s hearing. Then the clown car rolled in"...

"Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), the insurrectionist lawmaker who voted to overturn the 2020 election results and pumped a fist in solidarity with those rallying outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, last week launched a scurrilous attack against Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson."

Here's what happened...

"The accusations were discredited as out of context and misleading. Denunciations rained on Hawley, including on Sunday in National Review from conservative legal writer Andrew C. McCarthy, who opposes Jackson but said Hawley’s 'allegation appears meritless to the point of demagoguery.'”

 Someone compared the Ketanji Brown Jackson hearings with Republicans in something of a "performance" mode, as if they were making a comedy Broadway production out of everything they are doing. And, that would be exactly right in light of the fact that the GOP has absolutely no agenda, and their only mission is to sabotage anything the Democrats come up with. What they don't realize is that once they put the clown makeup on, sometimes it is hard to remove.



Wednesday, March 23, 2022

BILL S. BALLINGER...Tribute to a Dear Friend and Great Writer who died 43 years ago today


I met Bill Ballinger in 1960, at the Highlander Motel, just a couple blocks from the Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood. We were both living there at the time; Bill, because of the close proximity to the TV/movie studios, and I had just been transferred to Los Angeles by my company. 

It was a chance meeting orchestrated by the motel go-to guy for anything the residents needed, Clarence, who had a feeling Bill and I would hit it off. We did and it was a relationship that lasted to his death in 1980. I was there with the family and spent several days with him right to the end. 

Bill was a steady smoker and, unfortunately, lung cancer took his life.. On one of the last days, when I arrived at the hospital, his wife Lucile stopped me before entering his room and asked if I could go in and calm Bill down. It seems he wanted a cigarette and the hospital had taken them away for fear of an explosion from the oxygen he was receiving.

And not the least of which, he was dying from the very thing he craved. We argued,

something Bill and I had never done before over all the years we had known each other. At one point he told me, don't worry about the oxygen, when I noticed he had the nose piece hidden under his pillow. And, 'what the hell' he said, 'I'll never leave this hospital alive.' I almost cried, but, instead, I went down to the hospital gift shop and bought him a package of cigarettes.

But for the years leading up to that day, it was a friendship I treasured because of, just Bill and Lucy, and the memories we shared together. Like the time Lucile decided she could grow hair on two balding heads. She had us both lying on their bed on our stomachs where she spread vodka mixed with cayenne pepper on our bald pates. And, Bill's and Lucy's parties populated with the Hollywood bunch, but the more down to earth crowd; Lucile's curry for dinner was out of this world.

Bill was not just a super-interesting person, he was one of the most talented and versatile writers of his day, working in radio where he wrote 81 scripts and produced The Dinah Shore Show, The Breakfast Club, and Lowell Thomas broadcasts. He was a novelist, crime/suspense, with a library unequaled in the field. The Tooth and the Nail was considered one of his finest, and it was also made into a movie. He also wrote another 150 TV and motion picture scripts. 

In 1961 Bill won the coveted Edgar Award for an Alfred Hitchcock teleplay. At one of the parties, I met the Associate Producer for the Hitchcock TV series and he told me he could always count on Bill for a great script, and an almost overnight delivery. 

Lucy called me after Bill's passing, saying she was going through his things and found several personal copies of his novels; felt he would have wanted me to have them. Brett Halliday, pen name of Dave Dresser, and the author of Michael Shane

books, was a close friend of the Ballingers and along with his wife, Mary, once threw a party for a new litter of cats. It was a blast. Dave wore a patch over one eye and set a bottle of brandy on his writing table each day before starting to write.

There is so much more to tell, enough to fill a book, about all the interesting people I met through Bill, and Dave. As an example, I was introduced to one of the leading glassblowers in the U.S. who lived in Montecito (close to Santa Barbara) in Dave and Mary's neighborhood. 

Bill Sanborn Ballinger, borne in Oskaloosa, Iowa, died in Tarzana, California on this day 43 years ago. Lucile died not too long after that. The Corsican, about the Unione Corse (corpse), published in 1974, has the most touching autograph to my wife, Barbara and me, of any of his books...
To my dear friends - Jack and Barbara - Much happiness in your new home, but don't forget your way back - Love, Bill S. Ballinger - dated 9/6/74   

We did return but it wasn't the same without Bill and Lucy Ballinger. 

Sunday, March 20, 2022

The Age of Reason...A MUST READ PRIORITY


The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine is a book for people unsure of their religion as well as those who are loyal, but grossly misled, according to the author. Although it isn't an intriguing mystery, I couldn't put it down. For those of you who have questioned the credibility of the Bible, The Age of Reason is your support vehicle. And Paine clearly shirks Christianity, yet he does believe in a single deity and life after death. Sounds like a form of Agnosticism, but not defined as such.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Measuring Gun Violence a New Way...Same Innocent Deaths


A report by the scientific group, Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open, reveals that "Firearms have cost 12.6 million years of life in just a decade," as reported by Erin Blakemore of the Washington Post. As a new and unique way of addressing this issue, it reflects on the problem of too many guns on the street; 390 million in a country of 329 million people. Since the number of weapons coincides with laws governing their use, here are the states with the least strict gun laws...
New Hampshire, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Texas, Montana, West Virginia, Alabama, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alaska, Kansas, South Dakota, Arizona, Kentucky, Missouri, Idaho, Wyoming, and Mississippi.

There is also another site from the state of Arizona, where, by the way, it only takes a warm body to buy a gun, which documents the most "gun friendly state" for gun owners. AZDefenders lists Alaska (122.9) as number one and New York (10.7) as least friendly. 

If you are at all interested in gun violence, compare the above site with those states with the most gun violence based on gun deaths per capita...

  • Alaska - 24.4
  • Mississippi - 24.2
  • Wyoming - 22.3
  • New Mexico 22.3
  • Alabama - 22.2
  • Louisiana - 22.1
  • Missouri - 20.6
  • South Carolina - 19.9
  • Arkansas - 19.3
  • Montana - 19.3
It's also a regional thing...
"The researchers found stark regional differences in the trends, and point out that the South — the region with the highest number of registered firearms — has a higher level of gun-related suicide and homicide than the rest of the nation."

The gun nuts will tell you that the more armed Americans are, the less gun deaths there will be. Over the years this has been proved wrong and the Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open group reports...

“the data reveal that the resulting access to firearms has equated to magnitudes of death due to firearm suicides in the same individuals demanding access to firearms.”

EXCELLENT:  Gun violence: An American epidemic?...

My blog has posted regularly over the years on gun violence with posts you can see here. Here are some excerpts...
'I am 89 and not once has there been the case where I have needed to carry a gun. Agreed, there are limited cases where this might be required; single females living alone as an example.'
'And there is one organization that is always in the forefront to prop up 
gun violence, at least until recently, the National Rifle Assn. and its head gun nut Wayne LaPierre. pushing constantly for more guns on the streets to please its gun manufacturing supporters. Well, someone has pulled the shade down and the NRA is going down the drain...where it should be. A recent report shows their legal troubles alone have cost the group $100 million. And it's getting worse.'
'Albert Bender is a journalist and Cherokee activist taking the position that you can blame guns for most problems that face Americans today. From slavery to Native Americans, it is a gun culture in the U.S. fostered by white Americans that has created the dilemma that we are in. Bender, as many others are beginning to do, is bringing the crisis with gun violence closer and closer to the health care system, particularly mental health. Mr. Bender takes aim at what he calls a “monolithic” weapons industry that is “opting for profit over humanity.”'

There's much more in this collection of the destruction done by guns in this country over the years with the conclusion that more guns cause more deaths and until the American gun culture understands this more innocent people will die. 



Tuesday, March 8, 2022

The Agony of Unbelievable News


Here's a shocker...

Jon Stewart believes a certain subset of the right has long viewed Putin as “an ideological brother,” noting that “for years, it’s been pretty clear that they would much rather do a deal” with Vladimir Putin than Nancy Pelosi."

He's talking about Donald Trump and Fox News' Tucker Carlson, the name a couple. Stewart calls Carlson a “dishonest propagandist,” which really is an understatement considering the subject.   READ MORE...

Jimmy Kimmel called out two “congressdemons” for their boorish behavior during President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union speech earlier this week. 0They were, of course, Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene who interrupted Biden's address. Kimmel added...

“As irritating as their behavior was, we do have freedom of speech in this country,” Kimmel conceded. “Which means I can remind you that Lauren Boebert is married to a guy who went to jail for showing his penis to a teenager in a bowling alley.”   READ MORE...

White Supremacist propaganda is not only growing, it is becoming

increasingly coordinated,
 NPR reports...

"The distribution of white supremacist propaganda around the country remained high last year, with nearly 5,000 incidents reported, or an average of 13 per day," the Anti-Defamation League says.

The ADL's Oren Segal, vice president says...

"It's disturbing that white supremacists and anti-Semites can mobilize supporters quickly to target neighborhoods in multiple states."

It is beyond "disturbing" how the United States has just decided to live with its racism dilemma since its supposed settlement with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and again in 1991. I did a post in my blog recently, "Recollections of U.S Racism" with both a national glimpse of the issue with added commentary from my years living in the South. Believe me, it ain't pretty.   READ MORE,,,

Climate Change is now working its disaster faster that scientists can act. It might already be too late a UN report speculates...

"The dangers of climate change are mounting so rapidly that they could soon overwhelm the ability of both nature and humanity to adapt unless greenhouse gas emissions are quickly reduced, according to a major new scientific report released on Monday."
Here are the ten main greenhouse gases...

  • Water vapor (H. 2O)
  • Carbon dioxide (CO. ...
  • Methane (CH. ...
  • Nitrous oxide (N. 2O)
  • Ozone (O. ...
  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs and HCFCs)
  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
  • Perfluorocarbons (CF. 4, C. 2F. 6, etc.), SF. 6, and NF.
The New York Times says, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a body

of experts convened by the United Nations, so we are assured of credibility. The report...
"concludes that nations aren’t doing nearly enough to protect cities, farms and coastlines from the hazards that climate change has unleashed so far, such as record droughts and rising seas, let alone from the even greater disasters in store as the planet continues to warm."

I am 89 but am still trying to save the planet for the young people. Maybe it is time for sanctions for those countries who refuse to address climate change. It's working for Biden against Ukraine. Unfortunately, the U.S. will be the first country sanctioned.   READ MORE...

I have done a series of articles on climate change you can see here.


Monday, March 7, 2022

Where's the CIA When You Need an Assassination?


Lindsay Graham suggested it, "that Russians should assassinate President Vladimir Putin." Don't think I have ever agreed with Graham, well, maybe when he turned on Trump, but I am behind him all the way on this. Both sides of the aisle have chastised him, many, I suspect, because it wasn't their idea. The U. S. has been doing assassinations from the early 1940s; in 1943 Isoroku Yamamoto was assassinated  because he was mastermind of the Attack on Pearl Harbor.

Here's some history...

"The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), formally created in 1947, is the principal foreign intelligence and counterintelligence agency of the U.S. government. The CIA is headed by a director and deputy director, only one of whom may be a military officer. The director of central intelligence (DCI) serves as the chief intelligence adviser to the president of the United States."

They took a shot at Fidel Castro, which failed, with creative moves from snipers to exploding cigars to a poison-lined scuba diving suit. However, the success since 1945 has been something for the history books with a long list of assassinations since 1945 documented in Wikipedia. The CIA became official through the National Security Act of 1947 under Harry Truman. The first Dir. of Central Intelligence was Rear Admiral Sidney W. Souers, USNR.

But you get the idea; in those days the CIA could be a killing machine. Why not today when a foreign power is threatening to decimate one of our allies? I am talking about Russia and Ukraine, of course, where Putin has killed 2,870 Ukrainian soldiers and "nationalists" and wounded 3,700. Estimates are that more than 2,000 civilians have died. If this isn't enough to put a target on Vladimir Putin's back I don't know what is.

Back to Lindsay Graham, he backtracked later on his call for assassination by stating that Putin should be put in jail. Yeah, that'll do a lot of good, just like the U. S. prosecuting and putting Donald Trump in jail. Boris Johnson wants the Russian leader to be put on trial for war crimes and also in the UK "Tory backbenchers suggested regime change is the only way out of the standoff." More from Graham...

"Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military?"

‘Is There a Brutus in Russia?’, US Senator Graham Calls for Putin’s Assassination Over Ukraine War

Sounds like he may be suggesting a coup but what would Russia's Politburo think about that? A coup would require strong military support with a leader that is either fed up with Vladimir Putin's antics or is concerned over how the Russian leader's actions will harm his country. U.S. and allies' sanctions have so far brought Russia to the breaking point and the Biden administration is now thinking of closing down oil and natural gas imports that could wreak havoc.

Apparently, as the Guardian reports, "the CIA has not abandoned its old ways." There was an alleged recent assassination attempt on No. Korea's leader, Kim Jong un, using "biochemical substances including radioactive substance and nano poisonous substance." Although the CIA refused to comment on the allegations, sources reported...

"The person directly responsible was allegedly a North Korean working for the foreign intelligence agencies."

The methods sound familiar and as usual from the past, the CIA keeps everything under their hat, sometimes even from Congress. The latter is OK since there are probably Republican lawmakers that sympathize with Kim, just like those who love Putin. Unfortunately, the CIA's actions were all stymied in the 1970s when the agency was forced to cut back on such killings after a US Senate investigation exposed the scale of its operations.

Well, it's time to do a reversal on that if we don't want to get involved in all-out war with Russia and whomever might decide to support them. And, there is help from inside...

"A Russian entrepreneur who offered a $1 million bounty for the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin says he posted the reward because he wants to solidify Putin’s public image as a war criminal."

Not sure how he gets away with that but all I can say is GOOD LUCK!



Friday, March 4, 2022

THE AGONY OF STUPIDITY: Almost Impossible to Keep up with Stupid Arizona Politicians


Since Arizona Sen. President Karen Fann is retiring, I have decided to pass the mantle of 'premiere idiot' along to State Sen. Wendy Rogers, R-Flagstaff, for a number of things starting with the resurrection of Immigration Bill SB 1070. It was the brainchild of long gone and far right State Sen. Russell Pearce, which was struck down in 2012, because it is preempted by federal status. Legislation from Rogers was approved Thursday by a Senate panel which...
"could result in the federal government once again suing Arizona over its laws dealing with illegal immigration.
"Without comment, the Judiciary Committee voted to make it a felony to transport or harbor someone not in this country legally. Senate Bill 1379 also would impose the same penalty on those who “encourage or induce” someone from another country to come here in violation of law."

It builds on SB 1070 with the blockhead, Rogers, commenting...

"At a hearing Thursday, Rogers said she was simply trying to provide a new tool for border sheriffs like Mark Dannels of Cochise County to use against smugglers."

Translated, that means doing everything possible to keep immigrants out of Arizona, a ludicrous move since, as an example, the state has more than 70,000 immigrant entrepreneurs contributing $1.7 billion in business income. How stupid can you be? And this doesn't include illegals in the state who are gainfully employed and pay taxes. And this dufus didn't even mention the fact the state signed a deal in 2014 with the U.S. Department of Justice agreeing not to enforce SB 1070. Duh.

"after Thursday’s hearing that the state is risking being dragged back into federal court over an issue that was settled years ago."
But this all pales in comparison to her comments at a white nationalists conference recently attacking the president of Ukraine. 

She called for public hangings and...

"encouraging violence against and punishment of American citizens and making threatening statements declaring 'political destruction' of those who disagree with her views."

Obviously, this loose cannon lunatic is crazy, but, believe me, she is one of Arizona's own. They love her. But, thank God there are some sane Republicans in the Arizona legislature who acted...

"Thirteen Democrats and 11 Republicans voted for the censure language read on the Senate floor. It was the first time in three decades senators publicly censured one of their own members, and the move was applauded by Gov. Doug Ducey — who just days ago was criticized for his support of Rogers."

And here's their assessment...

"Rogers engaged in “conduct unbecoming of a senator, including publicly issuing and promoting social media and video messages encouraging violence against and punishment of American citizens and making threatening statements declaring 'political destruction' of those who disagree with her views. The senator from District 6 has damaged the reputation of the Arizona state Senate by her actions," Sen. Rick Gray said, reading the censure motion."

But...she won't apologize. That's Arizona and they are proud of it. 

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Make No Mistake: Republican Putinism is Treason

One commits treason by adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. That is the simplest definition that sums up the GOP's recent tactics in addressing the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Robert Reich's sub headline...
"Make no mistake: Putin’s authoritarian neo-fascism has rooted itself in America. The cold war has already come home"

The political pundits are already saying this cold war will be much worse than the first. This is illustrated by the fact that Putin has placed Russia’s nuclear forces on alert. Reich adds the big difference is that fascism is no longer an external threat, we have spawned our own version right here in America. And it is my opinion that its soul origin is none other than Donald Trump. Here's how Reich explains it...

"Trump Republicans continue to refuse to acknowledge the outcome of the 2020 election, claiming without evidence that it was “stolen” from Trump. In many states, on the basis of this big lie, they are making it more difficult for people who don’t share their beliefs to vote."

That's just one example but a solid mandate confirming that the only way the GOP can win elections is by fixing the vote. There is a distinct similarity between Putin's attack on Ukraine and the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, we are told. Both are a vicious assault on Democracy, something Republicans seem determined to abolish. It started with Donald Trump's 2016 election and has since been picked up by a GOP that is hell-bent on an authoritarian government.

Max Boot: 'The Republican Party Is Becoming An Increasingly Authoritarian Party'...

Here's Reich's take...
"Donald Trump has long admired Vladimir Putin who, evidence shows, personally authorized a secret spy agency operation to support a “mentally unstable” Trump in the 2016 US presidential election. Believing that a Trump White House would help secure Moscow’s strategic objectives, Russia’s spy agencies were ordered to use “all possible force” to ensure Trump’s victory."

Well, he made it and the world hasn't been the same since. But it didn't end with

Trump's defeat in 2020; the ex-White House maniac and his double-digit cronies are still challenging the election in Republican states throughout the country. It's cost taxpayers millions and all this moron does is push them for more. In 2019 Zelensky blew off Trump in helping rig the 2020 election. Today Ukraine's president is courageously fighting off Putin's assault.

President Biden indicated in his SOTU address that the U.S. is committed to stopping Russia from moving any farther west in Europe than Ukraine. Robert Reich concludes...

"In the months and years ahead, those of us in the west who believe in democracy, the rule of law, human rights and truth, must do everything we can to win back our fellow countrymen to these same overriding values."


Wednesday, March 2, 2022

I'm Glad That I am 89


When you get to my age, and the world outlook is as dismal as it is today, you begin to wonder about the future and worry about the younger generation. Don't get me wrong; this isn't a life-ending message, rather, simply, a reckoning of what's going on around us with hope of just how to deal with it. I expect to live several more years but wouldn't want to repeat an earlier life, based on today's challenges. Hey, it was a crazy eighty-nine years but mostly positive enough to look ahead.

Going forward, Russia is mercilessly pounding Ukraine, the coronavirus is unnecessarily pounding populations around the world, and Republicans are ruthlessly pounding democracy. It's coming from all directions, folks, with an agenda I bet no White House has ever had to deal with. Here's how bad it is: "Interpreter breaks down during Zelensky’s speech to European Union..."

BRUSSELS — "The English-language interpreter for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s speech to European lawmakers on Tuesday was so moved by the remarks that he momentarily lost his composure.
"During the virtual address, Zelensky described the recent shelling of Kharkiv, including a missile strike on the city’s Freedom Square. 'Can you imagine, two cruise missiles, dozens killed,' the interpreter said, his voice shaking. 'This is the price of freedom.'”

Vladimir Putin is on a mission to prove his strength and the strength of Russia, using Ukraine as his whipping post. He's bombed Kyiv and he is now focusing on the civilian population to exacerbate as many deaths as possible to bring down President Zelensky and his country. Putin's army met with opposition from Ukraine forces they didn't expect, deciding the private sector would be easier. So far, world powers are interpreting it as a war crime.

In the meantime, President Biden has unleashed a bevy of sanctions that has forced a precipitous fall of the Russian Ruble. Two of his countrymen who are billionaires, plus a wealthy group, are calling for Putin to negotiate, as is most of the rest of the world. What brought up the war crime issue was an accusation by Ukraine that the Soviets used vacuum bombs which are illegal in international warfare. Does that sound like someone is desperate?

Russia's invasion of Ukraine could affect Americans and US economy

The question now being shopped around; is this the beginning of World War III? Fiona Hill, Former Senior Director for Europe and Russia at the United States National Security Council, said Putin is capable of escalation into a potential world war. The big question is whether the U.S. and European sanctions are enough to bring Russia to the negotiating table. So far they haven't. And then there is the use of nuclear acceleration which would obviously be a disaster for the world.

And as CNN reports, "All bets are off if Putin slashes the West's oil supplies." Here's the scenario...

"Russia faces the specter of a full-blown financial meltdown. Punishing sanctions leveled by the West have sent the ruble crashing to record lows, shuttered Moscow's stock market and made Russian assets toxic on the world stage.

"The White House has even taken aim at Vladimir Putin's financial fortress, removing access to at least a chunk of Russia's $630 billion rainy-day fund that was designed to cushion the economic blow of this very crisis."

It would seem Vladimir Putin has the world by the balls, not necessarily because of

strength but equally the question of whether he is mentally unbalanced. We had a similar confrontation with the then Soviet Union and Khrushchev re. the 1962 missile crisis in Cuba. The U.S. won because President John F. Kennedy held his ground. Will Biden be able to use the same strategy in Ukraine with his perpetual sanctions? I'm betting on the President's calm and confident approach.


Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Don't Believe Joe Biden's Low Approval Ratings


For some reason the U.S. media has reacted to Joe Biden's presidency with the negativity of a pre-planned disposition that he can't possibly be a good president. Much of it is Trump supporters and some of it could be an incompetence within the Biden administration of getting the word out. Because, if you look at the facts, President Biden is doing a great job and here are prime examples...

  • He passed a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package -
  • Then the administration passed The $1.9 trillion COVID relief deal -
  • He supported transgender service members
  • Reduced unemployment -

There's more and you can read it here. The background...
"In December, the national unemployment rate dropped to 3.9 percent while jobless claims sunk to their lowest levels since 1969. When Biden took office, the unemployment rate stood at 6.3 percent.

"Despite the growing inflation, wages paid by private businesses also saw an increase of 2.4 percent from January through October last year, while disposable income rose by 3 percent."

Biden on first year in office...

These are facts that cannot be disputed. Then, Nobel winner in economics, Paul Krugman, adds his expert opinion...

“'Real wages rose last year,' Krugman explains. “On a two-year basis, they’re probably down, but not by a lot. At the same time, we’ve had stellar job growth — and as I said, the combination of modestly declining real wages with a strong job market has actually been a winner for past presidents."

But not a winner for Joe Biden, and when you consider all the above, you have to wonder where all the negativity is coming from. Krugman asks the same question. Here's how he explains it...

"As many of us have noted, Americans are very down on the national economy, but relatively upbeat about their own personal financial situation…. That is, their personal experience is pretty good, but they’ve heard that things are terrible for other people.”

Bingo! "They’ve heard that things are terrible for other people." And where have they heard it from? A Republican cartel of propagandists like Fox News, Breitbart, and undercover groups like Charles Koch's. But, then, there's inflation, which cannot be denied. It did happen on Biden's watch and as Harry Truman said, 'The Buck Stops Here.' But the corporate world isn't helping with escalating prices in oil plus food and more. 

And then there's the Russian invasion of Ukraine where the president had to juggle

that with the Covid pandemic and his new SCOTUS nomination. The New York Times reports the administration was in a quandary with his State of the Union speech coming up, which is today. Here's the scenario...
"All presidents are confronted by episodes that are out of their control, forced to react to the world around them more often than they are able to shape it. But the dizzying events of the past week have for now pushed to the sidelines the congressional squabbling over Mr. Biden’s domestic agenda, and are already redefining the arc of his presidency."

So how popular is President Joe Biden today? One of the most credible polling organizations, FiveThirtyEight. has Biden's approval at 40.7%, a disapproval of 53.6%. Compared to Trump's first year of just 38.8% approval, a disapproval of 54.3%. Something's not right and it smells like the radical right again.


Donald Trump Says He Will Be Indicted On Tuesday

  THAT'S TODAY... Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has brought the case to this point, now looking at a possible indictment. Trum...