Establishment Vs Progressives

As the 2018 Mid-terms inch closer and closer maybe it is time to start looking at the future and the voting that is to come…..will there be this “blue wave” that the media loves to predict?  Or will it be more of the same crap with a different package?

Onward!

I have been a radical for many years just recently I have switched my political affiliations to a more progressive line.  Democrats have been too wimpy for me for many years all when progressive Democrats ran would I get excited in their chances…..but each time I was disappointed because they loss and lost badly……I could not fully understand what had happened to these progressive especially when they were popular.

First the definition of popular is subjective…..second the MSM seem to bed in the Dems corner……Dems not Progressives…..they would give Progressive just enough coverage as so not to be accused of bias….but they were and in a big way……

But the biggest abusers of Progressive were fellow Dems, the Establishment Democrats……

People have long known these kinds of conversations take place, but rarely is the regular voter allowed to hear exactly how it goes down.

The Intercept on Thursday provided a brief and striking look into the Democratic Party’s “strong-arm” tactics by publishing a recording of Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the number two Democrat in the House, attempting to push progressive hopeful and Medicare for All supporter Levi Tillemann out of a Colorado congressional race for the benefit of the corporate alternative, Jason Crow.

With the help of cartoonists at The Nib, the conversation—which Tilleman secretly recorded on his phone—was turned into a dramatized video by The Intercept.

http://theantimedia.com/establishment-democrats-crush-progressives/

Progressive have enough problems with trying to get past a conservative stonewall they really do not need other Dems cutting them off at the pass.

The time has come for a more progressive government…we have had a conservative one for way too long and not much has changed…..why not try something new and improved?

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Centrists: The Electoral Cowards

We are entering into the summer of our discontent……basically we are voting in primaries as a lead up to the mid-terms…..will there be a “blue wave” that the media wants so badly?  Or will the status quo continue unabated?

Let’s look at the situation in the country these days…….

The American political scene has three players, at least that is what the MSM would you us believe, Republicans, Democrats, and Centrists.

Centrists or as some seem to think…independents….I do not agree.  An independent is someone who votes for the best lie….a Centrist is someone who is too cowardly to pick aside to stand.

I have written about these people several times before….for the last 8 years…….and for you education they are listed below…..please take the time and read the posts they explain a lot……

We Are All Centrists

Centrists The Bane Of Politics

Where Have All The Centrists Gone?

As you have read I am no friend to centrists……to me they are the problem with this country not those on what some call the extremes of Right and left…….

After I wrote this my son-in-law showed me an op-ed that he had read from his Twitter feed ……

The warning signs are flashing red: Democracy is under threat. Across Europe and North America, candidates are more authoritarian, party systems are more volatile, and citizens are more hostile to the norms and institutions of liberal democracy.

These trends have prompted a major debate between those who view political discontent as economic, cultural or generational in origin. But all of these explanations share one basic assumption: The threat is coming from the political extremes.

On the right, ethno-nationalists and libertarians are accused of supporting fascist politics; on the left, campus radicals and the so-called antifa movement are accused of betraying liberal principles. Across the board, the assumption is that radical views go hand in hand with support for authoritarianism, while moderation suggests a more committed approach to the democratic process.

Well said…..I prefer to see my elected officials take a side and not straddle to the center to make donors happy…..those people are dragging this country down the toilet.  Principles are in short supply these days and will not get better until we find away to take the cash out of the election.  I know a pipe dream…..but I am old it is the young that will suffer the most from these cowards.

Geopolitical Sins

World events can be traced to the psuedo science of Geopolitics…..all international situations can be written off as tricks of the trade.

But then who knows the actual definition of geopolitics?

Geopolitics is the study of the effects of geography on international politics and international relations. Geopolitics is a method of foreign policy analysis which seeks to understand, explain, and predict international political behaviour primarily in terms of geographical variables. Typical geographical variables are the physical location, size, climate, topography, demography, natural resources, and technological advances of the state being evaluated. Traditionally, the term has applied primarily to the impact of geography on politics, but its usage has evolved over the past century to encompass wider connotations. Geopolitics traditionally studies the links between political power and geographic space, and examines strategic prescriptions based on the relative importance of land power and sea power in world history. The geopolitical tradition had some consistent concerns with geopolitical correlations of power in world politics, the identification of international core areas, and the relationships between naval and terrestrial capabilities. Academically, the study of geopolitics analyses geography, history, and social science with reference to spatial politics and patterns at various scales. Also, the study of geopolitics includes the study of the ensemble of relations between the interests of international political actors, interests focused to an area, space, geographical element or ways, relations which create a geopolitical system. Geopolitics is multidisciplinary in scope, and includes all aspects of the social sciences—with particular emphasis on political geography, international relations, the territorial aspects of political science and international law.

(Freebase)

The US is losing its grip on diplomacy…..

Mike Pompeo, the newly-confirmed Secretary of State, announced to his new workforce that together they would “get our swagger back,” an unspoken but clear reference to the rock-bottom morale in Foggy Bottom during the tenure of his predecessor, Rex Tillerson. While Pompeo may see the Department of State’s doldrums as related solely to the management-style of his predecessor, Ronan Farrow argues persuasively in The War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence, that the department’s declining capacity and gradual exclusion from policy making began long before Tillerson’s ill-fated “restructuring” or what he sees as the militaristic inclinations of the forty-fifth president.

Farrow served in the State Department under the late Richard Holbrooke in his ill-fated quest for peace in Afghanistan, and those years inform the narrative of The War on Peace. Winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for his investigation into Harvey Weinstein, Farrow turns his precocious investigative talents and punchy writing towards the long decline of the State Department and American diplomacy.

https://mwi.usma.edu/cataclysmic-event-gradual-erosion-decline-us-diplomatic-power/

One main problem is that the US has learned absolutely nothing from its many wars…..we keep stepping in the manure time after time…..

It’s time for the Washington foreign-policy establishment to consider the seemingly unthinkable: perpetual foreign-military operations and occupations do not enhance American national security and economic prosperity.

Overwhelming evidence—currently on painful display in Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen —reveals the stark reality that these operations drain our nation of critical resources, produces a slow-bleed of U.S. troops, and deteriorates our ability to respond to potentially existential battles in the future. Changes must be urgently made if we are to reverse this negative condition.

It’s time for the Washington foreign-policy establishment to consider the seemingly unthinkable: perpetual foreign-military operations and occupations do not enhance American national security and economic prosperity.

Overwhelming evidence—currently on painful display in Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen —reveals the stark reality that these operations drain our nation of critical resources, produces a slow-bleed of U.S. troops, and deteriorates our ability to respond to potentially existential battles in the future. Changes must be urgently made if we are to reverse this negative condition.

After the catalyzing and emotionally powerful attacks that struck America on 9/11, a succession of U.S. presidents and senior officials have settled into the belief that the only way to handle difficult international problems is to use lethal military force.

This tendency has become so deeply ingrained that even the consideration of using nonlethal means to address tough problems is almost reflexively dismissed as appeasement.

AS a foreign policy wonk I worry about our lack of a diplomatic mission worldwide……this situation could put America in the backseat of any international situations…..not a good place to be….all of our hard work since WW1 is going for naught……can we return to glory or will it be the end of “American Exceptionalism”?

(Please do not use the recent North Korea deal as proof of a diplomatic mission….)

Trump Vs Constitution

Note:  I admit that I do not like Trump….but then I was not thrilled with Obama or his predecessor GW Bush so this op-ed is not an attack on the person just on some of his policies and the games he seems to play with the US Constitution.

If you read the Constitution then look at the things Trump has done objectively….without the lens of politics…..you will see the areas that are in question.

I agree with an article in the American Conservative…….it is time in this countrey for the Constitution to become the battlefield……

The United States Constitution—praised as “the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man” by Lord Gladstone—should be the battleground of American politics. If that does not happen, our Republic is doomed to self-ruination like all other Empires. They all collapsed, among other things, by exalting raw power over constitutionally safeguarded liberty, and the armored knight over the moral philosopher.

The Constitution’s summum bonum is individual liberty—the opportunity to develop faculties and pursue ambitions free from domestic predation or foreign aggression. The Declaration of Independence elaborates that every individual is endowed with a natural right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, i.e., wisdom and virtue. In contrast, governments, communities, or groups have no natural rights. Indeed, the government’s purpose is to secure the natural rights of individuals.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/our-constitution-must-be-the-battleground/

I know that there will be many that think that this is some sort of ‘”left wing” hack job but anyone that knows me will dismiss that accusation……like I said read your copy of the Constitution and then think about the things that are being done in the White house……

It may be the case that Trump has read the Constitution. But to go by his public positions, it remains a question whether he understands it. From early in his campaign, critics have been consistently astonished by his seeming indifference to the Constitution, as he has launched attacks on the press, on mosques, and on other institutions explicitly protected by the Bill of Rights. Or consider Trump’s private meeting with Republican members of Congress, when the candidate expressed his admiration for Article 12 of the Constitution, apparently unaware that there are only seven Articles. “He was just listing out numbers,” said Congressman Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), a Trump supporter. “I think he was confusing Articles and Amendments.”

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/08/2016-donald-trump-constitution-guide-unconstitutional-freedom-liberty-khan-214139

You do not need to be a Constitutional scholar to see that there is some violations being had…..I say let these violations be viewed and let the consequences fall where they may.

Americans, all Americans, need to re-read their Constitution and decide if the document is still the law of the land….or has it been replaced with partisan bullsh*t and sent to the dust bin of history.

We, The People…..”

Those are the opening words of the Constitution of the United States of America…..words that turned the land into a nation. The problem is the Constitution is a useful political prop but must have little knowledge of what the document says or what it does.

I have heard that some opponents of Obama have accused him of crapping on the Constitution…..I wait for the update…tell me just where he violates the Constitution..

However on the other side of the political aisle there is our present president and the violations of the Constitution…..I know that NONE of his supporters would ever consider the Constitution violations……but there they are like it or not……

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/08/2016-donald-trump-constitution-guide-unconstitutional-freedom-liberty-khan-214139

All in all it is the “emoluments clause” that concerns me the most…..“No Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them [the United States], shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

It was inserted into the Constitution as a way to prevent sitting leaders from accepting foreign gifts or payments, in order to ensure complete neutrality from outside influence and to prevent even the appearance of corruption.

The clause applies to “all officials holding appointed positions in the Judicial and Executive Branches of the national government,”

Democracy Comes To Iraq

Post Updated…..

For the first time in almost 15 years there is a bit of a calm in Iraq….ISIS has been all but destroyed and in the calm an election broke out…..a democratic norm has brought some unexpected news.

The US was behind the scenes helping Abadi with the campaign to become the PM again……that work brought about nothing that it had intended.

The worldwide populist revolt toppling conventional politicians in the United States, Europe and even the Philippines has now reached Iraq. Most Westerners still following Iraqi politics assumed that incumbent Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s Dawa Party would handily win the parliamentary election, but nope. Dawa came in third. Firebrand cleric Moqtada al Sadr’s Sairun party came in first.

You remember Moqtada al Sadr. He’s the guy who mounted an Iranian-backed Shia insurgency against the United States, the Iraqi government and his Sunni civilian neighbors between 2003 and 2008. He’s a very different person today. He still raises and shakes his fist in the air but today he’s shaking it at crooked elites, and he’s shaking it at his former Iranian patrons.

http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/michael-j-totten/populist-revolt-reaches-iraq

When the election took place I wrote on my other blog, In Saner Thought, about the outcome……

Iraqi Elections

Democracy Comes To Iraq?

It seems that the foe of American occupation, Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of the Shia militia that fought the US for a couple of years…but will this mean for te way forward for Iraq?

The emerging vote tallies are just the beginning of government formation in Iraq, and they indicate a need to focus on U.S. principles, not specific outcomes.

Despite an evidently strong showing by Muqtada al-Sadr’s Sairoon alliance in Iraq’s May 12 vote, “hot takes” are particularly useless for Iraqi elections, because the public itself does not directly elect the prime minister and his cabinet, and because the process is long and winding.

Instead, the 329 parliamentarians appoint the prime minister by drawing together any 165 seats, regardless of their party affiliation and pre-electoral alignment. This means everything remains in play the day after the polls close, and quite possibly for months to come. If the government takes as long to form as it did in 2014, the cabinet will be appointed September 20, 2018. If government formation takes the 289 days it did in 2010, the new cabinet would be seated February 25, 2019. The most likely outcome this time may be somewhere between the two, with a new government landing in November 2018.

https://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2018/05/20/iraq_elections_and_us_interests_taking_the_long_view_112803.html

Another turn that is making regional news is that the Saudis are trying to regain their influence in Iraq……

Saudi Arabia is re-engaging with Iraq after nearly a quarter-century of broken ties. The rapprochement began in 2016, sharply accelerated in mid-2017 and stands to move even faster after Iraq’s general elections in May 2018, particularly if politicians open to reconnecting with Saudi Arabia succeed in forming a government. Riyadh’s strategy is to ride a wave of Iraqi national pride, reinvest economically and build relationships across ethnic and confessional lines. If its objective is to roll back Iran’s influence in Iraq, however, it will find that many Iraqis – even those who are critical of Iran’s overweening influence – view that as a red line, a way of turning their country back into an arena of regional combat. If it moves too fast and favours infusions of cash over carefully calibrated and targeted economic assistance, it will fuel rather than curb rampant corruption. And it will need to silence sectarian rhetoric to reach out across Iraq’s ethnic and religious spectrum.

Iraqis from various political, confessional and social groups say they welcome the apparent course change. In part, their enthusiasm stems from necessity. The new relationship comes amid a rare international consensus that the calm in Iraq must be consolidated, lest the country regress into violent conflict. The Islamic State (ISIS) has been purged from most Iraqi territory, national pride is swelling and investor confidence is up. Yet if the government and its partners cannot produce a tangible peace dividend, secure liberated areas, and end a cycle of sectarian and ethnic retribution, those gains could easily be reversed. Western partners have already started walking back their financial commitments, hoping their Gulf allies will fill the gap.

https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/gulf-and-arabian-peninsula/iraq/186-saudi-arabia-back-baghdad

Will this prove to be useful in the divide between the twp branches of Islam…..Sadr is Shia, MbS is Sunni……they have been at each others throats since the 8th century AD and now we are to believe that the future king od the Saudis will make nice with the Shia?

Keep in mind that Iraq will still have to ask for Iranian blessings for the new government…..

If Haider al-Abadi retains the Iraqi premiership, he will have done so with Iran’s blessing. Iran and Iraq have maintained good relations throughout Abadi’s tenure. Abadi owes Iran and the Popular Mobilization Units, including those backed by Tehran, for their decisive role in responding to the ill-fated Iraqi Kurdish referendum last year, a huge win for Abadi.

Abadi may not be the first choice among Iran’s leaders, but they have a well-established working relationship. Abadi also depends on Washington, but Tehran will likely be the last stop on the road to a new government in Iraq

As per normal the US will meddle in the Iraqi government…..

As parliamentarians in Baghdad work to form a new governing coalition in the wake of this month’s elections, their counterparts in Washington are seeking to sanction more than a dozen of the Iraqi legislators over their links to Iran.

The House of Representatives unanimously voted last week on legislation requiring President Donald Trump to sanction “persons that are officials, agents, affiliates of or owned and controlled by” two prominent Iran-backed militias that operate in Iraq and Syria. The amendment from Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, to a must-pass annual defense authorization bill targets Asaib Ahl al-Haq and Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, both of which are part of the Shiite-led Popular Mobilization Units battling the Islamic State.

To me it is not possible that Iraq will be a stable democracy….at least not right now….but I will watch and amend my opinion if it becomes necessary…..

America’s Gun Culture

Note:  This is a draft I wrote shortly after the Parkland High School killings and sorry for the delay in posting….but life caught me flat footed.

The debate has picked up around the subject of guns….of course there are some stories that anyone that tries to inject some sanity into the debate is pushing for gun control….that they will come for your guns if anyone listens to them…..

Of course I think that line of talk is just silly…..one can want common sense laws without taking everyone’s guns from them.

I would like to offer up this op-ed that was published in The Week magazine…..

We are a nation divided, as everyone knows. And what we need to fix that problem is to reach out, express some empathy, and show our opponents that we don’t hate them even if we disagree.

Or at least, that’s what liberals are supposed to do.

You can hear that argument everywhere on the subject of guns: Whatever policy changes liberals might be proposing, it’s important to communicate to gun owners that you respect their culture and you don’t mean to wage an assault on their way of life. When someone like retired Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens writes an op-ed in TheNew York Times calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment, it only convinces people that you’re a bunch of gun-grabbers.

http://theweek.com/articles/763866/americas-madeup-culture-guns

There has been a bunch of op-eds around the subject…….some have even said that the 2nd amendment needs to be repealed……if they go that far then why not redo the Constitution in totality……that ain’t happening so shut up about the 2nd…..until someone is serious.

This debate has gone further this time than it has in past…….I mean even when a Congressperson was shot the debate was ended in less than a week….but this time it has lingered and debated far more than in the past.

And then there was another shooting and the conversation ended…….still making news occasionally…but in reality it has ended as it always does……..only thing truly new is the face of the NRA……that convicted criminal Col. Ollie North.

The sage continues.