Biden Can’t Get Out Of His Own Way, Politically

On Friday, President Joe Biden nominated current Appeals Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to be the next Supreme Court justice, fulfilling his promise to nominate a Black woman.

Biden had previously shared a list of those being considered for nomination. Liberal Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC), a very influential figure in his home state and whose endorsement of Biden in 2020 is widely credited with helping Biden get his campaign back on track, endorsed Justice J. Michelle Childs, another Black woman who currently is a US District Court Judge. Childs was also endorsed by conservative Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), seemingly being someone who would get bipartisan support. Additionally, Childs would have provided increased diversity on a court where all of the justices got their degrees from Ivy League schools. Childs got her degree from a public law school.

Biden, who said that he would bring the country back together, instead choose a nominee that appears to be destined to draw controversy and continued the exclusivity of the Ivy League on the Court. He had a clear choice, a Black woman who had bipartisan support and was qualified enough to be on his own short list of candidates. Instead, he walked away from bipartisanship at the exact time he needed something to bring the country together, as he faces several challenges in the international arena and needs a united voice. Instead, he went another way.

Day Late And Dollar Short?

The United States announced today that it is sending $350 million in military aid, arms and ammunition, to Ukraine to help them in their defense against the Russian invasion. It is not clear how the equipment will be delivered to Ukraine’s military or when, although a Pentagon spokesman said it would be “very soon”.

While helping a democratic Ukraine fight an invasion from a ruthless Russian neighbor is a good thing, it also points out how terribly incompetent and poorly planned the US response has been. Why is the US now announcing it is sending more aid, three days after the invasion happened and as the Russian military is already fighting in the streets of the Ukrainian capital? Why didn’t this happen earlier, especially since President Biden said last week that US intelligence told him that the decision to invade was already made by Russian dictator Vladimir Putin? He didn’t think send the help then, when it could possibly keep Russia from overtaking the capital city? Or, at a minimum, have transport planes fueled and ready to go as soon as Russia invaded?

We cannot be sure if this incompetence, reminiscent of the fiasco we saw in the withdrawal from Afghanistan, comes from a US military that has become ineffective and poorly led or from the Biden Administration itself, or from both. However, the bottom line is that the most recent moves being taken by our military are poorly planned, poorly executed and send a message of weakness abroad, and increasing worry at home.

Inspirational Quote of the Day

Brave Ukrainian woman tells Russian soldier: ‘Put sunflower seeds in your pocket so they grow when you die’

May we all have the spirit of this woman!

(The sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine. You may find the video of the exchange between the woman and the solider online.)

And So It Continues

Taiwan reported yesterday that nine Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense zone yesterday, before being escorted away after Taiwan scrambled military fighter jets. The incursion came shortly after Russia invaded the Ukraine.

Failing to stand up to bullies (in this case, countries led by ruthless dictators) always ends the same way. The bullies are simply encouraged to take more. Failing to stand up to Putin in 2014 when he invaded a part of Ukraine, encouraged him to keep going and failing to stand up to Putin is encouraging the Chinese and their Communist dictator, President Xi, to do the same thing.

Today’s News Tidbits On The Russian Invasion Of Ukraine

Trump On Russian Invasion

Former President Donald Trump weighed on the Russian invasion of Ukraine yesterday during an interview on a radio show.  “This is genius.”  He went on, “….how smart is that? He’s gonna go in and be a peacekeeper. We could use that on our southern border. That’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen. There were more army tanks than I’ve ever seen. They’re gonna keep peace, all right.”

The former President seems to think that using force (and tanks) to invade a democratic country is “genius”.  You just have to say that you are starting a war to “keep peace”.

Enough said.

US Sanctions on Russia

The United States announced sanctions on Russia, including sanctions against two major Russian banks and against prominent individual Russians.

Because Vladimir Putin cares if his assets in the United States are frozen (does he have any?) and that he cannot transfer money outside of Russia? Yep, that will scare him.

UN Meets to Discuss Ukraine

The United Nations Security Council called an emergency meeting to discuss the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council and has veto power over anything the Security Council passes. In other words, nothing at all will happen.

It’s sort of like the UN Human Rights Commission, which has as members China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela and two African countries where human slavery is still rampant. What kind of work does anyone think will get done to protect human rights?!

Ukrainian President Reaches Out

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that he tried to call the Kremlin and Russian President Putin to discuss peace, but Putin did not take nor return his call.

Putin Marching Again?

Russian President Putin said Thursday that the ‘sovereign” provinces had asked him to intervene to protect them from Ukraine.  After Russia’s invasion of these two provinces yesterday, is this an excuse that Putin will now use to invade the rest of Ukraine? And, if so, will that get another slap on the wrist from the international community?

Those Who Forget History Are Doomed To Repeat It

Never has that phrase been more true than in the case of Russian aggression in the Ukraine and its other neighbors. Yesterday’s Russian invasion of part of the Ukraine was not only predictable but I can predict with a fair degree of certainty that similar things will happen again or it will take a war to stop it. Why? Because it has happened before.

Continue reading “Those Who Forget History Are Doomed To Repeat It”

“Oops!”-Russian Style (Don’t You Hate When Someone Messes Up A Perfectly Good Lie?)

Yesterday, Russia invaded parts of Ukraine. Russian President Putin said it was in response to the ethnic Russians in those areas, wanting to declare their independence and reaching out to Russia for help.

News reports….well, Russian news reports, said that Putin called an emergency meeting of the Security Council and they even televised the meeting. Shockingly (sarcasm intended), Russia decided to recognize two provinces of Ukraine as ‘independent’ and then sent troops in to protect them (just like they did in the Ukrainian province of Crimea in 2014, but I digress).

Yet, reporting on these same events, other news agencies today shared the below funny/tragic tidbit:

“The events of the day began with a dramatic televised meeting of Putin’s security council in the Kremlin, with Putin asking his ministers if they supported recognizing DPR and LPR. While the meeting was presented as a “live” event, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, one of the advisors, was wearing a watch showing that the event was recorded five hours before, thus placing it before the “governments” of the regions asked for recognition.”

Weekend Observations and Quick Takes: Energy and Elections

Energy Policy

In one year, The United States has have gone from energy independence to begging Saudi Arabia to produce more oil so that gas prices in the US will stabilize, as Russia threatens international supplies over tensions in Ukraine.

“Free Money!”

Sen. Ralph Warnock of Georgia tweeted out this weekend: “Children are our future. Let’s make the Expanded Child Tax Credit permanent…”

So, translated, “children are our future, so let’s give them money”?  We don’t just give people money ‘just because’ or in this case, just give kids money because they are kids.

Come on, Sen. Warnock, at least tell us what it should be used for or what problem you want to fix. Just saying “Give people money” is about the most unintelligent way for a statesman to address himself. Although promising “free” stuff is certainly a good way to get people to vote for you, I guess.  I suppose it is not a coincidence that you are up for re-election this year.

Echoing Stacy Abrams?

Last week Stacy Abrams, a Democratic candidate for the Governor of Georgia, suggested that criticism of her for not wearing a mask when she had been vocal in support of mask mandates was possibly racist…because….well, for no good reason other than apparently she couldn’t come up with a good reason for why what she did was different than what she said.

As seems to be happening more often, we saw a similar accusation coming out of San Francisco this week. Three San Francisco School Board members faced a recall election this week, and all three were removed from office with over 70% of the vote. Board President Gabriella Lopez, one of the ousted member, had a ready explanation:  it was the work of “white supremacists”.

So, if Lopez is to be believed, over 70% of the people of San Francisco are racist “white supremacists”, even the people of Chinatown where the vote to recall the three members was heaviest.

Just one more example of the radical left’s “You disagree with me, so you have to be a racist” tantrums that they trot out when they can’t come up with anything else. The sad tragedy is not that their intellectual capabilities are so low that they are not able to come up with a good political argument, it is that they do damage to the real instances where racism has to be confronted because it is becoming the proverbial “boy that cried wolf”.

The Smart Virus

Who knew exactly how smart the covid virus was until the world of sports gave us living examples?!

Smart Virus’, Part 1

NBA Commissioner Adam Stern said yesterday during a press conference that New York’s vaccine mandate was “odd”. That was a nice way to say that how it affects the NBA is just crazy.  Kyrie Irving, for example, is not able to play home games in New York City because he is not vaccinated. However, any visiting player that comes to play, who is also not vaccinated, IS allowed to play.

The people who came up with that must have realized that the virus is so smart that it only targets people that have homes in New York, a very dangerous place, but apparently doesn’t affect visitors.

‘Smart Virus’, Part 2

Now that the big game is over, it was hard not to notice the impact of the mask mandate that is in place in California (the game was played in Los Angeles).  Near as most could tell, the impact on the Super Bowl was pretty much nothing. When you saw pictures of all of the celebrities in attendance—Lebron James, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg and others—none of them were wearing masks.  Yet, kids in schools on Monday were required to wear masks.

Amazing that the virus is smart enough not to bother people at special events like the Super Bowl, even though it apparently goes after the kids in much smaller groups.

Smart Virus’—Observation Summary

As Thinking Man has said on a number of occasions, different thoughts on how to combat the pandemic are very understandable, even if you may not agree.  A clinician or someone who wants strict virus protocols is understood by viewing it primarily as a medical or epidemiological issue. And we can understand someone who views those same strict measures as an unwarranted limiting of freedom.  Neither opinion is unreasonable, even if we may have an opinion of one over another.

What is not understandable are things like the above, where the measures for fighting the pandemic are applied in some cases but not in another. That makes it pretty clear, at least to this observer, that the issue then is more about control than it is about fighting a pandemic. The obviously contradictory aspects of the two above examples show that those rules, at least, are just stupid and more so when you realize how many times the politicians, especially in California, have ignored the rules that they, themselves, have made.

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