Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Israel As Warning...


    In the tragedy that is Israel and Gaza are implications the US should be chilled by.

    Israel's intelligence and security failures are rooted in the Netanyahu right wing coalition. His own worst intentions are abetted by extremists in his government. It's a bad mix and they've been on an authoritarian track, trying to weaken the Supreme Court, with too much fixation on West Bank settlers and those issues, as well as staving off what has been a national uprising. Serious distractions and they now recoil from slaughter. They must square it with their personal and national soul that they too are responsible for the brutality and blood bath. They lost focus.

    American Intelligence executives tried to send warnings about activity in Gaza. The Netanyahu coalition's most deadly sin is being so out of alignment with the will of the Israeli majority, caused by the unholy coalition's goal of holding onto power just to have power. Sound familiar?

    Netanyahu's corruption charges were trouble enough, but the extremists he has bedded stained and poisoned a government that more than any has fought to maintain it's existence, legitimacy and it's own worst demons. They were weakened by their own hand and failed at being resolute and alert.

    That almost sounds like a US story.

    A twice impeached, 4 time indicted insurrectionist sociopath liar, who threatens to be a "president of revenge" who will change how America government works could be in a position to be elected. That frightening possibility speaks to the inherent danger in our own nation including the crippled intellect of US citizens with the right to vote and who could find a way to work the electoral college to put a deranged and dangerous man back in office. 

    The MAGA party has poisoned the republican party and has made the US House of Representatives inoperative at a time when our own financial existence and   security demand action. They are breaking the government, with intention. They are weakening us.

     Our national security leaders talk about the instability and ignorance of Trump when he was commander in chief. 

    Scalise and Jordan are men with such repugnant personal flaws that their authoritarian and anti democracy politics have to take second place in why they are too whakadoodle to be House speaker.

    The same anti American forces are trying to undercut aid to Ukraine. I have written previously of an intelligence brief in which I participated shortly after Russia invaded. Intelligence officers from the US, UK, Canada and France said Putin's strategy would be to outlast US and western resolve. He counts on on the US giving up. His agents in the republican party, the insurrectionists and anti democracy caucus are working to stop our assistance of Ukraine. That could be deadly.

    History teaches what happens when an invading force like Russia, or a Hamas, or a Hitler led Germany are not stopped. Posts here 5 and 6 years ago, drawing parallels of the rise of German and Italian fascism to the take over of the Republican party and the rise of the MAGA cult drew criticism from some. I think more people have come around to understanding the warning.

    When we look at Israel, now at war, and at war with itself too, we should see other warning signs. 

    See you down the trail.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

No Sunshine for Kevin

        When we came to California almost 18 years ago I started watching Kevin McCarthy, said to be a rising star. We had dear friends who moved from Bakersfield, accomplished people with government and academic service. They knew Kevin at close quarters and it was solid information to help me calibrate the "man" behind the political facade.

      Well, as just about every analyst has said, McCarthy engineered his own fall by his ego, his "craving" to be Speaker at any cost, his concessions to the most radical wing of his caucus all of which made him weak and as John Heilemann noted, "Matt Gaetz knew they could roll him."

         So now no one knows what comes next for the House divided Republicans, some of whom are only nihilists. Maybe the Republicans can heal their divide and settle on a woman or man who can A) get enough votes and B) actually be able to lead. That does not seem likely now, so we could be left with a bozo food fight among Republicans while government crashes.

        Here's an interesting bit of speculation akin to doggerel. Find 10 traditional or stable Republicans who value democracy and who believe in governance. One of them nominates Hakeem Jeffries for Speaker and suddenly the House becomes a chamber where business can be done and no longer a clown show at war with itself.
        Long shot? Sure! But we are at another "never been here before" moment and the fight to save American democracy will take bold strokes. 

        There is a carnival lot of well fed, under educated, classless, clueless, locked and loaded people who are under the MAGA spell and tent. That is where truth goes to die, maybe history too. 

        As they used to say, it's "hard ball time!"

        Sam Rayburn was elected Speaker of House 3 times and worked with Senate Leader Lyndon Johnson in the in the late 50's and early 60's to get early Civil Rights legislation passed, though it meant he had to court Republicans to compensate for and/or try to persuade Dixiecrats in all three of his terms as Speaker.
        Carl Albert was elected Speaker in 71 and presided over the investigation and resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew and then the Watergate investigation that resulted in the impeachment and resignation of Richard Nixon. Even in those historic and partisan times, Albert sought the needed support of the minority caucus. 
        Both of those events were before Newt Gingrich seeded the political soil with toxins and cancer, but this Biden administration has been able to produce an historic volume of bi-partisan legislation, so there are still Republicans who are reachable, who have not drunk the MAGA kool aid.   

        It would be nice to think that of the 435 members of the House there are enough Republicans who understand a working government is better than a broken government. It would be nice to think there are enough "public servants" who recognize that a crisis exists and that deliberation and compromise are better options. 

        See you down the trail.