Saturday: Hili dialogue (and other stuff)

September 9, 2023 • 6:45 am

Good Caturday to you on this Saturday, Sepember 9, 2023, and shabbos for all Israeli cats. Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has a sensible question for Andrzej:

Hili: When did cats domesticate humans?
A: As soon as humans stopped drifting from place to place.
In Polish:
Hili: Kiedy ludzie zostali udomowieni przez koty?Ja: Jak tylko ludzie przestali się włóczyć z miejsca na miejsce.

Brief Nooz:

*In his Weekly Dish column, Andrew Sullivan argues that “It’s time for Biden to leave the stage.” Alas, ’tis true, but who will enter left? A few excerpts:

Every time you see Biden walk, he seems, well, in his eighties: he’s slow, careful, stilted. Every time you hear him speak, he’s also just a little off, eyes now barely visible in the ancient, botoxed, fillered face, words often slurred, a ghostly white mane peeking over his collar in the back, occasionally rallying to the point, or strangely loud-whispering. My old friend Joe Klein wrote this week:

He seemed so old. His eyes were slits, he turned the pages of his very prepared remarks haltingly. He slurred his words, slightly. His physical condition overwhelmed the message. He assayed passion in a few closing sentences about the racist murders in Jacksonville, but it wasn’t passion that came across — it was the attempt to convey passion.

This is the man the Democratic Party says will be fully able to function as president for five more years through the age of 86. No one rooted in human reality believes it, or should believe it.

In the latest brutal polling, 49 percent of Democrats say Biden is too old for reelection. An additional 20 percent said their “biggest concern” is either: his “mental competence, sharpness, senility,” his “health,” his “stamina” or his “risk of dying.” So in fact, nearly 70 percent of his own party thinks his age is a serious concern. Overall, only one in four Americans believe he has the “stamina and sharpness” to serve as president, and 67 percent of his own party want someone else to run in 2024.

. . . Yes, Trump is almost as old as Biden. But he has the energy and stamina and obsessiveness of the truly mentally ill. I started to read his interview this week with Hugh Hewitt, and yes, it was a festival of delusion and lies and occasional decent points. But what struck me also was the zeal, untempered by time, the persistent, angry passion, the untiring drive to regain power. He is not what he was, and, appearances to the contrary, is mortal. But up against Biden, he seems like raw energy.

But then the obvious question arises:

“But who else?” the Democrats say. I don’t know. But that’s what primaries are for. Harris is an obvious non-starter, which goes a long way to explaining why we’re stuck where we are. But there’s no reason she couldn’t throw her hat in the ring (and Biden should stay strictly neutral). RFK Jr is another non-starter, but look how he far he gone despite being completely bonkers. Even Marianne Williamson has polled as high as nine percent. There are plenty of popular Dem governors — Polis, Shapiro, Newsom, Whitmer, Pritzker, and Moore come to mind. Senators Warren, Klobuchar or Booker could run again, as could Buttigieg. Others will emerge. Yes, there’s a risk in Biden pulling an LBJ. But there’s a risk with him in staying in place, as all the energy propels Trump back to power.

This is wishful thinking. Whitmer or Mayor Pete appeal to me (Pritker, unhealthily obese, runs the chance of dying in office, and he’s too woke). There is no Democratic candidate that can, at least now, credibly challenge Trump.  Biden did his part, says Sullivan, in saving us from Trump:

Biden was elected as a means to check Trump; the logic of his presidency was always that the old man would get us back to normal; and that argument makes much more sense for a one-term presidency. And what an atmosphere-changing gesture than relinquishing power voluntarily when so many are clinging to it with arthritic fingers.

If we elect Biden (and I will vote for him if he runs), we face the serious possibility of either a President with crippling dementia or, perhaps worse, President Kamala Harris, a do-nothing disaster.  I don’t know what the solution is, but finding some dark-horse Democratic candidate seems like a bad one.

BTW, here, from FiveThirtyEight, is a plot of Biden’s approval ratings over the past several years:

*Donald Trump plays Jesus Christ again. Yes, he’s always pretended to be America’s savior, but it’s getting worse, according to this NYT piece. For with indictments comes martyrdom.

Appearing at a large-scale event for the first time since he stood for a mug shot in Georgia late last month, Mr. Trump acknowledged that his circumstances had changed. Yet he referred to the four criminal cases against him proudly — and as an applause line.

“I’m being indicted for you,” Mr. Trump, the front-runner in the G.O.P. presidential primary race, said to the audience. “That’s not part of the job description,” he added, “but I’m being indicted for you.”

Hallelujah! He’s taken on our sins: he’s being indicted so we don’t have to be!

Mr. Trump, too, marveled that his poll numbers in the primary had seemed to rise after his indictments. “I’m the only person in the history of politics who has been indicted whose poll numbers went up,” he said.

Still, polls have shown that a majority of Americans believe his criminal cases were warranted, and some Republicans worry that the 91 total charges against him could hurt him in the general election. Mr. Trump’s legal issues could also create logistical and financial challenges that could make it difficult for him to campaign effectively.

But, as Andrew Sullivan noted above, everyone still regards Trump as an extremely formidable candidate for next year’s election.

*The Washington Post reports that the Biden administration apparently violated the Constitution by censoring some companies from publishing political material, particularly on Covid. But the ruling Federal Appellate Court, a conservative one covering Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, also cut back restrictions imposed by a lower court.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit on Friday ruled that the Biden White House, top government health officials and the FBI likely violated the First Amendment by improperly influencing tech companies’ decisions to remove or suppress posts on the coronavirus and elections.

The decision was likely to be seen as victory for conservatives who’ve long argued that social media platforms’ content moderation efforts restrict their free speech rights. But some advocates also said the ruling was an improvement over a temporary injunction U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty issued July 4.

. . . Doughty’s decision had affected a wide range of government departments and agencies, and imposed 10 specific prohibitions on government officials. The appeals court threw out nine of those and modified the 10th to limit it to efforts to “coerce or significantly encourage social-media companies to remove, delete, suppress, or reduce, including through altering their algorithms, posted social-media content containing protected free speech.”

The 5th Circuit panel also limited the government institutions affected by its ruling to the White House, the surgeon general’s office, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FBI. It removed restrictions Doughty had imposed on the departments of State, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services and on agencies including the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. The 5th Circuit found that those agencies had not coerced the social media companies to moderate their sites.

*Speaking of agéd political candidates, Nellie Bowles’s weekly news report at The Free Press, “TGIF: Free the elders!“, deals with the issue. As usual, I’ll steal three items.

→ You choose between old or crooked: You’ll be shocked to know that a lot of Americans associate Biden with the words old, outdated, aging, and Trump with corrupt, criminal, crooked. And they associate Nellie Bowles with smarttalented,and prettier in person. Weird!

About three-quarters of voters in fact think Biden is too old to run, according to the WSJ, and his support among minority voters continues to erode.How do Republicans do against Biden in a matchup? Biden and Trump are tied neck and neck. But Nikki Haley is beating Biden handily! Haley hive rise up! Now, this poll also says Mike Pence would win, and I know for a fact that only seven people would vote for Mike Pence, so make of it what you will.

Anyway, we all know how the Republican primary will work: all these men and Nikki Haley will fight for months in elaborate televised debates, each dutifully reported on and parsed for meaning, and it won’t matter because Trump’s getting the nom. But just for fun, just to live the lie for a little longer:

Nikki Fricking Haley! My kishkes!

→ Mr. Adams, this is a Sanctuary City: Mayor Eric Adams said this week that the migrant crisis will “destroy” New York City. With estimates that the city’s services for migrants could cost about $12 billion over three years, Adams said: “I’m gonna tell you something, New Yorkers, never in my life have I had a problem that I didn’t see an ending to. I don’t see an ending to this.” Watch it here.

The American left has never come up with a solution to the very basic conundrum that they want open borders but also robust social services. Up until now, the conflict has never come to a head because folks could just point at Trump or at Southern politicians and talk about how racist those Republicans are to enforce the border. But now it’s Biden. And now immigrants are coming en masse to New York City, asking about those robust social services. And now someone actually has to do the math.

→ Salman Rushdie’s attacker getting treated with kid gloves: Sure, a crazy jihadi ran onstage and stabbed Salman Rushdie, who lost an eye. But have you considered that the Biden administration really wants to make a deal with Iran? And so maybe Rushdie is being a little dramatic—did he really need both eyes? This is a real quote from Jason Schmidt, the district attorney overseeing the case, arguing that some of the prosecution depends on Biden’s Iran agenda:

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, I know, they are engaged in their own investigation and, you know, potential prosecution, and they’ve been looking at this as well. I do think it does have political considerations and recognizing, for instance, that the Biden government is trying to negotiate with Iran now to kind of bring them back into a nuclear treaty. I understand that there’s a lot of considerations here that, you know, that are way outside my paygrade.

The obsession with Iran, with pleasing them and with turning them into an ally, is one of the creepiest and most underreported stories of this White House.

Amen to that. A bad misstep on not just Biden’s administration, but Obama’s as well.

*Your Caturday felid was sent by Anna from Melbourne, and is a video from Tommy Brennan called: “AI David Attenborough narrates a documentary about my cat.”

There’s a demonstration against the government in Tel Aviv tonight, with rumors that there may be violence. Despite that, I still want to do, as it’s part of my education in Israel.

29 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue (and other stuff)

  1. I don’t know if Sullivan is simply obsessed with Biden’s age or maybe he just likes Trump. He follows the media as all good pundits do and loves to look at polls 15 or 20 month out from the election. We all should know by now that the Congress is hardly more than a nursing home for the rich and where did Biden come from? Lets see what the polling is one week from the election, you know after the campaign has actually happened, and then better yet, see what the outcome is. Everything now is just a waste of time. It’s just a living for pundits and media.

    1. Sorry, but have you READ Sullivan? He absolutely despises Trump. And just because Congress if full of zombies like McConnell doesn’t mean that Biden is fine. He isn’t: he’s behaving erratically. Further, he’s not going to get better as he ages, so to say “everything now is just a waste of time” is just dead wrong.

      1. I’m sorry but dead wrong cannot be determined until election. We do know from polls taken 15 or more months out that they were terribly wrong. That is a fact. I never said anything about the health of Biden.

        1. Somebody (Randall Schenck) wrote “or maybe he just likes Trump”. Who was this person? Was his name Randall Schenck?

          1. I do not get your point Frank Youell? Possibly you just like writing my name. It is ironic how many have become medical doctors regarding Biden, providing guidance on his physical and mental abilities and yet….when professionals questioned mental abilities of Trump the cry went out, unfair, we have the Goldwater Rule. Found to be not even relevant as it turned out.

            1. Somebody by the name of ‘Randall Schenck’ wrote ‘or maybe he just likes Trump’. Somebody by the name of ‘Sullivan’ wrote ‘and Trump’s behavior is still clearly deranged and getting crazier all the time’. This person by the name of ‘Sullivan’ has a strange way of showing how much he likes Trump.

  2. In politics, perception or image is much more important for political success than reality. This is why candidates hire political consultants (“spin doctors”) to develop strategies that will have the greatest likelihood to win over voters while simultaneously portraying the opponent as a person working against the interests of the “people”, whomever they be, or in the best case scenario, the incarnation of total evil. Unfortunately for Biden, his spin doctors have proved hapless in rebutting the common perception that Biden is too old to serve another term, whether that is true or not. For the good of the country, Biden should not run for a second term, giving a younger Democrat a better chance to defeat Trump, thereby saving democracy. But, some people serving in the public sphere simply will not step away due to age, sometimes resulting in a catastrophe for the nation. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a prime example. She could have retired when Obama was president, allowing him to choose the next Supreme Court justice. But out of what can be viewed as selfishness or the delusional belief of her immortality, she did not do so. It seems that Biden possesses the same mindset. His decision to run again can have even more dire consequences than Ginsburg’s.

    1. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a prime example. She could have retired when Obama was president, allowing him to choose the next Supreme Court justice.

      Problem is, there’s no guarantee that Ginsburg’s replacement would have been given a confirmation hearing once Mitch McConnell took over as the Senate majority leader of the 114th congress in January 2015. Look what happened to the Merrick Garland nomination the following year.

      McConnell always dragged his feet on Obama judicial nominations. Republicans have no respect whatsoever for the traditions of majority-rule democracy — only for glomming onto political power by any means available.

      1. RBG could have retired anytime from 2009-2014. She had plenty of time to retire and did not. ‘Historian’ has this right. If Feinstein/McConnell won’t retire, it is hard to imagine that Biden will.

  3. On this day:
    1493 – Christopher Columbus, with 17 ships and 1,200 men, sails on second voyage from Cadiz.

    1499 – The citizens of Lisbon celebrate the triumphal return of the explorer Vasco de Gama, completing his two-year journey around the Cape of Good Hope to India.

    1588 – Thomas Cavendish in his ship Desire enters Plymouth and completes the first deliberately planned voyage of circumnavigation.

    1739 – Stono Rebellion, the largest slave uprising in Britain’s mainland North American colonies prior to the American Revolution, erupts near Charleston, South Carolina.

    1776 – The Continental Congress officially names its union of states the United States.

    1791 – Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States, is named after President George Washington.

    1839 – John Herschel takes the first glass plate photograph.

    1845 – Possible start of the Great Famine of Ireland.

    1892 – Amalthea, third closest and fifth found moon of Jupiter is discovered by Edward Emerson Barnard.

    1914 – World War I: The creation of the Canadian Automobile Machine Gun Brigade, the first fully mechanized unit in the British Army.

    1923 – Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, founds the Republican People’s Party.

    1924 – Hanapepe massacre occurs on Kauai, Hawaii.

    1939 – Burmese national hero U Ottama dies in prison after a hunger strike to protest Britain’s colonial government.

    1940 – George Stibitz pioneers the first remote operation of a computer.

    1942 – World War II: A Japanese floatplane drops incendiary bombs on Oregon. [By coincidence, my sister flies home to Oregon from Japan today.]

    1947 – First case of a computer bug being found: A moth lodges in a relay of a Harvard Mark II computer at Harvard University.

    1948 – Kim Il Sung declares the establishment of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).

    1956 – Elvis Presley appears on The Ed Sullivan Show for the first time.

    1969 – In Canada, the Official Languages Act comes into force, making French equal to English throughout the Federal government.

    1970 – A British airliner is hijacked by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and flown to Dawson’s Field in Jordan.

    1971 – The four-day Attica Prison riot begins, eventually resulting in 39 dead, most killed by state troopers retaking the prison.

    1972 – In Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park, a Cave Research Foundation exploration and mapping team discovers a link between the Mammoth and Flint Ridge cave systems, making it the longest known cave passageway in the world.

    1993 – Israeli–Palestinian peace process: The Palestine Liberation Organization officially recognizes Israel as a legitimate state.

    2001 – Ahmad Shah Massoud, leader of the Northern Alliance, is assassinated in Afghanistan by two al-Qaeda assassins who claimed to be Arab journalists wanting an interview.

    2015 – Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. [Yesterday was the first anniversary of her death.]

    2016 – The government of North Korea conducts its fifth and reportedly biggest nuclear test. World leaders condemn the act, with South Korea calling it “maniacal recklessness”.I

    1585 – Cardinal Richelieu, French cardinal and politician (d. 1642).

    1737 – Luigi Galvani, Italian physician and physicist (d. 1798).

    1754 – William Bligh, English admiral and politician, 4th Governor of New South Wales (d. 1817).

    1828 – Leo Tolstoy, Russian author and playwright (d. 1910).

    1890 – Colonel Sanders, American businessman, founded KFC (d. 1980).

    1922 – Warwick Estevam Kerr, Brazilian geneticist, entomologist, and engineer (d. 2018).

    1926 – Louise Abeita, Isleta Pueblo (Native American) writer, poet, and educator (d. 2014).

    1931 – Ida Mae Martinez, American wrestler (d. 2010).

    1931 – Shirley Summerskill, English physician and politician.

    1941 – Otis Redding, American singer-songwriter and producer (d. 1967).

    1941 – Dennis Ritchie, American computer scientist, created the C programming language (d. 2011).

    1945 – Dee Dee Sharp, American singer. [Or D Eb, depending on how you look at it…]

    1946 – Bruce Palmer, Canadian folk-rock bass player (d. 2004).

    1949 – John Curry, English figure skater (d. 1994).

    1952 – Dave Stewart, English singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer.

    1960 – Hugh Grant, English actor and producer.

    1966 – Adam Sandler, American actor, comedian, producer, and screenwriter.

    1968 – Julia Sawalha, English actress.

    1975 – Michael Bublé, Canadian singer-songwriter and actor.

    1980 – Michelle Williams, American actress.

    That flesh is but the glasse, which holds the dust
    That measures all our time; which also shall
    Be crumbled into dust.

    1087 – William the Conqueror, English king (b. c.1028).

    1569 – Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Dutch painter (b. 1525).

    1834 – James Weddell, Belgian-English sailor and navigator (b. 1787).

    1901 – Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, French painter and illustrator (b. 1864).

    1941 – Hans Spemann, German embryologist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1869).

    1942 – Adele Kurzweil, Austrian Holocaust victim (b. 1925). [An Austrian girl of Jewish origin who was tracked down by Nazi Germany and murdered in Auschwitz concentration camp at arrival. Her fate became widely known after suitcases had been discovered in 1990 at her family’s last refuge in the southern French town of Auvillar.]

    1976 – Mao Zedong, Chinese philosopher, academic, and politician, 1st Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party (b. 1893).

    1978 – Jack L. Warner, Canadian-American production manager and producer, co-founded Warner Bros. (b. 1892).

    1997 – Burgess Meredith, American actor, director, and producer (b. 1907).

    2003 – Edward Teller, Hungarian-American physicist and academic (b. 1908).

    2004 – Ernie Ball, American guitarist and businessman (b. 1930). [Sometime in 1957 or 1958, Ball opened what he claimed was the first music store in the United States to sell guitars exclusively, in Tarzana, California. When music sales representatives criticized him for refusing to sell drumsticks and other musical equipment, Ball replied, “I just want to sell guitars.” I don’t think he’d value my personal endorsement of his Super Slinky guitar strings, bu they’re great…]

  4. President Kamala Harris, a do-nothing disaster.

    It’s not a given that she would not rise to the challenge if she was elevated to the office of president. My impression from the wrong side of the Atlantic is that vice presidents frequently seem to “do nothing”. Isn’t that the nature of the job whose primary function is to be there in case the president cops it?

    1. Would you vote for someone on the off chance that she would “rise to the challenge”? Remember, she was given a specific job as Veep: fix immigration. What has she done? Bupkes. Nor have I seen a glimmer of political savvy in her. Yes, there have been exceptions (LBJ is notable), but he had a long history of accomplishment before JFK chose him to be VP (read Caro’s biographies).

      1. In the context from which the quote was taken, you wouldn’t be voting for her. She would be assuming the office because Biden is incapacitated or dead.

        I certainly agree that you have a problem if Biden is running, because he is too old and there is a good chance he wouldn’t see out his second term, but there are worse people than Harris who could be president and their name is an anagram of Rumpt.

        If the Republican candidate is not Tr*mp and they are running against Biden, I think they will win.

      2. How could a Vice President fix immigration, a problem that has defeated every president and congress during the past two decades? Harris was given the task to make her look busy, but the Biden administration erred in giving her a task that can’t be tackled from a near-powerless position. That’s why VPs are usually given much smaller jobs. As Jeremy noted, Vice Presidents do little and have little power. Even the supposed puppet-master Dick Cheney was restrained by Bush and Rice from attacking Iran and eventually sidelined.

        Harris’s pre-VP career as a prosecutor, California attorney general, and Senator show her to be a decent, middle-of-the-road politican. I don’t have a problem with her taking over if Biden can’t serve a second term. And Biden will rightfully run for that term. The alternative—discarding the incumbent and having a battle for the nomination between lesser-known candidates—would make the Democrats look even weaker and more disorganized than Biden’s age issue. And as long as Biden’s opponent is Trump, age takes backseat. Sullivan may complain about Biden’s age but he’ll still vote for him over Trump, as will anyone who dislikes Trump. Nor would right-wing voters drift left if the Democrats nominated someone younger.

        1. +1. I think Biden’s age is seems to be an obsession of the media, and we rarely see anyone point out that Trump isn’t much younger.

      3. Its not the VP’s job to “fix” immigration, or any other major issue: that’s the job of Congress. The VP can’t issue executive orders, create legislation, create or enforce laws; in other words, the VP is powerless, so how could she fix the Sisyphean task of solving immigration? It’s misrepresenting her charge to say “she was given a specific job as Veep: fix immigration.” This isn’t true. She was given the job to try and curb immigration by tackling some of the root causes. One of them being the failed states of Central America that forced millions to flee. Anyway, if you or anyone is interested in what she’s actually done a quick google will reveal some facts (it’s not bupkes).

        What has Harris done for the border?

        New and expanded efforts include:

        Mobilizing Record Resources for Safe, Orderly, and Humane Processing of Migrants.

        Taking Thousands of Smugglers off the Streets and Countering Smuggler Misinformation.

        Expanding Coordination with and Support for Border Cities, Receiving Communities, and Non-Governmental Organizations.

        Vice President Kamala Harris’ effort to tackle root causes of migration from Central America has yielded more than $4.2 billion in private sector commitments, but border crossings remain high amid mass migration in the Western Hemisphere.

    2. Kamala Harris enthusiastically joined the execration of Al Franken, which was enough to put me off her. She also has a reputation for treating her staff badly.

      1. I should have preserved more of the quote. It’s taken from the part where Jerry speculated on what would happen if Biden got a second term. I’m not suggesting she would be a good candidate in the primaries.

  5. Biden is too old. It’s astonishing that in a country of more than 33O million people, Biden and Trump are likely to be the nominees in the ’24 presidential election.

  6. Here is another creepy and underreported priority of the Biden administration: putting “indigenous knowledge” on par with science and funding it heavily.

    The NSF Center for Braiding Indigenous Knowledges and Science (CBIKS) aims to advance knowledge about environmental change and its effects on food and cultural systems at local and global scales by combining Indigenous knowledge with Western science in effective, ethical and novel ways. The center’s goal is not only to increase what researchers know about interactions between the natural world and human societies, but also to impact how they investigate and address related societal challenges.

    1. Is the Biden-Harris administration adopting Indigenous Knowledge / western science policies similar to NZ? It seems so.

      The $30M grant that Lysander references is an example of the NSF implementing the Biden Administration’s official policy on Indigenous Knowledge. That policy is linked below.

      On Nov 30, 2022, Biden’s Executive Office of Science and Technology issued the following policy to all Federal departments and agencies.

      “… the Biden-Harris Administration’s OSTP and CEQ issued a memorandum on November 15, 2021, recognizing Indigenous Knowledge as one of the many important bodies of knowledge that contributes to the scientific, technical, social, and economic advancements of the United States, and to our collective understanding of the natural world.

      … This guidance… reaffirms that Agencies should recognize and, as appropriate, apply Indigenous Knowledge in decision making, research, and policies across the Federal Government. This guidance is founded on the understanding that multiple lines of evidence or ways of knowing can lead to better-informed decision making.

      … Indigenous Knowledge should guide metrics and evaluation; Agencies do not need to judge, validate, or evaluate Indigenous Knowledge using other forms of knowledge in order to include Indigenous Knowledge in Federal policy, research, or decision making

      … Federal Grants and Other Funding Opportunities: Agencies should ensure that Indigenous Knowledge is recognized, valued, and included in Federal grant making and other funding opportunities, which can improve the accessibility of funding to Tribes and Indigenous Peoples and facilitate exploration of new lines of research and development.

      … the RFP language, frame, and requirements for the research project or funding opportunity do not exclude the potential for Indigenous Knowledge and other forms of evidence to be included; (2) that the RFP language regarding professional qualifications includes Indigenous Knowledge… ensure that merit-based funding decisions involve scoring rubrics that value Indigenous Knowledge on par with other forms of evidence and methods of inquiry”

      I am a critic of the NZ govt’s efforts to equate Indigenous Knowledge with science. As I read more about this topic, I did gain a better appreciation of the American indigenous populations’ suspicion of western practices. To that end, I found this essay on theft and respect to be informative:

  7. My hope is that Biden will soon announce his retirement effective at the end of his term. I’m sure some people close to him have suggested this. Maybe there’s one critical person who could persuade him. Maybe Jill.

  8. “There is no Democratic candidate that can, at least now, credibly challenge Trump. Biden did his part, says Sullivan, in saving us from Trump.”

    1. I think RFK could beat Trump. Please note: I’m not endorsing him and I’m not saying he would make a good president. All I’m saying is I think he could beat Trump.

    2. It wasn’t Biden who saved us from Trump; it was Covid.

    1. “It wasn’t Biden who saved us from Trump; it was Covid”

      In other words, Trump saved us from Trump, and I’m pretty sure that will be the case in 2024 (assuming Trump is the nominee).

  9. It is often forgotten in the endless discussion of who is ahead or likely to win the next presidential election is that the overwhelming majority of votes do not count. This is because it would take a political earthquake in most states to switch a red state to blue and vice-versa. Even in the battleground states, the vast majority of voters have made up this minds as to whom they will vote for, and nothing will change their minds. The only votes that will count will come from the truly undecided in the battleground states, probably no more than 1% of the total national electorate. It is to these folks that the billions of dollars in campaign expenditure will be aimed at.

  10. Just a thought experiment: Imagine Biden retires and Trump is constitutionally disqualified from the ballot. Chaos reigns.

    1. I disagree. In your scenario, 2024 would be a relatively conventional presidential election. Who would win? Depends on who each party nominates and who the other party nominates.

  11. I suppose that when organizers and participants of opinion polls discuss Biden’s “age”, what they mean is that they are worried by his age-related cognitive decline, rather than age itself.
    I fully share the indignation from the complacent attitude to the Iranian regime which is not only suppressing brutally its own population and exporting terrorism but is also supplying Putin with weapons (notably Shahed drones).

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