The Biden Problem Has Been Years In The Making

As of now, it appears that Joe Biden is the only thing standing between American democracy and straight-up fascism. I stand firmly on the side of democracy, obviously, though I would be lying if I didn’t say that Joe Biden is making me very, very nervous.

During his rambling July 8 call-in to MSNBC’s Morning Joe, President Joe Biden railed against the “elites” in his own party who have been calling for him to step aside since last month’s catastrophic debate performance. In the interests of further shoring up his newfound populist bona fides, Biden’s next move was to take questions from a small group of his elite donors on an exclusive phone call.

The gulf between Biden’s rhetoric and his actual behavior — though certainly nothing new for a man whose self-styling as the scrappy, Amtrak-riding guy from Scranton has always clashed with his long-standing proximity to corporate interests and Wall Street — was nonetheless particularly striking in this case.

On both sides in the ongoing Biden saga — notwithstanding the president’s recent contention to the contrary — the underlying dynamic has been one of politics via elite parlor game: numerically minuscule factions consisting of donors, influencers, celebrities, and multimillionaire politicians carrying out palace intrigues largely independent from any democratic process.

Source: The Biden Problem Has Been Years In The Making

US cruise missiles to return to Germany, angering Moscow

Long-range US missiles are to be deployed periodically in Germany from 2026 for the first time since the Cold War, in a decision announced at Nato’s 75th anniversary summit.

The Tomahawk cruise, SM-6 and hypersonic missiles have a significantly longer range than existing missiles, the US and Germany said in a joint statement.

Such missiles would have been banned under a 1988 treaty between the US and former Soviet Union, but the pact fell apart five years ago.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow would react with a “military reponse to the new threat”.

“This is just a link in the chain of a course of escalation,” he argued, accusing Nato and the US of trying to intimidate Russia.

The joint US-German statement made clear the “episodic” deployment of the missiles was initially seen as temporary but would later become permanent, as part of a US commitment to Nato and Europe’s “integrated deterrence”.

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius, who was speaking at the Nato summit in Washington, said the idea behind the US plan was to encourage Germany and other European countries to put their own investment into developing and procuring longer-range missiles.

The temporary deployment of US weapons would give Nato allies the time to prepare, he explained: “We are talking here about an increasingly serious gap in capability in Europe.”

Source: US cruise missiles to return to Germany, angering Moscow

NATO urged to do more to counter Russian aggression in Ukraine

Ukraine and its most ardent supporters within NATO are airing frustrations that the bloc can do more to confront Russia, even as the alliance’s summit in Washington focuses largely on Western efforts to rein in Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and leaders of other countries on the front line with Russia warned against the alliance watering down language, self-imposing red lines, and holding back concrete commitments to deter and push back Russian aggression in Ukraine and surrounding countries.

At the top of the list is getting President Biden to lift restrictions on the use of U.S.- and allied-provided weapons to strike military targets up to 300 miles inside Russian territory. Biden, in May, said Ukraine can hit inside Russia near the area of Kharkiv.

“If we have this very special weapon, some of them we have, and if we can use it on the territory of Russia, especially on these military targets, if we can do it, of course we can defend civilians, hospitals, schools, children, we can do it,” Zelensky said in conversation at the Reagan Institute in Washington on Tuesday night.

Source: NATO urged to do more to counter Russian aggression in Ukraine

The founding of Raleigh’s Citizens Advisory Councils (CACs)

I conducted my first East Citizens Advisory Council (East CAC) meeting for the first time in years. It’s been a year since the CAC met but it felt good to be doing something again.

I thought it was prudent to create a presentation about CACs, since there are new neighbors in the area who aren’t familiar with them. I’m also slated to talk to the Wake One Water group (a Wake County board) about CACs this Friday and a presentation could be useful for that call as well.

I slapped some slides together at the last minute, putting in the “facts” that I had assembled over the years of participating in CACs. There were holes in my knowledge, though, that drove me to do some research today on the murky early days of CACs. What I found surprised me.

I was able to finally view archives of the Raleigh News and Observer through the State Library and searched these for mentions of CACs. Of course I found mentions from 1974, the year commonly stated as the birth year of CACs. As I kept digging, I was surprised that more mentions came up. Earlier.

Many of them in 1973.
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