• Hi Guest: Welcome to TRIBE, the online home of TRIBE MAGAZINE. If you'd like to post here, or reply to existing posts on TRIBE, you first have to register. Join us!

Biden Presidency

Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
The way JB was speaking on the January 6th anniversary, I wouldn't bet against the loser he defeated being exiled

I'll always remain hopeful we get an OJ style white bronco chase of DJT making a break for a jet to get out of the country
 

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Costco parking lot yesterday morning, next spot over...


20220118-104531.jpg
 
tribe cannabis accessories silver grinders

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
President Biden set his sights on Russian oligarchs, COVID fraudsters, social media platforms and even defund-the-police efforts tonight — populist targets in a broader speech about national and global unity.

Biden's anti-Russia, pro-Ukraine passages inspired the only real partisan unity in the chamber:
The U.S. Department of Justice is assembling a dedicated task force to go after the crimes of Russian oligarchs.
We are joining with our European allies to find and seize your yachts, your luxury apartments, your private jets. We are coming for your ill-begotten gains.
On Vladimir Putin, Biden ad-libbed: "He has no idea what’s coming."

Twitter erupted when Biden accidentally said Putin would never gain the hearts and souls of the "Iranian" people, instead of Ukrainian.

Biden's other targets:

He announced that the Justice Department will appoint a chief prosecutor to go after pandemic fraud.
He bluntly distanced himself from the defund-the-police movement: "The answer is not to defund the police. The answer is to fund the police with the resources and training they need to protect our communities."
With Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen in the audience, Biden framed social media as part of a larger mental health crisis and urged Congress to "strengthen privacy protections" and ban targeted advertising to children.

Reality check: Privacy legislation has been stalled for years, notes Axios managing editor Scott Rosenberg.

What we were watching, from Axios' Sophia Cai, in the House chamber:

  • Fellow Supreme Court justices standing to applaud retiring Stephen Breyer — but careful to avoid politics by sitting when Biden mentioned his nominee to replace Breyer, Ketanji Brown Jackson.
  • Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) sitting with Republicans — but rising for most of the Democrats' applause lines.
  • Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) shouting “13 of them!" as Biden spoke, referring to Americans killed at Kabul airport during the frantic evacuation from Afghanistan. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) shouted: "Stay out of women’s sports!"
 

praktik

TRIBE Member

Relearning the Limits of American Power All Over Again​

For these people, the problem is simply a lack of American will, as if the U.S. were omnipotent and the president wielded reality-altering powers.​


The Russian invasion of Ukraine has prompted a lot of handwringing about how the Biden administration “failed” to prevent it. One example of this is a report by Nahal Toosi in Politico, which frames the issue this way:

And actions that might have — maybe — changed Putin’s calculus, such as deploying U.S. troops to Ukraine itself, were not ones Biden would consider.
Alexander Vindman makes similar complaints in a recent article for The Atlantic:

For instance, early in December, President Biden openly acknowledged that he would not send American troops to fight in Ukraine, thus removing any possibility of strategic ambiguity. The U.S. could have refused to elucidate its security commitments to Ukraine, much as it has done vis-à-vis Taiwan for decades. The implicit threat of U.S. and NATO intervention would have forced Putin to contend with the risks of further escalation. Instead, Biden granted Putin a free hand.
Ruling out sending U.S. forces into a non-allied country is not a failure of any kind. It is one thing that Biden got absolutely right in this crisis. Biden would have had no right to commit the U.S. to fight for Ukraine, and putting American troops in Ukraine would have been more likely to inflame the situation since one of Moscow’s main objections was to the presence of Western military forces in Ukraine. Putting an American tripwire in Ukraine is unlikely to have deterred Putin from launching the attack, but it could easily have meant war between the U.S. and Russia.

Vindman dismisses the fear of conflict with Russia as “misplaced” and asserts that “Russian leaders have zero desire for nuclear war, and they understand that they would inevitably lose in a conventional war.” That is quite an assumption when it comes to a war in Ukraine, since Russia has a large conventional military advantage on its doorstep. Even if Russian leaders have no desire for nuclear war, putting the U.S. and Russia on a collision course unnecessarily by putting U.S. troops in Ukraine could quickly lead to escalation that ends in just such a war. The question Vindman doesn’t answer is why that is an acceptable risk for the president of the United States to take for the sake of a country that the U.S. is not obliged to defend. He also doesn’t address why Russia would take seriously a U.S./NATO threat to fight for Ukraine when the alliance clearly lacks both the means and the will to do so.

When confronted by the clear limits of what the U.S. and the American presidency can do in this crisis, the response from many observers, including more than a few journalists and analysts who should know better, is that the U.S. could have done something militarily that would have resolved the crisis. Some have even invoked the example of the U.S.-led coalition to reverse the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait as a model for what should be happening now, as if that situation is remotely comparable to today. For these people, the problem is simply a lack of American will, as if the U.S. were omnipotent and the president wielded reality-altering powers. No responsible president could ignore that U.S./NATO military intervention in Ukraine would likely lead to a much larger conflict, and ruling out that option from the start has made it less likely that the war will widen. Whatever else one wants to say about Biden’s handling of the crisis, his decision to rule out U.S. military involvement from the start was clearly the right one.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member

Relearning the Limits of American Power All Over Again​

For these people, the problem is simply a lack of American will, as if the U.S. were omnipotent and the president wielded reality-altering powers.​


The Russian invasion of Ukraine has prompted a lot of handwringing about how the Biden administration “failed” to prevent it. One example of this is a report by Nahal Toosi in Politico, which frames the issue this way:


Alexander Vindman makes similar complaints in a recent article for The Atlantic:


Ruling out sending U.S. forces into a non-allied country is not a failure of any kind. It is one thing that Biden got absolutely right in this crisis. Biden would have had no right to commit the U.S. to fight for Ukraine, and putting American troops in Ukraine would have been more likely to inflame the situation since one of Moscow’s main objections was to the presence of Western military forces in Ukraine. Putting an American tripwire in Ukraine is unlikely to have deterred Putin from launching the attack, but it could easily have meant war between the U.S. and Russia.

Vindman dismisses the fear of conflict with Russia as “misplaced” and asserts that “Russian leaders have zero desire for nuclear war, and they understand that they would inevitably lose in a conventional war.” That is quite an assumption when it comes to a war in Ukraine, since Russia has a large conventional military advantage on its doorstep. Even if Russian leaders have no desire for nuclear war, putting the U.S. and Russia on a collision course unnecessarily by putting U.S. troops in Ukraine could quickly lead to escalation that ends in just such a war. The question Vindman doesn’t answer is why that is an acceptable risk for the president of the United States to take for the sake of a country that the U.S. is not obliged to defend. He also doesn’t address why Russia would take seriously a U.S./NATO threat to fight for Ukraine when the alliance clearly lacks both the means and the will to do so.

When confronted by the clear limits of what the U.S. and the American presidency can do in this crisis, the response from many observers, including more than a few journalists and analysts who should know better, is that the U.S. could have done something militarily that would have resolved the crisis. Some have even invoked the example of the U.S.-led coalition to reverse the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait as a model for what should be happening now, as if that situation is remotely comparable to today. For these people, the problem is simply a lack of American will, as if the U.S. were omnipotent and the president wielded reality-altering powers. No responsible president could ignore that U.S./NATO military intervention in Ukraine would likely lead to a much larger conflict, and ruling out that option from the start has made it less likely that the war will widen. Whatever else one wants to say about Biden’s handling of the crisis, his decision to rule out U.S. military involvement from the start was clearly the right one.

related - from december, worth considering again:

When the 'Credibility' Hawks Attack​

We have seen this song and dance many times before, and we are seeing it again with Ukraine today.​

Daniel Larison
Dec 17, 2021

The New York Times ran a “news analysis” piece by Michael Crowley this week that presents a deeply flawed argument about Ukraine and U.S. credibility. Beginning with the title, “Biden’s Stand on Ukraine Is a Wider Test of U.S. Credibility Abroad,” the article presents a series of false and alarmist claims to paint a picture of crumbling U.S. credibility inviting international aggression. It is a very slanted piece in that it mostly cites only those analysts that endorse some version of this view and includes no acknowledgment that most scholars that work on this question don’t agree with the argument being presented. Anatol Lieven observed that “the accursed word credibility” had entered the Ukraine debate even before this piece was published, and he explained why it is so dangerous:
The problem is that this can help lead the empires into local commitments that are totally unjustifiable in their own terms. “Credibility” then becomes a self-generating engine of conflict, because the initial commitment increases the amount of “credibility” that will be lost if the United States subsequently withdraws or suffers defeat.
This is why hawks love to talk about credibility: they wish to get that engine of conflict running and never let it stop.
The Times piece includes a predictable claim that withdrawing from Afghanistan somehow undermined U.S. commitments elsewhere:
Compounding the challenge for Mr. Biden is the possibility that Mr. Putin may perceive American weakness after Mr. Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, which critics say signaled waning U.S. resolve overseas.
A proper analysis piece would point out that there are many people that have debunked this claim in the last few months. The idea that withdrawing from a conflict after 20 years, thousands of casualties suffered, and trillions of dollars spent signals “waning” resolve is absurd, but here it it treated as a serious interpretation that may be informing the thinking of the Russian government. Other states typically do not look at U.S. withdrawals from pointless peripheral wars as proof that the U.S. lacks resolve. It is much more common for them to marvel at American stubbornness and stupidity for staying in unwinnable wars for as long as the U.S. often does.
As Michael Cohen said in October:
Yet they are practically always wrong. Credibility is perhaps the most overinflated concept in international affairs. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, global leaders hardly obsess over America’s retreat from lost wars.
Withdrawing from Vietnam did not signal waning U.S. resolve. It finally signaled that the U.S. was wising up to the futility of the war. The same goes for Afghanistan, and for Iraq before that. Fighting wars for credibility is stupid, and continuing to fight them in the name of credibility when their costs far exceed any possible benefits is even stupider.
At some points, the analysis creates a misleading impression that credibility has something to do with achieving certain policy goals rather than following through on promises and threats:
Richard Fontaine, the chief executive of the nonpartisan Center for a New American Security, said the standoff amounted to a test of American credibility.
“If the United States says, ‘Don’t do this, you will regret it, there will be very serious costs,’ and the Russians do it anyway, it does raise questions about America’s ability to achieve outcomes, at least in the Russian immediate periphery,” he said.
The U.S. has threatened additional severe economic sanctions in the event of Russian military action. No one doubts that the U.S. is willing and able to impose severe sanctions on Russia. This has already happened. The U.S. has heavily sanctioned Russia for most of the last decade, and Biden has added to them in his first year in office. So the issue here is not that the U.S. threat isn’t credible, but that the cost imposed by the sanctions may not be great enough to discourage Russia from military action. Whether the U.S. can “achieve outcomes” concerns the limits of U.S. power. It really has nothing to do with credibility at all.
Of course, no hawkish credibility argument would be complete without a mindless warning against appeasement:
“Vladimir Putin has invaded two democratic neighbors in just over a decade. Letting him do it a third time would set the global system back decades,” said James R. Stavridis, a retired four-star Navy admiral who served as the supreme allied commander at NATO. “Appeasement does not work any better now than it worked for Neville Chamberlain in the late 1930s.”
Stavridis can’t or won’t acknowledge that the circumstances surrounding the start of those conflicts. It complicates things significantly that the Georgian government bore significant responsibility for escalating the conflict that led to the Russian intervention in 2008. That conflict was preventable and it was mostly driven by the behavior of a reckless would-be client, and that client had been encouraged to think that the U.S. and its allies would come to their aid in a conflict. The dangerous promise of future NATO membership was part of that. While there was a fear at the time that Russian forces would not halt and might try to topple the Georgian government, the Russian advance halted and their forces then withdrew to the separatist territories. Invoking the 1930s and implying that the U.S. and its allies face something like Nazi-like aggression today ignore that previous Russian interventions have been relatively limited. No one has to approve of these actions to understand that we are not reliving 1938.
The “analysis” then cites a hawkish Republican Congressman, Mike McCaul of Texas:
“Particularly in the aftermath of the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Nord Stream 2 capitulation, U.S. credibility from Kyiv to Taipei cannot withstand another blow of this nature.”
If you believed credibility hawks’ past claims, U.S. credibility ought to be completely gone by now, but somehow it is never seriously damaged later on. It is supposed to be constantly eroding, but also intact enough for it to be threatened by the next “failure” to go to war. Choosing not to bomb Syria in 2013 supposedly did great damage, as did withdrawing from Iraq in 2011. “Failing” to attack Iran after the Abqaiq strike was supposed to have done even more. The withdrawal from Afghanistan is the latest to be added to the litany.
The truth is that hawks invoke credibility to browbeat presidents into taking more aggressive actions than are warranted. They do this by trying to scare them into believing that if they don’t take those actions the entire international system will come crashing down around their ears. We have seen this song and dance many times before, and we are seeing it again with Ukraine today. When hawks warn about the dangers to U.S. credibility, they are doing so as advocates of a particular position. They are not offering informed analysis of international political realities. It is no accident that they consistently fail to understand those realities. After all, they were not interested in correctly understanding the situation. They are looking for a pretext to intervene.
The piece then quotes Stavridis again as he tries to link Ukraine and Taiwan:
“China will be watching U.S. support to Ukraine, and it will inform their calculus regarding Taiwan,” Mr. Stavridis said.
This is the sort of simplistic and silly thinking that credibility hawks use all the time. They treat very different countries in different situations almost as if they were interchangeable widgets. If the U.S. doesn’t do X for Ukraine, that somehow implies that it won’t do X for Taiwan, but this is nonsense. The U.S. has a commitment to help Taiwan defend itself. The same is not true for Ukraine. U.S. interests in the two places are not identical. I would argue that the U.S. has vital interests in neither place, but Taiwan still arguably matters more to the U.S. than Ukraine does. The credibility of U.S. threats and promises depends on interests and capabilities. It does not depend on some sort of magical linkage between different cases.
The article does finally bring in one quasi-dissenting view at the very end when it cites Bonnie Glaser, who rejects the facile equation of Ukraine and Taiwan:
“I think the Chinese would be ill-advised to assume that if the United States did not intervene militarily in a Ukraine crisis, that means the United States would not intervene militarily in a Taiwan crisis,” said Bonnie Glaser, the director of the Asia program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. “They really are different.”
Glaser’s quote is the only time that anything other than relentless hawkish spin is included in the “analysis.” Needless to say, the article does not include any quotes from critics of the hawkish credibility argument, and it does not acknowledge credibility hawks have led the U.S. into senseless and unnecessary wars in the past. All in all, the “news analysis” piece reads like fairly crude hawkish propaganda, and the Times does its readers and the American public a real disservice by publishing something this one-sided and inaccurate.
 
tribe cannabis accessories silver grinders

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
America is on the verge of the first truly parallel universe presidential campaign — where the parties speak to distinct groups of voters, in distinct media ecosystems, pushing distinct realities.
  • Why it matters: The days of appearing on the same media channels or even the same debate stage seem over.
Forget traditional debates. Equal time on conventional TV. Or mainstream reporters pushing candidates from both parties.
  • Instead, narrowcasting playbooks that have been road-tested in this year's midterms will be deployed at scale.
The result: The right talking to the right ... Left talking to the left ... And the new silent majority — people who don't marinate in tweets or cable news — left out like never before.
  • Debates are a key casualty. As we told you yesterday, they've dwindled in this year's congressional races. Ahead of 2024, the RNC formally cut ties with the Commission on Presidential Debates after 35 years.
Our thought bubble, from Axios' Josh Kraushaar: So-called silent majority swing voters have mostly tuned out political noise — they view it as a partisan kabuki show. They’re voting on the economy.
  • These are the voters who have given both parties a vote of no-confidence since 2006 — and have been responsible for Congress swinging back and forth in so many elections since then.
Zoom in: For a '24 preview, look at this year's reelection campaign by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), which is being staffed, funded and run as a forerunner to a presidential bid.
  • Former President Trump relished engaging with the mainstream media — even while bashing it as fake.
  • But DeSantis shuns and shuts out most traditional media, and loves to try to embarrass reporters who press him.
Zoom out: It's not just Florida. Danielle Kurtzleben, an NPR politics correspondent, wrote this summer that when she went to Wisconsin to report on the abortion issue in midterm races, "I heard back from the Democrats but not the Republicans."
  • "The top Republican governor candidates posted no events, though their social media showed they were out, talking to voters."
And it's not just Republicans. President Biden's aides are increasingly going around the media filter, NBC's Mike Memoli writes:
  • During a West Coast swing this month, "Biden sat down in person with actors Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett for a conversation that will air ... on 'SmartLess,' one of the most-listened-to podcasts. During a trip to the Detroit auto show in September he talked [to] Daniel Mac — and his 12 million followers on TikTok."
The bottom line: Polarized America is about to become even more so.
 
Top