Last Night’s Debate Trump by Decision and What’s Was With Biden’s Eyes?

Because I was working last night I only got to hear about 25 min of the debate on the radio before coming home and watching the whole thing.

I did a twitter thread (accidentally in several parts during the night on my impressions of that 25 min then livetweeted my thoughts as I watched the debate making sure I didn’t see any social media so I could judge on what I saw.

I did it on twitter because I figured nobody would read a liveblog that’s three hours late. The full thread is here but here are the main points.

  1. The biggest question going into the debate was if Biden could function. He clearly could which means that his position on the ticket is secure, and that debate is over. That’s the good news for him, the bad news is that if either during the next debates or during interviews he slips back into “slo Joe” mode the question is going to be what happened? Did he just rise to the occasion as an Ezzard Charles in round 14 vs Marciano or was he drugged up for the debate.
  2. There was a big difference between watching the Debate and listening to it. Biden’s voice was pretty good and his comeback, while factually BS were not bad, but his appearance was terrible, particularly his eyes which jumped out at you. He also had a habit of looking down while the president was speaking which, while it might have been to consult or take notes made it look like he was out on his feet, sort of like an android being shut off to conserve power. I submit and suggest that if you were watching you could not help but notice that.
  3. All of that being said I really liked the back and forth and when they would go back and forth he usually held his own. I think that while Trump was and is superior in those things it’s the type of thing that brought him to life the most.
  4. After the debate I saw a lot of hitting of Chris Wallace but it seemed to me that while he did favor Biden slightly he clearly asked good questions and tough questions to both candidate and as stated he did allow them to free for all a bit which were in my opinion the best (and most entertaining) parts of the show.
  5. Yeah he was harder on Trump, at some points a lot harder, but the media’s always hard on Trump, so I judged him on that scale. The fact that he was also hard on Biden is the difference to me.
  6. As for President Trump he was, pretty much himself. I think he had a good debate and several huge hits. The Hunter Biden stuff was strong (Biden’s attempt to pivot to his other son was smart as was admitting the drug problem there). The democrat cities there was a big hit, but his best thing was the 47 year theme. I only heard it once on the radio not knowing that it was a reoccurring piece for him. That left a mark.
  7. The: “I’ve done more in 47 months that you have in 47 years” was the line of the night for him. That being said I think he passed up several open shots where he could have touted his actual record of accomplishments and instead used those moments to hit Biden. Particularly on the exchange about race. I’m also shocked that when he had the chance he didn’t bring up his peace deals. It was almost the Maricano / LaStrazza fight where he was punishing him rather than knocking him out.
  8. My final judgement. I think Trump won both on the radio or watching but on the radio he might have won (based on a twelve rounder) 118-110 but on TV he won 118-105 but either way it was clearly a 12 round decision not a knockout, although Andrew Sullivan (who endorsed Biden this week) may disagree

Update: Cue classic SNL

The Biden money tree

By Christopher Harper

As DaTimes delves into the illicitly obtained tax returns of Donald Trump, the news organization has failed to analyze the finances of Joe Biden, who heralds himself as the “common man.”

That common man and his wife made more than $30 million over the past two years through book deals and speeches, costing about $100,000 a pop.

What is appalling is all the information about the Biden family and its shenanigans that DaTimes fails to follow up on, preferring instead to continue its partisan attacks on Trump.

As I delved into the Biden family finances, I was surprised to find the most detailed account in POLITICO before it jumped on the Biden bandwagon. See https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/08/02/joe-biden-investigation-hunter-brother-hedge-fund-money-2020-campaign-227407

As the former vice president rolled out his tired speeches for another run, POLITICO analyzed the sleazy back story of how Biden’s family took advantage of his government positions.

That story is far more than Hunter’s recent antics in China and Ukraine. The story goes back to Biden’s first days in the Senate.

As POLITICO puts it in the 2019 investigation, “[V]entures, over nearly half a century, have regularly raised conflict-of-interest questions and brought the Biden family into potentially compromising associations. This investigation offers the most comprehensive account to date of the politically tinged business activities of Biden’s brother and son, and is the first time former associates of James and Hunter have alleged that the pair explicitly sought to make money off of Joe’s political connections.”

As Joe was entering the Senate in 1973, including a seat on the Banking Committee, his younger brother James operated Seasons Change night club with help from unusually generous bank loans.

From 2001 to 2008, Hunter worked as a Washington lobbyist for the banking industry—a period when Joe pushed a sweetheart deal on bankruptcies that benefited his son’s employer, MBNA.

James and Hunter take over Paradigm Global Advisors as Joe sat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Paradigm was the first of several such companies that James and Hunter used to expand into China, Ukraine, and elsewhere, riding on the coattails of Joe’s government position.

With his brother as vice president, James joined HillStone International, which in 2011, obtained a $1.5 billion deal to build houses in Iraq.

In 2013, Hunter traveled to Beijing with his father on official business. While there, he introduced his father to his Chinese business partner, Jonathan Li of Bohai Capital, with whom he had concluded a lucrative real estate deal.

In March 2014, Russia invaded Crimea’s Ukrainian peninsula, and Joe led the Obama Administration response. A month later, Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings gave Hunter Biden a lucrative board position worth $600,000 a year.

Perhaps DaTimes should expend the same amount of effort in unraveling the Biden family’s fortune as it did on Donald Trump.

Five Debate (if it happens) Thoughts Under the Fedora

As of this writing, (9 AM EST Monday) the 1st Debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden is still on.

This is undoubtedly a surprise to many who thought the Democrats would not risk such a thing but they may have decided it is too big a risk NOT to have said debate.

Anyways how Biden does will in my opinion determine if there are any more debates or even if he stays on the ticket, but one thing is certain. If he is still breathing and can remember his own name it will be proclaimed an unadulterated triumph.


I really thought Ginsberg’s death and the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett would “Trump” any new “October Surprise” that the left was playing but the NYT decided to go all in on illegally leaked tax forms.

I suspect that the media will make much of it and Biden will try to play it up in the debate but as the leaked data not only shows no illegality, nor links to the Russians but verifies what POTUS has said for years that he’s been under audit I suspect he will be able to swat that away pretty well, and even counter that if a President’s taxes can be illegally leaked by the Deep state Democrats with an agenda then how safe is your “confidential” data if they are in power with an AG that will ignore this stuff. This tweet and reply says it all


Speaking of Barrett it will be interesting to see how Joe “I’m a good catholic really I am” Biden answer questions concerning the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. I’m sure President Trump will challenge him on some of the anti-catholic stuff but I’m thinking Biden will come back with healthcare Healthcare HEALTHCARE which actually means obamacare Obamacare OBAMACARE

I don’t think that’s a winning issue for the left but it’s their safest move.


The real danger for the Biden campaign if the James O’Keefe Stuff that dropped Sunday Night documenting voter fraud in Minnesota and more importantly unlike the “big stories” that the media has pushed, contains actual video and on the record sources.

It goes without saying that the moderator will avoid this like the plague, although attempts to bring up “will you commit to concede if defeated” questions will give President Trump a huge opening to run with this story.

This is exactly the type of thing that will get an already motivated Trump base excited and will, if viewed by people who watch the debate will cause them to distrust Democrats.


Finally who will win? Well Powerline says this:

Going back at least as far as Ronald Reagan, incumbent presidents have not done well in first debates. Bill Clinton is the only exception.

I think the problem for incumbents is overconfidence. After four years in office, presidents think they know enough and have enough experience handling questions to get through a debate in good shape. I suspect this overconfidence leads to insufficient preparation.

In addition, incumbents tend not to be used to having their statements challenged. As a result of these factors, incumbents typically struggle under the onslaught of challengers, who typically are desperate.

I think this will not be a problem. Trump has dealt with the onslaught of a hostile press every day in office, additionally You have to remember who Trump is speaking to. His escalator speech was universally panned by the experts but was designed to be understood and applauded by normal people. Expect more of that.

But I’ll repeat my line from the 1st paragraph, If he is still breathing and can remember his own name it will be proclaimed an unadulterated triumph for him by the media.

Side thought. If Drudge puts up a “who won the debate” poll it will be the 1st time in months that conservatives bother to visit his site.

DaTechGuy on DaRadio Fault Lines Radio that is Tomorrow 8:30 AM EST.

Tomorrow on the feast of the Archangels Michael, Raphael and Gabriel I’ll be on Fault Lines Radio talking the NYT tax story.

Oh full disclose, I’ll be on Fault Lines Radio making fun of the NYT Trump Tax story & those pushing it and making this point:

Oh and don’t miss this week’s live stream podcast tentatively at 3 PM unless the horrible Trump economy makes me work another Friday.

Hope to catch you there.

Report from Louisiana: Cassidy v. Perkins, Senate 2020

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – One of the races people in Louisiana will be watching this fall will be the Senate race; incumbent Bill Cassidy will be challenged by Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins. I will tell you, a lot of people in Shreveport were not surprised when Perkins announced his candidacy; not many people really believe he has true dedication for the betterment of Shreveport.

When Perkins ran for mayor of Shreveport in 2018, he won in a runoff against incumbent Mayor Ollie Tyler. On paper, Perkins looks like a wunderkid: Harvard Law School, Army veteran, recipient of the Bronze Star, young, black, upwardly mobile…it all looks swell.

Looks are deceiving.

From the start Perkins drew controversy and criticism because he really did not live in Shreveport, and people could not figure out why he wanted to be mayor here.  Perkins was raised in Shreveport, graduated high school in Shreveport, but then left Louisiana to serve in the U.S. Army, and then was selected by the Pat Tillman Foundation to be a Tillman scholar; he went to Harvard.  Perkins was absent from Shreveport for fourteen years before he came back in 2017 to prime the pump for his mayoral run.

Perkins never voted in any election until he voted for himself at age 32 for mayor.

Local political pundit Elliot Stonecipher asked a lot of questions about the mysterious Adrian Perkins back in 2018 after Perkins won the election.

Stonecipher was not wrong.  There have been a lot of questions about Perkins and his behavior in the past two years.

For example, one of the first acts as mayor was to change insurance companies for the City. The new plan cost far more for far less coverage. As it turned out, the new plan was awarded to a man named Roddrelle Sykes of Frost Bank Insurance; Sykes is the first cousin of Perkins’s campaign manager.  Perkins did not get City Council authorization for this change which was required, nor did he go through the bid process.

The whole affair was very sketchy and prompted an Internal Audit. Scandal number one.

There was also a scandal, or controversy, about his car allowance; Perkins took both the car assigned to him AND the car allowance, rather than one or the other.

And then there were the rumors of potential drunk driving stops, which the mayor explained away and was never cited.

There have been a series of these unfortunate events that have caused many in Shreveport to question the mayor’s dedication to the city; does he really care about improving life in Shreveport or is this just a stepping stone to higher aspirations?

To that end, Barack Obama endorsed Perkins last week for his Senate bid, apparently only because Perkins is a Democrat rather than for any actual accomplishment he has done for the city.

One of his pet projects is Universal Basic Income which is obviously highly controversial.

In fact, Perkins cares so much for Shreveport, the first thing he did when Hurricane Laura blew threw earlier in the month, leaving thousands without power in Shreveport, Perkins decamped for Lake Charles to volunteer there for photo ops.

Under his tenure, crime in Shreveport has been epidemic with nearly daily shootings. We had this problem before, certainly, but it has gotten no better under Perkins. It seems to have gotten worse. Police officer pay is so low we are some forty officers short; the streets are drag strips and infrastructure is literally crumbling.

It would not be fair to attribute all of the Shreveport woes (and there are many) to Perkins, but as a man who vowed to improve life in Shreveport as part of his campaign, what has he done? Not much. Not much at all.  

I don’t think anyone really expects Perkins to win against Cassidy, but stranger things have happened. Perhaps this is more for exposure, paving the way later on for another bid at something else. He appears to have some fairly savvy handlers.

Suffice to say that many in town thought it was a joke when Perkins announced this run; I thought it was a Babylon Bee article at first, seriously.

But, time will tell.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

Democrats Barrett Dilemma: Approaching but not Crossing the Loony Line

With the formal nomination of Amy Coney Barrett and the knowledge that Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump already have the votes to put her on the Supreme Court the Democrats find themselves in one of the worst dilemmas that they need to face.

In a more pragmatic age the Democrats would make a few pro-forma statements ask a few pointed questions and make some fuss in the press and that would be it.

But this is not a normal age, this is an age of lunacy, an age of violent militant leftists and Bernie Bros who might not turn out for candidates who are not suffivently woke and angry.

Even worse for the left these folks are not above violence against their own side as Ted Wheeler can tell you.

If it was up to them the hearings would be the Charge of the Light Brigade with every gun firing and every voice shouting.

This of course is political suicide in an election where you need swing states and most importantly in an election where you have Democrats in the house and candidates for the senate who can’t appear as lunatics right before the voters vote.

So the Democrats need a feint, not so much to spook or fool the “Party of StupidTM (although if the make a mistake dumb enough to derail the nomination they’ll jump at it) but to fool the radical millitant left into thinking they’re ready to charge into the valley of death to stop her.

If it was up to me I’d go with the boycotting of the hearings and having some sort of large rally outside the SCOTUS. That way they can scream and shout and allow their minions to weep and gnash their teeth to their hearts content and throw in some “performance art” without actually doing anything on the record that might cost them votes they will need come election day. The angry/loony left which is their biggest danger tends to be moved by that kind of stuff.

If they are really desperate they can extend this to the actual vote where once the GOP has their 50th vote they can walk out enmasse, again plenty of symbolism without the stupidity.

Either way it’s their problem and I look forward to watching them crash and burn whatever they do

Illinoisans: Vote “No” on the Unfair Tax Amendment

By John Ruberry

I’ve mentioned this profound sentenced from a 2016 Chicago Tribune editorial several times here before at Da Tech Guy. “As a result, Illinois government,” the newspaper’s editorial board wrote, “is a massive retirement system that, during work hours, also offers some services.”

It’s actually worse than than that. Illinois is a racket where elected politicians, many of them legislators in gerrymandered districts created by longtime party boss Michael Madigan, rewards pals with unionized jobs. Those unions are public-sector unions such as AFSCME and SEIU, which plow campaign contributions from dues money into the coffers of Democratic politicians who protect unaffordable pension plans from any cuts. Okay, I know, in accordance with the state constitution pension benefits cannot be lowered. An amendment to that document to allow pension reform is vehemently opposed by Illinois Democrats. 

Instead the Dems are pushing what they call the Fair Tax Amendment which will allow for a state income tax with graduated rates, currently only a flat rate is prohibited. Eight states, including Florida, Nevada, Texas, and Tennessee, which coincidentally are popular destinations for escapees for Illinoisans, have no state income tax. Most Illinoisans, we are promised by the pols hawking the Fair Tax Amendment, will see a tax cut, albeit one that is a pittance. If what I call the Unfair Tax Amendment passes, the “rich” will pay more but mark my words. Springfield politicians are liars and the tax rates will reach down in a few years to the middle class and the working poor. That’s because the rich will leave and those left behind will get stuck with the bill. Oh, the others will leave too. Don’t forget, Illinois has lost population every year since 2014.

The Fair Tax Amendment is on the ballot for Illinois voters to decide in November.

As I’ve also mentioned here before, Michael Madigan, the state House speaker for 35 of the last 37 years, has had his fingers on every state budget, and every failed pension fix, for decades. Those “fixes” for the most part kinda-sorta solved the pension crisis for five years or so. Which means they solved nothing.

If you trust Madigan to fix Illinois’ pensions and finances then you are a fool. The Prairie State’s second-most powerful politician, another Chicago Democrat, Governor J.B. Pritzker, was arguably put into office by the Madigan machine. Illinois’ lieutenant governor, Juliana Stratton, first run for public office, a state House seat, was a victorious one. In a very expensive race Stratton defeated another Democrat who dared to cross Boss Madigan. The Boss of Illinois even convinced Barack Obama to go after Stratton’s opponent.

In a conference call on Thursday Stratton threatened Illinois residents with a twenty-percent across the board income tax hike if the Unfair Tax Amendment fails. In 2017 the General Assembly overrode Republican governor Bruce Rauner’s veto to raise income taxes by 32 percent. Still at the end of 2019, Illinois’ unfunded pension liability went up by $3.8 billion to nearly $140 billion. Well, that tax hike didn’t work. Keep in mind Pritzker’s heavy-handed COVID-19 lockdown, which has severely impaired state revenues, promises to provide more financial shocks. 

And I want to be clear, some Republicans, namely governors James Thompson, Jim Edgar, and George Ryan, deserve some of the blame for Illinois’ predicament. Democrat Rod Blagojevich, the recently freed convict who supports Donald Trump for president, was equally irresponsible in fiscal matters during his time as governor. Edgar supports Joe Biden over Trump. Man, oh man, is Illinois a crazy place.

Illinois cannot tax itself out of this human-made disaster. A Fair Pension Amendment, one that protects modest pensioners and Illinois taxpayers, is the best way out. Followed by a Fair Map Amendment. Madigan’s Picasso-like gerrymandering skills in drawing maps puts his lackeys in office in the General Assembly. For the most part the Illinois legislature functions like a private country club, one that allows a few Republican members inside to make it look genuine. Twice in the 2010s hundreds of thousands of Illinois voters signed petitions to put a Fair Map Amendment on the ballot. Twice an attorney with ties to Madigan successfully sued to block it

How adept at gerrymandering is Madigan? In 2014, GOPer Rauner won 101 of Illinois 102 counties and defeated the incumbent Democratic governor. But Madigan didn’t lose a single seat in the state House that year and he kept his supermajority in the lower chamber. Yes, I’m aware that the GOP gerrymandered districts in 1991. That’s wrong too.

Illinois government is a failure.

And one party does not have all the right answers. Yes, that includes Republicans. Which is why we need two parties.

The Fair Tax Amendment is really a public-sector worker pension plan bailout where millions of Illinoisans, who don’t have a fixed-benefit pension plan, will pay for ones who do.

As I wrote in my own blog last week, “If Illinois politicians are ever given an unlimited budget–they will exceed it.”

The cure for a heroin addict isn’t a larger dose of heroin.

Illinoisans: Vote “No” on the so-called Fair Tax Amendment. 

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Six Amy Coney Barrett Thoughts Under My Fedora

I keep seeing tweets like this from the left:

Now maybe it’s just me but doesn’t the fact that this is a woman who has had a decades long career as a Law Professor and is a current sitting judge logically blow away the whole idea that she is into women being some kind of submissive servants?

“Liberal logic” is an oxymoron.


There also seems to be a lot of worry about how she is going to handle all of these attacks.

Please.

Any woman who can balance a career like hers AND raise seven kids isn’t going to be phased by any of the hysterical nonsense that the Democrat / Media / Liberal left is going to throw at her.

Plus she was also the oldest of seven kids herself. She has a lifetime of dealing with childish brats like Democrats.


From what I’ve heard the Barrett announcement was supposed to be earlier in the day but was moved back several times.

I guess getting seven kids ready for an appearnece with the President while their mother is nominated for SCOTUS might be a bit of a pain.

Where’s your tie. I just put your tie on the chair a minute ago”

“Dad I can’t wear this all the other girls will think I’m a loser”

“Get that frog out of your sister’s shoe!”

“Ma do I have to stand next to HIM, can’t I stand on the other side?”

“Turn out your pockets we aren’t leaving this house till I KNOW you don’t have that thing with you that makes the farting noise.”

I have a feeling each day sitting on SCOTUS in session will mean several hours of blissful peace and quiet for her by comparison.


Long before anyone knew the good Lord had decided to grant Justice Ginsberg’s wish not to see Donald Trump appoint her replacement to the SCOTUS Franklin Graham, the great Protestant Minister and son of Billy Graham, had scheduled a day of prayer in DC for the 25th of September.

So on the day that Amy Comey Barrett was announced as the President’s pick to fill the open SCOTUS seat flocks of the faithful in the tens of thousands will be on hand to pray for her.

Talk about working in mysterious ways.


There is also one other bit of irony here.

Reverend Graham is likely one of the best if not THE best known protestant ministers in the US if not the English speaking world.

And yesterday he led a huge flock of protestant in prayer while at the same time celebrating the appointment of a faithful Catholic woman to the Supreme Court.

Given the history of America’s founding all the way through today the degree of irony involved in such a thing is off the scale or as I put it on twitter:

While a lot of liberal are tearing their hair out today centuries worth of Anti-Catholic bigots are rolling in their graves.

Never forget that while you might not know what God is doing, he always does.


Speaking of irony, last night I watched two speeches by Amy Coney Barrett one after she was appointed by President Trump to the Federal counts at Hillsdale here. and a 2nd while she was still a law professor that she gave just a week before election 2016 at the Public Policy Institute at Jacksonville University at a time when just about everyone thought Hillary Clinton was going to win. She delivered a line that I found incredibly ironic.

“What would we have in a Trump court? Who knows?” [audience laughs]

Here is the delivery:

The irony overload is huge but it also illustrates why the left is so angry. They thought they were going to secure the court for generations to come.


Let me close with my favorite of all the tweets I saw on the subject yesterday.

The grain of salt for military opinions

Same goes for military intervention…

Every election there seems to be a string of retired military flag and general officers that come out of the woodwork to support one candidate or another. The media acts like these opinions really matter, and we’ll hear endless debate about what “the generals” think. But do these people’s opinions really matter?

Like any good question, the correct answer is “it depends.” First, retired military members can share whatever opinion they want. Active duty members are restricted on what opinions they can share, since they work for the executive branch of the government. That’s why you see the disclaimer at the bottom of my articles, and why I don’t get too edgy on any sitting President from either party. Retired military members don’t have these restrictions, despite what people may think or want.

OK, so they can talk, but do they say anything useful? Most retired flag or general officers were in the service for between 25 and 40 years. That translates to somewhere between 8 to 16 different duty stations. Many of these were in different states and different countries, so in terms of understanding how different parts of the world work, these officers were certainly exposed to that. Moving between different continents exposes them to the good and the bad of how countries operate and the issues each country faces. This is particularly important when thinking about foreign policy, where the U.S. news service is terrible at covering issues like the water crisis in the Sudan, competition between Russia and China in central Asia, and the continuing problems in the Balkans.

There is a caveat to this that is really important. Military members go to places that have trouble. We don’t send people to Africa or the Middle East because its fun. Every overseas tour or travel is in the lens of failed diplomacy or democracy, so the member is there to fix it. Civil war in Yemen? Shoot some missiles in and kill some bad guys! Military members are primed for action. That’s not a bad thing. The military mindset of solving problems is positive, but it has two drawbacks. First, we hesitate to say “not my problem,” and second, we value U.S. intervention over others.

Let’s look at Syria for the first issue. Syria is a mess. We have Russia attempting to maintain influence in the country, especially since it owns a major naval base at Latakia. Turkey, a NATO ally, and Syria share a long, not the best defined border that has a host of illegal crossings. Then we have Iran shipping weapons and people across a poorly controlled Iraqi border to Syria. Combine that with a government focused on maintaining power rather than protecting its own people, and you have a California-sized tinder box just waiting for a gender reveal party.

So, could we go in and sort it out. Yes! Whats the cost? I’d start at ~5,000 U.S. deaths and we’d need to sit there for at least 15-30 years. Sounds crazy? Well, we won World War 2 over 70 years ago and we’re still in Germany and Japan. Maybe that’s not fair, let’s go with when the Berlin Wall collapsed…that’s still 44 years! Thirty years might be an understatement. That sounds a lot like colonization, and is guaranteed to get us a lot bad press.

Is there suffering in Syria? Yes, and at horrible levels. I’m not denying that. There is a lot of suffering all over the place. Should we care about Syria? Yes. But that’s not the important question. The important question is:

Do we care about Syria enough, and more than anyone else in the area, to commit to a very long term stay that will cost American lives?

It’s like a mortgage that you can’t sell back. You buy a house with a 30 year mortgage. You can just walk away, but it’ll rot and rust, and someone else might move in. That’s our problem with making everything our problem. We simply don’t have the resources to fix every problem in the world. We should pick and choose wisely. I wasn’t surprised when President Trump pulled the U.S. out of Syria. I was surprised by the backlash from military members. That’s the first big issue with retired flag and general officers: they all too often don’t ask whether we should get involved at all.

The second issue is valuing U.S. intervention over others. We talk the talk about loving our allies, but lets be honest, only about a handful are capable in any sort of extended, high intensity fight. That’s OK, because they’re allied with us, but it also makes them wary of jumping feet first into what looks like reckless U.S. intervention. Everyone loved being part of the first coalition to free Kuwait, but once we freed Kuwait, there was no desire by other countries to turn north to Iraq. We invaded Iraq years later to topple a really bad dictator, and we had allies come with, but they weren’t exactly thrilled. Our allies were happy to jump into Afghanistan, but after it dragged past four years, that enthusiasm waned.

When our allies work without us, it takes them longer, and our retired military members make plenty of comments like “we should support them,” without asking whether it makes any sense. When Mali fought Islamic insurgents and France wanted U.S. support, President Obama asked them to pay for it. He’s not wrong, because the correct question to ask is, are we willing to stay there for a long time? Most Americans can’t find Mali on a map, let alone pick out any U.S. interest in that country.

We also need to ask a really hard question about what retired admirals and generals do when they get out of the service. A few of them retire and “go fishing,” but plenty get another job, and most of these jobs are with major defense contractors. If I’m working at Raytheon and the government is shooting a lot of Raytheon missiles, I’m keeping a nice job for many years to come. Its the hammer tool problem: if all you have is a hammer, the world is full of nails. If you go from working 30+ years on solving military problems, then shift to a job making military equipment, you are likely inclined to think the military is the only (or at least, the best way) to solve problems. In many cases you are right, but there are plenty where you are not.

That’s the grain of salt you need for retired military opinions. Are they valuable? Yes! Retired military have different experiences than the populace, and their understanding of the world has value in many cases. But it comes with its own biases and special interests that aren’t obvious at the outset. We need to keep that in mind when we determine how much value to place on someone’s opinion.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, Raytheon Corporation, or any other government agency.

The Promise vs Reality of Socialism and Marxism in One Sentence

I have talked a lot online and on the air about Socialism and Marxism and the destruction they unleash where ever they are applied but the problem is always how to explain it to young people taken in by this.

The goal of Marxists and Socialists is not a country filled with prosperous and well fed people, but a country where the people are governed by prosperous and well fed Marxists and Socialists.

Look at every country that is rules by Marxists, Socialists and Communists and this is true. In fact just look at cities run by the left where where Nancy Pelosi can get her hair done in SF but you couldn’t or NYC where the elite of the Music World can have an award show but you can’t go to a bar or even Atlanta where they can have a large funeral for John Lewis but you can only have ten to bury your father or mother.

Under Marxist / Socialists the elites are always prosperous and well fed always doing well and those outside of it are equally miserable.