Why The Heck Is Bloomberg Running For President?

What is Michael Bloomberg trying to accomplish? Why did he decide to jump into the 2020 Democratic Primary so late in the game? Can he compete even if he’s not participating in the first few state contests?

The most obvious issue inspiring Bloomberg has to be the lack of quality of the current field of Democrats. He must not believe Sanders, Warren or Biden, much less Buttigieg and Harris, have a chance in hell to beat Donald Trump.

Democrats are not finding traction for a few reasons. For one, they pivoted hard left. Most are trying to convince the electorate that they are more left wing than the others. This is expected in primaries (where most hard liners fare better than middle of the road candidates). But efforts to be more populist are turning off quite a few moderate Democrats and independents. Moreover, conservatives are really spooked, and mobilized, by the socialistic proposals by the Democrat side of the aisle.

Proposals like one payer medical insurance, free tuition, forgiving college debt and a plethora of other giveaway entitlements will hurt the country financially. The voters are beginning to recognize this reality with each passing day.

Bloomberg would be a true moderate option to the existing slate of presidential contenders.

Democrats are running for president by impeaching Trump, not by offering new initiatives. Proposed policies are being overshadowed by bogus hearings that will not lead to Trump’s demise. Voters are asking why Congress, in particular Democrats, are wasting so much time, energy and resources trying to conjure up reasons to unseat a sitting president, rather than taking care of the nation’s business.

So, it’s no wonder that Bloomberg has been motivated. But does he have a chance to defeat members of the Democratic establishment? And, is Bloomberg recognizable across the country in the states between New York and California?

The main reasons why Bloomberg will not win the Democratic nomination are, he’s a male, he’s super rich and he’s old. Democrats are hell bent on finding a truly politically correct candidate who is a female, someone who seemingly can relate to the middle class and someone who doesn’t fly around in his or her own private jet. Bloomberg doesn’t fair well in any of these categories.

Another issue for Bloomberg is that he did things when he was mayor of New York City that really pissed off various special interest groups. At the top, was his stop and frisk policy that courts judged to be unfair to blacks. Bloomberg has defended his stop and frisk policy vigorously up until recently, when he decided to seek the Democratic nomination.

Bloomberg has been a great supporter of grand causes including climate change. He has thrown millions of dollars into a number of efforts to improve schools and the welfare of children, encourage gun safety and increase healthcare benefits to the poor. He is an extraordinarily generous and caring person. But will the electorate respond to his good intentions, and gargantuan ambition.

Why Bloomberg, who is 77, would want to be president is a mystery. If he wants to save the world from Trump, I suppose his candidacy makes some sense. However he will dilute the efforts of the liberals opposing him whether he wins or loses (consider Ross Perot and George H.W. Bush).

But if he wants to just save the world, Bloomberg could continue to support his many causes. He really doesn’t need the bully pulpit to get great things done. In fact he would have more freedom to support audacious projects by not being an elected official.

Considering everything, Michael Bloomberg is far superior to any person contending for the presidency. The only problem is he’s not well known, and so the odds of him winning the primary are slim.

 

Am I The Only American Disgusted With Trump And House Democrats?

Millions of Americans are fed up with the current state of the federal government.

For three years Donald Trump has been trying to convince us that he is the greatest American president. His arguments are not convincing considering that about half of the country would like to see him impeached. At the same time Trump’s opponents have been trying unsuccessfully to dig up dirt on the president since his first day in office. Both parties have failed dismally to win over new supporters and most Americans are furious that Congress has been unable to do the people’s business.

Every time I read the New York Times or watch CNN, I want to pull the hair from my head. Can a president actually be as horrible as both of these news outlets portray Trump? But the big question is did the president commit high crimes and misdemeanors? We lived through the Mueller investigation for two years and it was a total bust. No evidence was uncovered to prove Trump colluded with Russia or obstructed justice.

At the same time Trump is lambasting the liberal press and do-nothing Democrats. “Fake news!” is the president’s mantra. In over 11,000 tweets since being elected, he makes fools out of those who criticize him and a fool out of himself. He repeatedly says House Democrats are incompetent, liars, and dangerous to our country.

To make matters worse, many Democrat presidential candidates are trying to convince the electorate that the US should morph into a socialistic state. In particular Sanders and Warren are attempting to buy the loyalty of voters by telling them they will overtax successful people in our country. What a bad plan. Even Bill Gates criticized this ploy. These geniuses say they will provide one-payer health care for all Americans that is projected to cost between $20 and $40 trillion (our current level of debt is about $20 trillion). Even Democrats are attacking Warren for her ridiculous entitlement promises. How does she intend to pay for all of her giveaways without bankrupting the country?

Trump is sashaying across America and every day unleashes a string of offensive tweets like a schoolboy. He says horrible things about anyone who criticizes him. He proclaims that the economy is the best in history. In the meantime a setback in Chinese trade negotiations would reduce the Dow Jones by several thousand points in a heartbeat. It’s true that employment is up, unemployment is down (even for minority groups) and Trump continues to ride roughshod on Iran, Europe, Mexico, Canada and many more countries in an effort to negotiate fair deals.

A disgraceful situation occurred a few days ago when Trump took credit for the assassination of al-Baghdadi, the former terrorist leader of ISIS. From his bunker in the basement of the White House, our Commander-in-Chief “orchestrated” the operation. Trump was not part of the mission, other than giving his approval to move ahead (to which he deserves some credit). I wonder if the president dressed up in camouflage as he directed his special operators.

I’ve had it with the investigations of every move by Trump. In a short year voters will have a chance to change leaders. Democrats believe that they can denigrate Trump so one of their pathetic candidates will win. It’s not going to happen. Voters will resent the obvious outcome of the impeachment- Trump will stay in office because the Senate will acquit. Why are Democrats acting like there is any chance to convince 20 or 25 Republican senators to join them and convict Trump of a high crime?

In the meantime the country is going to hell and a hand basket. Budgets are not being approved, infrastructure is crumbling, LGBTQ rights are being violated, health care is deteriorating, immigration is unsettled and trade agreements are not being signed. I want a government that does its job. I abhor sanctimonious legislators who break the law every day by leaking confidential information and lying to the public.

Obama and Democrats are responsible for setting the stage for a person like Trump. We are stuck with him at least until next November when he will likely defeat an incompetent Democrat, unless Bloomberg jumps into the fray.

Of Course Trump Takes Credit For Killing al-Baghdadi

The hunt for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was a crowning event for our brave special operations soldiers. Going deep into enemy territory, these operators rooted out a vicious murderer. It’s too bad President Trump made such a spectacle of the event, and spent so much time taking credit for the work of others.

Frankly I would prefer being told that the terrorist was “eliminated” in a much more somber announcement. The editorializing and drama displayed by the president was disconcerting and not statesman-like.

Americans and peaceful people around the world appreciate that a mass murderer was taken out and would no longer kill innocent individuals with beheadings and immolation. But, Americans should derive little solace that al-Baghdadi was screaming, crying and dying “like a dog.”

Once again Trump made it all about himself. He tried to make us believe that he suited up for the mission with the Delta Force and personally drove the terrorist into the tunnel where the bad guy blew himself up. There’s nothing brave about watching and commentating on an assassination on a big screen in the White House, 7,000 miles from the action.

The politicization of this occurrence by conservatives and liberals is unfortunate. We are not playing war games. Innocents died, including 11 children that the terrorist used as a shield against US troops. Feeling relief about the demise of a very evil person is human and understandable. But reveling in his death takes our country down a notch.

Donald Trump has very low social IQ. He lives his life trying to prove that he is superior to all others including people who dislike him, competitors in business and now in politics and other countries and their leaders. It’s sad to say, but Trump is a very poor version of an elitist who has no regard for anyone who sees the world differently than he does.

Unfortunately Trump’s accomplishments are clouded by his self-aggrandizement and ego. He thinks he’s a master of adversarial confrontation that is often violent, degrading and scornful. Trump wants to eliminate and humiliate anyone who is not like him.

Notwithstanding all this, strongman tactics and aggressive negotiation has its place in this turbulent world in which we live. The US should be tough dealing with China, Russia and all the two-bit despots in the world who try to take advantage of others. But battling with politicians across the aisle and with long-term allies is unproductive.

Trump has done some things well. The economy is going great guns, and the US is making gains diplomatically with certain leaders and countries for the first time ever. Trump is honestly trying to end US intervention in places we should not be. He is unafraid to point out the missteps of others (but not himself). But he’s not a good man, a peacemaker, a leader or a genuine patriot.

The next five years are going to be very tumultuous. Trump is greatly responsible for the bad behavior of his opponents who have stooped down to his level. Everyone fights to the death on every issue. Compromise is nonexistent. I’m petrified about what will happen if the president is reelected, or if an irresponsible socialist wins the White House.

Military vs. Economic Persuasion

The US and its leaders are in a unique position to influence world events. They have the ability to use either economic or military persuasion. The question is which one should be used in specific circumstances. It’s often a life and death decision.

Donald Trump favors economic sanctions over military force for the most part. In fact he’s actively trying to decrease the presence of our military around the world and take our soldiers out of harm’s way. It was a campaign promise he made in 2016.

Currently he’s wielding sanctions against the largest and most powerful opponents of America, Russia and China. Since outright military aggression is not an option against the aforementioned countries, because it could possibly lead to a nuclear showdown, the president is wise to eschew the use of any violent strategy.

Ronald Reagan brilliantly out maneuvered the Soviet Union in the late 20th century. He artfully combined economic pressure and military threats that ultimately resulted in the bankruptcy of the Soviets. The communist regime could not compete with the US’s ability to build both nuclear and conventional arsenals at a break neck speed. By attempting to match our weapons development, the Soviet Union crumbled financially.

Today the US must contend with a megalomaniac-governed empire that dreams of the days when it had much more influence throughout the world.

Because military confrontation is out of the question, Trump has exerted economic sanctions against Russia and attacked the powerful class of oligarchs, the country’s business leaders, many of its largest companies and most importantly its banking system. Slowly, the US is once again bankrupting Russia. The result is shortages of food and other basic needs and curtailed government services as Russian leaders spend more and more on armaments and foolish military expeditions into remote parts of the world, such as Syria.

China is a similar story except its economy is much stronger. Trump reacted to Chinese misbehavior with extraordinary economic sanctions that have stopped China in its tracks and markedly reduced its industrial growth.

China sells over $350 billion of goods to the US annually, while the US sells about $100 billion to China. Tit for tat tariffs have hurt China far worse than tariffs on US goods. The leadership of China will be in jeopardy if the sanctions are not rescinded soon. This is why Trump is making progress in his negotiations with China to end unfair trade practices and the theft of US technologies.

Unemployment lines in China will begin to grow if the US sanctions do not end. Xi is under pressure to make the turmoil end in the short term. The expectation that China will “eat the US’s lunch” economically is misleading and untrue, especially because our economy is so much larger than China’s.

Sanctions have also been effective against North Korea and its nuclear aspirations. Kim cannot continue to spend so much of his country’s cash flow on nuclear and conventional weapons. He will ultimately accede to US demands or face regime change.

Similarly the aggression of Iran will end as sanctions are tightened. Iran will have to accept much tougher restrictions on its nuclear arsenal or face regime issues that will follow food shortages and civil unrest.

The shrewd use of economic sanctions rather than military engagement is wise. However some dysfunctional regimes throughout the world only understand military might. The US should be prepared to use its power exclusively when all other avenues have been exhausted.

America must act decisively in situations that threaten US security and our allies. Additionally, crimes against humanity, genocide and actions by nations that result in famine and displacement of groups of people, need to be dealt with apace.

Trump’s perspective on the strategy to use military and economic force has been effective to this point.

Warren As President- Yikes!

What would it be like to have Elizabeth Warren in the White House? Most business people, who are capable of adding and subtracting, think a Warren administration would be a total disaster. But, what does the average American think of this candidate? Perhaps they should be worrying whether Warren will be able to deliver any of the items on her long list of crazy campaign promises?

The smart money is betting that Democrats will retain control over the House of Representatives, and Republicans the Senate. Let’s assume Warren wins and Congress does not change materially. It’s likely that none of the large programs proposed by Warren, especially one-payer, universal health care, free college tuition, forgiveness of student debt and massive tax increases for both the wealthy and the middle class, would be enacted.

Keep in mind that even if the Senate went blue, to the Democrats, legislation would still be hampered unless liberals win a super majority. Obama was unable to enact very many programs after the death of Teddy Kennedy, which resulted in Democrats losing a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

How will Warren keep busy in light of overwhelming congressional obstruction? Well, you should expect that every mandate issued by Trump would be reversed by a corresponding Warren mandate. Our country will effectively be legislated by presidential edicts, not by Congress. This would be the third president in a row to experience this phenomenon. And what will the American people hear from Democrats every day- “President Warren is unable to govern effectively because Republicans are obstructionists.”

But America, rest assured, Warren’s most bird-brain proposals will be dead on arrival in Congress.

As far as her administration is concerned, Warren will stuff each position with politically correct, left wing, radical individuals that are of like mind with the new president. But since the inexperienced new president knows nothing about how a White House operates and coordinates with Congress and a thousand other bureaucracies, it will be interesting to see who Warren’s key advisors will be.

Even more frightening will be the individuals selected to advise Warren on foreign affairs. Undoing all of Trump’s accomplishments will be the first priority of this group.

What issues will Warren focus on during her initial weeks and months in the White House?

For sure the obliteration of the wealthy class in America will be the top objective. Exceptionalism, merit promotions and higher compensation will be discouraged, as will accumulation of wealth. Unfortunately for Warren, Congress will not cooperate, and the 1% will live on. The “specter” of capitalism, as seen through the eyes of a socialist, will be impossible to defeat.

Americans should expect to see proposals to redo (yet again) health care, reform immigration (goodbye to Trump’s wall), forgiveness of college debt and rebuilding of our infrastructure. The problem is that Congress will balk because of national deficit concerns along with the well being of our financial system. However, when possible, Warren, like her predecessors will sidestep Congress and issue mandates.

Of course global warming will be high on the agenda. But even Warren will be unable to reverse the damage inflicted on Mother Earth by man over the past 7,000 years in four short years. And besides where will the money come from to execute a “green plan?” Let’s not forget that other nations are not prepared to defer their industrial revolutions to benefit the global environment.

Warren’s relationships with foreign leaders will be interesting to observe. Who will she gravitate towards? It certainly won’t be macho men like Putin, Xi, Netanyahu, MBS (of Saudi Arabia) and Kim J. It makes no difference that problems instigated by this group account for a huge percentage of problems in the world that America must deal with. No Warren will gravitate towards Macron, Trudeau and Merkel (or her replacement), all socialistic leaning leaders.

Warren has not opined to any great extent about the Middle East, the area that gives American presidents more agita than any other place. However Warren will be ready to accept refugees from this part of the world that would fit nicely into her plan to open America’s borders to everybody.

You get the picture. Warren would be a hot mess. Moving from promises to execution will be difficult for a socialistic administration because most Americans support our capitalist system. Warren expected assault on businesses and shareholders will surely piss off most savvy citizens since they are dependent upon healthy employers.

Warren will believe her mandate will be to reverse everything Trump has done, good and bad. The sixty four thousand dollar question is “with what?”

Trump And Progressives Are Creating Chaos In Washington

How did the federal government become so dysfunctional? Who’s responsible for making our leaders completely ineffective? There are two parties that share the blame- Donald Trump and the radical, progressive congressional Democrats.

From the day he was elected, America knew that having Trump as president was going to be challenging. He’s a neophyte who thinks he’s a master dealmaker and a negotiator. These might be true in the real estate business, but governing the most powerful nation in the world is something else.

In any case Trump is not a great politician, and he really needs help navigating through the complexities of Washington, even more than his predecessors. At first Trump seemed enthusiastic about recruiting qualified aides to advise him, but few have lasted. Most found it impossible to work for the man and were either fired or just walked off the job.

Trump concluded that the only people he could trust were his family and some close friends. This is not to say that Ivanka and Jared are not bright young people. Fact is they are equally unqualified for the governmental roles they play, and brought nothing to the political battlefield that suffocates the White House. Frankly to think that Kushner would be able to make peace between Israel and Palestine is laughable.

Never in recent history has a president fought so brutally with his counterparts in Congress. Every minor squabble immediately morphs into a death match that includes threats, name-calling, lies, innuendo, exaggeration and distrust.

Trump wants to be his own man with the press, a terrible idea for too many reasons to delineate in this essay. None of his press secretaries have survived for very long because Trump is uncontrollable, with his tweets and otherwise. He doesn’t listen to sage counsel, and too often mundane issues blow up and become major confrontations that dominate the news cycle. Additionally Trump is unable to allow snide commentary to roll off his back. The most insignificant comments ultimately become childish name-calling contests.

And finally the president needs to be surrounded with a legion of attorneys. He’s always defying tradition and interpretation of everything from the Constitution to existing laws. Using attack dog lawyers to intimidate others has not endeared the president to the people he must work with to effectively govern the country. And since when do presidents “ignore” requests from Congress.

Trump’s lousy disposition only serves to make his opponents despise him even more. He thinks he’s smarter than everybody, but it’s not true. It should be noted that Trump’s aggressiveness has been an asset when dealing with certain foreign leaders. Many despots only understand and respond to one thing, military might along with hardball negotiations.

For years presidents have debated with, fought with, denigrated, cajoled and crucified congress people. In most cases, after the debate is ended, everyone sits down and has an adult beverage. All the harsh rhetoric is forgiven. Not with Trump and the current crop of liberal crazies in the Democratic caucus.

Politicians grow to hate and resent each other for many reasons, but very few have let bad feeling get to the current level of distrust and disrespect.

It’s hard not to attribute an equal amount of blame for the current level of venom to social media and the blinding liberalism in the press today. From the moment Trump was elected, his political enemies and the radical left wing news have attempted to destroy his presidency. Not for one second did Trump‘s detractors give him an opportunity to prove he loves America. Every situation involving Trump was labeled evil, immoral, racist, misogynist, xenophobic, illegal or a lie.

Democrats have been seduced by a destructive bunch of misfits that can’t add one expense to another and are blinded in their efforts to bestow freebies even if they bankrupts the country. It should come as no surprise that these initiatives will be recognized by voters for what they are: socialistic.

Progressives will not be given a mandate to drain the resources of successful people. Nor will they be able to transform our country into a social state that eschews exceptionalism. Every American wants to earn more money and have a better life. Nearly everybody wants a shot at the brass ring. Radical liberals want to take money earned over the years and redistribute it. They constantly blame the most successful among us for the travails of those less fortunate.

But the most irksome liberal crime would be stealing the 2016 election from the victors with political chicanery and sleight of hand. Congress should not attempt to unseat a duly elected president without overwhelming proof of crimes and misdemeanors. For nearly three years radical left wing politicians have been twisting the truth and investigating the investigators. It has been a waste of both time and money

The latest brouhaha over Ukraine relations is a continuation of the Democratic ploy to oust Trump. It will not work because most of America has stipulated two things.

  1. Trump is not a nice guy or a great president, but that does not mean he should be thrown out of office.
  2. Trump has not done anything that rises to an impeachable offense.

 

I hope that all of the politicians that are taking Americans for fools lose their seats in 2020. I wish Trump were not president, but Democrat incompetence is going to give him another four years. I’m not looking forward to continuing investigations and dream of the day that our government once again is motivated to solve problems that afflict the poor, the unhealthy, the aged and our veterans.

The US Is Not Losing Influence Around The World

Trump haters have been saying that America is losing its status as the leader of the free world. They say the president’s non-traditional diplomacy tactics will make it more difficult for the US to assert its policies and ideology prospectively. This is not an accurate depiction of America’s strength under the leadership of President Trump.

Trump’s aggressive style is not endearing the US to other nations. But it is enabling the US to transact changes in trade arrangements and several other areas.

Regarding trade, America is making great strides and is in the midst of important negotiations with several countries around the world. For years other nations have taken advantage of US generosity by assessing high tariffs on our exports. We have not retaliated by correspondingly increasing our tariffs on the imports from these same countries, until now.

It could be that over the years our government thought it wise to use tariff negotiations for diplomatic purposes. Most of the gains no longer exist, and the gratitude of old trading partners has waned.

Other nations have taken advantage of our attempt to encourage free trade, a misnomer in today’s world. Free trade, per se, means there are no barriers for imports or exports. Unfortunately roadblocks exist throughout the world, as other countries never hesitate to protect domestic industries. The US on the other hand does the least to protect home grown companies.

Exacerbating the situation is the theft of trade secrets and the unorthodox demands of China. Investment in the country almost always necessitates local ownership, disclosure of trade secrets and revealing information about proprietary products. At long last the federal government has protested these practices and is demanding they cease immediately.

The US is by far the most powerful military force in the world. Unfortunately military might is the only thing that despotic countries and terrorists seem to understand. This unholy situation has been a boon to ever increasing suicide bombings around the world. Only through harmful terror activities do certain organizations project their influence.

Because our security is far stronger than all other countries, even with our open borders, terrorism strikes more frequently elsewhere. Nevertheless, the US has had its fair share of tragedy, in particular the 9/11 attacks.

The US has been an exporter of armaments to many countries and local militia groups worldwide. Generally, but not always, these arms sales have included low tech weapons. Although it is somewhat counterintuitive to sell arms while simultaneously calling for peace, the US derives many benefits from this activity.

First of all, these sales bolster domestic arms manufacturers. The affiliated revenues are very significant if they are sold and not just handed over to others. But even more important is that the US can support fledgling efforts in certain places to overturn despotic and unfriendly regimes. For instance, the US regularly provides arms to freedom fighters in the Middle East and other places. It should be noted that, on occasion, weapons we sell to some groups are either used against us, or our allies, or sold to other groups that are hostile to the US. It’s a dirty business.

The most important contemporary “weapon of mass destruction” available to the federal government, aside from raw firepower, is the economic influence of the US. Our country can virtually bankrupt another nation by manipulating and limiting the use of our banking system. Sales cannot happen between our enemies if the cash can’t travel from buyer to seller. Additionally embargoes on countries like Iran and North Korea will ultimately aid in the redemption of evil leaders or their demise.

To his credit, Trump has effectively used the threat of power to drag uncooperative leaders towards peaceful arrangements. None have been consummated, but progress has been made.

North Korea will eventually accede to giving up their nuclear weapons so long as economic pressure is maintained. Similarly Iran is in dire straits economically because of embargoes that now have been attached to all of their oil sales. Without this source of revenues there will be domestic upheaval in Iran and a decline in nefarious activity in the Middle East.

China is in the midst of an industrial revolution that depends upon rapid and continuous economic growth. The US can hamper this with tariffs on Chinese exports to the US. China exports far more items to the US than what the US exports to China, so retaliation by China will not have a great effect on the US. By attaching large penalties to critical items, the US can actually increase unemployment in China.

The US has its issues. Entitlements and giveaways to too many people are creating massive financial problems. Nevertheless our economy is chugging along nicely and most people are working. Our country continues to wield great influence, which has not been used effectively by previous presidents.

It Will Take Leadership To Fix Our Broken Election Process

By Sal Bommarito

America is engaged in finding a new president to replace Barack Obama. The current administration has not lived up to the expectations and hoopla of the 2008 and 2012 elections, so the next election should be that much more intense, competitive and demanding of the candidates. Further, ideological biases have dominated the presidency and the overall political landscape for years making it difficult to nurture and elevate real leaders into positions of power.

There are many issues that dog our country and make it impossible for those who want to make the U.S. stronger, more prosperous and sensitive to the needs of all classes of Americans. In this essay, a two of the most debilitating situations impacting America will be examined.

The political system in this country is broken because politicians and judges have not had the courage to effectively address campaign finance reform. Despite never ending rhetoric by both major political parties to decrease the influence of big money donors, and the sensibility of such an objective, the powers that be insist that contributions are protected by free speech.

“In a landmark decision, Citizens United v. FEC, the United States Supreme Court held that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation.” Certainly, our forefathers never considered the ramifications of money in politics in this regard, nor would they have opted to bastardize the interpretation of the First Amendment in any case. Instead of protecting our political system from those who seek to buy votes, the court endorsed a new threat to our election process. Politics, not wisdom, won the day.

Candidates and their supporters have been given a green light to raise as much money as they can to fund political action committees with few restrictions. The amount of money being solicited is in the billions of dollars. Candidates who can raise the most money will likely win elections. Fundraising skills have replaced competence as the primary reason candidates are elected to office.

One of the greatest fallacies is that leaders become more productive the longer they hold an office. Unfortunately, the only important consideration of long-term politicians is reelection at any cost. The temptations of extended tenures in office have destroyed the careers of many lifers in government.

The talking heads often discuss the freedom and productivity of lame duck presidents. Without the pressures of a reelection and the fundraising affiliated with it, lame ducks can focus on the needs of America. It’s just the opposite for politicians who must remain in a campaign mode all the time.

Lifetime politicians generally have no practical experience, which is so important in today’s complex world. Yet, how can we expect our elected leaders to facilitate laws that limit their tenure in one position? Without term limits, new blood is virtually nonexistent while old feuds and corruption flourish.

The problems that hamper the efficient selection of new leaders are many. It will take leadership and courage on the part of our elected officials to remedy the problems.

Put Yourself In Bibi’s Shoes

By Sal Bommarito

It’s not easy being Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu these days. As leader of Israel, Bibi must deal with never-ending external and internal threats. His country has been criticized by virtually every nation as it strives to survive in one of the most dangerous regions in the world.

Specifically, the following external issues dog Netanyahu every day: Palestine, Iran nuclear negotiations, Israel’s relationship with America and terrorism.

Palestine: Is Palestine politically and economically ready to be an independent state? Interested parties have been debating this question since 1988. As of 2014, 135 of 193 United Nations members recognized the State of Palestine. During his recent election, Netanyahu indicated that he was against a “two-state” solution, an obvious campaign ploy (it worked, he won). Subsequently, the prime minister clarified his comment by saying that there could be no two-state arrangement “at this time.”

Over the years, Israel has negotiated with some very difficult Palestinian opponents. On several occasions, peace and agreement were at hand, only to be dashed by one side or the other. The division of land, the connection of the West Bank to the Gaza Strip, economic considerations, terrorism and the right of Israel to exist are among the primary areas of dispute. American presidents have unsuccessfully tried to mediate a deal during the past four decades.

Israel has done its share to add to the chaos and inability to make peace. Most recently, it, for security reasons, built new settlements on land that the Palestinians believe belongs to them. President Obama has asked, and then demanded, that Netanyahu put a stop to this activity, to no avail.

Arabs frequently accuse Israel of crimes against humanity, especially when it retaliates against terrorist attacks by Hamas and other groups. The Palestinian’s plight is one of the most contentious issues in the Middle East for all Arab nations.

Iran’s nuclear negotiations: Bibi has claimed that a nuclear Iran is an existential threat to Israel. He has been relentless in expressing all the reasons why the U.S. should not cave into Iranian demands. His rationale includes a belief that Iran will not be a responsible possessor of a nuke, and it will violate the provisions of any treaty that limits its ability to build a nuclear weapon.

Netanyahu spoke before the U.S. Congress lobbying for discretion and oversight of any deal that President Obama signs. There were many sympathetic ears in the crowd. Last week, Iran and the U.S. agreed to an “outline” of a treaty. It is not clear what bipartisan actions Congress may take prospectively, or whether it will wait until a draft agreement is signed.

Israel’s relationship with the U.S.: The Netanyahu speech created a serious rift with the Obama administration; Obama did not endorse Bibi’s appearance. Obama Is disgusted with the prime minister’s endless carping, but Netanyahu is fighting for his country’s survival.

The implications of enthusiastic U.S. support are epic. Frankly, without military support, Israel could not survive. In fact, the demographics (in particular, birth rates of Israelis versus Palestinians) put Israel at a serious disadvantage over time. And, decreased financial support from American Jews could be a deathblow to Israel; young Jews are not as generous politically or economically than the previous generations.

Terrorism: Israel is continually under the gun, so to speak. Its citizens are always in peril from threats that have become more emboldened over time. The Jewish state is the only issue that unites Shiite and Sunni Arabs. Over the years, every Middle Eastern leader has attributed domestic and external problems to Israel, even if it had no role.

Yes, Bibi has a difficult job. I often wonder why so many nations around the world are supportive of Palestine over Israel when it is clear that the latter is more of a counter-puncher than an aggressor. Retaliation against terrorist attacks is too often labeled a crime.

Perhaps, Israel’s reputation is tarnished by its affiliation with the U.S. Sometimes, it is difficult to determine who Arabs despise more, America or Israel.

Just Suppose The U.S. Invaded Iraq With Ground Troops And Extraordinary Force

By Sal Bommarito

Preamble: A decision to send ground troops into battle is an epic decision for any president. Over the years, American commanders-in-chief made decisions to go to war in the name of freedom and to fight tyranny.

Any suggestions made herein are offered with the proviso that the deployment of American ground forces in Iraq and Syria will result in U.S. casualties and collateral damage, things that cannot not be taken lightly. Some have commented that Americans are not prepared to face the possibility that body bags will arrive from the Middle East. I totally respect and understand this perspective.

But, the price of liberty is high. If the unfortunate deaths of our brave soldiers decreases the chances that thousands will be murdered and tortured, I can live with a tactic to deploy troops.

Exactly, what would happen in an all-out assault by the U.S. against ISIS in Iraq. I suspect the most violent aspects of a confrontations would be brief as they have been in past encounters in the region (I’m not suggesting that nation-building projects are short-term). The long-term implications of such an action would be a different story.

If the U.S. employed a combination of massive bombing operations coupled with a large ground incursion, ISIS would be helpless. There is no way that the insurgents could survive an aggressive American assault with superior weaponry. The main problems would include enemy landmines, booby traps and suicide bombers, all of which can exact only minor damage.

It is likely that the retaking of Mosul, the supposed capital of the Islamic State, would be the end of major fighting. Subsequent mop-up operations around the countryside would be fraught with danger, but nothing that would hamper U.S. power. I have no inside information on the logistics but doubt the entire effort would last more than a few weeks.

The really important work begins after the assault is ended. Many Arabs would resent yet another U.S. invasion in the Middle East. But, this one would be different than previous Iraqi and Afghanistan experiences. Once the hostilities have been concluded, U.S. forces will shore up security with the Iraqi government and depart.

The reaction of Iraqi Sunnis will determine whether the country will segue into the next phase, an all-out civil war pitting Shiites against Sunnis for the control of the country and its resources. The latter will be hard pressed looking for a seat at the negotiating table for the formation of a lasting government. It is doubtful the transition will occur without violence. But, this should not be America’s problem.

The importance of finally destroying ISIS cannot be overstated. It is in America’s interest to rid the Middle East of these murderers. The price on the battlefield is worth it in my opinion. These actions will hopefully ensure that the ISIS threat does not spread any further outside of the Middle East.