Beyond the Cusp

August 13, 2019

2020 American Elections as Seen from Israel

 

The consensus here, from those we meet and greet daily, is that President Trump will win reelection. There are but two questions on which there is a fair bit of leeway in the opinions. The first is by how much with the range being anything from a squeaker to President Trump moving the bar even higher than President Ronald Reagan has set it. The other is about the cheating which is widely seen as inevitable but still unable to alter the final results. What the main disagreement over the cheating is less about the amount of cheating but more about whether those conducting the campaign to potentially steal the election by fudging the numbers in numerous battleground states will be caught and spend any jail time. Here at BTC we believe that in the areas where the cheating could occur are regions where nobody working for the predominant party would ever be charged with tampering so nobody is going to jail. Some we talk with believe that so much cheating will be attempted in order to sway the elections that it will be beyond the abilities of anyone to ignore and people will be held as responsible and face trial and jail time. Most everyone believes that those at the top, the Obamas and Clintons, will escape without as much as a scratch just as they have always done and will continue into the future unless somebody with iron-tight security decides they need to answer to the American people. So, why even discuss the elections if it appears from here across half the globe that President Trump will be reelected and everything else will be pretty much exactly as it has been in the past? Because there are rumblings which some over here are worried for the America they thought they knew, as what they are reading now depicts some massive changes and many not for the better.

 

The thought of a civil war in the United States, something which a number of editorialists have written, is a definitive possibility or even an inevitability. This type of information does not sit well with the average Israeli’s view of the United States. Partly this is the fault of Israelis who have this idealist view of the United States while others have this 1950’s or 1960’s view where people line their lawns with white picket fences and everyone cooks out on their bar-b-ques every Sunday afternoon in the summer and wave to one another while shoveling snow in the winter. They were not born during these times and grew up listening to their parents rave about the greatness of America and how it almost became the Promised Land. Most Americans know the old tales about the streets are lined in gold and anybody can make it if they just work smart and hard. These old, tall tales are actually believed by some and trying to tell them that things are no longer like that is not an easy row to hoe. It is definitely an uphill struggle to break many Israelis of such beliefs just as it is near impossible to get them to understand that the United States will not be there for Israel in the not too distant future. It is difficult to even prove that the United States aid to Israel did not begin in earnest until the 1970’s and President Nixon was the man who started the aid resupplying Israel over the protestations and advice of many of his advisors. The shocked reaction we receive when we warn that the United States aid to Israel is not going to last forever is as fascinating as it is frustrating. The only thing which Israelis love, respect and expect more from than the United States is their beloved Israel. This may just be what will be necessary to do without United States aid as that will be a day of panic here in Israel despite the reality that Israel should be capable of not only surviving that day and what comes afterwards but will very likely thrive in that future. Currently, Israel is holding up her end of the deal and not producing combat or other aircraft in exchange for the United States taking care of that area. This promise started when Israel shut down her plans for production of the Lavi fighter jet. This deal will end when the United States decides that Israel is just that much of too expensive a friend to continue the relationship. But there is more to the coming break-up, and it has to do with the new additions to the Democrat Party who, along with numerous members of the Black Congressional Caucus and those behind and driving Black Lives Matter, Antifa, CAIR, BDS and numerous other leftist NGO’s and activist organizations. Israelis are having a rough time figuring out where these groups came from unless they are simply in denial that these groups exist.

 

Many Israelis reacted with a degree of shock over the statements made by Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez when these items became more well known. True, the Tel Aviv region is more worldly and mostly ignore much of what they learn because they are the heart of the Democrat Party support in Israel. These are largely the former supporters of the Labor Party in Israel and who are now the main support for the Blue-White Party of General Ganz and Yair Lapid. But even a number of these left-wing Israelis are appalled at the reports about Rashida Tlaib and even more perturbed over the antics and statements of Ilhan Omar which were widely reported before their recent visit. There was a degree of overreaction to their visit. This was largely due to the simple fact that everyone knew why these two came to the Promised Land, and it was about as far from a goodwill mission as any can get. Further, with the way these three with little other support have all but taken over the Democrat Party which has been evidenced by the statements against Israel made by virtually all of the Democrat Party Presidential hopefuls. This brings us to the Democrat Party Presidential hopefuls and their apparent potential for posing any challenge to President Trump. Well, at least this is the general feeling over here. What is frightening is the potential that serious violence could break out after the elections should President Trump be reelected. Of course, we in Israel, who are seemingly unable to elect a government as the nation is so evenly divided, we have little room to talk, at least the United States has a system which almost rules out such troubles. We just had to take the worst ideas of all the European, mostly western European, parliaments and added our own twist just to make everything dysfunctional.

 

Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

 

Probably the worst, and thus the most challenging, problem which could erupt after a Trump victory would be rioting in the cities led by BLM and Antifa. Of course, any reaction to the election will be blamed on President Trump, doubly should he prove victorious as we predict. What will complicate many of such situations is that the President cannot intervene unless invited by the governor or potentially the mayor of the city. So, we can see the situation where the rioting is in cities where their mayors and their state’s governors are all democrats seeking to blacken President Trump for winning his reelection bid. The President cannot act without either his assistance being requested by the Mayor or Governor or President Trump declares the city a national disaster area which would also blow-up in his face. No matter what President Trump attempts to accomplish, he will be called racist or fascist as we explained here a while back. If he waits for the city or state to make a request, they can stall while the mainstream media attempt to blame President Trump for his obvious inaction and lack of caring for these cities in distress. Should President Trump declare any of the areas a federal disaster zone in order to intervene, he will be cast as uncaring for these cities because they did not support him and they are people of color. He will be in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t type of situation where whatever you do is wrong according to the New York Times, Washington Post and the rest of the plethora of leftist media. But a civil war will not break out even should President Trump win reelection and especially if he should not prove victorious. Nobody who makes such decisions desires to see a civil war break out as they have far too much to lose and the risk of losing everything would be far too great. The powers that exist on both sides of the isle, Democrat or Republican, Leftist or Conservative, Capitalist or Socialist; any way you slice the pie, any war, especially a civil war, runs a very high risk of destroying the pie or largely diminishes what pie is left to cut.

 

Unrest is a completely different problem. There are two very different kinds of unrest, that which was called for by an organizer and that which just rose literally from grassroots. The first can get beyond the organizer’s ability to control which then transforms the unrest into a warped version of the grassroots unrest. The grassroots unrest is the more difficult to put out as it had different leaders throughout the separate breakouts of unrest. Grassroots unrest lacks a single leader which makes negotiations next to impossible. The only way to restore peace in a city torn apart by social unrest is through superior force deployed either by the police or National Guard if required. The trouble is finding the sufficient but least amount of force required to end the unrest and restore peace to the community. This is likely the aftermath of the coming 2020 elections. But the United States will continue as the world super power and a wealth producing country which a mostly capitalist economy. While, for the time being, in Israel the September election in Israel, our second one this year, where we, if the polls prove correct (they rarely do), the coming elections will once again fail to provide either Likud or Blue-White the capability of forming a governing coalition as the Arab parties refuse to join any government and this makes reaching the necessary sixty-one mandates, as with the approximately thirteen Mandates which are not going to join any coalition, impossible. This requires that to make a ruling coalition, one requires reaching sixty-one mandates out of the remaining one-hundred-seven available after subtracting the Mandates of the Arab parties. This makes it necessary to claim instead of just over fifty-percent to needing slightly over fifty-seven-percent, almost ten-percent more than was the original plan when the system was implemented. Then either Israel will have to hold another election and continue doing so until somebody proves victorious and the Knesset forms around one side or the other. Hopefully, Israel will reach and form a government before the United States election results are known in November of 2020. The American election which should worry Israelis is the 2024 elections when the Democrat Party top tier people will vie for the nomination and the Republican Party will no longer have Trump or anybody even remotely similar and much of their base could end up returning to their hibernating position simply working and doing so despite any and everything. Then Israel might find herself on the wrong end of American foreign policy, and even more likely should people like Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez still hold any power. One need remember that Ilhan Omar received posting to the Foreign Affairs Committee, a very high and powerful position which is seldom if ever given to an entering Congressperson. Ilhan Omar is being groomed for higher office once the Democrat Party takes the White House. This future is what Israel should rely upon and why Israel must finally break free from dependence on the United States and learn to stand on her own two feet. The two graphs below show that American aid to Israel has remained level at approximately three billion dollars while Israeli GDP has grown from almost nothing back in the early 1969’s when Israel was struggling and when United States aid to Israel started in earnest, Israeli GDP had reached approximately thirty-five-billion dollars, which means that American aid was equal or just under one third of the total Israeli gross domestic product for that year. Currently, Israeli GDP stands at three-hundred-plus-billion-dollars making the current percentage the American aid presents is barely over one percent. That is right, a mere 1.02% of GDP, such an amount by comparison means that Israel will survive just fine without American aid monies and will be cut free from her dependence and subordination to the United States.

 

United States Israel Aid (Military)

United States Israel Aid (Military)

 

 

 

But there is another bonus which will come when the day arrives that the United States cuts from Israel leaving Israel to fend for herself. Israel could benefit from the end of our mutually beneficial relations and Israel will continue to treat America as an ally and friend until such is made untenable. Further, Israel would then be required to design and produce her own aircraft just as she manufactures her own Merkava tanks. While Israel has to start to design her own aircraft, she should do the same for their infantry rifle and change to a heavier and more powerful round which still has extreme range, designed for desert warfare but equally adaptable to urban warfare. The development, production, assembly and other various necessary jobs will be created and these will be well paying jobs producing taxes which will increase the GDP and the general wealth of the country. Israel might even decide to construct a launching facility for rockets into space. The facility would be largely underground protecting the rocket and launch facility. The possibilities are virtually endless and developing these weapons and aircraft along with the Merkava, and if Israeli aircraft are as well adapted to the needs Israeli missions call for, it would be a desired aircraft on the open arms market. This will be the Israeli future simply because the United States, despite protestations, will break relations with Israel. The writing is on the wall already written there by none other than President Barack Obama and how he treated Israel and especially his drafting and permitting to pass United Nations Security Council Chapter Six Resolution 2334. The next Democrat President is very likely to build on that reputation and attitude against Israel. Even former Vice President Joe Biden was forced to step back from offering ironclad backing at the United Nations and claiming they will need to be fair to both sides, often the code that means Israel is going to be called on to sacrifice for peace and then all promises will be broken and Israel will have gifted something to the Arabs for nothing in return and no longer even have a reliable friend in the United Nations and the Security Council in particular. But very few ever heed our warnings and most believe we are simply overly concerned about things which could never happen. Maybe we should take bets that what we claim will happen by 2033 after the 2032 elections. But first the September Israeli elections and hopefully a government which is at the very least strongly Zionist and then the 2020 American elections which will probably reelect President Trump and then the 2024 elections when everything will be completely up in the air as the Republican Party has no candidate who could and would do as President Trump has done either as a candidate and as President. It will be interesting to see who the Republicans choose for 2024 and beyond as the United States reaches into the future.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 8, 2012

Signposts to an Obama Reelection

One of the oldest and least challenged political rules is that the incumbent in a Presidential election has an advantage due to the Bully Pulpit. Where this is actually a relatively accurate truism, it is far from the only advantage. These advantages are also the exact events and trends we should be on the lookout for in order to gain an accurate assessment of who will likely win the Presidency this November. If the tools at hand that an incumbent can utilize to enhance their chance for reelection work out in his favor, then President Obama will likely achieve his goal of a second term. Should he fail to utilize these items or if they fail in gaining an influence on the voters, then the Republican candidate will most likely take the White House in November. So, what exactly are these signs and events we should be on the lookout for?

Where most of us are aware that the President does not exactly produce jobs at will in order to achieve long-term full employment, there are ways for a President to make a sufficient number of short-term employment opportunities that can affect the unemployment numbers and people’s outlook on the state of employment and the economy. The obvious ploy is to invest sufficient Federal funding in the most highly contested states which the President and his advisors see as the most crucial for his reelection bid. By laying aside a fairly large and tidy sum of Federal funds for highways, bridges, roads, utilities, and other infrastructure projects, the President can start releasing these dollars either into the coffers of a state allowing governors of his party to utilize as he sees necessary or by directing the use for the funds in less friendly states, either way making a good number of short-term length of the project jobs which will greatly enhance the job opportunities in the different constriction industries. The same can be done by pumping money into other projects which by their nature provide additional job openings in other industries and occupations. We can expect in such states as Ohio, Illinois, Colorado, Florida and other critical and close states is for Federal projects to be hurried into implementation beginning in August and continuing through the elections. If we see large amounts of new hardhat areas along interstate highways, bridge replacements or upgrades or other construction projects and find they are having a direct effect upon unemployment forcing it downwards, then this ploy is in full swing and likely working.

Another tool in the incumbent’s tool chest may not be as readily available to President Obama, namely allowing for new permits for oil exploration and production along with facilitating increased mining for coal, ores and other raw materials. Here, President Obama runs afoul of his environmental base which is already displeased with some of the items allowed or not closed down by the President. The Obama team will have to weigh the potential gains against losses should he allow additional drilling, mining, lumber harvests on Government lands, and other such projects. The President might even find it difficult to allow additional lands to be made available for cattle grazing unless he restricts such activity solely for free-range cattle. Along these same lines, the President has the potential to issue waivers from certain regulations which would facilitate a more rapid pace in projects thus increasing the number of positions available once again increasing employment. Basically, there are numerous avenues which a sitting President can flip the switches and free up the economy short-term and push the unemployment numbers down and also have promising new job numbers for the five or six months leading up to election day.

Another item we can fully expect to see this fall is an increase in the numbers and greater fanfare and visibility given to the troops that will be coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan. This will be touted as President Obama making great strides in completing our military interventions and bringing democratic values to Iraq and Afghanistan. We can expect full court press coverage on the wonderful and total completion of our involvement with emphasis on how calm and peaceful everything is in Iraq and Afghanistan. The press will be silent and give little if any play to the actual violence that is growing in both countries and nothing will be noted about the slide towards militant Islam by Iraq and Afghanistan. Any problems in the Middle East will be greatly downplayed and the negotiations coming up with Iran will be stretched out with the hope that they can keep the lid on this potentially explosive situation through the elections. The Obama Administration will do whatever they feel they can get away with in order to prevent any action by Israel and will probably make any promise it takes to restrain Egypt, Turkey, Iran, and the rest of the Muslim World in order for calm to be the appearance through to the election. This is one area where everything could very well blow-up in President Obama’s face and make things very difficult going into the election. Exactly how bad could it become? Picture Jimmy Carter and Iran times about twelve front, Israel, Gaza, West Bank, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, and who knows who else as the entire Middle East is dry kindling soaked in oil with numerous entities playing with matches and sparklers. Should the Middle East explode on President Obama it would be poetic justice as he has been the cause of much of the turmoil, tumult, and agitations which are very likely to explode soon, it is simply a matter of time.

Finally, another front President Obama has to enhance his chances for reelection is simply the news cycles and his control of when things get placed before the public. Should the President be able to manage the news cycle in such a way as to have problems being reported kept to Friday afternoons, especially on three day weekends, while funneling the good news to be made public early in the week, particularly after a bad news Friday, so it is repeated ad nauseum through the work week, then both the President and the press can congratulate themselves on a snow-job well done. Of course the Republicans will attempt to force exactly the opposite in the news cycle through the sympathetic outlets. Much of this battle will take place with both sides preaching to their own choir. But do not place little importance on this as whichever side is able to get their base excited and out to the polls on November 6, they will be the winners.

What we can expect throughout this Presidential election cycle is a mainstream press which will be largely backing President Obama. The main fear the President may have on this front is that should the coverage get to the point of absolutely ridiculous such that it can and is ridiculed by many in the entertainment field, then it could actually damage President Obama’s reelection chances. The last thing President Obama needs is endless jokes on the late night shows and skits on Comedy Central and other places. Should the press being in-the-tank for President Obama being reelected end up as the butt of endless jokes and satire, then the news reports and other items of media spin will appear more as jokes than actual reporting and thus not be taken seriously by anybody, and that could spell the end of that marked advantage the President possesses going into the Presidential campaign this fall.

The main things which President Obama will want to accomplish going into November are improving job numbers, lower unemployment numbers with an emphasis on reducing the number of new people filing each week, and generally better economic outlook. President Obama will try to achieve these results through directed funding of projects and other targeted encouragements with an emphasis on the states where the vote is predicted to be close and in those areas only leaning slightly in his favor. If the campaign can be kept isolated and focused on the economy, jobs, and appearance with people emphasizing personality over substance, then President Obama has the advantage. Contrary to popular opinion, President Obama will not be defeated should the campaign remain fixed in the domestic agenda. Where President Obama is most vulnerable is in foreign and world affairs. This is where the Republicans should take the discussion if they truly want to take the White House from Obama. Drive home the reality of the problems roiling just beneath the surface and force the public to look below the calm exterior and see the truth underneath in the Middle East and in Europe. President Obama has too many tools he can utilize to give the economy and the job market the appearance of having tuned the corner and good times being just around the corner. Bringing the focus on the state of the world and how much the United States has lost in our standing in the world and President Obama will have difficulties. Unmask his complete lack of understanding of foreign affairs and reveal all his blunders and failures which are just a hair’s breathe away from exploding and becoming unbelievably ugly. Unearth President Obama’s disgraceful actions and lack of respect for those countries which truly are our best allies and how he has facilitated the Iranian nuclear gains, North Korean nuclear and rocket science gains, allowed for the growth of a Chinese hegemony in the Far East, the disgraceful folding before the Russians on missile defense with his intentions to share our missile defense technology with Putin while disarming the American nuclear weapons without reciprocal reductions by Russia or China, and an almost innumerable myriad of other complete disasters just waiting to befall the United States and the entire world, all of which have been intentionally implemented in stages by President Obama. Trust me when I say that this election is not about the health of the United States’ economy, it is about the continuation of the United States as a world leader or even a world player. An Obama reelection will bring the United States down internationally and bring the entire world to the edge of insanity if not completely into the abyss. You might say we are almost Beyond the Cusp.

Beyond the Cusp

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