Monday, January 29, 2024

29: Nitish Kumar

Inside Trump’s Cutthroat Conquest of Iowa and New Hampshire The former president’s victories in Iowa and New Hampshire were the product of a win-or-else ethos, a fractured opposition and his power to make the party stand for whatever he stands for.

A Titanic Geopolitical Struggle Is Underway Ukraine wants to join the West and Israel wants to join the Arab East — and Russia, with Iran’s help, is trying to stop the first, and Iran and Hamas are trying to stop the second. ........ His vision is a kind of European Union of the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia playing the anchor the way Germany does with the real E.U. ........ Russia had lost 87 percent of its preinvasion active-duty ground troops and two-thirds of its tanks that it had prior to its invasion of Ukraine.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Bhakti Marg: The Easiest Way To Understand The Kalkiist Manifesto

The most awaited person in human history is here on earth in human incarnation. Christians pray to him to come become king of all earth. Hindus wait for him to come end this Kali Yuga, this age of much sin. He is the long awaited Messiah of the Jews. Buddhists know why he was given every possible luxury as a child in his previous human incarnation as Lord Buddha. There has never before been one king for all earth. There are prophecies He has fulfilled. More important, for the first time in 5,000 years someone has presented a roadmap to end this Kali Yuga. It is a book anyone can choose to read. It is up for public discussion. Hindus have a name for Him, Lord Kalki. The easiest way to prove He is not Lord Kalki is for anyone to prove the roadmap that has been presented is not it. So far nooone has even tried.

Lord God is here and He is in human incarnation. Hindus know him as Vishnu. Jews call him Yahweh. And He is here.

Lord God the Holy Father is here on earth in human incarnation.

The roadmap is called The Kalkiist Manifesto. I had the honor to read the early drafts of the book before it got published. At first it was hard for me to understand. But once I came to know who the author was, the book became plain as can be.

Friday, January 19, 2024

19: New Hampshire

On the Ballot in Iowa: Fear. Anxiety. Hopelessness. As Monday’s caucuses approach, voters casually throw around the prospect of World War III and civil unrest, anxious of divisions they fear are tearing the country apart. ......... mingle at campaign events and casually talk of the prospect of World War III, civil unrest and a nation coming apart at the seams. ........ Now, in the first presidential election since the siege on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, those anxieties have metastasized into a grimmer, more existential dread about the very foundations of the American experiment. ......... “You get the feeling in Iowa right now that we’re sleepwalking into a nightmare and there’s nothing we can do about it,” said Doug Gross, a Republican lawyer who has been involved in Iowa politics for nearly four decades, ran for governor in 2002 and plans to support Nikki Haley in the state’s caucuses on Monday. “In Iowa, life isn’t lived in extremes, except the weather, and yet they still feel this dramatic sense of inevitable doom.” ....... This presidential race, he said, is “a moment that is different than any election in my lifetime.” .......... Fearful of the possibility of political violence, Mr. Binns is weighing going to Brazil in November 2024. ........ The result is a disorienting frenzy of facts and falsehoods swirling around issues once considered sacrosanct in public life. Recent polling shows Americans have a gloomier view of the future and express a new openness to political violence. ........ As politicians, commentators and voters grasp for historical analogies, one of the darkest chapters of American history keeps being evoked: the period leading to the Civil War. Some see a parallel in the clash of two Americas — not North and South now, but Red and Blue. ........... Inflation has fallen, unemployment has returned to a prepandemic level, and layoffs remain near record lows. The Federal Reserve plans to cut interest rates several times in the coming year. ............ He was shocked by how divisive school-board elections had become in his small town of Mount Vernon, Iowa. ........ Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump appear to be heading toward a rematch election, despite polling showing that both men remain deeply unpopular among large swaths of Americans.

What Makes Nikki Haley Tougher Than the Rest Several years ago it occurred to me that in every administration I had covered to that point — from Reagan through Obama — the White House staff seemed to fear the first lady more than they feared the commander in chief. ........ Donald Trump was tough, mean and self-pitying (a nifty combination). President Biden is tougher than he looks. And the woman who is now Trump’s chief challenger, Nikki Haley, is one of the toughest politicians in America — by which I mean confrontational, willing to hammer her foes. ........ She once described her childhood as “survival mode.” ....... Haley entered politics as a Tea Party maverick. ...... the Tea Party was female-led, and most of its supporters were right-wing women who, among other things, wanted to take on the Republican old boys network. Women like Haley and Sarah Palin presented themselves as whistle-blowers, taking down corruption. ........ What ensued was classic South Carolina politics. A mailer went out attacking her and referring to her by her birth name, Nimrata Randhawa. A whisper campaign suggested she was Buddhist or Hindu. (In fact, she is a Christian who attends a Methodist church). ....... One of her great successes as governor was relentlessly lobbying corporations to build their plants in South Carolina. When she left office, the state had 400,000 more jobs than when she entered. ......... All U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations defend Israel, but Haley made it the centerpiece of her job. She waded into a famously anti-Israel institution with fists raised. She was one of the people who made the Trump administration so supportive of the Jewish state. When close allies like Britain and France voted for a resolution condemning the U.S. decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, she did not invite their representatives to a U.S. Mission reception, which is practically war in U.N. terms. .......... When nine parishioners at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston were gunned down by a white supremacist in 2015, she was vulnerable and grieving in public and private. She went to all of the funerals. Her friends worried she was losing a dangerous amount of weight. Mobilized by sadness and anger, she helped persuade more than two-thirds of both houses of the legislature to remove the Confederate flag from the State Capitol grounds, which was an astounding act of political craftsmanship and moral fortitude that even her detractors admire. ........ if she’s often tough as nails, she has generally been tough as tulips about Donald Trump .......... A woman “will need to prize her tenderness and be able to display it at appropriate times in order to prevent toughness from gaining total authority and to avoid becoming a mirror image of those men who value power above life, and control over love.” .......... Neither Trump nor Haley sits around reading Adam Smith and Edmund Burke. Neither Trump nor Haley has what you would call fully developed philosophies. Neither is conventionally partisan; both made their bones attacking the G.O.P. establishment, not working their way up within it. ......... Trump and the woman who is now his leading challenger are different versions of a bare-knuckled ethos, and if you look at their records, it’s pretty clear that Haley is actually more effectively tough than Trump. She’s confrontational in pursuit of policy, whereas he is confrontational in pursuit of ratings. She’s a doer; his attention span isn’t long enough to make him an effective executive. If Republicans want someone who will execute their agenda, they should go with her. .......... The connection between working-class voters and a shady real estate billionaire is a complex psychological phenomenon that historians will have to unpack. But it’s a bond no amount of Nikki Haley toughness can break.

The Things We Disagree On About Gaza
Trump Is Playing With Fire

The Most Durable Force in American Politics: Trump’s Ties to His Voters If Donald Trump’s rivals want to stop his rise, they’ll need to break his bond with his supporters. They didn’t come close in Iowa......... For eight years, he has nurtured a relationship with his supporters with little precedent in politics. He validates them, he entertains them, he speaks for them and he uses them for his political and legal advantage. ......... Republicans lost control of the presidency, the Senate and the House during his four years in office. He failed to deliver the red wave of victories he promised in the 2022 midterms. He has been charged with 91 felonies in four criminal cases this past year. ........ many Iowa Republicans made clear they don’t judge him. They adore him. ......... “Trump is not a candidate, he’s the leader of a national movement,” said Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker who has advised Mr. Trump. “No one has come to grips with what’s it like to take on the champion of a movement. That’s why even as all these legal issues pile up, it just infuriates his movement and increases their anger unbelievably.” ........ Roughly half of Iowa Republicans voted for one of Mr. Trump’s rivals, including about 20 percent who backed Mr. DeSantis, who finished in second, with Ms. Haley close behind. ......... As the Republican nominating contest moves to New Hampshire next week, one poll this month showed Ms. Haley within striking distance of Mr. Trump. The state’s voters tend to be more moderate and less religious, suggesting an opening for her. ........ MAGA Nation rivals the Queen’s Guard when it comes to standing at the ready to defend their sovereign ....... Perhaps most significantly, he has rallied their support amid unprecedented legal troubles in part by describing the prosecution of him as an attempt to silence them. ........ “You and I have been in this battle side-by-side, together — and we have been taking on the entire corrupt system in Washington like no one has ever done before,” Mr. Trump told Iowa supporters at a rally on Sunday, adding that the political establishment and global elites “are at war with us — we have to fight.” .......... nothing short of a political magic act: The billionaire son of a multimillionaire has become the voice for working-class Americans. .............

“He’s a blue-collar billionaire.”

Putin Is Making His Plans Brutally Clear In 2023 there were more than 6,000 air alerts in Ukraine. Last month alone, Russia launched some 624 drones carrying explosives .......... On Dec. 29, more than 120 Russian missiles and drones targeted towns across the country, killing 44 people. It was the deadliest attack on civilians in Kyiv since the beginning of the war. ......... Russia’s strikes increased as attempts to authorize more funding for Ukraine stalled in the U.S. Congress and in Europe. Since the fall, Kyiv’s western allies have reportedly been quietly pushing for negotiations to end the war. By the end of December, Vladimir Putin was also reportedly signaling that he, too, was ready to make a deal. ......... From Kyiv it’s clear that Mr. Putin is not preparing to offer anything that Ukrainians could agree to — and he knows it. His plans are occupation, devastation and destruction. ....... On Jan. 2 Russia launched 35 kamikaze drones, some 60 cruise missiles and 10 hypersonic Kinzhal missiles — which Russia has claimed are impossible to shoot down — on Kyiv. ........ Last year, Russia started attacking more often in January and February, when the temperature went down. It used drones to target the power grid, weaponizing the cold against civilians. People had to use generators, and power cuts were frequent. This year, the power grid is less vulnerable, and people have needed generators less.

Trump Is Playing With Fire
Don’t Turn Away From the Charges of Genocide Against Israel
The Greatest Threat Posed by Trump Swatting — a grotesque tactic in which the police are called to respond to a nonexistent crime or threat at someone’s home — is a shockingly dangerous act that can threaten the victim’s life and property. The police will often descend in force on the home, anticipating a possible violent confrontation........ The result is a religious movement steeped in fanaticism but stripped of virtue. The fruit of the spirit described in Galatians in the New Testament — “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” — is absent from MAGA Christianity, replaced by the very “works of the flesh” the same passage warned against, including “hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions” and “factions.” ......... “vice signaling,” to describe how Trump’s core supporters convey their tribal allegiance. They’re often deliberately rude, transgressive or otherwise unpleasant, just to demonstrate how little they care about conventional moral norms. ....... Absent public virtue, a republic can fall. ...... if he wins again, the equation will change and history may record that he was not the culmination of a short-lived reactionary moment, but rather the harbinger of a greater darkness to come.

Trumpism Is Devouring the Evangelical Movement
Trump’s Landslide Victory in Iowa
Voters Look Past Legal Problems to Give Trump a Big Victory The possibility of a two-person race remains elusive for Trump foes, who fear a split field will ease his path to the nomination.

A Republican Pollster on Trump’s Undimmed Appeal Kristen Soltis Anderson unpacks why Republican voters want stability — and how Trump represents it.

Why Nikki Haley Can’t Win Mr. Trump by contrast often speaks from a place of unfiltered rage...... a conventional politician, even one who can brag about polls showing she’d beat Joe Biden by a wider margin than the former president would.
A Republican Pollster on Trump’s Undimmed Appeal Kristen Soltis Anderson unpacks why Republican voters want stability — and how Trump represents it.
We Are in a Big Covid Wave. But Just How Big? Wastewater data has become perhaps the best metric to track the spread of the virus in the U.S., but it’s an imperfect tool.
Israel Unearths More of a Subterranean Fortress Under Gaza The Israeli military has been surprised by the extent, depth and quality of the tunnel network beneath Gaza.

The G.O.P.’s ‘Nasty’ New Religion
History Argues for Disqualifying Trump

Letting Trump Off the Hook Will Change the Shape of History
China’s Economy Is in Serious Trouble
Why Jan. 6 Wasn’t an Insurrection bad leadership. President Xi Jinping is starting to look like a poor economic manager, whose propensity for arbitrary interventions — which is something autocrats tend to do — has stifled private initiative. .......... To outside observers, what China must do seems straightforward: end financial repression and allow more of the economy’s income to flow through to households, and strengthen the social safety net so that consumers don’t feel the need to hoard cash. And as it does this it can ramp down its unsustainable investment spending........ But there are powerful players, especially state-owned enterprises, that benefit from financial repression. And when it comes to strengthening the safety net, the leader of this supposedly communist regime sounds a bit like the governor of Mississippi, denouncing “welfarism” that creates “lazy people.” ......... Scariest of all, will it try to distract from domestic difficulties by engaging in military adventurism?

Saturday, January 13, 2024

13: Trump

‘Frozen Garlic!’ Taiwan Likes Its Democracy Loud and Proud At the island’s election rallies, warming up the crowd for candidates is crucial. “You have to light a fire in their hearts,” one host says.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

11: Trump

And Then There Were Two: ‘So Yappy, So Nyah-Nyah-Nyah, So Smarmy’ And there was his strange decision to accuse his opponent on the stage of “ballistic podiatry” rather than just say she shot herself in the foot......... DeSantis and Haley need to win many, many votes from Republicans who currently support Trump. Instead, the candidates spent most of the night tearing each other apart. ........ I’ve been to numerous DeSantis caucus events in Iowa, and he is better on the ground talking with Iowans than he comes across on television — looser, more comfortable and less stilted. You could hear that in the positive responses he received from the studio audience. That said, he came across as stale, disgruntled and small. His knowledge of issues seemed shallow and his foreign policy weak-kneed. A man this petty and cruel shouldn’t be anywhere near the Oval Office, especially behind the desk. We’ve already tried that.

The Case for Trump … by Someone Who Wants Him to Lose Barring a political miracle or an act of God, it is overwhelmingly likely that Donald Trump will again be the Republican Party’s nominee for president. Assuming the Democratic nominee in the fall is Joe Biden, polls show Trump with a better-than-even chance of returning to the White House next year. ...... Too many people — especially progressives — fail to think deeply about the enduring sources of his appeal ....... Arguably the single most important geopolitical fact of the century is the mass migration of people from south to north and east to west, causing tectonic demographic, cultural, economic, and ultimately political shifts. Trump understood this from the start of his presidential candidacy in 2015, the same year Europe was overwhelmed by a largely uncontrolled migration from the Middle East and Africa. As he said the following year, “A nation without borders is not a nation at all. ............. enforcing control at the border — whether through a wall, a fence, or some other mechanism — isn’t racism. It’s a basic requirement of statehood and peoplehood, which any nation has an obligation to protect and cherish. ........... Only now, as the consequences of Biden’s lackadaisical approach to mass migration have become depressingly obvious on the sidewalks and in the shelters and public schools of liberal cities like New York and Chicago, are Trump’s opponents on this issue beginning to see the point. ........... A job market is structured by rules and regulations, not just an endless supply of desperate laborers prepared to work longer for less. ............ when liberal elites insist that things are going well while overwhelming majorities of Americans say they are not, Trump’s unflattering view captured the mood of the country. .......... persistently sluggish economic growth and a plunging labor-force participation rate that had never recovered from the 2008 financial crisis. ........ There was a rising death rate among middle-aged white people and declining life expectancy at birth, in part because of sharply rising deaths from suicide, alcoholism or drug addiction. More than 12 percent of all adult males had a felony conviction on their record, leaving them in the shadowlands of American life. And there was a palpable sense of economic decline, with fewer and fewer younger Americans having any hope of matching their parents’ incomes at the same stages of life. ............. Labor-force participation remains essentially where it was in the last days of the Obama administration. Deaths of despair keep rising. The cost of living has risen sharply, and while the price of ordinary goods may finally be coming down, rents haven’t. Only 36 percent of voters think the American dream still holds true ........... If anything, Trump’s thesis may be truer today than it was the first time he ran on it. .......... “If you’re a public-health person and you’re trying to make a decision, you have this very narrow view of what the right decision is, and that is something that will save a life,” the former National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins acknowledged last month. “You attach zero value to whether this actually totally disrupts people’s lives, ruins the economy, and has many kids kept out of school in a way they never quite recovered.” ............. What about the threat Trump poses to the very foundations of our democracy? All disqualifying — in my view. .......... why so many voters are unimpressed about the “end of democracy” argument. ............ Prominent Democrats also denied the legitimacy of George W. Bush’s two elections ......... Many rank-and-file Republicans regard the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol as a disgrace and the lowest point of Trump’s presidency. But they also believe that it wasn’t so much an insurrection as it was an ugly temper tantrum by Trump and his most rabid supporters, which never had a chance of succeeding. .......... An American version of Vladimir Putin he simply is not. ........... the 2024 election will not hinge on questions of democracy but of delivery: Which candidate will do more for voters? That will turn on perceptions of which candidate did more for voters when they were in office. Biden’s supporters are convinced that the president has a good story to tell. But they also think that Trump has no story at all — only a pack of self-aggrandizing lies. That’s liberal self-delusion. ........... Excluding the pandemic, a once-in-a-century event that would have knocked almost any sitting president sideways, Americans have reasons to remember the Trump years as good ones — and good in a way that completely defied expert predictions of doom. Wages outpaced inflation, something they have just begun to do under Biden .......... Unemployment fell to 50-year lows (as it has been under Biden); stocks boomed; inflation and interest rates were low. ....... He appealed to Americans who operated in the economy of things — builders, manufacturers, energy producers, food services and the like — rather than in the economy of words — lawyers, academics, journalists, civil servants. ............ he shared the law-and-order instincts of normal Americans, including respect for the police, something the left seemed to care about on Jan. 6 but was notably less concerned about during the months of rioting, violence and semi-anarchy that followed George Floyd’s murder. ........... Does the world feel safer under Biden — with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Hamas’s and Hezbollah’s assault on Israel, Houthi attacks on shipping in international waters, the Chinese open threat to invade Taiwan — than it did under Trump? Trump may have generated a lot of noise, but his crazy talk and air of unpredictability seemed to keep America’s adversaries on their guard and off balance in a way that Biden’s instinctive caution and feeble manner simply does not. ............. Ordinary voters care typically about results. What many care less about is Trump’s purported offensiveness. .......... brokenness has become the defining feature of much of American life: broken families, broken public schools, broken small towns and inner cities, broken universities, broken health care, broken media, broken churches, broken borders, broken government. At best, they have become shells of their former selves. And there’s a palpable sense that the autopilot that America’s institutions and their leaders are on — brain-dead and smug — can’t continue. .......... It shouldn’t seem strange to Trump’s opponents that a man whom we regard as an agent of chaos should be seen by his supporters as precisely the man who can sweep the decks clean. I happen to think that’s exactly wrong — you don’t mend damaged systems by breaking them even further. Repair and restoration is almost always better than reaction or revolution. But I don’t see Trump’s opponents making headway against him until they at least acknowledge the legitimacy and power of the fundamental complaint. If you’re saying it’s “Morning in America” when 77 percent of Americans think the country is on the wrong track, you’re preaching to the wrong choir — and the wrong country.

One of Trump’s Oldest Tactics in Business and Politics: I’m Rubber. You’re Glue. Whenever Donald Trump is accused of something, he responds by accusing his opponent of that exact thing. The idea is less to argue that Mr. Trump is clean than to suggest that everyone else is dirty.

11: GDP

11: SRK

11 : Nikki Haley