We watched it last night.
This morning I was out with Harper having a giant diner breakfast at Bob and Edith's on 23rd St. in Crystal City. So this is now my first chance to put something up about the exalted brooding last night.
I am going to let you all write first as to your opinions before I give mine.
BTW the Gary Johnson flame-out on MJ this AM was memorable. pl
Having given people a couple days to comment:
- I thought Lauer was quite even handed and is now paying the price levied by the band of leftist harpies gathered around HC. You know their names.
- The audience veterans contained some interesting people; among them former captain Sue Fulton a career LGBTQ activist who left the army to pursue that line of work as soon as possible after graduating from USMA in 1980. Her free education with student pay as well cost the US taxpayer at least $250,000. She is now a member of the Board of Visitors (regents) there and seems to me to be a likely candidate for something like Secretary of the Army in an HC government. IMO people like big Sue and HC know nothing of war fighting and care little for the actual combat abilities of the armed forces. They see the armed forces as social engineering platforms and jobs programs for women and minorities. The use of the armed forces for purposes of political symbolism and IR signalling is about as far as they can really imagine the need to actually fight someone. Michelle Flournoy will fit nicely into that set up as SECDEF. BTW Fulton and Jack Jacobs led the viewers to believe that undocumented immigrants can enlist in the US armed forces. I think that is not the case with a couple of exceptions. So far as I know people registered under DACA (dreamers) or people who are legally in the US but not citizens can enlist and become citizens through their service. An example of the latter would be that a minor brought into the US by legal immigrant parents but never naturalized can enlist. I know of no other present exceptions. Tyler will sort me out on this. Another interesting veteran was the woman who had been a corporal in USMC in some ground aviation capacity. She was described as having PTSD issues but had never been overseas. What gave her PTSD? Was it the general strain of military life in the states? She raised the issue of military suicides but did not bother to tell us how many of those are old veterans like me or people (like her) who never deployed to a combat area. Don't you think you would have wanted to know that?
- A navy veteran flight officer asked Clinton a question about the security of classified information. She responded that her e-mail traffic was not "marked" as classified and that she had a separate system for sending and receiving classified traffic. With regard to the first point, it is clear from many accounts that her staff scanned classified documents into file and then edited them to remove the classified markings she said should have been there. They then sent her the edited documents as unclassified e-mail. there is an existing e-mail message in which she tells them to do that. They seem to have done this for years. They missed a few markings from time to time and that is why (C) appears as a portion marker on some paragraphs in a few documents. With regard to her second point, it is well established by the FBI director's statements that although the State Department had separate systems to be used for transmitting classified material she did not use it, nor did Powell and C. Rice.
- The issue arose between Lauer and Trump over what would be done by Trump concerning a PLAN to destroy IS. Having been intensively trained in doing strategic planning and then having been the JCS designated Planner (a term of art in the JCS) for intelligence matters concerning the Middle East and South Asia on all contingency and other operational plans, I will attempt to school you about how planning works at the national level in the US. First step – the president/CinC gives planning guidance to the JCS asking them to write a plan, in this case a campaign plan. In this guidance he tells them what he wants to accomplish, what limits there are on the actions they may want to design and similar broad based guidance. The Joint Staff (JCS) then writes a detailed plan which is forwarded through SECDEF to the CinC. He reviews it and tells the JCS what modifications he requires and then approves it when these are done. The Combatant Commands then write implementing plans based on the national plan. Before you ask, the CIA plays no role in this process, nor does the State Department unless either or both of these agencies are asked their opinion. We are talking about voluminous documents with many annexes, appendices, etc. These concern logistics, communications and the like. My point is that when Trump says he would ask "the generals" (military planners) to write a plan and that he then would consider it, THAT IS THE NORMAL WAY THINGS ARE DONE!!!
- Russia is not the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union no longer exists. Instead Russia exists. Russia is from the American POV a middle sized power with a lot of nuclear weapons, some excellent new military equipment products, a weak economy and a desire to be thought of as "one of the big guys." Vladimir Putin although he once was a Communist Party member is no longer that. In fact he treats the remnants of the CPUSSR as adversaries within Russia. A great many Americans seem to think that Russia is just the USSR in disguise. That is not the case and Trump seems to understand that. HC probably does as well but the charge that Trump is a Russian tool is just too politically sweet to pass up. In the last couple of days I have heard TV news idiots refer to Putin as a "communist leader." This was Cuomo on CNN. and have also heard Axelrod refer to Russia as the "Soviet Union" on MSNBC. These were Freudian slips I suppose but you get the point.
- Oh, yes, "taking the oil." Asinine. He does not seem to have any idea of the geography of Iraq. i suppose that he would want to take over the southern oil fields because of the proximity to sea ports. IMO all Iraqis would unite to fight you forever over this. pl