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WarGamer's Journal
WarGamer's Journal
March 15, 2024

Local housing prices... illustrating absurdity.

I dropped my wife off at a friends house today. She's an elderly lady, my wife visits now and then...

She lives in a little condo in my city, a 2+2 built in 1975

As I was waiting in the car I googled a home for sale in the community.

875,000 plus 500/mo HOA...

Admittedly, my city (Westlake Vlg, CA) is on the upper middle class side... I bought my house in the 00's for around 500k and paid it off in less than 10 years while I was working like crazy.

But it just tells me... people around here... professionals and retired folks with investments are making ENORMOUS amounts of money.

It highlights the disconnect between the haves and have nots and the economy of the last ten years has mostly benefited the well off.

Here it is:

March 12, 2024

FT: EU nears deal on 5bn military aid package for Ukraine

Outstanding. The EU investing in the safety and security of their own backyard.

I think this deal allows the EU to purchase US gear to send to Ukraine as long as it's the only source. For example, HIMARS ammo... if no one has any except the US, they can purchase it.


EU countries are set to agree on a new €5bn top-up to a fund used to finance military shipments to Ukraine, after months of wrangling over the procurement rules, according to four officials briefed on the discussions.

The EU deal, which needs formal approval at a meeting of member states on Wednesday, unlocks fresh cash for the reimbursement of supplies to Kyiv by EU countries. It will prioritise weapons manufactured inside the bloc but not exclude those from third countries if they are the only option, the officials said.

The fund, known as the European Peace Facility, has been a critical part of European military supplies to Ukraine since February 2022, but has been depleted.
March 12, 2024

SLATE: Trump and Biden Should Both Be Terrified of the Third-Party Vote


I don't get the DOOM-CASTING from reliably LEFT Democratic sources.

Other than Perot, it has been at least a century since a third-party candidate had a realistic chance at becoming president, and that won’t change this year. But Kennedy’s outsider campaign has to worry the Biden camp.

For one thing, Kennedy is polling better than any third-party candidate in a generation, sitting at 15 percent in the RealClearPolitics average of a three-way race as of March 11. Those numbers are almost certainly soft, but there’s no getting around the enduring (and I would argue unfathomable) appeal of the Kennedy brand and the fact that dissatisfaction with the two major-party nominees is so broad that it seems as if you can throw any famous last name out there and hit double digits. The fact that Kennedy SuperPAC American Values 2024 spent $7 million on an ad during the Super Bowl suggests that the campaign intends to go all the way to November.

It is no longer particularly far-fetched to think that Donald Trump’s restoration is possible—perhaps even more likely than not, given President Joe Biden’s dreadful polling numbers as of Monday. Those polls, already a fairly accurate snapshot of what is likely to happen in November, get more predictive by the day from here on out. But thus far, most analysis of the election has focused almost exclusively on the two widely disliked elderly men who are all but assured of claiming the Democratic and Republican nominations, especially after their romps through the Super Tuesday contests. But a number of other candidates and parties are in the process of getting on November’s ballot, and for the first time in almost 20 years, one of them is consistently polling in double digits. That’s to say nothing of the independent organization No Labels, which has yet to identify a standard-bearer after getting spurned by Sen. Joe Manchin and Larry Hogan, a former Republican governor of Maryland; No Labels announced on Friday that it would press forward with its presidential bid. The combination of historic unpopularity for the major-party nominees, the presence of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. polling well enough to get into the televised debates, and an unusually large slate of other third-party candidates could make this the wildest, most unpredictable presidential election in living memory.

March 10, 2024

Oscars: Kimmel makes stupid joke about the Holocaust and Germany

Pretty un-funny tonight.


And as I look out over the audience I see actress Sandra Hüller who is the star of Zone of Interest playing the wife of Rudolf Höss, the Commandant of Auschwitz building a family next to the camp.

In Germany, it's known as a rom-com.

If I mis-heard it, lmk...

March 10, 2024

Reuters: Pope says Ukraine should have 'courage of the white flag' of negotiations


ROME (Reuters) -Pope Francis has said in an interview that Ukraine should have what he called the courage of the "white flag" and negotiate an end to the war with Russia that followed Moscow's full-scale invasion two years ago and that has killed tens of thousands.

Francis made his comments in an interview recorded last month with Swiss broadcaster RSI, well before Friday's latest offer by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to host a summit between Ukraine and Russia to end the war.

Erdogan made the fresh offer after a meeting in Istanbul with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Zelenskiy has said while he wants peace he will not give up any territory.
March 8, 2024

Biden SOTU Ratings... up from 2023.


President Joe Biden‘s State of the Union address drew about 27.7 million viewers across nine networks, signaling a boost in total audience from last year, according to early Nielsen numbers.

About 27.3 million watched in 2023, and that was across 16 networks. The final Nielsen figures are expected later today with additional networks added.

Fox News topped all the networks, drawing 5.64 million, followed by ABC News with 5.02 million, NBC News with 4.33 million, MSNBC with 4.2 million, CBS News with 3.94 million, CNN with 2.51 million, Fox with 1.71 million, Fox Business with 240,000 and CNBC with 112,000.
March 8, 2024

No Labels votes to move forward with bipartisan presidential ticket. Manchin/Romney??


The third-party presidential movement No Labels voted Friday to move forward with a presidential ticket, though the hunt for candidates to lead the ticket continues.

After flirting with a third-party presidential bid over the past year, No Labels' 800 delegates from 50 states met virtually to discuss the future of the movement and whether it would enter the 2024 presidential election. The group deliberated if a "unity ticket" -- consisting of one Republican and one Democrat -- would be a viable option.

"They voted near unanimously to continue our 2024 project and to move immediately to identify candidates to serve on the Unity presidential ticket," No Labels National Convention Chair Mike Rawlings said in a statement.

And I noticed Manchin and Romney paling around at the SOTU and last week both joked about a ticket in their names...

Trying to estimate the impact on the election...

BTW, Haley has said NO

Sinema has said NO

Cheney has said NO in the past...

Christie maybe...
March 8, 2024

Turning a SOTU into a political speech was brilliant...

Some might say too political but I think it was shrewd.

This was an opportunity to get in front of the camera and DESTROY the "too old" narrative...

He sees the polls... it's better to go after Trump NOW and not wait til the campaign trail with so many fewer cameras and viewers.

Outstanding strategy... big hat tip to the Biden strategists.

I expect the polls to show some movement ASAP.

March 7, 2024

Israel's illegal West Bank settlement plans face global condemnation

similar story in WSJ today... but AJ has no paywall. Facts are the same.

Seems like someone is taking advantage of the GAZA War to implement something in the West Bank.

Israel’s illegal West Bank settlement plans face global condemnation. The 3,500 illegal housing units in the occupied West Bank add to nearly 20,000 approved in the past year.

Israel’s plan to build thousands of new homes in the occupied West Bank is facing widespread condemnation from several countries, including some of Tel Aviv’s staunchest allies.

The country’s settlement-planning authority on Wednesday greenlit permits for nearly 3,500 new illegal settlement housing units in the occupied Palestinian territory, the first such approval since Israel’s war on Gaza began on October 7 last year.

“The enemies try to harm and weaken us, but we will continue to build and be built up in this land,” far-right Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich in charge of civil affairs in the West Bank, said on X.


Related story: Israeli Settlers look to form "New GAZA" by moving in...


Hundreds of members of the Israeli settler community gathered for a convention in Jerusalem on Sunday calling for Israel to rebuild settlements in Gaza and the northern part of the Occupied West Bank.

Israel withdrew its military and settlers from Gaza in 2005 after a 38-year occupation, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said it does not intend to maintain a permanent presence again, but that Israel would maintain security control for an indefinite period.

There has been little clarity, however, about Israel's longer-term intentions, and countries including the United States have said that Gaza should be governed by Palestinians. The conference was organized by the right-wing Nahala organization, which advocates for Jewish settlement expansion in territories including the West Bank, where they are classified as illegal by international and humanitarian groups and where violent clashes between settlers and Palestinians are frequent.

March 7, 2024

Our "Dark Money" system is in serious need of reform.

After reading an article about Trump meeting Musk...

I kinda wanted to reassure myself that he couldn't simply kick $1B into the Make American Great SUPER-PAC.

Well that turned into a couple hour long rabbit hole.

While it's true that a person, or corporation can give UNLIMITED AMOUNTS to a PAC... at least the PAC must identify the donors.


That's not what happens in the real world.

Groups are starting 501(c) organizations to funnel anonymous money into PACs...

You see... 501(c) are not required to publicly identify their donors and they're allowed to spend up to 49.9% of their revenue on politics.

So if a 501(c) gave $10M to MAGA PAC, the PAC would only have to identify XYZ 501(c) as the donor.

For example... Musk could donate money to a 501(c) that has a stated purpose, like supporting research of AI... but that group could give half the money to MAGA PAC anonymously. Then that group could invest in SpaceX with the balance.

The powers above us have devised a system that makes people FEEL better because we can see donations (opensecrets.org) and trust that even PACs have publicly available donor lists... but they've left the back door open for Dark Money.

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Name: J
Gender: Male
Hometown: SoCal
Home country: USA
Current location: Socal
Member since: Mon Feb 1, 2021, 09:27 PM
Number of posts: 12,848

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