30 thoughts on “Stagecraft and Statecraft”

  1. and Statesmanship

    US President Joe Biden played the role of a moderate statesman and touted bipartisanship in his State of the Union speech, global affairs expert Dr Trisha Craig tells CNA’s Asia Now. He also sought to cool temperatures by avoiding a direct mention of China’s surveillance balloon, and pledged the White House’s long-term commitment to support Ukraine against Russia.

  2. Comrade Musk has turned off part of Skylink servicing Ukraine.  Yup, the parts of it used by drones of the Ukraine military.  Time for the U.S. to regulate the service.

  3. this was the news about starlink in march last year as reported by business insider:

    Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite system is helping an elite Ukrainian drone unit destroy Russian weaponry, according to The Times of London.
    The Aerorozvidka specialist air reconnaissance unit operates drones modified with thermal cameras to see Russian military vehicles like tanks and command trucks at night, The Times of London reported on Friday. The drones have been modified to drop anti-tank grenades on targets, per the newspaper.
    “If we use a drone with thermal vision at night, the drone must connect through Starlink to the artillery guy and create target acquisition,” an Aerorozvidka leader told The Times of London.
    The Starlink internet system ensures drone teams can work even if there are internet or power outages — which are rife in war-torn Ukraine.
    On February 26, Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s vice prime minister, asked Musk on Twitter to send Starlink terminals to Ukraine. Musk complied, writing backto Fedorov on Twitter a day later that Starlink service had been activated in Ukraine and more terminals were en route. 
    Ukraine has also received internet antennas from European allies, Fedorov told The Washington Postin an interview on Friday.
    “The quality of the link is excellent,” Fedorov told WaPo through a translator. “We are using thousands, in the area of thousands, of terminals with new shipments arriving every other day,” he added to the media outlet via a Starlink connection from an undisclosed location.
    On March 4, Musk warned Starlink users in Ukraine to turn on the system “only when needed,” as they may be targeted in the ongoing war.
    Even though security is a concern, Russian hackers have not yet been disrupting the technology, Fedorov told The Post.
    “They currently appear to be very busy attacking the websites of our small towns and villages,” he told the newspaper. “I think they’re just not at that point yet.”

    what’s behind the change a year later?  money? logistics? musk/biden/nato negotiating?

  4. daily show last night with chelsea

    Biden delivers the State of the Union address and gets heckled by Republicans. Plus, Mitt Romney gets in a heated exchange with George Santos and the Twitter hearings get underway with some disputed insults at Trump from Chrissy Teigen.

  5. As for Elon, he’s probably holding hostage the use of Skylink to get government approval/funding for one of his projects.  
    He’s like a drug pusher.  The first taste of Skylink is free, but eventually you’ve got to pay. 

  6. Burt Bacharach has died leaving a lot of songs to be enjoyed for decades.  I like the Washington Post obit, behind paywall, and the Billboard obit, free.  For some reason the L.A. Times obit, behind paywall, is not up to what I would consider standards. 
    Anyone growing up, or living, during the Nineteen Sixties, Nineteen Seventies and up to today, instantly recognize his songs.  Growing up with Motown as my favorites I had to endure his, the Beatles, Elvis and Sinatra while listening to the radio.  Too ‘easy listening’, but still with a touch of ‘Pop” just enough to be on “our” stations instead of our parents.
    We can also enjoy wondering about his marriages, a long list of women. 
    I think it is time to create a Pandora channel for him.

  7. https://thehill.com/opinion/congress-blog/3807765-mccarthy-has-put-social-security-and-medicare-at-risk-to-become-speaker/

    “…by making concessions to a small faction of MAGA rebels in order to become House Speaker, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has opened the door for cuts to Social Security and Medicare.”

    “One of McCarthy’s most dangerous concessions was agreeing to tie the lifting of the federal debt ceiling to spending cuts, which easily could include Social Security and Medicare.”

    Did all of that televised applause on Tuesday night mean a damned thing to Republicans?

    “In addition to linking action on the debt ceiling to spending cuts, McCarthy agreed to new House rules that will make it harder for Congress to raise much-needed revenue or increase funding for vital programs, regardless of need.”

    “America’s seniors cannot afford benefit cuts, including raising the eligibility ages for future Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries, which the House Republican Study Committee proposed in its 2022 spending blueprint. (The blueprint also included means testing, which could hurt beneficiaries earning as little as $49,000 a year.)”

    Now, Dems need to make their messaging clear and strong, for s change, because Republicans have given them a huge gift.

  8. Now, I’m off to find a pharmacy that will fill a prescription with my ACA insurance. Last year’s insurance provider left Texas completely, and the new one isn’t contracted with Walgreen’s.  I’ve never heard of such a thing.

  9. I poked someone’s butt with one of my replies about the slo-mo-spy-balloon.  This week has the attacks on my websites at a few hundred per day.  My, my, they are touchy.  I suspect these are not the Russians though as they don’t know how to float a balloon above a trench.  That leaves the Chinese, who had picked up from what was started by the KGB years ago.  I am so excited that I might need a nap to recover.

  10. There is a Best of Burt Bacharach playlist on Amazon Music for those who subscribe.

    The musical Rent has a somewhat backhanded tribute in the urge to escape in “Santa Fe”.


  11. https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/09/politics/biden-administration-border-deportations-mexico/index.html

    “While Mexico has been taking migrants under Title 42 and previously under a Trump-era border policy known as “Remain in Mexico,” this would appear to mark the first time Mexico would take back non-Mexican deportees at a large scale. Negotiations between the US and Mexico are ongoing, the officials said.”

    “The plan under consideration, which was first reported by The Washington Post, would make use of a fast-track deportation process known as “expedited removal.”

    “Reports that we are considering mass deportations of non-Mexicans to Mexico are false,” the official said. “We’re focused on continuing to work closely with the government of Mexico to implement our successful border enforcement plan.”

    “The shifting migration patterns has put a strain on federal resources, as border authorities have encountered an increasing number of Cubans, Venezuelans and Nicaraguans. The US is largely barred from deporting migrants from those nationalities back to their home countries because of strained diplomatic relations.”


    “…effort to tackle root causes of migration from Central America has yielded more than $4.2 billion in private sector commitments…”

    “Harris has leaned on the private sector to shore up support for Central America, along with the Partnership for Central Americas, which acts as a liaison between companies and the US government.”

    “Around 47 companies and organizations are collaborating across financial services, textiles and apparel, agriculture, technology, telecommunications, and nonprofit sectors to bolster the region’s economy, according to a White House fact sheet.”

  12. I didn’t know who bachrach was at the time but i damn well knew who Dionne Warwick was.   

  13. Sturgeone – Thinking back to those days when I lived in Detroit, until 1968, I usually listened WKNR (Keener radio), CKLW, WABZ, and a couple others at times.  All were top Forty, but with slightly different emphasis.  I sort of remember from the DJ’s talk his name.  This is before the full blown TV shows and his love life blowing up into celebrity status.  The Detroit DJ’s did spend time talking about the song writers, I think that comes from the Motown influence of Holland-Dozier-Holland. I seem to remember him showing up on TV, maybe because of his marriage to Angie ?.  And, for some reason I think he did some of the Playboy programs.

  14. https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/09/politics/spacex-ukrainian-troops-satellite-technology/index.html

    “Last October, Musk angered Ukrainians, including President Volodymyr Zelensky, for proposing a peace plan on Twitter that argued Ukraine just give up efforts to reclaim Crimea and cede control of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.”

    It sounds like Elon is working for Poo-tin.

    “That same month, there were reports that the Starlink signal had been restricted and was not available past the front line as Ukrainian troops tried to advance, essentially hamstringing their efforts to retake territory from the Russians.”

    So, I’ll help them from invading your backyard, but I’m not going to let you try to get back the front yard.

    “After Musk received Ukrainian – and global – praise for quickly delivering Starlink capabilities to Ukraine, CNN obtained exclusive documents showing that SpaceX was trying to get the Pentagon to start paying for thousands of terminals, along with their expensive connectivity, for Ukraine’s military and intelligence services. Thousands of units had also quietly been purchased by third countries for Ukraine.”

    “I was the one that asked the Pentagon to fund, this was not an Elon thing,” Shotwell said on Wednesday. “We stopped interacting with the Pentagon on the existing capability. They are not paying.”

  15. https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/09/politics/angie-craig-assault/index.html

    “Rep. Angie Craig was assaulted in the elevator of her apartment building in Washington, DC, on Thursday morning, the Minnesota Democrat’s chief of staff said.”

    “Rep. Craig defended herself from the attacker and suffered bruising, but is otherwise physically okay,” Nick Coe said in a statement, adding that the assailant fled the scene and there was “no evidence” that the incident was politically motivated.”

  16. And Jack Smith sez, “Mike, I’d like to talk with you, and here’s a subpoena to make it official.”
    Thanks Jack. 

  17. https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/09/politics/medicare-social-security-what-matters/index.html

    “Increase the payroll tax that funds Social Security from 12.4% to 15.6 %.”

    “Reduce benefits by more than 20% to all current and future recipients or more than 24% for future beneficiaries.”

    “Combine some version of the tax increase and the benefit reduction.”

    “…changing the benefit formula and gradually raising the full retirement age by two years to 69.”

    Fried baloney!

  18. https://www.businessinsider.com/elizabeth-warren-republicans-con-game-debt-ceiling-trump-tax-cuts-2023-1

    “Republicans don’t really care about the national debt.”

    “They claim their plan to use the debt ceiling to trigger global economic chaos is about fiscal responsibility. It’s not,” Warren wrote. “The House Republican plan for the debt ceiling is about protecting the wealthy and the well-connected from paying their fair share in taxes — nothing more and nothing less.”

    “Instead, before eyeing cuts to programs like Social Security and Medicare to bring down the national debt, Warren said that lawmakers should first roll back 2017 Trump tax cuts for the wealthy.”

    “Let’s close that door before the next $1 trillion slips away,” Warren wrote.

    “Republicans have been lowering taxes on America’s highest-earners and corporations for decades, Warren writes, and that has “relentlessly driven up the national debt.”

Comments are closed.