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Biden Boldly Goes Where No President Has Gone Before

Kirk never took a ten hour train ride. Beam me up, Scotty.

Joe Biden has boldly gone where no American President has gone before. His journey into a war zone where there are no American troops will be remembered with alongside previous American Presidential combat trips. Who can forget John Kennedy’s proclamation that he was a Berliner at the Berlin Wall or Ronald Reagan’s call to tear down that very wall in Berlin or Donald Trump’s clearing of Lafayette Square for a photo op. These are the defining moments of a presidency producing images that endure throughout history.

As one hears about the intricacies of the trip Biden undertook, one can almost hear the theme from Mission Impossible playing in the background. But now that the journey is complete, one has to ask what did it accomplish, what difference did it make?

This blog will be a bifurcated one because the significance on the global stage does not correlate with that in the domestic arena.


With this trip, Biden asserted his position as leader of the free world. He is not the leader of the unfree world. However those countries have been put on notice that he is the leader of the free world. In particular, this applies to NATO. That organization has been reinvigorated, unified, and is set to expand. None of these developments are what Putin sought when he launched his special military operation which ended up being war. The Donald Trump era of America alone and thrashing NATO is over … at least until the 2024 presidential election.

As the leader of the free world, Biden has drawn a line in sand in Ukraine. He can no longer allow Ukraine to lose. North Korea/South Korea and North Vietnam/South Vietnam divisions of Ukraine are unacceptable. There are no negotiations possible since only victory is acceptable.


With this trip, Biden has put Putin on notice that his dreams of Peter the Great will not be fulfilled … at least as long as Biden is President. Biden’s visit serves as a declaration that he will not allow Ukraine to fall on his watch. That means however Putin ratchets up the intensity of the Russian effort, it will be matched by Biden. There is no victory in sight for Putin.

Way back on February 6, I asked Is Putin Winning?: Joe Biden’s Moment of Truth. I wondered what Biden would do. I wrote:

The United States has expended a great deal of military equipment and moral leadership on behalf of Ukraine. Can the United States afford to just walk away from that because we fear Putin?

If we do walk away, it not only means Russia has triumphed over America, it means that China, Iran, and MAGAs have too. Far from being an isolated event, Putin’s war against Ukraine has become a world war. Think of the fuss raised over the Chinese spy balloon. Now imagine what it would be if America fails in Ukraine.

In some ways, Putin’s war against Ukraine has become Biden’s Cuban Missile Crisis.

I was not expecting an answer so quickly. One might think that Putin has received and understands the message. Now he is relegated to waiting for Western unity to crack or his lackey to return to the White House in 2025. Only then if Biden is re-elected may we learn that Putin is willing to live in the real world. Whether or not the Russian/elites military are willing to wait that long is another matter. We need to convince them that Russia is not our enemy, Putin is, and that we have a common enemy in China.


For someone with one foot in the grave – assuming he was not already dead – Biden has had a remarkably active and robust first two+ years that would make a younger President proud. Given his domestic legislation triumphs and his world leadership role against Russia and its authoritarian allies, it is hard to imagine any Democrat challenging him. So far none has. No Democratic office holder has undertaken any actions that would signify a move towards becoming a candidate.

But one needs to keep in mind that the 2024 election is a long way off. Joe Biden easily could step down on the grounds that he has achieved what he sought to achieve and then some; now it is time to turn the ship of state over to someone else. The sticking point including for those who say they don’t want Biden to run again is who that someone else should be? At this point there is no obvious successor despite the longstanding tradition broken by Obama of choosing one’s Vice President to be the successor. On the other hand, there is the example of John Fetterman. At lot can happen in a couple of years. Great athletes tend not to retire at the top of their game; they tend to wait until they have started to decline excluding any career-ending injury.

One should keep in mind that Biden does not get any credit for his achievements. He has every right to be proud of what he has accomplished. Yet somehow that has not translated into any boost in his popularity. People still say with a straight face and in all sincerity that he has not done anything. One wonders what if anything can break through that mindset.


“The President of the United States chose Ukraine over America, while forcing the American people to pay for Ukraine’s government and war,” tweeted Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) “I cannot express how much Americans hate Joe Biden.”

“Breathtaking that President Biden can show up in Ukraine to ensure their border is secure, but can’t do the same for America,” January 6 co-conspirator Rep. Scott Perry tweeted.

Rep. Matt Gaetz Gaetz and Greene are co-sponsors of the Ukraine Fatigue Act that aims to undermine support for Kyiv as the Russian invasion of its European neighbor moves into its second year. Greene wrote. “We must impeach this America Last fool before it’s too late.”

So far the Republicans have the upperhand over the MAGAs in Congress. How long that will last remains unknown. MAGA’s think differently. They have no interest in the President of the United States being the leader of the Free World. They prefer Putin to Biden. So while the call for premature withdrawal has no traction now, the situation could change.

For the moment at least, Biden has created a historically defining moment with his visit to Ukraine and speech in Poland. In the future Railroad One may become a tourist trip. If the Democrats are smart they will contrast Trump’s submissiveness to Putin at Helsinki with Biden’s defiance at Kyiv. They will contrast Trump’s “perfect phone call” to undermine Ukraine in his first impeachment with Biden’s “One year later, Kyiv stands. And Ukraine stands. The Americans stand with you, and the world stands with you.” One year ago today, Trump praised Putin for his genius, the savvy leader who had a strong army for peace. Putin expected to be in Kyiv shortly afterwards. Instead the war has not only been Zelenskyy’s moment of glory, it has become Biden’s too. Will the American people realize that?

Digital Donny Rorschach Test: Prelude to Criminal Referrals

Rorschach test for an immature child

What was he thinking? What was he thinking on January 6?  What was he thinking with his latest con? The question of intent has and is an important one in the ongoing investigations of his criminal activities during the last days of his presidency. Fortunately, we now have expert testimony on the state of mind of the Loser.

Chuck Schumer:

…for her first 35 to 40 years of life she (Nancy Pelosi) raised five children so she knew how to deal with children. And that’s what helped her deal with Trump because he ultimately was a child (CNN interview)

Nancy Pelosi:

I think there is a need for an intervention of something, you know, by his family (CNN interview).

Sorry Nancy, there can be no intervention with an immature child. You correctly diagnose him but then seek to apply an adult solution.

Tom Nichols

Musk’s petty outbursts make you wonder how dangerous it would be if a narcissistic, self-interested, vindictive adolescent ever gained a major political office such as, say, the White House. But I digress. (The Atlantic).

Paul Krugman:

Trump, however, comes across as 76 going on a very bratty 14 (NYT 11/15/22 print).

Alex Wagner:

Trump photo shopped into the scenarios of a 10-year-old boy (MSNBC 12/16/22).

For years, for years and years, I have been referring to Little Donny Waney as an immature child with the emotional maturity of a three-year old per his niece, Mary Trump. It is nice to see more and more people getting on the bandwagon (not that I deserve any credit for it).

He was an immature child when his father put the thirteen-year old in military school in the vain hope that he would man up. He remains an immature child today. He will be one the day he dies. There’s nothing anyone can do about it. He never acts childish, he is a child.

These insights should be brought to mind when seeking to go inside the mind of the Insurrectionist in-chief. It is silly to compare him to adult authoritarian leaders in Russia, China, Turkey and so on. Instead think seventh grade smart-aleck-dumb-aleck seeking to play the game of President and then being told he can’t play anymore.

Let’s examine four famous incidents exposing his immature mind at work.

Professional Wrestling Arena


Back in 2007 before 80,000 screaming professional wrestling fans, THE DONALD against all odds took down WWE’s Vince McMahon. After this battle for the ages, THE DONALD then shaved the head of his vanquished foe. So in-between grabbing women, THE DONALD demonstrated his prowess as a warrior in this battle of the “billionaire” executives.

Lafayette Square War Hero Mocks Losers Spartacus and 300 Spartans (September 6, 2020 blog)

Bonespur Boy is the greatest warrior President in American history. Who can forget his triumphalist victory at the Battle of Lafayette Square? There he stood alone amidst thousands of heavily armed terrorists, anarchists, and criminals here illegally. Despite his precarious situation he remained resolute bolstered by his faith in God and in the sanctity of his mission. At last after a long and brutal struggle, he emerged from this predicament triumphant. He then thrust his powerful arms towards the heavens brandishing an upside-down Bible, the fiercest weapon in his arsenal. Another square had been secured in the fight against demonic chaos that threatened the land.

The alpha-male-wannabee was not done. He knew there were more battles to be fought throughout America. He admonished his governors to dominate their cities, not to be weak. He warned them if that if they lacked the requisite strength to dominate, that he would unleash the fearsome forces at his disposal to do what they could not. He would prevail. Victory would be attained. The forces of evil would be defeated.

Maskless Macho Macho Boy

The most heroic action by an American President ever

Perhaps the single most weeny act by the Loser President occurred when he returned from the hospital. The standing before an adoring crowd of worshippers, Little Donny Wanney unveiled himself. When statues are erected to commemorate his weeniest action as President, it well may be this heroic action of ripping of his covid mask. The palpitations in the crowd were intense. I think there were even images of Rambo Trump being carried by people. Truly this was his Iwo Jima moment where instead of raising the flag, he was removing his mask. I still shudder just thinking about this vision of masculinity on display at the White House.

Putting aside his great love for playing with his action toys – my generals – putting aside his crack about not admiring John McCain because he had been caught, a deep-seated lifelong pattern emerges. Yes he is a child but he is a child with a desperate need to be taken seriously as an adult.

Seen in this perspective, Digital Donny makes sense. He needs to project an image not of his submissiveness to Putin but as a figure of towering strength. The Digital Donny cards express his inner self. It is not necessary to ask the child what he feels. He has created multiple avatars to do that for him.

But once again the law of unintended consequences occurred. He did not expect to become a laughing stock. He did not expect to become a laughing stock to people who had remained silent, defied subpoenas, and risked jail for him. Think of Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Time Magazine’s Person of the Year day in and day out fighting on behalf of his people against Putin and contrast those images with those of the immature child faking being an adult leader. The Ukrainian people have rallied behind their leader who they know is in the trenches with them. Zelensky may be the comedian but it is Trump who is the joke. Do you want to put your life on the line on behalf of Digital Donny? Do you want to risk real prison-time and large legal bills of behalf of Digital Donny?

These images of Digital Donny probably will become weapons against him should he seriously pursue the nomination in 2024. They also will make it easier to indict him. Before, there always was the image and aura of the Presidency behind hm. It enveloped him providing a protective shield even as a former President. How could you indict a person with the prestige and status of the Presidency? Now the person who said that he did it on Mar-a-Lago documents and terminate the Constitution on behalf of a President greater than Washington, greater than Lincoln, indicting him has become easier. Digital Donny is not only a joke to comedians, talk show hosts, pundits, and politicians, he is a joke to jurors as well.


Russians Reject Putin’s Big Lie

Russian "Field of Dreams"



What will Putin do? I ask that question as someone with access to no secret sources, no classified government materials, and no friends in the know. I ask it as someone who reads articles and watches news and talk shows. We are witnessing a battle between the real world and the mind of someone with a Peter the Great complex who knows the price for attempting to impose such greatness and failing. At some point eventually, the real world wins. The Soviet Union was not the wave of the future.


Back in February when this special military operation began, I am not sure how many people thought we would be where we are today. The invasion was hardly a secret although it still seemed to have taken some people by surprise. There seem to be people who believed that it was a bluff of some kind.

In the initial Russian run up and invasion of Ukraine, the consensus was that the war would be a short one. The Russian forces were massive, a word one heard frequently. The Russian forces also were state-of-the-art, a true 21st-century military machine what would steamroller over the smaller and less well-armed Ukraine. Russia had military experiences as well. Perhaps Putin’s asset, the former President of the United States said it best.

“I went in yesterday and there was a television screen, and I said, ‘This is genius.’ Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine — of Ukraine — Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful,” Trump said in a radio interview with “The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show.” “He used the word ‘independent’ and ‘we’re gonna go out and we’re gonna go in and we’re gonna help keep peace.’ You gotta say that’s pretty savvy.”

As we all know, Russia’s initial onslaught was both brutal and unsuccessful. The Russian proclamations of quick victory had to be filed back in the drawer. Instead, the Ukrainians were more like the Russians valiantly fighting the Nazis from capturing the country. Those early weeks of the war have become Ukraine’s finest hour so far.

Zelensky then became a media darling. Ukraine was front page news and he was front page news. He spoke via giant screens to the people of Europe. They gathered together to hear him just as they had when Matt Damon was successfully rescued from Mars to the cheers of millions. He was David defeating Goliath. The Russians had failed in their efforts to seize the capital. Perhaps soon Ukrainians would even push the Russians out of their country. Those were heady days indeed.

The moment did not last long. Ukraine stopped being the lead story. It was not even mentioned in daily news shows, talked about, or printed about in the daily newspapers. The battle had switched to the “east.” It has become a slugfest. There were no stirring defeats. There were no stirring victories. It just continued day after day, more of the same, with no light at the end of the tunnel, a forever genocidal war.

Then the tide change. Suddenly Ukraine was on the offensive. Ukraine was regaining territory. The Russian army seemed on the verge of collapse. What would Putin do?

Now we now know the answer: partial mobilization. Will it work?


Let’s examine some of the changes which have occurred and the hoped-for changes which have not.

1. NATO is more unified than it has been in decades. How long that will last remains unknown but so far one result of Putin’s war is a revitalized NATO that takes very seriously the Russian threat. This can’t be what Putin wanted.

2. NATO has expanded. Finland and Sweden are in the process of joining NATO. Even beforehand, their militaries are working with NATO as if they were members. This can’t be what Putin wanted.

3. World food and energy prices are in turmoil leading to disruptions in many places. For Putin this unexpected collateral damage has been weaponized into an attack on the West. It will not help him win in Ukraine but it will inflict pain on others. Putin does not care.

4. The oligarchs have had no effect on Putin’s behavior. The seizure of yachts has made for many dramatic photo-ops but they are immaterial.

5. Economic sanctions have not worked … yet. Remember how being cut off from SWIFT was going to be a devastating blow! So far the economy has shrunk but less than it did with Covid. The high energy prices and willing customers in China and India have helped keep the coffers full … so far. Ever more Russian people have been placed under sanctions. This is a little like watching paint dry or grass grow. If you are patient and can hold firm, they can have a major effect on the Russian people. Putin may not care how much the Russian people suffer for the greater cause of his being Peter the Great, but combined with other events, they could prove troublesome to him. At some point sanctions may become the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

6. The army has underperformed and the situation is getting worse not better. Even Russian pro-war hawks have become speaking out on social media calling for heads to roll. The facts on the ground ultimately may be the biggest game changer of all.

At this point Putin seemingly has nothing good to which to look to forward, so he threw a Hail Mary.


Like “special military operation,” “partial mobilization” is a code term. The former is for an invasion and the latter is a Hail Mary.

Putin already had succeeded in generating one rush to emigrate with the start of the special military operation. Now with the partial mobilization he has sparked another. The first one was mainly Western-oriented people of all genders and ages who said “enough is enough.” These are the people who were in the forefront of the efforts to westernize Russia and promote democracy. The departure of the best-educated people enabled Putin to say “good riddance” to these enemies of the state regardless of the loss to the future economy of Russia.

With the second group fleeing the country, the situation is different. They are young men, Russian and non-ethnic, perhaps not as well educated as the first group, perhaps more loyal to Putin before, who are now leaving.

Here we see the failure of Russian Foxhub. Officially the special military operation is succeeding perfectly according to plan. One might think the young men would be eager to participate in this glorious undertaking for the greater good of Mother Russia. Yet for some reason, they think going to the battlefront in Ukraine means going to die. They see the draft not as a call to arms but as a death sentence.

How could they think that? The fleeing following the partial mobilization decree tells us that Russian Foxhub was telling them the Big Lie that no longer works. The Russian Big Lie of victory was tolerated as long as it did not affect the average individual. In other words, the Russian people knew Russian Foxhub was spinning the Big Lie. Once Putin called for a partial mobilization, they knew the Big Lie was a Big Lie and they knew who was responsible for it. They were being asked to sacrifice themselves for Putin’s Big Lie. They are not being asked to fight for Russia, they are being asked to fight for Putin. How many troops does Putin need at home round up the people needed for the partial mobilization in support of the Big Lie?

And now he will be arming those recruits or at least trying to. He will be arming 300,000 men who know that Putin is the problem. There already are tens of thousands of men in the Ukraine who know the war is the Big Lie and Putin is the problem. So while everyone in the West is concerned about whether Putin will use nuclear weapons, we should also be looking to the facts on the ground. Winter is coming for the exposed troops in the Ukraine. Winter is coming for new recruits however many are rounded up. The West will do a better job arming and supplying Ukrainians this winter than Russians will do their own armed forces. The winter that defeated Napoleon and Hitler is more likely to defeat Putin too.

What will Putin do when the Big Lie no longer works and the facts on the ground can no longer be denied even by him? That is when he has to start looking over his shoulder and watching his back if he is not already doing that.



The Plot against America: It’s not a Novel

Once upon a time, Charles Lindbergh was a famous person in the United States. In fact he was famous multiple times and for different reasons.

He was heroically famous for being the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

He was tragically famous for the kidnapping of his child.

He was politically famous for leading the largest pro-Hitler movement in the United States.

In fact, on the last item, there was considerable political discussion about his running for President. What would that have meant for America’s participation in World War II if Lindbergh had been President instead of Franklin Roosevelt?


The Plot against America is a novel written in 2004 by Philip Roth exploring just such an alternate reality. In the novel, Roosevelt is denied a third term. Instead he is defeated by pro-Hitler Lindbergh on the campaign slogan of keeping America out of the war in Europe. Roth told the story mostly through the lens of his own life and family. It addresses the issues of what would happen if anti-Semitism effectively became the law of the land. So the novel is less about the war itself in Europe and more about life in the United States governed by an openly bigoted President.

In this regard, the specific details of Roth’s novel are less significant that the overall message. For example, in his book radio media star Walter Winchell opposes the sell out to the foreign power and pays a big price for his vocal opposition. By contrast today, cable star Tucker Carlson praises Putin and is revered in Russia as well as in large portions of the United States. The bigger question is what would happen if a bigoted President of the United States was submissive to a foreign adversary whom he did not consider to be an adversary at all?


Obviously in 2004, Roth had no idea that Donald Trump one day would become President of the United States. Like Lindbergh, Trump also had become famous in various ways. He had become famous for saving a skating rink in Central Park and for his apparent business success in prominently plastering his name on multiple glitz buildings. He had become famous for his media sex-life. He had become famous for his fake reality show slogan of “You’re fired!.”

He was not yet known at the time of the novel for his political desires. Sure he had denounced the Central Park Five in what could be considered a preview of his racism. But this was still before the time of questioning the legitimacy of the birth and college education of the Moslem candidate who became President – an accusation by someone who apparently had paid people to take his college tests and write his college papers given his limited mental necessities. It also was before the cry of “Lock her up!” by someone who later flushed, shredded, and removed documents from the White House.

So while Roth was writing about an alternate past and not an unimagined future, there still is much to be learned from his speculation.


At the time of this post, the United States is involved in a war between Vladimir Putin of Russia and Volodymyr Zelenskyy of the Ukraine. Putin fancies himself as a defender of orthodoxy against the decadent and corrupt West. He will reestablish the glory days of the Russian Empire. Zelensky is Jewish and the leader of a country which seeks to be part of the very West that Putin condemns. The conflict is not simply a standard battle over land between alpha-males, it is a battle between civilizations.

It is this clash between opposing ways of life that makes The Plot against America relevant. Here in America, there are many people who share Putin’s antipathy towards western values. To stress the Jewish identity of the Ukrainian leader will only alienate these Americans to the Ukrainian cause. In time they will link Zelensky to George Soros, claim the suffering Ukrainians are actors, and the supposed damage is special effects by the same people who faked the moon landing and left Matt Damon on Mars. We know that the relatives of Ukrainians in Russia do not believe the words of their relatives about what has been happening in the Ukraine. Instead they believe what they have been seeing on the Russian Foxhub station complete with Tucker Carlson commentary. Roth’s alternate reality was confined to his novel; Putin’s alternate reality is that it is happening in the real world with a receptive audience in both Russia and the United States.


Here is America we already have an alternate reality that is believed to be real by tens of millions of people – January 6 was a peaceful demonstration by patriotic Americans engaged in legitimate political discourse attempting to save the country from a stolen election. It is doubtful that even a novelist like Roth could have imagined such a scenario. It is doubtful any American on January 7 could have imagine such a scenario either. Yet here we are over two years and exactly such a scenario is fervently believed by millions who cannot under any circumstances be convinced that such an alternate reality is not in fact real.

Since these people actually do live in the real world and can vote in American elections, there is a real possibility that their alternate reality view will prevail. In the real world we could again have a President who is submissive to a foreign adversary but now in much more dire circumstances than in the previous administration.

Let’s recap the situation.

The President of the United States attempts to overthrow the Constitution and suffers no consequences for it.

That former President makes it a litmus test for candidates in his party that they accept this Big Lie.

Many candidates for election in 2022 openly claim that the election was stolen.

Congressional representatives who opposed the Big Lie have chosen not to run or are being primaried.

After the 2022 elections, the party in power in the House and maybe the Senate accept as true that the election was stolen.

After the 2024 elections, the President of the United States may support Putin in the war and not Zelensky assuming his is even still alive. After all, in his mind Putin is a genius who for $2 gained a country and got rid of the Ukrainian leader who would not do the American leader a favor.

At that point, Roth’s novel will no longer be a novel; it will have become fulfilled science fiction prophecy worthy of George Orwell where only names have been changed. In the novel, the head of the Fifth Column becomes President in a fictional world. In the real world, the head of one of America’s major parties leads the Fifth Column into the White House as he said he would lead the insurrectionists into the Capitol on January 6.