The Gathering Storm. Updating the big stories, starting with foreign affairs. While people in the Upper Midwest and Boston are slipping and sliding through their commute, so apparently is the foreign policy of the Obama Administration. A president who said in September ‘there will be no boots on the ground’ when he announced a bombing campaign that would ‘degrade and destroy’ the Islamic State, now wants a new authorization from congress to use force in western Iraq. Is this an admission that the policy of airstrikes has not been successful? While the White House version of the force authorization only calls for special forces, and troops for specific purposes and not a general invasion, wait’ll we see what Congress ends up adding. In the Eastern Ukraine, a president who claimed economic sanctions would eventually force the Russians to end their misadventure there, now is reportedly considering arming Ukrainians. Putin has played the economic sanctions, which have hurt the Russian people, to gain public support for his effort in the Donetsk region. Moreover, whether right or wrong, Russians regard Ukraine as Russia. Kiev was the origin of Russia going back to the 10th century. When Ted Cruz, John McCain and Robert Menendez agree, its very possible so called ‘lethal aid’ will be shipped to Ukraine. Is this wise? What was the start of the current stand off. When did the US lose its way in Europe? Now what? Seems like the President may just decide to pull back and run out the clock, leaving all of this to the next President. Meanwhile, the Europeans are in conference with Ukrainian leadership, and Russian diplomats and they don’t want any arms shipments messing up their deal with Putin, in which Putin pretty much gets what he wants; The federalization of Eastern Ukraine, giving him the ability to destabilize a Ukrainian rump state whenever he chooses. Let’s not forget the province in question also has some pretty valuable natural resources and a land bridge to Crimea. Is this a good recipe for world economic growth? What if foreign policy turns out to be the big issue of 2016? Do you know what the Republican and Democrat foreign policy will be? It’s really important people start talking to each other about their values, working to knit those values together into some kind of political idea that can then be worked into concepts that are more than just rhetorical flourish. Don’t expect others to do your work for you. And if people do vote for someone with simply emotionally appealing ideas; they will get the so called leader they deserve. Sponsored by X Government Cars.