2024: What is Possible?

At the end of each year, Time magazine issues a special edition entitled “The Year in Review.” It is basically a documentation of major events in the past year. At the same time, the Economist magazine publishes a special edition entitled “The World Ahead 2024.” The subtitle is “Future-gazing analysis, predictions and speculation.” It is basically a projection of identified trends that carry over from the previous year. It is necessary to examine both processes to determine what is possible in 2024.

The beginning of such analysis requires examination of current events extended from a set of facts originating in the prior year. In just the first ten days of January, the following events have occurred.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, on January 1st was admitted to Walter Reed hospital experiencing severe pain. The condition resulted from a December procedure to treat prostate cancer. While in ICU and under sedation, he was unable to perform his official duties, render critical decisions, and issue formal commands. His Chief of Staff was ill. His Deputy Secretary was out of the country. And the White House was never informed. The Secretary of Defense is part of the nuclear chain of command. For approximately 48 hours, had the U.S. Naval Task Force operating near the Middle East come under attack, defensive maneuvers or affirmative actions could have been compromised. The White House was not fully briefed on the Secretary’s condition until yesterday morning the 10th. The Defense Department has launched an investigation to “make sure this never happens again.”

How is this possible?

Two days ago, Jamie Dimon, Chairman of the Board of the nation’s largest bank JPMorgan Chase, stated that, in his belief, recession is still likely in the United States this year. His advice to the Federal Reserve was to take this into consideration before raising or lowering interest rates. The Federal Reserve has indicated that they are likely to lower rates at their first quarterly meeting in March indicating that they believe the economy will not decline into recession. The leadership in Congress has just announced a tentative agreement for funding the United States through the fiscal year of 2024. The amount agreed upon is approximately $1.7 trillion. This brings the annual budget to $6.8 trillion on a projected income of $4.5 trillion. Therefore, the agreement maintains a deficit spending of $2.3 trillion (this deficit represents 34% of the federal budget).  Of the $1.7 trillion agreed upon, $578 billion will be further deficit spending. Such deficits will add to inflation. If the mission statement is to get inflation under control and allow for a soft landing economically, the Federal Reserve, Jamie Dimon, and the leaders in Congress are not on the same page.

How is this possible?

President Biden has officially launched his campaign for reelection. Former President Obama has officially injected himself into the strategic inner circle of the President’s campaign management team. This is unprecedented. No former President since Dwight D. Eisenhower, has officially interfered with the next succeeding campaign of his party’s nominee. Former presidents usually engage in social causes of their personal vision such as education, climate change, healthcare, and international relations. David Axelrod, former Obama strategist, has again called for President Biden to step down off the ticket. Axelrod may or may not be doing this at the direction of former President Obama, but he is at least exercising this demand with the former President’s permission.

How is this possible?

Last year, 1.5 million migrants walked across U.S. borders without challenge. They are not recorded or documented. The government does not know who they were, where they came from, or where they went. Eighty-five percent of other migrants crossing the border illegally were documented and released under their own recognizance directed to reappear in 9 months for a formal hearing. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas visited the border last week and declared that it was secure, activity was not unusual, and that he was obeying an upholding the law. Congressional Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, Congressman Mark Green, declared Secretary Mayorkas, by his actions, in dereliction of duty, overtly breaking the law, and in direct violation of court orders. Impeachment proceedings were initiated in Congress yesterday.

How is this possible?

Leading journalists of the national network news continue to criticize former President Trump without any questioning of current President Biden’s policies. Any elected official who endorses President Trump is immediately taken to task over specific statements that former President Trump has made. Most recently, former President Trump called those convicted and sentenced in the January 6th insurrection political hostages. On This Week With George Stephanopoulos, a Texas Republican Congressman representing a border district was asked how he could endorse President Trump after he made the hostage comparison. And, further, did that then mean the Congressman believed the insurrectionists were political hostages. The Congressman politely responded that when President Trump was in office, 1.5 million people did not cross the border unchallenged. He went on to say that the citizens he represents are fearful for their security. The commentator went back to the hostage issue without any probing of the concerns for the Congressman’s constituents.

How is this possible?

Late last month, intense controversy arose over the Congressional testimony from three college presidents of elite universities. Harvard president Claudine Gay could not definitively state that groups calling for the destruction of Israel or the killing of Jews was against the policy of sanctioned speech on the campus of Harvard. Following the hearing, she refused to clarify a position that espousing such opinions was in and of itself hate speech. She resigned the 2nd of January, still declaring she was unfairly treated without recompense for the integrity of standards critical to the reputation of one of America’s oldest academic institutions.

How is this possible?

The Mission: Impossible movie franchise is all about impossible situations handled almost miraculously by the Impossible Missions Force (IMF). It usually involves a situation that traditional leaders of government can’t resolve themselves. The Bourne movie franchise is about a secret government program out of control that individual citizens have to handle themselves. In Bourne Legacy, these two situations merge. At the beginning of the movie, the CIA director confronts the director of the National Security Agency at 4 AM in the morning saying the Treadstone program is out of control and a threat internally and externally to the United States. The NSA director asked if it is possible that Jason Bourne is still alive. CIA director answers, “Possible? We had Bourne six weeks ago in Moscow. He was on foot, wounded, with a full Cossack posse …. Somehow, he walked out of there. I’ve kind of lost my perspective on what’s possible.”

After the first ten days of this year, so could say the American public.

In future reports, we will discuss what this portends for the future, including geopolitics, the threat of war, China, the Houthi rebels, and President Trump’s pending trials. Regardless of the outcome of the elections, beginning with the Iowa Caucuses in four days, both a political and economic reset are coming to the United States and, by its dominant influence, the entire world.

Every citizen should now take stock in the authority of their local community. Know your mayor, city council members, board of education, primary teachers, president of the local hospital authority, chief of police, and most importantly, the local sheriff. Solutions are coming that will primarily be implemented by local government authority. Each of us should find a local charity to commit volunteer service time. Each of us should become familiar with local government.

To finally determine what is possible in 2024 depends upon recognizing our local authority and committing to what is important in supporting each other where we live.

My name is Marc Nuttle and this is what I believe.

What do you believe?