Tag: Joe Biden

Building Back Badly

 

On Sunday, August 7, along strictly partisan lines, the Senate passed the Biden administration’s misnamed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tiebreaking vote. The bill avoided a filibuster after the Senate parliamentarian held that the energy and drug provisions were budgetary matters that satisfied the reconciliation procedure under the Byrd Rule. Some strategic concessions won over the two Democrat holdouts, senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. As matters now stand, the IRA cobbles together a number of disparate programs whose common thread is taxing a wide range of activities to supply handsome subsidies, largely for health care ($64 billion) and climate and renewable energy programs ($369 billion).

The overall legislation is notable for its relentless ad hoc–ery and last-minute amendments. On the taxation side, there is a 15 percent book minimum tax, that is, income that companies report to their investors, free of the odd quirks found in the Internal Revenue Code. The IRA now tinkers with the carried-interest exception by extending the long-term capital gain treatment waiting period from three to five years, but only for people whose adjusted gross income exceeds $400,000. In the IRA, there is also a stiff excise tax on drug manufacturers and drug companies with the temerity to refuse supplying the government with prescription drugs at bargain prices under Medicare Part D. And the ARA allocates $80 billion to increased IRS enforcement over the next ten years. In its most recent analysis, published on August 2, the Tax Foundation concluded that the bill is much ado about nothing, estimating that it will generate about $304 billion over the next ten years, with only tiny changes in both GDP growth wages of -0.1 percent, and a loss of some 30,000 jobs over that period. Following Senator Sinema’s changes, at least one Democratic official maintained the IRA would still generate close to $300 billion.

Ode To Uncle Joe (Apologies to Bobbie Gentry)

 

This is based on the song by Bobbie Gentry released in 1967 titled “Ode to Billie Joe

It was January, in the year twenty twenty-one
I was out at White Pass skiing down a black diamond run
And at dinner time, we stopped and skied back to the lodge to eat
And Mama hollered out the lodge door, “git them ski boots off your feet”
And then she said, “I got some news this mornin’ from channel 4”
“Today Biden was sworn in, and we haven’t seen worse before”

Member Post

 

In yesterday’s print edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, there is a front page article about how Democratic nominee for Governor, Stacey Abrams, and U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock are pushing President Biden to forgive large amounts of student loan debt – now. Here’s a bit of the article. If you want to read the whole thing, […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

The Sham of ‘White Supremacy’

 

According to President Biden, “terrorism from white supremacy is the most lethal threat to the homeland today,” as he put it in an address to congress. Attorney General Merrick Garland agreed, noting that “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists” are the most dangerous element of domestic violence. Garland declared that we must “bring federal resources to bear” and “adopt a broader societal response” to the threat of white supremacy.

But it’s a slur to claim that Americans live in fear of white supremacists like the brownshirts of yore. In reality, white supremacists are a small fringe group of pathetic losers who are despised by all.

Their gatherings often attract more attackers than members. No one raises money for their bail when they get in trouble like Kamala Harris did for BLM when their “mostly peaceful” protests produced burning buildings and mass looting.

Sorry, Dems. Trump Isn’t Going to Save You

 

“Headwinds.” That’s a word you never hear when a Republican is in the White House. If anything goes wrong, from a stock market dip to your teen getting mono, it’s the malevolent intent of the creepy GOPer drooling on the Resolute Desk. But when a Democrat’s in office, the press praises Our Noble Hero for facing down those dastardly headwinds. Record inflation, an overrun border, or a murderous flight from Kabul — or all three! —  President Biden, Obama, et al., didn’t cause the problems. They’re passive observers responding to completely random circumstances.

Politico resurrected this term of art from their 2009-2016 archives and is now applying it to Slow Joe:

President Joe Biden and fellow Democrats have struggled to overcome historical headwinds and worrisome economic trends in the lead-up to the midterms.

Biden’s Failure to Stop Illegal Immigration Isn’t a ‘Mistake’

 

The invasion crisis on our southern border is baffling. How could this outrage be happening? The White House wants you to believe that they’re powerless to stop it. They’re willing to appear negligent and/or stupid to keep the wheels turning.

But there’s only one possible explanation that holds water: it’s a plan. And it’s working, as the border zone is flooded with millions of illegal immigrants, almost all of whom will stay permanently and lay the groundwork for an invincible voting bloc in the future.

If they sincerely wanted to do something about it, officials wouldn’t have to do any complicated thinking. Just stop egging on illegal immigrants to come and reinstate the Trump-era policies that were at least somewhat helpful.

Is Hunter the Real Whistleblower?

 

John Paul Mac Isaac has a vision disability that prevents him from identifying Hunter as the drunken man who dropped off Hunter’s laptops at Isaac’s computer repair shop in April of 2019. But even the WAPO and NYT now admit that the laptop is authentic—that it is Hunter Biden’s laptop.

Isaac was certain, however, that the man who dropped off several laptops at his store was drunk. It was obvious from his behavior and mannerisms. When Isaac’s repair work was completed, Hunter failed to pick up his laptop. Isaac says he made multiple unsuccessful attempts to contact Hunter but none of his calls were returned.

Member Post

 

The question was first raised in 2015, if not before. Could then-President Barack Obama, having been elected twice, run as then-Vice President and putative Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s running mate? Betting sites focused on the 2020 election gave it 2 percent odds. And those same sites are taking bets for 2024. Preview Open

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

Manage Your Expectations, GOP Voters

 

The cake is in the oven and is baking nicely. The cake will serve up a hearty GOP majority in the US House and possibly the US Senate when the election rolls around in almost seven months.

Lots can happen between now and then, of course. But Democrats have shown no proclivity, even interest, in doing anything to soften the coming blow, with weakness abroad, an open southern border, and raging inflation at home “baked in” to voters’ equation. Democrats seem content to lead with their chins. Maybe it’s a “long game” thing, where progressive Democrats think they can purge their non-woke brethren this fall and, while a minority in the 118th Congress, entice voters to pine for their socialist schemes as a harsh and angry GOP majority overplays their “authoritarian” hand.

Perhaps Democrats dream that AOC, who turns the constitutionally required 35 years of age on October 13, 2024, to qualify as President before the Fall election, will ascend from the hearts of Americans to the Capitol’s west front on January 20, 2025. Dr. Jill Biden will guide her doddering husband to their seats to facilitate the transfer of “the football” to the former Brooklyn bartender.

Member Post

 

While Royal Dutch Shell’s purchase of deeply discounted Russian Ural oil this week is most likely headed to Europe, I now can eliminate one source of retail gasoline for my vehicles. Shell is the most significant controller of retail gasoline sales in the U.S. – some 13% of our nation’s 105,000 retail outlets. B.P. and […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

Member Post

 

“The Constitution requires that the president ‘shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union,’ The Washington Examiner began its editorial this morning following one of the most forgettable “State of the Union” (SOTU) speeches in modern times. “From President Thomas Jefferson to President William Taft, this communication […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

Reject Two Big Lies

 

Especially during military conflicts, propaganda is usually easy to spot and easier to ignore. But two things have me seething over some propaganda we’ve had to endure or likely to hear about Russia’s evil dictator, Vladimir Putin, and a falsehood (among many) we’re likely to hear from Joe Biden on Tuesday night during the annual State of the Union address.

First, I’m offended by the notion that Putin is somehow is a “man of faith” and a great defender of Christian values. No Christian would behave the way he is right now or has with his poisoning and murdering of people in places like Ukraine (its former President, Victor Yuschenko) and Alexander Litvinenko in England. He kills or tries to kill political opponents (e.g., Alexei Navalny, now a political prisoner).

On this episode of “The Federalist Radio Hour,” Ben Lieberman, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, joins Federalist Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky to discuss how President Joe Biden has waged an expensive regulatory war on American consumers that reduces the choice and quality of home appliances.

Reading Putin: July 2021 Foreshadows February 2022

 

On July 12, 2021, the Kremlin published an article with Putin as the official author. This was a Moscow-centric telling of the history of Russia and Ukraine. It denied, by omission, the Holodomor and the ethnic cleansing of the Crimean Tartars, because Stalin had been rehabilitated as a great patriotic leader by Putin. On February 21, 2022, when Putin went before the Russian and international public with his effective declaration of war against Ukraine, readers of the official English translation found a message consistent with last summer’s supposed historical account. We were all warned, before the execrable Biden regime execution of the Afghan exit.

Putin issued his justification paper last summer in the context of internal moves to whitewash Moscow’s Soviet era depredations and the Democrats, emplaced and empowered by the social media billionaires, unilaterally crushing American oil and gas dominance. The Democrats, empowered by evil Alphabet (Google/YouTube) and Zuckerberg’s stealing of the 2020 election, made the world much more dependent on Russia and other bad actors, pouring petrodollars into a struggling economy, enabling the financing of military adventurism. Now they say we must pay for the effects of their lab-coat leftist regime by massive increases in the cost of fuel and every item delivered by truck.

President Trump had Putin tightly contained, unlike Bush the Younger (who lost the country of Georgia’s independence), Obama (who green-lighted the initial covert invasion of Ukraine), and now the Biden regime. President Trump contained Putin by making NATO members take ownership of their treaty obligations, by praising Polish independence in Poland while recalling the wrongs done by both Germany and Russia, by being much more decisive militarily, by effective financial threats to stop Nord Stream 2, and by driving down energy costs and flooding the world market with American oil and gas capacity. The current regime undid all of this in the first months of 2021, signaling Putin that he could go back to reestablishing the pre-1991 borders of Greater Russia.

Biden Mumbles Statement on Ukraine

 

No one expects a Biden statement to build confidence on the homefront or inspire fear in our enemies. So we shouldn’t be surprised the president’s brief presser on Friday was an hour late and won’t change much between Russia and Ukraine.

The only news was the president saying he is now convinced Putin plans to invade his smaller neighbor. “Ashuhv hiss momen ahm covissed he’s made uh deshishan,” Biden mumbled, but stressed the Russian leader can choose diplomacy any time he wants. (Or, “dipomacy aways possumility” in Biden-speak.)

Biden’s Pro-Union Gambit

 

President Biden has claimed that he has been “America’s most pro-union president ever,” and he took a major step toward making good on that dubious distinction in his executive order of February 4. In it, he announced strong steps to make sure that only firms that agree to hire union labor on jobs worth more than $35 million can land those contracts. The order, if and when implemented, is anticipated to cover $262 billion in federal contracts annually. As one might expect, the provision generated divided opinion, with Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh announcing his full-throated endorsement while construction firms have expressed their strong doubt about the proposal, which is bad as a matter of both law and economics.

There are two fatal flaws to his order. The first is that the executive order is in flat contradiction to the rules governing the formation of labor unions under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The second is that the labor law defects are not cured by the general language of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, which at an abstract level is intended “to promote economy and efficiency.” Indeed, the entire mishmash is so far off base that employers and dissenting employees should be entitled to get a preliminary injunction so that the executive order never goes into effect at all.

Start with the key command of the executive order: each government agency “shall require every contractor or subcontractor engaged in construction on the project to agree, for that project, to negotiate or become a party to a project labor agreement with one or more appropriate labor organizations,” under a pre-hire agreement, that is, one that has to be negotiated prior to bidding. These contracts are supposed to contain safeguards against “strikes, lockouts, and similar job disruptions” and to “set forth effective, prompt, and mutually binding procedures” to resolve disputes.

Member Post

 

Vladimir Putin is a Russian leader, in the long line of the czars and their nominally communist successors. Calling him a KGB thug or using “tzar” as an epithet obscures the reality. Czar or tzar, a Russian ruler is a ruler in the context of Russian history and culture. Any czar worth his salt would […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

Member Post

 

Following are a series of links, excerpts, and brief comments relevant to the situation around Ukraine. We are getting a lot of smoke and fun house mirrors from politicians and pundits on all sides of the conflict. I went looking for sources, and here is a partial list. Ukrainian President to Western leaders and media: […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

This is an eclectic episode to be sure. We start with a review of Wednesday’s presidential press conference and center on how Joe Biden sees himself. The folks on the far left are looking for FDR at a time when, in the eyes of our intrepid trio, maybe what America really wants is Dwight Eisenhower.

After the “war,” we get the “remembrance…” Sidney Poitier, Peter Bogdanovich, Betty White and, just to liven things up a little, we ask “who would you not mind seeing dead?” Yeah, it’s a little bit involuted.