Biden Keeps Floundering

President Biden is getting kicked around by most of the press corps for walking back on statements made relating to the Ukraine/Russia conflict.

He called for regime change in Russia; the administration walked back his comments. He implied the US would respond to chemical warfare by Russia “in kind” meaning that the US might consider responding with a weapon of mass destruction if Russia used one; the administration walked it back. He implied that the US might use ground forces against Russia; the administration walked it back because it was too inflammatory.

The result of all the flip-flopping is that the US looks weak and indecisive. Our allies are starting to think that Biden is not calling the shots and assuming assurances by the US cannot be taken for granted. I would like to know who is making decisions in the administration.

What is particularly disturbing is that Americans and Europeans think Putin has lost his mind, and he should be replaced, by force or whatever. For some reason, expressing this opinion publicly is undiplomatic. And, who would replace Putin? Would he or she be more bellicose then Putin? Will the chances of a nuclear confrontation be greater or lesser under a new Russian regime? Americans have been led to believe that the intelligence infrastructure is supposed to advise the president on all these matters. Apparently, they’re not doing such a great job, or Biden is not capable of following a sensible script.

The fact of the matter is that economic sanctions are putting average Russians on the hot seat, especially since Putin does not allow dissent in his country. The sanctions are crushing Russia’s currency and turning the economy topsy-turvy. Everything is more costly to Russians, and they are starting to resent their predicament, at least that’s what experts are saying.

I believe the US should have tried to bankrupt Russia since the Crimean invasion several years ago. Putin has taken advantage of a cash flow bonanza as oil and gas prices have increased markedly. Russia traditionally goes to war when oil prices go up.

Joe Biden is proving time and again that he is not capable of leading our country. His 40% current approval rating makes it obvious that that a large majority of Americans are unhappy with the current state of affairs.

Biden has not been an effective leader of his congressional caucus even though he spent decades in the Senate. Yet, he keeps trying relentlessly to push progressive economic spending programs through the Congress with no success. The president just announced another $5 trillion giveaway even though inflation is causing angst and the country cannot afford it. There is no chance this legislation will become law.

Having a president that cannot deal with our enemies is a pathetic situation, especially in America. Is there not one politician capable of winning election and leading us to peace and prosperity? Are all politicians blathering idiots? Do we have some men or women capable of standing up to crazed autocrats?

Given the maniacal things Russia is in the process of doing, are there any leaders in the country who can rally Americans and peace-loving nations? If we cannot put together a loyal following around the world to counter Russian aggression, will we be able to do anything productive with the global community regarding climate change, nuclear proliferation, hunger and disease?

Will Russian Go To War With The US?

Ever since the latest Russian troop build-up began on the border of the Ukraine, I’ve been skeptical about Vladimir Putin’s intentions. Would the megalomaniac intentionally start a continental or world war by invading a sovereign country? Doubtful.

I appreciate Russian angst about having a country loyal to the West on its border, or part of NATO. And it doesn’t surprise me that Putin wants to stop any former SSR’s from joining NATO, but are these reasons to start a war?

The downsides to Russia initiating a conflict and occupying a country include extraordinarily costs, maybe more than Russia can afford. At today’s oil prices, perhaps Russia has the cash flow to fund a war and an occupation for a short time. But what if oil prices decrease markedly or the West effectively closes the North Stream 2 pipeline, a major source of revenue for Russia?

The US may also cut off Russia’s access to the world banking system and abscond funds from Putin’s oligarch friends.

What if Biden gains the cooperation of other peace-loving countries against Russia? This existential danger to Russia could affect Putin’s ability to sustain his regime.

Yesterday, I read in the newspaper that Putin’s advisors are saying there are still a number of possible diplomatic solutions to the dispute. Seems to me that Biden has the upper hand and should not let Russia off the hook.

The dangers of an expansion of hostilities is more likely to occur if each party (the US and Russia), continues to mobilize troops, planes, ships and armaments. An invasion by Russia of a sovereign nation is one of the most audacious moves Putin could make. He will be demonized by all of Europe and the US.

Why is this happening now? Russia, and China for that matter, believe the US has weak leadership. It’s not a coincidence that both countries are acting far more aggressive than before the election. Biden has proven he is not up to the job of controlling and manipulating our greatest enemies. Incidentally, the actions of Iran (producing a nuclear weapon) and North Korea (launching ballistic rockets) are further evidence of American weakness.

I’m going out on a limb, but I don’t think Russia will invade the Ukraine, especially if given a chance to save face. Biden must make some minor concessions to Putin, and visa versa, to prevent the relatively minor dispute from mushrooming into a calamity.

President Lame Duck

Alas, Joe Biden has become a lame duck president just one year after taking office. His own party is accusing him of political missteps since taking office along with an inability to keep promises made during the campaign. Biden is following in the footsteps of Barack Obama, who bit off more than he could chew with Obamacare and then lost a filibuster-proof Congress after about two years. Obama didn’t anticipate the untimely death of Sen. Teddy Kennedy and the resistance of his opposition. Biden overestimated the influence of his left-wing comrades.

Unlike other situations, Biden’s own colleagues are doing him in. Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, both Democrats, have vehemently opposed outrageous initiatives of the president. After decades in the Senate, you’d think Biden would know how to navigate through thorny political minefield in Congress. He didn’t give weight to his razor thin margin in the Senate. At 50/50, only one defector can derail big plans of a president and a political party.

The lesson to be learned is that a president should not try to make massive changes in our country without a buy in from the opposition and a significant mandate from the voters. The bad blood in Washington has made it exceedingly difficult to get anything done these days.

Specifically, Democrats tried to slip through a $5 trillion spending plan and change the rules relating to the Senate filibuster (to enact voting rights reform). Overspending and attempted dominance by a political party without a mandate was resisted by the two Democratic senators. They saved the country from several horrible mistakes, granting unwise entitlements and ensuing exacerbation of inflation, and blowing up Senate rules that have been in place for a long time.

Why didn’t Biden appreciate the fact that radical left-wing hacks in his own party were leading him down the primrose path? Joe has Schumer, Pelosi, Sanders, the Squad and a number of socialists in his government to thank for his predicament. He is destined, for sure, to be in office only one term, and Democrats are going to lose seats in the House and Senate in 2022 and 2024. And, Joe Biden has 40 plus years experience in Washington. Can you believe such an experienced person can perform so ineffectively?

After all this said and done, our government worked well. It prevented a rogue group of socialists from disrupting our country. Having a 50/50 advantage in the Senate is not a platform from which a president can change the pillars of the country.

But what will happen during the next three years. Probably, Republicans will gain majorities in the Senate and the House. But with a Democratic president little will be accomplished, as one would expect Biden to veto all Republican initiatives. Gone are the days that opposing parties could find compromise. There will be little or no compromise between now and 2024.

It causes great concern that Joe Biden will be conducting foreign policy for three more years. Getting close to Iran and mishandling Russia and China is expected with Biden in a lead role. Hopefully, Congress will be able to fend off bad decisions regarding our allies and enemies.

It Hasn’t Been Easy For Biden

President Biden has had a hell of a difficult time over the past few weeks. His inability to deliver promises made is based upon several issues that are getting worse with each passing day.

The main problem is Biden has yielded to the most radical elements in his party. Pelosi, Sanders and AOC are driving the government further left each day. But the administration cannot legislate in such a progressive fashion because of the composition of Congress and the reticence of critical senators.

It’s been difficult for Democrats to accept that the House is divided, almost equally, and their mandate is not overwhelming. The left has only a small majority, so that the liberal base is in jeopardy on every important bill proposed.

Further, the Senate is split evenly at 50/50, so Democrats have a majority only if every Democratic senator votes with the caucus and the vice president joins them. Sen. Manchin and Sen. Sinema have resisted attempts by Senate Leader Schumer to pass legislation that is partisan on major issues such as social entitlements and the filibuster, which has been driving the Democratic leadership mad.

Regarding major funding for social entitlements that could be upwards of $4 trillion, the aforementioned Senate outliers have balked, so its passage has been effectively blocked

A “nuclear change” that would decrease the number of yea votes needed to pass laws from 60 to a simple majority (the filibuster) is not feasible because Manchin and Sinema oppose it.

The ultimate effect of all this is that true infrastructure legislation for bridges and roads and the like, which is supported in a bipartisan fashion is being held up because Democrats are linking it to passage of a human infrastructure law. No doubt this legislation would dramatically increase inflation resulting in a weaker dollar. But progressives care not about the financial implications of income redistribution.

That is not all that is impacting Biden’s overall ratings, which are dropping as of late. The crisis on our southern border is reaching a boiling point. The performance of US border agents has been hampered by an extraordinary flow of illegals across the border. The imprisonment and horrible conditions that we see on TV are similar to that what we’ve seen in Syria and Africa. It’s a humanitarian crisis that unempathetic countries to our south are perpetuating in response to the bizarre comments of our president.

There are many other issues that are dogging the administration, which are related to saving face. America would be better off focusing on things that will make America safer and more prosperous.

Biden Promised Unity?

Not surprisingly, the animosity between politicians in the nation’s capital has not receded in the least. The promises of unity made by the new president to work with the opposition were abandoned during the first few months of his tenure. Many Americans of all persuasions had hoped that Biden would introduce a new, and more inclusive way to govern after four years of hardship and a dearth of comity.

Joe Biden’s vows are almost laughable. As a signal of his disdain for conservatives, he issued many mandates on his first day in office that virtually negated Trump’s mandates during his time in office. Trump did the same thing four years ago to Obama’s legacies. Nothing was discussed or negotiated with the other side.

It must elate Trump haters when Biden is disrespectful to the other side. After all, Trump deserves to be treated in such a manner after his reign of terror. But, keep in mind, 70 million people voted for the loser last November. Democrat’s actions and rhetoric are also aimed at conservatives who are in a position to make life miserable for the Democratic controlled Congress.

What’s really unfortunate is that the Biden administration is already taking credit for progress relating to Covid. It really doesn’t make any difference who’s responsible, so long as it gets done safely and quickly. Covid should be above politics. Biden’s statements and actions aren’t going to make any friends on the other side of the aisle. It’s not popular to give Trump credit for anything, but he got the vaccine produced in record time, although his distribution plan was abominable.

The progressive Democrats are already at odds with their more peaceful and sensible colleagues. Doling out trillion-dollar security packages feels good to Americans and the sponsors of such legislation, but it can have a fateful impact on our economy. Is anybody in Washington concerned about the impact of such actions on our money supply and inflation?

Border problems continue to plague the country and divide many members of Congress. Is it possible that Democrats want to open borders because all illegals that ultimately get citizenship will probably vote for liberal candidates? Are progressives OK with destroying the financial condition of border states and even some states up north by inundating these places with thousands of new mouths to feed, health care and education?

I’m for giving individuals already in the country a path to citizenship. But they must obey our laws and earn this great honor. US citizenship is the most valuable treasure for a person who lives elsewhere in the world. We are eroding the prestige of this gift if we grant it without unconditionally.

Donald Trump is once again spewing his venom and claiming the election was a fraud. Talk about a bad loser. Many Americans were hoping that the former president would retire, tend to his personal business and confront a wide array of agencies that want to punish him. To think Trump would be silent was naïve, as he addressed CPAC and was as aggressive as he always has been.

It’s very important that the media and Trump’s opponents ignore the rantings of this madman and focus on the policies of the new government.

Someone characterized Joe Biden as a Trojan Horse for ultra-progressives in his party. This scenario is frightening from a number of different perspectives.

It is possible that Biden’s colleagues on the far left will propose a diverse and far reaching menu of liberal aspirations. Some of these could include a restructuring of society and wealth redistribution. Other items of great concern include the importance of capitalism to our economy and the ability to be successful beyond others though hard work.

One final thought is the tsunami of political correctness overwhelming our country. It is a great time for minorities including women, people of color and those of different sexual persuasion to make meaningful gains. As humans, we tend to push very hard and move quickly. Oftentimes haste results in bad policy and resentment on the part of those who are in opposition. It’s time to regroup and determine what’s really important in the short, medium and long term. The leaders of these movements must work closely with all members of Congress to ultimately achieve their most important objectives.  

Holiday Gifts I Want From Joe

Joe Biden is finally getting his chance to run the country. Becoming president was a long-term dream of the former senator and vice president. What must he do in the near future to convince Americans that he deserves to reside in the White House?

Here are objectives that would make Biden a success during his tenure as president:

[in no special order]

  • End the pandemic. Biden will be inheriting the Corona epidemic. If anything happens on his watch that delays a return to normalcy, Biden will be held responsible and lambasted for it. The safest and smartest thing for the new president to do is to follow the lead of the medical community. Although distribution of the vaccines has become the most pressing issue.
  • Diversify and include. So far, Biden selected a wide array of cabinet members and advisers representing quite a few groups. Many of his colleagues in Congress, particularly the Black Caucus, will make demands on the administration in payment for their support during the 2020 election. Biden will need to navigate carefully as he tries to accommodate these individuals and groups.
  • Continue economic growth. If Biden or Democrats do anything that depresses the economy, they will be held accountable. In particular, overspending represents a grave danger with regard to the national deficit. Continuing surges in spending could set off a new recession, inflation and a weaker dollar.
  • Improve our relationships with Russia and China. The president’s ability to affectively negotiate with these leaders is paramount because of the magnitude of current differences between the countries. Everything is on the table including nuclear proliferation, conventional military strength, trade and terrorism. If Biden is too lax in his response to provocation from either country, he will be criticized. There is less downside to his being more aggressive with the leaders than being more accommodative.
  • Tame Iran and North Korea. These countries pose existential threats to world peace and mankind. The US must rein in both countries or nuclear weapons will eventually be in the hands of maniacal, irresponsible madmen.
  • Control the House. The current leader of the House of Representatives is reaching the end of her reign. She has lost strength and is making dubious political moves there are being rejected by the opposition as well as her more progressive colleagues. Biden should encourage a regime change and find a more moderate voice that will assist him in governing the country. If he cannot temper the radicals in his own party, he will be ineffective.
  • Work with the Senate. If Republicans hold the Senate, Biden’s agenda will not have a chance to be enacted unless he makes peace with Senate Republicans. Just like Obama, all legislative efforts will be opposed by the right without compromise. And the president will only be able to govern with presidential mandates.
  • Control the cabinet. As exhibited during the Trump administration, turmoil created by outliers in the cabinet can have a detrimental effect on the smooth operation of the government. Biden has selected some controversial individuals who have had differences with him in the past. These people should be kept on a short leash.
  • Minimize gaffes. Too many Americans think Biden is absentminded. He makes many small errors, which are usually not consequential. But more than a few Americans are concerned that his age and mental acuity could be a problem when under the gun.

Biden has a tall order, and a very big challenge ahead of him. I think it’s a toss up whether he will be able to deal with the rigors of the presidency.

Are You Happy With What’s Going On?

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel very uneasy about what’s happening in the country from a number of perspectives.

I was relieved when Donald Trump lost the election. He doesn’t believe it, but it’s true. Yet, the big loser continues to try to inspire discontent, while his loss was a function of his own doing.

His defeat saved our country from a new threat, an uprising of radical and liberal miscreants. They hide behind the skirts of righteous causes like racial equality, voting rights, free speech and income equality. The only problem is that they are violent and have no problem withholding the aforementioned rights from those that disagree with them.

In 2016, Trump had an easy target as an opponent. Clinton was just about as unlikable as Trump. America was sick and tired of the same old dirty politics of the Clinton era. Trump won because so many dreaded the thought of Hillary in the White House. This sounds like 2020.

Trump even surprised himself. I’m convinced that he thought he was going down in flames and all of a sudden Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan went red.

So, we’ve had to live with alleged scandals concocted by left wing zealots and the bias press for the past four years. The latter was so tilted that Trump coined a new expression, fake news.

Liberals tried everything to discredit the president. They paid for a fake dossier, they impeached him and were soundly defeated, and they colluded with the press that harassed the president every single day of his tenure.

Trump fought back, unsuccessfully. He never yielded to any of his opponents and still is defying them to this day. Yet, as mentioned earlier, his loss saved our country from me new threat- the radical and liberal segment of our population.

State and local governments shook in their boots when rioting and looting began shortly before the election. Governors and mayors want to defund police departments because a few bad eggs among the police acted aggressively. A socialistic and communistic wave shrouded many urban centers as the leaders of these revolutions called for open warfare.

Thank goodness Trump lost. A pandemic and violent civil unrest could have destroyed our republic.

OK, Biden is going to be our new president. Things are getting better. Really? Do you think so? Has Biden exhibited any leadership skills that makes us sleep easier each night?

We have a second or third or fourth wave of Covid wreaking havoc on our families and neighbors. All Joe has said to this point is that he wants everyone to wear a mask for the first 100 days of his administration.

Governors are closing restaurants and bars to the chagrin of the owners and patrons. Restaurants have been one of the hardest hit industries during this current economic time. Many are revolting against closures because no one has proven that restaurants that obey guidelines are causing the number of Covid cases to increase. Some leaders are basing business closure decisions on how many beds they have in hospitals that are available for new serious Covid cases.

Some segments of our economy are on their asses, while some are managing. The prior group are in dire straits. They along with middle class and needy families need relief. What have Pelosi and Schumer done to rectify this situation? Nothing. They want to open the money floodgates and make everything free for Americans. Instead, they should be negotiating with Republicans for a temporary fix and relief funds for those in trouble financially.

Who is negotiating for the Democrats? Pelosi? Why not take what Republicans are willing to agree to right now, and come back later for more? What the hell. Worst case is that liberals are going to control the White House and the House of Representatives.

I am extremely uncomfortable with socialistic lawmakers who are lurking around ready to pounce on Biden and influence his decisions. The US is not going to evolve into a socialistic state. Only misguided college professors and former hippies believe they will be part of a socialistic society in the near future. Our country is based upon capitalism and exceptionalism.

Ukraine, Trump and Biden

The press coverage of the Ukraine affair has been very one sided to this point.

President Trump has been severely criticized for asking the president of Ukraine to “look into” the activities of Joe Biden and his son Hunter, suggesting that they were involved in corrupt business dealings. In the meantime Biden and his son are not the subject of any investigations, and they are dodging tough questions by the press.

This is what Washington is all about. Party trolls look for dirt, make it public and demand an investigation. The Ukraine situation appears to be much ado about nothing from Trump’s perspective, but you would think otherwise by the accounts in the media and all the talk of impeachment. In fact, even before investigations began, liberals called for proceedings against the president.

Activities that the Bidens were involved in have been minimized by the liberal press. It should be noted that if Hunter received favors from the Ukraine based upon his father’s lofty position at the time, it would be illegal.

Trump released a transcript of his conversation with President Zelensky. And, the Ukraine leader has publicly indicated he was not subjected to any strong-arm tactics, like armaments for a political favor or anything else. Yet the liberals in Congress and the bloodthirsty media press forward.

Democrats are trying to unearth whether Trump was legitimately looking into actions by an American vice president that benefitted his son, or, whether the proposed investigation by the president was a way for him to thwart Biden’s aspiration to be president. It’s going to be difficult to prove the latter- what Trump really intended to do.

Hunter Biden has never distinguished himself as a businessman or an international financier. Yet he was given a seat on the board of a Ukraine company that paid him handsomely, while his father was dealing with the Ukrainian government. Sounds fishy to me. Should it be investigated? In fact it has been reported that the young Biden has also been involved in other untoward behavior.

The elder Biden keeps pooh-poohing any suggestions that he or his son did anything wrong or unethical while he served as Obama’s #2. These denials are not convincing as Joe whines about harsh treatment by the press. The latter comment is laughable when you compare it to the way CNN, MSNBC and the New York Times treat Trump. It makes you wonder whether Biden has the chops to be president. And besides, Biden’s actions are not excusable just because many think Trump also acted improperly.

In any case the morale of this boring and never ending saga is that Trump and Biden both need to be investigated. After all they are vying to become president of the United States. The press should root out illegal and unethical activity. The only problem is that Trump and Biden are not being treated equally. Maybe the solution is that neither man should be in office.