Tuesday 24th of November 2020

shell-shocked democratic paladin...


After taking the oath of office President Joe Biden may be tempted to resume policy as if it was January 20, 2017. But the nation and world with which he dealt as vice president no longer exist.


The first challenge will be political. There was no blue wave. Indeed, had President Donald Trump been only marginally less obnoxious, more competent, less offensive, or more empathetic, he would be returning for a second term and Biden would be the second shell-shocked Democratic paladin trying to understand how he had lost to such an ill-qualified and ill-regarded figure.

Far from suffering a collapse in support, Trump expanded his appeal in almost every demographic category, including Latinos and African-American males. The Republican Party likely will hold onto Senate control; the GOP also gained House seats, flipped two state legislative chambers, and won a governorship. The American people remain deeply divided and Biden could find early failure confronting bitter obstructionist Republicans, angry squabbling Democrats, and disappointed progressive activists.

The second challenge will be domestic. Foreign policy specialists have a long list of pressing priorities for the president. Biden, as a former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, enjoys international affairs. However, ugly reality will force him to focus on matters at home.

Biden’s number one priority must be the COVID-19 pandemic. The most consequential event in American life for decades—only World War II, the Spanish flu epidemic, the Civil War, and Great Depression have transformed American life to a similar degree—much more remains to be done to stem rising infections, move vaccines into production, bolster the health care system, and spur economic recovery. Everything else, at home and abroad, other than a threat of nuclear war, pales in comparison.

The second most important issue for the incoming president will be restoring a modicum of fiscal solvency to the federal government. Tough choices must be made and difficult priorities must be set. Inaugurating grand new international adventures can’t rank high on the president’s list.


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the study of statesmanship....


On this edition of Empire Has No Clothes, Kelley, Daniel, and I speak to Justin Logan of the Center for the Study of Statesmanship. He discusses why the Middle East isn’t that important and whether anyone has the faintest idea what to do about China. We also talk about the final days of Donald Trump’s presidency, troop withdrawals and a possible bombing of Iran.

Listen to the episode in the player below, or click the links beneath it to subscribe using your favorite podcast app. If you like what you hear, please give us a rating or review on iTunes or Stitcher, which will really help us climb the rankings, allowing more people to find the show.


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doing business with the commies...

American companies that do business and make their products in China are, by a majority, “optimistic” about a Joe Biden presidency, a new survey reveals.

The American Chamber of Commerce in a Shanghai, China, survey asked 124 business executives their opinions on a Biden presidency, to which a majority, nearly 63 percent, said they are “much more optimistic” or “more optimistic” about their doing business in the Communist country with the former vice president in the White House.

Likewise, the survey found that business executives do not expect Biden to impose more tariffs on China-made products — as President Trump did with billions of dollars worth of goods against the wishes of corporate interests.

CNBC reports:


“The majority of our respondents look at it as a positive,” Ker Gibbs, president of AmCham Shanghai, told CNBC in a phone interview. “The Biden administration would be a positive to the stability of the environment, the stability of the relationship.” [Emphasis added]

Under a Biden administration, only 5.6% of AmCham Shanghai survey respondents expect more tariffs. Instead, 70.2% anticipate new U.S. leadership will work more with other countries to put pressure on trade relations with China. [Emphasis added]


In August, Biden seemingly claimed he would repeal Trump’s tariffs on Chinese products. Later, his campaign aides walked the statement back, and he has since not been definitive on whether he plans to keep the tariffs or throw them out.

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condescending to concede...

US President Donald Trump on Monday endorsed a move by the General Services Administration to start the US presidential transition process.

In a statement on Twitter, Trump thanked Emily Murphy, the administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA), for her "steadfast dedication and loyalty to our country," also noting that she has been "harassed, threatened and abused" throughout the US election ordeal.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 23, 2020
​"I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same," Trump added, endorsing Murphy's submission earlier in the day to formally initiate the transition process to a Joe Biden presidency.

Following the GSA ascertainment, the Biden transition team released a statement calling Murphy's decision a "needed step to begin tackling the challenges facing our nation."

— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) November 23, 2020

​Earlier Monday, Murphy prompted the transition process, noting she did not make a decision "out of fear or favoritism."

"Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts," Murphy wrote in a letter addressed to Biden, which was first obtained by CNN. "I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official - including those who work at the White House or GSA - with regard to the substance or timing of my decision. To be clear, I did not receive any direction to delay my determination."

Murphy's formal acknowledgment of the results will release more than $6 million to the Biden transition team, USA Today reported.


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Murphy's law: if something can go wrong, it will go arse up...