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The Joe Biden Presidency Thread


swordfish
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20 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

"Biden's use of the executive power in his first two days far outpaced that of his predecessors," PolitiFact confirmed amidst public concern over the issue. "Biden issued 17 executive orders on his first two days in office, compared with Trump who issued one and Obama who issued two. Biden issued three proclamations, while Trump and Obama each issued one."

https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/statistics/data/executive-orders

Carter - 320 (one term)

Regan - 381

Bush 1 - 166 (one term)

Clinton - 364

Bush 2 - 291

Obama - 276

Trump - 220 (one term)

 

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'Saturday Night Live' critics say show avoided Joe Biden, Kamala Harris in first show of 2021: https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/saturday-night-live-critics-accuse-show-avoiding-joe-biden-kamala-harris

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"Saturday Night Live" returned from its winter break with a slightly different approach to covering politics that many viewers immediately noticed.

After spending four years relentlessly mocking Donald Trump each week, the popular NBC sketch show did not open with an impersonation of President Joe Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris. That’s not to say that the episode shied away from politics. Its cold open skewered Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Mark Zuckerberg and Tom Brady while the show’s "Weekend Update" segment commented on the riot at the U.S. Capitol.

The show had a lot of ground to cover after being off during an eventful time in U.S. politics. January alone included the riots, a historic second impeachment of Trump and the GameStop surge that's thrown Wall Street through a loop. Still, despite the inauguration and Biden’s first week in office also happening during the show’s break, many critics of the show noticed that "SNL" didn’t seem interested in roasting the sitting president the same way it did when Trump was in the oval.

"Even a Saturday Night Live is bored with Biden and didn’t mention him once!" one user wrote.

"What ..NO bashing the President on SNL?? That’s unheard of..we tolerated the weekly bashing, impersonations, disgusting Alec Baldwin & a slew of other unfunnies, denigrating President Trump..Now Biden & Harris are NEVER parodied! No skits, no impersonations..NADA!" another wrote.

"SNL can't say anything bad about Biden.  He's a democrat," a third user noted.

"Why is SNL avoiding the best source of comedy by giving Joe Biden a free pass?" another user added. "Poor old Joe is an endless supply of comedy."

"I would like to see Jim Carey again play Biden, he is funny.  Are we going to see making fun of President Biden anytime soon like when SNL made fun of Trump and other Presidents while they were in office?  A spin-off signing stacks of exec orders would be a funny piece!" another person wrote.

Although Biden has only been president for a week and the show has only premiered one episode in 2021, many seem convinced that "Saturday Night Live" will never mock Biden or Harris. However, the show was not shy about regularly parodying both politicians during the campaign. 

....

 

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Biden Tells Federal Bureaucrats To Approve Regulations With Benefits That Are 'Impossible To Quantify'

https://reason.com/2021/02/01/biden-tells-federal-bureaucrats-to-approve-regulations-with-benefits-that-are-impossible-to-quantify/

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President Joe Biden has moved swiftly to rev up the regulatory state by weakening oversight and effectively ending a reality-based assessment of the costs and benefits of federal regulation.

It may have gone largely unnoticed amid a flurry of executive orders Biden has signed since taking office less than two weeks ago, but a January 20 memo from the White House to the "heads of executive departments and agencies" outlines a regulatory framework that will empower federal bureaucrats to count unquantifiable "benefits" when weighing the potential impact of new regulations.

Specifically, Biden instructed those officials to revamp their regulatory review processes to "promote public health and safety, economic growth, social welfare, racial justice, environmental stewardship, human dignity, equity, and the interests of future generations." The memo also states that the new regime "serves as a tool to affirmatively promote regulations."

Towards that end, Biden's memo says that his administration will alter the Office of Management and Budget's rules regarding regulations "to ensure that the review process…fully accounts for regulatory benefits that are difficult or impossible to quantify."

In other words, if a bureaucrat can conceive of a way that new regulations could advance the goals of racial justice or environmental health, those political aims should be counted as benefits—even if they can't, well, actually be counted.

That's a recipe for more regulation, and for a less honest assessment of which rules might be worthwhile and which merely make the appropriate gestures to a political agenda.

"The aim is to put weight on the scales of whether or not to regulate such that the answer will always be in the affirmative, replacing market operation and civil society with government in the pursuit of a range of non-quantifiable goals, even without legislation from Congress," says Clyde Wayne Crews, a vice president at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Biden's directive builds on a 1993 executive order issued by then-President Bill Clinton, which altered a Reagan-era directive ordering federal agencies to issue regulations only when the benefits exceed costs. Clinton shifted the standard to say that the benefits of proposed regulations must only "justify" the costs. Biden's memo suggests that his administration is prepared to inflate the definition of "benefits" to the point of making any cost/benefit analysis effectively worthless.

During his first week in office, Biden also abolished a Trump-era rule that imposed some measure of accountability on the federal bureaucracy. In 2017, President Donald Trump's Executive Order 13777 established regulatory reform officers and task forces at federal agencies. Their job was to ensure compliance with Trump's other regulatory reforms—including the famous "one-in, two-out" order, which mandates that two regulations be removed for each new rule that was imposed.

While the Trump administration did plenty to grow the size of government during its four years in power—including a gigantic hike in federal spending and expensive new tariffs on many imported goods—the one-in, two-out regulatory policy was a success from a small-government perspective. According to Crews, who has been tracking the size and power of the federal regulatory state for decades, the Trump administration actually revoked about 3.2 regulations for every new one approved.

Biden wasted no time in scrapping those Trump-era changes, not just removing the "one-in, two-out" policy but also gutting the extra layers of accountability that the administration imposed on the regulatory approval process.

If Biden was serious about modernizing regulatory review in a fair way, that oversight could provide important insight. Removing it suggests that to Crews that Biden is preparing "a new architecture for never-ending, endless regulations."

It hasn't taken very long for the Biden administration to demonstrate why it's not enough for Republicans and conservatives to merely roll back the administrative state when they take control of the White House. As soon as a Democrat takes over, those changes can be quickly wiped away. Serious, lasting reform will require congressional action.

Meanwhile, get ready for the regulations to start spewing forth from Washington once again.

Gee, I can't wait.

 

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On 2/1/2021 at 1:19 PM, Muda69 said:

'Saturday Night Live' critics say show avoided Joe Biden, Kamala Harris in first show of 2021: https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/saturday-night-live-critics-accuse-show-avoiding-joe-biden-kamala-harris

 

Muda, they can't go after the left, nor will they attempt to.  They've got nothing to write about anymore and the ratings will bear that out.  They go after the left they too will be cancelled.

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1 hour ago, raiderx2 said:

Muda, they can't go after the left, nor will they attempt to.  They've got nothing to write about anymore and the ratings will bear that out.  They go after the left they too will be cancelled.

SNL is the left....  They won't turn on "themselves".

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https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2021/02/02/remarks-by-president-biden-at-signing-of-executive-orders-advancing-his-priority-to-modernize-our-immigration-system/

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, let me begin by saying, from all three of us — the Vice President, the new Secretary of Homeland Security — that our hearts go out to the families of these FBI special agents, and — two of whom were killed and three of whom were injured today in Florida. 

     I was briefed on this tragedy earlier today, and I know the FBI is gathering information about how this happened, what happened.  But I — I can only imagine how these families are feeling today. 

You know, one of the things, when you are in a combat zone of the military or you’re a FBI agent, or military or a police officer, every family just — when they put that shield on and go out in the morning — dreads the possibility of a call — receiving that phone call.  And my heart aches for the families.  I’ve not had an opportunity, nor will I try today, to contact them. 

But they put their lives on the line, and it’s a hell of a price to pay.  And every single day, every single one of these folks get up and they — by and large, the vast, vast majority of these men and women are decent, honorable people who put themselves on the line, and we owe them. 

But the purpose of my asking you here today is I want to congratulate the new Secretary.  Secretary Mayorkas is going to take on an easy job — nothing to it: Homeland Security.  

 

Seriously?  "By and large, vast majority of agents are decent, honorable people".....WTF?

I think it says a lot about his opinion of his FBI and possibly the entire police force period to make a statement like that after 2 agents were killed and 3 others injured taking down a child pornography ring in the most lethal day for the FBI since 1986.  

SF respects the office, but daily am having a hard time finding respect for the man holding it.

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No, Biden Can't Save Us With a 'Reality Czar.' Also, WTF?

https://reason.com/2021/02/03/no-biden-cant-save-us-with-a-reality-czar-also-wtf/

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Pessimistic technology reporter Kevin Roose has a piece in Tuesday's New York Times with the disconcerting yet accurately representative headline, "How the Biden Administration Can Help Solve Our Reality Crisis." Pegged to the twin anxieties over right-wing conspiracy theories and violence, Roose's article contains one of the most blink-inducing paragraphs I have ever encountered in a respected journal:

Several experts I spoke with recommended that the Biden administration put together a cross-agency task force to tackle disinformation and domestic extremism, which would be led by something like a "reality czar."

Cue scores of snorting noises on Twitter about our new "Ministry of Truth."

"It sounds a little dystopian, I'll grant," Roose concedes. "But let's hear them out."

OK, let's. Harvard's Joan Donovan, research director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, joins the recent political-class chorus calling for a "truth commission," and pushes for the feds to have access to Facebook/Twitter/YouTube algorithms: "We must open the hood on social media so that civil rights lawyers and real watchdog organizations can investigate human rights abuses enabled or amplified by technology."

Stanford Internet Observatory disinformation researcher Renée DiResta advocates a centralized counter-conspiracy task force, because if federal agencies are doing that work separately, "you run the risk of missing connections, both in terms of the content and in terms of the tactics that are used to execute on the campaigns." Various pols and pundits propose rewriting Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act while using anti-trust threats to tame Big Tech; counter-extremism specialist Micah Clark plumps for a "social stimulus," and hate-group deprogrammer Christian Picciolini opts for the kitchen-sink approach: "We have to destroy the institutional systemic racism that creates this environment. We have to provide jobs. We have to have access to mental health care and education."

These thought bubbles may sound like unintentional self-parody to libertarian ears, but they are common both among the people who just re-took power in Washington and the knowledge workers who are glad they did. "We're going to have to figure out how we reign in our media environment so that you can't just spew disinformation and misinformation," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) warned on Jan. 13. A day earlier, Politifact founder Bill Adair and Duke professor Philip Napoli argued that Biden "should announce a bipartisan commission to investigate the problem of misinformation and make recommendations about how to address it. The commission should take a broad approach and consider all possible solutions: incentives, voluntary industry reforms, education, regulations, and new laws."

So merely as a matter of prevent defense, it's worth taking these ideas both seriously and literally. Starting with a point so obvious that only journalists and academics could miss it: Proposed changes to government policy should always be visualized with the opposing team in charge of implementation. Imagine as the annointer of a Reality Czar not Joe Biden, but President Ted Cruz, or President Tucker Carlson. You people do remember that the White House was the scene of insane meetings like this all of two weeks ago, right?

There are also several structural problems with tasking government to encourage and adjudicate society's net store of capital-T Truth. Politicians (such as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris) are incentivized to embellish their credentials, fictionalize their biographies, and misrepresent their records. Government agencies, given their druthers, would rather operate like the CIA—funding essentially guaranteed, details not available on request. As our resident Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) filer C.J. Ciaramella frequently reminds us, it's the norm for bureaucrats to "flout the spirit and, quite often, the letter of federal record law." And the last time Joe Biden was in the White House, his boss left "a blueprint on how to suppress information and get away with it."

Truth is but one of many interests grasping for the steering wheel on the ship of state, and its lobbyists are comparatively underpaid. Realpolitik, interest-group payouts, and paternalistic efforts to shape citizen behavior all warp the common use of language and fact.

There's a reason why U.S. officials can't gin up the courage to call the century-old Turkish genocide of more than 1 million Armenians a "genocide," yet are currently characterizing China's brutal, though non-mass-murderous, suppression of its Uighur minority with a G-word even while several human rights groups do not (see also: "states that sponsor terrorism"). The Food Pyramid and its antecedents have been many things, but revealed truth is not one of them. The Centers for Disease Control, name-checked in Roose's article, changed its recommendations on masks based more on behavioral effects than science. War is a perpetual lie-making machine, and that includes the War on Drugs.

The messy reality of overlapping bureaucracies and their conflicting interests may be one reason why pundit imagineers are tempted by "centralization" and the notion of a "czar." It's the eternal lure of a single magic wand. And about as childish.

"The knowledge of the circumstances of which we must make use," F.A. Hayek famously observed, "never exists in concentrated or integrated form but solely as the dispersed bits of incomplete and frequently contradictory knowledge which all the separate individuals possess." The more you centralize the processing and dissemination of knowledge, the greater the range and effect of potential error.

The centralization of U.S. intelligence under a single Department of Homeland Security after 9/11 was supposed to make us smarter and faster, and yet its single most visible impact on our lives is invasive and ineffective security screening at airports. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has throughout the COVID-19 pandemic kept "key virus data out of public sight," the Associated Press reported Jan. 22, lest the little people get confused. In related news, Newsom kept outdoor playgrounds in sunny California closed for several months after a preponderance of studies had demonstrated that kids were not spreading it to one another outdoors. Science is a dispersed, contested, and constantly evolving process, not an on-off switch best entrusted to a single enlightened source.

I will let my colleagues Elizabeth Nolan Brown and Andrea O'Sullivan (twice), respectively, argue against gutting Section 230, using anti-trust against Big Tech, and giving the government access to social media algorithms, though props to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for demonstrating the dangers this week. But a final word about some kind of "truth commission."

Here's yet another political-class endorsement of that idea, from Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch last month:

Congress needs to create a Truth and Reconciliation process — a commission, perhaps, or even just an open forum — that will allow some or hopefully most to acknowledge Biden's victory, state for there record that there was no election fraud in 2020, and maybe even apologize for saying otherwise.

Last year — before we had any idea the 45th president would incite an insurrection against the U.S. government — some of us called for a national Truth and Reconciliation Commission to address the lies and the anti-democratic policies of the Trump years. For that idea, we were vilified by some right-wingers who acted as if we were proposing a Nuremberg-war-crimes-trial kind of operation. But in fact a Truth and Reconciliation Commission — as successfully pulled off in South Africa and other strife-riven countries — is a chance for finding a common national story, for amnesty and a new beginning.

I'd be shocked if this happened, but I don't know any other peaceful path forward.

Hyperbole aside, can you spot the flaw in this oft-used historical analogy? South Africa was a brutal racist police state. Most countries that have staged variants on truth commissions or qualified amnesties for past collaborators did so in large part because they were transitioning from authoritarianism to liberal democracy, and doing so requires immediate creative thinking about how to deal with past crimes and operate a current government without re-filling the prisons. It's a damnably hard problem, not least because laws change dramatically in such transitions, prompting difficult questions about how to assign culpability to actions and collaborations that were perfectly legal in the Before Times.

Regardless of how darkly you characterize the Trump administration, that analogy just does not apply to the United States. Our laws, with almost no exception, are the same, and are in fact being used to prosecute hundreds of people connected with the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill ransacking. There are no pressing questions of lustration, of property-denationalizing, of teaching old civil service new codes of behavior.

Shorn of such urgencies, any proposed Truth Commission process looks more like a one-sided lecture, potentially backstopped by some government coercion aimed at those who are producing and consuming media in ways that the commissioners find distasteful. Not a very promising scenario for "reconciliation."

Readers who've made it this far may be under the impression that I am blasé about the mainstream hold that conspiratorial twaddle has placed on ostensibly governing Republicans. In fact, I am not—there's a mutually reinforcing rot in conservative politics and media, one whose main culprits are the politicians, journalists, and consumers who are either doing media literacy wrong, or making the cynical decision to pander to fantasies they themselves don't believe in. It's not a pretty picture, and blaming the left-leaning media is no excuse for any of it.

But what should said media do? Here is where my view diverges sharply. Journalists and media-theoreticians right now think the solution to Trumpy delusion is to deplatform even sitting U.S. senators, sic the feds on Fox News, break up Big Tech, reject "bothsidesism," use the most maximally negative adjectives to describe Republicans, and reposition journalism as a tool for producing better democratic outcomes through applied moral clarity.

I think those approaches will backfire. Deliberately shrinking the public square is no way to persuade consumers on the edges of the debate. Injecting more moralizing into fact-gathering is unlikely to make the end product more factual. Giving the government more power over the rules and practice of free speech is, well, dystopian.

My recommendation to journalists and their cousins in government and academia will be neither popular nor satisfying, but here it is: Do your own jobs better. That's it, that's the memo. If government was efficient and helpful, if journalism was compelling and truthful, if the academe was relevant and unpredictable, their lectures would have far more resonance, and audience.

 
 

 

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If the Affordable Care Act Can’t Cover a Little Girl Battling Cancer, What the Hell Good Is It?: https://www.cato.org/blog/affordable-care-act-cant-cover-little-girl-battling-cancer-what-hell-good-it

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ObamaCare has made health insurance so expensive, Democrats have determined that even individuals making more than $100,000 per year and households making more than $200,000 per year require subsidies to help them afford ObamaCare coverage.

ObamaCare is also failing the sick. A recent study in the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy found that under ObamaCare, even “currently healthy consumers cannot be adequately insured.”

Father and communications professional Christopher Briggs has experienced the latter problem personally. ObamaCare has continuously pushed health insurers to drop coverage for his seven‐year‐old daughter’s cancer treatment. Listen to this interview Briggs gave to WCBM 680AM in Baltimore.

....

 

 

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One of the things included in last year’s legislation responding to the pandemic was a provision that rolled back the age for required minimum distributions from a retirement account from 70 1/2 to 72. In the rush to attempt to undo every piece of Trump legislation, is Biden going to reverse that change?

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Obamacare made health insurance more expensive?  And this surprises who? 

Before ACA, SF's group rate insurance cost for a family of 4 was free, subsidized by my employer and was about the same for the 150 other employees at our facility depending on position at the company.  Since ACA, my insurance cost is $73 per week for individual, and my wife (since spouses, if employed by a company has to take that company's insurance) pays $45 per week for her individual coverage.  If my kids were still of age, my insurance cost for a family plan would run over $200 per week.

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1 minute ago, DanteEstonia said:

SCOTUS will have 13 seats soon enough.

And then when the GOP side of the uni-party gets back into power the SCOTUS will have 19 seats.  And around and around we go while democracy and our republic go further and further down the toilet.

 

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3 hours ago, DanteEstonia said:

To put it plain and simple, I don’t think the current court is smart enough to learn from West Coast Hotel V. Parrish.

A state minimum wage and a federal minimum wage are two different things.

A $15 federal minimum wage would do what minimum wage hikes always do;  raise prices for the consumer and reduce overall hours for the workers earning that wage. It doesn't create additional wealth, it just shifts it around.

The SCOTUS would be doing the correct thing to strike down such unconstitutional legislation should it become law.

 

 

 

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51 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

A state minimum wage and a federal minimum wage are two different things.

A $15 federal minimum wage would do what minimum wage hikes always do;  raise prices for the consumer and reduce overall hours for the workers earning that wage. It doesn't create additional wealth, it just shifts it around.

The SCOTUS would be doing the correct thing to strike down such unconstitutional legislation should it become law.

... and of course you miss the history reference. 

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