Tag Archives: Biden administration

Biden’s State-Sponsored Labor Shortage, by Greg Orman

Businesses are crying for workers and the government is paying people not to work. From Greg Orman at realclearpolitics.com:

Biden's State-Sponsored Labor Shortage

Huh)

President Biden spoke at the White House earlier this week to address an unsettling national trend – millions of jobs going unfilled in an economy still struggling to right itself. The president couldn’t deny the existence of the paradox: His own administration’s numbers show that millions of Americans are drawing unemployment while millions of jobs are going unfilled. But he and his top economic officials dismissed the most obvious explanation for April’s dismal job numbers – generous unemployment benefits eroding the incentive to work. “We don’t see much evidence of that,” Biden said.

It was a line dutifully echoed by his designee to run the Commerce Department, the Cabinet department tasked with compiling employment numbers. But it’s a disingenuous argument. The Commerce Department, through the Bureau of Labor Statistics, derives employment numbers by compiling two surveys of employment – one completed by roughly 144,000 employers and another completed by approximately 54,000 American citizens. Neither of these surveys actually ask if an employee has been offered a job and turned it down. And it’s awfully hard to find evidence of something when you’re not actually looking for it.

Continue reading→

Butting Heads With China and Russia: American Diplomats Are Outclassed, by Philip Giraldi

In a little over three months, the Biden administration’s foreign policy team has made a complete hash of foreign policy. From Philip Giraldi at strategic-culture.org:

United State engagement in complicated overseas quarrels should be limited to areas where genuine vital interests are at stake.

With the exception of the impending departure of U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan, if it occurs, the White House seems to prefer to use aggression to deter adversaries rather than finesse. The recent exchanges between Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a meeting in Alaska demonstrate how Beijing has a clear view of its interests which Washington seems to lack. Blinken initiated the acrimonious exchange when he cited “deep concerns with actions by China, including in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyber attacks on the United States, economic coercion toward our allies. Each of these actions threaten the rules-based order that maintains global stability. That’s why they’re not merely internal matters, and why we feel an obligation to raise these issues here today.” He then threatened “I said that the United States relationship with China will be competitive where it should be, collaborative where it can be, adversarial where it must be” before adding “I’m hearing deep satisfaction that the United States is back, that we’re reengaged with our allies and partners. I’m also hearing deep concern about some of the actions your government is taking.”

Continue reading→

 

Are the Halcyon Days Over for Joe Biden? by Patrick J. Buchanan

Did Joe Biden have any halcyon days, his whole entire life? From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

On taking the oath of office, Jan. 20, Joe Biden may not have realized it, but history had dealt him a pair of aces.

The COVID-19 pandemic had reached its apex, infecting a quarter of a million Americans every day. Yet, due to the discovery and distribution of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the incidence of infections had crested and was about to turn sharply down.

By May, the infection rate had fallen 80%, as had the death toll.

Thanks to the Operation Warp Speed program driven by President Donald Trump, the country made amazing strides in Biden’s first 100 days toward solving the major crises he inherited: the worst pandemic since the Spanish flu of 1918-1919 and the economic crash it had engendered.

But Biden’s pace car has hit the wall.

Where economists had predicted employment gains of a million new jobs in April, the jolting figure came in at about a fourth of that number.

One explanation: The $300-a-week in bonus unemployment checks the Biden recovery plan provides may have been a sufficient inducement for workers to stay home until their benefits ran out.

Workers might reasonably ask: Why go back to work when we can take the summer off, with full unemployment, plus $300 a week?

After the crushing jobs report came the inflation figure from April.

Continue reading→

Will Biden Have Blood on His Hands in Afghanistan?, by Jacob G. Hornberger

Will the Taliban kill Americans now that Biden has extended Trump’s date of withdrawal from Afghanistan from May 1 to September 11? If so, then yes, Biden will have blood on his hands. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:

President Biden has announced that America’s forever war in Afghanistan is finally coming to an end. He says that U.S. forces will exit the country by next September 11.

That’s a good thing. And it is long overdue.

But there is one big problem with Biden’s timetable: It violates an agreement that the U.S. government entered into with the Taliban to exit the country by May 1 of this year.

Under that agreement, the Taliban agreed not to attack U.S. troops prior to their scheduled departure on May 1. With Biden’s decision to deliberately  violate the agreement by unilaterally extending the withdrawal to September 11, he is knowingly placing the lives of the 3,500 American servicemen still in Afghanistan at risk.

In fact, the Taliban has implied as much. According to the Washington Post, a Taliban spokesman declared back in April, “If the agreement is breached and foreign forces fail to exit the country on the specified date, problems will certainly be compounded and those whom failed to comply with the agreement will be held liable.”

What’s the point of extending the departure? Is an extension to September so important that it’s worth risking the lives of American servicemen still in Afghanistan? If some soldiers are killed or maimed because Biden cavalierly decided to violate the agreement, will their sacrifice have been worth it? What about the lives of innocent Afghan civilians caught in a crossfire or in a bomb explosion designed to kill U.S. troops?

Continue reading→

Inside the Blob’s dangerous anti-Russia echo chamber, by Daniel Larison

It might be a good idea to quit demonizing a country whose nuclear arsenal is as good as or better than ours. It’s a dangerous radical idea, but we might even try to improve relations with Russia. From Daniel Larison at responsiblestatecraft.org:

The groupthink is leading to the marginalization of ideas and people who call for a new approach to Moscow. And it’s getting ugly.

Ten years after the Obama administration’s somewhat successful “reset” with Russia ended, the debate over Russia policy in Washington is warped by reflexive hawkishness and intolerance for dissenting views. 

The anti-Russia hysteria of the Trump years has created an atmosphere where Russia hawks feel free to denounce even the mildest proposals for constructive engagement with Moscow, and to launch smear campaigns against eminently qualified scholars to intimidate them and to impose narrow boundaries on the discussion of U.S. policy towards Russia. This poisons the debate, and it makes it harder to craft the smartest policies that serve U.S. and allied interests. 

The Biden administration is the first in the post-Cold War to take office without even paying lip service to the idea of trying to improve U.S.-Russian relations. Except for the Biden administration’s extension of New START earlier this year, U.S.-Russian relations are as bad as they have ever been in the last thirty years, and in the wake of the latest round of misguided U.S. sanctions the relationship is all but guaranteed to deteriorate further. 

The U.S. desperately needs a more balanced and reasonable Russia policy debate, but the foreign policy establishment’s worst tendencies of groupthink and exclusion are making that difficult if not impossible. There are few policies more in need of fresh thinking and different perspectives than Russia policy, but Russia hawks in the “Blob” are determined to stop that.

Continue reading→

We Are Dangerously Close To “The Tipping Point”, by Michael Snyder

Michael Snyder’s stock in trade is pessimism, gloom, and doom, but he’s probably right on this one. From Snyder at themostimportantnews.com:

Every dollar that the federal government borrows and spends puts us even closer to a day of reckoning.  Many Americans (especially those on the left) seem to think that we can endlessly spend trillions upon trillions of dollars without ever suffering any consequences.  If that was true, why hasn’t any other society in all of human history ever been able to do such a thing?  Unfortunately, the truth is that the United States is not immune to the laws of economics.  Wildly creating money and driving up our national debt to absurd heights is inevitably going to crush our economic system.  And at this point, our debt-to-GDP ratio is already higher than Greece’s debt-to-GDP ratio was when the economy of that country finally collapsed

But it’s worth noting that the US debt-to-GDP ratio—essentially a country’s debt compared to its annual economic output—was 129 percent at the end of 2020. In other words, the official US debt was nearly a third larger than the entire US economy.

That is considerably higher than Greece’s debt-to-GDP ratio in 2010, when it received a bailout from the International Monetary Fund to avoid defaulting on its obligations.

Even though we are already at such a dangerous level, the Biden administration wants Congress to pass another four trillion dollar spending package

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Monday that he did not expect any Republican senator to support President Biden’s push for a $4 trillion spending package on infrastructure and other projects.

Biden has outlined a two-part tax and spend proposal with funding for physical infrastructure projects as well as initiatives favored by his administration, such jobs training, elderly care and universal preschool. McConnell reiterated that the $4 trillion price tag was a nonstarter for Republicans, as well as some Democrats, who favor a smaller plan directly tied to infrastructure projects such as roads and bridges.

We simply don’t have the money to do what Biden wants.

Continue reading→

Nuclear Climate Change: Washington Heats Things Up, by Brian Cloughley

By all means, the American government should make nuclear war more probable. From Brian Cloughley at strategic-culture.org:

We have been moved yet another step closer to planetary destruction, Brian Cloughley writes.

On April 29 Tom Engelhardt, a respected commentator on world affairs, published a piece examining America’s everlasting wars and concluded “The question that Americans seldom even think to ask is this: What if the U.S. were to begin to dismantle its empire of bases, repurpose so many of those militarized taxpayer dollars to our domestic needs, abandon this country’s focus on permanent war, and forsake the Pentagon as our holy church? What if, even briefly, the wars, conflicts, plots, killings, drone assassinations, all of it stopped? What would our world actually be like if you simply declared peace and came home?”

As he well knows, the answer is that the world would be a better, safer and much more attractive place in which to live. But, as he laments, there seems to be little chance of that happening, because there will be no change of mind or policy on the part of the Military-Industrial Complex that spreads its wings from Washington to the furthest part of the United States, the country that could lead the world in pursuit of peace.

We are all concerned about climate change because it is having such an adverse impact on people in so many countries and is likely to continue to be the greatest threat to global stability — apart from the other change that is firmly under control of the movers and shakers in Washington’s corridors of power.

Continue reading→

What Just Happened in the Ukraine? by The Saker

The short answer to the title question is that once again Vladimir Putin has outsmarted the US, NATO, and Ukraine. From The Saker at unz.com:

Before we look into what just happened in the Ukraine, we need to first recall the sequence of events which lead to the current situation. I will try to make a short summary (skipping a lot of details) in the bullet-point style:

  1. Whether Ze initially intended to stop the war in the eastern Ukraine we don’t know, but what we do know is that he failed not only to stop it, in many ways his policies were even worse than Poroshenko’s. This might be the well-known phenomenon of a supposedly “pro-peace and happiness” politician being accused of being “weak” and thus not “presidential”; this politician has to show his “strength” is “patriotism”, that is acting recklessly on the external front. We see that from putatively “liberal” politicians such as the Dems in the USA and Labor in Israel. Historically, “liberals” are the most common war initiators. Ze showed his weakness almost from day 1, and the Ukronazis immediately seized this opportunity to engage in a massive multi-level campaign for war against Russia. This resulted in:
  2. A quasi-official repudiation of the Minsk Agreements and Steinmeier Formula by Kiev, followed by a sharp increase in bellicose statements and, most crucially a large scale move of forces (including tanks, heavy artillery, MLRS and even ballistic missiles!) towards the line of contact. At the same time Ukronazi politicians began making statements saying that a) the Ukrainian army was capable and willing to “liberate” all of the “Russian occupied” Ukrainian land thus, including both the Donbass and Crimea b) that Russia was going to attack the Ukraine anyway and c) that the consolidated West had to help the Ukraine because only the Ukrainian forces were keeping the asiatic drunken Russian hordes from over-running not only the Ukraine, but even the rest of Europe. Since the Ukraine simply has no agency, this begs the question of the US (and, to a lesser degree, the UK) rationale was for these moves. It is quite simple:
  3. Force Russia to openly intervene to protect the population of the Donbass from the inevitable genocide which the Ukronazis would have meeted out to the population of the LDNR.

How good was this plan? I would argue that it was a very solid plan which, for the USA, meant a win-win situation. Here is how it should have gone:

First, the Ukrainian forces would attack the LDNR, probably along three axes: one between the city of Gorlovka and Donetsk, one frontally attacking Donetsk proper, not to invade the city, but to tie down LDNR forces in protection of their capital, and one in the south with the aim of reaching the Russian border. This way, the LDNR defenders would have to defend their capital while, at the same time, risking envelopment on two axes. Remember that the LDNR has no strategic depth (Donetsk is practically on the frontline) and that the LDNR defenders could not trade space for time.

Continue reading→

The Ukraine Crisis Can Be an Opportunity, by Douglas MacGregor

Not that it will happen in the Biden administration, but the Ukraine offers a chance for the US government to adjust foreign policy to the emergence of Russia and China and obvious fiscal realities. From Douglas MacGregor at theamericanconservative.com:

President Biden can bring stability to U.S.-Russian relations if he doesn’t make the usual mistakes.

The trouble with leading a great power is that, from time to time, the president is obliged to act like the leader of a great power. If ever there was a time for sound presidential leadership, it’s now. With no appreciation for the endlessly renewable force of national self-preservation that animates Moscow’s maneuvers in Ukraine, President Biden’s insulting remarks and hostile sanctions have plunged the United States into a deeper, more dangerous confrontation with Russia in Ukraine, a region of limited strategic interest to the United States.

Putin’s directive to return most of his troops to garrison while leaving their weapon systems and equipment in place along the Ukrainian border should be viewed in Washington as an opportunity to create a measure of stability in U.S.-Russian relations that’s been missing for years. It’s not enough to hurl insults and simply restate what the Biden administration is against. It’s time to explore what kind of alternative to the fragile and dangerous status quo in Ukraine that Washington and Moscow can both support.

Washington did a deplorable job of formulating strategic aims in the Middle East and Afghanistan that justified the sacrifice of American blood and treasure. The president cannot seize the strategic initiative now if Washington continues to react impetuously and emotionally to real or imaginary threats to U.S. and allied interests.

Continue reading→

Who Wags the Dog? Israel’s Friends in Washington Mean Constant War in the Middle East, by Philip Giraldi

Israel and the Jewish lobby in this country exercise far more influence over US foreign policy than any other nation. From Philip Giraldi at strategic-culture.org:

Biden, like presidents before him, is caught in the trap between an extremist-dominated Israel and the all-powerful domestic Israel Lobby.

Donald Trump, who was elected President of the United States in 2016, may have won due to voters attracted by his pledge to end many of the “stupid” wars that the American military was involved in worldwide. In the event, however, he ended no wars in spite of several attempts to withdraw from Afghanistan and Syria, and almost started new conflicts with cruise missile attacks and the assassination of an Iranian general. Trump was consistently outmaneuvered by his “experts” on the National Security Council and at the Pentagon, who insisted that it was too early to disengage from the Middle East and Central Asia, that America’s own national security would be threatened.

Trump did not have either the experience or the grit necessary to override his generals and national security team, so he deferred to their judgement. And as has been well documented he was under constant pressure to do Israel’s bidding in the region, which mandated a continued substantial US military presence to protect the Jewish state and to provide cover for the regular attacks staged by the Israelis against several of their neighbors. Motivated by the substantial political donations coming from multi-billionaires like casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, Trump conceded more to Israel than any previous president, recognizing Jerusalem as the country’s capital as well as Israeli annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights while also giving the green light to settlement expansion and eventual incorporation of all of the occupied West Bank into Greater Israel.

Continue reading→

%d bloggers like this: