Archive for the ‘Biden, Joe’ Category

Will Biden’s vax mandates be strangled by the “cobra effect”?

September 14, 2021

Hospitals are already losing nurses who refuse to get vaccinated … retailers and restaurants, too.
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A couple of weeks again, Houston Methodist Hospital enforced its vaccine mandate and fired  150 unvaccinated medical workers.

Then came the Delta variant and …

“An internal memo at Houston Methodist Hospital said it ‘is struggling with staffing as the numbers of our COVID-19 patients rise” Source

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More recently …

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Lewis County General Hospital in Lowville, NY, will temporarily stop delivering babies, after maternity-ward employees quit rather than be forced to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Hospital officials say: “If we can pause the service and now focus on recruiting nurses who are vaccinated, we will be able to reengage in delivering babies here in Lewis County,” Source

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As Gomer Pyle would say: “surprise, Surprise, SURPRISE”.

Behavioral scientists call it the “Cobra Effect

The Cobra Effect causes unintended consequences.

Long ago, colonial India was being over-run by cobra snakes.

The government offered citizens a bounty for each dead cobra that they turned in

Initially, the cobra population declined.

But, citizens started breeding cobras to sustain their stream of cobra bounties.

And, the cobra population grew. Source

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The lesson to be learned:

Every governmental decision brings about consequences, intended ones and unintended ones.

When hospital administrators in Texas an NY complied with government directives (i.e. mandates) — get vaccinated or lose your job — their goal was to increase vaccination rates of hospital staff.

The unintended consequence was a shortage of nurses and other hospital workers during a deadly pandemic. Source

These days, practically every hospital, restaurant, store or delivery service is reporting a shortage of workers.

Biden’s mandate — to fire unvaccinated workers if they don’t get vaccinated — is absolutely certain to intensify the labor shortage.

Some workers will choose to give up their jobs and rather than get vaccinated.

Others will quit “big company” jobs and seek employment with an “under 100” company (or the USPS) which aren’t covered by the vaccine mandate.

Whether right or wrong, that’s their decision to make.

Trust the behavioral economists on this one.

Hadn’t Biden already mandated that Federal employees get vaccinated?

September 10, 2021

Apparently not since he mandated them again yesterday…
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I’m officially confused…

More than a month ago, Biden mandated that all Federal employees get vaccinated or be subjected to weekly covid tests … or else?

At the time, I (sarcastically) applauded the the move.

See: Covid: Finally, a Biden mandate that I like…

The essence of my cynical support:

> I recognized that a couple of Biden’s core constituencies (think: unions and minorities) would be spotlighted

> I assumed widespread non-compliance and hoped that the “or else” would cut the government payroll.

But, in late August, I asked:

So, how’s the federal employees’ vaccine mandate going?

Since “the most transparent Administration ever” hadn’t released any numbers showing progress, I assumed: “not so good”

Well, I got my answer yesterday when Biden announced a beefed-up vaccine mandate for Feral employees.

According to press secretary Psaki:

The mandate for federal workers is an especially assertive move by the president.

Aside from some religious and disability exemptions, the vast majority of federal workers would be subject to a 75-day grace period for receiving a vaccine.

If workers decline to receive shots in that time frame, they will “go through the standard H.R. process,” which includes progressive disciplinary action.

Hmm.

So the “vast majority” of Federal employees must comply by sometime in December.

If they don’t they go through the “standard H.R. process” … which I assume takes months or years … pushing enforcement into 2022.

By then, hopefully covid will finally be under control.

So, the non-compliers will be fired some time in the future for not getting vaccinated against a virus that’s no longer a major health crisis.

Double hmmm.

Seems like Biden’s new & improved mandate is less than meets the eye, right?

So, why do it?

Simple.

It’s merely window dressing for Biden’s attempt to force the vaccination burden on companies … making companies  enforce vaccination mandates or get fined.

Ah, politics.

Buyer’s Remorse: 20% of Biden voters admit regret…

September 8, 2021

According to  RCP … the percentage of Americans who think that the country is moving in the wrong direction has increased from 50% to 60% in the past 10 days … only 30% think that the country is moving in the right direction.

And, according to YouGov. only 19% of Independents think the country is moving in the right direction … and only 58% of the people who voted for Biden think that the country is moving in the right direction.

So, it’s not surprising that in the latest Zogby poll, 1 in 5 Biden voters admitted to regretting their vote for Sleepy Joe.

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Drilling down…

Among the sub-groups that regret their votes more than the average:

  • Cryptocurrency holders (44%)
  • Middle aged voters aged 30-49 (30%)
  • Hispanics (33%)
  • Republicans (29%)
  • Weekly Amazon shoppers (29%)
  • Urban voters (28%)
  • Younger voters aged 18-29 (27%)
  • African Americans (25%)

Zogby notes that this poll taken before the Afghan withdrawal fiasco.

So, Zogby concludes:

“One gets the sense that Biden’s ship is sinking fast, and Biden might not have any lifeboats aboard to save him”

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Addressing the exasperated the mean-tweet-haters who voted for Biden, the WSJ’s Holman Jenkins opines::

Admit it: You didn’t vote for him, yet his absence hasn’t solved any problem.

America doesn’t feel noticeably less chaotic with him out of the picture.

COVID is resurging, inflation is rampant, Putin is winning (Nord Stream pipeline, halt of weapon sales to Ukraine, pleas for more oil, ransomware victories). citizens were left behind in Taliban country, allies have lost faith.

A big price for eliminating the mean tweets.

Uh-oh, Joe: You’re underwater and sinking…

September 7, 2021

And, the disapprovers have the strongest feelings.
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For openers, according to RCP’s latest poll-of-polls:

> 45.6% of American adults approve of the job that Biden is doing … an all-time low

> 49.1% disapprove … putting Biden 3.5 percentage points underwater on net total approval

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Digging deeper: According to the most recent Washington Post poll:

Back in April, Biden’s net strong approval (a measure of intensity) was essentially a push … … 34% strongly approved,  35% strongly disapproved.

Now, Biden’s net strong approval is underwater by 17 points … 25% strongly approve,  42% strongly disapprove. 

The 16 percentage points slide in  Biden’s net strong approval  since April is evenly divided between a 9 point slip among strong approvers … and a 7 point increase in strong disapprovers.

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Consistent with WaPo’s numbers, the left-leaning YouGov poll puts Biden’s net strong approval 15 points underwater.

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Digging still deeper into the YouGov poll’s internals…

> Blacks’ net strong approval — while still high at 22% — has dropped 7 percentage points in 10 days

> GOP strong disapproval increased to 80% … and net strong disapproval increased by 4 percentage points to 77%

> While Dems’ net strong approval is still a sky high 48% … strong approval has dropped below 50%’  Said differently, less than half of Dems strongly approve of the job that Biden is doing

> Most indicative politically, Independents’ net strong disapproval increased by 8 percentage points to 31%

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Good luck, Joe.

Biden: “Whether it’s true or not … change the perception. ”

September 1, 2021

Makes Trump’s Ukraine call look “perfect”.
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Last night, Reuters — based on a  leaked audio tape and a written transcript of a July 23 phone call between Biden and Afghan Pres. Ghani– reported that:

“In the last call between U.S. President Joe Biden and his Afghanistan counterpart before the Taliban seized control of the country, the leaders discussed military aid, political strategy and messaging tactics.”

Specifically, Ghani told Biden:

Mr. President, we are facing a full-scale invasion, composed of Taliban, full Pakistani planning and logistical support, and at least 10-15,000 international terrorists, predominantly Pakistanis.

Biden tried to prop Ghani up with talking points:

You clearly have the best military, you have 300,000 well-armed forces versus 70-80,000 and they’re clearly capable of fighting well, we will continue to provide close air support, if we know what the plan is and what we are doing.

Then, Biden “asked for the order”:

I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things are not going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban.

The perception around the world is that this is looking like a losing proposition.

And there is a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.

Whether it’s true or not?

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The takeaways:

> Ghani warned that the situation was dire: “A full scale invasion”.

> Biden promised “close air support” … which could only be done from Bagram .

> Biden told the Afghan Pres. to lie, if necessary: “Whether it is true or not”

Let’s see how the White House and Biden-friendly media wiggle out of this one.

The end of American exceptionalism ?

August 27, 2021

 

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Biden press conference August 27, 2021

Seriously, who’s calling the shots?

August 27, 2021

During Biden’s press conference he alerted reporters:

“Ladies and gentlemen, they gave me a list. The first person I was instructed to call on was Kelly O’Donnell from NBC.”

That revelation set off a tweet-storm asking who is “they”, why is Biden acting as a willing puppet and why isn’t there broader concern.

Biden reads dutifully from the teleprompter that he’s making the decisions and that he accepts the responsibility.

Does anybody really believe that?

Wouldn’t you like to know who’s really pulling the strings?

Maybe some day they’ll be outted .. but, I’m betting the under.

Where are the Bagdad Bob comparisons?

August 23, 2021

Watching Biden’s teleprompter reading of “his” Afghan update last Friday, I couldn’t help but recall Baghdad Bob — the Iraqi PR minister who was ubiquitous proclaiming that Iraqi forces were prevailing over the U.S. military … though the concurrent split screen images were graphically depicting a contrary reality.

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Even the NY Times had to bust Biden for outright lying to paint an alternative rosy universe contradicted by real time  happenings on the ground.

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The NYT fact-check article emphasized 3 points:

1. Allies’ Response

> Biden: “I have seen no question of our credibility from our allies around the world.”

NYT: governments (e.g. Britain, Germany) have not minced words in questioning American leadership and credibility.

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2. Al Qaeda Presence

> Biden: “What interest do we have in Afghanistan at this point with Al Qaeda gone?

NYT: The Taliban continues to maintain its relationship with Al Qaeda, providing safe haven for the terrorist group in Afghanistan …Al Qaeda has a presence in at least 15 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.

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3. Airport Access

Biden: “We have no indication that American citizens who are carrying an American passport haven’t been able to get — in Kabul — through the airport.”

NYT: Reports from Afghanistan contradict this statement and the U.S. Embassy in Kabul sent a security alert  warning American citizens, legal residents and their families that the “United States government cannot ensure safe passage to the Hamid Karzai International Airport.”

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To be sure,  NYT isn’t a right-wing rag … and these are not “little white lies” … they are central to the crisis at hand.

So, where are the Baghdad Bob comparisons?

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P.S. Since Biden was vacuously reading from his trusty teleprompter, gotta wonder: “Who wrote that speech … and who fact-checked it?”

Uh-oh, Joe: The lines have crossed…

August 20, 2021

Previously, approval dipped below 50%
… now, a plurality disapproves.
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According to the latest poll from left-leaning Reuters-IPSOS:

> 46% of American adults approve of the job that Biden is doing

> 49% disapprove … putting Biden 3 points underwater on net total approval

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Polling from right-leaning Trafalgar Group, confirms that a plurality disapprove of the job that Biden is doing … 46.5% approve, 47.6% disapprove.

Digging deeper. Biden’s net strong approval (a measure of intensity), is underwater by 14.9 points … 26.7% strongly approve,  41.6% strongly disapprove.

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Consistent with Trafalgar’s numbers, left-leaning Economist/You Gov poll puts Biden’s net strong approval 11 points underwater.

Digging still deeper into the poll’s internals…

> Blacks’ net strong approval — while still a sky high 29% — has dropped 5 percentage points

> Hispanics’ net strong approval dropped 4 percentage points … putting Biden 7 points underwater with Hispanics

> GOP strong disapproval jumped 7 points to 76% … and net strong disapproval increased by 9 percentage points to 73%

> While Dems’ net strong approval is still a sky high 48% … strong approval has dropped to 50%

Said differently, only half of Dems strongly approve of the job that Biden is doing.

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Gotta believe “the data” … right?

MUST READ: About the 25th amendment…

August 18, 2021

There are implications beyond the prospect of Kamala’s ascendency to the Presidency.
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Given the Afghan fiasco, there are already rumblings about the Dems invoking the 25th Amendment on Biden.

For now, let’s skip over the questions of whether there’s a strong case to be made … and whether it could be pulled off.

We’ll jump to the “what if?” implications.

But first, some background…

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The Constitution

There are 4 sections to the 25th Amendment.

We’ll skip Sections 3 and 4 which deal with the political processes and focus on the core ramifications.

Section 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

Here’s how Sections 1 & 2 work

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Nixon, Agnew, Ford & Rockefeller

In 1972, Nixon was elected president and his running mate, Spiro Agnew was elected vice president.

In 1973, Agnew was investigated “on suspicion of criminal conspiracy, bribery, extortion and tax fraud” … he pleaded no contest to a single felony charge of tax evasion and resigned from office.

President Nixon nominated Gerald Ford to be the new vice president pursuant to Section 2. Ford was confirmed by both the Senate and the House. by a wide majority

In 1974, Nixon resigned and Ford became president under Section 1.

The office of vice president was thus again vacant.

Ford nominated Nelson Rockefeller, former New York governor, for the vice presidency. Rockefeller was confirmed by a majority of both the Senate and House.

Tidbit: Ford, who was defeated by Carter in 1976, is the only president to have been elected neither president nor vice president.

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So, what if?

Now, let’s pretend that the Dems invoke the 25th Amendment on Biden and prevail.

Vice President Harris becomes President Harris… and the VP position becomes vacant.

OK, so Harris nominates somebody to be VP.

Here’s where things get interesting…

Keep in mind that the Senate is split 50-50.

Now when there’s a tie, VP Harris steps in to break the tie and Dems prevail.

But, if the 25th were invoked, there would be no tie-breaking VP and Section 2 calls for a majority … a tie isn’t good enough.

Hmmm

So, the GOP could stonewall any nomination that Harris puts forward … and in the process, deny Dems a majority vote on any issue.

Take for example, the $3.5 trillion “Make America Sweden” Bill (aka the human infrastructure bill).

The GOP could block it without even needing Mancin or Senema to vote against it.

Double hmmm.

More generally, invoking the 25th would potentially stop the Dem’s socialist agenda in its tracks.

Suddenly, the thought of President Harris doesn’t sound so bad…

Uh-oh, Joe: Declining approval down to 50% …

August 16, 2021

And , intense disapproval is growing.
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In the past couple of weeks, there have been occasional polls scoring Biden’s job approval at or below 50% … generally attributed to Covid mis-steps, border chaos, spending-induced inflation, pay-to-don’t play unemployment benefits, reversion to MidEast oil dependence and now, the Afghan implosion and global disgrace.

Even CNN has noticed and had some Freudian on-air lapses:

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More generally, the polling has reached consensus status.

In  RCP’s most recent poll-of-polls, Biden’s job approval is down to 50% … and, disapproval has has increased by more than 10 percentage points since inauguration day.

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And, Biden’s plight may be even worse than the top-line numbers indicate.

Let’s dig a little deeper.…

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Marketers often look at a metric called the “Net Favorability Index”.

That measure considers only the most extreme consumer perceptions: strongly approve, strongly disapprove … and subtracts the latter from the former.

The net number is a proxy for the intensity of consumer sentiment.

OK, so how’s Joe doing on his job’s net favorability metric?

Answer: Not so good.

According to survey data gathered by the left-leaning Economist -YouGov

> 23% of Americans strongly approve of the job that Joe’s doing … 33% strongly disapprove … for a net disapproval of 10 percentage points.

In pollster-speak, he’s 10 points underwater.

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Digging a little deeper, Biden’s job approval is…

> 17 points underwater among men; 4 points underwater with women

> 34 points above water with Blacks, but 17 points underwater with Whites.

> 46 points above water with Dems, but 64 points underwater with Republicans.

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Perhaps most important, Biden’s job approval is is only 14% among Independents … and his job disapproval with that group a whopping 40%.

Said differently, Biden is 26 points underwater with Independents.

Buyer’s remorse?

Completely predictable…

Has America tuned out Biden …and CNN?

August 6, 2021

I was surprised to hear that Biden had held a townhall on CNN this week.

No problem … I wouldn’t have watched it anyway.

And, I wouldn’t have been alone.

According to Nielsen, only 1.5 million  tuned in for the event.

For perspective, that’s about .6% of 225 million adults … and about 1/2 of Tucker Carson’s viewership at the same time.

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The good news for Biden is that his ratings were about 50% higher than CNN’s overall ratings for the week.

Also according to Nielsen, CNN went the entire  an entire week of July 28 to August 3 without reaching 1 million viewers.

High point was Chris Cuomo’s 930,000 on the day that the NY AG released her report on the other Cuomo. CNN’s Cuomo averaged 872,000 for the week.

CNN’s primetime lineup averaged 858,000 viewers, marking a whopping 73% decline since January.

My take: America has tuned out …

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P.S. Has anybody spotted Kamala Harris recently?

 

Uh-oh, Joe: Biden’s approval numbers slipping fast…

August 5, 2021

According to RCP’s poll-of-polls, Biden’s job approval stands at 50.7% … 5 of the last 9 polls tracked by RCP have him below 50%.

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According to the left-leaning Morning Consult, Biden’s most severe slippage is among Independents … 44% of them approve of the job Joe is doing, 49% disapproval, for a net disapproval of 5 percentage points (the green line below) … that’s a 21 point drop from in net approval since January (from plus 6 to a negative 5)

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Most telling, among Independents, Biden has a net disapproval on ALL issues except his handling of the coronavirus … and, he’s falling fast on that issue … from a net approval of 30 points to a net approval less than 10 percentage points.

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Digging deeper, on Biden’s most disapproved issues, he is underwater with a net disapproval of

  • 24 percentage points on immigration
  • 22 points on guns
  • 20 points on national security
  • 12 points on the economy.
  • 8 points on energy
  • 4 points on jobsimage

It definitely looks like the honeymoon is over…

Covid: Finally, a Biden mandate that I like…

July 29, 2021

All Federal employees to be vaccinated or regularly tested … or else … or else, what?
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That’s what being widely reported that Biden will prompter-read to us today,

But, I’ll believe it when I see it.

There’s already pre-announcement waffling that “the plan” is still under review.

English translation: the federal employee unions haven’t all weighed in yet … and the White House PR dept. hasn’t figured out how to erase all the videos of Biden saying that he’d never do it.

But, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that Biden implements the mandate.

Here’s why I’m on board …

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First, it’s consistent with the position that Biden is reading off the teleprompter these days.

It sends a clear message that he believes (and remembers) what he’s reading.

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Second, such a move is under Biden’s direct control.

Rather than forcing private businesses and organizations to do his dirty work while he ducks for cover, Biden will own this one.

Gotta be for clear ownership and accountability, right?

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Third, I like the “target market”: government employees.

If Biden wants to move the needle towards near total vaccinations, getting all Federal employees jabbed is a statistically significant step forward.

Note: It’s estimated that there are over 2 million civilian employees on the Federal payroll … and, that only a slim majority of them have been vaccinated.

And, the bulk of Federal employees are blue-blood members of Biden’s core constituencies.

So, the mandate would demonstrate Biden’s commitment to the cause.

Bravo.

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Fourth, the mandate might “cull the herd” a bit.

That is, if the “or else” part of the mandate has teeth.

Terminating the vaccine-resisters might be an easy way to trim the bloated bureaucracy.

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Going big…

Here are a couple of  embellishing ideas that would make me even more supportive of the mandate:

> Start with NIH and CDC employees.

In Congressional testimony, leaders of these organizations said that only about half of their employees have been vaccinated.

That’s always bothered me … what do they know that they’re not telling us?

Make it “put up or shut up time” for the assertive scientific community.

If they believe what they’re saying, let’s see them all roll up their sleeves.

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> Add Federal government employees’ dependents (over 12 years old) to the target market.

Tax payers are paying for their healthcare, right?

And, the CDC says that they can transmit the virus to vaccinated people.

So, let’s minimize the the healthcare costs of them getting infected and transmitting Covid to their government employed family member(s).

Makes complete sense, doesn’t it?

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> Require all employees of all Federal government contractor to get vaccinated.

They come in contact with government employees — some of whom will be signing up for tests instead of shots.

So, to create a virus-minimized environment, they need to be vaccinated, right?

And, there’s a forcing mechanism: If they want to keep feeding at the taxpayer trough, they have to roll up their sleeves.

Should be an easy sell given how quickly many of these companies were “fast out of the gate” to implement woke behavioral training programs for their employees.

They’ve shown that they can do it if they want to.

Just tack vaccinations onto those programs.

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> Extend the mandate to all  public school teachers.

The teachers’ unions are already firing warning shots that they aren’t sure about in-person schooling in the fall.

Let’s cut teachers’ health risks by getting them all vaccinated.

There’s obvious mandate legitimacy since their schools are getting beaucoup de l’argent (translation: lots of money) from the Federal coffers.

Worse case, teachers formally quit (instead of de facto quitting in place)… and get replaced by teachers who want to teach

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Geez, the more I think about a vaccination mandate for civilian government employees, the more that I like the idea.

I can’t wait to see what Biden’s handlers load on the teleprompter for him today.

But, for the record, I’m betting the under … more “please do” than “must do”.

We’ll see…

Psaki: “Why do you need to have that information?”

July 28, 2021

Ordinary people are confused … and docs say that they are flying blind.
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It’s hard to follow the data when there’s no data presented … just assertions from oft-wrong political-scientists who command “just trust me”.

Case in point, as reported by USA Today

Last Friday, Jen Psaki — Biden’s press secretary — was asked for data about Covid “break-through infections” — cases of people getting re-infected with Covid even though they have been fully vaccinated.

When Psaki tried to duck the question, the reporter pressed her for a specific answer.

“Why not just provide the number? Are you trying to hide something?”

Psaki shot back, “Why do you need to have that information?

Say, what?

The reported countered: “For transparency, in the interest of the public, and for a better understanding of how breakthrough cases work”.

Frustrated, Psaki simply moved on to another topic.

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This was a stark example of what Biden-Harris might call a ”root cause” … a root cause of public distrust and, maybe even, of vaccine hesitancy.

Loosely quoting Jerry Maguire “Show me the data!”

Uh-oh:: Pessimism has hit a majority of Americans …

July 27, 2021

Buyer’s remorse is gaining steam.
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More specifically, the ABC-Ipsos poll reports:

  • Currently, 55% are pessimistic about where the country is headed over the next year, while 45% are optimistic.
  • This marks a nearly 20-point decline in optimism from late April, the last time this question was asked. At that time, 64% were optimistic about the year ahead.
  • This growing pessimism is happening across all age groups, income levels, educational attainment, and partisan affiliation.
  • Optimism among Democrats has declined 18 percentage points since late April (89% to 71%).
  • Optimism among independents has declined by 26 percentage points (now 38%, from 64%).
  • The optimism-pessimism flip comes as Americans give Biden his lowest approval rating for his handling of the pandemic yet in ABC News/Ipsos polling.
  • Overall, slightly more than a third of Americans approve of the way the president is handling crime (39%), immigration and the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border (37%), and gun violence (37%).
  • On these three issues, just over one in three independents approve of the job Biden is doing.

Looks like Old Joe’s honeymoon may be over.

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P.S. For the record: ABC News isn’t affiliated with Fox News …

Is “buyer’s remorse” setting in?

July 12, 2021

Forbes: Biden’s approval eroding nationally
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Shortly after inauguration, Biden — basking in Trump-haters’ euphoria — was cruising with a 19 percentage point job approval rating — 55% favorable, 36% unfavorable.

That gap has narrowed to 8 points … still formidable but, as Forbes observes: “Recent polling shows cracks forming in President Joe Biden’s job approval numbers.”

Left-leaning The Hill puts it this way: “Biden’s mediocre polling could spell trouble.”

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Let’s look at the numbers…

Here’s the most recent RCP “Poll of Polls”.

The black line is approval; the red line is disapproval.

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Note that the 6-month “erosion” is largely driven by the disapproval numbers (up 8 percentage points) … approval numbers have slid slowly (down 3 p.p.).

Also note that 6 of the 8 disapproval points change happened between January and April.

Pundits assert that’s because Biden campaigned as a moderate unifier, but quickly started governing as a wide left partisan.

People at the margins quickly started to notice.

In April and May, the numbers flattened as vaccination rates were surging, but as COVID came increasingly under some semblance of control, peoples’ priorities started to shift:

“During the past few months, a growing number of adults have expressed disapproval of Biden’s leadership on the economy, gun violence, taxation and corruption.” Forbes

Other pundits add the border mayhem and urban crime to the list.

Biden scores poorly on those issues.

And, there’s the orange-man factor,

The Hill observes:

Just as Biden’s positive polling and election win were based mostly on dislike of former President Trump, his current polling advantages may be just as shallow

Said differently, it may not be enough to not-be-Trump … and now people are forgetting about Trump and increasingly alert to how Biden-Harris are doing their jobs.

Hmmm.

NY Times: “Joe works tirelessly with an obsession for details … say, what?

May 20, 2021

Methinks the “old gray lady” doth protesth too much…
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OK, so Pres. Biden speaks in a creepy monotone as he squints from at a staff-loaded teleprompter … and steps in “it” when he “disobeys orders” and swings extemporaneously on soft-ball questions from his fawning media.

Not to worry.

Last week, the New York Times reported that “Beneath Joe Biden’s Folksy Demeanor, a Short Fuse and an Obsession With Details”.

The Times concludes that quick decision-making is just not Biden’s style … and, that’s a welcome relief from Trump’s “shoot first” style.

The Times concedes that “Biden’s method of governing can feel at odds with the urgency of a country still reeling from a pandemic and an economy struggling to recover.”

It’s not that he’s not willing & able to make decisions, it’s because he’s a deep thinker who has to feel comfortable with the details before reaching a decision that he’s comfortable pitching to the public in a finely honed teleprompter statement.

More specifically, “dozens” of current and former Biden associates told the Times:

  • The President’s mantra is ‘You can never give me too much detail.”
  • Advisers are “peppered with sometimes obscure questions, going beyond vague talking points.”
  • Biden sometimes loses sight of the bigger picture.
  • When frustrated with answers, he is prone to outbursts of frustration, often laced with profanity (but, of course, he “never erupts into fits of rage the way Trump did”).
  • He demands hours of debate from scores of policy experts.
  • He often takes days or weeks to make up his mind as he examines and second-guesses himself and others.
  • He needs time to process the material so that he feels comfortable selling it to the public.
  • He checkpoints decisions against campaign promises.
  • Biden stays in regular contact with a couple of historians: “four white men who are the ones the president goes to for a final gut-check before making a decision.”
  • He often calls aides as late as 10:30 or 11 p.m. as he gets ready for the next day’s speeches.
  • Aides say it takes a lot of behind-the-scenes work to prepare him to project his assured demeanor.

To illustrate Biden’s style, aides throw DHS Secretary Xavier Becerra under the bus, leaking:

Some advisers who are new to Mr. Biden’s orbit have been on the receiving end of his anger in recent weeks.

During a meeting on March 30 in the Oval Office, the president lashed out at Xavier Becerra, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, for failing to have answers to his questions about the agency’s ability to take care of migrant children, according to two people familiar with the exchange.

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OK, so what’s the message that the Times is trying to convey?

> Biden is in charge, he’s the decision-maker … not Staff Chief Klain … nor Kamala … nor Susan Rice … nor Barack Obama.

> He is deep into the details of multiple complex issues … inclusive of alternative points-of-view

> He operates at game-speed … long hours in the White House, late night calls to aides.

> His “no drama” presentation style reflects his confidence and self-assurance.

> He obsesses over keeping his campaign promises (save for that part about being a bipartisan moderate.)

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My take: Nice try by the Times to conjure an Ox-like alternative universe … but, c’mon, man!

Countering cyber-terrorism with equity math … say, what?

May 19, 2021

I’m still scratching my head over Team Biden’s public response to the Colonial Pipeline hack & shut-down.

Let me count the ways:

1. Biden: “The Russian government (i.e. the iron-fisted Putin) had no knowledge and no involvement.”

My take: Biden was probably confusing Putin with Sergeant “I See Nothing”  Schultz (from Hogan’s Heroes).

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2. Biden, when asked if he approved the policy-busting ransom payment to terrorists: “No comment”.

My take: If you think that paying people to not work doesn’t disincentivize job-seeking, then it logically follows that paying ransom to terrorists does not incentivize terrorist acts.

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3. Energy Secretary Granholm: “This is another good  reason to drive electric cars.”

My take: Does she have any idea where and how the electricity that fuels electric vehicles is produced?

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4. Biden when asked how U.S. will counter cyberterrorism: “More education”.

Let’s go into some detail on this one…

The first 3 are patently incredible on their obvious merits (demerits?).

The last, an off-the-cuff statement is another example of why Biden’s handlers don’t want him to answer questions.

For sure, U.S. needs more American students studying technical STEM subjects.

But, that’s, at best, a long-run fix that won’t provide much near-term protection.

Even then, there is a grand irony that Biden is casually promoting technical education at the same time that he’s supporting (or at least, not opposing) the “equity mathematics” movement that is advocating:

> The end of racially-toxic right answers and “dictated” solution methods … to be replaced by  free-form methods, approximate answers and “nice tries”.

> The elimination of advanced mathematics in high school …  to mitigate cultural disadvantage and keep all students at the same terminal level of proficiency.

With some American educators seriously considering those misdirections, I doubt that more education will counter the cyberterrorism threat either short- or long-run.

How many cyberterrorists do you think are rushing to enroll in equity-math courses?

If your answer is greater than zero, then I’m betting the under.

Freedom to breath (and smile) again…

May 14, 2021

Thanks to a couple of inspiring “coincidences”.
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Earlier this week, I was gifted the  best-seller “Breath”.   I finishing reading it yesterday.

The book’s central premise:

The way we breath is important to our health … and 90% of us  breathe incorrectly, causing or aggravating a laundry list of chronic diseases.

The author provides the research support for several attitudes and techniques for better breathing … and better health.

Not surprising, wearing masks wasn’t on his list of remedies for bad breathing.

I was struck by the irony: Wearing masks for a year may have sheltered us from covid … but, may have also created a stockpile of unintended future heath problems.

Oh my.

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Then came the big announcement.

The nation’s chief political-scientists had an overnight epiphany regarding masks and advised: fuhgettaboutit.

Literally overnight, “the science” spun on a dime.

No more masking for eternity.

No more double or triple masking.

The new “guidance”: stow your masks … but don’t toss them in case the political landscape shifts, and our politically-sensitive scientists change their minds.

I like the long overdue direction, but it’s a head-scratcher.

There was no  scientific evidence provided that we hadn’t known for weeks (or months).

So what motivated the change?

The obvious: A variant of the old “wag the dog” technique.

Given a crisis on the southern border, a labor force getting paid to stay home, a heating up of inflation, a hijacked gas pipeline, and a Middle East that’s on fire …  maybe Team Biden just wanted to re-focus the spotlight.

Or, maybe I’m just being cynical…

Ouch: I just paid $3,700 for $1,200 of lumber …

May 12, 2021

And, apparently I’m not alone.
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Team Biden says not to worry, their lucrative pay-to-not-play poli-finance money-printing isn’t impacting the labor market or inflation.

Bull-dinky!

I just got 2 shocks that suggest the contrary.

We’re in the process or re-siding part of  our house — just replacing some badly weathered boards.

The carpenter warned me that lumber prices were thru the roof.

Today, he handed me the bill.  A small load of cedar siding cost me $3,700 — just for the materials.

The carpenter said that a couple of months ago, it would have cost $1,200.

That’s completely consistent with news reports of a tripling in lumber prices due homebuilding demand and supply shortages. Source

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More broadly, the BLS reported today that the CPI is up 4.2% year-over-year … the sharpest YOY rise in over a decade … you know, back in the Obama-Biden years.  Is history repeating?

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Note: “Energy Commodities“ prices were up almost 49% … and that’s before a CNN prediction that “Coming this summer: Gas stations will be running out of gas.”

Ouch.

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I always liked to ask my Trump-hating friends which they were most opposed to: the peace or the prosperity?

With prices soaring and former workers reinventing themselves as government-funded couch potatoes … and the Middle East literally exploding … we now have both less prosperity and less peace.

Maybe the Trump-haters think that’s a small price to pay for fewer mean tweets.

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P.S. And, I haven’t even mentioned the southern border … or faux school openings.

Did Team Biden blunder big on the J&J roll-out?

April 28, 2021

Obvious answer: yes … but it’s unlikely that the MSM will tag Biden with the loss.
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Let’s start with the basics:

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were approved and launched by the Trump administration.

The J&J vaccine was developed under the auspices of Trump’s Operation Warp Speed.

But, the J&J vaccine was approved by the Biden administration (on Feb. 27).

Now, let’s advance the story…

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In a mid-March statement, Biden said:

“You know, when we came into office (Jan. 20), we began working with the (manufacturing) team at J&J to accelerate and add capacity to their manufacturing and production efforts.

Got it? Team Biden was on the manufacturing case.

The outcome: In early April, 15 million doses of the J&J vaccine failed quality control and had to be tossed.

Workers at an Emergent Technologies plant in Baltimore manufacturing two coronavirus vaccines (for J&J and Astra Zeneca) accidentally conflated the ingredients several weeks ago, contaminating up to 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. Source

Nice job, boys.

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Then in mid-April, reacting to 8 reported cases of blood-clotting (out of about 8 million shots administered), Team Biden’s med-science regulators “paused“ the distribution and administration of the J&J vaccine “in an abundance of caution”.

As Paul A. Offit, a vaccine expert at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia told the Washington Post:

If I hear the phrase ‘abundance of caution’ one more time, I’m going to jump out of my window.

After 2 weeks of review, Biden’s crack med-science team got out their calculators and concluded that, perhaps, they were panicking over an apparent one-in-a-million occurrence.

Maybe, there was the proverbial “no there there”.

So, they lifted the J&J  vaccine halt.

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No harm, no foul, right?

WRONG!

As Lawrence Gostin, a global health law professor at Georgetown University, put it politely:

In the short to medium term, at least, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has taken a reputational hit.

J&J has had major production problems at its Baltimore plant and (given the risk-induced halt)  people (might be) more hesitant to take it. Source

Or, as another med-science pundit put it more bluntly: Team Biden “all but gutted the enthusiasm for Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.”

So, how bad is the “reputational hit”? The slide in enthusiasm?

According to a Washington Post poll, only 28% of unvaccinated adults now think that the J&J vaccine is “very” or “somewhat” safe.

Performing a common sense test, WaPo reframed the question and  found that 3 out of 4 unvaccinated adults would be unwilling to take the J&J

Common Sense Test: Raise your hand if you’d line up for a vaccine that you thought was somewhat safe.

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Now, that’s a problem … a big problem.

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What if?

Imagine that Team Trump had:

  • approved the J&J vaccine
  • supervised production of the vaccine
  • encountered production quality issues
  • dumped 15 million contaminated doses
  • halted administration of the vaccine due to health risks
  • lifted the ban (as daily 1st shots started dropping like a rock)

All of which combined to make 75% of unvaccinated people unwilling to take the vaccine.

I’m going to go out on a limb on this one and guess that the media would be publicizing this situation differently if Team Trump owned it.

But, it’s Biden, so …

What do you think?

VAX: Viva mass vaccination sites…

March 30, 2021

Anybody notice that Biden put “equity” and “essentiality” on the back burner.
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Let’s connect a couple of dots …

Maryland — which had been lagging on ‘shots in arms’ —  has been in a full out sprint the past couple of weeks.

The magic sauce: state-run mass vaccination sites.

In the past couple of days , a couple of friends got shots at Maryland’s up & running mass vaccination sites … one at Six Flags and another at M&T Stadium (where the Ravens play).

Both raved about how organized and efficient the process was. No complaints.

That’s really encouraging news since max-vax has emerged as the primary vaccine distribution channel in Maryland.

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And, Maryland’s not alone.

Coincidentally, I spotted an article headlining that Texas and Georgia — which together account for 10% of the U.S. population — will be opening vaccine distribution “to all comers” in the next week or so.

That means anybody 18 or older (kids aren’t legit yet), no “employment “essentiality”, no jurisdictional boundaries.

Just “come & get it”.

How can they do it? What’s the downside?

(more…)

Is “buyer’s remorse” setting in?

March 29, 2021

Biden’s “net approval” cut in half since inauguration day.
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Frankly, I wasn’t paying attention to Biden’s approval numbers until he said in his press conference that “a majority of Republican voters approve of the job I’m doing”.

As we previously fact-checked, that claim is patently false.

According to Gallup, only 10% of Republican voters approve of the job he’s doing … 88% disapprove.

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Digging deeper, the numbers get even more interesting.

According to RCP, Biden’s net job approval is still above water at +10.3, but…

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Biden’s net job approval has been cut in half … it was over 20% on inauguration day, now, it’s just over 10%.

His job approval has slipped 8.2 percentage points … 2.5 points were previously approvers, now disapprovers … 5.7 points were previously “undecideds” who have decided and disapprove.

Bottom line: It’s starting to appear that the honeymoon is ending and some buyer’s remorse is setting in.

The thrill of trading out the boisterous orange man for a zombie may be wearing off.

And, it’s now crystal clear that Biden’s campaign promises to unite the country, reach across the aisle and, oh yeah, govern as a moderate … were all malarkey.

Expect more slippage since, according to RCP, a majority of Americans (52%) think that the country is moving in the wrong direction … and, that number is likely to worsen as the sugar high from the  $1,400 “thanks for voting for me” checks wears off … and the border crisis becomes more apparent.

Hmm.

Biden: “Trump blundered, I’m saving the day”

March 12, 2021

In fact, Operation Warp Speed was much more than fast vaccine R&D. Biden’s claims are, at best, disingenuous.
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Biden frequently makes 2 related Covid-specific claims:

1. “There were no vaccines available when I took office and not enough to vaccinate America.”

2. “The Trump administration didn’t have a plan for getting people vaccinated.  We had to start from completely from scratch.”

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The first claim —  not enough vaccine ordered — is indisputably false

Let’s start with the pre-approval vaccine commitments made mid-2020.

As part of Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration entered into contracts with multiple drugmakers … while their potential vaccines were still in clinical trials.

  • Pfizer-BioNTech: 100 million doses (two-dose regimen)
  • Moderna: 100 million doses (two-dose regimen)
  • J&J: 100 million doses (one-dose regimen)
  • AstraZeneca: 300 million doses (two-dose regimen)
  • Novavax: 100 million doses (two-dose regimen)
  • Sanofi-GSK: 100 million doses (one- or two-dose regimen)

In all, the amounts agreed to under these pre-commitment contracts totaled about 800 million vaccine doses, or enough for more than 450 million people. Source

The Pfizer vaccine was approved on December 11, 2020.

Roughly 2 weeks later, on December 23. 2020, HHS signed an agreement with Pfizer for an additional  100 million doses … with options to purchase an additional 400 Million doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Source

So, Trump’s Operation Warp Speed delivered to the Biden administration orders and options for 600 million doses of just the Pfizer vaccine — enough to vaccinate 300 million Americans.

Add in just the pre-commitments to Moderna and J&J and the total swells to 800 million doses — enough to vaccinate 450 million people.

By inauguration day, almost 40 million doses had already been distributed to the states and the daily vaccination rate was passing through the 1 million shots per day mark.

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Since inauguration day, an average of about 1.6 million shots have been administered daily — a function of increased supplies (from manufacturers) and improved coverage and efficiency.

The supply flows have continued to increase.

How much of that is attributable to Team Biden’s claimed magic touch and how much of that is simply implementation ramp-up of Trump’s OWS plan?

That’s a question which naturally raises the second claim…

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So, is the second claim “no vaccination plan, starting from scratch” true?

While there may be some dispute about the depth and appropriateness of the Trump administration’s plan, there was one … and, by and large, it’s exactly the plan that Team Biden is implementing.

Let’s get specific…

(more…)

Are Comey, Brennan and friends now off-the-hook?

November 30, 2020

Trump should coax Barr to name a Special Prosecutor.
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I’m a bit surprised that I haven’t heard any punditry on this issue.

To refresh memories: In April 2019, AG Barr confirmed that he had initiated a review into “both the genesis and the conduct of intelligence activities directed at the Trump campaign during 2016” — activities commonly known as “Crossfire Hurricane.”

And, Barr appointed U.S. Attorney for Connecticut John Durham, a widely respected prosecutor, to investigate (with full subpoena powers) and, if appropriate, issue grand jury indictments.

The “usual band of suspects” were reported to be on hot seats, including Comey, Brennan, Strzok, et. al.

But, after 18 months of sleuthing, all that Durham has to show for his work is squeezing a felony guilty plea to  making a false statement in an official proceeding (i.e. lying in a FISA court submission).

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Continually we’ve heard that the big shoe was about to drop.

But, COVID came and the process dragged on and on.

Then came the election and, of course, indictments couldn’t be dropped right before an election, right?

So what now?

(more…)

Yipes: Less than 1/2 of likely voters say Biden doesn’t suffer dementia.

July 1, 2020

More specifically, a recent Rasmussen poll of 1,000 likely voters found:

38% think Biden is suffering dementia … the breakdown: 66% of GOP, 30% of Independents, 20% of Dems

48% do not think Biden is  suffering dementia …  apparently, they think either (1) he’s sharp as a tack, or (2) he’s just “Joe being Joe”, or (3) there’s no dementia, he just started long ago at a low base

14% said they didn’t know or were unsure …  or were, themselves hopelessly confused.

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Drilling down on the survey’s results….

(more…)

How Biden & Klobuchar could both become president.

February 14, 2020

Simple: Biden should pre-announce he’s a 1-termer and name Amy as his running mate … and she should gracefully bow out of the 2020 presidential race and run as Joe’s VP.
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I hate to give the Dems useful advice, but…

Imagine a Joe Biden that is old but not cognitively challenged … and is nice and well-intended, not influenced by Ukrainian bribes laundered through his ne’er-do-well son.

Or, at least imagine that Biden’s above shortcomings could be sufficiently minimized or obscured so that voters revert to “It’s just Joe being Joe” and give him a pass.

If that were the case, the Dems dream ticket might be Biden-Klobuchar.

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Here’s my logic…

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Here’s why Hunter Biden is a “material witness”…

January 22, 2020

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Yesterday, we replayed Prof. Jonathan Turley dismantling the obstruction charge against President Trump.

The essence of his argument:

  • The President has every right to withhold testimony and documents citing “executive privilege”.
  • If Congress disputes the right to executive privilege, it can appeal to the courts.
  • If the courts deny the claim of executive privilege and the President still withholds, then — and only then — is he guilty of obstruction.

Congress did not appeal to the courts and it has no standalone  legal power to deny executive privilege and charge obstruction.

Case closed.

So, what about the other impeachment charge: abuse of power?

This is where Hunter Biden becomes relevant….

(more…)

Which will show up: Sleepy Joe or Mean Joe?

July 31, 2019

Anybody remember his debate against Paul Ryan?

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Most (all?) pundits seem to agree that Kamala Harris got the best of Joe Biden in the first debate … by getting in his face on busing and, in doing so, hit him with a veiled accusation of racism.

Biden’s response was weak …  truncated by his throwing in the towel with “I see that my time is up.”

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On the campaign trail, Biden has been telling supporters (and fat cat donors) that he’s going to up his game in the second debates.:

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His chest-pounding is eliciting a lot of “yeah, right” reactions….

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