Archive for the ‘Biden, Joe’ Category

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?

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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…

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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?

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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….

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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….

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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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