Why Is Challenging Suspicious Election Results "A Threat To Our Democracy"?
Why Is Challenging Suspicious Election Results "A Threat To Our Democracy"?
Sat, 11/21/2020 - 16:10
Published:11/21/2020 3:21:04 PM
Authored by Jack Hellner via AmericanThinker.com,
On Thursday, President Trump's legal team presented many pieces of information about the election that deserve to be investigated.
But the media has no interest in that.
Instead, they essentially black out the news and ask Trump to concede so they can crown their chosen king. And worst of all, they continue to falsely claim there is no evidence of fraud.
The New York Times and others have written about the potential fraud on universal mail-in ballots in the past, as have other outlets, but now they call Trump a liar.
The media outlets know rules were changed to make verification of mail-in ballots less verifiable, but they don’t care.
They know that observation of the counting has been essentially blocked in some towns in violation of the law, and they don’t care.
They know that election officials in some states are violating laws, but laws aren’t important as long as the media’s chosen one is ahead.
Statistically, it is rare for the up-ballot candidate, the president, to significantly underperform the down-ballot candidates, but the media doesn’t care.
Coattails without a coat? Tell us exactly how that could happen.
They know, or should know, that Biden only outperformed Hillary in four cities: Milwaukee, Detroit, Atlanta, and Philadelphia, not the nation as a whole. They also know about overvotes in cities, that is, more votes than registered voters, and once again, they don’t care.
They know there have been questions about Dominion, the software provider in many states, because they certainly had those questions before.
They know that Democrat Senators Elizabeth Warren, Ron Wyden and Amy Klobuchar had significant questions about Dominion in December 2019, but they don’t care. Can anyone imagine how loud the senators and journalists would be about potential fraud by Dominion if Biden was behind? But what we have now is silence from the senators and the supposed journalists.
They know that several swing states mysteriously stopped counting votes on election night, but don’t care. As a CPA with 43 years of experience, the only reason I can think that they stopped counting is to cook the books, commit fraud, and change the vote.
Yet journalists don’t even ask the states why they stopped counting.
The same supposed journalists that say Trump is destroying democracy by challenging election results are the ones that:
Claimed Trump was an illegitimate president for four years. These same journalists and other Democrats also called Bush an illegitimate president for four years after he beat Al Gore twenty years earlier. The playbook is always the same. Not once did I hear that Gore was threatening democracy by challenging election results for more than one month. Instead the media cheered him on because Democrats are special.
Regurgitated the Russian collusion lie for years with zero evidence.
Never cared about all the lies and crimes of people in the Obama/Biden administration as they set out to destroy Trump and protect career criminal, Hillary Clinton, from prosecution.
Called Trump a liar for saying that the Obama administration spied on his team when it is clearly true.
Uses congenital liars and criminals like James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Jim Clapper and John Brennan to attack Trump with known lies.
Cheered Obama/Biden on as they lied continuously about Obamacare and the Iran deal.
Willingly spread the lies about what Trump said in Charlottesville and spread the lie that Trump had not denounced radical white supremacists.
Along with other Democrats, called Trump and his supporters racists, sexists, bigots, homophobes, xenophobes, and every other name in the book as they bragged that Trump was divisive and continually say they are for unity. The media and other Democrats always play the race and sex card because their policies are so unpopular.
Looked the other way concerning all the kickbacks to the Clinton and Biden families from foreign sources and never cared about the women the Clintons and Biden were accused of abusing. The women were expendable.
Sought to destroy white Christian boys from Kentucky and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, without evidence, solely because of their connection to Trump. The party that preaches unity will destroy anyone who gets in their way as they pursue their quest for power.
Continually lie that Trump never cared about the coronavirus, and never did anything about it; didn’t care about the people dying, and falsely blamed him for all deaths related to COVID. The truth is, from CDC in August, that less than 7% of the people who died with COVID died solely because of COVID. Over 93% died because of cancer, heart disease, liver disease, lung disease, diabetes, obesity, and other co-morbidity factors. Therefore, blaming all of the deaths on COVID is a political, agenda-driven decision, not a scientific one. I assume it is to scare the public into submission. Why doesn’t the media ask CDC why they never counted deaths the same on the seasonal flu or swine flu?
Continually claim that the science is settled that humans and oil cause temperatures to rise and climate change when there is no scientific data to support that. The scientific data shows that in the last 150 years crude oil use went from zero to around one hundred million barrels per day, yet temperatures have risen and fallen and are within one to two degrees. It should be noted that a little ice age ended in 1850 and a little warming would be normal. Facts haven’t mattered for a long time, only power for government with Democrats in control.
Lately, the public have been treated to an Obama bragging tour where he and the fawning media have been rewriting history as fast as they can. They lie that Obama/Biden handed off a thriving economy. The truth is they had the slowest economic recovery in seventy years. They lie that there were no scandals during the Obama/Biden years. The truth is that their massive continuous scandals that the media chose to bury. Obama lies that the only reason that Hillary lost is because we are racists. The truth is his policies were unpopular and wages were stagnant, especially for those at the bottom.
Summary: The biggest threat to our democracy, freedom and prosperity is a sycophant media that campaigns for one party and seeks to destroy the other. We are not a systemically racist country and it is absolutely not a threat to our democracy for anyone to challenge the results in an election especially when there are so many questions.
Supreme Court May Void Individual Mandate, But Unlikely to Topple Obamacare
The Supreme Court may strike down the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate but appears poised to uphold most of the law against a constitutional challenge from a coalition of red states backed by the Trump administration.
The post Supreme Court May Void Individual Mandate, But Unlikely to Topple Obamacare appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.
Published:11/10/2020 3:42:08 PM
Supreme Court Obamacare Arguments Eviscerate Dems' Chicken Little Fears About ACB
Published:11/10/2020 2:15:27 PM
[Amy Coney Barrett]
Supreme Court set to uphold Obamacare
(Paul Mirengoff) During the hearings on the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee pretended that confirming Barrett would jeopardize Obamacare. To support this claim, they noted that the Supreme Court soon would be hearing a challenge to that law and they pointed to a law review article by Barrett that criticized Chief Justice Roberts’ reasoning when he upheld Obamacare in 2012. The Dems’ argument was always phony.
Published:11/10/2020 2:15:26 PM
Supreme Court watchers predict Justice Kavanaugh won't vote to strike down Obamacare
Published:11/10/2020 12:42:02 PM
Supreme Court appears increasingly likely to uphold Obamacare again: analysts
Supreme Court appears increasingly likely to uphold Obamacare again: analysts
Published:11/10/2020 10:11:16 AM
[Josh Blackman] Reflecting on a Decade of ACA Litigation
In the Author's Note to my second book, Unraveled (2016), I wrote "By fate or design, my young career has tracked the trajectory of the Affordable Care Act." Four years later, that trajectory has stayed the course. Since I graduated law school in 2009, and started teaching in 2012, debates about the legality of Obamacare have persisted.…
Published:11/10/2020 2:38:23 AM
Biden To Name COVID-19 Task Force Monday - Here's His Plan
Biden To Name COVID-19 Task Force Monday - Here's His Plan
Sun, 11/08/2020 - 16:35
Published:11/8/2020 3:44:43 PM
While the Biden campaign has declined to discuss potential Cabinet posts after the MSM declared him the projected winner of the 2020 election, Joe Biden is planning to announce the creation of a 12-member coronavirus task force, according to Axios.
"On Monday, I will name a group of leading scientists and experts as transition advisers to help take the Biden-Harris COVID plan and convert it into an action blueprint that starts on Jan. 20, 2021," Biden said during a Saturday night speech.
According to the report, "By announcing a COVID task force even before unveiling his senior White House staff or a single cabinet appointment, Biden is signaling that addressing the coronavirus will be the immediate priority for his transition, and then his potential administration."
The task force will be led by three co-chairs: former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith from Yale University. -Axios
"We have to function as one nation. That means having a national plan," said Murthy, former surgeon general.
Several members of the task force have been advising Biden during his bid for presidency - adopting health protocols for the Biden campaign while also discussing public policy challenges.
Biden's plan: According to NPR, "Biden's plan calls for empowering scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help set national, evidence-based guidance to stop outbreaks as well as making significant investments in vaccine distribution, testing and the creation of a public health workforce to carry out contact tracing and other services."
"What you're going to see is a laser focus on ensuring that people get ... adequate testing and clear information," said Murthy.
So - 'more testing and clear information' - and CDC scientists will now be 'empowered' to dictate national policy.
Ezekiel Emanuel - brother of former Obama Chief of Staff and ex-Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel - has been advising Biden on health policy, and told NPR: "You're going to have rigorous evaluation and constant refinement" of policies and strategies.
Specifics of Biden's plan per NPR:
1. Set shared guidance for slowing community spread
Under Biden's plan, the CDC will be directed to provide specific guidance — based on the degree of viral spread in a community — for "how to open schools, open businesses," Emanuel says, or when to impose restrictions on gathering sizes or when stay-at-home orders may be called for.
It would create a national "pandemic dashboard" to share this information with the public. This is a strategy recommended by a top group of public health experts, who released a framework for assessing community risk.
And Biden says he'd work with every governor to make mask-wearing in public mandatory in their state. Many states already have mask mandates, but though research suggests that universal masking could save more than 100,000 lives, there's currently no nationwide coordination or requirement.
2. Seriously ramp up testing
The Biden campaign has said the goal is to "ensure that all Americans have access to regular, reliable and free testing." His administration will work to double the number of drive-through testing sites and invest in "next-generation testing," including home tests and instant tests.
"It's not enough to know in seven days or five days or three days whether or not you have COVID," Biden recently said on CBS' 60 Minutes. If there's a long lag time, a person may spread the disease unwittingly while waiting for results.
There are currently several home test kits that give quick results without being sent to a laboratory in development, but none are yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration. While there has been a significant expansion in testing, "testing is still not available and affordable to all people across the country," Murthy told NPR.
3. Hire thousands of public health workers
The Biden team pledges to "mobilize" 100,000 Americans to work with local organizations around the country to perform contact tracing and other health services for populations at high risk for COVID-19.
The idea is to empower local communities and health departments to assist people with challenges such as food insecurity and affordable housing.
"Imagine a public health workforce that was also helping train school officials in how to reopen safely," Murthy told NPR. Or helping run public education campaigns about a vaccine and how to stay safe in the pandemic. "Think about a workforce that was diverse, that looked like the country that we're trying to serve," Murthy said.
4. Help people get health insurance
Millions of American have lost health insurance during the pandemic. Biden's coronavirus plan proposes to have the federal government cover 100% of the costs of COBRA coverage for the duration of the crisis. "So when people lose their employer-based health insurance, they can stay on that insurance, given the moment we are in," Stef Feldman, Biden's national policy director, told NPR.
In addition, Biden will push to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, expanding coverage by making more people eligible for premium subsidies. Biden hopes also to push for expansion of Medicaid in states that have yet to do so, and he has proposed making Medicare coverage available to Americans beginning at age 60 (instead of 65).
During the pandemic, several governors asked the Trump administration to reopen the federal Obamacare marketplace for a special enrollment period. Feldman has told NPR that Biden would do so immediately after his inauguration to allow those who've lost insurance to sign up for new plans. She called it "a basic step that President Trump has refused to do."
5. Create a caregiving workforce
During the pandemic, Biden says many families are struggling to find affordable care for their children, aging relatives or loved ones with disabilities. "At the same time, professional caregivers have either lost their jobs or continue to work while putting their lives at risk without sufficient pay," his campaign plan noted.
Biden plans to work with states to speed up waiting lists for Medicaid-paid care in homes. In addition, the president-elect supports a variety of steps to expand caregiving, including ensuring access to preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds and supporting caregivers through job training and improved benefits and protections.
Expanding opportunities in the female-dominated caregiving workforce would play a dual role in both helping families, and helping improve women's employment outlook, said Sherry Glied, dean of New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, noting that this pandemic-fueled economic crisis has hit women harder.
6. Boost vaccine distribution and personal protective equipment production
States will need a lot of money to distribute a vaccine and make sure it gets to everyone who wants it. There are complex logistics that will require planning and resources. Currently state governors are asking for more guidance and financial assistance.
The Biden team proposes investing $25 billion in a vaccine manufacturing and distribution plan "that will guarantee it gets to every American, cost-free."
The president-elect also wants to solve the shortages of personal protective equipment that have plagued the U.S. health care system since the pandemic began. The Biden team says after the inauguration, it will work to make sure more of these critical supplies are produced and distributed "rather than leave states, cities, tribes, and territories to fend for themselves."
Biden says he'd use the Defense Production Act to increase production of masks, face shields and other personal protective equipment so that supply exceeds demand.
And with that Biden will wipe out COVID-19, which has apparently killed "230 million thousand Americans".
Biden Unmentioned in Obama’s Telling of Health Care Bill’s Passage
Barack Obama published a 13,000-word essay Monday about passing the Affordable Care Act that only mentions his vice president, current Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, once.
The post Biden Unmentioned in Obama’s Telling of Health Care Bill’s Passage appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.
Published:10/26/2020 1:54:42 PM
Report: 6M Lost Insurance After Obamacare, Despite Biden's Claim
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was wrong when he said nobody lost health insurance following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, a study from right-leaning RAND Corporation reports. The report says 5.9 million people had their...
Published:10/23/2020 9:28:19 PM
Biden’s biggest asset is his lie-ability
(Paul Mirengoff) Apologies for recycling this tired lawyer joke, but it popped into my head after last night’s debate. And with good reason. Biden lied repeatedly throughout the affair. Scott has pointed to three of Biden’s major lies. Biden claimed has never opposed fracking. That’s not true. Even CNN’s fact checker said so. Biden also asserted that not a single person lost his private health insurance under Obamacare. That’s not true. As
Published:10/23/2020 3:21:50 PM
Facts, Biden: Millions Have Lost Private Insurance Under Obamacare While Many Faced Higher Deductibles
Some people lost their private insurance three times under Obamacare.
The post Facts, Biden: Millions Have Lost Private Insurance Under Obamacare While Many Faced Higher Deductibles first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.
Published:10/23/2020 10:21:19 AM
More Biden: C'mon, no one lost their private insurance under ObamaCare
Published:10/23/2020 8:50:19 AM
Biden: 'Not a Single Person on Private Insurance' Lost It 'Under Obamacare' Fact Check: FALSE
Published:10/22/2020 10:03:37 PM
Debate Post-Mortem: "Malarkey" Takes On "401K's In Hell" In Informative But Firework-Free Spectacle
Debate Post-Mortem: "Malarkey" Takes On "401K's In Hell" In Informative But Firework-Free Spectacle
Thu, 10/22/2020 - 23:00
Published:10/22/2020 10:03:37 PM
Thursday night's debate kicked off with both candidates behaving themselves, more or less, until the two engaged in several spats over the Hunter Biden scandal which quickly dissipated.
For a quick summary of how the candidates did aside from Huntergate:
- COVID-19 - Tie, both stuck to well-worn talking points
- American Families - Trump with the edge due to a 'kids in cages' moment. "Who built them?"
- Race in America - Trump steamrolled Biden over the 1994 crime bill and inaction, plus Biden had a very senior moment
- Climate Change - Trump, who successfully got Biden to admit he would 'shift' the country away from petroleum
- National Security - Tie, as the topic devolved to Hunter Biden's laptop, however Biden defended against Trump's attempts to paint him as a corrupt politician - hammering back on Trump's tax returns and China bank account.
- Leadership - Biden, who argued that he would represent all Americans
Overall, both candidates were much calmer and better organized than they were during the first debate - albeit Biden came off as very angry most of the debate. We doubt anyone is changing their mind after tonight.
Moderator Kristen Welker, who - while asking several loaded questions against Trump, allowed each candidate to follow up more than once on questions. That said, she interrupted Trump 30 times, and Biden twice.
* * *
Full Debate Post-Mortem
The second and final debate between President Trump and Joe Biden predictably went off the rails in short order, after a week of bombshell claims about Joe Biden's involvement in international corruption with his son Hunter - accusations which the Biden campaign and its MSM surrogates implied, without evidence, are part of a Russian disinformation campaign.
In the audience, however, was whistleblower Tony Bobulinski, a former Hunter Biden associate who has come forward with texts, emails and personal testimony that Joe and Hunter Biden peddled influence during the Obama administration.
The first question was on COVID-19
President Trump defended his administration's response, saying that while 2.2 million people were 'modeled to die,' that 'we're fighting it and we're fighting it hard.' Trump spoke of his personal experience with the disease, noting "I was in for a short period of time and I got better very fast" thanks to his treatment. Trump added that a vaccine will be 'announced within weeks.'
Biden launched into attack mode - blaming 220,000 US deaths on President Trump, and suggesting that he doesn't deserve to remain president because of it. "The president has no plan. No comprehensive plan," said Biden, who added that he would mandate masks.
When asked about the vaccine in 'two weeks,' Trump said that it's not a guarantee, but that Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson were very close, and it would be here "by the end of the year" and that there are "generals lined up" to will assist in the rapid distribution of said vaccine.
Trump got in a hit during one testy exchange over shuttering the country, saying "We can't lock ourselves up in a basement like Joe does. He has the ability to lock himself up. I don't know; he's obviously made a lot of money someplace."
The two went back and forth regarding policy response to the virus - with Biden mostly spitting Venom at Trump's response - claiming "I'm going to shut down the virus, not the country."
Biden denied calling Trump's closure of travel to China 'xenophobic.' Except...
On the topic of National Security
Biden said that foreign nations meddling in US elections 'will pay a price,' noting "Russia's been involved, China's been involved to some degree, and Iran's been involved."
"We are in a situation where we have foreign countries trying to meddle in the outcome of the election," before suggesting that Rudy Giuliani, Trump's attorney, is a 'Russian pawn' - alluding to the recent disclosure of Hunter Biden's alleged laptop contents.
And then things went off the rails...
'You were getting a lot of money from Russia. They were paying you a lot of money. And what came out today - all of the emails, the horrible emails of all the money you were raking in, you and your family. And I think you owe an explanation to the American people.'
To which Biden responded, 'I have not taken a single penny from any country whatsoever,' before claiming Trump as a "secret bank account in China." Biden then said that because he's released "22 years of my tax returns" he's clearly clean.
Trump: 'I don't make money from China, you do. I don't make money from Ukraine, you do. I don't make money from Russia, you do.'
When asked about Hunter's position on the board of Ukrainian energy giant Burisma, Biden said he had no dealings with the company.
"I did my job impeccably," he said, adding that there's no evidence his son did anything wrong in Ukraine, and that nobody has claimed he did.
Then, during a brief spat over North Korea, Biden barked "We had a good relationship with Hitler before he invaded Europe."
The topic turned to American Families - in particular, healthcare.
Biden claims he supports private insurance and will pass 'Bidencare' - which he described as Obamacare plus a public option. He then claimed that he will reduce premiums and drug prices.
"He wants socialized medicine," said Trump of Biden, adding that VP running mate Kamala Harris wants socialized medicine as well."
The two then went back and forth on the coronavirus stimulus package - with President Trump blaming Nancy Pelosi for not wanting to do a deal before the election, and Biden blaming Republicans for not accepting Democrats' HEROES Act over the summer - which President Trump says 'bails out poorly run Democratic cities and states.'
Biden said Trump brought up "malarkey" over alleged Biden family corruption because the president doesn't want to discuss substantive issues affecting the country.
On Minimum Wage, President Trump said it should be a state option, while Biden insisted that the federal minimum wage should be a minimum of $15 per hour.
On Border Security, Trump and Biden fought over the child separation policy - to which Biden blamed Trump for separating children from their parents after Trump claimed children are being brought over by coyotes and 'bad people.' Later in the exchange, Trump repeated "Who built the cages?" referring to the Obama-Biden administration.
When Welker asked about the Obama administration's failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform, Biden replied that he will be "president" and not "vice president" this time - seemingly throwing President Obama under the bus.
At one point, Trump said 'I ran because Joe Biden and Barack Obama did a horrible job.'
Race in America was the next topic
When asked about the "talk" that black families give their children regardless of class, Biden says his daughter, a social worker, worked in African-American areas, which we guess makes Biden not racist. Trump claimed that Obama and Biden 'never wanted criminal justice reform.'
"It's all talk and no action," Trump said of Biden, who he slammed for doing 'nothing in 47 years except pass the Crime bill that was detrimental to black Americans.'
"Nobody has done more for the black community than Donald Trump," Trump said, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln.
Biden then appeared to have a senior moment, calling Abraham Lincoln a racist.
The debate then turned to Climate Change
Welker asked both candidates how they would combat it, to which Trump discussed the 'trillion tree program' after saying he loves the environment, and that the United States has incredibly low carbon emissions. He added that he hasn't heard Biden use the term, because he wasn't sure if 'Biden knows what it means.'
Trump said that China, Russia and India are "filthy" compared to the US, and that he pulled the country out of the Paris accord because he's not willing to sacrifice jobs because of the agreement - particularly when China's obligations don't kick in until 2030 and Russia 'goes to a lower standard.'
Biden then claimed he never opposed fracking, challenging President Trump to play a tape of him saying he did. The former VP then said that global warming is an "existential threat" to humanity, which has a "moral obligation" to solve it. Biden claims we have 8-10 years until we reach the point of no return.
Perhaps most significantly, Trump was able to get Biden to admit to 'shifting away' from petroleum.
The last topic was leadership
When asked what each candidate would say in inauguration day to the losing side, President Trump said 'before the plague came in, I was getting calls' from Democrats about the booming economy. He noted that unemployment among blacks, women and other groups were at record lows.
Trump says we have to rebuild the country to the point it was before the 'China plague' hit - and warned that if Biden is elected we will have a depression the likes of which we've never seen, and that '401(k)'s will go to hell.'
Biden responded that he'll be an American president who will represent all Americans - even those who didn't vote for him. He hopes voters will choose 'hope and science over fiction while dealing with systemic racism and creating millions of clean energy jobs.'
"What's on the ballot is the character of the country," said Biden.
Senate Democrats to Boycott Amy Coney Barrett Committee Vote, Fill Seats With Cardboard Cutouts
Cardboard cutouts of people who would be "hurt" if she rules against Obamacare
The post Senate Democrats to Boycott Amy Coney Barrett Committee Vote, Fill Seats With Cardboard Cutouts first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.
Published:10/21/2020 6:28:08 PM
Tom Price & Alfredo Ortiz: Amy Coney Barrett doesn’t threaten people with preexisting health conditions
Democrats falsely claim that if Amy Coney Barrett joins the Supreme Court and ObamaCare is ruled unconstitutional, the legal protections for Americans with preexisting health conditions would be threatened. Don’t believe it.
Published:10/15/2020 1:42:30 PM
The Bard of Lake Wobegon says Roe v. Wade isn't worth fighting for anymore.
Published:10/15/2020 1:15:13 PM
The Barrett Rule: How Democratic Members Are Creating A New And Dangerous Standard For Confirmations
The Barrett Rule: How Democratic Members Are Creating A New And Dangerous Standard For Confirmations
Thu, 10/15/2020 - 13:05
Published:10/15/2020 12:08:36 PM
Authored by Jonathan Turley,
Below is my column in USA Today on the troubling course taken by Democratic members in the confirmation hearing of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
As I have stated, there are a host of legitimate questions to be raised over Judge Barrett’s view of the law. Indeed, I praised the exchanges between Sen. Dick Durbin (D., IL.) and Judge Barrett as the substantive highlight of the hearing. Unfortunately, those were the exceptions.
Instead, the thrust of the entire hearing was that Barrett was unqualified due to her expected vote in the upcoming case on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Various senators directly stated that they would vote against Barrett to protect the ACA. That is what is so unnerving about the Barrett confirmation hearing.
Here is the column:
The confirmation hearing of Judge Amy Coney Barrett could easily have been mistaken for the sentencing hearing for John Wayne Gacy. Surrounding Barrett were huge pictures of sick individuals. One would think that Barrett was being confronted with the faces of her victims. In reality, the pictures perfectly captured a far more important message. Senators had finally broken free from any pretense of principle in reviewing the qualifications of a nominee. Indeed, many are about to create a new rule, the Barrett Rule, allowing conditional confirmation voting. The pictures were meant to pressure Barrett to either satisfy senators that she would vote against an Affordable Care Act challenge or they would vote against her confirmation.
There has long been a debate over the legitimate grounds for opposing a Supreme Court nominee. While senators can vote under the Constitution for good, bad or no reason at all, most have sought to justify their votes on some principled basis. For most of our history, senators followed the rule that disagreement with a nominee’s jurisprudential views was not a basis to vote against their confirmation.
A president was viewed as constitutionally entitled to appoint jurists reflecting their own legal viewpoint and the primary basis for voting against a nominee was on the lack of qualifications or some disqualifying personal or professional controversy.
It was a rule of senatorial deference that controlled the majority of nominations in our history.
Voting against nominees based on their expected votes
Members began to chafe at the limitations of this principle in the second half of the twentieth century. With abortion, desegregation and other hot button issues, confirmations became politics by another means. With every year, senators became more open about voting against nominees solely on the basis for their expected votes. This trend was accelerated in October 1987 in the confirmation hearing of Judge Robert Bork presided over by a senator from Delaware named Joe Biden. Bork was labeled “outside of the mainstream” of legal thought and rejected in a process that is now called “Borking.”
Democratic members have struggled with changing rationales for voting against Barrett, who has impeccable credentials as an accomplished academic and respected jurist. One such implausible claim was made the day before the hearing by Sen. Chris Coons (D., Del.) on Fox News Sunday. He claimed the nomination “constitutes court packing.” Both Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Cal.) have referred to nominating conservatives as court packing. Biden and others have refused to tell voters whether they will move to pack the Supreme Court if the Democrats retake both the Senate and the White House (a proposal once denounced by Ruth Bader Ginsburg herself). Instead of answering, Coons and others insist that Barrett’s nomination is court packing — a position that would allow them to vote against her without the need to consider her actual qualifications.
The portrayal of the Barrett nomination as court packing is facially absurd. Court packing is the expansion of the Court to create a dominant ideological majority. Referring to such a proposal by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, then Sen. Joe Biden once denounced it as “a bonehead idea . . . a terrible, terrible mistake” in seeking to add seats to the Court just to create a majority. Filling a vacancy on the Supreme Court is not court packing under any remotely plausible definition. Otherwise, anytime you disagree with the choices of a president, it would be court packing despite leaving the court the same size.
With little traction on the packing pitch, Senators were left with a rare moment of clarity. Indeed, Sen. Cory Booker (D., NJ) captured it best when, without waiting to hear from Barrett, Booker announced that he would vote against her. The reason was that she might vote against the ACA. The clear suggestion is that, after an election, the Democrats hoped to nominate someone who would clearly support the ACA. The issue was simply her expected vote on Nov. 10 in the case of California v. Texas.
Barrett and the ACA
We have now reached the Rubicon of confirmation politics. Thirty-three years after the Bork hearing, senators are now stripping away any pretense or nuance: they will oppose Barrett because of her expected votes on cases. In particular, Democrats have been arguing that they will vote against Barrett to prevent her from voting on a pending case, California v. Texas, dealing with the constitutionality of the ACA. Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D., HI) announced recently that she would vote against Barrett because “she will vote to strike down the Affordable Care Act.”
In reality, the ACA case is unlikely to be struck down. The Court may uphold the lower court in declaring the individual mandate of the original ACA to be unconstitutional, but the real issue is whether that provision can be “severed” from the rest of the statute. Most legal experts believe that the Court has a clear majority favoring severance and preserving the rest of the act. The law was originally saved by Chief Justice John Roberts who felt that the individual mandate was constitutional. Congress later nullified the mandate.
The question before the Court is whether the rest of the act can be “severed” from the now defunct mandate — a question that cuts across the Court’s ideological divisions. Indeed, conservatives like Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh are expected to uphold the rest of the law. Thus, despite the pictures in the hearing, the picture for the ACA looks solid even with a Justice Barrett on the Court. Indeed, no one knows how Barrett would vote on the issue of severability.
The more important decision in the hearing is that some Senators are now invoking the right to vote against a nominee on the basis of her expected vote on this pending case. It will be a uniquely ironic moment since it was Ginsburg who refused to answer questions on pending or expected cases as improper and unethical inquiries by the Senate. It became known as the “Ginsburg Rule.” We may now have the Barrett Rule where a nomination can be rejected without such assurances.
The Barrett Rule would allow not only for the packing of a Court but the packing of the Court with guaranteed ideological drones. It is court packing without any pretense. Like our current politics, it would finally strip away any nuance or nicety. The court, like Congress, would become subject to raw and brutal politics at its very worst.
Barrett Hearing Day Four LIVE: Democrats Will Appeal to Emotions With Witnesses on Abortion, Obamacare
The Democrats are really convinced Barrett will get rid of Roe v. Wade, Obamacare, and violate all the voting and civil rights, aren't they?
The post Barrett Hearing Day Four LIVE: Democrats Will Appeal to Emotions With Witnesses on Abortion, Obamacare first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.
Published:10/15/2020 8:07:02 AM
Ted Cruz Decimates Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse for His Ties to Dark Money Groups
Published:10/14/2020 7:37:27 PM
Harris, Fellow Democrats Target Trump Supreme Court Nominee on Obamacare
Democrats voiced their strong opposition to the nomination even though they have little hope of derailing her nomination in the Republican-led Senate.
Published:10/12/2020 3:44:27 PM
Republicans defend Barrett confirmation hearing; Democrats warn she would overturn healthcare law
Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation hearing begins with a focus on healthcare, including Obamacare and COVID-19.
Published:10/12/2020 10:07:23 AM
Watch Live: Judge Amy Coney Barrett Faces First Day Of Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings
Watch Live: Judge Amy Coney Barrett Faces First Day Of Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings
Mon, 10/12/2020 - 08:55
Published:10/12/2020 8:05:05 AM
The Senate Judiciary Committee is preparing to kick off the first of four days of hearings involving President Trump's SCOTUS nominee, Federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
Barrett's opening statement leaked to the Washington Post and other media outlets on Sunday. In it, she cited the legal philosophy of Antonin Scalia as the inspiration for her own views, which highlights a judge's duty to apply the law as written, not as they wish it were.
The hearing will begin at 0900ET, in the Hart Senate Office Building, Room 216. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is the chairman of the committee and will preside.
Barring some kind of major bombshell, Judge Barrett's confirmation just days before the election is virtually assured. Democrats, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, have warned that the GOP is rushing to install Barrett before a critical post-election day ruling on Obamacare which, Dems say, could strip health insurance from 20 million Americans.
Interested parties can watch the hearing live below:
Dems on the Judiciary panel say they’ll employ various delaying tactics to try and take a stand that could hurt several GOP senators in the upcoming election, but unless a few Republicans turn against her, they can’t stop the schedule set by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, or keep Barrett off the court.
Republicans see Barrett's nomination as a chance to cement a 6-3 conservative majority on the court, potentially for decades.
As far as issues go, here's John Solomon with a summary of issues that might come up during the hearing.
Ideological split of the court
If Barrett is confirmed, conservatives will enjoy a firm 6-3 advantage over the liberals on the court. And that has sarked talk on the left of “packing” the court with justice is Democrats take control of the Washington in the November election.
The high court is slated to hear arguments on Nov. 10 on several GOP states’ efforts to invalidate the Affordable Health Care Act, President Obama’s signature health care policy. Barrett could be on the bench in time to join the arguments, and some Democrats are already sounding out pleas that she recused herself from that decision.
The last time Barrett faced confirmation three years ago for a seat on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, she faced harsh questioning about her Roman Catholic faith. Right after her Supreme Court nomination, liberals in the media resumed the attacks with stories about groups she belonged to. But key Democrats, including Sen. Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have said in recent days faith should be off the table during the confirmation hearings.
As evidenced by questions at last week’s vice presidential debate, the issue of the Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion across America looms large in this confirmation hearing. Barrett has been unapologetically pro-life in her personal life but insists her personal views won’t have any bearing on her rulings. On the 7th Circuit, she handled one major abortion case in 2018 when the appeals court struck down an Indiana law, signed by then-Gov. Mike Pence, that would have outlawed abortions based on the race, sex or disability of the fetus. Barrett joined in the dissent, arguing the law should have been withheld.
Democrats want stricter gun laws and the National Rifle Association are fighting hard to stop any efforts to chip away at 2nd Amendment freedoms, making the issue likely to come up during the hearings. Last year on the 7th circuit, Barrett penned a dissent in a case involving bans on guns ownership by non-violent felons. She wrote the government had failed "to show that disarming all nonviolent felons substantially advances its interest in keeping the public safe. … The Second Amendment confers an individual right, intimately connected with the natural right of self defense, and not limited to civic participation."
This perennial hot button issue is likely to get some attention during questioning, especially because Barrett’s 7th Circuit colleagues just made news in June with a major immigration ruling that blocked the Trump administration from enforcing the "public charge" rule allows immigration officials to deny green cards to immigrants who use welfare. Barrett dissented from her colleagues, arguing the Trump administration rule is a “reasonable interpretation of the statutory term 'public charge.' I respectfully dissent."
(Source: Just the News):
Read ACB's opening statement below:
Barrett Statement by Zerohedge
In Opening Testimony, Judge Barrett Says Supreme Court "Should Not Try To Make Policy"
In Opening Testimony, Judge Barrett Says Supreme Court "Should Not Try To Make Policy"
Sun, 10/11/2020 - 15:45
Published:10/11/2020 2:57:35 PM
Echoing the textualist principles expressed by both of her conservative predecessors who were nominated to SCOTUS by President Trump, Judge Amy Coney Barrett affirmed in her opening statement to the Senate that she is a strict textualist who would never allow her own personal feelings to influence her ruling on a case. Instead, she argued her three-year tenure as a judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals shows that she has carefully considered whether she would believe "the decision was fairly reasoned and grounded in the law," even if "I would not like the result."
The statement, according to Bloomberg, set ACB in the same vein of conservative jurisprudence championed by Antonin Scalia.
"That is the standard I set for myself in every case, and it is the standard I will follow as long as I am a judge on any court," Barrett says in the testimony, which we have included in full below.
The 22-member Senate Judiciary Committee is set to begin Barrett’s confirmation hearing on Monday, while Democrats argue the entire process should be put aside until after the Nov. 3 election.
As progressives pressure Joe Biden to embrace the notion of court packing to overturn what looks to be a 6-3 conservative majority once Barrett is approved, which she is expected to be, barring a massive COVID-19 outbreak in the Senate during the coming days, Barrett asserted that she would not use her position to set policy, but only to "referee disputes".
"The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the people," Barrett plans to say. "The public should not expect courts to do so, and courts should not try."
Barrett is also set to pay tribute to Sandra Day O’Connor and the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the two females who preceded ACB on the court (she is set to fill the seat of the late Justice Ginsburg).
Barrett Statement by Zerohedge on Scribd
On Sunday, lawmakers from both parties fanned out across the cable news networks to either talk up Judge Barrett's qualifications, or - in the case of the Democrats - warn that she represents a dangerous threat to Democracy.
However, just like they did during the nomination hearings for both Kavanaugh and Gorsuch (who have both on occasion confounded expectations set by hysterical leftists warning about the death of Obamacare, Roe v Wade etc), Democrats have taken to cable news to warn that Judge Barrett can't be trusted. With SCOTUS set to hear a landmark case concerning the future of Obamacare, Chris Coons, Chuck Schumer and other top Senate Dems warned confirming Barrett would mean the death of Roe v Wade, while stripping millions of health care.
Coons said on “Fox News Sunday” that Barrett has made it “very clear” she would vote to restrict abortion rights and toss out the Affordable Care Act...
...while Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Sunday called on Barrett to commit to recusing herself from that case as well as any election-related disputes that come before the court regarding the outcome of the Nov. 3 election.
Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono said on CNN’s "State of the Union" that Republicans only want Barrett confirmed before the election so she can help them gut Obamacare, since, if seated, Barrett would hear a case challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act the week after the election.
"They want her on that court to hear the Affordable Care Act case on Nov. 10, one week after the election, so that she can strike it down,” Hirono said. “This nominee poses a clear and present danger."
Republicans, unsurprisingly, were much more complimentary, with Sen. Ben Sasse telling one Sunday show that Judge Barrett is a "rockstar".
We'll more from both sides on Monday as the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham, begins the process by holding the first hearing in the process of confirming Barrett.
A Look Back at Trump’s Health Care Reforms
This article is an excerpt from the “2020 Mandate for Leadership: A Clear Vision for the Next Administration.” It looks back at policy decisions made... Read More
The post A Look Back at Trump’s Health Care Reforms appeared first on The Daily Signal.
Published:10/9/2020 5:21:45 PM
Biden: You'll know my position on Court-packing the day after the election
Published:10/8/2020 6:40:37 PM
COVID & The Escalation Of Medical Tyranny
COVID & The Escalation Of Medical Tyranny
Thu, 10/08/2020 - 12:25
Published:10/8/2020 11:26:11 AM
Via The Mises Institute,
The coronavirus crisis has served as a powerful tool in highlighting many of the faults that previously existed in society. It exposed which politicians have an inherent need to control and which ones are guided by humility. It reminded us of the political power that lies in fear, and how crucial it is to be skeptical of prevailing narratives. It emphasized the different economic realities for those who live paycheck to paycheck and those who benefit from economic financialization.
It should also make perfectly clear the danger of handing over healthcare to the state.
Already we have seen agents of the state, at various levels, seek to leverage a viral medical crisis to expand their power. Governors and local officials have sought to use vague “emergency” powers to lock down businesses and to create criminal penalties, and have then attacked any attempts by judiciaries to rein in their actions. Judges have sought to leverage the power they hold in deciding child custody to force citizens to make medical decisions they disagree with. Anointed government experts, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, in spite of his own inconsistencies, have been held up as the final word on science, at the expense of the voices of other credible scientists.
Whether by design or by the instinctual reaction, we have seen a concerted effort of government authorities—amplified by a corporate press with a particularly vivid political agenda, and supported by the credentials of an academic landscape that suffers from ideological capture—to weaponize a centralized scientific narrative for the purpose of achieving certain policy ends. It is appropriate that some have dubbed this union “the Cathedral,” as we have seen the divine right of kings renewed in the divine right of approved scientists.
None of this should be a surprise.
Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, Murray N. Rothbard, and others have long warned of the dangers of “scientism.” As Jonathan Newman has noted on this site, we’ve seen it play out increasingly in American pop culture with the fetishizing of figures like Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye.
Now, luckily, the current healthcare system has limits on the degree to which we, as individuals, must submit to the power of the “scientific consensus.” How long, however, will that doctor-patient relationship remain sacred?
Already we have seen various states actively ban the prescription of hydroxychloroquine following a mass media freak-out over a story involving a man dying after digesting fish cleaner. Conflating medically prescribed hydroxychloroquine with a toxic cleaner was never grounded in either science or reason; it was a move driven purely by a partisan reaction to President Trump’s endorsement of the drug, and the willingness of the media to spin a story that was critical of his judgment. Many of these states have been forced to reverse their decision, as some (though not all) scientific studies indicate that it may be an effective treatment.
Now imagine if America’s healthcare system were turned into a single-payer model, such as the Medicare for All reform that has been championed by some of the most popular members of the Democratic Party. Beyond questions of access, wait times, and supply rationing, which we see in places like Canada and the UK, does anyone expect a nationalized healthcare system to not end up limiting the treatment options available between doctors and patients?
What about the medical services available to those who are not in full compliance with health-related government edicts? In a single-payer healthcare system is it not plausible that an unmasked social media photo could be used as evidence for why someone doesn’t deserve the same level care as someone who has followed all the rules?
Does such a new level of medical control even require a true single-payer system?
The labyrinth of government regulation and red tape within the healthcare industry, exacerbated in the post-Obamacare world, has resulted in significant consolidation of the health insurance industry. Joe Biden’s moderate healthcare reform, which calls for the re-creation of a public rival to private insurance, would only result in further consolidation. As we’ve seen in financial services, Big Tech, and other industries, a consolidated industry is ripe to be abused by those convinced of the righteousness of their own ideological crusades.
The answer to the dangers of corporate consolidation is radical decentralization. We’ve seen this play out in the medical industry with the rise of physicians opting out of the dominant insurance-based service model and offering direct primary care. As more states have begun to lean into this trend, it will be interesting to see how long the federal government is willing to avoid pushing back—particularly if we see the return of a Democratic executive.
We should take seriously those with blue checkmarks on Twitter who shamelessly share in public dreams of covid-inspired “truth commissions,” and who gleefully wish for the suffering of anyone who questions the science behind lockdowns and mask mandates. If the state’s role in healthcare expands, it is precisely people with these sorts of views who are likely to fill the ranks of its bureaucracy.
Hot Mic Moment: Lawmakers Admit Masks Are All "Political Theater"
Hot Mic Moment: Lawmakers Admit Masks Are All "Political Theater"
Fri, 10/02/2020 - 13:23
Published:10/2/2020 12:26:12 PM
Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,
In a hot mic moment, Pennsylvania lawmakers admitted that the masking ritual is all political theatre. The huge scam is being pushed on us from all sides, and it is beyond time to wake up to what is going on.
Pennsylvania State Representative Wendy Ullman and Governor Tom Wolf were caught joking off-camera about taking their masks off just before they spoke at a press conference touting the need to defend Obamacare during COVID-19. Politics is smoke in mirrors and a distraction at this point. Nothing more. The goal is the New World Order, and it’s being rolled out as I type this.
The admission that masks are nothing more than “political theatre,” took place yesterday. Just as Ullman was preparing to speak behind the podium on Tuesday at a press conference north of Philadelphia, Wolf can be heard off-camera to her left, saying:
“So Wendy, I’m gonna take, I’m gonna take my mask off when I speak.”
Ullman walked toward Wolf, off-camera, and said:
“I will as well, just, I’m waiting so that we can do a little political theater.”
Wolf replies, “OK,” and the two Democrats share a laugh.
Ullman then walks back toward the podium and finishes her sentence, saying, “so that it’s on camera.”
Ullman then took her mask off from behind the microphone, just before she spoke, according to a report by RT. Wolf did the same when it was his turn to speak. They called the press conference to speak about the need to protect Obamacare from being dismantled, especially amid the pandemic, by blocking Supreme Court justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett from being confirmed by the US Senate.
But, fortunately, people are beginning to figure out the ruling class is causing all of the trauma to everyday people.
It’s all a scam and a hoax. The evidence is clear. It’s time to do the hard work and admit we’ve been swindled by liars in suits.
Judge Andrew P. Napolitano: ObamaCare and the Supreme Court -- can the government force us to eat broccoli?
The Affordable Care Act -- ObamaCare -- is back in the news.
Published:9/30/2020 11:12:00 PM
Trump's Night: The Return Of The Chaos Candidate
Trump's Night: The Return Of The Chaos Candidate
Wed, 09/30/2020 - 18:00
Published:9/30/2020 5:09:01 PM
Authored by Philip Wegmann via RealClearPolitics.com,
Donald Trump never liked the nickname. Back when he was a New Yorker and a newly minted Republican and generally considered a political oddity, Jeb Bush branded him on live television. According to the former Florida governor, Trump was “the chaos candidate.”
It fit then, and it still fits now: The first Trump vs. Biden debate marked the return of the chaos candidacy.
Though no one who knew him well expected Trump to change because of a trifling factor such as living in the White House for nearly four years, the incumbent president was in classic form Tuesday night. For 98 minutes, he belittled and bullied and berated both his opponent and the moderator -- so much so that he made the debate painful to watch. But what was roundly condemned may have been the plan.
Trump trails former vice president Joe Biden in the RealClearPolitics national polling average by 6.1 percentage points. Figuring he needed a strong showing to close the gap, the campaign studied every Biden debate since 1972. The strategy they came up with entailed having Trump rely on his improv ability rather than employ a structured game plan.
There were just a handful of goals for Trump, a source familiar with the debate prep told RCP:
Knock Biden off his talking points by answering questions from moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News and then posing another one to his opponent. Force him to own up to the less popular parts of his own record. Push the centrist Democrat to own the policy agenda of those on his left flank.
“The more Joe stutters and stumbles and makes mistakes and says things that just don't resonate or make sense,” the source told RCP the day before the debate, “the more we're winning.”
If that approach wasn’t already apparent, it became obvious within the first few minutes when a discussion about the Supreme Court turned into a question about Obamacare. Trump said that a Biden administration would kick 180 million Americans off of their private health insurance and open the door to “socialized medicine.” Biden balked.
"That is simply a lie," he said.
"Your party wants to go socialist medicine and socialist health care," Trump interrupted.
"The party is me. Right now, I am the Democratic Party," Biden insisted.
"And they’re going to dominate you, Joe. You know that," Trump shot back.
It was a redux of what Republicans have long argued, namely that Biden’s moderation is a sham and that the former vice president is little more than a Trojan horse for more progressive ideologies. At one point, after Trump accused Biden of embracing “socialized medicine” and signing off on “the manifesto” of a former Democratic rival, an incredulous Biden replied, “I’m not going to listen to him. The fact of the matter is I beat Bernie Sanders.”
This was a rare denunciation at a moment when Democrats have tried to bind up the partisan wounds of a divisive primary. Trump saw it as an opening to take advantage, declaring that Biden had “just lost the left.” Two minutes later, both men were shouting that the other was the real “liar.”
Much of the debate was wasted with this kind of jawboning, and little policy was actually discussed in detail. But as Trump was trying to peg Biden as a radical, he only succeeded in chasing the Democrat to the center. The Green New Deal? Biden said he didn’t support it. Rioting in the streets? Biden condemned violence. Defunding the police? Biden said he would increase funding. Just as Republicans struggled to define Biden over the summer, Trump was all over the place throughout the night. His punches didn’t land as hard as they did four years ago, and his new opponent was not as easily demonized as Hillary Clinton. But the president never stopped interrupting, which at some point became the issue itself.
Trump said the only reason that Biden was the nominee was because he got “very lucky” (the Democrat sarcastically agreed). He said that Biden was a bad negotiator and that “China ate your lunch.” He said that after nearly five decades in government Biden had “done nothing.”
Trump did not limit his attacks to Biden. Early in the night he began to bristle at questions from Chris Wallace, complaining that “I guess I’m debating you.” From then on, the president regularly disregarded the moderator. He interrupted and demanded more time to answer questions and went his own way. Wallace became so exasperated at one point that he sarcastically offered to switch seats with Trump.
While the president seemed to shred the debate rulebook, he was not always on offense. He was asked about a report in the New York Times that he only paid $750 in federal income taxes. Is that true? Trump insisted that it wasn’t and said he had actually paid several million dollars. “Show us your tax returns,” Biden interjected. Trump, as he has for the past four years, said that he couldn’t release the documents until an IRS audit was finished. And besides, the president continued, he was just trying to get the best deal possible by obeying the rules established under the Obama administration.
“I don’t want to pay taxes,” Trump admitted.
“Before I came here, I was a private developer, I was a private businessperson. Like every other private person, unless they’re stupid, they go through the laws. ... He passed a bill that gave us all these privileges for depreciation and for tax credits.”
This would become a theme throughout the night. Although he’s the incumbent U.S. president, Donald Trump continued to run as an insurgent. Pushed to play defense on a topic, he would argue instead that if Biden were president a bad situation would only be worse. For instance, as the death toll from coronavirus exceeds 200,000, Trump insisted the number would have been much higher if he hadn’t closed the country to Asia and Europe.
“If we would’ve listened to you, the country would have been left wide open, millions of people would have died, not 200,000,” Trump told Biden before adding, “I’ll tell you, Joe, you could never have done the job that we did. You don’t have it in your blood. You could’ve never done that, Joe.”
Aside from passing references to ventilators and therapeutics and vaccines, neither candidate discussed the pandemic in detail. They did, however, make things personal.
Trump tried repeatedly to rattle Biden usually with interruptions. Biden responded by complaining that it was “hard to get any word in with this clown.” At another point, after the president kept talking over his answer about the Supreme Court, he asked, “Will you shut up, man?”
This freewheeling approach was not without risks. Asked twice by Wallace if he would condemn white supremacists and tell militias to stand down during moments of urban unrest, Trump said “sure” twice. He told the moderator to “give me a name,” asking, “Who do you want me to condemn?” Biden suggested “the Proud Boys,” a self-described alt-right chauvinist organization.
“Okay, Proud Boys -- stand back and stand by,” the president responded. “But I'll tell you what -- somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem, this is a left wing.”
In short order, the group was trumpeting what it saw as an endorsement. Critics took this, specifically the words “stand by,” as a sign that the president was refusing to condemn white supremacists.
The subsequent controversy went viral on social media, an episode that the Trump campaign certainly did not want or expect. Rather, for months Republicans had placed their hopes on a rhetorical slugfest where the president could outmatch his opponent. One of their top priorities? Forcing Biden to discuss his son Hunter. Trump saw his opportunity when Biden referenced the military career of his son.
"He got the Bronze Star. He got the Conspicuous Service Medal. He was not a loser. He was a patriot. And the people left behind there were heroes," Biden said.
Trump interrupted to ask if he was talking about Hunter. Biden said no, he was talking about Beau.
"I don't know Beau. I know Hunter. Hunter got thrown out of the military. He was thrown out, dishonorably discharged for cocaine use," Trump continued.
Biden said that wasn’t true. Trump said that it was.
"Once you became vice president, he made a fortune in Ukraine and China and Moscow and various other places. And he didn't have a job," Trump shot back.
"That is simply not true. My son, like a lot of people, like a lot of people you know at home, had a drug problem. He's overtaken it. He's fixed it. He's worked on it. And I'm proud of him," Biden concluded.
Republicans have been hammering for months on ties between Hunter Biden and foreign nationals, arguing that sweetheart deals and plum business opportunities overseas were only the result of his last name and willingness to trade access to his father for profit. Trump tried to do the same on stage but Biden wasn’t rattled.
The debate continued for several more minutes. More barbs and more personal attacks followed. Both candidates regularly interrupted, and they kept doing so even as Wallace tried to bring the night to an end.
“We are going to have to leave it there,” the moderator said, even as Trump kept speaking.
“It has been an interesting hour and a half.”
More than anything, the 98 minutes marked the return of Trump as the chaos candidate.
Trump Vs. Wallace First 2020 Presidential Debate – Ben Garrison Cartoon
By Ben Garrison -
“I guess I’m debating you, not him, but that’s okay.” This is what Trump said to Chris Wallace when he criticized him for not having a plan to replace Obamacare. Wallace also served up many questions helpful to Biden—such as asking Trump why he said there were ‘fine people on both sides in Charlottesville.’ Similar to …
Trump Vs. Wallace First 2020 Presidential Debate – Ben Garrison Cartoon is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.
Published:9/30/2020 10:37:18 AM
Election: Here’s where Trump and Biden stand on health care
The two White House contenders may be divided on Obamacare and Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, but they do have some things in common on health-care matters.
Published:9/28/2020 1:46:31 PM
Sally Pipes: Supreme Court and ObamaCare – here's what to expect if law is not upheld
The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has suddenly made the demise of ObamaCare a possibility.
Published:9/28/2020 7:15:00 AM
Trump: Americans will benefit if our now very conservative Supreme Court terminates ObamaCare
Published:9/27/2020 1:07:38 PM
Sen. Mike Lee Confident Barrett Able To 'Figure Out' Obamacare Legality
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said Sunday Supreme Court justice nominee Amy Cohen Barrett will have to "figure it out" on whether Obamacare is constitutional if she's confirmed and hears the case set to come before the high court....
Published:9/27/2020 10:37:05 AM
Sunday morning talking heads
Published:9/27/2020 7:36:04 AM
Democrats Can't Quite Decide on a Line of Attack Against Judge Barrett
Published:9/26/2020 10:58:06 AM
Brett Kavanaugh Emerges as Unlikely Liberal Hope for Court Swing Vote
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh remains anathema to many liberals. The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg means he also may soon be their best hope to save abortion rights and Obamacare.Kavanaugh, who prefers narrower rulings than some of his conservative...
Published:9/23/2020 5:26:12 AM
Ron Paul: Debt Is The Real Pandemic
Ron Paul: Debt Is The Real Pandemic
Mon, 09/14/2020 - 14:25
Published:9/14/2020 1:43:52 PM
Authored by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,
According to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) latest “Update on the Budget Outlook,” this year’s $3.3 trillion federal deficit is not just three times larger than last year: it is the largest federal deficit in history. The CBO update also predicts that the federal debt will equal 104 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) next year and will reach 108 percent of GDP by 2030.
The CBO update also shows that the Social Security, Medicare, and highway trust funds will all be bankrupt by 2031. This will put pressure on Congress to bail out the trust funds thus further increasing the debt.
This year’s spike in federal spending was caused by the multi-trillion dollar coronavirus relief/economic stimulus bills passed by Congress and signed by the president. However, spending had already increased by $937 billion from the time President Trump was sworn in until the lockdown.
Federal spending is unlikely to be reduced no matter who wins the presidential election. Former Vice President Joe Biden has proposed increasing spending on everything from Obamacare to militarism to “green” cronyism. Yet some progressives are attacking Biden for being to “stingy” in his spending proposals. Even more distressing is how few progressives are critical of Biden’s support for increasing the military budget.
With some notable exceptions, such as his infrastructure plan, President Trump is not proposing any massive new spending programs. However, he is not promising to stop increasing, much less cut, federal spending.
Most Republicans have abandoned their Obama-era opposition to deficit spending to support President Trump’s spending increases. This repeats a pattern where Republicans oppose deficit spending under a Democrat president but decide that “deficits don’t matter” when a Republican is sitting in the Oval Office. If Biden wins in November, Republicans will likely once again discover that deficits do matter, especially if Democrats also gain control of the Senate.
Government spending forcibly takes resources from the private sector, where they are used to produce goods and services desired by consumers, and puts them in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats. This distorts the market, reducing efficiency and lowering the people’s standard of living. This, combined with pressure to monetize the federal debt, causes the Federal Reserve to pump money into the economy leading to a boom-bust business cycle.
Unless Congress begins reducing spending, the coming economic crisis will be even worse. The logical place to start cutting spending is ending all unnecessary overseas commitments, corporate welfare, and shuttling down all unconstitutional federal agencies — starting with the Department of Education.
The savings from these cuts can be used to start paying down debt and providing for those truly dependent on the current system while we transition away from the welfare state. Private charities, including ones run by religious organizations, are better than government bureaucracies at providing effective and compassionate aid to those in need.
Most politicians will not vote to curtail the welfare-warfare state unless their constituents demand it. The people will not demand an end to big government as long as so many believe that the government has a moral responsibility to, and is capable of, providing them with economic and personal security.
Therefore, our priority must be on getting people to reject the entitlement mentality and embrace the philosophy of liberty and personal responsibility. This will enable us to build a movement capable of convincing politicians to stop voting for more spending and debt and instead vote to respect the Constitutional limitations on government in all areas.
A vote for Trump is a vote for the children
A favorite leftist argument is that something is “for the children.” To really benefit kids, protect them from the left and vote for Trump. How often have you heard leftists insist upon a person or policy by saying, “It’s for the children.” Obamacare was “for the children.” An open border
The post A vote for Trump is a vote for the children appeared first on Bookworm Room.
Published:9/4/2020 1:39:01 AM
Lancet Study Finds US Has, By Far, The World’s Most Overpriced Medical Care
Lancet Study Finds US Has, By Far, The World’s Most Overpriced Medical Care
Wed, 09/02/2020 - 02:20
Published:9/2/2020 1:32:13 AM
Submitted by Eric Zuesse, originally posted at Strategic Culture
The medical journal, The Lancet, is one of the world’s Big Three scientific journals of medicine; that’s the triumvirate of authorities for physicians worldwide, and the other two are the Journal of the American Medical Association, and the New England Journal of Medicine. On August 27th The Lancet published “Measuring universal health coverage based on an index of effective coverage of health services in 204 countries and territories”. Here is the visual that’s in it, which shows the United States as having, by far, the world’s costliest medical care, at around $9,000 per person per year, and yet as having lower quality of health care than virtually all other industrialized nations do:
Here is another such study, showing the same thing, and calculating it more simply:
What explains this?
Quite simply, the United States is the world’s most corrupt nation, and medical care is such an extreme necessity when a citizen needs it, so that they’ll pay whatever the system charges them for it — and investing in healthcare products and services is therefore enormously profitable in the United States. Actually, the only other market-sector that competes with it for providing simultaneously high returns and low risk (the combination that offers the best of both worlds to investors) is consumer staples, such as foods, which likewise are necessities of life. When people are desperate, they’ll pay, whatever the cost, because these are things they don’t just want — they need. Here, from Maksim Papenkov’s award-winning 6 February 2020 paper, “An Empirical Asset Pricing Model Accommodating the Sector-Heterogeneity of Risk”, is his sector-specific calculation of stock-market profitability during 2000-2018, showing that “HC” Health Care, and “CS” Consumer Staples, were the best at combining low risk with high returns, during that 19-year period:
(“CD” there is Consumer Discretionary and includes Automobiles and Hotels. It’s the only sector that has higher returns than Health Care, but those returns are twice as risky. The S&P500 have lower returns than Health Care and slightly higher riskiness. At the opposite end, “IT” Information Technology is both the riskiest and the least profitable; and “F” Financials are the second-worst sector for investors. The most-profitable sectors are the necessities, the sectors that take the most from the most-desperate.)
In May 2017, Axene Health Partners published their actuary, Chris Slaybaugh’s, study, “International Healthcare Systems: The US Versus the World”, which stated:
The United States is the only industrialized country in the world that does not have Universal Health Coverage for all citizens. … Rather than one system, United States citizens and residents are insured under a variety of sometimes overlapping systems. The United States is also the only developed country where a significant number of citizens are permitted to be uninsured and where a person’s employment can determine whether they have insurance and what insurance they have. … The extent to which medical bills contribute to bankruptcy is hard to tease out from other factors, but even those who are skeptical of the claim that medical costs cause the majority of bankruptcies concede that they are a significant contributor.13
In the rest of the developed world, by contrast, medical costs are rarely or never cited as a driver behind personal bankruptcy.
In fact, CNBC headlined on 11 February 2019, “This is the real reason most Americans file for bankruptcy” and reported that,
Two-thirds of people who file for bankruptcy cite medical issues as a key contributor to their financial downfall.
While the high cost of health care has historically been a trigger for bankruptcy filings, the research shows that the implementation of the Affordable Care Act [“Obamacare”] has not improved things.
What most people do not realize, according to one researcher, is that their health insurance may not be enough to protect them.
While Barack Obama was running for President in 2008, he was promising to provide Americans with a “public option” in order to reduce profits for health insurance companies and thus lower costs, but he dropped that proposal immediately when he won the 2008 election, and he never pushed for it (not even to use as a bargaining chip with the Republicans in shaping his Obamacare). (In fact, Obama chose the conservative head of the Senate Finance Committee, Democratic Senator Max Baucus, to draft his Obamacare, because Baucus was against there being a public option, and because the progressive Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy’s Health, Education & Labor Committee had just drafted an Obamacare with a public option — Obama refused to have Kennedy draft his healthcare legislation. Obama was actually against there being a public option; only his public rhetoric was for it. Joe Biden is apparently now following the same tactic, of lying promises to the public, and true promises to his billionaire backers, to win the White House.) Obama promised the public “universal coverage”, which means 100% of the population covered, like in all other advanced economies, and his Obamacare increased the percentage insured from 84.5% when he came into office in 2009, to 87.7% two years after Obamacare started in 2013 — around 3%, by 2015 (which was after two years). That was still far short of the promised 100%. He was lying through his teeth in order to win election, and the ‘news’-media still hide (instead of expose) the fact that he did, and that he was actually an agent of the billionaires. He’s now the big hero among Democrats, because maybe Trump is even worse. Trump is up-front about his fascism. And Trump’s opponent now is another hypocrite (after Obama), Obama’s V.P., Joe Biden, who was the U.S. Senate’s leading Democratic Party segregationist and won his nomination by claiming to have been instead a civil-rights champion. Everything in U.S. politics is bait-and-switch. That’s the reality in America’s ‘democracy’: a bait-and-switch ‘democracy’, which serves actually only the wealthiest few. The politicians who are elected serve only the wealthy and well-connected.
America is the most libertarian, or “neo-liberal,” of the advanced industrial nations, and this is why it has the world’s most overpriced medical care. It provides the most liberty for the billionaires.
One of the few extremely bold Americans who rose high in the U.S. healthcare system and tried to tell the public how intensely corrupt it is, has been Marcia Angell, M.D, who held numerous prestigious posts in the U.S. medical system, and she was for a while the Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine. On 15 January 2009, Dr. Angell headlined “Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption”, and wrote:
Conflicts of interest pervade medicine. … It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine. … So many reforms would be necessary to restore integrity to clinical research and medical practice that they cannot be summarized briefly. Many would involve congressional legislation and changes in the FDA, including its drug approval process. But there is clearly also a need for the medical profession to wean itself from industry money almost entirely. … Breaking the dependence of the medical profession on the pharmaceutical industry will take more than appointing committees and other gestures. It will take a sharp break from an extremely lucrative pattern of behavior. But if the medical profession does not put an end to this corruption voluntarily, it will lose the confidence of the public. …
She had said, nine years earlier:
If we had set out to design the worst system that we could imagine, we couldn’t have imagined one as bad as we have. … Our health care system is based on the premise that health care is a commodity like VCRs or computers and that it should be distributed according to the ability to pay. … That market ideology is what has made the health care system so dreadful, so bad at what it does. … That is a fundamental mistake in the way this country, and only this country, looks at health care. … The only way to both reduce cost and increase access and quality is to change the system, to scrap it and start over. … I would pay for health care in a single payer system, and what goes into that pot can vary. In Germany, employers have to contribute to that pot. I don’t think that’s a good idea. I would rather see it come straight out of tax revenues.
Experts who are that public-spirited and knowledgeable about the system should be appointed by U.S. Presidents to lead the FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services, but the billionaires prevent that (of course).
On June 27th, NPR headlined “After Pushing Lies, Former Cigna Executive Praises Canada’s Health Care System”, and interviewed a retired PR executive for America’s health insurance companies, who said that maybe the work that he had done smearing Canada’s socialized health insurance — “to spread misinformation about Canada or use cherry-picked data and anecdotes” so as to deceive Americans to accept America’s existing medical system — was partly to blame for America’s having performed significantly worse than Canada had done on the coronavirus crisis. (As of 29 August 2020, Canada had 3,378 cases per million and was the 76th worst out of 215 countries, whereas U.S. had 18,522 cases per million and was the 9th-worst. On deaths, Canada was the 27th-worst at 241, whereas U.S. was the 11th-worst at 564.)
America’s billionaires derive the vast majority of their net worth from stocks (capital gains and dividends), and from interest that’s paid to them; and, since nothing does this for them better than healthcare investments, the current for-profit system in health care is terrific for them; and these few hundred people, billionaires, extract this wealth from the hundreds of millions of Americans, the general public, and want to continue doing so, and they consequently finance politicians such as Joe Biden and Donald Trump (and their predecessors, such as Bush and Clinton), and they also set up ‘charitable’ foundations, and donate to medical schools, so as to inculcate this libertarian belief, not just into the public, but especially into the students and professors, who receive that trickle-down from them, as employees and future employees. While many in academe are against it, they’re not the ones who get advanced to the prestigious and high-paid positions. “He that pays the piper calls the tune.” It’s top-down (aristocracy), and it only pretends to be bottom-up (democracy). And, so, the corruption continues, and Americans die younger, and poorer, because of this aristocratically controlled system. It’s the American way. It’s the American system. Of corruption. Americans call it “capitalism.”
Of course, another area in which the U.S. Government is extraordinarily corrupt is its Military-Industrial Complex; and, on August 28th, a former top official of the NSA, Bill Binney, provided, online, an in-depth description of what he personally knows about that. His personal knowledge is enormous concerning within the Government itself, but not outside it — i.e., not regarding the corporations and billionaires who control the economic rewards system that the top public officials, who typically are agents of the “Deep State” (the billionaires), are serving. However, what he says there is informative and highly reliable regarding the way that the Government’s bureaucracy itself functions, and he is extraordinarily honest about the intense corruption within the official Government. He makes clear that the U.S. Constitution is being systematically and routinely violated by top U.S. officials; so, the U.S. Government routinely violates the U.S. Constitution, in this ‘democracy’, where the system functions like clockwork, for the billionaires.
'Medicare for All' is still a threat
Noticeably absent from the Democrats' latest policy platform: any mention of Medicare for All. But don't be fooled. Efforts to push government-run health care are still a real threat.
Rather than fully and openly embracing a single-payer model, this new approach hides itself behind expanding Obamacare and adding to it ...
Published:8/26/2020 6:02:43 PM
Supreme Court to Hear Arguments in Obamacare Case Nov. 10
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on Nov. 10, a week after the election, in a blockbuster case over the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.The justices plan to review a federal appeals court decision that found part of the original 2010 Obamacare law...
Published:8/19/2020 12:02:47 PM
Biden, If Elected, Plans to Put Obamacare on Steroids
Democratic presidential soon-to-be-nominee Joe Biden envisions a dramatic expansion of Obamacare if elected, returning the controversial program to the public eye and likely igniting a renewed legislative battle over medical care.
The post Biden, If Elected, Plans to Put Obamacare on Steroids appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.
Published:8/18/2020 4:25:43 PM
Trump and Biden offer different visions of U.S. healthcare
Trump and Biden diverge on the coronavirus pandemic, Obamacare, Medicare and Medicaid, abortion rights, and how to rein in prescription drug prices.
Published:8/17/2020 9:17:05 AM
Hey, Dems: Take a Look at What Happened to the USPS Under Obama
Hey, Dems: Take a Look at What Happened to the USPS Under Obama. What happened under Hussein? Not much, other than sticking us with Obamacare, race-bating, and setting pallets of money to Iran.
The post Hey, Dems: Take a Look at What Happened to the USPS Under Obama appeared first on IHTM.
Published:8/16/2020 2:41:32 PM
What Lies Ahead?
What Lies Ahead?
Sun, 07/19/2020 - 21:30
Published:7/19/2020 8:31:25 PM
Authored by Dr. Jack Rasmus via JackRasmus.com,
On July 6, 2020 I posted my extended view and analysis why the 3rd quarter US GDP would falter–and lead to a W-shape recovery, as it typical of all Great Recessions. The current recession’s scenario was compared with 1929-30 and 2008-09, and 8 reasons were given why the US current economic rebound (not recovery) would falter. In this follow-on post a somewhat longer term scenario is added to the prior shorter, 3rd quarter view. It’s an addendum and sequel to the prior post, focusing on the more permanent impacts on the economy that will continue well into 2021 and beyond. Here’s the addendum piece, “What Lies Ahead”
WHAT LIES AHEAD?
The US economy at mid-year 2020 is at a critical juncture. What happens in the next three months will likely determine whether the current Great Recession 2.0 continues to follow a W-shape trajectory - or drifts over an economic precipice into an economic depression. With prompt and sufficient fiscal stimulus targeting US households, minimal political instability before the November 2020 elections, and no financial instability event, it may be contained. No worse than a prolonged W-shape recovery will occur. But should the fiscal stimulus be minimal (and poorly composed), should political instability grow significantly worse, and a major financial instability event erupt in the US (or globally), then it is highly likely a descent to a bona fide economic depression will occur.
The prognosis for a swift economic recovery is not all that positive. Multiple forces are at work that strongly suggest the early summer economic ‘rebound’ will prove temporary and that a further decline in jobs, consumption, investment, and the economy is on the horizon.
A Second Wave of Permanent Job Losses
Through mid-June to mid-July, the COVID-19 infection rate, hospitalization rate, and soon the death rate, have all begun to escalate once again. Daily infections consistently now exceed 60,000 cases—i.e. more than twice that of the earlier worst month of April 2020. Consequently, states are beginning to order a return to more sheltering in place and shutdowns of business, especially retail, travel, and entertainment services. The direction of events cannot but hamper any initial rebound of the economy, let alone generate a sustained economic recovery. Exacerbating conditions, a second wave of job layoffs is clearly now emerging—and not just due to economic shutdowns related to the resurging virus.
Reopening of the US economy in June resulted in 4.8 million jobs restored for that month, according to the US Labor Department. That number included, however, no fewer than 3 million service jobs in restaurants, hospitality, and retail establishments. These are the occupations that are now being impacted again with layoffs, as States retrench once more due to the virus resurgence underway. But there’s a new development as well: A second jobless wave is now emerging in addition to the renewed layoffs due to shutdowns not only of the resumed service and retail occupations, but reflecting longer term and even permanent job layoffs across various industries.
Household consumption patterns have changed fundamentally and permanently in a number of ways due to both the virus effect and the depth of the current recession. Many consumers will not be returning soon to travel, to shopping at malls, to restaurant services, to mass entertainment or to sport events at the levels they had, pre-virus.
In response, large corporations in these sectors have begun to announce job layoffs by the thousands. Two large US airlines—United and American—have announced their intention to lay off 36,000 and 20,000, respectively, including flight attendants, ground crews, and even pilots. Boeing has announced a cut of 16,000, and Uber,n just its latest announcement, a cut of 3,000. Big box retail companies like JCPenneys, Nieman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, and others are closing hundreds of stores with a similar impact on what were formerly thousands of permanent jobs. Oil & gas fracking companies like Cheasepeake and 200 other frackers now defaulting on their debt are laying off tens of thousands more. Trucking companies like YRC Worldwide, the Hertz car rental company, clothing & apparel sellers like Brooks Brothers, small-medium independent restaurant and hotel chains like Krystal, Craftworks—all are implementing, or announcing permanent layoffs by the thousands as well.
Reflecting this, since mid-June new unemployment benefit claims have continued to rise weekly at a rate of more than 2 million—with about 1.3 million receiving regular state unemployment benefits plus another 1 million independent contractors, gig workers, self-employed receiving the special federal government unemployment benefits. The latter group’s numbers are rising rapidly since mid-June.
As of mid-July no fewer than 33 million are receiving unemployment benefits, with another 6 million having dropped out of the labor force altogether and no longer even being counted as unemployed. Unemployment therefore remains at what will likely be a chronically high number, at around 40 million—with about 25% of the US labor force unemployed—as renewed service-retail sector layoffs, plus new permanent layoffs, both loom on the horizon.
Added to the growing problem of renewed service layoffs and the 2nd wave of permanent layoffs in the private sector is the growing likelihood of significant layoffs in the public sector, as states and cities facing massive budget deficits are forced to lay off several millions of the roughly 22 million public sector workers in the US. This potential public employee layoff wave will accelerate and occur sooner, should Congress in summer 2020 fail to bail out the states and cities whose budgets have been severely impacted by the collapse of tax revenues while facing escalating costs of dealing with the health crisis. Estimates as of last May are that the states and cities will need $969 billion in bailout funding this summer—roughly two-thirds for the states and the rest for cities and local governments.
The resurgence of layoffs from all these sources is a sure indicator that the economy’s rebound—let alone recovery—is in trouble. Rising joblessness means less wage income for households and therefore less consumption and, given that consumption is 70% of the economy, a slowing of the rebound and recovery. Problems in consumption in turn mean business investment suffers as well, further slowing the economy and recovery. Exacerbating the decline in personal income devoted to consumption due to unemployment is the evidence that even those fortunate enough to return to work after spring 2020’s economic shutdown are doing so increasingly as part time employed—which means less wage income for consumption compared to the pre-COVID period before March 2020.
Overlaid on these negative prospects for employment, consumption, business investment is the intensification of economic crisis-related problems.
Rent Evictions, Child Care & Education Chaos
There is an imminent crisis in rents affecting tens of millions. At the peak in April, it is estimated that roughly one-third of the 110 million renters in the US economy had stopped making rent payments due to the COVID-related shutdowns of the economy. The CARES ACT, passed in March, provided forbearance on rental payments, although perhaps as many as 20 states failed to enforce it. That forbearance directive expires at the end of July, with as many as 23 million rent evictions projected in coming months. A major housing crisis is thus brewing, as well as the second wave of job layoffs.
A combined education-child care crisis is about to occur almost simultaneously. The K-12 public education system is approaching chaos, as school districts plan to introduce remote learning on a major scale in order to deal with the renewed COVID-19 infection and hospitalization wave. The heart of the crisis is that tens of millions of US working class families dependent on two paychecks to survive economically cannot afford to accommodate school district practices for remote learning—especially for young children in the K-6 grade levels. Even if such families could afford to pay for expensive child care, the current US child care system is far from being able to accommodate them. Many minority and working class households, moreover, lack the computers and networking equipment, or even the requisite skills to set it up, to enable their children participate in remote learning.
Several forces are driving the shift to remote learning: school district fears of liability actions by parents if children become ill, the significant cost of ensuring disinfected classrooms, the lack of classroom space to allow distance learning on site, and the growing concern of teachers regarding their own exposure to infection. At least 1.5 million public school teachers are over age 50 and have health conditions that put them at greater risk of serious infection, should they attend closed-in classroom environments.
The child care plus K-12 education crisis will likely erupt within months on a major scale. Chaos in education is around the corner.
This fall, higher education—colleges and universities—will also experience chaos of their own kind. While distance learning will not be as serious an implementation problem as it will in K-12 levels, costs from the pandemic will force many smaller, private colleges into bankruptcy, consolidation or closure. Public colleges’ funding problems will require them to sharply reduce available services. Remote education will create a two-tier system of higher education—educational services delivered remotely and those of a more traditional nature on campus; or a hybrid of both.
However, demand for higher education services will likely decline sharply in the short term, during which higher education will experience a devastating decrease in tuition and other sources of college revenues. Some estimates show a third of freshmen plan to take what’s called a ‘gap year’: i.e. accept entrance but not attend for a year. That’s a massive revenue loss. Some estimates foresee a 15%-30% decline in new student attendance, with another 5%-10% decline in transfer students, and a similar decline of 5%-10% in continuing students. In addition, the attendance by international students, the ‘cash cow’ for most colleges, will also decline sharply due to the Trump administration’s new rules.
Still other developments will sharply reduce college revenues. Students forced to attend classes via remote learning will demand lower tuition. One can expect a wave of legal suits as students seek to ‘claw back’ full tuition expenses. Other secondary sources of college revenues—from fees, on-campus room and board, endowment earnings and gifts, and sports revenues—also spell a looming revenue crunch.
A wave of college consolidations and closures is inevitable. And with student loan debt at $1.6 trillion it is unlikely that the federal government will introduce new aid through that channel. Nor will States increase their subsidization of public colleges, given the severe state budget deficits on the horizon.
In short, the economic crisis is about to assume more socio-economic dimensions and character: rent, child-care, education chaos will soon overlay the continuing unemployment problem and worsening recession. Social and political discontent, frustration, and anxiety are almost certainly to rise in turn in coming months as a consequence.
Global Recession & Sovereign Debt Defaults
The weakness of the global economy is yet another factor likely to ensure the US economy’s W-shape trajectory. As noted previously, with 90% of other countries in recession, global demand for US exports will remain weak or declining. In addition, global supply chains have also been severely disrupted by the health crisis, or even broken, and will not be restored soon. The global economy is suffering from deep problems of both demand and supply. This too is a unique historical event. Never before have demand and supply problems occurred congruently. Together, they increase the potential for a global depression.
Commodity producing economies have been hard hit, especially oil and metal producing countries. Many were in a recession well before the COVID health crisis. Global trade in general had stagnated, registering little to no growth in 2019, for the first time since modern records were kept. Many countries had over-extended their borrowing, expanding their sovereign debt loads during the last decade. This was money capital borrowed largely from western banks and capital markets (i.e. shadow banks).
Now, with global trade flat and declining, and prices for their export goods deflating in price as well, these debt-extended countries cannot earn sufficient income from exports in order to pay the principal and interest on their debt. As a result, several countries in the worst shape may soon default on their debt payment to western banks, hedge funds, private equity firms, and so on. Debt defaults potentially mean the same western financial institutions that loaned the funds now experience financial crises in turn. In such a manner, financial instability events abroad are often transmitted to the domestic US economy through its banking system. It would not be the first time, moreover, that foreign bank crashes have spilled over the US and rest of the world economy and in the process significantly exacerbated a recession already underway.
Theoretically, countries experiencing severe sovereign debt crises could borrow from the International Monetary Fund. However, the IMF has nowhere near the funds to accommodate multiple large sovereign defaults that occur simultaneously. Nor is it likely that the US and Europe will increase the IMF’s funding to enable it to do so. Once it becomes clear the IMF cannot handle a crisis of such potential dimensions, the global capitalist economy will slip even further toward global depression.
The further deterioration now already occurring in economic relations between the US and China may also potentially impact the Great Recession in the US, and ensure its continued W-Shape recovery. Trump’s trade pact with China signed December 2019 has proven thus far a colossal failure. The president declared at the deal’s signing it would mean $150 billion in China purchases of US goods in 2020—especially farm products, oil & gas, and manufactured goods. At mid-year,
China has purchased only $5 billion of the agreed $40 billion in farm products and only $14 billion of $85 billion in US manufactured goods. Trump’s promised $150 billion was never agreed to by China, even before the Covid pandemic struck the US economy in 2020. China never agreed to a dollar value of purchases of US exports, but announced it would purchase based on conditions in 2020-21. Trump’s $150 billion was typical Trump misrepresentation of a deal never made. At best China would purchase perhaps $40 billion in agricultural goods—i.e. about the level of it purchases before Trump launched a trade war with it in March 2018. Failure to deliver his exaggerated public promise in 2020 Trump turned on on China and embraced further his anti-China hard line advisors on trade and other matters. The former ‘trade war’ with China will likely transform now, in the wake of Covid, into a broader economic war with China. Furthermore, the deterioration of relations with China, set in motion by the current recession and the collapse of global trade, shows signs of spilling over to other political and even military affairs.
Permanent Industry Transformations
The COVID health crisis is accelerating the transformation of entire industries and sectors of the economy, US and global. As noted above, household consumption patterns are already changing fundamentally and will continue as changed even after the health crisis passes. Entire industries will shrink as a consequence. Company consolidations and downsizing are inevitable in airlines, cruise lines, and even public land transport. So too will companies fail, consolidate and restructure in the hospitality, leisure and hotel industries, in mall-based retail establishments, inside entertainment (movies, casinos, etc.) to name but the obvious. Sports and public entertainment companies are struggling to redefine their business models and how they bring their ‘product’ to the public for consumption. Even education—public and private—is undergoing a radical shift. Not so obvious is similar fundamental change in oil & energy industries, and later as well in manufacturing as supply chains are slowly returned to the US economy.
Not only will these changes significantly (and often negatively) impact employment levels and wage incomes, but business practices as well. Already businesses are instituting new cost cutting practices under the pressure of the health crisis and shutdowns. These practices will become permanent. And since much of the practices and cost cutting will focus on workers’ pay and benefits, more of what economists call ‘long term structural unemployment’ will result—in addition to the current ‘cyclical unemployment’ occurring due to the current recession.
An historic consequence of the current Great Recession precipitated by the COVID-19 health crisis is the accelerating introduction underway of what some call the Artificial Intelligence revolution. AI is about cost-cutting. It’s about new data accumulation, data processing and statistical evaluation, to allow software machines to make decisions previously made by human beings. AI will eliminate millions of low level decision-making by workers in both services and manufacturing. A 2017 report by the business consulting firm, McKinsey, predicted no less than 30% of all workers’ occupations will be severely impacted by AI by the end of the present decade. 30% of jobs will either disappear or have their hours reduced significantly. That means less wage income and less consumption still.
The important linkage to the current Great Recession 2.0 is that the introduction of AI by businesses will now speed up. What McKinsey formerly predicted for the late 2020s decade will now take place by mid-decade. The economic consequences for the next generation of US workers, the late Millennials and the GenZers will be serious, to say the least. After decades of the permeation of low pay, low benefits ‘contingent’ part time and temp jobs since the 1990s, after the impact of the 2008-09 crash and aftermath on employment, after the acceleration of ‘gig’ jobs with the Uberization of the capitalist economy since 2010, and after the even more serious negative economic effects of the current Great Recession 2.0, the tens of millions of US workers entering the labor force today and in coming years will have to face the transformation of another 30% of all occupations. The future does not portend very well for the 70 million millennials and GenZers. US neoliberal economic policies and the Great Recession 2.0 is accelerating the long term structural unemployment crisis of both the US and the global capitalist economy.
Return of Fiscal Austerity
The US federal budget deficit under Trump averaged more than a trillion dollars annually during his first three years in office. The federal national debt at the end of 2019 was $22.8 trillion. As of July 2020 it has risen to $26.5 trillion—and rising. Earlier projections in March were that it would increase by $3.7 trillion in 2020. That has already been exceeded. So, too, will projections for 2021, or another $2.1 trillion. The deficit and debt will likely rise to more than $4 trillion in this fiscal year and another $3 trillion in 2021. That means the current national debt within 18 months will reach $30 trillion. And that’s not counting the debt level rise for state and local governments, already $3 trillion; nor the debt carried on the US central bank, the Federal Reserve, balance sheet which is scheduled to rise another $3 trillion at minimum.
The point of presenting these statistics is that the US elites, sooner or later, will introduce a major austerity program. It will likely come later in 2021. And it will make little difference whether the administration that time is headed by Democrats or Republicans. It will come and it will target social security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, education, housing, transport and other social programs.
A The first Great Recession provides a historical precedent. Obama’s recovery program in January 2009 provided for $787 billion in stimulus. But the joint Republican-Democrat austerity agreement introduced in August 2011 took back nearly twice that stimulus, or $1.5 trillion, in 2011-13. That austerity contributed significantly to the W-shape recovery from the 2008-09 economic crash and contraction—i.e. the first Great Recession. With the current deficit surge of $6 trillion to date, likely to increase to $9 to $10 trillion, the US economic elites will no doubt pursue a new austerity regime at some point within the next few years. That austerity will, like its predecessor, ensure at best a W-shape recovery typical of Great Recessions. At worst, it may prove the final event that pushes the US economy into another Great Depression.
Those who deny that the US and global economy have already entered a second Great Recession offer the argument that the 2008-09 crash and recession was caused by the banking and financial crash of 2008-09, and therefore, since there has not yet been a financial crash, the economy at present is not in another Great Recession. But they are wrong.
Great Recessions are always associated with a financial crisis, but that crisis need not precede the deep contraction of the real, non-financial economy. The COVID-19 pandemic has played the role of a financial crash in driving the real economy into a contraction that is both quantitatively and qualitatively worse than a ‘normal’ recession. Furthermore, a subsequent banking system-financial crash is not impossible in the coming months, although not yet likely in 2020.
The preconditions for a financial crisis are in development. It won’t be precipitated by a residential mortgage crisis, as in 2007-08. But there are several potential candidates for precipitating a financial crash once again. Here are just a few:
The commercial property sector in the US is in deep trouble. Commercial property includes malls, office buildings, hotels, resorts, factories, and multiple tenant apartment complexes. Many incurred deep debt obligations as they expanded after 2010 or just kept operating by accruing more high cost debt when they were unprofitable. Today they are unable to continue servicing (i.e. paying principal and interest) on their excessive debt load. Many have begun the process of default and chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. Banks and investors hold much of the commercial property debt that will never be repaid. Excess derivatives (credit default swaps) have been written on the debt. A debt crisis and wave of defaults and bankruptcies in 2020-21 in the commercial property sector could easily precipitate a subprime mortgage-like debt crisis as occurred in 2008-09. And derivatives obligations could transmit the crisis throughout the banking system—as it did in 2009. Regional and small community banks in the US are particularly vulnerable.
The oil and gas fracking industry, where junk bond and leverage loan debt had already risen to unstable levels by the advent of the COVID crisis. The collapse of world oil and gas prices—which began before the COVID-19 impact and continues—will render drillers and others unable to generate the income with which to service their debt. Already more than 200 companies in this sector are in default and bankruptcy proceedings. Again, regional banks that financed much of the expansion of fracking in Texas, the Dakotas, and Pennsylvania will be impacted severely by the defaults. Their financial instability could easily spread to other sectors of banking and finance in the US.
State and local governments, should Congress fail to appropriate sufficient bailout funding in its next round of fiscal spending in July 2020. State and local governments are capable of default and bankruptcy—unlike the Federal government, which is not. The US has a long history of state defaults associated with the onset of Great Depressions. This time around, state financial instability will quickly spill over to public pension funds, and from public to private pensions, and from there to the municipal bond markets with which state and local governments raise revenue by borrowing to fund deficits.
Global sovereign debt markets, as previously noted. Defaults on massive debt accumulated since 2010 by many countries could result in serious contagion effects on the private banking systems of the advanced economies, including the US, Europe, and Japan. Should the IMF fail to contain a chain of sovereign debt crises that could follow in the wake of the current Great Recession, a chain reaction of defaults across emerging market economies in particular has the potential to precipitate a global financial crisis.
History shows that financial crises often originate from unsuspected corners of the economy. The above candidates are the ‘known unknowns’. There may also lurk in the bowels of the capitalist global financial system still more ‘unknown unknowns’—i.e. what are sometimes called ‘black swan’ events.
The US and other countries are on new ground in terms of potential political instability. The piecemeal curtailment of democratic and civil rights has been progressing at least since the mid- 1990s. In the 21st century it has been accelerating, both in the US and across the globe. Recent years have seen a growing public confrontation between contending wings of the capitalist elites and their political operatives. Institutions of even limited capitalist democracy are under attack and atrophying. And now political instability is growing as well at both the institutional and grass roots levels. One should not underestimate the potential for even more intense political confrontation among elites, or between segments of the US population itself, from having a negative impact on the current economic crisis and 2nd Great Recession. A Trump ‘October Surprise’ or a November 2020 constitutional crisis are no longer beyond the realm of the possible, but even likely.
The expectations of both households and business may serve as transmission mechanisms propagating political instability into more economic and financial instability. Political instability has the effect of freezing up business investment and therefore employment recovery. It has the further effect of causing households to hoard what income they have and raise the savings rate—at the expense of consumption. It also leads to government inaction on the policy necessary to provide stimulus for recovery.
On a global front, political instability may even assume a global dimension. History in general, and US history in particular, reveals that US presidents seek to divert public attention from domestic economic and social problems by provoking foreign wars. Targets for US attack, in the short term, are Iran and Venezuela—especially the latter, which is more susceptible to US military action. But tomorrow, in 2021 and after, it could well be Russia (Ukraine or Baltics US provocations), North Korea (a US attack on its nuclear facilities) or China (a US naval confrontation in the South China sea)—irrespective of the unlikely success of such ventures.
Like another financial-banking crash, a major political instability event—domestic or foreign—could easily send an already weak US economy struggling in the midst of a Great Recession into the abyss of the first Great Depression of the 21st century.
According to media reports, President Donald Trump has declared war on immigrants, China, the media, justice, Jeff Sessions, the intelligence community, the NFL, justice, the media, children, face masks, the FBI, Obamacare, the world order, women, institutions, Amazon, trade, the media, and justice.
The post Trump’s Wars appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.
Published:7/15/2020 3:35:59 PM
Sally Pipes: Expand Medicaid? Democrats' plan would increase waste, fraud and debt
Last month, the House passed?a bill that would supposedly "stabilize" ObamaCare by lavishing billions of dollars on Medicaid
Published:7/12/2020 11:15:09 AM
Andrew McCarthy: Supreme Court ruling upholding religious liberty is good news, but should go farther
The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the Trump administration’s exemptions to mandatory contraception coverage under ObamaCare for employers with sincerely held objections. The ruling is welcome, particularly in its recognition that First Amendment religious liberty is not confined to identifiably religious organizations, such as churches, but to all Americans.
Published:7/8/2020 4:48:43 PM