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[Markets] Was Trump 'The Mule'? Was Trump 'The Mule'?

Authored by Jim Quinn via The Bunring Platform blog,

“Excellence, he is known as the Mule. He is spoken of little, in a factual sense, but I have gathered the scraps and fragments of knowledge and winnowed out the most probable of them. He is apparently a man of neither birth nor standing. His father, unknown. His mother, dead in childbirth. His upbringing, that of a vagabond. His education, that of the tramp worlds, and the backwash alleys of space. He has no name other than that of the Mule, a name reportedly applied by himself to himself, and signifying, by popular explanation, his immense physical strength, and stubbornness of purpose.” 

- Isaac Asimov, Foundation and Empire

“The fall of Empire, gentlemen, is a massive thing, however, and not easily fought. It is dictated by a rising bureaucracy, a receding initiative, a freezing of caste, a damming of curiosity—a hundred other factors. It has been going on, as I have said, for centuries, and it is too majestic and massive a movement to stop.” 

– Isaac Asimov, Foundation

In March 2017, a mere two months after the stunningly unexpected victory of Donald Trump over the Deep State hand picked representative of dark forces – Hillary Clinton, I wrote a three-part article based upon Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy, attempting to connect Trump’s elevation as the Gray Champion of this Fourth Turning to the plot of Asimov’s masterpiece. The three articles: Foundation – Fall of the American Galactic EmpireFoundation and Empire: Is Donald Trump the Mule?; and Second Foundation: Empire Crumbling, landed with a dud, generating few views and not many comments.

I thought it was a creative look at the fledgling Trump presidency, a Deep State intent on destroying him, integrated within the context of Asimov’s story of galactic subterfuge, controlling populations through mathematical mechanisms, and the rise of an individual upending the plans of elitists. I chalked up the dis-interest to the fact many people had never read the books, therefore could not relate to the comparison between Trump, the Mule, and Hari Seldon’s plan.

The other possibility was the fact I was already pondering Trump failing in his effort to defeat the Deep State and drain the Swamp. Trump supporters were still ecstatic with their victory, believing he could defeat the dark forces aligned against him, and resistant to the thought he might lose. Four years later, with the perspective of what has happened, we can honestly assess the suppositions I made in that article.

For those not familiar with Asimov’s trilogy, The Mule was a powerful mentalic mutant, warlord, and conqueror who posed the greatest threat to the Seldon Plan.

The plan involves the two Foundations. The First Foundation is the bastion of physical science and political order while the Second Foundation is a covert group of people hidden away who are experts in mentalics and psychohistorical prediction. Seldon’s science of psychohistory was outstanding at predicting the behavior of large populations but worthless in trying to predict what an individual might do.

The emergence of the Mule, a mentalic mutant with an acute telepathic ability to modify the emotions of human beings, could not have been predicted by the Seldon Plan, focused as it was on the statistical movements of vast numbers of peoples and populations across the galaxy. The Mule’s acute telepathic ability to modify the emotions of human beings derailed one of the basic assumptions of Hari Seldon’s psychohistory – that, in general, the responses of human populations to given stimuli will remain the same.

The Mule was the unpredictable variable in the equations of history and the greatest threat to the Seldon Plan. He disrupts the inevitability of the continued evolution of the First Foundation and potential early ending of the Dark Age. The Mule, through telepathic manipulation, defeats and takes over the Foundation’s growing empire, which has become increasingly control-oriented and out-of-touch with the outer planets in its rapidly expanding realm of influence.

The term mule invokes feelings of strength, stubbornness, and the ability to power forward despite obstacles. That description fits Trump perfectly and his ability to inspire millions of Americans through emotional appeals to patriotism and demonizing his left wing political and media enemies. His powers of persuasion weren’t mentalic, but his appeal to flyover country Americans was baffling to the liberal elites on the coasts and the RINOs who pretended to be conservative but were nothing more than grifters and neo-con warmongers.

I did not associate Hari Seldon with any particular person on the scene today when I wrote my article in 2017. Hari Seldon was an intellectual who created the Foundation, made up of other academic intellectuals. Then he set up a Second Foundation of even more talented intellectuals as a backup plan in case the Foundation failed. I saw Seldon and his ensemble of elitist academics and intellectual snobs as pompous control freaks on par with the Washington DC and Wall Street elitists like Pelosi, Schumer, McConnell, Yellen, Powell, Dimon and Buffet. They constitute the Foundation.

The Second Foundation was hidden in plain sight, operating in the shadows, unknown to the masses, and controlling the galaxy from behind the curtain. They were the Galactic Deep State.

I now see the Seldon character as Bill Gates, a college dropout geek who lucked into becoming a multi-billionaire with one decent idea, who now portrays himself as an expert in medical science, vaccines, farming, climate change, population right sizing, social media censorship and politics.

His billions entitle him to pontificate his psycho-babble propaganda on captured corporate media outlets, much like Seldon using his psychohistory to predict the future. Billionaire egos are immense. Gates flies on his private jet around the world spewing CO2 while preaching the gospel of lockdowns, drinking reprocessed piss, and forcing the masses to eat synthetic beef and bugs to save the planet.

I see the Second Foundation as representative of the Deep State. This amalgamation of the likes of Clapper, Comey, Brennan, Clinton, Soros, Bloomberg, Zuckerberg, Bezos, Dorsey, Cook, Schmidt, Schwab, and plethora of other sociopaths in the government, media, military, academia, and corporate world spent the last four years attempting to neutralize and neuter Donald Trump (aka The Mule). These affluent, highly educated, narcissistic, sanctimonious, malevolent scumbags, who believe they are the smartest men in the world, operate behind the scenes as the invisible government, manipulating the mechanisms of society and pulling the wires controlling the public mind.

There is virtually no difference between Seldon’s psychohistory and Bernays’ propaganda. These sociopaths believe they are entitled to run the world as they choose, with no input or resistance from the ignorant masses allowed. When the basket of deplorables rose up and elected Trump, the Deep State went into overdrive to nullify and defeat him. My prediction about his presidency came to be, with my ending question still up for debate:

His first two months in power will likely reflect his entire presidency. The Washington establishment and sinister Deep State players will attempt to thwart Trump’s every move. They have already impeded his immigration controls and attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, while using their illegal surveillance state techniques to undermine his administration. The surveillance agencies, who are supposed to act on his behalf, are clearly trying to subvert his presidency. Leaks and fake news designed to sabotage the credibility of Trump and his administration will continue. Will the fear of retribution from mysterious surveillance state operatives convince Trump to fall into line and become a submissive lackey, no longer making waves for the Deep State?

The level of Deep State interference to undermine the Trump presidency reached extreme levels after those first two months of relatively minor meddling. What followed was a three-year Russia-gate farce as the DOJ, FBI and CIA conspired with Obama to unseat Trump by creating a fake Russia interference narrative based on a bullshit dossier, using it to have Comey weaponize the FBI against a duly elected president. Then his AG swamp creature allowed Mueller and his Hillary supporting cronies to torture Trump for two years before calling it quits with absolutely no charges. All along, the left-wing media cackled and crowed, producing a prodigious amount of fake news, which was duly called out by Trump.

The unrelenting negative coverage, despite successes on many fronts by Trump, revealed the true nature of the Deep State coup to overthrow a sitting president. The never-ending coup was ramped up again in 2019 as Pelosi and her flying monkeys – Chinese spy-shagger, Swalwell (aka the farter) and the socialist squad of hate mongers, drummed up a fake impeachment against Trump based upon a phone call regarding actual provable Biden family corruption in the Ukraine. The impeachment was a dead-on arrival political stunt to disparage Trump going into the election year.

But the Deep State coup de grace for cancelling and castrating Trump (aka The Mule) was the Covid conspiracy, which fell into the laps of Trump’s enemies through the accidental or purposeful release of a highly contagious, highly non-lethal flu virus from a Chinese bio-weapon lab, funded by Fauci and other U.S. governmental entities. After the impeachment charade imploded in January, and the Democrat presidential field of dementia patients, communists, whores, and morons pathetically made their case to replace Trump, a November victory seemed assured for Trump, as the economy was OK and the stock market was booming.

But then they were presented with a faux crisis, and as everyone knows – you can never let a good crisis go to waste. The Deep State, democratic governors, democratic mayors, the left-wing loving media, the Silicon Valley social media billionaire censorship tyrants, and Big Pharma combined forces to turn the nation into quivering cowering masked sheep, begging to be corralled and sheered by traitorous lying authoritarians demanding their acquiescence.

Throwing in systematic racism, elevating violent felon scum to sainthood, encouraging BLM and ANTIFA terrorists to burn cities, assault police, storm the White House, and blaming it all on Trump was a genius move. By using the Covid hysteria as a cover for demanding unlimited and uncontrolled mail-in voting, with no signature verification or time limits on counting votes, the Democrats assured themselves of certain victory in the limited number of swing states.

And still, Trump was on his way to victory again as of midnight on election night. This is when a halt was called by the Deep State, Dominion voting machines were “re-programmed” and suitcases full of “newly discovered” mail-in ballots appeared, with 97% of the votes going to Dementia Joe. He truly had put together the best election fraud team in history. That is why he never needed to leave his basement during the campaign.

Despite hundreds of documented accounts of massive voter fraud, eye witness accounts of fraudulent mail-in ballots, statistical analysis proving what supposedly happened with voting machines could not possibly happen, and the absolute laughability of Basement Biden actually getting 80 million votes, the Deep State co-conspirators closed ranks and did not allow Trump and his team a fair day in court to make their case. They had successfully stolen the election and accomplished their four-year long coup.

In order to ensure Trump did not rise again, Pelosi and her compadres used Trump’s powers of persuasion against him, by exploiting his peaceful January 6 rally in DC, as a means to lure some of his useful idiot supporters into entering the Capitol (with the Capitol police opening the doors), enticed by a bunch of ANTIFA/BLM provocateurs and taking selfies, stealing podiums, and milling around, until one of them got shot.

This fake news “armed insurrection” (despite no firearms used or confiscated) was then weaponized by Pelosi and her useful idiot followers to conduct an even more farcical impeachment of a president who was already out of office, playing golf in Florida. This tempest in teapot clown show of idiocracy played out over a few days, breathlessly covered by the MSNBC dullards and CNN dimwits, until it died under its own weight of superficial lunacy, with the Chief Justice refusing to preside and Democrat prosecutors caught doctoring evidence.

This failure to drive a stake through the heart of mule-headed Trump and insure he does not rise from the dead in 2024 to assume power once again, will not stop his vast number of enemies from keeping him stuck in Florida to live out his days on this earth as a failed president. Soros funded attorney generals across the land will hound Trump and his family with legal entanglements unless he promises to be a non-participant in government forever. Will the fear of financial retribution and consequences from a legal system that is stacked in favor of his enemies convince Trump to stand down? In my four-year-old article I asked these questions:

Will Trump’s reign resemble the reign of The Mule? The Mule’s conquest was astonishingly fast. He defeated the Foundation and established the Union of Worlds after only five years. The unpredictability of his arrival and rare mental talents befuddled the Foundation. Then he inexplicably paused in his campaign of conquests. Instead, he launched repeated expeditions in search of the Second Foundation. The Second Foundation, through unyielding pressure and generating fear of the unknown into the mind of The Mule, was able undermine his plans of conquest and turn him into a non-disruptive, toothless, nonthreatening, passive figurehead. As Trump’s best laid plans are obstructed, agenda foiled, and legislation hindered, will his enthusiasm for governance wane?

Based on what I have seen since the January 6 staged event at the Capitol, it appears Trump’s will to fight has subsided, even though he will continue to do interviews and give speeches to burnish his image as an outsider, continuing to fight for his 75 million followers. His influence didn’t help win the two Georgia run-off elections. It is highly unlikely he runs for president again in 2024.

He will utilize his popularity to invigorate his real estate and potential media empire. It will be all about the Benjamin’s from here on out. He surprised himself with his unlikely victory in 2016 and will be busy writing his best- selling book about the adventure in the near future. Trump TV is practically a given, but he will not be anything more than a thorn in the side of the Deep State (Second Foundation) going forward. He will no longer be a legitimate threat to their Plan.

Trump was a disrupting factor, disturbing the best laid plans of the global elitist establishment and revealing the hidden agendas of the Deep State. He had no support from the GOP establishment. In most cases, they undermined his efforts. He hired them into his cabinet and they continuously stabbed him in the back. Having your supposed allies work against you, in cahoots with the Democrats, surveillance state apparatus, all the alphabet agencies, and 90% of the mainstream and social media propaganda machinery, and you come to the realization we are ruled by a Uni-party of globalist elite using their immense wealth to manipulate and control the masses.

Sociopaths like Gates, Soros, Schwab, and Obama believe they are the smartest men on the planet and can pull the strings, making the puppet masses do as they command. Based on the last year, it appears they are right. The neutralization of Trump has convinced themselves of their invincibility. Their hubris blinds them to the wisdom of the bible – Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

Not only is the Great Reset, green new deal, communist doctrine implementation not going to reverse the downward spiral of the American Empire, but the last year of horrific political and financial decisions and imminent execution of the left-wing agenda through their empty senile vessel will accelerate the unavoidable collapse. MMT plus QE to infinity will surely solve all our problems.

The national debt went from $20 trillion when Trump was elected to $28 trillion today, and $30 trillion within the next year. It took 219 years to accumulate the first $10 trillion of debt, 9 years to accumulate the next $10 trillion of debt, and now less than five years to accumulate the next $10 trillion. Meanwhile, GDP has barely grown by 2% per year and household income has been stagnant for decades. Anyone who thinks this is sustainable, economically healthy, or representative of free market capitalism is either delusional or lying to promote their agenda of you owning nothing and being happy about it, while eating bugs and drinking processed piss.

Asimov’s trilogy documents the fall of the Galactic Empire, based upon the Fall of the Roman Empire, and written during the fall of the Third Reich. Whether Trump delayed or accelerated the Fall of the American Empire is inconsequential, as no one can reverse the coming collapse at this point. Technology does not improve human nature, create wisdom, or provide understanding. Humanity is incapable of change. The same weaknesses and self- destructive traits which have plagued us throughout history are as prevalent today as they ever were.

Empires are created by corruptible men whose failings, flaws, and desire for power, control and wealth never change. Decades of blunders, awful decisions, incompetent leadership, dishonesty and unconcealed treachery have paved a pathway to ruin for the American Empire. The outward appearance of strength disguises the internal rot, which will be revealed when the coming storm arrives with suddenness and a surprising fierceness.

“Mr. Advocate, the rotten tree-trunk, until the very moment when the storm-blast breaks it in two, has all the appearance of might it ever had. The storm-blast whistles through the branches of the Empire even now. Listen with the ears of psychohistory, and you will hear the creaking.” 

– Isaac AsimovFoundation

The American Empire is crumbling under the weight of military overreach; the totalitarian synergy between Big Tech and Big Gov.; destruction of the Constitution by traitorous surveillance state apparatchiks; the burden of unpayable debts; currency debasement; cultural decay; civic degeneration; diversity and deviancy trumping common culture and normality; pervasive corruption at every level of government; globalist agendas; and the failure of myopic leaders to deal with the real problems.

In the last year we have crossed our proverbial Rubi-covid, willingly trading our freedom and liberties for the perception of safety. We’ve past the point of no return. Asimov’s analogy of the wolf, horse and man has never been more apt than now. In our present- day version, the wolf is a China flu with a 99.7% survival rate that only kills the old and infirm. The horse is the American public (and most of the global population) living in constant fear of a non-lethal virus killing them at any moment. No matter how irrational, they desperately want to believe “experts” who authoritatively declare the steps necessary to save the world from this scourge.

The man is an amalgamation of Gates, Soros, Fauci, and the petty authoritarian politicians (Cuomo, Newsom, Whitmer, Wolf, Murphy) wielding power across the land. The man offered to save the horse from the wolf on condition of being given the power to disregard the Constitution, lockdown the country, destroy small businesses, create mass unemployment, mandate masks, crush free speech (except during BLM and ANTIFA riots), suspend the 4th Amendment, force experimental vaccinations upon the masses, and create $10 trillion of new debt, giving most of it to Wall Street, mega-corporations, and Big Pharma. And as an added benefit, get rid of a president who did not cooperate with their Global Reset agenda.

“A horse having a wolf as a powerful and dangerous enemy lived in constant fear of his life. Being driven to desperation, it occurred to him to seek a strong ally. Whereupon he approached a man, and offered an alliance, pointing out that the wolf was likewise an enemy of the man. The man accepted the partnership at once and offered to kill the wolf immediately, if his new partner would only co-operate by placing his greater speed at the man’s disposal. The horse was willing, and allowed the man to place bridle and saddle upon him.

The man mounted, hunted down the wolf, and killed him. “The horse, joyful and relieved, thanked the man, and said: ‘Now that our enemy is dead, remove your bridle and saddle and restore my freedom.’ “Whereupon the man laughed loudly and replied, ‘Never!’ and applied the spurs with a will.” – Isaac AsimovFoundation

So, today we find ourselves one year into “15 days to slow the spread” and millions of “horses” have asked the “man” to remove their bridle and saddle and restore our freedom. Miraculously, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have plunged since the insertion of Dementia Joe into the White House by his Deep State handlers. The vaccine and mask propaganda campaigns are being ratcheted up, emperor Gates is on TV every other day expounding on covid, climate, synthetic food, population control, and the need for more control by billionaires like himself.

As millions demand their freedoms back, Gates, Fauci, Soros and Schwab laugh loudly and proclaim we can never go back to the way it was. They will apply the spurs of the “New Normal” and “Great Reset”. We failed to heed the wisdom of Ben Franklin and will pay a heavy price for our cowardice and subservience to totalitarian global elitists. The Mule has been defeated.

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Ben Franklin – 1775

*  *  *

The corrupt establishment will do anything to suppress sites like the Burning Platform from revealing the truth. The corporate media does this by demonetizing sites like mine by blackballing the site from advertising revenue. If you get value from this site, please keep it running with a donation.

Tyler Durden Wed, 02/24/2021 - 17:40
Published:2/24/2021 4:52:03 PM
[World] Biden's Obamacare expansion: A costly solution in search of a problem

The American Recovery Act, the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion response to the COVID-19 pandemic, includes a $40 billion down payment on the president’s plan to “build on Obamacare.”

The bill’s expansion of Obamacare — also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — has nothing to do with the pandemic, ... Published:2/22/2021 5:39:38 PM

[World] Biden Administration Intervenes in SCOTUS Obamacare Case Published:2/11/2021 9:51:23 AM
[Biden Administration] Biden Justice Dept. Asks Supreme Court to Save Obamacare

The Biden Justice Department on Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to reject a red-state legal attack on the Affordable Care Act, breaking with the department's Trump-appointed predecessors who argued the entire law is unconstitutional.  The High Court heard arguments in the latest Obamacare challenge on Nov. 10. A decision is expected by summer.  Recent Stories ...

The post Biden Justice Dept. Asks Supreme Court to Save Obamacare appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:2/10/2021 5:48:08 PM
[Politics] Biden Asks Supreme Court to Uphold Obamacare President Joe Biden's administration on Wednesday told the U.S. Supreme Court that the Obamacare healthcare law should be upheld, reversing the position taken by the government under his Republican predecessor Donald Trump.The court in November held oral arguments in a bid... Published:2/10/2021 3:19:50 PM
[Markets] If You Thought The 2020 Elections Were Chaotic, Just Wait If You Thought The 2020 Elections Were Chaotic, Just Wait

Authored by J.Christian Adams via The Gatestone Institute,

H.R.1 packs into one 791-page bill every bad idea about how to run elections and mandates that the states must adopt -- the very things that made the election of 2020 such a mess. It includes all of the greatest hits of 2020: Mandatory mail ballots, ballots without postmarks, late ballots and voting in precincts where you don't live. It includes so many bad ideas that no publication has satisfactory space to cover all of them. The Senate companion bill, S.1, might be even worse.

These bills rearrange the relationship between the states and the federal government. The Constitution presumes that states regulate their own elections, but the Constitution has a big "but" in what is called the Elections Clause. The Constitution says, "but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations." For over 200 years, Congress rarely used this power. After all, the power was put in the Constitution only to prevent the states from suffocating the federal government out of existence by never holding federal elections.

Do not assume that the bills will stall and wither in the process. They are named H.R.1 and S.1 for a reason. The bills are the top priority of the newly empowered Democrats in Congress.

Dissatisfied with the effectiveness of the last federal mandate -- 1993's Motor Voter law -- H.R.1 dispenses with the idea that an American should go affirmatively register to vote.

In 2020, states such as Nevada and New Jersey sent ballots through the mail to anyone on their registration lists despite having voter rolls full of errors. The Public Interest Legal Foundation documented thousands of ineligible registrations in Nevada alone that received mail ballots. Some were sent to vacant lots, abandoned mines, casinos and even liquor stores.

States also would be blocked by H.R.1 from signature verification procedures.

H.R.1 rigs the system for any lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the law. All lawsuits can only be filed in one court – federal court in the District of Columbia. And all opposition must be consolidated into one brief with only one attorney being able to argue the merits. It also grants automatic intervention to any legislators who want to join in the fight against the lone opposition.

It prohibits states from conducting list maintenance on the voter rolls. That means deadwood and obsolete registrations will stack up.

HR.1 and S.1 are omnibus bills that would change every American citizen's -- and foreigner's -- relationship to voter registration.

Universal automatic voter registration has, for years, been a top priority of the institutional left. In fact, H.R.1 would do away with actual voter registration and instead make the voter rolls merely a copy of anyone already on a government list -- such as welfare recipients and other social service beneficiaries. The bills would expand well beyond to federal entities like the Social Security Administration, Department of Defense, Customs and Immigration, and elements of Health and Human Services.

Naturally, a giant federal database would serve as the home for this list of people who must be automatically registered to vote, whether they know it or not.

Imagine the number of government databases in which your information is contained. Do your names and addresses all match? Does Social Security know you moved out of your birth state? Are your married and maiden names different? Did you get a driver's license before obtaining American citizenship?

You can see the pitfalls. One person will be "registered" to vote multiple times, with slight variation in names, and perhaps greater variation in residence addresses.

Making it "easier" to get registered to vote through automatic registration from government lists might seem attractive, until you consider the disaster of universal auto-mail voting as we saw in 2020.

H.R.1 and S.1 will force states to push ballots into the mail. It builds slack into the election system. Decentralized mail elections introduce error because of error-filled rolls. Mail-in ballots delay results, create uncertainty and push the elections into kitchens and bedrooms where election officials cannot observe the voting process and cannot protect the voter from coercion.

H.R.1 takes the absolute worst emergency rule changes of 2020 and enshrines them as federal law. Gone also are state witness and notary requirements during the mail ballot application process. Nor may states enact identification requirements of "any form" for those requesting a ballot. That means no more voter ID as a matter of federal law.

States also would be blocked by H.R.1 from signature verification procedures.

It gets worse. The 791-page bill also includes:

  • "Congress can reduce a state's representation in Congress when the right to vote is denied." Without qualification or definition, Congress could rely on this sentence unilaterally to cut the number of House members from any state it claims is denying the right to vote.

  • It criminalizes anyone who uses state challenge laws to question the eligibility of registrants wrongly. The penalty is up to one year in prison per instance.

  • It prohibits states from conducting list maintenance on the voter rolls. That means deadwood and obsolete registrations will stack up.

  • It criminalizes publishing "false statements" about qualifications to vote and "false statements" about which groups have endorsed which candidates. Information banned from being published includes false qualifications to vote and the penalties for doing so. What is a false statement will apparently be in the minds of the Justice Department lawyers who bring the charges. And if they do not act, the law provides a private right of action to individual plaintiffs to drag speakers to court. You can be sure this provision would be used as a merciless weapon against political opponents.

  • And in case it was not clear that H.R.1 was dismantling state power to run their own elections, the bill makes it clear: "The lack of a uniform standard for voting in Federal elections leads to an unfair disparity and unequal participation in Federal elections based solely on where a person lives." In other words, state laws which have the Constitutional authority to determine the voting eligibility of its residents, will be preempted by a federal uniform standard.

That is not all. Nationwide, states must accept mail ballots on Election Day plus 10 days later. States are allowed to add extra time to the window. No more election day. It will be election season, with a month of early voting and weeks of ballots arriving and being counted.

And of course, unlimited ballot harvesting -- having a third party "help" to fill in and gather up ballots, then drop them off at a polling station or other designated station -- is guaranteed.

Misinformation, protests, unrest, and even violence were all symptoms of the trauma of 2020. Activist groups and collusive officials in 2020 turned courts into weapons to transform state laws into election procedures that were favorable to one particular party. H.R.1 would finish the job, and federalize the policies and election procedures that made 2020 such a mess.

It is no solution to presume that federal rules, even if they were crafted the right way, would solve the problem. When Washington D.C. gets control over elections, the policy always skews in one direction.

I worked at the Justice Department, where career staff ignored federal laws they didn't like, and only enforced the ones they thought would help advance their political beliefs. Motor Voter, for example, had a federal mandate that states clean voter rolls. Guess what happened after that rule passed in 1993? No private enforcement actions were brought for two decades until I brought one against Indiana.

There is a federal mandate, passed in the 19th Century, to have one single election day. The bureaucrats in Washington in charge of enforcing that law ignore that law. Federal mandates are a one-way political ratchet. They always and only help one political party.

The nation has seen this line of thinking before. Like Obamacare earlier, H.R.1 transitions our federalist Republic to some other brave new system that purports to right generations of structural wrongs, while at the same time entrenching other wrongs. Unifying American experiences such as coming together to vote on one single Election Day, governed by rules passed by state legislators, well, to the authors of H.R.1, that is just old fashioned.

Tyler Durden Tue, 02/09/2021 - 20:05
Published:2/9/2021 7:11:01 PM
[Markets] Biden Runs Into 'Most Important Person You Don't Know' Biden Runs Into 'Most Important Person You Don't Know'

Authored by Philip Wegmann via,

Introductions were in order just four years ago.

Republicans controlled not just the White House but also both chambers of Congress, and even in that moment of unified government at the beginning of the Trump presidency, their power was not complete.

Then-House Speaker Paul Ryan was strategizing with party lawmakers behind closed doors about how to accomplish the single most defining GOP promise of the 2016 campaign: repealing the Affordable Care Act.

The person to watch in the Senate, Ryan said, was “Elizabeth.”

Do you mean, one congressman asked, the junior senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren?

“No,” Ryan replied.

“Elizabeth, the Senate parliamentarian.”

As the Wall Street Journal reported at the time, Ryan was talking about Elizabeth MacDonough.

The Washington Post would go on to introduce her as the staffer who “could change the course of the health-care debate,” while The Hill later called her “the most powerful person in Washington few have heard of.”

Politico summed up the story by calling the parliamentarian “Obamacare’s little secret.”


The sudden interest in the obscure official was because the parliamentarian determines which laws can be repealed (or passed) using budget reconciliation, the procedure by which the Senate can avoid a filibuster and allow legislation to pass by a simple majority.

This makes the parliamentarian the powerful procedural traffic cop on Capitol Hill, as all of the headlines asserted. MacDonough stopped Republicans cold when they tried using reconciliation to repeal some provisions of Obamacare, and she might soon rule that a provision in the COVID relief bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 is out of order.

This fact has triggered a fresh case of déjà vu and prompted a telling exchange in the White House briefing room on Monday. The parliamentarian is an unelected bureaucrat while Vice President Kamala Harris is the president of the Senate. A CNN reporter asked: Would the White House like to see Harris overrule the official to deliver on a key campaign promise?

“I think our view is that the parliamentarian is who is chosen typically to make a decision in a nonpartisan manner in terms of what can be included in a package that goes through reconciliation, the proper process for this to journey through,” press secretary Jen Psaki responded.

That short answer could signal a massive bucket of cold water on progressives’ hopes.

“Let’s be clear. We can pass a $15 min wage & $2000 checks,” tweeted Rep. Ro Khanna, a close ally of incoming Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders. The California Democrat added that “the decision is not with Senate Parliamentarian but VP Harris, as chair. If the House passes (where we have a majority), & VP Harris rules it in, NO WAY any Senate Dem votes no on final passage.”

If progressives wind up feeling disappointed instead, conservatives can commiserate. Four years ago, it was Sen. Ted Cruz who argued that Mike Pence should disregard the parliamentarian and, as vice president, take a broader view of reconciliation.

“You don’t have to override the parliamentarian or get a new parliamentarian,” Cruz told reporters.

“Under the statute, it is the vice president who rules. It is the presiding officer who makes the decision. The parliamentarian advises on that question.”   

Cruz and others lobbied the White House to break with precedent, and a former senior administration official told RealClearPolitics that Pence and then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell were briefed on the question of disregarding the parliamentarian. “Both were strongly opposed,” the official recalled.

As is true of Biden, McConnell has a strong affinity for Senate traditions and the chamber’s sometimes-arcane rules and procedures. And while the vice president remains president of the Senate, the role has largely become honorific -- except for certain occasions, as former Senate parliamentarian Robert Dove explained in 2010.

“No vice president has ever tried to play a role in reconciliation. Basically, since Walter Mondale was vice president, they have kind of been co-opted by the president and given an office down in the West Wing. Their interest in playing Senate politics has become attenuated,” Dove said during a Georgetown Law School symposium.

“That has left the Senate parliamentarian in an extremely powerful position.”

The new president seems to have resigned himself to the fact that, even with control of both houses of Congress, an unelected official will decide whether or not his minimum wage increase can be passed. “My guess is it will not” be included, he told Norah O’Donnell of CBS News on Friday. “… I don’t think it is going to survive."

Tyler Durden Tue, 02/09/2021 - 12:00
Published:2/9/2021 11:16:32 AM
[Politics] California stands to win big as Biden, Democrats embrace Obamacare expansion

The Biden administration and Democrats in Congress hope to enact the most substantial expansion of Obamacare in its history.

Published:2/4/2021 4:35:40 PM
[cada39e5-af21-5dde-beeb-e0b5b4913980] Sally Pipes: Biden's health care plans – this is what Americans can expect from Democrats Last week, President Joe Biden signed executive orders that will re-open ObamaCare's insurance exchanges from Feb. 15 through May 15 and direct federal agencies to re-examine some of the health care rules enacted by the Trump administration.  Published:1/31/2021 1:10:20 PM
[Health Care] Biden Restores Taxpayer-Funded Abortions, Expands Obamacare

President Joe Biden issued executive actions Thursday to direct U.S. tax dollars to promoting abortion here and abroad, and to expand Obamacare.  The actions not... Read More

The post Biden Restores Taxpayer-Funded Abortions, Expands Obamacare appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:1/28/2021 6:50:37 PM
[Markets] "Sell Mortimer": Short Squeeze Turmoil Triggers Market Rollercoaster "Sell Mortimer": Short Squeeze Turmoil Triggers Market Rollercoaster

And to think that it started off so well.

Amid media reports of investor "optimism" on the back of more fiscal stimulus and covid vaccine rollouts (when in reality said media was merely goalseeking a narrative to the higher overnight futures), the Emini started off solidly in the green, and at one point were set to make a breakout attempt at the all time high of 3,859.75, getting to within 8 points.... when at exactly 1045am, a trapdoor opened below the market, and the Emini tumbled a whopping 60 points in under minutes...

... a move catalyzed by a rollercoaster move in the most shorted names, the biggest of which - with 140% of its float shorted - was Gamespot, and which exploded as high as $159, a level it hit just minute before said trapdoor opened above, and sent the stock plunging. In fact, after more than doubling shortly after the open, GME at one point dropped as much as $100, turning red on the session before recovering losses...

... when a news report indicated that despite the massive move higher, the Short Interest in GME had barely budged and was still at ~140% of float, where it had been two weeks earlier.

And while GME was the star attraction of the day as the insane short squeeze continued, virtually all most shorted stocks exploded higher, with a bsket of the 11 Russell 3000 companies whose Short Interest is 50%+ of the float (which we listed on Friday)...

... exploding to record highs today.

The tremors as Reddit/WSB/Robinhood took on the established hedge fund crowd led to the first official casualty, when we learned that Mevlin Capital's Gabe Plotkin, who was heavily betting against some of the most popular short names, get a $2.75 bailout (margin call) from previous investors Citadel and Point72, who were forced to triple down or see their initial investment of $1 billion vaporize.

And while stocks did their thing, the real story of the day is that the Fed has broken the market so much, that a bunch of teenagers armed with "stimmy checks" can take on iconic hedge fund managers and steamroll them with impunity.

A less remarkable, if still notable observation, came from Bespoke, which note that today the market ended a streak of 51 trading days in which over 70% of S&P 500 stocks traded above their 50-DMAs - "the longest such streak since September 2009.”

Elsewhere, the VIX soared as one would expect, surging as high as 26.63 to coincide with the market drop, before fading more than half of the move...

... while 10Y yields - and the curve in general - spooked by the sudden selloff in stocks, slumped in a flight to safety...

... which also pushed the dollar higher

While commodities were relatively boring, there was a notable uptick in soybean futures, which rebounded modestly...

... after last week's drop which saw a 31 cent plunge on Tuesday last week, the biggest one day drop for the contract. As The Bear Traps report notes, "rain in Brazil has been favorable and the country is on track for a record 4.89B crop. Normally, that would be bearish for U.S. soybeans prices, but supplies are so tight, prices has thus far remained in the uptrend, but are beginning to see signs of weakness."

And yes, with prices rising across the commodity sector, inflation expectations continue to surge, prompting the question when - not if - the Fed will step in to contain this unprecedented liquidity tsunami.

And speaking of the Bear Traps report, earlier we noted that while it is easy to blame the market turmoil on the massive rolling short squeezes, Larry McDonald had a different take on what may prompt the game of musical chairs to stop abruptly.

Our 21 Lehman Systemic Indicators are screaming higher. The inmates are running the asylum and the probability of the Federal Reserve breaking out their creative “macro prudential” tool box is the highest in years. U.S. central bankers are no longer Trump constrained, the banking system is strong but the equity market has far more in common with Steve Wynn (Vegas) than Warren Buffett (Omaha).

We think the Fed sends a shot over the bow very soon. Our social justice, inequality embarrassed Fed is not happy. The will not taper but they can make serious threats to risk takers. We have an explosion of SPAC / IPO issuance, $850B of margin debt or 75% above 2015 levels, the most shorted equities up 75% vs. 16% for the S&P 500 since October (bulls running over bears), record high call vs. put volume with the little guy leading the charge SELL Mortimer Sell. The risk reward is atrocious from a long perspective in U.S. equities.

Impeachment Threat to Reflation: Moves to the Senate floor next week. Impact; 1 . Pushes out the Fiscal timeline.  2 . Similar to the GOP immediately trying to take down Obamacare, the signature achievement of the previous administration , on day one of the Trump administration. The move was Unwise and Not helpful to the fiscal policy path.

Remember, the tax cuts were sold to us as a certainty in Q1 2017, they didn’t arrive until late Q4 that year. In our view, this speaks to a potential rally in bonds / USD for the next few weeks.

Best case scenario, we have a $1.9T fiscal plan coming in late February early March with the current the bid / offer at $800B to $1.9T. However, any additional variant / mutations Covid risk increase will game the spread in the direction of the offer side if the  mpeachment doesn’t blow up the deal altogether.

Tyler Durden Mon, 01/25/2021 - 16:05
Published:1/25/2021 3:26:55 PM
[Markets] Trump's Potential Legacy: 50 Million+ Enemies Of The State Trump's Potential Legacy: 50 Million+ Enemies Of The State

Authored by Tho Bishop via The Mises Institute,

Well, they finally got Donald Trump. But he sure scared the bejesus out of them.

It took a massive five-year campaign of hysteria, of fear and hate, orchestrated by all wings of the Ruling Elite, from the respectable right to the activist left. The irony, of course, is that the last actions of Trump’s presidency highlighted how little of a threat he, as an individual, truly was to the deep corruption in America’s government. Lil Wayne may be free, but figures like Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and Ross Ulbricht are not. The Fed’s big fat bubble has only gotten larger as Wall Street has thrived, while American workers continue to be "discriminated against."

If historians look back at simply the Trump administration’s policy legacy, the controversial nature of his tenure may confuse. A record of tax cuts, deregulation, runaway spending, an Israeli-Saudi-focused Middle East policy, criminal justice reform, and stacking the federal court with conservative judges on paper seems firmly aligned with the Republican Party of the modern era. Compromises on gun issues, the inability to replace Obamacare—or even reject its core tenets. His calls for larger stimulus relief would perhaps lead some to believe that he was relatively moderate in the current environment.

Looking back, Trump’s most radical act of governance may be his simple embrace of federalism in the face of the coronavirus. Whether this stemmed from a genuine belief in the limits of practical federal power or a desire to have the flexibility to blame governors if a state’s response became unpopular, the administration’s willingness to allow states to take the leading role in devising a policy response allowed for one of the greatest illustrations of the importance of political centralization in recent American history. Trump allowed Florida to be Florida and New York to be New York. The ability to compare state performance has been essential at a time when "medical experts" were being weaponized in support of covid tyranny.

All of this, however, would miss the true significance of the last four years. Trump’s legacy will be that of a political leader who, at a time when American politics was still adjusting to social media and user-created content, leaned into the polarization of American politics rather than pay lip service to "national unity." A critic would claim this comes from Trump’s unquenchable need to have his ego stoked. A supporter would see a man who understood the need to realign American politics—but the underlying motivations are irrelevant.

Trump’s impact on American politics may result in an even greater impact on the US government than his collaboration with Mitch McConnell on the judiciary.

A variety of polling indicates that as Donald Trump boarded Marine One to retreat to Mar-a-Lago, he does so with most of his voters believing he is the rightful president of the United States. One poll showed almost 80 percent of Republicans "do not trust the results of the 2020 presidential election." If we estimate that 75 percent of all of Trump’s 2020 voters hold this view, that leaves us with over 50 million Americans who believe they now live under an illegitimate federal government.

This reality terrifies Washington’s political class more than anything Donald Trump could have done while occupying the White House.

As Murray Rothbard illustrated in Anatomy of the State"What the State fears above all, of course, is any fundamental threat to its own power and its own existence." A vital part of the state’s existence is its ability to justify its action with a mantle of "legitimacy"—which in an age of democracy comes from the notion of the "consent of the governed."

The result of 50+ million Americans viewing the next president as a fraud imposed on the people is an inauguration taking place in a Washington, DC, that resembles a warzone, surrounded by soldiers whom the regime does not trust with their own ammo.

The downside of America’s regime acting from a place of fear is that it is likely to ruthlessly lash out like most violent predators tend to do. Since the actions at the Capitol on January 6, the corporate press has elevated a collection of "terrorism experts" who have explicitly called for the tools formed in the war on terror to be turned inward to deal with the growing Trump "insurrectionist threat."

As Glenn Greenwald notes, "No speculation is needed. Those who wield power are demanding it."

The upside is that the tremendous growth of federal powers has always been dependent upon the public’s understanding that such power was being wielded in their own defense. Therefore, democracy has, rather than being a public check against tyranny, more often been a way of peacefully empowering officials to get away with abuses that autocrats could only manage with explicit violence.

To quote Rothbard:

As Bertrand de Jouvenel has sagely pointed out, through the centuries men have formed concepts designed to check and limit the exercise of State rule; and, one after another, the State, using its intellectual allies, has been able to transform these concepts into intellectual rubber stamps of legitimacy and virtue to attach to its decrees and actions. Originally, in Western Europe, the concept of divine sovereignty held that the kings may rule only according to divine law; the kings turned the concept into a rubber stamp of divine approval for any of the kings’ actions. The concept of parliamentary democracy began as a popular check upon absolute monarchical rule; it ended with parliament being the essential part of the State and its every act totally sovereign.

As such, even if aggressive actions by the Biden administration to address the specter of a Trump-inspired insurrection have the explicit support of nominally Republican leaders such as Mitch McConnell or Kevin McCarthy, how would such action be seen by MAGA America? If forced to choose, would someone like Governor Ron DeSantis align himself with a "bipartisan" effort from Washington elites or choose to be a leader of Biden-era resistance? Even if the resistance to a Biden administration is not ideologically libertarian or fundamentally "antistate," an explicit rejection of federal domination would be a vital first step toward the sort of political decentralization and self-governance that any peaceful political order ultimately requires.

Of course, all of this assumes that Trump’s base remains loyal—or at least remains hostile to the new regime. If Biden governs the same way he campaigned, by largely staying out of sight and avoiding making any bold statements and commitments one way or another, perhaps the public can be once again pacified and partisan divisions reduced to largely superficial differences, as has been the case for much of the current era.

If, however, the Biden administration governs more like the corporate press and blue Twitter wants him to - waging war on gender rolesprioritizing transgender issuespushing for job-killing economic policy during a pandemicacting unilaterally on immigrationpenalizing gun owners"reeducating" Trump supporterstreating MAGA like Al Qaeda, etc. - then the divides between Trump’s America and Biden’s America could become only further entrenched. And that is not even factoring in what happens if America experiences the hardship of an economic crisis.

Trump’s legacy will not be shaped by his actions—or even by how his enemies portray him. Ultimately, it comes down to his base and the movement he inspired. As Lew Rockwell noted in a recent interview with Buck Johnson, "The Jeffersonians were much better than Jefferson. The Taftians were much better than Robert Taft. The Trumpians tend to be much better than Trump."

Should skepticism of the 2020 election, fueled by a new administration's actions, finally convince 50+ million Trump supporters that the barbarians in the Beltway do not represent them and to react accordingly, then Trump’s presidency will be—despite his own actions—the disruption that America’s elites truly feared.

Tyler Durden Sun, 01/24/2021 - 23:30
Published:1/24/2021 10:54:12 PM
[Markets] Federal Court Blocks Obamacare Mandate Forcing Doctors To Perform Transgender Surgery Federal Court Blocks Obamacare Mandate Forcing Doctors To Perform Transgender Surgery

Authored by Janita Kan via The Epoch Times,

A federal court has ruled to protect some doctors and health care providers from being penalized for refusing to perform gender transition procedures on the grounds of religious belief.

In a decision a day before Joe Biden took the oath of office, United States District Court Chief Judge Peter D. Welte from North Dakota granted a request to block the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) from enforcing an Obamacare mandate that compels medical professionals and healthcare providers to perform gender transition services.

In 2016, the HHS issued a rule interpreting Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which prohibits certain forms of discrimination in healthcare, including sex discrimination.

The rule prohibited insurers and third party administrations from offering or administer health plans with gender-transition exclusions. The regulation also prohibited a healthcare provider from refusing to offer medical services for gender transitions if that provider offered comparable services to others.

The rule did not provide an exemption for religious grounds, arguing that Title IX’s religious exemptions only apply to an educational context. The department at the time also argued that “a blanket religious exemption could result in a denial or delay in the provision of health care to individuals and in discouraging individuals from seeking necessary care.”

The department instead explained that it would consider religious exemptions on an individualized case-by-case basis for claims under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

An order of Catholic nuns, a Catholic university, and Catholic healthcare organizations challenged the mandate under the RFRA, while the state of North Dakota joined the lawsuit to challenge the mandate under a federal law known as the Administrative Procedure Act that governs rulemaking by administrative agencies.

The mandate was previously put on hold by a federal judge in North Dakota and was struck down in 2019 by another federal court in Texas. Under the Trump administration, HHS passed a new rule aimed at walking back the mandate. However, the 2020 rule was blocked by separate challenges in other courts.

Welte said in his decision that the plaintiffs have shown “an entitlement” for injunctive relief, saying that a violation under the RFRA is comparable to the deprivation of a First Amendment right.

“The Catholic healthcare entities’ refusal to perform or cover gender-transition procedures is predicated on an exercise of their religious beliefs protected by the First Amendment,” Welte said (pdf).

“Absent an injunction, [plantiffs] will either be ‘forced to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs’ by performing and covering gender-transition procedures ‘or to incur severe monetary penalties for refusing to comply,'” he added.

Attorney Luke Goodrich, senior counsel at Becket, a religious organization representing the plaintiffs, said the court’s decision “recognizes our medical heroes’ right to practice medicine in line with their conscience and without politically motivated interference from government bureaucrats.”

“These religious doctors and hospitals provide top-notch medical care to all patients for everything from cancer to the common cold,” Goodrich said in a statement.

“All they’re asking is that they be allowed to continue serving their patients as they’ve done for decades, without being forced to perform controversial, medically unsupported procedures that are against their religious beliefs and potentially harmful to their patients. The Constitution and federal law require no less.”

During his campaign, Biden had vowed to push LGBTQ rights as part of his agenda, including coverage for care related to gender transitioning and surgery. He signed an executive order on his first day as president to prevent discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual discrimination.

Xavier Becerra, who has been tapped by Biden to lead the HHS, had previously argued in favor of using taxpayers’ money to provide transgender individuals in North Carolina with coverage for gender transitioning surgery and treatment.

Some religious liberty advocates and people of faith are worried that the religious freedom protections implemented by the Trump administration could be rolled back under a Biden administration.

Tyler Durden Thu, 01/21/2021 - 21:20
Published:1/21/2021 8:31:03 PM
[The Courts] Court Blocks Obamacare Transgender Surgery Mandate

A federal court blocked an Obamacare mandate that would compel doctors to perform gender reassignment surgery. An order of Catholic nuns challenged the mandate under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, arguing that it forces doctors to violate their consciences and medical judgment. A North Dakota district court judge ruled on Tuesday that nuns and other religious health care ...

The post Court Blocks Obamacare Transgender Surgery Mandate appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:1/20/2021 4:04:05 PM
[Markets] 25 Top Accomplishments Of President Donald J. Trump 25 Top Accomplishments Of President Donald J. Trump

Authored by Sharyl Attkisson via,

Daily - if not hourly - for four years, the media, analysts, political figures, operatives, and ordinary folk spoke out against President Trump and what they believe President Trump has done wrong. In the eyes of many, it is quite literally: everything.

As Trump finishes his term in office, it's easy to find negative, harsh assessments of virtually every facet of his policies and actions. The Atlantic, CNN and PBS are among those who have declared Trump to be the “worst president in history.” This side of the story has been well covered.

There are also lists of "how Trump could be prosecuted," and nearly every media outlet has its own list of "Trump lies." Click the links within this graph to read more about all of that.

As we know, roughly half of the country feels differently, but their voices are not as well-represented on the news and the Internet. Most media outlets cannot seem to bear to publish anything that is not one-sided and negative about Trump and his term. This begs for a bit of balance, even if it's dwarfed by the counter-narrative.

Built after consulting a variety of experts on the economy, national security, foreign policy and domestic issues, here is a short list that reflects “the other side” of the Trump presidency; one that is not so easy to find within today’s managed information landscape. 

25 Top accomplishments of President Donald J. Trump

1. Executive order enacted Jan. 1, 2021 requiring hospitals to provide medical prices to patients upfront so they can shop around.

2. Reversing the ascent of the Islamic extremist terrorist group ISIS.

3. “Most Favored Nation” executive order so that the U.S. (through Medicare) would pay no more for a drug than what’s offered to foreign countries, saving the U.S. an estimated “$85 billion in savings over seven years and $30 billion in out-of-pocket costs.”

4. Moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to the capital of Jerusalem.

5. Building more than 450 miles of new and replacement border wall.

6. Leading U.S. to a level of energy independence (exporting more oil than importing for the first time in 70 years), allowing international policy decisions to be made with less regard to how an oil nation we once relied on would respond.

7. No new wars.

8. Drastic reduction in regulations, opening the door for entrepreneurs and businesses to succeed, expand, and hire more people. According to the Trump administration, they promised to eliminate two regulations for every new one, but actually wound up eliminating 8 old regulations for every 1 new regulation adopted, equating into an extra $3,100 a year for the average American household.

9. Expanding Republican reach among African Americans and other constituents who traditionally lean Democrat.  

10. Cutting taxes in an initiative that benefitted every tax bracket.

11. Doubled the child tax credit.

12. Operation Warp Speed: accelerated development of coronavirus vaccines.

13. Eliminated the Obamacare penalty.

14. A series of trade agreements and changes seen as beneficial to Americans, including replacing NAFTA with USMCA.

15. Instead of 2-for-1, we eliminated 8 old regulations for every 1 new regulation adopted.

16. Provided the average American household an extra $3,100 every year.

17. Started the Space Force.

18. Instituted “Right to Try,” allowing terminally ill patients to use potentially lifesaving, unproven treatments.

19. Prioritized and made permanent funding for historically black colleges.

20. Brokered peace deals or normalization agreements between Israel and five Muslim and Arab-Muslim countries.

21. Banned the teaching of “Critical Race Theory” in the federal government.

22. Withdrew from Iran nuclear deal.

23. Withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord.

24. Instituted a Buy American policy within federal agencies.

25. Achieved a $400 billion increase in contributions by NATO allies by 2024 with the number of members meeting their minimum obligations doubling.

Click here to see the White House list of Trump accomplishments

Tyler Durden Wed, 01/20/2021 - 09:54
Published:1/20/2021 9:06:48 AM
[IJR] Sen. Ben Sasse Says Americans ‘Should Take Comfort’ SCOTUS ‘Closed the Book’ on Election ‘Nonsense’ "Since Election Night, a lot of people have been confusing voters by spinning Kenyan Birther-type, ‘Chavez rigged the election from the grave’ conspiracy theories." Published:12/11/2020 7:31:56 PM
[] Biden Taps Planned Parenthood Lackey Xavier Becerra to Head HHS Published:12/7/2020 9:34:36 AM
[Markets] A Fiscal Stimulus Deal Is Imminent: Here's What A Hedge Fund CIO Thinks Will Happen Next A Fiscal Stimulus Deal Is Imminent: Here's What A Hedge Fund CIO Thinks Will Happen Next Tyler Durden Fri, 12/04/2020 - 13:35

Despite the unprecedented polarization in Congress, fiscal stimulus is slowly progressing with Politico reporting this morning that it is quite likely that a Covid relief bill will come together. "It will be small and targeted, including PPP, unemployment, restaurant assistance (deductions) and a bit more."

Latest headlines confirmed as much, when Nancy Pelosi said she and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell hope to combine a coronavirus relief measure with an omnibus spending package. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he plans to talk to McConnell today about a relief package, adding that "If $908 billion over four months is what we agree on then we ought to pass it."

While more information on the fiscal stimulus is expected to emerge heading into this weekend, where policymakers on both sides will hold stimulus discussions, it is now almost certain that a hypothetical package will be tagged alongside the omnibus spending bill that will set to be voted on December 11.

Incidentally, the base case of several banks is for a roughly $1 trillion fiscal package, which would be the last major tranche of COVID-related fiscal stimulus, while consultancy ACG Analytics believes the final deal will be somewhere in the middle of the bid/ask, or around $750, and that could be it until 2022, as per Larry McDonald's Bear Traps Report:

Senate Majority leader (Mitch) is at 600bln and Romney (GOP Centrist leader) is 908bln.  750bln might get done and that might be all the fiscal for Biden unless GA turns or 2022 brings a dem majority. The risk is if it’s too big now we might get nothing in Q1 in terms of a larger package. We think the GOP works with Biden until the 2022 midterms, after that the austerity camp takes over into the 2024 election, we defer to ACG in Washington on all Things Fiscal.

And speaking of the latest Bear Traps report, below we republish an interesting take from a "large hedge fund CIO" client of Larry McDonald's:

"After talking to all the consultants in Washington, here's my take.

The big political surprise coming is Biden works with the political center to achieve substantial centrist legislation in a variety of ways — to the frustration of the far left.

There will be no Green new deal, confiscatory tax law changes, defunded police, mass forgiveness of student loans or single payor health.  There will NOT be 2 new states, Supreme Court-packing, etc even if the senate goes 50-50.

There will be an infrastructure bill (with Green energy emphasized), changes to taxes on foreign corporate earnings, police reform and other attempts to reduce institutional racism, forbearance on hardship student debt, fixes to Obamacare. Etc.

People who think McConnell can bring the Senate to a halt and reject every proposal are nuts.  If he (McConnell) does that 2022 will be a bloodbath for Republicans (Senate 51-49 now, + the GOP is less than 7 seats away from taking the House, they will NOT risk this momentum).

There are several Republicans like Romney, Murkowski, Collins, Ernst, Purdue, and Tillis that can realize they have a ton of power to support a centrist agenda."

Published:12/4/2020 12:41:56 PM
[Markets] Why Is Challenging Suspicious Election Results "A Threat To Our Democracy"? Why Is Challenging Suspicious Election Results "A Threat To Our Democracy"? Tyler Durden Sat, 11/21/2020 - 16:10

Authored by Jack Hellner via,

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.

Published:11/21/2020 3:21:04 PM
[The Courts] 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
[Markets] 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
[World] [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
[Markets] Biden To Name COVID-19 Task Force Monday - Here's His Plan Biden To Name COVID-19 Task Force Monday - Here's His Plan Tyler Durden Sun, 11/08/2020 - 16:35

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". 

Published:11/8/2020 3:44:43 PM
[Democrats] 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
[Politics] 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
[Joe Biden] 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
[Uncategorized] 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
[Markets] 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 Tyler Durden Thu, 10/22/2020 - 23:00

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.

Published:10/22/2020 10:03:37 PM
[Uncategorized] 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
[680c1d4f-7957-50dd-bc70-0a5db073bf3b] 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
[Markets] 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 Tyler Durden Thu, 10/15/2020 - 13:05

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.

Published:10/15/2020 12:08:36 PM
[Uncategorized] 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
[News] 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
[Politics] 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
[Markets] 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 Tyler Durden Mon, 10/12/2020 - 08:55

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.

Barrett’s faith

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.

Gun Rights

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

Published:10/12/2020 8:05:05 AM
[Markets] 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" Tyler Durden Sun, 10/11/2020 - 15:45

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.

Published:10/11/2020 2:57:35 PM
[Health Care] 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
[Markets] COVID & The Escalation Of Medical Tyranny COVID & The Escalation Of Medical Tyranny Tyler Durden Thu, 10/08/2020 - 12:25

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 servicesBig 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.

Published:10/8/2020 11:26:11 AM
[Markets] Hot Mic Moment: Lawmakers Admit Masks Are All "Political Theater" Hot Mic Moment: Lawmakers Admit Masks Are All "Political Theater" Tyler Durden Fri, 10/02/2020 - 13:23

Authored by Mac Slavo via,

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.

Published:10/2/2020 12:26:12 PM
[e37ce4c3-020a-5889-a413-01e5eb73c2f6] 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
[Markets] Trump's Night: The Return Of The Chaos Candidate Trump's Night: The Return Of The Chaos Candidate Tyler Durden Wed, 09/30/2020 - 18:00

Authored by Philip Wegmann via,

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.

Published:9/30/2020 5:09:01 PM
[Political Cartoons] 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
[Markets] 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
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