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Thread: Biden Thread

  1. #1
    Senior Member Senior Member Idaho's Avatar
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    Default Biden Thread

    Hopeful? Doubtful?

    I am not convinced that most Americans will be better off in 4 years time. But I think the US global position will be better.

    I think he's lucky in his timing. It really is the darkest moment for the US with covid.
    "The republicans will draft your kids, poison the air and water, take away your social security and burn down black churches if elected." Gawain of Orkney

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    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden thread

    I'm hopeful:
    Trump was useful to expose lots of (US) domestic and foriegn policy issues that we were pretending didn't exist.
    He made them public debate, and Biden is hopefully thoughtful/principled enough to continue the debate on these issues.
    We'll all benefit from a better president, but also from a president better oriented to the things that matter.
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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden thread

    First, it will be a welcome change to have a president that doesn't conduct government from Twitter. Second, there is no returning to "normal" as many like to put it. While Trump wasn't the cause of many of our problems here, he certainly was an enabler for many of the darker things that have happened in the last four years.

    I don't hold out much hope for Biden/Harris to make good on the "coming together" theme they've espoused since the campaign. There's just too much of a gulf between Americans these days to think that 80's and 90's politics will be enough to bridge that divide. Having said that, he has to try. To not make any effort at all would be a dereliction of duty to the American people.

    If Biden/Harris can get this pandemic firestorm under some semblance of control, that's a win. If they can get the US economy at least headed in the right direction, that's also a win (which, of neccesity means the pandemic is under control). If massive damage control can be conducted on America's standing in the world, that's a win (although I fear some of the damage wrought in the last four years is permanent).

    I think some of those actions are entirely possible within the first two years. There are certainly many other actions that can be undertaken, like addressing economic inequities, police brutality, climate change, [fill in the blank here], and hopefully at least some headway can be made, though it will take more than a single president's term (and more likely many such terms) to make the kinds of lasting changes that need to be made. I don't hold out for FDR-like things to happen under the Biden Administration. The man isn't strong enough, or charismatic enough to accomplish such things. But if Biden and Kamala Harris can at least right the ship, and put out the fires, we might might have a shot at a continuation come the mid-terms in 2022, and the next presidential election in 2024.
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    Member Member Crandar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden thread

    Today is a black day for Internet communities. If the pessimist forecasts about a dramatic decline in twitter and diplomatic gaffes in the coming months are confirmed, then we should expect a respective contraction of the available topics for discussion, which will then affect rather negatively our traffic.

    In the less important subject of American politics, I expect an improvement, but nothing radical. I don't think that Biden will manage to reverse his predecessor's policies in the most pressing matters, like the nuclear deal or fiscal reforms. The majority of the Democrats in the Senate is very slim and vulnerable to Manchin's conservative tendencies.

    As for Biden, I personally like him more than Obama, but he lacks the charisma of his predecessor. However, charisma plays a role in politics, not administration. My biggest gripe is with Harris, whose alleged skills I find them very overestimated and who I consider as a particularly sleazy opportunist.

  5. #5
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden thread

    I just want boring competence from the new administration.
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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden thread

    As others have said, Biden's legacy will rest on whether or not he can get Covid under control, a daunting task on its own without also having to deal with a large majority of Republicans thinking the election was stolen and trying to repair the damage from the past four years and all the other crises like climate change, economic issues, racial issues, etc. I will say though that I am most relieved that Trump will no longer have nuclear launch authority.

    Here are his planned Day 1 executive orders, seems to be a solid start:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	EsJXx-lXcAIr60W.png 
Views:	19 
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ID:	24266

    Edit: on a side note, Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman, who was filmed leading rioters away from the Senate chambers, apparently got promoted to Acting Deputy House Sergeant at Arms. Good for him.
    Last edited by Hooahguy; 01-20-2021 at 16:35.
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    Default Re: Biden thread

    I'm cautiously optimistic, he's got political experience, the Capitol attack two weeks ago has shocked the more moderate Republicans into seeing the danger of extremism. He's certainly got no shortage of problems to overcome, besides the pandemic and the economic problems there's the ever present foreign policy problems of China, NK, Iran, and Russia. What does one do with the Iran situation, I see no way in hell they'd agree to re-entering the same nuclear deal, even if made law by Congress. As I would usually pose the question to my Republican friends "see we've pulled out of the nuclear deal, no what? how do we stop Iran from going nuclear short of war?" How does one confront Chinese assertiveness in their near-abroad and they're increased corruption and meddling in allied nations politics (Australia, NZ, EU, NATO).

    I'm with drone on this, I want some boring competence. I don't want to see every day what horrible thing the President or his cronies have tweeted. He's put a lot of technocrats into key positions, hopefully they get confirmed.

    It is crazy seeing the 180 shift in the news coverage, all praises of course from CNN and MSNBC while Fox is worried about the incoming immigrant horde of caravans and increased taxes ruining "Trump's stock market boom."

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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden thread

    Regardless of what anyone says, I will take the day just to enjoy the transition of power. Certainly a momentous day, as the swearing in of the first female and African American/Indian VP is a pretty big deal for a lot of people. I thought Biden gave a really nice speech and I also thought the poem was really amazing too.



    Also did not expect Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks to ever share a stage but here we are.
    Last edited by Hooahguy; 01-20-2021 at 21:12.
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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden thread

    Biden and the VP both seem to be above all else pragmatists with a long history of doing deals rather than idealism. And personally I think getting something done is better than screaming at the Other Side.

    I hope that Donald's four years - and above all else Capitol Riot will - focus minds. It is easy to overlook rampant racism, a broken healthcare system and so on and so forth when it is all Out There and happening to other people. Poor people. Until the riot it was the usual view that yes, all the noise was worth the Conservative judges and the tax cuts. He's had an affair with a couple of pornstars? who cares? But when there's a mob only a few metres away that might seriously be looking to kill you personally this changes things. Hopefully there will be bilateral support for creation of the "guard rails" that up to now have mainly relied on human decency - laws having to procure all tax returns, all assets into a blind trust would be a small start. Addressing the Pardon power would probably require an amendment to the Constitution; Congress could also reduce the limit the power of the executive branch in codifying more independence of the Justice Department.

    Biden talked about restoring American Leadership to the world. Barring military aggression (which is of course not leadership) I am unsure what leadership this is exactly. Human rights? Climate change? Weapon proliferation? Upholding the rule of law or democracy? Only an American could believe that they are ideals of any of these things, barring Cold War propaganda. Yes, historically America has aggressively enacted its interests but only in a "might is right" way. There is no underlying moral worldview and I don't see this changing. the American military needs things to do and enemies to face to justify the massive amount of money spent. Allies will be happy to have a return of the Pax Americana since they can all continue to underfund their military - which was one point that Donald was not wrong.

    The other big issues are well known and well ignored:

    • Rampant personal and institutional racism
    • Worsening Wealth inequality
    • Broken Justice system (racist and for-profit)
    • Military-industrial complex
    • Health system / Pharma-industrial complex
    • Unequal tax burden
    • Abysmal / absent worker's rights


    To many in power in America, all of the above aren't broken - they're working fine. Money is sucked up and mainly given to the extremely rich with those in prison able to be treated as slaves and those outside able to be treated as indentured workers. Politicians are there to be bought. If Biden wanted to address them I doubt he could. There's no political will / votes in doing so and at 78 he is not going to have the stamina required to take on practically everyone.

    If Donald was an F, Biden will probably be a solid C+

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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden thread

    The other big issues are well known and well ignored
    All of those issues do, indeed, need to be addressed. None of them can be solved in a single presidential term, or even several. Maybe never...

    Biden and the VP both seem to be above all else pragmatists with a long history of doing deals rather than idealism. And personally I think getting something done is better than screaming at the Other Side.
    I think one of the toughest tasks ahead for this administration is to govern in the face of very high expectations, some of which they've placed on themselves. Having a plan for moving the country forward is in stark contrast to the rudderless path we've had here the last four years, which is a symptom of not only Trumpism, but the GOP as a whole. Because no administration ever gets everything they want, how much of their plan they can enact, will be the basis for how they are graded....

    Biden talked about restoring American Leadership to the world. Barring military aggression (which is of course not leadership) I am unsure what leadership this is exactly
    Reversing some of the economic damage done by the Trump Administration with the EU, is a start, though I'm not sure how that can be done. The China Investment Agreement the EU just signed is a bad omen for the US. While no details have been released yet, it's a clear sign that the EU is trying to secure some form of economic stability going forward. America's economy has grown significantly in ten years, while Europe's has flatlined. China's economy has grown by leaps and bounds, and will surpass the US in the not-so-distant future. Military might is not the only weapon being wielded here.

    So is the EU's willingness to deal more closely with China done from a position of strength or weakness?
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 01-21-2021 at 14:45.
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    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post

    So is the EU's willingness to deal more closely with China done from a position of strength or weakness?
    https://www.theatlantic.com/internat...europe/617753/
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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden thread

    Definitely a good indication that Biden and the Dems have learned something from the Obama years when it comes to legislating:

    The fact that Democrats plan to move quickly on dreamers reflects a bunch of lessons that were learned the hard way, producing a shift in thinking. The key insight is that after years spent trying to do a large comprehensive immigration reform bill, it’s clear this approach has failed.

    To be clear, the agenda that Biden plans to pursue is very far reaching and ambitious. As The Post reports, it includes pursuing legalization for the millions and millions of undocumented immigrants already here, an undoing of the past administration’s deep cuts to asylum and refugee flows, and more.

    But the paradigm that Democrats were devoted to for so long — in which they tried to assemble a large package of reforms, then win over Republican support for it by offering to spend enormous sums on border enforcement — has largely failed.

    Seeking a quick victory on the dreamers is emerging as one answer to this problem among many Democrats and immigrant rights advocates.

    The basic thinking is that chasing Republicans with promises of enforcement money to get them to back immigration policies they think their base will hate is largely folly; they rarely seem to be willing to buck the base in the end.

    A policy like legalizing the dreamers — and possibly people with TPS as well — could conceivably win Republicans. After all, some GOP senators who just won reelection, such as John Cornyn of Texas and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, did so while advocating for this, and others, such as Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and James Lankford of Oklahoma, have also backed the idea.

    “If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the failed pursuit of comprehensive reform legislation, it’s that we should not wait and postpone progress where there is already consensus,” Chris Newman, the legal director at the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, told me.

    The idea here is to start right out of the gate on immigration by doing something that would win overwhelming public support. The dreamers are highly sympathetic figures, and, crucially, their plight is well understood by the public. If Democrats passed something like this fast, and Republicans who signed on got public kudos and faced less blowback from the right than they feared, it could clear space for more movement later.
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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    Biden and the VP both seem to be above all else pragmatists with a long history of doing deals rather than idealism. And personally I think getting something done is better than screaming at the Other Side.

    I hope that Donald's four years - and above all else Capitol Riot will - focus minds. It is easy to overlook rampant racism, a broken healthcare system and so on and so forth when it is all Out There and happening to other people. Poor people. Until the riot it was the usual view that yes, all the noise was worth the Conservative judges and the tax cuts. He's had an affair with a couple of pornstars? who cares? But when there's a mob only a few metres away that might seriously be looking to kill you personally this changes things. Hopefully there will be bilateral support for creation of the "guard rails" that up to now have mainly relied on human decency - laws having to procure all tax returns, all assets into a blind trust would be a small start. Addressing the Pardon power would probably require an amendment to the Constitution; Congress could also reduce the limit the power of the executive branch in codifying more independence of the Justice Department.

    Biden talked about restoring American Leadership to the world. Barring military aggression (which is of course not leadership) I am unsure what leadership this is exactly. Human rights? Climate change? Weapon proliferation? Upholding the rule of law or democracy? Only an American could believe that they are ideals of any of these things, barring Cold War propaganda. Yes, historically America has aggressively enacted its interests but only in a "might is right" way. There is no underlying moral worldview and I don't see this changing. the American military needs things to do and enemies to face to justify the massive amount of money spent. Allies will be happy to have a return of the Pax Americana since they can all continue to underfund their military - which was one point that Donald was not wrong.

    The other big issues are well known and well ignored:

    • Rampant personal and institutional racism
    • Worsening Wealth inequality
    • Broken Justice system (racist and for-profit)
    • Military-industrial complex
    • Health system / Pharma-industrial complex
    • Unequal tax burden
    • Abysmal / absent worker's rights


    To many in power in America, all of the above aren't broken - they're working fine. Money is sucked up and mainly given to the extremely rich with those in prison able to be treated as slaves and those outside able to be treated as indentured workers. Politicians are there to be bought. If Biden wanted to address them I doubt he could. There's no political will / votes in doing so and at 78 he is not going to have the stamina required to take on practically everyone.

    If Donald was an F, Biden will probably be a solid C+

    If not the US, then who? Who else in the world combines reach and living with these standards that you lambast the Americans for failing? The only alternative I can of would be western Europe, but you don't agree with that either. Japan and their institutional racism? China and their even more rampant racism, along with their very distant relationship with liberal values? India and their homicidally nationalist identity?

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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooahguy View Post
    Definitely a good indication that Biden and the Dems have learned something from the Obama years when it comes to legislating:
    Something good enough immediately is better than something perfect in the indefinite future.

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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden thread

    Interesting thing going on in the Senate right now, per Senator Schatz (D-Hawaii):
    McConnell is threatening to filibuster the Organizing Resolution which allows Democrats to assume the committee Chair positions. It’s an absolutely unprecedented, wacky, counterproductive request. We won the Senate. We get the gavels.
    Not sure what Mitch is playing at here, but if there was ever a move that would make Sinema and Manchin vote to remove the filibuster, this would be it.
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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    If not the US, then who? Who else in the world combines reach and living with these standards that you lambast the Americans for failing? The only alternative I can of would be western Europe, but you don't agree with that either. Japan and their institutional racism? China and their even more rampant racism, along with their very distant relationship with liberal values? India and their homicidally nationalist identity?
    Does the world needs a country prepared to invade others for perceived slights? Is Iraq / Lybia / Afghanistan amongst others better for the intervention?

    The attacks are not based on values - since there are many countries where there are ongoing problems such as Myanmar or Yemen that have yet to be bombed (unless you count selling weapons to those bombing).

    Americans like to think they hold those ideals but the evidence demonstrates that this isn't the case.

    Although far from perfect, the UN generally leads to a lot less deaths than America does.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.
    "If you can't trust the local kleptocrat whom you installed by force and prop up with billions of annual dollars, who can you trust?" Lemur
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Biden thread

    Why does the Trump thread get a capital 'T'? Outrageous bias.

    An unusual much will rest in the laps of a handful of individuals, really: Biden and Manchin, Pelosi and Schumer. The party consensus is almost in place to make the first two years considerably more productive than Obama's (with large Congressional majorities). So now we're waiting not exactly on Great Man Theory, but to the Great Veto Points.

    I am heartened that the Democratic caucus has finally shifted a little left, when even Joe Manchin is volunteering that we need more direct transfers and trillions in stimulus above the proposed programs.

    No idea why Biden is making immigration reform (in Congress) a Day-1 priority, but it could be a prologue to packing every item on the near agenda from minimum wage - NO MORE TIPPED MINIMUM?!?! - to coronavirus relief into an enormous reconciliation omnibus, so we'll have to see what that looks like.

    (Another suggestion I've heard is that Dems introduce arbitrary exemptions to the legislative filibuster before whatever the bills du jour will be, but I'm not sure whether Dems would be more or less likely to back such a gimmick than outright abolition anyway. )


    "Trump talked out of pardoning kids and Republican lawmakers"

    For once I'm genuinely surprised by Trump's behavior. Fire away, fellas.


    Quote Originally Posted by Crandar View Post
    Aww, he also has our most famous king as the image background for his twitter account.
    It's a trend.

    The Left calls you “fascist” because the Left fears fascism. Sadly, the monstrous fascist dictators were the most historically successful at stopping communism. I wish it wasn’t so. And I worry about what that means for our future.

    Know what the Left doesn’t fear? Conservatism. They hate it because it’s the opposite of Leftism. But they don’t fear it because they know Conservatism cannot defeat Leftism.

    Again, I wish it wasn’t so.

    Conservatism is the opposite of Leftism. But it cannot defeat Leftism. Because there is not laissez-faire way to defeat communism. It must be aggressively purged or it festers and spreads like any other infection.
    From a certain point of view, democracies have a perfect record in "stopping Communism," whereas fascism fell through in a big way in allowing almost all of Eastern and Central Europe to come under its authority.


    Quote Originally Posted by spmetla View Post
    I agree on this, the 'old guard' republicans like McConnell are clearly ready to dump Trump but the ground swell is of the Tea Party>Trump>post Trump movement what will likely elect even more extreme people in the midterms next year.
    The McConnell wing doesn't want to dump Trump because they're better than Trump, it's because the McConnell wing wants itself to preside over Republican domination. Their only use for Trump is was insofar as he can hold a pen.

    The only way out of it I can imagine is if the Dems make a concerted effort to prove the Trump-clan fears wrong.
    I feel strongly about this. We can leave aside that "Trump-clan fears" are so often evidently not with regard to liberal policy outcomes per se, but to the essentialized nature of the liberal coalition (i.e. who, not what). Even an agnostic on that element of the conflict should be able to see it's time, for once, for conservatives to bring something to the table, to take the first step as Biden said, to prove their own seriousness. Trying to appeal to right-wing shibboleths was one of the worst things Dems did (or were forced to do, by some tellings) in living memory. (The only worse is their former status as the party of formal racism, really.) It's part of how we got to where we are, those bad old days when liberals crouched and cringed at the slur "liberal" and did their best to distance themselves from it as a historical concept or an ethos - and it's bad policy in its own right. In any other country the appropriate stance would self-evidently be for the governing party to continue to advocate to the general electorate over the common policy ground that truly exists, which is pretty much what Dems do (if arguably not as efficiently or intensively as they could). Yet what's obvious in every other country can't be allowed for here, in one of those odd bits of inverted exceptionalism where America is apparently such a depraved and degenerate society that some people - specifically the Right - can't be held to normal-people standards. But if a given individual don't wan't to compromise over common ground, which does exist, because they prefer fascism to compromise (compromise is not equivalent to 'conservatives receiving everything they are due'), they can learn that we don't negotiate with terrorists. Appeasement is OVER.

    The grassroots fascism, for there to be so many fascists besieging us is, naturally, a national emergency that calls for action. Someone else put it well (to paraphrase): The goal cannot, in terms of ethics or feasibility, be to persuade fascists to be liberals; it must be to make them into anything but fascists.

    One means to that end is to show fascism losing over and over...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooahguy View Post
    Perhaps biding their time but its so hard to tell, especially with a Justice Department that is now vowing to crack down on those groups. Now that their leader is gone and cowed (the Proud Boys called Trump "a total failure"). I guess we will see.
    These kinds of domestic plots are, in the end, easy to infiltrate and break up by an agitated FBI. We do pay for our national security, we may as well enjoy some benefits for the price.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    Something good enough immediately is better than something perfect in the indefinite future.
    To be clear, the proposal here is to limit mucking about with conservative games and just move left immediately. Ironic.

    Tangentially, I did not know that the Blair government authorized a commission to determine minimum wage increases. Any comments?
    Last edited by Montmorency; 01-21-2021 at 20:29.
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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    Does the world needs a country prepared to invade others for perceived slights? Is Iraq / Lybia / Afghanistan amongst others better for the intervention?

    The attacks are not based on values - since there are many countries where there are ongoing problems such as Myanmar or Yemen that have yet to be bombed (unless you count selling weapons to those bombing).

    Americans like to think they hold those ideals but the evidence demonstrates that this isn't the case.

    Although far from perfect, the UN generally leads to a lot less deaths than America does.

    Does leadership only mean wars to you? China has been throwing its weight around in east Asia, Russia has been funding destabilising movements in the UK and US, neither requiring war, yet both would be curtailed or reduced with something like Clinton-era US leadership in the political field. Would you rather everyone be atomised and left to the likes of China and Russia to prey on?

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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden thread

    With all the fashion statements being made at the Inauguration, this one makes me smile:

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...s-not-for-sale

    Bernie Sanders’ mittens may have become the unexpected must-have fashion accessory of Joe Biden’s inauguration, but those hoping to steal the Vermont senator’s look are in for a disappointment. The teacher who made them and gave them to Sanders says she has none for sale.

    She went on to say: “I hate to disappoint people, but the mittens, they’re one-of-a-kind and they’re unique and sometimes in this world, you just can’t get everything you want.”
    High Plains Drifter

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    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    Something good enough immediately is better than something perfect in the indefinite future.
    This IS a totalwar site, Pan', you may as well have quoted Tamerlane.
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  21. #21
    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    Does leadership only mean wars to you? China has been throwing its weight around in east Asia, Russia has been funding destabilising movements in the UK and US, neither requiring war, yet both would be curtailed or reduced with something like Clinton-era US leadership in the political field. Would you rather everyone be atomised and left to the likes of China and Russia to prey on?
    China is throwing their weight around Asia. Why shouldn't they be? They've put up with nukes off their coast and an American fleet parked in what they view as a rebel province for decades. Given we appear to be in a post-woke world where everyone is equally valued and so on why is what their culture does worse than what we do? I am a dinosaur and I personally (and very quietly these days) believe that cultures can and should be proponents of values they hold as "right" and declare others to be "wrong" but such old beliefs have no place any more.

    I am unclear what "leadership" would stop China and Russia with their cyberwarfare given atypical warfare since the capture of the Crimea by Russia has been shown to work well... And America / Israel / the UK and many others are also at it, against both enemies, allies, their own people and NGOs. America, Europe and elsewhere purchase so much from China that without a strong Government forcing home grown industries this isn't likely to change.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
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  22. #22
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Why does the Trump thread get a capital 'T'? Outrageous bias.
    I fixed the main title but you gotta go into the advanced reply section to edit the reply within the message itself. Odd settings, I didn't make them.

    I am heartened that the Democratic caucus has finally shifted a little left, when even Joe Manchin is volunteering that we need more direct transfers and trillions in stimulus above the proposed programs.
    Same. I've heard that this also might be Manchin's final term before retirement so he might be willing to bend more towards the left than in the past.

    No idea why Biden is making immigration reform (in Congress) a Day-1 priority, but it could be a prologue to packing every item on the near agenda from minimum wage - NO MORE TIPPED MINIMUM?!?! - to coronavirus relief into an enormous reconciliation omnibus, so we'll have to see what that looks like.
    As the article I posted earlier stated, it would be an early and relatively easy win that is also very popular. Hopefully anyways. From what I can tell its not the sole thing on the agenda right now but I certainly don't blame them for wanting to move fast.

    "Trump talked out of pardoning kids and Republican lawmakers"

    For once I'm genuinely surprised by Trump's behavior. Fire away, fellas.
    I'm not surprised at all. The article you linked to stated that doing such pardons would make him more vulnerable legally. And ultimately, he only cares about himself.

    The McConnell wing doesn't want to dump Trump because they're better than Trump, it's because the McConnell wing wants itself to preside over Republican domination. Their only use for Trump is was insofar as he can hold a pen.
    For now it seems like McConnell is going to lose that battle, with some Senate Republicans already threatening his leadership if he votes to convict Trump. If he really does want to maintain control, he will have to whip some votes to convict or be relegated to a backseat position now that he's criticized Trump a bunch, drawing the ire of the Trump gang. He put himself in this bind and he has only himself to blame. Act boldly or go home.
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    Ni dieu ni maître! Senior Member a completely inoffensive name's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden Thread

    McConnell sees his future in the party leadership is over and is looking to burn down the party rather than be a mocked backbencher. I wouldn't be surprised if he is deliberately agitating Dems to kill the filibuster and voting to convict Trump to ensure Dems get a fair shot at their agenda and hamper Trumpists from taking advantage of the strategic positioning McConnell has long fought to maintain.
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

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    Ni dieu ni maître! Senior Member a completely inoffensive name's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    Given we appear to be in a post-woke world where everyone is equally valued and so on why is what their culture does worse than what we do?
    This just makes you look dumb. No one besides literal tankies on the left genuinely support the Chinese government or its values.

    I am a dinosaur and I personally (and very quietly these days) believe that cultures can and should be proponents of values they hold as "right" and declare others to be "wrong" but such old beliefs have no place any more.
    Congrats, you are an American. Even our 'realpolitik' is mainly just value based decisions on how much to strongarm other nations into aligning with the US world structure.

    I am unclear what "leadership" would stop China and Russia with their cyberwarfare given atypical warfare since the capture of the Crimea by Russia has been shown to work well... And America / Israel / the UK and many others are also at it, against both enemies, allies, their own people and NGOs. America, Europe and elsewhere purchase so much from China that without a strong Government forcing home grown industries this isn't likely to change.
    Setting up a Digital Security Division with our best and brightest rotated in from Silicon Valley would go a long way to improving US defenses. We have better talent than Russia and perhaps China, they are just flocking to the private sector since it is so lucrative.

    Trade deficits with China serve to bring them to the table as much or greater than force projection. Greater economic integration to the world institutions forces China to play by rules that US and Europe set after WW2. This is why Trump's leaving of Paris, Iran, and WHO was so completely moronic. These are all rigged in our favor, but US conservatism today wants nothing but complete subjugation as a matter of feels over reals.

    Regional trading blocks with SE-Asia to set up sanctions will only grow more powerful as China's middle class grows and cheap manufacturing shifts elsewhere. China's place as the place to make everything is not set in stone and as living standards rise, Chinese labor is getting more expensive.

    Expanding international aid and presenting alternative loans to Africa and SE-Asia will help reduce Chinese soft power in their belt-and-road beneficiaries. Ultimately China is either looking to put countries in a debt trap or legally occupy ports and bases in exchange for the infrastructure.

    US funding of basic science and engineering enterprises has been lacking for many decades now. Quite frankly the US has a lot of untapped scientific potential that need long term grants to unlock.
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

  25. #25
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    China is throwing their weight around Asia. Why shouldn't they be? They've put up with nukes off their coast and an American fleet parked in what they view as a rebel province for decades. Given we appear to be in a post-woke world where everyone is equally valued and so on why is what their culture does worse than what we do? I am a dinosaur and I personally (and very quietly these days) believe that cultures can and should be proponents of values they hold as "right" and declare others to be "wrong" but such old beliefs have no place any more.

    I am unclear what "leadership" would stop China and Russia with their cyberwarfare given atypical warfare since the capture of the Crimea by Russia has been shown to work well... And America / Israel / the UK and many others are also at it, against both enemies, allies, their own people and NGOs. America, Europe and elsewhere purchase so much from China that without a strong Government forcing home grown industries this isn't likely to change.

    Russian intervention has given us Brexit and Trump, both with the aim of undermining western stability. China is engaging in old fashioned colonialism in Africa, which I don't have much detail of beyond reports, and in Pakistan, which I have read a fair bit of detail about. Offer loans to build infrastructure which they own, staffed at the top by their personnel, resulting in Pakistan both owing China money and with their infrastructure Chinese-owned, and run by Chinese.

    Maybe you're ok with that, with your worldview being primarily anti-European (and it seems, anti-American). But I'm not. I'd prefer our primary partnerships to be with countries who are closer in worldview to ours, who are less likely to want to harm us out of spite or cupidity.

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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    McConnell sees his future in the party leadership is over and is looking to burn down the party rather than be a mocked backbencher. I wouldn't be surprised if he is deliberately agitating Dems to kill the filibuster and voting to convict Trump to ensure Dems get a fair shot at their agenda and hamper Trumpists from taking advantage of the strategic positioning McConnell has long fought to maintain.
    I'll believe it when I see it. I dont see Mitch as being willing to burn down everything, he's not Trump in this regard.

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    US funding of basic science and engineering enterprises has been lacking for many decades now. Quite frankly the US has a lot of untapped scientific potential that need long term grants to unlock.
    This is an interesting point for sure. Its not at the forefront of the news but China is definitely starting to catch up to the west in research and in some areas even starting to eclipse the west. AI is an example of this. Im not sure this is well known, but TikTok of all things uses an incredibly sophisticated AI algorithm thats better than anything Facebook or Google has and China keeps it a very closely guarded secret for that reason. So US leadership in this area is really needed, such as pooling resources with allies for further R&D.
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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    Russian intervention has given us Brexit and Trump, both with the aim of undermining western stability. China is engaging in old fashioned colonialism in Africa, which I don't have much detail of beyond reports, and in Pakistan, which I have read a fair bit of detail about. Offer loans to build infrastructure which they own, staffed at the top by their personnel, resulting in Pakistan both owing China money and with their infrastructure Chinese-owned, and run by Chinese.

    Maybe you're ok with that, with your worldview being primarily anti-European (and it seems, anti-American). But I'm not. I'd prefer our primary partnerships to be with countries who are closer in worldview to ours, who are less likely to want to harm us out of spite or cupidity.
    Bieng against bieng in the EU has nothing to do with European countries, any more than bieng anti-Mafia means I am anti-Italian. Our world view is closest to Canada / New Zealand / Australia and the Nordics. Yes, closer to America than Russia or China.

    America rejoining the Great Game is a good thing... It would be good if they could use soft power persuasion rather than killing people in droves. But this doesn't help the defence industry. China's dastardly loans and eeeevil investment has done a lot more good than Americas involvement in bombing several countries, self interested though it doubtlessly is.

    America should belatedly join the TPP, Paris accord, fund the World Bank and sort itself out so next time the President talks at the UN they aren't greeted with spontaneous laughter.

    Russia gave us Brexit? No... It was democracy. Of course the EU had lost every plebiscite that had been undertaken so the only real shock was Cameroon resigned rather than tweak and rerun until the right answer.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
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    Member Member Greyblades's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    I'm hopeful:
    Trump was useful to expose lots of (US) domestic and foriegn policy issues that we were pretending didn't exist.
    He made them public debate, and Biden is hopefully thoughtful/principled enough to continue the debate on these issues.
    We'll all benefit from a better president, but also from a president better oriented to the things that matter.
    A forlorn hope. The man is a 40 year veteran of a corrupt status quo and the status quo he will maintain. Even were his faculties in order, which now the election is over fewer people will pretend, he will do his utmost to be seen to address issues while actually solving nothing, for his stock were architect to those issues in the first place.

    Antifa marched against him today. The country needed a Teddy, instead they imposed a Buchanan, the pressure cooker that birthed trump will resume.
    Last edited by Greyblades; 01-22-2021 at 01:49.
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  29. #29
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden thread

    America rejoining the Great Game is a good thing... It would be good if they could use soft power persuasion rather than killing people in droves. But this doesn't help the defence industry. China's dastardly loans and eeeevil investment has done a lot more good than Americas involvement in bombing several countries, self interested though it doubtlessly is.
    That America has played the bully in international politics for decades since the end of WWII, needs no debate. That China's "self interested" loans and "eeeevil investment" has produced positive results, is also true. But......

    .....methinks you gloss over just how self-serving China's aid is, and what they do when things don't go their way. I follow a lot of Australian media, and the Aussie's seem to be bearing the brunt of China's ire, at the moment. Example:

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-...-2020/13019242

    Last year marked the first time Australia referred China to the World Trade Organization during a trade war between the two nations, which has largely been seen as a response to Australia's calls for an independent investigation into the origins of COVID-19.

    China's ambassador to Australia Cheng Jingye warned of a potential economic backlash, suggesting there could be a popular boycott of Australian goods in China if Canberra continued to push for an investigation.
    Australian journalists and citizens have been detained under "security issues".

    Australian export goods have been restricted on short notice:

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-11-...rkets/12864220

    China is digging in its heels as the trade spat between Canberra and Beijing continues, with officials laying responsibility for the tensions solely at Australia's feet.

    With no resolution in sight, many exporters affected by China's sanctions are now looking for alternative markets where they can sell their goods and services.
    And perhaps a pattern for economic bullying:

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-...-pain/12243560

    The reality is Beijing has a long track record of economic coercion, and the pattern is strikingly similar across the globe: countries caught in a dispute with Beijing suddenly find their flagship industries hit with obscure regulatory roadblocks.

    The aim is not to financially cripple the other country, but to remind them how easily Beijing can impose economic pain. It's an implicit threat designed to shape behaviour.
    No real bombs, as of yet, but China's economic bullying is gaining in strength and frequency. Will that spill over into military action? Keep an eye on Taiwan....
    High Plains Drifter

  30. #30
    Coffee farmer extraordinaire Member spmetla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biden thread

    America rejoining the Great Game is a good thing... It would be good if they could use soft power persuasion rather than killing people in droves. But this doesn't help the defence industry. China's dastardly loans and eeeevil investment has done a lot more good than Americas involvement in bombing several countries, self interested though it doubtlessly is.
    China's negative influence is a lot less overt but it is certainly there. Their investments overseas, especially in poorer countries in Asia and Africa usually include security clauses allowing them to employ their own workers, security forces, and laws. They give an investment 'loan' wait for said country not fail on it and then extend their influence to include long term leases of key infrastructure with even more latitude. It's pretty much how the different European East Indies companies got started in reverse and include Europe (Greece and Portugal especially).

    This together with their pushing for Chinese companies to gain footholds in Europe and the US while not divorcing those companies from their own Army's influence is certainly a security danger.

    I'd recommend the following video as an entertaining though certainly not journalistic level summary of Chinese influence overseas:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhMAt3BluAU

    For more proper research stuff on China I'd recommend this part of the Rand website:
    https://www.rand.org/topics/china.html

    The US has misused hardpower for 25 years now, but it's use of soft power has been effective, this is why Trumps undermining US softpower for four years has been so devastating. The US has long influenced other countries through direct investment or supra national organizations, Trump's unwillingness to cooperate in those due to America First has led to a US decline and Russian/China increase in soft power influence.
    Last edited by spmetla; 01-22-2021 at 05:29.

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