And when he's not commanding balloon shootdowns, he's exacerbating racial friction. The NR editors take a look at Biden’s Noxious Decree.
Every major federal department and agency must establish Agency Equity Teams within 30 days. These teams will be composed of a wide range of officials and have to submit annual plans to a brand new White House Steering Committee on Equity. Who will run that office? Our old friend Susan Rice.
DEI will become part of the “individual performance plans for senior executives,” and the equity teams will back “continued equity training and equity leadership development for staff across all levels of the agency’s workforce.”
Space prevents anything like a full recitation of the order’s sweep, which might fill the leadership of the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity at Brown University with admiration and envy. It must be read to be believed.
Who knew that Our Federal Government was such a hotbed of racism that required such sweeping redress?
It isn't, of course. This is simply an effort to make illiberal wokism the official ideology of the state. It's "an establishment of religion" that the First Amendment was supposed to prohibit.
The New York Times, to its credit, publishes a Brian Riedl op-ed that minces no words: Biden’s Promises on Social Security and Medicare Have No Basis in Reality.
In his State of the Union speech this month, President Biden pledged to block any reductions in scheduled Social Security and Medicare benefits. He also promised that any tax increases would be limited to families that earn more than $400,000 — roughly the top-earning 2 percent of American families.
Together, these promises are almost certainly economically impossible.
The president’s implication that full benefits can be paid without raising taxes for 98 percent of families has no basis in mathematical reality. Imagine that Congress let the Trump tax cuts expire, applied Social Security taxes to all wages, doubled the top two tax brackets to 70 and 74 percent, increased investment taxes, imposed Senator Bernie Sanders’s 8 percent wealth tax on assets over $10 billion and 77 percent estate tax on estates valued at more than $1 billion, and raised the corporate tax rate back to 35 percent. Combined federal income, state and payroll marginal tax rates would approach 100 percent for wealthy taxpayers, and America would face among the highest wealth, estate and corporate tax rates in the developed world.
Yet total new tax revenue — 4 percent of G.D.P. — would still fall short of Social Security and Medicare shortfalls that will grow to 6 percent of G.D.P. over the next three decades. Not even halving the defense budget would close the remaining gap.
Of course, there are a fair share of Republicans who are at least pretending to buy into Biden's lunacy.
Jesse Singal says: That Might Have Been The Strangest Thing That Has Ever Happened To Me On Twitter. It's very long, but it's a detailed and (in Singal's subtitle) "surreal parable about appeals to authority, overconfident dilettantes, and what happens when social media turns important controversies into team sports."
In short, Singal (and Jonathan Chait) were mercilessly Twitter-dragged because of their perceived heresy against transgender ideology. And it was all based on a lie.
As a bonus, I was introduced to Brandolini's Law:The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than that needed to produce it.
Singal's article is a demonstration of Brandolini's Law. We're lucky he was able to generate that energy.
The NYT takes a hopeful look at the Sun King: Chris Sununu Eyes the G.O.P.’s ‘Normal’ Lane in 2024. Does It Exist?. Leading off with an anecdote:
When then-President Donald J. Trump visited New Hampshire in 2018, a typical delegation awaited him: flag-waving superfans, sign-carrying protesters and the sitting Republican governor.
Mr. Trump, true to form, seemed most interested in the first group.
“They love me,” he said, admiring the crowd in Manchester from his executive limousine, according to the governor, Chris Sununu, who rode with him. Mr. Trump singled out an especially zealous-looking visitor. “You see that guy?” he said. “He loves me.”
Never mind that the man’s sign had two words, Mr. Sununu recalled: a four-letter profanity and “Trump.”
“You like to think in that moment, ‘Well, maybe he just didn’t see,’” the governor said. But some people, he suggested, see what they want to see.
Or—just rearrange your priors here a bit, Governor—maybe Trump was telling a small joke, perhaps playing off the ambiguity of that four-letter profanity?
Lord knows I'm no Trump fan, and I wish he'd just go away. But when more charitable interpretations of his words and actions are possible, we should admit them.
That said, the NYT article pictures our Governor as a funny, smart person. I don't see how he can survive a presidential campaign.
Another presidential long shot, Vivek Ramaswamy, takes to the WSJ to say: Why I’m Running for President.
America is in the midst of a national identity crisis. We hunger for purpose at a moment when faith, patriotism and hard work are on the decline. We embrace secular religions like climatism, Covidism and gender ideology to satisfy our need for meaning, yet we can’t answer what it means to be an American.
He's got great ideas ("As president I will eliminate affirmative action across the American economy.") and lousy ones ("We should prohibit kids under 16 from using TikTok.")
His chances seem slim. But I've been very wrong in the past, so: who knows?