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Showing posts with label Reactions to Biden's speech to Congress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reactions to Biden's speech to Congress. Show all posts

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Reactions To Biden's Speech To Congress - Adding Juan Cole's Updates

A refreshing take on Biden's speech to congress:


 ~ From Truthout:


Biden's Speech Pointed to a Possible End to Reagan's Rancid Legacy

 

 "Here in New Hampshire, the real governing is done at the town level by Boards of Selectmen, a council of elected officials who ride herd over the rawest, purest form of democracy practiced in the country. Majority vote rules, proposals are raised at “town meeting” and subsequently voted on by whoever raises their hand. Sometimes the room is packed, other times most seats go empty, but decisions are always made by the ones who show up.

Last night, for a brief moment, President Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress looked like one of those New Hampshire town meetings. Here stands Biden, asking the Board for funds to purchase a new city plow so the streets can get cleared faster after a storm. Better for business and safer for families, is his argument, and it is sound. Oscar Wilde would recognize the scene in an eyeblink.

The mirage, alas, was punctured by the image of Ted Cruz’s eyes rolling up in his head like a guy who’d spent too much time in Cancun. Yes, this was Congress in all of its squalid glory, the man at the podium was the president, but the difference between now and last year is the difference between a friendly shoulder rub and being devoured by a hammerhead shark.

“Madam Speaker, Madam Vice President,” said Biden as he began. Those words had never been spoken in that chamber before. It was an intense moment, a piece of long-awaited history, and seemed to promise a day to come when all three seats in that upper podium will be occupied by women.

As for the content of the speech, well, it was a time warp all its own. Biden’s list of policy proposals represents something of a rewiring of the American experience, from work to family to school to medicine and science, from transportation to elder care. Much of what he proposed came thanks to the sustained pressure of progressives, which started the minute Biden won the nomination.

It was that very slate of markedly progressive proposals that kept the Republicans in their seats as if they were nailed to them. Even behind his mask, the smile on Bernie Sanders’s face when Biden said, “Health care is a right, not a privilege,” could be seen from space.

Could Biden have asked for more in his proposals? Absolutely, and progressive members of the House are marshaling their forces to see if they can improve upon them. “Congressional Democrats are planning to pursue a massive expansion of Medicare as part of President Biden’s new $1.8 trillion economic relief package,” reports The New York Times, “defying the White House after it opted against including a major health overhaul as part of its plan.”

To underscore this effort, newly elected progressive House Rep. Jamaal Bowman offered a rare Democratic rebuttal to a speech delivered by a Democratic president. Bowman praised Biden for his accomplishments to date, before daring him to do more. “The proposals that President Biden has put forward over the last few weeks would represent important steps — but don’t go as big as we’d truly need in order to solve the crises of jobs, climate and care,” said Bowman. “We need to think bigger.”

“With Democratic control of Congress and the White House,” reports Sharon Zhang for Truthout, “Bowman said now is the time to pass the bold policies that he highlighted in his speech. He mentioned climate bills, such as the Green New Deal for Public Housing and Green New Deal for Cities, introduced earlier this month by fellow progressive colleagues, including Ocasio-Cortez, to provide funding for more climate-friendly public housing and cities. Bowman also drew attention to the THRIVE Act, a $10 trillion infrastructure and climate justice bill of which Bowman is a lead sponsor. The bill, Bowman said, could potentially create 15 million union jobs to help the U.S. economy bounce back while at the same time addressing the climate crisis and environmental justice issues.

There will be more of this, you can count on it, because Biden to date has revealed a very important aspect of his leadership style: When it comes to some issues, at least, he can be pressured and he can be moved. Progressives in Congress intend to use their influence at this unique juncture to maximum effect.

Pundits on the non-Fox networks heaped praise upon Biden and his soft, unassuming delivery. After four years of screams and rants from that podium, an hour of just business, the people’s business, was a balm. Comparisons to Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” and even Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” were bandied about.

The president can certainly take that as a compliment, but he ain’t no LBJ, and he ain’t no FDR. Not yet, anyway… and in a very important sense, he should hope to rise above those legacies if he can. Johnson’s grand plans were devoured by a ruinous war in Vietnam, and Roosevelt only achieved his lofty goals after cutting deals with racists and secessionists which exacerbated the horrors of the Jim Crow South.

The nose count does not favor the president at present. “Democratic senators had a 23-seat advantage during Roosevelt’s presidency and a 36-seat advantage during Johnson’s,” according to The Atlantic’s Ronald Brownstein. That, simply, makes legislative life a hell of a lot easier. Also, and not for nothing, but neither LBJ or FDR had a Joe Manchin lurking like a pulmonary embolism, waiting to find a place to clog up the works.

Biden’s slim majorities, and the short timetable to election 2022, make the road to fulfilling his intentions fraught with peril. Speeches like this are always wish lists. Last night, the president wished for the moon and stars. Now we see how much of it he can get.

The Republican rebuttal by Sen. Tim Scott provided a vivid counterpoint to the agenda set forth by the president. No policy ideas were offered beyond the rote recitation of right-wing culture war grievances. According to Scott, the violent divisions loose in this nation are the fault of Democrats. He said this in response to a speech delivered in the chamber that was sacked by hyper-violent Trump voters only four months ago.

At bottom, last night contained an important element of defiance: a full-throated declaration of war against the rancid legacy of Ronald Reagan. “Trickle-down economics has never worked,” the president announced to a mighty roar from half the chamber. Forty years of supply-side feed-the-rich economics has delivered us to this shabby estate, and the agenda laid out last night — if realized — would at long last begin to dismantle that legacy.

Former President Clinton can take note, too: The era of big government is back, maybe. The idea that government can help has been well-served since January, as Biden’s vaccine program has succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. Infection rates are dropping across the board, and while we have many masked miles to go before we sleep, we are in this better place because competent government has finally served the people like it is supposed to.

The wind at Biden’s back, even with his slim congressional majorities, is the simple fact that his proposals are wildly popular. Combine that with the increased public trust in government that has erupted in 2021, and Republicans face a grim task trying to throw rocks in this road. They will, of course they will, but ‘22 is coming, and the people are watching like hawks."

 

~~~~~ 


 ~ From PBS:

 

Brooks & Capeheart - April 30, 2021

 

 

 

~~~~~ 

And keep in mind, David Brooks IS a Republican - the good kind though. Anyways, no progress so far on the COVID vaccines for the Health Workers (Doctors & Staff) in Rosarito, my knee is completely gone & projects are not being finished, Paris gets her stitches out tomorrow, Totsie's eye is much better, my stitches come out on Sunday & oh surprise...making tacos over the weekend, grinding my teeth over the super radical left for chastising Biden over "not doing enough" or classifying him as an "Empire" President and the resistant GOP.

I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid, I just want him to succeed.  Good Luck Joe !

Will be back with the April totals for the local drug war - I can say this: There seems to be between TIJ & Ensenada a race to tie as far as the executions go, I have never seen that before.

 

UPDATE/edit: 05/03/21:

 We are all waiting to read or hear more developments on the horrible smuggling boat crash in front of the tidepools on the tip of Point Loma. Who was the Captain, where was the boat embarked (and with that many people going aboard you mean to tell me no one noticed or even said anything? Unless that was done under the cover of darkness in an isolated area), the conditions of the victims and their nationalities. Any idiot would know about the rough conditions there and not to pilot into and onto a freakin reef, wow. Also, I feel bad they booed Mitt Romney, what jerks. Liz Cheney has some gumption, way to go !

Meanwhile, caught this this morning - check it out & will be back soon with the drug war stats:

 

 ~ From Informed Comment with video:

 

The Real Morning in America: ~ 2/3's  Are Optimistic Under Biden: Majorities Want Gov't To Fix The Economy and Blame GOP For Obstruction

 

 

 

"Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – A new ABC News/ Ipsos poll finds that 64% of Americans are optimistic about the next twelve months. It is the first time we have felt that way about ourselves since before George W. Bush crashed the economy by deregulating everything.

“Morning in America” was the slogan of the minor Hollywood actor and right wing opponent of working people Ronald Reagan, who shilled for the rich and cut their taxes, denying key services to everyone else. Reagan and Reaganism were mirages disguising an all-out assault on the US constitution in the form of the Iran-Contra scandal, in which Reagan sold the ayatollahs Pentagon weapons under the table and used the money to fund far right wing militias in Nicaragua.

Being Hollywood, Reagan was about the images. His team were good at glossy photos of sunrises and of Mr. Reagan on horseback. Reagan’s policies put the poverty rate up from 11% in the 1970s to as high as 15% in the 1980s, before it fell to 13% later in the decade. Reagan began the process of breaking the unions, which has driven workers’ salaries and benefits into the basement ever since. Reagan deregulation of banking led to the Savings and Loan Scandal, which foreshadowed the much huger mortgage finance scandal under Bush. Reaganites, as Alan Greenspan later admitted, have trouble conceiving that a banker would steal from his own bank (they don’t have much of an imagination, much less common sense). It was actually midnight in America for a lot of people.

Joe Biden is actually bringing morning to America, and may be the perfect anti-Reagan. Subdued rather than flashy, owner of a mean dog, with a low level of tolerance for malarkey, Biden isn’t giving us photo-shopped pictures of sunrises.

He’s giving us vaccinations and jobs, thus gradually bringing to an end both the pandemic and the recession it caused. And making us optimistic.

And that is what the American people want. Reagan made it fashionable to threaten the middle class that the Democrats would raise their taxes. What he and his successors wouldn’t admit was that cutting taxes on the rich hobbles the government and prevents it from providing needed services. It also promotes vast inequality in American society, creating a small class of billionaires well placed to buy our politicians and capture policy while shipping jobs overseas to add further to their obscene piles. Republicans so worshiped the idle rich that they even thought an unbalanced real estate developer who kept going bankrupt and was terminally corrupt and fatally incompetent would make a good president.

The Ipsos/ABC poll suggests that this GOP scam may finally have run out of steam. In their poll, a majority, 52%, said that right now, having the federal government spend money to help the economy, even if it increases taxes, is more important.

A plurality said taxes should be kept the same even if it meant preventing the government from helping the economy.

That’s right. A majority of Americans thinks the government can and should rescue us from the Trump pandemic/recession, even if it means raising taxes.

Reaganism, if it is not dead, seems to be on life support.

Then there was the Republican tactic that was applied to Obama, of saying ‘no’ to everything and then blaming Obama for not accomplishing anything. In 2016, the public had a chance to punish the GOP for this obstruction and for trying to take away people’s health care and other benefits. They didn’t seem, however, to know who the bad guy was and actually rewarded Mitch McConnell for torpedoing anything that seemed likely to help everyday folks as opposed to Koch Industries. The Republicans in Congress kept telling Obama they would support some bill, but then after they got him to water it down, they still voted against it. Since Obama seemed not able to deliver anything to his constituents, some of the latter turned on the party. There is always party competition, but the freeze-out of Obama on the Hill surely was unprecedented.

President Biden campaigned on bipartisanship, and his programs certainly have the support of large numbers of Republicans. But most of the Republicans in Congress do not actually represent their constituents back home, or at least don’t primarily do so. They represent the big corporations who pay for their campaigns. And many of those corporations and the billionaire class whose vehicles they are hate Biden like the devil hates holy water. I say “billionaire class” but there are really only 724 of them. Each Republican congressional representative and Senator represents roughly 2.8 billionaires. And they don’t want Biden to raise their taxes or convince people that government can do things better than their corporations can.

So not a single Republican voted for Biden’s Covid relief measure, and most likely none of them will vote for infrastructure or anything else Biden tries to accomplish.

But the American people seem finally to have Mitch McConnell’s number.

Asked, “Do you think Joe Biden is doing too much, too little, or about the right amount to compromise with the Republican leaders in Congress on important issues?” a majority of 51% said that Biden is doing “about the right amount.” Another 9% thought he was bending over backward with the Republicans a bit too much. So 60 percent say Biden is being perfectly accommodating of his colleagues across the aisle. Only 39 percent disagree, which is to say, the third of Americans who are Republican Party members plus a few independents. Most independents are clearly breaking the other way.

Asked, “Do you think the Republican leaders in Congress are doing too much, too little, or about the right amount to compromise with Joe Biden on important issues?” over two-thirds, some 67%, said “too little”!

So they know who is obstructing bipartisanship this time, and they don’t think it is the president.

A quarter of Americans think the country is more united since January, and nearly half think it at least isn’t more divided than it already was. Among those who think it is more united, 87 percent give credit to president Biden.

Only 28 percent think America is more divided, which would mean that not even all Republicans think that."

——

 

I'll say it again...Good Luck Joe ! Stay Safe Y'all...