Biden And Health Care

I will be doing a series of posts dealing with the choices of president-elect Biden for people and policies.

Biden is not a fan of Medicare For All (hence forth will be known as M4A)…….

This pandemic could give Biden the prefect opportunity to use a Trumpian ploy of Executive Order to make M4A a tool to fight this virus and all health issues in the nation.

Journalist David Dayen presented a convincing case Tuesday that President-elect Joe Biden, once sworn into office come January, would have the legal authority to immediately provide complete Medicare coverage to everyone in the country via executive action due to the Covid-19 pandemic—though the very serious question remains: would he?

During the primary season in March, Biden said he would veto a Medicare for All bill should one ever reach his desk, but with the coronavirus infection rate surging—and some scenarios projecting an overall death toll as high as 360,000 by the time the inauguration takes place—is it possible that conditions on the ground could move him on the popular demand for a single-payer solution to the nation’s public health crisis?

“I do not expect Joe Biden to use this power on Inauguration Day to instantly turn the United States into a single-payer country,” Dayen wrote in The American Prospect. “But there’s nothing in the law that would appear to prevent him from doing it.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/11/17/pandemic-national-emergency-biden-could-enact-medicare-all-executive-action-will-he

This would be the perfect way to get the “progressives” on his side from the first day of his administration.

Sadly he is too deep in the pockets of the health industry and Pharma……they will never let M4A from ever becoming policy……their strangle-hold on health care is too profitable to ever see it broken.

I have said all along that the EO would be the perfect way to get many of the democratic policies enacted.

Biden is in the process of trying to re-create the Obama years…..we need fundamental change not the reform minded lunacy of the Obama years.

I now await all those that think the Obama years changed things.

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Biden’s National Security

President-elect Joe Biden is still in the process of picking his cabinet and advisers…..this time it is his NatSec team….

Declaring “America is back,” President-elect Joe Biden introduced his national security team on Tuesday, his first substantive offering of how he’ll shift from Trump-era “America First” policies by relying on experts from the Democratic establishment to be some of his most important advisers. “Together, these public servants will restore America globally, its global leadership and its moral leadership,” Biden said from a theater in Wilmington, Delaware. “It’s a team that reflects the fact that America is back, ready to lead the world, not retreat from it.” The nominees are all Washington veterans with ties to former President Barack Obama’s administration, a sign of Biden’s effort to resume some form of normalcy after the tumult of President Trump’s four years in office.

Biden’s nominees were a clear departure from Trump, whose Cabinet has largely consisted of men, almost all of them white, the AP reports. Biden’s picks included several women and people of color, some of whom would break barriers if confirmed to their new positions They stood behind Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris spaced apart and wearing masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • The president-elect’s team includes Antony Blinken, a veteran foreign policy hand well-regarded on Capitol Hill whose ties to Biden go back some 20 years, for secretary of state; lawyer Alejandro Mayorkas to be homeland security secretary; veteran diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be US ambassador to the United Nations; and Obama White House alumnus Jake Sullivan as national security adviser.
  • Avril Haines, a former deputy director of the CIA, was picked to serve as director of national intelligence, the first woman to hold that post, and former Secretary of State John Kerry will make a curtain call as a special envoy on climate change. Kerry and Sullivan’s positions will not require Senate confirmation.
  • Biden said his choices “reflect the idea that we cannot meet these challenges with old thinking and unchanged habits.” He said he tasked them with reasserting global and moral leadership, a clear swipe at Trump, who has resisted many traditional foreign alliances.
  • Biden celebrated the diversity of his picks, offering a particularly poignant tribute to Thomas-Greenfield. The eldest of eight children who grew up in segregated Louisiana, she was the first to graduate from high school and college in her family. The diplomat, in turn, said that with his selections, Biden is achieving much more than a changing of the guard.
  • Mayorkas, who is Cuban American, offered a nod to his immigrant upbringing. “My father and mother brought me to this country to escape communism,” he said. “They cherished our democracy, and were intensely proud to become United States citizens, as was I.”

“Cannot change things with old thinking”?

Seriously?

Everyone there is old school Dems

Once again Biden proves that he has NO intention in “changing” things.

More bullshit from the president-elect.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Secretary Of Treasury To Be

My continuing look at the possible people that are being considered for the cabinet and admin of president-elect Biden…..this time I look at the proposal of ex-Fed chief Yellen as the next SecTreasury….

The first woman to lead the Federal Reserve is set to become the first female Treasury secretary. Sources tell the Wall Street Journal and the AP that President-elect Joe Biden has tapped 74-year-old labor economist Janet Yellen, who chaired the Fed from 2014 to 2018, for the role. Yellen also served as chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers during Bill Clinton’s second term. If she is confirmed by the Senate, Yellen will lead the Biden administration’s efforts to help the economy recover from the pandemic, though unlike in her role in the Fed, she will have to deal with a deeply divided Congress on measures including another stimulus bill, the New York Times notes.

Yellen has long focused on reducing unemployment and fighting income inequality, though she has also warned that federal spending should be reduced to a more sustainable level. In a September interview with the Journal, she said Congress needs to spend more to fight unemployment and save small businesses. “There is a huge amount of suffering out there. The economy needs the spending,” Yellen said. Politico reports that before news of the Yellen pick emerged, Biden said Democrats would be pleased with the choice. “You’ll find it is someone who I think is—will be accepted by all elements of the Democratic Party, from the progressive to the moderate coalitions,” he said.

Once again Biden is turning to those people that will continue the slide of the Middle Class….so his promises in campaign were total BS as I said it was…..

She has had 30 years of fighting unemployment and wage inequality….so far it has been for naught…..

Just another Centrist” without anything new to bring to the table….typical Biden .

The only thing to change will be the gender of the secretary of the Treasury if she is confirmed by the Senate.

So far I am batting a 1000…I said after he was declared to be the winner of 2020 that little will change…..and so far I am right on target.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Biden On The Middle East

This is a continuation of my series looking at the direction the Biden administration will most likely pursue…..this time it is the hot bed of the Middle East…..

We know there will be a change from Trumpian policy….but what will those policies be most like?

This is an interview of a person looking deeply into the possible Biden policies for the region.

Here in Washington when a new administration is set to take over–well, in due time–we love to play the game of asking what will happen in every single corner of the world. I think it is a good exercise, for the most part, allowing many times fresh ideas, old concepts, and lots of opinions to get floated and refloated and compared in the weeks leading up to January 20. So, in that spirit, I asked my friend Michael Rubin from AEI for his ideas on where Joe Biden will take U.S. foreign policy when it comes to the Middle East. As always, his thoughts are sharp, comprehensive, and born from years of thinking through this topic for decades in a depth that is rare these days.

First, despite what Donald Trump may believe, we now can say there will be a change in administrations with Joe Biden taking office on January 20th. How do you think his policies will change towards Israel? Clearly, the U.S. and Israel had a strained relationship during the Obama years. Could we see a return to that? How will Biden approach this important alliance?

The Democrats are divided and the policies Biden pursues will depend more on who ultimately wins each position than on what the twitter base of the Democratic party may want. We’re far more likely to have a Secretary of State Tony Blinken or Chris Coons than Ro Khanna or Barbara Lee.

What Will Joe Biden’s Middle East Strategy Look Like?

 

Biden’s State Department

Since I am a foreign policy geek and we have a new president it means I need to check out the secretaries of defense and state that Biden wants to nominate.

Biden has said that we need to return to the “table”….an interesting slogan but what does it mean…..

The president-elect has said repeatedly that his primary goal abroad is to put American back at “the head of the table” because “the world won’t organize itself.” But the shape of that table has changed profoundly. A global pandemic has laid bare the limits of globalization and multilateral diplomacy and accelerated the demise of the liberal international order that America created and that sustained its primacy; it has also exacerbated preexisting trends toward renewed geopolitical competition and heightened sensitivities about national sovereignty on issues from border security to the economy and health care. A powerful China and a declining yet still determined Russia have conspired successfully to oppose Pax Americana.

So how can Biden create a foreign policy that is both effective and designed to meet the new world realities he’ll confront? The new administration should focus on three objectives.

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/11/19/joe-biden-foreign-policy-iran-china-438276

I have given my thoughts on Biden’s top choice for SecDef, Michele Flournoy…..https://lobotero.com/2020/11/19/will-michele-be-the-new-secdef/

Now I want to look at the top contender for SecState,

Joe Biden has apparently settled on his secretary of state nominee. As reported by outlets including the AP, CNN, the New York Times, and Bloomberg, sources say Biden will name Antony J. Blinken, a longtime aide and his closest foreign policy adviser. Blinken, 58, launched his career at the State Department while Bill Clinton was president; during Barack Obama’s administration, he served as deputy secretary of state and deputy national security adviser. Biden’s incoming chief of staff said Sunday that the president-elect will start announcing members of his cabinet Tuesday. He is expected to nominate Jake Sullivan, also a close aide, as national security adviser. (The AP explains why other top secretary of state contenders could have been “thorny” to get confirmed.)

The beat goes on for the war hawks…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Biden On Public Education

A continuation of my look at the policies of the president-elect……

We have a president-elect and the new first lady is an educator so there should be a massive program dedicated to education…..but is there?

Biden has suggested the need for $88 billion in new COVID-19 relief to schools. This is less than half of the amount needed by districts. The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) has said an additional $158.1 billion to $244.6 billion would be required to reopen school buildings safely and serve all students this year. Biden knows full well that such sums would never be approved by Republicans but has made the proposal to provide a political cover for his full support to a return to in-person schooling.

Secondly, a Biden administration will continue the austerity policies against public education, under conditions of a severe economic crisis. Originally Biden took to the presidential campaign trail with proposals for a series of mild reforms, including a threefold increase to Title I federal funding for low-income schools, universal prekindergarten and greater funding for special education programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). He also proposed “fixing” the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, support for student mental health, and “hiring more people of color into the Department of Education (ED).”

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/11/17/educ-n17.html

Education is a popular policy promise at election time…..and so far we still have a needy educational policy….and now with a new president….that will not change.

Am I being too hard?

Then you tell me….these are the promises made…..

He will:

  • Support our educators by giving them the pay and dignity they deserve.
  • Invest in resources for our schools so students grow into physically and emotionally healthy adults, and educators can focus on teaching.
  • Ensure that no child’s future is determined by their zip code, parents’ income, race, or disability.
  • Provide every middle and high school student a path to a successful career.
  • Start investing in our children at birth.

What about the crippling debt for an education….will he do anything to help there?

https://joebiden.com/education/

The easy answer is NO he will NOT!

It is more important to protect the criminals in the financial sector than the students.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Biden And War

The big question is what will a president Biden’s policies on war really look like?

To begin where does Biden stand on war…..

Is the real Biden the dove of 1991, the hawk of 2002, or the dove of 2020? The answer is all of them. And so, in the end, the Biden doctrine may be a mirage. He’s not an ideologue who seeks to impose a foreign policy program. Neither is he a narcissist who views every diplomatic issue in terms of his individual benefit. Rather, Biden is a man of his time, a man who shares many of his party’s and his country’s strengths and weaknesses, a man who has lived and learned in the shadows of war, a man once tempted by the possibilities of power and now tempered by the realities of force. Biden’s foreign policy journey is not over. As president, he may pivot in a more hawkish direction, as memories of the Iraq War fade and new challenges emerge from China and Russia. Biden recently wrote: “The triumph of democracy and liberalism over fascism and autocracy created the free world. But this contest does not just define our past. It will define our future, as well.”

Let’s take a look at Biden’s history with war and foreign policy……from an article written in the Foreign Policy Research Institute……

Biden the Moderate

Biden’s foreign policy journey is a story in three chapters, each in the shadow of war. The opening chapter began in the wake of Vietnam in the 1970s, when Biden was a youthful senator, and lasted through the Gulf War in 1991. “I ran the first time as a twenty-nine-year-old kid against the war in Vietnam,” recalled Biden, “on the grounds that the only way to take a nation to war is with the informed consent of the American people.” Still, he didn’t identify with the peacenik protesters and thought that the Vietnam War was dumb, rather than immoral.

During this time, Biden was a middle-of-the-road Democrat on foreign policy. He backed the invasions of Grenada in 1983 and Panama in 1989, but opposed funding the Contra rebels in Nicaragua, and in 1991, voted against authorizing the Gulf War. Saddam Hussein did not pose an immediate threat to U.S. national interests, he said. Just as Washington was ignorant about Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s, now it didn’t understand the Middle East. The goal of stabilizing the region was a pipe dream, which “has never in 5,000 years been accomplished for very long.”

Biden’s wariness about fighting Iraq was in sync with the Democratic Party mood and wider public opinion. He was one of 45 (out of 55) Democratic senators who voted against the Gulf War (the resolution authorizing war only narrowly passed 52 to 47). In the buildup to Desert Storm, the American public was also cautious about hostilities, and only became enthusiastic about war after the fighting started.

Biden the Hawk

The second chapter of Biden’s foreign policy thinking is the hawkish phase, from 1991 to 2003, in the shadow of the Gulf War and the end of the Cold War. Biden quickly regretted his vote against war in 1991 and criticized Bush senior for ending the campaign too soon and leaving Saddam in power, causing “immense human suffering within Iraq.” Buoyed with confidence about seizing the sword, Biden championed U.S. intervention in the Balkans, called Serbian leader Slobodan Milošević a war criminal to his face, and described the Bill Clinton administration’s inaction in the region as, “a policy of despair and cowardice.” Biden supported the Kosovo War in 1999 as well as the Afghanistan War in 2001. He also sought to check Saddam’s “relentless pursuit of weapons of mass destruction,” and in October 2002, voted to authorize the use of force against Iraq.

Is the Biden doctrine really a hawkish manifesto, as some on the left claim? Biden’s bellicose pivot in the 1990s reflected the broader American zeitgeist. The rapid U.S. victory in the Gulf seemed to bury the Vietnam syndrome in the Arabian sands. From 1991-2003, over one hundred polls asked Americans whether to remove Saddam by force, and every single one found majority support. After the 9/11 attacks, Washington was gripped by fears of a potential alliance between terrorists and tyrants, and Biden was one of 77 senators who authorized the use of force to topple Saddam.

Biden the Dove

The Iraq War opened a new chapter: Biden the dove. The senator saw the invasion of Iraq as a national and personal failure. He had hoped that congressional backing for war might spur a tougher United Nations response and avoid hostilities entirely, but the hawks surrounding Bush were set on fighting. “I made a mistake,” he explained. “I underestimated the influence of Vice President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, and the rest of the neocons. I vastly underestimated their disingenuousness and incompetence.” His fears about the aftermath of regime change in Baghdad proved prescient, as the war became a costly quagmire.

Since 2003, Biden has been generally skeptical about the use for force. He opposed the surge of troops in Iraq in 2006-2007, the surge in Afghanistan in 2009, and the Libyan War in 2011. He raised doubts about the raid to kill Osama Bin Laden in 2011, as well as the decision to draw a red line against the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Biden did back the campaign against ISIS and favored the escalation of drone warfare, but he criticized Trump’s decision to kill Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.

So what do you think?

Is Biden a dove or a hawk?

My gut will go with….HAWK!

The Biden campaign promised to “increase pressure” on Syrian president Bashar al-Assad – presumably by providing more arms and money to his violent opponents. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris declared that the U.S. government “will once again stand with civil society and pro-democracy partners in Syria and help advance a political settlement where the Syrian people have a voice.” Northeastern University professor Max Abrahms observed, “Every foreign policy ‘expert’ being floated for Biden’s cabinet supported toppling the governments in Iraq, Libya and Syria, helping Al Qaeda and jihadist friends, ravaging the countries, uprooting millions of refugees from their homes.”

Declassify America’s Dirty Secrets in Syria to Stop a Biden War

Watch This Blog!

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“lego ergo scribo”

Domestic Challenges For Biden

I had listed the problem areas internationally that president-elect Biden needs to focus on as early as possible. My post…….https://lobotero.com/2020/11/18/international-challenges-for-biden/

Now he has problems in this country that need immediate attention…..as promised thoughts on domestic solutions….

He, Biden, has made a good start on the first issue….the pandemic…..he has already put together a team for the fight…..

Covid-19 Control – As of early November, over 10 million Americans were infected and nearly 240,000 have died of the coronavirus. One of Biden’s first actions after his projected electoral victory was to outline a “science” based plan to “beat Covid-19.” The cornerstone of the plan is to “Provide clear, consistent, evidence-based guidance for how communities should navigate the pandemic – and the resources for schools, small businesses, and families to make it through.” One of the defining aspects of the plan is to establish a “Pandemic Testing Board like Roosevelt’s War Production Board. It’s how we produced tanks, planes, uniforms, and supplies in record time, and it’s how we will produce and distribute tens of millions of tests.”

Build Prosperity – The U.S. is the throws of recession that could topple into a depression. The recession began in February 2020, just around the time the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Two Harvard economists, David Cutler and Lawrence Summers, paint a grim picture of total costs of the pandemic. “The total cost is estimated at more than $16 trillion, or approximately 90% of the annual gross domestic product of the US,” they wrote. “Approximately half of this amount is the lost income from the COVID-19–induced recession; the remainder is the economic effects of shorter and less healthy life.”

Prosperity for whom? Is my question.

Racial Justice – The Biden campaign is notable for two critical cultural developments. One is selecting Kamala Harris as his running mate and her provisional election as the nation’s first woman and first woman-of-color as Vice President. Second, Biden’s acceptance speech was noteworthy for one critical sentence: “The battle to achieve racial justice and root out systemic racism in this country.”

Good thought…but just how will Biden accomplish this promise?

Save the Climate – In his acceptance speech and his candidate “plan,” Biden never refers to “climate change.” He does advocate a $2 trillion plan to further a “clean energy revolution and environmental justice.” Among the key features of this plan include: cut carbon emissions from power plants; cut greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector; cut particulate matter air pollution; and increase climate spending to rural and urban low-income areas, especially among “BIPOC” (i.e., Black, Indigenous, and people of color).

Counterpunch.org)

These are starting points…there is so much in this nation that needs repair it would be too massive to try and list them all.

Biden and the Democrats should put principles first and rally the nation around a serious vision: an agenda not simply to “restore the soul of America” but to expand that soul, make this country a true global leader as Planet Earth faces its treacherous future.

Any thoughts here?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Will Michele Be The New SecDef?

SecDef?

That is government-speak for Secretary of Defense.

I have been spending some time trying to help my readers get a grip on the people that Biden will choose for his cabinet and in turn will be leading our many policies…….,many of those policies have been failures but few will admit.

The front-runner for SecDef is one Michele Flournoy.

I remember her back during the Obama days when he was searching for a SecDef and Chuck Hagel was the leading contender….the year was 2012…..

With opponents of a potential nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R – NE) as Secretary of Defense now centering on the idea that nominating a “white man” would reflect badly on the administration, former Undersecretary of Defense Michele Flournoy has emerged as a seeming consensus candidate for advocates who see her as less likely to make any real policy changes.

A former appointee under President Clinton, Flournoy founded the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) to advocate a more “pragmatic” national security policy. In practice this has meant a policy that never questions the notion that military action abroad is a “force for good,” while arguing distinctions without a difference, as when Flournoy endorsed “withdrawing’ from Iraq by leaving 60,000 troops there more or less indefinitely.

Appointed the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy by President Obama in 2008, Flournoy rarely made waves, backing the administration’s policy without exception. A lone noteworthy spot in this term was in 2010, when the Pentagon publicly repudiated her for saying it was unlikely that the US would attack Iran in “the near term.”

(antiwar.com)

I find Biden uninteresting and she will be the perfect fit in his cabinet…..Flournoy’s general uninterestingness makes her a model choice for lobbyists hoping to keep policy unchanged and the gravy train flowing.

Like I said she is the hands on favorite to lead the Pentagon…..but unlike a loyal readers of IST, https://libertasandlatte.wordpress.com/  I do not think she is what this country needs…..at this time.

She is tied tooth and nail to the defense industry and their desires may well come before the needs of the troops.

Even her thoughts are scary…..

The next Pentagon chief could cement the US’ already hard defence line on China, with one contender suggesting that American forces could bolster deterrence with the ability to “sink all” Chinese vessels “within 72 hours” in the South China Sea.

“For example, if the US military had the capability to credibly threaten to sink all of China’s military vessels, submarines, and merchant ships in the South China Sea within 72 hours, Chinese leaders might think twice before, say, launching a blockade or invasion of Taiwan; they would have to wonder whether it was worth putting their entire fleet at risk,” Flournoy said.

Defence and diplomatic observers said that realising that idea would come at huge cost but appointing its advocate would signal that the US would keep piling military pressure on China.

https://news.abs-cbn.com/overseas/11/15/20/a-harder-us-line-potential-pentagon-chief-floated-idea-to-sink-china-fleet-in-72-hours

These things said need to be scrutinized……and scrutinized hard!

But she is still the duck in the barrel for Defense…..Defense News takes a look at her…..

The next U.S. defense secretary must be prepared to invest heavily in game-changing technology, even if it comes at the cost of existing capabilities, in order to maintain a credible deterrent for China and Russia, according to former Pentagon official Michèle Flournoy.

“Our ability to deter is — it’s not gone, but it’s an eroding asset,” Flournoy, who is seen as a top contender for the job of defense secretary should former Vice President Joe Biden win the November presidential election, said at the Aspen Security Forum on Aug. 6. “And we’ve got to pay attention now to making sure that we attend to that and invest in” needed capabilities.

“I think there’s, sort of, two parallel efforts that have to happen. One is investments that may take a decade to be fully realized and integrated into the force. Another is the question of, what can we do in the next five years with what we have, but use it differently,” she explained.

https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2020/08/10/flournoy-next-defense-secretary-needs-big-bets-to-boost-eroding-deterrence/

These endless wars will remain endless….and corporate profits will increase and the troops will be second thought….not much changes.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Biden’s Minister Of Propaganda

Closing Thought–18Nov20

We all are well aware just how much lying the president and his butt boys can do…..I have labelled it propaganda……and yet Biden has hired a dude that is proud of his propagandizing….

Richard Stengel, the top state media appointee for US President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, has enthusiastically defended the use of propaganda against Americans.

“My old job at the State Department was what people used to joke as the chief propagandist,” Stengel said in 2018. “I’m not against propaganda. Every country does it, and they have to do it to their own population. And I don’t necessarily think it’s that awful.”

Richard “Rick” Stengel was the longest serving under-secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs in US history.

At the State Department under President Barack Obama, Stengel boasted that he “started the only entity in government, non-classified entity, that combated Russian disinformation.” That institution was known as the Global Engagement Center, and it amounted to a massive vehicle for advancing US government propaganda around the world.

A committed crusader in what he openly describes as a global “information war,” Stengel has proudly proclaimed his dedication to the carefully management of the public’s access to information.

Biden state media appointee advocated using propaganda against Americans and ‘rethinking’ First Amendment

Do not trust someone because they are tied to Obama in some way.

I have tried to help my reader understand and identify propaganda in all they see and hear…..

https://lobotero.com/2013/01/11/what-is-propaganda/

https://lobotero.com/2014/01/06/propaganda-2-0/

The 24 hour news cycle and social media have turned propaganda into something”noble”…..that is where I draw the line…propaganda is lies used to persuade…..PERIOD!

Now we have a dude that thinks propaganda is a ‘good thing’…..that is not better than the fools in the outgoing administration.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”