Joe Biden’s Dangerous, Top Secret “Foreign Policy”

Joe Biden has a foreign policy plan that is so secret no one knows what it is, not even Joe.

The Biden/Harris public statement speaks, predictably, with election language, about rebuilding the world’s “trust” in and “respect” for America (read: not-Trump), a “middle class” foreign policy, and, of course, environmentalism.

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Published by The Hill

America’s Holy War: The 2020 Election

This political year can be understood through the lens of a religious war. Both sides are doctrinal; neither will entertain the other’s arguments or points of view. Disagreements descend to personal invective. Heretics are rooted out. Rhetoric is extreme, and there is violence. It is a zero-sum game — neither side wins unless the other loses.

It is the worst of politics.

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Published by The Hill

Why the race has become “Trump the Known” vs “Biden the Unknown”

The Democrats appear to have achieved the near-impossible: They have wrecked their winning hand by making the election not about Donald Trump.

Had they remained calm and above the fray, the Democrats could have focused on the unlimited Trump excesses in character assassination, accompanied by his grating self-congratulation, and skated to a 60-40 electoral landslide. Statesmanship and political sophistication could have assured an overwhelming and sustained victory. But, in a party dominated by childlike impulse and shrill overstatement, largely devoid of political or economic balance, they may have engineered their own political suicide and shifted the electoral balance to Trump.

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Published by The Hill

Biden Strikes Out with Harris, the least-worst of his choices

Poor Joe Biden. This is his third try, but the progressive wing of his party painted him into a narrow, no-win corner with the demand that his vice presidential pick be a woman of color. While it’s clear that most Americans would agree that it’s time for a female president or vice president, Biden found himself forced to pick from a pool of women who were either too radically progressive, too inexperienced to become president, or simply unable to help attract more votes to the Biden candidacy.

During the 2020 Democratic primary, the party was unable to produce a single strong, capable female national leader. Of the 3,979 delegates committed during the primaries, the Democrats voted to give only 60 of those delegates to the female candidates. After running a particularly disorganized and chaotic campaign, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) dropped out, netting zero votes and zero delegates, and was neither popular nor considered politically viable.

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Published by The Hill

Data Breaking Bad: COVID-19 Corruption in an Election Year

America may be “exceptional,” but Americans are often fools. That is especially true when you feed them scraps of wildly wrong and useless data. Suddenly everyone is an instant expert on climate change, education or health care.

I cannot count the number of dinner parties I’ve disrupted by asking “committed environmentalists” a simple question: “Have you even read the IPCC reports?” Those are the U.N. Climate Change reports, often referred to as the “settled science.” They do not say the world will end in 10 years, 100 years or 1,000 years, and do not provide a compelling argument for the immediate destruction of the world economy, with endless misery for the poor, to achieve “zero emissions.” Ditto Stanford’s CREDO studies, which strongly support charter schools for the poor. Ditto the National Health Insurance Experiment, which suggests “Medicare for All” might lead to Medicare for None.

But the most egregious recent example of Americans swallowing scraps of nonsense data is COVID-19 “cases data.” Suddenly, everyone in the neighborhood is an epidemiologist with religious fervor. But, self-righteous though they may be, they are largely wrong.

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Published by The Hill

Buy the Dip: Bet on Trump

If there was one piece of useful stock market advice this year, it was “buy the dip” — that is, assume that the market value will form a “V” with a steep and deep decline and then a sharp and strong recovery. So, many bought into the market in mid-March, after the deep decline, with the confidence that government bailouts plus underlying economic strength in many key parts of the economy (e.g., high tech and professional services) would be lightly affected by the coronavirus lockdown and bounce back fast. They made a lot of money.

Certainly the political fortunes of President Trump have followed the first part of that curve so far this year and his poll numbers are down. But I’d argue, buy the dip.

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Published by The Hill

A “Three-Letter” Solution to Reduce American Racial Tension: J-O-B-S

Honestly, who can forget Joe Biden’s economic strategy during the 2008 campaign? The solution, he said, is “a three-letter word: J-O-B-S!” Putting aside another spectacular Biden gaffe, and his continued divisive pandering (they’ll “put y’all back in chains”), his white-splaining was right on this point. With painful racial strife in America, the most promising long-term solution remains jobs.

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Defunding the Police: Put it to a Vote

The horrific killing of George Floyd, and other fatal incidents involving African Americans, have given rise to large demonstrations for police reform. Many government bodies at all levels have moved to consider or enact police reforms, including increased training; eliminating certain police tactics such as use of chokeholds; more transparency on records of abusive behavior or excessive force by individual police officers, to put more focus on true police accountability; and more forceful prosecution of police abuse. Almost certainly, normally stubborn police unions will need to give ground on many of these issues.

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Coronavirus and America’s Economic Miracle

No one likes private equity; just ask Mitt Romney, the Utah senator who made his fortune at Bain Capital in the 1980s and ’90s. But private equity does change the world, sometimes for the better. Private equity firms buy distressed and undervalued companies, reorganize their systems and processes, restructure their finances, lay off redundant workers, bring in new and more efficient technologies, leverage them to the hilt, and then, exit — sort of like what the novel coronavirus is doing to America.

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Published by The Hill

The Death of the American Constitution

During the past couple of weeks, Americans have seen unprecedented authoritarian behavior on the part of many governors and local government leaders, and the chilling possibility that the Obama White House intentionally weaponized the National Security Agency, FBI, CIA, IRS and other federal agencies to attack domestic political opponents. At the same time, the government and the tech community have made huge strides in expanding the surveillance state, often termed fascism. The concepts of democracy, personal privacy and property rights are rapidly becoming quaint concepts from a bygone era.

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Published by The Hill