Reality Bites Biden’s Policies
Wretchard summarizes Biden’s challenging week and notes the challenges are going to get even bigger:
Joe Biden is facing simultaneous challenges.
- The collapse of Afghanistan in place of a “decent interval”;
- The resurgence of the Covid Delta variant in place of the anticipated reopening of society;
- Looming inflation and economic problems in place of the anticipated boom.
- The unending border crisis.
It’s a dramatic reversal of fortune on all fronts. Biden failed to anticipate either the events or their speed and intensity and there is little to suggest he can handle the second order crises that is coming in its wake.
Reality has gotten inside Joe’s OODA loop.
OODA loop is a military doctrine meaning Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. There’s no indication that he has the capacity to utilize this method of dealing with challenges, and challenges to his policies are finally running into some judicial blocks, blocks which have taken far too long.
The Outrageous Unconstitutional Treatment of January 6 “Insurrectionists”
Earlier this week, I indicated some of them. Since then, Julie Kelly has detailed pushback, primarily from D.C. federal judges Amit Mehta (an Obama appointee), Trevor McFadden, and even the mercurial Emmet Sullivan. The prosecution is skating on ever thinner ice.
Mehta told prosecutors overseeing the Oath Keepers conspiracy case that he wanted an update on the database by August 18 since the first trial date is scheduled for January 2022. The judge also reminded prosecutors about their obligations under the Brady rule, which requires the disclosure of evidence favorable to the defendant.
(In an interesting disclosure, the prosecutor said the government does not have closed-circuit security footage from the doors on the east side of the Capitol building. She said they are looking “informally” at other sources of video that could contain exculpatory evidence. Stay tuned for updates -- this might represent the first of many “disappearing” surveillance videos.)
Mehta and McFadden aren’t the only judges pushing back. In a hearing on Wednesday, Judge Emmet Sullivan warned prosecutors he would “seriously consider some sanctions” if the discovery system isn’t online within the next 30 days.
That deadline seems like a stretch. (It is also unlikely Sullivan, the biased judge in the Michael Flynn case, will follow through with his threat.)
January 6 defendants appear to have almost no shot at a fair trial in Washington, D.C. Up until this point, Biden’s Justice Department has been in full control. Scrutiny by Beltway judges, albeit overly cautious and long overdue, is nonetheless welcome. After seven months -- and counting -- of pure hell for the Caldwells, Mehta’s pushback offers the tiny glimmer of hope they’ve been looking for.
Last month a prosecutor told Judge McFadden that as a “conservative estimate” the government could not meet its full discovery obligations until early in 2022, to which Judge McFadden replied, “this does not feel what the Constitution [and] the speedy Trial Act envisions.”
It’s been a cute prosecutorial trick to keep adding defendants and then claiming because there are so many and so much material to evaluate that it cannot meet its discovery obligations for months and the defendants, without a hearing, must be locked up (many in solitary) for months and months in clear violation of their right to a speedy trial. I think the trick is losing its magic.
So much of the left’s strategy depends on persuading voters that Trump supporters and the like are barbarians intent on overthrowing the government by any means. What happens when most of these cases collapse, as I think they will with a bit more sunlight on the Department of Justice’s foul plays?
Pretending that the COVID vaccines are just like measles or polio vaccines and not imperfect measures which may be the best we can come up with, the push has been to require them of everyone everywhere. Municipalities like San Francisco now require proof of vaccination for any indoor activity -- businesses, restaurants, bars and gyms, and entertainment venues. Some places require them for state and country workers. California was the first state to require state employees get vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. (Again treating a relatively benign disease for most as if it were bubonic plague.) Hawaii followed as did New York and Delaware.
In the first legal challenge to these strictures, Hawaii state and county workers announced they will challenge the mandate. In Dayton, Ohio a similar suit is being planned by police and fire unions over a similar municipal vaccine mandate.
It’s not just that the mandates may be illegal. It’s that the inconsistent application is manifest.
On our open southern border, thousands of illegal immigrants in U.S. custody in detention centers have refused vaccinations, but the border stays open repeating the inconsistencies in enforcing vaccine policies. (In Martha’s Vineyard where the boffo Obama birthday party took place with total disregard for masks in a packed indoor venue, ICE reports a spike in coronavirus cases.) In Massachusetts, the Department of Public Health issued a public health advisory effective July 30 that advises all unvaccinated residents to continue to wear masks in indoor settings and when they can’t socially distance. Neither the state nor the Biden Administration took issue with the effrontery of it all.
Not just government vaccine policies have consequences. Some employers have initiated vaccine mandates. United Airlines, which is having some trouble getting employees back to work, was one of those. Competing airlines didn’t. I expect this will not help their labor shortage. Interestingly, one company that is not requiring employees be vaccinated is Pfizer, which manufactures the vaccine.
Open Borders Pushback
In Texas, U.S. District Court judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk dealt a blow to Biden’s immigration policies. The Biden Administration had allowed everyone in, and then assert that the detention facilities were insufficient to hold them all and release them to go throughout the country, often without even a hearing date.
The judge ordered the president to “enforce and implement [Migrant Protections Protocols, commonly referred to as ‘Remain in Mexico’] in good faith until such a time as it has been lawfully rescinded in compliance with the [Administrative Procedure Act] and until such a time as the federal government has sufficient detention capacity to detain all aliens subject to mandatory detention under Section 1355 without releasing any aliens because of a lack of detention resources.”
Biden Begs for Oil
The Democrats’ idiotic anti-fossil fuel campaign took a hit this week when Biden begged the Saudis to up production after shutting down as much of domestic production as he could. (Apparently, he believes that oil from the Middle East doesn’t affect the climate as much as fossil fuel from Canada and the U.S. Or, if it does affect the climate by warming it, that’s now a good thing.) Dane Bjorn Lomborg who, unlike AOC and Greta, knows what he’s talking about, explains that more people (166,000 of them) each year die from cold than die from heat.
In like manner to Biden’s begging OPEC for more oil, California’s loony decarbonization program hit a snag as it is forced to rely on carbon fuels to prevent widespread blackouts.
Looming challenges which Biden is unlikely to manage to include (but are not exclusive):
- An ever more aggressive China
- Supply shortages (including food, electricity, gas, and silicon chips);
- A willing worker shortage in the face of generous government payouts for not working;
- Loss of rental housing. Rent moratoria make it impossible for landlords to continue, thus leaving municipalities with the cost of building maintenance and no tax revenue from owners which will likely as it usually does leave those buildings uncared for and eventually vacant;
- The moral tragedy in Afghanistan as the Taliban rapidly reasserts control and we are not able to rescue those who worked with us.
- A demoralized and unprepared-for-action military that spends more time on critical race theory than on defense preparations.
And that is only the top of this particular iceberg. There will also be other, unknown challenges coming down the road as well… but Biden won’t be ready to handle them either.
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