The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

The place for measured discourse about politics and current events, including developments in science and medicine.
Post Reply
N.E. Brigand
Posts: 7619
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 1:41 am
Location: Cleveland, OH, USA

Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

Post by N.E. Brigand »

Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2024 5:45 pm At this point, it would only be surprising if job reports didn't "blow past expectations."
Jobs report blows past expectations, displaying resilient strength of US economy
*Cues up next poll showing how Trump is more trusted with the economy that Biden*
The streak with unemployment below 4% did end, though.*

However, one reason for that that is that the "labor force participation rate for prime-age workers at highest level since 2002." (Because the unemployment rate is based on the number of people looking for a job who can't get one. People who aren't looking for a job aren't counted at all in unemployment calculations. But a higher labor force participation rate means more people are either working or looking for work. And not only is it at a 22-year high, but "prime-age women's labor force participation rate at highest level ever."

*Strictly speaking, the May rate was below 4%: it was 3.96%. But normally the rate is rounded to the nearest tenth.
N.E. Brigand
Posts: 7619
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 1:41 am
Location: Cleveland, OH, USA

Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

Post by N.E. Brigand »

President Biden today delivered a second D-Day themed speech in France, this time at Pointe du Hoc, where U.S. Army Rangers scaled a 110-foot cliff from the beaches to take a Nazi artillery battery position.



The speech starts somewhat haltingly but gets stronger as it goes. The theme again is the defense of democracy and freedom.
User avatar
Sunsilver
Posts: 8933
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 2:41 am
Location: In my rose garden
Contact:

Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

Post by Sunsilver »

Excellent speech - my compliments to his speechwriter! Biden will never be a great orator like Churchill, but he certainly did a good job with his delivery, with only a very few fumbles. I am one of the lay readers at my church, so I know how hard it is to read something without getting a few words wrong here and there, and of course, Biden had to do more than just read!

I've been watching The Tattoist of Auschwitz over the last two nights, and that really helps bring home the tremendous importance of the D-Day landing to me. :cry:
When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes The Rose.
User avatar
Frelga
Meanwhile...
Posts: 22673
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:31 pm
Location: Home, where else

Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

Post by Frelga »

Biden gave a speech about importance of defending democracy, and now a bunch of MAGA are upset that he was attacking Trump. Whom Biden didn't not mention.

Thief's hat is on fire.
If there was anything that depressed him more than his own cynicism, it was that quite often it still wasn't as cynical as real life.

Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!
N.E. Brigand
Posts: 7619
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 1:41 am
Location: Cleveland, OH, USA

Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

Post by N.E. Brigand »

This essay sees evidence in this week's testimony that Hunter Biden bought the gun because he was thinking about killing himself.
N.E. Brigand
Posts: 7619
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 1:41 am
Location: Cleveland, OH, USA

Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

Post by N.E. Brigand »

Today saw the closing arguments in Hunter Biden's gun case, and the jury began deliberations. (They continue tomorrow.) The prosecution needs the jury to believe that Hunter was using drugs during the period he bought and owned the gun or that he knew he was "addicted" during that time. Evidence for the former is circumstantial but possibly sufficient for a jury to convict. Evidence for the latter arguably depends on whether Hunter, who was in and out of rehab and therapy, believed during those days that he had kicked the habit and was clean. It's a bit of a catch-22 though, because as a prosecutor said in his closing:

"Maybe if he had never gone to rehab … he could argue he didn't know he was an addict."

It's pretty gross to argue that someone struggling with drugs would be better off legally if he had not gone to rehab.
Last edited by N.E. Brigand on Tue Jun 11, 2024 2:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Voronwë the Faithful
At the intersection of here and now
Posts: 46602
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 1:41 am
Contact:

Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

I don't know what the jury will do (if forced to guess, I think they will convict on one charge and acquit on the other two), but I do know that it is a case that never should have been brought, particularly after the original plea agreement.
"Spirits in the shape of hawks and eagles flew ever to and from his halls; and their eyes could see to the depths of the seas, and pierce the hidden caverns beneath the world."
User avatar
Alatar
of Vinyamar
Posts: 10667
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:39 pm
Location: Ireland
Contact:

Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

Post by Alatar »

I really don't know why Democrats aren't running ads saying "Republicans want to take away your guns!!!" :)
Image
The Vinyamars on Stage! This time at Bag End
User avatar
RoseMorninStar
Posts: 13191
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:07 am
Location: North Shire

Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

Post by RoseMorninStar »

We had an odd encounter with our neighbor a couple of weeks ago. He live-traps groundhogs that tear up his garden and releases them in a wildlife area. He, out of the blue, gave us 'permission' to shoot it, which was bizarre as we've both lived here more than 30 years and are not known for firing guns in the neighborhood (some people do). I told him we don't have guns and he offered us his. I have a feeling this exchange was to find out of we had a gun and to let us know he did. This is one of the neighbors who have been comparing Trump to Jesus. While I do not discuss politics with them, they likely know we are not of the same opinion.
Last edited by RoseMorninStar on Tue Jun 11, 2024 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
My heart is forever in the Shire.
User avatar
Frelga
Meanwhile...
Posts: 22673
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:31 pm
Location: Home, where else

Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

Post by Frelga »

Alatar wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 10:46 am I really don't know why Democrats aren't running ads saying "Republicans want to take away your guns!!!" :)
If they can take the gun away from the president's son, imagine what they will do to your guns.
If there was anything that depressed him more than his own cynicism, it was that quite often it still wasn't as cynical as real life.

Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!
N.E. Brigand
Posts: 7619
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 1:41 am
Location: Cleveland, OH, USA

Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

Post by N.E. Brigand »

Hunter Biden has been found guilty on all three gun charges. Before the trial started, this seemed like the likeliest outcome, but some of the testimony during the trial suggested he might get off on some counts.
N.E. Brigand
Posts: 7619
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 1:41 am
Location: Cleveland, OH, USA

Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

Post by N.E. Brigand »

Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Thu Jun 06, 2024 8:53 pm While partly off-topic, I'll say this here. I think that there is a reasonably good chance that Hunter Biden will be acquitted and if he is, certain folks will point to the contrast between that result and the result in this case as "proof" that the justice system is unfair.
One upside to the guilty verdict is that this potential right-wing argument is no longer viable.
User avatar
Voronwë the Faithful
At the intersection of here and now
Posts: 46602
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 1:41 am
Contact:

Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Here's the new party line.

"Spirits in the shape of hawks and eagles flew ever to and from his halls; and their eyes could see to the depths of the seas, and pierce the hidden caverns beneath the world."
N.E. Brigand
Posts: 7619
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 1:41 am
Location: Cleveland, OH, USA

Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

Post by N.E. Brigand »

President Biden has issued this statement:
As I said last week, I am the President, but I am also a Dad. Jill and I love our son, and we are so proud of the man he is today. So many families who have had loved ones battle addiction understand the feeling of pride seeing someone you love come out the other side and be so strong and resilient in recovery. As I also said last week, I will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal. Jill and I will always be there for Hunter and the rest of the family with our love and support. Nothing will every change that.
- - - - - - - - -
Meanwhile, "Three jurors who spoke to CNN after they reached a guilty verdict said they believed they had no choice but to find Hunter Biden guilty--but said that they question whether the criminal case ever should have been brought against the president's son. The case 'seemed like a waste of taxpayer dollars,' one female juror told CNN."

- - - - - - - - -
Edited to add: Apparently the jury started evenly divided, with one of those who favored acquittal saying they hadn't been told the whole story. I wonder if any of them will ever learn more and feel that they were tricked into convicting. That can work both ways of course. A friend of mine once sat on a jury in a burglary case. The evidence was weirdly insufficient, he said, and the jury acquitted. After the trial was done, the judge -- who my friend knew (and he had disclosed this in the voir dire) because she sat on the board of a non-profit he was involved with -- came back to speak to the jury. She told them that there was video clearly showing the defendant committing the crime, but it had been excluded due to some chain-of-evidence issue. The law and the truth are not the same thing.

- - - - - - - - -
Edited to add: If Democrats acted like Republicans, this would be widely shared as a serious meme:

Image

- - - - - - - - - -
Edited to add: Both Elon Musk and Rep. Matt Gaetz say that Hunter Biden shouldn't have been convicted of this crime.

Musk, however, feels that Hunter "(and others) should be in jail for impugning the integrity of the United States by taking bribes for political favors." Which of course not something that has been proven.

- - - - - - - - - -
Edited to add: Hunter Biden has issued this statement:

"I am more grateful today for the love and support I experienced this last week from Melissa [his wife], my family, my friends, and my community than I am disappointed by the outcome. Recover is possible by the grace of God, and I am blessed to experience that gift one day at a time.'

- - - - - - - - - -
Edited to add: Donald Trump campaign issued a statement calling this trial "a distraction" from the supposed "crimes" of President Biden, but ending on a note of decency: "As for Hunter, we wish him well in his recovery and legal affairs." But then the campaign retracted that statement and reissued it without the final sentence. So petty.

- - - - - - - - - -
Edited to add: Coincidentally, President Biden spoke at a gun safety event today.

- - - - - - - - - -
Edited to add:
Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 5:33 pm Here's the new party line.

Stephen Miller on Twitter:
DOJ is running election interference for Joe Biden--that's why DOJ did NOT charge Hunter with being an unregistered foreign agent (FARA) or any crime connected with foreign corruption. Why? Because all the evidence would lead back to JOE. DOJ is Joe's election protection racket. The gun charges are a giant misdirection. An easy op for DOJ to sell to a pliant media that is all too willing to be duped. Don't be gaslit. This is all about protecting Joe Biden and only Joe Biden.
Yeah, and some conservatives are claiming that President Biden directed that Hunter be convicted in order to justify the prosecutions of Donald Trump. I like this take: "Well God did sacrifice his son --Maybe Joe Biden is a deity?!"

- - - - - - - - - -
Edited to add this photo taken later today:

Image
Last edited by N.E. Brigand on Wed Jun 12, 2024 1:33 am, edited 2 times in total.
N.E. Brigand
Posts: 7619
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 1:41 am
Location: Cleveland, OH, USA

Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

Post by N.E. Brigand »

N.E. Brigand wrote: Thu Jun 06, 2024 3:06 am Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal published a supposedly exhaustive report titled "Behind Closed Doors, Biden Show Signs of Slipping."
A broadcast company called Sinclair "is the second-largest television station operator in the United States by number of stations (after Nexstar Media Group), owning or operating a total of 193 stations across the country in over 100 markets (covering 40% of American households), and is the largest owner of stations affiliated with Fox, NBC, CBS, ABC, MyNetworkTV, and The CW." They are notorious for giving their local affiliates across the country Republican talking points to be read verbatim as part of the evening news. It is therefore disappointing but not surprising that they all pushed this Wall Street Journal story over the past week.

At the link you can see video of lots of supposedly independent news anchors reading from the same script. It's pathetic.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
Edited to add: Meanwhile the S&P and NASDAQ stock exchanges both hit record highs today. (The Dow Jones, which famously rose above 40,000 about a month ago, subsequently fell and is now at 38,747, which is still higher than at any point before 2024.)
User avatar
Sunsilver
Posts: 8933
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 2:41 am
Location: In my rose garden
Contact:

Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

Post by Sunsilver »

I hope that they will go easy on his sentencing... :(
When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes The Rose.
N.E. Brigand
Posts: 7619
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 1:41 am
Location: Cleveland, OH, USA

Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

Post by N.E. Brigand »

The monthly inflation report came in a little lower than anticipated: it was 0% for the month of May (0.1% was predicted), bringing the annual rate to 3.3%. Investors are happy because they think that means the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates twice this year. Here's a chart showing the annual inflation rate from 1970 to now:

Image

In other words, right where we were for periods during both Bill Clinton's and George W. Bush's presidency.

That said, if you check out the responses at the second link, you'll see that lots of people think prices should go down. They don't understand that deflation only happens during a recession, and apparently they don't remember that prices have gone up during nearly every presidency. (Herbert Hoover might be the only exception in the past century, because the Great Depression started one year into his term and wouldn't end for ten years.) Prices did drop slightly for a few months during the pandemic, but overall the went up 8% during Donald Trump's presidency. On average, a product that cost $100 when Trump took office in January 2017 cost $108 when he left office (reluctantly) in January 2021. In fact, the Fed wants there to be 2% inflation every year. That's their target.

It is true that prices now are 20% higher than they were when President Biden took office. But that's because of the shock of coming out of the pandemic. Prices went up 7% in 2021 and 6% in 2022, but they only went up 3% in 2023.

During the equivalent period in Ronald Reagan's first term, January 1981-May 1984, prices went up nearly as much -- 19% -- and unemployment rate was nearly double what it is now.

And if we measure to the start of the pandemic, wages have more than kept up. Inflation from March 2020 to May 2024 is up 20.8%, while average wages over that period rose 22.3% So if you were earning $100 per day in March 2020, you're earning more than $122 per day now. On average. This is particularly true for workers at the lower end.
N.E. Brigand
Posts: 7619
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 1:41 am
Location: Cleveland, OH, USA

Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

Post by N.E. Brigand »

Good news from Maryland:

N.E. Brigand
Posts: 7619
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 1:41 am
Location: Cleveland, OH, USA

Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

Post by N.E. Brigand »

President Biden was in France last week for the D-Day commemorations, back in the U.S. early this week, and has returned to Europe for the G7 conference in Italy.

During remarks there, Biden said: "I'm extremely proud of my son Hunter. He has overcome an addiction. He has--he's one of the brightest, most decent men I know. And I am satisfied that I'm not gonna do anything: I said I'd abide by the jury decision. I will do that. And I will not pardon him."
N.E. Brigand
Posts: 7619
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 1:41 am
Location: Cleveland, OH, USA

Re: The challenges ahead (Biden's America)

Post by N.E. Brigand »

You may have heard that Hunter Biden dropped his lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani last night. The situation is more complicated than that. Last December, after Giuliani lost the lawsuit filed against him by Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss and was ordered to pay them $148 million, he declared bankruptcy, and that's preventing Hunter's lawsuit from proceeding at this time.
Post Reply