Biden’s First Executive Orders

Joe Biden was inaugurated yesterday as President. As promised, he signed several executive orders that undid Trump executive orders. One of those, was that Biden recommitted the US to the Paris Climate Agreement.

As this author wrote in 2017 as President Trump pulled out of the Agreement, the practical effect of the Paris accord was very small but the cost was very high.

In that piece (link provided below for ease), which is worth re-reading after President Biden’s actions, the discussion focused on objective measures which are often difficult to discuss since global warming/climate change has become almost a religion to so many people.

In short, it’s a bad agreement because: 1) China and India, the world’s two largest ‘offenders’, are not required to do anything on emissions for a decade. 2)  the US is required to foot the bill for several other countries to the tune of tens of billions of dollars, 3) it will cost the US economy an estimated trillion dollars is lost jobs and compliance expenses and 4) all of that is estimated, even by ardent environmentalist, to reduce the rate of increase in temperature by ONE DEGREE.  A pretty hefty price for one degree, even if everything works as well as proposed and every country completely complies.

Forget Paris. At a time our economy has already taken a big body blow, even if it were a good agreement now is not the time for the economy to take another hit.

Trump’s Legacy?

In retrospect, it’s clear that I should have shared my thoughts on the legacy of the Trump Presidency before January 6. My goal was to share some objective thoughts on a divisive figure, who I once felt gets too much praise from his worshippers and too much hatred from his detractors.

Yet the attack on the Capital, the very seat of our government, and the attempt to capture lawmakers who were meeting at the time forever sealed the legacy of Donald Trump. To all but those he said infamously (but shockingly prophetically) would follow him even “If I murdered someone on 5th avenue”, he will go down as the President who tried to overturn an election with violence. 

Let’s not be naïve and think that his selection of January 6 to hold a rally was coincidental. It was not. Yet few of us would have imagined the events that followed. After encouraging his followers to ‘march to the Capitol’ and show some strength, he was followed by his son Donald Jr., who encouraged followers to march to the Capitol and ‘fight’ for what was ‘right’ and then by his lawyer who encouraged the mob to put lawmakers through ‘trial by combat’. The mob obliged and attacked the Capitol, several photographed holding plastic handcuffs and wearing body armor while hunting for lawmakers amid a crowd chanting “Hang Mike Pence”.

Donald Trump’s legacy has been sealed for history. If you are like me, you still have trouble wrapping your mind around the events of Jan. 6 and that a number, though a very clear minority, of seemingly decent Americans excuse or minimize it. In my wildest imagination I never dreamed I would see video of someone beating a Capitol police officer with an American flag and people breaking windows to get into the House and Senate chambers, and I have not even been able to formulate words to say.

Yet, in coming days, Thinking Man will have some thoughts to share on what four years of a Trump Presidency have left us. Stay tuned.

The Capitol Attack-Some Short Notes

It is still hard to process all the events of last week’s attack on the US Capitol, the very seat of our government, and on the lawmakers who were meeting and were forced to flee.

The bigger picture issues are still yet to be addressed, and our leaders will need unbelievable wisdom to sort those out. There are several actions that are coming to light that would be of tremendous significance in normal times, but these are not normal times. Nevertheless, they are worth noting, especially since they involve public servants, who receive our tax dollars, which were involved in the attacks on our government.

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To Add Insult To Injury, Gov. Andrew Cuomo Botches Vaccine Rollout

In another example of the capacity for self-delusion, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is botching the rollout of vaccines for the biggest health crisis in a century, only months after writing a book congratulating himself on his leadership during the pandemic.

Unfortunately for New Yorkers, by almost every objective measure the state of New York has suffered most from the pandemic and has far more deaths than any other state. So bad has it been, and so bad has the response been, that the last several months have seen hordes of people fleeing the state.

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Attacks On Capitol Hurt US Abroad, As Well

The shameful display of the riots that attacked our seat of government and our lawmakers gave America’s enemies an opportunity: China compared the riots to Hong Kong protests. Russia, Iran & Venezuela all mocked America. Zimbabwe argued the US lost its “moral right to punish another nation under the guise of upholding democracy.”

Quote of the Week

Former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell said Friday that President Donald Trump should resign immediately after pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol to stop the counting of votes by the Electoral College.

“I wish he would just do what Nixon did and that’s step down,” Powell said in an interview on NBC.

“Somebody ought to go up there and tell him, ‘It’s over. Plane’s waiting for you. You’re out,’” Powell said.

Storming the US Capitol and Threatening Congresspeople?!

The events of two days ago were so stunning that, frankly, Thinking Man hasn’t been able to wrap his mind completely around it. Who would have ever imagined that here, in the United States, we would ever see a scene like this picture where Capitol police are literally barricading the doors of the House of Representatives to try to prevent rioters from entering the chamber.

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting and indoor

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Democrats Sweep Georgia Runoffs, With Some Help

Yesterday, Georgia held two runoff elections for its seats in the US Senate. Because of Georgia’s unique election laws, if no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote then the top two vote-getters face in a runoff. Although Republican candidates got the most votes in both racess, none got a majority and so a runoff was held yesterday.

In the November elections, Democrats maintained their majority in the House (although with less seats) and Joe Biden will become President. Which party controls the Senate was still undecided until the Georgia elections. Republicans simply had to win one of the two to maintain a majority, and since both incumbents were Republican and Republican candidates got the most votes in November, they were favored.

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Travesty In Kenosha

Kenosha, Wisconsin District Attorney Michael Gravely announced late this afternoon that police involved in the August shooting of Jacob Blake will not be charged.

In the incident, which led to days of riots, police were responding to a domestic violence call and confronted Jacob Blake, a black man who ignored police warnings and instructions. As police tried to get him to stop so they could talk to him, Blake refused and continued to walk to his car. Blake opened the car door where a knife was visible and within reach (which Blake later confirmed was true). The officer shot Blake seven times in the back, leaving him paralyzed below the waist.

In a statement, the District Attorney said that the officer “felt he was about to be stabbed” and if the case were brought to court, they could not prove that the officer did not act in self-defense.

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