Joe Biden’s Early Report Card

Joe Biden and his alleged nemesis

W.J. Astore

Joe Biden’s been president for a year and a few months; it’s time to award him a provisional grade for his performance as president.  Here are a few factors to consider:

* Biden ended the Afghan War.  Sure, it was a disordered ending, a pell-mell evacuation, a calamitous collapse that saw Afghan innocents killed in a final drone strike (nothing new about that, I suppose).  But he did end a twenty-year war, so credit to him for that.

* Biden was able to pass an infrastructure bill, though it was disappointingly small.  Still, America truly needs to invest in its infrastructure (rather than, for example, nuclear weapons), so credit again to Biden.

* Biden kept his promise to nominate an African American woman to the Supreme Court.  The court is still overwhelmingly conservative, so her presence won’t make a critical difference to decisions, but dare I say, it’s about time the court looked more like the diversity of America.

* When Biden announced his candidacy, the first thing he did was meet with Comcast executives and other high and mighty media- and business-types.  He told them nothing would fundamentally change under his administration.  That’s a campaign promise he’s kept.

* Another promise Biden has kept is sizable increases to the Pentagon’s budget.  If you’re part of the military-industry complex, you’re probably more than satisfied with Biden’s budgets.

* Finally, some people assert that Biden has stood firm against Russia and Putin, marshaling the West against Putin’s war of aggression in Ukraine.  I beg to differ with this assertion, but more on that below.

Now, let’s look at where Biden has failed or proven to be a disappointment.

* Biden has kept none of his progressive promises, which is unsurprising, given his track record as a senator from Delaware.  No $15 federal minimum wage.  No public option for health care.  No student debt relief (just moratoriums on payments).  On these and similar issues, Biden’s defenders place the blame on obstinate “centrist” senators like Manchin and Sinema, or they blame the Senate Parliamentarian for ruling against the $15 wage increase due to a technicality.  It’s all special pleading.  When their own Senate Parliamentarian got in their way, the Republicans simply replaced that unelected person with someone more tractable.  Chuck Schumer could easily have done the same.  Manchin and Sinema can be cajoled or coerced if Biden had the will to do so.  But “centrist” Democrats adore Manchin and Sinema because they serve as convenient scapegoats for why Biden can’t be more progressive.

* Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan died a meaningless death, but, once again, this was more by design.  Recall Biden’s key promise that nothing would fundamentally change under his administration.

* Again, withdrawing from the Afghan War was a sound decision, but it was poorly implemented.

* The Russia-Ukraine War: Biden has gone all-in with his military approach to the war, meaning more money for the Pentagon, more weapons for Ukraine, harsh sanctions that hit ordinary Russians the hardest, and rhetoric that declares Putin to be a genocidal war criminal.  Diplomatic efforts have taken a back seat to efforts to effect regime change in Russia.  Some people may see this as tough and hard- minded; I see it as provocative and incredibly foolhardy.  Brinksmanship with Russia risks nuclear war, with Biden’s harsh rhetoric leaving little room for a negotiated settlement.  More than a few people see the U.S. as weakening Russia in a proxy war in which Biden is willing to fight to the last Ukrainian.  Toughness is not about more weapons and war; it’s about finding ways to build fewer weapons and to end war.

* Inflation is reaching new highs and many Americans are struggling economically, but Biden’s main approach here has been to blame Putin.  Unlike Harry Truman, the buck never stops with Joe Biden.

* The Biden team made a disastrous choice for his vice president.  Biden has no affinity with Kamala Harris, and Harris herself has wilted on the world stage.  High staff turnover suggests she’s a polarizing figure and a poor boss.  The only good thing about Harris, from the Biden perspective, is that people dislike her more than they do the president.

* Biden’s unpopularity.  Predictions for the midterm elections this November are dire for Democrats.  It’s possible, even likely, Republicans will regain both the Senate and House, leaving Biden a lame duck for his final two years in office.  Few if any Democratic candidates are seeking Biden’s support or planning to ride his coattails to victory.

* Biden’s mental status.  Biden will be 80 this November.  I’m not an expert on dementia.  But I’ve seen plenty of speeches by Biden where he’s become forgetful; when he can’t remember words; when he gets frustrated.  I feel for him.  He can read from a teleprompter but get him off-script and he becomes unpredictable and says nonsensical things.  Occasionally, he looks lost or at a loss.  Something similar was happening to Ronald Reagan in his second term.

Always looming in the background and foreground is the party of Trump.  To my mind, the best way to defeat rightwing popular authoritarianism is to have leaders who answer to the people rather than to corporations and oligarchs.  The Democratic Party is venal and corrupt, which allows Trump & Co. an opening to play a (false) populist card.  The Democrats, as presently led by Biden, Schumer, Pelosi, et al., are easy foils for authoritarian dipshits like Trump.

Trump would be far less dangerous if the Democrats actually believed and acted on their various campaign promises to help people rather than oligarchs and corporations.

The ultimate grade of Joe Biden’s presidency will depend on whether through his actions and inaction he gives Trump an opening to win the presidency in 2024.  Assuming Trump wins again in 2024, Biden’s final grade will be an “F.”

His provisional grade?  First, I’m not a Democrat.  Second, I despise Trump, a man totally unqualified to serve the public in any capacity.  Overall, my grade for Biden is a “C-,” and on less generous days I’m inclined to give him a “D.”  He is a man who’s often out of his depth, a man well past his prime, a man who perhaps shouldn’t have run in 2020 and who most certainly shouldn’t run again in 2024, given the demands of the presidency. (Recall that when Biden suggested a run for the presidency in 2020, Obama told him, You don’t have to do this, Joe. Not exactly an inspiring vote of confidence!)

What do you think, readers?  What grade has Joe Biden earned so far in your opinion?  

58 thoughts on “Joe Biden’s Early Report Card

  1. “F” springs to mind. Biden’s potentiation of the Cold War—now extended to China under Obama’s “pivot”—in an even more dangerous and egregious form than before trumps (you’ll excuse the expression) all else. I dislike Donald Trump profoundly, but nothing indicates to me that Biden is any better or less “evil” than Trump, or that the Democrats (?) are any better than the Republicans (?). It’s a disgrace that this should be the choice with which American voters are presented. They should all drop dead before they wind up killing us all.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wonder if any U.S. president could seriously argue and work for diplomacy, comity, and peace. The last president who openly spoke of peace was JFK a few months before he was assassinated.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, though staunchly anti-Communist in his early views, JFK was also a realist and, I believe, genuinely interested in peace. He was, as I recall, furious at the rogue Bay of Pigs operation. That he was assassinated not long afterwards is felt by some to be possibly the result of his willingness to negotiate towards peaceful coexistence.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Really?, Think about it. The man is trying with numerous dead weights countering him within his party, the senate, scotus, the opposition party, evangelicals, the fascist ex pres. and his fawners , and more.
      As a progressive I am not overjoyed with him; but hey, I’ll give the man some credit considering what the alternative would have been.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I neglected to add that “President” Joe Manchin deserves an “A.” He always seems to dictate terms while getting plenty of money for himself and his family.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Zed” he’s Dead!— Jim! Well where to begin lol “The Lesser of 2 Weevils” “Master & Commander” at least the Atomic Bombs are not flying/ Yet! At least he’s not a Drunk like Boris Yeltsin was in his Twilight Yrs.! as President of Russia before Putin took ovah! Though all things considered that might actually help in a perverse way. Mediocre Presidents at best all after JFK in my humble opin.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. In a way, Biden is a caretaker president. No one really expected him to be dynamic or different or exceptional.

    Even during his campaign, he was short on specifics and kept largely in his basement. His forays during the debates were often embarrassing.

    People were just tired of Trump’s drama and chaos related to Covid. But as the Trump years recede, people are focusing now on Biden and how little he’s done for the average family.

    Trump can run on that old Reagan slogan: Are you better off now than you were four years ago? For too many Americans, the obvious answer is “no.” Someone has to take the blame. Why not Joe?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I would agree that Biden is a caretaker/transitional president. But a transition to Kamala Harris? She is so manifestly unfit to be president, that, South Carolina politics or not, I saw Biden’s judgment as failing from the outset – and nothing has changed my perspective since. When added to your failing grades above, I literally fear for our survival.

      If Biden/Harris are the face of the Democrats, then as self-destructive as the Republicans typically are – a Republican blowout in 2022 (and possibly 2024) congressional elections, and a Republican president in 2024 are all but inevitable.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. There’s truth to the idea the Dems would rather be a minority opposition against Trump rather than in the majority under a Progressive like Bernie Sanders.

        Being in opposition against Trump, the Dems can raise all kinds of money (#resistance #enrichus). If Biden wins, that’s OK too. But allowing a Progressive to win would threaten their sinecures and their Neo-liberal commitments.

        Sounds cynical, but events sure play out that way.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I agree with you completely. I’ve always felt both parties (and the Dems in particular) would rather either lose or win by slim margins; in either case, “just a bit more money, please” message to their donors – without being able or willing to deliver anything.

          As Lily Tomlin once said, “no matter how cynical you become, it’s never enough to keep up.”

          Liked by 2 people

          1. You nailed it Tom……“just a bit more money, please” message to their donors – without being able or willing to (or having to ) deliver anything.” Especially from the Democrats!
            Do you watch the Jimmy Dore Show? He is a lefty. A progressive, who is very critical of the Democrats. Especially Nancy Pelosi, who I think is one of the biggest road blocks to any Democratic Party progressive agenda. 100% bought and paid for by her donors – big business and big Pharma. Until she goes, don’t expect anything from that side of the aisle for your traditional Democratic voters.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. The Trump administration in February 2020 negotiated a withdrawal agreement with the Taliban that excluded the Afghan government, freed 5,000 imprisoned Taliban soldiers and set a date certain of May 1, 2021, for the final withdrawal.

    Biden was bound to follow that Timeline but needed a 3 month extension for the frantic, hurried, humiliating exit from Kabul after the 20 year, $2 TRILLION US occupation of Afghanistan.

    Like

  6. Regarding the presidential hologram, “Joe Biden,” and his/her/its/their “management” of the US/UK/NATO/EU war on Russia (not going so well for the “West” in its opening “Ukrainian” phase, I seem to recall Scott Ritter in one of his many video interviews using the term “gone gopher” to describe the Ukrainian military strategy in the Donbas region of (formerly) Eastern Ukraine. Thinking this over last night as I often do when sleep won’t happen, the following arrangement of syllables occurred to me:

    Genius Gopher “War” Planning

    The Nazi American Terrorist Op –
    or, NATO: an acronym standing for “flop” –
    has started a war and refuses to stop
    till few can distinguish the crook from the cop.
    So dig some more trenches and live in the slop
    till orders arrive to go “Over the top!”
    Then charge across steppes in the open, “Chop Chop!”
    as men all around you catch bullets and drop.
    From dragon’s teeth sown, Death will harvest His crop.

    Your NATO instructor (his “doctrine” hidebound)
    has taught you a thing guaranteed to astound:
    Wage war from a bunker: a burial mound,
    then wait for some “help” from the “West” to come round.
    But quickly you witness your aircraft all downed;
    and what you imagined your “navy” is drowned;
    then you a red vapor, no trace ever found.
    Eternity now. Absent all light and sound.
    “Gone Gopher” like George Custer’s “take the low ground!”

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2022

    So I guess I should credit the Biden Hologram — and all the boundless corruption it represents — for poetic inspiration, although probably not of the sort that America’s “military professionals” would recognize or appreciate.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Biden gets the role he’s been waiting for his entire life: a wannabe war lord, and not a very good one.

    Next stop: World War lll

    Like

  8. How about after grading Biden on his job as President based on what promises he has and has not kept, we grade the entire American federal government and system of governance for the actual job it has done over the past thirty years since the collapse of the USSR and European Communism, and the end of Cold War I?

    Let’s grade the government and its elected politicians, entrenched civilian and military bureaucrats, and anointed political appointees on the job it and they have done to “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common Defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty,” as its purpose, function, and task is spelled out in the Preamble to the Constitution.

    To say nothing of protecting “We, the People” from “all enemies, foreign and domestic,” and forming “a more perfect Union.”

    And let’s grade the job every branch of the federal government has done over that period, not just the person in one office of the Executive. Let’s grade the other branches as well: the Legislative, the Judicial, and the fourth branch, the Federal Reserve.

    If we do that, we will be forced to confront the simple, obvious [albeit painful] reality that the United States of America is today, has been for quite some time, and shows no indication of stopping being:

    1. a Bankrupt Debtor State;
    2. an Imperialist Warfare State;
    3. a Redistributionist Welfare State;
    4. a Secrecy/Surveillance/Security/proto-Police State;
    5. an Oligarchic/Plutocratic Deep State;
    6. a Failing or at best Flailing State;
    7. an Overshoot State;

    And, as regards that “more perfect Union”:

    8. a People and Nation no longer merely “divided,” but fractured ~ even to the point of disintegration ~ in ways not seen in more than 160 years, since the eve of the First American Civil War.

    And after we do all that, then comes the next Question: So What and Now What?

    Like

  9. Online Censorship of Ukraine Dissent Is Becoming the New Norm: Big Tech and the corporate media are ushering in an ominous era of intense censorship over Ukraine.

    Mountain View, California – Google has sent a warning shot across the world, ominously informing media outlets, bloggers, and content creators that it will no longer tolerate certain opinions when it comes to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    Earlier this month, Google AdSense sent a message to a myriad of publishers, including MintPress News, informing us that, “Due to the war in Ukraine, we will pause monetization of content that exploits, dismisses, or condones the war.” This content, it went on to say, “includes, but is not limited to, claims that imply victims are responsible for their own tragedy or similar instances of victim-blaming, such as claims that Ukraine is committing genocide or deliberately attacking its own citizens.”

    This builds on a similar message Google’s subsidiary YouTube released last month, stating, “Our Community Guidelines prohibit content denying, minimizing or trivializing well-documented violent events. We are now removing content about Russia’s invasion in Ukraine that violates this policy.” YouTube went on to say that it had already permanently banned more than a thousand channels and 15,000 videos on these grounds.

    Journalist and filmmaker Abby Martin was deeply troubled by the news. “It is really disturbing that this is the trend that we are on,” she told MintPress, adding:

    “It is a preposterous declaration considering that the victim is whoever we are told by our foreign policy establishment. It really is outrageous to be told by these tech giants that taking the wrong side of a conflict that is quite complicated will now hurt your views, derank you on social media or limit your ability to fund your work. So you have to toe the line in order to survive as a journalist in alternative media today.”

    Continued at https://scheerpost.com/2022/04/28/online-censorship-of-ukraine-dissent-is-becoming-the-new-norm/

    Liked by 1 person

  10. In evaluating Biden’s performance, it’s worth pondering a recent episode where Obama effectively humiliated him: https://bracingviews.com/2022/04/08/obama-humiliates-biden/

    Obama calls President Biden his “vice president” (ha ha: what a funny joke!), then Obama presses flesh while leaving Biden on the outside, reducing Joe to a supernumerary in his own White House.

    I’m not attacking Biden here as much as I’m pointing out the massive conceit of Obama. But the way that Obama and Harris treat Biden here says much about how they think of him. In short, it appears they don’t respect him. I say “appears,” but appearance is vitally important in politics.

    Eight years of loyalty, and this is the thanks Biden gets from Obama? And Harris, his own VP, ignores him too.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes — Biden appeared as a minor magnitude star as Obama and Harris basked in their own light.

        Some people say I’m tough on Biden, but I’ve never done anything to Joe like his buddies Barack and Kamala did.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Just got this notice of a 1 week suspension for going against the Washington Post Proscribed War Narrative with my reasoned comments deleted.

    Your account has been temporarily suspended from commenting
    In accordance with The Washington Post’s community guidelines your account has been temporarily suspended. While suspended you will not be able to comment, use reactions or report comments.
    Please rejoin the conversation on May 6, 2022, 10:55 AM

    :–(

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes. Not much “freedom” of speech, is there?

      You can fulminate against Russia and Putin, but criticize the U.S. empire and its wars and you run the risk of being “suspended.”

      Kinda like high school: suspension for one week for talking back to your “teachers”

      Liked by 2 people

    2. This is the only comment out of the many I made on Fareed Zakaria’s article, ‘https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/04/28/united-states-should-practice-the-rules-based-order-it-preaches/ left standing. All the rest are gone, purged from the record.

      The problem with Democracy is there is none yet. Everyone wants their Rights, but no one wants the Responsibilities that go with those Rights.

      The regimes of this World are Oligarchic PLUTOCRACIES, not Democracies.

      It could also be because I posted the link to the article, ‘Russia is Back, and so is History’
      https://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2022/04/09/russia-is-back-and-so-is-history/

      I also posted before the link, these opening lines,

      I remember the Cuban Missile Crisis when I was thirteen and for the only time in my life nuclear war seemed like a very real and imminent possibility.[…]
      Within the next several years the Soviet Union not only collapsed politically but the Russian successor state also suffered an economic collapse, largely engineered and exploited by U.S. and Russian Jewish actors, that wreaked more havoc and suffering on the people than the Great Depression of the 1930s did upon the United States, causing the Russian people to feel that the friendship and trust they had extended to America had been betrayed.

      This was followed by betrayal in international relations, as the assurances given by Western leaders that they would not take advantage of Russia’s weakness to expand the anti-Russian NATO alliance eastward was repeatedly violated, and subversive Western NGOs worked to promote color revolutions and regime change in several of the successor states, most notably and fatefully with the U.S. engineered anti-Russian coup in Ukraine in February 2014, when Russian President Vladimir Putin finally offered resistance and pushed back by annexing Crimea and supporting breakaway states in the Donbass.

      Someone accused me of being Richard McCulloch the Author of that article and a Leader of the KKK, and from the whole length of it, focused on only these words, “Russian Jewish actors,” even though it’s True, from that dark period of the dirty 90s, when the Russian Oligarchs under the malevolent influence of the US, picked up all the Russian State heavy industries for pennies on the dollar. Most of them are Jewish, and most of them left Russia with their $Billions to live in the West, now being taken away from them for being rich Russians.

      As if US Oligarchs don’t have much more influence with the White House, Senators and Representatives, US governments and Agencies, than the average, ordinary American Worker has!

      Like

      1. I’m not an expert on “U.S. and Russian Jewish actors,” Ray. The problem with your comment is that it suggests a concerted and uniquely (or “largely”) Jewish conspiracy driven by money, i.e. it repeats some of the worst stereotypes against Jews.

        Were there Jews involved? I guess so. Did they profit? I gather so. But I’m guessing there were plenty of non-Jewish actors involved as well, as greedy if not more so. Jewish representation may have been high simply because finance and banking is one of those niches that Jewish people occupied when other professions and occupations, such as owning land and farming, was prohibited to them.

        Again, I’m no expert on the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s and who profited the most. But to suggest it was “largely” Jewish in nature strikes me as a biased and irresponsible claim.

        Just my two cents’ worth …

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank You, Colonel. You took the words right out of my mouth. Next we’ll be hearing about the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and other such “conspiracy theories.”

          Like

        2. Yes, and I suppose in these Times, I should have edited out what someone else wrote for fear someone might be offended.
          I shared it because I agreed with it’s General assessment of what’s actually happening in Ukraine not being reported in US/NATO WAR PROPAGANDA.

          That is only 1 article on that site I didn’t know existed until I got an email notice, ‘read this!’ According to this alleged Racist site, there are Good Whites and Bad Whites and it’s meant to educate in spotting the differences

          Like

  12. David Sirota has an article at The Guardian that roughly agrees with my assessment of Biden’s presidency:
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/apr/29/americans-believe-nothing-is-getting-better-biden-feeds-that-disillusionment

    An excerpt:
    Tossing the Republican party a lifeline, he [Biden] has reverted to his familiar formula:he promises big changes that could help the working class – and then prevents those changes from happening.

    He speechifies about the need to address crises he then makes worse.

    He blames Congress for gridlock but will not pressure lawmakers or use his executive authority to do things.

    He promises policy reforms that his own agencies decline to implement.

    The public seems to sense the gaslighting: Biden’s approval ratings are plummeting and anti-government sentiment has spiked as his strategy Joker-pills the country.

    As his poll numbers crater, Biden appears to be offering no course correction, and he still hasn’t signed a stack of executive orders on matters ranging from debt cancellation to drug pricing. Caught between the electorate and Democrats’ campaign sponsors, he appears to have decided that he cannot – or does not want to – stop the spread of the Joker pill. So he is now just mainlining its active ingredients into America’s veins with bold promises and even bolder betrayals.

    Consider a brief list:

    Biden promised a $15 minimum wage, and then he and his party promptly abandoned that initiative.
    Biden pledged to halt drilling on federal land and spent the first year of his presidency promising climate action – all while he outpaces Donald Trump’s drill-baby-drill initiatives and deploys his spokespeople to brag about flooding the world with fossil fuels amid the ecological emergency. He has also been using his executive authority to ramp up methane-emitting natural gas exports.
    Biden promised an “immediate cancellation of a minimum of $10,000 of federal student loan debt” – which he has the executive authority to do at any moment. But he’s been refusing to do it and has been trying to overturn bankruptcy court victories for the most beleaguered debtors.
    Biden pledged to protect traditional Medicare and “give Americans a new choice, a public health insurance option”. Then he never again mentioned the public option when he became president. Instead, he is helping his healthcare industry donors further privatize Medicare and reap even more subsidies as insurers reduce coverage, rake in record profits and jack up premiums.
    Biden continues to insist he wants to lower the predatory cost of medicine and distribute vaccine recipes to halt the global spread of Covid. At the same time, he has refused to invoke his executive authority to reduce the price of medicines that were developed with public funding – he has effectively abandoned his Covid vaccine pledge, and he’s intervening in a primary to endorse a Democratic lawmaker who gutted his own drug pricing bill.
    Biden portrays himself as a union supporter and promised to “ensure federal contracts only go to employers who sign neutrality agreements committing not to run anti-union campaigns”. Yet he abandoned his campaign pledge to rein in union-busting federal contractors, he has not implemented his own labor taskforce’s weak recommendations, and his administration gave Amazon a $10bn contract while the company fought labor organizers.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is all bad enough. But to add to it, in his newest supplemental spending to keep the Ukraine war in play and further escalate tensions with Russia, he proposes another $33Billion for that purpose- on top of how many other (I’ve lost count, now) billions? Endless spending for war. And also for propaganda: this newest proposal is targeted in part, to “Counter Russian disinformation and propaganda narratives, promote accountability for Russian human rights violation, and support activists, journalists, and independent media to defend freedom of expression.” ( https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/04/28/fact-sheet-white-house-calls-on-congress-to-provide-additional-support-for-ukraine/ )

      Given that this Administration and all of the Empire’s apologist media treat ANY informed discussion of the actual contextual history of the Ukraine crisis as heresy, i.e. “Russian disinformation and propaganda narratives”, this means substantial money to further pump out the official narratives, and to suppress / encourage suppression of contradictory information. So the inclusion of “support activists, journalists, and independent media to defend freedom of expression” is completely ironic.

      The Biden Administration appears to be going “all in” on what appears to me a “final battle” to keep Russia as the world’s bogeyman and justify perpetual and infinitely growing ‘defense’ spending’ that all but eliminates availability of any resources for the public goods that he promised. Forget climate change. Forget Medicare for All. At the same time, the 24 x 7 flood of propaganda designed to stir public hatred for Russia and concern for Ukraine keeps the brainwashed masses distracted enough perhaps not to notice that once again, they’ve fallen for the old bait-and-switch routine from the corporate Dems.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. $33 billion is a staggering sum. It’s roughly 43% of what Russia spends on its entire defense budget. It’s such an extreme sum that it’s doubtful Ukraine can absorb it, assuming it comes in a form capable of being absorbed and used for good.

        $33 billion would probably solve homelessness in America. Just look at where our national priorities are. It’s inhumane.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Like the last real Commander-in-Chief articulated in his 1953 CROSS OF IRON speech when the DoD Budget was only $60 BILLION compared to Today’s Inflated numbers.
          Since that 1953 speech, the Most Christian America has become the BIGGEST ARMS MERCHANT in the History of Nations.

          Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

          This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
          The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.
          It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.
          It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.
          It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement.
          We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.
          We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

          This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a CROSS OF IRON. These plain and cruel truths define the peril and point the hope that come with this spring of 1953.

          Like

  13. The United States of America has a piss poor group of leaders at this time in history, both democrats and republicans. ‘PISS POOR” out of 330 million people is that all we can find?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure your question is rhetorical. I have little doubt that we could find more intelligent, conscious (/ conscientious), folk…people with principle and spine, to replace those currently in office, thereby making a 10-fold improvement. Yet we know darn well that the system ensures that people with those qualities can’t get anywhere near power. The system has devolved such that concentrated capital controls both electoral and policy politics. I’ve experienced it first-hand but it’s obvious to anyone who’s ever taken a peek at campaign finance.

      Like

    2. Kelly, if a candidate ran, for either party, promising to take care of all the items in David Sirota’s Guardian that wja listed above , he/she would win in a landslide. It’s what the American people want. By a large majority. Where is that person?

      Like

  14. The lobbies –

    pharma – no change
    Insurance – no change
    fossil fuels – no change
    “defense” contractors – no change
    Israel – no change

    Biden is a seat warmer. For a grade, I’d give an X, indicating not present in any meaningful way.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. My comment this am on Pat Buchanan’s latest, ‘Will Putin Submit to US-Imposed ‘Weakening’?

    When all Putin sees is the US and it’s 30 European NATO Vassal states against Putin alone, anyone with half a brain should be able to understand the US + 30 Nations against him, puts Putin in the position of seeing an EXISTENTIAL THREAT, and all bets are off.

    With the US pursuing that 1 track only, MUTUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION IS ASSURED!
    The US Secretary of Defence told us this week the US Policy is on 1 track only- MORE WAR.
    “Western allies are prepared to move “heaven and earth” to get Ukraine more weapons and munitions so it can continue to fight Russia’s “unjust invasion,” U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin”

    It appears with the Main Stream Mass Media, the 5th Horseman of the Apocalypse, Manipulating the Minds of the Masses inciting only for more War and Escalation, the American Public is alright with that ASSURANCE!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. While I can’t claim to know what Putin or others in Russian leadership are thinking, I suspect it’s much as you say here. That many experts have been for decades warning about Russia’s perception of existential threat from NATO and the U.S. which drives it is consistent with both historical observations, the words of Putin, Lavrov and others, and logic; and as those threats have been strongly amplified since early 2014, one can only conclude that Russia is assuming the worst.

      The Biden Administration- apparently listening only to war hawks now, seem to be going all-in on military escalation; as if this is itself Armageddon, the ultimate battle of good v. evil. Biden himself, having a primary responsibility for destabilizing Ukraine in 2014, and facing such abysmal levels of public opinion (and not wanting to be held responsible for the likely bloodbaths of 2022 and 2024), may be now even more easily manipulated by the most strident hawks who’ve been lusting after the chance for the Armageddon they think will lead to their perfect world.

      That much of the earth could be destroyed as a result of the fight does not itself matter… it is for them a risk not to worry about. Their hubris is such that such are considered small enough risks, and in any case, “worth it”. And, I ssupect, they don’t really have a good picture of what “it” might even look like, beyond Russia’s capitulation to the U.S. dollar and Empire’s ordering of the world economy to fit.

      Your sense of the media and the state of mass consciousness under its influence matches my own. That problem may be as horrifying to me as the growing risks of nuclear destruction, for it is immediate, readily observable and nearly total. Among my more liberally-minded friends, there are but a few here and there who have seen through the manipulation… most are happily enabling the hawks to do what they will. I thought it was bad leading up to the Iraq invasion, but this is a whole order of magnitude worse.

      Liked by 3 people

  16. The question is Roger, and I know it is hypothetical, would American and Americans be any better off now under a Trump Administration? Would Trump in another term been able to make any progress on any of the things David Sirota listed in his Guardian article that has Biden failed at?
    And in particular would Trump have been able to be instrumental in averting the Russia/Ukraine conflict?

    Like

    1. You ask a question to which I don’t think I could give a yes/no answer. Even though it’s purely hypothetical and any answer would be arguable conjecture, it does have bearing on 2024, doesn’t it; because it could well come down to the same 2 dolts (though I suspect Biden will be eased out in the nomination process, barring some miraculous turnaround both of his cognitive abilities and of the economy & other conditions).

      I don’t have Sirota’s list in front of me or in mind, but to my mind, there were only a couple reasons to prefer Biden at the time. One was the always-important SCOTUS nominations. I will never forgive the D’s for giving us Trump and his godawful anti-democratic, ideologically driven picks; and those bolstered the otherwise weak arguments of the “Vote Blue NMWho” crowd.

      The 2nd was that Trump, while having some initially good instincts w/r/t developing better relations (economic, at least) with Russia, Korea, et al, ultimately was a wrecking ball that could just as easily have set off global thermonuclear war as lessen global tensions. His intellectual limitations kept him from even seeing the cognitive dissonance in his positions, and between his own mercurial nature and the manipulation of Deep State figures, he was likely to be dangerous. His unilateral withdrawal from “Open Skies” treaty and his plan to terminate the START, seem to justify this fear. In short, he was a loose cannon (which is why the deep state really couldn’t have him as President). He could help the cause of peace or single-handedly end all hope.

      Actually, there was at least one other reason to fear Trump’s reelection more than Biden, as Trump was predictably going to be a lot worse on environmental reg’s, etc. He’d already made that perfectly clear.

      But was Biden going to be any better? Well, the jury still has time to deliberate but so far the answer is “well, in some ways, yes, in others, no…he’s worse.” Biden’s dropping of climate action in favor of O&G is just a small example. I don’t give him a pass just because of Manshit and Sinema’s obstruction there. And when it comes to Ukraine: what Biden has done was completely predictable given his role in the 2014 regime change op, and his hawkish tendencies w/r/t Russia and others. That he appointed Nuland, the point person on that 2014 operation, is further confirmation that he intended from the get-go to bully Russia and use Ukraine as a further expansion of US imperial project. While he gets a small credit for not stopping the Afghanistan withdrawal that was already set in motion, he may have only done that to enable the pivot to Ukraine.

      That leaves mostly the question of domestic economic issues. Judging by where things are at this moment, he’s failed miserably – though no one should ever ignore the longer term factors that are contributing. But even when it comes to what I consider the ‘crumbs’ that he could have offered to shore up his own popularity; things like the minimum wage, more progressive tax policies, movement towards Medicare for All, free tuition, debt relief, etc…. he couldn’t even manage those things.

      Would Trump have been better on any of this? Maybe w/r/t NATO & Ukraine, only; and who knows how long he might have stood up to the neocons. He certainly would have put more impediments in the way of climate stabilization efforts; would have more aggressively suppressed popular movements to deal with that and other inequities; would have made SCOTUS even more dangerous; and would likely have vetoed any financial reforms that actually helped the 99% (should any have even got to his desk).

      In the end I see the question in terms of what is more likely to get the masses finally up and marching and acting to assert their demands. Just as I felt before the election, it still comes down (for me) to the observation that when the D’s have a D in office, they sit on their tushes. Their broad acceptance of a war that grows more dangerous by the day tells me that it’s better to have an R in office… then the liberals become “The Resistance (TM)”. (Though, I suddenly go back to 2016 and 2017 when most liberals were happily willing to call Russia / Putin ‘the enemy’… so when it comes to foreign policy and international relations, the masses are, shall we say, pretty easily propagandized no matter who is in office.)

      …with apologies for blathering on…

      Liked by 1 person

  17. My feeling is that another term of Trump could not of been any worse. And at least we all would have had the satisfaction of the potus giving the Press the middle finger! LOL

    BTW I agree that appointing Nuland, the point person on that 2014 operation, was probably confirmation that he intended from the get-go to bully Russia and use Ukraine as a further expansion of US imperial project.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Your MSM is showing. Why would you have not listed the southern border?

    Other adds to the negative column would include:

    -Authoritarian mandates and complete disregard of the Constitution in the name of Covid.

    -Active support and encouragement of censorship and trampling of civil liberties.

    -Full blown corruption (the Hunter Biden & Biden crime family saga).

    Some of your “promises kept” items actually belong in the negative column as well…his supreme court appointee being one. That being a positive for Biden is akin to a positive grade for Joseph Stalin for creating a one-party totalitarian police state (he said he was going to do it and he did it…positive for Joe Stalin!). The key is the means…Russian Joe by deadly mass purges, and Slow Joe by racism. Ridiculous.

    I hesitate to give Joe a report card, as it gives life to the thought that Joe is fit to be president and is a President.

    Final grade: “FD” (Failure w/ Academic Dishonesty), aka “XD”. He earned it.

    Like

  19. I totally agree with every word! I’m pleased to see that someone of your high caliber also thinks he gets a D. That is what I’d give him- not just on some days but on all days. I’m furious that he hasn’t cancelled student debt and equally furious that he stole either 7 or 9 BILLION dollars belonging to the Afghanistan people who badly need it in order to survive. What a totally disgusting thing to do! And now he plans to do the same thing to Russian Oligarchs. I don’t like any oligarchs, but it’s not right to just steal stuff because you don’t like them, but Biden thinks that’s o.k and I don’t think it’s because he’s senile – even though he is that too. I do know that I will not vote for him again if he runs, and I won’t vote for Kamala either, so I guess that leaves the green party. I sure am sick and tired of the namby pamby Democrats, especially Joe, Chuck and Nancy who haven’t even really put their backs into getting anything done. And now we have a new war, when, if Biden & company wanted, they could have peace in Ukraine tomorrow because Kalensky is our very own puppet. But ol’ Joe prefers to suck up to the military/industrial complex instead of actually helping humans survive on an environmentally ravaged planet.

    Like

  20. In Other News: I look forward to Your comments on the latest manifestation of Oceania right here in River City, Colonel: Mr Biden’s Department of Homeland Security’s “Disinformation Governance Board.”

    Now that we have our very own “Ministry of Truth” to go along with our Ministries of Peace and Plenty, can a Ministry of Love be far behind?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What is particularly interesting about that development is how shortly it happened after Mr Musk announced his plans to buy Twitter. Think there’s a connection?

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Chris Hedges ‘The Age of Self-Delusion’
    The US and Russia, faded relics of the Cold War, unable to accept their terminal decline, launch futile and self-defeating wars to reclaim their lost imperial power.

    Blinded by what Barbara Tuchman calls “the bellicose frivolity of senile empires,” we are marching ominously towards war with Russia. How else might we explain Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s public declaration that the US goal is to “weaken Russia” and Joe Biden’s request for another $33 billion in “emergency” military and economic aid (half of what Russia spent on its military in 2021) for Ukraine?

    The same cabal of generals and politicians that drained the state of trillions of dollars in the debacles in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Somalia and learned nothing from the nightmare of Vietnam, revel in the illusion of their omnipotence. They have no interest in a diplomatic solution. There are billions in profits to be made in arms sales. There is political posturing to be done. There are generals itching to pull the trigger. Why have all these high-priced and technologically advanced weapons systems if you can’t use them? Why not show the world this time around that the US still dominates the globe? ………………………………………

    https://chrishedges.substack.com/p/the-age-of-self-delusion?s=r

    Like

  22. “Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I posted the link to ‘US POLITICIANS ARE SLEEPWALKING TOWARD THE NUCLEAR ABYSS” on this site when I posted the article April 13.
        Again, Philip, thanks for posting Dr. King’s words that moved me to find it in Picture form, I named as appropriate to the idea in the April 13 Title of my article.

        Like

  23. I can’t let this brilliant paragraph from Chris Hedges escape notice on this thread about Biden…

    “The Biden administration invited Amazon Labor Union president Christian Smalls and union workers from Starbucks and other organizations to the White House. It then promptly re-awarded a $10 billion contract to the union-busting Amazon and the National Security Agency (NSA) for cloud computing. The NSA contract is one of 26 federal cloud computing contracts Amazon has with the U.S. Army and Air Force, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of the Interior, and the Census Bureau. Withholding the federal contracts until Amazon permitted free and open union organizing would be a powerful stand on behalf of workers, still waiting for the $15 minimum wage Joe Biden promised as a candidate. But behind the walls of the Democratic Party’s Potemkin village stands the billionaire class. Democrats have failed to address the structural injustices that turned America into an oligarchic state, where the obscenely rich squabble like children in a sandbox over multibillion-dollar toys. The longer this game of political theater continues, the worse things will get”.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s