The Sleepy One claimed to have a chat with French president Francois Mitterand in 2021 – a pretty nifty trick since Mitterand died 25 years earlier!

It also seems that there is no French citizenship in the afterlife. Biden first referred to him as “Mitterand from Germany”!

Wait, now I get it. I saw The Sixth Sense. Biden has been dead the whole time.

This places him in a new light. While he looks pretty burnt-out for a living human, he looks above average for a corpse.

Trump up by ten.

Men favor Trump by a margin of 30 points (62-32) in this poll. (!!)

How depressing is it to be the seated President and be down so far to a Bond villain and complete schmuck with a -14 net favorability rating?

Biden really has to hope that poll is an outlier, but with his own approval rating under water by 19 points, he’s definitely in a jam. There’s more than a year to go until the election, so these polls are not very meaningful, but the way it looks now, he could run unopposed and lose to “none of the above.”

They have rejected Biden’s plan to forgive some student loan debt, saying that he exceeded his authority.

I have mixed feelings about this one.

I think Biden did exceed his authority. One man should not, with a stroke of the pen, be able to throw away hundreds of billions of dollars owed to the government of the USA. That should be the job of Congress. Biden’s claim to that authority was based on an overly broad interpretation of the HEROES Act.

Moreover, he made an end-run around the Constitution. Both houses of Congress voted to cancel Biden’s decision, but he had the power to veto their decision. Nevertheless, it is clear that Congress does not approve that forgiveness, and it should be their decision. Using this process, the President could declare any executive action he cared to, and no action of Congress could prevent him from doing so as long as he had enough votes in either house of Congress to avoid an override of his veto. This would mean that American policy would be made by a third of one house of Congress (plus one vote), since it takes 2/3 of both houses to override a veto. This is not the way laws should be made, and only the Supreme Court has the authority to settle that question, as they did.

To illustrate: If Trump regains power, he might declare an end to Obamacare by executive action. Congress would likely bristle at this blatant usurpation of their authority, and reinstate it, but Trump would veto, and would need only 146 members of the House on his side to win the day (the House needs a 290-145 vote to override a veto). That would hold true even if his veto were overridden 100-0 in the Senate. As we know from experience, it would not be difficult for Trump to find 146 blind loyalists in the House. The only remedy would be to take the case to court, where the Supremes would rule (I presume) that the president had usurped the authority of Congress, precisely the same ruling they made in this case.

I think the court took a sensible position on the merits of the case.

Standing, on the other hand, is a separate matter. It seems to me that the plantiffs in this case really had no valid standing to sue, which was the (rejected) position of the administration’s lawyers.

I am neither a lawyer nor a constitutional scholar, but it seems to me that both sides had a case for plenty of legal nit-picking.

What about the policy itself? As a taxpayer, I found it ridiculous that a family making $249,000 a year should get relief on $10,000 in debt. Those suckers should have that much in their checking accounts, especially since they have not had to make a debt payment on that loan for the last several years! Perhaps some degree of debt relief is necessary, but if so, this particular scheme didn’t seem to be the solution.

Biden is correct about the numbers. More than 1/3 of the American electorate consists of white people with no college degree.

There is a very good reason why Donald Trump famously said:

They voted 67-32 in favor of Trump in 2020.

That means that a Democrat must either (a) cut into that group or (b) win 60% of the remaining votes. Neither is easy to accomplish. Biden won with (b) in 2020, but has chosen to focus on (a).

No problem. All he needs is a time machine back to 1960, when the unions could bring in lots of blue-collar white voters for the Democrats. At the moment Biden has devised no strategy to counter the culture-war stuff with blue-collar voters. He thinks money is the answer, but those voters are not responding.

The weirdest thing about the current state of American elections is that candidates who would appeal to both sides (except their fringes) can’t win the primaries. Chris Sununu would probably defeat Biden in a landslide, but he ain’t makin’ it through the wackjobbery in those GOP primaries.

Oh, cripe, I just dread a Biden-Trump rematch.

Nearly 60 per cent of US voters would back independent candidate over Biden or Trump

Ross Perot made the mistake of being born too early and having to run against two fairly popular candidates. If he were alive now, he could probably beat these two! Come to think of it, I don’t think there is anything in the Constitution that requires the candidate to be alive.

Speaking of not being alive … I don’t remember how to do actuarial calculations, but I wonder about the odds that both Biden and Trump will be alive in November, 2024. They are both elderly. Biden looks more feeble every day, and Trump is obese. That would be an interesting prop bet for those online gambling sites.

“We can say that it was marginally better than 2020. Granted, this is not high praise. It’s like saying that somebody is marginally nicer than Hitler. But it’s something.”

“The Capitol is invaded by thousands of people who are fiercely loyal to Trump and determined to ensure that his enduring legacy, as president, will be that he inspired a tragic, futile and utterly stupid riot at the U.S. Capitol.”

“President Biden proposes a fiscal 2022 federal budget of $6 trillion, to be raised by what the White House describes as ‘an exciting new partnership with Herbalife.'”

“The big story in August is the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan, a country that, thanks to 20 years of our involvement, has been transformed — at a cost of many lives and more than $2 trillion — from a brutal, primitive undemocratic society into a brutal, primitive undemocratic society with a whole lot of abandoned American military hardware lying around.”

The Man of La Manchin averred: “I’ve tried everything humanly possible. I can’t get there. This is a no.”

The Democrats were ecstatic after they won those two Senate seats in Georgia, thinking they were in the catbird’s seat, but that was all an illusion. The situation is better for them than if they had lost those seats, but the 50-50 stalemate in the Senate has made Manchin the most powerful person in America. Manchin was sent to Washington by a mere 290,000 voters, yet he now wields more power than Biden, who got 81 million votes. Nobody would be saying a word about Manchin if the Democrats had lost those two Georgia seats. If that had happened, only serious political junkies would even be able to name a senator from West Virginia. (I have no idea who the other one is.) Now everyone who watches TV news or reads a paper will stand a tip-toe when he is named, and rouse him at the name of Manchin. Talk about a guy in the right place at the right time! (Or the opposite, depending on your politics.)

It seems that House Democrats are undeterred by this finding. It “is unlikely to stop House Democrats from approving the bill as soon as Thursday evening.”

This may not sound so dramatic, but if they pass it as is, the situation could be disastrous for the Democrats in two ways:

1. The Republicans have yet another reason to accuse Biden of being weak and ineffectual because he promised that this bill would be fully funded. Chop a few more points off that sinking approval rating.

2. The bill can’t pass the Senate in that form because Manchin specifically said he won’t add to the deficit. This means that the negotiations and squabbling will begin all over again, with the Democrats continuing to show the nation’s undecided and independent voters that they are just going to keep jabbering about this bill, and can’t get their act together.

As this independent looks at it, I’m looking at a choice between the party that wants to bring a copy of Balzac to a gunfight, and the party that wants to bring an AK-47 to a book discussion club.

He’s still running ahead of Trump, but it’s getting close.

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The really telling stat in the new WaPo poll is the percentage of voters who “strongly” approve and disapprove. In late April, 34% “strongly approved” of his performance, while 35% strongly disapproved, simply reflecting the divided nature of our nation. As of now, only 19% strongly approve and a whopping 44% strongly disapprove. His support is disintegrating because those who had given him the benefit of the doubt are disenchanted and deserting.

If you study the numbers, you’ll see that there is still widespread support for his policies. The infrastructure bill has overwhelming approval, and even the framework of the expensive Build Back Better bill is widely popular in theory (58 yea, 37 nay). In short, people seem to like his ideas, but don’t think he’s the guy to pull them off.

The combination of supply chain bottlenecks, inflation and strikes is drowning out any good news he might claim in other arenas. Yes, he has problems at the border and with government gridlock and the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, but the economy is the big enchilada. Only 29% of adults say they have a positive view of the economy. Biden could single-handedly cure COVID, re-build all of America’s bridges with his bare hands, stop global warming, and get a full-throated endorsement from Jesus in his second coming, but if 70% of Americans view the economy negatively, he’s still in one-term Carter Country.

“Unless these unprecedented scarcities are reversed soon, hundreds of thousands of Americans could be forced to learn that there is more to life than material objects,’ said White House press secretary Jen Psaki, cautioning that delays in shipping of clothing, toys, and other common gifts had the potential to make this Christmas the most communal and brotherly of any on record.”

“I’m not going to speak out against what he’s doing with the Uighurs in the western mountains of China. Culturally there are different norms in each country, and their leaders are expected to follow.”

That also explains Hitler, Pol Pot and Andrew Jackson. We have just been unfairly imposing our own norms on them. For some people, genocide is just the expected norm of social interaction, like drinking tea instead of coffee. You invite a few million people over for Thanksgiving dinner, and then if they are very different from you, or if you disagree with their ideas, you send them to special camps.

Just like my family did with Uncle Max.

Hey, who doesn’t love camp?