Mid-Day Snapshot · Nov. 29, 2022

“From The Patriot Post (patriotpost.us)”.

THE FOUNDATION

“The prosperity of commerce is now perceived and acknowledged by all enlightened statesmen to be the most useful as well as the most productive source of national wealth, and has accordingly become a primary object of its political cares.” —Alexander Hamilton (1787)

IN TODAY’S DIGEST

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Biden Railroads Union Workers

The president is pushing for Congress to override four unions that rejected a deal his administration helped craft.

Nate Jackson

If railroad workers strike over failing to reach an agreement on a new contract, the already-taxed American supply chain will suffer, and you will pay more and/or wait longer for certain things. Who wants to sign up for more of that after the last two years?

Roughly 40% of long-distance freight volume is carried by rail, so a looming strike at the December 9 deadline — just in time for Christmas — is a big deal.

There are 12 railroad unions that must vote on the contract, and four of the biggest ones have rejected the latest deal. If they strike, the rest could join them in solidarity. The haggling involves paid sick days and work schedules, though over two years of negotiations workers have already won an additional paid day off and a 24% pay raise from 2020 through 2024.

The deal will raise prices on goods across the economy because the cost of rail transport will rise by, oh, at least 24%, but a strike would be much worse, especially if it lasts significant time.

Joe Biden and his crack team of economic neophytes like Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg have been working on this for months with little success but a lot of boasting. Biden certainly hopes to avoid a strike that will “devastate our economy,” and yesterday he called for Congress to intervene.

“I am calling on Congress to pass legislation immediately to adopt the Tentative Agreement between railroad workers and operators — without any modifications or delay — to avert a potentially crippling national rail shutdown,” he said. “This agreement was approved by labor and management negotiators in September,” he added. “On the day that it was announced, labor leaders, business leaders, and elected officials all hailed it as a fair resolution of the dispute between the hard-working men and women of the rail freight unions and the companies in that industry.”

He claims to be “reluctant to override the ratification procedures and the views of those who voted against the agreement,” but he’s never been shy about using that pen of his or, in this case, the weight of Congress.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she’s happy to oblige, promising that the House “will consider legislation” on the matter “this week.”

Now, to the irony of the whole mess. Biden insisted in his statement Monday that he remains a “a proud pro-labor president,” but his policies have done virtually nothing but harm union members. Let’s just list a few things he and his party do or support that hurt the interests of workers:

  • They shut down much of the economy over a virus and then injected far too much “stimulus” via government spending to fix what they broke. That created a horrific tag team of disrupted or constricted supply chains to go along with drastically increased and subsidized demand. The result: Rampant inflation not seen since Jimmy Carter’s malaise brought on the same thing.
  • Biden and his administration have opened the southern border to millions of illegals who compete for jobs with American workers.
  • Democrats’ agenda of addressing climate change with government controls hampers union workers in all sorts of industries. Biden killed thousands of union jobs with the stroke of a pen shutting down the Keystone pipeline.
  • Biden and other Democrats enacted vaccine mandates that negatively affected millions of workers, costing a lot of them their jobs. The AFL-CIO did dutifully jump on board Biden’s vax mandate, but let’s just say other unions weren’t quite so thrilled.
  • Pushing for a $15 minimum wage for some kid making lattes at Starbucks tells a skilled laborer at a railroad company that his hours are far more valuable (and they are), meaning big pay raises are necessary even if not fully economically justified and therefore hard to get. Putting upward pressure on wages is inflationary.
  • Union workers tend to be far more interested in favorable working conditions and compensation than all the woke garbage being forced upon all of us by the Left.

Now Biden wants to override their votes and tell them to get back to work. It’s no wonder blue-collar folks are moving Republican.

On a final note, Biden wants action now because the buck stops at his desk no matter how often he tries to shove it somewhere else. That makes it even more fascinating to remember that the last time Congress intervened to prevent a railroad strike was 1992. Six U.S. senators voted against forcing that deal. Joe Biden was one of them.

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Biden’s Dirty Deal for Venezuelan Oil

Only this president could prop up an illegitimate dictator and stiff a good friend all at once.

Douglas Andrews

We don’t have a lot of friends in South America these days. And with Joe Biden’s sneaky scheme to buy oil from Venezuela’s scummy socialists while stifling the production of light sweet crude from little Guyana, an erstwhile ally in the region, we now have one fewer.

“Washington policy makers occasionally make miscalculations that help American enemies, undermine development in a poor country, or harm U.S. economic interests,” writes The Wall Street Journal’s Latin American expert Mary Anastasia O’Grady. “But to nail the trifecta requires a special blend of ideological blindness and incompetence that is mercifully rare. Still, as the administration’s treatment of Guyana demonstrates, it does happen.”

It’s not just that the Venezuelan regime has a history of anti-Americanism, which former dictator Hugo Chavez bequeathed to the nation’s current strongman, Nicolás Maduro. And it’s not just that the Biden administration, by allowing Chevron to resume drilling in Venezuela, has reversed restrictions that the Trump administration had put in place in an effort to oust the illegitimately elected Maduro. No, Venezuela is also cozy with the “Death to America” mullahs of Iran.

We’ll say this about Joe Biden: He sure knows how to pick ‘em. And he sure knows how to put one over on the American people. As O’Grady explains:

The U.S. government thinks you’re a fool, dear reader. And not only because it waited until Americans were en route to grandma’s house for Thanksgiving to let news slip of a deal to increase heavy-crude output from joint ventures controlled by a dictatorship allied with Iran. Or that it expects you to believe that Venezuela is considering a return to free elections in exchange.

What does the U.S. get out of all this? Precious little, according to former Trump economist Stephen Moore: “This is the same administration … that won’t allow us to do drilling here in the United States, not in Texas, not in Oklahoma, not in Alaska, not in West Virginia. But we can pump oil from Venezuela. It makes absolutely no sense. It’s put America last energy policy they got. And by the way … when Trump left office and I helped Trump on energy policy, our whole policy was to make America totally energy independent, so we wouldn’t have to rely on countries like Venezuela and Iran and Russia.”

And yet here we are. Helping to prop up a dictatorship whose citizens were recently reduced to scavenging for morsels in the back of a garbage truck, and chasing and stoning to death a cow in a field.

Fox New’s Peter Doocy put the question to Biden talkinghead John Kirby yesterday: “Does the President think there’s some benefit to the climate to drill oil in Venezuela and not here?”

As for little Guyana, what a missed opportunity. Exxon Mobil discovered an abundance of oil in its offshore waters in 2015, and Guyana’s estimated reserves are now more than 11 billion oil-equivalent barrels. To put this in perspective, only Kuwait has more oil per capita.

“The story gets even better,” as O’Grady writes, “because the crude under Guyanese waters has low sulfur content, the opposite of the tar that comes out of Venezuela. It would be hard to dream up a more exciting narrative for a country mired in poverty.”

But, no, let’s instead do business with a guy we’ve been trying to oust for years.

None of this would’ve happened, of course, had the U.S. simply tapped into its own abundant energy reserves rather than getting ourselves over a barrel with South American socialists. Instead, Joe Biden has stiffed a friend and thereby invited the Communist Chinese into the picture. As O’Grady reports, China “is aggressively signing contracts to build infrastructure in Guyana and getting in on the oil boom.”

All while the U.S. is buying dirty crude from people who hate us.

Good to go, Joe.

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Executive News Summary

Thomas Gallatin & Nate Jackson

Cross-Examination

  • UN renames monkeypox: Evidently, the World Health Organization has so little to do that the United Nations’ primary health agency can waste time wringing its hands over a decades-old name worrying that it might offend leftist wokescolds. On Monday, the WHO released a statement noting that it is officially changing the name of “monkeypox” to “mpox” out of concern that the original name might be perceived as being “discriminatory and racist.” Talk about a classic case of projection. Why do leftists associate monkeys with race? As monkeypox spread across the globe — primarily the western world, where it had been essentially nonexistent — an uncomfortable reality was effectively avoided by much of the mainstream media and the WHO. Monkeypox generally spreads among homosexuals, who are known to be highly sexually promiscuous. This proved an embarrassing fact for the WHO, which like the rest of the woke Left deemed the homosexual community as a special victim class that deserves preferential treatment. While dubiously claiming the renaming of monkeypox was to disassociate it from “racism” and “discrimination,” a more likely motive is to disassociate the name “monkey” from a disease that is primarily impacting homosexual men.
  • The food supply is dry: California’s ongoing drought and water shortages have farmers in the Golden State warning of the negative impacts to America’s food supply chain. 2022 has been an especially bad year for crops in California’s San Joaquin Valley, often referred to as “America’s Fruit Basket.” The primary culprit for the bad growing season has been lack of water. Farmers in the region depend upon water from the Colorado River, which supplies upwards of two-thirds of the area’s water needs. J.B. Hamby of the Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors observes: “We need to ensure that Americans are fed by food produced in America. And the more we continue to offshore and outsource our food supply puts us in an increasingly vulnerable and weak position if we want to maintain full reliability of food in our grocery stores.” If farmers are unable to meet production demands, then grocer companies will be forced to seek produce elsewhere from more reliable sources, such as Mexico or China. One possible solution is for California to build more water storage facilities, something the state has not done since the 1960s, before the state’s population and water demands ballooned — and also before it became a one-party failed state.
  • Schools are giving better grades to girls: The Left’s embrace and promotion of the Marxist-derived ethic of “equity” has infected institutions across the board, but none more so than America’s schools. A recently released study found that when it comes to academic grades, females are doing better than their male counterparts. But baked into these superior grades is the woke equity dynamic at play, where boys and girls are not being judged simply by their academic merit but also by their gender. To put the results of the study in a nutshell, teachers are giving higher grades to girls than boys because of a growing climate of anti-male prejudice. The study was conducted on 40,000 students age 15 to 16 who took standardized tests that were then blindly scored; the gender of the student was not known by the grader. The scores show that while girls on average scored better in language than male students, the boys scored on average better in math. However, when teachers graded the tests knowing the gender of the students, in both cases the female students were awarded better scores than the males. As schools have become more feminized, elevating feminism while degrading masculinity as “toxic,” it’s not surprising that girls would find greater preferential treatment.

Headlines

  • Senate advances radical Respect for Marriage Act (Daily Signal)
  • Trump takes sharp GOP criticism over meeting with white nationalist (The Hill)
  • Democrat Virginia Rep. Donald McEachin dies at 61 (UPI)
  • WHO renames monkeypox as mpox, citing racist stigma (NPR)
  • Disney film featuring gay main character bombs at box office (National Review)
  • Buffalo supermarket killer pleads guilty to terrorism, murder (Reuters)
  • Biden boosts U.S. effort to stem sexual violence in war zones (Associated Press)
  • Maricopa County responds to AG’s letter on election problems (Daily Wire)
  • Biden family Christmas stockings exclude Hunter’s out-of-wedlock daughter (Washington Times)
  • Stranger than fiction: Woman sues after her microwavable macaroni takes more than three and a half minutes (Red State)
  • Humor: Pentagon hires Sam Bankman-Fried after proving he can lose money as fast as anyone (Genesius Times)

For more editors’ choice headlines, click here.

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Cronyism Drives the EV Market

The heavy hand of the federal government is unduly influencing the fate of electric vehicles.

Michael Swartz

Thank goodness for gubmint subsidies. Otherwise, only the virtue-signaling elite could afford an electric vehicle.

Beginning in 2010, those who bought EVs were eligible for a $7,500 tax credit — an amount that still can’t overcome the vast price difference between an electric and a conventional gasoline-powered car. But for some, that “free” money is just too good to pass up.

Changes in the law created by the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, though, have made the full amount more difficult to come by. For one thing, the IRA made the credit non-refundable — meaning that someone whose tax liability is less than $7,500 won’t get the full amount. Even so, automakers such as GM are expecting EV sales to increase. Accordingly, they’re also trying to bring their battery supply chains onshore to improve the profitability and reliability of supply.

EVs have been considered something of a status symbol ever since Elon Musk and Tesla revolutionized the industry, but there was a time when General Motors tried to be an EV trendsetter. Alas, the GM EV1 never really took off in its 1996-99 run, leading the company to abandon the program to such a degree that even former lessees (the car was never actually sold) were forced to turn in their cars. All but a handful of EV1s were scrapped, with a few being placed in various automotive museums and the Smithsonian.

A decade later, at a time when gas prices were climbing sharply, the federal government decided it had to goose the EV market with the tax credit that’s been modified to what it is today. But the dirty little secret is that much of the market has been created by state regulations, particularly California’s, which demand that a certain percentage of the cars sold there be “zero emission vehicles.” California’s large market share has pushed Detroit and led the way to other states adopting similar regulations.

Not surprisingly, GM is expected to be a prime beneficiary of the new Inflation Reduction Act scheme. While its capital expenditures are expected to increase significantly over the next few years, according to The Wall Street Journal, “GM expects the Inflation Reduction Act to add between $3,500 to $5,500 per vehicle in profit — a transformative 5 to 7 percentage points in margin. Suddenly, EVs could be as profitable as conventional equivalents.” The Journal adds that the tax incentives are now sweeter for business purchase of EVs and that still more “huge tax credits” for the automakers will be available for participating in battery production. It’s a classic wealth redistribution scheme.

Given that the first move by several automakers with the impending passage of the IRA was to increase the prices of their EVs — even though they swore up and down that the additional subsidies had nothing to do with it — you’ll pardon us for being just a bit cynical about how government regulations and subsidies affect EV pricing.

“This whole sordid business is hopelessly corrupt, and it is antithetical to America’s economic and strategic interests,” writes Power Line’s John Hinderaker. “Nevertheless, it appears that EV mania will march on until it becomes obvious that the entire project is impossible.”

In the meantime, though, it’s certainly not impossible for the government to dream up new ways to pick winners and exercise power — especially when it comes to subsidizing something the market never really wanted in the first place.

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China Locks Down U.S. Supply Chain

Every time Beijing tightens its “zero COVID” policy, the American economy suffers.

Thomas Gallatin

We all know China is the nation responsible for unleashing the COVID-19 pandemic onto the globe, all while laying about its origins and pretty much everything else. We also know the Chinese Communists continue to enforce one of the most draconian responses to the virus well after much of the rest of the world has effectively recovered and moved on.

Protests broke out in several Chinese cities following Beijing’s latest implementation of its tyrannical “zero COVID” policy, which effectively amounts to locking people in their homes until party enforcers decide the threat has passed. The irony is that rather than dealing with the problem and ensuring that these outbreaks of COVID don’t suddenly hit Chinese cities, the zero COVID policy does the opposite — it ensures that healthy young people are prevented from contracting the virus and developing immunity, thereby ensuring that COVID remains a constant deadly threat to China’s older population in a country that continues to lack the hospital capacity to care for mass numbers of sickened individuals.

Of course, this goes a long way to explain China’s bogus COVID mortality number. In a nation with a population of 1.4 billion, the party apparatchiks insist the death toll remains an absurdly low 5,233 — and American media outlets largely play along with that ridiculous fiction. Furthermore, Beijing has repeatedly peddled the myth of its zero COVID policy being superior to that of the Western democracies.

Since zero COVID is and was a flawed policy from the start, what’s stopping Xi Jinping from ending it and adopting a more successful approach that includes accepting the offer of mRNA vaccines? The answer ultimately lies in China’s communist authoritarian government ideology, which, to sum it up, demands that the people exist to serve the state, rather than in a democratic form of government where the state existing to serve the populace.

To reject the zero COVID policy would be to admit defeat to the West, something that Xi is not about to concede. Furthermore, the ChiComs know that the massive zero COVID lockdowns do damage at home, but they also disrupt the global economic supply chain, damaging western economies and specifically the U.S.

“Big American companies in general earn a lot of profits in China,” said Brookings Institution fellow David Dollar. “Definitely, profits are not growing given the stagnation in the economy. There are key products, like certain types of smartphones, that are seeing clear supply chain bottlenecks. These bottlenecks jump around from sector to sector, city to city, and impact production in complex ways.”

So, while a lockdown in one of China’s large cities may not appear to directly impact the U.S., it does negatively impact the prices Americans see at retail stores like Walmart. Furthermore, Xi may see the zero COVID policy as a means of useful leverage against Joe Biden when it comes to Taiwan. Beijing can significantly affect global supplies by locking down major cities and blaming the pandemic. It’s a means of pushing what amounts to temporary economic sanctions while avoiding all the inconvenient international political blowback.

Playing such games is also one reason behind Dr. Anthony Fauci’s continued, albeit admittedly less vociferously pushed, rejection of the lab leak theory being the most likely explanation for the origin of COVID. The Biden administration would rather bow to the ChiComs than stand up to them.

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Non-Binary Biden Nuke Staffer Nabbed for Felony Theft

Sam Brinton shows the lengths to which this administration will go to promote its DEI agenda.

Douglas Andrews

Somewhere, someone told someone else within the Biden administration that Sam Brinton would be a good fit as our nation’s deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste disposition.

That someone should be fired. So should every person along the way who failed to flag Brinton as a national security risk.

Brinton, who was placed on leave a month ago but apparently still serves in Joe Biden’s Department of Energy, was recently charged with felony theft.

Your tax dollars at work.

Yes, it seems Brinton, an MIT grad and one of the poster boys for Joe Biden’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion agenda, was caught on videotape stealing a $2,325 Vera Bradley suitcase from the luggage carousel at the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport. As the New York Post reports:

Brinton, who uses they/them pronouns, was captured on surveillance video grabbing the luggage and removing its ID tag identifying the owner, the filings state. They [sic] were later seen using the Vera Bradley suitcase on at least two occasions, while traveling to Washington, DC, on Sept. 18 and Oct. 9, investigators said.

Brinton initially denied stealing the suitcase to police officers, but later claimed they [sic] took it by mistake and still had it in their [sic] possession. “If I had taken the wrong bag, I am happy to return it, but I don’t have any clothes for another individual,” Brinton first told the officer. “That was my clothes when I opened the bag.”

However, Brinton called the officer back two hours after their first conversation and confessed to not being “completely honest.” They [sic] said they [sic sic sic] accidentally grabbed the wrong bag at the luggage carousel due to exhaustion.

Uh-huh. So it seems that not only is Brinton a thief; he’s also a liar. But, hey, at least he has great taste in ladies’ luggage.

He also has a flair for the dramatic, having been known to perform as “Sister Ray Dee O’Active” while participating in a group called the Order of Perpetual Indulgence — a group of drag queens who exercise their religious bigotry by dressing up as nuns to “raise awareness of sexual intolerance and transphobia.”

But the thing is, Sam Brinton should never have been hired. And here we should note that he wasn’t hired by the Biden administration but by the Trump administration, in which he served as a nuclear waste adviser. (Among the millions of employees in our federal government, we suspect that this one slipped through the cracks. Or perhaps Brinton hadn’t been as, er, demonstrative as he is now, and probably hadn’t worn that garish green evening gown during the Trump administration’s interview process.

A number of years ago, a young man named Bradley Manning, who now goes by the name “Chelsea,” was inducted into the U.S. Army and entrusted with access to some of our nation’s most sensitive national security secrets. Manning, like Brinton, was deeply and profoundly disturbed, and no one had the good sense to wonder whether our nation might be better off with him in a less sensitive role somewhere else within the Army.

We see where that got us, and it should’ve served as a lasting lesson.

But it’s to Joe Biden’s credit, we suppose, that he didn’t put Brinton in charge of our nation’s nuclear football.

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On the Web

  • In Brief: DeSantis 2024? — “Can he show that the people he loses by not being Trump are going to be outnumbered by the people he gains by not being Trump?”

READER COMMENTS

Editor’s Note: Each week we receive hundreds of comments and correspondences — and we read every one of them. Click here for a few thought-provoking comments about specific articles. The views expressed therein don’t necessarily reflect those of The Patriot Post.

VIDEOS

  • Black Friday Report — CBS reports that “due to soaring inflation,” many Americans “spent more, but received less” on Black Friday.
  • Anti-COVID Riots Erupt Across China — Video footage appears to show Chinese citizens rebelling against the country’s COVID-19 policy and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
  • Humor: Deep Tweets by Matt Walsh — Walsh plumbs the depths of Wokeness in this hilarious series of observations.
  • Preserving What Drives Us Forward — Dr. Jordan B. Peterson and Congressman Mike Johnson discuss the current state of conservative America, the understated importance of inherent value, the trumped up climate crisis, and more.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

SHORT CUTS

Endorsements: “My preference for the 2024 presidency is someone sensible and centrist. I had hoped that would [be] the case for the Biden administration, but have been disappointed so far.” —Elon Musk

“I’m all in. Count me in.” —California Governor Gavin Newsom on Joe Biden running in 2024

“I’m hopeful that President Biden will seek reelection, and I look forward to strongly supporting him.” —Hakeem Jeffries, likely the new House Democrat leader

Gun grabbers: “I’m glad that President Biden is gonna be pushing us to take a vote on an assault weapons ban. The House has already passed it. It’s sitting in front of the Senate. Does it have 60 votes in the Senate right now? Probably not, but let’s see if we can try to get that number is close to 60 as possible.” —Senator Chris Murphy

Lab leak? “I have a completely open mind about that, despite people saying that I don’t.” —Anthony Fauci on COVID originating in a lab in Wuhan

However, he still peddles a myth: “If you look at the preponderance of evidence that has been accumulated by international group of highly respected evolutionary virologists, they feel, and they’ve written peer reviewed papers on that, that the evidence strongly points to this being a natural occurrence of a jumping of a virus from a bat to an animal species to human, hasn’t been definitively proven. But the evidence on that is pretty strong.” —Anthony Fauci

Democrat statism: “If democrats had the power to implement China’s ‘Zero Covid’ tyranny on this country, they would have gleefully done so. There would’ve been drones in the sky with Fauci’s voice over loudspeakers proclaiming ‘the constitution is suspended for your own health and safety.’” —Buck Sexton

Estimates: “The learning loss associated with the pandemic, if not remedied, could lead to approximately $900 billion in lower earnings for public school students.” —Christopher Jacobs

“There’s discrimination everywhere you go. … In the U.S., we’re continuing to make progress every single day. … As long as you see progress that’s the most important thing.” —U.S. Men’s Soccer Captain Tyler Adams after being asked by an Iranian state journalist whether he’s “okay to be representing a country that has so much discrimination against black people”

Uh, yeah, that’s the point: “Tucker Carlson, Libs of TikTok, etc create a stream of content blaming trans and queer people for child grooming, but rarely or never feature actual victims of child grooming. If they did, they’d have to reckon with the face that many survivors are queer and trans themselves.” —NBC reporter Kat Tenbarge, who unwittingly just described a lot of the pathology behind gender confusion

Hypocrisy: “While the Iranian and Chinese people rise up in the streets to claim their civil rights, American progressives take to their keyboards and fight alongside their Fortune 500 corporate partners to restore censorship on social media!” —Walter Kirn

And last… “My kids wanted to do Mad Libs in the car, and I was like, ‘Mad Libs? Are there any other kind of libs?’ But when I put up my hand for a high-five, all the kids just stared at me, confused.” —Frank J. Fleming

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TODAY’S MEME

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For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

TODAY’S CARTOON

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For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

“From The Patriot Post (patriotpost.us)”.

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