Biden of America: The Return of the Democracy

A place for more serious off-topic discussion and debates.
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Seems like nepotism in the White House has not ended: ... 3902772231

Waiting for the people who were outraged during the last administration to be outraged this time around too. Bet they won't be though because all they want to do is enjoy their status and go back to sleep.

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The Washington Post - Biden’s plan to tackle rising homicides: Tighten gun regulations, bolster police

Associated Press - US economy grows 6.4% in Q1, and it's likely just the start
The U.S. economy grew at a solid 6.4% rate in the first three months of the year, setting the stage for what economists believe may be the strongest year for the economy in about seven decades.

Growth in the gross domestic product, the country’s total output of goods and services, was unchanged from two previous estimates, the Commerce Department said Thursday, an acceleration from the 4.3% pace of the fourth quarter.

Economists believe that economic growth has continued to accelerate in the current quarter, which ends this month, as vaccinations become widespread and Americans eager to get outside are being welcomed by newly re-opened businesses. Surging activity from consumers is being fueled in part by nearly $3 trillion in financial support that the government has approved since December.

Additional economic data that emerged Thursday also points to a nation that has regained its footing quickly after being thwacked by a global pandemic, though jobless claims remain stubbornly above 400,000.

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Gizmodo - Biden Launches Federal Probe Into International Ransomware Attack

CNN - 60 percent of White House staff are women, over 40 percent people of color ... -Final.pdf

The Week - Can Biden solve the chip shortage after Trump's 'clumsy' approach?

NY Times - A Planned Biden Order Aims to Tilt the Job Market Toward Workers
Noncompete clauses, licensing requirements and corporate mergers have tended to strengthen the hand of business.

Bloomberg - Biden Sets Up Tech Showdown With ‘Right-to-Repair’ Rules for FTC
President Joe Biden will direct the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to draft new rules aimed at stopping manufacturers from limiting consumers’ ability to repair products at independent shops or on their own, a person familiar with the plan said.

While the agency will ultimately decide the size and scope of the order, the presidential right-to-repair directive is expected to mention mobile phone manufacturers and Department of Defense contractors as possible areas for regulation. Tech companies including Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. have imposed limits on who can repair broken consumer electronics like game consoles and mobile phones, which consumer advocates say increases repair costs.

The order is also expected to benefit farmers, who face expensive repair costs from tractor manufacturers who use proprietary repair tools, software, and diagnostics to prevent third-parties from working on the equipment, according to the person, who requested anonymity to discuss the action ahead of its official announcement.

The executive order, which is expected to be released in the coming days, is broadly designed to drive “greater competition in the economy, in service of lower prices for American families and higher wages for American workers,” White House economic adviser Brian Deese said Friday.

The Biden Administration effort comes as the European Commission has also announced plans for new right-to-repair rules that would govern smart phones, tablets, and laptops. Environmental activists have said that restrictions on repairs encourage waste by making consumers more likely to throw out damaged items because of the high cost of repair.
IIRC Biden said during the 2019-20 campaign that even if America doesn’t make all the products domestically that jobs can be created for fixing these products that can’t so easily be outsourced to China and other countries. Third party repairs spread the money around more too and can be good for the local economy versus more expensive repairs (or just getting rid of the device and buying new instead) from a multinational.

Politico - Biden's assault on monopolies launches Friday
The sweeping executive order, coming Friday, takes aim at monopolies and concentrated markets in industries including agriculture, airlines, broadband and banking.

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President Biden on Protecting Voting Rights Speech (2021-07-13):

starts at 35m30s

Associated Press - Bipartisan infrastructure deal stalls as bigger plan gains
A $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal senators struck with President Joe Biden is at risk of stalling out as Republicans mount stiff resistance over ways to pay for it and momentum shifts to a more robust Democratic proposal coming into focus Tuesday.

Biden’s big infrastructure proposals are moving on parallel tracks in Congress in a race against time and political headwinds to make a once-in-a-generation investment in the nation. Senators from both groups are huddling privately again late Tuesday evening to shore up their proposals. But the bipartisan deal is running into opposition from business leaders, outside activists and GOP senators potentially denying it the support that’s needed for passage.
The R's goal is always to try to run out the clock so nothing happens; same as it ever was.

Democratic Senators Call for Investigation of Tax Avoidance by the Ultrawealthy — ProPublica
In a letter sent today, Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) wrote to the committee’s chairman, Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), that the “bombshell” and “deeply troubling” report requires an investigation into “how the nation’s wealthiest individuals are using a series of legal tax loopholes to avoid paying their fair share of income taxes.” The senators also requested that the Senate hold hearings and develop legislation to address the loopholes’ “impact on the nation’s finances and ability to pay for investments in infrastructure, health care, the economy, and the environment.”

Last month ProPublica began publishing a series of stories about tax avoidance among the ultrawealthy, based on a vast trove of tax data concerning thousands of the wealthiest American taxpayers and covering more than 15 years. ProPublica conducted an unprecedented analysis that compared the ultrawealthy’s taxes to the growth in their fortunes, calculating that the 25 richest Americans pay a “true tax rate” of just 3.4%.

The wealthy pay so little in taxes primarily because they keep their incomes low, the article explained, often borrowing against their fortunes to fund their lifestyles. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Tesla’s Elon Musk, Bloomberg L.P.’s Michael Bloomberg and other billionaires have each paid no federal income taxes in one or more recent years. The tax avoidance techniques described in “The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Taxes” are legal, and routine among the ultrawealthy.

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USA Today - Defense Sec Lloyd Austin to troops: 'Mental health is health. Period.'

The Washington Post - Biden says long-term effects of covid-19 can be considered a disability under federal civil rights laws

NY Times - Pandemic Aid Programs Spur a Record Drop in Poverty
The most comprehensive study yet of the federal response to the pandemic shows huge but temporary benefits for the poor — and helps frame a larger debate over the role of government.
The huge increase in government aid prompted by the coronavirus pandemic will cut poverty nearly in half this year from prepandemic levels and push the share of Americans in poverty to the lowest level on record, according to the most comprehensive analysis yet of a vast but temporary expansion of the safety net.

The number of poor Americans is expected to fall by nearly 20 million from 2018 levels, a decline of almost 45 percent. The country has never cut poverty so much in such a short period of time, and the development is especially notable since it defies economic headwinds — the economy has nearly seven million fewer jobs than it did before the pandemic.
The extraordinary reduction in poverty has come at extraordinary cost, with annual spending on major programs projected to rise fourfold to more than $1 trillion. Yet without further expensive new measures, millions of families may find the escape from poverty brief. The three programs that cut poverty most — stimulus checks, increased food stamps and expanded unemployment insurance — have ended or are scheduled to soon revert to their prepandemic size.
The Washington Post - U.S. economy grew 6.5 percent between April and June, marking full recovery from the pandemic
For the first time, economic output eclipsed its pre-pandemic high, after adjusting for inflation.

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Statement by President Joe Biden on Afghanistan | The White House

See also: Sunk Cost Fallacy

They presented to us a Potemkin Village of progress for the past 20 years after trillions of dollars and lives wasted into this ivory tower neocon joke of a babysitting mission for a population that largely is more loyal to the Taliban or just indifferent.

LA Times - Essential Politics: Biden pledges to leave Afghanistan. It's a withdrawal years in the making. (April 2021)

starts at ~46:20

Text: Remarks by President Biden on Afghanistan | The White House

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