Author Topic: The Biden Presidency  (Read 929 times)

Offline Peter B

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The Biden Presidency
« on: November 08, 2020, 05:20:31 AM »
Well, why shouldn't he have a thread of his own?

Anyway, I thought I could start it with today's speech...

= = = =

My fellow Americans, the people of this nation have spoken.
     
They have delivered us a clear victory. A convincing victory.

A victory for "We the People."
     
We have won with the most votes ever cast for a presidential ticket in the history of this nation - 74 million.
     
I am humbled by the trust and confidence you have placed in me.
     
I pledge to be a President who seeks not to divide, but to unify.
     
Who doesn't see Red and Blue states, but a United States.
     
And who will work with all my heart to win the confidence of the whole people.
     
For that is what America is about: The people.
     
And that is what our Administration will be about.
     
I sought this office to restore the soul of America.
   
To rebuild the backbone of the nation - the middle class.
     
To make America respected around the world again and to unite us here at home.
     
It is the honor of my lifetime that so many millions of Americans have voted for this vision.
     
And now the work of making this vision real is the task of our time.
     
As I said many times before, I'm Jill's husband.
     
I would not be here without the love and tireless support of Jill, Hunter, Ashley, all of our grandchildren and their spouses, and all our family.
   
They are my heart.
     
Jill's a mom - a military mom - and an educator.
     
She has dedicated her life to education, but teaching isn't just what she does - it's who she is. For America's educators, this is a great day: You're going to have one of your own in the White House, and Jill is going to make a great First Lady.
     
And I will be honored to be serving with a fantastic vice president - Kamala Harris - who will make history as the first woman, first Black woman, first woman of South Asian descent, and first daughter of immigrants ever elected to national office in this country.
     
It's long overdue, and we're reminded tonight of all those who fought so hard for so many years to make this happen. But once again, America has bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice.
     
Kamala, Doug - like it or not - you're family. You've become honorary Bidens and there's no way out.
     
To all those who volunteered, worked the polls in the middle of this pandemic, local election officials - you deserve a special thanks from this nation.
     
To my campaign team, and all the volunteers, to all those who gave so much of themselves to make this moment possible, I owe you everything.
     
And to all those who supported us: I am proud of the campaign we built and ran. I am proud of the coalition we put together, the broadest and most diverse in history.
     
Democrats, Republicans and Independents.
     
Progressives, moderates and conservatives.
     
Young and old.
     
Urban, suburban and rural.
     
Gay, straight, transgender.
     
White. Latino. Asian. Native American.
     
And especially for those moments when this campaign was at its lowest - the African American community stood up again for me. They always have my back, and I'll have yours.
     
I said from the outset I wanted a campaign that represented America, and I think we did that. Now that's what I want the administration to look like.
     
And to those who voted for President Trump, I understand your disappointment tonight.
     
I've lost a couple of elections myself.
     
But now, let's give each other a chance.
     
It's time to put away the harsh rhetoric.
     
To lower the temperature.
     
To see each other again.
     
To listen to each other again.
     
To make progress, we must stop treating our opponents as our enemy.
     
We are not enemies. We are Americans.
     
The Bible tells us that to everything there is a season - a time to build, a time to reap, a time to sow. And a time to heal.
     
This is the time to heal in America.
     
Now that the campaign is over - what is the people's will? What is our mandate?
     
I believe it is this: Americans have called on us to marshal the forces of decency and the forces of fairness. To marshal the forces of science and the forces of hope in the great battles of our time.
     
The battle to control the virus.
     
The battle to build prosperity.
     
The battle to secure your family's health care.
     
The battle to achieve racial justice and root out systemic racism in this country.
     
The battle to save the climate.
     
The battle to restore decency, defend democracy, and give everybody in this country a fair shot.
     
Our work begins with getting COVID under control.
     
We cannot repair the economy, restore our vitality, or relish life's most precious moments - hugging a grandchild, birthdays, weddings, graduations, all the moments that matter most to us - until we get this virus under control.
     
On Monday, I will name a group of leading scientists and experts as Transition Advisors to help take the Biden-Harris COVID plan and convert it into an action blueprint that starts on January 20th, 2021.
     
That plan will be built on a bedrock of science. It will be constructed out of compassion, empathy, and concern.
     
I will spare no effort - or commitment - to turn this pandemic around.

I ran as a proud Democrat. I will now be an American president. I will work as hard for those who didn't vote for me - as those who did.
     
Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end - here and now.
     
The refusal of Democrats and Republicans to cooperate with one another is not due to some mysterious force beyond our control.
     
It's a decision. It's a choice we make.
     
And if we can decide not to cooperate, then we can decide to cooperate. And I believe that this is part of the mandate from the American people. They want us to cooperate.
     
That's the choice I'll make. And I call on the Congress - Democrats and Republicans alike - to make that choice with me.
     
The American story is about the slow, yet steady widening of opportunity.
     
Make no mistake: Too many dreams have been deferred for too long.
     
We must make the promise of the country real for everybody - no matter their race, their ethnicity, their faith, their identity, or their disability.
     
America has always been shaped by inflection points - by moments in time where we've made hard decisions about who we are and what we want to be.
     
Lincoln in 1860 - coming to save the Union.
     
FDR in 1932 - promising a beleaguered country a New Deal.
     
JFK in 1960 - pledging a New Frontier.
     
And twelve years ago - when Barack Obama made history - and told us, "Yes, we can."
   
We stand again at an inflection point.
     
We have the opportunity to defeat despair and to build a nation of prosperity and purpose.
     
We can do it. I know we can.
     
I've long talked about the battle for the soul of America.
     
We must restore the soul of America.
     
Our nation is shaped by the constant battle between our better angels and our darkest impulses.
     
It is time for our better angels to prevail.
     
Tonight, the whole world is watching America. I believe at our best America is a beacon for the globe.
     
And we lead not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.
     
I've always believed we can define America in one word: Possibilities.
     
That in America everyone should be given the opportunity to go as far as their dreams and God-given ability will take them.
     
You see, I believe in the possibility of this country.
     
We're always looking ahead.
     
Ahead to an America that's freer and more just.
     
Ahead to an America that creates jobs with dignity and respect.
     
Ahead to an America that cures disease - like cancer and Alzheimers.
     
Ahead to an America that never leaves anyone behind.
     
Ahead to an America that never gives up, never gives in.
     
This is a great nation.
     
And we are a good people.
     
This is the United States of America.
     
And there has never been anything we haven't been able to do when we've done it together.
     
In the last days of the campaign, I've been thinking about a hymn that means a lot to me and to my family, particularly my deceased son Beau. It captures the faith that sustains me and which I believe sustains America.
     
And I hope it can provide some comfort and solace to the more than 230,000 families who have lost a loved one to this terrible virus this year. My heart goes out to each and every one of you. Hopefully this hymn gives you solace as well.
     
"And He will raise you up on eagle's wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His Hand."
     
And now, together - on eagle's wings - we embark on the work that God and history have called upon us to do.
     
With full hearts and steady hands, with faith in America and in each other, with a love of country - and a thirst for justice - let us be the nation that we know we can be.
     
A nation united.
     
A nation strengthened.
     
A nation healed.
     
The United States of America.
     
God bless you.
     
And may God protect our troops.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2020, 05:24:35 AM by Peter B »

Offline molesworth

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2020, 06:55:23 AM »
Inspiring words, and nice to have an intelligent, eloquent person at the helm again.

Kamala Harris' speech is also an inspiring and uplifting message to all women, in the USA and around the world.

Somehow I think this new thread will have a lot less posts...  :)
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Offline gillianren

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2020, 01:20:36 PM »
It's been a long, long time since I was Catholic, but that was always one of my favourite hymns.
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Offline Obviousman

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2020, 02:46:00 PM »
Kamala Harris' speech is also an inspiring and uplifting message to all women, in the USA and around the world.

She was particularly good, wasn't she? Dare I say she was Presidential?

Offline Jeff Raven

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2020, 07:24:05 PM »
I thought it was a very good, measured speech, and very appropriate. I hope he's able to deliver on its promises. Of course, a lot of that will depend on the composition of Congress come January.

One thing that I hope he does not do is what Representative Omar tweeted: "We have not only voted out the most corrupt, dangerous president in modern history but have the opportunity to carry out the most progressive agenda our country has ever seen. Let’s get to work!"

I'm sorry, but a) if the Republicans keep control of the Senate, he won't be able to get anything done if he tries to pursue such a course, b) this was not a landslide victory (a la Reagan), so he doesn't have that kind of momentum/mandate, and c) this isn't the time for it. Given how close the results are, the divides in the country, and the fact that we really are a nation of centrists (basically), the last thing that will help heal the hurt and get us back on track is to push hard that way. Be progressive, sure, but not radical. There are too many basic things that need to be addressed (e.g. infrastructure) right now.

Offline LunarOrbit

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2020, 08:08:37 PM »
It will be nice to have American run by intelligent people again.
It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth.
I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth.
I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.
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Offline smartcooky

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2020, 12:48:58 AM »
I thought it was a very good, measured speech, and very appropriate. I hope he's able to deliver on its promises. Of course, a lot of that will depend on the composition of Congress come January.

One thing that I hope he does not do is what Representative Omar tweeted: "We have not only voted out the most corrupt, dangerous president in modern history but have the opportunity to carry out the most progressive agenda our country has ever seen. Let’s get to work!"

I'm sorry, but a) if the Republicans keep control of the Senate, he won't be able to get anything done if he tries to pursue such a course, b) this was not a landslide victory (a la Reagan), so he doesn't have that kind of momentum/mandate, and c) this isn't the time for it. Given how close the results are, the divides in the country, and the fact that we really are a nation of centrists (basically), the last thing that will help heal the hurt and get us back on track is to push hard that way. Be progressive, sure, but not radical. There are too many basic things that need to be addressed (e.g. infrastructure) right now.


Let me ask something about US politics, because there are a couple of tiny details that escape me.

When Trump didn't get what he wanted from Congress, he simply made it happen by Executive Order... the Muslim countries travel ban, stopping gays and lesbians from being members of the armed forces, declaring a national emergency to build his vanity project on the southern border and subsequently diverting funds allocated by the house to the military, to pay for the wall (which is supposed to be illegal as the House has the sole power of the purse), separating children from their parents at the border and then locking those children in cages for months, in some cases, years.

So, my question is, why can't Biden just do the same thing? The House passes legislation, McConnell and the Senate stonewall him, Biden does an end-run around them and makes the House legislation law by Executive Order?
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Offline raven

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2020, 04:01:37 AM »
I don't think pushing America further into a de facto dictatorship is exactly a good thing.
 Also, it was transgender folk Trump got banned from the US military, not homosexual.

Offline JayUtah

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2020, 10:04:44 AM »
So, my question is, why can't Biden just do the same thing?

He can, and almost certainly will.  The strategy of using executive authority to bypass a stalled Congress is an Obama-era invention.  Pres. Trump just appropriated it.  And that too can be traced to the strengthening of Presidential authority under the George W. Bush administration.

Quote
The House passes legislation, McConnell and the Senate stonewall him, Biden does an end-run around them and makes the House legislation law by Executive Order?

He can't do that.  He can't make unresolved legislation become law.  Executive Orders derive their authority either from the powers given to the executive in the Constitution, or from authority delegated to the President from Congress under the various laws that empower the offices of the executive, such as to regulate and enforce.  Of course he can overturn Pres. Trump's orders.  And we hope will.  But the orders he issues on his own would have to refer to existing law.

And Executive Orders are subject to the federal judiciary, a large fraction of which has now come from the Trump Administration and the McConnell Senate.  Courts cannot rule on whether it's a good idea for the executive to do something, but they can rule on whether it's lawful.  If an Executive Order has insufficient basis in existing law, it can be ruled unenforceable.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2020, 10:13:05 AM by JayUtah »
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Offline smartcooky

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2020, 02:06:34 PM »
So, my question is, why can't Biden just do the same thing?

He can, and almost certainly will.  The strategy of using executive authority to bypass a stalled Congress is an Obama-era invention.  Pres. Trump just appropriated it.  And that too can be traced to the strengthening of Presidential authority under the George W. Bush administration.

Quote
The House passes legislation, McConnell and the Senate stonewall him, Biden does an end-run around them and makes the House legislation law by Executive Order?

He can't do that.  He can't make unresolved legislation become law.  Executive Orders derive their authority either from the powers given to the executive in the Constitution, or from authority delegated to the President from Congress under the various laws that empower the offices of the executive, such as to regulate and enforce.  Of course he can overturn Pres. Trump's orders.  And we hope will.  But the orders he issues on his own would have to refer to existing law.

And Executive Orders are subject to the federal judiciary, a large fraction of which has now come from the Trump Administration and the McConnell Senate.  Courts cannot rule on whether it's a good idea for the executive to do something, but they can rule on whether it's lawful.  If an Executive Order has insufficient basis in existing law, it can be ruled unenforceable.

OK not laws then, but can he do things like stopping the wall being built, ending the caging of children at the border, restoring DACA, advancing the ACA, passing the House's budgetary decisions, all by EO?
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Offline gillianren

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2020, 03:07:50 PM »
The fact is, a progressive agenda would not be against the wishes of the American people.  Most progressive policies have a strong majority of supporters regardless of party.  Even a lot of Republicans support a strong progressive agenda, if you separate it from Democratic phrasing.  The Republican leadership is more conservative than the Republican base.
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Offline JayUtah

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2020, 03:14:10 PM »
He can stop building the border wall by Executive Order.  Border security is an executive function.  The method of making a border impassable, if desired, is under the broad discretion of the President.  And since funds were directed toward that effort in ways that clashed with Congress control of purse-strings, it would probably be very legally defensible.

He can stop caging children at the border and stop the family separation policy by Executive Order.  Same as above.  The manner of enforcing border security is under the broad discretion of the executive.

He can certainly improve the DACA situation.  The manner of enforcing immigration and naturalization law is at the broad discretion of the President.  DACA is framed as an enforcement policy, not a law.  However, as various courts have made rulings that shape DACA policy and operations, a President Biden would have to comply with those decisions.

The ACA is legislation.  Any Executive Orders a President Biden wished to issue relating to it would have to conform to the authority granted to the executive to implement the legislation.  And then those would also still have to conform to both settled and ongoing court cases about its constitutionality.  For example, already the IRS (a branch of the executive) is enjoined from enforcing the so-called Individual Mandate.  Texas v. California, to be argued tomorrow before the Supreme Court, will decide whether that provision is severable from the entire Act.  If not, the ACA goes away entirely.

Pre-existing conditions are a greater concern.  A separate case, California v. Texas (also argued tomorrow), decides the constitutionality of requiring insurance to cover pre-existing conditions.  It also addresses the severability issue.  President Trump already has an Order in place to protect against denial of coverage from pre-existing conditions.  It is almost certain that a President Biden will either retain President Trump's Order or issue one of his own, on his own terms.

The catch, of course, is that any sort of order to that effect presently derives its power from the ACA.  If the ACA is ruled unconstitutional, no President would have the authority to issue an order requiring private companies to allow pre-existing conditions.

The budget expressly requires agreement from both Houses of Congress before any actual money can be appropriated and spent.  All budgets must originate in the House, and a special set of rules governs reconciling the budget bills between the House and the Senate.  The President can do literally nothing about the budget until the budget bill is on his desk, having passed both Houses.  The executive may certainly recommend budget items.  But the power of the purse is exclusively that of Congress, and they guard it jealously.

Now with the budget that's already in effect, there is some discretion in spending.  Congress usually gives specific direction to the Executive Branch on what it can spend money on, and how much.  This has always been NASA's issue:  Congress directs them toward projects and expenditures that have little coherence.  One Congress giveth; another Congress taketh away.  This makes effective long-term planning almost impossible.  But Congress also frequently establishes general funds and operating funds for each office, over which it doesn't desire fine control.  Only where Congress has specifically authorized discretionary spending does executive policy apply to these funds.
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Offline smartcooky

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2020, 03:32:21 PM »
He can stop building the border wall by Executive Order.  Border security is an executive function.  The method of making a border impassable, if desired, is under the broad discretion of the President.  And since funds were directed toward that effort in ways that clashed with Congress control of purse-strings, it would probably be very legally defensible.

He can stop caging children at the border and stop the family separation policy by Executive Order.  Same as above.  The manner of enforcing border security is under the broad discretion of the executive.

He can certainly improve the DACA situation.  The manner of enforcing immigration and naturalization law is at the broad discretion of the President.  DACA is framed as an enforcement policy, not a law.  However, as various courts have made rulings that shape DACA policy and operations, a President Biden would have to comply with those decisions.

The ACA is legislation.  Any Executive Orders a President Biden wished to issue relating to it would have to conform to the authority granted to the executive to implement the legislation.  And then those would also still have to conform to both settled and ongoing court cases about its constitutionality.  For example, already the IRS (a branch of the executive) is enjoined from enforcing the so-called Individual Mandate.  Texas v. California, to be argued tomorrow before the Supreme Court, will decide whether that provision is severable from the entire Act.  If not, the ACA goes away entirely.

Pre-existing conditions are a greater concern.  A separate case, California v. Texas (also argued tomorrow), decides the constitutionality of requiring insurance to cover pre-existing conditions.  It also addresses the severability issue.  President Trump already has an Order in place to protect against denial of coverage from pre-existing conditions.  It is almost certain that a President Biden will either retain President Trump's Order or issue one of his own, on his own terms.

The catch, of course, is that any sort of order to that effect presently derives its power from the ACA.  If the ACA is ruled unconstitutional, no President would have the authority to issue an order requiring private companies to allow pre-existing conditions.

The budget expressly requires agreement from both Houses of Congress before any actual money can be appropriated and spent.  All budgets must originate in the House, and a special set of rules governs reconciling the budget bills between the House and the Senate.  The President can do literally nothing about the budget until the budget bill is on his desk, having passed both Houses.  The executive may certainly recommend budget items.  But the power of the purse is exclusively that of Congress, and they guard it jealously.

Now with the budget that's already in effect, there is some discretion in spending.  Congress usually gives specific direction to the Executive Branch on what it can spend money on, and how much.  This has always been NASA's issue:  Congress directs them toward projects and expenditures that have little coherence.  One Congress giveth; another Congress taketh away.  This makes effective long-term planning almost impossible.  But Congress also frequently establishes general funds and operating funds for each office, over which it doesn't desire fine control.  Only where Congress has specifically authorized discretionary spending does executive policy apply to these funds.

As usual, a detailed explanation. Thanks Jay
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Offline Obviousman

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2020, 04:19:00 PM »
ACA? To me that is A Current Affair, an Australian "current affairs" programme (which is really just about dodgy plumbers and pushing deals from sponsors).

Offline JayUtah

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Re: The Biden Presidency
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2020, 04:39:31 PM »
The fact is, a progressive agenda would not be against the wishes of the American people.  Most progressive policies have a strong majority of supporters regardless of party.  Even a lot of Republicans support a strong progressive agenda, if you separate it from Democratic phrasing.  The Republican leadership is more conservative than the Republican base.

This really is the case.  The media is fond of showing vocal protests on both the liberal and conservative sides, but I think with those noise exceptions aside, more actual people in the United States have more of a centrist ideology and quite a lot of shared values.

For example, something like 70 percent of both Republican and Democrat voters want a serious reform in healthcare payment, along the lines of a single payer, or Medicare for all, or concepts to the effect of reducing the bureaucratic burden.  This is because both Republican and Democrat voters are fed up with the arcane nonsense of trying to arrange payment for medical bills, even if you have a good insurance policy.  It has become so bad now that another layer of service industry has arisen in this space to simplify navigating the process of approving medical care and paying your doctors.

In this case it's not so much a matter of Republican leadership being conservative as it is that they're beholden to big-business interests.  Healthcare insurance is a very large private-sector industry that happens to be hugely profitable for its shareholders and executives.  The byzantine procedures for filing claims and obtaining payment are part of what keeps it profitable.  It's quite easy and common to be denied coverage or dropped because of a failure to jump through some obscure hoop.  I'm just going to assume that you (Gillianren) have far more horror stories to tell than I ever could possibly come up with.  And because this is the kind of money that fuels politics, politicians have no incentive to eliminate their friends' (questionable) livelihoods.
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