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The triumph of President Joe Biden and healing the nation


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1 hour ago, Princess of Tap said:

 You start with public transportation.....

 Increasing public transportation and taking away the stigma of public transportation--a stigma that you don't have in Europe and Asia.

 If you've got a problem,

you don't have to approach it in an extreme manner.

But people who do approach problems in an extreme manner are not too serious about solving them.

Not sure there is a stigma to public transportation so much as the personal automobile is too ingrained in Americans.  We are NOT Europeans, so the comparison doesn't work that well.   We have always had the space for automobiles and roadways to support them, whereas Europe has not.  More importantly, Americans for most part have had the economic wherewithal to afford automobiles.  In Europe, not so much.

I am all for more public transportation, but it is a very hard sell.   The US had good public transportation in the past, but it became inconvenient and therefore people quit using it.  You can't force people to take a bus or a train.  On the other hand, Uber is probably the closest thing to public transportation in the US today.

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4 hours ago, ElCid said:

Not sure there is a stigma to public transportation so much as the personal automobile is too ingrained in Americans.  We are NOT Europeans, so the comparison doesn't work that well.   We have always had the space for automobiles and roadways to support them, whereas Europe has not.  More importantly, Americans for most part have had the economic wherewithal to afford automobiles.  In Europe, not so much.

I am all for more public transportation, but it is a very hard sell.   The US had good public transportation in the past, but it became inconvenient and therefore people quit using it.  You can't force people to take a bus or a train.  On the other hand, Uber is probably the closest thing to public transportation in the US today.

Aside from the big cities, it's primarily poor people, some minority people and disabled people who take buses in town.

I've lived in cities and people across-the-board and across class and race take buses and subways.

But in smaller cities and Big Town's, there's a stigma attached to it.

To some people it's just associated with minorities and and lower class people in general.

Many wouldn't want to be around that kind of environment anyway.

As for the Greyhound bus situation, it is populated primarily with  lower class people, which precludes a lot of middle-class people from participating.

But I think if we had the bullet trains like they have in Japan or the TGV like in France, across the country, I think everyone would want to participate in that.

I've been on those trains in both countries and they're fun and extremely comfortable-- plus they get there fast.

But in my mind, the basic problem with cars is that it's tied to the American identity of class and materialism. It's in the DNA of Americans-- that's what the real problem is.

And I'm just guessing you've never been in a traffic jam in France. LOL

 Merry Christmas to you!

 

 

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8 hours ago, ElCid said:

I fear that Joe Biden's presidency is doomed from the start, but I hope I am wrong. 

His presidency won't succeed because he's too holy, too nice and too soft. He's going to be another Jimmy Carter. You can see that a mile away.

Basically we are going from one extreme to the next. The Dems that like to keep their heads buried in the sand will be happy with him for four years but they will be living an alternate reality. Then the Trumpers will take over again and bring back tough boy politics.

The country needs someone who's an effective combination of the two parties-- the hard man AND the softie. 

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On 12/23/2020 at 8:27 PM, TopBilled said:

You are saying that more war and destruction will take place?

Yes, but countries like Singapore have already indicated that they will not join Biden in his plans concerning China:

https://www.newsweek.com/singapore-will-not-join-bidens-cold-warstyle-coalition-against-china-says-pm-1548692

Hopefully, more from BRICS and forty emerging markets worldwide will act similarly, i.e., engage in bilateral agreements and trade deals  rather than join the U.S. in saber-rattling.

 

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On 12/23/2020 at 11:32 PM, ElCid said:

I haven't been able to deduce most of ralfy's posts.

When you look at Biden's past speeches, you will see that he is a warmonger like Bush and Obama. This should not be surprising because the U.S. has been promoting neoconservatism coupled with neoliberalism since the Reagan administration, and this has led to death and destruction for many countries, especially those in the Middle East. Very likely Biden will target China in the same way Obama tried in his 2012 pivot to Asia. Hopefully, more countries will be strong enough to resist that.

 

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6 hours ago, TopBilled said:

His presidency won't succeed because he's too holy, too nice and too soft. He's going to be another Jimmy Carter. You can see that a mile away.

Basically we are going from one extreme to the next. The Dems that like to keep their heads buried in the sand will be happy with him for four years but they will be living an alternate reality. Then the Trumpers will take over again and bring back tough boy politics.

The country needs someone who's an effective combination of the two parties-- the hard man AND the softie. 

Here are some past videos featuring Biden and articles about him concerning war and even police action:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/10/15/20849072/joe-biden-iraq-history-democrats-election-2020

https://www.vox.com/2019/1/10/18173132/joe-biden-hillary-clinton-2020

In general, he has a long history of warmongering and calling for more authoritarian action concerning crime, which makes him similar to Bush and Obama. Some of his actions even involve supporting Bush and the Republicans.

These combined ideologies of neoconservatism (using the military and intelligence agencies to bully weaker countries in order to control resources like oil) and neoliberalism (provisions and deregulation so that the rich can become richer, bail them out if they get into trouble, and force weaker countries to open up their economies as well so that natural resources may be exploited) have been in place since the Reagan administration, and employed by politicians from both parties.

 

 

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7 hours ago, ralfy said:

When you look at Biden's past speeches, you will see that he is a warmonger like Bush and Obama. This should not be surprising because the U.S. has been promoting neoconservatism coupled with neoliberalism since the Reagan administration, and this has led to death and destruction for many countries, especially those in the Middle East. Very likely Biden will target China in the same way Obama tried in his 2012 pivot to Asia. Hopefully, more countries will be strong enough to resist that.

 

Appreciate your sort of explaining your position, but I disagree.  You seem to believe that all American presidents are warmongers.  Also appears you believe there are only two political philosophies, neoconservatism and neoliberalism.  As you describe them, both are underpinned by "warmongering."

I disagree.

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4 hours ago, ElCid said:

Appreciate your sort of explaining your position, but I disagree.  You seem to believe that all American presidents are warmongers.  Also appears you believe there are only two political philosophies, neoconservatism and neoliberalism.  As you describe them, both are underpinned by "warmongering."

I disagree.

I  believe the overall point isn't about American Presidents,  per se,  but American foreign policy,  since the Korean war ended;    America is a warmongering nation.    That is a fact.

NOW,  people can debate if specific US "intervention" over the last 70 or so years was justified,   served a good cause,  ended up doing more-good-than-harm,  etc.... 

But no other nation has sent close to as many "resources" to foreign lands to either support or initiate conflict. 

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Background:  I am a retired Army officer and served in both Vietnam and the Gulf during those wars.  I know the military receives far too large a share of the national budget.  It will be 57% this year, but if you include the VA and Homeland Security, it is a far larger share.  There are also parts of other agencies which have military purposes which are not shown in the DOD budget.  Dept. of Energy is in charge of nuclear munitions for instance.

I would NOT classify the US government as a "warmonger."    However, after WW II, we were the only nation with a substantial military and the means to support one.  In addition, the United Nations and democratic nations of the world looked to US to defend them against their enemies.  Even many non-democratic governments looked to us for defense.  Unfortunately most politicians and voters, most WW II veterans, accepted that role.

It really began in 1945 as soon as WW II ended.  Congress permitted the presidents to decide when to militarily intervene in foreign affairs.  Up until the War Powers Act (1973), they did not care.  There have been other acts, but Congress has done little to actually enforce them.

Other nations of the world look for US to intervene.

The US is militaristic, but so were Britain, France and many other nations.  France and Britain were two of the most militaristic nations in history, especially France, - until they lost their power.   Russia, China and several others are still very militaristic.  They just do not have the competence nor the finances to support their ambitions.  And they DO have ambitions.  France, Britain, Canada and other countries send troops all over the world to engage in military operations. 

US government also recognized the importance of maintaining a defense industry as converting the automobile and other industries to war production (WW I and WW II) was no longer an option.  So, the US accepted the role that most of the world wanted us to have.  It also became a lucrative source of money for US industries, workers and state and local governments.  Is it too large; too interrelated with governments and politicians?  Absolutely.

Except for Iraq, Afghanistan, Panama and Grenada, the US was invited into those countries mentioned above.

Did US make mistakes?   Absolutely.  Vietnam was a huge mistake.  I was there.  Gulf War was not a mistake.  Iraq was a huge mistake.  Afghanistan was not a mistake initially, but got out of hand.  The Taliban government willingly gave refuge and support to al Qaeda and refused to permit US to punish them for 9-11.   Unfortunately one of the tenets of international "law" is that if a nation overthrows the government of another nation, they are responsible for that nation and establishing a new, stable government.  So, we are stuck in Iraq and Afghanistan - or else we do as Nixon and Kissinger did in Vietnam.  Declare victory and let the current governments be overthrown.

The US government does need to be far more careful in deciding when to use military force, how to use it and when to pull out (exit strategy).  They also need to decrease the size of the active, reserve and national guard components.  Reduce the number of commands, fleets and other large headquarters type units.  Reduce the numbers of colonels, Navy captains, admirals and generals.  That in itself would decrease the ability to engage in unfounded military actions.

Incidentally, America in general supports US militarism.  Look at the movies coming out of Hollywood.  Except for ones about Vietnam, most present US military activities as a good thing.  The American people support it as well - as long as they or their children don't have to go.

So, in summary, US is not a warmongering nation.  It is a militaristic one, out of many, that has been called upon by other nations to intervene when it really shouldn't have.  Presidents are no more warmongers than Congress or the American people.

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24 minutes ago, ElCid said:

I would classify the US government as a "warmonger."   

Did you mean to say I would NOT classify,,,,,,

Anyhow,   if saying US is a militaristic nation instead of warmongering nation helps you sleep at night,   so be it.

To me it is just splitting hairs.     Oh,  well.

 

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3 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Did you mean to say I would NOT classify,,,,,,

Anyhow,   if saying US is a militaristic nation instead of warmongering nation helps you sleep at night,   so be it.

To me it is just splitting hairs.     Oh,  well.

 

Thanks for catching my error.  Changed it.

It may be splitting hairs, but I think it is significant.  Warmongering to me means nations that go out and try to create wars simply to benefit themselves or to create empires.  Militaristic means nations that have an overabundance of belief that there are military solutions to most problems and are willing to use it.

Key here is that the governments and the citizens are in agreement on these activities.  No one person makes it happen.

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The big difference between Carter and Biden is that Carter was an inexperienced pol who was

governor of Georgia for a few years. Biden has been in D.C. for decades and knows how things

work. Whether that will make an overall difference we will see, but at least Biden knows where

the silverware is kept. 

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From The Guardian:

Saturday Night Live seeks fresh Biden as political comedy faces new era

The US presidential election may be over but another keenly watched contest is just beginning. Who should play Joe Biden on Saturday Night Live?

Jim Carrey quit the role after poor reviews. Alex Moffat, a regular cast member, stepped in. But it still remains uncertain which actor will portray Biden on a show that helps define each American presidency in the popular imagination.

It is just one example of the new challenges facing political satire as Donald Trump leaves the presidential stage. The 45th president offered endless material for late-night TV hosts, standup comedians and cartoonists. His Democratic successor appears to be a less obvious target.

“There is about a two-minute hole in every late-night monologue beginning on January 20,” observed Bill Whalen, a former media consultant for the ex-California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. “Two minutes every night reserved to Trump jokes and Trump bashing: that ends as soon as Biden takes office. So how do you fill the void?

Based in New York, SNL started on the NBC network in 1975 and has been more or less nailing presidents ever since. Chevy Chase played Gerald Ford as bumbling and accident-prone. Dana Carvey was so spot-on as George HW Bush that he earned an invitation to the White House.

Will Ferrell captured George W Bush’s word-mangling incoherence. Jay Pharoah was praised for his Barack Obama impression but left the show prematurely. Whalen added: “Obama they had a hard time mocking because Obama was Mr Cool, and how do you make fun of Mr Cool? So I think comedy took a bit of a time out during the Obama years and came roaring back with Trump.

Alec Baldwin’s devastating rendition of Trump as an ignorant idiot, complete with pursed lips and blond wig, frequently went viral and earned the president’s wrath. Melissa McCarthy’s fast and furious take on his first press secretary, Sean Spicer, also struck comedy gold.

On one level it is entertainment, but SNL’s cultural significance should not be underestimated, argues Michael Cornfield,  a political scientist at George Washington University in Washington. “The central angle of approach to a president’s character is through the Saturday Night Live caricature,” he said.

SNL has already found its Kamala Harris in Maya Rudolph, but Biden is proving a tougher nut to crack. He has been played by cast members and guest stars including Jason Sudeikis, Woody Harrelson and John Mulaney. Carrey signed on for this year’s election campaign but his manic performances arguably missed the mark.

“Jim Carrey was doing Jim Carrey,” Cornfield observed. “He didn’t communicate Biden.”

So Moffat, who has previously played Trump’s son Eric, took over as Biden for an opening sketch in which the vice-president, Mike Pence (Beck Bennett), received a Covid-19 vaccine. But Moffat is only 38, less than half Biden’s age, leaving next year’s all-important casting an open question, along with broader questions of where to find humour in the coming presidency.

 

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On 12/25/2020 at 10:50 PM, ElCid said:

Appreciate your sort of explaining your position, but I disagree.  You seem to believe that all American presidents are warmongers.  Also appears you believe there are only two political philosophies, neoconservatism and neoliberalism.  As you describe them, both are underpinned by "warmongering."

I disagree.

They are warmongers because they support attacks or control of other countries in order to control resources like oil or for strategic advantages. No less than a formal U.S. President made that claim:

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/04/18/jimmy-carter-us-most-warlike-nation-history-world

who himself was not immune to it:

https://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/33825944

And the same applies to Biden, as shown in the videos presented earlier.

Warmongering is obviously connected to neoconservatism because of the need to keep the petrodollar propped up plus justify incredibly high military spending. That's why the country has over 800 military bases and installations worldwide:

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/06/us-military-bases-around-the-world-119321

 

And several of them are connected to encircling Russia and China, used as staging points to attack or destabilize countries that wanted to move away from the petrodollar (Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran), control regions that may have rich oil resources (Afghanistan), or to keep weaker countries in check (the Philippines and various South American countries). And that neoconservatism is part of a long history of warlike behavior:

https://sites.evergreen.edu/zoltan/interventions/

Do you actually believe that someone like Biden, who for more than four decades was part of the same swamp that encouraged that, will be able to go against it, even when his own opponent, Trump, remained part of the same?

Finally, what about neoliberalism? I'll let you do your own research on that. In any event, look up terms like "structural adjustment" and try books like Robin Broad's Unequal Alliance, if not various books from development economists who have been discussing connections between weaker economies and groups like the IMF-WB.

It's highly unlikely that Biden would go against something that he had been part of four decades.

 

 

 

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On 12/26/2020 at 4:14 AM, ElCid said:

Background:  I am a retired Army officer and served in both Vietnam and the Gulf during those wars.  I know the military receives far too large a share of the national budget.  It will be 57% this year, but if you include the VA and Homeland Security, it is a far larger share.  There are also parts of other agencies which have military purposes which are not shown in the DOD budget.  Dept. of Energy is in charge of nuclear munitions for instance.

I would NOT classify the US government as a "warmonger."    However, after WW II, we were the only nation with a substantial military and the means to support one.  In addition, the United Nations and democratic nations of the world looked to US to defend them against their enemies.  Even many non-democratic governments looked to us for defense.  Unfortunately most politicians and voters, most WW II veterans, accepted that role.

It really began in 1945 as soon as WW II ended.  Congress permitted the presidents to decide when to militarily intervene in foreign affairs.  Up until the War Powers Act (1973), they did not care.  There have been other acts, but Congress has done little to actually enforce them.

Other nations of the world look for US to intervene.

The US is militaristic, but so were Britain, France and many other nations.  France and Britain were two of the most militaristic nations in history, especially France, - until they lost their power.   Russia, China and several others are still very militaristic.  They just do not have the competence nor the finances to support their ambitions.  And they DO have ambitions.  France, Britain, Canada and other countries send troops all over the world to engage in military operations. 

US government also recognized the importance of maintaining a defense industry as converting the automobile and other industries to war production (WW I and WW II) was no longer an option.  So, the US accepted the role that most of the world wanted us to have.  It also became a lucrative source of money for US industries, workers and state and local governments.  Is it too large; too interrelated with governments and politicians?  Absolutely.

Except for Iraq, Afghanistan, Panama and Grenada, the US was invited into those countries mentioned above.

Did US make mistakes?   Absolutely.  Vietnam was a huge mistake.  I was there.  Gulf War was not a mistake.  Iraq was a huge mistake.  Afghanistan was not a mistake initially, but got out of hand.  The Taliban government willingly gave refuge and support to al Qaeda and refused to permit US to punish them for 9-11.   Unfortunately one of the tenets of international "law" is that if a nation overthrows the government of another nation, they are responsible for that nation and establishing a new, stable government.  So, we are stuck in Iraq and Afghanistan - or else we do as Nixon and Kissinger did in Vietnam.  Declare victory and let the current governments be overthrown.

The US government does need to be far more careful in deciding when to use military force, how to use it and when to pull out (exit strategy).  They also need to decrease the size of the active, reserve and national guard components.  Reduce the number of commands, fleets and other large headquarters type units.  Reduce the numbers of colonels, Navy captains, admirals and generals.  That in itself would decrease the ability to engage in unfounded military actions.

Incidentally, America in general supports US militarism.  Look at the movies coming out of Hollywood.  Except for ones about Vietnam, most present US military activities as a good thing.  The American people support it as well - as long as they or their children don't have to go.

So, in summary, US is not a warmongering nation.  It is a militaristic one, out of many, that has been called upon by other nations to intervene when it really shouldn't have.  Presidents are no more warmongers than Congress or the American people.

The U.S. was funding Iraq:

https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/

Before that, it was supporting Iran and its dreaded SAVAK after it overthrew its democracy:

https://www.npr.org/2019/01/31/690363402/how-the-cia-overthrew-irans-democracy-in-four-days

and then started making deals with Iran:

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/reagan-iran/

while supporting Islamic fundamentalists to counter the Soviets in Afghanistan, after which supported their opponents, composed of Northern Alliance drug pushers and rapists, leading to a return of poppy production:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/investigations/afghanistan-papers/afghanistan-war-opium-poppy-production/

And there's more like that, involving dozens of countries around the world, from death squads in South American to all sorts of dictatorships, and more described in books like Chalmers Johnson and others, with sources even coming from the horse's mouth, as seen in declassified government documents.

"Mistakes" and even "warmongering" would be understatements.

How on earth would someone like Biden be immune to such?

 

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9 hours ago, ralfy said:

They are warmongers because they support attacks or control of other countries in order to control resources like oil or for strategic advantages. No less than a formal U.S. President made that claim:

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/04/18/jimmy-carter-us-most-warlike-nation-history-world

who himself was not immune to it:

https://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/33825944

And the same applies to Biden, as shown in the videos presented earlier.

Warmongering is obviously connected to neoconservatism because of the need to keep the petrodollar propped up plus justify incredibly high military spending. That's why the country has over 800 military bases and installations worldwide:

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/06/us-military-bases-around-the-world-119321

 

And several of them are connected to encircling Russia and China, used as staging points to attack or destabilize countries that wanted to move away from the petrodollar (Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran), control regions that may have rich oil resources (Afghanistan), or to keep weaker countries in check (the Philippines and various South American countries). And that neoconservatism is part of a long history of warlike behavior:

https://sites.evergreen.edu/zoltan/interventions/

Do you actually believe that someone like Biden, who for more than four decades was part of the same swamp that encouraged that, will be able to go against it, even when his own opponent, Trump, remained part of the same?

Finally, what about neoliberalism? I'll let you do your own research on that. In any event, look up terms like "structural adjustment" and try books like Robin Broad's Unequal Alliance, if not various books from development economists who have been discussing connections between weaker economies and groups like the IMF-WB.

It's highly unlikely that Biden would go against something that he had been part of four decades.

 

 

 

This is in response to both of your recent posts.  Your positions are just plain wrong and you have no understanding of foreign affairs nor international relations.  Much less the military necessities of the world in which we currently live.

As for Jimmy Carter, he was a graduate of the US Naval Academy and served on nuclear submarines before resigning to take over the family peanut farm.  He was also one of the weakest presidents in modern US history.

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18 hours ago, ElCid said:

This is in response to both of your recent posts.  Your positions are just plain wrong and you have no understanding of foreign affairs nor international relations.  Much less the military necessities of the world in which we currently live.

As for Jimmy Carter, he was a graduate of the US Naval Academy and served on nuclear submarines before resigning to take over the family peanut farm.  He was also one of the weakest presidents in modern US history.

You keep saying that my position is wrong but you can't explain why. Meanwhile, you talk about Carter's background but not why he tolerated what happened in Iran, El Salvador, and elsewhere. Here's why:

Foreign affairs and international relations involves realpolitik. That is, it's not a matter of what's good or bad but what's right or wrong, and what's right or wrong is based on what's advantageous or not for the U.S. regardless of what debt is passed on to its gullible public or how many people in other countries suffer or die.

That explains the background of what you mentioned earlier. The U.S. caused democracy to fall apart in Iran and Iraq over oil, and then propped up dictators in both countries. When one fell apart, it egged the other to attack it, causing both to weaken considerably. After that, it started striking deals with the one that was attacked and later attacked the one it egged on. After that, it supported Islamic fundamentalists to counter the Soviets, allowed them to take over against drug pushers and rapists (the Northern Alliance), and then supported the latter to access oil and over a trillion dollars of minerals in Afghanistan.

It goes on and on and on, from Saigon generals propped up in South Vietnam to death squads and drug pushers supported in South America to all sorts of dictatorships supported worldwide, and it still goes on today with Trump and both political parties: through the omnibus bill they plan to provide military aid to Israel to keep the other countries in the region in check, provide military aid to Egypt so that it won't attack Israel and keep building weapons for the U.S., provide military aid to Jordan to recognize Israel, provide military aid to the Saudis to keep the oil flowing and attack one faction of Yemen, provide military aid to Yemen to keep its government propped up, etc.

How is Biden, who worked with Clinton and Obama, who in turn followed what Bush did, any different?

Meanwhile, what about the rest of humanity? I think most don't want war but trade and peace deals. Why can't administrations since Reagan's do that? Because there's no way to justify all that spending for the military, and that's the same military used to keep the petrodollar propped up (which is why the U.S. attacked Iraq after it tried selling oil to Western countries in exchange for Euros, destabilized Libya after it planned to form its own oil market around the gold dinar, and threatened not only Iran after it formed its own bourse but even its own allies like Japan who tried to buy oil from Iran) and equipped by a defense industry that has made the U.S. financial elite rich. That's also the same financial elite that essentially controls the U.S. economy and most of its media, and thrives on perpetual conflict.

 

 

 

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Cid,   Ralfy makes some solid points above.    Note that just the other day,  Biden gave a speech about involvement by the US military in foreign lands and while he stressed that the US couldn't be the world's police force and under his admin wouldn't get involved trying to do so,   he ended it by saying that the US would use force to protect American "interest".

Note that "interest" is vague,   but to me this is code for secure-other-nation's-natural-resources-for-USA-use.

 

 

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From CNN:

SNL introduces its new Joe Biden

Just hours after Jim Carrey said he would no longer play president-elect Joe Biden on Saturday Night Live the NBC variety show introduced its new Biden.

"SNL" castmember Alex Moffat took over the role of the former vice president on Saturday night.

However, current Vice President Mike Pence, played by Beck Bennett, was center stage in the show's opening sketch. Bennett's Pence received the coronavirus vaccine on live TV to kick off the show.

"I'm sure all Americans are excited to see me, a guy who let Covid spread everywhere, get one of the first vaccines," he said.

Bennett's Pence told the audience watching at home that the vaccine is "completely safe" and "harmless."

"That's why President Trump refuses to take it or talk about it," he said.

After getting his injection, Bennett's Pence was met on stage by the incoming vice president, Kamala Harris, played by Maya Rudolph.

"How did you even get into the White House?" he asked.

"I won more votes," Rudolph's Harris responded.

Rudolph's Harris then brought out Moffat's Biden, who limped in with a medical boot on his foot before doing a somersault like Willy Wonka.

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  • TopBilled changed the title to The triumph of President Joe Biden and healing the nation

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