Make America Decent Again.
After the Trump administration's war on immigration, which sought to all but eliminate the admission of refugees, President-elect Joe Biden is promising to return the US to what passes for the civilized world by once again letting people left homeless by war and natural disaster find ... what's that word? Yes, refuge in America.
As NPR reports,
In 2016, President Barack Obama aimed to admit 110,000 refugees. President Trump lowered the cap on refugee admissions every year of his presidency. For fiscal year 2021, he set the cap at 15,000, the lowest on record.
Biden promises to take a starkly different approach from his predecessor: to "set the annual global refugee admissions cap to 125,000, and seek to raise it over time."
Good thing we didn't let Stephen Miller sandblast the poem off the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty!
Like a nuclear football, you know.
Donald Trump still won't talk about conceding that he lost the election two weeks ago, but he just might leave behind a very special gift for Joe Biden: a shiny new conflict with Iran over that country's nuclear program. The New York Times reports that in a meeting Thursday, Trump asked his senior advisers whether he had options to attack Iran's main nuclear site. The advisers, fortunately, "dissuaded the president from moving ahead with a military strike." Perhaps they pointed out that it's more traditional for departing presidents to leave their successors a letter of advice, rather than a war.
The advisers — including Vice President Mike Pence; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; Christopher C. Miller, the acting defense secretary; and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — warned that a strike against Iran's facilities could easily escalate into a broader conflict in the last weeks of Mr. Trump's presidency.
Not sure that would really be much of a disincentive for Trump, because after all, it wouldn't be his problem any more. Biden thinks he's so smart, let him figure it out.
Spend a night in the Thunk Tank.
Some very smart economists with Deutsche Bank's research arm have come up with an idea that's so innovative that it just might sound stupid at first, but when you look at it more closely, sounds even stupider. They argue that people who work from home have considerable economic savings — no commuting, getting food from the fridge, not having to waste money on "pants" — but are still being paid as if they were clocking in at the office. So how about if those lucky ducky telecommuters paid a five percent tax on their income, since they're "contributing less to the infrastructure of the economy whilst still receiving its benefits."
Jeez, now I feel guilty for not getting out there and gassing up my car more often. And without me, how will the coffee shop stay in business?
He's just in it for the green. Planetary green.
Joe Biden has been taking phone calls from world leaders, much to the disgust of Marco Rubio, a known idiot, and on those calls, he's been talking with European leaders about his plans for the US to start coming to Climate Club meetings again, come January. The transition team's readouts of Biden's calls Tuesday show that when he spoke with the leaders of the UK, France, Germany, and Ireland, addressing climate change was right up there with reining in COVID-19 and rejoining the international community again. (Also, yes! A president-elect whose team releases readouts, so maybe the angry reporters will ... no, no they won't!)
And the Washington Post reports on how Biden plans to make climate concerns key to every aspect of governing, not simply the remit of the typical "environmental" agencies like EPA or the Department of Interior.
The far-reaching strategy is aimed at making significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions even without congressional action, by maximizing executive authority.
"From the very beginning of the campaign, when President-elect Biden rolled out his climate plan, he made it clear he sees this as an all-of-government agenda, domestic, economic, foreign policy," said Stef Feldman, campaign policy director for Biden. [...] "From the very beginning, when he talked about infrastructure, he talked about making sure that it built in climate change, that we are making our communities more resilient to the effects of climate change."
That makes sense, given that the world economy has been linked with oil and gasoline so closely for so long that we take it for granted. Forging a new, clean economy is going to require every part of the government to be on board, just as, in the Trump years, every part of the government was devoted to singing the praises of the Great Man. On the whole, focusing on climate will be a lot better.