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Biden our time until 2022 and 2024: Suffering Without End Reloaded???
#36
Here's a rundown on Biden's economic team:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/...d=msedgntp

Quote:President-elect Joe Biden is earning praise from progressives for tapping a wide range of government veterans and academics to help form an economic team that will be tasked with trying to advance Democratic policies in a deeply divided Washington.

While Biden has not announced any Cabinet nominees, the scholars and economists he picked to lead agency review teams included familiar names in progressive circles.

"Progressives abound on the teams that Biden has named to lead the transition process, but they, much like Biden himself, are institutionalists, not anti-establishment progressives," wrote Beacon Policy Advisors, a Washington, D.C., research firm, in a Wednesday research note.

Progressives hailed Biden's decision to tap Gary Gensler, the former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, to lead the transition's review of banking and securities regulators. Despite his tenure at Goldman Sachs, Gensler's advocacy for tougher rules on complex financial trades has endeared him to industry skeptics.

Other members of the transition team who are favorites among progressives include AFL-CIO policy director Damon Silvers, former Assistant Treasury Secretary Michael Barr and former Deputy Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Leandra English.

Biden has also enlisted leading experts on racial economic disparities and discrimination within the financial system for his agency review teams, a welcome sign for progressives who have called on Washington to play a greater role in creating a more equitable economy.

University of California Irvine law professor Mehrsa Baradaran, an expert on financial inclusion and discrimination, has joined the review teams for Treasury and banking and securities regulators. Michigan State University economics professor Lisa Cook, who has extensively studied the economic effects of racism, is also a member of the banking and securities regulation team.

"I think some of this reflects that this administration, for the next two years, will likely rely heavily on administrative reform to help redirect the priorities of the nation and push more fairness and more economic reach for working families and families of color," said Michael Calhoun, president of the Center for Responsible Lending.

"I think some of this reflects that this administration, for the next two years, will likely rely heavily on administrative reform to help redirect the priorities of the nation and push more fairness and more economic reach for working families and families of color," said Michael Calhoun, president of the Center for Responsible Lending.

But intraparty battles could flare up once Biden starts nominating key members of his administration.

The plum post will be Treasury secretary.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) had been the dream choice among progressives ever since she dropped her presidential bid and endorsed Biden. While she has reportedly privately expressed interest in the job, Warren's hard-line views and the deep animosity she evokes from Republicans make her unlikely to be confirmed without a substantial Democratic majority.
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#37
Trump still won't authorize Biden for intelligence briefings:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/...d=msedgntp

Quote:The presidential race was hovering in limbo in 2000 when outgoing President Bill Clinton decided to let then-Gov. George W. Bush read the ultra-secret daily brief of the nation’s most sensitive intelligence.

Clinton was a Democrat and his vice president, Al Gore, was running against Republican Bush. Gore had been reading the so-called President's Daily Brief for eight years; Clinton decided to bring Bush into the fold in case he won and he did.

President Donald Trump has not followed Clinton's lead. As he contests this year's election results, Trump has not authorized President-elect Joe Biden to lay eyes on the brief.

National security and intelligence experts hope Trump changes his mind, citing the need for an incoming president to be fully prepared to confront any national security issues on Day One.

“Our adversaries aren’t waiting for the transition to take place,” says former Michigan Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, who was chairman of the House intelligence committee. “Joe Biden should receive the President’s Daily Brief starting today. He needs to know what the latest threats are and begin to plan accordingly. This isn’t about politics; this is about national security.”

U.S. adversaries can take advantage of the country during an American presidential transition and key foreign issues will be bearing down on Biden the moment he steps into the Oval Office.

Among them: Unless Trump extends or negotiates a new nuclear arms accord with Russia before Inauguration Day, Biden will have only 16 days to act before the expiration of the last remaining treaty reining in the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals. Perhaps U.S. spies have picked up tidbits about the Russians' redlines in the negotiations, or about weapons it really wants to keep out of the treaty.
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#38
Even Sheldon Adelson is saying that Biden won. Yeeeeeesh.
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#39
In 2015, Beau Biden died of cancer. His father suspects burn pits, which sickened 1,000s of other veterans. 

Here's Biden's plan for toxic exposure:

https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-...97347.html

Quote:Joe Biden, like many other families of service members diagnosed with illnesses from overseas deployments, suspects toxic exposure may have been behind his son Beau’s brain cancer.

Beau Biden boarded a military aircraft for Iraq on Nov. 19, 2008, just days after his father became vice president-elect. He deployed with the Delaware Army National Guard to Balad Air Base, where the U.S. military burned an estimated 140 tons of waste a day in open air burn pits.

When he died in 2015, Beau Biden was 46.

In a 2019 speech to the Service Employees International Union, Biden said because of Beau’s “exposure to burn pits, in my view, I can’t prove it yet, he came back with stage four glioblastoma. Eighteen months he lived, knowing he was going to die.”

For thousands of veterans who have also been struck by cancer after being exposed to the burn pits or other toxins while serving overseas, it’s Joe Biden’s personal loss that makes them hopeful they may finally get the help they need.

Biden’s military and veterans issues campaign director Leo Cruz told McClatchy the president-elect is ready to help.

“President-elect Joe Biden has made clear that our nation’s most sacred obligation is to take care of the members of our military and their families, when they’re deployed and when they return home,” Cruz said.

Biden’s plan “includes expanding the list of presumptive conditions to include exposure to burn pits or other environmental toxins, and increasing research dollars by $300 million to invest in better understanding the impact of [traumatic brain injury] and toxic exposures.”

Despite years of data and more than 200,000 veterans who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and other bases throughout the Middle East who have reported cancers, respiratory illnesses or neurological health problems to the Department of Veterans Affairs, many of their claims continue to be denied.

The VA still says there is not enough evidence to determine that the contaminants the service members were exposed to overseas are the cause of their illnesses when they return home.

Rosie Torres founded the toxic exposure advocacy group Burn Pits 360 after her husband, retired Army Capt. Le Roy Torres, came home with a debilitating lung disease after a deployment to Balad Air Base in Iraq from 2007 to 2008. The base, like hundreds of others in Afghanistan and Iraq, had multiple areas for disposal of metals, human waste, ammunition, trash that were burned with jet fuel.

Service members assigned to those bases were exposed to harmful particulates from the burn pit smoke on a daily basis.

Balad stopped using open air burn pits in 2009 over health concerns.

Torres and a coalition of veterans advocacy groups are pushing for the VA to approve the illnesses as presumptive conditions, which would take away the burden currently on veterans to prove their cancers or other conditions are connected to their military service to have their treatments covered by the VA health system.

“[Biden] lost his son who was deployed to a base where many others died from the same illness,” Torres said. “I feel like this would be his way of honoring Beau.”

But for years, including when Biden served as vice president in the Obama administration, help for those veterans has been pushed back as the VA has said it required more study to determine a service connection.

Former VA Secretary David Shulkin told McClatchy that the VA’s current position, that more study needs to be done “leaves many veterans just simply waiting.”

Veterans say they are done waiting.

"We are overdue,” said Jeremy Butler, chief executive officer of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). “It’s just like with K2, where it’s been 20 years, and they’ve got nothing, no health care, no response from the government.”

K2, or Karshi-Khanabad, is a former Soviet base in Uzbekistan where U.S. special operations forces were sent just weeks after the 9/11 attacks.

Last year, McClatchy reported that the Pentagon knew the as early as 2001 that the base had remnants of processed uranium, pools of fuel and solvents, and remnants of chemical weapons. Hundreds who served there have been diagnosed with cancer.

More than two dozen veterans organizations have formed a coalition to raise awareness on toxic exposure and drive legislation. They have a high-profile champion in comedian Jon Stewart, who has promised to keep the issue front and center until those veterans get the help they need, much like he did with the 9/11 first responders at the World Trade Center in New York.

IAVA’s Butler said the group is focused on getting one broad piece of legislation through Congress next year that addresses all toxic exposure.
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#40
The State Department is blocking Biden from accessing messages from foreign leaders:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/...d=msedgntp

Quote:A stack of messages from foreign leaders to President-elect Joe Biden are sitting at the State Department but the Trump administration is preventing him from accessing them, according to State Department officials familiar with the messages.

Traditionally, the State Department supports all communications for the President-elect, which is why many countries began sending messages to State over the weekend. But with Biden prohibited from accessing State Department resources by the Trump administration, because President Donald Trump refuses to accept Biden's victory, dozens of incoming messages have not been received.

Biden's team is in touch with foreign governments without State Department involvement, and he has held numerous calls with leaders, including Germany's Angela Merkel and Canada's Justin Trudeau. But they are operating without the logistical and translation support that the State Department operations center provides.

"They would prefer to be using the State Department resources," said a source familiar with the situation, who noted that the Biden team is having to deal with the unexpected challenge of facilitating these calls.

Not only is Biden being blocked by the State Department from receiving messages and assistance facilitating and from preparing for calls, on Tuesday Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to acknowledge Biden's victory, saying that "there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration," igniting a furor and roiling diplomats.
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#41
I think the whole transition mess gets resolved on Friday. GOP Senators are speaking out about it and one Senator from OK said he'll "get involved" if Biden doesn't get his briefings by Friday.

It's all theater for an audience of one.
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#42
The Biden administration  is planning to embed climate policy into every corner of the federal government, including agencies that don’t usually focus on it like Agriculture or Treasury:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-e...te-change/

Quote:President-elect Joe Biden is poised to embed action on climate change across the breadth of the federal government, from the departments of Agriculture to Treasury to State — expanding it beyond environmental agencies to speed U.S. efforts to mitigate global warming and to acknowledge that the problem touches many aspects of American life.

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, a Democrat. “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.”

The vast majority of scientists agree that carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases released when humans burn fossil fuels is helping warm Earth. On the campaign trail, Biden proposed the most aggressive plan of any major party nominee to try to slow that warming.

In a sign of how Biden has already elevated the issue, he discussed the topic with every European head of state with whom he spoke on Tuesday, including the leaders of Britain, France, Germany and Ireland. Biden has started frequently referring to the climate “crisis,” suggesting a heightened level of urgency.

A team of former Obama administration officials and experts have created a 300-page blueprint laying out a holistic approach to the climate while avoiding some of the pitfalls that hampered President Barack Obama, who shared some of the same goals but was unable to enact all of them. Dubbed the Climate 21 Project, it took a year and a half to develop and was delivered recently to Biden’s transition team. The document outlines how the incoming administration could restructure aspects of the government to move faster on global warming.

It specifies dozens of changes the new administration could take to reduce greenhouse gases, beyond just reversing the slew of Trump administration policies that have boosted oil and gas drilling and relaxed pollution controls. While Republicans are likely to fight many of Biden’s most ambitious renewable energy investments and could challenge new federal rules in court, the report highlights structural shifts that could move the needle on climate.

The recommendations include creating a White House National Climate Council that is “co-equal” to the Domestic Policy Council and National Economic Council; establish a “carbon bank” under the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation that could pay farmers and forest owners to store carbon in their soils and lands; push to electrify cars and trucks through the Transportation Department; and develop a climate policy at the Treasury Department that promotes carbon reductions through tax, budget and regulatory policies.

Tim Profeta, who directs Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and co-chaired the Climate 21 Project, said in an interview that Biden “doesn’t have to wait for congressional action. He can act immediately, across a range of the federal government.”

Former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg published an op-ed Wednesday advocating a similar approach, arguing some of the most important steps the new administration could take “have nothing to do with the Environmental Protection Agency” and involve measures like incorporating climate impacts into the Housing and Urban Development’s building standards and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s disclosure requirements. On the same day two left-leaning groups, the Sunrise Movement and Justice Democrats, called on Biden to create a “White House Office of Climate Mobilization” to coordinate action across the federal government.

In a sign of how government institutions outside the usual environmental agencies are beginning to grapple with climate change, the Federal Reserve’s biannual financial stability report released this week warned, “Climate change adds a layer of economic uncertainty and risk that we have only begun to incorporate into our analysis of financial stability.” Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard, a leading contender for treasury secretary under a Biden administration, welcomed climate’s inclusion in the report, and Fed Board Chair Jerome H. Powell described it last week as a long-term risk. On Tuesday, the Fed requested to join the Network for Greening the Financial System, a global coalition of central banks and bank supervisors working to manage climate risks.

Several former Obama officials noted how the last Democratic administration ended without a complete overhaul of federal policies affecting climate change. Obama made the issue a major focus in his second term, but he did not launch his climate action plan until June 2013, and key departments such as Interior did not finalize their own comprehensive plans before he left office.

Christy Goldfuss, who oversaw many of those efforts as managing director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and who co-chaired the new report, said Biden is now positioned to institute climate-focused policies across the government since he made it a central issue in his campaign. It will be essential for Biden to quickly fill jobs left vacant under President Trump, rebuild departments and return the leadership of agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management back to D.C., she said.

“This is it. This is the moment for climate action,” said Goldfuss, now senior vice president for energy and environment policy at the liberal think tank Center for American Progress. “Climate change impacts every aspect of people’s lives, it impacts every aspect of the economy, and the federal government is connected to every aspect of those as well.”

Changing the way the government buys goods and services could have a ripple effect in the private sector because of the purchasing power of federal agencies, Goldfuss said. Groups like the BlueGreen Alliance, a coalition of labor and environmental groups, have championed policies like California’s Buy Clean law, which requires the state to consider the pollution emitted by manufacturers of glass, steel and other materials when making purchasing decisions.

Feldman declined to comment on the group’s recommendations but said that the incoming administration has a clear direction, regardless of how the government is structured. “Actually, the biggest thing that will ensure we will deliver on the climate agenda is President-Elect Biden’s personal commitment to the issue," she said.

Several of the experts Biden appointed Tuesday to the teams managing his transition at different agencies and departments — including the Pentagon, Commerce, Justice, Council on Economic Advisers and National Security Agency — have experience with topics including climate risk to environmental justice.

The president-elect’s team plans to move quickly on its climate agenda for several reasons. The federal rulemaking and budgeting process takes time, and the United States needs to show it’s taking action to cut greenhouse gas emissions to persuade other countries to ratchet up their commitments in advance of next year’s U.N. climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland.

Even if Biden carries out a broad suite of policies aimed at curbing America’s carbon footprint, it may fall short of averting dangerous planetary warming. Roughly 10 percent of the globe has already warmed 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), compared with preindustrial levels. Scientists say when the entire planet has passed that threshold of warming by 2 degrees C, Earth will suffer irreversible and severe damage. A recent analysis by the Climate Action Tracker shows that if the president-elect’s plan is fully realized it would shave 0.1 degree C off global temperature rise by 2100.

At the moment, the United States is nowhere near cutting its climate pollution by 2.7 to 3.3 percent a year, which is what the Rhodium Group estimates is required to achieve Biden’s target of net-zero carbon emissions by mid-century. This week the EPA released data showing that greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector declined 8 percent last year, while emissions from oil and gas facilities increased by nearly 7 percent, and emissions from nearly every other industrial sector were flat.

University of Chicago economist Michael Greenstone, who served as chief economist for the Council of Economic Advisers under Obama, said plans like the ones outlined in the new report make sense, but in the end, “the planet only cares about greenhouse gas emissions. So, the acid tests will be whether there are meaningful emissions reductions in the United States, and whether those reductions leverage reductions in other countries.”

Georgia Institute of Technology atmospheric science professor Kim Cobb said that many corporate players, frustrated by the sort of policy whiplash they experienced when Obama was succeeded by Trump, might accept more stringent pollution controls if it means greater business certainty.

Marty Durbin, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute, said that his group envisions working with the new administration to develop climate policies on matters from infrastructure to permitting.

“It is no surprise that an incoming administration is looking at what kind of leverage they have across the executive branch to advance their policy priorities,” Durbin said. “As they come in, we’d like to be a partner at the table so we can help them identify where there are some meaningful opportunities to make progress on climate. Of course, we’d like to see things that are more market-based than regulatory.”

"We’ve got to have more durable policy, so we don’t have this snap back and forth every time a new administration comes to town,” he added.

Trump’s move to weaken Obama-era tailpipe emissions standards has split the nation’s automakers, for example, because California and more than a dozen other states representing about 40 percent of the U.S. car market prefer the tougher stringent standards. A handful of companies, including Ford Motor and Honda, have sided with California, while General Motors, Toyota and Fiat Chrysler have backed the administration. With a Democrat in charge, automakers might try to strike a compromise so there is consistency across the U.S. market.

Conservatives will do their best to persuade industry to resist such deals. In an interview shortly after the election, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey ® said he still envisioned a scenario where Trump could get enough electoral college votes to win a second term, though that outcome does not appear mathematically feasible. But Morrisey and other attorneys general had challenged the Obama administration’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases, and they are prepared to launch similar lawsuits again.

Morrisey bemoaned the fact that some industries, like the power sector, accepted the idea that they had to curb their carbon emissions even as some of the Obama administration rules were being litigated. He said that if Biden took action he and other attorneys general considered unjustified, “Everyone is going to know at the outset that this is going to be unlawful.”

Former Obama officials are keenly aware of the pitfalls of a go-it-alone approach. Ernest Moniz, Obama’s former energy secretary, said legislation passed with support from both parties tends to be the best way to make durable change — and that it is still worth trying.

“My view of reality is that it’s very, very hard to get major systemic change in this country without some considerable degree of bipartisan support,” Moniz said.
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#43
double
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#44
(11-12-2020, 02:17 PM)Judas Booth Wrote: Even Sheldon Adelson is saying that Biden won.  Yeeeeeesh.

Yeah, despite cutting into Biden's lead steadily in Arizona, as of yesterday I was completely satisfied there aren't enough ballots remaining from red counties for Trump to have any chance.  So it's over, unless his lawyers can prove he was defrauded in THREE different states.
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#45
(11-12-2020, 05:02 PM)ChrisW Wrote: I think the whole transition mess gets resolved on Friday.  GOP Senators are speaking out about it and one Senator from OK said he'll "get involved" if Biden doesn't get his briefings by Friday.

It's all theater for an audience of one.

Yeah, that was Sen. Lankford:

https://www.yahoo.com/huffpost/james-lan...52997.html

Quote:Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma said Wednesday that he will intervene if the Trump administration hasn’t allowed President-elect Joe Biden to access intelligence briefings by the end of the week.

Lankford, who hasn’t yet congratulated Biden on his win, told radio station KRMG that there’s “nothing wrong” with Biden receiving the highly classified briefings about national security that President Donald Trump is offered daily.

“There is no loss from him getting the briefings,” said Lankford, a member of the Senate Oversight Committee. “And if that’s not occurring by Friday, I will step in as well and ... say, ‘This needs to occur so that regardless of the outcome of the election, whichever way that it goes, people can be ready for that actual task.’”

Typically, the government’s General Services Administration ascertains the president-elect within a few days after Election Day. But this year, the head of GSA ― a Trump appointee ― has delayed the process.
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#46
No surprise here:

https://www.mediaite.com/news/just-in-bi...-of-staff/

Quote:Ron Klain, who served as chief of staff to Joe Biden in the Obama administration and as a senior adviser to Biden’s 2020 campaign, will be the next White House Chief of Staff.

Klain started working for Biden over 30 years ago and was considered Biden’s first choice for the position.

In a statement, Biden said, “Ron has been invaluable to me over the many years that we have worked together, including as we rescued the American economy from one of the worst downturns in our history in 2009 and later overcame a daunting public health emergency in 2014. His deep, varied experience and capacity to work with people all across the political spectrum is precisely what I need in a White House chief of staff as we confront this moment of crisis and bring our country together again.”

Per the New York Times, “Advisers have said that the president-elect will announce other top White House staff in the coming days, even as Mr. Trump refuses to accept the results of the election.”
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#47
https://mobile.twitter.com/laraseligman/...1738530816

   
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#48
Biden's team isn't focusing on lockdowns regarding the virus.  They'll have different restrictions for various areas depending on surging cases:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/...d=msedgntp

Quote:As COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations spike almost everywhere in the country, the doctors and public health experts advising President-elect Joe Biden are proposing a targeted strategy for imposing new restrictions -- to avoid another backlash from the widespread lockdowns this spring and the negative impact on the economy.

They're describing it as using a "dimmer switch" -- dialing up and dialing down restrictions in hot spots as needed.

The number of identified cases and people hospitalized for COVID-19 has increased in nearly every state in the country this week and in 20 states the amount of people testing positive is higher than 10%. Several governors that previously resisted requirements on masks or limiting social gatherings have now implemented them in states like Iowa and Utah where the rapidly increasing number of cases is threatening to overtax hospitals.

The quickly spiking numbers prompted some experts to wonder if more widespread efforts were needed to combat the virus, including Michael Osterholm a member of Biden's coronavirus task force.

But any attempt to keep businesses open, children in school, and fewer restrictions overall relies on Americans everywhere in the country wearing masks, keeping distance from people outside their household especially indoors, and getting the number of new cases under control.

Public health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, have questioned whether Americans would support or comply with harsh lockdown directives after the "pandemic fatigue" and mental health strain of more than eight months of staying at home and seeing fewer friends and family.

A recent Gallup poll found that a reason for that concern. Gallup found the number of Americans who say they would comply with a shelter in place order has dropped 20% since the peak of cases in March and April, despite 61% of Americans acknowledging the pandemic is getting worse.

Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, a co-chair of Biden's task force, said Friday that instead of a broad nationwide lockdown like the "30 days to slow the spread" approach pushed by the White House coronavirus task force in March, the Biden team wants to focus on a more targeted approach that could stop the spread of cases and limit the economic damage.

“I don't think that this is a lockdown or not locking down -- I think that's how we thought about this and this in the spring, but I think we learned a lot since then about how this virus spreads and what we can do to reduce risk. And right now the way we should be thinking about this is more like a series of restrictions that we dial up or down depending on how bad the spread is taking place in a specific region,’ Murthy said in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America."

Murthy compared the idea to New York City's approach to implementing more restrictions in specific zip codes or parts of the city with uncontrolled community spread.

Celine Gounder, another member of the Biden task force and infectious disease specialist at NYU, said she supports targeted closures of places at higher risk of contributing to the spread of infection, like restaurants, bars, or gyms.

"As a group the consensus is we need a more nuanced approach, we've learned a lot since the spring, and we can be much more targeted geographically, we can also be much more targeted in terms of what we close. So I think of this as a dimmer switch not an on and off light switch," she said in an interview on CNBC.

Michael Osterholm, one of Biden's advisers and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, suggested how a 4-6 week lockdown could subdue the pandemic in an interview with Yahoo Finance on Wednesday, a idea he had floated previously. But he later walked back the suggestion and said it isn't the official position of Biden's COVID-19 task force or something he's discussed with the incoming administration.

“Nobody’s going to support it. It’s not going to be supported out of the administration. It’s not going to be supported in Congress,” he said of an extended nationwide lockdown in an interview with ABC News.
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#49
Sen. Angus King is "under serious consideration" to serve as Biden’s Director of National Intelligence.

That frees up a potentially-vulnerable Senate seat down the line (King's seat is up in 2024, so the Democratic governor of Maine would chose in the interim), so that could be disconcerting.  

King does serve on the Intelligence and Armed Services committees, though.

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/11/13...nce-436462

Quote:President-elect Joe Biden is considering plucking Angus King from the Senate to serve as director of national intelligence in his new administration, according to three people familiar with the transition team discussions.

The senator from Maine, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, is a prominent member of the Senate Intelligence and Armed Services committees. His appointment as Biden’s intelligence chief would give the president-elect someone in the position that both he and the intelligence community know well. But it would also vacate a Democratic Senate seat in a state that just overwhelmingly reelected a Republican, Susan Collins, to its other Senate seat.

During President Donald Trump’s tenure, King was an outspoken critic of what he called Trump’s politicization of the intelligence community through the appointment of loyal allies, including current DNI John Ratcliffe and former acting DNI Ric Grenell. Both aides came into the job with little intelligence experience.

“You want intelligence to be truthful and unvarnished and as straightforward as possible — not what you want to hear, not what supports your policy positions,” King told the Associated Press earlier this year after Ratcliffe’s confirmation hearings. “Because if you don’t get that kind of information, you’re liable to make catastrophic mistakes.”

A former senior Trump administration official said King’s name has been discussed with senior Biden transition officials. And a person close to King said the senator is aware he is in the running. Another person familiar with the internal discussions said King “is under serious consideration.”

Former Obama deputy national security adviser Avril Haines, who is leading the Biden national security transition team, is also a top contender for the DNI role, according to people familiar with the discussions.
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#50
Biden's expected to reverse Trump's anti-union executive orders:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/...d=msedgntp

Quote:President Donald Trump used executive orders to put up roadblocks for unions representing federal employees, and now President-elect Joe Biden seems poised to reverse those moves.

In May 2018, President Donald Trump signed executive orders mandating stricter deadlines and procedures when federal workers collectively negotiated new contracts, curbing on-the-clock time for union duties as well as giving some under-performing workers tight time frames to boost their performance.

In January 2021, newly-inaugurated President Joe Biden is likely to pull back those same orders, according to union members, who say the orders have weakened their ability to ensure rank and file staffers are treated fairly.

The Biden transition team didn’t respond to a request for comment, but Biden’s campaign website has signaled that the president-elect will address these issues: “There’s a war on organizing, collective bargaining, unions, and workers. It’s been raging for decades, and it’s getting worse with Donald Trump in the White House.”

The President-Elect, among other things, supports laws that would penalize companies trying to interfere with worker organizing efforts, according to his website.

Biden is expected to rely on executive orders for government policy if he cannot make changes through law in a divided Congress.
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#51
Take Angus King and appoint Gideon to his seat. Give Collins some concern.
"PREDATOR 2 feels like it was penned by convicts as part of a correctional facility's creative writing program, and that's what I love about it." - Moltisanti
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#52
Oh, that'd be priceless.

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#53
Sen. Lankford is no longer "in a hurry" to make sure Biden gets intelligence briefings:

https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/latest-...oNPRrtn2ww
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#54
Biden and unions - more at the link:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna124...ssion=true

Quote:Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, the massive federation of unions that represent more than 14 million workers, said Biden's resurrection of the "blue wall" in the industrial Midwest was "union made."

"We delivered," Trumka said. "He said he's going to be the most pro-worker president we've ever seen, and I absolutely believe him."

Union leaders like Trumka, many of whom have known Biden for decades, view him as one of their own.

"Joe's a blue-collar guy. He comes from a blue-collar background, and he never forgot where he comes from," Trumka said.

Biden's performance among union households, while weaker than some had expected, gives Democrats and labor leaders hope that their longstanding marriage will flourish, even as the GOP continues to make gains among working-class voters.

But now labor leaders say Democrats need to show tangible improvements in the quality of life for those voters.

At the top of labor's wish list is the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, a sweeping overhaul of labor laws that passed the Democratic-controlled House this year. But getting it to Biden's desk for his signature will depend on Democrats' winning Senate control in a pair of Georgia runoff elections in January, which is by no means certain.

Union leaders also see plenty of opportunity through executive actions, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, which helps explain the early jockeying among bold-faced names for the job of labor secretary, which is typically one of the lower-profile Cabinet posts.

"Joe Biden, regardless of what happens in the Senate, has the opportunity to be one of the most consequential presidents of our time because of the moment that we're in and who he is," said Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers.

Along with friendly appointments to key positions on the National Labor Relations Board and other posts, the Biden administration could reclassify some gig workers as employees instead of independent contractors, which could entitle them to benefits and overtime and allow them to unionize. Biden promised during the campaign to "ensure workers in the 'gig economy' and beyond receive the legal benefits and protections they deserve."

Through executive action, his administration could raise the salary threshold to qualify as management, which would make overtime rules apply to more workers. And it could more aggressively enforce existing wage and hour rules and health and safety protections, such as requiring employers to provide more personal protective equipment.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Rep. Andy Levin, D-Mich., and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, among others, have drawn public or private backing from various union leaders to head the Labor Department.

Sara Nelson, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants, said that Sanders asked her for her support for the post and that she was happy to give it.

"He doesn't just understand labor and advocate for working people. He grounds his life in the labor ideals of solidarity, equity and leaving no one behind," Nelson said. "Bernie understands that you can't have a strong democracy or a thriving economy without a strong labor movement and power for working people to get a fair share of the value our labor creates."

Trumka is said to support Walsh, but he declined to say whom he's urging Biden to choose.

Trump's Labor Department, led by Eugene Scalia, son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who is a former management-side lawyer at a white-shoe law firm, has been largely missing in action during the Covid-19 pandemic, critics say.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has received more than 10,000 allegations of unsafe working conditions related to the virus, but it has issued few citations. And those amounted to "barely a slap on the wrist," the agency's former administrator told The New Yorker.

Weingarten said Biden believes unionization is a critical pathway to the middle class and important to rebalance an economic system that has tipped too much toward big corporations.

"You're talking about 40 years of eroding that collective sense of economic power," she said. "I think we'll see a resurgence in union organizing."

Weingarten is said to be under consideration for education secretary, along with other teachers union leaders (she declined to comment), which would be a reversal from not just the Trump administration, but also the Obama administration.
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#55
Well, okay, unions already have an issue with Biden, it seems:

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/11/16...den-436812

Quote:Union leaders are hoping to influence Joe Biden's pick for Labor secretary — but they're increasingly at odds over who should get the job.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and some of his organization’s largest affiliate unions are singing the praises of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who previously led the city’s Building and Construction Trades Council and could appeal to construction workers who supported President Donald Trump. But other unions in the federation are publicly pushing Rep. Andy Levin, a Michigan Democrat who worked as a labor organizer and ran the state’s job training program before he was elected.

The federation, which spans 56 unions representing over 12 million of the more-than 14 million unionized workers in the U.S., was supposed to discuss the potential Labor secretary pick and a possible endorsement at a meeting of union presidents who serve on its political committee on Friday. But that didn’t happen and another meeting hasn’t been scheduled, according to four people familiar with the conversations.

The split over Walsh and Levin was the reason why, one of the people said. “A number of the presidents were sort of furious at the whole thing," said the person, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive conversations.

Union leaders have long been expecting to hold sway in a Biden administration, given his support for workers' right to organize — and the Labor Department will play the leading role in implementing Biden’s sweeping pro-worker agenda, making the role an obvious choice for organized labor to weigh in. Biden met on Monday with Trumka and the heads of Service Employees International Union, United Auto Workers, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and United Food and Commercial Workers.
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#56
Canceling the first $50,000 in student debt via executive order would be nice (this tweet's from early November, for the record):

https://twitter.com/AlxThomp/status/1323709500419956737

Quote:Chuck Schumer to @AnandWrites: 
argues for an FDR-like first 100 days.
Says they will focus on: 
climate
$15 minimum wage
infrastructure bill that will also employee ppl w/ prison records
student debt cancellation via executive order
immigration

https://the.ink/p/schumer

[Image: El7CRSnWMAYkpim?format=png&name=900x900]
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#57
(11-17-2020, 01:21 AM)Iron Maiden Wrote: Canceling the first $50,000 in student debt via executive order would be nice (this tweet's from early November, for the record):

https://twitter.com/AlxThomp/status/1323709500419956737

Quote:Chuck Schumer to @AnandWrites: 
argues for an FDR-like first 100 days.
Says they will focus on: 
climate
$15 minimum wage
infrastructure bill that will also employee ppl w/ prison records
student debt cancellation via executive order
immigration

https://the.ink/p/schumer

[Image: El7CRSnWMAYkpim?format=png&name=900x900]

It'll probably help improve the economy so the Republicans will sue to high heaven. Screw them though. Biden needs to crow about every good bit of economy news for the next four years.
"You want a vision of the future?Imagine a boot stomping on a human face.....forever."
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#58
Andrew Yang touched on helping other people if Biden forgives a large portion of student debt:

https://twitter.com/AndrewYang/status/13...0975586304

Quote:I’m for large-scale forgiveness of student debt - we are above $1.6 trillion and it’s crushing far too many families. But only 35% of Americans go to college. You would want to do something for the other 65% too.

I'm not exactly saying the Biden administration is going to follow suit, but it would definitely help with the Republican narrative of "why about people who already paid off their student loans?" and whatnot.
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#59
If somehow GA sends two Democratic Senators to DC, Schumer needs to nuke the filibuster and just run with the ball for the first 2 years of a Biden term.   Because that's probably the window for Biden to get some serious work done.   Just ram, ram, ram those priorities through.
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#60
(11-17-2020, 11:52 AM)bigbrother Wrote:
(11-17-2020, 01:21 AM)Iron Maiden Wrote: Canceling the first $50,000 in student debt via executive order would be nice (this tweet's from early November, for the record):

https://twitter.com/AlxThomp/status/1323709500419956737

Quote:Chuck Schumer to @AnandWrites: 
argues for an FDR-like first 100 days.
Says they will focus on: 
climate
$15 minimum wage
infrastructure bill that will also employee ppl w/ prison records
student debt cancellation via executive order
immigration

https://the.ink/p/schumer

[Image: El7CRSnWMAYkpim?format=png&name=900x900]

It'll probably help improve the economy so the Republicans will sue to high heaven. Screw them though. Biden needs to crow about every good bit of economy news for the next four years.

Specifically in regards to student debt, while I would prefer that our nation simply invest wholesale in its younger generations, I always thought it would be an easier political sell if they first focused on paying for "general education" college credits.

Historically, this would account for roughly the first two years of your bachelor degree and for many would result in an AA degree.  This could be sold politically as simply an extension of our existing "general" K-12 education.  The pitch would be that the Feds would cover core economic curriculum, but you were on your own for your electives and major.

I have to wonder if the "cancel the first 50K" is designed to approximate this thinking. Canceling all student debt would result in a predictable backlash where the 'Pubs would cherry pick the most obnoxiously useless curriculum and use that as a poster child of "wHAt yOuR TaXEs pAId fOr?!?!!?!?"

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#61
I fucking called it:

Biden hopes to avoid divisive Trump investigations, preferring unity

Everyone thinking that Trump is going to jail - hell, even thinking he'll get prosecuted - are fooling themselves.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
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#62
I'll wait to see what an un-corrupted Justice Department makes of all the naked corruption and rampant criminality, but yeah, bleah. Still, New York is still a state that exists, and may they go for blood.
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#63
(11-17-2020, 03:19 PM)MichaelM Wrote: I fucking called it:

Biden hopes to avoid divisive Trump investigations, preferring unity

Everyone thinking that Trump is going to jail - hell, even thinking he'll get prosecuted - are fooling themselves.

I could see the sad calculous in all this.   72 million angry voters would be a thing.   However, I could see Biden not actively pursuing anything but also not getting in the way of any of the FBI investigations or state investigations that are most definitely going on.
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#64
(11-17-2020, 03:19 PM)MichaelM Wrote: I fucking called it:

Biden hopes to avoid divisive Trump investigations, preferring unity

Everyone thinking that Trump is going to jail - hell, even thinking he'll get prosecuted - are fooling themselves.

THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR TRUMP!!!  HE WON'T WRIGGLE OUT OF THIS ONE!!!!!!!

**I was ahead of the curve!  I never thought for one moment that anything meaningful would ever be done to Trump or his cronies.



(11-17-2020, 03:28 PM)commodorejohn Wrote: I'll wait to see what an un-corrupted Justice Department makes of all the naked corruption and rampant criminality, but yeah, bleah. Still, New York is still a state that exists, and may they go for blood.

New York ain't going to do jackshit without the support of the Feds.

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#65
New York already dismantled his "charity" while he was in office. The fuck they're not going to go after him once he's just another private citizen again.

Of course, he's going to be ruined anyway once all his loans come due in the next few years, but seriously.
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#66
We'll see, commo. He's the fucking Michael Myers/Jason of the political world in his ability to seemingly rebound and recover from what would've destroyed anyone else.

At this point, I just don't believe he'll experience any meaningful consequences.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
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#67
I hope to take great pleasure in reminding you that you were wrong in the near future, Michael.
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#68
(11-17-2020, 03:43 PM)commodorejohn Wrote: New York already dismantled his "charity" while he was in office. The fuck they're not going to go after him once he's just another private citizen again.

Of course, he's going to be ruined anyway once all his loans come due in the next few years, but seriously.

TRUMP WON'T WRIGGLE OUT OF THIS ONE!!!!



(11-17-2020, 03:58 PM)commodorejohn Wrote: I hope to take great pleasure in reminding you that you were wrong in the near future, Michael.

Not nearly as much pleasure as we would gain from being wrong on this particular topic.

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#69
I think both sides have some of the right of it. I don't expect to see actual criminal charges against any Trump brought by the federal government, or any charges that amount to more than some administrative fines and time served for some rando Acting Secretary of Whatever or, at the utmost, Rudy.

But on the civil side, I think Trump's businesses are going to get sued into oblivion, and his access to credit with any quasi-legitimate lender to be completely shot. His real estate companies will likely be sold off for parts over the next decade, and if he is to have a chance at making actual money he will need to get his MAGA media company up and running very quickly (so he can start running it into the ground).
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#70
If the Dem leadership doesn't take the opportunity to nail Trump to the wall and uncover every bit of corruption they can, they're just asking for it to bite them in the ass down the road.

Which is why that's exactly what will happen.
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