“A Dream Job for the Sort of Lawyer for Whom This Is a Dream Job.”

Looking for public interest legal work with a free-market, anti-class-action-abuse bent? The Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute may be the place for you. HLLI recently posted this job announcement that I thought might be of interest to some VC readers (and not only because we are mentioned in the announcement).

It reads, in part:

Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute is hiring an attorney! And it’s a dream job for the sort of lawyer for whom this is a dream job.

Maybe you’ve billed 250 hours this month on exceedingly silly discovery disputes and depositions, all for an ungrateful scaredy-cat client who’s just going to settle before any interesting legal issues can be resolved, and you’re wondering how you might ever get into court for something meaningful. Maybe Fed Jur was your favorite class and you recently aggravated a partner or judge by pointing out a jurisdictional defect in a year-old case. Maybe you’re a new parent, and really wish there was a job out there that gave you the flexibility to pick your hours, work from home, and still do interesting work with real responsibility. Or you just want more free time to write that law-review article (novel? screenplay?) before you transition into academia.

Maybe you got into law so you could make a difference, miss the law-school classes and Fed Soc panels and your clerkship where you thought about issues from first principles, and are frustrated being required to write briefs with kitchen-sink arguments that you know are tendentious, and would rather be trying to get the law right.

You know the difference between review for abuse of discretion and de novo review. You read Bryan Garner and the Volokh Conspiracy; you hate rent-seeking and love the free market; you know the difference between 24-point leading and MS-Word double-spacing. You read judicial opinions for fun. You’re not afraid to be in a courtroom where neither side wants to see you. You can do your own ECF filing, understand the PACER radio buttons, and draft the occasional discovery request without someone sitting on your shoulder. You’re itching to be thrown in the deep end. You hate cy pres and rent-seeking. You noticed that this paragraph says “rent-seeking” twice and would’ve edited it.

As for the organization posting the ad, HLLI, here’s some background:

HLLI stands for free markets, free speech, limited government, separation of powers, and against regulatory abuse and rent-seeking. We’re best known for our class-action objections through our Center for Class Action Fairness, but we also have successfully challenged FCC abuses in the D.C. Circuit, recently won a preliminary injunction on First Amendment grounds in federal district court in Pennsylvania, and are expending our public-interest wings.

HLLI does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, color, national origin, sexual orientation, era of military service, gender identity or expression, relationship structure, ninja identity, fast-food beverage preference, or anything else that’s illegal, immoral, or stupid to use as a basis for hiring. We may make fun of you if you like Pepsi, though.

This job may be for you. And if it isn’t, then it isn’t.

from Latest – Reason.com https://ift.tt/3sLcsGm
via IFTTT

China Appeals To “Kind Angels” Of Biden Administration, Blames Trump For “Burning Bridges”

China Appeals To “Kind Angels” Of Biden Administration, Blames Trump For “Burning Bridges”

China is hoping for a rapid ‘reset’ of sorts with Washington now with President Joe Biden in the White House. After state media headlines out of China on Tuesday into Wednesday said “Good Riddance Mr. Trump” as Xinhua wrote, Thursday’s tone out of the foreign ministry was markedly different.

While essentially placing sole blame on Trump and his top officials, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in the latest press briefing remarks that “kind angels can triumph over evil forces” in America.

“In the past years, the Trump administration, especially (former Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo, has laid too many mines that need to be removed, burned too many bridges that need to be rebuilt, damaged too many roads that need to be repaired,” Hua began.


Via Politico

“I believe if both countries put in the effort, the kind angels can triumph over evil forces,” she told a daily briefing Thursday. Her word choice was then featured across state media headlines.

Speaking specifically on Biden’s inaugural speech Wednesday, Hua added:

“President Biden also mentioned in his inauguration speech that Americans have much to heal, much to restore. This is exactly what China-U.S. relations need.”

However, there’s little doubt that China was miffed at the fact that Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to Washington had been officially invited to attend and was present for the inauguration. 

Related to growing tensions centered on both Taiwan and Hong Kong, China had slapped sanctions on a who’s who of top outgoing Trump administration officials on Wednesday. Significantly, 28 Trump admin figures will be permanently barred from travel or doing business either on the Chinese mainland or Hong Kong.

“China announces decision to sanction 28 U.S. figures who it alleged to have severely violated China’s sovereignty, including officials in the Trump administration, according to a statement from the Chinese foreign ministry,” Bloomberg reported shortly after Biden took the oath of office Wednesday.

When asked about the dramatic act of ‘revenge’ against the Trump people, Biden’s administration called the move “unproductive and cynical,” according to Reuters. But it’s also very likely that many within the new administration are quietly gleeful over the severe restrictions regarding doing any business in China or Hong Kong by the targeted Trump officials.

Tyler Durden
Thu, 01/21/2021 – 18:20

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/361b7Sd Tyler Durden

“A Dream Job for the Sort of Lawyer for Whom This Is a Dream Job.”

Looking for public interest legal work with a free-market, anti-class-action-abuse bent? The Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute may be the place for you. HLLI recently posted this job announcement that I thought might be of interest to some VC readers (and not only because we are mentioned in the announcement).

It reads, in part:

Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute is hiring an attorney! And it’s a dream job for the sort of lawyer for whom this is a dream job.

Maybe you’ve billed 250 hours this month on exceedingly silly discovery disputes and depositions, all for an ungrateful scaredy-cat client who’s just going to settle before any interesting legal issues can be resolved, and you’re wondering how you might ever get into court for something meaningful. Maybe Fed Jur was your favorite class and you recently aggravated a partner or judge by pointing out a jurisdictional defect in a year-old case. Maybe you’re a new parent, and really wish there was a job out there that gave you the flexibility to pick your hours, work from home, and still do interesting work with real responsibility. Or you just want more free time to write that law-review article (novel? screenplay?) before you transition into academia.

Maybe you got into law so you could make a difference, miss the law-school classes and Fed Soc panels and your clerkship where you thought about issues from first principles, and are frustrated being required to write briefs with kitchen-sink arguments that you know are tendentious, and would rather be trying to get the law right.

You know the difference between review for abuse of discretion and de novo review. You read Bryan Garner and the Volokh Conspiracy; you hate rent-seeking and love the free market; you know the difference between 24-point leading and MS-Word double-spacing. You read judicial opinions for fun. You’re not afraid to be in a courtroom where neither side wants to see you. You can do your own ECF filing, understand the PACER radio buttons, and draft the occasional discovery request without someone sitting on your shoulder. You’re itching to be thrown in the deep end. You hate cy pres and rent-seeking. You noticed that this paragraph says “rent-seeking” twice and would’ve edited it.

As for the organization posting the ad, HLLI, here’s some background:

HLLI stands for free markets, free speech, limited government, separation of powers, and against regulatory abuse and rent-seeking. We’re best known for our class-action objections through our Center for Class Action Fairness, but we also have successfully challenged FCC abuses in the D.C. Circuit, recently won a preliminary injunction on First Amendment grounds in federal district court in Pennsylvania, and are expending our public-interest wings.

HLLI does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, color, national origin, sexual orientation, era of military service, gender identity or expression, relationship structure, ninja identity, fast-food beverage preference, or anything else that’s illegal, immoral, or stupid to use as a basis for hiring. We may make fun of you if you like Pepsi, though.

This job may be for you. And if it isn’t, then it isn’t.

from Latest – Reason.com https://ift.tt/3sLcsGm
via IFTTT

New Administration “Moving in Laser Like Fashion” to Uncover “Even Libertarians” in “an Unholy Alliance”

From his appearance on MSNBC yesterday (I quote from the transcript):

We are now looking forward that the members of the Biden team who have been nominated or have been appointed, are now moving in laser like fashion to try to uncover as much as they can about what looks very similar to insurgency movements that we’ve seen overseas, where they germinate in different parts of the country and they gain strength and it brings together an unholy alliance frequently of religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, Nativists, even libertarians.

from Latest – Reason.com https://ift.tt/2XZJl4b
via IFTTT

Joe Biden Doesn’t Want to Be Another ‘Deporter in Chief’

dpaphotosfour904474

President Barack Obama deported more immigrants than any U.S. executive leader in modern history. Then came Donald Trump, who went on to beat his predecessor in showing less mercy toward immigrants—no small feat, and one he undertook openly and honestly.

President Joe Biden, who was sworn in yesterday and served as veep to the “deporter in chief” for eight years, can best be described as a consensus politician. And if the last few years are any indication, the two-party consensus on immigration remains deeply flawed. Still, if Biden is willing to buck the status quo in this area, that’s a welcome sign.

On his first day in the Oval Office, the new president directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to issue a 100-day moratorium on deportations for various non-citizens. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may still remove immigrants who engaged in or are suspected of engaging in terrorism, those who are a danger to national security, those who were not yet in the country on November 1, 2020, and those who have waived rights to be in America. ICE’s acting director may also move to deport someone as “required by law” after conferring with the agency’s general counsel, DHS noted in a memo.

Both Obama and Trump cast a wide net when it came to deportation policy. The former’s list included national security threats and individuals convicted of grave crimes, both of which generally make sense. But he also zeroed in on scores of immigrants who committed minor, nonviolent crimes—including traffic violations—or had no record at all. This after promising that his administration would focus on people who were a menace to society, as opposed to “folks who are here just because they’re trying to figure out how to feed their families.”

The majority of Obama’s deportations, however, fell under that very group. And, as promised on the 2016 campaign trail, Trump shoved aside essentially any limitations on deportations and instituted a “zero-tolerance” policy at the southern border.

According to the DHS memo, the 100-day pause will allow the government to “ensure that our removal resources are directed to the Department’s highest enforcement priorities.” How the Biden administration plans to proceed in the long-term is still unclear.

On the campaign trail, the candidate initially resisted the moratorium and said in November of 2019 that he would prioritize deportations solely for those who were convicted of “a felony or serious crime.” Such an outline may theoretically make sense, though it depends on how Biden, a former drug warrior, defines a “serious crime.”

One offense that was big enough to merit deportation by both Obama and Trump: the mere act of crossing the border without papers. That’s a Band-Aid at best and glosses over the root of the problem, which is that a high school graduate from Mexico will wait more than 100 years on average before the U.S. permits them to come here legally. When you make it impossible to do it the “right” way, is it any wonder some opt for a different route?

from Latest – Reason.com https://ift.tt/3c1hSqQ
via IFTTT

Anti-Trump “Oversight Board” To Determine Whether Trump Will Regain Access To Facebook

Anti-Trump “Oversight Board” To Determine Whether Trump Will Regain Access To Facebook

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

Facebook has announced it will leave the decision on whether or not to uphold Donald Trump’s suspension to its “oversight board,” a body that includes a Muslim Brotherhood activist and a leftist who once publicly made Barron Trump the butt of a crass joke.

Who could possibly predict what’s coming next?

Facebook suspended Trump for 2 weeks after the Capitol building incident and has now extended the suspension, although it hasn’t yet gone as far as Twitter in permanently removing Trump’s account.

In a statement released today, the social media behemoth said it would put the decision on whether to restore Trump’s access (and potentially permanently removing his account) in the hands of it’s “independent” Oversight Board.

“Given its significance, we think it is important for the board to review it and reach an independent judgment on whether it should be upheld. While we await the board’s decision, Mr. Trump’s access will remain suspended indefinitely,” said Nick Clegg, Facebook’s VP of global affairs and communications.

While Facebook and the mainstream media continue to refer to the Oversight Board as “independent,” it is full of anti-Trump technocrats, academics and activists.

As we highlighted last year, one of the board’s most influential members is Pamela Karlan, a leftist who infamously made Barron Trump the punch line of a joke during President Trump’s impeachment hearings.


“The Constitution states that there can be no titles of nobility,” said Karlan during the rant.

“So while the president can name his son Barron, he can’t MAKE him a baron.”

Melania Trump responded to the attack on Barron, a minor, by telling Karlan she “should be ashamed” of herself. The Trump administration called Karlan’s statement “disgusting” and she subsequently apologized.

Karlan also once described herself as a “snarky, bisexual, Jewish women” and was described by the New York Times as a “full-throated, unapologetic liberal torchbearer.”

Another member of Facebook’s Oversight Board is Tawakkol Karman, an enthusiastic supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization that has been blamed for terrorist attacks in the Middle East.

They both sound so “independent”! Trump is surely guaranteed to get his Facebook account back.

As we previously highlighted, despite Parler being banned from the Internet over its alleged role in the Capitol building attack, it subsequently emerged that the siege had in fact been overwhelmingly facilitated by Facebook.

*  *  *

New limited edition merch now available! Click here. In the age of mass Silicon Valley censorship It is crucial that we stay in touch. I need you to sign up for my free newsletter here. Support my sponsor – Turbo Force – a supercharged boost of clean energy without the comedown. Also, I urgently need your financial support here.

Tyler Durden
Thu, 01/21/2021 – 18:00

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/393xHLK Tyler Durden

New Administration “Moving in Laser Like Fashion” to Uncover “Even Libertarians” in “an Unholy Alliance”

From his appearance on MSNBC yesterday (I quote from the transcript):

We are now looking forward that the members of the Biden team who have been nominated or have been appointed, are now moving in laser like fashion to try to uncover as much as they can about what looks very similar to insurgency movements that we’ve seen overseas, where they germinate in different parts of the country and they gain strength and it brings together an unholy alliance frequently of religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, Nativists, even libertarians.

from Latest – Reason.com https://ift.tt/2XZJl4b
via IFTTT

Joe Biden Doesn’t Want to Be Another ‘Deporter in Chief’

dpaphotosfour904474

President Barack Obama deported more immigrants than any U.S. executive leader in modern history. Then came Donald Trump, who went on to beat his predecessor in showing less mercy toward immigrants—no small feat, and one he undertook openly and honestly.

President Joe Biden, who was sworn in yesterday and served as veep to the “deporter in chief” for eight years, can best be described as a consensus politician. And if the last few years are any indication, the two-party consensus on immigration remains deeply flawed. Still, if Biden is willing to buck the status quo in this area, that’s a welcome sign.

On his first day in the Oval Office, the new president directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to issue a 100-day moratorium on deportations for various non-citizens. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may still remove immigrants who engaged in or are suspected of engaging in terrorism, those who are a danger to national security, those who were not yet in the country on November 1, 2020, and those who have waived rights to be in America. ICE’s acting director may also move to deport someone as “required by law” after conferring with the agency’s general counsel, DHS noted in a memo.

Both Obama and Trump cast a wide net when it came to deportation policy. The former’s list included national security threats and individuals convicted of grave crimes, both of which generally make sense. But he also zeroed in on scores of immigrants who committed minor, nonviolent crimes—including traffic violations—or had no record at all. This after promising that his administration would focus on people who were a menace to society, as opposed to “folks who are here just because they’re trying to figure out how to feed their families.”

The majority of Obama’s deportations, however, fell under that very group. And, as promised on the 2016 campaign trail, Trump shoved aside essentially any limitations on deportations and instituted a “zero-tolerance” policy at the southern border.

According to the DHS memo, the 100-day pause will allow the government to “ensure that our removal resources are directed to the Department’s highest enforcement priorities.” How the Biden administration plans to proceed in the long-term is still unclear.

On the campaign trail, the candidate initially resisted the moratorium and said in November of 2019 that he would prioritize deportations solely for those who were convicted of “a felony or serious crime.” Such an outline may theoretically make sense, though it depends on how Biden, a former drug warrior, defines a “serious crime.”

One offense that was big enough to merit deportation by both Obama and Trump: the mere act of crossing the border without papers. That’s a Band-Aid at best and glosses over the root of the problem, which is that a high school graduate from Mexico will wait more than 100 years on average before the U.S. permits them to come here legally. When you make it impossible to do it the “right” way, is it any wonder some opt for a different route?

from Latest – Reason.com https://ift.tt/3c1hSqQ
via IFTTT

Despite Record Year, Wall Street Firms Refuse To Hike Banker Pay

Despite Record Year, Wall Street Firms Refuse To Hike Banker Pay

Two days ago, when reporting on Goldman’s blockbuster Q4 earnings report (and again, the the next day with Morgan Stanley just as impressive results), we pointed out that even as bank revenues soared on the back of the pandemic profit bonanza, employee comp was in fact declining and was, at best, flat, saying “higher bank revenues and much lower comp: this is the end of an era for  bankers/traders who used to share in firm upside”

We were confident some major financial outlet would promptly piggyback on this observation, and this morning Bloomberg did not let us down, and in a report titled “Wall Street Gets Frugal With Employees After Pandemic Windfall”, it wrote that despite what turned out to be a record year for most top banks, “average pay per employee rose $271 at top U.S. banks last year” and “even where revenue soared, compensation costs rose much less.”

To be sure, ahead of Q4 earnings there were conflicting reports with some predicting a decline for traders and dealmakers, in some cases as much as 30%, while others expecting a modest increase for top performers (especially among for hedge funds), but now that the results are in, it’s not pretty. Quote Bloomberg:

Deluged by client orders and often working from home, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s workforce generated 15% more revenue per employee during the tumult of 2020. But as the year wound down, the firm had spent an average of just 2% more on each person.

Inside JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s investment bank, revenue per employee surged 22%. The figure for pay: up 1%.

Then again, perhaps it’s just a case of lumping all bankers within the same compensation line. To be sure, few big U.S. banks disclose figures revealing how they compensated Wall Street-oriented workforces, and especially when it comes to compensation broken down by various segments. And while it is very likely that the superstar traders and rainmakers will get a raise and/or generous year-end bonuses, the prevailing image across banks was one of surprising pay restraint:

Earnings reports in recent days underscored anew how hard 2020’s tumult battered other business lines such as lending, where banks stockpiled tens of billions to cover bad loans. Despite the flurry of activity on Wall Street, total revenue at the nation’s six banking giants was little changed last year. The group boosted average pay per employee by a mere $271.

One possible reason for the stingy comp is that these same firms that enjoyed a bumper year thanks to the covid lockdowns – which left millions unemployed – are bracing for tougher times in Washington, where Democrats “skeptical” of large financial-industry paychecks are ascendant. As Bloomberg notes, “from President Joe Biden’s recent picks of veteran watchdogs — such as Gary Gensler for the Securities and Exchange Commission and Rohit Chopra for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — to his focus on inequality, there are signs the industry faces both tougher scrutiny and regulation.”

The changing of the guard may further embolden lawmakers and other critics who want to publish more data on industry wages, curb pay for chief executive officers and restrict bonuses that could encourage risk-taking.

“The optics aren’t good right now for large payouts”, Mayra Rodriguez Valladares, a former analyst at the NY Fed who now trains bankers and regulators through her consulting firm, MRV Associates, told Bloomberg. “The more you reward the big lenders, the big traders, they take on more risk,” which would attract criticism, she said. Well, yes, but it would also attract bailouts so in the end everyone wins. Except taxpayers of course.

While we expect most bankers to be furious for not getting a substantial raise to match the surging revenue of their employers, the news should probably not be a surprise, and as Bloomberg adds hints “have been emerging for weeks that some banks would opt to keep a lid on compensation for Wall Street operations pulling in loads of cash, ending a years-long period in which revenue and compensation have generally moved by similar degrees.”

By late November, Bank of America Corp. executives were discussing proposals to keep its bonus pool for sales and trading at the prior year’s level. By December, Citigroup aimed to leave its overall pot unchanged for equities, while boosting it for bond traders by at least 10%. More-generous increases approaching 20% were under discussion in Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, but even there, the thinking was that moves would vary widely.

In the end, however, the news was bad with Goldman’s earnings showing the firm cut the share of revenue it spent on compensation to 30% last year, down from about 34% or more in the prior three years. At JPMorgan’s corporate and investment banking division the ratio fell to just 24%, down from 28% in those earlier years. Morgan Stanley also shaved two percentage points off its compensation ratio.

Asked about the drop in comp, Goldman CFO Stephen Scherr said that “our philosophy remains to pay for performance, and we are committed to compensating top talent. Our full year compensation ratio is at a record low, reflecting the operating leverage in our franchise. As we have said in the past, we view the compensation ratio metric as less relevant to the firm as we build new scale platform businesses.”

As Bloomberg concludes, the last time revenue growth and compensation growth diverged so wildly was in 2009, when Wall Street earnings rebounded from the 2008 financial crisis amid a withering public backlash against the industry’s pay practices. Critics of the industry’s excesses have kept a close eye on bonus trends ever since although Wall Street promptly resumed its generous ways as the post-GFC recovery continued on the back of QE1, QE2, QE3 and so on.

Ironically, the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act set the stage for stage for much heavier regulation of executive compensation, but several of its key rules were never fully adopted by the Obama administration (which, as a reminder, received generous donations from Wall Street). The prohibition on incentive-based payment arrangements that can encourage inappropriate risk-taking by bankers still hasn’t yet been finalized. And while some major banks have voluntarily instituted clawback provisions since the 2008 crisis, few have used them.

That may change now: Rodriguez Valladares expects policy makers will pay more attention to the gaps in pay between senior executives and employees on the lower rungs.

“Where legislators can play a very good role is to say: ‘Well hang on, you’re getting paid 100 times more than your teller, why is that?’” she said. “‘And you’ve been underpaying these people, so pay them more.’”

That’s one angle; the other is that with much more scrutiny on Wall Street pay now, bankers – who used to leverage potential job offers from competitors – will now be stuck, both at home and in the current position since few others can offer generous pay raises, certainly not the hedge funds who are shuttering left and right as they continue to underperform not only the market but the average 16-year-old Robinhood trader.

Tyler Durden
Thu, 01/21/2021 – 17:40

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3sLYLak Tyler Durden

Deist: What Biden/Harris Will Do

Deist: What Biden/Harris Will Do

Authored by Jeff Deist via The Misess Institute,

Paraphrasing the late Murray Rothbard, the “two party” system in America during the twentieth century worked something like this: Democrats engineered the Great Leaps Forward, and Republicans consolidated the gains.

Wilson, Roosevelt, and Johnson were the transformative presidents; Eisenhower, Nixon, and Reagan offered only rhetoric and weak tea compromises. In politics, being for something always beats being against something, and Republicans were never much against expanding federal power provided they had a place at the trough.

George W. Bush challenged this dynamic in the early twenty-first century. Despite his own intellectual incuriosity, he used the terrorist events of 9-11 to advance a particularly noxious “conservative” foreign policy and justify a growing domestic surveillance state. The results were plenty transformative, from the Ashcroft/Yoo doctrine of unitary executive power to initiating two disastrous Middle East wars. Renditions, CIA black sites, waterboarding, and Guantanamo Bay all became part of the national lexicon. And everyone got paid, from Big Pharma in the form of a Medicare Part D drug benefit to teachers’ union bureaucrats supporting the Bush–Ted Kennedy alliance known as No Child Left Behind. Throw in the Orwellian Department of Homeland Security and its Transportation Security Administration, and Bush’s most visible legacy may be forever ruining air travel in America.

Donald Trump is no George W. Bush. Today, despite all his bluster and the Left’s absolute derangement toward him, Donald Trump leaves office as a caretaker president. His real record, not his rhetoric and Twitter persona, will prove to be astonishingly in keeping with the DC status quo. His America First talk on jobs and trade, his schizophrenic foreign policy, his actual actions with respect to immigration policy, and even his vaunted tax cuts were not all that different in substance than anything Hillary Clinton might have done. Trump’s difference was tone, not substance, but along with his outsider status that was enough to earn him the vicious enmity of the Swamp.

We have essentially endured a four-year national paroxysm over nothing, and for nothing. Think about that. All of this hate and division was not rooted in “policy” whatsoever, but in the political class’s hatred and contempt for even purely rhetorical challenges to its power.

So what will the Biden/Harris administration do?

For starters, they will assume only cowed opposition from the Mitch McConnell GOP. As Trump departs, national Republicans are eager and relieved to return to their role as the polite warmonger loser caucus. The party looks to wash away any vestiges of Trumpism and embrace the leadership of atavistic figures like Mitt Romney, Liz Cheney, and Nikki Haley.

But Joe Biden and Kamala Harris clearly smell blood after recent events at the US Capitol and their Senate victories in Georgia, looking to fully repudiate Trump and hang the GOP in the process. More importantly, they are under tremendous pressure from their left progressive flank, having relied on Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren supporters while championing Antifa, BLM, and LGBT causes as centerpieces of their campaign. 

Therefore we should expect a muscular progressive agenda advanced by Biden, some of it in the first hundred days via executive orders of dubious legality. Helpfully, incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain issued a memo outlining all the robust actions Biden will take immediately to remove any whiff of Donald Trump’s presence from the Beltway.

We should expect national covid mandates and lockdowns, aggressive climate change regulations, Medicare for All legislation, student loan forgiveness, and a host of federal rules perversely focused on race, gender, and sexuality in government, schools, workplaces, and corporate boardrooms. Amnesty for immigrants will be front and center, along with DC and Puerto Rican statehood. Supreme Court packing will be a particularly contentious topic, as many Democrats think two Trump appointees are illegitimate and conservatives in the Senate see the judicial branch as the last bulwark against the Left. 

As for taxes, the word is UP. They’re going up. But despite his campaign promises, one suspects the Biden administration will slow play any capital gains tax hikes. An awful lot of blue state Americans enjoyed big stock market gains in 2020, and this may temper their enthusiasm for overcoming wealth inequality. Also telling will be whether Biden in fact pushes to change the particular tax rules for private equity firms known as “carried interest.” And he will rush to restore the full deductibility of state income taxes, which the Trump tax bill limited, injuring wealthy taxpayers in high-tax blue states. After all, he knows his base.

Kamala Harris is the wildcard in this story. Has any US president in modern history been elected with the widespread expectation he would not complete his term in office? Not only will Mr. Biden be the oldest chief executive elected, but he clearly shows signs of cognitive decline and often stumbles to find words—as one would expect of a man his age. Harris’s presidential campaign raised an uninspiring $40 million, more than half of which came from wealthy donors. She failed to generate excitement both in polls and at the ballot box, underperforming with her party’s left flank and failing to win a single Democratic delegate or primary. Virtually no Democrats voted for her to become president.

By virtue of her age and status as a “person of color,” Harris certainly leans left of her boss. He is the old war-horse for corporate Delaware; she is the youngish hip senator from progressive California. But if Joe Biden dies or steps down—both reasonably possible over the next four years—Harris surely becomes a transformative figure.

Either way, the Biden administration inherits a political landscape wildly favorable to it. Politicians, journalists, CEOs, and people of all political stripes (including libertarians) celebrate the deplatforming and unpersoning of Trump, making clear their contempt for and desire to punish his supporters.

Democratic socialists now discover their love of discrimination by “private companies,” supporting Deep Tech purges of recalcitrant voices or anyone who dares question election legitimacy. Alternative social media site Parler takes “build your own platform” to heart, only to be excluded by Android and Apple app stores and kicked off its Amazon web hosting. BLM/Antifa activists who spent the summer burning buildings and calling for city police departments to disband sound like Nixonian champions of law and order when it comes to the halls of Congress. And left progressives learn to Love the Bomb as they cheer the military occupation of DC with twenty-five thousand National Guard soldiers over a nonexistent threat to Biden’s virtual inauguration (look for permanent stationing of troops around Capitol Hill, like in any good banana republic). Fencing now surrounds the sacred Capitol building; apparently walls do work to keep mere citizens a good distance away from the “People’s House.” 

Meanwhile populism, that dirtiest of dirty words used to describe democracy when the wrong guy wins, is entirely warranted when elites fail this badly. It won’t just go away. If the Biden administration really wants to create a de facto class of political dissidents, particularly among the flyover Deplorables, they may find resistance to their new Reconstruction(!) stronger than they imagine. Populists are not insurrectionists or traitors, nor are they domestic terrorists. And politically vanquished people regroup and resurface in different forms, sometimes virulent forms.

Is mass democracy across a country of 330 million people the answer? Is any degree of subsidiarity permissible, to allow for local control and greater social cohesion? Or must states fully and finally become glorified federal counties, archaic throwbacks to old conceptions of America? If Biden or Harris truly wants to transform America, these are the questions they must grapple with. The Left is in no mood for reconciliation with Trump supporters, but punishment is not a policy. It is the act of tyrants.

Tyler Durden
Thu, 01/21/2021 – 17:20

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/35ZNrgQ Tyler Durden