Posts Tagged ‘Joe Biden’
August 1st, 2011 at 9:33 pm
Biden Downgrades the Vice Presidency
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Oh, for the halcyon days when the vice presidency was a sinecure, in the (paraphrased) words of John Nance Garner, “not worth a bucket of warm (spit).” The current presidency and the two preceding it, however, have seen our nation’s deputy-executive take on growing prominence and prestige. Which was all well and good until Joe Biden arrived on the scene. Here’s how Politico reports Biden’s take on the conservative negotiating stance during the debt ceiling debate:

Vice President Joe Biden joined House Democrats in lashing tea party Republicans Monday, accusing them of having “acted like terrorists” in the fight over raising the nation’s debt limit, according to several sources in the room.

There are two lessons here. The first is that “terrorist” is the new “nazi”; an epithet that the boorish and unimaginative throw around with no regard to the gravity of genuine evil and suffering. The second is that Biden is an extraordinarily imprudent man. While comments like his don’t deserve an airing anywhere, an experienced politician like the VP should know that they’re especially dangerous in a room full of potential leakers — especially when the consequence of a leak could be to dismantle the legislative coalition needed to pass an essential piece of legislation.

With news that the House has passed the compromise debt agreement, Biden has dodged the bullet of having his words derail a grand bargain. But he’s far from being out the woods. Now that he’s alienated the lion’s share of the Republican Caucus, don’t expect to see the VP chairing any more bipartisan task forces on Capitol Hill in the future. The vice presidency may now return to its historical role — attending state funerals and welcoming Girl Scout troops to the Rose Garden. Who said nothing good would come out of the debt ceiling debate?

July 21st, 2011 at 2:01 pm
Bachmann’s Migraines Do Not Require ‘Heavy Pill Use’

Troy’s earlier point about the media creating a false story about presidential candidate Michele Bachmann (R-MN) being a pill-popping migraine sufferer is borne out by reporting from Byron York.  Citing what amounts to a doctor’s note from the resident physician in the House of Representatives (released with Bachmann’s permission), York says:

The doctor says Bachmann has had “an extensive evaluation by both my office and by a board-certified consulting neurologist.”  That evaluation, he continues, “has entailed detailed labwork and brain scans, all of which were normal.”  Monahan says Bachmann’s migraines occur “infrequently,” and that when she does have a headache, she is “able to control it well with as-needed sumatriptan and odasentron.”  Monahan says Bachmann has not needed to take the medication daily.  The two drugs, he adds, are “commonly used therapies.”

With that behind us, let’s get news that really matters, like whether Joe Biden’s botox habit is compromising his ability to advise (or possible succeed!) the president.

March 18th, 2011 at 4:37 pm
The State of the Union in One Paragraph
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From the opening graph of a story in today’s Washington Times:

As a thank-you to its most famous customer, Amtrak is renaming the train station in Wilmington, Del., after stimulus “sheriff” Vice President Joseph R. Biden — after the project received $20 million in stimulus money and came in $5.7 million over the initial announced budget.

October 29th, 2010 at 4:02 pm
Video: A Liberal Halloween
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Wondering what some liberal icons will be wearing this Halloween?  CFIF’s Renee Giachino presents you with a speculative guide on what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Vice President Joe Biden and others with be posing as this October 31.


September 17th, 2010 at 6:32 pm
Alaska’s Murkowski is the Last Frontier’s Charlie Crist

Where’s the party unity?  Florida’s Charlie Crist morphed into an Independent when it became clear Marco Rubio would be the Republican Senate nominee.  To date, Delaware’s Mike Castle hasn’t called to pledge his support to GOP nominee Christine O’Donnell.  (Though he did find time to take phone calls from both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.)

And today, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski announced she would reject the judgment of her fellow Republicans and run as a write-in candidate after losing her reelection primary to Joe Miller.

Here we go again.  While the conservatives always fall in line, it’s the Republican Party’s moderates that are refusing to put their own political interests at the service of party unity.

Wake me up when it’s November…

September 4th, 2010 at 1:00 pm
Obama Should Bring Back White House Fact Checkers

In one of the most telling departures from the previous Administration, Obama officials decided to eliminate the White House’s fact-checking team soon after taking office.  After President George W. Bush received heavy criticism for 16 words he said in his 2003 State of the Union Address, The Decider decided to hire a team of fact checkers to confirm the validity of every word the president spoke to the public.

The result was a process that killed any portion of presidential remarks that couldn’t be 100% verified.  The moral of the story: facts matter.  At least they did to the last occupant of the White House.

Now it seems like facts are inconveniences that can be swept under the rug.  That is, unless their absence appears on top of the new Oval Office rug in the form of a misattributed quote.  On President Obama’s redesigned floor emblem appears the quote “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”  Though it’s attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr., it actually belongs to antebellum abolitionist Theodore Parker.

Unlike Vice President Joe Biden, King didn’t forget to give credit for a line he made his own.  Next time, Mr. President, get the facts straight before you commit taxpayer money to honor something that isn’t true.

February 13th, 2010 at 10:31 pm
Biden Rebutting Cheney Almost as Humorous as Cheney v. Edwards

According to Politico, the White House thinks dispatching Vice President Joe Biden to rebut Dick Cheney on tomorrow’s Sunday talk shows will make the Obama Administration look good.  Joe’s funny, but he’s no Dick Cheney.  Too bad the former VP won’t have the opportunity to debate Biden head-on, like he did in 2004 with John Edwards.  If you’d like a reminder, here’s the link.

January 25th, 2010 at 1:13 pm
Democrats Continue to Jump Ship
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The parade of horribles continues for the Democratic Party.  After losing their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate last week and witnessing an important victory for free speech, Democrats now have to face another retirement.

Marion Berry (no relation to the local politician in Washington, D.C.) announced that he would not seek reelection this year.  Berry represents Arkansas’ First District in the northeast part of the state.  President Obama garnered just 38 percent of the vote there in 2008, so Berry’s seat looks to be a prime pickup opportunity for the GOP.

In other news, Joe Biden’s son, Beau, announced that he would not be a candidate for his father’s former Senate seat, now held by Edward Kaufman.  Kaufman is not considered to be a challenger this November either, leaving another vulnerable Senate seat for the Democrats.

Click here for a full list of departing Members of Congress.

December 2nd, 2009 at 12:39 pm
Democrat Admits Health Bill Costs $2.5 Trillion
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Senator Max Baucus caught some of Joe Biden’s foot-in-mouth disease today when he admitted the Senate health care bill would cost $2.5 trillion, far more than what CBO estimated and propoents of the legislation have been touting.  Taxpayers should be thankful for Baucus’ loose lips.

The CBO cost estimate priced the Senate legislation at $848 billion, but that figure does not represent the full cost of the mandates on individuals and employers.  In addition, the bill masks the true cost of the legislation because it doesn’t begin to subsidize health care until 2014.

As Senator Baucus reveals, the true cost of the legislation over a 10-year period is much higher.

Just for a second … health care reform, whether you use a ten-year number or when you start in 2010 or start in 2014, whenever you start at, so it is still either $1 trillion or it’s $2.5 trillion, depending on where you start…

October 24th, 2009 at 2:15 pm
Is Dick Cheney Wearing a Joe Biden Mask?

In the growing rift between the Obama Administration and its military advisors, reports are surfacing that Vice President Joe Biden is upset with General Stanley McChrystal for making a closed door presentation to NATO defense ministers. In the briefing McChrystal explained his rationale for increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan. Apparently, the defense ministers liked what they heard.

Here was Biden’s reaction:

Diplomatic sources say NATO endorsement of General McChrystal has led to anger in the Biden camp. They had criticized the commander for promoting his strategy, including a visit to London, while President Barack Obama is still weighing up the options.”

In short, Biden thinks the best way to win in Afghanistan is to reduce the number of troops there while implementing a counter-terrorism plan that expands the war into neighboring Pakistan, since that is where some members of al-Qaeda are based. McChrystal, on the other hand, wants to introduce 20,000 to 40,000 new troops and pursue a counter-insurgency strategy that would focus on eliminating the security threat inside Afghanistan. And yet, Biden is seen as the White House official most in favor of de-escalating America’s military involvement in the region.

If Joe Biden was Dick Cheney, would the Vice President’s aggressive push to expand the theater of war while reducing the number of ground troops be reported on as a moderate approach?  Well, at least the White House can’t be faulted for ignoring the advice of their military experts and applying its own ideological notions of sound war planning…

October 13th, 2009 at 2:02 pm
Clinton and Gates to the Rescue?
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The New York Times carries a very interesting piece this morning on the influence that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates have had on the Obama Administration’s foreign policy. In a nutshell, they’ve kept it from total insanity.

According to the Times’ Mark Landler and Thom Shanker, the dynamic duo were responsible for preventing the public release of further prisoner abuse photos, as well as for shepherding the decision to pursue a counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan. While the two are woefully behind the curve on Iran (as I noted of Gates here), they still represent the toughest line in the administration.

What’s troubling about all this, however, is the piece’s (unsourced) prognostication of where Clinton and Gates will end up on the current debate over Afghanistan:

Now, as President Obama leads yet another debate on whether to deploy tens of thousands of additional troops there, the secretary of state and the secretary of defense will once again constitute a critical voting bloc, the likely leaders of an argument for a middle ground between a huge influx of soldiers and a narrow focus aimed at killing terrorists from Al Qaeda, according to several administration officials.”

“That swing vote would put them at odds with the bare-bones approach still being pushed by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., as well as the most aggressive military buildup recommended by the American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal.”

On this one, Clinton and Gates are taking a dangerous turn. Playing for a tie in Afghanistan is the worst of all possible worlds. While the so-called “Biden Plan” mistakenly applies a counterterrorism strategy to a counterinsurgency problem, at least it doesn’t escalate without the resources necessary for victory. Clinton and Gates are looking for a middle way … but in Afghanistan the options are go big or go home.