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AFF Sentinel-Vol 20#13-The President and Ruling Party Do Matter

The Progressive Disease Creeps In Everywhere

Steve Dittmer | AFF Sentinel

Colorado Springs, CO

Originally sent to subscribers 03/24/23

We’ve written before about Biden’s executive orders effectively dictating to federal agencies how to carry out his agenda. The orders set the agenda, tell agencies what to push, how to slant the story and what and whom to regulate or deny permits for business and taxpayer/citizens. For example, his orders have shaped the emphasis USDA has been putting on sustainability, green energy, social justice and -- more nuts and bolts -- his ideas about competition, labeling and anti-trust issues.

We told you last time about a bill (HR7151) introduced to rein in the administration’s efforts to push financial institutions into putting his green energy and social justice directives ahead of the financial interests of investors and depositors.

But another bill to address the same line of thinking had passed in both Houses of Congress. Biden vetoed legislation that would block the Department of Labor’s rule that allows retirement plan fiduciaries to consider environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues as they make investment decisions. That was Biden’s first veto in two years in office, because it didn’t spend more money on his far left agenda and would have protected citizens and taxpayers.

Can’t have that.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has had plenty to say about Biden’s policies since he got the “Most Hornswoggled of 2022” title. That came when Biden and Schumer promised him a vote on permitting in exchange for his “Inflation Reduction Act” vote -- and never have admitted they were running the lie, cheat and steal play. Charlie Brown thinking he was going to kick the football never looked like more of a sucker.

Manchin didn’t much like that Labor rule either.

“This Administration continues to prioritize their radical policy agenda over the economic, energy and national security needs of our country, and it is absolutely infuriating.”

“This ESG rule will weaken our energy, national and economic security while jeopardizing the hard-earned retirement savings of 150 million West Virginians and Americans.

“Despite a clear and bipartisan rejection of the rule from Congress, President Biden is choosing to put his Administration’s progressive agenda above the well-being of the American people.”

Manchin should probably stay a Democrat. We need him and Sinema and a few others over there to foul up the gears in Schumer’s machinations. And Manchin’s judgement in trusting Biden and Schumer? We already have enough Republicans who get hoodwinked when the chips are down.

But the pervasiveness of government pushing their ESG agenda is astonishing sometimes. We’ve touched a bit on how those approaches distracted and misled some bankers badly needing to pay attention to their banking.

We know the far left has tried shaming banks and financial institutions into not lending money to oil and gas companies as part of their anti-fossil fuel campaign.

Now comes word that, responding to pressure from climate activists, top-10 global insurance company Chubb is putting conditions on policies for oil and gas firms, insisting they reduce their methane emissions. They will also stop underwriting projects at all in areas designated as “protected” by governments at any level, effective immediately.

After the usual claptrap about activist pressure having nothing to do with it, Chubb said it would require “evidence-based plans” for managing methane emissions and must be able to audit compliance, (Insurer Chubb Requires Cuts in Emissions for Coverage,” Wall Street Journal, 03/23/23).

Of course, too much is never enough. The Rainforest Action Network said Chubb “must stop underwriting the expansion of fossil fuels everywhere.”

But not everyone has been totally hoodwinked forever. We’ve already written that Germany has been reopening coal plants in order to make up for nonexistent electricity from wind and solar. Germany has also been fighting the EUs’ ban on the sale of internal combustion engines starting in 2035. Several countries have complained about the short lead time and their citizens’ inability to afford electric vehicles.

Now, there is a draft proposal to exempt internal combustion engines that would run on “carbon-neutral” fuel, essentially synthetic fuels derived from chemical processes rather than fossil fuels. The draft also specifies that the engines could not use gas or diesel to start the engine.

All of which sounds very expensive, restrictive and needlessly difficult to us. Governments are so very good at making simple things very, very complicated, very artificial and expensive, based on little more than their flights of fancy.

The really smart leaders in business and government scour the field to find people smarter than them to work for them. That is not the Biden way. The goal is to find people who check certain boxes and whether they can do the job or are even basically qualified is not one of his boxes.

Biden’s nominee to head the FAA, which has been without an official administrator for a year, was forced to withdraw when confirmation hearings revealed he knew little about flying, air traffic and other essentials. If took opposition from a former Democrat, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Az.) to hold that one up.

Then there was the nominee for the federal bench who didn’t know about the Brady doctrine, the doctrine every law student knows, that the prosecution must turn over any exculpatory evidence they have to the defendant in a criminal case. The nominee was asked twice and admitted he had never run across the doctrine.

That’s not even counting the Supreme Court justice who can’t tell boys from girls. Wouldn’t she be a big help at branding time?

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