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AFF Sentinel-Vol20#22-Global and Domestic View of the Left Today

Attacks On Many Fronts to Change America & the World

Steve Dittmer | AFF Sentinel

Colorado Springs, CO
Originally sent to subscribers 05/09/23

Quick Hits: While last week’s data showing 240,000 new jobs created surprised many analysts, the administration also revealed it had revised downward January and February numbers by 150,000.

Tuesday, May 9th, President Biden, who refused to meet with Congress over debt ceiling issues, has caved and will meet with four House and Senate leaders.

We talk a lot about the dangers of big government. And the bigger the government, the more it dominates the political and economic levers of power, the more big business gloms onto government goals and purse strings. Big corporations then have the power to help shape the dictates of big government and the money to be ready to take advantage when the policies are in place.

Attentive observers like our readers have easily seen the shift from what we thought were quite radical shifts “fundamentally changing America” during the Obama years to much more far left “progressive” trends under Biden and Congress his first two years.

Interestingly, it was Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan who drew some attention with a speech to the Brookings Institution recently. Sometimes politicians reveal more real intent when speaking to people of their own political tendencies, like Sullivan with Brookings.

Contrary to the free market approach, Sullivan outlines an approach under Biden, and a second Biden administration should that happen, that would have us under a government industrial policy more like Japan of decades past, Europe under its technocrats and, of course, the extreme example, China. Sullivan talked about protecting against China but also defending American labor from foreign low-wage competition, using tariffs and the influence of international financial institutions. The foremost goal is to use those tools to push the Southern Hemisphere countries to adopt the climate change goals of the left, directing capital towards the industries and outcomes the bureaucrats and elected officials prefer, (“’Progressives’ Want to Go Back to the 1950s,” Wall Street Journal, 05/02/23).

Walter Russell Mead has been following the methods and intent of international policy makers for decades. He explains that governments and climate activists -- and their lobbyists -- realize poorer countries do not have the “luxury” of going far green like the U.S. and Europe think they do. Poorer countries naturally try to maximize their competitiveness with less onerous environmental regulation. The progressives want to ban or penalize the use of fossil fuels for low- and middle-income countries, pushing them towards the climate change paths they want.

The progressives’ approach is to take away the flexibility and opportunity of global markets and take things back to a more highly regulated, national government approach like the 1950s, Mead said.

Here’s the key:

“The Biden approach is politically shrewd, appealing to blue-collar Democrats as well as greens and progressives,” Mead writes. And corporate CEOs overlook the dangers of government interference to get the “subsidies Biden-style economic activism offers.”

Mead refers to Biden in all this but the reason Biden is in office now and could be in the next term, is because he is willing to be the tool of the overall progressive movement, the big government, socialist/Marxist/communist style of rule that the left in the Democrat party wants.

Beyond our borders, Mead said this approach is what the Europeans have been doing for years. He calls it the “Brussels consensus,” a mix of green activism, state planning and labor protectionism.

Of course, the EUs central planning has not produced the growth the U.S.’s more free market economy has produced; the Netherlands is doing its best to destroy one of the biggest food exporting nations worldwide and France has been in demonstrator hell for months over a pension age increase developed nations need to face up to.

The left’s strategy includes throwing so many proposals, bills and regulations at society and government that one can’t keep up. The administration proposed a few weeks ago to change the fee structure for mortgages so that lower credit ratings got fee reductions and good credit applicants had to pay more and before people caught on, the new rules already took effect May 1.

The left has been furious that their main tool for accomplishing things they couldn’t get through Congress was largely stymied by Donald Trump’s appointments of justices attached to the Constitution, rather than leftist philosophies. Now, one of our favorite Supreme Court justices and the one leftists hate arguably the most, is under attack. Not only that, they are proposing such ridiculous recusal rules that they could almost never have nine justices hearing a major case.

One book we read in recent years was Clarence Thomas’ autobiography, “My Grandfather’s Son.” That man grew up and went to college the same time we did. But he lived in a very different slice of America than we did. There is no greater testament to that man’s belief in, and adherence to, our Constitution and America’s system than to read his story and know that he still believes, still holds to his principles on the bench decades later. The hell he went through in his confirmation hearing, not handled well by Senate Judiciary Chairman Joe Biden, was shameful.

Now, bereft of any real reason, they have trumped up some implications to create an opening for creating oversight and more control over the Supreme Court, and a way of packing the Court that FDR couldn’t accomplish.

Apparently, the only case that could have come before the High Court involving Thomas’s friend was never granted a hearing, because not enough justices -- it takes at least four -- voted to hear the case. A friend paid for a couple of years of prep school at the friend’s alma mater for a young man for whom Thomas was legal guardian but not adopted parent. That seems kind and solicitous, not unethical.

Thomas and the Supreme Court under siege deserves a column by itself but a couple provisions in Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse's (D-RI) bill reveal the left’s aims to recapture its hold on the High Court. The “Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal and Transparency Act” would create a procedure for people to file complaints against justices for any conduct, on or off the bench and apparently any time in their life, that “undermined the Court’s integrity.” A panel of appeals court judges would hear the case.

A Kavanaugh circus every time?

Most ridiculous are rules about recusal that would mean a flurry of litigation before any major case would make it difficult to find enough justices to hear a case.

The aim, of course, is to destroy faith and confidence in the Supreme Court, to create the impression with the public that it would be a good idea to cram the court with several new (left-leaning) justices. FDR couldn’t pull off during the New Deal but current leftist groups would love to try again.

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