THE COLUMN: Why Are We In Ukraine?

By now, it's a commonplace to observe that, in accordance with Conquest's Third Law of Politics, our country is ruled by a cabal of her enemies. The brief Trump interregnum between 24 years of Clinton/Bush/Obama—in retrospect, nearly indistinguishable in the havoc each wreaked on the United States—and now the first term of Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., is barely a blip on the radar screen of Progressivism. As Mark Antony observes during Caesar's funeral oration: “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.” Welcome to the boneyard of America.

This is, alas, true regardless of whether the men themselves were of good character. Clinton wasn't, Bush more or less was, Obama isn't, and Biden is one of the worst men ever to assume the presidency: a bully, a liar, a plagiarist, a mediocrity and, at this stage of his senescence, a clear and present danger. As for Trump, no one ever mistook him for a secular saint, and indeed he was brought down and done in by his own manifest personal imperfections, poor personnel choices, and chronic inability to control his self-destructive solipsistic nature. But in Trump's case the good he did has already been interred with the bones of his presidency, and we are now left at the mercy of a vengeful Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party determined to bring us to heel and ruination.

Case in point: the Ukraine. Back in 1965, an accidental president, Lyndon Baines Johnson, hit upon the brilliant idea of fully involving the U.S. in a pointless war in Vietnam and southeast Asia. Nobody wanted this war. "I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong," observed Muhammad Ali around that time, upon learning that his vengeful draft board had just reclassified the heavyweight champion of the world from 1-Y (qualified for service only in time of war or national emergency) to 1-A. Most Americans agreed with him. LBJ, however, didn't care. We had to save Asian boys from the consequences of their imported Gallic laziness and martial impotence.

What a steaming pile of Texas codswallop that was, and even those of us who were in high school at the time knew it. But thus began the Forever Wars, the latest incarnation of which is currently being held in Kiev, Ukraine, formerly the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Although it's in a war zone, the manifest lack of danger to visiting American politicians and aging rock stars is quite obvious, as Jill Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and even Mitch McConnell have all showed up in party attire to what's supposed to be a live-fire zone, to take in the sights and perhaps enjoy a few golden oldies. Cui bono, or should I say cui Bono? As the playwright David Mamet notes in his new book, Recessional: The Death of Free Speech and the Cost of a Free Lunch: "When all politicians are agreed, someone is getting bought off."

This would be the same Ukraine whose dirty fingerprints are all over every significant scandal of the past several years, including the odiferous Burisma deal with the Biden family, as well as various electoral shenanigans in which prominent members of the amoral establishment political-consulting class have been involved up to their eyeballs, including David "Jake Lingle" Axelrod, Steve Schmidt, Mark Penn, Paul Begala, and Paul Manafort. As U.S. News noted in 2014:

Manafort isn’t alone in plying his trade in the former Soviet republic; as the Times noted in 2007, former Bill Clinton pollster Stan Greenberg was working for Ukraine’s then-president, Viktor Yushchenko, as were GOP operatives Steve Schmidt and Neil Newhouse. By the 2010 presidential campaign, the Times reported, Yuschenko had retained another former Clinton strategist, Mark Penn, while then-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko had hired David Axelrod’s old firm, AKPD Media. (It’s a small world after all: Schmidt would go on to manage John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign against AKPD client Barack Obama; Newhouse would in 2012 poll for long-time client Mitt Romney in his presidential bid.)

The U.S.-Ukraine political nexus hasn’t just involved campaign work. As Reuters’ Mark Hosenball and Warren Strobel reported last December, the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, “a Brussels-based organization sympathetic to [Yanukovych] and his political party” had paid nearly $1.5 million over the preceding two years to the firms of lobbying heavyweights like Republican former Reps. Vin Weber and Billy Tauzin and Democrat Anthony Podesta (whose brother John is a senior counselor in the White House). Where the Centre gets its funding is unclear, Reuters reported: “In a filing with the European Union, the group listed its budget for the financial year ending in November as 10,000 euros, or about $14,000 – a fraction of the $1.46 million it paid the Washington lobbyists.”

It's also the birthplace of Alexander Vindman, the professional rat fink who was one of the central figures in the bogus first impeachment of Donald Trump, which was occasioned by Trump's raising the issue of the Biden family's involvement in the Ukrainian financial sewer system:

I was a 44-year-old U.S. Army lieutenant colonel assigned to a position equivalent to that of a two-star general, three levels above my rank. Since July 2018, I’d been at the National Security Council, serving as the director for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Russia. Recently, deep concerns had been growing throughout the U.S. foreign-policy community regarding two of the countries I was responsible for. We’d long been confused by the president’s policy of accommodation and appeasement toward Russia. But now there were new, rapidly emerging worries. This time the issue was the president’s inexplicable hostility toward a U.S. partner crucial to our Russia strategy: Ukraine.

"Our" Russia strategy"? Easy enough for a guy born in Kiev to say. And "inexplicable" only if you're rooting for the other side. But if like all of the Democrats and at least half the Republicans in Congress you're on the bipartisan team Gravy Train, elbow deep in the one supply chain—the military-industrial complex's arms-procurement racket— that's working just fine, you're sitting pretty while real Americans suffer. After all, nothing's too good for keyboard whiz Volodymyr Zelensky and Plucky Little Ukraine, so the hell with your baby formula.

True, the latest money-laundering bill to emerge from Maerose Prizzi and Yertle the Turtle's congress is temporarily on hold because that skunk at the garden party, Rand Paul, refused to make unanimous this latest looting of the American treasury:

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul defied leaders of both parties Thursday and delayed until next week Senate approval of an additional $40 billion to help Ukraine and its allies withstand Russia's three-month old invasion. With the Senate poised to debate and vote on the package of military and economic aid, Paul denied leaders the unanimous agreement they needed to proceed. The bipartisan measure, backed by President Joe Biden, underscores U.S. determination to reinforce its support for Ukraine's outnumbered forces.

The legislation has been approved overwhelmingly by the House and has strong bipartisan support in the Senate. Final passage is not in doubt.

Of course it's not. Why would it be? From LBJ's Vietnam to Bush pere et fils' unfathomable obsession with Iraq and Afghanistan, to the Establishment's newfound fealty to the Ukraine and its roundheeled banks and politicians, and their proxy war with Russia, Americans of my generation have hardly known a moment's peace. And for what? No bono here: the nation's economy is shot, its infrastructure's a joke, its military can't fight, its police are hamstrung in the face of decriminalized crime, its institutions are all under assault by the demon spawn of the Frankfurt School, and its domestic tranquility has been torn asunder.

Instead of listening to Johnson, we should have listened to a far greater president, the man who won the war in Europe, and one of the finest military/logistical minds this country has ever produced. Naturally, in his day, he was scorned by the Democrats as "stupid" and "inarticulate," just as pretty much every Republican president elected since has been. But hear him out:

All class, and not bad from a poor kid from Abilene, Kansas. Ike's gift was a clear-eyed assessment of reality, an understanding of his enemies, and the willpower to get the job done. He, better than most of his contemporaries, grasped the rapid increase in technological change and its unholy partnership with the federal government occasioned by World War II. "Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields." But even with (and perhaps due to) his long years of military service, beginning at West Point and ending as Commander-in-Chief, he was under no illusions about the dangers of such a partnership ahead:

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction... American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions... This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience... Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications....

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic process. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

The ancient Romans had a stricture against keeping legions under arms in the Italian heartland. It was Caesar's defiance of this edict in 49 B.C. when he crossed the Rubicon with the Thirteenth Legion and headed for Rome, that ultimately spelled the end of the Republic and the descent into civil war. Now here we are, being driven toward war with Vladimir Putin's Russia by a relentless military-industrial propaganda campaign organized by a corrupt gerontocracy in command of our armed forces in support of a dubious cause, for absolutely no good reason of state. 

What are we going to do about it?

THE COLUMN: In the Ukraine Proxy War, What Price Victory?

"Victory has a thousand fathers," said John F. Kennedy, "but defeat is an orphan." By that measure, America is running a military establishment that more closely resembles an overpopulated Dickensian sweat shop than a modern war machine. Indeed, it's been so long since the United States has won a war -- back when the War Department still existed, in fact -- that hardly any living American knows what "victory" means any more. But what difference does it make? This man's army is now the province of pregnant females, transsexuals, and born-male admirals in skirts. No wonder it can't fight.

But whose army can? As it happens, today is "Victory Day" in the former Soviet Union, marking the defeat of the Wehrmacht by the Red Army under Stalin and Marshal Zhukov in 1945. The occasion will be marked in Russia by strutting military parades, of the good old-fashioned Soviet kind, but minus the, you know, victory. With Russia tied down in its slog against Plucky Little Ukraine, the hollow nature of what was once the world's most formidable land army has now been laid bare for all to see. 

Accordingly, Vladimir Putin is now at a crossroads: to go all in, including the use of tactical or other nuclear weapons, or to withdraw in defeat? Since his grasp on power wouldn't survive the second option, betting the collective farms and the tractor factories of his youth in the U.S.S.R. is the only path open to him, absent some kind of deus ex machina who magically appears and somehow restores the status quo ante. And even then, we're right back where we started.

Where it ended: May 8, 1945.

As I remarked on Facebook the other day (the fascists at Twitter having closed that platform to me for the past two years for no reason they can adequately explain), I'd sleep more easily at night if I thought that a single member of the Biden administration or the "Defense" Department establishment had read War and Peace, a poem by Pushkin, or taken in a performance of Tchaikovsky's opera, Eugene Onegin.

The least we could expect from our crack team of diplomats and REMFs is that they know what or where the Third Rome is, or the story of the conversion of the Kievan Rus, or how deep the roots of the Orthodox Church run in the Muslim-desecrated occupation of the Church of Holy Wisdom and the ruins of Constantinople and the Eastern Roman Empire. But no, that would be asking too much of the credentialed empty suits who prowl the corridors of "Defense" or State and see the world through the partisan lenses of the JFK School of Government-- which basically comes down to, what have you done for me lately?

Not to mention, had read Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita, heard a live performance of Shostakovich's Fifth or Seventh ("Leningrad") symphonies, or seen either Prokofiev's The Fiery Angel or Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk at least once in their miserable, Harvard-educated lives. Then, perhaps, they might catch a glimpse, or hear an echo, of the Russian soul, as in this memorably manic scene from the Shostakovich opera's third act, when a shabby peasant in search of booze stumbles upon Zinovy's body hidden in the wine-cellar and the orchestra explodes in an orgy of pent-up, violent hysteria:

But no, that would be too much to ask. Far better to commit the characteristic American sin of regarding all the rest of the world's peoples, cultures, and nations as the rough equivalent, albeit inferior, of our own, and expecting that their savage denizens will react in the same way to the same carrot-and-stick stimuli as our own peasants do. After all, as we learned in Vietnam, inside every benighted foreigner is an American screaming to get out. Why, just look at the southern border!

On the other hand, it would provide a clue to the members of Biden war party why Putin launched his attack on the Ukraine and what he hopes to gain from it. It is wise to remember that this is a man who saw his country shot out from underneath him between 1989 and 1991, and his world turned upside down. Imagine an American politician who witnessed Texas and the southwest being handed back to Mexico and the disputed Oregon Country returned to British Canada in the wake of a catastrophic military defeat or governmental collapse.

Slowly, Putin has been trying to piece together the old Mother Russia, at least as he understands it, which means off-loading the 'stans, neutralizing the Georgians and the Armenians, but reuniting Slavic lands such as Ukraine and Belarus (already firmly in his camp), and eyeing the Baltics as well. His alliance with the Russian Orthodox Church at least gives him a religious fig leaf in his quest to resurrect the Third Rome and motivate his demographically dying country with dreams of past and possibly future glory.

The Kremlin's allies once more.

The bigger, more important question, however, is this: why are the Clinton-Obama-Biden Democrats trying to make the conflict in the Ukraine into a proxy war against Russia? Why, knowing of Putin's increasing desperation to finish the job, have they given him no diplomatic way out? Why instead have they pushed an obsolete NATO right up to his borders, when if there's one thing that makes Russians crazy it's territorial encroachment from the west? Just ask Napoleon how that worked out for him.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization won its war against the U.S.S.R. at the end of 1991 when the Soviet Union was dissolved on Christmas Day. Accordingly, it has no further reason for existence and should have been dissolved itself decades ago. As Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe, reported to the combined Allied chiefs of staff upon General Jodl's surrender: "The mission of this Allied Force was fulfilled at 0241, local time, May 7th, 1945."

Short and sweet.

But don't forget the exception to every rule: a bureaucracy, especially the demon child of the military-industrial complex, will never willingly commit suicide. And so NATO has staggered on, expanding rather than contracting, waving the Russian flag as a kind of bogeyman/talisman in order to keep its coffers full and its officers well-fed.

The fact is that the Russians -- the Democrats' favorite allies right up to the minute they cast off Communism! -- needed to be maintained as a threat. And so, in the direct aftermath of her 2016 election loss, Hillary Clinton and her flying monkeys in the media concocted the so-called "Russian collusion" hoax, which is only just beginning to finally unravel in the courts now. 

In the meantime, the Biden forces, hell-bent on finishing the job of "fundamental transformation" of the country that Barack Hussein Obama was just too lazy to complete, are doing everything they can to provoke a shooting war with Putin's Russia. "A weakened Russia" is one of the administration's explicit goals, as the current secretary of defense, Lloyd Austin, has declared. And while the administration has denied it, it does appear that the U.S. has been sharing intelligence regarding the targeting of Russian military commanders and other high-value targets -- which is an overt act of war and no doubt is regarded as such by Putin and his officers. And that is very dangerous, especially since they have nowhere else to go.

Many in the American commentariat were on record right up to the moment that Putin sent in his tanks that the Russians wouldn't dare invade; I was convinced he would, on historical and revanchist grounds. Once he did, most expected an easy rollover. What followed was not so much surprise at the rusty Russians' lack of military capability (armies that are not used disintegrate; armies that never know victory are easily demoralized) but the alacrity with which the U.S. and most of Western Europe sprang into action. Sanctions flew, signs sprouted, and the propaganda machine immediately cranked into overdrive, elevating the comedian-president of one of the most corrupt nations in Europe -- and the Bidens' private piggy bank -- to Churchillian status almost overnight with a unanimity remarkable even by current corporate-media lickspittle standards.

America is now flirting with disaster as it engages with a wounded, nuclear-armed bear that won't hesitate to use theater or tactical nukes if it feels an existential threat. And why wouldn't it? It's seen this movie before. Even Jill Biden is currently kicking sand in Putin's face. Meanwhile, here at home, the U.S. is cratering almost as surely as the Soviet Union, riven by irreconcilable domestic moral and political differences; all of its principal constitutional edifices under attack by the Left, including the Supreme Court; the economy circling the drain; the supply chain thoroughly disrupted by an outrageous medical alarum bordering on a malignant hoax; our woke military emasculated; and our civic faith in almost every institution destroyed. Meanwhile, a gerontological elite that rivals in its longevity the Struldbruggs in Swift's Gulliver's Travels continues to heedlessly shuffle its way toward disaster.

So what will it take to bring America to either its senses or its knees? What does victory look like in this pointless war? In 1945 Soviet soldiers waved the hammer and sickle over the ruins of Berlin. In 1989, I stood at the crumbling Wall between the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag, and somehow wound up with some Grepo's cap as a souvenir. Luckily, the Cold War never quite turned hot. But if this war -- Biden's War -- goes nuclear, what will be left to grasp? A handful of radioactive dust? Pray that somebody in Washington comes to his senses, and soon -- but don't count on it.

Germany's 'Renewable Energy' Policy: Who's Laughing Now?

In 2019 Germany announced an ambitious "climate change" goal: by 2022, it would close its last nuclear power plant and by 2038, stop burning coal altogether. The Wall Street Journal called it at the time the "world’s dumbest energy policy," but the Germans said it was all part of the Energiewende (German for 'energy turnaround') the ongoing transition to a low carbon, environmentally sound, reliable, and affordable energy supply. Then an event occurred in 2022 which demonstrated how much Green energy was politics. Russia invaded Ukraine.

The repercussions of the invasion rippled like hydrostatic shock through the whole fabric of the European "climate change" agenda. At a stroke the war made natural gas from Moscow on which Germany was dependent politically toxic and killed sacred cows like the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline overnight. Chancellor Olaf Scholz, addressing Germany’s parliament, promised he would "create strategic energy reserves while shifting energy purchases away from Russia." Germany took steps to revive its nuclear power industry by extending the life-span of its remaining nuclear power plants. Even coal was back on the table for Europe, as politicians mooted keeping anything that could produce power going. "All options must be on the table," said the German Economic Affairs and Energy Minister.

Biking may be your best bet, Germany.

But sheer habit and inertia die hard. From the start the Green agenda fought back. John Kerry warned the Russian invasion of Ukraine would worsen climate change. "The top White House climate official said a negative impact of a Russian invasion of Ukraine would be that it sidelines efforts to curb emissions worldwide." Despite the fact that fuel was a basic necessity and Europe's immediate problem was how to get energy from anywhere, such was the power of Green that U.N. Secretary General António Guterres specifically warned against quickly replacing Russian oil if it would "neglect or kneecap policies to cut fossil fuel use."

Trapped between Scylla and Charybdis, Europe's compromise strategy was to "diversify gas supplies to reduce reliance on Russia in the short term... but ultimately to boost renewables and energy efficiency as fast as technically possible."  In effect Europe would try to solve the energy shortage caused by its renewables policy without politically abandoning the climate change ideology.

The first step to walking this tightrope is European energy rationing. Although no specifics have been announced, proposals include include lowering speed limits and introducing car-free Sundays in large cities.  Rationing is being sold as both good for the planet and bad for Putin -- a win-win. "This point is about trying to bring down demand for fossil fuels — this is our true and effective weapon against Vladimir Putin,” a Cambridge University academic said.

But on the supply side there were few quick fixes to the problem of storing the output of wind and solar energy, even assuming that enough could be generated by these means. "The ability to cheaply generate, transport and store a clean replacement fuel like hydrogen to power trucks, cars and airplanes remains years away... [the] chief technology officer of the offshore wind unit at Siemens Gamesa, said that companies like his 'are now forced to do investments based on the prosperous future that we are all waiting for'."

A similar challenge faces the electric grid for it to universally replace the internal combustion engine. By dint of emergency efforts Europe hopes to have a hydrogen infrastructure in place by 2030 -- eight years from now -- a gargantuan task. Green requires a complete overhaul of how people live -- digitalization, smart grids and meters, flexibility markets, the electrification of transport, charging points -- the works. All of it is necessary to store wind and solar power and get it to the consumer.

The triumph of hope over experience.

However exhilarating this transformative vision is, not every country is willing to put all its eggs into the Green basket. Britain and France, perhaps harboring secret doubts, plan to invest in small, new technology nuclear reactors. The normally left wing Guardian ran an op-ed proclaiming "we need to revive the U.K.’s nuclear industry." But even with a change of heart plants take time to build and in the short term Europe has no choice but to import fossil fuels from non-Russian sources, principally the U.S. and the Middle East if it is to avoid economic catastrophe.

From Angola to the U.S. gas is heading for Europe. "Toby Rice, who runs the U.S. largest natural gas producer EQT, told the BBC the U.S. could easily replace Russian supply... He estimated the U.S. has the potential to quadruple its gas output by 2030... U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm urged the country's fuel industry to pump more oil. 'We are on a war footing. That means you producing more right now, where and if you can'." Energiewende may not be "world’s dumbest energy policy" but only because it can repudiate itself.

The nearly comic irony of progressives being in the "drill baby drill" situation is hardly ever pointed out, it being considered bad form to do so. But it may be useful to recall that Germany's delegation at the U.N. General Assembly once laughed during then-President Trump's speech when he suggested that Germany was becoming “totally dependent” upon Russian energy, as shown in this video from the Washington Post. With the benefit of hindsight there's no denying that mistakes were made regarding Russia's suitability as a Green energy partner. Even Mitt Romney pointed out the growing threat posed by Putin during his 2012 presidential campaign against Obama but he too was laughed to scorn. It's fair to say that nobody's laughing now.

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Panelling

Without much research I agreed to participate in a women’s environmental conference earlier this week.  I made only two conditions…I would not talk about my clients, nor would I sit in front of an image of the product 'Fit Pit Love'. Turns out one of the conference sponsors is a company called The Green Woman (not sure what they were thinking), and they actually have a product called ‘Fit Pit Love’.  It’s exactly what you would think it would be—a deodorant—except it’s made out of coconut oil, and beyond that I don’t want to know.

Separately, it was an impressive panel that included female mayors from many cities, including the Mayor of Rome whom I’d met once before and would enjoy connecting with again.  Going over the articles on the other participants, I quickly became confused as to why when women join together to save the planet, it becomes feminism-green. I mean—why feminism at all? And why do we have to be so angry? We can’t very well save the planet if we all get cancer.

Along with the pile of articles, they sent over a lot of swag—lots of low-tech balms and natural products in recycled gift wrap. I was about to throw the lot of it in the bin when I spied an Aspinal’s box. YAY! Scarf? French wallet? No. It was a Social Responsibility Diary and it was clear to me it had replaced the much-coveted Aspinal Social Diary that they stopped making a few years back.  Mummy had called several times, hoping to persuade them to publish it again but eventually she gave up.  This wasn’t going to make her happy either. It had no social events whatsoever, only pseudo holidays like Whale Shark Day and Vulture Awareness Day. Really Aspinal? This is your customer base? Women sporting crocodile bags with a concern for vultures?

Have you kissed a whale shark today?

I rang downstairs for some lunch and decided to watch an episode of Ab Fab to get my mind off of this. If anything, I hoped to bring a breath of fresh air to the conference, some sun to go with their moon, and some balanced discourse to their rants. I’m always going to work tirelessly to save our beloved planet but we can’t be seen as harridans if we expect anyone to listen to us. Otherwise we looked like the grown-up versions of what Daddy calls ‘that Swedish troll’. I decided too, I should give him a ring, just to see if I might be missing anything and luckily he picked up. 

‘Hello Jennifer, how’s Marbella?’

‘It’s great, just having lunch, but I might be leaving soon to be on a panel.’ I said. 

‘A solar panel?’ 

‘No Daddy! An actual panel!’

‘So not the ones you have deteriorating on your house in California.’

I decided to let that comment go and began again. ‘So it’s an all-woman panel, and I’ll just be talking about what I love—the planet.’

‘Do you think that's a good idea just now? Women talking about their fantasy version of the world when there’s a war on?’

UGH! I hadn’t thought about that. ‘Do you think I need to cancel? I asked.

‘Goodness no.  There’s not a chance you could offend anyone watching. That’s what you green-niks do isn’t it? Just go around expecting everyone to see things as you do?’

‘Not exactly, Daddy.  You know I’m trying to be the voice of reason while saving the planet.’

‘Do I? Last I heard you were grousing about Davos being cancelled… you know… the event where everyone flies in on a private plane to discuss climate change?’

‘Yes, I’m very clear you’re not a fan, but please try to think about all the good they do.’

‘Yes, well… that should keep me busy well into my old age.’ He laughed and rang off. 

Vultures, vultures everywhere.

I arrived at the conference and the scene was pretty tense. It was as if we were needing to decide the sentence of a very guilty man. Maybe I was too relaxed, having spent the last week at the Marbella Club, so I said my hellos and took my seat on the dais.

The first question was directed at me: ‘Given your recent setback at Swanscombe are you happy that in the end the peninsula is going back to nature?”

‘Hello and thank you for that question' I replied. 'No I am not in the least happy with the setback, I signed on to see that the project was managed in the most responsible manner possible, but to your point, the peninsula is not “going back to nature”. Clean-up is needed. Responsible clean-up. And abandoned mills don’t just become wetlands if left alone.’ 

She interrupted, ‘But surely that doesn’t necessitate building an amusement park on the preserve.’

‘OK, as a point of reference it is not a “preserve", it is a toxic dump, and the beauty of the project is that what is currently harming the ecosphere will now be funded by the developer, and repurposed for many to enjoy. Thank you for your question.’

My phone buzzed. It was a thumbs up from my father.  Oh boy. If he was happy, I wasn’t doing well with this crowd. The next question was also directed at me: ‘How will you be utilising the research and analysis that shows dyslexia could help humans adapt to climate change?’

What?? My phone buzzed again, it was my father again. “WEF asserts Dyslexia fights climate change’. Before I could respond she fired again: ‘As a supporter of the World Economic Forum do you deny that people with dyslexia could use their higher-level strengths to tackle climate change?’ 

How could I deny it? I didn’t even know what the hell she was talking about.  No text from my father either. Ugh. Then— a single text from Daddy: ‘Klaus does!’

It's all about "complementary cognition," you see.

WUT? UGH. I took a deep breath and began again. ‘Thank you for your question, but if I may, and before we delve too deeply into research trends, I just want to say I would like to ask all of you, to dedicate a moment of complete silence, to pray, or to meditate for peace, and for the souls of those who have already been killed, and for those who may be killed in the Ukraine'.

I was wracked with guilt. Not because I didn’t care about the Ukraine, I did. A great deal. But I felt bad that I’d used it at a time when I was also in a pickle. We took a break and I read the article on dyslexia and climate change. It was insanity—worse than insanity. I asked for my coat and texted my driver. They were going to think I was too upset over the war but I couldn’t help that. Anyway the whole venue stank of coconut and hemp and it was making me sick. The planet was going to have to wait for another day.  And Klaus was going to get a phone call in the morning. 

Biden, Big Banks Declare War on Energy Sector

After more than a month of Russian bombs destroying swathes of the Ukraine, and high-minded pronouncements from the American government officials concerning everything from missile payloads to misinformation, Americans have been awakened in an unprecedented way. Revelations about our dependence on foreign sources of energy have caused many to realize the importance of the U.S. energy sector to economic vitality and national security.

While Americans were locked down and their movements constrained by Covid-19-related policies, the Biden administration has been working in the shadows, making a slew of regulatory changes fundamentally harmful to America. Because this administration lacks the necessary majorities in Congress, it has been circumventing the legislative process by using administrative rules to create oil and gas supply scarcity that almost immediately has caused the price of everything to begin to rise.

The administration’s objective is simple—create scarcity via a series of unilateral regulatory changes at various government agencies that will predictably push the prices of oil and gas toward greater parity with alternative energy sources such as wind and solar. Fully understanding that alternative energy sources fall short of meeting the current and future energy needs of the American economy, the Biden administration has persisted with its “make it hurt” strategy that necessarily ignores the impact such a strategy is having and will continue to have on the larger economy. Threatening economic security, food security and national security, this circumvention strategy is a blatant overreach by the executive branch that began when Biden took office last year.

They hate, they really hate you.

Sidestepping Congress entirely, their strategy includes using government agencies to dismantle oil and gas distribution systems, tightening regulations, and suspending leases and permits meant to impede future drilling activity. Where the administration could not sufficiently hamstring the energy sector through unilateral regulatory overreach, it sought allies to lend weight to the effort.

Enter investment bank giants like BlackRock and JP Morgan. Perhaps the most insidious element of the Biden administration’s anti-energy strategy has been its collaboration with investment banks to coerce and if necessary, force divestment in the energy sector. Like all industries, energy producers require capital in order to drill and produce oil and gas assets. By using the pseudo-sophisticated set of investments standards known as "environment, social and governance" (ESG) as the predicate, major investment banks are assisting the administration to destroy domestic energy independence by limiting available capital that would otherwise enable American energy producers to maximize oil and gas production.

The CEOs from these investment banks pronounced the death of fossil fuels in defiance of economic reality before the Biden administration even took office, with complete disregard for national security. They declared climate change an "existential threat" while boldly disregarding the actual threat their banks’ own relationships with China represent to the U.S.—and to the climate for that matter. Trying to sound socially and environmentally "woke" while being totally compromised by their own strategic decisions, these banks have helped beat back any competing views about the dangers of heedless divestment. Their self-interested efforts have unequivocally contributed to the difficult economic conditions Americans are now experiencing and the growing threat China represents to U.S. national security.

As the negative impact of the administration’s strategy has begun to be apparent to everyone, press secretary Jen Psaki has tried to lean in on the “Putin price hike” narrative, blaming Russia for the rising prices the administration’s own domestic policies have created. So desperate is the administration to convince Americans to look the other way, they have even employed never-before-used Tik Tok diplomacy to convince teenagers of their “Russia did it” narrative.

Meanwhile, serious people are beginning to understand what’s been happening since Biden took office 14 months ago. In anticipation of course correction after the mid-terms later this year, consider what the administration has done.

Last week the SEC proposed rule changes that would “standardize climate-related disclosures for investors”. The changes would require registrants to include certain climate-related disclosures in their registration statements and periodic reports, including information about climate-related risks that are reasonably likely to have a material impact on their business, results of operations, or financial condition, among other reporting requirements. The required information about climate-related risks also would include disclosure of a registrant’s greenhouse gas emissions. With the window still open for public comment until May, corporate leaders should be concerned about the bold overreach. After all, this kind of intervention doesn’t ever stop with one industry.

President Biden abandoned U.S. energy independence immediately upon taking office. The administration then employed un-elected bureaucrats and private investment banks to decide on behalf of all Americans what is good for America, resulting in a fundamental threat to the economy and national security.

Congressional leaders must earnestly begin the work of regaining control of the legislative branch. They should begin by introducing legislation that would require Congressional ratification of all regulations annually. Regulations must be able to withstand normal congressional scrutiny and their impact considered in the light of day. Meanwhile, ESG standards must be relegated to the marketing departments of corporate America and the influence of investment banks constrained from horse-trading America’s global dominance in exchange for their own financial gain. Only then can America take back its destiny.

Biden to Tap Strategic Petroleum Reserve Yet Again

Back in November, Joe Biden released 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the hopes of reducing the inflated price of gasoline his anti-oil and anti-gas policies were responsible for. Americans were getting testy, you see, about elevated gas prices and the rising cost of goods and services which they brought about. And that frustration was eating into the president's approval rating and hurting the Democrats, with the midterm elections just a year away. But the plan failed. Gas prices weren't appreciably affected, the cost of living remained high, and discontent spread.

Then the world's third largest producer of petroleum products started a war, making itself a pariah state and jeopardizing the oil and gas market world wide. Prices soared even further, with gasoline setting a new record national average of $4.33 per gallon. Democrats' midterms hopes fell from Not Promising to Absolute Disaster.

Luckily the White House has come up with a plan to fix all their problems: tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Again. Only this time the plan is to really tap it. Instead of a mere 50 million barrels, Team Biden has announced a plan to release 180 million barrels over the course of three months, by far the biggest drawdown of the reserve since its creation in 1975. Moreover, this release will leave the reserve with fewer than 400 million barrels, their lowest level since 1984.

Will it work? It didn't last time. That's because, as the Wall Street Journal editorial board explains, "the oil will need to be replaced, which will push up future demand." They continue:

Markets don’t respond only to short-term demand and supply fluctuations. They also take into account long-term expectations and policy signals. And the Administration continues to signal that its goal is to bankrupt oil and gas producers. But before shooting them, Mr. Biden wants their political help.

The war in the Ukraine might be responsible for the recent price spikes. But Biden's war on the oil and gas industry set a higher baseline for prices to take off and have made it nearly impossible for the market to recover.

"I did that!"

It is also worth noting that this isn't really what the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is for. Its purpose is to defend against the kind of national crisis they had in the 1970s, when the fact that America imported more than 80 percent of our oil proved disastrous when the OPEC declared an oil embargo on the western nations that had supported Israel during the Yom Kippur War. Oil shortages and rationing followed, creating not just a national energy crisis but a potential national security crisis as well. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve was created to establish a cushion for just such a situation.

Thankfully, our present situation isn't like that at all, because we've developed our own natural-resource industry; the U.S. was a net energy exporter as recently as 2019. During the Trump administration we became less reliant on foreign dictators than ever. But Biden has worked hard to pull that all down, and now he's spending down the capital better leaders worked hard to build up. Thanks, Joe.

THE COLUMN: No Country for Old Men

The President of the United States, Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., who is 79 years old and suffering from senile dementia at the end of a long life of bullying, lying, boasting, conniving, grifting, grafting, and living off the public tit to an extent indecent even by Washington standards, declared war on Russia on Friday. In the course of a typically blustering, hectoring speech, the senescent Biden went off script and interpolated the following peroration: "For God's sake, this man cannot remain in power."

To which the only proper response is: "For God's sake, this man cannot remain in the Oval Office." Joe Biden needs to be removed from the White House as soon as possible, before his failing mind, his erratic behavior, and his proven lack of character get us all killed. The question is, is there enough political will in the capital to do what needs to be done?

Biden's blunder was immediately walked back by the few adults left in the room, called a "gaffe," or—worse—actually defended by the neocons and other leftists as truth-telling on a heroic scale, evocative of Ronald Reagan's 1987 "tear down this wall" speech at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, which two years later actually did result in the Wall coming down. But his rash words continue to ring, now matter how swiftly his handlers and apologists and even Biden himself try to make us disbelieve our own lying ears:

Mush-mouthed as usual, and delivered with all the Scrantonian sincerity of one of his typical campaign speeches, Biden's address was not only the low-water mark of his presidency so far, but a nadir in the history of the United States and its practice of diplomacy. 

As bad as the State Department is, it's generally been able to enforce some sort of diplomatic protocol on even its loosest cannons. Barack Hussein Obama's spectacular breach of etiquette in his toast to Queen Elizabeth in 2011 was a notable exception. On the other hand, Donald Trump's own Warsaw speech in 2017 was a triumph of forceful, cogent argumentation and a full-throated defense of Western civilization.

But for Biden to end his intemperate saber-rattling with a call for Vladimir Putin to be deposed is something nearly unprecedented in our nation's history. George H.W. Bush, during his feckless and pointless war against Saddam Hussein, effectively did so, at least as a hypothetical, and characteristically hedged his bets:

'I would be be willing to take a new look if the army took matters into their own hands,' said Bush, who noted that the United States would not resume normal relations with Iraq as long as Saddam remains in power. 'If a new regime emerged then I'd like to see what their goals are.' Despite his claim that Saddam 'has got to go,' Bush said again that it is not his intention to involve the United States in Iraq's internal affairs.

But Saddam wasn't deposed, and it was left to Bush II to clean up Poppy's mess, by making an even bigger one.

During his long occupation of a Senate seat, Biden served for many years on the foreign-relations committee, and learned all the wrong lessons without acquiring an ounce of real-world savvy. This is the problem with electing a lifelong senator to the presidency with no prior executive experience except ribbon-cutting ceremonies and attending foreign funerals as veep. Senators' words have no real-world consequences; presidents' do. Senators can say anything they want, because their words carry no executive authority and they cannot be legally held accountable for them. They're meant for the ears of voters back home, not for the guy in the Kremlin with his finger on the button.

For 50 years this creepy blowhard has been dining out off his dead wife and daughter, and more recently, a dead son, parlaying sympathy votes into a lifetime sinecure. Now, by accident/design/hook/crook he's Potus. And God help us, by calling for regime change in Moscow, he's just given the Russians a casus belli, should they choose to accept it. They would be perfectly within their rights to do so under the laws of war.

All in all, it's just another hair-raising moment in the funhouse ride from hell that has been the Biden "presidency" so far. Robinette Junior came to D.C. in the 1970s and he's brought the '70 back along with him to the White House: flaccid leadership, an energy crisis, rampant inflation, and consummate failure abroad. Even the lickspittle media can't disguise the stench of his latest poll numbers

Amid Europe’s largest land war since World War II, 7 in 10 Americans expressed low confidence in President Joe Biden’s ability to deal with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a new NBC News poll, and 8 in 10 voiced worry that the war will increase gas prices and possibly involve nuclear weapons. And during the nation’s largest inflation spike in 40 years, overwhelming majorities said they believe the country is headed in the wrong direction and disapproved of the president’s handling of the economy. Those are some of the major findings of the new national NBC News poll, which found that Biden’s overall job approval rating had declined to 40 percent, the lowest level of his presidency. 

This simply cannot continue if the nation is to survive. The stumbling block, of course, is what would come after him should he be removed via the 25th amendment or suffer an unfortunate act of God or simply reach the end of his rapidly diminishing physical and mental capacity: President Kamala Harris. A vapid affirmative-action female-type person without the slightest aptitude for any job she's so far been handed by the Democratic establishments in California and D.C., she very likely would be even worse than her current boss, at least for the short time she, too, would hold office.

Heroes to zeroes in two years.

But take heart: there is precedent. During the Democrat/Washington Post coup against Richard Nixon in 1974, the first order of business was to remove Tricky Dick's veep, the genially corrupt Spiro T. Agnew, the former Baltimore County executive and governor of Maryland, on conveniently discovered charges of penny-ante bribery, extortion, and income-tax violations. Such things were and remain part of the way business is done in Baltimore—just ask the former Nancy d'Alesandro, now Speaker Pelosi, about corruption in Baltimore—but they suddenly loomed large when it was time to overturn the results of the 1972 presidential election, which saw Nixon win 60.7 percent of the popular vote, carry 49 states (he lost only Massachusetts and D.C.), and garner 520 electoral votes.

Less than two years later, both Agnew (replaced by congressman Gerald Ford) and Nixon were gone. So it can be done, and perfectly legally. And don't worry—if Biden were to leave office early, Nancy Pelosi would not automatically become vice president. The succession pecking order only kicks in when both the senior executive offices suddenly become vacant. 

Removing Biden shouldn't be that difficult. Section 4 reads:

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

There's a catch, of course:

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.

Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

We can cross that Rubicon when we come to it. America at this point in her history is no country for old men, no matter which party they belong to.

               ELLIS
           ...What you got ain't nothin' new.
           This country is hard on people. Hard
           and crazy. Got the devil in it yet
           folks never seem to hold it to
           account.

                        BELL
           I'm... discouraged.

                          ELLIS
           You can't stop what's comin. Ain't
           all waitin' on you.
The two men look at each other. Ellis shakes his head. ELLIS ...That's vanity.

In the meantime, and for the sake of the nation, Biden must go. 

Enemies of the People: Vladimir Putin (2)

Dealing with the Fallout from Putin's Folly

BUDAPEST -- It is impossible to calculate as yet the number of Ukrainian refugees who have been displaced from their homes by the Russian invasion and forced to flee to safety. An estimated 2.7 million Ukrainians have been accepted by Poland and Hungary and now rest in those countries. Others have gone to neighboring countries or farther afield where they have homes, foreign spouses, and family connections—there are large Ukrainian diasporas across the world, especially in the so-called Anglosphere. Finally, an unknown but large number of Ukrainians have left cities like Kiev under attack to stay with family members and other places of refuge across Ukraine.

By the time the killing stops, as many as 4-5 million Ukrainians could be living outside Ukraine and as many more (out of a population of forty million) will have moved into rural areas or regions outside the war zone. This displacement of millions of people by war is a humanitarian disaster, but of what kind we don’t yet know. That will depend in part on the outcome of the Russo-Ukrainian War. If it were to end quickly in a clear victory for either side, the refugees would almost all return to rebuild their homes.

"Russian women: Call your sons and husbands home."

Cities where they used to live are being pulverized into ruins by the Russian invader. Restoring those destroyed cities—as the Poles restored Warsaw after the Nazis leveled the city in World War Two—will be Ukraine’s first task. The country would receive a great deal of European and American help to do so.

But if the refugees are returning to a country under Russian occupation or divided between Western and Russian “sectors”—with or without a peace treaty—many will want to wage a guerrilla war to drive the invader out. That’s the kind of spirit that currently grips Ukrainians everywhere, and it’s likely to grow fiercer while the war persists.

In the first case, the refugee crisis will be short-lived. Ukrainians are not leaving their country now because they want to live somewhere else. They are leaving it to avoid being bombed or shelled by Russian soldiers. Once that’s no longer threatening them (even if Russia has stationed troops there), the great majority of them will return home—and the refugee crisis will cease to exist.

It is the second case—a Ukraine wholly or partly occupied by Russia—that will produce a permanent refugee crisis. Some refugees will return home to fight; most (probably) will want to settle down in the Western country where they find themselves “for the duration” of Russian occupation. That could be a decade or more.

How should these recipient countries handle this longer-term problem? And how are they actually doing so?

The best models for dealing with this kind of semi-permanent refugee problem are how the world handled the outflow of Hungarians fleeing the Russian occupiers in 1956 and how four years later the international community endorsed the proposal for World Refugee Year that—astonishing though that now seems—cleared up the backlog of post-WWII refugees still living in Displaced Persons camps across the continent. Some years ago I wrote about why WRY succeeded:

First, everyone knew that the refugees and DPs were genuine. The Second World War had ended only thirteen years before, and they were its last visible victims. No one thought they were disguised “economic migrants” who anyway in 1958 were welcome in many countries. Second, they were few in number and largely passive. Unless another hot war broke out, there was unlikely to be many more of them. No one imagined that there was a limitless “pool” of refugees who might overwhelm national borders if governments relaxed their entry rules. Third, we had just had the successful experience of resettling the Hungarian émigrés of 1956. All the Western countries had co-operated in an international effort to take in the “Fifty-sixers” in numbers appropriate to the population size of each recipient country. Austria wasn’t left to handle the exodus for itself simply because it bordered Hungary. All these things fostered an international mood that was receptive to the idea.

Flashback to 2015: a different kind of "migrant" crisis.

Very few of these conditions existed in 2015 when the last refugee crisis erupted which, incidentally, Europe as a whole handled badly, taking about two years to reach the commonsense restrictions that Hungary had imposed almost from the first. But the current Ukrainian refugee outflow does resemble the 1956 and 1960 refugee problems and in principle can be successfully handled by European governments, E.U. agencies, and civil society NGOs.

No one doubts they’re genuine refugees, not economic migrants; they enjoy enormous sympathy from people who have watched on the media the destruction of their homes; they’re disproportionately women and children whose men stay to fight (or to be conscripted—though that stirs indignation from an Amherst feminist legal scholar who argues with perverse ingenuity that Ukrainian women are being deprived of their human right to be conscripted equally with men); and almost all of them hope to return to Ukraine before too long and don’t want to put down roots elsewhere.

All of these qualities ensure that as in 1956, the refugees really are welcome. The only thing that makes people nervous about this inflow is the large numbers involved. A few days ago Bloomberg reported that Slovakia, an E.U. border state of 5.5 million, was experiencing the biggest migration crisis in its history, with an influx of more than 176,000. The figure will be larger now.

What has helped Europe to handle the crisis well is that the politicization of refugee policy—indeed, its weaponization by the Left—has been held in check so far by the crisis. The E.U. Summit’s statement on refugees was rooted in cooperation with national governments:

We commend European countries, notably at the borders with Ukraine, for showing immense solidarity in hosting Ukrainian war refugees. The EU and its Member States will continue to show solidarity and provide humanitarian, medical and financial support to all refugees and the countries hosting them.

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A report from Bloomberg Equality—headlined "Ukraine Crisis Highlights Europe's History of Treating Some Refugees Differently"—conceded through gritted teeth that Poland and Hungary, “two of the most unwelcoming countries” in 2015, had stepped up to the plate:

Hungary, which even built a fence to keep people at bay, has been offering a helpful hand as mostly women with children pour across its border with Ukraine. Prime Minister Viktor Orban explained the change last week, telling reporters “we are able to tell the difference between who is a migrant and who is a refugee. Migrants are stopped. Refugees can get all the help.

In a visit to the Ukraine-Hungary border, historian Andrew Roberts reporting in The Spectator on the work of voluntary religious organizations and bodies like the Order of Malta and the Order of St. John in helping refugees to safety, commented:

There has been some panic in the railway stations in the east, especially during Russian shelling, but for the great majority of the two million people who have left, it has been a well- organized evacuation. Ukrainian men bid emotional farewell to their elderly parents, wives and children before turning around and resolutely heading off eastwards to fight, pleased that their families are safe. One is not supposed to praise manliness in modern society, but there is no other word for what is happening here, and it is not ‘toxic’ but uplifting.

In short, whatever the horrors of Putin’s war or the lack of Europe’s military and economic preparedness for it, everyone—the E.U., NGOs, and even “bad boy” governments like Poland and Hungary—was doing the right thing by refugees.

Sometimes toxic masculinity is exactly what's called for.

All of which is very encouraging but probably overstates the willingness of the E.U. and its senior member states such as France and Germany to forget differences over hot-button issues like refugee policy in the common struggle against Putin.

Even as Poland and Hungary were bearing the heaviest burdens of dealing with rising refugee numbers and other consequences of Putin’s war on Ukraine, the European courts, cheered on by the European parliament, were imposing large fines on both countries for their alleged offenses against the "rule of law." The rule under which these fines were levied is itself an offense against the rule of law and opens the way for centralized E.U. institutions in Brussels to use financial blackmail against member states, forcing them to toe the line on issues that are outside the “competences” of Brussels.

For the moment refugee policy is not a matter of dispute, but one of cooperation and sympathy, between Brussels and national parliaments. That, however, is probably the calm before the storm.

'Slacktivism' from the Biden Administration

If you use social media at all, you've encountered "slacktivism." Urban Dictionary defines it as "The self-deluded idea that by liking, sharing, or retweeting something you are helping" a particular cause. It is among the laziest forms of virtue signaling. Thirty years ago you might spend ten bucks on a shirt that said "Free Tibet." Nowadays you don't even need to do that much -- you can just add a "frame" to your Facebook profile pic announcing to the world that you "Support Our Teachers," "Believe No One is Illegal" or -- a common one in the Covid era -- that you intended to "Stay Home to Save Lives" and expected everyone else to too.

Well, the ongoing crisis in Ukraine has brought the slacktivists out in full force. People who couldn't tell Ukraine from Uruguay or Uzbekistan a week ago now have now saturated their social media feeds with the country's blue and gold flag. Viral tweets and tik-toks go on and on about the supposed "hotness" of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. And desperate celebrities have felt the need to get in on the act, (opening themselves to entirely justifiable mockery).

And then there's whatever the hell this is, from actress and now poet, AnnaLynne McCord:

As ridiculous as all of this is, it's somewhat understandable. People like to feel that they're doing something in a crisis, but in a situation like this there isn't much that civilians can do. What is infuriating, however, is when governments and politicians try to get away with slacktivism when actual action is what's called for.

The Biden Administration's position on Russian oil and gas is a good example. America purchases roughly 600,000 barrels of Russian oil per day at the moment, despite having achieved virtual energy independence just a couple of years ago. In 2018 the United States produced 95 percent of its domestic energy needs, the largest percentage in more than fifty years, and by 2019 we had become a net energy exporter for the first time in seventy years.

What has changed in the meantime? Well, Joseph R. Biden became president of the United States and declared war on the American energy industry right out of the gate. Upon taking office Biden commenced what the Associated Press called "a ten day blitz of executive actions" with the intent of "redirect[ing] the country in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidency without waiting for Congress." Killing the Keystone XL pipeline and banning oil and gas leases on federal land were at the top of his list. Since then, Russian oil imports to America have tripled, making us just one of the many western nations dependent on Russian energy. Revenue from that oil is now funding the Russian war machine, but we've been careful not to hit Russian petroleum products with sanctions because we and our allies are so dependent upon it.

This is insane, and people are starting to notice. Senator Joe Manchin pointed out that this is now a national security issue, and he called on the Biden Administration to change course and incentivize domestic oil production. This would have to include greenlighting Keystone and backing down on oil and gas lease suspensions. Which is to say, putting things back the way they were before Biden screwed them up.

Is such a move even being considered? Apparently not. When asked in a recent interview about these calls from Republicans and Democrats alike, White House press secretary/slacker Jen Psaki said they represent a "misdiagnosis of what needs to happen." She continued, saying "what this actually justifies in President Biden's view is the fact that we need to reduce our dependence... on oil in general ... and we need to look at other ways of having energy in our country and others."

Translation -- instead of fixing a real problem, we're opting to live in an imaginary lollipop land in the sky where all of our problems are solved by the sunshine. That hasn't worked for Germany and it won't work for us.