In Santa Barbara, “gloomy’ was the operative description for the foggy morning of June 30 — and the word fit the Biden economy in the U.S. What would end these “glooms?”
What happened on June 30?
Before 6 a.m., a spokesman, not important enough to be with the Biden delegation in Madrid, said there was a constructive meeting last week in the White House with some leaders from oil companies. Was there another meeting besides the one that according to the executives accomplished nothing? The one where President Biden was too busy meeting with the “windmill” group to even walk down the hall to welcome them? The one where Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm ignored the list of suggestions sent by the American Petroleum Institute. The one that informed the secretary that many of the regulations promulgated in 2021, which set the record for the most ever number of new regulations, were preventing the production of oil?
At the NATO Summit in Madrid, President Biden said Americans would have to pay the high price for gasoline for as long as the Ukrainian war continued. (He blames everyone but himself for inflation.) Later White House economic adviser Brain Dees said on CNN (where else?) that high prices at the pump are a price Americans will have to pay for the future of “liberal world order.” Did CNN ask him to define a “liberal world order?” The president not talking to oil executives’ part of his plan to end fossil fuels?
In Madrid, President Biden saying the U.S. had lower inflation than any other country must have puzzled the Spaniards as in May their inflation of 8.3% was the same as the U.S. and below many, such as Turkey at 70%; Argentina, 58%; the Netherlands, 9.6%; the United Kingdom, 9%, and Venezuela, 222% (which should make Mr. Biden’s request for oil from the country interesting).
President Biden read from his script that he was “proposing” to put a cap on the price that countries would pay for Russian oil that, of course, private companies would enforce. What happened to his proposal to ban Russian oil?
He “announced” that he will continue to release the oil from the Strategic Oil Reserve without mentioning that President Trump had refilled it after the Obama-Biden years had decreased it. He repeated that he will “ask” Congress to “temporarily end the tax on gasoline at the pump.” (Did he forget Congress had declined?).
Is President Biden aware that Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, is increasing our state tax on gasoline? Is President Biden aware that “proposing,” “announcing” and “asking” are not action verbs?
Deb Haaland, the interior secretary that the president touted as the first Native American at the cabinet level, failed to meet the congressionally mandated program outlining proposed offshore lease sales over the next five years — the same program she promised the Senate on May 19. She also missed the deadline to plan future oil and gas leases sales. The next day, the Department of Interior submitted a plan to ban all drilling in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Is the president “doing all that he can?”
In Madrid, President Biden announced that “what started as the Build Back Better notion (a “notion” because Congress never approved it) “morphed into the Partnership for the Global Infrastructure and Investment, to offer developing and middle-income countries better options to meet their infrastructure needs.” Removing any doubt of the funding, he continued “When the United States and the G-7 countries put skin in the game.”
Gosh, once again, like with the Paris Climate Accord, the president is end-running congressional approval or oversight to send money abroad for others to manage. Same theme in announcing a commitment for “$2 billion for a solar farm in Angola,” where he added “When I speak of ‘climate,’ I think of ‘jobs.” Is he aware that solar panels are made in China?
President Biden announced that multiple countries were going to meet their contractual obligation to fund the NATO forces with at least 2% of their Gross Domestic Product. Is he aware that his party criticized President Trump when he pushed for this?
President Biden promised more military aid to the Ukraine from a defense budget that he had not increased and from which he had “gifted” $85 billion, or 12% of the defense budget, to the terrorists in Afghanistan. The president said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin “pledged” to send more military equipment to Ukraine in the next few days and that the U.S. “intends” to announce a commitment for more money for Ukraine. Is he aware that “pledges” and “intentions” cannot stop bullets or rockets? Or that our also buying Russian oil means we are funding both sides of the war?
The president used the NATO Summit to criticize the Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Healthcare Organization that reduced the federal control, a no-no for Democrats, over abortions by returning it to the states. While this may be an important issue to him, speaking about it at the NATO Summit is like the pastor I heard using the pulpit to tell his congregation about all his wife’s faults that were important to him. This was not his first time as previously from Scotland he interjected his complaints about Republicans.
What happened to his campaign theme of “being the great uniter?”
On June 30, it took the sun to eliminate the gloom in Santa Barbara. Will it take an election to eliminate it in the U.S.?
Brent E. Zepke is an attorney, arbitrator and author who lives in Santa Barbara. His website is OneheartTwoLivescom.wordpress.com. Formerly, he taught law and business at six universities and numerous professional conferences. He is the author of more than 100 articles and six books: “One Heart-Two Lives,” “Legal Guide to Human Resources,” “Business Statistics,” “Labor Law,” “Products and the Consumer” and “Law for Non-Lawyers.”