Does Anyone Really Know What Day it Is?

Does anyone really care?

[Amazon Link]
(paid link)

Well, I scanned through the transcript of George Stephanopoulos' interview with President Biden. Among all the verbiage, this stuck out:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And you have been doing that and the American people have been watching, yet their concerns about your age and your health are growing. So that's why I'm asking -- to reassure them, would you be willing to have the independent medical evaluation?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Watch me between-- there's a lotta time left in this campaign. There's over 125 days.

I didn't even have to go to the How Many Days Until...? Calculator page. As I type, Saturday morning, there's a little note at the top of ABC's page:


So yesterday, that number was 123. Not "over 125 days", Joe.

Anyway: the President's responses were (unlike Thursday's debate) not totally incoherent. He did have some talking points. He referred to his "bad night" four times. He called Trump a "pathological liar" twice, and "congenital liar" once.

But "more coherent than Thursday" is a pretty low bar. Read the transcript for yourself. Sample, when Stephanopoulos asks if he knew how badly he was doing in the debate:

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Yeah, look. The whole way I prepared, nobody's fault, mine. Nobody's fault but mine. I, uh-- I prepared what I usually would do sittin' down as I did come back with foreign leaders or National Security Council for explicit detail. And I realized--bout partway through that, you know, all-- I get quoted the New York Times had me down, at ten points before the debate, nine now, or whatever the hell it is. The fact of the matter is, what I looked at is that he also lied 28 times. I couldn't-- I mean, the way the debate ran, not-- my fault, no one else's fault, no one else's fault.

You can almost see the thoughts bouncing around his brain, tiny ping-pong balls fighting to be let out his mouth.

And (by the way) there's no New York Times poll that had him down "ten points before the debate". The Real Clear Polling archive shows the NYT polling had Biden down 3 percentage points pre-debate, and 6 percentage points post-debate.

Also of note:

  • A Dune reference from KDW? Maybe he doesn't write his own headlines: The God-Empress of Washington. And games out an ideal scenario for Kamala:

    Kamala Harris can have anything she wants—except one thing.

    The only way Kamala Harris becomes president of these United States is if Joe Biden vacates the office before Election Day. Were that to happen, it is almost certain that her sole memorable act in office would be handing the keys over to Donald Trump, who is set to thrash Biden in the election and who might very well thrash Harris worse if the polls taken before 11 minutes ago are to be believed. With my usual caveat that the man is unfairly maligned, Biden and Harris would end up with something like Neville Chamberlain’s reputation if they usher Trump back into the Oval Office.

    If Harris could admit to herself the reality of her political position—she isn’t going to be elected president in the foreseeable future and currently is pointed like a rocket at a career-and-reputation-ending disaster—then she would appreciate that she is in a terrific position nonetheless. She ought to be the happiest person in Washington because she has two things in her pocket: the capacity to drive Joe Biden off the ticket, and the opportunity to benefit from this mightily.

    You can imagine the press conference: “It has been my honor to serve with such a great and honorable man as Joe Biden, but I can no longer ignore his rapid decline in recent months, and the country cannot afford to risk …” blah, blah, blah. And, then: “I am honored that so many people in my party—people at the highest level—encouraged me to seek the presidency on my own, in part because of what that would mean to women and people of color. But I have decided that I can best serve my country by …”

    Only problem being: she would need to be considerably less delusional about her political prospects that is Joe Biden about his.

    Fun fact: I was not a fan of Frank Herbert's God Emperor of Dune.

  • Speaking of delusions… The WSJ editorialists point out yet another one: The IRS Has a High-Earner Delusion.

    Unlike bank robbers, IRS auditors tend to look where the money isn’t. That’s what happened after the agency started scrutinizing more tax returns from the wealthiest Americans. A new report says increased targeting of these taxpayers was hugely ineffective.

    The policy, launched in 2020 by former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, required the IRS to audit 8% of taxpayers each year who earned more than $10 million. To hit that quota, the agency started examining returns with fewer irregularities. The efficiency drop was steep, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or Tigta, which recently reviewed the results.

    The average dollars assessed per return above $10 million “was nearly six times more productive prior to the 2020 Treasury Directive,” meaning the average examination recovered six times as much in unpaid taxes. Or to put it in terms of IRS productivity, after the policy change the money that auditors assessed per hour from this income group dropped 93%.

    So don't worry: the IRS is not just bad at finding tax cheats, they get worse when they try to do better.

Recently on the book blog:
Recently on the movie blog:

Last Modified 2024-07-07 8:16 AM EDT