“For god’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” cried President Biden at the end of his speech in Warsaw on his four-day trip to Europe. Biden was finally committing to doing whatever it took to separate Putin from power in Russia. A Putin defeat in Ukraine was a path to change. Coupled with his labeling Putin a butcher and a war criminal, it was a clear call for regime change in Russia.
As Biden’s strong words circled the globe, the administration told us the President didn’t mean regime change. “I think the President, the White House made the point last night that, quite simply, President Putin cannot be empowered to wage war or engage in aggression against Ukraine or anyone else,” Secretary of State Blinken said. Of course, this doesn’t sound anything like what the President actually said.
Much of the press claimed Biden echoed Ronald Reagan’s “Tear down this wall” Berlin speech. Reagan meant what he said and stood by it. Regime change joined with Biden telling the 82nd Airborne what they’ll witness when they’re in Ukraine. Add we will respond in kind to the Russian use of chemical weapons to the gaffs needing to be walked back on his European trip. At least, Biden claimed s “moral outrage.”
Biden finds Russia’s behavior in Ukraine appalling, but Russia is presently negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran for us. The agreement benefits Putin with enriched uranium and orders for two atomic plants. Is Putin a pariah or a trusted negotiating partner?
Biden promised Europe natural gas to replace its dependence on Russian supplies on the trip. His administration has done everything to diminish our oil and gas production. Export gas terminals and pipelines languish without permits. Where is the extra gas to come from?
A little-reported topic of discussion is a potential of a world food shortage due to the war. Ukraine and Russia are significant exporters of wheat, corn, barley, and sunflower oil.
Due to tight supplies, energy and food prices rose before the war. Now the problems can only worsen. Increasing supply has to be prioritized immediately to avoid out-of-control inflation and starvation.
Using more fertilizer can increase crop yields, but it’s mostly made from fossil fuels. There have been calls for a “project warp speed” for oil and gas production. U.S. production trails our pre-covid levels. Favorable government policies can increase both near and long-term output.
Millions of barrels of non-OPEC oil and gas equivalent entering the market in the future can change the actions of those with excess capacities, such as Saudi Arabia and the Emirates. If supplies continue tight, it pays them to hold back production to get the most for each barrel. If new output seems likely to replace their sales, it pays to sell at today’s high prices before losing market share and revenue. Future expectations influence current prices and actions. That’s why we have futures markets for almost everything.
Another way to replace lost food commodities is simply to plant more acreage. Every acre sowed increases supply. In both Europe and the U.S., we have taken considerable land out of production.
The reasons for this range from supporting prices to environmental concerns. The U.S. can provide leadership to encourage or shame Europe to follow.
Sadly, indifference or outright rejection has met the need to increase supply. The administration is still warring on fossil fuels, and no one has even mentioned planting more acreage. Has anyone seen Secretary of Agriculture, Thomas Vilsack, instituting a land unretirement program? It’s already spring. Many crops are sowed now or shortly.
All of this came to the fore in just the past week. Incompetence is revealed at an ever-increasing pace. Starting in January, I’ve presented evidence of the Biden administration’s inadequacies. If something can be mishandled, they’ll find a way. Getting up in the morning, you fear what else they screwed up.
If we can see an administration giving James Buchanan’s a run for the money as the worst presidency ever, the whole world also sees it. Yet, there is no recognition by those in charge of mistakes that have been and continue to be made. The same faces that told us how well they were handling Afghanistan, the border, covid, and inflation are still communicating to an increasing unbelieving public both here and abroad.
When other administrations had difficulty, they changed the personnel or direction. This administration does neither. Instead, it proclaims they’re doing great. A defeat in the midterms may finally bring change, but it may be too late. Ukrainians are dying, masses are crossing our southern border, and inflation is raging. Can’t anybody wake Joe up?