Loose Ends (124)

We know John Kerry regards himself as too important, so why is this story even news at all. Of course he was going to take a private jet to accept a climate award. Still, I guess it is nice to have him come right out and say it:

John Kerry defends taking private jet to accept climate award in Iceland

President Biden’s new climate czar John Kerry took a gas-guzzling private jet to collect a climate change leadership award in Iceland in 2019, defending his mode of transport as “the only choice for someone like me.”

“If you offset your carbon, it’s the only choice for somebody like me who is traveling the world to win this battle,” Kerry said in an interview with local outlet RUV, unearthed by Fox News on Wednesday.

“I negotiated the Paris Accords for the United States. I’ve been involved in this fight for years. I negotiated with President Xi to bring President Xi to the table so we could get Paris,” he said.

I’m sure another ten meetings and 20 more pieces of paper will do the trick. By the way, is there any way to buy Leftist Arrogance Offsets? Kerry could use a bundle of them. Maybe Robinhood and Reddit can create a market our of nothing. Why not? Kerry has created a career out of nothing.

It’s already clear that the Biden Administration is the most left-wing in history, much more so than Obama. This latest bit of news is most illustrative: Biden has decided not to use the American Bar Association ratings for prospective judicial nominees. Once again we observe liberal double standards at work. When President George W. Bush dumped the ABA ratings from his judicial selection process (because the ABA leans left), liberals and the media howled in outrage. (Trump did it too, with the same reaction from the left. Ed Whelan has the goods here, including how a Senator named Biden blasted the exclusion of the ABA once upon a time.)

The significance is obvious: despite the fact that the ABA leans left, they might give low ratings for some of the people Kamala Harris wants to appoint to the federal bench. In other words, the Biden administration wants to appoint judges who will be too far to the left for the ABA.

Larry Summers has some cautious skepticism about Biden’s spending plans:

In contrast, recent Congressional Budget Office estimates suggest that with the already enacted $900 billion package — but without any new stimulus — the gap between actual and potential output will decline from about $50 billion a month at the beginning of the year to $20 billion a month at its end. The proposed stimulus will total in the neighborhood of $150 billion a month, even before consideration of any follow-on measures. That is at least three times the size of the output shortfall.

In other words, whereas the Obama stimulus was about half as large as the output shortfall, the proposed Biden stimulus is three times as large as the projected shortfall. Relative to the size of the gap being addressed, it is six times as large.

First, unemployment is falling, rather than skyrocketing as it was in 2009, and the economy is likely before too long to receive a major boost as covid-19 comes under control. Second, monetary conditions are far looser today than in 2009 given extraordinary Federal Reserve policies, the booming stock and corporate bond markets, and the weakness of the dollar. Third, there is likely to be further strengthening of demand as consumers spend down the approximately $1.5 trillion they accumulated last year as the pandemic curtailed their ability to spend and as promised further fiscal measures are undertaken. . .

There is a chance that macroeconomic stimulus on a scale closer to World War II levels than normal recession levels will set off inflationary pressures of a kind we have not seen in a generation, with consequences for the value of the dollar and financial stability. . . Stimulus measures of the magnitude contemplated are steps into the unknown.

When Larry Summers thinks you may be going too far, maybe it is time to buy gold.

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