Biden lost the debt negotiations

Despite whatever click-bait headlines you’re seeing on Fox News, and the predictable rage of rage-aholics, it’s been reported by the Wall Street Journal that Republicans and Democrats have basically reached a debt deal. Credit the skillful negotiations of Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the fumbling negotiations of President Joe Biden.

Biden’s opening card in this game was something he specializes in: nothing. He gambled this spring that he could portray the Republicans as intransigent extremists by refusing to negotiate with them, and the Republicans would wind up having to simply raise the debt ceiling without any concessions from the Democrats. More borrowed money to spend now and repay later, and no conditions on spending it.

Biden lost that gamble, bigly.

The loss was signaled early when, against all predictions, McCarthy managed to pass a Republican debt bill through the House. The bill certainly reflects Republican priorities, but it isn’t radical. It called for modest spending caps and redirection of funds away from the IRS – which is nobody’s friend – and toward the military.

Even then, Biden continued to refuse negotiations. He still thought his strategy of doing nothing was shrewd, and, besides, it dovetailed nicely with his practice of spending 40% of his time on vacation in Delaware. But doing nothing in response to a concrete offer on the table is not the way to look reasonable, is not good politics, and is not smart.

It was a transparent bluff.

Biden not only refused to negotiate a deal, but also continually reminded people of the dire consequences of the absence of one. He in effect said “The world may end, but it’s the fault of those people I refuse to talk to about the matter.”

Biden of course knew he had most of the media on his side, Heck, the media are overwhelmingly Democrats. And dishonest ones to boot – since they present their biased reporting as unbiased.

But even his media allies could not deal Biden a winning hand when he refused to play any cards. The American people know the economy is a mess, and they know it’s mainly the fault of the Democrats for printing up trillions of debt dollars and sending them to people as “pay” for failing to perform the work that would be necessary to deliver the goods and services on which they would spend those trillions.

More money chasing fewer goods is not just a recipe for inflation; it’s a near-definition of it.

But like a madman, or a Democrat, Biden said “We just need to print and send more trillions.” They think they can spend their way out of inflation by juicing demand and crimping supply even more.

It’s hard to figure whether the Democrats know that their scheme — to control inflation by printing up money to pay people not to work — is crazy voodoo. Do they practice this witchcraft for the purpose of covertly destroying the country? Is this burning fire and bubbling cauldron intentional?

Or are they truly sincere in mistakenly imagining they’re helping the country by encouraging people not to work by sending them free money we don’t have, but are just too stupid to realize their mistake?

I have no doubt that the hard left of George Soros and The Squad are indeed toiling and troubling to destroy America, and they know runaway inflation is a good weapon. On the other hand, I think the moderate left (yes, there are still a few) like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema and some of your friends and neighbors are probably sincere in stupidly imagining they’re helping the country.

Biden himself is neither, or both. As for the first, he’s crazy all right, but not really trying to destroy the country. This country been very good to him and his family, or at least very good for him and his family.

As for the second, Biden is certainly stupid – he’s unquestionably the dimmest bulb of any American president, and that was even before the dementia set in – but he’s not sincere. He hasn’t a sincere bone in his body. Sincerity was crowded out long ago by grift, graft, greed, avarice, hair plugs, self-aggrandizing lies, bribery, tax-cheating, plagiarism, tooth caps, his hatred and disowning of his own granddaughter, and the sweet smell of other little girls’ hair.

Predictably, when the Republicans called out Biden on his refusal to negotiate the debt ceiling, and even the media couldn’t spin his refusal as anything but a lazy Biden bluff, he reversed course and started negotiating. But caving on your promise not to negotiate is not exactly the strongest card with which to start negotiations. His caving not only weakened him in the negotiations, but weakened him in the eyes of the people, if that’s possible.

The ultimate outcome of the belated negotiations was a deal where Biden lost both substantively and politically.  

I’ll admit that I’m glad Biden is a weak negotiator when he’s negotiating with McCarthy (who’s turning out better than advertised, eh?). But bear in mind that Biden is the same weak negotiator when negotiating American interests abroad.

Don’t hope for weakness in an American president, even one from the opposing political party. The world is too dangerous.

My book is now out, entitled “High Attitude – How Woke Liberals Ruined Aspen.” It’s available on AMAZON and BARNES AND NOBLE.

I identify as infallible, and I expect you to agree

This has been a very emotional time for me. The time I’m referring to is the seven decades in which I have lived or, rather, until my recent discovery, merely existed.

From the time I was born, I was uncomfortable with the society-imposed notion that I was sometimes wrong. I knew deep down that it was a lie. I knew deeeeep down that I was an infallible trapped in a fallible body. I knew deep down that I’m always right.

It hurt. It hurt to be told by infalli-phobes that I was not infallible. How dare they! Teachers, parents, friends, and aye, even – especially – lovers, told me I was not perfect. They hurt me. That makes them wrong. And evil.  

I was … ohhhhh, it hurts to re-tell this … I was cut from the freshman baseball team when I was about 14. There I was – infallible at ball and all – and the shop teacher/coach – the shop teacher! – cut me. Thinkin’ I should sue his estate, but shop teachers tend to be judgment-proof. No matter. I’m totally over it now.

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Chad Klinger: A virtue-signaling dystopia? How ‘Mr. Aspen’ sees Aspen

In a 168-page commentary by a former wisenheimer local newspaper columnist, one doesn’t expect to find the breadth and depth of Alexis de Tocqueville or the wit and wisdom of H.L. Mencken when it comes to vibrant, insightful social analysis.

But in his newly-published book “High Attitude: How Woke Liberals Ruined Aspen,” Glenn Beaton has his moments.

Here’s one of them: “Aspen and the rest of America changed in the ’60s, in some ways for the better but mostly for the worse. America recovered, but Aspen never did.”

I guess this explains why, when I first came to the valley 14 years ago for the first time in 30 years, I was seeing men my age looking and acting pretty much as they had, say, in 1970 — with pony tails, tie-dye, a religious belief in the redemptive power of art and “sustainability,” and an absolute giddiness in anticipation of the first pot dispensaries following the legalization of a drug that profits no man, apart from the money to be made.

Let’s face it: Aspen and its environs constitute a uniquely hybridized subculture that, like most others, is intoxicated by its own importance and largely dismissive of what it has taught itself to dislike.

Enter an alien intelligence, with origins in conservative Colorado Springs and a truly liberal education leading to endeavors in both civil engineering and the practice of law and ultimately to his present career as a freelance gadfly, who likes to hold one of those illuminated, magnifying cosmetic mirrors up to our faces, revealing, well, whatever it reveals.

And while he is at it, he also provides us with a basic literacy in our prior history. Like most people strolling down Main Street, I didn’t know Paepcke from Plato, as Beaton puts it; but thanks to his book, I’ve developed a considerable appreciation not only for Elizabeth and Walter Paepcke, but for people named Wheeler, Fiske, Litchfield, Pfeifer, Anderson, and other “founders” of present day life in Aspen.

And, alas, I am also far better acquainted with the adventures of people named Thompson (a person for whom “narcissism is too generous a term,” says Beaton), Braudis, Grabow, Sheen and Mueller, Sabich and Longet, Trump and Maples, multiple Kennedys, and many others — those who prompt Beaton to opine that “if America in the ’60s was like a conventional mom and dad who occasionally got drunk and passed out, (post-’60s) Aspen was like their 13-year-old kid who got into meth and never recovered.”

His history of the place, from Ferdinand Hayden’s 1873 survey through Skico’s contemporary paternalism, is basically a parade of foil characters who mirror each other’s virtues and vices. To appreciate the integrity of the Aspen Center for Physics, for example, one only need consider the steadily more partisan, virtue-signaling, woke drift of the Aspen Institute Ideas Festival and Aspen Music Festival and School.

To understand true, selfless, largely-anonymous virtue, as distinct from feel-good displays of moral superiority, one only need consider the men and women of Mountain Rescue Aspen.

It’s all there in front of us. What Glenn Beaton does is sharpen our vision and periodically allow us to laugh.

You can get the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. This review was published in The Aspen Times. Chad Klinger lives in Snowmass Village.

Dobbs was probably leaked by Sotomayor

The Supreme Court decision last year in Dobbs v. Jackson overruled Roe v. Wade, their 1973 decision that purported to find an abortion right in a U.S. Constitution that never mentions or alludes to it. Abortion is now rightly governed by the people’s elected legislators, and, sadly, to some extent by unelected bureaucrats, but, in any event, not by judges.

The Dobbs decision was leaked a couple of months in advance of its issuance. The effect of the leak was an outcry from abortion proponents, illegal protests at the homes of the conservative Justices, and an attempted assassination of one. The leak was unprecedented in over two centuries of Supreme Court jurisprudence.

Chief Justice Roberts turned the matter over to the Court’s marshal, a person not skilled in criminal law investigation. Apparently unaided or little-aided by the unlimited resources of federal law enforcement, she concluded that there was no “preponderance of evidence” to name the leaker.

In other words, she has her suspicions but did not succeed in confirming them. As I wrote some months ago, I think Roberts didn’t really want her to succeed, because he felt that the political turmoil from identifying the leaker would be yet another blow to the Court.

The author of the Dobbs decision, Justice Alito, recently spoke at the George Mason University law school, a place called “Scalia Law School” after the late, great Justice Antonin Scalia. Or rather, I should say he virtually spoke. His speech was by Zoom after the school decided they could not guarantee his safety. These days, he and the other conservative Justices need 24/7 armed guards and must travel in armored cars.

Alito offered his view on the identity of the leaker and the effect of the leak. It’s detailed in a piece by James Taranto, the excellent Features Editor of the Wall Street Journal (behind a paywall HERE).

Alito speculates that the leaker intended the effect that the leak produced. That speculation seems sound. It’s hard to believe that the leaker thought the effect would be anything different. The purpose was obviously to intimidate the conservative justices into changing their minds.

Perhaps in a case of psychological projection, the leaker underestimated the courage and resolve of the conservative Justices.

Alito dismisses the complicated theory that the leak was actually by a conservative Justice worried that some of the other conservatives were wavering in their votes. He notes that a conservative leaker would be physically endangering not just the other conservatives, but also himself.

I would also note that the leaked draft proved to be nearly identical to the final opinion. It’s not likely that Alito would have gone to that much effort in drafting a final, polished opinion if there were any doubt about gathering the necessary votes for it. And when the opinion was issued, it was unequivocally joined by five conservatives, none of whom expressed the slightest doubt about the holding. (Chief Justice Roberts concurred in the judgment upholding the Mississippi law at issue, but, typical of his compromising ways, said his preference would be not to outright overrule Roe).

Let’s get to the bombshell of Alito’s recent comments: “I personally have a pretty good idea who is responsible, but that’s different from the level of proof that is needed to name somebody.” 

Yikes. Let’s consider this.

Alito says it was not a conservative Justice, so that leaves only the three liberals, Justices Breyer, Kagan and Sotomayor, and their law clerks. (Justice Jackson had been nominated to replace the retiring Breyer but was not yet confirmed or on the Court.)

I rule out the law clerks, for several reasons. One, a law clerk would be jeopardizing a lucrative and powerful career as a lawyer, a career he’d worked toward for many years. The kind of people who graduate high in their law school class at Harvard and Yale desire lucre and power. People without that desire don’t get there.

Two, Alito would be too unacquainted with those law clerks to have suspicions about particular ones. They would be people he said hi to in the elevator.

That leaves the three liberal Justices. Before considering which it was, note that Alito’s seemingly cautious comment is, in the context of the cloistered decorum of the Supreme Court, like a loud fart in a quiet church.  Alito’s comment was a shot across the liberals’ bow.

Viewed more sinisterly, it was a subtle but strong announcement that he has kompromat on them.

As for which of the three it was, I doubt it was either of the first two. Breyer and Kagan are just not that type. I disagree with most of their political positions over the years, but in my judgment they are not cut from criminal cloth.  

So that leaves Justice Sotomayor. Self-described in her 2009 confirmation hearing as a “wise Latina” (this was before the left invented and imposed on them the insulting “latinx” moniker) she has been anything but. She snarks acerbically but witlessly at the conservatives in her opinions and even in oral argument as her fellow Justices sit just feet away from her at the long Justices’ bench.

I suspected Sotomayor at the outset and wrote a piece about my suspicions. I now think more than ever it’s Sotomayor, I think Alito thinks so, and I think history will say so.

Now I have a prediction. Sotomayor, a diabetic who is not in great health, will retire before a Republican president and senate are elected in 2024. Alito at the relatively young age of 73 will soldier on, fighting the good fight. I hope to read his memoirs where he says what he thinks about this, but not for a very long time.

Glenn K. Beaton practiced law in the federal courts, including the Supreme Court.

“High Attitude – How Woke Liberals Ruined Aspen” is now published and selling well. You can find it at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Americans are not working, nor is their collapsing culture

The unemployment rate is very low, but we have millions fewer people working in America than pre-pandemic. So what gives?

Here’s what gives. It’s because the unemployment rate does not measure the total number of people who are unemployed. It instead measures the number of people who are unemployed but looking for work. Many people who are unemployed today are simply not looking.

Work is not to their liking.  

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Advance Praise for “High Attitude — How Woke Liberals Ruined Aspen”

My book was published April 18, 2023 and is available on AMAZON. I would be grateful if you would read AND offer a review on Amazon, which is very important for the book to get traction.

Here are a few items of “Advance Praise” by people I really respect who took the time to read advance copies:

“Aspen, Colorado, is one of the most celebrated places in the United States, but like any other community it has its preening airheads, community-minded heroes, political bigots and ripoff artists. What most communities don’t have, however, is an alert critic who has seen it all and can write it up. Glenn Beaton is to Aspen as Thorton Wilder was to Our Town. He lived there for many years, got to know it all, and, finally, in disillusion, abandoned it. This book tells you why.”

–Peter Wallison, author and White House counsel to President Ronald Reagan

“I, like 327 million of my 328 million fellow Americans, could not care less about Aspen, Colorado, but Glenn K. Beaton did the impossible. His witty and charming history of Aspen magically makes you care. He takes readers from its silver mining roots to its ski resort days laughing all the way. In between are visits from Johnny Depp, Hunter S. Thompson, and the 10th Mountain Division. I want Glenn to come back in one hundred years and write the sequel in which liberals are driven away by some Pied Piper”

–Don Surber, retired newspaper man and Substack writer

“Glenn Beaton tells the history of Aspen with grace and bite. Although the history is one of dramatic cultural decline, Beaton displays his wicked sense of humor throughout. Reading the book is a pleasure I greatly enjoyed. Beaton both entertains and instructs, for Aspen’s story as he tells it illuminates alarming nati0nal trends that threaten our survival. Indeed, I am afraid it may give the avant garde thinkers of my hometown ideas that will hasten its further destruction.”

–Scott W. Johnson, Minneapolis attorney and PowerLine co-founder/contributor

“The Fall of the FBI” takes James Comey to task, and more

J. Edgar Hoover, long before the fall

I have only one criticism of the just-released book by long-time superstar FBI agent Thomas Baker entitled “The Fall of the FBI.” It really should be entitled “The Winter of the FBI.” That’s how bad things have gotten in the upper echelons of the Bureau.

It wasn’t always that way. More than half the book is a collection of true crime stories that illustrate the competence and professionalism of the Bureau in the old days. Most end with the bad guys in jail.

Baker had a first-hand view of these cases because he was involved in many of them. He was the first FBI agent on the scene at President Ronald Reagan’s shooting when he happened to hear the news report on the radio (recall that the shooting took place right in front of the press who were following the President). Baker was in the neighborhood and sped to the scene, arriving just minutes later. He became in charge of the investigation.

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Why are trannies so violent?

There has been a spate of high-profile violence lately by women who think they are men and, especially, by men who think they are women.

In Nashville, a woman pretending to be a man slaughtered six in an elementary school, including three 9-year-olds. Beforehand, the shooter had written a “manifesto” that evidently justified her shooting spree on the grounds that the school – a Christian grade school – failed to endorse her perversion. (We don’t know for sure what the manifesto says because the cops won’t release it – which suggests that it does indeed say that.)

Some of the “news” media were instructed by their bosses not to reveal the sex part of the story. It came out anyway, but in the meantime I’m sure the bosses felt virtuous in censoring it. Think about that. The “news” media feels virtuous when they censor facts that are newsworthy, but only if those facts reflect badly on Democrat constituencies.

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Smokey and the Bandit and the Manhattan DA

In the 1977 action-comedy “Smokey and the Bandit,” Burt Reynolds plays a bootlegger named Bo. Everyone calls him “Bandit” because the name “Bo” was apparently too informal for his friends.

The script was so trite that the actors made up much of the dialogue as the cameras rolled. The alleged plot centers on a rich Georgia businessman’s offer of $80,000 to Bandit to drive to Texas and back to fetch him a semi full of Coors beer. In both the movie and real life, you may recall, Coors was illegal east of Texas at the time.

Of course, the illegality of Coors was an accidental marketing coup for the company. The beer’s mystique of illegality partially offset its taste of water. Gerald Ford used to smuggle a few cans back to DC from his vacation house in Vail. Before that, President Eisenhower regularly had the Air Force airlift cases to the White House.

So, you see, the movie is a true story.

Except the cross-country car chase. Bandit gets a truckdriver to drive the semi, played by two Kenworths, while Bandit drives a car, played by a black ’76 Trans Am – four, actually – fitted with 455 engines.

I know what you’re thinking but, no, the Trans Am was not transexual. But it was indeed black. With a lower case “b.”

The filming was hell on wheels. But until the stunt men beat them to death, those black Trannys could really go. In one scene – filmed long before computer generated images – they jumped a river with the aid of an Evel Knievel booster rocket attached to the rear. The things they put in the rear of that Tranny.

Bandit’s scheme was for his Trans Am to act as a “blocking car” for the semi full of Coors. He would commit multiple illegal mayhems along the way to distract the cops from the semi full of Coors illegally crossing state lines – the true crime.

Bandit succeeds wildly and wildly succeeds, with the help of an unplanned accomplice. Shortly after Bandit loads the semi with Coors and starts back to Georgia in the Trans Am with the semi in convoy, he picks up a damsel named Carrie played by Sally Field.

Carrie is distressed about her impending marriage to a creep, so she has run away from her wedding. Minutes into her dash, Bandit encounters her on the highway. Bandit rescues this runaway bride, and she hops into the Trans Am. In the passenger seat while they’re tooling along at about 90 mph, she acrobatically swaps her wedding dress for jeans.

It’s not clear why this bride in a wedding dress had a pair of jeans handy.  But you would, too, if they fit you as well as they fit the 30-year-old Sally Field in 1977.

Carrie is a New Age type and Bandit is, well, not. They have nothing in common except, halfway into the movie, bodily fluids. Rumor is that it wasn’t all acting.

It turns out that Carrie’s groom, whom she’d abandoned at the altar, is the son of a fat, stupid, southern hick sheriff named Buford T. Justice, overplayed by Jackie Gleason. Furious that his son and Carrie won’t be honeymooners, he sets out to retrieve her.

Sheriff Buford T. Justice – everyone else calls him “Smokey” but he invariably calls himself by his full name and title – spots her in the cisgender black Tranny and gives chase. All the way back to Georgia.

Sheriff Buford T. Justice announces to anyone who will listen that, among sundry other crimes, Bandit has feloniously violated the Mann Act. For readers who are not lawyers or perverts (ah, but I repeat myself) that’s the 1910 federal law that criminalizes the transportation across state lines of “any woman or girl for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose.”

That is fairly, um, broad, especially since the law offers no definition of “woman.”

I’ve always thought this law, named after the sanctimonious and probably felonious Illinois congressman who sponsored it, James Robert Mann, was inaptly named. He should have gotten another congressman to co-sponsor it, such as Iowa Congressman Frank Wood, in order to call it the “WoMann Act.”

Or Massachusetts congressman William Lovering in order to call it “LoverMann Act” or Mississippi congressman Thomas Sisson in order to call it “SissyMann Act” or Indiana congressman William Cox in order to call it, well, you get the idea.

Also, I’ve always wondered about the precise meaning of the word “Act” in this context, which is also undefined.

In any event, this law against interstate debauchery always had the intended effect of terrifying my young psyche. I made a point of never dating across state lines, though as it turned out my precaution was unnecessary.

I won’t spoil your viewing pleasure by telling you how the movie ends. But there were a few sequels, so you can guess that the stars made out OK.

The latest sequel was released just this spring. Fat, stupid, southern hick Sheriff Buford T. Justice is played by a fat, stupid, northern hick District Attorney named Alvin Leonard Bragg.

He’s after Bandit again, played by a certain former reality TV star. Bandit has graduated from running liquor to running for president and from driving a Trans Am to driving a golf cart.  

The charge in this sequel is not a Mann Act violation, but something more like the Mann-ure Act. In fact, it’s hard to figure out what the charge is. There’s the hush money that Bandit paid to a porn star to keep quiet about their affair but nobody says hush money is illegal – it’s not. Maybe it’s illegal here because Bandit used his own private money for his own private affair rather than using campaign donations.

All I can deduce legally – and bear in mind that I’m a lawyer – is that when you’re running for president and you buy women and other personal things, you’re required to use either campaign donations or maybe a charitable foundation.


The part of Carrie originally played by Sally Field, who is now 76, is played by a young woman named Melania. Carrie still looks pretty good in jeans. Carrie and Bandit still have nothing in common – this time not even bodily fluids. The relationship between them is strictly acting.

Alvin Leonard Bragg, DA brags in front of the cameras over and over that he’s gonna get that Bandit, by gosh, and he’s chasing him hard but hardly catching him. As in the original movie, you sense that he’s making everything up as the cameras roll. He’s every bit the pompous, ridiculous, overplayed ham of Sheriff Buford T. Justice. He truly outdoes Jackie Gleason.

At his next press conference, I’m half expecting him to bellow “Awt Cawney!” 

Bandit these days has a mixed reputation as something of a storied, charming rascal, sometimes without the charm, though I personally think the stories of pee-pee tapes and Russian collusion came straight out of Hillary’s sick and sordid imagination or perhaps is just a classic case of her projection.  

Alvin Leonard Bragg, DA’s relentless, comedic chase is rallying the audience ‘round Bandit. His Mann-ifest violations in earlier movies were inartful, even for a bootlegger, but at least the chase back then was mostly honest and entertaining, if stupid. This time, Bandit is being chased just because Alvin Leonard Bragg, DA craves the limelight and the worship of zany Democrats.

Alvin Leonard Bragg, DA won’t catch his target – Bandit is far too fast for him – but BraggaDonkeyO will generate a box office hit for them both. The next sequel is already set for 2024. The word on the street is that in the next sequel it will be Bandit who is the chaser.

Watch for my book in the coming weeks, titled “High Attitude – How Woke Liberals Ruined Aspen.”

Women’s basketball has come a long way, baby

In my prime back in the last century, I played a lot of basketball. I was quick, had a good first move to the basket, could shoot OK, and played pretty good defense. At 6’1”, on a good day I could dunk the ball.

But I had little understanding of the game, and was not a good passer. To me, a “play” was a simple screen. Even a basic pick and roll where the screening player rolls off his screen toward the basket to receive a pass from the player he picked for while the two defenders are tangled up in the screen, was beyond my ken. In truth, I wasn’t a good ball player, even at the pick-up game level.

But I knew I could beat the women. In fact, I knew I was as good as the women college players.

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