Opinion: Joe Biden and Elon Musk, at opposite ends of leadership equation

“If at eighty,” novelist Henry Miller wrote, “…you have your health, if you still enjoy a good walk, a good meal (with all the trimmings), if you can sleep without first taking a pill, if birds and flowers, mountains and sea still inspire you, you are a most fortunate individual and you should get down on your knees morning and night and thank the good Lord for his savin’ and keepin’ power.”

Similar ideas about being – or quickly changing into – an octogenarian should absolutely come to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who’s 82, former President Donald Trump, who’s 76, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who’s 80, and President Joe Biden, who turns 80 at the moment. All 4 had been within the information final week, with their political futures at situation.

Pelosi selected to step down as chief of her social gathering after it narrowly misplaced management of the House. Trump introduced he’s working for president once more. McConnell fended off a problem to his GOP Senate leadership. And Biden, whose social gathering scored an unexpectedly good efficiency within the midterms, has mentioned he’ll resolve within the subsequent few months whether or not to make good on his intention of working once more in 2024.

“The verve and drive of older leaders is admirable at an age when many people are long retired – and an example to society that the elderly are just as capable and worthy as younger generations,” wrote Stephen Collinson for CNN Politics. “Yet the prominence of the seventy-and-eighty somethings at the top of the political tree does also raise questions about whether it is healthy that younger politicians are not at this moment in American history taking more responsibility or have more power.”

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Clay Jones

In company America, “genius” is usually seen as an alternative choice to the expertise of age. Elon Musk, a 51-year-old who’s the richest individual on the planet, has been known as a genius for his entrepreneurial talent at Tesla and SpaceX and even for his ambition to go to Mars. Yet “Musk’s actions since taking over Twitter on Oct. 27 have been so destructive to the platform’s functioning and reputation that the question is raised of whether, rather than being a genius, Musk is in fact an idiot,” wrote Michael Hiltzik within the Los Angeles Times. “Perhaps that’s extreme. But it’s proper to examine how and why someone so unquestionably successful in his business career thus far has gone off the rails now.”

While others are leaving Twitter (learn Roxanne Jones’ recent take), David Perry would love to remain. “Twitter changed my life in ways both sublime and ridiculous, profound, beautiful, professional and sadly often terrible,” he noticed. “And now, due seemingly to the chaotic, often cruel, whims of a billionaire, the whole edifice seems about to collapse.” On Saturday, Musk cited an internet ballot as he reinstated Trump’s Twitter account, lifting the everlasting ban the platform imposed after the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the 30-year-old who went from lionized billionaire to reviled government of a bankrupt firm inside a number of days, is a vaunted “genius” now below a harsh gentle. Writing within the New York Times, Paul Krugman cited the story of Bankman-Fried’s firm, FTX, to query the longer term of crypto finance: “The government supervises banks, regulates the risks they can take and guarantees many deposits, while crypto operates largely without oversight. So investors must rely on the honesty and competence of entrepreneurs; when they offer exceptionally good deals, investors must believe not just in their competence but in their genius.”

“How has that been working out?”

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Dana Summers/Tribune Content Agency

Word that the Democrats saved management of the Senate needed to be an ego increase for Biden, who met with China’s chief, Xi Jinping, in Bali, Indonesia, on Monday. As Frida Ghitis famous, “The timing could not have been any better…”

“With democracy suddenly looking like it’s on firmer ground and key autocracies facing serious problems, it was an ideal moment for Biden to speak frankly to Xi about areas of disagreement between the two superpowers while trying to build safeguards to prevent the rivalry from careening into conflict as the relationship has deteriorated to its most tense state in decades.”

But life might get particularly uncomfortable for Biden early subsequent yr. “With Republicans in control of the House,” Julian Zelizer wrote, “the Biden administration will likely encounter a combination of investigations, conservative-agenda setting and obstruction. … Despite all the media speculation about whether the election will push Republicans away from Trumpism, the safe bet is that … they will dive deeper into the sea of red.

Still, the Republicans might overreach and give Democrats a gap. Zelizer recalled the maxim popularized by the Spider-Man franchise: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Former Rep. Charlie Dent, a Republican, noticed, “Assuming Kevin McCarthy manages to win the vote for the speakership on the House floor in January, his governing challenge could prove much more frustrating and difficult than what John Boehner faced a decade ago.”

“House Republican votes will be needed to raise the debt ceiling, fund the government and enter into other agreements with the Senate and President Joe Biden,” Dent famous. The “election outcome has made McCarthy’s task not only more difficult but perilous. McCarthy has no breathing room, as extreme elements within the House GOP conference feel emboldened with their leverage.

For extra:

David Axelrod: Nancy Pelosi will be remembered as a political star

The Senate race in Nevada was a nailbiter that ended with the re-election of Catherine Cortez Masto, guaranteeing Democrats continued management of the Senate. She “campaigned vigorously throughout the Silver State, running a textbook campaign, even earning endorsements from high-profile Republicans throughout the state who praised her bipartisan leadership, work ethic and integrity,” wrote Sheila Leslie, a Democrat and former state legislator in Nevada. “This was in contrast to (Republican Adam) Laxalt, who many viewed as a carpet-bagging Virginian, capitalizing on his grandfather’s sterling reputation in the state.”

One Senate seat stays to be determined: Georgia will select between Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock and Republican soccer legend Herschel Walker in a December 6 runoff. The state’s outgoing lieutenant governor, Geoff Duncan, a Republican, urged Walker to make three calls – to Trump, urging him to remain out of the competition, to Gov. Brian Kemp, searching for his assist after the governor’s decisive reelection victory and to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who handily beat challenger Charlie Crist in his reelection.

“If the GOP can’t best a Democratic Party led by a president with an approval rating in the low 40s, something must change because the status quo isn’t cutting it,” Duncan wrote.

As for GOP leadership within the Senate, Rick Scott failed in his try to oust McConnell from the social gathering’s prime put up. Patrick T. Brown, a fellow at a conservative assume tank, applauded McConnell’s victory and known as Scott “the perfect example of a Republican politician who has seemingly learned all the wrong lessons from the Trump earthquake of 2016.”

Yet he argued that some of McConnell’s critics have some extent: “McConnell, who was reelected to his seventh term as senator in 2020, will be needing to hand the reins off at some point soon – and the younger voices are right to look for a leader who can tell America not just what the Republican Party is against, but what it is for.

For extra:

Mark Zandi: A divided government will be disastrous for the US economy

David Axelrod: Why Democrats’ Senate win in Nevada may be a blessing in disguise for the GOP

Jennifer Rodgers: Special counsel on Trump won’t calm the political waters

Kara Alaimo: How to build a new generation of Biden-McCain friendships

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Lisa Benson/GoComics

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David Horsey/Tribune Content Agency

On the day Trump introduced his 2024 presidential run, one of his administration officers had a easy query for Republicans: “Are you tired of losing yet?”

“Let’s move on from Trump – or rest assured we’ll be having this same conversation in the days following the 2024 presidential election,” wrote Gavin J. Smith. As a candidate, Trump promised Republicans, “We’re going to win so much. You’re going to get sick and tired of winning.”

But after Trump’s victory in 2016, Republicans have fared poorly in nationwide elections. “We must ask ourselves: Will we continue to be the party of divisiveness and conspiracy theories, dominated by the likes of Trump, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and failed-Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake? Or will the Republican Party finally part ways with them?

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Phil Hands/Tribune Content Agency

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Phil Hands/Tribune Content Agency

Four days earlier than election day, Kari Lake, the Phoenix information anchor turned MAGA gubernatorial candidate, mentioned at a rally, “We don’t have any McCain Republicans in here, do we. Alright, get the hell out. Boy, Arizona has delivered some losers, haven’t they?” As Jon Gabriel wrote, trashing backers of the late Sen. John McCain was an enormous mistake.

“McCain Republicans overlap with those who crossed party lines to support President Joe Biden, turning the state blue in 2020. They tend to be centrist, business-friendly, middle- to upper-middle-class folks who live in the nicer neighborhoods of Phoenix and its close-in suburbs. They want lower taxes, efficient government and absolutely no drama.”

“They don’t make up the majority of the party – not by a long shot – but they exceed that single percentage point Lake needed to best (Democrat Katie) Hobbs.”

“They heard Lake’s call to ‘get the hell out,’ and did as they were told.”

Lake’s defeat is comprehensible, as was Doug Mastriano’s loss in Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial race, Christopher Beem noticed. “A majority of voters have had enough of the performative chaos and spurning of norms that have roiled our politics and our polity since Trump came down the escalator more than seven years ago. Never far from mind is the other unforgettable image that bookended his presidency: the scene of mayhem at the US Capitol, overrun by his supporters and their grievance-fueled violence that he stoked.”

“This midterm election, voters rejected all of that.”

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John Darkow/Cagle Cartoons

Jill Filipovic’s flight to Lisbon within the spring of 2020 was one of 1000’s cancelled within the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic. “That’s understandable – I didn’t expect to board a flight during a global pandemic,” she wrote. “But given that the flight didn’t fly, I did expect my money back. For more than a year and a half, I didn’t get it, despite messages and calls to both TAP (Air Portugal) and Expedia. Eventually, in December 2021, I received a partial refund, though still far below the full cost of the ticket.”

So Filipovic was happy to listen to the US Department of Transportation was taking motion. “Six airlines have been forced to issue $600 million in refunds. The DOT is also fining the airlines $7.25 million for flights that were canceled during Covid and not refunded.”

“It’s about time this industry saw some consequences. The airline industry posted record profits this past summer, while also canceling and delaying a huge number of flights. When an industry is failing at doing its one job properly and yet is still making money hand over fist, there’s a big problem – and it’s one being borne by consumers.

Cases of respiratory syncytial virus, referred to as RSV, are surging within the US, wrote epidemiologist Syra Madad. “For most people, RSV causes mild, cold-like symptoms, typically lasting for a week or two. But for infants, young children, the elderly and those with a weakened immune system, it can be dangerous, leading to dehydration, bronchiolitis and pneumonia.”

Madad’s personal 2-year-old daughter just lately got here down with the illness.

“It started with Laila becoming clingy and irritable – a telltale sign for me that she’s about to come down with something. Shortly after, she had a runny nose and congestion. A day or two later, Laila spiked a fever of 103 degrees that continued for nearly two-and-a-half days, accompanied by a decreased appetite, and a whole lot of congestion and coughing (not to mention sleepless nights for both her and me). By day five, she was on the mend and feeling better – or so I thought. Then came on the viral rash.”

Madad’s piece consists of info on when to seek urgent care for children who develop RSV.

For extra on well being:

Matthew Bossons: In zero-Covid China, a different death toll emerges

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Joel Pett/Tribune Content Agency

It took lots of of 1000’s of years, up till 1804, for the world’s inhabitants to hit one billion. Last week, the UN mentioned, Earth crossed the 8 billion threshold. It was a reminder of the challenges concerned in managing the sources wanted to assist human life whereas additionally contending with the results of burning huge quantities of fossil fuels.

Two years in the past, Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff and Jad Daley, head of the nonprofit American Forests, helped launch a world effort to plant one trillion timber by 2030 as a option to take in carbon emissions. “When we joined with countries, companies and NGOs two years ago to launch the global partnership 1t.org, we knew it would not be a panacea for climate change. Leaders across the forest-climate movement, including ourselves, have always made clear that the most important step we must take to fight climate change is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

The effort has been criticized by those that warn “against pretending that planting trees is a permanent climate solution, concerned that reliance on trees will slacken other climate efforts. Others have worried that planting the wrong trees will lead to forests that are less resilient and less biologically diverse.”

But, Daley and Benioff argued, “it would be a profound mistake to ignore or diminish the indispensable role that protecting and growing trees can play in addressing climate change. In the United States, for example, our forests captured approximately 13% of gross US greenhouse gas emissions in 2020. In addition to protecting our existing forests, there are millions of acres across America where we can plant and grow more trees, such as reforesting burned areas and planting trees in urban areas.”

As poet Tess Taylor reminded us days earlier than Thanksgiving, “The holidays are coming. The world is going to try to sell us the kind of joy we can buy in stores. What I’m hoping for also – for each of us – is that we find some togetherness, some real community. I’m hoping that we make it to that potluck, where we laugh and laugh and laugh.” Read her take on how three new books help chart the journey to joy.

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Taylor Swift 0920 FILE

Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

Amy Bass, who has been an avid concertgoer for many years, recalled being simply 15 when her mom drove her and a buddy to a Ramones live performance “with the intention of reading a good book in the parking lot.” But her mother ended up coming to their rescue after they bought stopped at the door for being underage and with out ID.

“While I remember every detail of that epic show, perhaps especially the moment when Joey Ramone handed me a guitar pick, more important to me now is the heroic example of parenting set by my mom.”

Bass has tried to mannequin her mom’s conduct by going to concert events together with her personal daughter, who’s now 15.

“When (Taylor) Swift announced the Eras Tour on November 1, a pit of apprehension grew in my stomach. Her first tour since 2018, her oeuvre now includes so much material that she has never played live, with so many fans who have never really had a chance to see her. My one experience with Ticketmaster’s ‘verified fan’ process, designed, allegedly, to keep out scalpers, had gone badly; I got the email telling me I was chosen, but I never got the text with the code.”

Bass was solely capable of safe tickets via a buddy who had higher luck getting a pre-sale code. “When Ticketmaster announced the cancellation of the scheduled public sale for the Eras Tour on Thursday, claiming ‘insufficient inventory’ after a ‘staggering number of bot attacks’ during the presale, my heart broke for the thousands upon thousands of fans now officially left empty-handed, and the parents and grandparents and friends who tried so hard to get them there.”

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