Do you remember Armand Hammer? If you're over 50, you may. Hammer was a business tycoon who died in 1990. He was most famous for his deal-making with the Soviet Union. Hammer would cut business deals directly with the Kremlin. This was unusual; most U.S. businesses had very few dealings with America's greatest adversary. Today, by contrast, many American multinational businesses see their growth as much or more tied to China, our new primary adversary, as they do to America.

American corporate and political leaders are more eager than ever to burnish their do-gooder credentials. Companies are taking stands on social issues more than ever before. Politicians also want to make sure the voters know they are socially just. It's no surprise, therefore, that each house of Congress has passed a bill to stop the importation of goods made with Chinese slave labor. What's more interesting is just how much top American companies and our political leaders have done to slow down the process and weaken the protections. It's a case study in how Congress, the White House and big business work hand-in-hand to control the agenda in Washington.

The majority of Republicans in Washington are thoroughly confused about their own party and their own voters. Some have lost faith in Republican voters completely and written them off as racists or crazies. Others don't know what to think. They are essentially biding time and hoping things go back to the way they were.

They won't, of course. America is changing quickly. Voting patterns and the two-party norm that lasted for decades are under strain. Amazingly, Democrats are on the verge of handing back power to a Republican Party that's in a state of total chaos. All Republicans need to do is not screw it up.

News flash: Prices are going up. They are going up broadly across many products and services. And they are going up quickly. Inflation is here. It's already bad, and there are many signs that it could get worse.

In the wake of this news, President Joe Biden has announced that he's committed to continuing with his massive new government spending program. It's hard to overstate how crazy this is. The good news for Republicans is even amid all their problems and disarray, with his reckless and rigidly ideological spending plans, Biden may soon be passing them political power. The bad news for America is we are all likely to suffer from it in the interim.

The federal government is on an unprecedented spending binge. Even before Biden took office, the government passed COVID-19 emergency spending bills totaling: $8.3 billion, $192 billion, $2.2 trillion, $484 billion and $868 billion. Some of this was justifiable. COVID-19, and the government restrictions that came with it, devastated many businesses. But much was also wasted.

The elections this week have provided America yet another opportunity to begin healing. It would be amazing if we took advantage. The way America is spiraling downhill, these opportunities will not keep coming up forever. Given the fact that few people are even speaking to those with opposing views, it seems highly unlikely. But it's nonetheless an aspiration worth considering.

Very few of those in power who bemoan the national mood -- the record low levels of trust in national leaders and institutions, the high number of Americans who see the country as headed in the wrong direction -- have even begun to think deeply about why these phenomena are occurring.

We've all heard the story about the panicked mom summoning superhuman strength to lift a car off her trapped child. I'm not sure if it's ever really happened, but I am sure that any politician who interferes with a mother's ability to raise her children with the values she sees fit is playing with fire. The Democrats are holding the matches. Of all the radical ideas they've been trying to foist on America, messing with parents on K-12 education may be the one that does them in.

Democratic politicians have repeatedly failed to stand up to the "woke" crowd, the activist radical left wing of their own party. Remember the open borders question in the 2019 Democratic presidential primary debates? The moderators asked all the candidates to raise their hand if they wanted to decriminalize illegal border crossings. Almost every Democratic candidate raised a hand. Joe Biden was elected and took apart the Trump-era border policies that were working, and we now have record high levels of illegal border crossings and record low levels of arrests. Polls now show that opening the southern border isn't actually popular with regular Americans, and now it looks as if the Biden administration may be walking back its radical open-border position. Most prominently, the White House has announced plans to begin reinstating Trump's successful "Remain in Mexico" policy.

It's hard to overstate how bonkers the American left has gone. If conservatives weren't in such a state of disarray, they would be dominating American politics like never before.

President Joe Biden and leading Democrats somehow convinced themselves the 2020 election was a call to fundamentally transform America into a socialist country. They decided countries don't need borders. They decided police and other law enforcement don't deserve the backing of elected politicians. They decided the way to overcome racism is by literally dividing people by race. They have implemented policies to deter American energy production and thereby added to an energy price spike. They have implemented policies that take away incentives to work and thereby contributed to a labor shortage. They have even ignored advice from military leaders resulting in the U.S. government abandoning American citizens in a terrorist state.

President Joe Biden's poll numbers are tanking, especially among independent voters. The American people do not like weak leaders, and they do not like the craziness that's infiltrating their daily lives.

Biden campaigned as someone who could bring the country together. Since taking office, he's made no effort to do that. Instead, he has continually conceded to his party's far-left wing, which is growing crazier by the day. It's not clear if Biden is just too weak to take them on or if he is buying into their craziness, but either way, people are not happy. The Democrats are somehow making the Republicans seem appealing again to your average non-politically aligned voter. Given the current disarray in the Republican Party, this was a tall task. It's almost as if the two parties are competing to see who can turn off the middle more. This week, the Democrats are in the lead. Their policies are so crazy not even their allies in the dominant corporate media can succeed in selling them.

There's always press coverage about Republican mismanagement or Republicans getting into trouble governing as ideologues, but you don't hear much about the reverse. There's a lot to critique about Republicans, but for mismanagement and for blindly putting ideology above all else, President Joe Biden may be the all-time champ.

Biden campaigned as a pragmatist who could bring stability and national unification. His inaugural address was all about these themes. America needs some level of national healing more than anything else. Americans can't go on at each other's throats. The country is falling apart.

Democrats in Washington are still pushing ahead with plans for their historically astronomical $3.5 trillion spending bill. The massive regulatory and social changes included would push America further to the left than ever before. The reconciliation spending bill, which can be passed with no Republican votes in the House or Senate, includes a ton of tax increases along with the huge new spending increases. The proposal will reportedly raise the individual income tax rates and the corporate income tax rates. According to the most recent news reporting, however, one tax policy is going to make it through the huge left-wing agenda unchanged: the so-called carried interest loophole -- special low tax rates for Wall Street money managers.

As the world watches in horror, the leaders of history's mightiest country are begging a terrorist group not to harm defenseless Americans left in a crumbling, trillion-dollar trap of our own design. Considering we hold all the receipts, it's worth asking how we got here. The main problem, of course, is President Joe Biden's botched withdrawal. It's scary that the people running our country can be that incompetent. Pulling out American troops before the safe withdrawal of American citizens would be a hilarious concept if it weren't what actually happened. Leaving sophisticated American military technology for these terrorists is equally mind-boggling.

How does a once-great country become the complete mess America is today? The honest answer is we are all at fault. It's as easy for the left to blame conservatives as it is for the right to blame liberals. It's easy for the elites in cities to say Americans aren't working as hard as they used to and are getting fat off too much fast food. It's easy for regular Americans to look at the hypereducated urban elites and feel like they've sold out and left America behind to pursue profits in foreign markets. The problem is all of this is true.

The U.S. government's inconsistent public messaging on the coronavirus came to a crescendo this week as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention abruptly reversed course on the use of masks by vaccinated people. The sudden backtracking follows a pattern of misleading and incoherent government health guidance that has led to a general erosion of trust in the CDC. Trust is, of course, paramount in a free country when trying to help the public make decisions about health matters. Our government does not seem to understand this simple concept.

As the American left argues openly for socialism, it's helpful to keep in mind just how dreadfully those policies have failed -- and just how viciously socialists have responded to those who got in the way -- in countries throughout the world. Watch the recent protests in Cuba and you will see how regular people feel about the direction the American left wants to take. They aren't happy.

Since the Communist revolution in 1959, leftists in America have celebrated purported Cuban progress in areas such as health care and education. Little mention was made in those quarters about the Cuban government's human rights abuses, which include political executions, arbitrary imprisonments, an unfair legal system and severe limits on freedom of expression, free association, free assembly, free movement and, of course, a free press.

If you wanted to find the group getting the rawest deal in 2021 America, you might start with small-business owners. Many are finding themselves working 60- or 80-hour weeks just to scrape by. During the height of COVID-19, these companies were especially beaten down. Between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020, about 30% of U.S. small businesses closed, while total small-business revenue decreased by 31%, according to Economic Tracker. During the same period, the stock market boomed, and multinational corporations continued to thrive. The effects of this economic destruction are apparent in communities all over the country. Boxed-up storefronts on main streets across America are the norm.

In the ongoing battle between Republicans and Democrats over who can scare away regular Americans more, the Democrats are going all in with their policies and rhetoric on violent crime. Left-wing Democrats have scared the hell out of regular Americans with their "defund the police" rhetoric and even more with actual cuts to funding for many big-city police departments and their refusal to prosecute many crimes.

After a multidecade decline, crime rates are way up. It shouldn't surprise anyone that voters are not happy about this. After months of largely ignoring the problem, President Joe Biden realized he had to address it. In essence, Biden's response pins the entire violent crime rise on access to guns. His solutions focus almost exclusively on gun control. We should debate gun policies, but pretending gun access explains the rising crime rate is preposterous on its face. This is not going to end well for Democrats.