Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Joe Biden and his trashy family

Peter Bolton (COUNTERPUNCH) notes:

According to recent polling data, former Vice President Joe Biden has a two-to-one lead over his next closest rival in the Democratic primary contest, Bernie Sanders. According to a Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll, Biden has 34 percent support from registered Democratic voters compared to 17 percent who support Sanders. This will surely embolden those in the establishment wing of the Democratic Party who claim that a moderate, centrist figure like Biden stands the best chance of defeating Trump next year.
Of course, this is completely contradicted by the outcome of the 2016 election. Hillary Clinton’s association with the failed “New Democrat” policies of her husband and, above all, the corrupt Washington status quo of state capture by corporate and financial interests played right into Trump’s hands. He was able to (falsely) portray himself as an outsider standing up for the common man who, as an uber-wealthy billionaire, was not subject to these malign special interests. Of course, this was from the beginning, a transparent con job; once in office Trump has shown himself to be every bit as beholden to corporate and financial interests as any of his predecessors – whether it be his appointment of corporate crooks to positions within his administration or his shameless pandering to business interests via deregulatory legislation. In such a context, unless the Democrats offer a genuine progressive who really does represent an alternative to both Trumpism and the stale neoliberalism/imperialism-lite of the Democratic Party establishment, Trump may well be able again to channel enough disaffection amongst the benighted masses of Middle America into another narrow electoral college victory.
But there is a bigger reason why Biden would be the worst choice for the Democrats to face Trump in 2020: the fact that he served as vice president under Barack Obama. Establishment Democrats and faux-left figures like to reminisce about Obama’s presidency as if it were some kind of golden era in US politics. And some pseudo-progressive publications treat comments he makes denouncing the Trump administration as the words of a wise old sage whose counsel we should seek in this time of darkness. The reality, however, is that Obama’s presidency was a sordid compendium of reactionary policies that barely deviated from those of his predecessors or his successor. The attempt to characterize Trump as an aberration obscures the fact Obama’s legacy is one of death and destruction abroad, and austerity and graft at home. Far from representing the beginning of the imperialist spread of tooth-and-nail neoliberalism across the globe, the transition from Obama to Trump is more akin to ripping off the mask that obscured the hideous face of the monster beneath.

And this is from COMMON DREAMS:

As The Hill reported, Biden's gaffes are more likely later in the day:
Biden has a tendency to make the blunders late in the day, his allies say, particularly after a long swing on the road, like he had last week in Iowa. 
A number of observers on social media pointed out that this is the definition of "sundowning," a symptom of dementia. 
"If you need to do this, then maybe your guy just shouldn't be running," said Boston based activist Jonathan Cohn. 
Democratic activist Adam Jentleson went further.
"A candidate who can’t keep up with the pace of a presidential campaign is not electable," Jentleson said.

Klassy Joe Biden -- klassy with a ''k."  Doubt it?  Here's the latest on that klassy family from PEOPLE MAGAZINE:

On Monday afternoon, former Vice President Joe Biden‘s son Hunter Biden responded to a lawsuit filed against him in Arkansas earlier this year claiming that he fathered a child last summer but has not acknowledged his paternity or provided child support.
In a brief answer to the suit, Hunter, 49, denied all of the allegations made against him by Lunden Roberts, PEOPLE confirms. An online docket for the case did not list any upcoming hearings.
Hunter — whose tumultuous personal life returned him to the headlines this year as his father launched a presidential campaign against Donald Trump — was sued by Roberts in late May in Independence County, Arkansas. She sought to have the court confirm her child’s paternity and order Hunter to pay child support, including health care costs, according to court documents reviewed by PEOPLE.

Hunter's a real piece of work.  He left his wife and their kids to shack up with -- and then marry -- his brother's widow.  Then, after he was bored with her, he left her as well.

Now a paternity suit?  What trash.

And is anyone going to ask the question why he's not behind bars?

If you or I were in the military and tested positive for cocaine and other drugs, wouldn't the police be called?

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Tuesday, August 20, 2019.  Deportations in Iraq continue to happen because we're not (a) paying attention and (b) being honest.  There is no justification to remove anyone from the US and force them to Iraq.

Last week, more talk emerged about how Congress could do something to stop Iraqis from being sent back to Iraq.  This followed the August 6th death of Jimmy Aldaoud who had been deported to Iraq two months prior.

Jimmy Aldaoud died in a Baghdad apartment last Tuesday after vomiting blood and begging to return to the US. He had lived in the Detroit area from infancy until he was deported in June.

But the talk had been going on before that.  In fact, May 8th, Niraj Warikoo (DETROIT FREE PRESS) reported:

Two Michigan congressmen, one Democrat and one Republican, introduced a House bill this week that would block the deportations of more than 1,000 Iraqis.
U.S. House Reps. Andy Levin, D-Bloomfield Township, and John Moolenaar, R-Midland, introduced the bipartisan legislation Tuesday titled 'Deferred Removal for Iraqi Nationals Including Minorities Act.' The bill calls upon Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to stop any deportations of the Iraqi immigrants, most of whom have criminal records and had final orders of removal.
"Conditions in Iraq have worsened dramatically since these removal orders were entered," reads the bill. "Many Iraqis with removal orders will face persecution, torture, or death if removed."
The bill is cosponsored by 12 of Michigan's 14 U.S. House representatives, including all its Democrats and all but one Republican. There are nine other cosponsors in the House from other states, including California.
Many of the 1,000 Iraqis who face deportation are Chaldean, Iraqi Catholics who have faced discrimination and violence in recent years in Iraq. They were legal immigrants and some have lived in the U.S. for decades, but because of their criminal records, are eligible for removal.

That was back in May.  And nothing has been done.

People are missing the point and then some.

If this continues, Jimmy Aldaoud won’t be the last.

SLATE's article goes on to insist that more people will be deported to countries they did not grow up and . . .

How stupid are they?

The issue with regards to Iraq is very simple: It's a corrupt country.  ISIS is again on the rise.  It is a country at war.  You do not send people there.  Forget the fact that the US started the war, you don't send people to an unsafe country.

This is on Congress, for not acting, this is on court system for not providing the proper review, it's on us for allowing it to happen because we're so damn apathetic.

Just because you got bored with the Iraq War doesn't mean it ended.  It continues.

The Iraqi people continue to be persecuted.

Replying to 
Iraqi people are dying every day inside Iraq. At the same time Iraqi refugees are dying in the host countries because of long waiting of resettlement in the host countries. No one calls for their right to live in safe&dignity. Please recieve Iraqi refugees

And the US is forcing people to leave the US and go to Iraq?

That's not safe, that's not humanitarian.  That doesn't follow the laws or customs of the United States.  Somehow, everyone wants to overlook that basic fact.

The SLATE article is powerful and a wonderful generic article.  But in terms of Iraqis, it serves no purpose.

Iraq is not generic country X.  Iraq is a war torn country, a failed state, one of the five most corrupt nation-states in the world, a place where bombs are dropped -- we're not talking suicide bombers, we're talking US planes, Turkish planes, 'coalition' planes,' etc -- daily.

Turkish jets neutralize 5 PKK terrorists in N. Iraq

There is no legal justification to force anyone to leave the US and go to Iraq.

Congress has refused to provide oversight on Iraq -- despite the tantrum they threw to get Bully Boy Bush to set benchmarks.  For those who have forgotten, he sat them.  These benchmarks were to be met or support would be cut off.  But then Iraq refused to meet them and Congress looked the other way.  By 2008, the only one publicly mentioning them was US House Rep Lloyd Doggett.  Today, amnesia has set in and Congress acts as though the benchmark episode never happened.)  They failed to do their oversight role in the lead up to the Iraq War (yes, that would refer to then-Senator Joe Biden, among others.  They failed once the Iraq War started.

I helped lead the opposition to the Iraq War. Joe Biden voted for it. When we talk about foreign policy there is a very clear difference in this election.
0:29 / 0:54

Biden said he was a coal miner. Biden said he was “shot at” in Iraq. Biden said he participated in sit-ins at segregated restaurants and movie theaters. These are just a few examples of Joe Biden describing major events in his life that never happened

Biden said he was a coal miner. Biden said he was “shot at” in Iraq. Biden said he participated in sit-ins at segregated restaurants and movie theaters. These are just a few examples of Joe Biden describing major events in his life that never happened

Joe Biden vs Bernie Sanders on IraqšŸ‡®šŸ‡¶: Bernie: Saddam Hussein doesn't pose an imminent threat to the US, predicts expensive long-term occupation+terrorism Joe: Praises Bush's approach...says Saddam may be seeking nukes. Now who would you trust more on foreign policy? šŸ™ƒ
0:28 / 2:16
Why do you not already know this? It’s like the thing. Remind me, who was the Chairman of the Senate Forign Relations Committee, Intelligence etc, that in 2001 helped to shovel Bush’s WMD BS down our throats. His latest campaign advisor Burns, was Bushs pint man on Iraq

17 Things You Might Not Know About Joe Biden 1.) Biden’s Newest Advisor Is a George W. Bush Appointee Who Supported the Iraq War 2.) Hear what he said when he...

Congress only wanted a pretense of oversight when Bully Boy Bush was in the Oval Office.  This was made clear when Stuart Bowen was telling Congress -- begging them -- that the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction needed to remain open.  But it was 2013 and Barack Obama was president so they just didn't care.

The US Embassy in Baghdad just bragged yesterday about $750 million US taxpayer dollars being given to Iraq in aid.  Where does that money go?  As we noted yesterday, that's enough money to give every Iraqi person $19.2 million.

Where does that money go?

There's no oversight.

Every years, millions are given to the Iraqi government, US taxpayer dollars, and life does not improve for the Iraqi people.

They know better than anyone how corrupt their government is.  Yesterday, we noted the NDI polling on this topic.

Congress is not doing their job.

And Iraq is not safe for the Iraqis there.

Iraq: 31 unidentified bodies found buried in KarbalaHuman rights groups accuse the government of covering up possible sectarian violence.

The last thing that needs to happen is for any government to force an Iraqi to return to Iraq.

The following sites updated: