Tuesday, July 09, 2019

The race for the Democratic nomination

So let's start with Tulsi.

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  • US House Rep. and Iraq War veteran Tulsi Gabbard is running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

    She's got my vote.

    Of the race, WSWS continues to ignore Tulsi but here's Patrick Martin on the other candidates:

    The Democratic fundraising is divided between candidates appealing to the Democratic wing of the financial elite, and those raising money primarily online from hundreds of thousands of small donors, who are motivated largely by opposition to the ultra-right agenda of the Trump administration and see no other alternative within the framework of the American two-party system.
    The first category includes the current frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden; Senator Kamala Harris of California, who has been built up by the media after the first Democratic candidates’ debate in Miami; and Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who has been lavishly promoted by the media, by more right-wing factions within the Democratic Party, and by gay and lesbian groups.
    Buttigieg, who is openly gay and married to another gay man, has presented himself as a political “moderate” in the mold of Biden, but 37 years old rather than 76, and with a background in Navy intelligence, including a tour of duty with the special forces in Afghanistan.
    Despite placing a distant fifth in most polls—the latest one had him at only 5 percent of likely Democratic primary voters—his campaign raised $24.8 million in the second quarter, the most of any Democrat. While 230,000 people donated to his campaign, much of the money came in through 50 high-dollar fundraisers at which Buttigieg met with prospective donors.
    Biden followed with $21.5 million, a considerable sum, but only a second-place showing behind a comparative political unknown. A total of 256,000 people donated to his campaign. Kamala Harris reported raising $12 million from 279,000 donors, with a late surge thanks to the media applause for her debate performance. She also raised $12 million in the first quarter, before Biden entered the race, mainly from traditional big donors.
    Another “moderate,” Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, reported raising $2.5 million since entering the race in May. Montana Governor Steve Bullock raised $2 million over the same period, while former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper raised only $1 million in the entire quarter, and was said to be considering ending his campaign.
    The second category of Democratic fundraising includes Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren, both of whom relied almost entirely on small donations raised over the internet. Warren has taken a public position against participating in high-dollar fundraising events where wealthy people spend $2,700 apiece to hobnob with the candidate. Sanders has no formal pledge, but spends no time on such events, having raised more than $200 million online to fund his 2016 presidential campaign.
    Warren and Sanders reported similar figures, $19.1 million and $18 million, respectively, with the average Warren donation $28, from 384,000 donors, and the average Sanders donation $18 from nearly one million donors. Warren’s total was nearly triple what she raised in the first quarter, while Sanders essentially duplicated the $18 million he raised in February and March after declaring his candidacy.
    Donor totals are one of the two metrics, along with opinion poll results, used by the Democratic National Committee to determine which candidates qualify for televised debates. The requirement for the first debate in Miami and the second in Detroit, in late July, was either 65,000 donors or at least 1 percent in a series of polls. The requirement for the third debate, to be held in Cleveland in September, will be both 130,000 donors and at least 2 percent in several polls. The higher hurdle is expected to eliminate more than half of the 24 “major” candidates seeking to qualify for the debates.

    It's corruption.  By the way, how is Senator Kirsten Gillibrand raising her money?

    I'm not accusing her of anything.  I'm just saying she's been saying that you've got to get the greed out of the system -- she even said that in the debates.  Seems like Patrick Martin should have looked into how that statement figures into her actual fund raising.  (I hope she is walking the talk.)

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

    Tuesday, July 9, 2019.  Corruption and spin continue -- and new questions for Joe Biden about ethics.

    The Iraq army, along with the Popular Mobilization Units that includes the , tribal groups and U.S.-led Coalition warplanes, began phase one of the ‘Will of Victory’ Operation against ISIS on Sunday to secure the provinces of Nineveh, Salahaddin and Anbar.

    Sunday, Iraq launched Will of Victory.  How do we know it's accomplishing nothing?  Due to the lies of success already being made.

    Significant progress made by ’s Armed Forces during the first 24 hours of Operation ‘Will of Victory’ in the desert regions of Anbar, Ninawa and Salahuddin. Around 30 villages have been cleared & upwards of 50 [ISIS] camp sites, “guesthouses” and arms caches destroyed.

    Noted Shi'ite propagandist H. Sumeri is our source for claims of success?

    Yea, they're in trouble.

    How long did H. Sumeri proclaim success with regards to 'liberating' Ramadi?  Or Mosul?  Yes, they're in trouble.

    Or, alternative option, they're just not really accomplishing anything.

    They're apparently trying that glorious 'clear and hold' strategy that everyone's been after since David Petraeus was the top US commander in Iraq.  Clear and hold has never really worked.

    Can it ever work?

    If they want to invest in hundreds of thousands troops and to attempt it only in a very tiny region (say one province), it might.  It might not.

    The issue is one of legitimacy and these efforts have never had legitimacy.

    The Iraqi government is not a government that serves the Iraqi people.  There has been no buy-in.  It is a corrupt government installed by the US government.  It's interests are not the well being of the Iraqi people.  Corruption is rampant.  Mosul, for example, two years after liberation there is still no rebuilding worth noting.  Where did that money go?

    The Iraqi government was really good at forcing some people out of camps in the hopes that they could make them return to Mosul.  They just weren't very good about rebuilding Mosul.

    Or much of anything.  Remember when THE NEW YORK TIMES, under Bully Boy Bush, used to report on the 'progress' in Iraq's judicial system?  Even they had to throw in the towel on that nonsense.  And it remains a problem to this day.

    Camp on steroids. 1,000s of suspects languish in squalid, overcrowded facilities in that amount to inhuman treatment. A "ticking time bomb."

    And speaking of Iraq and corruption, a new charge has emerged regarding former Vice President Joe Biden who is currently seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

    Did you know: Joe Biden's brother, James Biden was given a $1.5 Billion dollar government contract to build homes in Iraq during the Obama Administration How many billion dollar deals were given to the Biden family while he was VP? Why is this getting no coverage? RT!

    True?  October 22, 2012, Joel Gehrke (WASHINGTON EXAMINER) reported:

    HillStone International won a coveted government contract in part because the company has “the little brother of the vice president as a partner,” as David Richter, president of HillStone’s parent company explained to investors in a recent meeting reported on by Fox Business today.
    “Since November 2010, James Biden has been the executive vice president of Hill International’s housing subsidiary despite little if any documented work history in residential construction,” Fox explains. “And if the company’s projections are accurate, both Hill and Biden are on the verge of a huge payday, beneficiaries, some analysts believe, of James Biden’s connections to the Obama Administration through his older brother.”

    True?  I still don't know.  I want a stronger source on the issue.

    We have already seen Hunter Biden getting employment and windfalls as he followed his father around.  Did James Biden also make it onto the gravy train and is this a question that the press intends to explore?

    It matters.  The Iraqi people were not helped by James Biden or HillStone International.  The American people were not helped by millions of their tax dollars being turned over to this inept company.

    Joe Biden record: Iraq, banks, crime, and more -

    Joe Biden's record?  With regards to Iraq, his record is obscene and, therefore, none of his family should have been involved in anything to do with Iraq -- certainly nothing to do with profiting off of Iraq.

    Joe is one of the most hated Americans in Iraq.  He earned that after the illegal war started.  How?  By repeatedly insisting that Iraq should be split up.  This played to the Kurds but did not play to the Shia and the Sunni.  As we said repeatedly in real time as Joe proposed this over and over, if this is an idea that comes from the Iraqi people, fine -- but if not, it needs to be tossed aside.

    As late as 2008, while he ran for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination (he'd bow out after the Iowa caucus), Joe was still proposing this.  He had no understanding of Iraq.  He would hector Ayad Allawi and others in the fall of 2010 that Iraq was like Ireland and no one -- including US military personnel present -- could figure out what the hell Joe Biden was attempting to say this time.

    As for the Kurds, he sold them out.  They were tricked by him repeatedly and had Jalal Talabani remained healthy and in power, Joe could have continued to trick them because Jalal was an idiot.  But Jalal's stroke took him out of power.  And the Kurds started connecting Joe's failed promises (lies) to a history of promises made by the US government but never kept -- going back to the administration of Richard Nixon.

    When Joe became Vice President, he had strong ties to the Kurds.  But the Kurds noticed that these ties did not help them from that moment forward.  Instead, Joe used the 'friendship' to get the Kurds to back down on this or settle for that, time and again, their own interests were destroyed by Joe.  Hero Talabani, Jalal's widow, has been stating that the friendship cost the Kurds and when even Hero is slamming you, you're no longer a friend of the Kurds.

    Joe is one of 24 candidates seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

    24?  Yes, one of the male candidates has withdrawn from the race.

    This is SHOCKING!!! I mean with his total lack of charisma & personality it’s a wonder even he thought he could be a contender. Every soundbite basically needed to end with “PLEASE CLAP” Swalwell Becomes First Democrat to Drop Out of Presidential Race

    Despite Donald Trump Jr.'s claim, Eric Swalwell actually does have personality and chemistry.

    Of all the men on the stage during the first two debates last month, Eric's the last one who should have dropped out.

    It's a crowded field and it is hard for anyone to stand out unless you are the press favorite -- like Joe has been.  There are many candidates who are polling low but are building up a base and if they continue to work at it, we're still over a year away from the election, they should see their polling increase.

    Eric has stated he wants to focus on his re-election (to the US House of Representatives) and that's his right.  But Donald Trump Jr. is not the last word and, based on his remarks regarding Eric, DTJ is also not a very astute critic.

    Rep. Eric Swalwell on endorsing: "I'm really impressed with the field. I'm not going to make any decisions right now."
    0:16 / 0:20

    It's way too soon for an endorsement but if and when he makes one, he should get some promise on an issue he campaigned on.

    24 candidates remain currently.  All six women remain in the race.

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