Saturday, August 17, 2019

Idiot of the week

Joe Biden has to be the worst choice in the Democratic field.  He's a War Hawk.  He's doomed millions with student loan debt.  He's doomed millions with incarceration.  He's sold us all out to the corporations.  And he's gone beyond idiot to mental danger.

I saw this on MSN:

Gaffe-prone Democratic 2020 frontrunner Joe Biden reportedly added another factual blunder to his list Friday.
During a campaign fundraiser in his home state of Delaware, the former vice president was referencing a speech he had made to a group of 275 people, in which he accused  President Trump of "fueling a literal carnage” in the country through his rhetoric.
But Biden mistakenly recalled the location of the speech as Burlington, Vt., instead of Burlington, Iowa, according to The Washington Examiner. Whether Biden had Democratic rival Bernie Sanders -- a former mayor of Burlington, Vt. -- on his mind was not immediately known.
The mistake was the latest in a series of gaffes the 76-year-old Biden has made that have caused concern among some Democrats that's he's too old and prompted President Trump to say he isn’t “playing with a full deck.”

Grace Panetta (BUSINESS INSIDER) adds:

But AlterNet's Cody Fenwick pushed back on Waldman's argument, writing on Thursday that while some of Biden's slip-ups are undeniably honest mistakes, his other gaffes and comments on sensitive topics like race and gender could "reveal troubling prejudices" — like touting his work with pro-segregation senators — about his implicit attitudes on those topics.
Fenwick argued that in the context of a Democratic primary, Biden needs to be fully battle-tested and scrutinized at every level before taking on Trump.
 Idiot if the week?  The people who keep making excuses for Joe.

There's no excuse.  And though some Democrats may look the other way, that's not going to happen in a general election.  Joe is an embarrassment and will only become more embarrassing as the days increase -- and the errors as well. 

Jeffrey Epstein?  Jessica Goldstein (WSWS) reports:

On Friday, New York City’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Barbara Sampson, released the official conclusion of the autopsy of multimillionaire financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. The fixture in top Wall Street and political circles, who has been linked to such prominent figures as Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and the UK’s Prince Andrew, was found dead in his cell at New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center on the morning of August 10 under mysterious and yet to be explained circumstances.
The death in federal custody of a man charged with running a sex ring involving underage girls, who was facing a trial that might have exposed criminal activities by members of the business and political elite, has understandably and legitimately aroused suspicions, especially in light of multiple violations of prison protocols that have been revealed since Epstein’s demise.
Yet the corporate media, led by the New York Times, has denounced all questioning of the circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death as baseless “conspiracy theories.”
The bare statement released by the medical examiner’s office was limited to the assertion that “after careful review of all investigative information, including complete autopsy findings,” the cause of death was determined to be suicide by hanging. No facts or details were provided in the brief statement to back up this finding.
Epstein’s defense lawyers said they did not accept the ruling and planned to conduct their own investigation. They have claimed that their client showed no signs of suicidal tendencies, had been in good spirits and had spent many hours helping prepare his legal defense.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Friday, August 16, 2019. The press continues its war on Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren announces a new plan, John Hickenlooper takes a hint, and much more.

The ranks of those seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination thinned out a little.  As Ruth noted in "Go away John Hickenlooper," with no support and no ability to inspire, John Hickenlooper has dropped out of the race.  Sadly, as Ruth notes, he's considering running for the Senate.  If elected there, he would block any real progress for America.  He would shoot down everything as "socialism!"

The only thing John brought was his war  on socialism.  He was the Paul Revere riding through the streets and shrieking, "The Socialists are coming!  The Socialists are coming!"

Are they?  Most rationale people don't believe so but when John offered Americans a choice between him or Socialism, America still took a pass on him.

. was a great mayor and governor, and helped shape the presidential race with his pragmatic viewpoint. He provided a valuable voice in this primary, bringing the ideas and solutions he successfully championed in Colorado to the national debate.

America's taking a pass on Michael Bennet as well.  He hasn't taken the strong hint yet but althought he's not dropped out, voters have dropped him.

How bad is it?

REAL CLEAR POLITICS, in their poll coverage, provides a look at how the top 13 candidates for the nomination are polling:

Polling Data

RCP Average8/1 - 8/1330.517.316. +13.2
FOX News8/11 - 8/133120108323321111Biden +11
Economist/YouGov8/10 - 8/132320168652212111Biden +3
The Hill/HarrisX8/9 - 8/103110167441121221Biden +15
Politico/Morning Consult8/5 - 8/113314209533211111Biden +13
Quinnipiac8/1 - 8/53221147522111100Biden +11
SurveyUSA8/1 - 8/53319209811010000Biden +13

See how poorly Bennet's doing?


That's because he's not even in the top 13.  The most recent poll is the FOX NEWS one and Michael Bennet didn't even get 1%.  He needs to drop out.

Less people supported Bennet in that poll than did not know who Joe Biden was.  2% of those polled said they'd never heard of Joe Biden.  Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders would win the presidency if the election were right now.  The poll asks specifically about each of those in a match up against Donald Trump.

On the topic of Senator Elizabeth Warren,  Alex Thompson (POLITICO) reports she's released a new plan, this one addressing Native Americans:

“The story of America’s mistreatment of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians is a long and painful one, rooted in centuries of discrimination, neglect, greed, and violence,” Warren wrote in a Medium post. “Washington owes Native communities a fighting chance to build stronger communities and a brighter future.”
At over 9,000 words, the plan is more than double the length of any other proposal she’s introduced during her presidential campaign. That includes her ambitious plans to break up some of the biggest tech companies in the world, forgive over $600 billion in student loan debt, and revamp the federal government’s investment in rural America including a massive expansion of broadband.
Warren also announced she was partnering with Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), who endorsed Warren last month, on a legislative proposal that would confront unmet needs in Indian Country. Haaland is one of the first two Native women elected to Congress last year. There will be a comment period to allow tribal leaders and citizens to help shape the final legislation. 

Washington is failing Native communities, and it's time to fulfill our obligations to Tribal Nations. Today I’m announcing ideas to ensure that tribal sovereignty and our trust and treaty obligations are binding legal and moral principles—not just slogans.

I’ve fought for a brighter future for Tribal Nations during my time in the Senate and I’m proud to work with on our new bill in Congress. And when we win the White House, I’ll be committed to achieving that future as President of the United States.

  • Right-wing courts have ruled that religious freedom laws allow corporations to deny employees birth control, but don’t protect tribes that object to dumping sewage water on sacred sites. Absurd. Congress should pass a new law protecting tribal religious interests in sacred sites.

  • When tribal concerns have conflicted with corporate profits or resource extraction, tribes lose. This has to change. When I’m president, energy projects that impact Indian Country won’t proceed without consent. That means revoking Trump’s KeystoneXL and DAPL permits.

  • In 2013, the Violence Against Women Act crucially recognized some criminal jurisdiction by Tribal Nations, and I support reauthorizing and building on it. But we need to go further and I support a full Oliphant fix.

  • Washington has refused to fully respect tribal sovereignty in criminal justice matters. This has deprived countless crime victims the opportunity to get justice. And it has fed the ongoing epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women. This must change.

  • Funding critical programs for Indian Country isn't optional. It's required to fulfill the United States’ trust and treaty obligations. So and I have teamed up on writing a bill to ensure predictable, guaranteed funding to Tribal Nations and indigenous peoples.

    Bernie and Elizabeth are both engaged in a statistical tie with Joe Biden.  This is especially surprising in terms of Bernie because the media has declared war on him for some time now.

    The elite corporate media promoted the lies that led to the Iraq War & ignored the truth about Wall St fraud that led to the financial crisis. is not wrong to distrust an elite media culture that helped create those disasters that ruined so many people’s lives.

    THIS —> “If Sanders had suggested that Rupert Murdoch’s ownership of Fox News impacts its coverage, few would argue with him. But Sanders referred to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ ownership of the Washington Post — a corporate centrist outlet.”

    “I worked in & around mainstream TV news for yrs, including at corporate centrist outlets CNN & MSNBC...Bernie Sanders is one of the world’s most effective critics of Bezos (and) the Bezos-owned newspaper has exhibited an unrelenting bias against Sanders”

    On David Sirota, an e-mail to the public account said it was unethical of me to not note in a previous Iraq snapshot that David was a speech writer for Bernie.

    I've never heard such a stupid and uninformed thing in my life.  Keesha long ago dubbed this a private conversation in a public sphere.  The community does not need a disclosure.

    Many wish I wouldn't quote David.

    If any sort of disclosure needs to be done it would be something like this, "We called out David many years ago and he threatened to sue us.  He did not sue us because we had sourced our comments -- which were mainly about the member of Congress he used to work for (and the rude way that member treated Tina Richards, the mother of Iraq War veteran Cloy Richards)."

    Because of that, the community is not high on David.  When his wife Emily ran for Congress, we noted her from time to time here.  And I have no problem with her and I have no real problem with David.  He was mad, he let off steam.  As far as I am concerned, it's over.  I wish the community would join me in that but I don't control the community, I'm just a member like anyone else.

    If I feel the need to call him out, I will.  (And I have when needed since that exchange.)

    In some snapshots, we have identified him as being with Bernie's campaign, in some we haven't.  Though that might be an issue for you, the issue for the community is the one described above not his connection to Bernie's campaign.

    The press was at war with Bernie in 2016 and they remain at war with him now.  Think about how, before Joe Biden declared in April, the press refused to treat Bernie like the front runner -- even though he was.  They will not rush to get behind Bernie.

    That's for many reasons and I wish David would write or Tweet about that.

    Bernie has called for Medicare For All and the press -- supported by so much of the for-profit medical industry -- drug companies, insurance companies, etc -- is not going to slit their own throats.  When you watch the evening news on prime time or one of the 'news' programs on cable, count how many commercials airing are about drugs or about insurance.  They have been bought and see Bernie as a threat.

    Bernie was against the Iraq War.  Not only does anti-war threaten the press but it also goes to the fact that he was right and they were wrong.  They are so quick to pounce on everyone's errors -- even Joe Biden's -- but they've never taken accountable for how they helped lie us into war.  Bernie is a threat to them because he is proof that their collective claim of 'no one could have guessed' is a lie.  Anyone paying attention could have seen that the Iraq War was wrong and unneeded and that, if started, it would be a disaster.

    Bernie has supported local broadcasters -- a long history of that.  And to the consolidated media giants, that is a threat.

    He stands for higher wages and they see that as a threat.

    Everything Bernie is for, they are opposed to.

    And, yes, that has directly impacted the coverage he receives.

    We are not only taking on Donald Trump. We are not only taking on our primary opponents. We are taking on the health insurance and drug companies, the military and prison industrial complexes, the fossil fuel industry and more. But if we stick together, we are going to win.

    His is a message of We The People and that's what so threatens so many.  Bernie is a populist and the media has never liked populists -- not real populists.

    Bernie could win the nomination and it scares the hell out of the press that this is a possibility because if he wins, it's not just without their help, it's also in spite of their efforts to destroy him.

    The media has been attempting to destroy Bernie.

    For those who are late to the party or don't get it, let's talk Beto for a moment.

    Beto was a press darling.  Then he declared his intent to run for the presidency.  Shortly after, the press began tearing him down.  What changed?

    Beto was speaking out against the ongoing Iraq War.  THE WASHINGTON POST felt the need to 'fact check' him and did so by deliberately misunderstanding what he said.  But that was all it took for the press to declare war on the man they'd made a press darling only months before.  If they'd do that to Beto over just the war issue, imagine how frightened they are of Bernie who concerns them over war, yes, but also over healthcare, over media consolidation, over fair wages, over . . .

    Beto's trying to rebuild his campaign and he's seen some activity in the polls.

  • Anyone this president puts down, we are going to lift up. In those places where Donald Trump has been terrorizing, terrifying, and demeaning our fellow Americans, we are going to show up. RT if you are ready to join us in this fight.


    I believe, together, we can bring about the change we need—and, in the process, restore our faith in humanity, in one another, and in this country. You can read more about our plan to end this epidemic here:

  • When any one community is targeted, the very idea of America is under attack. That’s why we need to all come together to not only connect the dots between the proliferation of hatred across our country and the acceleration of mass shootings, but actually do something about it.

  • To combat hatred, we will ensure the FBI and DOJ prioritize right wing violence; identify white nationalism as a threat in counterterrorism strategy; and require social media companies to remove hate speech and domestic terrorism from their platforms.

  • The following sites updated: