Thursday, March 26, 2020

Joe Biden assaulted Tara Reade

Joe Biden is worthless. THE HILL reports:

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday said it’s time for the Democratic primary to draw to a close and signaled a disinterest in participating in a final debate against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
“My focus is just dealing with this crisis right now,” Biden said at a virtual press conference. “I haven’t thought about any more debates. I think we’ve had enough debates. I think we should get on with this."

He can't even handle debating. He's worthless. He's the worst candidate the Democratic Party has ever considered for the presidency in my lifetime. The absolute worst. He is unfit for office.

He knows he looks like an idiot anytime he opens his mouth.  He thinks he can run out the clock and grab the nomination.

He's a coward.  Creepy Joe is really Cowardly Joe.

He can't do a damn thing but go senile in public.

He is a joke.  He's a dirty, old joke.

We deserve better than him.  I want Bernie.  But, yes, I'll settle for Andrew Cuomo.

Anyone but Joe.  Joe is creepy, he's disgusting and he's cowardly.

Joe is an abuser.  When I told C.I. that I was going to note that, she said to be sure to note Katie Halper's interview with Tara Reade.

Here's a summary:

Tara Reade has been trying to tell her story since it happened in 1993, when she was working as a staff assistant for Joe Biden. She told part of her story-- about how Biden would put his hands on her shoulders and run his fingers up and down her neck-- in the spring of 2019 after Lucy Flores accused Biden of kissing the top of her head and smelling her hair inappropriately. But Reade didn't tell her full story. As Ryan Grim reveals at The Intercept, Reade asked for help from Time's Up, but the organization said it could not support her because a case taking on Biden would jeopardize their non-profit status. Tara is finally telling the story she's been trying to tell for decades. While there were no witnesses to Biden's alleged sexual assault of Tara Reade, her brother and close friend, both of whom I've spoken to, recall Reade telling them about it at the time. The rest of the interview will be released shortly.

Joe is disgusting.  Joe belongs in prison, not the White House.

We need Bernie as the nominee.  Not some old rapist.

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

Wednesday, March 25, 2020.  The Congress continues to betray the American people, Joe Biden continues to stumble in public, Iraq suffers under the coronavirus and much more.

Starting int he US.  One time only payment of $1200 to adults.  That's what the Congress is offering.  That's the best b.s. they can come up with and this is after Nancy Pelosi finally drags her lazy ass back to Congress.

In 1987, a "rank-and-file" member of Congress earned $87,000.  Now?  $174,000.

US minimum wage in 1987?  $3.35 an hour.  Today?  $11.

They are making a minimum of $174,000 -- as Speaker, Nancy makes $223,500 and they can't work to provide for the American people.

When they think they themselves are in need, they vote themselves a raise.  That's how you go from $87,000 a year to $174,000 a year.

But it's screw the American people -- over and over again.

A community member for North Carolina asked me to note this:

I am a 'healthcare professional' - ha!  I am on the front desk of a clinic.  While others in contact with patients in this clinic -- doctors, nurses and techs -- wear masks and gloves, I wear nothing for protection.  All of us on the front desk are told that masks and gloves must be closely watched, that they don't have enough.  So we are left to fend against the coronavirus via prayer.

In our clinic, we use wristbands.  So every patient that comes in must get a wrist band that we put on, putting us further in contact with the patient.  There is no concern at all for our safety.  We take cash and credit cards and checks from these patients.  They are not six feet from us during this period.  They cough and they sneeze as we go through the screening process before they are allowed to go to the back.  

Again, our protection is prayer.  At THIRD, a piece quoted Senator Bernie Sanders talking about the "economic anxiety" that so many of us are feeling.  Thank you, always, Senator Sanders.  There's a reason I supported you last year for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination and continue to support you now.  I am expected to smile and be welcoming while I am risking my own health and while I am scared to death of the future.

If I get coronavirus what happens to me?  Well, I can get workers comp -- provided the exposure was on the job and I can prove that.  How do I prove that?  Most are not being tested for coronavirus.  In other words, I have no workers comp available.  That's reality.  

Last week, while Joe Biden was hidin' and while Nancy Pelosi felt the need for some sort of vacation in the midst of a pandemic, poor over worked dear, I was informed that our clinic, to cut costs, is reducing the hours of those of us on the front desk to 24 hours a week.  I am a full time employee and now I'm only going to be getting paid for 24 hours?

Where is the $2,000 a month for every adult in America?  Senator Sanders is right that it is needed.  I am the mother of two young children (both under the age of eleven) and I'm at my wits end.  Every day, I worry that I will catch the virus because we are not protected in any way at the front desk.  Every day, I wonder how long my family can make it on me getting paid for only 24 hours a week.  Every day, I worry about the bills, the rent, the utilities, the medications . . . 

It is too much.  I go to bed crying and in the day time I just want to scream.

Why isn't the Congress helping us?

They're up for re-election.  The easiest way int he world to turn out the vote in 2020 would be to do something for the American people, to show real leadership. 

But that's not happening.

I can't hang on like this much longer.  I come home and my kids want to hug Mommy and I have to say, "Back, back."  Then I run to the bathroom and scrub down in the shower, get dressed and only then is Mommy able to touch the kids.

This is a scary time and Congress has not made it any less scary.  We, the American people, need assistance.  Members of Congress make a fortune every year.  And that is the money we pay them but they will do nothing to help us.  I am near the end of my rope.  

That's what real people are dealing with.  Real people are not Ellen DeGeneres whining that she's bored in her mansion.  Oh, boo, hoo.  Ruth's right that some of these celebrities just need to shut the hell up.

People are suffering, people are stressed and they are worried and the Congress is doing nothing.

A JACOBIN writer Tweets:

It appears that Bernie got his unemployment provision into the Senate Bill: 100% of salary for laid-off workers up to 75K/year, and benefits to include tipped and gig workers who are not usually covered.

If it happens, good.  But that's not helping the woman above.  She has not been fired.  She is seeing her 40 hour a week job slashed to 24 hours a week.  She's wording the working the way she does, by the way, because they are supposed to be at the desk, off the clock, for their lunch and if anyone comes in they are to deal with that patient during their off the clock lunch.

IN THESE TIMES offers an article by Josh Rivers.  Why?  The average reader is not going to understand and it's not written for a general publication.  They shouldn't have offered it.

It does not address the needs of the workers or anything else.

Reality: We have class warfare in America.  You saw it months ago when the 'country' was doing better and corporate hacks and whores told you Americans didn't deserve Medicare For All -- the kind of program that members of Congress get for life, by the way.  And now you're seeing the class warfare continue as the rulers tell We The People that they're not worth $2,000 a month.

That's the sort of story IN THESE TIMES needs to be telling.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden suffers one meltdown after another on TV yesterday.  He ended up cancelling his online press briefing and that's no surprise if you caught him on ABC or CNN.  He didn't know what he was talking about.  He couldn't stop coughing.  Jake Tapper pointed out that he's supposed to cough into his elbow and Joe insisted he was alone in the room -- he wasn't, at least one camera operator was present.

Bruce Haring (DEADLINE) covers Joe's appearance on THE VIEW:

Fresh off an online appearance in which he waved off his first point about the pandemic as his teleprompter allegedly malfunctioned, Biden came to The View seeking redemption. He appeared via satellite to reveal how he would handle the current coronavirus crisis.
He did offer one gem in response to Sara Haines’s question on whether businesses should reopen very soon. 
"Are you at all concerned, as Trump said, that we cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself?” Haines asked.
Biden noted in his reply that the COVID-19 cure “will make the problem worse, no matter what.”
No one from The View followed up for a clarification. But social media didn’t let it go, seizing on it like a dog with a meaty bone.

Meanwhile, Ryan Grim (INTERCEPT) reports:

Last April, Tara Reade watched as a familiar conversation around her former boss, Joe Biden, and his relationship with personal space unfolded on the national stage. Nevada politician Lucy Flores alleged that Biden had inappropriately sniffed her hair and kissed the back of her head as she waited to go on stage at a rally in 2014. Biden, in a statement in response, said that “not once” in his career did he believe that he had acted inappropriately. But Flores’s allegation sounded accurate to Reade, she said, because Reade had experienced something very similar as a staffer in Biden’s Senate office years earlier.
After she saw an episode of the ABC show “The View,” in which most of the panelists stood up for Biden and attacked Flores as politically motivated, Reade decided that she had no choice but to come forward and support Flores. She gave an interview to a local reporter, describing several instances in which Biden had behaved similarly toward her, inappropriately touching her during her early-’90s tenure in his Senate office. In that first interview, she decided to tell a piece of the story, she said, that matched what had happened to Flores — plus, she had filed a contemporaneous complaint, and there were witnesses, so she considered the allegation bulletproof. The short article brought a wave of attention on her, along with accusations that she was doing the bidding of Russian President Vladimir Putin. So Reade went quiet.

Read on for how Times Up betrayed her.  And wonder how much Anita Dunn played into that.

Mike covered the latest polling which found Joe Biden   It wasn't good news for Joe.  From Monmout University:

Joe Biden holds a negligible 3 point lead over Donald Trump in the race for president, according to a national Monmouth (“Mon-muth”) University Poll. The probable Democratic nominee has a larger edge, though, among voters in key swing counties across the country. The poll also finds that fewer voters say their financial situation is improving compared to a year ago, although most say it is stable for now.

 Biden has the support of 48% of registered voters and Trump has the support of 45% if the presidential election was today. Another 3% say they would vote for an independent candidate and 4% are undecided. Biden has an 89% to 6% advantage over Trump among Democratic voters, while Trump has a similar 90% to 7% lead among Republicans. Independents split 45% for Trump and 44% for Biden.

Joe should be killing it, that's what the media insisted, he was the choice.  He's not killing it.  He's not even winning tha tpoll.  The margin of error on it is +/- 3.5%.  That's why the call it "a neglibible 3 point lead."  It may not exist, it's in the margin of error.  So he's neck and neck with Donald Trump.  As those of us on the left watch and wonder what the rest of America is seeing from the White House, the reality is that they're seeing enough not to move towards Joe.

Joe should not be the candidate.  He is not up to the job.  And we know that right now.  Bernie does not need to drop out and if the DNC is so hellbent on refusing Bernie, they need to find someone other than Joe.  America can't afford that senile idiot.

Turning to Iraq, KURDISTAN 24 notes official numbers put out by the US government:

The Coalition, formally known as Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), “conducted a total of 18 strikes consisting of 48 engagements in Iraq and Syria” during February, the statement said.
“In Iraq, CJTF-OIR carried out 10 strikes against Da’esh targets,” the Coalition statement noted, using the Arabic acronym for the terrorist group. Those 10 strikes consisted of 38 engagements.
CJTF-OIR explained that a strike is “one or more kinetic engagements” in the same location “to produce a single, sometimes cumulative effect in that location.”
“For example,” the CJTF-OIR statement continued, “a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone Da’esh vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of Da’esh-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use.”

The result of February’s strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq was, according to the CJTF-OIR statement, “16 enemies killed, two bed down locations and six defensive positions destroyed,” along with “eight caves closed.”

Even during the coronavirus pandemic, the Iraq War continues.  KURDISTAN 24 notes, "The number of novel coronavirus cases across Iraq has risen to 323 and the death toll from the illness climbed to 27 on Tuesday as federal authorities announced the highest infections yet recorded in a single day." RUDAW adds that there have been 99 confirmed cases in the KRG and that at least two people have died.  This morning, Arhama Siddiqa (Pakistan's EXPRESS TRIBUNE) writes:

Though the October 2019 protests brought down the government, the appointed prime minister-designate, Muhammad Tariq Allawi, failed to win parliamentary approval to form a cabinet. On March 19, Iraqi President Barham Salih was forced to reappoint the former governor of Najaf, Adnan Zurfi, as the new Prime Minister-designate. March 19 also marked 17 years to the US invasion of Iraq. The sad reality is that in comparison to the US invasion of 2003, the stability of Iraq is at greater risk now. The country’s leadership has not been able to agree on a government despite months of protests against the ruling establishment.

In essence Iraq’s situation is one of political paralysis. Without doubt the rise and spread of al Qaeda and ISIS was challenging. However, these did not shake the Iraqi state’s core foundations the way the current accumulation of political crises has. The current crises have overwhelmed the current system to a breaking point, with a replacement nowhere in sight.
An examination of key demographic indicators shows why the common Iraqi is disenchanted with the prevailing system. Take education for example. Statistics from the World Bank show that under Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, 74% of adult Iraqis were literate in the year 2000. Eighteen years down, this number has dramatically dropped to 50%.

Concurrently, the sudden drop in oil prices mainly due to the oil-price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, is threatening to propel an already faltering Iraq into an unparalleled crisis. Of Iraq’s revenue, 90% comes from oil and since almost half of the government’s spending is on public sector wages and pensions, a drop in oil prices means that the country cannot meet its wage scale.

Three main things help explain the grim state of affairs. The first is the US invasion in 2003 which caused power vacuums in the country. The second is the policymaking distribution in the post-invasion period. To this day, this is defined by an unwritten understanding among the ruling elites that commits them to ensure that no monopoly power prevails for the sake of protecting their interests. The third is the role of third party powerplay in Iraqi politics particularly the US and Iran. An accumulation of all three have resulted in a path dependent trajectory leading to a dysfunctional political system driven predominately by vested interests and corruption.


Last week saw the seventeenth anniversary of the ill-fated US-led invasion of Iraq that led to the reported deaths of millions of Iraqis, the destruction of much of the country's infrastructure, and the establishment of an unstable democratic system.

Iraq's political system has been fraught with instability and has incubated almost two decades of corruption leading to several protest movements and the rise of violent Islamist militant groups, including many Shia militias who operate as part of the state security apparatus.

The Islamic State group was also born out of the sectarianism and violence that has been emblematic of the Iraqi political process since 2003, which has seen a succession of weak governments and a legislature divided along sectarian quotas.

Today's protest movement - ongoing since October of last year - has aimed to disrupt the cycle of corrupt political appointments, nepotism, and political actors who are beholden to both Iran and the United States.

With the appointment of the second prime minister-designate in as many months, Iraq is now facing an unprecedented political crisis that has been exacerbated by the global coronavirus pandemic.

The following sites updated: