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Home country: US
Member since: Sat Jun 4, 2005, 09:56 AM
Number of posts: 17,072

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From across the pond: OK, America, so what the hell happens now?

Excellent bit of writing here. If you enjoy reading Charlie Pierce, you will probably enjoy this bit from Marina Hyde at The Guardian.

Things are surely a mess, but at least we might as well laugh at the parts we can, right? (the rest of the world is, sigh.)


Donald Trump, America’s howling id, has not lost this election. Then again, Joe Biden has not won it. Shortly before 6am UK time, Biden addressed a rally – never a better time for one, mate – and told the Delaware crowd he was “optimistic”. In split-screen Trump addressed his Twitter retinue, and told them of “a big WIN”, adding “they are trying to STEAL the election … votes cannot be cast after the Poles are closed.” Expect him to invade Pole-land in the coming days.

Still, whatever happens now, no one can argue that a result this close was a repudiation of his way of doing business, so anyone expecting the gibberingly loyal Republican party to tack away from its current psychiatric space for the next couple of decades ought probably to get used to disappointment.


Militia fears, a barricaded presidential compound, open calls to disenfranchise voters – it’s a mood very much borrowed from what Trump would call “shithole countries”. As the weeks unfold, please don’t rule out Donald’s two large adult sons – Uday and Schmuday – downing a Black Hawk within the White House autonomous zone. Already, expectations have been so profoundly commuted that if gun-toting convoys of Klansmen aren’t firing celebratory rounds into the sky from vehicle convoys by the time this article is published, it’ll be regarded as a positive.


Should Biden edge a victory, thanks to the way the self-styled greatest democracy in the world works, we will have months of grimly incendiary Trump claims that it was stolen. Or, to put it in terms the rest of the planet would understand: this is like winning the World Cup in November, then having the losing captain use it as a toilet for three months before finally handing the brimming trophy over to you in late January.

If, after reading the full article, you wonder why I didn't select your favorite bit ... hopefully you will agree to the difficulty of selecting just 4 paragraphs from this excellent piece.

(really, "Uday and Schmuday" >> how perfect. )

Joe Biden gets backing of key Latina activist Dolores Huerta

Great news!

Huerta co-founded the organization that eventually became the United Farm Workers of America, a national union for farm laborers. The Biden campaign noted her endorsement came on International Workers Day, and Huerta said Biden will “really support strong labor unions.”

During the primary, however, Huerta endorsed California Sen. Kamala Harris and criticized Biden for his comments during a primary debate on immigration, accusing him of “speaking just like the Republicans” when he expressed opposition to the idea of decriminalizing border crossings during a Democratic primary debate.

But she told the AP on Friday that she trusts Biden to prioritize the challenges confronting Latinos and noted that immigration reform “is something the president can’t do,” noting big reforms require congressional action.

“I don’t think we’ll have to pressure him” on immigration reform, she said. “I think he realizes what the issues are.”

It’s a notable shift for a key voice in the Latino community ...


Why you vote for the Dem nominee in the GE, even if you have serious differences with him or her

Trump has flipped the 9th Circuit -- and some new judges are causing a 'shock wave'


My reply:

but somebody's 'conscience' remains pure

because they didn't vote for that awful Hillary.

(hopefully I didn't need a sarcasm tag on that)

Warren almost even with Sanders in UI mock caucus Friday

Sorry if this was already posted, and yes I changed the headline. I think it is notable that the students were almost evenly divided between Warren and Sanders. Because a lot has been made of the enthusiasm of younger voters for Sanders .. but in my real life experience with young Democratic activists, my sense is the lean this year is to Warren.

We'll see how well they turn out for the real caucus. Go Liz!


Emphasis added.


Both the Sanders and the Warren campaigns drew large groups of potential first-time caucusgoers, gathering in opposite corners of the room.

The Sanders campaign narrowly won out in the end, with a final total of 74 likely caucusgoers to Warren’s 70. Andrew Yang came in third place with 52 caucusgoers, leaving the three candidates viable after the first alignment.


Amy Klobuchar, Joe Biden, Tulsi Gabbard and Pete Buttigieg were all unviable after the first alignment.

UI fourth-year Jacob Gordon caucused undecided on the first round, but was swayed by the Warren campaign. He said the experience of caucusing was overwhelming, but he feels more prepared for Monday evening after having made a decision on which candidate to support.

“I really wanted to hear people’s personal reasons for why they chose a certain candidate and I wanted to feel the passion that they would have for [a candidate], and that’s how I ended up choosing Warren,” Gordon said.


Changing my preference to Warren.

Truthfully, I like both Joe and Liz, but I can only pick one here. I could go back to "undecided", but since I am down to two that I feel strongly in favor of, and we are close to the first primaries, I felt I had to pick one.

I was backing Steyer here for a while. I think he has a lot to offer, but it's been clear for some time that he is going nowhere in the prez primary. So again, with first primaries upon us, it is time to make a real choice.

Why Warren, not Joe? I think, all other factors being equal, Joe is inherently stronger against Trump in the GE. But all other factors aren't equal. I don't have actual numbers but sense from my experience with people IRL, Warren would be a far preferable choice for Sanders supporters than Biden. We need that energy in the campaign, and keeping those folks in the fold helps build the party for the next generation. (I don't agree with their assessment of Biden, by the way, but I'm a big fan of reality-based decision-making.)

Also, the "first choice Warren" voters I've met IRL are almost universally respectful and supportive of Biden as a solid choice, recognizing the need to beat Trump is absolutely the essential goal here. Policy platforms are good for knowing the candidate's governing philosophy, but get real, without the Presidency AND the Senate, it will be tough even to get good judges on the bench let alone pass progressive legislation. Someone with Warren's persona (and Biden's too) has a better shot to unite the country behind moving forward on some goals, even if only a little compared with where we want to go. Moving forward a little, is massively better than going backwards at light-speed, as we do under continued reign of Trumpism. So, the flexible and congenial nature of her supporters, combined with very progressive legislative philosophy, helps me make this selection. (Again, reflecting just my personal experience, I don't count DU for judgments like this so I am not speaking of DU members)

Either way, of course in the General Election I will vote for the nominee. I hope and do believe it will be either Joe or Liz.

Time to revisit: Joe Biden and VAWA

A reply on another thread suggested that there was some similarity between Biden, Sanders, and their common generation's attitude toward women.

I have to call BULLSHIT in the strongest way I can.

There's some old stuff on Sanders that illuminates his attitudes towards women, I'm not going to dredge that up here. (Though others probably will if someone begs hard enough, by claiming they have no idea what I'm talking about.)

Biden, on the other hand, pushed VAWA through. (the landmark Violence Against Women Act, in case anyone is not familiar.


(emphasis added)

According to Nourse, Joe Biden, who was then the chair of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, first proposed working on the bill because he was concerned about national attitudes about violence against women — and was especially “appalled” that people didn’t take marital rape seriously. He introduced the Act in 1990 and thus helped to return the issue of violence against women to the national stage. The legislation, co-authored by Rep. Louise Slaughter, a New York Democrat, was also backed by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, a Utah Republican, and had the support of a coalition of women’s rights groups, including NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund.


In Nourse’s opinion, then-Senator Biden was motivated to push for the bill because of his empathy for women who had approached him about the idea, and those who testified in the hearings in the House and Senate.


In terms of the passage of the Violence Against Women Act, Nourse says Biden’s empathy was an asset.

“He’s criticized for his emotion and his empathy. But it also means he has grit; when it gets in that he’s got to do something, he’s not taking no for an answer,” Nourse says. “That bill could only have been passed because of Joe Biden.”

Biden has his strengths and weaknesses as a candidate, and in his history in the Senate. But he's gotten shit done that mattered to women's rights. So anyone trying to equate him with Sanders in that area ... no. Just no.

Steyer made the debate.

Heard it on Rachel. Here's an article.

I don't have much to say other than, maybe he's a better politician than I had been giving him credit for.

I have him as my "choice" here because he talks about the right things in the right way, and I think it would be great for him to have a larger audience. I have no delusion that he has any chance to win, among lifelong politicians. (Not sure I would want him to, either. Maybe we need someone who knows how the sausage grinder works.)

In the actual primary, if he is still there, I may or may not vote for him. But either way, I'll be glad he had a chance to be heard. Yes, he can buy that chance, and he has been ... not just now that he's running for Prez. I'm not one who assumes anyone who has money is necessarily a complete asshole. At least he's been putting his $$$ behind good causes for a while now. I respect that. And I think he's a good addition to the debate.


Steyer is the sixth Democrat to make the stage, where he’ll join former Vice President Joe Biden; Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Amy Klobuchar; and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg as the only qualifiers in a 13-candidate Democratic field. Candidates needed at least 225,000 donors, as well as certain levels of support in qualifying polls either nationally or in key early states, to make the cut.

Steyer’s debate qualification came in one fell swoop Thursday night, when Fox News released new polls for the Nevada caucuses, which will take place February 22, and for the South Carolina primary on February 29. Though Biden still leads the field in both states, Steyer came in third in Nevada — tied with Warren — and was catapulted to a narrow second place in South Carolina, just slightly ahead of Sanders.

In Nevada, Steyer claimed 12 percent of caucus-goers, albeit with a 4 percent margin of error. He did even better in South Carolina, earning 15 percent support with a 3.5 percent margin of error, representing an 11-point jump since October 2019. Both polls were conducted earlier this week, from January 5 through January 8.

Call them what they are: woman killers.

Subject line is my takeaway from this excellent article.


The article words it a little differently, but it comes down to that, and I agree:

If anti-abortionists are going to keep calling pro-choice people baby killers, then it’s time to start referring to them for what they are: people who would kill women.

At the very least, they are people who will stand by cheerfully, smugly, while they enact a system that leads to 14-year-old girls drinking rat poison.

That is unconscionable.

I wonder, if every time we see an unhinged comment on social media that blares about "baby killers", we responded with a blare back about "woman killers", would that at least start to get some attention to the side effects of these policies?

I've noted elsewhere that I think the people driving the chattelization of women, are in it for the increased control they get from creating increased dependency. Nothing will get through to THEM. But THEY aren't the majority, they are just the instigators. Convince the majority that the "cure" (banning abortions) is actually worse than the "disease" (some women having abortions). Then maybe we turn this tide.

The article has much more and is well worth the read. I've chosen a couple paragraphs below, but you really should go to the link and read the whole article.

But then, don’t we have it so much better than so many other countries? Well, in terms of women’s reproductive health, not especially.

The Federalist makes an argument that women should not be dressing up to protest restrictions on abortion in Ohio because, “To compare restrictions on abortion… to the abuses many women still suffer around the world today is both intellectually insulting and downright dishonest… In Saudi Arabia, women aren’t allowed to drive, wear makeup, or clothes that 'show off their beauty.'”

Pretending that women should remain quiet on the topic of their rights because women have it worse in other countries is absurd. We do not live in other countries. This argument should carry all the weight of a C student, who, when told to do better by their parents, replies by shouting, “I could be getting Fs! I could be shooting heroin into my eyeballs!” Which is to say, it should carry no weight at all.

Politifact: Was Joe Biden a climate change pioneer in Congress? History says yes

This article fact-checks a statement Biden is making on the campaign trail. But it's also an interesting (and sad) look back at how badly we as a nation have whiffed on the climate change issue; when people like Biden and Gore, and Jimmy Carter with the solar panels on the White House, have been raising the alarm for literally DECADES.



Paul Bledsoe, a former Clinton White House climate staff member who is now a strategic advisor at the Progressive Policy Institute, told us Biden deserves his due.

"Without question, Biden was among the earliest supporters of climate change action in Congress," Bledsoe said. "His 1987 bill was focused on forcing the Reagan Administration to establish a wide-ranging White House Task Force on Climate Change, a critical action that in fact was not taken until the Clinton Administration, so it was both prescient and influential on long-term policy."

Our ruling
Biden said, "I’m one of the first guys to introduce a climate change bill, way, way back in ‘87."

There had been some high-profile hearings about climate change on the Hill, as well as a non-binding resolution prior to Biden’s proposal. But he is credited with introducing the first climate change bill.

We rate this True.

Please go to the link to read the entire article.

Disclaimer: I truly am undecided and will support the Democratic nominee in the General Election.

Found a beautiful Easter egg today. Enjoy. (The Boss with Sting, performing The River)

Look how freakin' young these guys are! And the clothes!

(and is that a young Max Weinberg on drums? Was he with Bruce at that point or is that someone else?)
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