In the US, the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues and War Hawk Joe Biden continues to struggle. Betsy McCaughey (CREATORS SYNDICATE) argues that the scope of the discussion on the Bidens and Ukraine needs to be enlarged:
It's not just the $1 million a year that Burisma paid Biden's son Hunter, with no energy or Ukrainian expertise. That's small potatoes.
Biden should also have to answer for the $20 million in taxpayer-funded loans that went to his Delaware pal John Hynansky to launch a luxury car dealership in Ukraine selling Porsches, Land Rovers and other high-ticket vehicles. None were made in the U.S. Hynansky had made large donations to Biden's campaigns. Later he would loan $500,000 to Biden's brother James, who was behind on mortgage payments and owed more than $590,000 in back taxes.
Democrats and media allies are adamant that Joe Biden's dealings in Ukraine are irrelevant to Trump's impeachment. Not so, if Biden used taxpayer money as his personal piggy bank to help his son and his car dealer pal.
It's about ethics and the Bidens have none. Some people can't grasp that reality.
Using the Hunter Biden ”standard” why is Nicki Haley on the Boeing Board?
Using Hunter as the standard? Well Nikki Haley took a position on a board after she left government. Hunter took a position on a board -- of a foreign company -- while his father was Vice President. Hunter took a position on a board while his father was overseeing that country. Barack Obama put Joe in charge of Ukraine. Joe was supposed to be ending corruption and instead he's got his son -- unqualified for any job beyond snorting coke or smoking a crack pipe, apparently -- getting paid an outrageous sum for sitting on the board of a company whose business he knows nothing about and has no experience in -- oh, and he also doesn't speak the language.
Nikki Haley may well have cashed in on her name to land that spot on Boeing's board -- I don't know, I don't know her qualifications, I don't follow her life -- but if she did, that's not anything like Hunter and Joe and Ukraine.
Try to remember that the US government, under Barack, overthrew the sitting government in Ukraine. It was corrupt, it was this and it was that, went the argument from the US government. And Joe was supposed to be fighting corruption. At the same time, Hunter gets a sweetheart deal that he's clearly unqualified for.
Equally true, this is now a pattern for the Bidens. That includes Hunter getting rich off China (though Hunter is still claiming that he's broke -- he's not spending like he's broke but he doesn't want to pay child support so he's claimed he's broke and is still refusing to turn over financial documents to the court -- yes, the judge has ordered him to start paying some child support starting next month but she was also clear that the amount will probably increase if/when he turns over the documents that he's currently in contempt of court for not supplying). That includes his brother getting a contract to build in Iraq. That includes so much. They have lived off the US taxpayers and they have been unethical and that is who they are.
As if the lack of ethics isn't bad enough, Joe just can't stop lying.
From Jon Queally's COMMON DREAMS report:
After former Vice President Joe Biden late last week falsely claimed that "there's not a single solitary scientist that thinks" the kind of bold Green New Deal initiative put forth by his 2020 Democratic primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders "can work," more than four dozen U.S. climate scientists responded Tuesday to make clear that just isn't true.
Sanders' Green New Deal is a sweeping proposal that calls for "100 percent renewable energy for electricity and transportation by no later than 2030 and complete decarbonization by at least 2050" while investing $16.3 trillion over ten years to create an estimated 20 million new jobs, support vulnerable communities and a just transition for workers, and fund a massive infrastructure project.
The Vermont senator has said such a plan is necessary to avert the worst impacts of the climate crisis.
Biden made his comment attacking the plan during a campaign event in Iowa on Friday, but climate experts like meteorologist and journalist Eric Holthaus were quick to object[.]
Meanwhile Joel Bleifuss (IN THESE TIMES) takes on the notion that Joe is the most 'electable:'
Their candidate is Joe “Electable” Biden. Their candidate’s main policy expert is Bruce Reed, who accompanies Biden on the campaign trail. As architect of President Bill Clinton’s 1996 so-called welfare reform, Reed coined the “end welfare as we know it” slogan. A former CEO of the now-defunct Democratic Leadership Council, Reed left his post in 2010 to serve as executive director of President Barack Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which unsuccessfully attempted to reduce the deficit by cutting cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients.
Why Biden is so electable—a 77-year-old candidate who stepped onto the national stage in 1972 as the junior senator from Delaware and has twice run (and lost badly) for president—is never explained. A 1995 video has surfaced of Biden speaking in favor of a GOP-sponsored balanced-budget amendment. “When I argued that we should freeze federal spending, I meant Social Security as well,” he bragged. “I meant Medicare and Medicaid. I meant veterans’ benefits. I meant every single solitary thing in the government. And I not only tried it once, I tried it twice, I tried it a third time, and I tried it a fourth time.” And his backing of the Iraq War has rightly dogged him: As CNN reported, at a January 4 event in Des Moines, Iowa, “Biden again dishonestly suggests he opposed the Iraq War from the beginning.”
Is it any wonder that young people are not flocking to the Biden campaign? In a December 2019 poll of Iowa voters, only 6% of likely Democratic caucus-goers between 18 and 34 supported Biden, while 55% supported Warren or Sanders. For a Democratic Party establishment truly concerned with electability—now and in the future—that is the poll to pay attention to.
Joe is not the only one without ethics. There's also a group -- that includes Noam Chomsky -- who are trying to tell the Green Party how they should conduct their campaigns. This is a reply from the Green Party:
The "Open Letter to the Green Party About 2020 Election Strategy" marks the first 2020 salvo telling you and your fellow Greens to just shut up and submit to a fundamentally undemocratic system that was designed specifically to marginalize you. This steaming pile of cowardice and shoddy logic is especially disturbing because of co-signers like Noam Chomsky and Barbara Ehrenreich, who many of us otherwise consider to be heroes.
Chomsky and Erenreich have made careers out of describing how the powerful subtly coerce us into limiting our worldviews, our choices —the potential of our very lives— frequently without us even knowing. And so it's chilling that even they would lend their names to a piece blaming you and me for what is unquestionably the product of a RIDICULOUS elections system and decades of bi-partisan servitude to War and Wall Street: the election of Donald Trump.
We need you to fight back today and we need you to give to the Green Party today, because this is just the beginning of their assault. The two-party cartel has marshalled their shills within Left spaces because they know that when Greens run in elections we break their stranglehold grip on what's possible in this world and in our lives.
The backers of smears like this have nothing to say about Ranked Choice Voting and Proportional Representation, full public financing of elections and other reforms that would not just benefit activists in "third parties" but every voter who would finally be free to cast their ballot for what they actually want — and actually be heard! They have not and will not lift a finger to democratize our elections and lift the systematic voter and candidate suppression that goes on in this country every day.
They are content with elections that everyday people experience as an endless cycle of hopelessness, alienation and betrayal. Well, we are not. We fight to change that every day. The Green Party will fight in 2020 - we will fight every year and never stop because this is the fight for our lives. Help us fight back today with your contribution so that we have the resources necessary to field candidates and campaigns across the country for People and Planet Over Profit.
We would love to hear your responses to that so-called "Open Letter," so hit us up on Facebook or tag us on Twitter with how you're cutting through the Two-Party Racket's propaganda, and tell us about the favorite responses you've seen.
And Keep The Faith!
The Green Party of the United States
P.S. we have to be prepared for scare-pieces like this to hit at least every month. You know what would help keep us strong, in the face of that? Your monthly contribution as a Green Party Sustainer. The propaganda out there adds up, but so does your support. When the many add up their strength against the few — we win!
Noam is not to be trusted. If you need proof of what a liar Noam can be, note this.
"I voted Green. If I had been in a swing state... I probably would have held my nose and voted for [Barack] Obama... I had no expectations about him and I'm not in the least disillusioned. In fact I wrote about him before the primaries. I thought he was awful." – Noam Chomsky
That's a cute little story, Noam. It's just not reality, is it? Reality is that you -- and Howard Zinn -- endorsed Barack in 2008. Don't try to pretend otherwise. There was a lot of flack over those endorsements. So to say, years later, after he's out of office, that you voted Green? Maybe you did but, if you did, that makes you even more dishonest because that means you publicly called for people to vote for Brack when you did not do so. You misled people. That's reality.
More reality is in THIRD's "Who the F**K asked you?"
The Green Party needs to run the campaigns that their members want. They do not need to cater to the whims of the ridiculous Norman Solomon or anyone else. They are a political party.
Meanwhile the number of US troops who were injured in the January 8th attack in Iraq continues to rise.
Protests continue in Iraq.
Our issue is not to replace a donkey to bring a mule, but to change the beast of animals #IraqProtest
Anti-government demonstrators rebuilt torched #protest camps across #Iraq on Monday, seeking to keep up their movement's momentum after a rocket attack on the US embassy in #Baghdad threatened an escalation. Read more here: http://iraq-solidarity.blogspot.com/2020/01/iraq-protesters-rebuild-torched-camps.html …
Following Sadr's withdrawal of support for protests has been concerted round of attacks upon major sit-in sites across Iraq leading to several deadly days http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.com/2020/01/new-govt-crackdown-on-iraq-protests.html …
Jane Arraf (NPR) reports:
Protesters in the southern city of Nasiriyah had set a deadline of midnight Sunday for the government to announce a new Iraqi prime minister. When that deadline passed with no announcement, they called for a general strike. In response, protesters from Baghdad to the southern port city of Basra blocked highways with burning tires. In some cities, they welded the doors of government buildings shut, to prevent employees from going to work.
"The deadline was announced and the deadline was over. We mobilized and escalated to cut the highway," a woman in a white lab coat told NPR in Baghdad on Monday, as she ran from tear gas fired by security forces after protesters took over a main interchange.
"Don't think we will stop. Enough. We are fed up with everything. We can't keep silent," said the woman, a volunteer medic who did not want to give her name for fear of reprisals from security forces and militias. "We are not going to leave and we are not going to emigrate and we are not going to go back to our houses. We are staying here."
Thousands of protesters turn out every day, with hundreds of them living in Baghdad's Tahrir Square, the center of the anti-government demonstrations. They say they fear being kidnapped or killed in the street by Iran-backed militias if they leave. They've set up tents. Volunteers organize meals. There are doctors and dentists within the square.
"The Iranian forces are attacking us," says Ali, who does not want to give his full name for fear of reprisals. He is part of a group picking up live tear gas canisters with their bare hands to hurl back at security forces. He is shirtless and wearing plastic sandals, with black soot covering his chest and hands.
"What else does Iran and its parties want from us?" he asks, referring to Iran's grip over Iraq's security forces and political system. Some of the most powerful parties have paramilitary wings backed by Iran.
As he speaks, a three-wheeled tuk-tuk races by, carrying an injured protester. A group of teenagers drag a metal dumpster along the pavement to use as a shield against the bullets and tear gas.
Iran-backed Iraqi militias — many of them officially part of Iraqi security forces — are believed responsible for hundreds of protesters' deaths and dozens of killings in the streets. Regular Iraqi security forces have fired live bullets or tear gas canisters directly at unarmed protesters.
“Everyone has come out protesting against the government,” said Hussain, a protester. “We demand that all politicians resign and get out. We don’t want Moqtada [al-Sadr] or any of them.”
The following sites updated: