Ah yes. To clarify: Biden health care plan leaves 10 million uninsured Biden welcomes Super PAC $$$ Biden voted for Iraq War Biden holds billionaire fundraisers Biden wrote the Bankruptcy bill Biden championed NAFTA Biden pushed TPP Biden defended the War on Drugs #NoMalarkey
Poor Joe. At a campaign stop today, he was talking about letting children stroke the hairs on his leg and bounce in his lap. Creepy.
In other creepy news, Tiny Pete. Jessica Mason (THE MARY SUE) notes:
Two out of the three frontrunners for the Democratic presidential nomination – Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren – are running on platforms that call for college to be free for everyone, as well as eliminating much or all of the student debt that is suffocating the millennial generation. It’s one of many aspects of their campaigns, along with taxing the wealthy and providing Medicare for all or most people, that make some people (like Michael Bloomberg) nervous because they represent a threat to the established system.
And now South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is preying on those nerves and attacking his democratic rivals by saying that free college would mean that the kids of millionaires would get free college too.
This argument – that a public benefit would result in people who don’t “need” it abusing it – is a long-time conservative argument against many social safetynet programs. The spectre of some mysterious, unintended beneficiary gaming the system is the kind of boogeyman conservatives and the GOP have used to frighten people away from expanding social programs for years.
At BET, Ernest Owens addresses Tiny Pete's inability to find traction with African-American voters:
There have been so many ridiculous explanations for why Buttigieg is polling at zero percent among Black voters in South Carolina.
One, particularly lazy explanation, has been to scapegoat homophobia in the Black community as the cause for his inability to garner support from African Americans.
But perhaps the most accurate explanation can be found in his constant gaffes while discussing race, particularly surrounding issues impacting Black people.
Such gaffes were magnified in a provocative and no-holds-barred op-ed penned by The Root writer Michael Harriot, where he criticized Buttigieg for placing blame on a lack of positive role models as the reason low income Black kids aren’t succeeding in school.
“There are a lot of kids, especially in low income, minority neighborhoods, where they just haven’t seen it [education] work,” Buttigieg said in a resurfaced 2011 video that Harriot referenced. “There isn’t someone they know personally who attests to the value of education.”
[. . .]
It is frustrating moments like these when I’m reminded as a Black gay voter of what I’ve known to be true my entire life: white gay men who share one part of my identity, still don’t share my experience -- and shouldn’t pretend they can.
When Buttigieg went on the campaign trail this week to suggest that he can relate to the struggles of Black voters because he is gay -- I took a long and hard sigh. If this isn’t pandering, I don’t know what is.
For starters, there are Black LGBTQ people within the larger Black community that Buttigieg can’t relate to for various reasons.
Throughout my career, I’ve covered several ongoing issues of racial discrimination and vast disparities within the LGBTQ community that has revealed the undeniable privilage of white cisgender gay men.
Meanwhile Michael Graham (INSIDE SOURCES) notes pro-rape Deval Patrick:
At a campaign stop in New Hampshire Monday, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said he had no regrets about how he handled the case of his brother-in-law Bernard Sigh, a convicted rapist Patrick helped keep off his state’s sex offender registry — and he used the word “relapse” to describe Sigh’s subsequent rape of Patrick’s sister.
Patrick’s troubled record regarding sexual assault and crimes against women has come under renewed scrutiny since he entered the race for the White House two weeks ago. Even left-leaning media outlets like HuffPo and the Boston Globe have raised questions about Patrick’s actions in the Sigh case.
[. . .]
Patrick’s description of his sister’s rape as a “relapse” brought an immediate rebuke from Wendy Murphy, a former prosecutor who teaches sexual violence law at New England Law School in Massachusetts.
“That is such an insulting way to describe what rape is,” she told NHJournal. “Rape isn’t a disease or a medical issue, it’s an act of violence. Calling it a ‘relapse’ de-criminalizes the concept of rape, and it’s an attitude that contributes to the high rates of violence against women.”
Patrick’s problems with rape and sexual assault don’t end there. Before becoming governor, he spent years advocating for convicted rapist Ben LaGuer, who spent eight hours brutally beating, raping and sodomizing a 59-year-old grandmother in 1983. Patrick donated $5,000 to help fund a DNA test — an effort that backfired when the test confirmed LaGuer’s guilt.
The protests continue in Iraq. John Davison (REUTERS) reports, "Iraqi protesters set fire to the entrance of a shrine in the southern holy city of Najaf on Saturday and security forces fired tear gas to disperse them, police and a demonstrator at the scene said, risking more bloodshed after a rare day of calm." Is Adel Abdul Mahdi gone yet? Kind-of, sort-of. Davison notes:
Iraq’s cabinet approved Abdul Mahdi’s resignation, his office said in a statement on Saturday, but parliament has yet to withdraw its support for the prime minister at a session on Sunday, making it official.
Abdul Mahdi’s government, including himself, will stay on in a caretaker capacity following the lawmakers’ vote until a new government can be chosen, the prime minister said later on Saturday in a televised cabinet meeting.
AP observes, "Three anti-government protesters were shot dead and at least 58 others wounded in Baghdad and southern Iraq on Saturday, security and medical officials said, as Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi formally submitted his resignation to parliament." Khalid al-Ansary, Souhail Karam and Nadeem Hamid (BLOOMBERG NEWS) note Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's spokesperson Sheikh Ahmed al-Safi has stated that Parliament needs to move on elections which will "express the people's will" or the government will "pay dearly." REUTERS adds, "Populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who has supported the protests but not thrown his full weight behind them, said late on Friday that demonstrations should continue and that the people should pick the next prime minister." Mohamed Walid, Mohamed Sabry and Emama Muhammed (ANADOLU AGENCY) explain, "According to Iraq's High Commission for Human Rights, at least 406 Iraqis have been killed and 15,000 have been injured since protests began Oct. 1." And it's still early Sunday in Iraq but already at least 8 protesters have been killed.
The Atlantic Council's Abbas Kadhim notes:
The news on November 29 that Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi will resign is unprecedented in post-2003 Iraq. Many questions must be answered before his successor is appointed, and in the meantime, we can expect unrest to continue.
The immediate concern will be constitutional. The Iraqi constitution addresses the replacement of a prime minister following his removal from office by a parliamentary vote of no-confidence and in the case of vacancy for any reason, but it is silent on resignation, other than a scenario related to the dissolution of parliament and the calling of a new election. If that occurs, the prime minister will be “considered as having resigned and the government becomes a caretaker” government until a new one is confirmed, according to Article 64. In the event of parliamentary removal of the prime minister, the constitution allows the government to remain in office to run the country for a maximum period of thirty days until a new government is formed, according to Article 61. If the office of prime minister is vacated for any other reason, the president will serve as prime minister until a new government is formed, and he must designate a new prime minister within fifteen days, according to Article 81. It remains to be seen which pathway will be used to replace Abdul-Mahdi, and the process may require a ruling by the Supreme Court.
The other question that must be addressed is the possible constitutional violation of October 2018 when President Barham Salih appointed Abdul-Mahdi prime minister on the basis of parliamentary consensus before the proper designation of the parliament’s largest bloc. Article 76 of the constitution authorizes the president to nominate a prime minister from the largest parliamentary bloc. However, no such bloc was identified subsequent to Abdul-Mahdi’s nomination, leaving the parliament and the presidency faced with more questions to answer in this contentious and uncertain moment.
If the president nominates a prime minister now without properly designating the largest bloc, he will be challenged in court. If he follows the constitution literally, he will have some time until the designation of the largest bloc is made; a care-taker government can run affairs temporarily as mentioned earlier. However, if the Article 81 pathway is chosen, there will be only fifteen days to identify the largest bloc and nominate a new prime minister.
The following sites updated: