In the US, Joe Biden continues his pursuit of the Democratic Party's presidential nomination even though it's clear that the mind has gone. Emily Larsen and John Gage (WASHINGTON EXAMINER) report:
Joe Biden mixed up Iraq and Iran during a major foreign policy speech he gave in New York meant to be a rebuke of President Trump ordering an airstrike on Iranian terrorist Qassem Soleimani.
There are 5,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, and the White House has not yet announced whether it plans to evacuate American troops. Many of the Sunni and Kurdish members of the Iraqi parliament boycotted the vote.
Biden’s foreign policy speech was the second time that Biden mixed up the two Middle Eastern countries on Tuesday. He appeared to make the mistake during a fundraiser in New York when expressing his worries that Trump would lead the country into a new war.
It's really sad to watch a mind fall apart in public -- even if it wasn't a great mind. Joe was always known as a yacker, not as a smart person. Joe talked and talked and loved the sound of his own voice. Even he must recoil now.
But a point about these speeches and about basic facts. Joe's become one of those WWIII clowns. We haven't promoted that nonsense. We've avoided reality by not doing so, or at least theory. I'd hoped the world would settle its crazy ass down but that's not happening.
Donald Trump taking out Soleimani is not likely to lead to WWIII or to make the US itself (within its own borders) in more danger. (US troops in more danger? They're in danger every day they're on the ground in Iraq -- that's a reality that's been true for some time. Bring all the troops home.) Game theory doesn't offer that reality. We're in a unipolar system and the 'madman' is at the top. Now if he were at the top for ten years, it might be a problem. Instead, game theory would argue Trump has scared the system and the US is currently in a safe position.
Did no one major in poli sci? I'm trying to move beyond the terrorist and deal with real issues. I'm trying to take the focus back to what matters. But since the world is filled with 'genius' on Twitter -- no one there seems to actually have taken a college course in anything that stuck -- maybe we need to toss that out there?
He's now the madman and it's an election year. Play it out and see how the theory goes.
Could it still happen? Anything can happen. But let's prepare for the things that are most likely to happen -- like an election in November.
Graham Piro (FREE BEACON) reminds:
Biden has confused locations on the campaign trail before. He said he was in Ohio while campaigning in Iowa and he said he was in Iowa while campaigning in New Hampshire.
He falsely claimed he was vice president during the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, which occurred in 2018. He defended the mistake by saying he was still called "vice president" at the time of the shooting. He also mistakenly said Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated in the late 1970's, not the late 1960's.
Biden has said his stumbles occur due to fatigue and not due to a childhood stutter.
The Democrats need someone who can defeat Donald. Joe Biden is going to get lost in the debates, he's going to start screaming and yelling which is going to play right into Donald's plan. Joe is not electable, we've noted the enthusiasm gap for months now. Joe Biden as the nominee is probably the easiest way to ensure four more years of Donald.
Ryan Cooper (THE WEEK) reviews the reality of Joe Biden:
On Anderson Cooper's CNN show recently, Sanders pointed out that Biden had been on the wrong side of almost every major policy question for the last 30 years. He supported free trade agreements with Canada, Mexico, and China that devastated the American industrial base. (A study from the Economic Policy Institute found that the trade deficit with China alone killed 2.7 million American jobs just between 2001 and 2011.) Biden repeatedly pushed for cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans benefits. He voted for the Iraq War — indeed, he voted against attempted amendments that would have added conditions making it harder to invade.
Incidentally, of late Biden has taken to claiming that he opposed the Iraq War from "the moment it started," but as a July 2003 speech he gave at the Brookings Institution shows ("I voted with my colleagues to give the president of the United States of America the authority to use force, and I would vote that way again today. It was the right vote then and it would be a correct vote today"), that is a straight-up lie.
Finally, Biden supported the 2005 bankruptcy reform that made the process dramatically more onerous and slanted towards creditors. Warren's new proposal is focused on this disaster. Currently there are two main processes for ordinary people: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. The former is what most people think of when they consider bankruptcy — you sell off your assets to your creditors (except for a few exempt items depending on state laws, often primary residences or retirement accounts), your debts are wiped out, and you get a fresh start (but with a major dent in your credit rating). Chapter 13 is more like a repayment plan, not a real bankruptcy.
As inequality grew and grew starting in the 1970s, Americans had come to rely more and more on consumer credit to keep up with expenses. But without solid wage growth to make them more creditworthy, people began using the Chapter 7 process more and more to escape from unpayable debt. The consumer lending industry, including credit card company toadies like then-Senator Biden, began arguing that bankrupt Americans were simply deadbeats, and pushing to make the bankruptcy process much more brutal.
Warren herself initially bought this narrative, but her close study of the bankruptcy process revealed it to be utter trash. People were not "abusing" bankruptcy; it was just an increasingly necessary option of last resort. The consumer lending industry just wanted to make it easier to trap people in debt peonage. Nevertheless, after years of effort, Biden and the other credit card goons in Congress finally passed the reform bill in 2005, which added stringent new means tests on the Chapter 7 process, made it almost impossible to get rid of student loan debt, and pushed people towards the fake Chapter 13 option. (Unsurprisingly, all the worst predictions of the bill's effects came to pass.)
Warren's proposal would replace this mess with a single bankruptcy process far more fair to middle-class debtors. The means tests would be removed, and a single standard for protected assets like homes and cars would be imposed. People would get greater latitude to spend on household necessities, and student loan debt would be able to be written off. She also would legalize "cramdown," or allowing the modification of mortgage debt in bankruptcy — something the Obama administration promised to do but reneged because it would have harmed the big banks (yet another stain on Biden's record). Meanwhile, loopholes that allow rich people like Donald Trump (as usual the only people actually committing any abuses in this area) to profit enormously from other forms of bankruptcy would be closed.
Also noting reality is NEWSWEEK's Benjamin Fearnow:
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has spiked back up in local and nationwide polls of the Democratic presidential candidates, re-establishing himself as a top frontrunner alongside former Vice President Joe Biden.
Compilations of January and end-of-year polls conducted among general election and Democratic primary voters show Sanders has jumped about 5 percentage points since early December. As Real Clear Politics' compilation of polls shows, Sanders started out in early 2019 as the clear second-place candidate behind Biden before briefly plunging below Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California. Harris has since dropped out of the race. But Sanders has climbed more than 5 percentage points and Warren has stagnated from one month ago on December 7.
If Elizabeth Warren wasn't a candidate, Bernie would likely have her supporters. If Bernie weren't a candidate, Elizabeth would likely have his supporters. The reality is that they both are candidates and each has a similar base. IN THESE TIMES is planning a four part series on the two:
“What a Bernie Sanders Presidency Would Look Like” by Daniel Denvir
A rebuttal by Brian Tokar: “Why Bernie Can't Be Organizer-In-Chief”: (coming soon)
“What an Elizabeth Warren Presidency Would Look Like,” by Kathleen Geier
A rebuttal by Rachel Gilmer: “Warren's an Ally. We Need a Leader.” (coming soon)
You can read the first two right now. I do have to wonder if they realize what they've done with this series? You have four people -- two men and two women. So it's really sad and sexist for IN THESE TIMES to leave the men to discuss Bernie and the women to discuss Elizabeth. I would've expected more from them.
At VOGUE, Nathan Heller offers a profile on Elizabeth which includes:
SINCE WARREN stepped into the public eye as chair of a congressional oversight panel monitoring the government bailout in 2008, her profile has grown with a vigor unusual for somebody who spent most of her career outside government life—a sign, to some, that she tapped into a change within the Democratic Party. “I’m not sure voters know that they’re in the midst of a fight in the party, but that’s what’s going on,” Perry Bacon Jr., a senior writer at the electoral--analysis site FiveThirtyEight, says. “The Clintons and the Obamas descended from a similar kind of politics. There’s clearly some resistance to that now.” Warren, along with Sanders, is seen to represent a new, change-oriented force that’s based on opposition to big money and, in her case, scrupulously laid-out programs for reform. “It’s helped that she is leftward while being wonky and smart in the way Democrats like,” Bacon explains. “In some ways, if you talk to voters, the fact that she had a plan was more interesting than what the plan’s details were.”
For decades, Warren was a law professor specializing in the causes of American bankruptcy. Then the economy crashed, and her research made her a valuable adviser on recovery. She devised the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and through it became a recognizable figure: efficient, allied with the victims of the crash, and more willing than anybody else to go for the jugulars of bank and corporate leaders. In 2012, she ran against the Republican incumbent for a Senate seat from Massachusetts and, to the surprise of those who described it as a long-shot campaign, won.
Her signal moment arrived in 2017, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell objected to her reading a critical letter from Coretta Scott King during a debate on the confirmation of Jeff Sessions for attorney general. “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. It wasn’t the last time Warren’s critics would provide her with an inadvertent endorsement.
“Persist” has also become the moral of Warren’s presidential ascent. In February, when she entered the race, following a widely criticized DNA test taken with the goal of proving Native American ancestry, she was polling at a dismal 9 percent. Her steep climb to front-runner status has been doubly striking because, like Sanders, she disavowed donations from corporate and super PACs and big-ticket fundraisers for wealthy donors. (Critics have noted that Warren did draw on $10 million left over from her Senate campaign, which used more traditional funding.) On the trail, she has been known as a first-rate explainer, laying out elaborate policy ideas in understandable terms. “One of the ways I think corruption has flourished is through complexity,” says California representative Katie Porter, one of three star freshmen women in the House whom Warren chose to cochair her campaign. Warren, Porter says, helps voters understand what’s really going on. “The way she’s run her campaign is consistent with her life’s work as a teacher.”
Turning to Iraq, Bill Van Auken (WSWS) writes:
Iranian media reported Tuesday night that the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had attacked multiple American bases inside Iraq in the first step of retaliation for the criminal January 3 US drone missile assassination of General Qassem Suleimani, the head of IRGC’s Quds Force. Suleimani was considered the country’s second most powerful figure.
Really, Bill? That's what you want to reference in your opening paragraph? Iranian media? The same media that claimed 30 US service members were killed when none were killed. Chris Matthews made the same mistake, Bill, but his program aired when he might not have known better. Your piece went up after midnight. You really discredit yourself by opening your essay with what Iranian media said when the reality is they said pretty much everything wrong and we all knew that -- our should have -- by 7:00 pm EST yesterday.
While the rocket attacks were a larger attack than usual -- note my use of "than usual." Oh, I'm sorry did you all play Ron Jacobs and check out on Iraq? These attacks have been going on for months.
Nancy Pelosi's response is that "the world can't afford war." Really, Speaker of the House? You've allowed the Iraq War to continue. You've refused to end it. The American people gave you both houses of Congress in the 2006 mid-terms because you said you'd get US troops out of Iraq. That's almost 14 years ago and they're still not gone.
The world can't afford war? You're damn right so why don't you get off your lazy and, yes, corrupt ass and do something, Nancy Pelosi.
It's really amazing to watch the Iranian Loony Tune Brigade in the US.
OMGs! We're all going to die! War on Iran is going to kill us all! Soleimani was a poet!!!
What a bunch of idiots.
If they were in front of you, you'd have to slap them across the face because they're hysterical.
Sadly, that's the least of their problems.
You're going to die? Well at some point you will -- we all will. But reality is that the Iraqi people have been dying for over 17 years because of the latest war on Iraq -- a war that has not ended. And even now -- look at Ron Jacobs' ridiculous article where he suddenly (half-)remembers Iraq -- you don't get that you're as guilty as Donald Trump -- all of useless whores who've talked about everything but the Iraq War for years now.
And as you again refuse to address Iraq -- or defend the Iraqi people -- you get more and more pathetic.
Case in point:
Rania, you go too far. I do as well and I'm way to the left of you. But I don't expect people to like me nor do I seek out their approval. This, what's up at this website, is never about me, THE COMMON ILLS is about getting ideas and information out there. By contrast, you choose to make it personal and about you. I guess that's not surprising since you can't record a video -- a 'news' video -- without making it about your tits. There's a reason the bois like Aaron and Michael are fascinated with you Rania and reTweet you in a way that they don't with Abby Martin. It has to do with the way you use your breasts. So next time you want to be taken seriously as a thinker, consider dropping the T&A videos -- and grasp that Suzanne Somers did it better in a few seconds of the opening theme of THREE'S COMPANY than you do in your entire heaving bosom in tight tank top 'news' videos.
If you possessed the ability to see yourself as others do, you wouldn't be so surprised that AOC took away her like of your Tweet. You're offensive to a great many of the American people.
She liked a Tweet. She liked your work -- I like your work, Rania, your actual work. But you have been in a hate spiral that you and your friends can't even see, you're in a little bubble that's taken to supporting Iran's government. Iran has a totalitarian government. You're not thinking, you're just playing dualities.
Solemani was a terrorist. For some reason, that's too difficult for you and Aaron Mate and so many others to wrap your heads around. You forget -- well you didn't know, let's be honest, you haven't been paying attention to Iraq -- that he's been labeled a terrorist for years.
But let's play your game, Rania, where he's not a terrorist.
Then what is he?
Well then he's the head of a spy agency that's used to suppress movements in Iran and outside of Iran. He's someone who targets and kills dissidents. You wouldn't praise that person if they were an American government official, but you praise them if they are Iranian?
You really need to learn to look at yourself and at how you are coming off right now.
AOC was smart to step away from you. And, no, it's not her responsibility or anyone else's to defend you.
Your Twitter storm is off-putting and offensive.
You self-present -- this is true of you, of Aaron of Michael Tracey and many more -- as caring individuals. But you don't care about the Iraqi people. And all you're doing, day after day, is shrieking "War!" Are you trying to summon it? Is this a war dance? And you're endlessly praising and defending a man who the world does see as a terrorist -- true even in Iran and it's really sad that you can't grasp that -- and you're playing your duality game that is a dead end. You're living in an either/or world and that's probably because you're living in a male centric world defined by men of the last century. You parrot them and they rush to reTweet you and, in your safe little bubble, you have no idea what's going on. You're not hearing from the woman at the group I spoke to yesterday whose husband, a US service member in Iraq in 2008, who lost his legs due to a roadside bombing. You're not hearing from her and what she thinks of the death of Soliemani. You're just mixing with garbage with closed minds and you're reinforcing yourself in your already set mind-set and you don't grasp how it looks outside your little bubble.
AOC was right to step away from you and you made her right by your Twitter whines about how she stepped away.
That's the issue? That's where our focus needs to be?
Rania, you'll do anything to avoid focusing on the Iraqi people. They are the victims. They are the survivors. Your inability to demonstrate that on your Twitter feed . . .
You're thinking a lot that you say and type is clear and it's not, Rania. You're also assuming that a lot that's in your head is making it into those Tweets and it's not.
You'd do well to read what you have Tweeted and read it as someone who knows nothing about Rania and is just meeting her for the first time.
You have self-presented as anti-war in the past but you seem not to grasp that your Tweets of late seem to be calling for Iran to respond. They seem gleeful. Maybe it's the little picture of you smiling next to it? I don't know. But AOC is not the problem.
And you may feel that I'm picking on you. I'm not. I want to get away from talking about that terrorist. He is not a defining moment in our lives. Your frenzy over him compared to the innocents killed in drone strikes is appalling and offensive.
But, again, I'm trying to get away from that topic. I'm not responding to Michael Tracey who can have a good Tweet from time to time but who is basically a jerk. He's anti-woman and much worse. So I really could care less about him. You could matter, that's why I'm taking the time to say, "You need to look at what you're putting out and how you're wording it."
You are the problem currently. If you don't like it, fix it. Don't blame AOC or anyone else until you've taken a look at what you've Tweeted and how it comes off to others.
As for your specific Tweet, you do not know what the government of anyone will do. You can talk in terms of what is likely, you can talk in terms of past history but that's all you should do. Unless you're telling the world that you're a psychic, don't tell the world what you just know is going to be the response of a government. It was a stupid Tweet. AOC was being generous to like it. Then your Twitter overall portrait of the last days forced her to reconsider liking that Tweet.
We have more important things in this world, Rania. A Tweet no longer liked -- that seems an extreme whine over champagne problems. You haven't been banned, you haven't been pulled from Twitter. You have no real problem at all.
15 years on from the Brit/US war on Iraq, 14.7% of babies born in Fallujah suffer from birth defects like this as a result of the use of chemical weapons and depleted uranium. Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil started to let the US use Shannon Airport as a military base in the same year.
Rania, that's a real problem. That's a real issue. Someone deciding they didn't want to like your Tweet after all is not a real problem.
Another real problem -- the hate you're instigating against AOC. Read the responses to your self-indulgent Tweet. And grasp the hatred. Also grasp that AOC was not elected to Congress to be your friend on Twitter. And whether she likes or dislikes a Tweet has no impact on what she does in Congress or how she chooses to use her personal power. You're just not that important, Rania.
Here's a Tweet you might like, Rania. I don't like it, I think the person Tweeting is a moron.
Babies in Vietnam and Iraq are suffering from birth defects because your precious troops used agent orange and depleted uranium bullets. You think that shit protects your rights, you f**king sicko?
The sicko is sadboi euthanizer. US troops in Vietnam suffered the effects of Agent Orange. US troops in Iraq have had to deal with birth defects as well. Our precious troops? Those are America's children, you asshole, and, yes, they are precious, all of the world's children are precious. None of them should ever be sent into war. And they didn't select these weapons, the US government's the one that's to blame. How typical -- and how reactionary and non-left -- to blame US troops for the decisions and deployments made by government. Let's next blame the factory worker for all the Pintos that exploded when hit from behind in the 70s.
Rania, when you can stop mourning the loss of a 1 like to 1 Tweet the you wrote, you might be able to come back to the real world and maybe even note that protests in Iraq continue.
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