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jcitybone

Not a good New Year’s Day in Brazil

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/brazil-jair-bolsonaro-democracy-threat_us_5c2a30c5e4b08aaf7a929cbb?utm_source=reddit.com

Bolsonaro, whose presidency will begin with a New Year’s Day inaugural ceremony in Brasília, has routinely praised Brazil’s military dictatorship, which gave way to the return of democratic governance in 1985. And his rise to power shares many similarities with the military regime’s: Bolsonaro has seized on widespread discontent and fatigue with an incapable and corrupt political establishment, on fervid opposition to a leftist party that had spent more than a decade in power, on an economic collapse that Brazil has only slowly begun to escape, and on rising levels of violent crime.

And while he has pitched his surge to power as the result of a “populist” revolt, his base of support mirrors that of the old coup masters: wealthy financial elites, segments of the population willing to trade the rights and lives of the poor and marginalized for their own safety and economic prosperity, and traditional parties and politicians who refuse to acknowledge their own roles in creating the monster before folding themselves into his arms.

Much like the military once did, Bolsonaro has threatened his leftist political opponents with violence and imprisonment. He has promised to deliver a political “cleansing never seen before in Brazil,” and threatened media outlets that report news unfavorable to him. His vice president is a former Army general who, in an interview with HuffPost Brazil, refused to rule out a return to military rule, and who has posited — over Bolsonaro’s unconvincing objections — that the new administration could rewrite the country’s constitution.

This is not exclusively a Brazilian phenomenon. Countries around the world, from Hungary to Turkey to the Philippines, have turned to noisy leaders who promise instant renewals and silver-bullet solutions under the banner of a right-wing, nativist “populism” ― the preferred term of news outlets, even though the key constituencies backing these candidates tend to comprise the nations’ elite.

Each major election has become, in part, a referendum on the state of global democracy as a whole. And each victory for a right-wing, anti-democratic figure has paved the way for a similar candidate in the next major election somewhere else.

Of the bunch, though, Bolsonaro might be the most pressing threat to a major democracy. Brazil’s is the fourth-largest in the world, and the largest by population in Latin America. If it dies, this time, it won’t be at the hands of the armed forces. It will be self-inflicted.

Benny

I like this graphic in general.

jcitybone

The new year should start with a nap! Happy New Year’s everyone. It’s always an especially new year for me since my birthday is on NYE.?

B62A71EC-158A-44D8-86D6-A92C2390BEA6.jpeg
polarbear4

Happiest if days to you, jcb!

?????????‍♀️??

Benny

Happy B-day! And many more…

orlbucfan

Ditto. 🙂

magsview

Adorable pic and I hope that you had a great birthday!!!

polarbear4

Ugh.

TheLeftistheCenter

I don’t think they realize how unnatural they look doing this, with AOC its just part of her generation and comes very natural and feels inviting like you are there with her, the others look like they are somewhat staged and distant, a talk to not a talking with.

humphrey

What the presidential wannabes should mimic is her support for the New Green Deal. That would score some points even if it wasn’t authentic.

humphrey

humphrey

The start of Bernie 2020!( A strong message.) Posted in its entirety from Common Dreams: The following is a New Year’s Day email message sent to supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on January 1, 2019. Dear friends, Jane and I want to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very healthy and happy new year. It goes without saying that 2019 will be a pivotal and momentous time for our country and the entire planet. As you know, there is a monumental clash now taking place between two very different political visions. Not to get you too nervous, but the future of our country and the world is dependent upon which side wins that struggle. The bad news is that in the United States and other parts of the world, the foundations of democracy are under severe attack as demagogues, supported by billionaire oligarchs, work to establish authoritarian type regimes. That is true in Russia. That is true in Saudi Arabia. That is true in the United States. While the very rich get much richer these demagogues seek to move us toward tribalism and set one group against another, deflecting attention from the real crises we face. “Our job… is not only to oppose Trump but to bring forth a progressive and popular agenda that speaks to the real needs of working people.” The good news is that, all across this country, people are getting politically involved and are fighting back. They are standing up for economic, political, social and racial justice. In the last year we saw courageous teachers, in some of the most conservative states in the country, win strikes as they fought for adequate funding for education. We saw low paid workers at Amazon, Disney and elsewhere undertake successful struggles to raise their wages to a living wage – at least $15 an hour. We saw incredibly courageous young people, who experienced a mass shooting in their school, lead successful efforts for commonsense gun safety legislation. We saw diverse communities stand together in the fight against mass incarceration and for real criminal justice reform. We saw tens of thousands of Americans, from every walk of life, take to the streets and demand that politicians respond to the global crisis of climate change. As we enter 2019, it seems to me that we must mount a two-pronged offensive. First, we must vigorously take on the lies, bigotry and kleptocratic behavior of the most irresponsible president in the modern history of our country. In every way possible, we must stand up to the racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia and religious intolerance of the Trump administration. But fighting Trump is not enough. The truth is that despite relatively low unemployment, tens of millions of Americans struggle daily to keep their heads above water economically as the middle class continues to shrink. While the rich get richer, 40 million live in poverty, millions of workers are forced to work two or three jobs to pay the bills, 30 million have no health insurance, one in five cannot afford their prescription drugs, almost half of older workers have nothing saved for retirement, young people cannot afford college or leave school deeply in debt, affordable housing is increasingly scarce, and many seniors cut back on basic needs as they live on inadequate Social Security checks. “It is imperative that the American people stand up and demand real solutions to the major economic, social, racial and environmental crises that we face.” Our job, therefore, is not only to oppose Trump but to bring forth a progressive and popular agenda that speaks to the real needs of working people. We must tell Wall Street, the insurance companies, the drug companies, the fossil fuel industry, the military-industrial complex, the National Rifle Association and the other powerful special interests that we will not continue to allow their greed to destroy this country and our planet. Politics in a democracy should not be complicated. Government must work for all of the people, not just the wealthy and the powerful. As a new House and Senate convene next week, it is imperative that the American people stand up and demand real solutions to the major economic, social, racial and environmental crises that we face. In the richest country in the history of the world, here are some (far from all) of the issues that I will be focusing on this year. What do you think? How can we best work together? Protect American democracy: Repeal Citizens United, move to public funding of elections and end voter suppression and gerrymandering. Our goal must be to establish a political system that has the highest voter turnout in the world and is governed by the democratic principle of one person – one vote. Take on the billionaire class: End oligarchy and the growth of massive income and wealth inequality by demanding that the wealthy start paying their fair share of taxes. We must rescind Trump’s tax breaks for billionaires and close corporate tax loopholes. Increase Wages: Raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, establish pay equity for women and revitalize the trade union movement. In the United States, if you work 40 hours a week, you should not live in poverty. Make health care a right: Guarantee health care for everyone through a Medicare-for-all program. We cannot continue a dysfunctional healthcare system which costs us about twice as much per capita as any other major country and leaves 30 million uninsured. Transform our energy system: Combat the global crisis of climate change which is already causing massive damage to our planet. In the process, we can create millions of good paying jobs as we transform our energy system away from fossil fuel and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy. Rebuild America: Pass a $1 trillion infrastructure plan. In the United States we must not continue to have roads, bridges, water systems, rail transport, and airports in disrepair. Jobs for All: There is an enormous amount of work to be… Read more »

humphrey

If you click on “read more” it the statement becomes more readable!

Benny

It’s also on Medium. Thanks for posting it as I was having trouble copying it from my laptop!

He posted the link from twitter. We can all RT it to get it circulated it more!

TheLeftistheCenter

Well there is Bernies platform in outline form 😉

polarbear4

Made me smile.

polarbear4

i didn’t know there are, at least sometimes, passengers to oversee it, i guess. that would be scary for them. The headline, though, is pretty funny (as you can tell, I’m not a fan).

Benny

humphrey

Curious as to what the turn out will be.

Benny

Sounds like she may be meeting with JD Scholten too.

polarbear4

polarbear4

Wow. Just noticed the top tweet. Whut. It looks like he could have been talking to whatever tweet he was replying to, not calling older, female POC those names.

Still, I wish Bernie supporters would be more civil or above it all when reacting to bots and weirdos.

humphrey
polarbear4

yeah. hard to tell with replies going every which way. my bad. still, we don’t have to call people names. what if they are just hanging on, making below min. wage to be a bot. And a Bernie Bro is really nice to them, and explains stuff. you never know.

then again, people like Gentleman Jon Snow and beth the alien can be pretty funny.

TheLeftistheCenter

No you read it right its a response to someone who seems to be attacking Bernie with identity politics and the tweet is saying all POC subgroups supported him except older woman of color so really not an issue and then finishing off saying they dont need the person being responded to demographic

humphrey

Try as they might Bernie supporters have ready answers.

humphrey

Caitlin Johnstone starts out 2019 just like before.

https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/us-military-apologizes-for-posting-uncomfortably-honest-tweet-46b0cd543868

US Strategic Command (or “Stratcom” if you’re trying to make a nuclear-capable arm of the US Defense Department sound cool) has issued an apology for a poorly received New Year’s Eve tweet which has since been deleted.

“#TimesSquare tradition rings in the #NewYear by dropping the big ball…if ever needed, we are #ready to drop something much, much bigger,” the offending tweet read, with an attached video featuring B-2 stealth bombers flying all stealth bombery and causing gigantic explosions with bunker buster bombs while words like “STEALTH”, “READY”, and “LETHAL” flashed across the screen. The tweet concluded with the ostensibly unironic hashtag “#PeaceIsOurProfession”.

This statement is, obviously, a lie. The part about “security” of course, because dominating the globe with nonstop military violence and aggression has nothing to do with security, but also the “does not reflect our values” part. The US military deleted the post and apologized for it because it received an angry backlash from hundreds of commenters and was circulated virally on Twitter for its jarringly creepy message, not because it did not reflect their values. It reflected their values perfectly. The only way you could possibly encapsulate the US military’s values in a 42-second video clip more perfectly than cramming it full of footage of $2,000,000,000 war planes cruising around dropping $3,500,000 GBU-57 bombs would be to also show the human bodies they land on being ripped to pieces. Inflicting death and destruction using unfathomably expensive machinery is the US military’s whole job. Of course it reflects their values.

The real issue here was not values but perception. The US war machine pours an immense amount of energy into perception management, making sure that ordinary Americans either (A) ignore the horrific things that are being done in their name or (B) think that those things are awesome and patriotic. The offending post was clearly attempting to accomplish (B). A team of paid social media propagandists simply did not understand that ordinary human beings wouldn’t resonate with a message that amounts to “Hey I see you’re all preparing to bring in the new year, so watch how good we are at killing large numbers of people!”, and some damage control became necessary when everyone got freaked out. Can’t have people opening their eyes to how insane America’s relentless military expansionism has gotten, after all.

Watching the propaganda arm of the US-centralized war machine is a lot like watching a manipulative sociopath learning how to function in normal society. Sometimes they’ll slip up and fail to react the way someone with a healthy sense of empathy would respond to the death of a pet or someone’s emotions or whatever, and they risk alienating whoever’s around them and losing access to the resources they could exploit them for if they can’t manipulate them out of the creeped-out feeling people get when they’re around someone who doesn’t empathize like a normal human being. I suspect many of the commenters who flooded in telling Stratcom to delete its tweet were not so much interested in eliminating a violent social media post from the internet, but in eliminating that creeped-out feeling you get when the sociopath’s mask slips a bit.

polarbear4

I replied to Stratcom that the new year might be a good time to reflect on the value of diplomacy, mediation and negotiation….

you might be surprised how many tweets were like, right on! (but maybe you shouldn’t tweet it). crazy. shocking video.

humphrey

This Russia phobia is so over the top. Now cooperation is space is a taboo!

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/01/nasa-sanctioned-russian-nationalist-1076621

A Trump administration official’s plan to host a sanctioned Russian nationalist in the U.S. in the coming months is raising alarms among Russia hawks in Washington.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine extended an October invitation for his counterpart, Dmitry Rogozin, to visit NASA headquarters in Houston in early 2019. U.S.-Russia space cooperation is nothing new. But Rogozin is no typical rocket-science technocrat. He is an ultranationalist politician with a record of stark racism and homophobia who is under American sanctions, which typically bar him from entering the U.S. over his 2014 role, as deputy prime minister, in Moscow’s annexation of Crimea.

Bridenstine, a former three-term Republican congressman from Oklahoma, told the Russian state news agency TASS in mid-October that he had succeeded in temporarily waiving sanctions on Rogozin so that he could visit Houston and speak at Rice University, Bridenstine’s alma mater, sometime after the new year. The U.S. and Russia cooperate extensively on space exploration and, according to the TASS report, Bridenstine stressed the need for a “strong working relationship” with his counterpart.

This is the reaction.

“It absolutely sends the wrong message to lift sanctions, even temporarily, for the purpose of inviting him to speak to students at one of our nation’s premier universities,” said Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee and a leader of the committee’s investigation into 2016 Russian election interference.

“This is appalling,” said Evelyn Farkas, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia in the Obama administration. “It’s utterly inappropriate given who he is and the fact that he is on our sanctions list.”

This makes sense.

In an email, Powers also defended Bridenstine’s invitation.

“The U.S. / Russian relationship in space dates back to the 1970s,” she wrote. “NASA has historically invited the head of the Russian space agency to visit the United States. Following this precedent, and Administrator Bridenstine’s October visit to Russia to participate in crew launch activities to the International Space Station, NASA invited the Director-General of Roscosmos to visit NASA facilities in the United States and discuss our ongoing space-related cooperation.”

TheLeftistheCenter

The outrage is absurd, we have had Russia launching astronauts and sharing the space station even with the sanctions, the space agencies don’t care about petty political posturing, they work on time tables that don’t give room for BS.

humphrey

polarbear4

well.

humphrey

Well at least there is this. /S

https://www.publicnow.com/view/74FE4162136252745A071F19A25EB4A551F5BD23

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the following statement after the U.S. Navy announced they will block buy two Gerald R. Ford aircraft carriers:

‘I am pleased that the Navy has announced its plan to move forward in the procurement of two aircraft carriers, which will generate significant cost savings for taxpayers. This announcement is not only important for the men and women of the Newport News shipbuilding industry, it also makes a critical investment in our nation’s defense by ensuring the Navy has the capabilities needed to combat any adversary.’

Sen. Warner has continued to express support for the block buy of Ford-class aircraft carriers that would save taxpayer dollars and strengthen our national defense. In December 2017, Sen. Warner joined Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and 15 Senators in a letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis to support the Pentagon’s pursuit in the block buy in FY2019.

OzoneTom
OzoneTom

The Gerald R. Ford class carriers, did we get a two-for-one deal?

As I recall, it made news recently:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-02/costliest-carrier-was-delivered-without-elevators-to-lift-bombs

TheLeftistheCenter

1. No way the Chinese directly attack the US fleet, that would end all trade instantly and be seen as an act of war, so its an empty threat

2. Even if they tried its unlikely they could penetrate the fleets defenses and would just end up starting a war without actually accomplishing anything.

3. If they did and somehow succeeded they would start a world war with almost everyone on the side against them

Conclusion: This is all staged as a empty threat but with the intent of letting us know they are starting to get very unhappy about our current relations hoping it applies some pressure in their favor.

polarbear4
humphrey

humphrey

humphrey

polarbear4

Going to my local ORLC. ????

polarbear4

“The consummate insider, Larry Summers, expressed this quite openly in some ‘friendly advice’ he gave to Elizabeth Warren in 2009:

“Larry leaned back in his chair and offered me some advice…I had a choice. I could be an insider or I could be an outsider. Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don’t listen to them. Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People – powerful people – listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule: They don’t criticise other insiders” – Elizabeth Warren

Given that statement, why would you ever trust a word spoken or written by Larry Summers? Clearly, his intention is to protect & advance the interests of the elites. His master is ‘power’…not ‘truth’. He writes in the FT & the New York Times…

No – those concerned with the truth will be found, by virtue of their predilection, and through necessity – on the outside. They will be ignored if possible…however, when they achieve a certain level of influence, or when they get dangerously close to revealing something damaging to the establishment – they become the enemy of those on the inside. This enmity is demonstrated through censorship, marginalisation, and ‘smears’, both in mainstream & social media.

There are a number of these people that I want to acknowledge here; to draw your attention to them if you’re not already aware of their work, and to celebrate them if you are. In 2018, they did more for ‘honesty’ & ‘objective reality’ than the entire population of the mainstream media added together. Come to think of it, the sum total of the latter would be a large minus figure, so it’s perhaps not the right compliment to give them.

These people deserve respect for the work that they do, for the crap that they have to deal with from an assortment of crooks, hacks, & morons…but more importantly, they deserve to be HEARD.”

Truth, Lies and Intention

https://renegadeinc.com/truth-lies-intention/

Excellent article, leading to more truth tellers. I’m not doing it justice but didn’t want it to get lost.

polarbear4

Elizabeth Warren is kickin’ it. I am still unsure of what her actions would be, since she does proudly state, “I am a capitalist.“ But this feels authentic.

“WASHINGTON ― Elizabeth Warren delivered a blunt message to a large group of wealthy liberal donors Monday, arguing that the Democratic Party’s failure to connect with working and middle-class people had opened the door for Donald Trump to win the presidency.

Warren, according to sources in the room, ran through a litany of issues on which Democrats had left people behind, either by offering too little or nothing at all. Perhaps her most surprising criticism was directed at the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

The Massachusetts senator, who walked in to a standing ovation before she’d even been introduced, told the bereft gathering that she was as capable as any other politician at defending Obamacare and rattled off its benefits ― no more exclusions based on pre-existing conditions, you can stay on your parents’ plan until age 26, 20 million Americans covered. “But let’s be honest: It’s not bold. It’s not transformative,” she added.

Had the party acknowledged its shortcoming and pledged to fight for more, Warren said, that message may have resonated. “I’m OK taking half a loaf if our message was ‘Here’s half, now let’s go get the rest,’” she said.

People who heard Warren’s speech said it had a different feel than usual. “It felt like she’d been rather further liberated. She made no particular effort to be quite as good a soldier,” said one person in the room. “It definitely seemed like a new era, that she was able to really step out more than she’d been able to.”

Speaking at the gathering of the Democracy Alliance, she also highlighted Democrats’ inability to help homeowners during the financial crisis, even though banks were bailed out. She blasted the failure to prosecute the bankers, saying that it suggested to working people just whose side the party was on. She also picked up on corporate-friendly trade policies, arguing Democrats were too eager to push deals that hurt the working class. ”

https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_582a4402e4b0c4b63b0e3988?ec_carp=5039990625878275230
Elizabeth Warren Gets Real, Dings Obamacare: ‘We Failed Not In Our Messaging But In Our Ideology’

The senator is rapidly emerging as a leader of the opposition

Benny

Even Bill Clinton agreed with Bernie on healthcare. His wife…bought and paid for by the cautious types.

TheLeftistheCenter

My take on her is she is sincere, but unlike Bernie who is pushing for real structural changes she is of the mind that is not possible but she can still improve peoples lives within the structure.

I think she is wrong but I still respect her intent and feel she isn’t hanging with the neos to become them but to give them enough comfort with her not being a Bernie level threat that they will let her get some stuff done with the argument if we dont make changes to the system we will lose it.

She is running the insider rout to make change while Bernie runs the outsider.

Benny

That’s my thinking too. I think the more progressives, the merrier. Amplify!

polarbear4

Benny

Elizabeth Warren backs “idea” of a Green New Deal

Senator Elizabeth Warren broadly supports the “idea” of a “Green New Deal,” one of her Senate aides told Axios.

Why it matters: Warren’s comments signals the building momentum among Democrats behind the idea, and raises the likelihood that it will be on the national political agenda as the 2020 election cycle unfolds. The Green New Deal is the sweeping climate, energy and economic framework championed by progressives including Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

What they’re saying: A Senate aide for Warren tells Axios . . .

Senator Warren has been a longtime advocate of aggressively addressing climate change and shifting toward renewables, and supports the idea of a Green New Deal to ambitiously tackle our climate crisis, economic inequality, and racial injustice.

The details: The sweeping Ocasio-Cortez proposal calls for a special House committee to craft a detailed plan by early 2020 to meet a suite of goals including:

Transition to 100% renewable electricity in the U.S within 10 years, as well as efforts to curb transportation emissions.

Massive investments in greenhouse gas mitigation; building a national “smart grid”; and work around emissions from agriculture and manufacturing.
The plan would include job guarantees for people working in the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The intrigue: Warren scarcely grazed energy and climate change in her announcement Monday of an exploratory committee for a 2020 run.

The only quasi-mention: her economy-focused launch video said politicians look the other way while big industries do bad stuff.

The list included oil companies that “destroy the planet.”

Climate and energy did not come up in her short press conference later in the day.
Warren has a 99% lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters. But climate has not been a big focus of her Senate tenure which, as E&E News points out, has emphasized economic inequality and consumer protection.

Quick take: While climate has historically played a rather minor role in national elections and hasn’t been a big focus for Warren, the Green New Deal concept could fit within Warren’s campaign narrative on economic inequality.

Benny

Benny

Benny

US fires tear gas at migrants across Mexico border

U.S. authorities fired tear gas across the southern border late Monday night as a group of 150 migrants attempted to breach a Tijuana border fence.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the measures were used to address a group of migrants who were reportedly throwing rocks at agents.

“Agents deployed smoke, pepper spray and CS gas to a position upwind of the rock throwers and south of the border fence,” CBP said in a statement Tuesday, adding that the deployments were not directed against the migrants.

An Associated Press photographer reported seeing at least three rounds of gas launched on Mexico’s side of the border near Tijuana.

The AP reported only seeing rocks thrown after the tear gas was fired, noting that it affected the group migrants, which included women, children and journalists.

CBP said its agents did not witness migrants, including children, experience the effects of the tear gas, which it said was “targeted at rockthrowers further away.”

CBP said an initial group of 150 migrants attempted to enter the U.S.

This sucks just like the I-P situation in West Bank.

Benny

attribution: the Hill

polarbear4

humphrey

polarbear4

Cute!

polarbear4

Benny

polarbear4

This is a lot more complicated than this little excerpt shows,. Warren is getting some traction for it and it does look like a good idea, Perhaps a very good idea.

Elizabeth Warren has a plan to save capitalism

Most obviously, the large share of the private sector workforce that is employed by companies with more than $1 billion in revenue would gain a measure of democratic control over the future of their workplace. That wouldn’t make tough business decisions around automation, globalization, scheduling, family responsibilities, etc. go away, but it would ensure that the decisions are made with a balanced set of interests in mind.

Studies from Germany’s experience with codetermination indicate that it leads to less short-termism in corporate decision-making and much higher levels of pay equality, while other studies demonstrate positive results on productivity and innovation.

One intuitive way of thinking about the proposal is that under the American system of shareholder supremacy, an executive increases his pay by finding ways to squeeze workers as hard as possible — kicking out the surplus to shareholders and then watching his stock-linked compensation soar. That’s brought America to the point where CEOs make more than 300 times as much as rank-and-file workers at big companies.

Under a codetermination system, by contrast, an executive wins a pay increase by convincing shareholders and worker-representatives alike that he deserves it — something you can only do if workers are sharing in the benefits of growth. Consequently, German executives earn only about half as much as their US counterparts, even as major German firms like BMW, Bayer, Siemens, and SAP produce world-class results.

Via https://mobile.twitter.com/leftistcoward

polarbear4

But as the original tweeter said in a thread, Wouldn’t it make more sense to have a higher percentage of representation of workers?

polarbear4

humphrey

polarbear4

Sweet vid.

humphrey

Not political but cute.

humphrey

Back to politics.

Wall Street Democrats & Donors Meet & Plot To Derail Bernie Sanders Wing & Policy Objectives

polarbear4

humphrey

Not sure how many can access this NYT article on Joe Biden but it says alot about his possible presidential run. Not all of it is a testimonial.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/01/us/politics/joe-biden-presidential-campaign-2020.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage§ion=Politics

When officials at the University of Utah invited Joseph R. Biden Jr. to speak there in December, Mr. Biden’s representatives listed a number of requirements for the appearance. His booking firm, Creative Artists Agency, said the school would need to fly Mr. Biden and his aides to Salt Lake City by private plane. It would have to buy 1,000 copies of his recent memoir for distribution to the audience. There would be no insertion of the word “former” before “vice president” in social media promotions. And the speaking fee would be $100,000 — “a reduced rate,” it was explained, for colleges and universities.

But three days before the event, Mr. Biden’s aides learned that the public university would be using state funds to pay his fee. They already had a policy against taking tuition dollars, and decided that accepting taxpayer dollars for such a windfall might appear just as politically distasteful. Mr. Biden made the trip anyway but declined to take a check.

That costly last-minute reversal exposes the complicated balance Mr. Biden has attempted since leaving the vice presidency two years ago: between earning substantial wealth for the first time and maintaining viability as a potential 2020 presidential contender.
He has done so while building a network of nonprofits and academic centers that are staffed by his closest strategists and advisers, many making six figures while working on the issues most closely identified with him. It has effectively become a campaign-in-waiting, poised to metamorphose if the 76-year-old Mr. Biden announces his third bid for the presidency.

polarbear4

Scary. Big bank uncle joe.

polarbear4

OK. Last one. Closing down.

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