Good Mornin’ birdies! Let’s get started with an interview of Charles Booker on Medhi Hassan’s show.
More news, videos, tweets, etc in the comments. Sure happy it’s Thursday!
Good Mornin’ birdies! Let’s get started with an interview of Charles Booker on Medhi Hassan’s show.
More news, videos, tweets, etc in the comments. Sure happy it’s Thursday!
A birdie posted recently about the conundrum progressives find themselves in, with a basically a Republican election come November. Ira Allen probably didn’t read the Nest’s responses, but offered this as food for thought at Common Dreams:
Voting for Shitty Biden
If you do decide to vote, it’s important for somebody to acknowledge directly that you don’t have to vote for Joe Biden.
You probably should vote for him at the top of the ticket, but you don’t have to. You’re not a shitty person if you don’t.
Or, at least, you’re no shittier than the millions of people who ensured the Democratic establishment would foist Biden on you by loudly proclaiming #BlueNoMatterWho a year and more in advance of elections.
Remember how it was that you ended up with this terrible option the next time people ask you to give away all of your political leverage in advance.
That said, I’m going to offer some reasons why you should vote for Joe Biden, prefaced by common lies about why Joe Biden is great or at least not shit. For each, I repeat the common lie, explain why it’s a lie, and suggest a reason you should probably vote for Biden anyhow.
For the sake of brevity, I’ll skip over a bunch of ways people talk about Joe Biden that aren’t exactly lies, but are just ugly and gross and complete turn-offs in every way. (Like when they did the quick hypocritical turnabout from believing women in general to adamantly not believing the specific woman who accused Biden of sexual assault, Tara Reade, which made them all sound awfully like Republicans.) I’ll also skip over a bunch of things people get super unhappy about when Republicans do it, but basically refuse to notice when Democrats do it. (Like the fact that the cages Trump put those kids in were built by Obama and Biden.)
Some Lies about Why Biden Is Good
Lie #1: Biden fights for the “little guy” and is a “straight shooter.”
This is an idiotic and obvious lie. Biden fights for big pharma and for the banking industry and for the war manufacturers and for the insurance companies. He fights for the CEOs and the Boards of Directors. And they fight for him. He’s a terrible candidate for the little guy, like nearly everyone in both major parties. He’s not a lesser evil. He’s also a giant liar. Not as big a liar as his opponent, who basically never says anything true except that politicians lie, but still: when you vote Joe, you get lots and lots of malarkey. Voting for Biden is worthwhile because it’s a vote against somebody who’s actively trying to destroy all the good or even semi-okay parts of the government. Including voting itself. And we’ll need those bits to still exist, including voting, if we ever hope to have a real democracy. That’s it. That’s the reason.
Lie #2: Biden is good for Black Americans.
No, he’s not. He’s terrible for Black Americans. He’s spent most of his career locking up Black Americans and lying about being part of the Civil Rights movement. Joe Biden is good at ingratiating himself with a subset of wealthy and politically strong Black Americans, but at the level of both policy and communication style (both past and present) he is just normal American white supremacist bad. His opponent is no better—much uglier in his personal racism, but about equally bad for Black Americans at the level of policy. They’re both worse. Voting for Biden is worthwhile because it’s a vote against somebody who’s actively trying to destroy all the good or even semi-okay parts of the government. Including voting itself.
Lie #3: Biden’s platform is the most progressive in American history.
Not even close. Basically all of the left-wing third-party platforms have been more progressive. Go ahead and start with Eugene Debs. Biden’s might be the most progressive Democratic Party platform ever, but it also might not. If it is, this is also the highest-numbered year in American history. Shouldn’t the platform of the party that supposedly believes in progress by definition be more progressive than ever? More importantly, saying you’ll do nice things doesn’t mean you’ll actually do them—especially when you’ve spent your whole life not doing them and have already begun assuring all of your shitty major donors that you won’t do them. Past behavior is an indicator of future performance. Still, on this one Biden is genuinely better than his opponent, who is incoherent and malicious, and so mostly says he’ll do mean things for no good reason. If there’s enough popular pressure AND widespread disaster, a Biden presidency might end up being very modestly left, but that’s a pretty big “if.” A better bet is that voting for Biden is worthwhile because it’s a vote against somebody who’s actively trying to destroy all the good or even semi-okay parts of the government. Including voting itself.
Lie #4: Biden is mentally fit.
He’s in extremely clear cognitive decline. Democrats should be embarrassed to be running him as a candidate. They’re trying to make you feel bad by lying about it, pretending his obvious mental lapses are a stutter and you’re a jerk for noticing and not understanding it. But watch videos of the guy from when he was pushing with a stutter but also great lucidity the crime bill that has destroyed so many lives since he got it through in 1994 (he was still lying about how great it was in 2016, by the way). Biden’s had a stutter all his life, but the speaker in older videos–all the way up through his time as a vice president–is a highly effective orator. Gaffes, sure, a carefully managed stutter, sure, but not clear cognitive breaks and big confusion like nowadays. In fairness, Joe Biden’s opponent is equally obviously unfit, not only cognitively in decline but seriously deranged. Once more, they’re both worse. Voting for Biden is worthwhile because it’s a vote against somebody who’s actively trying to destroy all the good or even semi-okay parts of the government. Including voting itself.
Lie #5: Biden will “pivot left” in office if we push him.
No, he won’t. They never do. And this one especially not. He’s a cozy, clubby shithead who likes to be comfortable and feel important, and who relies entirely on the ultra-wealthy to make that possible for him. Unless the ultra-wealthy decide a little left pivoting is necessary to save themselves from the guillotine, Joe Biden will stay true to the shitty course he’s followed for many decades. The guy he’s running against is a lot worse still, in terms of I-got-mine-so-fuck-you personal ideology, but electing Biden runs the real risk that all the millions of people who stopped sleepwalking for ten seconds here recently will go right back to sleep once “their” guy is in the White House. So, it’s a wash again who’s worse: they both are. Still, voting for Biden is worthwhile because it’s a vote against somebody who’s actively trying to destroy all the good or even semi-okay parts of the government. Including voting itself.
And so okay, fine, I did lie about the one thing. I said there would be reasons plural. There’s basically just one solid reason to vote for Biden.
Voting for Biden is worthwhile because it’s a vote against somebody who’s actively trying to destroy all the good or even semi-okay parts of the government. Including voting itself. And we’ll need those bits to still exist, including voting, if we ever hope to have a real democracy. That’s it. That’s the reason.
Read the rest here: Voting for Biden Without Lying to Yourself
If there is a reason to vote for Biden, it’s with a slim hope his presidency put forward more liberal judges.
For Steve King, the Number of People Who Want Him Gone Could Be a Blessing
Now his Iowa constituents will decide if it’s time to bring down the curtain on the nine-term congressman, who long stoked the immigration wars with racist remarks until he was disciplined last year in the House.
The problem for mainstream Republicans who would like to retire Mr. King in a June 2 party primary is that, with four challengers in the race, all sensing an opportunity and aggressively campaigning, the anti-King vote will be split four ways.
“Not to be Captain Obvious, but four people in the race always helps the incumbent,” said Rick Bertrand, who challenged Mr. King in the Republican primary in 2016 but is not running this year. “If this was a mano a mano race, King would be in trouble right now.”
In January 2019, Republican leaders stripped Mr. King of his House committee assignments after he suggested that white nationalism was not offensive. Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, urged Mr. King to “find another line of work.” Mr. King defiantly remained.
His penchant for incurring the wrath of party leaders has marked his campaign. Over the weekend he raised the stakes by claiming to have recorded a phone call with Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the House minority leader, and contradicted Mr. McCarthy’s public statements.
Mr. King had told Iowans at a debate on May 11 that Mr. McCarthy had promised him “exoneration” and pledged to recommend “to put all of my committees back with all of my seniority.”
There was just one problem. Mr. McCarthy denied any such thing. “Congressman King’s comments cannot be exonerated, and I never said that,” he told reporters four days later. Should Mr. King win re-election, his committee assignments will be reviewed at the start of the next Congress by the Republican Steering Committee, “just like every single member,” Mr. McCarthy said. “Talking to members on the steering committee, I think he’d get the same answer that he got before.”
But on Saturday, during a candidate forum, Mr. King effectively called Mr. McCarthy untruthful. Brandishing papers that he said were transcripts of a phone call he had recorded with Mr. McCarthy, he insisted that the Republican leader told him in April he would lobby for the return of his committee assignments. “All Kevin McCarthy really needs to do is do what he said,” Mr. King said.
A spokesman for Mr. McCarthy did not respond to a request for comment.
Even though Mr. King’s long history of inflammatory comments about immigration is not far removed from President Trump’s own rhetoric, Republicans are worried that with Mr. King on the ballot in November, a safe seat for the party could fall to Democrats.
“J.D. Scholten is waiting,” one of Mr. King’s challengers, Jeremy Taylor, said at a debate last week, referring to Mr. King’s general election opponent from 2018, who is running unopposed in the Democratic primary. “He cannot be the representative in this district.”
Mr. Scholten came within three percentage points of flipping the seat, in a Northwest Iowa district where Mr. Trump won by nearly 20 points in 2016. A rematch would bring a flood of outside money to Mr. Scholten, a former minor league baseball player, but his chances would be considerably lower if he faces one of Mr. King’s primary challengers.
“A generic Republican should win convincingly,” said Dane Nealson, a Republican City Council member in Nevada, Iowa, in Mr. King’s district. “It speaks to King’s ineffectiveness as a congressman and embarrassment to our state, more than anything, that it was that close last time.”
If neither Mr. King nor any of his four challengers receives at least 35 percent of the vote on June 2, the nominee will be picked at a district convention. Convention attendees are drawn from the party’s most committed activists, and Mr. King is thought to have an advantage under that scenario.
Mr. King’s closest rival, Randy Feenstra, has been endorsed by mainstream Republican-leaning groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Right to Life Committee. A state senator, Mr. Feenstra has raised far more money than Mr. King, reporting $415,000 in cash on hand in the latest reporting period, compared to Mr. King’s $26,000. An internal poll that Mr. Feenstra released on May 11 showed Mr. King leading the field with 39 percent, closely trailed by Mr. Feenstra at 36 percent, a gap within the margin of error.
More tweets, videos, stories in the comments section. See you there!
We’ve had two debate rounds with 20 candidates. Like having extra long lunches with the candidates, at a lengthy table with a microphone. They’re tested by the media with questions about past comments, op-eds, and whether or not it’s better to be a centrist or a progressive. Fare is broiled chicken and salads (vegan for Booker)Light conversation but at a West Wing pace. Sometimes there is strong coffee served to keep the energy going.
August is the month whereby the candidates who are currently serving in Congress don’t have to worry about committee votes, hearings, or votes on the floor. They have a month to go to county fairs in Iowa & NH, and other events in SC, NV, and CA to court potential voters. Some candidates may be spending time on Martha’s Vineyard, NAPA, Santa Barbara, or the Hamptons to meet with the wine & cheese crowds in hopes that some cash is coming their way to get ready for the dinners coming this fall.
On Real Time, Bill Maher culled all of the candidates pictures and decided which ones should be eliminated. Take a look:
— Real Time (@RealTimers) June 29, 2019
On all of them, I would agree. They aren’t gaining much traction from the debates. Eric Swalwell did drop out, but I think Bullock, Steyer, and Sestek should rethink why they are in this race. Inslee doesn’t inspire people for his GND because already it has a spokesperson: AOC. Amy Klobuchar is invisible with Biden and Harris in the top tier. Seems to me Bullock would be better off running for Senate, as well as Hickenlooper, and Beto. I would also argue anyone who is polling below 5% consistently should know that the lunch dates are over.
Despite continued teeth gnashing by WaPo’s Jen Rubin, WaPo finally gave Sanders (and Warren) some sherry in their press coverage of the debates. MSNBC, which is notorious for its bias against Sanders, invited him on Morning Joe this morning, and asked him some more centrist questions. But their tone was slighty different: they were polite and more patient.
Good press pays off.
It’s interesting though that stockholder-driven media for the most part didn’t pick up on the nuances in the second debate. How Harris and Castro struck back by telling CNN their framing of the questions was from GOP talking points. Biden was indirectly laced with the GOP label, which he resented. But Joe Scarborough finally acknowledged that Sanders’ ideas have more than just spilled over into 2020 cycle: they are driving the debate. And Steve Rattner was scared s**tless.
I hope the dinners are more sober and not about the best quip. Yes, the candidates should fight for their ideas. Biden and Harris: you are on notice that the progressive wing has lots of little birdies to carry their candidates with the seeds given to them by those who want a more just government. And independent media is finally getting its due by appearing as guest contributors on cable networks and on the Hill’s Rising.
I'm not only going to be Commander in Chief. I am going to be Organizer in Chief. pic.twitter.com/bBWYvN4iyj
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) August 1, 2019
This also serves as an open thread. What’s on your mind?
Good morning! To lead off, here’s the latest poll from Morning Consult:
Join us below.
Happy weekend birdies! One of the Strongest Progressives Is Facing a Primary Challenger Invoking Identity and Change. Will She Unseat Him? A different type of race is taking shape in the Democratic primary for Massachusetts’s 7th Congressional District, a seat comprised of downtown Boston and surrounding suburbs. Though media outlets across the country have labeled the Pressley challenge in Massachusetts as the “next Ocasio-Cortez,” the race differs from other progressive challenges to entrenched Democrats: Pressley’s policy positions are frequently indistinguishable from her opponent. In a race between two similarly positioned politicians, how important is identity? The challenge to Capuano raises … Continue reading →
Her name is Heather Heyer. She was one of the peaceful who was letting people know that the American taliban was terribly wrong about protecting the legacy of the Confederacy and a statue that was sorely disapproved by the community. According to her mother, Susan Bro (yes, that’s her real last name), she was a warrior for justice. She was a DSA member. And she was a Bernie Sanders sister. I’m cobbling some news for this post so that we get some sense of our fallen justice warrior.Continue reading →
Two weeks ago, Caitlin Johnstone, an unabashed anti-establishment blogger, penned a controversial piece on Medium about how the Alt-Right and the Left Should work together to demolish the establishment 4th Estate. I didn’t see anyone post the article “The Lefties Need to Stop Being Shy about Working with the Anti-Establishment” here, so it made me wonder if there was some discomfort with her opinion, or just overlooked?Continue reading →