Saturday, September 28, 2019

Unless it's a porn, you can't sell a movie on penis size

ISN'T IT ROMANTIC is on HBO now.  I watched it and realized just how badly marketing doomed this film.

Ava and C.I. talked, in a roundtable, before the film came out (probably THIRD or for the gina and krista round-robin) about how the film was going to flop.  Why?  It was a romantic comedy that, in every TV spot, made the story about Hemsworth's big penis.

You're not going to sell tickets that way.  It's not a hetro date move.  "Honey, let's go see that new movie about Hemsworth's big penis."  No guy is going to want to sit in a theater with his girlfriend or wife watching a film about a woman swooning over a big penis.

For starters, most guys have average size penises.  Secondly, the size of the penis is an even touchier issue for men then the size of breasts are for women.

Rebel Wilson is very funny in the film as is Adam DeVine.

Liam Hemsworth?  Not so much.  For one thing, even out the hairs in your beard (also a problem with the doctor at the start of the film).  I'm not really impressed with any of the Hemsworths but he's always struck me as the least impressive.  The time he spent waxing his chest for this film only cements my initial impression.

The film should have been promoted as what it was -- a woman trapped in a romantic comedy who can't see that her friend played by Adam DeVine is in love with her.

I would have preferred a real actor -- someone who could project manliness -- in the Hemsworth role but otherwise the film is fine.  The problem was the way it was marketed.

Rebel and Adam have real chemistry -- as we saw in the PITCH PERFECT franchise -- and that's what the movie should have been marketed on -- not hairless Hemsworth and his penis.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Friday, September 27, 2019.. Ethics.

In the United States, the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues.  Jim Newall (SLATE) notes:

While most of the news focus this week pertained to certain goings-on in the House of Representatives—goings-on that of course Elizabeth Warren was the first candidate to call for, in April—Warren has started to take Joe Biden’s lead. She led Biden narrowly, for the first time, in two national polls released this week, and she has taken the lead in the Iowa polling average as well. She took the lead in a New Hampshire poll. She is nearing the lead in Nevada. She is drawing healthy shares from supporters of both Clinton and Sanders in the 2016 primary contest. She is starting to see some movement among black voters. Democrats are the most enthusiastic about her candidacy. There is … nothing going wrong right now? Nothing! This newsletter likes to make jokes about how politicians are failing at politics, and she’s just not giving us anything.

So while Elizabeth is up, Joe is down, dragged down by his own actions.  Over at US NEWS AND WORLD REPORTS, Susan Milligan speaks with University of New Hampshire's Dante Scala:

Biden, in fact, might have some vulnerability on the Ukraine matter with voters, Scala says, because voters might wonder how and why the younger Biden went to work for a Ukrainian firm while his father was in the White House.
"It's not a great look, even though there's not any evidence of wrongdoing," Scala says.

There is absolutely the evidence of wrong doing.

This lowering of our standards is how we end up with presidents unfit to serve.

Joe Biden's son Hunter gets employed by a firm and that's the wrong doing.  Yes, Hunter needed a job.   Three months prior the US military had kicked him out of the reserves because of his use of cocaine.  They should have referred it over to a court, he should have been arrested.  Instead, they just kicked him out.  Three months later, with no experience to speak of, he's brought on and paid $50,000 a month.

That is unethical.  And his father at the time was vice president.  Joe then has interactions with the government of Ukraine.  That is unethical.

Hunter never should have taken the job to begin with.  Once he did, Joe should have been removed from any and all dealings with Ukraine.

It is unethical.  And as vice president, Joe insisting, "I didn't do anything wrong," isn't enough.  Joe has to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.  He was the Vice President.  He has to be held to a higher standard while in that office.

It was Joe Biden’s family that almost kept him from running. Now, it could help drag him down. 
Why it matters: The former vice president has to answer questions about family controversies just as Elizabeth Warren is catching him in the polls.
  • Hunter Biden was a paid board member of a Ukrainian gas company while his father was in the White House.
Top Democrats tell us they worry the Ukraine fracas winds up being an albatross for Biden because he'll be associated with an unpopular issue and process, and won't be able to shake questions about Hunter Biden.

No, wrong doing?  Corruption in office is wrong doing.  There is ample public knowledge that suggest wrong doing without any investigation.

Joe did not do his job as vice president because that job included avoiding even the appearance of a conflict of interest.  Joe did not do his job.

His actions look smarmy, his actions appear unethical.  And that's without any probe taking place.

The usual idiots of the faux left are refusing to look seriously at what is right before their eyes.  In some cases, they're afraid of 'helping' Donald Trump.  Try helping yourselves, you idiots.  This is about democracy, this is about fairness, this is about basic expectations of those in public office.

I can understand the press being leery to go into too much detail after the verbal attacks on THE NEW YORK TIMES.  I don't like THE TIMES.  I'm not a fan.  That was long ago established.  But they published an article -- this one -- that I've read over and over trying to understand the need to attack the paper for it.

Didn't REUTERS already report that the whistle-blower or 'whistle-blower' was CIA?

I don't understand the anger at NYT.  The person is of public interest.  The news report -- fairly bland to begin with -- serves the public interest.

But you have all these idiots claiming on Twitter that NYT did something wrong.  Then claiming that they've cancelled their subscriptions -- most never subscribed.  Some even bigger idiots insisting that they're going to subscribe to the physical paper of THE WASHINGTON POST -- who's going to deliver that to most of your homes?  Lots of luck with that.

How could NYT do this!!!! They insist the paper was wrong and you protect a source and -- The person who filed the complaint is not a source to the paper.  People don't even understand journalism.  It's not -- REPORT WHAT I LIKE!!!!!

The immaturity is just astounding.

On impeachment . . .

One person wrote a lengthy e-mail to the public account stating that the snapshot was brief because I was avoiding the topic of impeachment?

No, that’s not why it was brief.  I’ve explained why it was brief.  I will probably note a hearing in Monday’s snapshot.  I went back and forth over including it today but wanted to just focus on ethics.

The e-mail informs me that I was wrong (wouldn’t be the first time) when I stated that I didn’t believe Donald Trump broke a law as it was being described in press reports.  I still don’t.  Based on the latest details.  If you want to say it was unethical, I’ll hop on board that.  But the Justice Dept was correct not to prosecute.  If Congress wants to pass a law, they can do so.  Whether or not the Court would uphold it is a big if, but they can pass a law on this.  Currently, there is no law.

The e-mailer, like Nancy Pelosi yesterday, wants to insist that Donald was attempting to ensure that he won the 2020 election.

You’re ascribing motive.

On someone you don’t even know.

As noted here many times over the years, and at THIRD, I do not like Donald Trump and that’s based upon my knowing him.

As someone who has known him over the years, I don’t think he was trying to get re-elected.

I think he’s on a kamikaze mission.  I’m ascribing motive but I’m basing it on my personal interaction with him in the past.  (And that’s limited, I’ve noted before that I would walk away if I saw him approaching.)

Bob Somerby and others have done crazy lunatic talk.  Donald’s not going to leave!!!! He’s going to lose the election and he’s not going to leave!!!!

First, there’s a good chance he will win the election.

Second, if he loses, he’ll leave and he’ll leave playing the victim and spend the rest of his life saying how the US screwed up and how every president after him screwed up.  That’s Donald.

You know what else is Donald? Thinking the world is against him.  “He didn’t even want to win!”  That’s what some said as the 2016 election approached and after.  Yes, he did.  But he didn’t think he would and he didn't want to be seen as wanting it as much as he did because he felt the world would then laugh if he lost.  That’s his low self-esteem.  That same low self-esteem tells him he probably won’t be re-elected.  As such, he’s out to destroy now.  This was about punishing others.  It was not, “Joe could beat me!”  It was, “Democrats have been corrupt and I’ll take out any I can on my way out the door.”  That’s Donald.

To be clear, I have not stated he will lose in 2020.  There’s a good chance he’ll win.  Especially if impeachment is pursued.  Especially if No-Enthusiasm Joe is the nominee.

But he has low self-esteem and that’s what he operates from.

“He has a huge ego!!!!”  He has bravado that covers (for some) his low self-esteem.

So I think he’s on a kamikaze mission to take out as many as he can before January 2021 when he fears/suspects/believes he will be leaving the White House.

That’s me ascribing motive.  I don’t deny it.  But I’d argue my insight is a little greater than some speaking on his possible motives.

Donald has low self-esteem.  If he lost the election, he would see it as part of the world victimizing him and would leave the White House.  I do not get the crazy that Bob Somerby has repeatedly preached on Donald locking himself in the White House after losing the election and refusing to go.

But I also don’t get the nonsense Bob preaches about Donald being crazy.  His actions do not surprise me, they do not mystify me.  I do not believe he’s insane.  I do believe he is the wounded child who never recovered.

Note, the snapshot this morning included Stan's "PRODIGAL SON" -- I don't know how that happened but it was in here twice.  To be clear, Stan wrote that.  It also included the impeachment section 3 times.  That's been reduced to one.  Stan did a strong review of "PRODIGAL SON" and I want to be sure he gets credited for that.  Ava and I do our TV pieces at THIRD.  -- C.I., 9/27/19 12:37 pm EST.

The following sites updated:

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Better than Biden

I can't take Joe Biden's racism or his sexism.  We need better and we can have better.  We don't have to settle for old Joe.  He is opposed to everything that we need in this country.  He will not take on climate change, he will not fight for Medicare For All.  He is not who we need.  What we need is so much better than Joe.

Branko Marcetic (JACOBIN) reports:

Since 2016, as Bernie Sanders has risen in national prominence and his Medicare for All proposal has gained increasing momentum, corporate America has been gearing up for a war over the policy. And now, as the health and pharmaceutical industries align themselves with Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, we have a clearer idea of what their battle plan will look like.
As Bloomberg first reported Monday, the neoliberal think-tank Third Way has been polling Americans to figure out which attacks will be most effective in a coming public relations campaign against the policy. The survey builds on documents leaked to the Intercept in 2018, detailing the contours of a planned campaign by the private health care sector to “change the conversation around Medicare for All” and prevent it from “becoming part of a national political party’s platform in 2020.”
While billing itself as a “national think tank that champions modern center-left ideas,” Third Way is a conduit for a panoply of corporate interests that campaigns against left-wing policies — in 2013, two of its highest-ranking officials wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed warning that “economic populism is a dead end for democrats.” One of those officials, Executive Vice President Jim Kessler, the former longtime aide of Wall Street’s favorite Democrat Chuck Schumer, has admitted the majority of Third Way’s financial support comes from Wall Street, which views the health insurance industry as a great investment. At least as far back as 2013, it was staffed with Republicans and fundraising from a variety of corporations, donations that the companies themselves sometimes listed as part of their lobbying budgets.
Today, one of its leadership team once worked for the National Association of Manufacturers, a Republican-aligned business group that, among other things, fights climate action and in its earlier years was one of the earliest forces to organize against Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. Meanwhile, Third Way’s board of trustees currently features a former private equity titan, a former Goldman Sachs executive, the head of a major corporate lobbying firm that has counted pharmaceuticals as its clients, and several other private equity and bank executives.
Third Way has openly said it views Sanders alone among the Democratic field as an unacceptable choice for the nomination, so threatened by his campaign that they’ve now come around to even longtime nemesis and Sanders rival Elizabeth Warren. In 2018, the organization convened a meeting of 200 elected Democrats, political operatives, and donors to “launch a serious, compelling economic alternative to Sanderism,” as Kessler put it.
Although health insurers and the pharmaceutical industry are funding a variety of Democratic candidates — all of whom are now either attacking or backed away from their earlier support for Sanders’s Medicare for All bill — the primary conduit for their campaign against the policy appears to be Biden. Health insurers were thrilled when Biden entered the race, seeing his campaign as a bulwark against Sanders’s plan for Medicare for All, and an In These Times investigation from July found that Biden received the most money in the Democratic field from insurance and pharmaceutical employees, while Sanders received the least. He kicked off his campaign with a fundraiser hosted by a health insurance executive, and one of Biden’s campaign aides is a former health care lobbyist.
Not only that, but Biden’s advisor and chief pollster John Anzalone is the president of the firm that authored Third Way’s survey, Anzalone Liszt Grove Research (Anzalone’s partner, Lisa Grove, conducted the polling). Anzalone joined Trade Works for America earlier this year, an organization co-founded by Vice President Mike Pence’s current chief of staff that’s partly funded by the pharmaceutical industry and is pushing for Trump’s sequel to NAFTA.

Joe is not going to fight for us.  Joe is not going to fight for this country.  Joe is going to purr to the fat cats who've given him $15 million in the last two years.  He is not who we need.  He is not what we need.

And don't get me started on that niece of his. 

Find me any Black man or woman who was found guilty of stealing over $100,000 and they then didn't go to prison?

But princess Caroline Biden is going to walk scott free.

He is trash and he is surrounded by trash.

We need better than Biden.

In fact, that should be the slogan: Better than Biden.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Thursday, September 26, 2019.

Starting in the US where the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues.  War Hawk Joe Biden wants to be president.  And so does his family.  Including his niece who stole over $100,000 and just got a slip on the wrist (see Ruth's "Biden's only tough on crime when it comes to people of color") because, well, "as a Biden."  Joe's word as a Biden is looking even more laughable.

Apparently, Caroline Biden's family didn't use that record player enough at night or maybe they didn't have social workers coming in teaching her parents how to parent -- that's Joe's answer for African-Americans, right?  What's his answer for spoiled White kids in his own family?  Oh, right, look the other way.  Always.

With more on the trashy Biden family, Ben Schreckinger (POLITICO) reports:

Joe Biden’s brother told executives at a healthcare firm that the former vice president’s cancer initiative would promote their business, according to a participant in the conversation, who said the promise came as part of a pitch on behalf of potential investors in the firm.

The allegation is the latest of many times Biden’s relatives have invoked the former vice president and his political clout to further their private business dealings. It is the first that involves the Biden Cancer Initiative, a project Joe Biden made the centerpiece of his post-White House life following the death of his son Beau. 

Biden’s brother, James, made the promise to executives at Florida-based Integrate Oral Care during a phone call on or around November 8, 2018, according to Michael Frey, CEO of Diverse Medical Management, a health-care firm that is suing James Biden. At the time, James Biden’s business partners were pursuing a potential investment in Integrate, according to Frey and court records. Frey, who had a business relationship with James Biden and his associates, had introduced the group to Integrate. 

James Biden told the Integrate executives that he would get the Biden Cancer Initiative to promote an oral rinse made by the firm and used by cancer patients, Frey, who said he participated in the call, told POLITICO. He added that James Biden directly invoked the former vice president on the call. "He said his brother would be very excited about this product,” Frey said. 

Crony capitalism.

Joe claims wisdom.  His family is unethical and he wants to be president?  His niece stole over $100,000 and she's not going to do time?  That's not fair, that's not fair and equal. That's the Biden corruption that runs through that family.

Simon Lewis (REUTERS) reports:

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday edged past former Vice President Joe Biden for the first time in a major national opinion poll for the Democratic presidential primary, making her largest gains among white voters with a college degree. 
Warren drew 27% support to Biden’s 25% in a Quinnipiac University poll of Democratic voters and independent voters who lean Democratic, though her lead was within the margin of error.
The results marked a significant shift from Quinnipiac’s prior polls for the Democratic nominating contest to choose a candidate to take on President Donald Trump in November 2020. Biden had been ahead of Warren by double digits since it began polling in March and by 13 points in the same poll in August.

Joe had been ahead.  He had been.  Before people started seeing who and what he was.

And what happens to his niece is an issue  This goes to the whole 1% argument.  And this is not fair -- again, we're talking $100,000.  There are actresses who are in trouble  for using their money and influence to get their children into colleges.  But his niece steals $100,000 and she's not serving time?

If she wasn't his niece, she would be doing time.

Joe wants to be president as this happens and feels no embarrassment.  This goes back to Hunter Biden getting caught for cocaine usage while in the reserves and being allowed to walk when many others would have served time.

This goes to the issue of corruption and his family -- his brother and his son Hunter -- using his name and his positions to make money.  It's unethical.  This is not a new development.  This nothing new.  It did not develop last week, last year or last decade.  These are policies that have been in effect throughout Joe's political career -- in fact, before his career started.

Joe's allowed this unethical behavior to go on and on.  And now he wants to be president.  It is a serious issue and he needs to be asked about it and he needs to answer for it.  Serious issues are not addressed by sitting down with Jimmy Kimmel, for example.  And that's not slamming Jimmy.  He does an entertainment talk show, he has no background in news, his audience is watching for laughs.  The problem is not Jimmy or any other late night talk show host.

The following sites updated:

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Curiosity on Mars

Let's note some Tweets about our favorite land rover Curiosity.

  1. Sunset in the 96 mile wide Gale crater, from the Mars rover Curiosity. In the distance is Aeolis Mons, a central mountain 18,000 ft high. These are natural colours; sunset on Mars has a delicate bluish halo.
  2. Ever feel like you're being watched? 👀 These are the 23rd and 24th drill holes of my mission. I'll be doing follow-up observations with my ChemCam laser this week. Whatever you're up to back on Earth, I hope you have laser focus, too. Blog:

Correction: these are the 22nd and 23rd drill holes. Guess I'm just excited for the science to come now that I'm out of solar conjunction. OK. Back to work!

  1. Mission Updates: Sols 2529-2530: #23 :
  2. Every year on Aug. 5, the Mars Curiosity rover sings itself a sad, solitary "Happy Birthday."
  3. Life on Planet - Curiosity, SOL 1367 (giga) 1 of 2....
  4. NASA's Curiosity rover found signs of water in the form of clay minerals in two recent drill samples, adding to the possibility Mars could have been hospitable for microbial life.
  5. A Curiosity on MARS. a streetcap1 video 🔭 🌜 🌑 🌚 👽 🛸👽🚀 news via multistagecorre😋 archive on we oppose deception! highres:
  6. Weather for Sol 2534 (2019-09-22) - Curiosity Rover
  7. Curiosity Sol: 2536 Camera: Front Hazard Avoidance Camera Earth Date: 2019-09-24

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Wednesday, September 25, 2019.

Starting in the US with the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  Sarah Lazare (IN THESE TIMES) reports:

Massachusetts Senator and 2020 presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren has been widely celebrated in liberal and left-leaning press for churning out progressive policy proposals on the domestic front, from child care to housing. Articles have hailed her as the “intellectual powerhouse of the Democratic party,” the person who “has the plans” and the “progressive policy anchor in the 2020 field.” One Guardian piece from late February asks, “Why vote for Sanders when you can have Elizabeth Warren instead?”
Yet, none of these articles take a close look at Warren’s track record on war and militarism, despite the fact that the realm of foreign policy is where presidents have the most power to act without Congress (thanks in part to Obama’s unfortunate expansion of presidential powers to make war). It’s as though the United States existed in a vacuum, with only domestic matters to attend to; in reality, we are the biggest military empire in human history, with 800 military bases around the world and U.S. commandos deployed to 75% of countries.

Once Warren’s foreign policy record is scrutinized, her status as a progressive champion starts to wither. While Warren is not on the far right of Democratic politics on war and peace, she also is not a progressive—nor a leader—and has failed to use her powerful position on the Senate Armed Services Committee to challenge the status quo. While she’s voted for military de-escalation on some issues, including ending the Yemen War, she’s gone along with some of the most belligerent acts that have occurred under her watch, cheerleading Israel’s devastating 2014 war on Gaza and vocalizing her support for sanctions against Venezuela. Even judged according to the spectrum of today’s Democratic Party, which is skewed so far to the right on war and militarism it does not take much to distinguish oneself, Warren gets an unsatisfactory grade: not the last in her class, but far from first.

There's only one candidate that's been able to speak about peace and to call out war -- Bernie Sanders.  Tulsi Gabbard had the chance in the July debates to call out Joe Biden but refused to do so and spent the days after the debate making excuses for and, yes, lying for Joe Biden.  In this month's debate, Bernie was the only one talking about the Iraq War and the issue of judgment.

Yesterday, Elizabeth Warren -- at her candidate feed -- wasted everyone's time with six Tweets about impeachment.  The Debra Messings are not America.  Most Americans are more focused on real issues.  That's (a).  (B) is this a political issue because it shouldn't be.  But that's what Elizabeth makes it look like.  Impeachment isn't a "vote for me!" issue and it's outrageous that she's playing it as though it is one.  If the House votes impeachment, the Senate would preside over the issues and determine, among other things, whether removal from office was warranted.

Elizabeth is tossing aside innocent until proven guilty, she's tossing aside all legal beliefs that are supposed to be held in a democracy.  If she's already decided to convict and remove, then what is the point?

She's not coming off presidential.  And if this is day one of the circus, then she's making it very clear that she's unable to run a presidential campaign if impeachment is considered or pursued.

Did Bernie Sanders Tweet about impeachment?  Yes, he did one Tweet which was about all that was needed after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's afternoon press briefing.

On the topic of impeachment, Patrick Martin (WSWS) observes:

The tipping point was apparently reached on Monday evening when seven freshmen Democratic representatives, all of them veterans of the military-intelligence apparatus, issued a joint demand for impeachment in the form of an op-ed column published by the Washington Post.
The seven include six representatives from the group the World Socialist Web Site has labelled the “CIA Democrats.” Two of them are actual ex-CIA agents, Elissa Slotkin of Michigan and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia. Four are former military officers: Elaine Luria of Virginia, Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania and Jason Crow of Colorado.
The statement from the seven identifies them as “veterans of the military and of the nation’s defense and intelligence agencies” concerned by “unprecedented allegations against President Trump.” The statement continues: “To uphold and defend our Constitution, Congress must determine whether the president was indeed willing to use his power and withhold security assistance funds to persuade a foreign country to assist him in an upcoming election. If these allegations are true, we believe these actions represent an impeachable offense.”
The seven were joined by former CIA Director John Brennan—the overseer of widespread torture and illegal spying under Bush and Obama—who cited their statement in a cable television interview Tuesday and joined them in calling for Trump’s impeachment.

The line-up of Pelosi, Brennan and the CIA Democrats gives a glimpse of the real forces at work in the conflict within the ruling elite and the dominant role played by the intelligence agencies in the US political process.

Like too many Congressional Democrats over the last years, Elizabeth chased after the hope of impeachment yesterday at the expense of the needs of the American people.  Medicare For All, the issues fair wages, immigration reform and so much more got tossed out the window so Elizabeth could repeatedly Tweet about impeachment.

Bernie's focus was on the issues that effect Americans.

While working Americans ration insulin and work 2 or 3 jobs, the 1% saw its wealth increase by $21 trillion in the last 30 years. The problem is not that Americans aren't working hard enough or saving enough money. The problem is that the whole system is rigged against them.
If we make the top 0.1% pay their fair share in taxes, their quality of life would not change at all. But we would be able to invest in housing, child care and health care and improve the lives of millions of working people.

Issues like this:

The City of Chicago must sit down with , bargain in good faith and work out a contract that is fair and just. I'm proud to stand with Chicago teachers today:

And this:

If you "can't afford" to pay workers a living wage, then you can't afford to pay your CEOs tens of millions of dollars.

As UAW members continue to strike for a fair contract, communities and elected leaders from across the country have come out to show their support. Join Senator on the picket line tomorrow:

Common sense like this:

Clear your mind for a moment and count to 10. In those 10 seconds, Jeff Bezos made more money than the median employee of Amazon makes in an entire year. We have a crisis of inequality. We're going to address it with a wealth tax on the top 0.1%.

Joe Biden's team has already begun the whisper campaign against Elizabeth Warren among the press.  They're shaping a narrative as we speak.  If she's focused on everything but the needs of the American people, Joe's campaign is going to be very effective in railroading her.  She needs to be focused on real issues.

Her inability to do so helps Carly Regina and Joanna Wuest's argument at JACOBIN, that Bernie Sanders is the only real candidate for workers:

On September 17, the Philadelphia AFL-CIO hosted its first-ever Workers’ Presidential Summit, a forum where those vying for the Democratic Party’s nomination addressed the hopes and concerns of the city’s rank-and-file union members. It would be difficult to choose a more appropriate place than Philadelphia to discuss the existential threats facing the labor movement. Despite being a city where unions remain a political heavyweight, Philadelphia workers have endured their share of the attacks as nurses and hospital staff, refinery workers, public school teachers, academics, those in the building trades, and others have faced closures and unsafe, undercompensated working conditions. Pennsylvania, too, continues to be a likely battleground state in the upcoming 2020 general election, one which could fall into the hands of Donald Trump once again. Three years ago, Hillary Clinton received an astounding twenty thousand fewer votes in Pennsylvania than Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign won in Philadelphia alone. Those lost votes made up nearly nearly half the margin of which she lost the state to Trump. If once-reliable union strongholds like Philadelphia are unable — or, in some instances, perhaps unwilling — to deliver their votes to a Democratic Party that has largely turned its back on labor, it could happen again.
Given these stakes, why was Senator Bernie Sanders the only Democratic front-runner to accept the invitation to the summit when it was first announced weeks ago? Shockingly, Joe Biden — who has made his political career feigning working-class — only agreed to the event at the last hour, following a two-week saga of Philadelphia labor leaders publicly lamenting the candidate’s previous unwillingness to attend. Recently surging Elizabeth Warren, darling of a particular strata of more affluent liberal progressives, remained firm in her decision to snub the event. It speaks volumes about Sanders’s commitment to building labor power — and his sheer electability — that he stood alone among the serious contenders for the office in enthusiastically accepting the call to meet with and learn from Philadelphia’s working class.

If the thought that Donald Trump might be impeached by the House is too distracting for her, she needs to drop out because America needs leadership and Bernie can offer it.  If she can't, she needs to drop out.  But she might not have a choice, again, Joe's campaign is working overtime helping the press figure out how to portray her.

It won't be pretty.

Neither is Joe Biden's actual record, as Patrick Martin points out:

Obama mouthed rhetoric about “hope and change” to appeal to the millions who hated President George W. Bush and the Republicans, but he selected as his running mate the most right-wing figure among those who sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. This set the tone for an administration that bailed out Wall Street at the expense of the working class, added wars in Libya and Syria to those it inherited and continued in Iraq and Afghanistan, and enacted domestic policies such as Obamacare, whose goal was to strengthen corporate America, not improve conditions of life for working people.
In the lead-up to announcing his 2020 presidential campaign, Biden created controversy with his gratuitous praise for ultra-reactionary segregationist Democrats in the Senate like James Eastland and Herman Talmadge, citing their willingness to work with him in a collegial fashion despite supposed political differences. This was not simply a “gaffe,” as the media claimed, but revealed something of Biden’s long-term political role, both in the Senate and in the Obama administration.
He has always been a Democratic wheeler-dealer, able and willing to work with the most reactionary forces in both capitalist parties when it served the interests of corporate America. Biden was never afraid to get his hands dirty, and in the process covered himself with the muck and filth of American capitalist politics.
This is why the current effort to package and sell Biden as the embodiment of up-from-hardship, struggling Americans, as “middle class Joe,” rings so hollow. He first came to the Senate in 1973 at age 29 and spent a political lifetime in the circles of power and influence in Washington.
It should be noted—particularly for readers outside the United States—that Biden’s home state of Delaware has an infamous reputation as the headquarters location of choice for giant corporations seeking to evade taxes, regulations and scrutiny of all kinds.
The tiny state has only 975,000 people, ranking 44th of the 50 states. However, “More than 1,000,000 business entities have made Delaware their legal home,” according to the state’s Division of Corporations website. “More than 50 percent of all publicly-traded companies in the US including 64 percent of the Fortune 500 have chosen Delaware as their legal home.”
Delaware is the Cayman Islands or Singapore of America, sheltering corporate tax evasion and criminality of every kind, and every capitalist politician from that state, Democrat and Republican alike, upholds that distinction. It was this particularly noxious milieu that produced the young Senator Joe Biden.
It took several years of cajoling, but in 1977 Biden finally obtained a coveted seat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, then under the chairmanship of James Eastland. In 1981, when the Republicans gained a majority in the Senate, the chairmanship passed to Republican Strom Thurmond, the antediluvian reactionary from South Carolina who had run for president in 1948 as the candidate of the States’ Rights Democratic Party, the ultra-right segregationist wing of the Democrats, and who crossed over to the Republicans in 1964 in opposition to Lyndon Johnson’s concessions to the civil rights movement.
From 1981 through 1997, a period of nearly two decades, Biden was either the ranking Democrat under Thurmond or chairman himself after the Democrats regained control in 1987-1995. Thurmond and Biden collaborated closely in approving such Supreme Court nominees as Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas, and in passing numerous pieces of law-and-order legislation that resulted in longer jail terms for millions of people.
Biden likes to dismiss this legislation as ancient history, seeking to avoid any close scrutiny of what he actually did. But the record demonstrates his role as the principal advocate within the Democratic Party of the most brutal forms of state repression, including, among other things, capital punishment. The laws included:
* The Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, which established mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, increased the penalties for marijuana cultivation and use, and re-established the federal death penalty.
* The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, which contained the notorious 100-1 provision penalizing possession of crack cocaine over powder cocaine by that ratio (a minimum five-year sentence for 5 grams of crack or 500 grams of powder).
* The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, which further stiffened penalties for drug abuse, provided $6.5 billion for the “war on drugs” and strengthened the federal death penalty.
* The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which created 60 new federal death penalty offenses, stripped federal inmates of the right to obtain educational Pell grants, set aside money for 100,000 new police officers and further entrenched a “three-strikes” rule in sentencing.

The combined impact of this legislation was barbaric and racially discriminatory. A report from the US Sentencing Commission found that in 1992, 91.4 percent of federal crack cocaine offenders were black, even though the majority of crack users were white. And Biden was a fervent defender of these laws, boasting in one Senate speech, “We do everything but hang people for jaywalking in this bill.”

War Hawk Joe and his family raked in dough over the Iraq War.

Biden’s younger brother James Biden joins a construction firm as an executive. The firm then receives a billion dollar contract to build houses in Iraq while as Vice President, Joe Biden oversaw the US led occupation of that country.

During Obama years, several months after Joe's younger brother, James , joined a construction firm as an executive, the firm received a contract worth more than a billion dollars to build houses in Iraq while Joe oversaw the US-led occupation of that country.
You need to audit the supposed construction company of Joe Biden's brother. 1.5 billion to build housing in Iraq. How many houses were built.

in 2012 the Washington Examiner reported a story about your brother, $1.5 billion dollar contract with Iraq. And in May of 2019 & May 2019 NYPOST reported about your China deal. Pic of that story in comments. So this Ukraine thing has nothing to do with trump smearing U

In Iraq, the Green Zone came under attack again (see yesterday's snapshot).  Though the intended target is not known, the US government is assuming the US compound/embassy was the target.  Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) notes:

U.S.-led coalition forces in Baghdad said Tuesday that attacks on coalition personnel and facilities in Iraq "will not be tolerated," adding that coalition forces retain the right to self-defense.
No coalition or U.S.-occupied facility was struck in Monday night's attack in which two Katyusha rockets were fired into the heavily fortified Green Zone, according to a statement issued by the coalition and Iraqi security forces.

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