Monday, December 30, 2019

Hunter Biden -- the shame that never stops embarrassing

Wow.  Deadbeat Dad, professional moocher and he does not pay taxes.


Link to headline article

So on top of everything else, Joe Biden's son is a tax cheat.

And yet Mr. Biden feels that he should be president.  He has raised an amoral child and, yes, that does reflect upon him.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:

Monday, December 30, 2019.  Joe Biden continues to flounder in his campaign for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, protests continue in Iraq and, with little comment from the press, the US government bombed the Iraqi military on Sunday.

Starting in the United States where the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues.  The press favorite, War Hawk Joe Biden, continues to campaign to a tepid response.

Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden? Who do you think has the popular support necessary to beat Trump? Pics taken at same venue in New Hampshire

Bernie has the crowds and the enthusiasm.  Joe has the . . . confused?

He certainly seems confused himself.  Saturday, Marcia asked, "Wait, how is Joe Biden different from Donald Trump?"  She was referring to Joe's announcement that if the Senate issued a subpoena for him to testify, Joe said he wouldn't comply.

Joe spent his entire adult life as a US senator.  From 1972 until January 2009, he was a US senator.  He knows the law -- if issued a subpoena, you must appear.  But forget the law for just a second, he doesn't even have enough respect for the body he served in for over 36 years to appear?  Trashy Joe.

Senator Elizabeth Warren is also running for the party's presidential nomination.  She notes that if he's asked to appear "and if there is a lawfully issued order for a subpoena, then he should follow it."

Joe Biden has flipped on so many issues in response to criticism from Elizabeth Warren, yet according to the media SHE'S the one who is "slippery" and a "liar".

If Joe can't follow the law right now, what makes you think he's going to follow it if elected president?

He's tired and who can trust him?

No one in America should work full time and live below the poverty line. It’s past time we raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and provide a reliable pathway to the middle class.
Replying to 
The time to raise minimum wage to 15$ an hour passed. Do some math. Figure out the bare minimum of living expenses and raise the minimum wage to an amount at least as high as it was intended to be when it was created.

Wasn't Joe Vice President of the United States from January 2009 until January 2017?  Why wasn't it time then?  Oh, right, because he could have done something then.  And he made promises in 2008, remember?  None of those promises were kept were they?  "Promises Unkept" should be his campaign slogan.

He can't even get it straight on what he would do if the Senate issues him a subpoena.  AP notes this morning, "Joe Biden sought Saturday to clarify his assertion that if the Senate subpoenas him to testify in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, he will defy the order. But he did not clear up what he would do."

Meanwhile Mark Alcala (LATIN TIMES) reports:

A recent poll suggests that former vice president Joe Biden is not popular among Latino voters. One major reason for this negative perception could be his “approach to immigration policy.”
Only 40 percent of Latinos said they’ll vote for Joe Biden in their state’s Democratic primary, based on a poll by Insider. For comparison, Latino voters support is 15 percent lower than white voters where 55 percent said they’ll vote for the former vice president.
It is also 14 percent lower than what Biden received from Asian voters where 54 percent gave him their nod. The former got the highest support from black voters where 66 percent said that they’d vote for him.
Other candidates got considerable higher support from Latino voters. 57 percent of Latinos approve of Senator Bernie Sanders while Senator Elizabeth Warren got 54 a percent approval rating from the group.

Yesterday turned into National Mock Joe Biden Day.   Spencer Neale (WASHINGTON EXAMINER) reported:

Several audience members at Joe Biden's 2020 campaign rally in Milford, New Hampshire, lashed out at the former vice president, calling him a number of insults, including "pervert" and "quid pro Joe."

Biden, 77, was speaking on Sunday night ahead of the state's Feb. 11 Democratic primary, where he is trailing South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, according to RealClearPolitics. A handful of those present interrupted the event on multiple occasions with heckles.
"Quite a start to Biden’s event in Milford, NH — He was quickly interrupted near the top of his remarks by a protestor who called him “creepy” & made false claims about him being a “pervert,” tweeted NBC News's Marianna Sotomayor. "Another woman then yelled “quid pro Joe” before another man began to shout about Ukraine."

Joe's response?  To yell.  He's so charming.  And to accuse them of being Trump supporters.  Because in Joe's increasingly addled brain, you either support Joe or you support Donald.  It's not that simple, it rarely is.   Yael Halon (FOX NEWS) adds, "Biden, who would be 78 upon becoming president if he wins, repeatedly has defended his fitness on the campaign trail, noting that with age 'comes wisdom'."

The world's still waiting for that alleged wisdom to show up.

Madison Dibble (WASHINGTON EXAMINER) reported Joe's also being mocked by a member of Navy SEAL Team 6:

Robert O’Neill scoffed at the notion that Joe Biden could bring any type of change to Washington, D.C., after spending most of his life in public office.
Biden, 77, was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1973, where he represented the state of Delaware for 36 years, only leaving his seat to spend eight years in the White House as President Barack Obama’s vice president. The former vice president took two years off from holding down a job in Washington before announcing his third presidential bid in April.

In a tweet posted Sunday, O’Neill mocked the idea that Biden could be the change he promises for Washington, D.C. “[Joe Biden] was a politician in D.C. for 44 years. But if elected, he’s gonna change Washington…” O’Neill tweeted.

The week's just starting and already rough going for Joe.   Donald Judd (CNN) reports:

Pete Buttigieg on Sunday knocked Joe Biden for his vote in favor of authorizing military force against Iraq in 2002 when the former vice president was a senator, calling it "the worst foreign policy decision made by the United States in my lifetime."
"Well, I certainly respect the Vice President, but this is an example of why years in Washington is not always the same thing as judgment," Buttigieg told Iowa Public Television in a Sunday morning interview while campaigning in the state. "He supported the worst foreign policy decision made by the United States in my lifetime, which was the decision to invade Iraq."
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on Sunday called former Vice President Joe Biden’s vote to authorize the Iraq War part of the nation’s “worst foreign policy decision” of the millennial mayor’s lifetime.
Mr. Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, was responding to a question about how his foreign policy experience measured up to others’ in the Democratic race, specifically Mr. Biden, who was a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when the U.S. went to war. 

Turning to Iraq . . .
Iraqi Gov. Officials are working with criminal militias to hide the crimes like kidnapping/murders/assassinations/..etc. Where CCTV records? Why they hide snipers & militias crimes like kidnap, murders,stealing? *The militia slaughter civilians,but gov.Denying!
both families slaughtered by militias; because they were supporting Peaceful protests! *BASRAH Family; gov. Said was burglary murder & husband had billions(while he is bus driver)!?! *Najaf elders were supporting protests also, but gov. Said murder was neighbor fight!?! WHY LIES?
Funny how those CTTV records go blank or disappear whenever the government is the most likely suspect for a murder.  Those records disappeared when journalist Hadi al-Mahdi was assassinated in his own home, remember?  And his apartment was right by a CTTV camera.  He was part of an earlier wave or protests.
Close to 500 people killed in Iraq protests since October: human rights group
At ANTIWAR.COM, Margaret Griffis notes 84 people killed on Sunday.
On Friday, a US contractor was killed in a rocket attack and four US service members were injured.  The death of the US contractor quickly became an excuse for the US government to bomb Kata'ib Hezbollah on Sunday.  
Due to actions taken by US puppets like Hayder al-Abadi, grasp that the US was bombing the Iraqi military.  The Iraqi militias -- an Kata'ib Hezbollah is one -- were folded into the Iraqi military.  Maybe the time to object to that was when it was happening?  Instead we got silence from the US government and silence from US editorial boards -- who apparently can't speak unless the US State Dept hands them cue cards.
So grasp what happened Sunday.  Suspecting that Kata'ib Hezbollah was responsible for the Friday rocket attack, the US government attacked a segment of the Iraqi military.  REUTERS reports on the comments of Commander Jamal Jaafar Ibrahimi:
A top Iraqi militia leader warned of a strong response against U.S. forces in Iraq following air strikes in Iraq and Syria overnight that hit several bases of his Iranian-backed group and killed at least 25 people.
[. . .] 
Mohandes is a senior commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), an umbrella grouping of paramilitary groups mostly consisting of Iran-backed Shi'ite militias that was formally integrated into Iraq's armed forces. 
There's been little comment about that reality: The US government bombed the Iraqi military.  There's been tons of stenography where western reporters or 'reporters' type up what they're told by US officials but none of the space bothers to directly underscore what took place: The US government attacked the Iraqi military.
So at a time where Iraq has been paralysed by protests both against corruption and protests against “Iranian interference”. The US attacks a frontline PMU base in Iraq that deters ISIS entry into Iraq apparently in retaliation to past attacks. Iraq can’t catch a break
Reminder, Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Bodyguard II" and "Grand Dragon Greta and Her Little White Women" and  Kat's "Kat's Korner: Coldplay sneaks in as the year winds down" went up last week.  New content at THIRD:

Saturday, December 28, 2019

The timeline for the spying

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Bodyguard II" went up Thursday.

the bodyguard ii

And his "Grand Dragon Greta and Her Little White Women" went up Wednesday.

grand dragon greta and little white women

Now let me note this timeline, it is very important and it provides a strong walk thru.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, December 27, 2019.  Iraq's president offers to resign, COMMON DREAMS doesn't know the law and should really stop doing damage, the myth of Joe Biden Winner cannot be kept afloat as Iowa approaches, and much more.

In Iraq, the protests continue.  Why?  For a better way of life, a government that represents you, not one that rips you off.  Dirk Adriaensens explains at GLOBAL RESEARCH:

Iraq is one of the most corrupt countries in the Arab world, according to Transparency International reports. The country occupies the 168th of the 180 countries in the corruption index. Deep-rooted corruption in Iraq is one of the factors that has been hampering reconstruction efforts for more than a decade. Former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has “lost” $ 500 billion during his term of office (2006-2014), according to the Iraqi Integrity Committee (CPI). “Nearly half of the government’s revenues during the eight-year period were “stolen” or “disappeared”, said Adil Nouri, spokesperson for the CPl in October 2015. He called this “the biggest political corruption scandal in the history”. Iraq’s oil revenues amounted to 800 billion dollars between 2006 and 2014, and the Maliki government also received support of 250 billion dollars from various countries, including the US, during that period.
The World Bank ranks Iraq as one of the worst-governed states in the world, and the Iraqi government remains one of the most corrupt regimes in the world. The Iraqi government has so far made little effort to restoring the destroyed cities of its largely Sunni population after the fight against ISIS. It has done little to establish any form of ethnic or sectarian conciliation, and far too much of  the ‘oil wealth’ is consumed by its politicians, officials and a government sector that is one of the best paid and least productive in developing countries.
Corruption, waste of government resources and the purchase of military equipment have increased Iraq’s budget deficit from $ 16.7 billion in 2013, $ 20 billion in 2016 to $ 23 billion for fiscal year 2019. MiddleEastMonitor quoted the head of the parliamentary finance committee Haitham Al-Jubouri on 18 December: “Iraq’s foreign debt amounted to more than $50 billion. More than $20 billion was paid back over the last period”. According to the official, Iraq still owes $27 billion to foreign countries, in addition to $41 billion to Saudi Arabia given as a grant to the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Iraqi lawmaker Majida Al-Tamimi confirmed that Iraq borrowed $1.2 billion in 2005 and $1.4 billion in 2006 from the World Bank and external parties to support investment and bridge the budget deficit. Also the IMF came to the rescue with billion dollar loans that make the country even more dependent on the US and other foreign creditors. It’s not surprising that 78% of the Iraqi people consider the Iraqi economy as “bad” or “very bad”, according to IIACSS polling firm.
The constitution allows Iraqis to have two nationalities, but stipulates that the person appointed to a higher or security position must renounce the other nationality (Article 18, 4). However, no Iraqi official has complied with this Regulation.
Many senior Iraqi officials have dual nationality, including Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi (France), former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and former Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari (UK) and Parliament President Saleem al-Jibouri (Qatar). Of the 66 Iraqi ambassadors, 32 have dual nationality, as well as an estimated 70 to 100 MPs.
Then there are the ministers in the current Iraqi government with a Western background: Mohamed Ali Al hakim – Minister of Foreign Affairs (UK and US), Fuad Hussein – Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister (the Netherlands and France), Thamir Ghadhban – Minister of Oil and Deputy Prime Minister (UK).
Many officials accused of corruption by the Iraqi authorities have fled the country to escape persecution thanks to their foreign passport, including former ministers Abdul Falah al-Sudani (trade), Hazim Shaalan (national defense) and Ayham al-Samarrai (electricity).
Najah al-Shammari serves as the current defense minister from 2019 onwards in the government of Adel Abdul Mahdi. He is a Swedish citizen who is part of the Mahdi cabinet. The minister is under investigation for benefit fraud for claiming housing and child benefits from Sweden, according to the online news site Nyheter Idag and the Swedish newspaper Expressen. He is charged with “crimes against humanity” in Sweden.
President Barham Salih is a British citizen. A complaint was made against him by “Defending Christian Arabs”, who asked the Advocate General in Scotland to open an investigation against him for “crimes against humanity by giving permission or being complicit in the widespread attack on civilian demonstrations in Iraq that resulted in mass killings, injuries, illegal arrests and kidnapping of people. ”
Civil servants are known to demand bribes up to tens of thousands of dollars to give government contracts or even only to put a signature on a public document; also to arrange a lucrative function for a friend or family member. “Political parties are refusing to leave the cabinet because they will no longer be able to grab hold of the treasury”, a senior member of the ruling coalition told AFP.
Many appointments in the Cabinet, Directors General in Ministries and embassy staff are family members of Moqtada Sadr and Hadi Al-Ameri, the head of the Badr organization, the military wing of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, the two largest parties in the Iraqi Parliament.

Amid the expected rescheduling of the cabinet, positions are already ‘bought’, according to a senior Iraqi official. “A political party is assigned a certain ministry and then sells that ministerial position to the highest bidder”. He described a transaction worth $ 20 million. It is a well-known script: the candidate pays the party for the position and then tries to appropriate as much public money as possible, with which the debt can be paid off. The system is so deeply rooted, observers say, that there is little that Abdel Mahdi can do to stop it.

Dirk's "Iraq: The October Revolution of 2019 and the Iran-US Conflict" is the best long-form report on Iraq.  In fact, it's the best report on journalism regardless.

Last night on THE NEWSHOUR (PBS), the protests were addressed.  Excerpt:

  • Lisa Desjardins:
    A lot of faces in that story just now.
    And, obviously, this is the third time in a month that Iraq has been unable to name a prime minister. Why is this so difficult and how far out of the norm is this?
  • Abbas Kadhim:
    Indeed, there are so many candidates, and all of them come from the same pool that is rejected by the protesters.
    The protesters are not protesting against a government or a party or a bloc. They are protesting against the entire political elite that has been in charge of Iraq since 2003 until now.
    The problems that have been accumulating in Iraq are the accumulation of 15, 16 years of failures. And people are fed up with everyone who was involved. So they are asking for faces that have not been involved in any stage of the past 15 years, and people whose hands have been — have not been polluted by Iraqi money or blood or dignity of the Iraqi people.
    And that's why it is very hard to convince the parties to bring an outsider.
  • Lisa Desjardins:
    And that leads to another question too.
    The protesters, much like Iraq's population itself, are generally young.
  • Abbas Kadhim:
    That's right.
  • Lisa Desjardins:
    You know, 60 percent, I think, of Iraq is 24 years old or younger.
    They clearly, as you say, don't — know what they do not want. But do these protesters know what they do want? Is there anything that will be acceptable to them?
  • Abbas Kadhim:
    That is the problem.
    So far, they have been only practicing their veto power. The parties are presenting names or the media and others who are floating out names, and they're saying, no, we don't want this person.
    Because the protesters do not have an organizing committee or a central nerve that will coordinate every activity they have, they are dispersed all over the south and Central Iraq. So it is very hard to speak to any group, or it is very hard also to find a — again, a spokesperson or a spokes — an entity that will speak on their behalf.
    And it is very hard to see them presenting what they want. And it is easier to see that they will wait for the political elite to present the name or the process to bring up a name, and then the action is normally automatic, no, we don't want this one, even though, in the last couple of days, we have seen some kind of signs that they might be entertaining some of the names that are — been floating around, like Faig Al-Sheikh Ali maybe, who is an M.P. and…
  • Lisa Desjardins:
    A member of Parliament.
  • Abbas Kadhim:
    A member of Parliament. And he is a secular member of Parliament.
    And that is somehow in his favor, because most of the parties that are blamed are the Islamist parties or the traditional parties. He is kind of a new slant of a politician.
  • Lisa Desjardins:
    Do the average Iraqi agree with the protesters?
  • Abbas Kadhim:
    Do they…
  • Lisa Desjardins:
    The average Iraqi, do they side with the protesters? Is this sort of a general sentiment?

  • Abbas Kadhim:
    The protesters are speaking on behalf of all Iraqis.

  • When they spoke, the big topic was how to replace a prime minister.

    But that's not the only replacement issue right now.  DEUTSCHE WELLE reports:

    Iraq's president offered to resign on Thursday after he refused to designate the prime minister candidate put forward by a pro-Iran coalition.
    Barham Salih's announcement plunges the country deeper into political crisis and uncertainty amid three months of anti-government protests.

    In a letter to parliament, he said that in order "to avoid more bloodshed and maintain peace" he refused to nominate Asaad al-Eidani to the premiership.

    Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) adds:

      Salih said he was prepared to submit his resignation to Parliament, as his refusal to designate al-Eidani could be construed as a violation of the constitution. He stopped short of actually stepping down, however, saying in a statement addressed to the Parliament speaker that he would leave it up to lawmakers to decide “as they see fit.” Shortly after issuing the statement, the president left Baghdad for his hometown in the northern city of Sulaimaniyah.
    Under the constitution, parliament has seven days to accept or reject a president's resignation before it automatically goes into effect. It was unclear how lawmakers would react, as Salih did not officially resign.
    Signaling a hardline stance, the Fatah bloc slammed Salih's decision to not name al-Eidani and called for his impeachment. “We call on parliament to take legal measures against the president for shirking his constitutional oath and breaching the constitution,” it said in a statement.

    In Baghdad's Tahrir Square, which has emerged as a focal point of their demonstrations, protesters gathered to celebrate the president's decision.

    ALJAZEERA notes, "Reporting from Baghdad, Al Jazeera's Dorsa Jabbari said Salih's statement could be seen as an attempt by the president to pressure other groups within Parliament to try to come up with an alternative candidate to al-Eidani."  On BLOOMBERG TV yesterday, David Westin spoke about the possible resignation with Douglas Ollivant as well as the protests.

    Ollivant notes the attacks on the protesters and points out, "Last time I checked, the death count is approaching 500 officially and it's probably higher than that."

    While Iraqis fight for a better future, Americans in the US show a lot of stupidity.  I don't know how to put that nicely.

    Jake Johnson winds down the year on a high note of stupidity as he plays high drama that Donald Trump Tweeted a link to the article that names the "whistle-blower."

    First off, he's a leaker, he's not a whistle-blower.  As a member of the CIA, he would only be a whistle-blower if he was blowing the whistle on the CIA.

    He is leaking.  That's what he's done since Donald Trump was elected.

    Secondly, he has no legal protection from the press which should be naming him.  This month alone, THE NEW YORK POST has named him (finally) as has JACOBIN in an article by economist Doug Henwood.

    Eric Ciaramella.

    That's the name.

    We've noted it here before.

    There is no legal protection of your anonymity when your statements lead to impeachment.  The American people have the right to determine everything -- this is a democracy, grow the F**K up -- and everything includes the accuser.  In addition, in the US, our legal system is built around the premise that there are no secret accusers.  You make an accusation in court -- or to the House -- you don't get to hide in the shadows.

    Your accusation is your claim and We The People have every right to judge that claim based on you and what we can determine about your character.

    We've been nice and we've highlighting COMMON DREAMS again and pretending that they didn't waste 8 f**king years while Barack was president.

    But they did.

    They didn't lead on issues, they didn't defend the American people, they instead ran interference for Barack Obama.  I'm not a whore and I'm not a slut.  If someone has the Secret Service, seems to me they have enough protection.  I don't have to baby them, I don't have to coddle them.

    We spent those eight years telling the truth about the Iraq War.  COMMON DREAMS the same eight years ignoring the Iraq War.

    So if Jake Johnson wants to offer that bulls**t, we can walk away from that website with no problems at all.  It's not like it's doing groundbreaking work.  I've just been tossing them a line.  I don't have to do that.

    And, point of fact, I won't do that if they're pushing bulls**t like this to begin with.

    Eric Ciaramella.  Jake Johnson and COMMON DREAMS, there are two choices here: Grow up or shut the f**k up.  This is a democracy and you're not helping anyone at present with your bulls**t pretense that naming a leaker is against the law.

    We should all have the facts on him and we should able to determine his character based upon those facts.

    His attacking Trump -- and that's what gossip Eric supplied was -- does not make that s**thole a friend of the left and shame on anyone who tries to pretend otherwise.

    Grow the hell up or just sit out the election because you're not playing by the rules of democracy, you're playing by the rules of the deep state.

    And on that note, Michael Winship stop sending your crap to the public account of this site.  I haven't highlighted you in years.  You're a cheap whore.

    Now you could have redeemed yourself.  How?  You could have written about the deep state.  Remember when Bill Moyers -- your boss -- had a program on PBS?  Bill often addressed the deep state and that goes all the way back to the eighties.

    Just because Donald invokes it today does not mean we should look away or give it a pass.

    Bill Moyers is a homophobic bigot -- he even put that homophobia on the airwaves in 2008 -- we called him out on it but it sailed over the heads of many.  Just like his past in LBJ's administration where Bill couldn't keep his nose out of other men's beds and constantly told LBJ to drop this person or that person because the man was gay.

    That's all Bill is now, a homophobic bigot.  And he's only that because he's turned away from the one legitimate contribution he made to a discussion -- his research and work on the deep state.  By failing to enter into the current conversation, he demonstrates yet again that he has never been a journalist, he has only been a partisan in front of microphone.

    We don't have time for this crap.  We have real issues in the world.  And we can walk away from garbage like promoting anti-Muslim, anti-woman Michael Moore which COMMON DREAMS is also doing today.  This is garbage.  There are real life issues to cover.  I am appalled by what passes for the left in this country right now.

    In the real world, many things might trip up War Hawk Joe Biden as he attempts to win the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  Eliza Relman and Walt Hickey (BUSINESS INSIDER) report on one hurdle:

    Former Vice President Joe Biden is struggling with Latino voters, according to recent Insider polling
    Satisfaction with Biden among Latinos who say they'll vote in their state's Democratic primary is about 40% — 15% below his support among white voters, 14% below his support among Asian voters, and a whopping 26% short of his support among black voters. 

    The top two candidates running to Biden's left — Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren — both perform significantly better among Latinos. While Sanders' approval is at 57%, Warren's approval is at 54%.

    While reality crashes into Joe's heavily botoxed face, Bernie Sanders is doing better and better.  Holly Otterbein and David Siders (POLITICO) report:

    Suddenly, Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is being taken seriously.

    For months, the Vermont senator was written off by Democratic Party insiders as a candidate with a committed but narrow base who was too far left to win the primary. Elizabeth Warren had skyrocketed in the polls and seemed to be leaving him behind in the race to be progressive voters’ standard-bearer in 2020.
    But in the past few weeks, something has changed. In private conversations and on social media, Democratic officials, political operatives and pundits are reconsidering Sanders’ chances.

    They have to reconsider him because they can't afford more egg on their face.  They are distrusted, the corporate press, and they are distrusted for a reason.  It's a point even Jake Johnson can't wrap his shrinking mind around.


    In a matter of weeks, the American people will see who Iowa really backs.

    Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders should do well there -- despite the repeated press attacks.  Now how is that going to look for CNN, MSNBC and assorted others who have insisted that they are non-candidates with not enough support to win?

    Bernie especially freaks them out regarding Iowa.  I guess Jake Johnson just knows how to repeat what he reads at other periodicals?  I talk to the corporate press, I have friends there.  I have friends in the campaigns of every Democrat that made the debate stage earlier this month.

    Bernie has everyone in a panic.  The great lie, the noble lie, call it what you want, stands a good chance of being exposed.


    Bernie stands a good chance of winning Iowa.

    Iowa is not a primary.  It is a caucus.

    It's about endurance and it's about support and Bernie has both.

    He also has knowledge.  He's done Iowa before.  In 2016.  He got 49.6% to Hillary's 49.9%.

    Joe's done Iowa before as well.  In 2008, he got 0.9%.  You read that correctly.  The candidate that the corporate press has pimped so hard for, lied so much for, shielded repeatedly?

    He's going into Iowa with a record of getting less than 1% the last time he tried to compete there.

    By the way, that year Barack got 37% -- again, in 2016, Bernie got 49.6%.

    These are facts and they worry the hell out of the corporate media right now because how do they build trust if Bernie wins Iowa?

    What you're seeing is the press finally trying to do their job -- but because they have to.  If Iowa was two months out, they'd still be lying about Bernie and insisting Joe was a sure thing.

    Liza Featherstone has an interesting article at JACOBIN where she examines donations by academics:

    Some intellectuals’ political contributions are even weirder. Martha Nussbaum is a giant in the field of ethical philosophy who has written that mainstream feminists should think more globally and be more centered on the problems faced by women in poor countries. She’s a liberal who has sometimes been critical of the Marxist tradition.
    So, Liz Warren, right? Wrong! Nussbaum has given thousands of dollars to John Hickenlooper — both his gubernatorial races and his brief 2020 primary bid. In the face of such news, so many questions go through one’s mind. The main one is probably, “Who is John Hickenlooper again?” Hickenlooper is the pro-fracking former Governor of Colorado who describes himself as a “fiscal conservative.”
    What’s equally striking, however, is that some intellectuals’ political contributions are absolutely consistent with the ideas in their writings. Noam Chomsky has written checks to only a handful of political candidates: Bernie Sanders and Ralph Nader, most prominently. Marxist feminist Nancy Fraser has been donating to Bernie. Adolph Reed, Jr. gives so often to Bernie that it’s practically a tithe. Reed has given to other left candidates like Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, progressives like Paul Wellstone, and liberal Democrats like Jan Schakowsky and Alan Grayson, all of which is completely consistent with his lifelong body of writing arguing that the left should support strong social democratic organizing and also work with the Democratic Party when necessary.

    It’s vulgar to say this, but it’s may be true that we learn less about the materialist politics of academic writing by reading it — and some of it can be famously obscure; Butler was the winner of a Bad Writing contest in 1998 — than by looking up the author in the Federal Elections Commission records.

    Also looking at the money?  Patrick Martin (WSWS) who examines the self-funded runs of two 1%ers:

    The two billionaire candidates seeking the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party have already spent more than $200 million, accorded to figures reported by Politico this week, at least three times the combined spending of all other Democratic candidates.
    Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, is the ninth richest person in the United States, with a $58 billion fortune derived from his media and information technology empire. Tom Steyer, a former hedge fund operator, is reportedly worth about $2 billion.
    Steyer has spent $83 million on advertising since he entered the race in July. Bloomberg has easily surpassed that total, pumping more than $120 million into media buys since he announced his candidacy last month.
    The two candidates are pursuing opposite tactics in their vote-buying. Steyer has run a conventional campaign targeting the four early-voting states: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. All four hold caucuses or primaries in February.
    Bloomberg is skipping the four early states and focusing instead on the two-thirds of Democratic convention delegates who will be selected between March 3 and March 17. Given the scale of the voting, television and internet advertising will be the principal means of reaching voters. Bloomberg has already spent $13 million per state on advertising in California, Texas and Florida, the three biggest states among the March contests.

    Nearly a year before the 2020 election, Bloomberg is advertising at a saturation level.

    We may (again) address Tom Steyer's commercials at THIRD (Ava and I may).  In the meantime, Dave Lindorff (COUNTERPUNCH) zooms in on Michael Bloomberg:

    Michael Bloomberg, America’s 8th richest billionaire according to the latest annual survey by Forbes Magazine, owns one of this country’s biggest media empires, and is personally currently worth $56.1 billion. That makes him an oligarch, exactly like those oligarchs that the US media and US politicians love to accuse of polluting Russia’s political system.
    Yet American oligarch Bloomberg is seeking to be the Democratic candidate for president. He wants to be president so bad that before even making a single campaign appearance, he has already spent an astonishing $120 million of his own money on a nationwide TV ad campaign. That’s more than any other candidate for the nomination has spent in the first ten months of the campaign season and half the total spent by all the rest of the candidates who have been competing for the nomination. According to a Newsweek report, if Bloomberg continues at this burn rate he could end up blowing an astonishing $6.5 billion on his campaign before he’s through! Of course that’s peanuts to a guy for whom such a figure represents just 11.9% of his total wealth (which is always growing, sometimes by that much in a year).
    This report on RT-TV (in which yours truly offers my own comments toward the end), torches Bloomberg’s scandalous and hypocritical use of forced convict labor by women incarcerated in two prisons in Oklahoma.
    The story of the Bloomberg campaign’s unconscionabld use of prison labor in which prisoners earn less than $1.75/hour and possibly as little as $20/month for making campaign calls to potential California voters was initially exposed by the Intercept.

    Bloomberg’s ad campaign for the nomination is all about how he wants people to be able to earn a living wage on their jobs. His sorry excuse after being caught, is that he simply “didn’t know” his campaign had hired a call center firm that was employing forced prison labor doubly pathetic. This from a guy who hasn’t gotten his hands or fingernails dirty with the details of running a business for most of his adult life, preferring to pay other people to do everything for him. It’s the same way he approached “reforming” the New York City school system, and why he failed so abysmally at that, dumping his first schools chancellor after three months under intense criticism that she (like Trump’s Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos) had no experience in education, and replacing her with a chancellor who then joined him in promoting charter schools.

    Bernie's campaign co-chair Queen Nina Turner dragged Sleepy Joe Biden and racist Mayo Pete Buttigieg on show. We love to see it! "We're not like other candidates who have a flat out disdain and disregard for the black community - HELLO somebody."


    Tiny Pete is also seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  Max Blumenthal (CONSORTIUM NEWS) reveals the reality of Tiny Pete:

    In his quest for front-runner status in the 2020 presidential campaign, Pete Buttigieg has crafted an image for himself as a maverick running against a broken establishment.
    On the trail, he has invoked his distinction as the openly gay mayor of a de-industrialized Rust Belt town, as well as his experience as a Naval reserve intelligence officer who now claims to oppose “endless wars”.  He insists that “there’s energy for an outsider like me,” promoting himself as “an unconventional candidate.”
    When former Secretary of State John Kerry endorsed Joe Biden this December, Buttigieg went full maverick. “I have never been part of the Washington establishment,” he proclaimed, “and I recognize that there are relationships among senators who have been together on Capitol Hill as long as I’ve been alive and that is what it is.”
    But a testy exchange between the South Bend mayor and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard during a Nov. 20 Democratic primary debate had already complicated Buttigieg’s branding campaign.
    Like Buttigieg, Gabbard was a military veteran of the 9/11 generation. But she had taken an entirely different set of lessons from her grueling stint in Iraq than “Mayor Pete.” Her campaign had become an anti-war crusade, with opposition to destructive regime change wars serving as her leitmotif.
    After ticking off her foreign policy credentials, Gabbard turned to Buttigieg and lit into him for stating his willingness to send U.S. troops to Mexico to crack down on drug cartels.

    A visibly angry Buttigieg responded by accusing Gabbard of distorting his record, then quickly deflected to Syria, where he has argued for an indefinite deployment of occupying U.S. troops.
    n his quest for front-runner status in the 2020 presidential campaign, Pete Buttigieg has crafted an image for himself as a maverick running against a broken establishment.
    On the trail, he has invoked his distinction as the openly gay mayor of a de-industrialized Rust Belt town, as well as his experience as a Naval reserve intelligence officer who now claims to oppose “endless wars”.  He insists that “there’s energy for an outsider like me,” promoting himself as “an unconventional candidate.”
    When former Secretary of State John Kerry endorsed Joe Biden this December, Buttigieg went full maverick. “I have never been part of the Washington establishment,” he proclaimed, “and I recognize that there are relationships among senators who have been together on Capitol Hill as long as I’ve been alive and that is what it is.”
    But a testy exchange between the South Bend mayor and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard during a Nov. 20 Democratic primary debate had already complicated Buttigieg’s branding campaign.
    Like Buttigieg, Gabbard was a military veteran of the 9/11 generation. But she had taken an entirely different set of lessons from her grueling stint in Iraq than “Mayor Pete.” Her campaign had become an anti-war crusade, with opposition to destructive regime change wars serving as her leitmotif.
    After ticking off her foreign policy credentials, Gabbard turned to Buttigieg and lit into him for stating his willingness to send U.S. troops to Mexico to crack down on drug cartels.

    A visibly angry Buttigieg responded by accusing Gabbard of distorting his record, then quickly deflected to Syria, where he has argued for an indefinite deployment of occupying U.S. troops.

    Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Bodyguard II" and "Grand Dragon Greta and Her Little White Women" have gone up.   The following sites updated: