Monitoring Biden and other Contemporary Events

Reply Tue 16 Jan, 2024 02:17 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
I've said this before, Walter, but let me repeat that I have always found your knowledge, contributions and personal dignity an invaluable asset to our little community.
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Reply Tue 16 Jan, 2024 02:21 pm
No, he said that in reference to going in a changing room filled with, models aka teenage girls.

Boy, I guess if Americans have to choose between the two of them, I'd advise going with the one who appears to like them least young (sorry, joe).
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Reply Tue 16 Jan, 2024 02:24 pm
Scott Shapiro@scottjshapiro
The central issue in the 2024 Presidential election will be whether there be a Presidential election in 2028
5:21 PM · Jan 15, 2024

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Reply Tue 16 Jan, 2024 02:35 pm
I think that’s probably true with a subset of women.

There’s no crime in being crass or gross.

Come on now, Lash, don't be shy!!

What subset of women would enjoy being grabbed by the pussy by a fat slob whose rich and famous?

Could it be:

White women
Black women
Latino women
Rich women
Poor women
Women who are welders
Women who are lawyers
Women that work at Walmart

Somebody else??

Yes, PLEASE specify you comment on which subset of women would "allow" that to happen to them? Or would you prefer to walk back your comments as being crass or gross?

Come on, you stated it, now defend it.
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Reply Tue 16 Jan, 2024 03:26 pm
Sarah Posner has been studying the religious right in America for many years. Paul Waldman was, until recently, teamed with Greg Sargent at the Washington Post's Plumline blog. Seriously smart and well informed, these two. You've surely wondered how it is possible that Trump, of all people, has become the Guiding Light to millions of Evangelicals. This gives you some of the basics. Highly recommended.
In the wake of Donald Trump’s win in the Iowa caucuses, I wanted to speak to Sarah Posner about the White evangelicals who delivered that victory to Trump and form the core of his support. Posner is an MSNBC columnist and the author of Unholy: Why White Evangelicals Worship at the Altar of Donald Trump. The audio of our conversation runs about 15 minutes; I’ve also included a lightly edited transcript.
Listen or read here
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Reply Tue 16 Jan, 2024 04:06 pm
When I first came here Capt Bob had a go at me for the British Empire being the first to use concentration camps in South Africa.

I did know that already, but it turns out he was wrong. It was America that first used them, in the Phillipines.

Anyway concentration camps are a misnomer. The Nazis used concentration camps right from the word go. If a child constantly truanted the parents were sent to concentration camps.

They served a sentence and were released. Concentration camps were hard labour camps, like Victorian workhouses, they were not extermination camps.

Those came later, and calling them concentration camps gave the impression that all that was happening was the rough treatment many Germans had experienced themselves when sentenced to concentration camps.

That's how fascists twist language.
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Reply Tue 16 Jan, 2024 05:32 pm
Republicans against Trump@RpsAgainstTrump
Former head of MI6 Richard Dearlove:

“Political threat which I am worried about is Trump's re-election. I think for the UK's national security it is problematic
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Reply Tue 16 Jan, 2024 05:43 pm
Ali Alexander, organizer of Stop The Steal, on Telegram

The Pentagon has issued a statement that Taylor Swift is totally not a government psychological operation. Like they did for Ray Epps. You do the jezebel math....
Taylor Swift is a Masonic plot. Degrade White people, taking them from wholesome country singer to jezebel slut childless skank, through an avatar. This is nothing new. Taylor Swift is Madonna after Britney Spears broke free from "them."

Freemasonry is gnostic, witchcraft, alchemy, God hate.

She's here to further the revolution against the the Christian West.
Jan 12 at 11:05

For a more fulsome account of this Swift lunacy, see here

Of course, this has to do with the incredible level of celebrity and influence she has achieved, particularly with young Americans (and more particularly, young female Americans). She has some liberal views, of course, but it is really her potential influence on elections which has made her a target.
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Reply Wed 17 Jan, 2024 02:53 am
The real steal

Virginia officials find misreported 2020 election votes added to Trump’s total
Biden received 1,648 fewer votes than he should have and Trump was awarded 2,327 too many, county director of elections says

As Donald Trump continues to pursue the lie that his 2020 presidential election defeat was the result of electoral fraud, elections officials in Virginia have admitted some results there were improperly reported – resulting in an artificially inflated total for Trump while votes were actually taken away from Joe Biden.

Eric Olsen, director of elections for Prince William county, said: “Election results were improperly reported by the previous administration during the 2020 election.

“… The reporting errors were presumably a consequence of the results tapes not being programmed to a format that was compatible with state reporting requirements. Attempts to correct this issue appear to have created errors. The reporting errors did not consistently favor one party or candidate but were likely due to a lack of proper planning, a difficult election environment, and human error.”

The result, Olsen said, was that Biden received 1,648 fewer votes than he should have received and Trump received 2,327 too many.

The error did not affect the result in Prince William county or in Virginia overall.

In the county, Biden beat Trump by more than 61,000 votes. In the state, on his way to victory in the national popular vote by more than 7m ballots and in the electoral college by 306-232, Biden won by more than 450,000.

Errors affected other 2020 races in Prince William county, which sits south-west of Washington DC and includes Manassas, the site of two major American civil war battles and Barack Obama’s final pre-election rally in 2008.

For US Senate, the sitting Democratic senator Mark Warner received 1,589 votes fewer than he should have and his Republican challenger, Daniel Gade, was short by 107. Statewide, Warner won by more than 500,000 votes.

In the US House, the Republican Rob Wittman was short by 293 votes in Prince William county but won Virginia’s first district by more than 80,000.

Olsen said the errors did not meet the threshold which would trigger a recount.

Saying improvements had been made to county elections management, he alluded to threats to elections officials across the US that have been fueled by Trump’s voter fraud lie.

“Over the past three years,” Olsen said, “the 2020 election has been the subject of audits, recounts and investigations. Election officials have continued to work diligently in the face of extreme stress and threats to our health and safety.

“Mistakes are unfortunate but require diligence and innovation to correct. They do not reflect a purposeful attempt to undermine the integrity of the electoral process and the investigation into this matter ended with that conclusion.

“We have worked to bring transparency to the reporting of an election that happened three years ago. This dedication remains and applies to all current and future elections. The public should have faith in the thousands of tireless public servants and volunteers who preserve and protect our democracy.”

In 2022, Michele White, the former registrar in Prince William county, was indicted on charges of corrupt conduct, making a false statement and willful neglect of duty, in connection with the 2020 election.

White said the charges were politically motivated. Jason Miyares, Virginia’s Republican attorney general, denied that – but the charges were recently dropped.

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Reply Wed 17 Jan, 2024 07:43 am
This is a few days old, but since it was written Iran has launched missiles at both Iraq and Pakistan.

The US isn’t the biggest power in the Middle East any more. Iran is
Simon Tisdall

With China and Russia as its allies, the authoritarian regime is assembling a Middle Eastern coalition as Washington’s influence wanes

he first of what may be many US-led air strikes on Iranian-backed Houthi Shia militants in Yemen marks another dismaying milestone on a long trail of western policy failures in the Middle East – the most pivotal and consequential of which remains the decades-old failure to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict.

The fact the US, backed by Britain, was obliged to use force in response to trade-strangling Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping reflects an unpalatable reality: Washington’s political leverage is waning, its diplomacy ineffectual, its authority scorned. Undaunted, the Houthis vowed attacks would continue.

This fraught, open-ended escalation highlights another unwelcome fact. The dominant power in the Middle East is no longer the US, western-aligned Egypt, Saudi Arabia or even Israel. It is the Houthis’ main ally, Iran.

It’s facile to talk of winners and losers amid the terrible Gaza slaughter – which the Houthis say triggered their campaign. Yet strategically speaking, it’s clear who is coming out ahead in this crisis. Fighting by proxy, Iran’s standing is reinforced by each Palestinian casualty, Hezbollah missile, Iraqi and Syrian bombing and Houthi drone.

US president Joe Biden alienated global (and much American) opinion by rashly pledging unconditional support to Israel after the Hamas atrocities and vetoing UN ceasefire plans. His Middle East policy looks outdated and out of touch. The US, never popular in the Arab world, was tolerated as a necessary evil. No longer. Non-Arab Iran is in the driving seat now.

Israel, too, has suffered a strategic wake-up call since 7 October, although its more extremist politicians still don’t get it. Gaza’s horrors have permanently changed, for the worse, how the country is viewed – witness the unprecedented genocide allegations levied in The Hague. The Saudi ambassador to London, Khalid bin Bandar, told the BBC last week the Jewish state must no longer be treated as a special case.

Conspiring with Beijing to circumvent sanctions, Iran sells millions of barrels of discounted crude to China each month
All this is gravy for Iran’s aggressively authoritarian regime. The mullahs have three principal foreign policy aims: to push the US, Satanic foe of the 1979 revolution, out of the Middle East; maintain regional pre-eminence; and strengthen key alliances with China and Russia. Israel’s destruction, real or rhetorical, is a fourth.

Iran’s militia networks – the “axis of resistance” – operate at arm’s length. Opinions differ over whether the Houthis, for example, trained and armed by Tehran, follow its dictates. Some analysts believe Iran lacks control over its Yemeni surrogates. Hezbollah in Lebanon insists it, too, is operationally autonomous.

Yet when taken together with Hamas in Gaza, Palestinian West Bank factions and Iraq and Syria-based militias, it’s plain Iran has assembled a remote-controlled coalition of the willing to outlast the US. Bombing Houthi bases, rather than pushing for a ceasefire in Yemen’s long-running civil war, will not change this reality. More likely it will fuel Tehran’s anti-western, anti-Israel region-wide resistance narrative.

More savvy than in the past, Iran took pragmatic steps to mend fences with Gulf Arab rivals last year, restoring diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia. But there’s no love lost between Riyadh and Tehran. The most significant aspect of the deal was that China brokered it.

China and Russia are Iran’s new best friends. And it’s this, more than other factors, that has transformed Iran’s fortunes, making it a power to be reckoned with. The Ukraine invasion, and the prior Sino-Russian “no limits” cooperation pact, was the catalyst for this transition.

The war and its ramifications crystallised the already budding belief in Beijing and Moscow that US global leadership, post-Donald Trump, was in retreat, that the rules-based international order Washington oversees was ripe for subversion and replacement.

Since Xi Jinping took power over a decade ago, China has created spheres of geopolitical and economic influence to rival and, if possible, supplant those of the US. Iran is central to Xi’s plans. In 2021, the two countries signed a 25-year strategic investment and energy pact. Under Chinese sponsorship, Iran has joined the Brics group and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

Conspiring with Beijing to circumvent sanctions, Iran sells millions of barrels of discounted crude to China each month, transported there by “dark fleet” oil tankers. After years of stagnation and fierce internal political and social unrest, its economy is picking up. In February, Xi told Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, that China supported its fight against US “unilateralism and bullying”.

With Russia, it’s all about guns. Iran supplies armed drones that Moscow uses to kill Ukrainians. US intelligence reportedly believes Russia’s Wagner mercenary group plans to provide Hezbollah with a medium-range air defence system – a startling provocation if true.

Iran, in turn, may soon take delivery of advanced Russian Sukhoi SU-35 fighter-bombers and attack helicopters, the product of an “unprecedented defence partnership”. Russian exports to Iran are booming. Moscow has pledged $40bn to develop its natural gas fields.

Topping all this, Iran’s outlawed, nuclear weapons-related enrichment programme is reportedly advancing rapidly – another own goal, attributable to Trump’s trashing of the 2015 UN-backed counter-proliferation deal. Biden hoped to revive it but has given up. Russia and China are no longer on side. Israel’s worst nightmare, an Iranian bomb, may be closer than ever.

“Today, the mood in the Islamic Republic is triumphant,” wrote analysts Reuel Marc Gerecht and Ray Takeyh. “[It] has survived sanctions and internal protests. With the help of its great power allies, it has steadied its economy and started to replenish its defences. A nuclear bomb is within reach.”

After 45 years of trying, Iran is finally the big kid on the block. Sanctioning, ostracising and threatening Tehran hasn’t worked. The US, Britain – and Israel – face a formidable opponent, part of a triangular global alliance backed by powerful militias and economic might. A fresh diplomatic approach is urgently needed if a wider conflict is to be avoided.

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Reply Wed 17 Jan, 2024 09:39 am
Apparently, my tribe of pacifists is on the move. Also, at least one such protest in Canada that I know of.

Around 130 Mennonites, calling for Gaza cease-fire, arrested on Capitol Hill
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Reply Wed 17 Jan, 2024 11:35 am
As many have observed for a long while now, the nature of how modern media operates in the present - presenting polling and elections in the horse-race mode because it monetizes their operations - fails us in very important ways. Most critically because what is commonly missing is honest discussion of the consequences that are likely or certain to follow from a victory by candidate/party X versus candidate/party Y. But there are other ways the shallowness of this mode fails us as well. Consider the following:

Simon Rosenberg@SimonWDC
56,000 votes = Trump in Iowa
696,000 voters = registered Republicans who did not vote for Trump on Monday night

If Rs are so fired up for Trump why did 93% of Iowa Republicans not vote for him on Monday night?

8:01 AM · Jan 17, 2024
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Reply Wed 17 Jan, 2024 01:40 pm

The case is one of the most consequential to come before the justices in years. A victory for the fishermen would do far more than push aside the monitoring fee, part of a system meant to prevent overfishing, that they objected to. It would very likely sharply limit the power of many federal agencies to regulate not only fisheries and the environment, but also health care, finance, telecommunications and other activities, legal experts say.

If the anti-regulatory side wins this one – and it looks as if it will – it will pretty much hand corporations the keys to the kingdom. There's no way that Congress can pass individual laws to deal with all the potential cases which will arise. Besides the partisanship which has made it practically dysfunctional, it simply lacks the expertise to rule on complex technical issues. Even a limited ruling will set the stage for an unraveling of the social fabric in ways we previously hadn't even had to consider.
Reply Wed 17 Jan, 2024 04:29 pm
If the anti-regulatory side wins this one – and it looks as if it will – it will pretty much hand corporations the keys to the kingdom. There's no way that Congress can pass individual laws to deal with all the potential cases which will arise. Besides the partisanship which has made it practically dysfunctional, it simply lacks the expertise to rule on complex technical issues. Even a limited ruling will set the stage for an unraveling of the social fabric in ways we previously hadn't even had to consider.

Yes, I think that's exactly right. Though our attention has generally been more focused on the winnowing away of the Great Society gains and values along with the incursions on previously assumed to be permanent rights (such as abortion), the far right has been running a long-term program to shrink and disempower government's ability to effectively curb corporate power and influence. And I think the key reason this latter issue has been, for most people, much less visible is that its effects are not easily grasped at the personal level and because the language and issues appear so much more abstract - they are merely process matters, boring and technical.

But this is really what the Koch crowd (from John Birch on up) has been reaching to achieve for well over 50 years. Citizens United was a landmark on the way to this point. And this case could really tip things over.

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bobsal u1553115
Reply Wed 17 Jan, 2024 07:15 pm
He took 50% of 14% of the potential voters.

So you think this is a victory for TFG.


Out of 2,083,979 total registered voters, he drew a little over 200,000. Some man of the people that ass is.







Who's grabbing who's whatsit in this photo?
Reply Wed 17 Jan, 2024 07:49 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
Bob, you know how elections work.
Reply Wed 17 Jan, 2024 07:52 pm
How will the ICJ’s decision affect Biden’s campaign?
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bobsal u1553115
Reply Wed 17 Jan, 2024 08:09 pm
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bobsal u1553115
Reply Wed 17 Jan, 2024 08:10 pm
Sure do. Do you?

Did you know only three out of the last seven Presidents have won a primary in Iowa???
Reply Wed 17 Jan, 2024 08:20 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
You act like I want Trump to win.
It is what it is.
He’s currently the GOP front runner.

Which GOP Candidate do you prefer?

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