Tag Archive: Joe Biden

Sep 11 2015

No, Joe, You Shouldn’t Run

In an extended, and sometimes poignant interview with Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show,” Vice President Joe Biden discussed the loss of his son, Beau, and calls for his tossing his hat ring for president. Joe Biden is no doubt a really nice man and loving father and husband but even he expressed doubt last night that he has the heart, the soul or the energy to make that run.

“I don’t think any man or woman should run for president unless, number one, they know exactly why they would want to be president; and two, they can look at folks out there and say, ‘I promise you have my whole heart, my whole soul, my energy and my passion,'” he told comedian Stephen Colbert in an interview on CBS’ “The Late Show.”

“I’d be lying if I said that I knew I was there. I’m being completely honest,” Biden continued. “Nobody has a right in my view to seek that office unless they are willing to give it 110 percent of who they are.”

As Charles Pierce at Esquire Politics put it, “it was powerful television, but it doesn’t mean he should run for president.”

This is a guy who already had more tragedy than a merciful god would have allowed and that was before his son, Beau, died earlier this year. Of course, the man broke down. The wonder is that he ever gets out of bed in the morning. What he should do is continue as best he can to be the finest vice-president of my lifetime. What he should not do in his current state of emotional turmoil is run for president. [..]

Joe Biden shouldn’t run for president because he shouldn’t do it to himself. He has earned a unique place in the country’s heart, which is a far warmer place for him as a human being than shivering in some cornfield outside Ottumwa in the cold winter winds. A presidential campaign is a soulless mechanism designed to grind the human spirit into easily digestible nuggets. Moments of profound personal pain and loss are as unavoidable as are concussions in the NFL. It was almost unbearable to watch him speak of his son’s death even to someone as profoundly compassionate as Colbert. I would hate to see him coin that grief into political currency, or fashion it into a portion of a stump speech that would become banal the second time it was delivered. I think, at some level, he would come to hate himself for having to do that.  It’s not that I wouldn’t vote for Joe Biden, though I probably wouldn’t. It’s that I don’t want to see him hurt any more.

Like Charlie, I admire Biden as a person but he is as hawkish as Hillary and just as friendly to Wall Street and the banks as Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. His record as a senator would hurt him just as Hillary’s is hurting her, the nonsensical e-mail tempest aside. The Democratic Party needs to stop tacking right and embrace the popular policies of Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

May 08 2013

Denying the Data Today Won’t Make President Obama’s Austerity Go Away

That’s right. Remember my last diary where I did prove without a shadow of a doubt that the austerity that this administration has put forth right now, and in effect right now, does not make this President a Keynesian? I provided a lot of reference material on Keynes proving each point I made, because that’s what we encourage on this site. That’s called backing up one’s assertions with facts and data. I did.

The same facts were put forth by economist Jared Bernstein who used to work for VP Joe Biden and is now a senior fellow at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. As a Post Keynesian MMT proponent, I don’t have the same outlook on economics, to say the least, as the CBPP on a number of things, especially on public debt and deficits. However, there’s no reason to doubt the data in this paper from Richard Kogan; it is clearly well sourced from the CBO and the President’s own Office of Management and Budget analyzing the Budget Control Act of 2011 signed into law by the President.

CONGRESS HAS CUT DISCRETIONARY FUNDING BY $1.5 TRILLION OVER TEN YEARS: First Stage of Deficit Reduction Is In Law

This proves without a shadow of a doubt that anyone who shows up in every thread and types that “cuts only happen in the future” must not be very intellectually curious. After all, as most can see with thier own eyes, the 70% of recommended cuts from Bowles Simpson going into effect this year, the year 2013, occurring until the start of fiscal year 2023 actually happen every year accumulating up to 1.5 trillion in real cuts. These are the indisputable facts.

Oct 16 2012

Demanding Answers from the Candidates

The Romney/Ryan tax plan is not serious. As Matt Taibbi, contributing editor of Rolling Stone, points out, we should all be rolling our eyes and laughing at this farcical plan. He also takes the mainstream media to task for not being offended by the dishonest tactics and lies that the Republican candidates are using to bamboozle the electorate into handing these two frat boys the White House.

I’ve never thought much of Joe Biden. But man, did he get it right in last night’s debate, and not just because he walloped sniveling little Paul Ryan on the facts. What he got absolutely right, despite what you might read this morning (many outlets are criticizing Biden’s dramatic excesses), was his tone. Biden did absolutely roll his eyes, snort, laugh derisively and throw his hands up in the air whenever Ryan trotted out his little beady-eyed BS-isms. [..]

The load of balls that both Romney and Ryan have been pushing out there for this whole election season is simply not intellectually serious. Most of their platform isn’t even a real platform, it’s a fourth-rate parlor trick designed to paper over the real agenda – cutting taxes even more for super-rich dickheads like Mitt Romney, and getting everyone else to pay the bill. [..]

Think about what that means. Mitt Romney is running for president – for president! – promising an across-the-board 20 percent tax cut without offering any details about how that’s going to be paid for. Forget being battered by the press, he and his little sidekick Ryan should both be tossed off the playing field for even trying something like that. This race for the White House, this isn’t some frat prank. This is serious. This is for grownups, for God’s sake. [..]

Sometimes in journalism I think we take the objectivity thing too far. We think being fair means giving equal weight to both sides of every argument. But sometimes in the zeal to be objective, reporters get confused. You can’t report the Obama tax plan and the Romney tax plan in the same way, because only one of them is really a plan, while the other is actually not a plan at all, but an electoral gambit. [..]

The proper way to report such a tactic is to bring to your coverage exactly the feeling that Biden brought to the debate last night: contempt and amazement. We in the press should be offended by what Romney and Ryan are doing – we should take professional offense that any politician would try to whisk such a gigantic lie past us to our audiences, and we should take patriotic offense that anyone is trying to seize the White House using such transparently childish and dishonest tactics.

Like Taibbi, I am no fan of the Obama/Biden administration, but this campaign by the Republican candidates is a bad joke being played out with the blessings of the traditional MSM. It’s time to get answers. This is serious business.

May 11 2012

The President Supports Same Sex Marriage But . . .

Vice President Joe Biden started a storm over marriage equality when he announced on Meet the Press that same sex marriage was OK with him. The press immediately wanted to know if President Obama’s position had “evolved.” The Biden interview was taped on Friday, so the White House was fully aware of what he had said. Finally, after three days of media over kill, the passage of Amendment 1 in North Carolina and the drying up of donations from the LGBT community, Pres. Obama announced that he “personally” supported same sex marriage. But hold your horses, people, this was just his personal opinion, not his political policy. Obama is still refusing to issue an executive order that would ban discrimination of gays, lesbians and transgender workers by federal contractors. From Sam Stein at Huffington Post:

The senior administration officials declined to say whether the president would now push for gay marriage to be part of the Democratic Party’s platform at the convention. They also said they were not changing positions on an Executive Order that would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation against federal contractors. The president has said he would not sign that order. [..]

There were, however, reasons why even party officials were insisting, not all that long ago, that the president needed to put this off until after the election. There is concern that support for gay marriage will drive away voters in some conservative-leaning swing states. There is even more concern that Republican operatives can and will use the issue to go after the president.

Letting each state decide on the equality of individuals is not the best idea either. How would individuals have voted in states like Mississippi if they had been given the choice about civil rights? Marriage equality is a federal matter since states are required under the Constitution to recognize marriage contracts from other states. Therefore, they should not be permitted to restrict marriage to heterosexual couples.

Does anyone at this point seriously believe that any of the people who voted for NC’S Amendment 1 will ever vote for Obama, no matter what his stand is on marriage equality? Only time will tell if the campaign donation faucet suddenly opens since it had dried up because of the work place discrimination issue. While it is certainly admirable and, in the case of Obama being a sitting president, momentous, for him to have made an official statement, the President still needs to “walk the walk”, back up his words and sign the anti-discrimnation executive order.  

May 06 2012

V.P. Biden Supports Gay Marriage, WH Walks It Back

This morning on “Meet the Press“, Vice President Joe Biden had heads literally spinning when he gave his unequivocal endorsement for same sex marriage. Within minutes in the White House press room heads exploded and the walk back began.

GREGORY: Have your views evolved?

BIDEN: The good news is that as more and more Americans come to understand what this is all about is a simple proposition. Who do you love? Who do you love and will you be loyal to the person you love? And that’s what people are finding out what all marriages at their root are about. Whether they are marriages of lesbians or gay men or heterosexuals. […]

GREGORY: You’re comfortable with same-sex marriage now?

BIDEN: Look, I am Vice President of the United States of America. The president sets the policy. I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men marrying women are entitled to the same exact rights. All the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly I don’t see much of a distinction beyond that. […] I think Will & Grace probably did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody has done so far. People fear that is different and now they’re beginning to understand.

h/t Think Progress

Not quite, David. President Obama has yet to say he endorses same sex marriage. Civil Unions, yes; Marriage, no.

What Pam Spaulding said:

Biden’s comments are interesting in that they represent the President’s exact view – that gay and lesbian couples deserve the same civil rights, save the whole bit about the word “marriage.” Talk about threading the political needle.

What John Aravosis said:

Wrong.  Biden talked about the marriages of gays and lesbians being the same as heterosexual marriages.  And Axelrod’s attempt to back away from what the White House apparently sees as the radioactive nature of our civil rights is patently offensive.

Jun 23 2011

Cantor Temper Tantrum: No Taxes, No, No, No (Up Date)

Up Date below the fold

Call a Wahmbulance for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor as he quits the debt ceiling talks with Vice President Joe Biden:

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Republican of Virginia, said Thursday that he was quitting  the debt ceiling negotiations being led by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. because of an impasse over the role of taxes in any final deal.

“I believe that we have identified trillions in spending cuts, and to date, we have established a blueprint that could institute the fiscal reforms needed to start getting our fiscal house in order,” Mr. Cantor said in a prepared statement.

“That said, each side came into these talks with certain orders, and as it stands the Democrats continue to insist that any deal must include tax increases. There is not support in the House for a tax increase, and I don’t believe now is the time to raise taxes in light of our current economic situation. Regardless of the progress that has been made, the tax issue must be resolved before discussions can continue.”

David Kurtz at Talking Point Memo says this may not be such a big deal:

The read we’re getting is that this could be merely an indication that the emissaries to the talks have gotten as far as they can get and that the remaining heavy lifting is going to have be done by the principals: President Obama and Speaker Boehner.

Meanwhile, Speaker John Boehner doesn’t sound to pleased that he will now have to defend the Republican stand that tax increases are off the table:

“I understand his frustration, I understand why he did what he did, but I think those talks could continue if they’re willing to take the tax hikes off the table,” he said.

One possible interpretation of Cantor’s pullout was that he needed Boehner’s authority to negotiate revenue increases necessary to complete a far-reaching deal with Democrats, but Boehner made repeatedly clear on Thursday that he had not budged at all on the issue.

“Tax hikes are off the table,” he said. “First of all, raising taxes is going to destroy jobs….second, a tax hike cannot pass the US House of Representatives — it’s not just a bad idea, it doesn’t have the votes and it can’t happen. And third, the American people don’t want us to raise taxes. They know we have a spending problem.”

(emphasis mine)

Boehner may be correct on point two but he is so wrong on one and three that is totally laughable and flat out lies that the press refuses to counter. Americans know we have a revenue problem because of the Bush/Obama tax cuts and loop hole in the tax code. Americans overwhelmingly support tax increases on millionaires. I don’t think Boehner is stupid, I think he is a tool of his corporate masters.

My only question now is where the hell is the Democratic leadership to counter this? Why aren’t the Democrats out in front of the cameras pointing out how wrong the Republicans are? The Democrats need to listen to the people, too and take Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid off the table as well.  

May 27 2011

Own It, Live With It, Embrace It

Because we aren’t going to let you get out from under it….

Thus spoke Anthony Weiner on on May 24th, laying out the Republican plan to replace Medicare with an inadequate voucher program:

Today, House Republicans brought another bill (HR 1216) to the House floor that does not address jobs and wastes time in a futile attempt to repeal part of the Affordable Care Act. House Democrats are staging a “mini-filibuster” by “striking the last word” allowing them five minutes of time to discuss their strong opposition to the Republican-passed budget which ends Medicare as we know it and forces seniors to pay over $6,000 more a year.

   Weiner: I move to strike the last word Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, you may recall I was standing here approximately two hours ago waiting to speak with several other members on the efforts of my Republican friends to eliminate Medicare as we know it and for reasons that are known only to the Chair, I was denied the ability to do that. Well, I’m back. And just to review the bidding, here’s where it was before that order was made. We had the Chairman of the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, a good man, a guy I like, stand down in the well and say, ‘Oh, no’ (and this by the way is someone who is elected by the Republican members to represent them in races all around the country) saying that the Ryan plan wasn’t a plan it was and I’m quoting here, “a construct to develop a plan” and he said the proposal is not a voucher program and then he said it was a one size fits all, that Medicare was draining our economy is what he said.

  Well, ladies and gentlemen, that might be the rationale for our Republican friends wanting to eliminate Medicare, but none of those things are true. It is not a ‘construct to develop a plan’ it is the proposal of the Republican party of the United States of America to eliminate Medicare as a guaranteed entitlement. If you don’t believe me, go get the book that they wrote, go get the budget that they wrote, go get the bill that they wrote.

h/t to Crooks & Liars for the transcript.

The Ryan Budget plan has failed in the Senate with 5 Republicans opposing it, the Republicans are still embracing the proposal to eliminate Medicare. They are in denial about the loss of NY-26, long a Republican stronghold. to Democrat Kathy Hochul. The sadder part is the White House has also missed the message

Joe Biden group to tackle Medicare and Medicaid: aide

Vice President Joe Biden and top lawmakers will examine government-run health plans on Tuesday as they try to work out a deal to raise the United States’ borrowing authority, a congressional aide said.

h/t Marcy Wheeler

It would appear that the White House is willing to sell out future seniors to give political cover for raising the debt ceiling.

Feb 01 2011

The Week in Editorial Cartoons – Comedy Central Presents… Michele Bachmann

Crossposted at Daily Kos and Docudharma

Clay Bennett

Clay Bennett, Comics.com, see the large number of reader comments in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

:: ::

Trying to watch her taped response is worse than annoying, and the woman makes up her own facts as she goes, which has come to define her.

In short, if this is the best that the Tea Pot party has to offer, then there’s really nothing to see or hear that has not been offered time and again.  I really don’t care for parrots.

Michele Bachmann is also defined by her presumptive beliefs, obtained God only knows where.

 

Jan 30 2011

Egypt, Jordan, and Fear Based US Foreign Policy

So here I sit to face

That same old fire place

Gettin’ ready for the same old explosion

Goin’ through my mind

And soon enough time will tell,

About the circus in the wishing well

And someone who will buy and sell for me

Someone to toll my bell


Jimi Hendrix, Burning of the Midnight Lamp

In 1991 Sheldon L. Richman at The CATO Institute virtually gave away the US Foreign Policy game for anyone who hadn’t already seen through the long years of the “spreading freedom and democracy” smoke and mirror show emanating from every US administration since Eisenhower’s warning about the Military Industrial Complex, in a long and very detailed policy analysis article titled  “Ancient History”: U.S. Conduct in the Middle East Since World War II and the Folly of Intervention:

After 70 years of broken Western promises regarding Arab independence, it should not be surprising that the West is viewed with suspicion and hostility by the populations (as opposed to some of the political regimes) of the Middle East.[3] The United States, as the heir to British imperialism in the region, has been a frequent object of suspicion. Since the end of World War II, the United States, like the European colonial powers before it, has been unable to resist becoming entangled in the region’s political conflicts. Driven by a desire to keep the vast oil reserves in hands friendly to the United States, a wish to keep out potential rivals (such as the Soviet Union), opposition to neutrality in the cold war, and domestic political considerations, the United States has compiled a record of tragedy in the Middle East.

[snip]

If the chief natural resource of the Middle East were bananas, the region would not have attracted the attention of U.S. policymakers as it has for decades. Americans became interested in the oil riches of the region in the 1920s, and two U.S. companies, Standard Oil of California and Texaco, won the first concession to explore for oil in Saudi Arabia in the 1930s. They discovered oil there in 1938, just after Standard Oil of California found it in Bahrain. The same year Gulf Oil (along with its British partner Anglo-Persian Oil) found oil in Kuwait. During and after World War II, the region became a primary object of U.S. foreign policy. It was then that policymakers realized that the Middle East was “a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in world history.“[4]

Subsequently, as a result of cooperation between the U.S. government and several American oil companies, the United States replaced Great Britain as the chief Western power in the region.[5] In Iran and Saudi Arabia, American gains were British (and French) losses.[6] Originally, the dominant American oil interests had had limited access to Iraqi oil only (through the Iraq Petroleum Company, under the 1928 Red Line Agreement). In 1946, however, Standard Oil of New Jersey and Mobil Oil Corp., seeing the irresistible opportunities in Saudi Arabia, had the agreement voided.[7] When the awakening countries of the Middle East asserted control over their oil resources, the United States found ways to protect its access to the oil. Nearly everything the United States has done in the Middle East can be understood as contributing to the protection of its long-term access to Middle Eastern oil and, through that control, Washington’s claim to world leadership. The U.S. build-up of Israel and Iran as powerful gendarmeries beholden to the United States, and U.S. aid given to “moderate,” pro-Western Arab regimes, such as those in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Jordan, were intended to keep the region in friendly hands. That was always the meaning of the term “regional stability.“[8]

Dec 20 2010

The Authoritarian American State

What will American’s object to, if not this?

Glenn Greenwald:

One of the hallmarks of an authoritarian government is its fixation on hiding everything it does behind a wall of secrecy while simultaneously monitoring, invading and collecting files on everything its citizenry does.  Based on the Francis Bacon aphorism that “knowledge is power,” this is the extreme imbalance that renders the ruling class omnipotent and citizens powerless. . . . . .

Of all the surveillance state abuses, one of the most egregious has to be the warrantless, oversight-less seizure of the laptops and other electronic equipment of American citizens at the border, whereby they not only store the contents of those devices but sometimes keep the seized items indefinitely.   That practice is becoming increasingly common, aimed at people who have done nothing more than dissent from government policy; I intend to have more on that soon.  If American citizens don’t object to the permanent seizure and copying of their laptops and cellphones without any warrants or judicial oversight, what would they ever object to?

Top Secret America: Monitoring America

Dana Priest and William M. Arkin

Nine years after the terrorist attacks of 2001, the United States is assembling a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators.

The system, by far the largest and most technologically sophisticated in the nation’s history, collects, stores and analyzes information about thousands of U.S. citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing.

The government’s goal is to have every state and local law enforcement agency in the country feed information to Washington to buttress the work of the FBI, which is in charge of terrorism investigations in the United States.

Other democracies – Britain and Israel, to name two – are well acquainted with such domestic security measures. But for the United States, the sum of these new activities represents a new level of governmental scrutiny.

This localized intelligence apparatus is part of a larger Top Secret America created since the attacks. In July, The Washington Post described an alternative geography of the United States, one that has grown so large, unwieldy and secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs or how many programs exist within it.

Perpetual war, pervasive government surveillance, and incessant public mind control

1984 is here.

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