Thursday, August 15, 2019

Is Hillary in trouble?

I always felt she'd end up in hot water at some point but always assumed it would be a result of some affair Bill had.  But is Hillary really in trouble or is this just internet herd excitement?

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, August 15, 2019.  Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders woke up smiling this morning while crotchety old Joe Biden was more than a wee bit cranky.

In the US, the race is on for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  The press proclaimed front runner is War Hawk Joe Biden who spent a lifetime in the US Senate and eight years as vice president.  He has damn little to show for it.

The press has sold his campaign by insisting he was inevitable and that only he can beat Donald Trump in the 2020 race.  That was never true.

There is no enthusiasm for Joe.  You see it in the polls.  40 and under, he's got little support.  It's only when you hit 60  and above that Joe's the big leader.

That won't win the election.  There will be no geriatric push to get out the vote. You need youthful voters who will go door to door, who will show up at their county fairs and sit all day at a table registering voters.  Joe can turn out the needed volunteer staff or the high energy.

And, sadly for Joe, that's really the least of his problems today.

Jack Phillips (EPOCH TIMES) reports:

A new poll shows Sen. Elizabeth Warren surging and has nearly tied with former Vice President Joe Biden.
The poll (pdf) was conducted by YouGov for The Economist, showing Biden, the current frontrunner for the 2020 election, neck-in-neck with Warren (D-Mass.).

He had 21 percent support, compared with Warren’s 20 percent support. That’s well within the margin of error.

So it's a dead heat.  They're tied.  The only thing he had going for him just walked out the door.  Lisa Hagen (US NEWS AND WORLD REPORTS) notes:

In The Economist/YouGov weekly tracking poll conducted from Aug. 10 to 13, Biden garners 21%, while Warren is close behind with 20%. The Massachusetts senator saw a 5-point jump from last week's tracking poll, while Biden slid two points.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont came in third with 16%, and the rest of the field is farther behind in the single digits. Sen. Kamala Harris of California got 8% and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg both clinched 5%.

Joe slid two points.  He keeps sliding down, doesn't he?  Not so inevitable now.

And while this is a good morning to wake up if you're Senator Elizabeth Warren, don't discount Bernie Sanders.  Look at the margin of error and you see Bernie's not a distant third.  He's a few points behind.

As Elizabeth and Bernie spring from their beds this morning, Joe might want to just pull the covers over his head and stay there.  The poll is really bad news, yes.  But Joe's got a lot of bad news these days.

For example, Ben Shreckinger (POLITICO) reports:

A donor with deep ties to Ukraine loaned Joe Biden’s younger brother half-a-million dollars at the same time the then-vice president oversaw U.S. policy toward the country, according to public records reviewed by POLITICO.
The 2015 loan came as Biden’s brother faced financial difficulties related to his acquisition of a multimillion-dollar vacation home, nicknamed “the Biden Bungalow,” in South Florida.
There is no indication that the loan influenced Joe Biden’s official actions, but it furthers a decades-long pattern, detailed in a POLITICO investigation earlier this month, by which relatives of the former vice president have leaned on his political allies for money and otherwise benefited financially from the Biden name.

Ethics?  Does the family have any?

Joe Biden was the Vice President of the United States. The ethical requirement was not just to avoid doing anything unethical but to avoid even the appearance of acting unethically.  That's a high standard, yes.  But that's what we expect from our president and vice presidents.

Joe's creepy family can't stop, won't stop from raking in the dough.   Greed really isn't a value that we need Joe to bring to the White House.

For more on this topic, you can stream POLITICO's THE NERDCAST:

This week on the Nerdcast with guest-host Blake Hounshell: Over his decades in office, ‘Middle-Class Joe’s’ family fortunes have closely tracked his political career. We have POLITICO's Ben Schreckinger on to discuss his investigation on former Vice President Joe Biden's family finances.

It is not a good time to be Joe.  James Joyner (OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY) reminds everyone of just how horrible Joe's public speaking has become:

Many advisers and donors to Joseph R. Biden Jr. were elated last Wednesday as he delivered one of the best-reviewed speeches of his 2020 campaign, using prepared remarks on a Teleprompter to accuse President Trump of encouraging white supremacy and to frame the next election in sweeping moral terms about the future of the country.
Their jubilation didn’t last long.
The next day, Mr. Biden made a gaffe saying “poor kids” were as bright and talented as “white kids” before correcting himself — a remark that sent his staff scrambling. Then on Saturday, he said that as vice president he met with students who survived the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., when in fact that shooting had not occurred when he was in office.
Indeed, in the span of less than a week, he also briefly mixed up where the El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, gun massacres took place; invoked former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Britain when he apparently meant to say Theresa May; and fumbled an oft-repeated campaign line while at the Iowa State Fair.
While his advisers dismissed the individual remarks as minor miscues that Mr. Biden mostly amended quickly, the slip-ups have become part of a pattern — a strong campaign trail moment, followed by a blunder that dominates the news coverage — that has been enormously frustrating to them and, some Democratic allies say, to Mr. Biden himself.

And Henry J. Gomez (BUZZFEED) picks up the topic:

When a teen asked how he would protect her generation from school shootings, Biden alternated between empathetic and defensive. He talked at her: hunched over, palms down flat on the table in front of her as they locked eyes. He wanted her to know that the survivors of last year’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, had come to visit him — and, in Biden’s telling, only him.
“Me,” he said. “Nobody else. Me. I met with them. I met with their families.”
It can be easy to miss and hard to put your finger on, especially when Biden leads the Democratic presidential field in polling and puts on his aviator-clad frontrunner’s face. But Biden presents with a vibe of doubt. He can come across as a candidate who’s worried that he’s running out of time — and that he’s wasting yours. And he’s not always sure how to make the most of it.
Sometimes Biden talks too much, like he did at the Asian & Latino Coalition forum and another event last week where he shouted over music meant to play him offstage. He has a tendency to step on his own applause lines and quiet the cheers, as if he needs to reassure his crowds that what they’re clapping for is legit. “Not a joke,” Biden likes to say.

All of these screw ups are leading some to make a very obvious suggestion.  Aime Parnes (THE HILL) explains:

Allies to Joe Biden have been floating the idea of altering the former vice president's schedule in an effort to reduce the gaffes he has made in recent days.
The allies, growing increasingly nervous about Biden's verbal flubs, have said it's an approach that's been suggested to campaign officials on the heels of the former vice president’s stumbles.
Biden has a tendency to make the blunders late in the day, his allies say, particularly after a long swing on the road, like he had last week in Iowa. They say something needs to be done to give the candidate more down time as the campaign intensifies in the fall.

That's where we're at?

His candy ass can't handle campaigning in the primary and we think that's going to change in the general election?

He needs to get off the stage.  In the July debates, on his night participating, he clearly confused Cory Booker with Barack Obama.  Does that speak to racism -- all Black men look alike? -- or does it speak to how he's having serious episodes and he's on stage speaking with an African-American and suddenly forgets who the man next to him is.

If he's not up for campaigning in the primary, he needs to close shop now.  There's no giving him a break during the primaries and pretending that we think he'll be strong in the general election.

Once the primaries are over, whomever the nominee for the Democratic Party is will face the constant heat of the press.  If Joe's too delicate to handle the easy and fawning press that he's received so far, how's he going to handle it when they start to do real work?

If princess can't handle the campaign trail now, then Joe needs to stop out of the race right now.  Michael Arceneaux (ESSENCE) concludes:

I can’t think of any scenario more insufferable than a general election between two old white men in their 70s who can’t remember what happened where or the names of political leaders but can always be depended on to make an inartful comment related to race. 
So, Joe Biden has two options: pull it together now or get out of the way.

Some may find such a call nitpicky, but I believe there is something to be said of having standards and understanding that you can’t let one guy off the hook for his screw-ups simply because there are bigger fools around. 

Today one human dead weight is expected to finally take a hint. Ben Feuerherd (NEW YORK POST) explains:

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is expected to end his long-shot bid to be the Democratic presidential nominee, a source familiar with the campaign told the Associated Press.
Hickenlooper is expected to make the announcement on Thursday, the news agnecy reported, citing an unnamed campaign source.

Hickenlooper, who ran as a moderate during his short time in the contest, was polling at about 1% and struggling to raise money for his campaign.

Let's all hope Hickenlooper bows out today.

Take a bow, the night is over
This masquerade is getting older
Light are low, the curtains down
There's no one here (There's no one here, there's no one in the crowd)
-- "Take A Bow," written by Madonna, Kenneth Edmunds and Dallas Austin, first appears on Madonna's BEDTIME STORIES

In other news, AP reported yesterday afternoon:

A former Blackwater security contractor was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for his role in the 2007 shooting of unarmed civilians in Iraq that left 14 people dead.
Federal judge Royce Lamberth issued the sentence after a succession of friends and relatives requested leniency for Nicholas Slatten, who was found guilty of first-degree murder by a jury in December.
Prosecutors charged that Slatten, of Sparta, Tennessee, was the first to fire shots in the September 2007 massacre of Iraqi civilians at a crowded traffic circle in Baghdad. In all, 10 men, two women and two boys, ages 9 and 11, were killed.
AFP reminds, "It was Slatten's third trial on the charges. His first conviction was thrown out and the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict at his second trial in 2018."

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