Tuesday, March 24, 2020

I don't support Joe and I don't support Dario

This is the 'latest' Tweet from Dario Hunter, it's from March 21st:

Our comprehensive response to Coronavirus - incl. Medicare for all, cash relief, housing, no rent/no eviction, no utility cutoffs, ed. loan forgiveness, urban & rural relief, an end to war, fair elections and more. #StrengthThroughEquality #Hunter2020 dariohunter.com/coronavirus_re

I'm a Green.  I watch Hidin' With Biden and laugh at his incompetence and inability to lead.  I can't do that and continue to ignore that Dario has failed as a candidate.  I agree with all he stands for.  But he's not getting his message out there.  He's not working his Twitter feed or his Facebook page, he's really not doing anything.  He's the Joe Biden of the Green Party.

Since March 21st?  Howie Hawkins also running for the Green Party presidential nomination.  He's offered these Tweets since March 21st:

Just because we can't be on the campaign trail doesn't mean there's no way to meet the Original Green New Dealer. We are looking for hosts for #DigitalHouseParties, where you invite your friends to a private video chat with Howie! Contact us to schedule a party!

I support everything Dario believes in.  But I cannot support a half-assed campaign.  I call Joe Biden out for doing this so I'm a hypocrite if I don't do the same with Dario.

As of right now, I am supporting Howie Hawkins for the Green Party's presidential nomination.  He is working for the nomination and I respect that.

Dario?  He needs to go into Hidin' With Biden. 

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

Tuesday, March 24, 2020.  Joe Biden finally emerges from hiding and Joe speaking to the public may be worse than Joe hiding.  That and much more.

Starting in the United States.  William Cummings (USA TODAY) reports on the latest primary:

Sen. Bernie Sanders handily defeated former Vice President Joe Biden among voters living outside the U.S., Democrats Abroad announced Monday. 
The group, an official arm of the Democratic Party, said Sanders received 57.9% of the vote to Biden's 22.7%. Sanders will be awarded nine delegates and Biden four. 
Voting in the Democrats Abroad primary began on March 3, aka Super Tuesday, and continued through March 10. Democrats Abroad said participation was up 15% 2016 (when Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton 68.8%-30.9%), with nearly 40,000 votes cast. 

Joe loses to Bernie in so many ways.  For example?  Yesterday Cowardly Joe finally emerged to speak to the American people and . . . no one cared.  Right now the YOUTUBE video has 82,000 views.  Bernie gets more than that when he's live.  That's Joe's total: 82,000.  No one's cares, no one's curious.  Need some perspective?

That's Bernie's most recent livestream address (Sunday night) and it has 168,855 views.   And Joe's only got 82,000.

As the Shangra-Las observed (in "I Can Never Go Home Anymore"):  "And that's called sad."

Poor, sad Joe.

And the only thing worse than the numbers?  The critical response.

Sean Philip Cotter (BOSTON HERALD) notes:

Charlie Baker is many things, but a jazz legend he is not.
That’s despite the bungled shout-out that former Vice President Joe Biden attempted to give the governor during the Democratic presidential hopeful’s livestreamed address on Monday, in which Biden referred to Baker as “Gov. Charlie Parker of Massachusetts.”
Charlie Parker — known as “Bird” or “Yardbird” — was a Grammy-winning jazz saxophonist who pioneered what became known as bebop. He played alongside fellow famed jazz man Dizzy Gillespie for years before dying young, at age 34 in 1955.
The 63-year-old Charlie Baker has been the governor of Massachusetts since 2015, and previously served as the head of Harvard Pilgrim.

Senility isn't pretty.  When the mind goes, hand over the keys, don't run for president. Brian Flood (FOX NEWS) moves beyond the Charlie Parker issue:

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was mocked on Monday after the gaffe-prone 2020 Democratic front-runner appeared to lose his train of thought when his teleprompter malfunctioned during remarks on the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden's remarks, livestreamed from a studio set up in his home, began with his touching his face despite ongoing warnings not to do that during the coronavirus pandemic. His remarks were also short compared with the president's near-daily coronavirus briefings, lasting less than 15 minutes in total, and featured a clear teleprompter issue that became a social media punchline.
The former vice president was detailing his plan to fight the coronavirus crisis, but appeared to lose track of his place on the teleprompter. Biden signaled to his staff that there was something wrong, before going off on an awkward ad-lib.
"And, in addition to that, in addition to that we have to make sure that we, we are in a position that we are, well met me go the second thing, I've spoken enough on that," Biden said before going on to speak about the aggressive action he would like Trump to take under the Defense Production Act.

Jeff Katz (WVRA) offers:

It was then that he seemed to lose his train of thought, saying, "We need to activate the reserve corp of doctors and nurses and beef up the number of responders dealing with this crush of cases. And, uh, in addition to that, in addition to that, we have to make sure that, we are..."
The former vice president then started tripping over his next words and made a circular motion with his right hand, asking for some sort of help.

Steven Hayward (POWERLINE) has questions: "Two observations: If you watch the whole thing, Biden doesn’t suggest a single thing that the Trump administration isn’t already doing. So why did he bother? Which leads to the second point: he is so dismal in this video that you have to wonder how his campaign staff let him go forward with it. It is clear he had difficulty with the teleprompter or whatever cueing prop he was trying to use."  Noemie Emery (WASHINGTON EXAMINER) notes how much time has changed in weeks as the coronvirus has emerged, "Biden would now have to be not only nicer than Trump, but also more capable of seeming in control without melting down amidst a crisis. Of this there has never been any proof -- in contrast, the executive Cuomo in his timely reports has quickly emerged as a modern Churchill."  Cuomo is, of course, Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, and if he should become the presidential nominee this year or during another election cycle, he'd go further than his father Mario did.  Despite the urging on many supporters and despite considering it many times, Mario never threw his hat in the wing.  Which is not to say Mario wasn't accomplished, he was elected three times to be governor of New York.  Andrew has matched that record: He was elected governor in 2010 and re-elected in 2014 and 2018.

I've noted many times that I know Andrew but I noted him yesterday and some people are e-mailing the public account upset and saying things.  Supposedly, that explains why I promoted Andrew in 2018 over Cynthia Nixon, some e-mails insist.  I don't live in New York.  I don't endorse in races if I can't vote in them.  I don't get the Alyssa Milanos who go around telling people how to vote in elections that the Alyssa can't vote in.  So there's that.  There's also the reality -- GOOGLE it because I did -- I didn't mention Cynthia Nixon.  I didn't cover that race.  Her name's appeared at this site twice -- once in a Tweet when we did a series of Tweets  (Warren Gunnels was Tweeting about her -- positively Tweeting about her) and when we reposted one of Ann and Stan's year-in movie reviews.  That's it.  I didn't think I'd mentioned her but I did check.

I didn't cover the re-election campaign of 2018 or of any of the others.  I don't cover Cynthia period. One e-mail notes I attacked Michael Bloomberg and defended Andrew Cuomo and "your friendship is why you destroyed Mr. Bloomberg's chances at the presidential nomination."

First, thank you, I didn't know I had that kind of power.  I destroyed his chances?  Me?  All by myself?  Okay, that's interesting.

Second, I attacked -- and I'll gladly cop to that verb -- Bloomberg from the beginning.  He was well into his campaign when he tried to lie and claim credit for marriage equality in the state of New York.  That was a lie, that was a huge lie.  I waited a day or two -- maybe a week actually -- for the press to call him out on that or any other lie he was telling in his ads and they didn't.  At which point, I called him out on it and noted that Andrew was one of the people who deserved credit but Bloomberg was not one of those who deserved credit.  I was already against Bloomberg by months by that point so, no, I don't see it as I attacked him and/or "destroyed" his campaign because of Andrew.

That e-mailer, however, has objections that -- I say  -- argue I should have disclosed I knew Andrew in that snapshot.  I thought it was known and Andrew was not the topic of that snapshot or even a portion of the snapshot.  Here is the full mention of Andrew:

I can see giving members of the New York Assembly credit for the vote and I can certainly see giving Governor Andrew Cuomo credit -- especially Andrew.  But Michael Bloomberg really had nothing to do with the effort.

I didn't think it need another qualifier for a number of reasons including it wasn't our focus.  I still think I'd probably do it the same if I was rushing through a snapshot today.  But due to the e-mail, I will also allow that a strong argument can be made that I should have noted in that snapshot that I knew Andrew.

Then there is the third group which claims I have been promoting Chris Cuomo because of my friendship with the family.  I do know Andrew, I do know Chris and I did know their father.

When did I ever promote Chris here?

Not in January of 2016 when I wrote "Why is Chris Cuomo on TV (it's not because of looks and its not because of brains)."  Not in the August 13, 2019 snapshot when I started the snapshot with negative criticism of him which began: "Starting with the embarrassment that is Chris Cuomo."  I go on to call him an "a**hole."  Over at THIRD, Ava and I cover TV.  I don't hold back whether I know someone or not.  If I have an opinion, I'm going to express it.  It's hurt a lot of feelings but usually friends get over it.  One who still swears his FOX program [Added -- a sitcom -- added 3 hours and 20 minutes after this originally went up due to e-mails that wrongly assume this was FOX NEWS and not FOX though it clearly says FOX] was cancelled because of our review does not forgive me and no longer considers me a friend.  If we make an exception, we note it.  We were going to trash FRINGE for being a Deanna Durbin 100 MEN AND A GIRL type program but they told us they were strengthening the women on the show and adding a sister for Olivia so we said we'd wait a few months to review it.  Which we did.  But when we said that, we also noted it at THIRD that we'd agreed to wait to review it.  That's also why THIRD is still around because waiting took us into a new year.  Our plan -- Ava and mine, anyway -- had been to end it that year.

At any rate, Chris has not gotten a pass from me because I happen to know him.  (He's much nicer off air, if anyone cares.)  Back to reality . . .

Samantha Cole (VICE NEWS) points out:

While Bernie Sanders was doing near-daily livestreams about the coronavirus pandemic, Biden has been largely absent, leading many to wonder when we were going to hear from him again. For days, sources close to Biden said he was essentially spending several days getting his webcam set up. Specifically, they have noted that the Biden team was "working on scaling up that infrastructure and dealing with the realities of Biden’s Wilmington Home, like the fact that there aren’t particularly high ceilings, which can make lighting a challenge."
Meanwhile, we got Stephen Colbert recording a show with his AirPods, Bernie’s daily streams, a bunch of celebrities singing “Imagine” to their phones, and every friend you have ever met having Zoom parties.

Breck Dumas (THE BLAZE) explains:

The New York Times reported Monday that "Biden struggles for a voice as others lead" during the coronavirus pandemic, writing that his "low profile" is "worrying Democrats who feel the president needs to be challenged more robustly."
The newspaper noted that "Democratic strategists, some state officials and even some of his own aides have said that Mr. Biden needs to be more visible at a time when Americans are looking for leadership."
One of the authors of the piece, Thomas Kaplan, tweeted, "An example of the difficulty Biden faces in breaking through: CNN, Fox News and MSNBC did not air his coronavirus speech today. They showed [Democratic New York Governor Andrew] Cuomo's briefing instead."

We need bold leadership right now and Joe is yet again failing to rise to the occasion.  By contrast, Bernie's promoting his plan everywhere.  Here are some of his Tweets.

Some of my Republican colleagues are calling for a $1,000, one-time check to Americans. Really? That'll last you two or three weeks. What happens after that? We need to give every person in this country $2,000 a month for the duration of this crisis.

We need an unprecedented legislative response that focuses on the emergency health care needs of the American people — not billions of dollars in corporate welfare to benefit CEOs and wealthy stockholders.

We must suspend rent and mortgage payments, evictions, and foreclosures across the country. We cannot abandon our people and allow families to be thrown out of their homes during a pandemic.

We not only need to put a moratorium on utility shut-offs across the country. We must restore utility services to anyone who has had their utilities shut off.

In addition, he did livestreams on Friday, on Saturday and on Sunday.  Monday?

He was on Chris Hayes' ALL IN (MSNBC).  If you need a disclosure re: Chris Hayes, see Ava and my "TV: The Lemmings" for the most recent one.  When at all possible, I will always refrain from criticizing Chris because Chris kept his word and stood up when so many others -- for example, the worthless Matthew Rothschild -- did not.

Can we talk about the $2000?  People are Tweeting about how  any check wouldn't arrive until April 6th.  April 1st is when most people's bills are due.  Rent?  Most people have a penalty payment if they don't make their rent payment when it's due.  Bernie's right it needs to be $2,000 and you can argue that it needs to be more than that.  What if it's July and you're living in Georgia?  You're going to have a huge electricity bill in the summer.

Branko Marcetic (JACOBIN) points out:

But beyond that, Biden’s address suffered from another shortcoming that all of his public addresses have shared. Instead of outlining bold, specific proposals to deal with the crisis — like, for instance his opponent’s calls for $2,000 direct payments to every American, emergency universal Medicare coverage, and an oversight agency to fight price-gouging and self-dealing — Biden prefers to criticize Republicans and issue vague calls for action and results: “We should be doing everything in our power to keep workers on payrolls … help the economy come out on the other side strong. The federal government should provide the resources to make that happen, while still protecting American taxpayers.” Other than promises to mobilize the military, Biden elides specifics, instead instructing Americans to read the nearly 7,000-word plan up on his website. 

And that plan is now obsolete. For instance, it makes no mention of using the Defense Production Act, which Biden has, in his public remarks, made a core element of his response plan. And while he now says “cash relief needs to go out as soon as possible to those who need it the most,” his plan mentions cash payments as just one option, alongside tax credits, that governors and mayors could decide to pursue by drawing on a State and Local Emergency Fund of unspecified size. There was already a contradiction between the plan’s pledge to “spend whatever it takes” and Biden’s suggestion during the debate that the GOP’s “godawful tax cut” means “the ability for us to use levers that were available before have been used up.” It’s becoming increasingly unclear what voters should be listening to: Biden’s actual public utterances, or the plan he keeps insisting has all the answers.

The Defense Protection Act?  Bernie was talking about that Sunday in his livestream:

And right now we are seeing in this country and around the world, medical professionals getting sick because of their exposure to the coronavirus.  And this is not only a tragedy for the doctors and the nurses and the other medical profession, it is a very frightening for our whole country because if our front line doctors and nurses go down and are unable to provide the care we desperately need at this moment, who's going to be there to protect the millions of people who are sick?  So what we have got to do right now is to understand that at this moment the president of the United States has got to fully utilize in an extremely aggressive way the Defense Production Act.   And what the Defense Production Act states is that the president has the right to tell a private company: 'You know what? Instead of manufacturing T-shirts or underwear or socks -- not exactly what we need right now in the midst of this crisis -- you will start production in terms of masks, in terms of gowns, in terms of gloves, in terms of the other equipment that our medical professionals need.'  Now the good news is that some in the private sector, some private companies, are already making that transformation and I applaud them.  And these companies deserve to be adequately compensated for the work that they are doing.  But what we need is, at a time when experts estimate that the United States alone -- I'm not talking about the rest of the world -- our country alone, may need a minimum of hundreds of millions of masks because they are disposable -- you don't reuse them, you should not reuse them -- of masks and gloves and gowns in order to get through this pandemic [for] the president of the United States to tell various countries that you're going to stop producing what you're producing today, we need you to produce the products that our doctors and nurses and medical personnel needs.

Bernie's offering leadership and Joe's offering nothing.  He's not the only disappointment.  That Congress cannot get it together and start helping the American people is appalling. Patrick Martin (WSWS) reports:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell closed out the Senate session Monday night without bringing his proposed $2 trillion bonanza for corporate America to a vote. There is, however, little doubt that the legislation will be passed by the Republican-controlled Senate and the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives within a day or two.
The highly publicized wrangling between Democrats and Republicans over the exact terms of the absurdly named CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) is only political theater, engaged in by both parties in order to disguise the highway robbery being carried out by corporate America, using the coronavirus crisis as a pretext.
This massive boondoggle has nothing to do with helping people endangered either medically or financially by the epidemic and the economic dislocation it has caused. The financial aristocracy has seized on the public health crisis as an opportunity to raid the federal treasury, plundering the American people and grabbing whatever it can.
Following the motto of Democrat Rahm Emanuel—“Never let a good crisis go to waste”—both parties are using the COVID-19 epidemic as a chance to obtain favors for their corporate masters beyond their wildest dreams and far beyond anything they carried out in the 2008-2009 bailout of Wall Street and the auto industry.
As it stands now, the bill drafted by the Republican leadership and endorsed by Trump—he urged Monday that it be passed exactly as presented by McConnell—would provide more than $1.8 trillion in financial aid and other appropriations, the bulk of it directed to the big corporations and the wealthy.
The provisions include:
* $500 billion for large corporations
* $350 billion for “small business”
* $300 billion in direct payments to households
* $250 billion for state unemployment benefit funds
* $136 billion in additional funds for federal agencies, including the military and the Department of Homeland Security
* $106 billion in payments to hospitals, the Veterans Administration and other public health agencies.
The biggest single slice, $500 billion in loans and loan guarantees for big corporations, has been widely termed a “slush fund” under the control of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. While the money is earmarked to some extent—$50 billion to passenger airlines, $8 billion to cargo airlines, and $17 billion to firms supplying the Pentagon or intelligence agencies with critical equipment and capabilities—the bulk of is to be distributed by the Treasury as Mnuchin decides.
Companies receiving aid are required to maintain the same employment levels as prevailed on March 13, 2020, but only “to the extent practicable,” a loophole that renders the requirement completely meaningless.
Other rules prohibit companies that receive federal bailouts from engaging in stock buybacks, bonuses and other measures to enrich their executives, but Mnuchin has the authority to waive all such requirements at his discretion. In addition, the identity of the companies receiving the cash is to be concealed, so that there will be no oversight except by the Trump administration.
There is no restriction, even of a formal character, on the gargantuan salaries of the CEOs and other top executives of major companies like Boeing. The former and current top officials of Boeing should be criminally prosecuted for such crimes as manufacturing what they knew to be the defective 737 Max jet, two of which crashed on takeoff, killing a total of 356 people. Instead, they are being rewarded by having their eight-figure incomes underwritten by the taxpayers.

My plan was to open with that today but we'll do it tomorrow if Congress is still not doing their job.

Still on the coronavirus, an Iraq War veteran brings up a very important point.  This Tweet is from ChristelJGW:

I’m 38, mother of a 10 & 8 year old. I served a year in Taji, Iraq in 2006. I have asthma/COPD resulting from that service due to burn pits. I’m at an increased risk if I develop COVID-19. This is not the country I risked my life for! #NotDying4WallStreet

I have not even thought about the burnpit survivors. Thank you to Christel for getting the issue out there.   She is exactly right that they are at increased risk.  I see BURNPITS360 has two Tweets up and I'm sure they'll have more at their website in the coming days.

The following sites updated:

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