Monday, April 08, 2019

Truest statement of the week

Biden may have later told reporters, "It wasn't my intent to make light of anyone's discomfort," but it's hard to interpret the comments as anything else. To that end, calling Biden's comments "jokes" feeds into the narrative that intent matters more than reception, and that what Biden meant to do holds more weight than the disrespect that the women felt they must bear.
Flores agrees; after news broke about Biden's comments, she tweeted, "To make light of something as serious as consent degrades the conversation women everywhere are courageously trying to have."


Truest statement of the week II

It is now over two-and-a-half months since Juan Guaidó, a barely known figure in the right-wing, US-funded Voluntad Popular party, proclaimed himself the “interim president” of Venezuela and was immediately recognized by Washington as the “legitimate” head of the country’s government.
A month later, Washington, working with the right-wing government of Colombia and the US-backed right-wing Venezuelan opposition, attempted to stage a cynical provocation, sending trucks, supposedly loaded with US-supplied aid, in an attempt to crash the Venezuelan-Colombian border. Guaidó and his backers had cast the stunt as the end of the government of President Nicolas Maduro, predicting that Venezuelan security forces would disintegrate in the face of a handful of rations offered by the USAID.
Nothing of the kind transpired, and in the intervening weeks the ability of Guaidó and his US handlers to mount anti-regime demonstrations has visibly waned, while there has been no discernable crack in the country’s armed forces.

-- Bill Van Auken, "New York Times laments stalled Venezuelan coup" (WSWS).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Monday morning.

Let's thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen, Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

And what did we come up with?

Ella Ceron gets a truest.
And so does Bill Van Auken.
Sometimes it's really that simple.
Ava and C.I. cover Biden.
A look at some of the community coverage of Biden.
And some reactions to Biden from outside the community.  "Cobra Joe" we stole from Ava and C.I.'s piece.
She really stepped it in this week.
Julian remains persecuted.
A conversation about Biden.
A report on Biden.
What we listened to while writing.


-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.

Editorial: Joe and Iraq

Joe Biden and Iraq is a lot like Joe Biden and women.  He's overly familiar, he thinks he knows best and how his actions impact him don't matter at all.

Joe supported the Iraq War as a US senator and Barack Obama tasked him with being in charge of Iraq while Joe was vice president.  A lot went wrong on Joe's watch, didn't it?

He has a lot to answer for.

And if he can't even apologize for what he's done to women -- for what can be easily documented -- how is he ever going to take responsibility for his actions with regards to Iraq?

TV: Some want to time travel back to the sexist past

Friday, watching HBO, we were transported back into time.  It was 2004 all over again as Bill Maher, commenting on Joe Biden's groping scandal, declared, "No one likes to be touched unwantingly, and women get a lot more of that than men, but the first person who brought this up said he made her feel 'gross and uneasy.' You know what makes me feel 'gross and uneasy?' A second Trump term."

Little, racist Bill was scared and, once again, it was time to sacrifice women.


2004.  The Democrats were running against Bully Boy Bush.  And no female politician was scheduled to be a "principal speaker" (meaning during prime time) at the DNC convention.  There were two reasons for that.  The first was concern that John Kerry, the nominee, might be outshone since personality wasn't a big feature for him.  The second was that recurring flame out of 'we don't want to be the party of girls.'  Periodically, the party frets that they're seen as indebted to women -- you know, the group that gives them enough votes to win the White House.

The way to win, they just knew, was to go 'macho' -- or what passes for manly among the neutered DLC (now New Democrats and still just as disgusting) -- and shove women to the side.

They just knew this was a winning strategy -- apparently, running mate John Edwards was supposed to appeal to the women like Republicans had previously insisted Dan Quayle would win women voters on the 'cute' factor.

This no-woman stance was rather odd since the party had used Senator Hillary Clinton as a major fundraiser around the country for the last few years.  The rank sexism in the decision didn't bother the likes of Bill Maher but it did bother many men and women and became a problem for John Kerry's campaign -- a big problem -- so two days after announcing their scheduled speakers, Hillary Clinton was added to the list -- to the list of "principal speakers."

In the months that followed the 2004 loss, the loss was frequently blamed on women -- the party was too 'soft' on them, giving in to their demands.  This led to the push to move the party away from abortion rights.  All the nutless boys came out to praise such a move -- including the thankfully no-longer blogging Chris D. Andersen -- because what helps the impotent finally get a hard on more than bashing women.

And we're back to that again.

'Women don't matter.  Women shut up.  Women stop whining.  Women your response do not matter.'

Man. Man. Man. Man. Man.

That's all it about for the Bill Mahers.

Women shut up.

And he can get away with that, can't he?  At HBO, he can get away with that.  It's biggest series 'for' women was a show created by a gay man that every critic in the world -- even THE SIMPSONS -- felt portrayed four women as four gay men.  For years, Bill has been the network's only funny person.  And then they added John Oliver.  What woman have they added?  None.  Just comedians Bill and John.

With his announced guests for next week, so far this year Bill will have had 60 guests -- only 18 of which are women.  For those who are math challenged, that's 30%.  In 2019, it's acceptable to have 30% of your guests be women -- if you're a host on HBO -- a network, again, which has no talk show hosted by a woman.

For those who missed it, last weekend, Lucy Flores shared her discomfort when, campaigning for Lt Governor of Nevada, she encountered 'supporter' Joe Biden -- whom Ruth has dubbed "Boundary-free Biden."  That should have been enough to have a serious conversation about boundaries.

But Joe Biden and his friends couldn't be mature.  So Joe got Stephanie Carter to write a column insisting she was never grossed out by his public mauling of her while her husband Ash Carter was sworn in as Secretary of Defense.

'Joe lost his wife to cancer!'

To which we respond, "In  1972!"  He's been married to the beautiful Jill Biden since 1977.  That's forty-two years of marriage.  Few can make that claim.

In the accident that claimed his first wife, he also lost a daughter.  He and Jill later had a daughter.

Life is full of losses -- especially when, like Joe Biden, you've lived 76 years (he'll be 77 in November).

Michael Jackson lost his childhood, remember?  Some -- Barbra Streisand among them -- seem to see child molestation on Jackson's part as a natural response to such a loss.  Similarly nutty, some see Joe's loss of his first wife and a daughter over 47 years ago as an excuse for him to press his nose against a woman's nose, as an excuse for him to run his hand up down a woman's back, for him to grab their sides, their chests, you name it.

Instead of addressing the issue, some chose to slam the women.



It is no longer just Lucy Flores, it is also Amy Lappos, Caitlyn Caruso, DJ Hill, Vail Kohnert-Yount, Sofie Karasek and Ally Coll.

It's time for a conversation.

Naturally, a variety of pigs are trying to stop that conversation.

Unwanted sexual advances is a needed subject of national conversation. I submit you can’t punish both murder & jaywalking with a death sentence. Joe Biden has addressed the issue of personal space discomfort. Time to move on & focus on #1 priority. 86 The Liar!

Rob Reiner?  Seriously?  He's rude to actresses -- including Diane Keaton on the set of AND SO IT GOES -- and with the exception of Nora Ephron's script for WHEN HARRY MET SALLY . . ., he's never shown much interest in them unless he can demonize them (MISERY).

Which makes him so good for the so-called 'resistance.'  They're a group of do-nothings who pretend to care about women when it benefits them.  Any other time?  They're the ones attacking women.  So many of the 'brave' 'resistance' members -- look at Keith Olbermann -- were, in 2008, using non-stop sexism to try to tank Hillary Clinton's run for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  Keith said someone needed to take her behind the barn, for example, and take care of her.  Keith Olbermann declared Katie Couric the "worst person of the week" for daring to note the sexist attacks on Hillary.  We've never trusted the 'resistance' because they are at heart anti-woman -- that's true of the male figure heads in the so called 'movement' and true of the men.

In the real world, this is a real issue.  Not in your little bubble of 'anything to defeat Trump!' -- your paranoid little world that's especially shaky these days after you've spent over two years invested in a lie that Donald Trump colluded with Russia and stole the election.

In the real world, we need this conversation.  Joe Biden is invading people's space and making them uncomfortable and he thinks he can get away with it because he thinks a lot of Bully Men and Lacky Women will go along with him -- anything to defeat Trump, they cry!

Their paranoia is indication of a highly fantasy life -- drug induced?  We have no idea.  But we do know that Joe is not a sure thing.  It is 2019.  One year away from the election.  This time in 2007?  Hillary Clinton was the front runner.  How did that work out?

Joe has name recognition.  That's the only reason he's polling highly.  He is a very poor campaigner, he has a very poor record (he is not the protector of women -- he's the death toll of abortion rights, he betrayed Anita Hill and women on the issue of harassment in the work place, etc) and he's done nothing since leaving the vice presidency to justify a run four years later.  Mainly, though, he's Walter Mondale showing up four years after the Democrats lost an election to insist that he can win.

Based on what?

The 'resistance' is in a panic and screaming that the media is treating this like 'e-mails!' (referring to Hillary Clinton's e-mail scandal).  This is a story, this is news and the 'resistance' only knows how to belittle it.

So are we going to have two years of the Democratic Party's cry baby section trying to carry an unfit candidate to victory or is the Democratic Party going to get serious about winning?

Lat Wednesday, Joe made news for a video he released.  It was after efforts on his part to kill the news cycle by getting various women (Stephanie Carter was the first) to step forward and insist that they were not offended that Joe pawed them in public.

And in fairness to Stephanie and other women who came forward, some women do love public humiliation, they get off on it.  So do some men.  It's why they go to S&M dungeons or to sex clubs with their masters pulling their leashes.

And, if that's your kink, honey, go for it.

Just don't tell the lie that we all want to be humiliated in public, because we don't all want that.

And we don't all get off on being treated like inferiors.

We have every right to expect that when we meet with a politician, they will not run their hands over our bodies.  The political game has always been shake hands with adults and kiss babies.  Not sniff the hair of women as you wrap yourself around them from behind.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE chose to parody Cobra Joe in their opening skit with Kate McKinnon playing an expert brought in to teach Joe (Jason Sudeikis) how to interact appropriately with women.  While that skit worked, WEEKEND UPDATE really didn't.  By Saturday, seven women had come forward and yet, according to WEEKEND UPDATE, it was only four.

Three women got disappeared?

That's not the rule of three we know of when it comes to comedy.

And the rule of an apology?  When you make a mistake, you say so and you say that you are sorry.

But even with women coming forward last week, Joe Biden could not do that, refused to do it.  He made his Wednesday video that did not address the issue or include an apology.  Then, on Friday, he gave a speech to a group described as mostly male and, in that speech, made a joke out of touching a man present and a boy present.  It belittled the seven women who had come forward and anyone who's ever been uncomfortable with or harmed by that sort of paternalistic and sexist behavior.

Harmed by? 'The women aren't saying it was harassment!'

Emily Peck (HUFFINGTON POST) spoke with Liz Stapp ("a business ethics professor at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado") about the issue:

Former Nevada state Assemblywoman Lucy Flores has described being in a crowded room preparing for Biden to introduce her at a political rally. He came up behind her, sniffed her hair and kissed the back of her head, Flores says. He didn’t ask if he could touch her. They didn’t know each other very well.
“He stopped treating me like a peer the moment he touched me. Even if his behavior wasn’t violent or sexual, it was demeaning and disrespectful,” Flores wrote in New York magazine last week. “I wasn’t attending the rally as his mentee or even his friend; I was there as the most qualified person for the job.”
The context was egregious, Stapp said.

“A woman can hardly be seen as strong, powerful and intelligent minutes after ‘Papa Joe’ rubs noses with her or kisses her on the top of her head like an infant,” Stapp said. Such treatment is damaging to her credibility as a leader. And women already struggle with this, particularly in politics, Stapp noted.

It needs to stop.  A number of people rushed to rally behind Joe before the Wednesday video.  Then they rushed to insist that it was all settled.  What kind of a statement is that?  More to the point, his mocking the situation on Friday undermined everything else.

It is an issue, it is a very real issue and thank goodness, on Bill Maher's crappy show, Julian Castro was present to note that it was "bulls**t that people say they can get away with it by just laughing it off" and that "women have been told to just be quiet about stuff like this" over and over again.  Julian Castro is one of the declared candidates running for the presidential nomination.  He, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Amy Klobucher were among the ones making sense last week.  Joe Biden?  As has so often been the case in the political career of Joe, he made no sense at all.  No what else doesn't make sense?  Trying to turn time back and trying to set women back.  Fortunately, it's not 2004.

Tweet of the week

Once spent time talking 2 Joe Biden In His Office.I asked Point- ed Questions. As Time Passed I Found Him Forthright,Kind,& Smart. At Meetings End He Walked Me 2 The🚪&Gave Me A HUG.I Was Fine With It,But That,Was”MY”Experience.HE MUST COMMIT 2 B”AWARE,& CARE”ABOUT WOMENS SPACE”

Highlights of Joe Biden community coverage

Joe Biden was a topic at many community sites.  Here's a selection of some of the coverage.  From Monday's "Iraq snapshot:"

Former Vice President Joe Biden's pursuit of the Democratic Party's presidential nomination hit another sag this weekend as the 2014 Democratic nominee for Lt Governor of Nevada, Lucy Flores, shared her experience of an invasive and boundary free Joe Biden and how he humiliated her.  Ruth dubbed him "Boundary-Free Biden."  Is it harassment or another example of Biden's sexism?  Stephen Collinson (CNN) explains:

Joe Biden is facing the first crisis of his yet-to-be-official, front-running 2020 Democratic presidential campaign.

An allegation by Nevada Democratic politician Lucy Flores that he once made her feel "uneasy" by smelling her hair and kissing the back of her head forced the former vice president's team into damage control mode over the weekend.
Biden said in a personal statement that while he did not recall the alleged incident, it is important for women like Flores to be heard.

Again, sexism or harassment?  Remember, his run for the 2008 nomination -- his failed run -- stumbled out of the gate with charges of racism over Joe's remarks about Barack Obama.

On Sunday, Lucy Flores spoke with Korva Coleman on NPR's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED:

COLEMAN: Ms. Flores, can you describe the encounter in your own words?

FLORES: Sure. Well, I mean, it's just as I described. It happened very suddenly. I was not expecting it. It was a campaign rally setting, so there was a lot of chaos, a lot of people, a lot of energy. We were all kind of in public. Vice President Biden and I were never alone together. So as we were waiting to be called up to the stage, the rally had already started. People were already speaking. We were waiting in line. Eva Longoria was in front of me. Joe Biden was behind me.
And, you know, I just all of a sudden feel his hands, and I feel him get up really close to me. And I'm just, you know, at that point processing, and I'm thinking, OK. This is really weird. But then he leans in, and then he, like, inhales. And then he proceeds to plant this long kiss on the top of my head. And the entire time, I'm just kind of, like, what is happening?

COLEMAN: As we mentioned, former Vice President Biden has released a statement and says if he did behave this way, he doesn't believe he acted inappropriately. What is your response to his statement?

FLORES: I need the vice president and all men and all people who are in positions of power to understand that in that setting, in that situation, that kind of behavior is absolutely inappropriate. A big part of the reason why I'm also speaking out now is because he has a history of this. This is not an unknown issue. There have been stories. There are pictures. There are videos. I think that there is a very severe disconnect and lack of empathy for what the women on the receiving end are feeling.
I understand that he's trying to clear up his intention. But it's not about your intention. Whether it was an innocent gesture, whether it was a sexual gesture - none of that matters. It is about the person on the receiving end of that inappropriate behavior by someone who is very, very clearly more powerful than you. That power dynamic is important to recognize.

Former Secretary Ash Carter and his wife Stephanie Carter are longtime friends of Joe Biden which is why it's no surprise that Stephanie has been trotted out to defend Joe Biden and minimize his own actions in public with her.  Before Stephanie's allowed to minimize again, every reporter repeating her claims needs to acknowledge that she's been provided to the press by Joe's 'exploratory' campaign.  This is not a woman coming forward on her own or as an independent agent the way Linda Flores did.  This is a woman allowing herself to be WHORED by a political campaign -- and that's the only word for it.

A woman has come out and made a serious and honest charge and Stephanie is trotted out to WHORE and to minimize what Joe did.

There's no need to hide behind skirts, Joe, so stop doing.  And stop setting one woman against another.  That's not presidential.  It also dishonors the six women -- a record breaking six women -- running for the party's presidential nomination this year.

From Ruth's "Can Bill Press and Howard Finemann please shut up?:"

Lucy Flores has told her truth.  Bill Press and Howard Finemann have butted into the converssation to insist Joe Biden is wonderful.

Both men are elderly and have been in the press for years.  Neither ever felt the need to write about what Mr. Biden's groping might mean to women.  But now they want to rush in and try to seize control of the conversation.

It is time for them to shut up.

This conversation was not started by them and they have spent lives ensuring that the conversation would not take place.

For at least two weeks, how about we let the women like Ms. Flores speak and share?

Just two weeks.  Surely, these big boys can shut their mouths for two weeks to allow women to discuss this topic.

You'd think so, Ruth, you'd think so.  But they can't, can they?  From Marcia's "Nutless fat f**k Rob Reiner needs to shut his damn mouth:"

If you want to talk, tell us what you really did to Corey Haim, otherwise shut up. Or maybe you want to address what your son told everyone in rehab?  Of course, addressing that would kill your career wouldn't it?

But haven't all your latest films -- bombs one and all -- already killed your career.

Just shut up trash.

This is for women to be heard not.

Not nutless fat f**ks like you.

Shut up, no one needs to hear from your or your pampered ass.

And Rob, Howard and Bill weren't the only ones who needed to stop talking.  From Kat's "Maybe Alyssa can just shut the hell up?:"

There are four women now.  Four who have stepped forward to say that Joe Biden groped them and that it made them uncomfortable.  Four.

Yet we have Alyssa Milano rushing to insist Joe did nothing wrong and didn't mean any harm.

Imagine if he killed four women.  And Alyssa rushed forward to explain he didn't mean to kill 'em.

Alyssa is not a feminist.  She needs to be called out.  She needs to learn she's just a former TV actress who has nothing to offer anyone -- not even TV -- these days and so she should her fat mouth and stop dismissing the women who step forward.  Victoria Gagliardo -Silver (INDEPENDENT) explains:

Joe Biden, who Milano sees to be “a leader and a champion on fighting violence against women for many years” is part of the problem.
Alyssa Milano, and other so-called feminists, in defending him and dismissing Lucy Flores’ claim, are a larger part of the problem.
That is not feminism, no matter how Milano may try to frame it.  She is enabling rape culture by denying that these women were made uncomfortable because it benefits her politics.
As Milano tweets“I believe that Joe Biden's intent has never been to make anyone uncomfortable, and that his kind, empathetic leadership is what our country needs”, she fails to realise that the intent behind these gross boundary violations is not what matters, but the fact that women were made uncomfortable by these actions in the first place.

When women come forward, you believe them, trust and verify their claims, because sexual assault and unwanted touching is absolutely unacceptable, regardless of what side of the political aisle instigates it. Empathy and kindness do not excuse violating women’s boundaries. Empathy and kindness are not synonyms for consent.

From Betty's "Fake Ass Alyssa Milano disappoints even more:"

Alyssa Milano, the face of fake feminism, the face of White entitlement.  Lucy Flores comes out to complain about Joe Biden groping her.  Three women follow her.  And Alyssa's response?  'Joe is a good guy!'  She needs to learn to shut the f**k up and that she's not the voice of women, not even the voice of White women.

From Elaine's "Alyssa will surely insist that it's not a real issue:"

Hagtress Alyssa Milano will, no doubt, show up to defend Joe Biden again.  Probably insist, "Yes, he touched Caitlyn's leg but he did so at 'an event about sexual assault' and we have to give him credit for attending the event!  That's the important thing!"

In what world did Alyssa Milano, a failed child actress, become someone to listen to?

She's not an Emmy winner or even nominee.  She's never given a convincing performance, she's just managed to heave her bossom and mumble some lines.  She's done nothing with her life but, honestly, pose nude and then spend years griping about how her nudies ended up online.  They ended up online because you posed for the pictures, Alyssa.  Even somone as stupid as her should be able to grasp that.

Grasp also that the photo she's posted of her with her 'friend' Joe Biden?  Who wears that kind of top to meet a vice president?  She's forever thinking she's 17 and wearing age inappropriate clothing.  She's really a piece of work.

So is Joe Biden.  No wonder that she's rushing to defend Joe and his groping.

Some offered crazy defenses of Joe, like an MSNBC personality.  From Marcia's "Morning Mika's off her meds:"

Well said.  Now in yet another stark raving mad TV moment, Mika has declared, "You’re eating your young. You’re eating those who can beat Trump. You’re killing the very people who have been pushing women ahead, who have been fighting for equal pay, who have been doing everything they can to respect women in their lives."

We are eating our young?

Mika, dear, I believe Joe Biden is 76-years-old.  Are you off your meds again?  Is that the reason for your meltdown?  Or did you catch Joe with a younger woman?  Again?  Oh, Mika, you're so pathetic and really no one to try to be a voice for the workplace.  It's one thing to borrow a stapler at the office but -- please, pay attention, Mika -- you shouldn't ask a co-worker if you can use their genitalia.  That's really bad form, Mika.  When you grasp that, you might have something to contribute to the conversation.  Until then, just accept that you're a butt ugly woman who was thought pretty when you didn't have so many wrinkles just because  you had blond hair.  You're not young anymore and you were never pretty.  Joe could do so much better.

After releasing a video on Wednesday claiming to get it, Joe, on Friday, mocked the issue.  From Marcia's "Blow, Idiot Joe, just blow:"

So we got jokes?  Get that, we got jokes.  Joe Biden thinks his groping is funny and something to joke about.  Joe's got jokes.  Mmm-hmmm.  THE HILL reports on it here.

"I'm not sorry for anything that I have ever done."  He said that.  And it's "ever" please note.  C.I. was right to this into Joe on Iraq and it is a paternalistic attitude and it is why he has been so supportive of war.  Joe isn't sorry for anything.

You know what, Joe?  Blow.  Just blow like a popsicle stand.  We don't need you.  Honestly, we never did.  The sheer stupidity of declaring what he did today goes to how unfit he is for the office.  Anyone else would have paid attention to what they were saying and at least acted contrite.  Not idiot Joe.  Blow Idiot Joe.

The issue is not going away as C.I. noted in Friday's "Iraq snapshot:"

I know Joe and we were going to have to cover this topic for that reason alone (this site doesn't exist to protect my faves).  But as I have noted throughout the week, this is a conversation that is much larger at the campuses we've been speaking on.  The students see this as a very serious issue and they see it as an abuse of power.  This is not minor and I'm very glad for those who have shared with me this week because I'd hate to sound as idiotic and out of touch as Gloria Steinem does.

And Rebecca offered "the only reason joe biden should run:"

there is 1 and only 1 reason that joe biden should run for the democratic party's presidential nomination ...

so, during a democratic presidential debate, we could see a woman slap the s**t out of him onstage.

would it be tulsi?  elizabeth?  kirsten? amy? marianne? kamala?

whomever it would be, it would be a tv moment.

you know joe won't be able to keep his hands off them.  in the middle of answering a question about deficit spending, he'll probably be wandering over to 1 of them.

i hope it's kirsten only because i bet she'd punch.  i don't think she'd slap.  i bet she'd punch right in the face and knock him out.

and after that?  the presidency is hers - you knock out the former v.p., i think they have to give you the white house.

go, kirsten!!!!

Some reactions to Cobra Joe

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