Wednesday, August 26, 2020


 Jim: Roundtable time again. .  Remember our e-mail address is  Participating in our roundtable are  The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, and me, Jim; 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); Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz); Ruth of Ruth's Report; Trina of Trina's Kitchen; Wally of The Daily Jot; Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ; Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. Betty's kids did the illustration. You are reading a rush transcript.


Jim (Con't): Who was impressed with the DNC convention last week? That question was greeted with universal silence. Mike, you wrote "" so why don't we start with you?

Mike: The whole 'more progressive' than FDR was about shutting progressives up before the convention. It was a lie. Like Barack pulled in 2008 when veterans were about to protest him. Lies are all Joe Biden has to offer.

Jim: Anyone disagree with that?

Marcia: Yes, he also has guilt to offer. They're trying to guilt people into voting for him. That's not going to work, in my opinion.

Jim: Because?

Marcia: Because I don't owe Joe a damn thing.

Cedric: Amen to that. And he certainly doesn't want to do any work that would make us owe him anything.

Jim: Cedric, I assume that, as usual, you're drumming up support for Democratic Party nominees in your city. How's that going?

Cedric: Not well at all. There is no enthusiasm for Joe among anyone under 65. He's offered nothing. Time and again, I hear from people in their 20s and 30s that they'd support him if he'd offer Medicare For All. Instead, these people say they probably won't bother to vote. The lack of enthusiasm over Joe is nothing new but I am amazed that he went through the convention offering nothing to motivate people to vote for him.

Rebecca: All he offered was: Trump is worse. He even repeated that in his interview with Robin on GOOD MORNING AMERICA.

Ruth: But is he? Is President Trump worse? Hillary Clinton tried that and lost. And Joe Biden's track record may be even worse than Mr. Trump.

Rebecca: He certainly won't do anything to help the Palestinians. In fact, a Joe Biden presidency would make life much worse for the Palestinians due to his blind support for the government of Israel.

Trina: No improvement overseas at all. Joe Biden is a Hawk. That's not a new development. He's always been one. He will terrorize the planet and his enablers will allow him to do so the same way they did with Obama.

Ty: Agreed.

Jim: Then how do you respond to the argument that if you don't vote for Joe, you're responsible for what Trump unleashes.

Jess: I don't have to respond to that, I'm a member of the Green Party. I vote Green. But I will point out that Democrats went hand-in-hand with Trump when it comes to the US Congress. In some cases, they were even more right-wing that Trump. It's not my job, I'm not in Congress, to vote against measures he wants or to pass bills to hold him check. That's the job of members of Congress. In fact, the Constitution requires the Congress to act as a check on the executive branch. So my reply is: Don't farm your duties out to me -- especially when you spent the last four years shirking your responsibilities and not doing your job.

Jim: If Trump gets re-elected?

Ann: Then he gets re-elected. I'm a Green, like Jess, it's not my job to vote for a corporate Hawk like Joe Biden.

Elaine: And it's not our job to vote for anyone, regardless of which party we do or do not belong to. I hear a phrase over and over these days, "No one owns your vote." I love hearing it. C.I. has pushed it online and on campuses for over 16 years now. It's the truth. And if politicians want vote, they need to be offering something.

Mike: The sneering attitude that so many of them have about citizens is outrageous. Whether it's Joe insisting he has no empathy for young people who are worried about jobs and other issues or it's Barack and Michelle whining on their podcast about how this group didn't turn out or that group didn't. Sorry, it's not my job to vote for you. It's your job to earn my vote. If you didn't earn it, that's a failure on your part.

Rebecca: They seem to forget that.

Mike: They sure as hell do, don't they? Was it always that way?

Ruth: It could seem that way, yes. But, no, it has not always been that way.

Trina: Hillary offered nothing in her run and thought she would win. She didn't. Her husband saw a real sea change in the party back in 1992 as they moved to the right. They don't really offer much of anything these days. They also have no dreams or plans for We The People. Gone are the days where politicians feel the need to run on The Great Society or any program like that.

Isaiah: Well look at homeless issue. This got worse under Reagan and no one wants to try to fix it. If it gets any attention at all, it's veterans who are homeless which really says to America, "We in office believe on spitting on you but we will help you if you're a veteran -- or pretend to help you."

Kat: The refusal to address the homeless issue is appalling. In San Francisco, we really need to address it and it's shameful that we don't. We should be constructing homes and working to provide jobs. We have more than enough that needs doing, for example. I am sorry for anyone who is homeless and it breaks my heart but when I think about the fact that the homeless includes children? That really makes my blood boil. I agree with Isaiah, the US government has had decades to address the homeless issue and they have refused to do so. They don't care. They just don't care.

Dona: It certainly seems that way. And when we see how they've refused to address that issue, why in the world would we ever believe that they'll address climate change? Especially when he's got no plan, Joe Biden has no plan. We can't afford to wait but I guess when you've got one foot in the grave, like Joe, there's no sense of urgency.

Ty: Jane Fonda's book on the environmental crisis comes out September 29th. Maybe Joe could adopt that as his plan? I'm not joking. He needs a plan. If he can't come up with his own, steal Jane's.

Betty: I agree with that but I've got other questions as well.

Jim: Such as?

Betty: Kamala Harris is the second woman to be a v.p. candidate on the Democratic Party's ticket. If this is so amazing, can someone tell me what she's going to do if they are elected? By this point in 2008, we knew Joe would be in charge of Iraq if Barack was elected. Is there a reason -- other than that she's just window dressing? -- that Kamala hasn't been publicly tasked with an issue.

Jim: Define window dressing?

Betty: Window dressing in that by not explaining what her role would be in the administration, Joe makes clear that she was chosen with no real thought or planning beyond what would make him electable.

Jim: C.I.?

C.I.: Kamala could lead on a number of issues. Betty's correct that we're not hearing that she's been tasked with anything yet. I would assume that, in addition to climate, she could be a leader on reforms with regards to sentencing.

Jim: You think she did a good job?

C.I.: At the convention? I think she gave the best speech of anyone. This is not an endorsement of her. I'm not a Kamala fan.

Jim: You know her?

C.I.: And have for years. I was rooting for Karen Bass to be the choice for the v.p. slot. But Kamala brings many strengths to the ticket including that she's a very powerful speaker. I don't think she got the credit she deserved for her speech. She would have to be a great speaker with her experience in the courtroom. Again, I'm not voting for Biden-Harris.  I said when Joe announced his run that, if he got honest about Iraq, I could vote for him.

Jim: But he hasn't. And in Friday's snapshot, you outlined what a speech from Joe, where he got honest about Iraq, would look like.

C.I.: If he can't get honest, he hasn't learned from it. I laid down that marker long ago. He failed to get honest. The Iraqi people continue to suffer. I'll be looking at Howie Hawkins -- Green Party, Gloria La Riva -- Party for Socialism and Liberation, and Joseph Kishore -- Socialist Equality Party. If Iraq War veteran Adam Kokesh had won the Libertarian Party's nomination, he would have had my vote. Jo Jorgensen is their candidate. I doubt that she could win my vote but if she started speaking out strongly and repeatedly against these forever wars, I would certainly consider her.

Jim: Stan, the DNC did not show up at your site -- even though you cover television.

Stan: It didn't. I read C.I.'s coverage and I read WSWS' coverage. I wasn't into watching it. I think I gave it a chance on the first night and then bailed. Not interested in the nonsense. And it not being live made it a bigger joke than ever. How dare Michelle Obama tape a speech over a week before. That's how canned and old it all was. There was nothing fresh about it.

Wally: I understand what Stan's saying. I know Ava and C.I. feel like it's not worth covering in a TV piece. I assume it's the same with the RNC?

Ava: You know, we've talked about this -- C.I. and I -- and if Rosanne Barr spoke at the RNC, we probably would write about it. Otherwise, probably not. C.I. and I are going to watch at least some of it tonight, the RNC, and if it looks like there's anything worth covering, we'll cover it. If not, we won't.

Jim: That brings up an issue in an e-mail that came in a few hours ago. Mickey Lewis identifies as a Republican and as a Trump voter. He says that we don't recognize him at this site. He says that C.I. is fair at THE COMMON ILLS and will note when there's an issue involving Donald Trump like his meeting with the parents of a soldier who was raped and killed. He said we don't make any effort to do that here. Thoughts?

Jess: We don't really note Joe Biden here in terms of his campaign statements or his campaign videos. The whole point of noting Greens and others is that they don't get the attention from the MSM. That's been our position from the start. The duopoly gets plenty of coverage. We repost videos and press releases from third party campaigns.

Jim: Good points.

Trina: I need to jump in. C.I. doesn't like to speak in these things but I heard something and assume she's weighing whether or not to speak so I'll do it for her. Vanessa Guillen is the name of the soldier whose family Donald Trump met with.

Ava: Trina's correct. I'll add that Aaron David Robinson is thought to be her killer and he fled Fort Hood when pieces of her were found by Leon River. He fled Fort Hood and took his own life. Cecily Anne Aguilar stands accused of being Robinson's accomplice.

Jim: Alright. So we're going to close on that note and this is a rush transcript.  This roundtable took place August 24th.

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