Archive for Joe Biden

About That Dream Ticket

Biden/Warren ’16? The Welshman Wannabe and the Ersatz Indian?

Not so fast:

A look at the public record shows that clashes between the pair began more than a decade ago. The fraught relationship has improved in recent years, but their past would complicate a potential alliance should he decide to run for president — and, as some have speculated, ask her to join him on a ticket.

Biden was an early opponent of Warren as she cut her teeth in national politics, and he became one of the first in a long list of Democrats to be called out by her for not sufficiently supporting the pro-middle class policies that she has made a reputation promoting.

There’s the lengthy letter she penned in 2002 to The New York Times. In the missive she accused him of taking a position that made it harder for women to overcome debt and suggested a reason why: His home state is a place “where many banks and credit-card issuers are incorporated,” she wrote.

Three years later they were still at it, continuing to debate on consumer debt, with Biden accusing her in 2005 of making a “mildly demagogic” argument as a witness before his Judiciary committee.

At one point Biden interrupted Warren as she testified. “That is not my question,” he snapped. “I would like you to answer my question.”

These two are so good at inventing identities that I’m sure they’ll be lovers in no time.


Joe Biden And Elizabeth Warren

Here it comes.

Vice President Joe Biden met privately with Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Saturday in his residence at the Naval Observatory, CNN has learned, another sign he is seriously deciding whether to jump into the Democratic presidential race.

The meeting between Biden and Warren, confirmed by two people familiar with the session, is the biggest indication yet that Biden is feeling out influential Democrats before announcing his intentions.

Beloved by liberal Democrats, Warren decided to sit out a campaign of her own, but she has yet to formally endorse a candidate. In an interview on Friday, she told WBZ in Boston: “I don’t think anyone has been anointed.”

Would she accept the Vice Presidency?

– Aggie

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Biden Gaining In Polls

I love a good laugh and President Biden will surely provide many hours of merriment.

Vice President Joe Biden runs as well or better than Hillary Clinton against top-tier Republicans in a new Quinnipiac swing-state poll. Among general election voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida, Biden looks like a better bet. The veep beats Donald Trump by a commanding 10 points in Ohio, double Clinton’s margin in the same matchup. Biden also wins against former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., and comes within shot of Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., in Biden’s native Pennsylvania. Overall, the poll shows Biden in a similar position to Clinton and could be just as strong a contender for Democrats. Even better news for Biden? His trustworthiness rating hangs around 60 percent in the three states… about the same percent of voters who do not trust Clinton.

But Clinton still holds a dominant lead among Democratic primary voters, with 45 percent or more. Second place finisher Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., falls nearly twenty points behind her, and Biden even further down. Biden’s seemingly strong general election performance, however, could turn a few more primary voters’ heads in his direction as Democrats seek a challenge to Clinton.

God Love Ya’, Joe.

– Aggie


RIP Beau Biden

Not having known Beau Biden, and not knowing much about him, I confess I am a little puzzled by the encomia after his death. Not skeptical—the little I have learned seems to portray a decent man whose life was cut way too short. But the lying in state in the Delaware State House? For a state Attorney General? Really?

I get the family tragedy. I lost a brother to the same form of brain cancer. It’s a death sentence, with about 15 months between judgement and execution. I feel for the Bidens.

But what’s up with the rest of you?

I am really sad about Beau Biden’s death. Really, really sad.

A handful of news organizations have noted the outpouring of support for the Biden family coming from all over the country since the announcement Saturday night, much of it focused on the unfathomable grief that Vice President Biden must be experiencing — not only because of his history of family tragedy, but because Beau was the quintessential, perfect first-born son he adored.

I, too, feel awful for the vice president. But the reason I’m so busted up about this is because I think Beau’s passing is a devastating loss for the entire country, for many of the reasons why his father basically worshipped him.

Allow me to get a little political.

My favorite part of being a political reporter is watching stars rise. Believing in unlimited potential is part of the American way, and Beau had it.

It’s not just how he lived his life as a doting family man and a devout Catholic. And it’s not just his CV: University of Pennsylvania graduate, law school graduate, federal prosecutor, state attorney general going after child abuse, soldier in Iraq. That, of course, is as perfect as presidential material can possibly get.

Add to that his spark, genuineness, earnestness and unconditional love for public service. I firmly believe the pendulum swing in American politics is real, and I believed that in some swing toward the Democrats in the future, Beau would be president. That’s how I’m going to remember him.

This from a self-described journalist (though with CNN on your resume, that word needs quotation marks, if not an asterisk).

It was nothing short of a bombshell months later when he announced he wasn’t going to run [for US Senate] in 2010 because he wanted to finish what he started as attorney general. A crew of Democratic officials I spoke to often, and whom I respect, were livid about that and held it against him. For several years they wouldn’t entertain discussions about his future political career because of this grudge. That surprised me.

In May of 2012, I ran into Beau at a Starbucks near the vice president’s residence and had a long talk with him about all of that. I asked him if he thought he would run for Delaware Sen. Tom Carper’s seat when he retired but figured he might be interested in running for governor, which he said he was.

He said to me that day, “I’ll do one of them,” but he was leaning toward a future gubernatorial race because he was disappointed in the Senate.

I’ll never forget his exact words: “I grew up in the Senate. I love the smell of the Russell building.” But as he talked to me, he was scratching his head in disbelief about how dysfunctional the Senate had become and said he had friends in the Senate who were really unhappy because they were unable to do anything, and that really bothered him. (Senators, please take note and fix that for him.)

The way he talked about it made it clear that he loved public service with every bone in his body. Reporters can tell when they’re hearing an ambitious dance from a politician, and what Beau said was not that. Everything he said was real, honest and earnest. Quite frankly, I was mesmerized.

The heart loves what the heart loves, no question. But any editor—heck, any reporter herself—who reads these words has to recognize a critical conflict of interest. A political reporter “mesmerized” by a subject of her reporting, who swoons over his “spark, genuineness, earnestness”, however genuine, earnest, and sparkly? Take a seat on the bench, honey. You’ve been in the game too long.

This spring, I made an appeal to one of his top political aides to come to Delaware to spend some time with him and talk about the upcoming governor’s race, because I’d been itching to write a long-form profile of him for a long time. We planned to do it late this summer or early fall after the governor’s race got off the ground. This week, I felt it was necessary to find some way to write part of what I was planning.

Did she actually wave pom-poms, and was her skirt plaid and pleated? I’m embarrassed for her.

Journalists absolutely must hold government officials accountable, but what good are we doing anyone if we’re just mean?

A unique good point. She makes it clear she admires a select few politicians, including Republicans. But do I think she would have held Beau Biden “accountable”? Not on your life.

Again, to the tone deaf, this is not anything against any Biden, Joe, Beau, or the rest of the clan. I can’t even be too hard on the reporter: she feels the way she feels.

But the Huffington Post and her other employers? You don’t see how inappropriate it is for a supposed unbiased observer to be so biased? Of course you don’t. A few words of tribute are fine and decent, but to print her long political love affair with a potential high public figure is an obscenity to the long-ago decent profession of journalism.

PS: “Mesmerized”?


The Mouths of Boobs

God bless Joe Biden (someone has to look out for the guy).

He can’t help himself:

An incredible admission by US Vice President Joe Biden has been revealed, in which he told Jewish leaders that should the American Jewish community be in danger, it has only Israel to rely on – and not America.

Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg reveals in the April issue of The Atlantic how at a Rosh Hashana event in Biden’s home last fall, the vice president told Jewish leaders and Jewish officials in US President Barack Obama’s administration how he met former Prime Minister Golda Meir when he was a young Senator.

“I’ll never forget talking to her in her office with her assistant – a guy named (Yitzhak) Rabin – about the Six-Day War,” he recalled. “The end of the meeting, we get up and walk out, the doors are open, and…the press is taking photos. …She looked straight ahead and said, ‘Senator, don’t look so sad…Don’t worry. We Jews have a secret weapon.'”

Biden states he asked Meir what the weapon was, noting “I thought she was going to tell me something about a nuclear program” – an ironic comment given the US’s recent declassification of documents revealing Israel’s nuclear program in a breach of understandings with the Jewish state.

But according to Biden, “she looked straight ahead and she said, ‘We have no place else to go.'” Addressing his guests at Rosh Hashana, Biden paused for effect and repeated, “we have no place else to go.”

“Folks, there is no place else to go, and you understand that in your bones,” Biden said. “You understand in your bones that no matter how hospitable, no matter how consequential, no matter how engaged, no matter how deeply involved you are in the United States…there’s only one guarantee.”

“There is really only one absolute guarantee, and that’s the state of Israel,” he stated.

With that, de dropped the mike and walked off the stage.

Responding to the statement, Corey Robin of Salon wrote how disturbing the statement is, given that it consists of “a sitting vice president telling a portion of the American citizenry that they cannot count on the United States government as the ultimate guarantor of their freedom and safety.”

“The occupant of the second-highest office in the land believes that American Jews should look to a foreign government as the foundation of their rights and security,” she added. “A country that once offered itself as a haven to persecuted Jews across the world now tells its Jews that in the event of some terrible outbreak of anti-Semitism they should…what? Plan on boarding the next plane to Tel Aviv?”

Don’t act so surprised. Jews have been told they have no place else to go for millennia.

You wonder sometimes if Biden thinks this stuff through…or if he knows exactly what he’s saying.


A Call for Impeachement

I’m serious. This is criminal behavior. On any college campus, you’d be expelled and prosecuted.

Flopping Aces has a series of inappropriate, awkward Biden gropes, including a gif of an attempted kiss of a 13-year-old girl.

Money quote:

“I have to ask, ’cause a lot of people have been speculating about it, does she think the vice president is creepy?” [Chris] Wallace asked.

“No, Chris,” Coons laughed. “She doesn’t think the vice president is creepy.”

I do. And I think it’s wrong for a public official to paw women for his pleasure. If indecent assault on a minor isn’t enough to get you canned, what is? And yes, I know that puts the Secretary of State one step closer to the White House. But that’s a risk the country should be prepared to take in order to win the one-man War on Women.


New World Order

So, how did Obama react to the shellacking he took Tuesday?

Did you really have to ask?

President Obama is playing golf today with a few of his usual crew of younger White House aides. It’s the 46th time he’s played this year and the 203rd of his presidency.

Of course he would.

But this is typical of him too:

Republican Speaker John Boehner asked Obama to let Republicans work on reforming and modernizing immigration early in the new session, Barrasso said.

Vice President Joe Biden asked Boehner how long he needed to pass a bill: “February 15? March 15?” said one congressional source familiar with the discussions, who said Obama was visibly irritated and stopped Biden.

But another congressional source disputed that account. “At no time did the President cut off the Vice President,” said the Democratic source, describing Obama as “courteous and firm” during the immigration discussion.

Right. Just as “courteous and firm” as Michael Corleone was to Fredo in G II. From: “Don’t ever take sides with anyone against the Family again.” To: “I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart.” And Biden sure is Fredo.

But shame on Boehner asking permission to craft legislation. What a lickspittle dogsbody.

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These Things Come in Threes

Say it ain’t so, Joe:

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has one more stop on what has become a Middle East apology tour in the wake of his impolitic answer to a Harvard student’s question: Saudi Arabia.

After apologizing to officials from Turkey and the United Arab Emirates over the weekend, Mr. Biden is trying to connect with Saudi leaders, a senior official said, to clarify that he did not mean to suggest that Saudi Arabia backed Al Qaeda or other extremist groups in Syria.

The vice president’s troubles began Thursday when he declared, in a question-and-answer session at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, that the biggest problem the United States faced in dealing with Syria and the rise of the Islamic State was America’s allies in the region.

Turkey, Mr. Biden said, has admitted allowing foreign fighters to cross into Syria, while Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia funneled weapons and other aid to Syrian rebels that ended up in the hands of Al Nusra, Al Qaeda and other extremist groups.

Stupid Joe: you don’t tell the truth in this administration. This is what happens if you do.

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Apology Tour

Not Obama’s (this time), Biden’s:

US Vice-President Joe Biden has apologised to the United Arab Emirates after suggesting it had fuelled the rise of extremist groups in Syria.

The White House confirmed the call to the UAE, a day after Mr Biden offered a similar apology to Turkey.

Mr Biden told the Harvard students on Thursday that Turkey, the UAE and Saudi Arabia had extended “billions of dollars and tens of thousands of tonnes of weapons” to Sunni fighters battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

He called the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Sunday to offer his apologies, following a request from the UAE authorities for “a formal clarification” of the comments.

His remarks were “amazing and ignore the role of the Emirates in the fight against extremism and terrorism,” UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Mohammad Gargash said, quoted by state-run WAM news agency.

In the telephone call, Mr Biden said that his remarks “regarding the early stages of the conflict in Syria were not meant to imply that the UAE had facilitated or supported IS, al-Qaeda or other extremist groups in Syria”.

It is the second time in two days that he has had to call a key coalition partner to clarify his remarks.

On Saturday, he rang Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after he reacted angrily to the comments, saying that if “Mr Biden used such language, that would make him a man of the past for me”.

It is not unusual for Joe Biden to speak his mind but recently he has found himself back-pedalling fast multiple times, says the BBC’s Tom Esslemont in Washington.

It’s hardly news that Biden is a knucklehead. But this episode reminds us of the fiction that he was supposed to be Obama’s sage counsel on world affairs. Obama thinks he’s a sager counsel than his sage counsels anyway (in the case of Biden, he’s not wrong).

I don’t see Biden’s offensive comments in his prepared remarks, so we have to go to the news media:

“Our allies in the region were our largest problem with Syria,” he said. “The Turks, who are great friends… the Saudis, the Emiratis, etc. What were they doing? They were so determined to take down [Syrian President Bashar Al Assad] and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shiite war. What did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of weapons into anyone who would fight against Al Assad.

“Except that the people who were being supplied were [Jabhat] Al Nusra and Al Qaida and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world,” he added, naming Syria’s Al Qaida affiliate.

I don’t know, is Biden wrong? If he didn’t say this in his prepared remarks, was this his unfiltered view? What the hell is the matter with us if the vile, awful, antisemitic Turks are our “great friends”? If diplomacy is the art of disguising what you think, Biden is not your man. If you want a peek inside the mind (to be generous) of this administration, there’s no one better.


The Casual Antisemitism Of The Vice President Of The United States

Shylocks, anyone?

Vice President Joe Biden “should have been more careful” in a speech when he used a term that some consider anti-Semitic, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League said Tuesday.
At a conference marking the 40th anniversary of the Legal Services Corporation, Biden recalled anecdotes from his son’s experience serving in Iraq and meeting members of the military who were in need of legal help because of problems back at home.

“That’s one of the things that he finds was most in need when he was over there in Iraq for a year,” Biden said, “that people would come to him and talk about what was happening to them at home in terms of foreclosures, in terms of bad loans that were being...I mean these Shylocks who took advantage of, um, these women and men while overseas.”

ADL National Director Abraham Foxman issued a mild reprimand later Tuesday.
“When someone as friendly to the Jewish community and open and tolerant an individual as is Vice President Joe Biden, uses the term ‘Shylocked’ to describe unscrupulous moneylenders dealing with service men and women, we see once again how deeply embedded this stereotype about Jews is in society,” Foxman said in a statement, first reported by Yahoo News.

Who is Shylock?:

The name “Shylock” derives from the name of the antagonist in Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice.” Shylock, a Jew, was a ruthless moneylender in the play, and he’s remembered for demanding a “pound of flesh” from the merchant Antonio if he failed to repay a loan.
“Shylock represents the medieval stereotype about Jews and remains an offensive characterization to this day,” Foxman said. “The vice president should have been more careful.”

Let me give you a quick timeline of Shylock. In 1290, all of the Jews of England were expelled. Why? Due to Medieval Christian laws, they were not permitted to own property or to farm; instead they were required to loan money with interest, so that the King could take whatever he wanted (or felt he needed) from the interest charged. Christians were not allowed to loan money, only Jews. So, prior to the expulsion, the Jews were necessary to running the economy, but eventually the Kind needed everything that they had, and so they were expelled. (This dynamic occurred in the Hitler era. See Gotz Aly’s great study: Hitler’s Beneficiaries.) For a good overview of the economy surrounding the expulsion, check out the wiki link.

In 1657, 350 years later, Oliver Cromwell allowed the Jews to return to England.

Think about the years the Jews were absent from England – 1290 to 1657. And when, Gentle Readers, was the Merchant of Venice written? Scholars date it to 1596-1598. This means, of course, that neither Shakespeare nor anyone living during his time had ever met a Jew. They just hated because that’s what Christians did, that’s what Brits did, think about it as you will.

And today we read about our deeply ignorant and cynical Vice President blaming the housing crisis on Jews.

– Aggie

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When You Want Something Done Right

You have Joe Biden do it:

“They should know we will follow them to the gates of hell until they are brought to justice,” he forcefully told an audience at an event on the New Hampshire-Maine border. “Because hell is where they will reside. Hell is where they will reside.”

Not bad. And he wasn’t done:

Describing the perpetrators as “barbarians,” Biden vowed that Americans would not be frightened or intimidated by the heinous acts.

“We came back after 9/11. We dusted ourselves off and we made sure that Osama bin Laden would never, ever again threaten the American people,” Biden said. “We came back Boston strong, blaming no one but resolve to be certain that this didn’t happen again.”

“As a nation, we’re united, and when people harm Americans, we don’t retreat,” he later said. “We don’t forget.”

I’m glad to know we finally have a strategy!

Or do we?

Obama said they do have a regional strategy. Ultimately, he said, “our objective is clear, and that is to degrade and destroy ISIL so it is no longer a threat not just to Iraq but also the region and to the United States.”

He clarified that if the U.S. is joined by an international coalition, they can “continue to shrink ISIL’s sphere of influence, its effectiveness, its financing, its military capabilities to the point where it is a manageable problem.”

What happened to “the gates of hell”? What happened to “we don’t retreat”, “we don’t forget”?

What else in the Middle East is “manageable”? Iraq? Syria? Iran? We can’t even “manage” our embassy pool in Tripoli.

Obama tried. His prepared remarks said we would “degrade and destroy” ISIS—which is already a mixed signal. Degraded is not destroyed; destroyed renders degraded irrelevant.

He ended up reiterating his original statement. Gates of hell, degraded, destroyed, managed—if you’ve got several strategies, you’ve got no strategy.

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The People Who Brought You the Weekend…and Low Productivity

I could not let Labor Day pass without my own tribute to the sacrifices made by the working men and women of this country.

I’m so sorry you had to sit through this:

Vice President Joe Biden railed against corporations in a combative Labor Day Parade speech in Detroit with union bosses and their members in attendance – speaking with such passion that even when he made up the name of a fictional historical American president the crowd applauded.

“Why do CEO’s now make 333 times more money than the line worker when back when [WAGER?] was president, they made 25 times what the line worker,” Biden said (10:40). “What happened? What happened?”

President who? Wager? President Way-gur? Did the vice president start saying “Reagan” and then realize halfway through that he shouldn’t? Or did he just make the name up?

But it wasn’t the text that tripped Biden up. It was the optics.


Even on Labor Day, it’s not a good look to appear next to someone named “Jimmy” and “Hoffa”.

This is how you do populism for the folks:

We used to call that a “work shirt”. I don’t know what made it a work shirt, but it had to be blue. Check.

But what about the background guys, so heavily vetted by the Obama PR machine? AFSCME I get: American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. SEIU in green shirts, instead of purple.

But what about the guy in the red shirt with the clenched fist? What’s that all about? I thought Obama was the first Post-Clenched-Fist™ president.

And the symbolism! Soviet Communism, anyone?


Now it all makes sense.

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