"Slammed for his comments on race, Biden challenged by a changing party" by Jess Bidgood and Liz Goodwin Globe Staff, June 29, 2019
MIAMI — Since he joined the presidential race in April, there has been one overarching question about Joe Biden: Can he convince millions of Democratic primary voters that he alone is the best bet, among a field brimming with candidates younger, more liberal, and more diverse than he, to be the standard-bearer for his party?
Despite his lead in the polls, last week’s debates revealed how difficult that could be for Biden.
On Thursday night, the former vice president grew defensive and rambled when Senator Kamala Harris confronted him in stark and personal terms on his record on race. Standing under the bright lights, as he haltingly told the second black woman ever elected to the Senate that his opposition to federally mandated busing did not affect her childhood, the former vice president did not exactly seem like the heir apparent to a party that has transformed around him during his decades in public life.
Biden, 76, has cultivated an image as a powerful front-runner with close ties to former president Barack Obama, but he is entering a tougher stage of the primary — one in which he may be forced to rethink his strategy of meeting critiques with defiance or a laugh, especially on charged issues such as race.
Having a bit of deja vu, the turn-in was at tougher, and I'll pick it up on page A8.
The front-page center feature is in regard to the “the era of the employee activist,” just the kind of thing you want to see in the bastion of corporate liberalism that is the Bo$ton Globe:
Wayfair walkout is part of a new era of employee activism
Time to go back to work, though, and rising up to snag a small spot above the fold were these articles:
One Dalton, Boston’s commanding new skyscraper, conjures architectural magic
Guards at the MFA speak out
I already spoke out on what I think, and the contrived non-events for mind-manipulation and agenda-pushing purposes becomes so tiresome as my pre$$ diverts any talk of cla$$.
Nothing below the fold in terms of articles, just what's inside with brief weather report.
So I opened the over-priced puppy up and was met with these on page A2:
Trump and Xi agree to restart trade talks, avoiding escalation in tariff war
I saw it was New York Times and I quickly scanned it. Like much of today's Sunday Globe, it's filler.
Below it was this "news analysis":
Trump’s offer to say ‘hello’ to Kim at DMZ carries risks and rewards for both
I saw it was New York Times again, and I quickly scanned it. Like much of today's Sunday Globe, it's filler. No offense, but I view the the events as irrelevant. No there there, just more photo-op garbage presented as a reflection of reality.
What I cared about seems to be missing from the Globe web version, and that was the trio of briefs in the right-hand column:
Palestinian forces arrest participant in US Mideast workshop
Sudan’s army warns protest leaders of violence at rallies
US, Taliban open Doha talks in fresh bid to end war
Interestingly enough, when I went into the World headlines to search I found this on the heels of those alleged peace talks:
Taliban attack kills 8 election officials in Afghanistan
You can set your watch by the stuff, whatever it is.
[Page A3 was a full-page advertisement wishing Cardinal O'Malley of Boston a happy 75th birthday. Glad to see it's far from the Spotlight]
Italy arrests captain of ship that rescued dozens of migrants at sea
I saw that it was another, you guessed it, New York Times byline, and I quickly lost interest.
Below it was this:
What’s it like to live in Barcelona’s most famous Gaudí home?
Once again, a New York Times byline, and that obviou$ly appeals to a certain cla$$ of people -- not that there is anything wrong with that, but it's feel-good filler and not the kind of news reporting I'm looking for. The pre$$ has become worse than the TV.
[The rest of page A4 contained advertisements for a donation of your car to Make-A-Wish, Seasons Four patio furniture, and for fur storage of all things by Glama Furs, while the flip to page A5 brought a full-page advertisement for Total Wine, a stalwart of advertising in the Globe]
At the bottom of page A6 I found this:
UK couple ends weeks-long joint hunger strike
Looks like the beating of the Iran war drum over an MI-6 spy, and the byline was, yeah, New York Times.
Page A7 begins the National coverage:
Judge orders swift action to improve conditions for migrant children in Texas
I hate to say it, but the byline is, yeah, New York Times, and for whatever reason as soon as I see it I lose all interest in what propaganda they are promoting.
[The full bottom of the page is a promotion for something called "JFK Moonshot," an augmented reality experience that will help you relive the Apollo 11 launch at the JFK library. They can't be more in your face with that colossal production than that. Received history is a fake, a fraud, a lie. You are told to take the Red Line to JFK/UMass (better give yourself some extra time) and the "mission," get this, is co-sponsored by Raytheon and Boeing -- who have everything to gain from NASA continuing to run cover for the MIC, and it might even be part of the merger strategy on Raytheon's part while Boeing needs a boost after their faulty jets crashed and killed people. One wonders where are the murder charges, if for nothing but negligence]
[Forget about the above; however, for you can get away from it all by flipping to the end of first part of the A-section with a full-page A8 ad for Sandals in the Caribbean, where I'm told Love is All You Need, Everything Else Included]
NC redistricting fight turns to state courts after ruling
Was an AP byline, but I still wasn't interested.
[The full bottom of the page was an ad for Walden Local Farms]
Page A10 puts me back on the campaign trail:
“I think he needs to remember that he’s running in 2019 and not 1988,” said Joseph Darby, a pastor from Nichols AME Church in Charleston, S.C., and an official with his city’s NAACP. “The political discourse is a little bit different now,” said Darby.
Harris’s surgical and carefully planned attack laid bare the differences between Biden and many of his competitors — in age, life experience, and the way they believe Democrats should talk about race, a defining and unavoidable issue for many of the voters who will choose the party’s nominee in 2020. Biden has longstanding relationships with black leaders, but he does not seem used to the careful tone that may be required of an older white politician in a party that now has people of color decades younger than he is also seeking the presidency.
Biden didn’t appear prepared for Harris’s slam on his past work with segregationist senators to prevent federal support for busing, despite the fact that his praise of working with those senators had dominated the news for the week leading up to the debate.
He thinks they are just going to hand it to him, and maybe they are. The fix is already in the machines.
He told Harris she was wrong about his position, took a swipe at her career as a prosecutor — a critique that did not seem to land in the moment — and then cut himself off as he enumerated his civil rights record. “My time is up,” he said. “I’m sorry.”
That last part probably helped him, since it stopped him from inserting his knee into his mouth.
Biden’s attempts to defend himself made for a sharp contrast with the way Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., responded on the same stage when he was asked why there are so few black police officers in his city, which is reeling after a white police officer fatally shot a black man there this month.
It’s unclear if the lackluster performance will eat away at the former vice president’s commanding 15-point lead in the polls, or whether Harris’s pointed criticisms of Biden’s record on race will siphon away his deep well of support from older black voters, many of whom find his eight years serving under the nation’s first black president deeply compelling.
“They’re going to forgive a lot of things and they’re going to forget a lot of things,” said Bill Clyburn, an African-American state representative from South Carolina who has endorsed Biden.
“They’re going to do that because of the confidence that they have in Biden and the confidence they have in Barack, who chose him,” added Clyburn, who is a cousin of the powerful Congressman Jim Clyburn.
Indeed, some of the controversies that play out in the news media don’t appear to register on the campaign trail, as when Biden joked about accusations from some women that his physical campaigning style made them uncomfortable. Many voters appear to trust him when he suggests his heart is in the right place on race, and appreciate his unstudied style, but for months, operatives in early voting states have worried Biden is too reliant on the sheen from his role as vice president in the Obama administration in a wide-open primary where the party is wrestling with fundamental questions about identity and values. Biden keeps a lighter schedule than many of his rivals, has done fewer in-depth interviews with the press, and often reacts defensively when presented with criticisms of his comments or past positions on issues.
He's a “straight shooter and very sincere,” but a bit thin-skinned.
“They’ve been acting sort of aloof and like he’s stratospherically above everyone else, but I don’t think that’s sustainable for much longer,” said Brian Fallon, a former top aide to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
Harris moved quickly to capitalize on her clash with Biden, selling T-shirts that commemorate the moment and announcing on Saturday she had raised $2 million in the 24 hours after the debate.
Biden initially acted like a front-runner with no desire to quickly clean up the mess. As his competitors grabbed more camera time post-debate, Biden had to be chased by a TV reporter through the debate hall. He reiterated his belief that Harris mischaracterized his views. Then on Friday, in a speech at a labor luncheon for a civil rights group in Chicago, Biden took a softer tone in defending his commitment to racial equality.
“I heard and I listened to and I respect Senator Harris,” he told the crowd. “But we all know that 30 seconds to 60 seconds on a campaign debate exchange can’t do justice to a lifetime commitment to civil rights,” but another comment he made at the same event, about how a “kid wearing a hoodie” could be the next poet laureate and not a “gangbanger,” drew a fresh round of criticism, underscoring the scrutiny Biden is likely to face when he discusses race in the coming weeks of his campaign.
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, who is black, posted a retort on Twitter. “This isn’t about a hoodie. It’s about a culture that sees a problem with a kid wearing a hoodie in the first place,” said Booker, another Democratic contender who has been sharply critical of Biden on racial issues. “Our nominee needs to have the language to talk about race in a far more constructive way.”
Adrianne Shropshire, the executive director of BlackPAC, a progressive group that funds efforts to mobilize black voters, said Harris’s deft highlighting of Biden’s associations with segregationists could prompt some black voters to take another look at his record on race. She suggested Biden reckon with the issue directly.
“He needs to either make a major policy speech or in some other way articulate his evolution on issues,” Shropshire said. “He needs to discuss why he took certain positions that frankly were problematic,” but such a move would require Biden to curb his instincts to dismiss criticism out of hand.
The former vice president has been prickly on the campaign trail, explicitly refusing to apologize after critiques of issues from his past treatment of Anita Hill when she accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment, to his minimalist campaign schedule. He also punches down, responding to barbs from minor rivals and thus elevating the controversy, and last week, when Booker slammed Biden for joking about a segregationist senator using the word “boy,” Biden told reporters Booker should apologize to him, not the other way around.
He is living in the past.
Biden has survived a long career in politics, and facing down criticism aggressively is not always a political liability — he appears to have put the controversies around his physical style of campaigning to rest by mocking the issue, for example.....
Then he is a fool.
It is now looking like a two-woman race as the Democrats are having a moment, but it won’t last long enough to win the Electoral College.
"Trump consultant is trolling Democrats with Biden site that isn’t Biden’s" by Matthew Rosenberg New York Times, June 29, 2019
AUSTIN, Texas — For much of the past three months, the most popular Joe Biden website has been a slick little piece of disinformation that is designed to look like the former vice president’s official campaign page, yet is most definitely not pro-Biden.
From top to bottom, the website, JoeBiden.info, breezily mocks the candidate in terms that would warm the heart of any Bernie Sanders supporter: There are GIFs of Biden touching women and girls, and blurbs about his less-than-liberal policy positions, including his opposition to court-ordered busing in the 1970s and his support for the Iraq War. Pull quotes highlight some of his more famous verbal gaffes, like his description of his future boss, Barack Obama, as “articulate and bright and clean.” The introductory text declares, “Uncle Joe is back and ready to take a hands-on approach to America’s problems!”
So what is the actual disinformation there?
All the site says about its creator is buried in the fine print at the bottom of the page. The site, it says, is a political parody built and paid for “BY AN American citizen FOR American citizens,” and not the work of any campaign or political action committee.
The Globe's is usually at the bottom of the op-ed page.
There is indeed an American behind the website — that much is unambiguously true, but he is very much a political player, and a Republican one at that. His name is Patrick Mauldin, and he makes videos and other digital content for President Trump’s reelection campaign. Together with his brother Ryan, Mauldin also runs Vici Media Group, a Republican political consulting firm in Austin whose website opens with the line “We Kick” followed by the image of a donkey — the Democratic Party symbol often known by another, three-letter, name.
When I saw he was based in Austin, my first thought was government disinformation or controlled opposition (is also where Ron Paul was from, casting doubt upon that campaign).
The Biden website was intended to help Democrats “face facts,” Mauldin said in an interview. He kept his name off it because “people tend to dismiss things that they don’t like, especially if it comes from the opposite side,” he said, yet in anonymously trying to exploit the fissures within the Democratic ranks — fissures that ran through this past week’s debates — Mauldin’s website hews far closer to the disinformation spread by Russian trolls in 2016 than typical political messaging. With nothing to indicate its creator’s motives or employer, the website offers a preview of what election experts and national security officials say Americans can expect to be bombarded with for the next year and a half: anonymous and hard-to-trace digital messaging spread by sophisticated political operatives whose aim is to sow discord through deceit. Trolling, that is, as a political strategy.
Looks more like Israel's modus operandi.
Mauldin, who has not been previously identified as the creator of the website, said he had built and paid for it on his own, and not for the Trump campaign, but the campaign knows about the website, raising the prospect that the president’s reelection effort condoned what is, in essence, a disinformation operation run by one of its own.
Inside the campaign, Mauldin, 30, is seen as a rising star, prized for his mischievous sense of humor and digital know-how, according to two people familiar with the operation. He also appears to be very much on point in his choice of targets: Biden is the Democrat polling strongest against Trump and has been repeatedly singled out on Twitter by the president.
Biden’s campaign knew about the fake website for months, but had not been of aware of who was behind it, said T.J. Ducklo, a campaign spokesman. “Imagine our surprise that a site full of obvious disinformation,” he said, “is the handiwork of an operative tied to the Trump campaign.”
Unlike much of the Russian disinformation, which often has been crude and off-key — remember the Facebook ad promoting Sanders as a gay-rights superhero? — the faux Biden site has been a viral hit. Mauldin even started selling mock Biden 2020 T-shirts through the website to capitalize on its success.
Selling T-shirts like Harris, huh?
For decades, conventional wisdom in politics held that trying to undermine your opponent’s base would only motivate that group to vote against you, but in 2016, Russian disinformation and the Trump team’s own targeting of disenchanted Democrats led many campaign veterans on the left and the right to conclude that sowing dissent inside an opponent’s ranks could work. It worked especially well if the criticism appeared to come from their own side.
Like what the Democrats did to Roy Moore.
Are you sure it was the Russians and not someone else?
With websites like the faux Biden page, “essentially you’re trying to sow chaos and you’re trying to basically do voter suppression,” said David Goldstein, the chief executive of Tovo Labs, a Democratic digital consulting firm in New York.
You mean preventing fraud, right?
“You want their supporters to get sad, to get angry, to get turned off from their chosen candidate,” he continued. “The way voters tend to work: They don’t turn off from a candidate and pick up someone else; they turn off from a candidate and turn off politics.”
No, it's the ma$$ media coverage that has turned me off to the wre$tling match that is politics now.
They are the prime reason!
Faithful reflect on church’s move to scrap a moniker
It's New York Times again, and I already made the mistake of reading one of their articles.
"Oregon Republican senators end walkout over carbon bill" by Andrew Selsky and Sarah Zimmerman Associated Press, June 29, 2019
SALEM, Ore. — Some Republican lawmakers returned to the Oregon Senate on Saturday, ending a walkout over a carbon-emissions bill they said would harm their rural constituents.
Nine of the 12 minority Republicans returned after Senate President Peter Courtney said the majority Democrats lacked the votes to pass the legislation aimed at countering climate change. Democrats have an 18 to 12 majority in the Senate but need at least 20 members — and therefore at least two Republicans — to vote on legislation.
Democrats had said the climate legislation was critical to make Oregon a leader in the fight against climate change and will ultimately create jobs and transform the economy. They made dozens of concessions to respond to concerns from conservatives and industry leaders, but they didn’t go as far as Republicans hoped.
The GOP senator walkout began June 20. Many left the state after Governor Kate Brown ordered the state police to bring them to the Capitol.
‘‘Our mission in walking out was to kill cap and trade,’’ Senate Minority Leader Herman Baertschiger told reporters Friday. ‘‘And that’s what we did.’’
At least for the current session, which ends today, and more than 100 bills and dozens of measures remain to be addressed before the legislative session ends. That's called literally waiting until the last minute, and one wonders how Oregonians are getting to get f***ed.
The Republicans wielded power disproportionate to their numbers this session. They walked out of the Senate last month to block a school funding tax package. They returned only after Brown brokered a deal in which Democrats dropped legislation on gun control and children’s vaccination requirements, upsetting backers of those measures and leaving gun-control proponents and those concerned about disease outbreaks feeling betrayed.....
I'm told ‘‘this is not how our democracy is supposed to work,’’ and that they are ‘‘heartbroken over the state of their Legislature,’’ but no one complains -- or even mentions -- the disproportionate power wielded by Zioni$t Jews.
NASA reopens Apollo Mission Control room that once landed men on moon
The bigger and longer the lie, and I remember seeing the aluminum foil toy at the Smithsonian once wondering how in the world that made it.
Fatal lion attack nets 3 ‘serious’ violations for North Carolina center
[After that there were seven pages of obituaries, and that, dear ladies and gentleman, is where my two-sectioned A-section ended]
My B-section came with a flip-flap in front of the front-page:
Don’t let the roller coaster excitement around bitcoin distract you from the basics of investing
Trump to name Tomas Philipson, a health care expert, as his next chief economist
Both are Washington ComPost copy, and when I peeled those away, I found these:
Wife thrilled with husband’s rescue from White Mountains
I wonder if they will be criminally charged and billed for the heart-warming success.
"The long-struggling MBTA pension fund is in ‘the danger zone’" by Matt Stout Globe Staff, June 29
The MBTA’s pension system is less than 50 percent funded for the first time in at least three decades, deepening concerns over the long-troubled fund as it mulls handing some financial control to the state.
At the close of last year, the MBTA Retirement Fund’s liabilities climbed past $2.91 billion, more than double the $1.45 billion it reported in assets, according to several documents the fund quietly posted to its website.
That imbalance means the system is just 49.7 percent funded. A fund spokesman said Friday he did not know if it’s ever been that low in a single year, and it’s the first time it’s fallen below 50 percent since at least 1987, according to public records available online.
I $mell another money grab!
“That’s the danger zone,” said Mark T. Williams, a Boston University professor who has closely tracked the fund as it has continually spent more than it has brought in. “Then the issue is you can’t continue paying the benefits that you’re paying because you’re going to drain the overall pension, and you’re not going to meet the obligation of future retirees. It’s hard to recover.”
The T pension fund’s gloomy financial picture darkened in 2018, thanks in part to a struggling financial market. The fund reported a negative 3.08 percent return — far below its 7.5 percent target — which helped push its unfunded liability to more than $1.46 billion.
I'm told to turn in to page B7 while wondering WTF?
How can they be so far off track when the stock markets are at record highs?
Jarheads rely on their brotherhood to confront tragedy
The kid is now Public Enemy #1.
[flip to below fold]
Bernie Sanders, Seth Moulton court LGBTQ voters at Nashua Pride Festival
At least they are open about it.
"Alexander Pangborn, 41, a transgender man from Western Massachusetts who says he was repeatedly denied insurance coverage for a gender-affirming surgery filed a complaint last week with the state’s commission against discrimination, according to his lawyer....."
Dominican officials arrest 14th man in David Ortiz shooting
That was a lead New England brief in my printed paper, followed by these:
Woman dies after stabbing during Brockton ‘traffic confrontation’
Mass. mother accused of driving SUV into R.I. reservoir with 3 kids inside
Police seeking shooter that injured 5 at house party
Markey, Pressley, Kennedy propose federal grants for states that adopt Mass. gun laws
Looks like a bribe attempt to me.
Woman injured in Esplanade stabbing released from hospital
The suspect in the attack is also being charged with an unrelated outstanding warrant, but State Police have not released information about it -- leading one to believe it's connected to his immigration status -- and by Saturday, there was no apparent sign that anything had happened less than a week before throngs of tourists are expected to celebrate the Fourth of July and the stabbing shouldn't affect the festivities “at all” because there is “so much State Police there.”
Oddly enough, on this day in history they also drew out the long knives.
Steve Crawford, a fund spokesman, said officials view the system’s level of funding over five years, not one, where he said it’s slightly better at 53 percent, but even in that context, it’s the lowest since at least the late 1980s, records show.
Crawford argued that the fund is “back on track” this year, when it reported a 9.9 percent net return through the end of April, and is benefiting from “the assistance of greater contributions by members and the authority.”
The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority is slated to give the fund $118.1 million next budget cycle, according to T officials. That’s up significantly from this fiscal year, when it contributed $103 million in taxpayer- and rider-funded cash.
“We are confident the long-term health of the fund is good,” Crawford said.
Denial is a wonderful thing.
T officials forcefully disagree.....
They say it is a wake-up call.
I guess you will just have to walk:
Boston officials approve ‘Straight Pride Parade’ application; event to be held Aug. 31
Maybe you can get a boat out of the port:
The next global tech disruption will happen where few expect it
Did you know modern cargo ships are hundreds of feet longer than the largest aircraft carrier?
I'm also left wondering how globalization has contributed to the climate change we are all supposed to be worried about, or does it not matter when it is the military or trade at $take?
Chernobyl reminds us of the tragic cost of lies
I know it is none of their concern, but the credibility of the whole series was called into question, and when I think of the tragic cost of lies the word that immediately comes to mind is Iraq.
Soros and Koch brothers team up to end US ‘forever war’ policy
I used to at least respect Kinzer because he was about as much dissent as the Globe allowed; however, he has become a cartoon caricature.
Maximum pressure has been a failure
It's the Globe calling for a different approach with Iran and Cuba, as they call for Trump to reenter the nuclear deal and then try to negotiate an extension, and enhancement, of the agreement while letting travel, tourism, and commerce promote change from within in Cuba.
And with that, I am out of time for today.