Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Last Call For Kamala's Karma

The ticket is Joseph Robinette Biden and Kamala Devi Harris. Former Obama strategist David Axelrod, who made it very clear Harris was not his choice, explains why Biden picked her for this historic selection.

It is a measure of these extraordinary times that Joe Biden's historic choice for vice president was also the most conventional. 
In choosing Kamala Harris, Biden selected the candidate who had been the frontrunner among political handicappers and betting markets for months. The senator from California fulfills Biden's pledge to name a woman and responds to the expectation that he would pick the first woman of color ever to serve on a national ticket. 
Pressure to make such a choice has been building since the killing of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer triggered nationwide protests over racial inequity. And beyond the historic nature of Harris' selection, many supporters argued that the presence of a person of color on the ticket was necessary to motivate Black voters. Tepid turnout by Black voters in 2016 helped doom Hillary Clinton in her race against Donald Trump. 
Harris is a charismatic and telegenic politician. And as a US senator and recent presidential candidate, Harris also meets another important test for Biden. People familiar with research the campaign undertook to inform its decision told me voters viewed her as among the most qualified to be president on Day One -- a key positive, given Biden's status as potentially the oldest politician to ever serve as president. 
She is also familiar with the maelstrom of a national campaign, having spent a year running for president, albeit unsuccessfully. Though she was at times less than sure-footed in dealing with incoming criticism from the media and opponents, she understands the pace and nature of it, which will only intensify in a fall race against Trump. 
One of the principal tasks of a running mate is to play a lead role in bringing the case against the other ticket, particularly in the vice-presidential debate. 
A former prosecutor, Harris is known as a fierce interrogator on Capitol Hill and proved herself, at times, to be a sharp-edged debater during the campaign. Biden knows this well. He famously was her target in the first primary debate 14 months ago, when she theatrically confronted him over his position on mandatory school busing in the 1970s. 
That exchange, in which Harris played up her own experience as a child who benefited from busing, briefly vaulted her to the top echelon of candidates in polling. It also was a source of friction with Biden and his family that could have upended his choice. 
In the end, Biden seriously considered others but returned to Harris as the "do no harm" candidate, unlikely to thrill or outrage many. She may not seem the most comfortable fit as a governing partner, a quality Biden said he was seeking, but Harris was viewed as the safest pick to win in November. 
By naming her, Biden likely also has set the dynamics for the 2024 election, not just the current one. The former Vice President has not said he would stand down after one term, though given the fact that he would be 81 by the next election, it is widely assumed he would not run. 
This also will place Harris in not only an historic but a historically challenging position if the Biden-Harris ticket wins. She immediately would be installed as heir apparent and putative frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination four years from now. 

Imagine a world where a woman of both Black and Desi heritage is the "safe, conventional" choice to put on an American Presidential ticket. It's a world where Donald Trump is currently destroying to country on a daily basis, too.

I can already tell that Harris was the right choice based on the immediate reactions from the Trump camp, that Harris is a communist, an "anti-Catholic", and an authoritarian, attacks all made on Biden that have failed to stick and won't touch Harris either.

I think it's going to not only fulfill the oldest saw in the veep playbook -- "First do no harm to the top of the ticket" -- but it's going to help Biden more than the pundits are saying. The running mate gets to throw the elbows like Biden did in 2008, and Kamala Harris is absolutely up for the task compared to Mike Pence.

She's going to cut them so badly they won't bleed until she says so.

New Tag, Biden-Harris.

A Government Held Accountable For Its Failures

Imagine a government that resigned after its failures killed people and destroyed the country's economy? It happened in Lebanon on Monday, just days after a deadly explosion in a port warehouse leveled buildings and killed more than 160 people.

Lebanon's government stepped down on Monday night, less than a week after a massive explosion in Beirut killed more than 160 people and sparked days of violent protests. 
Prime Minister Hassan Diab addressed the nation, announcing his resignation and that of his government in the wake of the blast, which he called a "disaster beyond measure." 
In an impassioned speech, Diab berated Lebanon's ruling political elite for fostering what he called "an apparatus of corruption bigger than the state." 
"We have fought valiantly and with dignity," he said, referring to members of his cabinet. "Between us and change is big powerful barrier." 
Diab compared Tuesday's explosion to an "earthquake that rocked the country" prompting his government to resign. "We have decided to stand with the people," he said. 
Three cabinet ministers had already quit, along with seven members of parliament.
Violent protests erupted outside the prime minister's office in the run-up to the scheduled speech on Monday evening. 
Dozens of protesters hurled stones, fireworks and Molotov cocktails at security forces who responded with several rounds of tear gas. Some demonstrators tried to scale the blast walls outside Parliament Square.  
Lebanon was already suffering through its worst economic crisis in decades, coupled with rising coronavirus rates, and the government has been plagued by accusations of corruption and gross mismanagement. 
Tuesday's blast, which damaged or destroyed much of the Lebanese capital and was linked to a long-neglected stash of potentially explosive chemicals, was the last straw for many Beirut residents. 
Diab, a self-styled reformer, was ushered into power last December, two months after a popular uprising brought down the previous government. His government is composed of technocrats and had been supported by major political parties, including the Iran-backed political and militant group Hezbollah. 
Now the country will be tasked with finding its third prime minister in less than a year, to contend with the spiraling crises Lebanon faces on a number of fronts.

So now, as Lebanon literally tries to put a government and a capital city back together again, the world wonders how long Beirut can hold on.

Black Lives Still Matter, Con't

Republicans are running out of time before the election to create a racist, white supremacist backlash against Black Lives Matter and they know it.

For a brief moment after George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis policeman in late May, some members of the GOP joined calls for change as protests exploded onto streets across the country. That moment is over.

Facing possible electoral calamity, Republicans are now turning to a familiar playbook: stoking fear by trying to redefine the Black Lives Matter movement as a radical leftist mob looking to sabotage the white, suburban lifestyle.

Republicans are using two lines of attack: the Trump administration, candidates in safe red seats and right-wing social media channels seek to label the entire movement “Marxist” and anti-family as they try to energize their conservative base. Republicans running in swing districts and states, meanwhile, are tying their Democratic opponents to activists’ demands to defund police departments, while avoiding explicitly mentioning Black Lives Matter. Instead, Republicans running in competitive general election races have focused recent ads on more abstract targets like “left-wing radicals" and the "liberal mob."

It’s a distinction Democratic pollsters and lawmakers attribute to the dramatic shift in public views on police brutality, and who and what people associate with the declaration that “Black Lives Matter.” The new broad support for the movement, they say, makes it harder to tie Black Lives Matter to one person, organization or ideology.

“People putting ‘Black Lives Matter’ signs on their lawns, it's not an endorsement of a particular organization so much as a value statement uniting a lot of people from many backgrounds,” said Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowksi, whose predominantly white New Jersey district was held by Republicans for decades before he won in 2018.

That hasn't deterred Republicans, who have increased their criticism of the movement over the past month. On the same day President Donald Trump tweeted that Black Lives Matter was “a symbol of hate,” his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, declared to a group of reporters at the White House that "Black Lives Matter is a Marxist organization … Black Lives Matter has been planning to destroy the police for three years.”

Other Trump administration officials and Republican lawmakers, particularly those running in tough primaries, followed suit, warning, in addition, that the movement wanted to destroy the “nuclear family.” Fox News hosts, conservative talk radio personalities and think tanks such as The Heritage Foundation joined in, as well. Prager University’s “Black Lives Matter is a Marxist Movement” video released this month has over a million views on YouTube and is one of several popular videos it has produced on the topic.

So far, the GOP attempts to discredit the movement have yet to stick. With just under three months until the election, Black Lives Matter has won mainstream support across racial and partisan lines that would have been almost unthinkable six months ago. But the battle to define the movement is not over, as Trump bets he can turn the suburbs, lost to Republicans in 2018, in his favor by attempting to cast a movement for racial equality as a threat to white voters.
“We recognize that this is not simply an issue fight, this isn't simply a narrative war — what we think we're experiencing is a social and cultural and political realignment,” said Maurice Mitchell, national director of the Working Families Party and a leader with the Movement for Black Lives coalition. “We continue to give that backlash the adequate concern and respect one would give any dangerous opponent, even one that clearly is on the wrong side of history.” 

The latest iteration of this is concern trolling by Republicans that Black Lives Matter will drive Black voters who fear the "liberal mob" more than police brutality into Trump's arms as LAW AND ORDER!!1! president, a narrative that still isn't supported by actual numbers but is being packaged for White suburban consumption.

When this fails to materialize, how far will the regime go to manufacture it?


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