The New York Times, a highly literate, aspirational outlet for its liberal-minded, well-to-do demographic, sometimes publishes extremely well-researched, important stories. I have serious concerns with the many things they do not report, their reflexive decision to couch every story, no matter how outrageous, in reasonable-sounding terms, the way they have sometimes directly colluded with the worst things our government does (often simply by agreeing to silence), the massive influence they exert in allowing a murderous status quo to function smoothly and efficiently, but I appreciate that they are also a vital and important news source. They ran this headline yesterday:
This widespread child hunger, among young children, in the wealthiest country in human history, is happening as American farmers are destroying massive quantities of food, plowing it into the ground, dumping it, trashing it. Thousands of tons of edible crops, eggs, dairy products, disposed of because the market for these foods has been eroded by the mass closures necessitated by our efforts to control the pandemic.
A caller to a radio show recently asked a supremely reasonable question on-air: can’t the military or the national guard send trucks to collect this food and get it to hungry Americans who are already lined up, waiting for it? The earnest politician she was asking spoke of a few related matters, but they ran out of time for him to answer that specific, excellent question. I’d love to hear a good answer to why that isn’t being done, as at least one in five young children in America is malnourished and farmers are destroying vast quantities of food.
Presumably shipping that food directly to poor people would be Communism, an unAmerican affront to freedom and liberty. Indecent, unAmerican, to distribute free food it is much more cost-effective to simply destroy on the spot since it can’t be profitably sold.
In any case, the president clearly does not care how many low-income Americans have to die, as long as his ratings stay above 38%, the stock market remains upbeat and his chances of winning reelection are viable. Don’t forget, he registered his 2020 re-election campaign on the day of his inauguration in January, 2017.
One in five young American children are hungry in our land of food abundance, reports the New York Times.
What is wrong with us as a people?
Low-paid workers, many of them migrants, are recently ordered by the president, by scrawled Executive Order (as he refuses to use the Defense Production Act to order companies to produce needed personal protective equipment, tests, ventilators and other things vital for combating the plague), to show up for their shifts in American meat processing plants. Never mind safety, never mind health, to hell with the pandemic — the nation needs warriors, says the president, to hack up those slaughtered animals and turn them into meat! No matter, really, if he winds up having to walk back this or that particular order, edict or pronouncement, he will announce he was being sarcastic, or meant the exact opposite of what he said. He’s playful as a puppy!
The same cannot be said for the strongman of the Senate, the man who takes grim pride in his nickname, The Grim Reaper. He is the proud, rictus-faced murderer of any humane bill that reaches his desk, he simply leaves them on his desk to die of neglect. No vote, no nothing, make me do it, loser! This well-married son of a couple of non-entities is not going to let any Commie-style legislation past him. Getting a law past him that favors the average person over the extraordinary persons he represents, those well-funded corporate persons who keep him in power, is harder than getting a pork chop past a hungry wolf.
You can read about what motivates this sick, destructive, unprincipled, soulless fuck in great detail in How Mitch McConnell Became Trump’s Enabler-in-Chief an exhaustively researched article by the great Jane Mayer. He is presently seeking to pass legislation to protect our largest corporate persons from that fearsome army of aggressive plaintiff’s lawyers always ready to frivolously sue any business who negligently kills anyone or doesn’t protect their imagined health or rights sufficiently. Shades of the legislation, at the dawn of the eternal War on Terror, to immunize mercenaries and other military contractors for things like torture and collateral damage.
Lewis Black got several of the last great laughs out of my mother that she ever had, in his one man show from the Kennedy Center, which we watched together on TV in the spring of 2010. A big laugh came when he aptly described our electoral process. He asked the audience: when was the last time you went into the voting booth and cast your vote for somebody you really believed was an excellent person for the job? (For my parents it might have been Adlai Stevenson, who lost against Eisenhower a couple of times and then lost the 1960 Democratic primary to JFK) No, said Black, you don’t get to vote for that person, ever. You go into the voting booth, pull the curtain AND IT’S TWO BOWLS OF SHIT, YOU GOTTA PICK ONE!
Our current reality TV-star, largely ignorant, compulsively “sarcastic” president ran against Hillary Clinton, a highly competent but problematic politician. The Democrats went with her because it was “her turn”. During the lead-up to the 2016 election I heard that Donald and Hillary were the first and second most hated politicians in America. Sounded about right to me. I don’t recall which was number one most hated and which was number two, (both smell like number two to me) but, apparently, the best man won, by 78,000 surgically applied votes in every county in the three or four states the big man needed to win the Electoral College.
The bowl of shit the corporate Democrats are proposing as their candidate to beat Trump “like a drum” in 2020 is a vain, surgically enhanced old man with a famously winning televangelist smile and a dodgy political past featuring a lot of right-wing compromises. He was the long-time senator from Delaware, the corporate incorporation capital of America, after all.
To be clear, as I did with Ms. Clinton in 2016 (and her husband before that), I will vote for the clear lesser of two evils, hold my nose and choose the bowl of shit not labeled “Trump”. I will urge everyone I talk to to do the same. I won’t pretend, though, as the New York Times will, that President Biden will bring about a return to decency, make everything normal again here in the land of the feee and the home of the brave. He will be a better president than Trump, without a doubt, but so would almost anybody. After all, Trump is the worst president in American history by a country mile. How bad? He makes people, even on the left, nostalgic for his runner up as worst-ever president, George W. Bush.
May we be objective here for a moment? The smiling blue collar Biden is something of an unapologetic jerk. He charms his way out of the worst accusations thrown at him, using folksy, workingman’s humor. After he was publicly admonished for touching women who didn’t want him to touch them he made a joke, putting his arm around a male on the stage with him. “Look, I asked his consent, he said it was OK,” Biden said to the crowd, who gave him a hearty laugh. It was probably less funny to any woman he’d been inappropriately handsy with. Listen to Jeremy Scahill’s excellent analysis of the giant turd in the Biden/Democratic punch bowl.
Trump is an absolute pig who takes pride in being that way and has threatened to sue every woman who ever accused him of being what he undoubtedly is, (particularly the ones who are not his type, women he wouldn’t rub against with Mike Pence’s dick). He was lying about suing them all, it turns out, but then, that’s just his way, he’s litigious, full of puffery. On a more sincere note, he nonchalantly indicated he’d like to have sex with his daughter Ivanka, you know, if he could get away with it. He said it like a joke. “I’d definitely date her,” he said, as his favorite daughter cooed uncomfortably next to him during the TV interview. He said many other things about women much worse than that. If you have no problem with a guy like him, he’s probably your man. Join that solid 38% who love him no matter what he does.
But Joe Biden, self-proclaimed champion of women, has got some serious credibility problems of his own in the matter of his treatment of women, including his occasional unwanted shows of physical affection to women he interacts with. I thought Jeremy Scahill’s was the best presentation of this truly perplexing situation that I’ve heard yet. His recent interviews with journalist Melissa Gira Grant and former Nevada lawmaker Lucy Flores were detailed and thought-provoking.
We don’t always stop to think that when a powerful man says, of an accuser’s allegation, “it never happened” it also means “she’s lying.” Joe Biden says, unequivocally that it never happened, that he never pushed his aide up against the wall and shoved his hand up her skirt and down her panties; therefore, the then young aide, Tara Reade, is lying, she’s a vicious liar.
The Democrats have been insisting loudly, especially during the administration of a proud serial sexual violator, that we must give women who complain of mistreatment by powerful men the presumption of credibility (ask former Senator Al Franken, lynched by zealous members of his own party). As Biden himself said during the Boof Kavanaugh hearings:
“For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real.”
Which, of course, is quite different from what he’s saying now, about Tara Reade’s allegation — in her case, she’s simply lying.
Recall his words and actions as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee when Anita Hill made allegations against now Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Note that Biden did not even support Thomas’s nomination, he was among the 48 who voted “nay” in the 52-48 confirmation . He chaired that committee around the time he is accused of feeling up his young aide in the rudest possible manner.
He allowed Anita Hill no corroborating witnesses, allowed her to be roughed up by the men of the committee who were allowed to ask her to tell them repeatedly exactly what she claimed Clarence Thomas had said about her lovely breasts and the pubic hair on the Coke can, and how she felt, (was she really humiliated or just flirtatious and later feeling scorned, as women do?) and why she made no complaint, and then was forced to tell the same shameful things again, and grilled about why she continued to have a professional relationship with her former boss if he had actually sexually harassed her and made her feel so humiliated, why she didn’t use the brand new sexual harassment laws to bring him to court and humiliate herself … etc. Biden chaired the circus, which Thomas indignantly called a “high tech lynching”, Biden held the gavel, had the power to make the abuse of Anita Hill stop at any time .
Biden never apologized to Anita Hill, beyond saying, around the time he threw his hat into the ring to be the 2020 Democratic bowl of shit, that he wished there was more he could have done to stop what was done to her. (Note the lawyer’s use of the passive voice– what was done to her– not what he, or anyone else did– nobody actually did anything, it was simply done, shit happens, gosh…). It’s not as though he had the power to do more than he did … it isn’t like he was the chairman of the committee, representing the majority on it, or anything like that…
Besides, as he points out, this lying woman, Tara Reade, is talking about something that never happened twenty-seven years ago! Where was she with her false claim all these years when he was being vetted over and over again? Since she said nothing all those years, why believe her now when it’s very politically convenient to suddenly come out with this smear? Biden’s most visible female surrogates, vice presidential hopefuls all, are forced to point out that they believe Joe and that the New York Times reported, about Tara Reade, well, she, there were some holes in her story, and other reasons to doubt she was the most reliable historian… and… and… the New York Times did a thorough investigation several weeks ago and determined…
Get ready to hold your nose, folks. Joe Biden is the man Tom Perez, Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic brain trust have chosen for you, brought back from the dead on the eve of his defeat, by the coordinated Super-Tuesday eve efforts of a united national party intent on not allowing a vigorous debate about the future of America, the minimum standard of decency we citizens actually deserve, what protections for human citizens are actually needed against merciless corporate persons. We’ll chose the bowl of shit the Democratic party puts in front of us, if we know what’s good for us. What choice do we really have? Do we really want to wake up in November living in the Fourth Reich? I don’t think so.
What is wrong with us, America?
 The ultra-conservative Thomas received 8 confirmation votes from Democrats; one each from Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and Virginia; he got both motherfuckers from Louisiana and Georgia. Proving how much times have changed her in American race relations, even white southerners recognize the value of putting a black klansman on the nation’s highest court for his lifetime.
 The Republicans who confirmed temperamentally unsuited right-wing extremist Boof Kavanaugh to his lifetime post on our highest court, learned a valuable lesson from the Thomas/Hill shit show. They enlisted a woman to sympathetically grill Kavanaugh’s main accuser, Christine Blasey-Ford. As a result, Blasey-Ford’s testimony was heard in full, and believed by most Americans who heard it. During the break FOX news was in despair, it appeared to be over for choir boy Brett. It would be up to the angry white Republican men on the committee, led by a crying Lindsey Graham, to support the indignant, snorting, crying Kavanaugh so he could be confirmed. Fucking babies.