Trump gone, his anti-immigrant policies continue

This 13 May 2021 video from the USA says about itself:

Biden Is Flying Migrants Thousands of Miles Just to Send Them Back to Mexico

Biden’s campaign promised change at the US-Mexico border. But since March, the Biden Administration has been systematically flying thousands of migrants attempting to enter the US via the Rio Grande Valley in Texas all the way to San Diego — thousands of miles away — to then expel them to Tijuana. VICE News reports from the border.

IMMIGRATION ARRESTS SOAR UNDER BIDEN The number of immigrants detained by ICE has risen significantly under President Joe Biden, swamping detention centers and private prisons. The influx raises questions about whether detaining so many people is the best way to handle immigration. [BuzzFeed]

United States presidential election, still unclear

This video from the USA today (starts after 0:45) is called Election Night: Not A Biden Landslide| Rational Live!

The Democratic party may have learnt nothing from the 2016 Hillary Clinton defeat about having a ‘centrist‘ candidate against Trump.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

As of early Wednesday morning, the US presidential election remains undecided. The fact that the election is so close, however, is a devastating indictment of the Democratic Party and its inability to present any progressive alternative to the fascistic politics of the Trump administration.

As of this writing, a narrow victory in the Electoral College is possible for either Democratic candidate Joe Biden or Republican President Donald Trump. Due to delays in counting mail ballots, which became a predominant feature in the election because of the threat of coronavirus, the results in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania may not be known until the end of the week.

Trump has captured Florida, Georgia, Texas and Ohio, and he held a narrow lead in North Carolina, all states he carried in 2016. But he failed in efforts to win New Hampshire and Minnesota, where he had come close in 2016, and appeared likely to fall short in Nevada as well.

If Trump were to pull out a victory in the Electoral College, he would become the second US president to be reelected by a smaller margin than his initial victory. The first was Barack Obama.

Even if Biden ekes out a victory, it will be nothing like the landslide that would be expected when running against an incumbent responsible for the deaths of 235,000 Americans in the global coronavirus pandemic, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and open efforts to mobilize fascist forces and establish an authoritarian regime in Washington.

Late Wednesday night, Trump declared victory based on the initial results and made clear his plans to challenge the full counting of the votes. “As far as we are concerned, we already have won,” Trump said in a speech at the White House, adding “We will be going to the US Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop.”

In the days leading up to the election, Trump repeatedly insisted that the results of the election had to be decided on Election Day, which has no basis in law or the Constitution. Trump, who is in no position to declare victory, is continuing his political conspiracies.

Just prior to President Donald Trump’s final campaign rally Monday in Grand Rapids, Michigan it was revealed that several tombstones at a nearby Jewish cemetery had been vandalized with pro-Trump graffiti. Unknown perpetrators spray-painted red letters spelling out “TRUMP” on a row of tombstones at Ahavas Israel Cemetery, while two other gravesites had “MAGA,” an abbreviation for Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” scrawled in red graffiti: here.

United States Democrats, workers and fossil fuel

This 18 August 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Senator Bernie Sanders complete remarks at 2020 Democratic National Convention

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT): “Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Trump golfs.”

By Brian McLain in the USA, 21 August 2020:

My name is Brian McLain, and I’m a union worker from Iowa, a Bernie delegate to the DNC, an Our Revolution member and former long-time Republican.

The only reason that I am a Democrat today is because of Bernie, Our Revolution, and the pro-worker policies they champion.

I’ve been watching the parade of Republicans — like Michael Bloomberg and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich — speak at the DNC. I understand why the Democratic establishment invited them to be in the spotlight. But it makes me wonder which side is the Democratic Party on? Regular working-class folks like me — or anti-worker, pro-corporate Republicans?

I was a Reagan supporter and a believer in free-market economics. I was a county RNC delegate for Ron Paul in 2008 and 2012. Then I was introduced to Bernie Sanders. Bernie was the first Democrat who talked to me like a human being and helped me understand his side of the argument. He didn’t move over to my side — he moved me over to his side. And I am not the only Republican working-class voter that Bernie converted.

Since the Democratic Party isn’t willing to do the work to talk to voters like me, I’m so grateful that Our Revolution is all over America doing the organizing necessary to prevent a dictator-like second Trump term. Can you pitch in what you can here to support our work to save American democracy from Trump while holding the Democratic establishment accountable?

I am committed to defeating Donald Trump. But we can’t afford to allow the Democratic party to capitulate or pander to the GOP. I know I can count Our Revolution to stand up and fight as hard as it can against great odds to do everything in its power to make our government represent regular folks like me — not just corporate CEOs who can buy access.

So next time a Democrat says we have to move right to capture Republicans, remember me. I am a Democrat not because of Joe or Hillary or whatever centrist advertised as the “safe” candidate. I’m here because of Bernie. Pitch in here to help Our Revolution carry on his mission and do the work needed to reach working-class voters like me!

This movement is here to stay.

In solidarity,

Brian McLain
DNC Delegate & Our Revolution Member

This 19 August 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Sunrise Movement: Dems Must Address Climate Crisis as DNC Drops Pledge to End Fossil Fuel Subsidies

The Democratic National Committee has dropped a pledge to eliminate tax breaks and subsidies for the fossil fuel industry from its party platform, after a DNC spokesperson said the amendment was originally included in “error”, despite both Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris supporting it on the campaign trail. Varshini Prakash, co-founder and executive director of the Sunrise Movement, says it is “disappointing to see” Democrats back away from the pledge, but adds that as long as social movements sustain pressure, “it will be a priority for the Biden administration, should they win in November.” Prakash also discusses hopes for a Green New Deal, the importance of Kamala Harris’s place on the ticket and the lack of young voices at the DNC.

By Lucero Mesa in the USA, 20 August 2020:

Hi friends,

My name is Lucero Mesa, and I am a Bernie delegate and Our Revolution national board member from South Carolina.

I heard disturbing news yesterday when I learned that the Democratic Party reversed its commitment to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies in the party platform.

They are saying that including the language was an error, but it certainly makes me feel reinforced in my decision to join with Our Revolution members to vote no on the platform to protest the failure to include Medicare for All.

We won on Superdelegates, but the health insurance industry got their way on Medicare for All, and fossil fuel companies won on subsidies. Pitch in here to help Our Revolution continue to lead the way organizing to make the Democratic Party work for American voters, not corporate power.

I’m proud to stand with my fellow Our Revolution progressives at the DNC to demand that the commitment to end fossil fuel subsidies be immediately restored by the DNC.

We were able to make that demand because we have done the work to understand Party rules and get in a position where we can have a voice on the platform. Without this critical work, there would be nobody on the inside to prevent corporate power from influencing our legislative roadmap.

To be clear, we agree that Donald Trump is an authoritarian who poses an existential threat to the survival of American democracy. We have to do everything we can to beat him.

But that doesn’t mean we are going to just accept the Democratic Party caving to fossil fuel companies instead of listening to scientists.

Pitch in what you can here to help us put pressure on Tom Perez and the Democratic Party to side with the people instead of big oil.

In solidarity,

Lucero Mesa
Our Revolution National Board

OIL LOBBY RALLIED DEM GOVS AGAINST BIDEN ORDER Fossil fuel trade groups in Louisiana and New Mexico rallied Democratic governors in opposition to Biden’s executive order pausing new oil and gas leasing on federal lands and in offshore waters, according to emails and communications shared exclusively with HuffPost. [HuffPost]

‘American Democrats should support Medicare for All’

This December 2019 video by Senator Bernie Sanders from the USA says about itself:

Here is why you shouldn’t believe the health industry‘s lies about Medicare for All.

By Karyn Hollis in the USA today:

I’m a proud Our Revolution member in suburban Philadelphia, a professor at Villanova University, and, most recently, an elected Bernie Pennsylvania delegate (CD05) to the Democratic National Convention.

Today, I’m reaching out to let you know why I voted NO on the 2020 DNC Platform, along with more than 800 other Bernie delegates.

Despite 80% of Democrats supporting Medicare for All, the Democratic platform draft does not include it.

Pitch in here to help Our Revolution organizing around Medicare for All and electoral work for candidates who support it.

The will of 8 in 10 Democratic voters, a catastrophic pandemic, and an economic disaster where tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs and health coverage should count more than donations and lobbying from the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

We are speaking up for the millions of Democrats and other Americans who’ve cried out for Medicare for All in this time of catastrophic pandemic illness and massive unemployment.

We must defeat Donald Trump and stop creeping fascism, but we will also work to change the Democratic Party when they side with corporate power vs. the overwhelming majority of their voters.

That’s why I’ve been excited to serve as a coordinator for over 1,000 Our Revolution volunteers on Slack — volunteers who call, text, email, research, and help Our Revolution groups and candidates mobilize across the country.

We helped reach more than 25,000 voters to boost turnout for Cori Bush‘s candidacy for Congress in St. Louis. Cori now joins Sponsor Pramila Jayapal, the Squad and 125 other Members of Congress next year fighting for Medicare for All.

Karyn Hollis
Our Revolution Member
PA Democratic Convention Delegate

Corporate Democrats lose New York primary elections

This 23 June 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Watch Jamaal Bowman‘s POWERFUL de facto victory speech as it appears he has defeated incumbent Representative Eliot Engel.

Eliot Engel is a veteran establishment Democratic party politician. Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Like Donald Trump, he supported the wrecking of President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal. He voted for George W Bush’s Iraq war. In 2014, he spoke along with Islamophobic extremist Pamela Geller at a rally.

In April 2020, he falsely claimed that he had helped to fight COVID-19 in New York City, while in fact, he had not been to New York since March.

Recently, he said that that the only criticized police brutality against Black Lives Matter protesters because he had to fight the primary election against Jamaal Bowman.

16-TERM DEMOCRAT ON THE ROPES IN NEW YORK A progressive upstart led longtime Rep. Eliot Engel in the closely watched Democratic primary for New York’s 16th Congressional District early today, with the outcome inconclusive. With less than 20% of precincts reporting, Bronx middle school principal Jamaal Bowman led Engel by more than 25 percentage points. Bowman delivered a triumphant speech to supporters gathered at an outdoor, riverside restaurant. [HuffPost]

From British daily The Independent today:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who won a shock primary victory two years ago and swiftly rose to national political stardom, looks set to win a second term in Congress.

The 30-year-old progressive defeated a number of centrist primary challengers from her own party, paving the way for re-election in New York’s 14th district, a safe Democratic seat that covers the Bronx and Queens.

An increase in postal ballots due to the coronavirus means that many thousands of votes will not be counted until next week. But with early results showing Ms Ocasio-Cortez with a more than 50 per cent lead, the Associated Press called the race on Tuesday evening. …

Her own primary victory in 2018 against 10-term incumbent Joe Cowley,

Crowley, not Cowley

then the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House, was one few saw coming. Ms Ocasio-Cortez, a graduate of Boston University, was working behind the bar in a restaurant in New York’s Union Square when she launched her run. She took office at 29 years old, making her the youngest woman to ever serve in congress.

She did not go alone. The Bronx native was part of a wave progressive Democrats who unseated long-term, centrist incumbents. The arrival in Washington of AOC and “the Squad” — Reps Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib — marked a leftward shift in Democratic party politics. Each of them advocated for more radical solutions to America’s ills and the excesses of Donald Trump’s presidency.

The question waiting to be answered by many of the primary races in New York on Tuesday was whether AOC’s arrival on the national stage was a harbinger of things to come, or an anomaly. And whether progressives could continue to pull the Democratic Party to the left at a time of national crisis and in a presidential election year that saw the archetypal establishment politician, former vice president Joe Biden, easily win the nomination.

This year, several races in New York have set up long-shot challenges to long-term incumbents that mirror AOC’s breakthrough campaign. One, in particular, could serve as a measure of progressive Democrats’ strength.

Jamaal Bowman, a former Bronx middle school principal who has been described as “the next AOC”, poses a serious threat to 73-year-old Eliot Engel, a 16-term congressman who was first elected in 1988. Democratic Party elders firmly closed ranks around Engel — Hillary Clinton, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and New York governor Andrew Cuomo all endorsed him.

Bowman, however, secured the nod from AOC: “Not only is Jamaal a profound community leader, but I believe he’d make a fantastic colleague in the United States House of Representatives,” she said.

Due to the high number of absentee ballots being cast in the New York primaries — a result of the coronavirus pandemic — results from close races may not be known for another week. But early results showed Bowman far ahead of Engel. A win for him would suggest that the progressive wave is by no means over. …

Her most serious primary challenger in this election was a former TV anchor and former Republican Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, who has received substantial backing from large-dollar donors.

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera lived in a high-priced apartment in Trump International Hotel and Tower in Manhattan for years.

Back in Queens, she has played a balancing act between the national stage and local issues. The district that AOC represents is one of the most diverse in the state of New York. Of its 650,000 residents, 50 percent are Hispanic, 17 percent Asian and 23 percent white, according to 2016 census figures. It also has the fifth-highest percentage of service-sector workers in all congressional districts.

Cierra Johnson, 34, happened to be passing by when AOC stopped in Astoria on Tuesday. She had spent the morning volunteering for the campaign, handing out flyers. Her husband is Bolivian and recently lost the opportunity to obtain a Green Card due to a ban by the Trump administration. She said she was drawn to AOC because “she was willing to stand up and fight.”

Racism and corporate Democrats in the USA

This 29 May 2020 video about the USA says about itself:

Van Jones Connects Amy Cooper, Hillary Clinton, and Derek Chauvin on CNN

Van Jones used to be an environment official in the Obama administration; but was sacked because of pressure by Big Oil.

Earlier today on CNN, Van Jones made a very important point. That when it comes to discrimination and prejudice against black people, he fears white moderates like Amy Cooper who support people like Hillary Clinton most of all. Without them, the actions of people like Derek Chauvin in taking the life of Floyd George wouldn’t be possible.

Van Jones gave us a clear reminder that hatred is not as partisan as many would like to believe.

US candidate Biden and sexual assault allegations

This 28 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Bernie Bumped From Ballot

It’s pretty clear what the New York State Democratic Party wants: to shut out and alienate Sanders’ wing of the party from their state politics as much as possible, and make sure that another AOC never happens on their watch.

So, Bernie Sanders is still a candidate for the Democratic party primary elections in many states. Which may give Sanders supporters the chance to influence the Democratic party election platform. However, not in New York State, where the party establishment has purged Sanders from the ballot papers. Leaving Joe Biden as only candidate on those papers.

With Bernie Sanders as its candidate, the Democratic party would have a realistic chance of ending the Donald Trump presidency. Far less so with Biden. Not only because of Biden’s support for wars and for Wall Street. Not only because of Biden’s opposition to Medicare for all; badly needed during this coronavirus crisis. Not only because Biden’s opposition to really stopping global warming.

Also because of this.

This 27 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

New video evidence supporting credibility of Tara Reade’s allegations against Joe Biden emerges. John Iadarola and Francesca Fiorentini break it down on The Damage Report.

“A NEW PIECE of evidence has emerged buttressing the credibility of Tara Reade’s claim that she told her mother about allegations of sexual harassment and assault related to her former boss, then-Sen. Joe Biden. Biden, through a spokesperson, has denied the allegations. Reade has claimed to various media outlets, including The Intercept, that she told her mother, a close friend, and her brother about both the harassment and, to varying degrees of detail, the assault at the time. Her brother, Collin Moulton, and her friend, who has asked to remain anonymous, both confirmed that they heard about the allegations from Reade at the time. Reade’s mother died in 2016, but both her brother and friend also confirmed Reade had told her mother, and that her mother, a longtime feminist and activist, urged her to go to the police.

In interviews with The Intercept, Reade also mentioned that her mother had made a phone call to “Larry King Live” on CNN, during which she made reference to her daughter’s experience on Capitol Hill. Reade told The Intercept that her mother called in asking for advice after Reade, then in her 20s, left Biden’s office. “I remember it being an anonymous call and her saying my daughter was sexually harassed and retaliated against and fired, where can she go for help? I was mortified,” Reade told me.”

Read more here.

By Rebecca Traister in the USA:

The Biden Trap. As the candidate faces credible assault allegations, his progressive female colleagues are being offered a poisoned chalice

27 April 2020

In the world of political reporting on the presidential race, two seemingly divergent stories are taking shape and blowing up, respectively. And it’s the stuff of feminist nightmares.

The first is about the “veepstakes”: Because the world is topsy-turvy and former vice-president Joe Biden cleared the Democratic field in March, we’re in an earlier-than-usual frenzy of speculation about who his running mate will be. Biden, who has long been dogged by criticism on feminist grounds (stemming from his history of bad stances on abortion, his having permitted the ill-treatment of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas hearings, and allegations that he has spent a career touching women in ways that have made them feel uncomfortable), has promised that his running mate will be a woman. (Will she be short or tall, big or small, black or white, left or center? Who is to say, really. She will be A Woman™.)

Meanwhile, Biden’s shaky past behavior around women and their bodies isn’t staying in his past, despite his having worked to overcome it via passage of the Violence Against Woman Act, improving his views on abortion and the Hyde Amendment, sort of apologizing to Hill, and promising to pick A Woman vice-president and appoint A Black Woman to the Supreme Court.

Last year, A Woman named Tara Reade, who worked in Biden’s office in 1992 and 1993, was one of several to allege that Biden had touched her neck and shoulders in ways that were unwelcome; in Reade’s case, while she was in his employ. This March, Reade went further and claimed that Biden in fact digitally penetrated her against her will and that when she complained to his staff, she was retaliated against professionally — claims that Biden and his former staffers have denied but that investigative reporters have been working to shed new light on. Over this weekend, audio emerged of Reade’s late mother, whom she says she told about the assault, calling in to Larry King’s television show in 1993 to complain about how her daughter had a problem with a prominent politician’s staff but was rebuffed when she complained, strongly corroborating the claim that Reade expressed dissatisfaction and suffered professional consequences, an allegation supported by the New York Times, which reported that two former interns recalled Reade abruptly ceasing to supervise them. On Monday, Lynda LaCasse, Reade’s former neighbor and a Biden supporter, told Rich McHugh, Ronan Farrow’s former producer, that Reade had confided to her in detail about having been assaulted by Biden, while another former colleague confirmed to McHugh that Reade had told her she’d complained of harassment and been fired by a prominent politician. Such strong pieces of corroboration should surely imperil Biden’s position at the top of the ticket, though it remains to be seen whether — in the midst of the COVID crisis … — there is any chance that they will.

And part of what’s sickeningly clear is that if Biden remains the Democratic nominee, whichever woman gets the nod to be his running mate will wind up drinking from a poisoned chalice. Because the promise to choose a woman ensures that whoever she is, she will be forced to answer — over and over again — for Biden’s treatment of other women, including the serious allegations of assault leveled by Tara Reade.

This double bind was already apparent this weekend, in advance of McHugh’s reporting, when New York representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez confirmed once again that she would vote for Biden despite their sharp political differences. Ocasio-Cortez, who is progressive on many issues, has a long history of righteous fury at the ubiquity and impact of sexual harassment and assault. Back in 2018, she said that assault is “one of the most serious allegations anyone who cares to be a public servant can be accused of. Sexual assault is about the abuse of power. It is always women who are marginalized. It is the interns. It is the immigrants. It is the trans. They are always most at risk, because society listens to them the least.”

Ocasio-Cortez was also among the first politicians to suggest that Reade’s claims were “legitimate to talk about” and deserved further investigation, for which Reade thanked her on Twitter. But since Ocasio-Cortez has indicated that she intends to vote for Biden, Reade has told the conservative website the Daily Caller how disappointed she is that AOC has chosen to “toe the line”, and on Sunday she tweeted, “Those who remain silent are complicit to rape” and tagged Stacey Abrams, Kamala Harris, … Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, and Ocasio-Cortez; it was retweeted 6,000 times.

One of the grim ironies here is that it’s some of these people who have worked most fiercely to keep Biden from becoming the nominee. But now that he is the presumptive choice, he may in fact be the only presidential bulwark against Donald Trump, who is both murderous and incompetent and whose reelection would lead to further cataclysmic collapse of our environment, health-care system, courts, and democracy, with fatal results that will redound more negatively to women than to men and most negatively of all to women with the fewest resources. In the fight to prevent this, Biden and his campaign will be calling on women — especially the women who have challenged him in the past, including on feminist grounds — to help him build support by rallying other women around him. That rallying will now have to entail somehow papering over the disgust and dismay provoked by multiple allegations of inappropriate touching and alleged assault made against yet another would-be president.

What a grievous mess. Biden’s critics on the left should be hoping for the selection of a powerful progressive to run alongside him, and perhaps succeed him, whenever that might be. But any politician who might fulfill those requirements — whether your fantasies run toward Warren or Abrams or Barbara Lee or Ayanna Pressley (AOC is too young) — will also, tautologically, be a politician who has taken an aggressive stand against sexual harassment and assault. So on the one hand, these are women who left-leaning feminists should hope Biden picks. They are women who themselves might for extremely good ideological reasons want to lead the country and see Biden’s vice-presidency as an opportunity to make his administration, and thus the country, better. Some, especially Abrams, have been very vocal about their desire for this job, which is itself a radical approach to voicing ambition.

Yet in putting themselves forward as subsidiaries to Biden, in accepting an invitation that he might extend, or even in voicing their support for his campaign, these women wind up imperiling themselves by getting tied to him and the mess of his historical shortcomings, often on exactly the issues that have driven them into politics. In fact, they are quite likely to have their own history of righteous advocacy held up against them, used to make them look like hypocrites for agreeing to be on a ticket with a man who has been credibly accused of behavior they have aggressively condemned, and as sops to a system that they are in fact working hard to change. (These kinds of turnarounds have been made by former male rivals all the time, and, in fact, Bernie Sanders has come in for some criticism for having endorsed Biden after Reade’s allegations were made public; but we have a higher tolerance for inconvenient hypocrisy when it comes from male politicians, likely because we have centuries of experience with it and, in this case, because the contested ground — the unequal distribution of power along gendered lines — isn’t at the very heart of the matter.)

But is the only alternative to hope that Biden picks a milquetoast woman who has never distinguished herself as a feminist or progressive advocate and who, therefore, dispiritingly, cannot be called out for hypocrisy? This is indeed one of my fears, as Reade’s story gets firmer corroboration and the Biden campaign and its supporters in the Democratic Party begin to grapple with its seriousness: Will it alter the calculus around his vice-presidential pick, leading him to pick A Woman whom he can count on to diminish Reade’s claims? Is the cost of a nominee who is a disappointment to many feminists on the left a running mate (and thus likely presidential successor) who is just as disappointing? Even those women will still be asked about Reade — Amy Klobuchar and Gretchen Whitmer, both reportedly on his shortlist, have already been asked about it — and any willingness to defend him or shield him from this story will leave them vulnerable to being held responsible for the misdeeds of the mediocre man to whom they will now be publicly bound.

This kind of chilling calculus, even before the Reade allegations, led many Biden critics (including me) to hope that he did not become the nominee from the start. The damage often inflicted by sexual power abuses extend far beyond those who have been abused to others who are reliant on those accused of abuse — whether as employees, dependent economically; family members, dependent emotionally and economically; or voters, dependent politically. One of the hallmarks of systemic gender inequity is that women wind up paying for the misdeeds of the more powerful men to whom they are subsidiary, a setup that reinforces men’s ability to perpetuate and profit from abuse.

Democratic women got a taste of this when Al Franken was accused of harassment. While he denied the allegations and asked for an investigation, his female colleagues were asked repeatedly by those on both sides of the aisle to condemn him or be understood as hypocrites — willing only to come out against those accused of harassment if they belong to the opposition party. Democratic women — including possible Biden VP picks Harris and, eventually, Franken’s close friend Warren — wound up asking that the Minnesota senator resign. .., Recently, when [Senator] Gillibrand endorsed Biden and called him a “champion for women”, she was criticized for it. That criticism may have been fair, but it is also an illustration of the grim tax women are expected to pay, always in reaction to the more powerful men whose authority they don’t get to challenge without being pilloried for it, but that they always must carefully reflect and correctly comment on.

And make no mistake, if Biden loses, regardless of his running mate, even as feminists are being criticized for hypocrisy in not condemning him more swiftly, it will also be feminists and women who are blamed for his loss, for encouraging an environment in which claims of sexual harm are taken seriously enough to damage a politician.

Especially in light of McHugh’s recent persuasive reporting on Reade’s assault claim, Democrats and feminists are in a terrible bind, and that includes those of us who never thought Biden should be the nominee. Because as of now he is the nominee. And he needs a running mate, and I don’t think hoping he picks a dud is a great strategy for expanding progressive power within his administration, even if there are reasonable doubts about how much influence a progressive vice-president might have within his administration.

The fact should be that it is better to have the right voice at Biden’s side than no voice there at all. But if we get that progressive voice, she will immediately be damaged via her association with the nominee. Alas, we do not have a system or culture in the United States that would permit a running mate to say, “I am deeply troubled by the allegations persuasively leveled against my running mate, Joe Biden, and wish we didn’t live in a world in which we had to choose between an accused rapist and self-confessed pussy grabber versus an accused harasser who’s now been credibly accused of assault, but this is what white capitalist patriarchy does and I’m actually here to try to change that!”

We should have a way to say those things. If part of the work of this election is pushing for a politics that is more just, we should be insisting on freedom for women — including those who will be asked to support Joe Biden, within his party and as his running mate — to fully express themselves about the gendered and political realities in front of us. Reade’s former neighbor Lynda LaCasse offered a model of this herself, noting that she’s a strong Biden supporter and will vote for him, but that she “still [had] to come out and say this … I would want somebody to stand up for me. It takes a lot of guts to do what [Reade] is doing.”

But it’s near impossible to imagine prominent Democratic women being able to give voice to this and still wind up with any sway within a potential Biden administration. So as we move closer to the abyss, remember that plenty of Women never wanted to be here, and now that we are, have no good choices in front of us.

POTENTIAL BIDEN VP CANDIDATES SILENT ON TARA READE ALLEGATION An allegation of sexual assault against Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, gained new credibility with a report that a former neighbor of accuser Tara Reade said that Reade confided in her about the alleged 1993 assault in 1995 or 1996. HuffPost contacted nine people on Biden’s rumored vice president shortlist. Only Stacey Abrams responded. [HuffPost]

ME TOO FOUNDER: BIDEN CAN BE ACCOUNTABLE AND ELECTABLE The founder of the Me Too movement explained what she believes is an “inconvenient truth” about the sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden. Tarana Burke, who founded Me Too in 2007, said former congressional aide Tara Reade’s accusations against Biden are being felt differently because of the 2020 election, which will feature two men in powerful positions who have been accused of sexual assault. [HuffPost]

DOCUMENTS THAT COULD SHED LIGHT ON BIDEN ALLEGATION REMAIN LOCKED UP Tara Reade, says she filed a written complaint about Biden with a Senate personnel office, but does not have a copy herself. If a copy exists, one place where it might be found is in Biden’s Senate files. But those documents are slated to remain locked up until long after the 2020 election. Biden donated his senatorial papers, which cover the period from 1973 to 2009, to the University of Delaware in 2011. [HuffPost]

BIDEN STAYS SILENT Joe Biden, who championed women’s rights during his time in the Senate and the vice president’s office, has remained silent as a sexual assault allegation against him gains more traction. His campaign has put out a statement denying the accusation by Tara Reade, a former Senate aide, but Biden himself has not said anything. And in his absence, other Democrats ― particularly female activists and politicians ― have had to weigh in and decide whether to defend him. The New York Times, meanwhile, has refuted the Biden team’s reported talking points. [HuffPost]

DON’T EXPECT TO SEE JOE BIDEN’S PAPERS Somewhere, there may be documents that shed light on allegations of sexual harassment and assault leveled by former aide Tara Reade against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. But if they exist, it will be difficult to unearth them. Biden has told the press to request documentation from the National Archives of a formal complaint she says she made at the time. But the National Archives doesn’t keep Senate personnel records, and the Senate itself refuses to give up its HR documents for 50 years after severance. Meanwhile, most voters say sexual assault shouldn’t disqualify a presidential candidate. [HuffPost]

BIDEN LIMITS ACCESS TO WALL STREET FUNDRAISER Joe Biden’s campaign removed the press from a fundraising call with Wall Street donors on Thursday shortly before the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee began taking questions from those on the line. It was the first time Biden has limited media access to a virtual high-dollar fundraiser, Bloomberg News noted, and it drew criticism from reporters who said it went against his pledge of transparency. The event was hosted by the heads of three investment banking firms: Evercore, Centerview Partners and Insight Partners. [HuffPost]

Candidate Biden-Tara Reade #MeToo issue

This 15 April 2020 video about the USA says about itself:

AOC: Silencing Tara Reade Allegations Against Joe Biden is “Gaslighting

Earlier tonight, CBS News reported that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said it was legitimate to talk about Tara Reade and her allegations against Joe Biden. This makes AOC the first congressperson to acknowledge Tara Reade and her claims against Biden.

This is a brave stand to take, where AOC is suggesting we can’t be hypocritical and ignore stories when they affect our party. She also says this story shouldn’t be set aside because of the election.

In her words: “What you’re voicing is so legitimate and real. That’s why I find this kind of silencing of all dissent to be a form of gaslighting.”

When it comes to Joe Biden, New York Times abandons “Believe women”. By David Walsh. 15 April 2020. Former Vice President Joe Biden, the leading candidate for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2020, has been accused by a former staffer of sexually assaulting her. Tara Reade alleges the incident occurred in 1993 when Biden was a senator from Delaware. There were no witnesses, Reade never filed a complaint and the statute of limitations for such an offense, if it occurred, has long since expired. Reade told Newsweek that she went public with her claims in late March, according to the magazine, “to ensure that ‘powerful men’ are held to account”.

Portrait of Tara Reade on her U.S. Senate ID (provided by her to New York Times)

This 14 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

NYT CHANGED Tara Reade Story at Joe Biden Campaign Request

Status Coup’s Jenn Dize reports on the New York Times changing a line in their Tara Reade story after Joe Biden’s campaign asked them to.

Bernie Sanders suspends United States presidential campaign

This 8 April 2020 video about the USA says about itself:

Bernie Sanders Suspends Campaign, but has Transformed American Politics Forever

Bernie Sanders has suspended his 2020 presidential campaign for President, making Joe Biden the presumptive nominee. While I am sad and disappointed, I am proud of all that Bernie and his movement has accomplished. Bernie has made Medicare for All, a $15 dollar minimum wage, and democratic socialism mainstream ideas, and though he lost, his movement isn’t going away ever again.

The suspension of Sanders’ campaign is bad news at a bad time for democracy in the USA. Yesterday, there was a primary election in Wisconsin in which voters had to choose between their voting rights and their right not to die from coronavirus. How will the rest of the presidential campaign go? Also much coronavirus emergency. Sanders would have been beaten Trump. It is very uncertain whether ‘Trump lite’ Biden will.

Trump moves one step closer to re-election after Sanders drops out of Democrat nomination race. The socialist senator said he could not ‘continue to mount a campaign that cannot win,’ but added that while his campaign is coming to an end ‘our movement is not’: here.

Jews react with sadness to Bernie Sanders dropping out of the presidential race.

Sanders lost the Democratic primary. But he won the moral argument.

PROGRESSIVE GROUPS DEMAND CHANGE FROM BIDEN Eight youth-heavy progressive groups challenged presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden to adopt a host of left-leaning policy stances in order to earn the support of the young voters who overwhelmingly supported Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). The organizations laid out their demands in an open letter to Biden shortly after Sanders withdrew from the Democratic primary on Wednesday. [HuffPost]

Sanders, Biden United States election debate

This 16 March 2020 video about the USA says about itself:

Bernie Sanders EXPOSES Lying Joe Biden in CNN Democratic Debate

Tonight’s CNN Democratic debate between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders wasn’t even close. Without the neoliberal blob and the crowds to distract, Bernie came off as sharp and principled, whereas Joe Biden demonstrated his noted cognitive decline and was caught lying multiple times about everything from bankruptcy laws to social security cuts.

Bernie Sanders did a good job tonight at showcasing Joe Biden’s weaknesses in a potential election with Donald Trump, but it is unclear if Bernie did enough to shift the overall momentum in the 2020 Democratic Primary generally.