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Tag: Joe Biden

Ridin’ with Biden Cocktail

Ridin’ with Biden Cocktail

I trust you’ve all enjoyed drinking the Trump Fucker cocktail through the summer months. I’ve mixed dozens and served them to many friends. Everybody loves the highly alcoholic drink but hates its namesake.

Now that this brutal election season is well underway, and fall is just around the corner, it’s time for a smooth bourbon-based drink that will keep you warm and cozy while you watch the debates or while you try to forget them.

This cocktail is made from much more common spirits than the Trump cocktail. The Biden cocktail has about half the ingredients – all of which are very common and not too expensive.

Ingredients

And it’s very simple to mix. Pour the Makers, Kahlua, and Disaronno into a mixing glass half full of large ice cubes (you don’t want to water the drink down), add three dashes of chocolate bitters and stir gently for about 20 seconds. Strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass and add a maraschino cherry.

What you get is a rich, smooth mixture that tastes kind of like a Manhattan, but is darker, sweeter, and has a coffee kick and a nutty finish. It’s perfect for “Sleepy” Joe Biden.

I have tried this with rye, and found that it gives the drink a sharper taste. I also tried a couple of different bourbons but settled on Maker’s Mark, because it blends well with the two liqueurs.

The Forever War We Need to Keep Waging

The Forever War We Need to Keep Waging

There’s little that Democrats and Republican Trumpers agree on to be sure, but on one issue at least they may be united: the need to end America’s forever wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, in each of which we’ve been involved for almost two decades. 

Trump has threatened to abandon both places. He’s already betrayed the Kurds in Syria who fought so well and loyally essentially as our infantry against Daesh, and he seeks to do the same by withdrawing all American forces from the country in which the plan for 9/11 was hatched.. But Trump is an idiot and his desire to withdraw from Afghanistan has less to do with strategy or a hardheaded reassessment of our commitments abroad than winning brownie points with his base before a tough re-election campaign. But such a withdrawal from Afghanistan would be a serious strategic and moral mistake and I really hope a Biden administration, if there is one, will agree, even if it means the commitment of a modest force indefinitely.

Of course the case for staying isn’t helped by the fact that its strongest advocates are some of the same nincompoops whose enthusiast cheer led us into the 2003 Iraq invasion ordered by George W Bush, such as Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institute and retired army general Jack Keane joined by a guy I’d hoped never to see or hear from again, Joe Lieberman and we all know how that went (although as an ardent opponent of that war it would be churlish indeed not to acknowledge that the United States plucked a solid military victory from the jaws of defeat thanks to the 2006 surge of forces under a more capable general and the fortunate timing of an alliance with the Arab Sunni Awakening; but at a bitter cost to both Iraqis and Coalition forces). We still live with the unpleasant reality that the principal beneficiary geopolitically has been Iran who lost a formidable enemy and found a new best friend in the now Shia-dominated Iraqi government.  

But just because they were wrong about Iraq doesn’t mean they’re wrong now and O’Hanlon in particular makes a compelling case for retaining the current residual force of between 5-10,000 American and NATO forces.  And whilst both O’Hanlon and Keane emphasize the critical counter-terrorism role of such a force, and rightly so given the ongoing threat of Daesh (ISIS-K) and the ever present possibility of a rejuvenated al-Qaida, I would argue that we should also help to thwart a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. We can do this by continuing to provide training, logistics and even air support to Afghan forces. And let’s not forget the all-important moral support our presence provides. 

Why should we do this? Because of the effort and sacrifice our Allies and ourselves have made to the cause; and because Afghanis, especially women and young girls, have come too far to be sent back to the 15th century by the fundamentalist rigidity of another Taliban regime. And make no mistake, that is the alternative if we fail to continue helping the Afghans.

Fulfilling our obligations and commitments is not a partisan issue, it’s an American issue. And betrayal doesn’t sit well with us, nor should it.

Democrats should welcome the NeverTrumpers with open arms

Democrats should welcome the NeverTrumpers with open arms

I have to say I’m both baffled and chagrined by the skepticism expressed by some on the left towards the Never Trump Republicans of such groups as the Lincoln Project and Republican Voters Against Trump. 

For one thing, these are people who, at great personal and professional cost, have refused to surrender to the vileness, narcissism and authoritarianism of Trump and his GOP enablers in the administration and in Congress, despite long careers spent in the party. Their rejection of Trump’s assault on our democratic institutions as well as his xenophobic and racist appeals are every bit as heartfelt as those of any Democrat, as encapsulated in a New York Times op-ed by former Republican consultant Stuart Stevens, who has also written a book on the subject. For another, the hard-hitting, Trump-eviscerating ads produced by both groups, for example here, here, and here are a potent demonstration of how good these guys are at what they do – and why Democrats in the past have struggled to win elections, public support for their policy positions notwithstanding.

Yes, NeverTrumpers played a role in creating the monster that is the GOP today, no question. But now after seeing what their creation has become, they want nothing more than to kill it for the good of our country. And if the Bernie Sanders wing of the party is skeptical of what they will want afterwards, assuming Joe Biden wins the election, who cares? I don’t hear any NeverTrumpers referring to the prospect of endorsing Biden as akin to being compelled to eat half a bowl of shit, as the co-chair of the Sanders campaign did recently.  Right now disaffected NeverTrump Republican Biden supporters are looking a lot better to me than perennially disenchanted Bernie supporters who can never quite be relied upon in a crunch when their guy loses. 

Is there a place for many of these NeverTrumpers in the Democratic Party whilst the GOP continues in its present form and/or until a more traditional center-right party emerges? Maybe and why not? Since when have liberals been shy of engaging in robust policy debates.

But right now, all of this is beside the point. NeverTrumpers like the rest of us recognize that four more years of this president and GOP governance (to use that term very loosely) will be akin to committing national suicide. That must not happen, and we need all the help we can get to ensure it doesn’t.

Obama/Biden vs. McCain/Palin: A Reversal of Resumes

Obama/Biden vs. McCain/Palin: A Reversal of Resumes

“The Old Viking” forwarded me a viral email today.  I did a quick Google search and found that it’s up on quite a few sites.  I get a lot of these from both sides and I don’t usually post them, but I really like this one, so here it is:

What if the resumes of Obama/Biden and McCAin/Palin were switched around?  Think about it.  Would the country’s collective point of view be different?  Could racism be the culprit?

Ponder the following:

What if the Obamas had paraded five children across the stage, including a three month old infant and an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter?

What if John McCain was a former president of the Harvard Law Review?

What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?

What if McCain had only married once, and Obama was a divorcee?

What if Obama was the candidate who left his first wife after a severe disfiguring car accident, when she no longer measured up to his standards?

What if Obama had met his second wife in a bar and had a long affair while he was still married?

What if Michelle Obama was the wife who not only became addicted to pain killers but also acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?

What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?

What if Obama had been a member of the Keating Five? (The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s.)

What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?

What if Obama couldn’t read from a Teleprompter?

What if Obama was the one who had military experience that included discipline problems and a record of crashing seven planes?

What if Obama was the one who was known to display publicly, on many occasions, a serious anger management problem?

What if Michelle Obama’s family had made their money from beer distribution?

What if the Obamas had adopted a white child?

You could easily add to this list. If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are?

This is what racism does.  It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there is a color difference.

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND:

Barack Obama:
Columbia University – B.A. Political Science with a Specialization in
International Relations.
Harvard – Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude

Joseph Biden:
University of Delaware – B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science.
Syracuse University College of Law – Juris Doctor (J.D.)

John McCain:
United States Naval Academy – Class rank: 894 of 899

Sarah Palin:
Hawaii Pacific University – 1 semester
North Idaho College – 2 semesters – general study
University of Idaho – 2 semesters – journalism
Matanuska-Susitna College – 1 semester

Biden – Palin Debate Analysis

Biden – Palin Debate Analysis

The most anticipated vice presidential debate in history is over.  Many of us watched it like we would watch a car race, just waiting for someone to crash and burn.  Well neither Biden or Palin crashed, but she did swerve onto the infield grass a few times and managed to get back on track without crashing.  She did, however, end up losing the race.  Some say by only a few car lengths, but I say she got lapped.  I say that because Biden blew her away in three key areas:  foreign policy, health care, and the role of the vice president.

If you weren’t able to watch the debate live, you can watch it at your leisure on several news sites.  I recommend the New York Times site because they run a transcript right along side the video.

Palin supporters probably thought this was one of her best moments:

PALIN: Oh, yeah, it’s so obvious I’m a Washington outsider. And someone just not used to the way you guys operate. Because here you voted for the war and now you oppose the war. You’re one who says, as so many politicians do, I was for it before I was against it or vice- versa. Americans are craving that straight talk and just want to know, hey, if you voted for it, tell us why you voted for it and it was a war resolution.

That statement standing alone is what they like about her – that she really is an outsider and she presents herself as an agent of reform.  But her charge against Biden was ridiculous.  Did she even hear what Biden said about his Iraq war vote just minutes earlier?

BIDEN:  With regard to Iraq, I indicated it would be a mistake to — I gave the president the power.  I voted for the power because he said he needed it not to go to war but to keep the United States, the UN in line, to keep sanctions on Iraq and not let them be lifted.

I, along with Dick Lugar, before we went to war, said if we were to go to war without our allies, without the kind of support we need, we’d be there for a decade and it’d cost us tens of billions of dollars.  John McCain said, no, it was going to be OK.

Is that not an explanation?

Both candidates stretched and shaded the truth, and you can read all about that here

There’s one falsehood that both Palin and McCain continue to bring up that I think is extremely important for the Democrats to rebut:

Palin: Castigated Obama’s health-care plan as one that would mandate a “universal government-run” system in which health care is “taken over” by the federal government.

The facts: This is inaccurate on several levels. Obama’s proposal includes an option for people to choose a new public plan with benefits similar to those that members of Congress and other federal employees have. It also includes an expansion of Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, but it is not at all exclusively government-run. His plan also mandates only that children, not adults, have coverage.

Note to Obama and Biden:  You have been good at pointing out the many bad aspects of McCain’s health-care plan, but you have not been good at all about explaining your own. 

What Palin said in the debate was a gross distortion of Obama’s plan.  She and McCain describe it as a government takeover because they want to scare people who fear socialized medicine into voting for them and McCain’s ill-conceived plan to fix health-care through a combination of tax breaks and free market competition.  (Read the transcript for Biden’s excellent critique of this plan.)

Obama’s plan is not anything close to socialized medicine.  It’s not even socialized insurance.  It’s a hybrid of private and federal insurance with incentives for everyone to buy in.  People need to know this.  They need to know how it works and what makes it superior to McCain’s plan, so please PLEASE offer up a clear an concise summary of your plan in the next debate.

What Will Happen in the Vice Presidential Debate?

What Will Happen in the Vice Presidential Debate?

Joe Biden is, for better and for worse, going to be himself.  He’s going to have some smart answers and he’s going to be wordy at times, and he’ll be humorous at times.  He’s been around too long to change any of that.  What I’ve read in the papers and online is that, surprisingly, he must constrain his wide smile, and that he needs to temper his responses.  They say these character adjustments are necessary so that he does not appear to be condescending towards Sarah Palin.

To that I say, how can anyone appear not to be condescending when they are up against this?

I mean really… If a question comes up about Supreme Court cases and Palin doesn’t know what Gwen Ifill is talking about and Biden does, what’s he supposed to do?  Say he can’t recall the case and let it go?  Biden teaches Constitutional Law at Widener Law School.  He could talk in great depth about any case brought up in a debate question.  Palin obviously could not unless it was a lengthy question that provided a lot of background information and context to help her out.

Biden had been in the Senate for 35 years, so he obviously knows way more about the workings of the Federal Government than Palin.  He should have no problem sounding like he knows what he’s talking about.  He just has to not sound like he’s better than her because he’s a lawyer and a long-time senator. (even though he is way, way better.)

So what will Palin be like?  Well she can’t be like the Palin we’ve seen in the Katie Couric interviews for the past week.  She will have to be much more like the Palin we saw at the Republican Convention. 

How can she be like that in a debate?  Well it’s pretty simple really.  She’s getting coached on delivering a script of talking points.  I’d bet that she’s going through final rehearsals right now.  She’ll be armed with her memorized script crafted in a way that can be used to answer a variety of questions asked in a variety of ways.  She will not stray from the script.  She will also have some “zingers” aimed at Biden and Obama that her campaign advisors are hoping will be delivered sharply and with a big wide-eyed smile so that the mainstream media news channels will replay them over and over and over again.

Whether or not this works for he is going to depend on Gwen Ifill’s questions.  If she asks a few that aren’t quite what Palin and her handlers expected, and Palin answers with a talking point that doesn’t really fit the question, and Ifill (or Biden in his response) asks her to get back to the question, then we might see a bit of the Palin we’ve seen in the Couric interview.  And if we do, McCain is toast.