Saturday, December 14, 2019


 Thursday, I was offering up "The press continues its distortion of democracy" and complaining that these various publications -- including THE NEW YORK POST -- would not publish the name of the leaker.

Well Thursday night, THE POST published an editorial which included:

The whistleblower is most likely CIA analyst Eric Ciaramella.
Journalist Paul Sperry reported his name in late October, saying that sources inside the closed-door impeachment hearings identified him. Ciaramella has put out no statement denying these reports. Whistleblower lawyers refuse to confirm or deny Ciaramella is their man. His identity is apparently the worst-kept secret of the Washington press corps. In a sign of how farcical this has become, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said his name as part of a series of names during a live hearing Wednesday night aired on television. He never called him the whistleblower, just said he was someone Republicans thought should testify, yet Democrats angrily denounced the “outing.” If you don’t know the man’s name, how do you know the man’s name?
Politico’s Jack Shafer has eloquently argued that the press should name the whistleblower. It is not against the law — whistleblower protections are to prevent retaliation in the workplace and apply to his superiors, not the media. Yet while the press eagerly tried to out Deep Throat or the anonymous author of “A Warning,” they suddenly lack curiosity.
They’ve also been hypocritical. In September, the Times reported the whistleblower was a male CIA officer who worked at the White House and was now back at the CIA. Why? Executive editor Dean Baquet said, “We wanted to provide information to readers that allows them to make their own judgments about whether or not he is credible.” A cynic might say they were trying to argue that the whistleblower was credible.
But if that’s the argument, and if Ciaramella is the whistleblower, isn’t it also relevant that he, according to Sperry, previously worked with CIA Director John Brennan, a fierce critic of Trump, and Vice President Joe Biden, Trump’s political opponent and the crux of the impeachment inquiry? That he’s a registered Democrat and that he was — again, according to Sperry — accused of leaking negative information about the Trump administration and that’s why he was transferred back to Langley?
What, if anything, did he leak? Did he work with Biden on Ukraine, apparently Ciaramella’s area of expertise? Did he know about Burisma and Hunter Biden? Who told him about the call, and why did that person not complain instead of him? How did Schiff’s staff help him tailor the complaint?

This is only the fourth time in our history that a president has faced impeachment. Shouldn’t we know the answers to these questions now, and not in two or three years when the inevitable official reports and tell-all books come out? Why must we wait for the truth?

If we're supposed to take impeachment seriously, we need to take it seriously.  That means talking about the leaker.  That means determining whether or not he is credible.


A shame others publications still struggle to do what THE POST has done.

Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, December 13, 2019.  Joe Biden suffers serious shrinkage as the corporate media continues to ignore JCoe's biggest problem in Iowa (the caucus itself), Tiny Pete has some donors demanding their money back, and much more.

Starting in the US where the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues.

I can personally attest to this about Joe Biden. He connects with people through his authenticity, his genuine concern and a wonderful, heartfelt compassion!

For me, it was the leather fringe vest that Joe wore which put him ahead of both Bobby Sherman and Davy Jones on the dreamy scale.  Just looking at the glossy photos of him and those pale blue eyes, I knew he was so sensitive and I said to myself, "Girl, you already missed out on Paul now that he's married Linda.  You can't lose out on Joe too."

Thank you to Elaine and Pam above for their worthless contributions since, in fact, we're speaking about a politician hoping to become President of the United States and not some guy on the cover of TIGER BEAT.  If we promise to give you the huge color poster of Joe shirtless in this month's issue of TIGER BEAT, ladies, will you promise to leave the public square so that adults can discuss the policies and proposals and voting records and actions of those who want to be president instead of serving up your useless crap?  Thanks.

OF COURSE Hunter Biden's drug possession charge was swept under the rug as was pushing to jail black boys for the same thing

Jordan, I believe that's "men."  African-American men.  But regardless of wording, that's the reality.  Hunter Biden's drug addiction is long, long, long.  It dates back to Joe in the Senate.  The whole time Joe was pushing policies that punished African-Americans (men and women) at a higher rate than White Anglos, his own son was doing drugs and Joe knew it.  Slap the headline "The Joe You Don't Know!" on it and maybe Pam and Elaine will read it.

Jordan's referring to this report by Alana Goodman and Joseph Simonson (WASHINGTON EXAMINER):

Joe Biden’s son Hunter was arrested on Jersey Shore drug charges in 1988 and had his record expunged at a time when his father was pushing for the incarceration of drug offenders drawn disproportionately from minority groups.
Congressional records reveal that Hunter Biden, now 49, was arrested in Stone Harbor, New Jersey, where the Biden family has often holidayed over the years, in June 1988. Hunter Biden, then 18, had just graduated from the prestigious Archmere Academy prep school, which his father had also attended. The former vice president and his wife Jill have often been spotted on trips to Stone Harbor.
The arrest has not previously been reported. Republicans have recently highlighted Hunter Biden's drug abuse, questioning why it was not taken into account when the lobbyist was appointed to a $50,000-a-month post on the board of the Ukraine oil company Burisma in 2014, when his father, as vice president, was the Obama administration's lead official on Ukraine.

A year after the arrest, Joe Biden gave a speech in which he said the federal government needed to “hold every drug user accountable" because, "If there were no drug users, there would be no appetite for drugs, there would be no market for them." He neglected to mention the drug use in his own family.

Joe is such a hypocrite.  But he's worse than a hypocrite.  The hypocrite across the streets just trashes you while he's doing the same thing.  Joe went beyond trashing with words, he actively sought and promoted and supported policies that came down hard on others for doing the same thing that Princess Hunter did -- the same thing that Princess Hunter, because of who his father was, got away with doing.

"As a Biden."  Remember that?  These last months we've heard that over and over.  Joe vouching for himself and insisting he's telling the truth "as a Biden."  That family's name is mud and Joe and Hunter are responsible for that.

Replying to  
Joe Biden is the WORST Democrat running. He is senile from the "Silent Generation" one cannot legitimately say to him "ok Boomer". He spews BS and we laugh, call them gaffes, 'coz it's Joe. His past record, policies are bad, racist. Joe is a hypocrite, has no business running.

War Hawk Joe is preparing for a loss of Iowa and New Hampshire.  His campaign has insisted that, if it happens, it doesn't matter.  He's got South Carolina sewn up, they insist.  But, as we've demonstrated this week, this same time in 2007, polls said Hillary Clinton had South Carolina sewn up.  Then Barack won Iowa and, oops, Hillary's support vanished in South Carolina.

It was mid-month December 2007.  Hillary Clinton was the front runner in the national polls.  As for South Carolina?  CNN put her at 42% to Barack's 34%, SURVEY USA put her at 44% to Barack's 40%, CBS NEWS put her at 34% to Barack's 35%.

January 26, the vote finally took place -- no ranked choice voting options, by the way.

And all the polls that had Hillary with a lead or within 1% of Barack?


Hillary only got 26.5% of the vote.  55.4% of it went to Barack.

Get it?

South Carolina will decide after Iowa.  After New Hampshire.  The results of both states prior will cast all the candidates in a certain light.  Should Joe lose Iowa, he will be seen as a loser.  Should he lose both Iowa and New Hampshire, he will be the ultimate loser.

That's the reality.  And, oops, Joe's already losing some support in South Carolina.  David Sherfinski (WASHINGTON TIMES) reports:

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s Democratic opponents are eating into his lead in Mr. Biden’s “firewall” state of South Carolina, according to a Post and Courier-Change Research poll released on Thursday.
Mr. Biden was the top choice of 27% of likely Democratic primary voters, followed by Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont at 20% and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts at 19%, according to the poll.

It’s the first time since February that Mr. Biden hasn’t had a double-digit lead in the state in Post and Courier-Change polls.

Woops.  And Andy Shain (POST AND COURIER) notes it as well:

Joe Biden might need to check his firewall.
The former vice president’s lead in South Carolina keeps shrinking in Post and Courier-Change Research polls as the 2020 Democratic presidential primary gets closer — and even after a key competitor for Palmetto State votes, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California, dropped out of the race.
The latest poll released Thursday shows Biden with just a 7 percentage point lead among likely voters in the South’s first primary, the first time he has not held a double-digit advantage in seven Post and Courier-Change Research surveys taken since February.

Poor Joe.  Suffering from shrinkage.  And at his age.

7% is no real lead.  It's just beyond the margin of error.  Joe's struggling and people still get honest about that.

Here's some honesty they're not offering.  Iowa?

It was pointless of Joe and his malarkey to waste time there in the last weeks.  His supporters are predominately elderly.  In a primary, that doesn't really matter.  In a caucus state?  In 2008, we were in Iowa for the caucus and the one we were at went on until well past midnight.  During that time, we saw tons of people walk out.  They were tired, they were disgusted in some cases.

Guess what?

No young people walked out (teens to mid-twenties).  That's where Joe is weakest in support.

Start telling the truth in the media.  Stop wasting our time with b.s. headlines about how "Joe's ahead!" in whatever state . . . if you use ranked choice voting when, in fact, the state doesn't use ranked choice voting.

Reality: No campaign is weaker in Iowa than Joe Biden's.  And that nonsense tour was a waste of time.  While he was on the ground there, others were in South Carolina ensuring that his support erodes.

If you're not getting how big Joe's decline in South Carolina is, FITS NEWS offers, "Biden is currently drawing the support of 27 percent of likely South Carolina Democratic primary voters, per the survey – his worst mark since pollsters began tracking the race. Just last month, a CBS News/ YouGuv survey showed Biden backed by 45 percent of South Carolina Democrats."

Shrinkage.  Did someone say Tiny Pete?  Joe Biden's personal Mini-Me is also having problems.  Julia Conley (COMMON DREAMS) reports:

Though they initially viewed South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg as an intriguing and progressive newcomer when he began his presidential campaign early this year, the #RefundPete hashtag began trending Thursday morning on social media as a growing number of former donors started requesting their donations back in the wake of recent revelations about the 2020 Democratic candidate.
Kristen Hill, a volunteer community leader for the presidential primary campaign of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in North Carolina, was one of the first voters to kick off the viral hashtag #RefundPete.
"If Pete Buttigieg fooled you into thinking he was a progressive at the beginning of his campaign and you donated what he thinks is pocket change, you can ask for a refund by emailing your receipt to," Hill tweeted.
In October, Buttigieg criticized his progressive opponents, Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for running their campaigns on "pocket change" by accepting mostly small donations of under $200.
Buttigieg has raised 52% of his $50 million campaign dollars through large contributions, and has so far been outraised by both Sanders and Warren.
"Just got my refund from Pete's campaign," wrote one social media user as the #RefundPete hashtag took off. "It was just pocket change so he won't miss it."

Another shared the email they sent to the campaign as the hashtag took off.

People want their money back.

I want my money back
I'm down here drowning in your fat
You got me on my knees
Praying for everything you lack
I ain't afraid of you
I'm just a victim of your fears
You cower in your tower
Praying that I'll disappear
I got another plan
One that requires me to stand
On the stage or in the street
Don't need no microphone or beat
And when you hear this song
If you ain't dead sing along
Bang and strum to these here drums
Till you get where you belong

I got a list of demands
Written on the palm of my hands
I ball my fist, you're gonna
Know where I stand
I'm living hand to mouth
You wanna be somebody? See somebody?
Try and free somebody?

"List of Demands (Reparations)" --  The Kills

In Iraq, the protests continue.  The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq has released a new report which notes:

On December 8, Iraqi judicial authorities said that 2,626 protesters who had been arrested during protests since October 1 have been released through December 8. The statement added that 181 protesters remain in custody pending the conclusion of investigations into their respective charges.
On December 8, unknown gunmen on a motorcycle assassinated activists Fahim al-Taie in central Karbala. Assassins have targeted a number of other activists in recent days. Activists Ehab al-Wazni and Muhannad al-Ka’bi both survived attempts on their lives in Karbala in which militants used silenced weapons and a sticky IED, respectively. Another activist, Basim al-Zubeidi also survived an attack by gunmen in Maysan province. On December 10, activist Ali al-Lami was found dead with bullet wounds to his head about 12 hours after he went missing in Baghdad. Activists and protesters are also facing threats of kidnappings and forced disappearances. On December 11, social media posts said that two young Iraqi activists, Omar al-Amiri and Salman al-Mansouri, went missing that day while on their way to purchase new tents for the protest site near Tahrir Square. On December 11, AFP published a report describing the kidnapping and beating ordeals that to which several protesters were subjected last week as part of what appears to be a systematic campaign of intimidation. Some of these activists were later released alive, while at least one activist was killed by her captors.
On December 9, the office of the Iraqi Human Rights Commission in Dhi-Qar released statistics on the deaths and injuries among protesters in the province between October 1 and December 3. The report found that 88 of the 94 protesters who died in the province were killed by live bullets. The report also found that 71 of those killed were between 16 and 29 years old. In addition to the deaths, there were 1,648 recorded injuries and 600 detentions among protesters during the same period. 
On December 11, the UN Assistance Mission to Iraq (UNAMI) published a new report on Iraq’s ongoing demonstration covering the period from November 5 to December 8. The report shows that at least 170 people were killed and 2,264 more were injured during that period. The document says that “UNAMI continued to receive credible allegations of deliberate killings, abduction and arbitrary detention carried out by unknown armed men described as: ‘militia’, ‘unknown third parties’, ‘armed entities’, ‘outlaws’ and ‘spoilers’.” The report also highlights the fact that the Iraqi government is refusing to allow UNAMI to access hospitals that are receiving demonstrations casualties whether to review their data on casualties or to speak with admitted patients. 
On December 12, Iraq’s Ministry of Migration reported that it has assisted 65 Iraqi refugees in returning home from Turkey. The ministry routinely helps Iraqi refugees return home through the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration program, which had supported the return of at least 232 refugees in October and November.

At what point are we going to demand that our candidates for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination offer some comment on what's going on in Iraq right now?  Thus far, only Bernie Sanders has taken the time to note the protests.

This week’s headlines: • Protests intensify during two-year anniversary of victory over • Disputes in Parliament over electoral law amendments • Mob lynching in Square stirs public opinion For details click link below:

The following sites updated:

Thursday, December 12, 2019

The press continues its distortion of democracy

Am I the only one bothered by our chicken s**t media?  Take this from POLITICO:

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) on Wednesday night publicly named a person that some Republicans and allies of President Donald Trump claim is the alleged whistleblower who first brought the Trump-Ukraine scandal to light.
Gohmert identified the person, who POLITICO is not naming, during remarks at a Judiciary Committee meeting on articles of impeachment against Trump. Gohmert named the person as he ticked through a list of witnesses he said the committee should hear from before voting on impeachment.

Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert dropped the name of the alleged whistleblower whose complaint sparked the Trump impeachment probe in a nationally televised House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday night.
The Texas lawmaker said the name during his opening statement in day one of the committee’s two-day marathon session to debate possible “markups,” or amendments to the two articles of impeachment brought against President Trump.
Gohmert incorporated the alleged whistleblower’s name into a grouping of “fact witnesses” he claimed House Democrats have blocked from testifying in front of the committees carrying out the impeachment probe.

Eric Ciaramella  is the name that they are refusing to print.  Why?  Did Chelsea Manning get that special treatment?  No.  And Chelsea was a whistle-blower.  Eric Ciaramella is a biased and partisan attack dog who leaked gossip and nothing more.  He has no first-hand knowledge of anything.  He is not a whistle-blower.  He is a government employee.  He is someone making charges that have led to impeachment inquiries so he is of public interest and his name should be public knowledge. 

This 'protection' has never been offered to any other whistle-blower.

The way we are distorting democracy and our rules is appalling.  An accusation has been made, a very serious one, the American people should know the name and everything else about the leaker.  That is part of the process.  We don't just consider the accusation, we vet the accuser to determine whether or not we find them reliable.

Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, December 12, 2019.  As protests continue in Iraq, no one does more damage to Joe Biden's campaign than . . . Joe Biden.

Starting in the US where the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues and where gaffe prone Joe Biden continues to destroy his own campaign.


Link to headline article

What are we talking about?

Ryan Lizza (POLITICO) reported yesterday:

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s top advisers and prominent Democrats outside the Biden campaign have recently revived a long-running debate whether Biden should publicly pledge to serve only one term, with Biden himself signaling to aides that he will serve only a single term.

While the option of making a public pledge remains available, Biden has for now settled on an alternative strategy: quietly indicate that he will almost certainly not run for a second term while declining to make a promise that he and his advisers fear could turn him into a lame duck and sap him of his political capital. 

So, follow this, we're going through a bruising primary season and it's so Joe can serve for one term?  As the report resulted in various negative reactions, Joe's campaign attempted to dismiss the rumor.  THE WEEK notes:

His deputy campaign manager and communications director, Kate Bedingfield, responded to the report by saying "this is not a conversation our campaign is having and not something VP Biden is thinking about."
[Senator Chris] Coons, who has endorsed Biden, also responded by saying "just the opposite" is true and that Biden "has made it clear to me that he is ready and able and willing to serve two terms if necessary," per CBS News' Alan He.

Coons shares pillow talk but it does nothing to end the talk.  So Joe himself was sent out to speak.  David Gardner (EVENING STANDARD) quotes Joe stating, "I don’t have plans on one term."  Igor Derysh (SALON) points out Joe "told The Associated Press in October that he would also not commit to running for a second term."  William Goldschlag and Dan Janison (NEWSDAY) observe, "There's a strong argument against any presidential candidate saying such a thing out loud. A new president who said four years but no more would be a lame duck on Day One, instantly hemorrhaging the political capital to pursue an agenda."  Jordan Weissmann (SLATE) argues:

For starters, if Biden thinks there’s a chance he simply won’t be able to handle the job in five or six years, he should realize there’s a chance he won’t be able to do it in two or three either. Being president is hard; it tends to age politicians rapidly, and Biden shouldn’t gamble on his ability to fill the role.

But beyond all that, serving as a one-term president will vastly diminish his powers in office and possibly set back Democratic policy priorities. It’s not a fix for anything.         
One of the most important parts about being a first-term president is running for reelection. It gives you leverage over your party on Capitol Hill, since lawmakers want to help you nab that second term or at least don’t want to piss off primary voters by denying you legislative wins and undermining your chances. Plus, you can do more in eight years than four. You get more time to appoint judges. You can implement legislation that takes a while to get up and running. (The Affordable Care Act’s exchanges didn’t even start selling insurance until Obama’s second go-round.) And even if the opposition takes over Congress, you can still use the Justice Department and regulatory agencies to push change. (Donald Trump, for instance, is cutting food stamps at the moment by administrative fiat.)       

 It's not a good day to be Joe Biden -- but is there ever a good day to be Joe?  Cleve R. Wootson Jr. (WASHINGTON POST) points out, "An October AP-NORC poll found a 69 percent majority of Americans said it was 'inappropriate' for Hunter Biden to serve on the board of a Ukrainian energy company while his father was vice president."  Wootson also notes that Joe attempted to defend Hunter's actions in an interview by insisting, "Look, the American public knows me."

Do they?  Keith Griffith (DAILY MAIL) notes:

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden paid his female staffers less on average than men over several decades, a new analysis finds.
In his 35 years in the Senate, Biden paid full-time female staffers on average just 67 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts, according to an analysis of Senate records by the Washington Free Beacon
The biggest gap came in 1983 and 1984, when women in Biden's Senate office made less than half of what men made, on average — just 44 cents on the dollar.
A spokesperson for Biden's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from

And yet some self-appointed 'spokerwomen' vouch for Joe on behalf of other women.  Speak for yourself and stop trying to act as though you're leading a movement.  Joe's treatment of Anita Hill is just the tip of the iceberg on a long anti-woman bias.

Joe as president means the world will be in a lot worse shape after four years of Biden.  Jake Johnson (COMMON DREAMS) explains:

Former Vice President Joe Biden must ditch his industry-friendly, "middle-of-the-road" climate policy in favor of an agenda that completely rejects fossil fuels if he wishes to be taken seriously as an environmental leader in the 2020 Democratic presidential race.
That's the message of a petition launched Wednesday by 350 Action. The group charges Biden's centrist approach to the climate emergency "won't cut it anymore" and demands that he "do better."
"Vice President Joe Biden has dragged his feet in responding to the urgency of the climate and environmental crises across the country," Tamara Toles O'Laughlin, 350 Action's North America director, said in a statement. "Stunningly, we've watched a strident Biden attend fundraisers hosted by fossil fuel power brokers and rub shoulders with dirty fuel magnates."
O'Laughlin said Biden's climate plan, which leaves the door open to new fossil fuel development, pales in comparison to the sweeping environmental platforms of leading 2020 contenders Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
350 Action's climate scorecard gives Biden "unknowns" on two of its three criteria: Support for the Green New Deal and opposition to fossil fuel drilling. The group also noted that Biden "has supported demonstrably false solutions like 'carbon capture.'"

"The other 2020 frontrunners, Senators Sanders and Warren, have plans for the people," said O'Laughlin. "They have pursued the gold standard of climate leadership with real commitment to make polluters pay for a just transition and the Green New Deal. We deserve better than Joe Biden's silence in the face of crisis."

 Norman Solomon (COMMON DREAMS) surveys the field of candidates and explains:

From three different vectors, the oligarchy is on the march to capture the Democratic presidential nomination. Pete Buttigieg has made big gains. A timeworn ally of corporate power, Joe Biden, is on a campaign for his last hurrah. And Michael Bloomberg is swooping down from plutocratic heights.
Those three men are a team of rivals—each fiercely competitive for an individual triumph, yet arrayed against common ideological foes named Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
The obvious differences between Buttigieg, Biden and Bloomberg are apt to distract from their underlying political similarities. Fundamentally, they’re all aligned with the nation’s economic power structure—two as corporate servants, one as a corporate master.

For Buttigieg, the gaps between current rhetoric and career realities are now gaping. On Tuesday, hours after the collapse of the “nondisclosure agreement” that had concealed key information about his work for McKinsey & Company, the New York Times concluded that “the most politically troubling element of his client list” might be what he did a dozen years ago for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan—“a health care firm that at the time was in the process of reducing its work force.”
The newspaper reported that “his work appeared to come at about the same time the insurer announced that it would cut up to 1,000 jobs—or nearly 10 percent of its work force—and request rate increases.”
This year, Buttigieg’s vaguely progressive rhetoric has become more and more unreliable, most notably with his U-turn away from supporting Medicare for All. Meanwhile, wealthy donors have flocked to him. Forbes reports that 39 billionaires have donated to the Buttigieg campaign, thus providing ultra-elite seals of approval. (Meanwhile, Biden has 44 billionaire donors and Warren has six. Forbes couldn’t find any billionaires who’ve donated to Sanders; he did receive one contribution from a billionaire’s spouse—though that donation was later returned.)

Not surprisingly, the political orientations of the leading candidates match up with the spread of average donations. The latest figures reflect candidates’ proximity to the class interests of donors, with wealthier ones naturally tending to give more sizable amounts. Nearly two-thirds (64.9 percent) of Biden’s donations were upwards of $200 each, while such donations accounted for a bit more than half (52.5 percent) of the contributions to Buttigieg. Compare those numbers to 29.6 percent for Elizabeth Warren and 24.9 percent for Bernie Sanders.

Rebecca Traister surveys the media landscape for how it portrays the candidates.

I wrote about Morning Joe, Steve Schmidt, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, which candidates get tagged as dishonest, which ones get anointed as straight-talkers and how it doesn’t actually correspond to their truth-telling history:

At THE CUT, she offers:

The week before the last Democratic primary debate of 2019, a panel of pundits on MSNBC’s Morning Joe gathered to make an explicit critique of one of the candidates. Citing a “whiff of fraudulence,” political writer John Heilemann talked with host Joe Scarborough, former Missouri senator Claire McCaskill, and former Republican strategist Steve Schmidt about the perception that there’s something dishonest and untrustworthy about Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren.
“Is this woman who she says she is?” asked Heilemann, citing controversies over her claims of Native American heritage, her consulting work on bankruptcy, and her recent assertion that her children attended public schools when in fact her younger son Alex also was enrolled in private schools, as not being about those issues, but rather reflecting the larger concern of voters: “Is she a phony? Is she a fraud?”
I’m not saying she’s any of those things!” Heilemann made sure to say.
Then came Schmidt, who said those things. Claiming that Warren has a “tremendous talent for self-righteousness and hypocrisy,” Schmidt said that “over and over again she has misrepresented herself” and argued that he was just telling hard truths: “Why is it that Elizabeth Warren checked the box as a Native American on the Harvard Law School application? I know why she checked the box; she was trying to game the system.”
In fact, extensive reporting has shown that Warren did not identify as Native American through the hiring process at Harvard, though the law school, then under sharp criticism for not hiring women of color, later claimed her as one.
There are extremely valid criticisms to be made around Warren’s handling of her past claims of Native American ancestry; none of them are about whether she was qualified to teach at Harvard Law School on the merits. But the most compelling thing about the Morning Joe critique wasn’t the bevy of specific charges against Warren, some of which were false and some of which, including her answer on her son’s schooling, are rooted in real unforced errors. Warren, like scores of presidential candidates before her and alongside her, has a decent but imperfect record of accuracy when it comes to how she’s told her own story.

What’s really fascinating is whose imperfect record gets cast as fatally phony and whose does not — to whom perceptions of untrustworthiness stick and to whom they do not and to what end. Who gets called to correct the record and who permits lies to get repeated? It’s not always just the candidates.

While the media was nailing Elizabeth Warren to the cross, they were giving many other candidates a pass.  Here's Rebecca on how Joe got waived through without questioning:

Take Joe Biden, who left the 1988 Democratic primary after being charged with plagiarism both on the campaign trail and back in law school, as well as with inflating his own academic record: Biden had claimed to have graduated in the top half of his law-school class, when in fact he graduated 76th out of 85 students. In 1987, when pressed by a reporter on his academic record, Biden had angrily responded, “I think I probably have a much higher IQ than you do” (an exchange he would recall in a later memoir as “so stupid,” yet repeated just last week with a voter who asked him about his son Hunter’s work in Ukraine). Back then, Biden told the New York Times, “I exaggerate when I’m angry, but I’ve never gone around telling people things that aren’t true about me.” But, just as a point of fact, he had told people — lots of people! — things that weren’t true about himself, not just about his school years, but in borrowing details about the life of the British politician whose speeches he’d plagiarized.
Early in this campaign season, Biden’s campaign was again found to have lifted language; his climate and education plans initially included phrases taken from other publications without attribution. He’s also been caught out telling a false story about traveling to Afghanistan to award a Navy Captain a Silver Star, apparently a conflation of several different events. Back in 2007, he claimed to have been “shot at” in Iraq; this was not true. Anita Hill has recalled that back when he was in charge of Clarence Thomas’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Biden initially assured her that she would be able to testify first, but that after negotiations with Republican colleagues, Thomas had been permitted to go first. “I leave you to say whether he lied or not,” Hill said to a New York Times reporter earlier this year.
Yet despite his career-long penchant for exaggeration and misleading recollection, Biden gets regularly presented by the mainstream political media as a man of deep integrity, a trustworthy guy; he’s currently on his “no-malarkey” campaign tour.

A similar advantage seems to have been accrued by Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has been pushing the view of Elizabeth Warren as deceptive — the same view expressed vocally by the Morning Joe panel on Tuesday — for months. In October, Buttigieg said that his opponent has been more “forthcoming about the number of selfies she’s taken” than about how she planned to pay for Medicare for All (Warren has since released her detailed plan on how to pay for Medicare for All), and his campaign has recently hit her hard with the suggestion that she’s hiding something regarding the bankruptcy expert’s past work as a “corporate lawyer.” But Buttigieg has significantly changed his positions, including on Medicare for All, during his time on the campaign trail, and until pressed by the Warren campaign, had not permitted press into his fundraisers, released his list of donors, or the list of clients he’d worked for as a McKinsey consultant, a lot of which he did this week. Buttigieg also recently rolled out a list of black supporters in South Carolina, some of whom had never in fact endorsed him, and felt they had been misled by his campaign.

We included Tiny Pete.  The whole column has to be read.

In Iraq, the protests continue.

About an hour after gunmen began attacking a protest encampment in Iraq’s capital at the weekend, Mustafa — who had slept there for weeks — went offline.

As protests in Iraq enter their 3rd month, the numbers of arrests, abductions & killings of protesters continue to rise.

Security forces should be protecting the demonstrators.

Instead, some security forces are the ones doing the killing.

Human Rights Watch's Belkis Wille writes:

As protests in Iraq enter their third month, the numbers of arrests, abductions, and killings of protesters continue to rise. But instead of protecting the demonstrators mostly peacefully protesting on Iraq’s streets, some security forces are the ones attacking and killing them. Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi had promised in a letter to Human Rights Watch that security forces would no longer use live ammunition against protesters, before announcing his own resignation on November 29. But killings and abductions of protesters have continued.
Since the beginning of these protests, Human Rights Watch has also documented unidentified armed men attacking protesters while the state security forces apparently stand by. Last week alone, these unidentified actors abducted one protester in Baghdad and opened fire on another in Karbala, killing him.
Early on December 6, Zaid Mohammed Abd Ali, 23, a photographer who attended the protests daily in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, was abducted from outside his house, his brother said. The family’s CCTV camera footage from that morning shows four men, one with a gun, get out of a car and grab Ali as he was arriving home. They hit him, put him in the car, and drove away. The family went straight to the police, but officers said they needed to wait 24 hours after the incident before they could open a missing persons complaint. The police opened a complaint the next day and told Ali’s family they are reviewing the CCTV footage but have provided no other information on their supposed investigation.
On December 8, a gunman on the back of a motorcycle shot and killed Fahem al-Tai, 53, a protester in Karbala. Timestamped footage from a street camera showed the entire attack unfold. Human Rights Watch reviewed the footage and spoke to a friend who was with al-Tai at the time of the attack. He said the police had not yet contacted him, despite his presence at the scene.
Reports emerged on December 11 of another two activists – one a well-known environmentalist – who have gone missing.

The Iraqi government needs to start protecting its citizens, by ending its own security force’s unlawful violence against protesters, and taking effective action against the groups now attacking them. This means taking urgent action to find anyone abducted by these groups, and arresting and prosecuting anyone responsible for murder and other crimes. Otherwise, the death toll will continue to climb, and Iraq’s next prime minister and cabinet will face a Herculean task in restoring the rule of law.

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