Why the Joe Biden trial balloon is being floated.

Hillary Clinton

The idea of Joe Biden getting in the race is to see just how vulnerable Hillary Clinton might be. If Biden throws his hat in the ring and Clinton’s numbers take a hit as a result, then she’s not as strong a candidate as the party needs.

On the other hand, liked or not, Hillary Clinton still leads Republican rivals in the national polls. But once the general election season rolls around, if Clinton’s negatives are still high, that gives the GOP a strong card to play against her.

It may be a very good idea to let Biden get in. He doesn’t have the negatives Clinton does, and the only cards the GOP could play against him are not effective. He just may be a stronger candidate than Clinton. At this point however, he’ll have to make up a lot of ground.

There’s still a long way to go, but Clinton has a real problem that should not be dismissed.

The bad news for Hillary Clinton in the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll: More Americans view her negatively than they did a month ago, revealing potential vulnerabilities for a general-election presidential contest more than a year away.

The good news for her in the poll: Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field by more than 30 points, and the favorability numbers for two of the top Republicans are even worse than hers.

Just 37 percent of all Americans have a positive view of Clinton, versus 48 percent who have a negative view (-11).

That’s a sharp drop since June, when the NBC/WSJ poll showed her with a 44 percent positive, 40 negative rating (+4) – so an overall 15-point swing.

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Joe Biden hasn’t ruled out a run for president.

bidenobama

News media reported today that Joe Biden hasn’t ruled out a run for the presidency. He and his advisors are reaching out to Democrats who haven’t yet committed to Hillary Clinton, as well as some who have – but feel perhaps she may be vulnerable.

If Biden runs, much will be made of his alleged propensity to put his foot in his mouth. Well, they can call it what they will, but whenever Joe said something that he wasn’t supposed to say, it was never mean, it was never cruel, it was never hateful, and it was always about something honest.

They call Trump “refreshing,” but Trump comes from a place of hate and bigotry. Plus, there’s no “there” there with Trump. He’s all swagger, no dagger. Biden, on the other hand, is truly refreshing with his plainspoken honesty (sometimes too honest).

The VP is one of the smartest, savviest guys in politics. In fact, he has strengths President Obama lacks — Biden would really be able to work across the aisle and get things done, because he did it for years in the Senate. Obama has been (sometimes rightfully) accused of being a little too cool and aloof, and hasn’t done the best job schmoozing with other politicians to grease wheels, but this is something Biden is great at doing.

Republicans call Biden dumb at their peril. They confuse his good-natured positivity with stupidity, but they forget their own hero Ronald Reagan won huge victories with that kind of positivity. And Biden’s positive, can-do, slap your back, hey how ya doin’ personality can squash the hate, fear, paranoia and idiocy that will be offered by whoever wins the GOP primary.

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Suicide and Sandra Bland

Sandra Bland

Having lost friends to suicide, I can tell you that in some cases there were no obvious signs. Suicide can sometimes be impulsive and happen quickly, even when the victim had appeared well and happy just before.

I think Sandra Bland should not have been arrested, I think the cop was totally in the wrong and needlessly escalated the encounter, but as to her death in a jail cell there are legitimate questions, and it is not impossible that she killed herself. Naturally, her family thinks it’s impossible because they have their own image of her, but we all know a loved one’s image of someone is not always reality. Even family can miss things. Sometimes even best friends can miss signs. Sometimes people are really good at hiding what’s going on inside.

If Bland was murdered inside her cell, the available evidence shows it would have been extremely difficult for anyone to have killed her, not without a massive conspiracy, a conspiracy so massive it just doesn’t seem to be worth the trouble. That’s what led to a further conspiracy theory making the rounds that Bland was dead BEFORE she was put in the cell… but subsequent arrival and booking video shows she was alive when she was locked up.

“But the video was faked like the arrest video!” some conspiracists cry.

Yes, there were problems with the arrest video, but I think those were technical glitches from digital copies made from the digital source. If the glitches we saw were the result of purposeful tampering to cover something up, it was a TERRIBLE job. Way too obvious if someone was really trying to hide something. In my media work, I’ve seen those kinds of copying glitches before. Either way, none of the glitches appear to have covered up anything that wasn’t already seen in the other video shot by a bystander.

So, my personal conclusion is that I can’t automatically dismiss the possibility that Sandra Bland did indeed commit suicide. Just because I no longer believe cops deserve the benefit of the doubt, and just because I no longer take a cop’s word for it, doesn’t mean they’re automatically guilty of everything. While there’s no evidence that proves Bland killed herself, there’s no evidence she didn’t, but the available evidence at least supports the possibility that it was suicide.

Unfortunately, we may never know for sure, and because we may never know, people who are already on one side or the other will remain convinced, and no quarter will be given to anyone who thinks “Hmm, wait a minute, I’m not so sure anymore.” And once a conspiracy theory gets lodged in someone’s head, it’s nearly impossible to get it out.

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Are you really surprised another cop has been caught lying?

Sam Dubose, killed by a cop for no reason at all.

Sam Dubose, killed by a cop for no reason at all.

Are you really that surprised another cop has been caught lying after he killed an unarmed black man? How many other cops have lied? How many times have we heard the lame excuse, “He was reaching for his waistband (even though he didn’t have a gun there)” or “He ran toward me in a threatening manner (even though the video shows him running the other direction)” or “He refused my command to get down on the ground (that I issued as I shot him)” or “He tried to grab my gun (as he was running away)” or “He was resisting arrest (as I was choking him to death)”? Odd how so many black men reach for their waistbands when they’re not armed.

Officer Ray Tensing of Cincinnati claimed he was “dragged” by Samuel Dubose’s car. I am not surprised at all that when we finally got a look at the video it showed the cop blatantly lied. Samuel Dubose had his face blown off for absolutely no reason at all.

But here’s the worst part: Don’t be surprised if Tensing’s trial finds him innocent. Even in cases where there’s clear video evidence that the cop lied and was completely in the wrong, the officer almost always gets away with it, especially when he’s white and his victim was black. Juries seem to always buy the “scary black guy” defense.

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You can fight city hall, but you can’t fight the corporations.

corporations-over-wethepeople

In our capitalist system, the goal of a business is not to provide you with a service or a product, it is to put its competitors out of business.

While we allegedly have laws to prevent monopolies, and once upon a time they worked because they were enforced, they’re no longer a problem for mega-corporations. These huge conglomerates are so massive that no law and no government can exercise any check on their power. They are de facto monopolies all while maintaining the illusion of competition.

In short, we no longer live in a democratic republic. We live in a corporate oligarchy. Our present form of government does not represent your interests — not because they won’t but because they can’t. Corporations have all the power. Government is no longer a check on corporations, corporations are a check on government.

You have no power in the face of the almighty corporations. You can still fight city hall, but it’s pointless, because the real power – and the real money – isn’t there anymore.

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The problem Obamacare didn’t solve is going to get worse.

Obamacare signature

Okay, there’s more than one problem Obamacare didn’t solve, but the biggest one is the fact that it left private health insurance companies intact, and they’re about to get bigger.

While Obamacare has seen to it that more people are getting covered, and more people have access to health care than had it before, we still have to deal with the insurance companies. And like other corporate beasts, they don’t give a shit about people. They just care about getting bigger and making more money. And the bigger they get the less they care. You, the patient, do not factor into it at all.

Now we’re going to have even bigger beasts in the health insurance pen, with Anthem buying up Cigna, coming soon on the heels of Aetna buying Humana.

Now think about cable companies… Did they get better when they merged into bigger mega-corporations? No, of course not. They got worse. Worse products, worse customer service. The same has happened, is happening, and will continue to happen with health insurance.

The aim, of course, is for mega-corporations to become so huge that absolutely no law can control or even affect them. And that’s why we’ll see more mergers of health insurance companies, and their customer service will be about as good as your cable company’s.

You certainly aren’t going to get better health care. Yes, the insurance companies, by becoming bigger entities, can command lower prices, but those lower prices will not be passed on to you. Your costs will go up. Not only that, doctors’ salaries will go down. It’s all about maximizing profit, which is what health care in America is all about.

And that’s what Obamacare didn’t fix.

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The pile of bodies isn’t nearly high enough for us to do anything about gun violence.

John Russell Houser, 59, identified as shooter in Lafayette, Louisiana movie theater

John Russell Houser, 59, identified as shooter in Lafayette, Louisiana movie theater

There have been 204 mass shootings – and 204 days – in 2015 so far.

And last night, another shooting at a movie theater. This one by an older white male who apparently was a tea partier, hated the government, hated Obama, liked Hitler, supported the Westboro Baptist Church, and thought women should keep quiet.

We won’t do anything about this latest shooting, because we as a people lack the will and the courage to do anything about it. The pile of bodies isn’t nearly high enough for us to care enough to do anything about it. We didn’t do anything about it before, we won’t do anything about it this time, we won’t do anything about it the next time, or the time after that, or the time after that.

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