Primarily Speaking

image of Joe Biden, squinching one eye and giving a slight grin, to which I've added text reading: 'Maybe!'

Let's start with the Democrats today, shall we? WE SHALL!

Vice President Joe Biden still hasn't made up his mind about whether he's going to run for president. He will reportedly be "using part of his vacation in South Carolina this week to sound out friends and family about a presidential bid, as some Democrats press him to enter the race and give the party another option in the face of lingering controversies involving Hillary Clinton."

Sure. Because why would her party stand behind Hillary Clinton? It's not like she's been one of the most respected and admired politicians around the entire globe for decades or anything.

And I say that as someone who has criticized her lack of transparency on this very issue. But I am also keenly aware of the fact that it isn't because people give a shit about compliance with the Federal Records Act, unless people have suddenly developed an inexplicable fondness for it in the last eight years, that Clinton is getting so much shit about her email usage, but because there are people who want to do anything to derail her campaign. And that is some bullshit.

I'm just totally grossed out generally by the whole "Biden should run as spoiler and/or back-up for Clinton" thing. If Biden should run, those reasons need to be because of the things Biden brings to the table that no other candidate does, not because there are a whole lot of people who hate Clinton, or are ready to throw her to the proverbial wolves at the first sign of trouble. And guess what? I know people who have legitimate criticisms of Clinton and who want Biden to run because they like him for this or that. They can clearly articulate those reasons. And none of them are: "Clinton is an icky ladyperson." Not even deeply coded variations.

Like for example: "Email scandal that no one would care about if it were anyone else, which we know for certain because no one ever has, even when it was a sitting president and his entire disgusting administration."

In other news, Greg Howard explains why Bernie Sanders' approach to racial justice is deeply flawed, which will probably sound familiar:
Sanders and his plan to save blacks through redistributing wealth to narrow the wealth gap are deeply flawed, because the principle which serves as the scaffolding for his plan is deeply flawed. Sanders—like many other liberals of his race and age—believes that capitalism is inherently evil, and so that all evils can be ascribed to those of capitalism, and so in the idea that economic injustice is the root of all injustice. Racial injustice, in this reading, is treated as a side effect or function of economic injustice; concomitantly, racial inequality is treated as having the same causes and therefore the same solutions as economic inequality. If wealth is redistributed, the idea goes, then poor people of all races will have more money; then something else will happen; then racism will not matter or be healed altogether. I, and many in Black Lives Matter, and other people, too, believe that this line of theorizing has things backward.

I, and other people, too, tend to believe that racial injustice is different from economic injustice; that black Americans are poor because of racism, more than that racism is the result of black Americans being poor; and, further, that racism is the driving force behind the capricious and fluid idea of race. It is racism that has led to layers upon layers of policy that keep blacks as a social underclass being conceived and executed; racism that has led to policies like redlining, which still exist, in various forms, today; racism that has led to things like segregated neighborhoods and schools; racism that has led to millions upon millions of minorities today being corralled in ghettos; and racism that has led to the average white household having 16 times the wealth of the average black one in 2015. Black people aren't systemically oppressed because they don't have money; they don't have money because they are systemically oppressed, because the American voting public is in favor of them being so.
Note to presidential candidates: "Single most important issue" and intersectional analysis will always be fundamentally irreconcilable. In the same way that 1 and 3 will always be different numbers.

Martin O'Malley, Lincoln Chafee, and Jim Webb continue to run for president.

Moving along to the other side of aisle, the big news is that all seventeen candidates are maintaining maximum levels of undiluted terrible! But here are some highlights:

[CN: War] This is the nicest headline you will ever see about Jeb Bush trying to blame the failure of the Iraq War on President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, instead of on his dirtbag brother: "Jeb Bush offered inaccurate version of Iraq war history." Hahahaha he sure did!

[CN: War on agency] Dr. Jen Gunter hands Dr. Ben Carson a can of BOOM! by reporting that he did research on 17 week fetal tissue. Whoooooooops!

[CN: War on agency] Senator Marco Rubio wants you to sign a petition if you know that a human embryo "won't become a donkey or a cat." PROOF THAT LIFE BEGINS AT CONCEPTION! HUMAN EMBRYOS CAN'T BECOME CATS! CASE CLOSED, YOUR HONOR!

[CN: Child abuse; sexual assault; misogyny] There aren't even fucking words: "A Republican lawmaker in Arkansas will no longer be given a 'Power of Courage' award at an event headlined by presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz Wednesday after a controversy arose because he re-homed two adopted girls to a man now serving a 40-year sentence for crimes against children. State representative Justin Harris, also the owner and founder of Growing God's Kingdom Preschool, and his wife adopted two girls in 2013 but then gave them to another family, where one of the children was sexually abused. ...Harris, the Times reported, 'said that the girls, then ages 3 and 5, were dangerously violent and had posed a threat to his biological sons.'" Because he believed them to be demonically possessed. Really. And since Republicans are supercool: "Harris will still receive the award but not at the event Cruz will attend." Cruz's team asked them not to present the award at the event in which he'd be in attendance, but didn't suggest maybe just maybe that award shouldn't be presented at all.

Professor of Bible Bigotry Mike Huckabee says you should vote for him so he can put the EPA out of business: "Let's let the states decide when it's a mud puddle and when it's a wetland." This fucking guy.

[CN: Vine autoplays at link] Here's the best thing that Donald Trump has ever said! Mesmerizing!

Pugilist Chris Christie, corporate power-failure Carly Fiorina, real person Jim Gilmore, reasonable-by-comparison Lindsey Graham, nerdiest clown Bobby Jindal, "moderate" John Kasich, charisma void George Pataki, proximate apple Rand Paul, trainwreck Rick Perry, waking nightmare Rick Santorum, and Indiana dumpster diver Scott Walker continue to run for president.

Talk about these things! Or don't. Whatever makes you happy. Life is short.

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