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Otto Lidenbrock

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Member since: Wed Jun 20, 2018, 07:20 PM
Number of posts: 581

Journal Archives

Who didn't have the guts to run in 2016?


Posted by Otto Lidenbrock | Sat Oct 19, 2019, 05:56 PM (20 replies)

Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter just became the longest married presidential couple

Twenty six thousand seven hundred and sixty five days -- and counting.

That's more than 75 years. And that's how long former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, have been married -- making them the longest married presidential couple.

The Carter Center celebrated the milestone Thursday when the couple bested the record held by the late George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush.

And to think it might have turned out differently.

When Jimmy Carter first proposed, Rosalynn Smith -- as she was known then -- rejected him. Why? She had made a promise to her dying father she'd finish college first.

As she recounted in her memoir, "First Lady from Plains," the pair grew up three years and three miles apart.

There were no girls in town who were her age. So Rosalynn became best friends with Jimmy's younger sister.

"I thought he was the most handsome young man I had ever seen," she wrote in her memoir.

Her father died when she was 12. But she kept her promise. She graduated from Georgia Southwestern College.

The pair went on their first date in 1945. They married the following year.

He was 21. She was 18.

"The best thing I ever did was marrying Rosalynn," Carter once said. "That's a pinnacle in my life."

That's not to say it's been easy sailing all through. Take the time the couple decided to write a book together.

"It's the worst problem we've ever had since we've been married," Jimmy Carter jokingly told CNN at the time.

"It would be like God had given her this text at Mt. Sinai and she had brought it down and presented it to me in stone."

He is now 95. She is 92. And their love story is still going strong.

Posted by Otto Lidenbrock | Fri Oct 18, 2019, 01:14 PM (20 replies)

"White Out: The Unrelenting Quest to Erase Kamala Harris"

Fascinating blog post in the link. I was very disappointed at how pundits including democrats sneered and mocked Kamala Harris for her emphasising Trump's Twitter as a vehicle of hate and violence. People at Twitter seemed to take heed as I posted here yesterday: https://www.democraticunderground.com/1287311532

But this post goes beyond that. It explores how Harris has garnered a reputation that is misleading and in some cases downright lies yet she hasn't received the opportunity others have in responding.

The Democratic Primaries started off promisingly diverse. Secretary Julian Castro was the first to announce his candidacy, and Senator Kamala Harris was one of the next to join the race barely a week later. Senator Cory Booker declared the beginning of February — and for a brief moment, we had a primary that reflected the voting base of the Democratic party.

It didn’t last.

Kamala Harris announced her candidacy to a roaring crowd of over 20,000 people, which remains a record in the 2020 Primary. Many were excited about her entry into the race, particularly after the hearings of Jeff Sessions and Brett Kavanaugh. Anticipating the likelihood of her run, the hit pieces began before her formal announcement, including the creation of the hashtag #KamalaIsaCop as a continuation of Russian bot propaganda to subdue the turnout of black voters.

The distortion of Kamala Harris’s stellar record came from both right wing sources like the Washington Examiner, and leftwing sites like The Intercept. Most of these “criticisms” (such as wrongly attributing her to Jamal Trulove’s incarceration, outcries for not prosecuting Mnuchin, and allegedly fighting to keep prisoners in jail for cheap labor) have been completely debunked, but they remain staples in the comment sections of Twitter and Facebook from both Trump supporters and so-called progressives. Journalists also permit these distortions to go unchallenged, with the lone exception of Politifact debunking Tulsi Gabbard’s false claims after the second debate.

The disinformation surrounding Kamala Harris is inordinately persistent, but it is not limited to bad faith takes from journalists. The bot activity surrounding Kamala Harris is striking, particularly for a candidate that polls between 4th and 5th place. On a weekly basis, Kamala receives between 125 to 190 mentions on TV news stations, which is staggeringly less than the three people polling above her — yet the estimated bot activity stalking her account outnumbers every single other candidate in the top 6 combined. This means that Kamala has fewer options to defend herself on television (and those mentions usually skew negative, rather than neutral or positive), and far more attacks targeting her.

Kamala Harris is empirically mentioned less often than other candidates, even when there is every reason to center her in a news story. This has been seen time and time again. The first example to be shown considers Kamala Harris’s signature policy — the LIFT Act, which is her tax proposal that would reverse the Trump tax code and create the option for families to tap into their refund for up to $500 a month. An entire article was written about a California program that piloted something similar, yet Kamala Harris — the junior California Senator — is not mentioned once.

Similarly, Kamala Harris was the first person to introduce a maternal mortality bill that centered black women. California took measures at the state level to combat this epidemic, yet despite being the Senator from California and the leader on this issue, Elizabeth Warren was quoted for the article.

In truth, most of Kamala Harris’s policies go unmentioned or unexamined by the media, a fact which Rep. Wilson highlights in this interview.

Kamala Harris will present an excellent proposal, an excellent idea, and they’ll say it, but they won’t cover it. Start to pay attention, and you’ll see it. -Representative Frederica Wilson, FL.

Kamala Harris’s healthcare proposal was the first to create a cap for monthly prescription drug costs; unbeknownst to The Daily Beast, who reported that Pete Buttigieg had the first plan despite Kamala announcing hers months beforehand. When Harris spokesman Ian Sams pointed out the discrepancy, The Daily Beast removed and reposted the article omitting the “first” without an apology or correction.

Gun control is another realm where Kamala Harris has come out strong, and early, proposing her plan in April 2019 to take executive action if Congress did not act within 100 days. The Giffords Foundation coordinated with all the major 2020 contenders to release a call to action video on gun control, which Kamala Harris naturally participated in. And she was removed from the ad by MSNBC when they ran it for her trouble. This example is particularly egregious because it was not a case of an omission — they had to intentionally edit the video to remove her segment.

Of a similar vein, Kamala Harris was one of many 2020 candidates to wish Bernie Sanders a speedy recovery after his heart attack, both privately in a phone call and publicly to reporters. NowThis, however, managed to include everyone who had spoken out except her.

The erasure of Kamala Harris’s long, impressive history with the LGBTQ+ community is possibly the most heinous example. The aforementioned Intercept hit pieces targeted the fact that two trans inmates were denied gender affirmation surgery in California, ignoring the fact that it was Kamala Harris’s job to represent the state, and also that she reversed the policy within a year (far before that was a popular stance and during the period of time where Elizabeth Warren was calling gender affirmation surgery not a “good use of taxpayer dollars”), AND her efforts made California the first and one of the only states to ban the trans panic defense.

The two LGBT forums of the 2020 Primary apparently only read the smear articles, however. The now infamous moderation of Lyz Lenz (a white, non-LGBT woman) highlighted this, in which she framed the same premise of a question about gender affirmation surgery to Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris very differently: “How can people trust you?” to the latter, and “How can people evolve like you?” to the former.

Lenz’s questioning, refreshingly, did not go unnoticed, especially by black women on Twitter — who were subsequently blocked for their righteous indignation. Rather than apologizing, Lenz doubled down that she was proud of the work she did, shielding behind Biden’s remarks in a peak white feminist fashion.

When the second LGBTQ forum was held, the questioning by Chris Cuomo was more tame — with the obvious exception of his making light out of Kamala Harris’s opening in which she stated her preferred pronouns to a roaring applause. To Cuomo’s credit, he at least apologized immediately, unlike Lenz.

Rest of blog: https://medium.com/@courtneybswanson/white-out-the-unrelenting-quest-to-erase-kamala-harris-d8b4de2c3fb7
Posted by Otto Lidenbrock | Thu Oct 17, 2019, 05:23 PM (7 replies)

Viewing figures from the last debate

Last night’s CNN/New York Times Democratic Presidential Debate attracted 8.3 million viewers on CNN and 9.4 million live streams. On television, 8.336 million total viewers watched the debate live from the campus of Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. Among adults 25-54, 2.378 million tuned in. The debate peaked on television from 9:15-9:30 pm with 9.215 million total viewers and from 9:45-10 pm among adults 25-54 with 2.660 million.

The June debates averaged approximately twice as much.

12 candidates on one night is a bad formula. These debates aren't moving the needle.
Posted by Otto Lidenbrock | Thu Oct 17, 2019, 11:25 AM (2 replies)

Twitter is seeking to clarify its rules for politicians after coming under pressure from Sen. Harris


So all the blue checks who ridiculed her for bringing it up last night including the Pod Save bros should eat some humble pie.

Four of those people on stage had pipe bombs mailed to them in 2018. Vice President Biden, Senator Harris, Senator Booker and Mr Steyer. The culprit was a man radicalised by Trump.

This is the result of Trump's twitter.

Posted by Otto Lidenbrock | Wed Oct 16, 2019, 11:03 AM (9 replies)

Two things I never want to hear in a debate again

"Beat him like a drum"

"I wrote the damn bill"

It was funny the first time. Stop saying it now please.

Posted by Otto Lidenbrock | Wed Oct 16, 2019, 08:27 AM (6 replies)

"A Statement on behalf of Hunter Biden"

Hunter Biden’s business activities have received significant press attention. Since 2016, I have served as Hunter’s lawyer. In recent weeks, I have received numerous questions about those activities, many of which have been shaped by allegations bearing little resemblance to the public record. The following is a succinct, fact-based accounting of Hunter Biden’s business activities in Ukraine and China. Hunter has also outlined specific commitments that would govern his business and financial dealings during a Biden Administration.

Ukraine: Burisma Holdings Limited (“Burisma”)

In April 2014, Hunter was asked to join the board of Burisma, the largest independent natural gas producer in Ukraine. At the time, Hunter was of counsel with Boies Schiller Flexner LLP [fn 1] (“Boies Schiller”), a major U.S. law firm, and was advising Burisma on its corporate reform initiatives, an important aspect of fueling Burisma’s international growth and diversity. Vibrant energy production, particularly natural gas, was central to Ukraine’s independence and to stemming the tide of Vladimir Putin’s attack on the principles of a democratic Europe.

To further its goals of independence, Burisma sought to adopt standards and practices traditionally employed by Western companies. At Hunter’s urging, Boies Schiller engaged Nardello & Co., a leading global investigative firm, to assess, among other things, Burisma’s corporate structure and governance practices.

Burisma agreed to pay the legal expenses of Boies Schiller to support Hunter in developing corporate reform initiatives.
Because of Burisma’s stated commitment to corporate best practices, it was able to attract well-qualified board members, including the former president of Poland, Aleksander Kwasniewski, a leading advocate of democratic principles in the region. President Kwasniewski, familiar with Hunter’s work on behalf of Burisma, recommended that Hunter join the board.
Hunter joined the board as a non-executive director, meaning he was an independent board member and not a member of the management team. At no time was Hunter in charge of the company’s legal affairs. Like all Burisma directors, Hunter was compensated for his board service.

Hunter focused his work on the principles of corporate transparency, governance and responsibility, which was based on his prior experience as a lawyer and director on other boards, including the Chair of World Food Program USA, which supports the largest humanitarian organization in the world, Vice-Chair of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), to which he was appointed by President George W. Bush, Center for National Policy, Truman National Security Project, and the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign.

Hunter stepped off Bursima’s board in April, 2019. Despite extensive scrutiny, at no time has any law enforcement agency, either domestic or foreign, alleged that Hunter engaged in wrongdoing at any point during his five-year term.

Full statement in link:


Posting in this sub forum as received message from host that it is relevant
Posted by Otto Lidenbrock | Sun Oct 13, 2019, 10:44 AM (1 replies)

If Warren is the frontrunner it's time the media took off the kid gloves

Look, I understand no democrat is going to bring up the Native American thing. While other candidates had their pasts scrutinised none of them, nor the moderators at the debate questioned her. There's nothing to gain from bringing up a Trump weaponized talking point on our side. However in the GE you can bet the media will once again bring it straight back up to both sides the election.

I've given her due credit for her surge. She's run the best campaign in terms of mobilising supporters and interacting with voters. I think she offers a more credible progressive agenda than Sanders because she spent years as a private citizen studying cases of bankruptcy and law. She probably has a better idea of what is politically viable because of that and of course she helped form the CFPB.

She also has less baggage than Biden.

But that doesn't mean she is the defacto nominee. The fact is she has been treated kinder than other candidates.When Sanders is asked about middle class taxes going up, people sort of mock him for saying "millionaires and billionaires" (or these days just billionaires) are the ones who will have to pay up as a stock answer.

Is Warren's wealth tax any different? Colbert of all people was the one who pressed her more to offer a more developed answer. And please note I said developed, not different. It is better to do it now than when the socialist card gets played out in the GE.


Another example is from the LGBTQ forum when many people noticed the subtle difference in questioning that she received compared to Kamala Harris.


Intentional or not it's not a good look for the moderator.

There's the fact she seemed to agree that the 2016 Primaries were rigged. Has anyone asked her about that stance since because it is pretty insulting to the millions more Hillary voters. Sanders doesn't have much goodwill from devout HRC supporters for perpetuating the idea but Warren agreed.


There's the fact she was a registered republican until the age of 47. Not a big deal because part of the 2020 mantra is we can try and flip disenchanted GOP-ers. However considering Joe Biden has his past scrutinised minutely, he could say in the next debate that when he was one of the first senators to endorse Jimmy Carter, Warren voted for the man who pardoned Nixon. That's not a winning point but it's a point that he has been a democrat all his adult life. Sanders gets stick for not being a democrat but he was never a republican.

Don't mistake this post as a takedown of Warren please. I think it's a discussion that at some point is needed because whoever the nominee is will be battered and bruised by the media in the GE campaign. So it's good to get prepared now. It's clear some of the other campaigns have noticed this and now you are seeing some jabs fired her way regarding policy. But ultimately its' the media responsibility to vet the candidates and hold them accountable.
Posted by Otto Lidenbrock | Sat Oct 5, 2019, 10:36 AM (53 replies)

The Democratic National Convention is 9 months away and Trump is already running TV ads about Biden

This has to be unprecedented.

It's one thing opening the Twitter app on your phone and posting tweets about "Sleepy Joe". It's another to spend millions of dollars to spread videos (disinformation) to households and targetted audiences. Remember Twitter reflects only a small percentage of the electorate (and the wider public). The social media platform that has the biggest impact is Facebook.

Even then it's extremely early to start doing this.

He's scared of Biden.
Posted by Otto Lidenbrock | Fri Oct 4, 2019, 03:01 PM (6 replies)

A noun, a verb and Joe Biden

I think Rudy Giuliani has been holding a grudge all these years

Posted by Otto Lidenbrock | Sun Sep 22, 2019, 02:26 PM (7 replies)
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