Saturday, August 23, 2008



From On the Issues and other sources

- Save Pentagon spending by getting the troops out of Iraq. (Dec 2007)
- More transparency for hedge funds and private equity funds. (Aug 2007)
- Expand embryonic stem cell research. (Jun 2004)
- Voted NO on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration. (Jun 2006)
- Voted NO on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006)
- Voted YES on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping. (Oct 2001)
- Voted NO on ending special funding for minority & women-owned business. (Oct 1997)
- Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. (Sep 1996)
- Voted YES on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. (Sep 1996)
- Rated 60% by the ACLU, indicating a mixed civil rights voting record. (Dec 2002)
- Rated 78% by the HRC, indicating a pro-gay-rights stance. (Dec 2006)
- Rated 100% by the NAACP, indicating a pro-affirmative-action stance. (Dec 2006)
- Re-introduce the Equal Rights Amendment. (Mar 2007)
- Voted YES on repealing tax subsidy for companies which move US jobs offshore. (Mar 2005)
- Rated 32% by the US COC, indicating an anti-business voting record. (Dec 2003)
- Voted NO on restricting class-action lawsuits. (Dec 1995)
- Rated 71% by CURE, indicating pro-rehabilitation crime votes. (Dec 2000)
- Divert drug offenders out of prison system. (Jun 2007)
- Voted NO on increasing penalties for drug offenses. (Nov 1999)
- Hire more teachers and pay them for smaller classes. (Dec 2007)
- $3000 tax credit for college for anyone earning under $150K. (Sep 2007)
- Pay teachers more to get better educational results. (Apr 2007)
- NCLB needs more resources, but also is fundamentally flawed. (Feb 2007)
- Voting for No Child Left Behind was a mistake. (Jul 2007)
- Voted NO on school vouchers in DC. (Sep 1997)
- Voted NO on requiring schools to allow voluntary prayer. (Jul 1994)
- Rated 91% by the NEA, indicating pro-public education votes. (Dec 2003)
- Voted YES on removing oil & gas exploration subsidies. (Jun 2007)
- Voted YES on disallowing an oil leasing program in Alaska's ANWR. (Nov 2005)
- Voted NO on approving a nuclear waste repository. (Apr 1997)
- Take away the billions of subsidy to the oil companies. (Jun 2007)
- Voted NO on confirming Gale Norton as Secretary of Interior. (Jan 2001)
- Voted NO on more funding for forest roads and fish habitat. (Sep 1999)
- Rated 95% by the LCV, indicating pro-environment votes. (Dec 2003)
- Rated 16% by the Christian Coalition: an anti-family voting record. (Dec 2003)
- No trade agreements without workers' & environmental rights. (Jul 2007)
- Voted NO on implementing CAFTA for Central America free-trade. (Jul 2005)
- 1988: led fight against nomination of Robert Bork. (Jul 2007)
- Voted NO on requiring photo ID to vote in federal elections. (Jul 2007)
- Voted NO on allowing some lobbyist gifts to Congress. (Mar 2006)
- Commitment to never use torture; no part of our policy, ever. (Sep 2007)
- Don't Ask Don't Tell is antiquated & unworkable. (Aug 2007)
- Voted YES on requiring FISA court warrant to monitor US-to-foreign calls. (Feb 2008)
- Voted YES on limiting soldiers' deployment to 12 months. (Jul 2007)
- Voted NO on extending the PATRIOT Act's wiretap provision. (Dec 2005)
- Rated 100% by the AFL-CIO, indicating a pro-union voting record. (Dec 2003)
- Allow an Air Traffic Controller's Union. (Jan 2006)
- Raise the $97,500 Social Security cap, but don't raise retirement age. (Sep 2007)
- Voted YES on deducting Social Security payments on income taxes. (May 1996)
- Take away $85B in annual tax cuts for 1% of top earners. (Jul 2007)
- Voted YES on increasing tax rate for people earning over $1 million. (Mar 2008)


Biden has sought to take the lead on drug policy, spearheading creation of a "Drug Czar" and crafting laws to control narcotics--measures that are widely viewed as pretty much of a failure.

Opposes lowering drinking age.

One of the most overlooked episodes during the 1987 collapse of Biden's campaign was a snippet of footage captured by C-Span in which the Delaware senator, in response to a question about where he went to law school and what sort of grades he received, delivered this classic line: "I think I have a much higher IQ than you do." . . . Biden's detractors point to that incident as evidence that the senator thinks he is the bee's knees and doesn't care who knows it. Biden, by his own admission, has the capacity to fall in love with his own voice and wander off on tangents about his life that have nothing to do with the topic at hand. - Chris Cillizza, Washington Post

During the 2006 confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, the Post's Dana Milbank wrote this of Biden's performance: "Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., in his first 12 minutes of questioning the nominee, managed to get off only one question. Instead, during his 30-minute round of questioning, Biden spoke about his own Irish American roots, his "Grandfather Finnegan," his son's application to Princeton (he attended the University of Pennsylvania instead, Biden said), a speech the senator gave on the Princeton campus, the fact that Biden is "not a Princeton fan," and his views on the eyeglasses of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)." - Chris Cillizza, Washington Post

While Biden was on his best verbal behavior for much of the rest of the campaign, there is no question that his tendency to shoot from the lip worries some in Obama world. As one Democratic consultant put it: "You know there will be three days in the campaign where someone in Chicago will get a call and respond -- 'What did you say he said?. - Chris Cillizza, Washington Post

During one of the Democratic debates, Biden stood by comments about Obama that "I think he can be ready, but right now I don't believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on- the-job training." In August, Biden was harshly critical of Obama's lack of experience, saying, "Having talking points on foreign policy doesn't get you there." - Washington Post

- No public funding for abortion; it imposes a view. (Apr 2007)
- Supports partial-birth abortion ban, but not undoing Roe. (Apr 2007)
- Accepts Catholic church view that life begins at conception. (Apr 2007)
- Rated 36% by NARAL,
- Voted YES on Balanced-budget constitutional amendment. (Mar 1997)
- For longer school day & school year, & 16-year minimum. (Oct 2007)
- Voted YES on enlarging NATO to include Eastern Europe. (May 2002)
- Universal national service, in military or Peace Corps. (Dec 2007)
- Voted YES on reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act. (Mar 2006)


At August 23, 2008 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Wikipedia,

As chairman of the International Narcotics Control Caucus, Biden wrote the laws that created the nation's "Drug Czar," who oversees and coordinates national drug control policy. In April 2003 he introduced the controversial Reducing Americans' Vulnerability to Ecstasy Act, also known as the RAVE Act. He continues to work to stop the spread of "date rape drugs" such as Rohypnol, and drugs such as Ecstasy and Ketamine. In 2004 he worked to pass a bill outlawing steroids like androstenedione, the drug used by many baseball players.

Biden is also a long-time member and current chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. In 1997, he became the ranking minority member and chaired the committee from June 2001 through 2003. When Democrats re-took control of the Senate following the 2006 elections, Biden again assumed the top spot on the committee in 2007. His efforts to combat hostilities in the Balkans in the 1990s brought national attention and influenced presidential policy: traveling repeatedly to the region, he made one meeting famous by calling Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic a "war criminal." He consistently argued for lifting the arms embargo, training Bosnian Muslims, investigating war crimes and administering NATO air strikes. Biden's subsequent "lift and strike" resolution was instrumental in convincing President Bill Clinton to use military force in the face of systematic human rights violations.
Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Biden was supportive of the Bush administration's efforts, calling for additional ground troops in Afghanistan and agreeing that Saddam Hussein was a threat that needed to be dealt with. The Bush administration rejected an effort Biden undertook with Senator Richard Lugar to pass a resolution authorizing military action only after the exhaustion of diplomatic efforts. In October 2002, Biden voted for the final resolution to support the war in Iraq. He has long supported the appropriations to pay for the occupation, but has argued repeatedly that more soldiers are needed, the war should be internationalized, and the Bush administration should "level with the American people" about the cost and length of the conflict.[21]
In November 2006, Biden and Leslie Gelb, President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, released a comprehensive strategy to end sectarian violence in Iraq. Rather than continuing the present approach or withdrawing, the plan calls for "a third way": federalizing Iraq and giving Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis "breathing room" in their own regions.[22]

At August 23, 2008 5:19 PM, Anonymous wake up said...

Re: "Voted YES on enlarging NATO to include Eastern Europe. (May 2002)" This is a key element of neocon policy guarantedd to start a nuclear war with Russia. Russia can not allow U.S. missles in Poland any more than the U.S. could allow a gun to it's head in Cuba. Cheney and the other maniacs are dead wrong in their assumption that Russia will back down.

At August 24, 2008 6:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...
Biden's false solution for Iraq: partition (good cop, bad cop)

January 31, 2007 -
Biden's Presidential campaign promotes partition

Senator Biden (D-Delaware) announced he is joining the crowded field of candidates for Emperor. While few are likely to be interested in his campaign, one part of his platform is a dangerous meme likely to spread and become the "alternative" view of what to do about Iraq. Biden's advocacy for breaking Iraq into three entities is probably the Bush regime's goal from the start of the conflict, since smaller enclaves would make the oil easier to control. See the neo-con's new Middle East map for details.

Nearly everyone in the Middle East is aware that the existing national borders were delineated by Europeans after World War I, not by Arabs. These boundaries keep most of the oil wealth separated from most of the Arabs -- and the neo-liberal / neo-conservative campaign to create new lines on the map (with the excuse of escalating conflict in Iraq) would amplify this theft in the minds of many, if not most of the people in the Middle East. This development would confirm predictions that "civil war" would be stoked through deliberate strategies (not incompetence) in order to achieve this long term goal. In short, the neo-con battle plan is to dominate the oil rich regions through endless war -- but this risky strategy is likely to lead to nuclear war and definitely will waste the resources needed to mitigate Climate Change and Peak Oil.

It is extremely unlikely that Biden's campaign will result in much public support but it risks elevating the "partition" concept to a serious national discussion. This false solution would make the situation much worse, but that tragedy would be seen as "mission accomplished" in some elite circles.

The Empire's New Middle East Map
creating ethnic cleansing to control the oil
using sectarian divisions to split Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia to control the oil rich provinces

In June 2006, Armed Forces Journal published this map from Ralph Peters, a prominent pro-war strategist. It shows the method to the madness -- creating ethnic tension and civil war in order to redraw the boundaries. Most of the existing borders were imposed by Britain and France after World War I - and conveniently (for the US and Europe) divide most of the Arabs from most of the oil. Note that their new "Arab Shia State" would contain much of the oil, separating governments in Riyadh, Baghdad and Tehran from what is currently the main source of their national wealth.

Peak Oil Wars:
Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, former Soviet Georgia, Africa and others.

The US empire is playing a "Good cop / bad cop" strategy where the neo-cons wrecked Iraq but the neo-liberals are in agreement that Iraq should bepartitioned (which would allow the US greater control over the oil). If the bulk of the remaining oil was in places that were predominantly Buddhist or Hindu, the US would be waging a war on Buddhism or Hinduism.

The national borders of the Middle East countries were mostly drawn by British and French imperialist bureaucrats around 1920, not by citizens of these nations. These lines separate the bulk of the Arab peoples from the bulk of the oil wealth, a quasi-Apartheid situation deeply resented by millions of poor Arabs. The Arab world is roughly divided into countries with large populations and little oil, and countries with little populations and large amounts of oil (an oversimplification, but the general point is valid). But these configurations still allow for nationalist control over tremendous oil resources - which the US empire still resents.

The neo-cons call the current Middle East conflict "World War IV," since they consider the many wars under the umbrella of the Cold War to have been World War III. If you add up the number of bodies in the wars between 1945 and 9/11, the casualties are comparable to World War II.

Some of the neo-cons have publicly proclaimed that their goal for the War on Iraq (and eventually, its neighbors) is to redraw the borders of the Middle East. The ostensible reason given for this arrogance is to separate feuding ethnic and religious groups from each other. However, if you combine maps of the "new Middle East" sought by these armchair warriors with maps of the oil fields, a more sinister motive becomes obvious. Dividing up Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia would allow the consolidation of most of the region's oil into a new country (which presumably would be allied to the United States). This would remove control over the oil from governments based in Baghdad, Tehran and Riyadh, allowing new arrangements of control to be established.

The supposed "failure" of the Bush Cheney invasion of Iraq allows for a new administration to supposedly fix the problems of their civil war by splitting Iraq into three new states - a Kurdish enclave in the north, a Shiite Arab state in the south, and a Sunni region in the center. Most of Iraq's oil would be concentrated in the Shiite region, with lesser amounts in the Kurdish part, and very little would remain for the Sunnis. This would allow the US to focus its occupation and manipulation on the parts of Iraq that have oil, and the parts without oil could be ignored.

Saudi Arabia has a similar confluence of ethnicity with petroleum geography. Saudi oil fields are in the east, along the Persian Gulf. The two holy cities of Mecca and Medina are in the west, along the Red Sea. Some neo-conservatives have floated the idea of partioning Saudi Arabia into at least two countries - one with the holy cities but without oil, the other without holy cities but with oil fields. The US merely wants to control the oil and is not interested in occupying Mecca and Medina.

Iran's oil is mostly in the western provinces along the Persian / Arabian Gulf. One particularly oil rich region is Khuzestan, an Arab area of Iran. Most "Westerners" probably think that Iran is an Arab country, but while it is Islamic, it is not Arab. Most Iranians speak Farsi, not Arabic. Iranians are Persians, not Arabs. Iran is a multi-ethnic country, but it is a strange circumstance that the area with the most Arabs is also one of the areas with lots of oil. In 1980, when Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein attacked Iran (with the covert help of the US), he was hoping to seize Khuzestan's oil fields to add them to his own oily empire (Khuzestan is on the border of southern Iraq).

The neo-con proposal for a new "Arab Shia State" along the northern Persian / Arabian Gulf would separate the bulk of the oil from Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Senator Joe Biden (D-DE), chair of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, ran for President in 2007 largely on the platform of promoting Iraqi partition as a "solution" to the Iraqi disaster that Bush's invasion created. While Biden's presidential ambitions went nowhere, he is now Barack Obama's Vice Presidential running mate.

This seems to be a vicious example of creating a problem to force adoption of a solution.

At August 24, 2008 8:43 AM, Anonymous Biden's achievements said...

"I understand the rationale–Obama wants an attack dog to go after McCain while he appears to be above the fray. Biden also adds some foreign policy and Beltway heft to the ticket. The Beltway CW says this pick was safe, but not particularly bold. I think that’s about right.

But from a policy perspective, it’s a disaster. Biden has sponsored more damaging drug war legislation than any Democrat in Congress. Hate the way federal prosecutors use RICO laws to take aim at drug offenders? Thank Biden. How about the abomination that is federal asset forfeiture laws? Thank Biden. Think federal prosecutors have too much power in drug cases? Thank Biden. Think the title of a “Drug Czar” is sanctimonious and silly? Thank Biden, who helped create the position (and still considers it an accomplishment worth boasting about). Tired of the ridiculous steroids hearings in Congress? Thank Biden, who led the effort to make steroids a Schedule 3 drug, and has been among the blowhardiest of the blowhards when it comes to sports and performance enhancing drugs. Biden voted in favor of using international development aid for drug control (think plan Columbia, plan Afghanistan, and other meddling anti-drug efforts that have only fostered loathing of America, backlash, and unintended consequences). Oh, and he was also the chief sponsor of 2004’s horrendous RAVE Act.

Biden does appear to have eased up a bit in the last couple years, including taking a fairly strong position against federal raids on medical marijuana clinics (though he still opposes making marijuana available for medicinal purposes). But that’s little consolation for all the damage he’s done over the years.

Biden’s record on other criminal justice and civil liberties issues is just as bad. Opponents of the federalization of crime might note that the 1994 crime bill he sponsored created several new federal capital offenses. Biden also wants to expand federal penalties for hate crimes. He supports a federal smoking ban. His position on the federal drinking age is, and I quote, “absolutely do not” lower it to 18. He believes “most violent crime is related to drugs” (if he had said “drug prohibition,” he’d be closer to the truth). Biden also has an almost perfect anti-gun voting record. He said last year he favors “universal national service,” either in the Peace Corps or the military. Sounds like conscription to me. He says he’s opposed to the PATRIOT Act, but he voted for both the original bill and its re-authorization in 2005.

Foreign policy? Biden voted for the war on Iraq."

At August 24, 2008 1:10 PM, Anonymous robbie said...

...and was not Biden the chairman of the Iraq War exploratory committee (actual name escapes me) in August 2002? Absolutely no witnesses with a contrarian opinion were allowed to speak. One witness, Phyllis Benis, submitted her reamrks in writing, and they were absolutely devastating to the notion of invading Iraq. Yet Biden propelled the charade and concluded war with Iraq would be a good idea. Obama's "change we can believe in" must mean the change from bad to different bad.

At August 25, 2008 3:09 PM, Blogger nihilix said...

Voted for NAFTA 1993.

Let Anita Hill hang during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, which he also chaired.


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