Yves here. Tom Neuburger amplifies Matt Taibbi’s view that Obama is behind the sudden press knowledge of Biden having classified records in his possession. While this is a sensible explanation, given visible facts, I find it striking that Taibbi wasn’t willing to say so in a straightforward manner, with appropriate caveats.
The fact that Obama likely does have the clout to have been in the loop regarding the Biden classified documents exposure and then getting it public is straight up third world Big Man behavior. Yet neither Neuburger nor Taibbi seem to regard that as scandalous, much the less call it out as rank corruption.
By Thomas Neuburger. Originally published at God’s Spies
Matt Taibbi used to be in much greater favor with Democratic Party supporters than he is right now. And he was in great favor for more than a few reasons. The section reprinted below, taken from his podcast “America This Week,” is an example of one of those reasons.
Do you wonder why the news about the Biden classified files is coming out at all? Why isn’t it buried along with all the other news that’s buried as well? This problem didn’t have to occur; it was kept secret for months by everyone who knew about it,. Until, that is, a “source familiar with the matter” leaked the information to CNN.
Why did that happen? What made that source go public?
Side Note: Covid Is Far from Toothless
As an example of completely buried news, consider this article from the respected science publication Nature: “Transcriptional reprogramming from innate immune functions to a pro-thrombotic signature by monocytes in COVID-19”. (See also here, from PubMed in 2021.)
I know that’s doctorese, but here’s how a doctor translated the title for us: “Our cell’s genes are rewired in MILD COVID.” And not in a good way; thrombosis means blood clots, usually in blood vessels.
This should be major health alert — Covid’s not over. Yet not one word about this from the only media that counts, the public-opinion creators at CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post, and the New York Times.
What’s the Story Behind the Story?
But back to Taibbi. Here’s his theory — and he admits it’s just a theory — about why Joe Biden is bedeviled lately by near-continuous news of his own classified files snafu. The following is taken from the published transcript(subscriber only) of Taibbi’s January 13 podcast. The podcast format is a conversation about between Matt and the writer Walter Kirn. (Emphasis mine.)
Matt: We should move on because there’s another ridiculously interesting story that broke this week. The leaking of the story that Joe Biden’s got classified documents in his Corvette, which is in a locked garage. There are so many angles to the story that are unlikely but also probably pretty transparent that it almost boggles the mind that this story is out there. What’s your interpretation?
Walter: Well, I want you to count the ways in which it seems unlikely first, because I’ll add to the list.
Matt: So, okay. We just went through a nearly identical story, which you and I mistakenly thought was going to be the biggest story in the world for a long time, which was the raid on Mar-a-Lago in the home of Donald Trump, because he was keeping classified records at his house. And we were told everything, from these were nuclear secrets that were going to be sold to the Russians or whatever to God knows what else, sources and methods, they brought out every conceivable law enforcement cliche to describe the nefarious intent in that story. But now we have a basically identical story about classified records that Joe Biden has apparently stored incorrectly for six years. And the interesting part isn’t even the story, it’s where does it come from?
And the first time I saw it was in a CNN story, which quoted the familiar source familiar with the matter, who explained that the US attorney in Chicago, John Lausch, has been briefing Merrick Garland. So you can read into that what you want, but it sure looks like the Democratic Party is pulling a Frank Pentangeli on Joe Biden, and essentially saying, dude, the clock is run out on your presidency. You’re out. Somebody else is going to run. And you might want to do the honorable thing. And if you don’t, this is going to get worse. That was my read on this. And who this came from seems pretty clear to me. But obviously we can’t really talk about that too much because it’s not reported. So I don’t know.
Note: “If you don’t, this is going to get worse,” and “who this came from seems pretty clear to me.”
That podcast went out on January 13, and things have indeed gotten worse for Biden. He’s had two more turns in the news cycle barrel on this issue, two more revelations of even more documents found.
Biden has completely lost his advantage against Trump on this issue, should they both be nominated in 2024. Are Party leaders who count, the donors and the major players in the ecosystem, actually encouraging him to bow out gracefully? Or is this just another speculation?
I leave that as an exercise for the reader. My mind’s not yet made up.
> Transcriptional reprogramming from innate immune functions to a pro-thrombotic signature by monocytes in COVID-19
Off topic, but I cannot forbear–
Not “buried” everywhere! See NC here (Raymond Sim) , here, and here.
I’ve been quietly despairing at the lack of attention that paper has received. I hate to think how catastrophic things will have to get before we end this, and I wonder how many children alive now will get through it unscathed.
I’m glad to see it hasn’t gone entirely unnoticed by journalists – what do you bet he read about it here?
I agree that these data are regarding changes with COVID infection (vs non-infected individuals are interesting). However, please bear in mind the sample size in small, based on WHO scoring
26 Mild, 37 Moderate and 21 Healthy. I would also be interested to follow up with these patients after 3, 6 and 12 months to see whether as these cells turn over, the reprogramming continues or is eliminated?
You don’t write like an ignoramous, and the things you ignore here are easily discovered. Therefore I’m moved to ask, what are your motives?
I would argue I do write like an ignoramus seeing the cut/paste goof in my text.
I am new to this site, so apologize if I have missed earlier discussions that address my concerns about the trial size for this report or my interest in follow up data.
I am simply a skeptical chemist, retired from the pharmaceutical industry. There are so many drugs on the market for which the clinical trial data are weak (think cancer) that my threshold for belief is pretty high (Oh look what we found – publish. Oops, we found something else, publish.)
I will go back to lurking…
> I will go back to lurking…
Don’t do that. Skeptical expertise is treasured.
yeah, I posted a link to an Italian doctor making a similar observation (“covid is thrombosis”) within months of the start of the scourge.
While these data are interesting, bear in mind the population size is small (based on WHO Scoring) Mild (26), Moderate (37) Healthy (21).
I would also be very interested to see follow up data on whether these cells retain the dysfunctional metabolic profile or recover with time/turnover.
Didn’t read the paper but does it distinguish between the thrombosis events in vaxxed versus unvaxxed covid patients? I ask because the spike protein is produced in quantities an order of magnitude greater by the mrna vax than by covid and there is a strong theory that its the spike protein doing all this vascular damage. There is a lot of obfuscation around this going on.
> the Democratic Party is pulling a Frank Pentangeli on Joe Biden
A Godfather reference:
Given that the Democrat Party is in fact deeply authoritarian and hierarchical, it’s certainly a theory worth entertaining that the
GodfatherParty Leader would be the hand that holds the dagger. And we think Russia has succession issues!
Thanks for explaining the reference!
Thanks for the explanation Lambert!
Could this be ‘authoritarianism’ right here in America?
Well given the Night of the Long Knives from 2016 that put the shiv in Bernie and made Biden king, there is precedent for Obama doing this.
Also, given that one of the few decent things Obama did as president was refuse to send weapons to Ukraine, one wonders if the defenestration attempt, if in fact that’s what this is, has anything to do with that?
Or perhaps Barry just can’t stomach the shuffling and mumbling and ‘put up your dukes’ word salad any more…
He never thought Biden was presidential material, but Joe was able to get votes from both sides so got the gig.
Computer glitches seem to happen just before voting patterns change these days….
Two especially memorable instances
1. Bernie went from winning to losing in a Primary, just after a computer glitch in 2015
2. In the Fijiian election the winner switched after a computer glitch.”Opposition parties had raised concerns over the preliminary count after results changed dramatically when the election’s app was taken offline due to a glitch.
People’s Alliance had been ahead of FijiFirst but this swapped when the app came back online after a number of hours on Wednesday, election night. https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/8022002/fiji-army-says-no-to-election-intervention/
I predict that if the wrong candidate looks like winning in 2024, there will be one or more computer glitches where the counting goes offline for a minute or an hour, and then after that everything will be ok.
This makes sense to me but who does Team Obama have in mind to replace Biden? The rest of the 2020 (non-Bernie) crowd haven’t improved their images three years later. There are very few new faces—Jeffries? Newsom? Obama’s new podcasting/streaming buddies like Ted Sarandos or Bruce Springsteen?
I’m with you Mike. Then who is team Obama pulling for? If it’s Obama again, good luck, and good riddance, with that charade.
I’ve thought for a while that Newsom was up to bat next, given his dynastic connections with the Pelosis and Browns (and, most importantly, Getty oil money):
Also, Gavin is *pretty*. The question is his running mate: who will be selected to balance Gavin’s straight-white-maleness? Mayo Pete and Kamala have rather embarrassingly whiffed their recent turn at the plate. Given the need for someone appropriately hawkish to manage the upcoming imperialist wars of choice, I am going with Susan Rice. She would bring east coast balance to the ticket (and a big wet raspberry to the deplorables in flyover country). As far as I know, she hasn’t had any highly embarrassing public outings recently.
This would all be great fun were we not gambling with multicellular life on earth…
No Lives Matter
Newsom also has that unexplainable charisma some people have and he is not stupid. Shallow, sleazy, and narcissistic, but not stupid. Typical Bay Area Professional Managerial Class elite, who, like Harris, can push all the emotional PMC’s (and the Donors’) buttons. He also from the ruling families of California with their money and connections.
Gavin Newsom – Susan Rice v. Glenn Youngkin – ??
It is amazing, or maybe not, to see the lack of backbench political talent in American politics. I have not done any reading about the topic in American history, and so I am just guessing really, but from the little I got, this is very usual. Maybe it has to do with the disappearance of the local or regional elites as well as the destruction of the local political machinery in the past forty years? Strange, all of American society, in religion, government, business, science, medicine, sports, and even social organizations have been hollowed out, made vampiric leeches, and left with overpaid, pseudo-administrative grifters to run whats left.
Yes, I would also put the police, judiciary, and intelligence agencies as well.
The crime clearance rates and the amount stolen under civil asset forfeitures seem to have an inverse ratio. The fewer crimes are solved, the more is stolen. The less that is stolen, the more crimes are solved. I could make a nice graph. Maybe, I should. The whole legal/security system seems real good at destroying reformist organizations and creating more
slavesconvicts, suppressing really anyone that might be a threat to the power structure, but poor at defending Americans from actually crime especially financial fraud, rape, and murder or even fighting wars and dealing with agencies from other countries.
Internal exploitation and repression over creating, serving and protecting, which means having an effective government that serves the will of the people is double plus ungood. Good long term government requires good servants and leaders at all levels from dog catcher to mayor to president to house speaker to chief justice as well in social and political organizations outside of the government; such a lack of even good servants or administrators means having this corrupt gerontocracy. Actually, it is not the age, but the entrenched power of our permanent kakistocratic gerontocracy that is the problem.
Repression and extraction all the way down; so, Newson and Rice vs. Youngkin and ??? are the best bets for now?
Maybe St. O talked Michelle into it.
Gasp!!! Oh, No…please no.
See my comment on “The House Of Tupac” (Newsom) from last summer here … ;-)
The Dems, ever about the right optics, don’t want to telegraph division. Look how much they were dunking on the McCarthy speaker thing! Ironically, this revealed how much they value spineless capitulation over wielding power against leadership … ::side-eye at “The Squad”::
Too-tall Jones wants to clear the field like he did for the 2020 Dem Primary … but he doesn’t want to go so far as having to pick up the phone and tell Joe “you’re fired!”
I got my first funds seeking text message from Jeffries yesterday… immediately blocked.
Obama is for Obama first and foremost. Hes supposedly working on part 2 of his memoirs, and his self thrown birthday was a joke of a spectacle. Im sure hes aware of the dearth of histiography of the Obama era. Democratic President, except Hillary, runs the risk of outdoing Obama. If Biden remained semi-serious about covid and wasn’t trying to start ww3, every other article would be about how much more accomplished he was or lessons learned from the Obama “misadministration”, some word play in the title.
A GOP president is the best thing for Obama’s legacy.
Part of Obama being for Obama is being for all the money he gets and plans to keep getting. Will we ever know if he has been secretly promised hundreds of more millions of fresh dollars if he does what he can plausibly deniably do to eliminate Biden from politics?
Maybe there is another obscure senator from Missouri available to stop the bucks and carry on the New and Improved Cold War.
I tried to give an answer to this in the comments of the John Helmer piece, but I didn’t like how my post was turning out, and just scrapped it.
Anthony Blinken is preparing to run for President. Or, more appropriate to the aspect of agency, Anthony Blinken is being prepared to run for President.
Biden in 2023 is a wounded buffalo. The wound(s) may not be fatal in itself, but the predators are large, and are circling. But the Team D bench is incredibly weak. None of the democratic has-rans of 2020 are even remotely up to the task of 2024. Two years in and neither Harris or Buttegeig have any serious accomplishments to their name.
My post for the Helmer piece was to try and convey that the purpose of the WaPo article was to present Blinken as a Very Serious and Capable Democrat. One who is suitable and capable of taking the reigns of power. The Democrats have so few of those these days. The WaPo article was, as has been pointed out, absolutely not about diplomacy or messaging to Moscow
Makes sense. I kept thinking, who’s “Serious and Capable”. I’m just waiting for a staged Gulf of Tonkin equivalent with congress on board…
They have a very low opinion of the Presidency / presidential office as opposed to the other pieces of the Blob / PMC, so it could be nearly anyone who has already pieced off enough of them or whose willingness to do so they trust. Person shld also be more than okay with the nominally GOP elements of the Blob. Literally anyone who fits could be placed as the candidate- primaries and caucuses have been irrelevant fraudulent or manipulated for at least four cycles now.
Wes Moore and Gretchen Whitmer in 2028?
As a Moscow resident and avid fan of the Exile in the 90s and 00s, watching Taibbi and Ames sell out upon their return to the US was a huge disappointment. While Taibbi might be considered edgy to his current audience, and probably does indeed do some admirable work, the Taibbi of those times would have thoroughly mocked his current iteration. These are guys who would mercilessly roast local financial analysts (the section was affectionately called the “anal-lyst”) while simultaneously publicly announcing that their targets could bribe their way out of the negative publicity by buying the journalists dinner at a restaurant of their choice, wine included.
Perhaps Taibi got more than one visit from the Deep State? Maybe he is measuring his words?
You’re referring to the “Taibbi in Moscow” who was wilded by the neoliberal crowd who insisted in social media that Taibbi had been doing blow and hookers back in the day because Mark Ames wrote fictitious satirical stories to that effect.
The viciousness of these attacks was breathtaking. You cannot imagine what it’s like to live a ‘normal’ life and then be accused emphatically of just the opposite on platforms where your accusers are amplified and you are deamplified. [I’m all but certain that among the files Baker destroyed were those concerning Taibbi and the other Twittergate reporters.]
Sure, Matt could have fought back harder but it would not have changed anything. Unless a bluecheck has fingered you resulting in your being sanctioned by Twitter, you cannot imagine how one-sided these attacks are. Your responses are not seen and the experienced bluechecks use that to further condemn you. It’s Alice vs the Red Queen level character assassination.
If Ames sold out, then why isn’t Ames rich, famous and well known?
( And did Taibbi sell out? Or just successfully negotiate the next step up, career-wise? )
Biden got thrown under the bus by his attorneys who reportedly found the first cache of documents.
Those documents would’ve been covered by attorney-client confidentiality. But I guess Biden’s attorneys suddenly found a surge of patriotism that day
Since we’re channeling films from decades past, why not toss in a little Mel Brooks…Joe Biden is the honorable Gov William Lepetomayne brought from your screen to real life. Joe Biden to his Cabinet…I didn’t get a harumph out of that guy !!
They must protect their phony baloney jobs ! What a sorry state of affairs for Americans in 2023.
I admit to not following this story very closely, but I just don’t get the chosen hidey-hole of said documents … in the ‘Vette? If you’re going to hide (presumably boxes of) documents, wouldn’t you keep them in a sea of other documents?
Long term consequences of no accountability. Joe Biden became President despite his career. The dude made one clear promise in 2020, a black woman running mate, and tried to break it. Biden is also not particularly bright.
I get the President promising a Black woman as a running; of all the people who were eligible, why ~€£%#$&@ did he choose Kamala Harris? I am sure that even the Republicans could have found someone just as eligible, but more qualified.
Biden chose Kamala for the same reason GHWB chose Dan Quayle: protection from any serious threat of prosecution for malfeasance committed as VP. A running mate who might actually be qualified to serve as president was not an option.
Forty-six people have been President.
Six died in office. One by illness, another by heart attack, and four were assassinated.
Four (at least) survived assassination attempts. One needed surgery.
One survived a heart attack.
One survived surgery for oral cancer.
Being President is dangerous and having a (competent) replacement is probably important.
Anyone who deliberately puts an incompetent, sadistic, and shallow fool in line for the Presidency is a criminal at best and a traitor at worst.
Of course, I could be a bit harsh. They are not necessarily criminal or traitorous. Most of the corruption is legal. They could just be ignorant and selfish people.
My impression is that he got Harris as the cost of getting the Clinton wing onboard. Then he promised to have a Black female running mate and went through a staged process of “finding” the right one.
My reasoning is that he needed to unite all the corporatists wings quickly after South Carolina in order to defeat Sanders. Harris was supported by Clinton and they have clout, so even though Harris had already dropped out (I think), they could probably threatened to keep another corporatist in if they didn’t get their pick. Buttigieg – or whoever backed him – had less clout and got a lesser position.
Then again, my impression of how US coalition building happens is much influenced by the famous documentary VEEP. :)
Harris would also be the Wall Street Choice, thanks to her good work in immunizing and impunifying Steven Mnuchin for all his financial crimes when she was California Attorney General.
She is the kind of President that Wall Street will want for when they cause the next crash. Kamalabama Harris.
Actually, Biden made one *serious* promise in 2020, he made it to the people who select the winner, and he has kept that promise: “Nothing will fundamentally change.” And behold, the rich still get richer and rules are still for the little people, same as it ever was.
Rolf – They weren’t actually “in” the ‘Vette. They were in a closet in the locked garage with the car.
Hey John, thanks!
A couple of related blogs:
Greed and Power are so intoxicating that once a person gets into the White House he doesn’t want to leave. Pretty soon we’ll have a full fledged dictatorship replacing our faux democracy. Sad!
The comments clearly show that there is no one to replace BIden. Not that he is indispensable, but that the Democrats have an empty bench … as do the Republicans.
This is my general complaint with Taibbi over the past few years, that in a quest to rebut all things Russiagate and Democratic Party he becomes too steeped in the media environment that wants to hear these things and can’t see reality clearly. Here’s the actual reality: Joe Biden has a good chance at reelection. If you were to read stories about the Hunter laptop story or the classified documents or watch Fox News for a week, you’d think the President had a 10% approval rating and was about to be exiled to Elba. In reality this totally ignores the actual, tectonic shift occurring in the Dobbs Effect, which in all likelihood will shift electoral politics for years to come and is already re-writing the electoral math in the Midwest, and even in places like Kansas and Alaska. None of that points to any effort by the higher-ups in “replacing” Biden, because you would then have to concede that the Democrats think that he’s going to lose. They don’t. They know that his polling head-to-head is favorable, and his favorabilities are very different from Trump’s–they also include young lefties who are opposed to him for different reasons than Republicans and will still vote a D ticket. If anything Democrats have an aversion to rocking the boat and appearing like they’re infighting, which points to clearing the field for Biden in a world where the Republicans’ gerrymandering and electoral college advantage has been all but obliterated.
“They know that his polling head-to-head is favorable, and his favorabilities are very different from Trump’s–they also include young lefties who are opposed to him for different reasons than Republicans and will still vote a D ticket. ” I agree. Unfortunately, this becomes the dynamic when the majority of voters accept the idea that “democracy” consists of the choice between two corporate toadies, who have been carefully vetted by unlimited oligarch class money.
While I think the democratic electorate is delusional in thinking the party will cut the gordian knot of partisanship, I don’t think it’s as cut and dry as that. The biggest shifts to the center-left are in places where abortion has been under direct threat, like Kansas or Michigan. The fear-mongering and legislation surrounding LGBTQ people, book bans, CRT, etc. have been shown to be extremely unpopular among the electorate. Candidates like Walker, Dixon, Lake ran on those heavily and it completely fell flat. Whether you can transition or get an abortion is absolutely “material” in the Marxist sense, so while I agree that they are corporatists, I don’t think we can dismiss out-of-hand the forces that get people to make the decisions they do. While liberal democracy is a system I’m personally opposed to, you still need it to actually exist to give rise to the social conditions to eclipse it, and these right-wing policies push us closer to making it less possible to achieve those ends as you foreclose the possibility of wide swaths of people who may be sympathetic to the Left even participating in society, or even knowing that the Left exists as a concept.
There was a poll linked to here yesterday showing Biden at 41% to Trump’s 44% currently.
Also, the electorate can actually see and hear Biden and it is highly doubtful that he’s going to start appearing more hale and hearty as 2024 approaches.
I don’t vote D or R, but if it’s Biden v Trump again I think I will vote for the Big Cheeto, just out of pure spite.
Again, I don’t think that 41% and that 44% are equivalent necessarily. One of the biggest demographics of negative approval for Biden is the 18-35 age bracket, for reasons that are different than Trump’s. Remember, these polls don’t ask any follow-ups as to “why” you disapprove of someone, just up/down. Trump’s disapprovals are from Democrats and Independents who will under no circumstances vote for Trump, while Biden’s include both Republicans as well as disaffected younger Democrats who, unsurprisingly, voted a Democratic ticket in the midterms and in 2020.
He’s about to end the emergency order on covid and toss all covid medical coverage to the private industry. Vaccines, etc. This will also cause the end of student loan moratorium, 15 million to be thrown off medicare, and many other disasters.
He will not be re-elected. He is a walking loss.
What I’m saying is not a value judgment on his policies regarding covid. I agree with you that it’s bad. George W. Bush was also wrong in litigating the Iraq War, but just because you’re in the moral right doesn’t mean the electorate sees the same thing. The reality is that Dobbs is what is dominating the electoral landscape until we see otherwise. The only countervailing force that the voting electorate cares about, the economy, could very well negate it, but the idea that he’s a walking loss is contradicted by the midterms, 2020, 2018, and the special elections in between. The reality is that there is a significant force in Democratic politics to vote against what is perceived to be the worse alternative, and Dobbs has only continued the trend that started in 2018.
I had heard that comment in the free truncated version of their podcast but got no inkling that he was talking about Obama in particular. He says “the Democratic Party.” Perhaps the mention of “Chicago” is the hint or there are other sources for speculation?
I’ve read some other commentary saying that the real scandal in all this is not that people in power have access to secrets and take them home but that so much of our government is now kept in secret and shouldn’t be. And of course there’s also the huge hypocrisy of Biden calling Trump a monster for doing what he and others have routinely done themselves. Character wise Biden is simply awful.
I think you are hinting at the right question to ask: why is much of our government kept in secret?
But be-that-as-it-may, the laws protecting secret documents are harsh and clear. Why are these laws so laxly applied in treating their violation by our Grand Poobahs? It sends a bad message to the rank and file in regard to their status. I also wonder why in the world Grand Poobahs would want to bring secret documents home with them. Most of them are badly written and less interesting than reading addresses from a phonebook.
However, I must confess — after long years working on government work — I felt that the only thing protecting me and my job from replacement by an H1-B contractor was the need for a government security clearance.
My first thought was Hilary, not Obama. Hilary has been a lifelong war hawk, also has had a serious hate-on for both Russia and China. I’ve always thought Biden was just following her original game plan, this whole Ukraine thing is how she wanted things to unfold. And so maybe she now wants her third world war and Biden isn’t delivering, so needs to be bumped out?
Hillary’s not calling the shots on anything these days. Just because the media rolled over and went with her russiagate narrative does not mean that any of the serious people inside the Beltway ever bought into her excusifying for even a moment.
All the players know that Clinton’s inner circle micromanaged her campaign to defeat against an obviously incompetent opponent. That she hasn’t been eviscerated over her grotesque incompetence just speaks to the nature of neoliberalism: they cover for each other because once one gets completely outed, they’re all outed.
So She keeps quiet and in return no one throws her under the bus after the fact, at least not yet.
> “I find it striking that Taibbi wasn’t willing to say so in a straightforward manner, with appropriate caveats.”
I thought that was striking too when I listened to that podcast episode on Saturday. I figured maybe he’s concerned about blow-back, perhaps even litigation, at the same time as finding it journalisticly useful and maybe even fun to insinuate rather than be straightforward.
Nah, this jut gives Dem leadership political cover for not pursuing Trump over classified docs. Biden almost certainly will be the nominee.
If Obama wants Biden to go, Clyburn wants Biden to stay. And run again in 2024. Perhaps there will be a behind the scenes power struggle between Clyburn and Obama.