Thursday Reads: Joe Biden Is Not An Ally To Women (And Other News)

Good Morning!!

I’ve never been a fan of Joe Biden, so maybe I’ve just ignored his stance on reproductive rights. I did not know Biden was wobbly on the issue. I had even forgotten that Biden is a Catholic.

I couldn’t find anything recent on Biden’s abortion stance, except this piece at HuffPost from March 6: Biden In 1974: Women Don’t Have Sole Right To Say What Should Happen To Their Bodies.

When former Vice President Joe Biden was a freshman senator he said in a 1974 interview with Washingtonian that he believed the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling clearing the way for legal first-trimester abortions “went too far,” and that he didn’t “think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body.”

In the interview, which took place just two years after Biden’s wife and two-year-old were killed in a car accident, Biden — then the youngest senator in U.S. history — said his anti-abortion views were part of his “socially conservative” outlook.

“My wife said I was the most socially conservative man she had ever known,” he said. “When it comes to issues like abortion, amnesty, and acid, I’m about as liberal as your grandmother.”

Biden claims his remarks were “taken out of context.”

But Biden didn’t limit his anti-abortion views to rhetoric. He also advanced legislation on the subject.

In 1981, for example, Biden proposed the Foreign Assistance Act, which barred U.S. aid from being used for any medical research on abortion. It’s still in effect to this day. He has also voted in support of the Hyde Amendment, which bars federal funding for abortion procedures.

Joe Biden interview with American Magazine, September 2015

“Those of us who are opposed to abortion should not be compelled to pay for them,” Biden wrote to a constituent in 1994.

He also supported former President Ronald Reagan’s “Global Gag Rule,” which prohibits the U.S. funding any nongovernmental organizations that offer or advise on reproductive health care if they also offer abortion. President Trump was quick to revive it in 2017.

Biden’s approval rating from the pro-choice activist group NARAL has fluctuated throughout his career. In the 1990s, his score wavered between 34 and 46 percent ― a pretty abysmal scorecard for a Democrat. In recent years, however, it’s shot up to 100 percent.

Biden has also consistently voted in support of banning so-called “partial-birth” abortions ― the medical term for which is “dilation and extraction.” These procedures are often politicized despite heart-wrenching stories from women whose lives were saved because of them.

Two articles on Biden and abortion from 2015:

America Magazine: Vice President Biden’s comments about abortion in America interview kick off new conversations.

In an exclusive interview with America released at the beginning of this week, Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. affirmed that pro-life people “absolutely, positively” are welcome in the Democratic party and that he believes, as a Catholic, that “abortion is always wrong.” His comments, very different from most contributions to the political conversation about abortion, are blurring some long-established lines in the culture wars and generating significant interest in the media and among commentators….

“It has been hard…I’m prepared to accept that at the moment of conception there’s human life and being, but I’m not prepared to say that to other God­-fearing [and] non­-God­-fearing people that have a different view,” Biden said. He continued, “Abortion is always wrong…But I’m not prepared to impose doctrine that I’m prepared to accept on the rest of [the country].” (See the exchange, which begins at the 13:30 mark, in the full interview embedded at the bottom of this post.)

Fr. Malone also asked Mr. Biden if there was room for people who are pro-life in the Democratic party. The Vice President responded resolutely: “Absolutely. Absolutely, positively. And that’s been my position for as long as I’ve been engaged.”

No. Just no. Anyone who is “pro-life” in the sense of opposing women’s reproductive rights should not be welcome in the Democratic Party.

Mother Jones: Biden’s Abortion Record Could Cause Him Problems in a Presidential Bid.

Biden has been an inconsistent supporter of reproductive rights, sometimes backing the legal right of women to choose how to handle a pregnancy, while often hewing to his Catholic faith and moralizing against all abortions. Even today, when he and Clinton would most likely agree on most of the policy substance of ensuring access to abortion clinics, Biden sticks to a pro-life view in his personal politics.

Biden the gaffe machine

During the early part of his career, abortion rights groups griped about Biden as an unreliable ally. “Joe Biden moans a lot and then usually votes against us,” a Planned Parenthood official said in 1986.

When he first entered national politics, Biden was willing to stand alongside politicians who wanted to make abortion illegal. In a Washingtonian profilepublished the year after the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision established a nationwide right to abortion, Biden unequivocally criticized the ruling. “I don’t like the Supreme Court decision on abortion,” he said. “I think it went too far. I don’t think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body.”

He put that view into practice in 1982, voting in the Judiciary Committee for a proposed constitutional amendment that would have overturned Roe v. Wade by declaring that the Constitution offered women no inherent right to abortion, and that the federal government and states would be free to regulate or ban abortion as they pleased. Under that amendment, state laws that restricted abortions would have superseded more permissive federal laws.

Read the rest at Mother Jones.

As Biden continues to agonize about getting into the 2020 presidential race, this is something that needs to be spread far and wide among Democrats. With Roe v. Wade likely to be overturned soon, Women cannot accept a candidate who doesn’t wholeheartedly support women’s right to control their own bodies.

The Kushners and the Trumps

Charles and Jared Kushner

I’m reading the new book by Vicky Ward, Kushner, Inc.: Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The Extraordinary Story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. I can tell you that the Kushner family can definitely compete with the Trump’s in terms of corruption. Until now I had no idea just how much of a monster Charles Kushner is. No wonder Trump likes Jared so much. Ward was interviewed on Democracy Now this morning.

The New York Times has a story on the Kushners this morning: The Kingdom and the Kushners: Jared Went to Riyadh. So Did His Brother.

In late October 2017, Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and Middle East adviser, dropped into Saudi Arabia for an unannounced visit to the desert retreat of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was in the process of consolidating his power. The two men talked privately late into the night.

Just a day earlier, Mr. Kushner’s younger brother, Josh, then 32, was flying out of the kingdom.

Jared came to talk policy, but Josh was there on business.

The founder of an eight-year-old venture capital firm, Josh Kushner had spent the three days before his brother’s arrival at an investor conference, where Prince Mohammed had promised to spend billions of dollars on a high-tech future for Saudi Arabia.

As others sat through speeches in a gilded conference hall, several participants said, the younger Mr. Kushner frequently ducked out for more exclusive conversations with Saudi officials.

Some government ethics lawyers say those conversations — never hidden, but not previously reported — create the appearance of a potential conflict of interest. Although Jared Kushner severed his ties with his brother’s company and divested his interest in his brother’s funds around the time he entered the White House, he was nonetheless discussing American policy with the rulers of the kingdom at virtually the same time that his brother was talking business with their top aides.

Read the rest at the NYT.

Mike Pence and Russia?

Franklin Graham and Mike Pence

Check out this creepy scoop from Think Progress: Why was Franklin Graham schmoozing with a sanctioned Russian official this month?

Franklin Graham, America’s most prominent evangelical leader, says Vice President Mike Pence signed off on his trip to Russia earlier this month. While there, Graham met with sanctioned Kremlin officials — even as U.S. investigations ramped up into Moscow’s election interference efforts. One official Russian governmental social media account touted the meeting as a way to “[intensify] contacts between the State Duma and the U.S. Congress.”

In an interview with RIA Novosti, a major Russian state-run outlet, Graham said he called Pence directly to tell him of the trip. “He was very happy to hear the news,” Graham said. “And he admitted that he fully supported my decision.”

Neither Pence’s office nor the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association responded to ThinkProgress’s requests for comment.

According to interviews in Russian media and photos on his own social media accounts, Graham, currently the chair of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, traveled to Moscow earlier this month to meet with a number of prominent Russian figures. Most notably, Graham had a sit-down meeting with Russian Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, who is close to President Vladimir Putin and who has been sanctioned by the U.S. since 2014 for his role in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Click on the link to read the rest.

More stories to check out, links only:

The New Republic: Nihilist In Chief: The Banal, Evil, All-Destructive Reign of Mitch McConnell.

Fast Company: Amazon could soon force you to go on a diet,according to one futurist.

Palm Beach Post: Not just Cindy Yang: Royals, felon, pop stars, others got access to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago.

Seattle Times: FBI joining criminal investigation into certification of Boeing 737 MAX.

The New York Times: Doomed Boeing Jets Lacked 2 Safety Features That Company Sold Only as Extras.

Miami Herald: Two mystery parties try to restrict release of documents in Jeffrey Epstein civil suit.

Trump Inc: Trump’s Moscow Tower Problem.

Politico: Aides struggle to see strategy in Trump’s Conway, McCain fights.

What else is happening? What stories have you been following?

27 Comments on “Thursday Reads: Joe Biden Is Not An Ally To Women (And Other News)”

  1. Mary Margaret McCurnin says:

    Too bad there are so many slime buckets in power.

  2. dakinikat says:

    This is a good read on Joe from The Week: “Joe Biden is about to ruin his reputation” by Ryan Cooper. Same issues as you discussed BB. It’s His record.

    The most immediate problem for Biden personally is that he has #MeToo written all over him. As my colleague Matthew Walther writes, there are already vast compilations of footage of him being far too handsy with women in public settings. Even if nothing worse comes out, just what is publicly known will make it harder to run against Trump’s extensive record of alleged sexual assault.

    Setting personal history aside, Biden’s actual policy record is probably almost as big of a potential problem. The Democratic Party has shifted markedly to the left over the last decade, as the consequences of the party’s policy record from the mid-1970s to 2008 have become clear. The financial crisis made Wall Street deregulation seem like the catastrophic error it in fact was, clockwork police shootings of unarmed African-Americans have shown the enormous harms of the war on crime, the skyrocketing burden of student loans has demonstrated the folly of the 2005 bankruptcy bill, and so on.

    This turn is to a great extent a response to Biden’s very career, because he was personally involved in almost every bad policy decision of the last 40 years. He pushed the party away from civil rights, starting his career with George Wallace-style duplicitous fearmongering about school integration.

  3. NW Luna says:

    My “No” on Biden just turned into a “Hell, no!” after reading this post. I knew Biden wasn’t good on women’s rights and bodily autonomy but hadn’t known he’s so convinced that women are fetus incubators.

    • Enheduanna says:

      The egos on these guys!!! Does he not get how out of place and has-been he is in this field of women and POC? Is he totally oblivious to #MeToo and economic proposals being put forth? So out of touch in addition to no self-awareness.

      SMH again and again every day with these guys. But there he is on top of the polls. I hope he takes a big long nose-dive.

  4. dakinikat says:

    Dear God … look what he just did via tweet

    • NW Luna says:


      He and Kushner will sit back grinning like ghouls as they make $$ from the slaughter.

  5. NW Luna says:

    Yerch. There’s a nauseating puff piece in the WaPo about poor picked-on Jared & the Kushner family, written by Charles Kushner. File under “What Liberal Media?”

    • bostonboomer says:

      Yes, I saw it, but I didn’t post it because I figured it would be a bunch of lies. The stuff in this book is unbelievable!

      • NW Luna says:

        I couldn’t read it. I glanced at it extremely quickly( so I wouldn’t get nauseous) and got the impression that he protested much too much.

        • bostonboomer says:

          He basically stole from his own brothers and sisters and defrauded everyone else including the state and federal governments.

  6. dakinikat says:

    A Damaged Soul and a Disordered Personality
    Trump’s continuing attacks on John McCain reveal a worrisome state of mind.

    MAR 18, 2019
    Peter Wehner
    Contributing editor at The Atlantic and senior fellow at EPPC

  7. dakinikat says:

    I’d forgotten how anti choice Biden started out. I guess he was never on my radar until a bit later … basically the Anita Hill Hearings and prior to that all the crime bill crap.

    Thanks for this!

  8. dakinikat says:

    Mississippi is a hell realm

    • quixote says:

      It’s worth remembering when you see things like ‘fetal heartbeat detectable at six weeks’ that it’s using the medical definition of pregnancy duration.

      Not that it’s impossible, but in almost all cases, nobody actually knows the exact day a woman ovulated, the hours or day later that fertilization happened, or the week or so later when implantation happened. So medicine counts a pregnancy from the first day of the last period.

      That’s about two weeks *before* pregnancy in the real sense. Add to that: until at least two weeks after fertilization, ordinary pregnancy tests have no chance of delivering reliable results.

      So of that “six weeks,” at least four are before the woman can even know she’s pregnant. And that’s if she has all the resources to find out. Most women find out by missing a period — at which point she’s already 4-5 weeks pregnant by the medical definition — buying a pregnancy test kit, getting the results, making an appointment or visiting a clinic.

      The point being: by the time she’s at a clinic, even on a walk-in basis, and even if she’s done everything as soon as possible, she’s already “six weeks” pregnant.

      These bullshit “heartbeat” bills have nothing to do with the embryo (It’s contractile cells beating that are as much like a heart as the cells that will eventually form a spine look like vertebrae.)

      These bills are just the latest gambit of the forced birthers who don’t see why women need to be anything but body slaves.

  9. dakinikat says:

    • dakinikat says:

      • dakinikat says:

        t is during the ceremony that Heitkamp and her husband encounter one particularly outspoken male legislator, Vice President Joe Biden.

        “Spread your legs, you’re gonna be frisked,” Biden jokes while Heitkamp and her family stand for photos.

        “Drop your hands to your sides,” Biden continues, vamping on the photographer’s commands to Heitkamp’s husband, Darwin Lang, to keep his arms straight. “You say that to somebody in North Dakota, they think it’s a frisk. Drop your hands to your side, y’know?”

        Biden turns to Lang, looking for someone who gets the joke.

  10. dakinikat says:

    but her emails ….

  11. RonStill4Hills says:

    I have a theory about The Trumps and Deutsche Bank.

    I suspect that Weisselberg told them that Deutsche Bank was the only bank that would do business with them it may have been in writing.

    Don, Don Jr and Eric all had the same thought, “Doosh bank. Cool we have our own bank!”

  12. Mary Brown says:

    I’d support a ham sandwich for President before Joe Biden.

    • dakinikat says:

      Yup. Fortunately, we live in states where sitting out a presidential vote wouldn’t change anything. But any way, I’m focusing on getting some one else through the primaries and definitely not bernie and probably not Beto …