www.esquire.com /news-politics/politics/a36757069/president-biden-cia-interfere-other-elections/

Oh No, President Joe. I Wish You Hadn't Said This.

Charles P. Pierce 6-8 minutes 6/18/2021

(Permanent Musical Accompaniment To The Last Post Of The Week From The Blog’s Favourite Living Canadian)

(This week’s semi-regular weekly survey of what’s goin’ down in the several states has been postponed due to the unforeseen arrival of a new federal holiday. It will return next week at its usual time.)

Oh no, President Joe. I wish you hadn’t said this.

Let’s get this straight. How would it be if the United States were viewed by the rest of the world as interfering with the elections directly of other countries and everybody knew it? What would it be like if we engage in activities that he’s engaged in? It diminishes the standing of a country that is desperately trying to make sure it maintains its standing as a major world power.

I mean, holy hell, President Joe. You’ve been in Washington since the damn Taft administration. Do I have to read down the roster? Mossadegh. Arbenz. Allende. All three elected heads of state that the United States helped bring down for its own shabby reasons. Lumumba. Diem. Italy in 1948. Brazil and Bolivia in 1964. Ghana in 1966. Greece in 1967. Reagan in the 1980s. From the New York Times:

A Reagan Administration official familiar with C.I.A. operations said Friday that the C.I.A. had given the money to the parties as part of a total of $2.1 million it spent on the election. Since the 1940's, the agency has played a covert role in elections and in the affairs of political parties in other countries, according to a variety of news reports, books, Congressional investigations and secret testimony from C.I.A. officials.

For the love of god, Mr. President Joe, you were in the Senate when Frank Church’s committee blew the whistle on decades of CIA ratfcking overseas. Where in hell do you think Howard Hunt learned his trade before Watergate?

According to a 1976 report by a Senate select committee whose chairman was Senator Frank Church, the C.I.A.'s involvement in foreign elections began in the late 1940's when its Office of Policy Coordination subsidized labor and political organizations in Western Europe, which were intended ''to serve as alternatives to Soviet- or Communist-inspired groups.’'
In the 1950's, the report said, the agency expanded its efforts to influence politics in third world countries. ''Financial support was provided to parties, candidates, and incumbent leaders of almost every political persuasion, except the extreme right and left,'' the committee report said. In the 1950's and 1960's political parties in a number of European countries were actively assisted by the C.I.A., according to the intelligence committee report and earlier news accounts. In Italy, for example, the C.I.A. secretly financed the Christian Democratic Party from the end of World War II until 1967, sending an average of about $3 million annually, according to one published account.

What a crock, President Joe. What an absolute crock.

Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: “Rockin’In The Coconut Top” (Ivory Lee): Yeah, I pretty much still love New Orleans

Weekly Visit To The Pathe Archives: Here, from 1934, is the restoration of the belfry in Ypres. Also starring Crown Prince Leopold, of the least excusable European royal family of the 19th and 20th Centuries. History is so cool.

washington, dc   june 15 committee chairman sen joe manchin d wv speaks during a senate committee on energy and natural resources hearing on capitol hill june 15, 2021 in washington, dc the hearing focused on president biden's budget request for the department of energy for fiscal year 2022 photo by drew angerergetty images
Senator Manchin deserves some credit.

Drew AngererGetty Images

I have to give Joe Manchin credit for trying. His revised voting-rights package was something for which I could easily vote—a half-a-loaf, but a fresh one, at least. Stacey Abrams, a far more influential presence than I am, agrees with me. From NBC News:

“What Sen. Manchin is putting forward are some basic building blocks that we need to ensure that democracy is accessible no matter your geography,” Abrams said. “And those provisions that he is setting forth are strong ones that will create a level playing field, will create standards that do not vary from state to state and I think will ensure that every American has improved access to the right to vote despite the onslaught of state legislation seeking to restrict the access to vote.”

We’re getting into Affordable Care Act, perfect-is-the-enemy-of-the-good territory here, but it hardly matters. There aren’t 10 Republican votes for Manchin’s revised package in the Senate anyway. From Politico:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he believed all 50 Republicans would oppose Sen. Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) slimmed-down elections compromise, which focuses on expanding early voting and ending partisan gerrymandering in federal elections. And it’s not clear there’s a single Republican vote to even begin debate on the matter, potentially dooming Manchin's proposals before they can even make it into the bill.

I still don’t know how Joe Manchin ever goes to the grocery store without coming back with a bag of magic beans.

Is it a good day for dinosaur news, CNN? It’s always a good day for dinosaur news!

However, the high-profile March 2020 scientific paper that unveiled the discovery of Oculudentavis khaungraae was retracted later that year. New research published on Monday, based on another, better-preserved amber specimen, suggests that the skull was from a prehistoric lizard. "It's a really weird animal. It's unlike any other lizard we have today," said co-author of the new study Juan Diego Daza, a herpetologist and assistant professor of biological sciences at Sam Houston State University in Texas, in a news release. "We estimate that many lizards originated during this time, but they still hadn't evolved their modern appearance," he said. "That's why they can trick us. They may have characteristics of this group or that one, but in reality, they don't match perfectly.”

It’s a fine bit of punking to get yourself trapped in amber so that, millions of years later, you can blow the minds of curious humans. Of course, by doing so, you are living then to make them happy now.

I’ll be back on Monday to see what’s what and who’s where. Be well and play nice, ya bastids. Stay above the snake-line. Wear the damn mask, or don’t. Up to you. But get the damn shots.

Charles P Pierce is the author of four books, most recently Idiot America, and has been a working journalist since 1976.

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