Towards an issues-based 2020 election (70)

Hits: 49

===2020 Big Picture===
This week’s headlines on what went wrong during recent primaries, voter registration issues and the latest lawsuits.

Debate Defends Democracy
– Democracy in a Time of Crisis on June 16th
– The Hyper Partisan Presidency on June 23rd
– Defending the First Amendment on June 30th

Debate Defends Democracy

America. This Is Your Chance
We must get it right this time or risk losing our democracy forever.

Winston Churchill clashed with Henry Wallace because FDR’s VP, an anti-colonialist, said:
“No nation will have the God-given right to exploit other nations.” In my new book,
I write about Wallace’s opposition to empire – and why it enraged Churchill.

Outstanding by @mtomasky. “(The Bush administration) knowingly lied about the immediacy of the threat posed by Saddam. Indeed part of the reason the intel was faulty was they created a special intelligence unit within the Pentagon to tell them what they wanted to hear”

Tomasky succinctly summarizes the Bush lies, then shows that as outrageous as they were,
Bush/Cheney “heeded the existence of guardrails.” They know they couldn’t just outright lie.
They needed “evidence.” Trump “doesn’t care…He lies to crush the guardrails.”

I highlight this not just for the insights on Trump but on what happened 20 years ago.
Right after 9/11 they started lying, set up special units to cherry-pick intel, manufacture
a false case for doing something they wanted to do: invade Iraq. Not “bad intel.”
It was deliberate.


Compare / Contrast…
The Lyndon Johnson tapes: Richard Nixon’s ‘treason’

Compare / Contrast II…
Former Iranian president on Reagan’s October Surprise

JFK’s Peace Speech

…Peace need not be impracticable, and war need not be inevitable. By defining our goal more clearly, by making it seem more manageable and less remote, we can help all peoples to see it, to draw hope from it, and to move irresistibly toward it.

We prepared for war, but should have spent our money elsewhere


*Not* communists…
A new documentary on America’s Socialist Experiment premieres tonight at 9 on @PBSWI and airs Tuesday at 8 on @MilwPBS. It’ll soon be shown nationwide. We tell the story of Emil Seidel, Milwaukee’s first Socialist mayor and the 1912 running-mate of Eugene Victor Debs.

After @cityofmilwaukee was selected to host the @DemConvention, four of us began work
on a documentary that looks at the nearly half-century when socialist mayors led the city. …

Why did socialism take root in a heartland city in the 20th century? What did it look like
in daily life, and why did the socialist era come to an end in Milwaukee? It’s a fascinating
slice of American history, one filled with surprises and contradictions. Hope you’ll watch.

I just joined @climatehawkvote in demanding that the DNC hold hearings on its proposed platform so that climate hawks can be heard.

June 16th webinar…
Protest to Power: Lessons From the Making of Newark’s First Black Mayor, Ken Gibson

See link for the very long list of examples…
Republicans Defunded The Police We Need
(The president) and the GOP pretend they love law enforcement — but they eliminated the cops that protect us from the world’s most dangerous and powerful criminals.


Working Americans don’t pay taxes so police can kill black people. We pay taxes
to make our communities stronger. City budgets should reflect the priorities of their citizens,
not contribute to police brutality and racism.

Congress: End Police Militarization and Over-policing in Our Communities Now.

1. End to the Department of Defense’s 1033 program, which fuels the militarization of law enforcement by arming local and state police like soldiers. Weapons have no role in the policing of our communities or protests, especially military-grade weapons;

2. End to the COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) grants that put excessive numbers of law enforcement on the streets and in schools, where they have proven to be dangerous and divisive;

3. Reining in of Byrne JAG (Justice Assistance Grant) grants, as long as they continue to perpetuate police violence, the destruction of Black and Brown communities, the failed drug war, and low-level arrests.


Krystal Ball explains what #DefundthePolice really means

Note: You can use powerful words *and* make your meaning clear.

A lot of people know Nobel Prize-winning economist Elinor Ostrom from her work on the
commons. But many might not know that some of her first research in the 1970s on policing.
It can inform the reform vs. defunding debate, with some clear empirical findings.

“We must cut the astronomical amount of money that our governments spend
on law enforcement and give that money to more helpful services…”

Data show spending on police has *tripled* the pace of American population growth. In New York
City alone, police spending has grown by 46% in just 12 years, despite almost no population


Wed: Biden still wants to increase funding for police departments by $300 million
to ‘reinvigorate community policing’


Good article but what about Gary Becker?
> Economics, Dominated by White Men, Is Roiled by Black Lives Matter

Republicans’ big bet on the economy: Waiting another month or more on the next coronavirus bill

Communities of color can’t wait for you to slow walk more coronavirus aid, @senatemajldr
The protests spotlight not only police violence, but COVID-enhanced gaps in healthcare,
education, housing & more. State & local services need a big federal boost now.

I wrote a piece for @TheAtlantic today on the #history of Black women’s #activism and organizing in the US. Please read and share.

For black journalists, a historic imperative and a unique burden

===2020 Issues===
Great great speech (while waiting to be arrested) from @RevYearwood in @Chase Bank lobby in DC earlier this year. He lays out precisely how their loans help wreck life in the most vulnerable communities across the country. @StopMoneyPipe (video)

Making a Planet Worth Saving
The events of the past few weeks make one wonder: If we’re just going to use solar power instead of coal to run the same sad mess of unfair and ugly oppression, is it really worth it?

June 17th…
Sierra Forum: Solidarity & Racial Justice

Giving GDP a needed ecological companion
Gross ecosystem product (GEP) summarizes the economic value of nature’s contributions to humans.
To have a more sustainable world, people need to put a dollar value on nature’s contributions.

Bobby Kennedy on GDP: ‘measures everything except that which is worthwhile’

Green Infrastructure Can Be Cheaper, More Effective than Dams
A new report advocates for governments to increase funding for projects like floodplain restoration

Watch our @EBRD @ForumAthens discussion on the #covid19 and #capitalism! With @NYTimesCohen @JosephEStiglitz and @ebrdcharles (video)


CBPP: Aggressive State Outreach
Can Help Reach the 12 Million Non-Filers Eligible for Stimulus Payments

CBPP: Fighting Hunger at the Store: Retailers’ Important Role in SNAP

Unions shrink the gender pay gap

The black-white economic divide is as wide as it was in 1968

Click chart…
This is just an incredibly da-ning graph
about the public policy decisions we’ve made over the last thirty years.

…The wealth gap between the median white and Black household is the same as it was
in 1968. The ratio is about 11:1. … [W]ith a ratio as high as 11:1, it takes very little
to close the gap. An increase in median Black wealth of $1000 with a concurrent increase
in white wealth of $10,000 actually reduces the ratio. We haven’t even managed that.

Click chart graphic…
The coronavirus crisis only exacerbated economic inequality for Black folks.
– 1 in 5 Black families report that they can’t afford food
– Black folks are 4x more likely to miss a mortgage payment
This is a big part of why people are so mad.


Make everyone pay their fair share (see thread)…


Data show spending on police has *tripled* the pace of American population growth. In New York City alone, police spending has grown by 46% in just 12 years, despite almost no population growth.


It’s time to restructure our budgets away from simply policing people. We must shift
funding from law enforcement toward more nurses and social workers who can respond
to challenges such as homelessness and overdoses.
This is about our values and the communities we want to build.

Government-Granted Patent Monopolies and Structural Racism

Government-Granted Patent Monopolies and Structural Racism

Big majorities support protests over Floyd killing and say police need to change, poll finds

New Police Force From Scratch: N.J. City Proves It’s Possible To Reform The Police

The Henry A. Wallace Police Crime Database
Police Integrity Research for the Public Good


San Francisco may stop hiring cops with records of misconduct

The D.C. Council has passed sweeping reform measures that prohibit hiring officers with a
history of serious misconduct on other police forces and require the city to swiftly make public
the names of officers who use force on citizens.

“The legislation bans the Metropolitant Police Department from using chemical irritants
or rubber bullets to disperse peaceful protesters.”

Note: Republicans have repeatedly interfered with DC. Will Senate Rs dare try to override this bill?

Responding to Sen Cotton…
…Seems likely we could easily take, say, 10% of the Pentagon’s budget and instead invest it in diplomacy, foreign aid, human rights, and rule of law efforts, and be more secure as a country around the world.

Cutting the US defense budget would be smart, because it would force our military leaders
to think instead of throwing money at problems. The most innovative period in US military
history was the 20s and 30s, when funding was poor–but military education was robust
and rigorous.

See referenced comment…
Lecturing China about status isn’t going to get the job done @USArmsControl
After two years of talk, team Trump hasn’t explained what it wants China to negotiate about. Now, there isn’t time for a new deal before New START expires. The responsible thing to do is extend New START.

How Not to Blunder Into a Nuclear War

===2020 Watch List===
“One of the new tools debuted by Facebook allows administrators to remove and block certain trending topics among employees. The presentation…offered one example of a topic employers might find it useful to blacklist: the word ‘unionize.'”

Can we all just admit this: The transformational changes that covid, the economic crisis, police brutality and racial turbulence will force are precisely some of the things Bernie Sanders was talking about but may have sounded too extreme to some just months ago.

===2020 Watch List-Bias===
Now that the #OAS’ claims of fraud in #Bolivia’s elections vote count have been debunked in the @nytimes,” OAS is pointing to other “irregularities” to support a fraud narrative. This report, now available in Spanish, responds to each OAS claim in turn.

How the right-wing response to Iran set the stage for 2020’s misinformation campaign


Racist southern whites’ exodus from the Democratic Party.

Why Did Democrats Lose the White South?

Modern conservatives are oddly fond of pointing out that it was Democrats who were the party of racism and racists until half a century ago. There’s always an implied “Aha!” whenever a conservative mentions this, as though they think it’s some little-known quirk of history that Democrats try to keep hidden because it’s so embarrassing.

It’s not, of course. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president, and Republicans were the face of Reconstruction and voting rights for blacks after the Civil War. Because of this, the South became solidly Democratic and stayed that way until World War II. But in the 1940s, racist white southerners gradually began defecting to the Republican Party, and then began defecting en masse during the fight over the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Ted Cruz (R-TX) provided an example of this dynamic this past week…


Baker responded to the drug lobby…


===2020 Presidential Candidates===
Joe Biden… April 25th
Biden on Pulse anniversary: “We have much more work to do to create a world free of terrorism, hate, bigotry, and violence …As President, I will continue standing with you to build a more equal, more inclusive US, where every member of the LGBTQ+ community is safe & respected.”

Biden should listen to @WilliamHartung and not the defense contractors advising him. “With a shift in strategy, we can be safer while spending less. I think we could cut the budget by at least 10% to 15% from current levels.”

Biden campaign calls on Facebook to change political speech rules

Biden says military would help oust Trump if he loses election but refuses to leave

No. (Agreed)

Rahm Emanuel, the Worst Man for the Moment
Donald Trump…
Repeat for context…
As They Scream Voter Fraud, Trump And His Press Secretary May Have Voted Illegally
Kayleigh McEnany was living in Washington but voted in Florida. Trump used an address he promised Palm Beach officials would not be a residence.

Voter fraud? Stephen Bannon doesn’t live at the Florida address he used to register to vote

Compare / Contrast…


The White House continues to use COVID-19 as an excuse for bad tax policy ideas, including a payroll tax cut that does nothing to help tens of millions of people who aren’t receiving a paycheck.

Our March report finds a payroll tax cut would overwhelmingly benefit the richest households.

And hurts Social Security and Medicare which is his ultimate agenda here –
not saving tax payers money. …

2017 GOP Tax bill…
CBPP: Proposal to Extend Full Expensing Beyond 2022
Could Discourage Investment This Year and Hurt the Recovery

Trump Administration Stops Pretending to Care About the Economy with Its Capital Gains Tax Proposal

President Trump nominated Otting in June of 2017…
Joseph Otting’s last day running OCC, the chief national bank regulator, was May 29, and he’s already taken a paid position on the board of Black Knight, formerly Lender Processing Services, one of the biggest miscreants of the foreclosure crisis!

2018: How the Trump Administration Went Easy on Small-Town Police Abuses
The Obama Justice Dept thought Ville Platte, Louisiana – where officers jail witnesses to crimes – could become a model of how to erase policing abuses that plague small towns across the nation. Jeff Sessions decided not to bother.

Stephen Miller, who crafted @realDonaldTrump immigration policy at the southern border, including separating families and caging children, is preparing a @WhiteHouse speech on race relations. @aurnonline #AURN report

The invitation list for Mike Pompeo’s taxpayer-funded “Madison Dinners,” now under scrutiny by two congressional committees, included dozens of donors to Republican candidates and causes, campaign finance records show.

(The president’s) troop cut in Germany blindsided senior U.S. officials (and Germany)
[T]he Pentagon had yet to receive a formal order to carry it out…

Over the past month, the Trump campaign has spent about $400,000 on cable news ads in the D.C. area. Two knowledgeable sources tell The Daily beast that the D.C.-area ads have a specific purpose: to put the president himself at ease.


*Barr was told the crowd was peaceful*: During the 6/1/20 protests outside the WH, when smoke & pepper balls were used to facilitate TRUMP’s photo op, a member of DC’s National Guard informed BILL BARR that the protestors were peaceful, per @EleanorNorton.

Tens of thousands of rifle and pistol rounds were stored in the D.C. Armory and partitioned
in pallets, labeled by their state of origin, to be used on American citizens during the protests
in case of emergency.

Compare / Contrast…
The Trump administration says it’s “restoring the rule of law” by formally rolling back LGBTQ
patient protections today. Advocates ask why it’s coming amid a pandemic –
and on four-year anniversary of deadly Pulse shooting.

“Rule of law” apparently means something different to Donald Trump than the rest of us.
I guess that explains why he reveres people who took up arms against the United States
in order to keep Black people enslaved.

Donald Trump promised he would fight for LGBTQ people. Instead, his administration has
systematically undone recent gains in their rights and protections. Here are 31 examples.

Colin Powell’s criticism means four ex-chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have now criticized (the president). Experts say top military officers rarely criticize the president, and never do so many speak up at once. “I can’t think of a precedent,” said one.

Adm. Stavridis: “Many of us watched the use of active duty military to clear peaceful protesters out of Lafayette Square, and it rang echoes of what the founders feared more than anything, which was the use of armed active duty military against citizens.

Their Elliot Richardson Moment
Esper and Miley: Too Little, Too Late

Their Elliot Richardson Moment


Secret Service confirms the use of pepper spray on June 1 in Lafayette Park.

Use ‘force with compassion’? Sounds like an oxymoron to me…


As Trump speaks in Dallas on race and policing, a reminder: The event excludes the three top law enforcement officials in the county – a police chief, sheriff and district attorney, who all are black.

The White House was unable to produce answers as to why Dallas’ police chief, sheriff, and
district attorney – *all* of whom are African American – were not invited to (the president’s)
address on the police, and Injustice, in their city, Dallas.

Trump is restarting his campaign rallies. The first will be on Juneteenth in Tulsa – the site of the Tulsa race massacre.


Things President Trump is against:
– changing Confederate names of U.S. Army bases
– removing Confederate statues and monuments
– athletes silently protesting police brutality and racial injustice
– putting Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill

See text graphic…
The president’s just announced campaign rally for Oklahoma includes a liability waiver
in the registration for rally attendees on the risks they voluntarily assume regarding coronavirus.

Trump Rally Waiver (translation):  If you are stupid enough
to come to a crowded event in the midst of a pandemic, that’s your fault – not our’s.

A Whirlpool plant in Tulsa, Oklahoma has temporarily closed due to a coronavirus outbreak
one week before Trump holds a rally in the city. And Tulsa County now has its highest seven-day
average of coronavirus cases since the outbreak began in March.

Despite claims by Trump and Attorney General Barr, federal arrests show no sign that antifa plotted protests. In fact, none of those charged with serious federal crimes amid the unrest have been linked so far to antifa.

(The president’s) New Front in the Culture Wars: An Attack on Public Health

Trump Unmasked

Thurs: Dow slides 900 points on fears of coronavirus resurgence, more economic pain.

(The stock market) measures future profits.
Why is anyone asking about the stock market in a discussion of the economy?

Note: Because Republicans will want to pour more money into corporations and keep ignoring state and local governments (services), etc.

Would someone please show this article to President Trump?  It’s a careful study that shows
wearing face-masks can stop #COVID19 completely. Conversely, not wearing face-masks
will kill thousands of people.  Should be an easy choice.

If all lives matter they should wear a f—ing mask and socially distance

The greatest threats of the past decade have come in the form of a deadly virus, climate-related natural disasters, economic meltdowns, and attacks on free and fair elections. So why are expensive weapons systems and massive military installations still a foregone conclusion?

America spends over $700 billion a year on our national defense. That’s about a sixth of our overall budget and more than health care, education and all the rest of our discretionary spending combined. …

…Reconsidering our spending to invest more heavily in the programs that really keep us safe is not only possible, but long overdue.
Quoctrung Bui in “When 511 Epidemiologists Expect to Fly, Hug and Do 18 Other Everyday Activities Again”

…Peace need not be impracticable, and war need not be inevitable. By defining our goal more clearly, by making it seem more manageable and less remote, we can help all peoples to see it, to draw hope from it, and to move irresistibly toward it.
President John F Kennedy

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