Towards an issues-based 2020 election (31)

===2020 Big Picture===
When a candidate receives the most small dollar donations, you tend to get a map that looks like this…


See chart…
There are … 5 single-candidate super PACs playing a role in the 2020 Democratic primary… .
More from @IssueOneReform here

7 Democratic presidential candidates have promised that their first legislation as president
would be an ambitious clean-government bill

Note: Corruption is important. So is global warming. Oligarchy / inequality. Health insurance. etc. Perhaps a better question would be… What do you plan to prioritize during your first 100 days.

All of these “I’m not trying to restructure society,” “Nothing would fundamentally change,” “I’m a capitalist to my bones” comments are signals of reassurance to the ruling class, and need to be understood as such.

Note: Very few people are capitalists. One internet definition… “a wealthy person who uses money to invest in trade and industry for profit in accordance with the principles of capitalism.”

Sorry, fans of two-night debates, this may have been our last debate featuring 20 candidates. So far, only seven Democrats have qualified for the September debate:
Biden, Harris, Warren, Sanders, Booker, Buttigieg & O’Rourke
And if under 10 candidates qualify, it’s only one night.

…the rules to qualify for the September debate are significantly more stringent.
Candidates need to have 130,000 unique donors AND register at least 2% support
in four polls. Yang, Castro and Klobuchar are close to meeting the thresholds.

With all due respect to my fellow Twitterati (and I hear your criticisms), I would take any of the patriotic, intelligent, experienced candidates on the stage tonight over the (person) in the White House.

===2020 Issues===
“By the middle of this century, experts estimate that climate change is likely to displace between 150 and 300 million people. If this group formed a country, it would be the 4th-largest in the world, with a population nearly as large as that of the US.”

Ocean at the Door: New Homes and the Rising Sea

The Research is In: Stop Fracking ASAP

Naomi Klein – On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal

As part of our Green New Deal polling, we asked about a job guarantee and even told voters we would raise taxes to pay for it. We found net positive support of +12. Democratic Presidential candidates shouldn’t be afraid to embrace it.


“In America, the freedom of movement comes with an asterisk: the obligation to drive.”
Excellent piece by @greg_shill detailing the construction of automobile supremacy in the United States (which – surprise! – has ties to white supremacy).

Much Ado About a Little More Housing
A ruckus over a rich suburb’s allowing a few more apartments
shows how hard it can be to provide affordable housing

A lot of affluent liberals in Montgomery County, outside Washington, D.C., fiercely
opposed a plan to build a little more affordable housing. “Affordable is not what
people move here for,” one of them told me.

It is Expensive to Be Poor
Minimum-wage jobs are physically demanding, have unpredictable schedules, and pay so meagerly that workers can’t save up enought to move on.

The L.A. Times praises my new book, Beaten Down, Worked Up, as “a sweeping new history” of labor and lauds its “vivid portraits of labor champions” like Walter Reuther and its “searing accounts of the struggles of workers with no union to defend them”.

“Greenhouse, a former labor reporter for the New York Times, builds a persuasive
case that the inability of workers to engage in collective bargaining has markedly
shifted power to corporations, fueling the nation’s exploding inequality.”

“Millions of Americans know little about what unions have achieved over American
history,” Greenhouse writes. “Labor unions, and their ability to create a powerful
collective voice for workers, played a huge role in building the world’s largest,
richest middle class.

In my new book, Beaten Down, Worked Up, I explain that the Democrats, to their own
detriment, have been doing next to nothing to strengthen labor unions, and have often
been blocked by the GOP when they try to help workers.

Note: Hartmann talks about how Bill Clinton ran as a progressive then turned right after he was sworn in. All I could quickly find is the first part of that story…

Hartmann on how Bill Clinton ran as a progressive…


The determination of the Democratic Party and its candidates to treat import-exposed manufacturing industries as a proxy for “the economy” is so problematic. “The economy” is services, and the problematic part is low-wage service jobs. *And they never talk about it.

You know what most people do in Detroit? I’ll give you a hint. They’re not making cars.
They’re retail clerks and home health care aides and restaurant workers.

A good debate question would be: What would your administration do to improve the
wages and working conditions for home health care aides? (Which happens to be
one of the nation’s fastest growing occupations.)


NYC’s budget office is upset that New York’s workers are getting more time off (like workers in Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark etc). I guess things are pretty good in NYC if this is the biggest problem.

The budget office complains about slow growth in weekly pay. Yeah, that’s what happens
when workers get more time off. Hourly wage growth is just fine, averaging more than 3.0
percent annually the last three years.


For some background on NYC’s guaranteed paid time off proposal,
@DeanBaker13 has more here:

Our latest *full* episode looks at the economics of paid family leave. We speak with renowned economist @EileenAppelbaum about Dem and R proposals, including newly passed legislation by @RepMaloney.

Nation’s Top Student Loan Watchdog Post Remains Vacant
150 Days After CFPB Director Promised to “Quickly” Fill the Role

Consumer protection wanes under Trump, reports find

Taibbi:  Banks Sued for LIBOR Collusion – Again!
What if a sizable portion of global economic activity rests on magical thinking?

See charts…
Let’s Hope the Democratic Candidates Discuss This
> The 400 richest Americans own more than the bottom 150 million.
Worsening Inequality, the share of all wealth owned by the bottom 60% of Americans has fallen from 5.7% in 1987 to 2.1% in 2014

A values-based model budget for early care and education
California plan would provide high-quality child care for millions of children by supporting teachers

Tackling Health Disparities in St. Louis

“Should the super rich be allowed to buy the best genes they can afford?”
Genetic advancements could be miraculous for medicine. But if we let them be privatized, they could take economic inequality to alien new levels.

Medicare spending accounts for 30% of total retail prescription drug spending in the United States.
Here’s a breakdown of recent proposals to rein in prescription drug costs for Medicare and the people it serves.

Question: ACA / Obamacare was supposed to close the Medicare Part D donut hold by 2020. ACA has been repeatedly sabotaged – – so… will the donut hole still close by 2020?


Why aren’t Dems looking to modern alternatives to government-granted patent monopoly financed drug research?

Two issues Democrats and Republicans should support and push, whatever else happens in health policy: (1) Raising SSI’s insane $2,000 countable asset limit, and (2) eliminating or shortening Medicare waiting period for people living with disabilities on SSDI.

…You’re right, these are common sense measures that would make a big difference
in the lives of lots of people in bad circumstances.

Good to see (her comments about prescription drugs), but we really need to go a step
further and have direct public funding of research, so we don’t need exclusivity periods –
let drugs sell in a free market

***How a Medicare Buy-In or Public Option Could Threaten Obamacare
Some Democrats are proposing a government alternative to private insurance. But allowing people to choose such a plan may destabilize the A.C.A., some experts say.

***Wendell Potter has the historic context…
Senator Harris: You really need to rethink your plan to put private insurers in charge of Medicare
Harris’s plan won’t work and history will prove it.

Dear social-media hive mind. Earlier today I tweeted that I’d like to read the argument
why abolishing private health insurance is a necessary practical accompaniment
to opening Medicare eligibility to all. Nobody replied. Asking again.

I think logic is to ensure there is not a two-tier system, with richer people in the private
system. (You also eliminate duplicate paperwork issues.) Personally, I think it is
wrongheaded, since there will always be ways around a ban (e.g. partially pre-paid
provider networks)

What’s your view about how big this duplicative Private market is likely to be?
To buy in you’d have to be pretty rich and not too old, right?

It’s around 10 percent in UK, might be higher here,
since we would be starting a new public system

Very serious people, not unlike you, did say in the 1930s that FDR can’t and won’t
create a Social Security system. And in the 1960s that Kennedy and LBJ can’t and
won’t create a Civil Right Act. Such breakthroughs are rare, but they do happen!

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have M4A, just that we will have to phase it in.
Your examples support this. Social Security originally left close to half the workforce
uncovered and had much less generous benefits

That’s a point, but should a candidate run on a compromise that will then be watered
down in the negotiations? Or rather on his bold vision of what he wants to achieve,
even if he may be forced to implement it in steps?

I’m fine with candidates running on the goal (actually, that includes my favorite).
I just wouldn’t disqualify a candidate for putting forward a phase-in proposal.

We overpay for broken health care. Medicare for All would be much better and cost less.

Dr. Marcia Angell: “I’ve never personally met anyone who actually likes their private
insurance, because it almost always entails micromanagement and onerous out-of-
pocket costs. #MedicareForAll is [a] better replacement.”

Medical Loss Ratio
While everyone else is watching the debate, I’m pouring through 2018 MLR filings.
Although not MLR regulated, short term plan experience is still reported in these filings.
United reports theirs under their Golden Rule subsidiary, whose 2018 MLR was 39%.

For every $1 in premiums, some private insurance companies pay only 39 cents
in medical care, keeping 61 cents for their own administration and profit.

Compare / Contrast with ACA…

Note: So ACA’s MLR is 80 to 85%. Back in the ’90s the MLR was something like 93%.

The Case for Medicare for All
You’d be able to keep your doctor with no premiums or copays, and overall spending would decline

M4A is a single payer insurance proposal.
This group of physicians has been advocating for single payer for quite a while…

Question: Why do so many mistakenly refer to health insurance plans as health plans? Too many confuse socialized insurance (single payer) with socialized medicine (the VA) already.

Health Insurance Churn in the US Is a Nighmare
People lose their health insurance constantly with little choice over the matter

“Your odds of being on your current insurance a few years from now are not very good.
And when you lose that insurance, there is a significant risk that it will be replaced with

See infographic…
A majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives now support @RepJayapal’s single-payer, Medicare for All bill.

70% of people in the U.S. support #MedicareforAll and the movement continues to gain
momentum. With the worst health outcomes of all industrialized countries on critical
health indicators, passing the Medicare for All Act of 2019 is a matter of life and death.

When we fight for #MedicareForAll – we are literally fighting for the very policy that is
the basic standard in over 100 countries around the world – including Israel I might add.
It’s not socialism. It’s literally the world norm.
And it should be the norm in the USA too.

…when I left my last full-time job, I was offered COBRA for my health insurance.
For my family it cost a staggering $2,389 *per month*.
I just couldn’t afford it.
Was barely able to pay it for two months, then missed a payment. Got canceled.

I don’t wanna hear what @JoeBiden and other filthy rich and deeply disconnected
politicians have to say about how great private health insurance is. It’s outrageously
expensive. Today I had to pay $600 out of pocket for a doctor’s visit.
Had to put it on a da-n credit card.

Last Night’s Debate Produced a Clear Winner: Medicare for All – Sanders and Warren shredded attacks on health-care-is-a-right reform as “Republican talking points.”

At Tuesday night’s #DemocraticDebate moderators and centrist Democrats
tried to make a political case for private insurance. Seriously?
A 2017 Bloomberg survey found that insurers were less popular than Wall Street…
and Congress.

Progressives are killing it tonight! Love that @BernieSanders called out @jaketapper
for a Republican talking point and the healthcare insurance ads that support television
news. Finally taking on right-wing framing of all of these questions. #DemocraticDebate

Coalition to air anti-Medicare for All ads during Democratic debates



Activist Urges Democrats to Reframe Immigration Debate

Election 2020: Candidates Answer CFR’s Questions
CFR invited the Democratic candidates to articulate their positions on twelve critical foreign policy issues. The questionnaire was sent to all candidates on July 8. Candidates’ answers are posted exactly as they were received.

See bar chart…
85 percent of Democratic voters support rejoining the Iran deal. No wonder
all the major presidential candidates do too!

What can we do to stop the force that is the #Pentagon? We build movements, says @IPS_DC’s @PhyllisBennis, that can push for redirecting the #economy of this country by taxing the #rich, taxing #corporations, and cutting the #military budget dramatically:

A Global Security System: An Alternative to War (2018-19 Edition)
“You say you’re against war, but what’s the alternative?”

Three former #US military officials, Chuck Hagel, John Kirby and Lawrence Wilkerson, spoke to @CrisisGroup about what a war between the #US and #Iran would look like. Check out the video here

A few weeks ago I joined @DemsforAmerica podcast to talk unnecessary wars in the Middle East, the Iranian nuclear deal & smart ways the United States can reduce threats in the world.
Listen here:

War could break out at any time with Iran, Russia or North Korea.
Nuclear arms race happening, UK collapsing, China trade war.
Watching CNN debate you would never know it.

The world is on the cusp of a new nuclear arms race and the arms control process
is being dismantled by this administration. I think a question on that subject
would be appropriate.

This. This right here is how CNN should have focused the #DemDebate from the start
instead of diverting us from key issues to trivial, staged Dem v. Dem differences.

===2020 Watch List===
25 Dem debates in 2016 & four in 2020 and still not a single question about attack on voting rights. Media need to stop treating right to vote as fringe issue when it’s central to democracy


No questions about voting rights, Russian interference or Supreme Court
If we don’t fix our democracy we won’t fix our politics

See chart…
17 million people purged from voting rolls from 2016-2018 according to new report
from @BrennanCenter. Purge rate 40% higher in places that had to approve election
changes under Voting Rights Act before John Roberts gutted law. This is very disturbing

CNN’s Industry Spin Shows Need for Independent Debates

Do Debate Questions Reflect Concerns of Democratic Voters?

If you watch the CNN debate tonight and are confused by how rabidly anti-left and
pro-corporate all the commentators are, keep in mind that they’re all auditioning
for an extra six-figure paycheck or two for speaking at corporate lobbying group

As a counter to CNN’s coverage, here’s Brad Friedman’s coverage of the debates –
with Jacki Schechner, David Faris &/or David Dayen…

At some point in the last few months, the entire New York Times oped page and the Democratic establishment must’ve had a meeting, watched some Scooby Doo episodes and decided that their unified 2020 message is “you meddling kids!”

===2020 Presidential Candidates===
Tulsi Gabbard… Jan 11th
The #CNNDebate introduced @TulsiGabbard as the candidate who is for “Ending Wars.”
That should be what every candidate is for.

Tulsi correctly noting that Kathleen Sebelius – backer of Kamala’s Medicare Advantage For All plan – is on the board of an insurance company that sells Medicare Advantage

The Sebelius backed firm is actually entirely devoted to breaking into the Medicare
Advantage market, which investors think will continue to grow for the foreseeable future

The two veterans on the #DemDebate stage this week – Buttigieg and Gabbard – promised to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan within their first year

30 minutes. Gabbard’s right, a president can order a nuclear war as easily as a pizza… here’s more about that, from the LAST presidential debate cycle, in 2016. #DemDebate How to Slow President Trump From Pushing The Nuclear Button
Julian Castro… Jan 12th
Thank you @JulianCastro for talking about police accountability & use of force standards. …

.@JulianCastro is 100% right. We must learn the lessons of the past. Immigration is a winning issue for us, but we’ve got to have the guts to take on @realdonaldtrump and his cruelty.
Kamala Harris… Jan 21st
@KamalaHarris is working with @AOC to do the powerfully important work around climate equity. Good for her!

Repeat for context…
Wendell Potter was asked whether we can fix / save ACA…
The ACA has done some real good but is not built on a foundation that is sustainable. Continuing with multiple private payers is simply not affordable. They cannot and don’t even want to control health care costs

Kamala Harris’ new health plan: ‘Medicare for All’ – with private insurers
“Harris’ new plan breaks with her rivals who occupy the opposite poles of the debate by effectively proposing “Medicare Advantage for All” …”

Note: When you sign up for Medicare you’ll likely be told that if you’re healthy (i.e. no preconditions), Medicare Advantage can work for you. If not… stick with Medicare. Also…

Not-for-profit Medicare gets less Medicare money per subscriber for administration than for-profit Medicare Advantage – which means Medicare subsidizes for-profit Medicare. Medicare Advantage has been around for ~20 years… if it still can’t succeed without that subsidy, then it’s a bad business model. Remove the subsidey!

10 Reasons Medicare Advantage Plans Will Never Meet Our Needs

Medicare Advantage thread

Medicare Advantage plans are massively overbilling the public. (Above) story …
nicely gets at two points: 1) the purpose of private health insurance is to make
money off you  and the government 2) so much silicon valley “disruption” is just
plain regulatory arbitrage or outright fraud

Medicare Advantage Plans Found to Improperly Deny Many Claims

***Wendell Potter has the historic context…
Senator Harris: You really need to rethink your plan to put private insurers in charge of Medicare
Harris’s plan won’t work and history will prove it.

I appreciate the robust healthcare debate my Democratic colleagues have brought to the table. But as lead sponsor of #MedicareForAll, I find it misleading when my fellow Democrats use the #M4A name to describe proposals that are *not* #MedicareForAll

#MedicareForAll means:
-Guaranteed, comprehensive benefits for *everyone*
– No private insurance premiums, co-pays, deductibles or out-of-network doctors
– For-profit industry does *not* have a role in determining one’s right to healthcare
Anything less is *not* Medicare for All.

The #MedicareForAll movement is powerful because grassroots members have
fought for years to achieve true universal healthcare and remove the profit-motive
from the system. Any policy that uses the #M4ALL name *must* embody these
principles, *not* undermine them.

Video: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign manager, @FShakir, on Kamala Harris’ health care plan that retains a role for private insurance.

Kamala Harris receives donations from Big Pharma executives despite claim that she rejects them

Click text graphics…
To defend her proposal, @KamalaHarris now cites a letter from 200 economists saying we need Medicare For All:
But that letter she cites specifically promotes @BernieSanders’ bill to replace private insurance:

I’m still trying to figure out how Californians were being locked up for marijuana, while Steve “the foreclosure king” Mnuchin not only didn’t go to jail for “widespread misconduct” at OneWest Bank, but is now Donald Trump’s Treasury Secretary.
Cory Booker… Feb 1st
Thank you @CoryBooker! “Everyone has worth and dignity.” We can’t allow @realDonaldTrump and Republicans to divide some immigrants against others.  You don’t need a PhD to be worthy of coming to this country.
Elizabeth Warren… Feb 9th
Warren: Trade – On Our Terms


Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to dramatically rewrite the rules on negotiating trade deals

“Let’s be clear about this,” @ewarren announced. “We are the Democrats. We are not about trying to take away health care from anyone. That’s what the Republicans are trying to do.”

“We should stop using Republican talking points in order to talk with each other about
how to best provide that health care.” – @ewarren at #DemocraticDebate
Thunderous applause – crowd at #DemocraticDebate

First debate…
“I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for President of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for. I don’t get it.” –  @ewarren

It’s Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren v the ‘No We Can’t’ Democrats

How the Great Recession turned America’s student-loan problem into a $1.5 trillion crisis

Debating student debt cancellation policy…

“the racial wealth gap … is approximately 12:1 in 2016,
whereas in the absence of student debt, that ratio is 5:1,”
“12 years removed from college, black students owed more money…”


Under the Warren plan, this family will still owe at least $618,000 in student debt. Under
Sanders, their entire student debt will be cancelled. We must no longer sentence the
American people to a lifetime of debt for the “crime” of getting an education.

The U.S. is not going to use nuclear weapons preemptively, and we need to say so to the entire world. Our first responsibility is to keep ourselves safe. Our military is the best on earth-but we need to use every diplomatic tool we have to prevent nuclear conflict

Refusing to rule out using #nuclear weapons first is akin to not ruling out a career
as a serial killer. There are some options you just don’t want to keep on the table.

Exactly. There are dozens of barbaric actions we “take off the table.” Genocide.
Poison gas. Germ warfare. Slavery. Rape. Mass slaughter of innocents
by nuclear weapons should be one of those things.

It is truly sad that CNN considers this “tying our hands.”

Our nuclear arsenal is intended to deter a nuclear attack, not to initiate a nuclear war.
I stand with @ewarren in supporting #NoFirstUse.

What was @ewarren talking about last night? Learn more about @nofirstuse

Americans don’t want to start a nuclear war. The leading Democratic candidates
understand this, as does @RepAdamSmith, chair of @HASCDemocrats.
They’re with the majority of citizens who say we should never be first to explode
a nuclear bomb. Our policies should ensure no one does

My No First Use bill would make clear that no American President, and certainly not
Donald Trump, should have the power to launch a first use nuclear first strike
absent such an attack without explicit Congressional approval.

“If the United States crossed the nuclear threshold and started a nuclear war,
that would open up our country to a retaliatory attack. That fact that one person
can decide to use these weapons makes it even more dangerous, ”
says @StephenUCS.

Outstanding analysis from Bruce Blair and @JBWolfsthal on why the United States
should never, under any circumstances, start a nuclear war.

The #DemDebate this week brought up a much-needed old policy: #NoFirstUse.
Most people in the U.S. think we already have this commonsense protection
against the horrors of nuclear war. It’s high time to actually make it law.
@Alperstein_O via @OTWords

Kinston Reif responds to Liz Cheney…
No first use wouldn’t undermine deterrence of *nuclear* attack against us or our allies.
It would strengthen it. And using our nuclear weapons in the event we are under nuclear
attack or have (extremely) strong intelligence a nuclear attack is imminent
wouldn’t be “first use.”

Precedent matters…
Amy Klobuchar… Feb 10th
Any Klobuchar is superb on taking on the NRA: smart, passionate, determined.

Referencing the El Paso shooting…
Any Klobuchar: “The individuals who do the shootings are responsible but I do think Trump’s rhetoric has fueled more hate in this country.”
Bernie Sanders… Feb 19th
I’m not only going to be Commander in Chief. I am going to be Organizer in Chief.
(i.e. rally people’s support for change)

Sanders: As a child, rent control kept a roof over my head

The political revolution continues in Nevada! Join us for a town hall in Las Vegas on the economic crises facing Nevadans. (video)

There are more payday lenders in Nevada than McDonald’s & Starbucks combined
& the average interest rate they charge is 652%. When Bernie is president, we will
put greedy payday lenders out of business & provide affordable banking options
to everyone at their local post offices.

.@BernieSanders plan to cancel all $1.6 trillion in student debt would reduce the racial wealth gap from 12:1 to 5:1 among Americans between the ages of 25 and 40. Black students graduate with $7,400 more in student loan debt than white students.


.@taragolshan is right: @BernieSanders’ trip to Canada wasn’t just about Medicare for All or even prescription drug prices. It was about showing just how fundamentally broken and morally corrupt our health care system is.

@jaketapper: You appeared to compare pharma executives,
who are artificially jacking up prices, to murderers
@BernieSanders: Jake, if I have a [low-cost] product… and I jack up that price, and you can’t afford it, and you die, what do you call me? (video)

Bernie advisor versus Buttigieg advisor on the role of money in politics

“Health care is a human right, not a privilege. I believe that, I will fight for that.”
– @BernieSanders in the #DemocraticDebate

After John Delaney attacked #MedicareForAll, Jake Tapper asked @BernieSanders:
“What do you say to Congressman Delaney?”
Sanders replied, “You’re wrong.”

Politifact: John Delaney’s debate claim that ‘Medicare for All’ will shutter hospitals
is unsubstantiated

Video: Listen to @DrDooleyMD.
Patients don’t “love” their costly health insurance plans. They need Medicare for All now.

Video: On Day 1 of my administration
we will allow Americans to purchase low-cost prescription drugs from Canada.

It makes no sense for young people to be denied jobs because they were arrested for smoking marijuana. It is time to decriminalize marijuana, expunge past marijuana convictions and end the failed war on drugs.

Bernie Sanders would ‘Absolutely’ cut Military Aid to Israel to get Two-State Solution

The Pentagon is set to grow by $90 billion and reach $738 billion next year. For $90 billion, we could double nutrition assistance or provide $7,000 to every child in poverty.
We cannot keep handing over billions to the military-industrial complex.

“We have got to take on Trump’s racism, his sexism and xenophobia…” – @BernieSanders

Video: “First, we are focused on winning the nomination. Second of all, if he is not the nominee, he’s going to do everything he can to support whomever the nominee is.”
Bernie Sanders campaign manager @fshakir shuts down the possibility of a third party run.

Ahead of @SenSanders’ appearance on tonight’s #DemocraticDebate, here’s part of his no holds barred critique of Trump while chatting w/ @JohnFugelsang on @SIRIUSXM (audio)
Jay Inslee… March 1st
Video: Whether we shrink from the challenge of the climate crisis, or rise to it,
is the vital question of our time. I believe we can rise to it. We must rise to it
for the sake of our children’s future. #DemDebate #JayDebates

We cannot “work it out” when it comes to fossil fuels, @JoeBiden. Time is up.
Our house is on fire. We have to stop using coal in 10 years and we need a
president to do it or it won’t get done. #DemDebate #JayDebates

Wish @JayInslee would focus on his own (superb) climate plan
instead of slagging rivals for lack of urgency.
1) it’s untrue (@BernieSanders, (for example), was a movement ally from the jump)
2) takes eyes off the prize.
Study @SenWarren for her gracious toughness

I appreciate Jay Inslee because he is really like nah y’all don’t get it the earth is melting.


I usually don’t believe candidate’s “Why I’m Running” stories, but I actually believe @JayInslee wants to show his kids video of this opening statement 10 years from now and say “I tried!”

…Thank you @JayInslee & WA voters for putting into place in our state real de-escalation plans & requiring proof for use of deadly force.
Beto O’Rourke… March 14th
Thank you @BetoORourke for opening with an objection to “endless war.”

Memo to @BetoORourke: It’s starting to get real in Texas. Republican House members are quitting because the wheels are coming off this Trump truck. You might want to reevaluate your career choices and consider the many opportunities that are available in the legislative branch.
John Hickenlooper… March 14th
“There’s only one problem for Hickenlooper as he travels the country promoting Colorado’s methane rules as a bold climate solution: Among climate scientists, activists and policy experts, the regulations have become something of a punchline.”

Biggest donor to pro-Hickenlooper super PAC is Christy Walton
(of the Wal-Mart Walton family) who gave $200,000

Context: As that Walton money has flowed to the super PAC, @Hickenlooper has
spent his entire campaign incessantly insulting @BernieSanders, who has been
leading the fight to force Walmart to raise its workers’ wages

…There are a lot of reasons why a trade war with China might not be the best idea, but the fact that they own a lot of our debt is irrelevant. What is China going to do, sell it and see their currency rise?

2011 Baker: US debt and China: a tale of two deficits

The reason that we are borrowing from abroad every year is that the United States has a trade deficit of the order of $550bn a year, or just under 4% of GDP. This trade deficit is financed by foreign borrowings. The logic is simple. If the United States buys more than it sells, then it must borrow the difference.

Note that this has nothing to do with the budget deficit. If the United States buys $500bn more from other countries than it sells to other countries, then it must borrow $500bn a year from them, regardless of whether the United States is running a budget surplus or a budget deficit. Foreign borrowing is determined by the trade deficit, end of story.

John @Hickenlooper taking credit for expanding health care in Colorado – thru the federal Medicaid program that he had almost nothing to do with – while claiming we must not expand government …

Responding to HIckenlooper…
“Student loan debt in Colorado increased 176 percent in the decade stretching from 2007 to 2017…more than one out of every four middle-aged Coloradans owe student debt. Nearly half of all young adults in Colorado owe money on a student loan.”

Click text graphics…
Tim Ryan… April 4th
“I do know. I wrote the damn bill.”
– @BernieSanders pushing back against Tim Ryan’s suggestion
that he does not know that #MedicareForAll will be better than the existing system


Tim Ryan, who believes Medicare for All will ruin the Democrats,
is co-sponsoring a Medicare for All bill

This is my Dad, Gus. He “showered” everyday after *tw0* Union jobs in Ohio. He died from colon cancer at 42. The medical bills left us homeless.
@TimRyan don’t use our lives to defend your conservatism & lack of courage.

Tim Ryan told Bernie Sanders that Medicare-for-all would be bad for unions.
Major union leaders disagree.


Responding to Tim Ryan…
Pete Buttigieg… April 14th
This thread needs to be repeated. Sadly I don’t live in South Bend any more or I’d be happy to deliver it in person @PeteButtigieg

See picture of Buttigieg walking with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg…
“With growing support among Big Tech workers…Buttigieg has solidified his place as a frontrunner in the Democratic money race,” writes @RevolvingDoorDC. Is the tech industry betting on a Buttigieg presidency to save them from accountability?

Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook
Blanket Washington With Campaign Contributions, Lobbyists

The two veterans on the #DemDebate stage this week – Buttigieg and Gabbard – promised to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan within their first year
Joe Biden… April 25th
See text graphic…
An answer on Biden’s confusing statement on fossil fuels last night.
No, he wouldn’t phase out coal and gas under his administration. #climate

May: Biden’s Climate Adviser Earned $1 Million From Natural Gas Company

Biden’s hand-picked climate advisor came from a four-year stint
on the board of a natural gas company from which she earned $1 million…

This is enormously important and implicates how Biden would run the executive branch.
Regardless of who controls the Senate, the greatest influence of a president is the
personnel they choose and how they run the executive branch.

Steve Ricchetti, Top Biden Campaign Aide, Was a Health-Care Lobbyist
The vice president’s former chief of staff once represented hospitals and drug
companies. Now he is part of a campaign that is attacking Medicare for All.

Note: I greatly reduced my expectations for an Obama presidency once I heard he wanted charter-loving Arne Duncan to be Sec of Education (before he was sworn into office).

Ask candidates who they think they’d nominate to run our government. I’d love to see a debate on who’d be the best nominees. Especially for Treasury Secretary.

In 1981, Joe Biden Took A Lonely Stand Against Expanding A Child Care Tax Credit
Biden said the government should not make it easier
for well-off parents to both work outside the house.


***How a Medicare Buy-In or Public Option Could Threaten Obamacare
Some Democrats are proposing a government alternative to private insurance. But allowing people to choose such a plan may destabilize the A.C.A., some experts say.

Joe Biden is delivering a few too many “Republican Talking Points” in this health care debate.

.@joebiden , 63% of Americans can’t afford to cover a $500 emergency – yet your plan allows up to $1,000 copay limits?


The ’94 crime bill was poorly constructed. It led to increased incarceration rates. In order to pass it and get Democratic votes, the bill included a ban on assault weapons and the Violence Against Women Act.
Joe Biden wrote that da-n bill!

Colombians and Hondurans tell Max Blumenthal about the damage (Biden) has done to their societies.

.@joebiden grossly misrepresented his history with Bush’s invasion of Iraq.
“I, for one, thought we should have gone in Iraq,” he told CNN in June 2003. “I do think it was a just war,” Biden told Fox News.

Very dishonest by Joe Biden to claim he was opposing the Iraq war as soon as it began.
In late July 2003, he was saying there are “a lot of successes” and using the Bush line
that we needed to “win the peace”

April Context: Joe Biden’s 2020 Ukrainian nightmare: A closed probe is revived
“…The prosecutor he got fired was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings that employed Biden’s younger son, Hunter, as a board member.”

Context: As vice president, Biden said Ukraine should increase gas production.
Then his son got a job with a Ukrainian gas company.

Biden Inc.
Over his decades in office, ‘Middle-Class Joe’s’ family fortunes
have closely tracked his political career.


Note: If Politico could find this story, so could Trump. Better to expose the story to scrutiny now than just before the election.
Michael Bennet… May 2nd
.@michaelbennet, the Republican talking point that people love their private insurance simply isn’t true – 79% of Democrats and 56% of Independents want to keep their doctors, *not* their for-profit plan


Quick #DemDebate reminder:
@MichaelBennet helped kill the public option
#WeHaveTheReceipts out here in Colorado.
Steve Bullock… May 14th
Montana Governor Steve Bullock opens the #DemocraticDebate out by dismissing “wish-list economics” and saying Americans don’t have time for a political revolution.
The era of big ideas is over.


I personally find it really sad that @GovernorBullock worked with us on the campaign to elect Dem Gov. Brian Schweitzer, an outspoken supporter of Canadian-style Medicare for All…and now Bullock is on a stage trying to make his name berating Medicare for All.
Bill de Blasio… May 16th…
Thank you, @BilldeBlasio. Enough fear-mongering. We need #MedicareForAll so that *every* American can have quality, affordable care.
John Delaney… July, 2017
Former Congressman John Delaney
opens by explaining that he is running against McGovern, Mondale and Dukakis.

John Delaney’s debate claim that ‘Medicare for All’ will shutter hospitals is unsubstantiated

Sanders responds to Delaney…


Delaney commiserates with Republican Fox & Friends hosts
Ana debunks Kilmead’s mischaracterization…

Question: Did Delaney complain when the rules were rigged for the rich (which is why we have gross inequality)?

Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy
Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer

I love that the first thing Delaney can think of to describe the horror of socialist America
is “free vacations.” Now that you mention it, America is the only industrialized country
in the world that doesn’t guarantee paid vacation leave for workers.

Andrew Yang… Nov, 2017
Andrew Yang Is (still) Wrong


.@Andrewyang, thank you for making the business case for #MedicareForAll.  Our global competitiveness improves when businesses are no longer burdened with providing for-profit insurance to employees.
Bill Weld… April 16th…
President Ronald Reagan called protectionism a “cheap form of nationalism” and described those who would declare trade wars as “demagogues”. Reagan was right, other than the fact that @realDonaldTrump’s tariffs are not “cheap” for millions of American consumers who pay for them.

Donald Trump…
The numbers have been crunched and the results peer-reviewed: the Trump administration’s “Affordable Clean Energy Rule”, intended to replace the Clean Power Plan, will actually INCREASE US carbon emissions by extending the lifetime of coal plants

Different report…
Donald Trump’s Entire Story About the Economy Fell Apart (last) Week

[L]ast week I wrote about how Trump’s vision of urban social collapse is decades out of date

Today’s WaPo covers much the same ground, in more detail

NLRB: National Labor Relations Board…
2017 Context: (Republican-controlled) Senate confirms second Trump nominee to labor board

Nov Context…
Workers Battle Trump Appointees on the National Labor Relations Board
Rather than encouraging collective bargaining and protecting workers’ freedom
of association, the new leadership is making radical changes to Board policies,
paving the way for corporate interests to dismantle unions.

“Numerous studies have found that an important cause of America’s soaring income
inequality is the decline of labor unions – and the concomitant decline in workers’ ability
to extract more of the profit and prosperity from the corporations they work for.”

The Trump admin determined that more than 500,000 children would no longer be automatically eligible for free school meals under a proposed overhaul to the food stamp program, but left that figure out of its formal proposal, according to House Democrats.

USDA wants to remove 3.1 million people from SNAP

Trump Administration Sidesteps Congress to Cut SNAP. Again.

Trump Administration’s Attacks on SNAP Hurt Farmers and Rural Areas

Trump administration unveils plan to allow drug importation from Canada

But NAFTA 2.0 would increase Canada’s drug prices…


Canadian Imports Are Not an Adequate Solution to High U.S. Medicine Prices

More than half of Trump’s trade relief allocated to biggest, richest farms

Responding to Trump…
If China’s GDP growth rate of 6.2 percent means it is “doing very badly,”
what does growth of 2.1 percent in the United State mean?

Trump imposes $30 billion tax increase ($360 billion over a decade) on the poor and middle class. Partly offsets his $1.5 trillion tax cut to corporations and the rich


Fact check: Trump says China is paying for his tariffs. He’s wrong.

Former top Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn says Trump’s trade war is hurting the
U.S. economy. Cohn says the tariff battle has had a “dramatic impact” on U.S.
manufacturing and capital investment.

Sprint & T-Mobile…
Trump is approving an anti-competitive merger that will cost you money
But he seems to have made money off the deal personally.

How Trump’s Political Appointees Overruled Tougher Settlements With Big Banks


Something Trump refuses to do…
California’s governor signs law requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns if they want to appear on the state’s primary ballot.

Trump caught in an ICE-related deception…

EEOC has won settlements in at least a dozen cases in the past decade after employees told co-workers to go back to where they came from.

According to the pool report, Trump has started his day at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ. This is Trump’s 215th day at a Trump golf club and 283rd day at a Trump property as president.

Today, US and Russia have let  #INFTreaty, the first to ban a whole category of nuclear weapons, collapse. We condemn this irresponsible and dangerous decision and urge all states to help end all nuclear weapons by joining the #NuclearBan Treaty. Full reaction: – ICAN

European leaders denounce the US withdrawal. “With the end of the INF treaty, a bit of security in Europe is being lost,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said this week. The treaty was a cornerstone of European security. – Joe Ciricnione

We are alarmed over the termination of the #INFTreaty. Here’s how we believe #nuclear powers can take steps to minimise the #NuclearThreat: (video) – The Elders

Yesterday I told @HallieJackson @msnbc that the real reason Trump and Bolton killed the INF treaty was to deploy new missiles in Asia. Right on cue, the administration announces plans to do so as soon as possible. – Joe Cirincione

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