Towards an issues-based 2020 election (43)

===2020 Big Picture===
Warren and Sanders race to out-left each other – and (“centrists”) are terrified

“This is exactly the primary we should be having,” said Alex Lawson, executive director of the advocacy group Social Security Works. “When candidates compete to release the boldest policies, everyone wins – except the billionaires.”

Note: This process is about finding the best policies. Warren, for example, plans to release her health bill soon. Her ideas will stimulate other ideas and possibly new proposals. As long as we get to universal coverage by reining in costs / Big Health …that’s a good thing.

A spectacular new video from @theleap.
When people organize, elections turn from popularity contests to battles of ideas (video)

A revealing media perspective (very short video clip)


News report: …Latino presidential town hall in Iowa

Teachers for Bernie, CEOs for Buttigieg, retirees for Trump – who’s backing whom in 2020
A Guardian analysis of presidential candidate fundraising reports reveals who is winning over which popular professions

You can use our FEC Itemizer to see what campaigns and candidates are spending on the trail.
For example, @derekwillis found that the RNC spent $713,000 on Facebook in September. The DNC spent $61,000.

Oct 28: A Presidential Town Hall on Mass Incarceration

A group of formerly incarcerated men and women will moderate a presidential town hall for the first time ever next week, questioning candidates about their positions on the U.S. justice system before an audience made up exclusively of people with firsthand experience of the country’s prisons and jails.

  Eastern State Penitentiary Welcomes Presidential Hopefuls
For Town Hall-Style Event On Criminal Justice Reform

See referenced comment…
In an important statement regarding the 2020 Democratic race, @BernieSanders joins @BetoORourke @PeteButtigieg and @AndrewYang in rejecting @HillaryClinton’s attack on @TulsiGabbard. The question now is whether other top contenders will distance themselves from Clinton’s remarks.

Van Jones: “I’m telling you, Hillary Clinton is playing a very dangerous game… If you’ve
got real evidence, come forward with it. But if you’re just going to smear people casually
on podcasts, you are playing right into the Russians’ hands”

Note: The following article cites stories that allegedly document her connections with Hindu nationalist groups. Investigate please…

Russia Accusations a Distraction From Gabbard’s Actual Troubling Ties

Sept: Donald Trump Is Holding a Rally With… Narendra Modi?
With this weekend’s stadium event in Houston, America First will meet India First.

===2020 Issues===
See chart…
Our climate future is in our own hands – if we cut carbon emissions globally from next year, hit zero by 2050 and then create negative emissions for the rest of the century we could keep global temperatures to 1.5 degC. At the moment we are still on course for over 3.5 degC

See chart…
One of the only ways to stop climate change is to defund climate change. This new report is a *big deal* — it shows that we may be at the tipping point in which investment managers are required by fiduciary law to divest from oil/gas because it is too risky

$300 billion. That’s the amount of money needed to stop the rise in greenhouse gases and buy up to 20 years of time to fix global warming, according to UN climate scientists

This is less than half of one year of the U.S. military’s budget

Few cities considering long-term risks of climate change, report says

Ten years late, Florida’s GOP lawmakers address climate change. What now?
“We lost a decade,” said Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa.

What climate change will do to three major American cities by 2100

PG&E used to be Silicon Valley’s electricity provider. No more.

In just three years, community-owned electricity generating companies have almost pushed the utility giant out of the market, although the investor-owned utility still delivers most power through its grid.

…this plan to quickly convert America to electric cars is quite bold considering it comes from the heart of the Dem establishment. (And yes, it better be coupled with a real transit plan)


New report…
America Misled: How the fossil fuel industry deliberately misled Americans about climate change


See map…Air pollution is getting worse, and data show more people are dying
Eroding air quality was linked to 10,000 additional U.S. deaths over a two-year period

Air Pollution from Cars, Trucks, and Buses in the US:
Everyone is Exposed, But the Burdens are not Equally Shared

How Democrats Can Insulate New Laws From a Hostile Supreme Court
The conservative Roberts Court has become increasingly aggressive in attacking Democratic laws and policies. It’s time for Democrats to counterattack.

The Science of Inequality
How high economic inequality negatively impacts nearly every aspect of human well-being – as well as the health of the biosphere

Is The Unemployment Rate Broken?
Economist Jared Bernstein thinks it’s about time we admit that the unemployment rate is not as useful as it used to be. He offers three alternative indicators.

Where Are the Workers When We Talk About the Future of Work?
CEOs, Silicon Valley investors, and techno-academics talk to themselves about new technologies, but workers must have a say in these debates as well.

CBPP: Tax Fix for Restaurant, Retail Owners Shouldn’t Leave Out
Millions of Their and Other Workers

CBPP: State Higher Education Funding Cuts Have Pushed Costs to Students, Worsened Inequality

CBPP: Rising Costs Making It Hard for Students, Particularly of Color, to Afford College

Perspective | Blame the policies, not the robots
Automation isn’t the thing to fear. It’s false narratives and bad economic policy
(and no culpability for either)

So much energy is being spent on wealth taxes, which I predict will be a fiasco if implemented. Instead of focusing of taxation to change distribution, we should ponder why pre-tax income has become so skewed. IMO, two major policy imperatives are…
1) Running a hot economy. As I show, perma slack has been the policy framework over
last 30 years: Perma slack undercuts bargaining power
of lower income households
2) Address pervasive rent-seeking in healthcare, education, and housing.

Note: Baker – who supports progressive taxation – agreed with the above comment. The wealthy have accountants who are very familiar with tax loopholes. Therefore, he argues that we focus on unrigging the system that created the inequality in the first place. A possible example…

Hartmann on Kennedy’s plan to raise revenue by closing loopholes

If American working-class youth want to be doctors, they should be able to afford to be doctors. so, yes, we need immigrant doctors, but we should also make medical school a lot cheaper here

And we should lift the residency cap so we don’t keep doctor levels artificially low.

Yes, absolutely. That’s a huge problem. And we need to address dentistry. Dental
assistants should be able to do basic work — cleanings, fillings, etc. — without any
supervision by a dentist.

Dean’s point is that instead of building more medical schools, we should break the
AMA/ACGME hammerlock on the licensing pipeline by allowing foreign-trained physicians
an abbreviated path to U.S. licensure if their foreign medical residency meets acceptable
standards – See also

Canadian single payer came about because (the) social democratic party
was willing to use immigrant doctors to break a strike of Canadian doctors.

A brilliant economist diagnoses the US healthcare system

Benchmark Employer Survey Finds Average Family Premiums Now Top $20,000
Amid Affordability Challenges, Workers at Lower-Wage Employers
are Nearly Half as Likely as Other Workers to be Covered by Their Employer

New polling from Emerson today shows that voters strongly oppose employer-based
health insurance once they understand what it means.


See referenced comment…
#M4A will expand choice for everyone.

Former Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator under Obama…
Stop fearmongering about ‘Medicare for All.’ Most families would pay less for better care.
The case for Medicare for All is simple. It would cover everyone, period. Done right, it would lower costs. And it would ease paperwork and confusion.

2018: Obama calls ‘Medicare for all’ a ‘good’ idea

I’m waiting for reporters to ask @JoeBiden, @PeteButtigieg and every other 2020
Democrat campaigning against Medicare for All to now explain why they insist
President Obama’s Medicare chief is wrong to support Medicare for All.

By two economists…
Make no mistake: Medicare for All would cut taxes for most Americans

…Bernie Sanders’s tax proposals would be enough to replace all existing private insurance premiums, while leaving 2.6% of national income to cover the uninsured and spend on other programs. Under such a plan, the 9 bottom deciles of the income distribution would gain income on average, as would the bottom of the top 10%. With smart new taxes-such as broad income taxes exempting low wages and retirees-it is possible to make the vast majority of the population win from a transition to universal health insurance.

  Why do @JoeBiden and @PeteButtigieg oppose a plan that tax data prove
“would lead to a large tax cut for the vast majority of workers”?

Medicare for All is a middle-class tax cut. …

The Medicare for All Cost Debate is Extremely Dishonest
Biden and Buttigieg get to avoid the cost debate, though their own proposals, if successful, will almost surely cost as much as Sanders’s.

Over the weekend in Indianola, Iowa, Elizabeth Warren announced that she would soon roll out specific details for financing Medicare for All, the culmination of a week of “but how will you pay for that” demands from the media and rival presidential candidates. That a nation with millions of uninsured people and tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths from lack of access to health care is consumed with talking about taxes, rather than the revolution in human rights that would come from universal coverage, tells you a lot about life in the United States, and why we still suffer from a broken system.


This is a provocative piece at @theprospect by @JonWalkerDC suggesting you could pay for Medicare for All entirely by bringing down healthcare spending to international norms

This is exactly right. Insurers are far from the only problem in our health care system.


Update on Pelosi’s bill…
Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal (D-MA1) Sides With Pharma and GOP
Against Amendments to Strengthen Drug-Pricing Bill

Americans Want a Progressive Overhaul of American Foreign Policy

Ending Endless War: Andrew Bacevich on How
Reckless Use of U.S. Military Power Caused Today’s Crisis

Hundreds of American soldiers are remaining in Syria, not to ensure safety of any group
of people, but to occupy the country’s oil reserves and block the Syrian government
from revenue needed for reconstruction, reports Ben Norton.

New War for Oil? Trump to Occupy Oil-Rich Syrian Province with Tank Corps,
Asks for Kurdish Displacement There

===2020 Watch List===
Heer responds to Summers’ argument against a wealth tax (thread)

Sirota responds to a related Summers’ comment (see headline)

Gunnels responds to another related Summers’ comment


Bruenig responds to final related Summers’ comment

See referenced headline…
How many times do they have to run this story? We get it. (They) think paying nominally higher taxes and having less freedom to rip people off is like the Holocaust.

…They don’t want the “freedom” to rip people off,
they want the government’s help in ripping people off. …


Amazon Muscles in on Seattle Election
The hometown tech giant has contributed more than
$1.4 million this year to influence City Council races


In a city struggling with homelessness, Amazon is dropping an outrageous amount of
money to defeat progressive candidates fighting for working people. The way Amazon
conducts itself in its hometown is a perfect example of the out-of-control corporate
greed we are going to end.

The Problem of Political Advertising on Social Media

Conservative political fundraiser pleads guilty to felony
Scott Mackenzie – treasurer for dozens of candidates and PACs – faces up to five years in prison

See chart. Compare contributions vs expenditures…
Here’s a chart from 2014 of the spending habits of PACs that had Mackenzie as treasurer:

Note: List includes the following committees ranked by contributions: Conservative Majority Fund, The Conservative StrikeForce, Freedom’s Defense Fund, Black Republican, Veterans Victory Fund, Afghanistan & Iraq Veterans for Congress, Warriors for Liberty and Tea Party Victory Fund

I’ve written about other Mackenzie PACs, including the Virgin Islands GOP,
which is a state party committee.

Context: Schiff Wrong on Whistleblower Contact

Context: Schiff cleans up after saying committee had no contact with whistleblower

Note: There’s no evidence of the committee or Schiff “orchestrating the complaint” in either of these reports. Yet Republicans claimed that’s what happened.

House Republicans tried to censure Schiff anyway…

And Bacon, ‘ and Smith went along with it…

Working the refs (i.e. voters)…
Context Article II, Section 4

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors

  Context: His sef-dealing will be his undoing.

Context: …A lynching is an act of racial violence that must be understood as such.
Lynching in America: Bryan Stevenson

President Trump, Sen Judiciary Chair Graham (R-SC), former House Speaker Gingrich
apparently aren’t familiar with the Constitution’s impeachment clause

Neither do their allies: MSNBC’s Hugh Hewitt, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, Jesse Watters

Working the refs (i.e. voters) II…
House Republicans storm closed impeachment hearing in protest

The group alleges that they are being shut out of the impeachment process, but there are Republicans on the three panels conducting the investigation – the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees – that are present and able to ask questions at every hearing.

  13 Republicans involved in impeachment protest already have access to hearings
Buck (R-CO4), Gosar (R-AZ4), Green (R-TN7), Hice (R-GA10), Jordan (R-OH4),
Keller (R-PA12), Miller (R-WV3), Norman (R-SC5), Meadows (R-NC11), Perry (R-PA10),
Watkins (R-KS2), Wright (R-TX6), Zeldin (R-NY1)…

Phase one: try to discourage any investigation
Phase two: try to stonewall, telling officials not to testify
Phase three: physically disrupt the hearings
Phase four: ??? I hope Schiff, Pelosi et al are thinking about precautions.
Anything is possible

.@RepAlexMooney, seen below apparently videotaping as he barges into a SCIF,
last year co-sponsored H.Res.907, calling for the appointment of a Special Counsel
to investigate why Sec. Clinton escaped criminal charges in connection with her
handling of classified information.


Detailed thread

One of her comments…
But in “storming the SCIF” without observing the security protocols, Rep. Gaetz et al,
endangered our national security & demonstrated they care more about a political
stunt than protecting intelligence information.
I cannot emphasize enough how serious this is.

What she said.
This is a copy of the staged “Brooks Brothers Riot” outside the Miami-Dade County
election board in 2000 – except more dangerous.


Does House minority whip Scalise (R-LA1) get what they did? Or doesn’t he care?

Ar least some of Republican SCIF crashers met with Trump yesterday, where they
outlined a plan to crash the hearing, according to several people familiar with the matter.
Trump supported the action, saying he wanted the transcripts released.

Oct 1: Trump Threatens Whistleblower as Democrats Move to Impeach

Whistleblower protection, explained

Trey Gowdy in 2015: “Of the 50-some odd interviews we have done thus far, the vast majority
of them have been private. And you don’t see the bickering among the members of Congress
in private interviews … Private ones always produce better results.”

…Matt Gaetz (R-FL1) voted *for* a 2017 rule prohibiting the kind of protest he staged yesterday.

Working the refs (i.e. voters) III…
Trump Pressed Ukraine’s President to Act Out a Fake News Script, Live on CNN

Various other examples. of working the refs (i.e. voters)…
Kessler counters a Hewitt comment…

Baker counters a Jordan (R-OH4) comment…

Compare / Contrast…

Nichols counters Mooney (R-WV2)

Ocasio-Cortex counters Mooney (R-WV2)

Lieu counters Cornyn (R-TX) …

Rev Dr Wm J Barber II counters Sen Tim Scott (R-SC)

===2020 Watch List-Bias===
CBO Health Panel Packed With Experts Tied to Anti-Medicare For All Groups
The 19-member panel that advises the Congressional Budget Office on health policy is flush with health insurance, pharmaceutical, and hospital interests.

See referenced story…
The WashPost published this screed from @RahmEmanuel without disclosing to readers that Emanuel works at Wall St firm that “has worked with large pharmaceutical companies and frequently advises health care companies on mergers and acquisitions.” Receipts:

Today in a column Rahm Emanuel, now working for a private equity firm, says he is “mys-
tified” why there is an emphasis in the Dem primary on ensuring everyone has health care.
About 30 million Americans have no insurance – among the highest rate in the developed world

Private equity’s prescription for children’s health has left a trail of death

Nichols counters Barbaro…
The zeal of Sanders supporters was transferred when those supporters – @AOCand dozens of others – started running for and winning important positions as Democrats. So the question is not whether the zeal can be transferred. The question is whether establishment Ds will accept it.


Context: Quinnipiac Poll:
83% of Ds don’t agree D Party has moved too far left
52% of independents don’t agree D Party has moved too far left
63% of women don’t agree D Party has moved too far left
83% of African Americans don’t  agree D Party has moved too far left
They’re right.

…Versus The Hill’s headline …

See picture…
… it’s noteworthy that a @nytimes columnist is objecting to a candidate having too many plans.
I can only imagine Stephens on FDR’s New Deal.

See referenced text graphic…
Bernie Sanders holds the largest rally of the 2020 race & gets huge endorsements – and yet less than 24 hours later, NBC nonetheless publishes this pre-cooked story, stubbornly refusing to allow the day’s huge events to get in the way of manufacturing its preferred narrative

Bernie’s “struggles”:
– Most individual donors
– Biggest bank account
– Largest rallies
– Most revered endorsements
– Best ground game
– Only one who beats Trump in Iowa
– Most trustworthy
If only we all could have similar “struggles”


===2020 Presidential Candidates===
Tulsi Gabbard… Jan 11th
Mahalo, Hawai’i (video)


US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard will not seek re-election in 2020. Definitely big news on Hawaiian
political scene. And it opens up a host of questions for 2020 presidential contest:
Does she remain in a D race where her poll numbers are in the low single digits?
For how long? Then what?
Kamala Harris… Jan 21st
Once I heard Trump got an award at the Second Step Presidential Justice Forum and stopped HBCU students from attending, I decided to do my own criminal justice reform event tomorrow instead. He’s celebrated mass incarceration and pushed the death penalty for innocent Black children.
I won’t be complicit in papering over his record.

Kamala Harris’s boycott of a criminal justice reform event … resulted in the sponsor
being removed on Saturday and Harris resuming her participation in the event.

Mnuchin is now the Secretary of the US Treasury…
Jan Context: Treasury Nominee Steve Mnuchin’s Bank Accused of “Widespread Misconduct” in Leaked Memo

Jan Context: Kamala Harris Fails to Explain
Why She Didn’t Prosecute Steven Mnuchin’s Bank

Today in the @washingtonpost  “Aaron Glantz’s book, ‘Homewreckers’ argues that
Kamala Harris “not only allowed Steve Mnuchin’s OneWest bank to get away with
foreclosing on tens of thousands of state homeowners, but then tried to bury the


The Harris campaign’s latest excuse… that they were pre-empted from issuing
subpoenas on a federal bank, is particularly ridiculous because the investigators
knew this and found plenty of evidence anyway.

See text graphic…
p.4 “*Despite the limitations on the investigation*” we found plenty of material

The land records they were able to find were publicly recorded. All of these recording
offices were open crime scenes. Harris didn’t want to bother with it.
The subpoena excuse is weak.

These 2020 Candidates Are the Darlings of Wall Street. The Numbers Are Proof.
Cory Booker… Feb 1st
These 2020 Candidates Are the Darlings of Wall Street. The Numbers Are Proof.
Elizabeth Warren… Feb 9th
I attended and taught at America’s public schools, and I believe in them. That’s why I’ve got a plan to invest in public schools and ensure every kid in America has the same access to a high-quality public education.


“@ewarren’s plan for our nation’s public schools would be a game changer
for our public schools and the 90% of America’s students who attend them.”
– @rweingarten #AFTvotes

Note: Comparable statements have been made about Sanders’ plan. Time to sort out the strengths and weaknesses of each plan. Right on cue…

Warren Wants to End Vouchers and Tax Credits for Private Schools and Rein in Charters
Bernie Sanders sent shockwaves in May when he endorsed the NAACP’s call for
banning for-profit charters. Warren matched and raised.

Oct 20: Elizabeth Warren Says She Will Release a Plan to Finance ‘Medicare for All’

“I plan over the next few weeks to put out a plan that talks about, specifically, the cost of Medicare for all and, specifically, how we pay for it,” Warren said at a campaign rally in Indianola, Iowa, according to The New York Times.

“This is something I’ve been working on for months and months, and it’s got just a little more work until it’s finished,” she added.

Elizabeth Warren becomes the third Democratic candidate
to broach the subject of conditioning aid to Israel

Last month, the progressive think tank Data for Progress released report showing that a net majority of Democratic voters are receptive to the idea of cutting aid to Israel in order to curb their human rights violations.

…When the report was published, only two presidential candidates had floated such an idea: South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who said he’d block any funding that might be used to annex the West Bank, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who has floated the idea of conditioning aid to impact Israel’s policies multiple times.

We can now add a third name to that list: Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Amy Klobuchar… Feb 10th
Context: Dean Baker’s Testimony to the House Rules Committee on the Medicare for All Act of 2019


Amy Kobuchar’s big lie…
Contrary to the above document (and Warren’s promised plan)
Klobuchar suggests supporters think M4A should be free. They clearly don’t.

This is shameful, @amyklobuchar.
Sanders and Warren have said repeatedly #Medicare4All would lower cost for everyone.
That is what matters. Iowans won’t fall for your regurgitation of health insurance industry
talking points. …

In Iowa, Amy Klobuchar Gets a Second Look After Debate

Note: Reportedly Klobuchar played the Trump card on Warren with respect to how she was going to pay for her M4A plan. I didn’t get that from the quote, but I don’t have the context, either. Assuming she did…

According to her site – – Klobuchar “supports universal health care” but backs a “public option.” I don’t see any financial info on that plan.

Since a public option wouldn’t rein in Big Health her plan very likely won’t eliminate needless suffering and death (i.e. no universal health care). So if she played the Trump card on Warren because she hasn’t released her plan yet, she needs to play it on herself and all those who support a public option because their plans likely won’t attain universal coverage and because they haven’t reported their financial statements, either.

Further… According to the article – she’s arguing that we must not pursue a plan that could lead to universal health care (like M4A) because the next president will need Republican votes. Apparently she thinks Republican voters don’t care whether people needlessly suffer and die. But the majority of voters do care and telling them that they can’t have universal care could suppress voter turnout (i.e. a pox on both parties response) …or get a whole lot of politicians kicked out of Congress.

Bernie Sanders… Feb 19th
See text graphic…
.@BernieSanders: “We are finally going to end the fossil fuel industry’s legal immunity…When I am president, I will appoint an Attorney General who will finally hold the executives and the fossil fuel industry accountable for their criminal behavior.”


Bernie Sanders Pledges to End Practice of Prosecuting Whistleblowers Under the Espionage Act

Bernie Sanders, if he were elected president, would revive the criminal provisions of the Sherman Antitrust Act to prosecute CEOs who have illegally monopolized a market, he told The Intercept in an interview.

End Corporate Greed: Town Hall with Sanders (he starts @ ~14 mins)

Bernie Sanders today said that as president, he will end this grotesque tax scheme that Trump is using to enrich his billionaire donors – Details:

Here’s our new ad in Iowa.
We are going to eliminate all medical debt and guarantee health care for all. (video)

Bernie vs Trump On Criminal Justice

Click on text graphic to see Sanders’ successful House amendments

…4 years ago, when Bernie said we needed to legalize marijuana it was considered
a radical idea. Today, 11 states & DC have legalized cannabis. 66% of Americans
support making it legal & that’s exactly what Bernie will do.

Bernie Sanders has released his plan to legalize marijuana via executive action …

Note: The strongest opposing argument that I’ve heard is rooted in concerns fostered by opioid addiction. Any attempt to legalize pot must be accompanied by policy addressing that crisis.

Threads on then Burlington Mayor Bernie Sanders

Related thread:

Full Interview: Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Talk Politics and 2020 With The Intercept’s Ryan Grim

Beto O’Rourke… March 14th
Beto O’Rourke has called for a constitutional amendment prohibiting a president from pardoning anyone tied to an investigation involving the president or his family members, a direct rebuke of Trump.

Question: Why not a law?
Tim Ryan… April 4th
Tim Ryan drops out of presidential race

I give @TimRyan credit for running a campaign focused on deindustrialization,
failed trade policies & future of manufacturing. I valued message that: “We need a
president who doesn’t just visit our forgotten cities for rallies, but one who lives in them.”
Pete Buttigieg… April 14th
See text graphic…
Pete Buttigieg says he wants more Supreme Court justices who are like Justice Kennedy.
The same Justice Kennedy who voted to uphold Trump’s Muslim ban, voted for the Janus decision gutting labor unions, and voted to uphold voter suppression in Husted

Kennedy wrote the Citizens United decision:


Interesting, I’d like more justices like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor.

Buttigieg’s new ad attacks Bernie for “infringing on people’s freedom” to be fleeced and bankrupted by the insurance and drug industries, whose donors are pumping money into Buttigieg’s campaign.


Missed this…
We’ve reached a breaking point: Medications in the U.S. are more expensive than anywhere else in the world. That’s why today I’m announcing Affordable Medicine for All, a plan to reduce Rx drug costs, take on drug companies, and encourage innovation: (video)

Mark Zuckerberg has been quietly advising Pete Buttigieg on who to hire – and some of those recommendations are now part of the Democrat’s campaign staff.

Since Mark Zuckerberg has candidate Buttigieg’s ear for campaign hires, it is reasonable
to ask: will he have a President Buttigieg’s ear for executive branch appointments?

Silicon Valley CEOs Appear to Have Chosen Their 2020 Candidate

Joe Biden… April 25th
In a shift, Biden campaign signals openness to a super PAC

Joe Biden’s Super PAC Is Being Organized by Corporate Lobbyists
for Health Care Industry, Weapons Makers, Finance

…Bernard Schwartz, a wealthy financier who has organized dinners with prominent centrist Democrats in order to prevent Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., from gaining the Democratic nomination, is reportedly in talks to fund the new Super PAC. Schwartz is known for deep-pocketed donations. In 2016 alone, Schwartz, through his foundation, gave $1 million to Third Way, a centrist group backed by corporate donors that has vigorously opposed Medicare for All and other ideas centered on tackling economic inequality.

The money churn is far more acute with Biden, who relies on a relatively small pool of elite donors who have already “maxed out” with $2,700 donations. Warren and Sanders have a larger base of fundraising supporters giving small amounts, which they may continue to tap.

  …Defending the decision to support a super PAC that can rake in
unlimited corporate & billionaire cash, @JoeBiden ‘s big donor tells Politico:
“$5 contributors shouldn’t determine the whole election.”

…@JoeBiden comments on super PACs from 2018
“I’m the guy that told [Bernie Sanders], you shouldn’t accept any money from a
super PAC, because people can’t possibly trust you. How will a middle-class guy
accept (you) if you accept money?”

Bernie 2020 Campaign Responds to Biden Super PAC News
“Biden supporters are suddenly begging for help from super PACs, even though they are
vehicles for the kind of corporate corruption that Democrats should be fighting to stop”

Biden Destroys His Own Tax Argument Against Medicare for All

Joe Biden, Bleeding Cash, Spent Nearly $1 Million on Private Jets
Per the ex-veep’s FEC data, roughly one out of every 16 dollars raised by the campaign has been spent on such aviation.

Biden to snub California Democratic convention – again

Lev Parnas, recently indicted for foreign influence in U.S. elections, collaborated closely with The Hill’s John Solomon to fuel spurious allegations involving the Bidens and Ukraine.

CNN contributor Sean Duffy (R) comes on to push the debunked Crowdstrike conspiracy theory for the second day in a row to justify Trump’s actions
Alisyn Camerota: That’s a conspiracy theory. … Ukraine doesn’t have the server, Sean.”

Note: While stressing that I’ve seen *no* evidence of Biden obstructing Ukrainian justice, I have pointed out documentation that Joe Biden’s support of neconservative regime change (i.e the US-backed, neo-fascist facilitated Ukrainian coup that took place a few months before Hunter Biden was hired . …A coup that provides important context for Putin’s military response). Biden also supported the neoliberal austerity that followed the coup.

The US media tends not to shine a light on neoliberal repression (i.e. austerity). A couple of recent examples…

Michael Bennet… May 2nd
To understand why this Democrat continues to recite dishonest GOP talking points, you need to understand that his political career was launched by right-wing Republican oil magnate Phil Anschutz.

… Bennet could simply say “I think my plan is better.” Instead, he is actively helping
Republicans & his health industry donors make dishonest TV attack ads against
the majority of House Dems who are co-sponsoring Medicare for All.

2010: Bennet won’t ask for (public) option
Doesn’t join Dems in wanting public health-care plan

See referenced comment…
Imagine being so wealthy you literally can’t understand that Medicare for All would significantly reduce childhood poverty in America

…Michael Bennet was just on CNN with @jimsciutto and he said “Bernie plans to pay pay for M4A by taxing those who make LESS than $30k a year”.
CNN didnt challenge that statement.
The lies never stop (video)

See video…
When the original Medicare was proposed, this is what the opponents sounded like –
and thankfully they were defeated

Has anyone asked @MichaelBennet why the public option failed in 2009-10?
I’m genuinely curious, especially since Ed Markey has been fairly forthcoming
on the shortcomings of the strategy and organizing behind the Democrats’
first climate bill in President Obama’s first term.

.@ninaturner: “If nothing fundamentally changes for multi-millionaires and billionaires,
then nothing fundamentally changes for you.” (video)
Andrew Yang… Nov, 2017
Andrew Yang clarifies position on “Medicare for All.”
Yang says a health care plan that eliminates private insurance in favor of government overhaul would be “too disruptive.” … (video)

I’ll tell you what’s “too disruptive”…
– filing bankruptcy, cutting meds, & forgoing care because of costs
– watching your 22-yr-old daughter die because she couldn’t provide proof of insurance
– knowing 32k/yr also die & having to listen to ridiculousness


Donald Trump
Update / ~Correction
What a suspicious pattern of Trump trades really reveals
After 2 years, @realDonaldTrump has revived the council of scientific advisors. Now with 6 corporate executives, and one, um, working scientist

Mounting Impacts on Florida Will Make It Hard for Trump to Avoid Climate Change Talk at G7

Note: Trump walked back his proposal to hold the summit at one of his properties.

Meanwhile the Trump Admin is holding up this project….
Major U.S. Offshore Wind Projects Still Face Hurdles
Northeastern states need the power source to meet renewable energy targets

Senators Markey, Cassidy, Kennedy, and Warren, and Reps. Kennedy, Scalise,
Neal and Keating Urge Trump Administration to Move Ahead with Offshore Wind

See graph of manufacturing employment change (before the GM strike)…

Donald Trump Claims U.S. ‘Always Wins’ Trade Wars. IMF’s Chief Economist Disagrees

UnprecedentedThe Trump NLRB’s attack on workers’ rights

Nationwide, more than a million children disappeared from the rolls of the two main state-federal health programs for lower-income children, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, between December 2017 and June 2019.

CBPP: Trump Wellness Programs Would Gut Protections for People With Pre-Existing Conditions

The Trump Administration has invited states to set up so-called wellness programs, with individual-market insurers creating plans with higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs for people who don’t meet certain health targets. Such programs would gut protections for people with pre-existing health conditions.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) barred individual-market insurers from charging higher premiums to people based on their health status, but the Administration is inviting states to undo that protection. …

In a new book and an interview with ProPublica, former VA Secretary David Shulkin describes how Marvel Entertainment’s Ike Perlmutter and two associates with no government experience exerted influence over millions of veterans.

A federal judge held Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in contempt for violating an order to stop collecting loan payments from former Corinthian Colleges students.

Trump Administration Thwarts Consumer Watchdog’s Investigation
on Student Loan Forgiveness Program

Preventing agencies from issuing guidance documents…
The President’s Latest … Executive Order on Regulations Undermines Public Protection

Note: The following mostly describes actions taken between 2016 & 2018 when Republicans controlled Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court…

President Trump’s Retreat on the Environment is Affecting Communities
In just two years, Trump has unleashed a regulatory rollback
with little parallel in the past half-century

78 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump

All told, the Trump administration’s environmental rollbacks could lead to at least 80,000 extra deaths per decade and cause respiratory problems for more than one million people, according to a separate analysis conducted by researchers from Harvard. That number, however, is likely to be “a major underestimate of the global public health impact,” said Francesca Dominici, a professor of biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health.

    Columbia Law School Climate Deregulation Tracker Actions

Harvard’s Regulatory Rollback Tracker

The Republican Congress’s CRA deregulation…
GW’s Columbian College of Arts & Sciences Congressional Review Act Tracker

See map…Air pollution is getting worse, and data show more people are dying
Eroding air quality was linked to 10,000 additional U.S. deaths over a two-year period

Disbanded Particulate Pollution Panel Finds EPA Standards Don’t Protect Public Health

Trump team weakens endangered species protections for California salmon and delta smelt

In a move that would boost water deliveries to San Joaquin Valley agriculture and Southern California cities, federal fishery agencies are weakening decade-old endangered species protections for some of the state’s most imperiled native fish populations.

The rollback – coming a year after President Trump targeted the regulations in a memo – rewards Central Valley agribusiness interests that are some of the president’s strongest California supporters. To critics, it highlights the extent to which the Trump administration has injected politics into federal oversight of the nation’s leading environmental laws.

  2018: Trump wildfire tweets spark bewilderment about California water
The president has blamed ‘bad environmental laws’ for making California’s fires worse.

Thread on some of Trump’s unqualified ambassador-donors

Inside Trump’s First Pentagon Briefing
What I saw there that foretold the coming rift between Mattis and the president –
and today’s foreign policy crises.

Mattis’s ex-speechwriter says Mattis hoped Trump’s first Pentagon briefing would educate
Trump on the U.S. commitment to the world.  Instead, Trump talked about Macron’s
handshake and declaring, “I want a ‘Victory Day’ … The Fourth of July is too hot.”

Pentagon draws up plans for quick Afghanistan withdrawal in case Trump blindsides military (again)
Officials cautioned, however, that the planning is a precaution and there is currently no White House directive to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan.

Kremlin spokesman on recent US actions in Syria: “The United States has been the closest ally of the Kurds in the past few years but the States abandoned the Kurds and, in fact, betrayed them.”

Russia and Turkey agree to “make sure Kurds withdraw from the designated safe zone.”
Or, for those who choose linguistic precision:
Russia and Turkey agree to the systematic ethnic cleansing of northern Syria.

How Turkey and Russia Carved Up Northern Syria
The pact cements Ankara’s annexation of a significant chunk of formerly Kurdish-held land.

Unlike Trump, Putin faces down Turkey on Plans for Massive Syria Incursion


US wasn’t at the table, but Trump took credit for Russian-Turkish decisions anyway

Did Trump just reward Turkish Pres. Erdogan for Obeying Putin?

Context: Hundreds of American soldiers are remaining in Syria, not to ensure safety of any group of people, but to occupy the country’s oil reserves and block the Syrian government from revenue needed for reconstruction, reports Ben Norton.

See referenced video…
President Trump announced he will keep troops in Syria to protect oil fields. Last I checked,
Congress never authorized U.S. forces to be deployed to secure Syria’s economic
resources. Putting U.S. forces in harm’s way for this purpose is illegal and unconstitutional.

U.S. military convoy crosses border into northeastern Syria

Has been free (i.e. wasn’t one of the escapees)…
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: IS leader ‘dead after US raid’ in Syria


During his question-and-answer session, Trump divulged multiple sensitive details about the raid in Syria that could possibly give US enemies intelligence advantages; admitted to keeping Congress in the dark about the operation; openly mocked the terrorist leader; praised his controversial travel ban; and insinuated the September 11 attacks might not have happened had Washington heeded his advice.

  Here’s the moment: Trump downplays the operation to kill Osama bin Laden under President
Obama because bin Laden didn’t become “big” until the World Trade Center attacks and al-
Baghdadi created a caliphate. (video)

See map…
The Trump campaign has over $1 million in outstanding bills from American cities, according to WaPo.

Compare / Contrast
FRONTLINE: Inside the Bailout That Saved a Debt-Ridden Trump Organization |
The Choice 2016 (video)

Monday Afternoon: Trump claims he’s the victim of ‘phony emoluments clause’

Article I, Section 9, Clause 8

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

  Responding to Trump’s early Monday morning comment…

See infographic…
We’ve updated our app tracking political committee spending at Trump Organization
properties through September. It’s now $1.9 million for the cycle.

Trump Appointees Used “Whistleblower Protection” Law to Target Whistleblowers, Review Finds
A new government report confirms ProPublica’s coverage on the Trump administration’s misuse of the law.

Oct 1: Trump Threatens Whistleblower as Democrats Move to Impeach

Whistleblower protection, explained

An office formed by Trump to protect whistleblowers in the Dept of Veterans Affairs was instead used to stifle claims and retaliate against those trying to expose problems at the agency, according to an inspector general report.

Trump is canceling all government subscriptions to the New York Times and Washington Post because the papers aren’t nice enough to him.

Question: The Taunter-In-Chief can’t handle the news?

When Donald Trump criticizes media, he is attacking journalism.
Trump wants an echo-chamber press.
When @BernieSanders criticizes media, he is defending journalism.
Sanders wants a truly free press.
They are polar opposites on media and democracy issues

Paul Rosenzweig, GWB’s deputy assistant secretary for policy at DHS.
“I’m Proud to Be Called Human Scum. If the president thinks my support for the
Constitution and the rule of law justifies that epithet, I’ll wear it as a badge of honor.”

Puerto Ricans have been US citizens since 1917…
2017 Context: Trump in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria: “We’re going to help you out.”

Team Trump Admits Holding Back Billions for Puerto Rico Disaster Recovery

Sens. Warren, Murray, and Wyden have sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar demanding to know when the Trump admin will recoup hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars “wasted on charter jet flights taken by former HHS Secretary Tom Price.”

We found multiple Trump ethics pledge violations hidden in a little-noticed government report. They show inappropriate actions by government employees, lobbyists and former business clients.


A company in which Trump’s brother has a financial stake received a $33 million contract from the U.S. Marshals Service, an award that has drawn protests from two other bidders, one of which has filed a complaint alleging possible favoritism.

Opportunity Zones…
How a Tax Break to Help the Poor Went to NBA Owner Dan Gilbert (Detroit)
After a lobbying effort, Dan Gilbert, billionaire founder of Quicken Loans, won special tax status for wealthy areas of downtown Detroit where he owns billions worth of property.

The exact role of the White House is not clear. But less than two weeks after the email was written, the Trump administration revised its list of census tracts that were eligible for the tax break. New to the list? One of the downtown Detroit tracts dominated by Gilbert that had not previously been included. And the area made the cut even though it did not meet the poverty requirements of the program. The Gilbert opportunity zone is one of a handful around the country that were included despite not meeting the eligibility criteria, according to an analysis by ProPublica.

Several weeks later, the Michigan governor (Snyder (R)) selected all three of the downtown Gilbert tracts for the program.

  A closer look at metro Phoenix Opportunity Zones and who benefits

CBPP: Opportunity Zone Regulations Favor Investor Flexibility Over Community Protection

Bernie’s New Plan To End Trump’s Corrupt Tax Scheme That’s Enriching Trump’s Cronies

Trump’s Hidden Attention to Detail in Avoiding Accountability

Trump’s lawyers say he couldn’t be investigated or prosecuted
if he shot someone on 5th Avenue



Trump v. Vance Oral Argument (Audio Only)

According to the pool report, Trump has arrived at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, VA.
This is Trump’s 238th day at a Trump golf club and 311th day at a Trump property as president.
‘Apprentice’ contestant Summer Zervos says that she has documents supporting claims that Trump attacked her in a hotel room in 2007, THR reports. Zervos told a court about calendar entries, old emails, correspondence with Fox News, and a polygraph test.

See referenced political cartoon…
Replying to @realDonaldTrump

…Bernie Sanders’s tax proposals would be enough to replace all existing private insurance premiums, while leaving 2.6% of national income to cover the uninsured and spend on other programs. Under such a plan, the 9 bottom deciles of the income distribution would gain income on average, as would the bottom of the top 10%. With smart new taxes-such as broad income taxes exempting low wages and retirees-it is possible to make the vast majority of the population win from a transition to universal health insurance.
Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman in “Make no mistake: Medicare for All would cut taxes for most Americans”

Open Enrollment for 2020 is from Nov. 1 – Dec. 15, 2019:
Trump Wellness Programs Would Gut Protections for People With Pre-Existing Conditions
CBO Health Panel Packed With Experts Tied to Anti-Medicare For All Groups

Hits: 13

Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment

13 + 5 =