Towards an issues-based 2020 election (45)

===2020 Big Picture===
Bernie told a rally this week that he will rely on a mass movement to move his agenda forward.
Biden told a corporate lobbying firm this week that he will rely on Republican politicians to move his agenda forward.
Really think about what that difference means.

Are the neoliberal and neoconservative “centrists” too far right?…
Democrats Must Reclaim the Center … by Moving Hard Left
America needs a centrist party that actually represents the economic center,
not just zillionaires like me.

A parallel between UK/US elections is the debate on transformation (Sanders, Warren,
@UKLabour) vs restoration (Biden, Buttigieg, @LibDems). The centrists want debate
focused on a problem (stopping Trump/Brexit) while progressives want a debate
on solutions to systemic inequity.

Friday night…
2019 Presidential Forum on Environmental Justice


“We Can’t Afford to Wait for the DNC”:
Why Black Lawmakers Organized an Environmental Justice Forum

Warren, Booker & Steyer to Take Part in
First-Ever Presidential Forum on Environmental Justice

See referenced coal news…
Based on the health costs of burning coal alone, it hasn’t been economically viable for years.
So why are people still using it? Because those who reap the profits
are not those who bear the costs.

PFAS Contamination Is an Equity Issue, and President Trump’s EPA Is Failing to Fix It

East Boston and Power: An Environmental Justice Community in Transition

Sanders couldn’t be there (see below)…
Sanders’ comprehensive Racial Justice plan…

Also Friday night…
This @BernieSanders rally last night in Iowa with @AOC is unlike anything I’ve ever heard in American politics. Today, they have another event with @NaomiAKlein focused entirely on the climate emergency. This is what it feels like to create change on the scale that’s necessary.

On Saturday…
Live right now, from Des Moines: The @BernieSanders summit on the climate emergency,
with special guests @AOC and @NaomiAKlein. (video)

We’re heading to the hottest Arctic fall season in 3M years.
Entire basin & Greenland 16C to 28C warmer than normal. (video)

Changing Thinking in Economics and Changing the Profile of Economists
Women in Economics Forum, DC Edition (video)

Lobbyists’ Revolving Door Leads Back to Capitol Hill Jobs

Suburban women could decide 2020: Who are they giving to?

(Billionaire Bezos’s) Amazon Cash Fails to Oust Seattle (Democratic) Socialist Kshama Sawant
Her win is a sweet victory for foes of big corporate money in politics – but it really was a struggle

In Seattle, @VoteSawant beat Amazon’s big money. And she was not alone.
@chesaboudin beat big money in San Francisco politics. These wins matter.
But so, too, does an awareness that more and more money is going to be flowing
into municipal elections.

Money Unlimited
How (Republican) Chief Justice John Roberts orchestrated the Citizens United decision.

Sounds like John Roberts lied – presumably under oath…
2005 Roberts: ‘My job is to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat’
Chief justice nominee tells Senate panel ‘I have no agenda’

It was Amazon versus Kshama Sawant in Seattle. @VoteSawant won it!
In our #NextLeft interview, she explains how “solidarity politics” beats corporate politics

The close victory for @chesaboudin in the San Francisco DA race, where he beat an
appointed incumbent, came after he got a warm endorsement from @BernieSanders –
which Boudin highlighted with a press conference and a big social-media push.

Here’s our #NextLeft talk with @chesaboudin, who’s been elected as San Francisco DA
on a pledge to make the criminal justice system’s extreme racial and economic disparities
a thing of the past. This is a huge win for the boldest criminal justice reform!

Gov Bevin (R-KY), like Trump, played the “S” card. He lost. (taxation is punishment?)

Taxes are what we pay for civilized society. – Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

Virginia Democrats campaigned on their Green New Deal and fighting climate change. And won.
The election removed a major obstacle to the state’s efforts to fight climate change.

Mike Bloomberg’s gun-control group (Everytown for Gun Safety)
just vastly outspent the NRA to help Democrats win in Virginia

The GOP’s Fearmongering Over Abortion Flopped in Kentucky and Virginia
On Tuesday night in Kentucky and Virginia, abortion was a losing issue for Republicans.

The God-is-a-Republican-mascot card was played in VA – along with a whole lot
of fearmongering – where Dems took over both state houses


The Nation’s @NicholsUprising looks at lessons learned in Virginia, why Kentucky might be a bellwether, and the progressive battles taking place in our cities.

Great discussion in here where @NicholsUprising makes it clear that even if Trump doesn’t have the numbers in national polling, its the electoral college that matters and voter suppression is the rightwing playbook to win.


===2020 Issues===
2040 review – an optimist’s guide to saving the world
Damon Gameau’s likable documentary charts the ways we tackle a climate emergency, from solar power to progressive farming

Klein: Forged in Fire: California’s Lessons for a Green New Deal

Finance and Climate Change; A Progressive Green Finance Strategy for the UK


Investment banks are increasingly asking coastal cities that want to borrow money about their climate change risks, although that concern hasn’t led to higher borrowing costs – at least not yet.

[B]uilding rules could be our climate salvation
In British Columbia, a pair of regulations are steadily driving down emissions while kickstarting a new $3.3 billion economy.

Thread on “how much future warming is ‘in the pipeline’ today”

Baker: The United States Is the World’s Second Largest Economy:
When It Comes to Climate Change, It Matters

So the world’s largest economy is moving aggressively to adopt clean energy,
but it ain’t us.

Purchasing power parity…
Yes, I was referring to PPP measures of GDP. This is clearly the appropriate measure
if we are looking at greenhouse gas emissions. It is pretty embarrassing for the
New York Times to get such a simple and important fact wrong in a major article

The United States of Inequality: 2020 and the Great Divide
A 12-Month Series Examining Inequality and Its Impact on One of the Most Consequential Elections in American History

Baker: A Bold Plan to Strengthen and Improve Social Security Is What America Needs
The average benefit this year is just over $17,600, certainly not enough to maintain a middle-class lifestyle.

The Future of Work and Care: Universal Family Care

Restaurant Workers Deserve Affordable Child Care – That’s Also Open Really Late

CBPP: Working Families Tax Relief Act
Would Boost Incomes, Improve Children’s Prospects, Reduce Poverty

Baker: It is remarkable how so many people (economist-type people) say that corporations are run to maximize returns to shareholders without ever bothering to look at returns to shareholders

The 2017 tax cut claimed it would both lead to an investment boom & pay for itself. @DeanBaker13 writes, “It is now very clear that neither part of this story is true.”

Revisions To Revenue Projections Suggest That The TCJA Cost More Than Expected

One striking thing about the size of the corporate tax cuts being much larger than expected
is that it has not prevented corporations from claiming this or that provision is too harsh and
must be weakened.

First principle of politics in the United States today, the rich always want more!

Remember This Moment When the Next Financial Crisis Strikes
The SEC could have fixed our broken rating agencies. It whiffed

CBPP: Automatic Reconciliation an Undesirable Part of Enzi-Whitehouse Budget Process Bill

Senate and House Republicans are shouting today about how the Congress needs to pass a new Pentagon funding bill. But they are the ones blocking it! All they have to do is agree to some of the very reasonable provisions Democrats added to safeguard our nation. Dems must not cave

FCC approves T-Mobile/Sprint merger despite serious concerns

T-Mobile got this merger approved after spending nearly $200,000 at Trump’s hotels.
This is a disastrous decision.
When we’re in the White House we’re going to end this corruption and break them up.

Context: Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax proposal…

…Households would pay an annual 2% tax on every dollar of net worth above $50 million and a 3% tax on every dollar of net worth above $1 billion. Because wealth is so concentrated, Saez and Zucman project that this small tax on roughly 75,000 households will bring in $2.75 trillion in revenue over a ten-year period.

  Baker: Most Obvious Avoidance of Wealth Tax: Renounce Citizenship

It’s not clear how many would choose this route, but many billionaires have made it quite clear that they are not committed to the country and don’t have much respect for democracy. If they felt their wealth was seriously threatened, it’s hard to believe that many would not simply choose to give up their citizenship.

Note: Baker supports progressive taxation – focuses on ways to unrig the system.

Some historical context…

The American Revolution of 1800 : Interview with author Dan Sision Oct 2014

The American Revolution of 1800: How Jefferson Rescued Democracy
from Tyranny and Faction – And What This Means Today

1934: The Plot Against America

In November 1934, federal investigators uncovered an amazing plot involving some two dozen senior businessmen, a good many of them Wall Street financiers, to topple the government of the United States and install a fascist dictatorship… an alert FDR shut it down but stopped short of retaliatory measures against the plotters. …

Impeachment is a kitchen table issue. If the Democrats want to be in a position to keep the rich from taking everything, they need to fully expose Trump’s abuses of power

Healthcare Reformer Wendell Potter: The For-Profit ‘System Is Unraveling’
A business group comes out swinging on behalf of Medicare for All.

Baker: Getting to Medicare for All

Baker: Ruchir Sharma’s Swiss (health insurance) Model

Elizabeth Warren Is Asking the Most Important Question on Health Care
How can we move from a broken system to one that covers everyone, restrains prices and improves outcomes?

Things to like, not like, and to be unsure about re Sen. Warren’s M4A plan (along with a mea culpa)

Note: I don’t agree with Bernstein’s assumption that “All the D’s want to get to universal coverage…” For example, how would Harris’ plan (to expand Medicare-subsidized, privatized Medicare (i.e. Medicare Advantage) a plan that’s best suited for healthy people) possibly be sustainable, much less lead to substantive universal coverage? And why should we believe anyone (including Biden, Buttigieg and Klobuchar) who resorts to lying about their opponents’ plans?

Bigger picture: The current system is unsustainable. How is building on it – without confronting Big Health – going to be sustainable?

Bottom line… everyone needs to *prove* their plan is sustainable.

Much of the scrutiny on private equity these next few weeks in DC remains focused on healthcare providers Envision Healthcare and TeamHealth with patients increasingly getting surprised with out-of-network billing at their facilities

See text graphic…
Today’s reminder that if you have private health insurance, you actually have no right to keep that insurance — it can be suddenly taken away from you:


Physician burnout is now recognised as a global health-care predicament. In the USA, burnout affects more than half of practising physicians, with similar trends reported in other countries. New Editorial

Maybe we should increase the number of physicians in order to decrease their individual
workload? @DeanBaker13 has written about the systemic – and mostly ignored –
causes and issues at play here…

2019 Women, Peace, and Security Index on equality and well being…
Switzerland ranked 2nd best place (behind Norway) to be a woman

We’re #19

The Equal Rights Amendment May Pass Now. It’s Only Been 96 Years.
#MoscowMitch @senatemajldr, are you going to block the #ERA from having even having a vote?
Over half of eligible voters and citizens want to know. #ERANow

The Cold War Ended 30 Years Ago. Why Are Things With Russia So Bad?
Critics said NATO expansion would start a new Cold War. They were right.

2014: Trying Not to Give Peace a Chance
See: Chance #3 The Soviet Union Falls Apart

In early February 1990, Secretary of State James Baker told Gorbachev there would be “no extension of NATO’s forces one inch to the East,” provided that the Russians agreed that a united Germany could become a member of NATO.

As historian Mary Elise Sarotte has pointed out, “Such statements helped to inspire Gorbachev to agree, on Feb. 10, 1990, to internal German unification” a bitter pill to swallow when earlier 20th Century history is taken into account. The undertaking not to push NATO east was in the nature of a gentlemen’s agreement; nothing was committed to paper, and as the years went by, so did the gentlemen.

Note: It’s long past time to rein in neoconservatives & neoliberals.

2014: When Henry Kissinger Makes Sense (see last section)

US Congressional (mandated) Panel Plots Next Phase of Dirty War on Syria:
Occupy Oil Fields & Block Reconstruction

Trump OKs wider Syria oil mission, raising legal questions


The Russian deputy minister of foreign affairs, Sergei Vershinin, insisted in response that the oil fields in Syria belong to the Syrian government. He added that while Russia has cooperated militarily with the United States in Syria in other respects, Moscow refused to cooperate with Washington in its occupation of the oil fields. Since Russia flies war planes in support of the Syrian Arab Army, failure to share such information with the US would potentially put American troops in danger.

Russian member of parliament Alexander Vershin went further and denounced Trump as Hitler for his invasion of Syria over oil, recalling that the Nazi leader launched invasions for the same goal. …

There is also the question of what would happen if the Russia-backed Syrian Arab Army came into Deir al-Zor to grab an oil field when the US wasn’t looking (600 troops can’t be everywhere all the time). Would the US fight Syria to recover Syria’s oil fields? As Baldor’s interviewees note, that would not be exactly self-defense and would likely be illegal in international law. And what if a Russian air strike in support of Damascus hit American personnel, killing or wounding them? That would be a major crisis between the two powers.

2013 Context: Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, the first Iranian president after the 1979 revolution…

Ayatollah Khomeini and Ronald Reagan had organized a clandestine negotiation, later known as the “October Surprise,” which prevented the attempts by myself and then-US President Jimmy Carter to free the hostages before the 1980 US presidential election took place. The fact that they were not released tipped the results of the election in favor of Reagan.

  Context: Twenty minutes after Ronald Reagan finished his (first) inaugural address
in 1981, the hostages who had been held for 444 days in Iran were released.

Context: US Maximum Pressure Meets Iranian Maximum Pressure

See referenced story …
Over time, if not reversed, these steps could shorten time. Eg., putting 1000’s of
advanced centrifuges into full-scale operation rather than just tests. So far, it’s fairly
minor capability change. Be great if outside experts would detail this, before far-right
scares people.


Amb @Gharibabadi: After President @HassanRouhani’s statement and the order to the
AEOI to commence gas injection in Fordow, an official letter has been sent to the IAEA
announcing that the injection of UF6 gas to centrifuges in Fordow will commence

…and the Agency was requested to send its inspectors to monitor the process.

This is a significant step. A major accomplishment of the JCPOA was converting Fordow
from uranium enrichment to stable isotope separation (which does *not* involve nuclear
material.) Once UF6 is fed into a cascade, it is ruined for any purpose other than
enrichment. (see rest of thread)


You think nuclear war can’t happen? It is designed to happen. We plan ever day to make it happen. Those who think we can “manage” a small nuclear war are whistling past our graveyard. Watch this compelling video of how it would unfold.

===2020 Watch List===
Big Pharma continues to top lobbying spending

M4A is socialized insurance, Sen Romney. *Not* socialized medicine.
Prove your allegations. Pony up the receipts.

Compare / Contrast…
2012:  Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity, Vol. XLI

2016 Context: Donald Trump Rode $5 Billion in Free Media to the White House
Donald Trump didn’t spend nearly as much on advertising as typical presidential candidates, and he didn’t have to — he relied on billions of dollars in free earned media instead.

Fox News has aired over 20 hours of Trump’s campaign rallies live in 2019

As he writes opeds, appears on Morning Joe, gives quotes, etc, important to remember this:
“Steven Rattner, a prominent Democratic donor who manages the wealth of Michael R. Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor.”
>As Warren Gains in Race, Wall Street Sounds the Alarm

Also remember this
> Ex-car czar Steve Rattner settles pay-to-play scandal

Dear Twitter friends:
Any pundit on TV insisting that independent voters are uniformly centrist & anti-progressive on big issues almost certainly has never knocked a door & canvassed a neighborhood.
Yours truly,
A dude who’s knocked a decent share of doors in the last 20 years

Just 3% of broadcast TV news segments on the California wildfires connected them to climate change
Broadcast and cable TV news rarely make the connection between wildfire activity and climate change

WSJ economic commentator apparently isn’t worried about people needlessly suffering and dying. But is worried about overuse of health care should Warren’s plan go into effect.

Note: His other concerns are manageable.

===2020 Watch List-Bias===
Krystal Ball on a NYT polling report (video)…

Headline is completely deceptive. Biden leads, followed by progressives Warren & Sanders. Add up Warren/Sanders, it’s more than Biden. So don’t more voters actually prefer progressive? …

See infographic…
If one of these things happened, you could call it an accident. But all of them together suggest that this is a deliberate effort by billionaire-owned media to erase @BernieSanders …

See referenced fuzzy math…
Pro-centrist idolatry at @nytpolitics is turning the place into a troll farm. …

#BernieBlackout  guess who is missing… Luckily Bennet was included because he’s been polling at a strong 15th.

Not true…

The comparison between @BernieSanders’s immigration plan and the other Democratic front-runners’ is striking, so why aren’t more major news outlets giving it much coverage?

Hey look, another Washington Post story about the Democratic presidential field with nary a mention of Bernie

===2020 Presidential Candidates===
Elizabeth Warren… Feb 9th
As Warren Gains in Race, Wall Street Sounds the Alarm

Oh my, what would we do if hedge fund managers, bankers and Wall Street financiers
stopped funding Democratic candidates?  Maybe we’d have better candidates, better
policies and a better country.
Amy Klobuchar… Feb 10th
Amy Klobuchar on Climate Change: Where the Candidate Stands

Due to a recent comment – Klobuchar needs to hear this…
Bernie Sanders… Feb 19th
See text graphic…
Bernie Sanders comes out swinging on Apple’s housing announcement.
“Apple is the latest tech industry tax evader that has portrayed its entry into the housing business as an act of philanthropic altruism.” (short thread)


My father came to America as a refugee without a nickel in his pocket, to escape widespread anti-Semitism and find a better life. Today I released my plan to reject Trump’s hate and live up to our ideals as a nation that welcomes immigrants and refugees.

At the beginning of this speech, @BernieSanders honored Paul Wellstone, and noted Paul was the only senator to join the Congressional Progressive Caucus that Bernie founded. Today, Bernie is the only senator in that caucus – which says a lot about how unique a candidate he is.

NH Ad…

IA Starting Line: Bernie Sanders’ Campaign Works Toward A More Perfect Union

…This weekend Team Bernie in Iowa will knock more than 20,000 doors. As Rep. AOC says, ‘we aren’t here to watch the polls, we are here to change the polls.We change the polls by knocking doors’

Joe Biden… April 25th
In an email to supporters, the Biden campaign said “other candidates can’t” beat Trump.
But the polling chart they sent to supporters, sourced to NYT/Siena, is inaccurate.
See images below:

For one thing, Sanders was ahead of Trump in Michigan (by more than Biden).
The Biden campaign acknowledged that they got it wrong, and will correct future versions
and re-upload graphic “so people who haven’t opened the email will see the correct one.”

The original NYT story – read it from @Nate_Cohn here: – also
had a less favorable chart of results (from this messaging perspective) from “registered
voters” that the campaign opted against using, for obvious reasons.

Warren’s Context: Ending the Stranglehold of Health Care Costs on American Families

Biden’s campaign is still playing the middle class tax card…
See statement for details…

Baker disagrees…
Actually the financial transactions tax will be eaten by the finance industry. There is lots
of research showing that trading volume will decline roughly in proportion to the increase
in costs from the tax

This means that the money investors pay in the tax will be offset by savings on
reducing trading volume. Since trading on average is a wash (every trade has
a winner& a loser), investors end up paying the same in total trading costs
(including the tax), and the industry eats it.


In light of modem algorithmic trading, isn’t that a good thing on its own? And even at
a lower volume level a transaction tax will still produce revenue? What downsides
am I missing?

The simple answers are: yes, yes, and none.
Here is Dean Baker’s detailed discussion of it:

Warren’s comment… (video)

Biden’s response twists Warren’s words like a pretzal presumably to avoid responding
to her valid points. He played the (they’re) elitist, (he’s the) mature-candidate and
no-attacks cards after repeatedly lying about M4A

Biden repeated this line of attack on the road…

Joe Biden slammed Warren as elitist at this fundraiser – hosted by a fracking developer,
health care industry executive and other ultra wealthy people from Pittsburgh.

The irony is that both Sanders and Warren seemed content to run positive campaigns
and not attack Biden or other moderates as shills or whatever, but the centrists went
on the offensive first.

Yes, there is an irony in Biden (a senator for 36 years & VP for 8 who flies in private jets,
stays in fancy hotels and fundraises off millionaires) to level the elitism attack at the
candidate fueled by small-dollar donors. Joe’s not so middle class

See text graphic…
One thing missing in this story is that Joe Biden is part of a generation of Democrats
who thought that New Deal and Great Society liberalism had gone “too far.” Biden literally
accused his fellow Democrats of “intellectual snobbism” all the way back to the 1984

Click text graphic…
Biden’s rhetoric against Democratic Party liberalism hasn’t changed that much:
“1988 is going to be about 1960, about our country and not causes, about idealism
and not ideology, about the future and not the status quo. It’s almost as simple as
‘Let’s get America moving again.'”

Note: The above quote – – doesn’t make Waleed’s case.

Biden on his liberalism

In the above piece Biden cursed Americans for Democartic Action

ADA was founded by Eleanor Roosevelt, John Kenneth Galbraith, Walter Reuther, Arthur Schlesinger, and Reinhold Niebuhr shortly after FDR died.  Our goal then?  To keep the New Deal dream of a fair and prosperous America for all alive for generations to come.

        New Deal Achievements
FDR’s New Deal brought great relief to the American People.

Hartmann: Is America Ready for FDR?

Click text graphics…
It’s exactly why Jesse Jackson, a standard-bearer of Democratic Party liberalism
in the 1980s, described Joe Biden as part of a group of centrists “combing their
hair to the left like Kennedy and moving their policies to the right like Reagan.”

Incidentally, Jesse Jackson referred to Joe Biden and centrist Democrats
as “Democrats of the Leisure Class…who didn’t march in the sixties
and won’t stand up in the eighties.”

Hillary played the elitist card, too…

Note: We know private insurance can co-exist with M4A without harming universal care *if* that company is a highly regulated non profit that has a maximum total salary of around $300,000. Do those who advocate for private insurance support that plan? If not… they need to explain how their plans are sustainable. Detailed financials, please. They also need to stop lying about M4A and stop attacking their opponents.

Believing something doesn’t make it so, Joe…

Compare / Contrast…
CBPP: Sabotage Watch: Tracking Efforts to Undermine the ACA

See referenced announcement that Biden is coming to Pittsburgh…
..for a “for a private campaign finance event”
…at “an undisclosed location”

Joe Biden’s Friends and Backers Come Out on Top – at the Expense of the Middle Class
That’s the “Delaware Way.”

Research items / food for thought…
Michael Bennet… May 2nd
@MichaelBennet famously helped pro-charter school privatizers take over the Denver school board (@EmilyforCO lost a 2011 campaign that tried to stop this).
Well, last night teachers & the Denver community won back the school board. #copolitics

Big congrats to @TayAnderson2019 and the other pro-teacher, pro-public-education
candidates who helped win back the Denver school board from the corporate-backed
movement to privatize our schools. As the parent of two Denver public school students,
I’m super psyched that you won.

Click text graphics (compare / contrast)…

Note: Click the white X (upper right corner) to return to the original tweet.

See referenced Bennet comment…
Good point – so instead of following your advice and simply giving up because it might be hard, we’re gonna do what past generations did when they passed Social Security and the original Medicare: we’re gonna fight hard and WIN, whether the billionaire class likes it or not.

Note: Now is the time to advance constructive policy. Why would that be a bridge too far for “centrists?”
Michael Bloomberg… ???
(Billionaire) Jeff Bezos asked (billionaire) Mike Bloomberg months ago about a presidential run

Leon Cooperman says he will support fellow billionaire Mike Bloomberg for president

See billionaire Jamie Dimon on 60 Minutes promotion…
Have we really got to the point when the opinion of one billionaire about the presidential
prospects of another billionaire against a billionaire incumbent is newsworthy?

“They’ve got class solidarity. The billionaires are looking out for each other.”

The Billionaires Are Getting Nervous

At the end of the day, the 1% is only 1%. We are 99% and that is exactly why we will win.

“What we are trying to do here in this campaign is not only defeat Trump, we are trying
to transform this country.” “The only way real change takes place… has ever taken place,
is when millions of people stand up and are prepared to fight for justice.”


Every billionaire is a policy failure…
When you have 500,000 Americans sleeping on the street, 87 million people uninsured
or underinsured, and millions struggling with student debt, I don’t think it’s a radical idea
to say: billionaires should not exist.

Hold up, I thought Mike Bloomberg lives in the offshore tax haven of Bermuda

See text graphic…
It’s worth remembering that while Mike Bloomberg likes to sell himself as a hard-headed businessman who just follows the evidence, he believes against all evidence that Wall Street wasn’t to blame for the 2008 crisis

The truth is that Fannie and Freddie were losing market share to private lenders during
the bubble years. And Community Reinvestment Act-compliant loans were only a small
share of subprime, and didn’t go bust at a higher rate.

The point is that it’s difficult to get Mike Bloomberg to understand something when his
salary depends on him not understanding it. Impossible even. I mean, thinking that Wall
Street wasn’t to blame for the 2008 crisis is failing a pretty basic IQ test…

Mortgage (owning) homeowners weren’t the ones reselling their existing loans to new
lenders wrapped in bundles with fraudulently labeled risk allocations but sure,
it was the fault of people who needed to live somewhere.

Bloomberg on the homeless, his NYPD “army” & food stamp recipients (click text graphics)


See infographic…
One reason bloomberg might be running

The top 1% now own 40% of all wealth in America — but pay just 24% of the taxes. Receipts:

See chart…
Just a reminder that the constituency of voters who are “socially liberal but fiscally conservative” like Michael Bloomberg or Howard Schultz is very, very small.

See map…
Bloomberg consultants imagine him as a Wisconsin winner. That is not going to happen.


Bloomberg is polling off the charts with cable TV hosts who own four or more homes

The co-host of a major cable political show, Steven Rattner, literally manages the money of a billionaire now running against Sanders and Warren, and attacks them relentlessly. Not remotely ethical on even the most basic journalistic level.

Donald Trump
See referenced Pompeo Big Lie…
1) The US is not a world leader in reducing emissions –
its methane emissions have risen as its carbon emissions have fallen
2) Withdrawing from (the Paris Agreement) is a truly despicable act,
and one that history will hate us for

…Trump Kneecapped Conservative Climate Policy

See graphics…
Apparently we all just experienced the hottest October ever recorded on this planet.
And against that backdrop of fire and flood, our ruling class set out to sabotage
the Paris climate accords

Report: When the Trump Administration Sidelines Science,
Underserved Communities Face the Worst Consequences

Vice President for Student Affairs for Univ of AL Student Gov’t Assn (see thread)…
Protest Trump during the LSU game and risk losing your reserved seating.


More than a dozen rural Kentucky countries (mostly in coal country) that voted for Donald Trump in 2016 rejected Trump’s 2019 election appeal for Republican Governor Matt Bevin and backed Democrat Andy Beshear.

Rural Elliott County, Kentucky backed Trump 70-26 in 2016.
Trump came to Kentucky this week and begged voters to show loyalty to him
by rejecting D Andy Beshear and supporting R Matt Bevin. In Elliott County,
on Tuesday, Beshear beat Bevin 59-39.

Kentucky was all about #impeachment because Donald Trump, Matt Bevin and
Mitch McConnell made it all about impeachment. Now that they have gotten a
shock result, they want to claim otherwise. It doesn’t work that way.

“The President just about dragged Bevin across the finish line, helping him run stronger
than expected in what turned into a very close race at the end.” – Trump campaign
manager  Brad Parscale.
But last poll (finished just before Trump arrived) had Bevin ahead.
Calling BS.

With that as context… See Trump’s comment
What violence, President Trump? Name names. Provide evidence.

Meal programs struggle as funding dwindles

See map…
Unemployment is climbing in key swing states, including Michigan and Wisconsin
In more than 1,000 counties, or about 1 in 3, the unemployment rate is up from a year ago. That includes all counties in Wisconsin and most in MI, MN and NC

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. voters say Trump has not made them better off.

Baker: Data show Trump is losing in trade war, losing in effort to boost investment, and losing on manufacturing jobs creation

See chart…
China’s monthly trade surplus this October topped $40b, about $10b more than last October.   That pushed the trade surplus over the last 12ms up to $440b, almost $100b more than its level this time last year.

Lots of folks were forecasting that China would swing into a current account deficit
this year …  But at this stage it is more or less a given that weak imports will push
the overall 19 current account surplus up (it should easily top $200b).

2017 Baker: Yes, There Really Are Things We Can Do to Reduce the Trade Deficit

Context: From heat domes to rain bombs, climate change is changing how we talk about weather

Where’s the infrastructure bill?
(Extreme storm) flood risk heightened for California dam

CBPP: ACA Lawsuit Would Cut Taxes for the Most Well-Off While Ending Health Coverage for Millions
The Trump Administration and 18 state attorneys general (including NE’s Peterson) are asking the courts to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) as unconstitutional. …

Responding to DeVos…
I kind of feel like government has done OK on:
Social Security.
Civil Rights Act.
Voting Rights Act.
Title Nine.
Americans with Diabilities Act.
Interstate highway system.
Landing on the moon.
Defeating fascism in World War II.

Context: Trump Administration Wages Multifront Assault on Coal Ash Protections


Context: Coal Ash Is Hazardous. Coal Ash Is Waste.
But According to the EPA, Coal Ash Is Not “Hazardous Waste.”
And the coal industry is more than happy to keep things that way.

Coal-burning utility boosts lobbying, may get eased regulations
New rules proposed by Trump administration
would eliminate some Obama-era environmental protections for coal ash

Trump Says Native Americans’ Heritage Month Is Also for the White Men Who Stole Their Land

Before his claims of (Ukrainian) corruption, Trump tried to build a resort in Ukraine

See referenced Iranian news…
Who could have predicted that Iran would not continue to abide by the agreement after the Trump administration unilaterally violated it and then threatened to sanction other countries, including our European allies, unless they did so as well?

How Mike Pence’s Office Meddled in Foreign Aid to Reroute Money to Favored Christian Groups
Officials at USAID warned that favoring Christian groups in Iraq could be unconstitutional and inflame religious tensions. When one colleague lost her job, they said she had been “Penced.”


See referenced comment…
If someone has questions about the accuracy of a story, they should raise them.
Just trying to smear a talented reporter by calling names should be beneath the
dignity of a United States Ambassador. It certainly used to be.


Oct Context: Turkey Syria offensive: Trump’s week of confusion over US policy

Context: Just so I get this straight: Trump is sending 2,000 more troops to protect
the Saudi royal family and pulling troops protecting the stateless Kurds. He has
major financial interests in Saudi Arabia and Turkey and none in Kurdish territories.
Do I have that right?

Syrian Kurds charge Turkey with Ethnic Cleansing
as US Military frets it will be “blind” without Kurdish Help

There are many problems with Trump (saying he’ll take Syrian oil). Here are a few:

See referenced report…
An interesting way to countermessage getting impeached for a corrupt quid pro quo attempt is initiating a new corrupt quid pro quo attempt

I honestly don’t understand why Trump is telling everyone to read a document that incriminates him. The summary wasn’t good for Trump, and yet he is telling everyone to read it as if it somehow exonerates him.


Trump called Gordon Sondland a ‘great American.’
Now he says ‘I hardly know the gentleman.’

A judge has ordered Trump to pay $2 million to nonprofit orgs as part of a settlement with the NY AG’s office to resolve a lawsuit that alleged “persistent” violations of charities law that included unlawful coordination with the 2016 Trump campaign.

…(at a hearing) I argued that a Medicare for All program would be affordable, but the key factor was reducing the cost of input prices, like prescription drugs, medical equipment, and doctors’ pay. I also briefly laid out what I considered the key features of a transition from the current system. …
– Fix the current Medicare system;
– Allow a Medicare buy-in;
– Take measures to reduce input prices;
– Lower age of Medicare eligibility to 64.
These four steps should allow for an orderly phase in of a universal Medicare system. They also should quickly provide substantial benefits to most of the population in the form of better quality/lower cost health care.
Dean Baker in “Getting to Medicare for All”

Healthcare Reformer Wendell Potter: The For-Profit ‘System Is Unraveling’; A business group comes out swinging on behalf of Medicare for All.

Elizabeth Warren Is Asking the Most Important Question on Health Care; How can we move from a broken system to one that covers everyone, restrains prices and improves outcomes?:

Baker: Ruchir Sharma’s Swiss (health insurance) Model:

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