Towards an issues-based 2020 election (48)

===2020 Big Picture===
Question: How will things change if you don’t cast issues-based votes during the primary elections… votes focused on strengthening our communities and investing in our futures up and down the ticket?

Don’t get caught up in the political jujitsu. What do white SC or upper Midwest voter preferences – much less the DNC/RNC – have to do with your issues?

Stay focused on the issues.

People underestimate the coalition you can create by focusing on the issues that make being even middle class so expensive today: College and student debt, housing, child care, and health care.

.@InsightCCED’s @AnnePriceICCED and @jhumpa_b on the incredible power of narrative. They identify the key question: “Who are our current narratives building power for, and who do they purposefully leave behind?

“With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public
but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist
and his group more money or more power.” – Vice President Henry Wallace, 1944

Frank Luntz says our doing beneficial things that the majority of people want (in our
representative republic) – is the same thing as oligarchs buying elections. (video)

Wikipedia: Frank Ian Luntz … is an American political and communications consultant, pollster and pundit,[1][2] best known for developing talking points and other messaging for Republican causes. …


1) Hartmann with caller: Exposing the Flaw in Trickle Down Economics

Related: – Hartmann on GOP’s Two Santa Clause theory – > 6,000 tax lobbyists in 2017, GOP tax bill: Dec 2018 – CBPP: GOP tax bill needs restructuring – For Forbes 400 wealth doubled and tax rates dropped – Billionaires panic over wealth tax popularity – Infographic

See referenced story…
2) Investment banker @RahmEmanuel (D) – whose firm works for health care
companies – thinks guaranteeing health care “walks away from” traditional values.

See text 1996 title:
The reality is that centrists in the Democratic Party like Rahm Emanuel quite
deliberately walked away from the progressivism of the New Deal and Great Society.

Note: Needless suffering and death is a traditional value, Rahm? Then again, here’s what then Mayor Emanuel did in Chicago

…If your candidate is using Republican talking points to attack policies that would
provide greater access to healthcare or education (or …), find a new candidate. …

Emphasis added. See chart…
3) I’ve seen tons of ridiculous conclusions about @QuinnipiacPoll poll on @MedicareForAll.
Like impeachment a few months ago, numbers are being artificially depressed by scared
*Democratic* electability voters who support the policy but are fed fears about the politics

See chart…
But first, let’s acknowledge what a stupidly slanted question @QuinnipiacPoll asked.
“removing the current health care system” Really? Is someone proposing to kill all
doctors & burn all hospitals? If not, the only thing that changes is who pays the bills.
@KHNews = more cred:

Emphasis added. See text graphic…
*More importantly:* Support among Independent & Republican voters didn’t drop beyond
the margin of error. *Democratic support* dropped 11%. Why would those ideologically
supportive of #MedicareForAll drop? .@PeteButtigieg uses insurance industry talking
points to stoke fear. …

See charts…
Recent polling from respected @GBAOStrategies shows #MedicareForAll brand
(with no description, just what people know about it – the cleanest test) is over 60%
popular nationally and battleground states!

See infographic…
Multiple rebuttals to the main attack on #MedicareForAll were tested. The rebuttals
made by @Ewarren and @BernieSanders persuade the public and land at one 60%
support. Our main message to politicians is: Make the case, and the public is with you! etc.

4) A corporate example…
2007 Context: The Great American Bubble Machine
From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market
manipulation since the Great Depression – and they’re about to do it again

Now: Goldman Sachs seeks to rebrand
as wealth takes center stage in the Democratic presidential race

Black Voters to Black Candidates: Representation Is Not Enough

Note: Obama supporting M4A doesn’t mean he supports Sanders, Mr Shakur. Obama is a neoliberal who offered to cut Social Security to get a deal with the GOP.

Waiting for Obama
The Democratic establishment
is counting on him to stop Trump and, perhaps, stave off Bernie as well. …

…With one candidate, he pointed out that during his own 2008 campaign, he had an intimate bond with the electorate, especially in Iowa, that he no longer has. Then he added, “And you know who really doesn’t have it? Joe Biden.”

  And Republicans will do what Republicans will do. So just vote issues.

20 Years After The Battle of Seattle: Vandana Shiva & Lori Wallach on Historic 1999 WTO Protests


Lori Wallach and Phil Cox Discuss USMCA


Responding to Nate Silver…
It’s not that complicated. Neoliberals + Neoconservatives =
– The Iraq War
– China PNTR/WTO
– Ending Glass-Steagall
– Wall Street Bailout
– Voting ith big drug companies
– Bankruptcy reform
– Extending Bush tax cuts for the 1%
– Welfare reform
– Chained-CPI
– $750B DoD budget


Note: Republicans supported the above policies. So did “centrist” Dems…

Bill Clinton ran as a progressive and then governed as a so-called “moderate”…

The Making of the New Democrats

The end of the DLC era

Centrist Democrats are back. But these are not your father’s Blue Dogs.


We’re Still Waiting for ‘Early and Often’ Climate Debate Questions

After 31 debates with no questions about voting rights, @maddow finally brought it up (at last week’s debate). Now the fight against voter suppression must be central issue in 2020

Democrats Need Black Women Voters Now More Than Ever
Turnouts demonstrate that when we are effectively engaged, our work can make seemingly impossible victories possible.

“It’s much easier to integrate a lunch counter than it is to guarantee an annual income to get rid of poverty for Negroes and all poor people…It’s much easier to integrate even a public park than it is to get rid of slums. We are in a new phase of the struggle.” -MLK (video)

===2020 Issues===
World Powers Vowed to Cut Greenhouse Gases. They’re Still Rising.
Countries agreed to rein in emissions in an effort to aver climate catastrophes. They’ve failed, according to the latest UN report See Also:

Related: (video)

Emissions Gap Report 2019

Big new study concludes that major climate tipping points – once thought in the far distance –
are right on the horizon. If we haven’t done the tipping already…

…The questions about the … #GreenNewDeal are how are you going to pay for it
and how are you going to pass it. It should be how quickly can we implement it.
It’s survival, not partisan politics.

What it takes to be carbon neutral – for a family, a city, a country
Amid mounting global concern about climate change,
Denmark has turned into a buzzing hive of green experimentation

UK elections coming up…
Solar battle lines drawn as manifestos released in UK ‘climate election’

Cabinet Office ignores court order to release secret fracking report
Labour says failure to share document raises doubts about Tories’ promise to halt fracking

A guide to how 2020 Democrats plan to fight climate change

Bernie, Warren, Booker are among those who say they will reinstate (the oil export) ban. Biden, Buttigieg , Harris and Castro are among those who have not made stance clear, per Wapo

Congressional hearing…
Examining the Oil Industry’s Efforts to Suppress the Truth about Climate Change (video)

Thread: Exxon Knew

The Frightening Rise In Low-Quality, Low-Paying Jobs: Is This Really A Strong Job Market?

Minneapolis Fed chief Neel Kashkari says monetary policy can play the kind of redistributing role once thought to be the preserve of elected officials

An emerging priority for Powell Fed: The plight of the poor

See referenced comment…
(Yellen) definitely opened the door, which I give her credit for all the time,
but Powell has gone a big step further.

I actually agree … in part he has the space to because he doesn’t face GOP blowback –
see – but nevertheless he deserves credit for the progress

CBPP: Economic Security Programs Cut Poverty Nearly in Half Over Last 50 Years

Forgiving Student Debt Would Boost Economy, Economists Say


…the vast majority of the upward redistribution of the last four decades went to thee high end earners (CEOs and hedge fund and private equity partners), not to corporate profits

End Bloated Salaries in the Nonprofit Sector
Taxpayers should not have to subsidize excessive pay
for executives at charities meant to serve the public good.


“…a massive subsidy with literally no policy rationale.”
Baker: (Bezos’) Amazon Still Does not Collect Sales Tax on All the Items it Sells

They are killing small businesses and Government policies since 2000 are letting it happen. …

“Letting it happen” is way too kind, encouraging it to happen, is closer to the mark

Jan CBPP Context: Potential Flaws of Opportunity Zones Loom, as Do Risks of Large-Scale Tax Avoidance. The tax break includes no requirements to ensure that local residents benefit from investments receiving it.

Note: The Opportunity Zone provision is part of the now infamous GOP tax cut.

Nov: A Trump Tax Break To Help The Poor Went To a Rich GOP Donor’s Superyacht Marina
Wealthy donors Wayne Huizenga Jr. and Jeff Vinik lobbied then-Gov. Rick Scott
for the lucrative tax break – and won it. Poorer communities lost out.

An Opportunity Zone Group (Economic Innovation Group) Called Our Story
About a Yacht Club Getting Tax Breaks “Lurid.” We Respond.

Baker: NAFTA Was About Redistributing Upward

Beating up the Washington Post for Trumpian Fake News. The paper still has not corrected
the absurd claim that NAFTA caused Mexico’s economy to quadruple between 1987 and 2007
(the correct figure was 84.2 percent) …
> 2017 Baker: The Washington Post’s NAFTA Fantasy: 10 Years Later

The idea that a trade deal (USMCA) which the most rose-colored optimistic analysis shows
would increase GDP by a whopping 0.02% per year is essential to Trump’s re-election
hopes is completely absurd

For a quick holiday cure for budget deficits fears, see John Weeks new book, the Debt Delusion

The question is not whether we can afford Medicare for All. We can’t afford to continue without it.

Note: We need to figure out how best to transition to M4A. Baker says Sanders’ plan would create inflation because it spends a lot of money too quickly (outside the context of a recession). Presumably for Sanders’ plan to work, we’d need to rapidly reduce a large amount of excess health-related profiteering. One step towards that goal is Warren’s plan to use WH authority to remove drug patents

We can afford Medicare for All…
… and it could even deliver a huge pay raise to the middle class.

Our research shows that when you look at health care costs as a distribution problem, it becomes clear that not only can we afford Medicare for All, but a properly designed transition to Medicare for All could deliver the biggest pay raise in a generation to middle-class workers.

5 ways to make the case for Medicare for All this Thanksgiving to a dubious family member

How Will Medicare-for-all Proposals Affect Medicaid?


“There’s a Fear Factor, a Fear of Change.”
William Hsiao knows more about single payer systems than pretty much any other American. What does he think about ‘Medicare for All’?

Centrists throw out the vague concept of a #PublicOption with no serious vetting while expecting those of us who support #MedicareForAll to defend every minor nuance of it. It’s annoying. So let’s have a short thread vetting the public option. …

1) A #PublicOption won’t actually reduce the number of uninsured. It just changes where
some people get their coverage. Source? A 2013 CBO analysis
So an option won’t even do the basic task of reducing the number of uninsured.
#MedicareForAll would

2) A #PublicOption won’t control costs or eliminate waste. In fact, it’s just adding another
payer to our complete mess of a system, meaning costs for the system at best probably
wouldn’t change, at worst may even go up.
#MedicareForAll would severely curtail healthcare costs

3) A #PublicOption won’t reduce drug prices. Even if the option itself was permitted to
negotiate for prices (highly unlikely) it wouldn’t have the economies of scale on its side,
meaning it wouldn’t be big enough to command the lowest drug prices.
#MedicareForAll would

4) A #PublicOption won’t address underinsurance, where people with insurance can’t afford
to use it because of copays and deductibles. The majority of medical bankruptcies come
from people who have insurance. The option won’t solve that.
#MedicareForAll eliminates cost sharing

5) A #PublicOption might cost more than private insurance, which is good at pricing the out
the sick through care utilization management. If the option doesn’t do the same,
it would absorb the sick and see astronomical premiums.
#MedicareForAll takes in everyone, healthy and sick

6) Most importantly, a #PublicOption won’t be any easier to pass than #MedicareForAll.
@P4AHCF, the main front group opposing us, openly admits it will fight the option just as
aggressively as MFA. So there’s no reason to settle for less if we get the same opposition

7) In summary: A #PublicOption has no policy or political benefit over #MedicareForAll.
It won’t expand coverage, lower costs, or fix our system otherwise. It won’t even be easier
to pass. Basically: it’s not a serious proposal, and ought to be dismissed outright.

…Medicare for All would cover all necessary care with no premiums, copays,
or deductibles, while saving people thousands on healthcare costs.

UK: Labour’s pledge to take on big pharma will save lives
The current model of drug development is broken, putting profit before people. There is another way

Compare / Contrast…

The minutes of the (UK-US) trade talks show the Trump administration and US pharmaceutical interests want the British government to dismantle the safeguards that protect the NHS from paying high prices for drugs. (Drugs in America cost two and a half times what they cost in the UK.)

They want, for example, “full market access” for US drugs, which would greatly limit (National Inst of Health and Care Excellence) Nice’s ability to decide which medicines patients can receive. They also want future prices to be “market-derived” or “competitive”, which again would lead to Nice being marginalised.

Don’t forget Trump’s devastating impact on reproductive freedom

Nurses across the US just endorsed…

Had a moment today at the jail when one of the guys told me he was reading Richard Rothstein’s “The Color of Law” & that he had never heard of “redlining” until now. Said the book helped him understand why his community looked the way it did & gave him language to name that reality. (thread)

2015:  Black Americans unfairly targeted by banks before housing crisis, says ACLU
ACLU says black families in study had been subjected to ‘redlining’ – denying or charging
more for necessary services – before 2008 crash

2017: A decade after Great Recession, 1 in 3 Americans still haven’t recovered
Women and African-Americans have taken the hardest hit, according to a survey.

“Relative to entirely-white neighborhoods, residents of entirely-black neighborhoods waited 29% longer to vote and were 74% more likely to spend more than 30 minutes at their polling place.” …

An interesting, important conversation on how better data collection helps Native women, families and communities, with @PatriceKunesh of @MinneapolisFed & @stateofworkpod’s @pdacosta. (video)


Only Wealthy Immigrants Need Apply: The Chilling Effects of “Public Charge”

ICE arrests 90 more students at fake university in Michigan

Optional Practical Training…
While visa and OPT fraud/abuse is surely a problem that should be investigated –
OPT has few rules and no worker protections – it’s beyond crazy that ICE would
spend a ton of resources and time to create a fake university to entrap Indian
students from poor rural areas.

How about instead, going after the *existing* labor brokers, tech and staffing firms
that have sprouted up to take advantage of OPT and student workers? And looking
into universities that profit from OPT while failing to vet employers and protect students?

Lessons From the Bolivian Coup
We need to learn to see through lies and recognize right-wing power grabs

In Bolivia, within the course of a month, one of the most successful contemporary governments to call itself “socialist” has been replaced by an unelected right-wing leadership that has killed protesters, promised to restore the rule of Christianity, and demanded the jailing of former president Evo Morales as a “terrorist.” What went wrong?

  Media Wonder: Why Can’t Venezuela Be More Like Bolivia?

Cameroonian Asylum-Seekers at the Border Are Fleeing a U.S.-Backed Military Force

No president should have the absolute authority to launch nuclear weapons.

An excellent piece by @RichardHaass of @CFR_org today. As he notes, we were making great progress reducing nuclear arsenals and preventing new nuclear states, until policy faltered. “All of this now could come undone.”

…Trump just put a guy who wanted to nuke Afghanistan in charge of arms control policy.

Let’s count the flawed arguments against extending New START in this piece by David Trachtenberg, who served as deputy under secretary of defense for policy from October 2017 to July 2019

Rest of thread…

One of 2 main Trump Admin complaints about the sole existing nuclear treaty between Moscow and Washington – New START – was that it dd not cover Moscow’s new types of nuclear systems.  Now Moscow has confirmed that two of their three new systems will.

Rest of thread…

===2020 Watch List===
Facebook says that a post from QAnon supporter Danielle Stella, a congressional candidate running against Ilhan Omar, that calls for Omar to be hung “doesn’t violate our Community Standards.” She was suspended last night on Twitter for the same post.

New York Democrats Just Passed a Measure That Could Take the Working Families Party Off the Ballot

The Army Built to Fight ‘Medicare for All’
The top health industry lobbies have joined forces to take down socialized (insurance) or anything that looks like it. Will they succeed?

I’m not one to say “I told you so,” but this article sums up the threat posed by @P4AHCF
that I’ve been ringing the alarm bell on for months: .
We have to take this evil deadly seriously.

What this group is lobbying for:
1. Hundreds of thousands of medical bankruptcies
2. Insulin costing 10X what it does in Canada
3. Tens of thousands of deaths each year
There is a word for people who dedicate their lives to causes like this.


See text graphic…
In 1956, the American Medical Association warned that “standards of health care might be lowered” if Medicare was enacted and said the “provisions for free hospital care would lead to ‘dangerous overcrowding’ of existing facilities.”

===2020 Watch List-Bias===
Many reporters seem hesitant to discuss the fact @BernieSanders is, and has consistently been, one of the top Democratic frontrunners. So much media discussion revolves around Biden or the latest up-and-comer. There is a level of disbelief about the strength of his support.

“(Sanders) is drawing crowds in the thousands, sometimes with Representative Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez…Less than three months before the Iowa caucuses, polls show Mr. Sanders
within striking distance of victory in both Iowa and New Hampshire.”

Click graphics…
This is completely ridiculous
> Steve Rattner’s company invests Bloomberg’s assets.
> Steve Rattner appears on Morning Joe to discuss Bloomberg’s chances in the 2020 election


This morning I talked about how @AndrewYang’s #BoycottMSNBC movement exposes the anti-progressive bent of the network. They lionize the national security state, elevate GOP talking points on progressive priorities and smear non-establishment candidates. (video)

Yang’s thread

Click text graphics…

===2020 Presidential Candidates===
Elizabeth Warren… Feb 9th
We need bold action now to pass the #GreenNewDeal, build a green new economy, and defeat the climate crisis-and I’ve got a plan for that. I’m proud to work alongside groups like @SunriseMvmt to build the grassroots movement we need to fight climate change. (video)

Warren’s plan for bringing the free market to prescription drugs is huge. Government-granted patent monopolies make drugs expensive, not the market

See referenced comment…
Around 80 percent of the drugs we buy are generic,
these account for around 20 percent of spending. Patents are the problem.

We should also be focused on sharing technology with China, meaning we get theirs and
they get ours, rather than worrying about Boeing’s … patents. China is going to have far
more innovation in the next decade than the U.S.

Bernie Sanders… Feb 19th
Recalling the Rainbow Roots of the Bernie Sanders Presidential Run
Pete Buttigieg… April 14th
2014 Context: The Daily Show: Michael Lewis Extended Interview–2

Context: Michael Lewis Reflects on His Book “Flash Boys,” a Year After It Shook Wall Street to Its Core

Wall Street is mad at Bernie Sanders’ tuition-free college plan because it is financed by a
tax on Wall Street speculation. Pete Buttigieg is suddenly airing ads slamming Bernie’s
plan, as Pete raises money from Wall Street. That’s it. That’s the tweet.

Click text graphics…
Here’s a three-act tragicomedy about politics and big money

June Hiltzik: Eliminating student debt would be a terrific economic stimulus program

See referenced comment…
Buttigieg thinks that if your combined household income is more than $100k/yr you can be
lumped in rhetorically with billionaires and should be cut out of the free public college pool

Note: Keep in mind… the cost of living in Lincoln is a lot less than in someplace like NYC.

On top of all the other problems with this idea, just imagine how much resentment
it would produce among families with an income of $105,000 a year toward families
that make a bit less.

When College Was a Public Good

Buttigieg senior advisor…
If you think that a worker who didn’t go to college should pay for college for a CEO’s kid,
then @PeteButtigieg isn’t your candidate.

One of several comments in this thread…
If you don’t understand the concept – economically and in terms of equity –
of public goods and how they work, maybe you shouldn’t be running a campaign.

This is a GOP talking point used to dismantle public systems, & it’s sad to see a Dem
candidate adopt it. Let’s talk about why Republicans are wrong on this. Just like rich kids
can attend public school, they should be able to attend tuition-free public college.
Here’s why. (thread)

A crying shame when a Democrat muddies the water with disingenuous half-measures
and “everybody gets a cookie” logic. Guess what: Public goods are not cookies!
If we’re not in it together, we’ll always have a two-tiered system.
Solidarity means everyone has skin in the game

…when we start dividing people
… we start defeating the basic principle of justice and equality.

See referenced Dan Crenshaw (R) comment…
This is why it’s so wrong and dangerous to use GOP talking points.
Why does the GOP love means-testing universal programs like Social Security,
Medicare and education? It makes it easier to cut & eventually end them for everyone,
while the top 1% laughs all the way to the bank.


FDR wanted to make sure all Americans could get a decent job. Thankfully, he didn’t back
off his agenda just because bad faith opponents could slam the New Deal for opening up
the theoretical possibility that Rockefeller kids could work in the Civilian Conservation Corps.

See referenced comment…
It’s bad faith because people who make a little bit above that threshold are not the
children of billionaires. Why are Social Security, Medicare, public parks, and
K-12 schools universally available to every American?

Click text graphics…
None of this is new: “Why give a free ride to those who can afford to pay? The question is
not unfamiliar. In the past, fiscal conservatives asked quite regularly why those who could
afford should not pay for their children’s high school education.” -@NYTimes editor, 1976

How noble that Harvard educated Pete is willing to sacrifice the political integrity
of free public ed on the bad faith lie that rich people take out 8% interest rate loans for fun.
How brave of him to defend a status quo that preserves the value of his own elite education.

See referenced comment…
Buttigieg previously won an essay contest by touting Bernie Sanders’ “candor, conviction
& ability to bring people together” Now Pete has his staff promoting a screed suggesting
Bernie is a “faux progressive” because Bernie is pushing debt-free college

2000 Winning Profiles in Courage Essay by Peter Buttigieg on Bernie Sanders

Before @PeteButtigieg raked in cash from billionaires and Wall Street moguls, Pete made
one of the most powerful and compelling arguments for why @BernieSanders should be
president. …

Pete approved this message in 2000: “Politicians are rushing for the center, careful not to
stick their necks out on issues…[Bernie Sanders] energy, candor, conviction & ability
to bring people together stand against the current of opportunism, moral compromise
& partisanship”

This person works for Pete Buttigieg. And yet, this same person is now decrying intraparty
“polarization” and claiming we must focus on Trump – at the same time Pete is literally airing
an ad attacking other Dems for pushing plans for debt-free college:

Many of the DC political operatives who feign outrage at Bernie Sanders folk pushing back
against misinformation are the same people who constantly insist they are truly serious
about defeating Donald Trump. Kinda makes you think…

There’s nothing pro-military about overruling our military justice system to prevent it from delivering accountability for war crimes. The president has again dishonored our armed services.

This president is robbing our nation of its values and our service members of their honor.

Pete Buttigieg Says Marijuana Arrests Signify “Systemic Racism.”
His South Bend Police Fit the Bill.
Joe Biden… April 25th
Michael from @sunrise_PVD  tried to talk to @JoeBiden about why he’s taking Super PAC $ from fossil fuel executives. Instead of responding, Biden ran away. (video)…

Joe Biden: “the vast majority of Democrats do not support Medicare for All.”
Latest NYT Poll: “Medicare-for-all, in which all Americans would get their insurance from a
single government plan” has the support of:
– 81% of Democrats – 64% of Independents – 55% of All Americans

When our candidates parrot false Republican talking points on #MedicareForAll, it’s a huge disservice to the American people.

Here’s the truth: #MedicareForAll is popular. It’s the bold & progressive solution
to our broken health care system. It’s a moral & economic imperative.
Michael Bennet… May 2nd
When asked if he will campaign against Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), who has endorsed @Hickenlooper, said he hasn’t made up his mind yet. Good question by @ByJohnFrank #copolitics

I asked Bennet to critique @SenCoryGardner “we have a very good working relationship …
and if he goes back there I expect to have a good working relationship again”
He then went on to criticize Gardner’s voting record on issues
Michael Bloomberg… ???
The fact that Bloomberg bought into debunked, right-wing talking points about the causes of the financial crisis says pretty terrible things about his judgment (and reading material)

Michael Bloomberg’s Right-Wing Views on Foreign Policy Make Him a Perfect Candidate for the Republican Nomination. It’s not just domestic policies – Michael Bloomberg’s positions on the Iraq invasion, Saudi Arabia, and Israel-Palestine are extreme.

Bloomberg … served as an elected Republican between 2001 and 2007. This was a period during which he enthusiastically endorsed the reelection of George W. Bush and also addressed the Conservative Party’s annual conference in the U.K.

…Much has been made of Bloomberg’s blind defense of Wall Street, including his astonishing claim that it was Congress and “not the banks that created the mortgage crisis”; his ridiculous comparison of Warren’s modest wealth tax to Venezuela; his cynically timed apology for presiding over unconstitutional “stop-and-frisk” practices in New York, as well as his shameful failure to apologize to the city’s Muslim residents for subjecting them to an Orwellian surveillance regime.

But what of his foreign policy? Bloomberg is an ardent free trader and champion of globalization, but what else? …

Bloomberg’s Scandals Ignored or Underplayed by Press Cheerleaders

The CityTime scandal, which federal Judge George Daniels called “the largest city corruption scandal in decades,” was a 2011 debacle in which digitizing the city’s payroll system resulted in ballooning costs and the conviction of three contractors for bilking the city. Unions had rallied against the system, but Bloomberg, who oversaw and championed the overhaul, pressed on.

As long-time city reporter Bob Hennelly noted on WNYC (6/29/11), even though Bloomberg never faced prosecution in the mess, this was his responsibility:

March Context…
NYCLU Releases Report Analyzing NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Data
Racial Disparities Remain, Despite Significant Decline in Stops

Then Mayor Bloomberg: “We disproportionately stop whites too much
and minorities too little’ in stop-frisk checks (video)

Politico article on Bloomberg’s GOP donations…
“Good luck explaining the Scott Brown endorsement against Elizabeth Warren.”

I forgot Bloomberg spent nearly $10 million to re-elect Pat Toomey in 2016. Toomey beat
Katie McGinty, a Democrat, who would have been Pennsylvania’s first female senator

Related NYT article:

Bloomberg was also the Republican mayor of New York,
and was a featured speaker at the Bush/Cheney GOP convention in 2004

I wonder how @nychange feels about being in this Michael Bloomberg ad.

Please take this down @MikeBloomberg. You are not a part of our movement.

Mike Bloomberg is running ads with the community groups that spent years fighting him
as he blocked paid sick days, Sandy recovery funds, minimum wage increases, etc. etc.

Taken down, with apology. That image should not have been used, and won’t be again.

As with Trump, Bloomberg’s money will get him all the attention that our broken media
system’s fixation with wealth and power can “buy.” – John Nichols

Donald Trump Rode $5 Billion in Free Media to the White House

2016: Leslie Moonves on Donald Trump:
“It May Not Be Good for America, but It’s Damn Good for CBS”

Michael Bloomberg’s Big Hedge
With the possibility that a tax on wealth might help forge a more equitable America, the billionaire former mayor is not taking any chances.

Doing some math here.
@BernieSanders and @ewarren propose to tax billionaires. A lot. +
Mike Bloomberg has $54 billion. =
“Bloomberg officially announces he’s entering presidential race.”

Mike Bloomberg’s campaign says his wealth allows him to be more responsive
to working-class Americans because he won’t be beholden to special interests.
Which is, of course, what Trump said in 2016.

Maybe I’m cynical, but I can’t wrap my head around the idea
that the answer to the problem of plutocracy is a plutocrat.


April NYT: ‘Stop Sanders’ Democrats Agonizing Over His Momentum’

Joe Walsh…Aug 25th…
Joe Walsh on CNN this AM: “If I were still in the House of Representatives as a Republican … I would vote to impeach this president. It’s not a close call.”
Donald Trump
UN predicts bleak outcome without drastic action on climate
“The actions of the Trump administration have reversed a trend in the US that saw a decline in CO2 emissions until last year when they rose by 2.7%. …”

A running list of how President Trump is changing environmental policy
…we’re tracking them here as they happen.

The David Bernhardt Scandal Tracker
An official investigation into ethics violations by Trump’s new Secretary of the Interior
was opened just four days after his confirmation

Fischer & Sasse & every voting Republican approved Bernhardt’s nomination
with one Dem (Donnelly (D-IN)…

The way the Trump administration wants to change SNAP means millions would lose food stamp access. “SNAP is related to hunger and getting people the nutrition they need,” one advocate told NBC News. “Food shouldn’t be a luxury.”

Baker: “China’s growth has been more than twice as large as the growth in the United States since Donald Trump came into the White House.”

Who Pays the Tax on Imports from China?

“Trump is a businessman. We can just pay him money and the problems will be solved,”
said a politically connected person in Beijing. “As long as we have money, we can buy him.
That’s the reason why we prefer him to Democrats.”

US Firms Pull Back on Investment
Many of the biggest US companies are moderating their spending on equipment and other capital investment, as an uncertain business environment prompts some to postpone or shelve otherwise promising projects. That could pose a continuing drag on economic growth.

President boasts of strong economy, but economic growth is weaker now than when he
took office. Tax cuts for companies & wealthy individuals were supposed to boost investment
and growth and deliver high-paying jobs to workers. But firms pull back on investment.

The Trump administration redesigned the online Medicare Cost Finder for seniors to compare complex health insurance options. But consumer advocates have identified instances when the tool has malfunctioned and given inaccurate plan and price data.

Millions of seniors may unknowingly be signing up for insurance plans that will cost them
more – not less – money thanks to a Trump admin tool that is malfunctioning.

Sept Context: Betsy DeVos Is Trying To Gut Student Loan Forgiveness
Since DeVos took over the Department of Education in 2017, her administration has made consistent efforts to eliminate or water down the program. …

Broken Promises and Debt Pile Up as Loan Forgiveness Goes Astray

Repeat two from last week for context…
2013: This Video of the Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion Is Utterly Terrifying

In the wake of the 2013 West, Tex. fertilizer plant fire that killed 15 people, EPA adopted
stricter safety rules. The agency just rolled those standards back and claims public
disclosure for public safety could aid terrorists. …

Port Neches plant rocked by multiple explosions was declared high priority violator by EPA
The Southeast Texas chemical manufacturing plant, owned by Houston-based Texas
Petroleum Chemical Group, has a long history of environmental violations and been out
of compliance with federal clean air laws for years.

Hours after explosions rocked a Texas chemical plant, a chemical fire continues to burn

Former allies…
Syrian Kurds, abandoned by Trump, Face War Crimes, Ethnic Cleansing at Hands of Turkey’s Fundamentalist Proxies

Trump said the Taliban “wants to make a deal. And we’re meeting with them, and we’re saying it has to be a cease-fire.” On Friday neither the Taliban nor the government of Afghan President Ghani indicated a cease-fire was near, or even being discussed.

Chris Shumake, ex-sniper who served in Chief Gallagher’s platoon… Trump’s “trying to show he has the troops’ backs, but he’s saying he doesn’t trust any of the troops or their leaders to make the right decisions.”

Former Admiral…
James Stavridis: “By overriding the Secretary of the Navy … in support of someone who has
disgraced his uniform, Trump sailed into uncharted territory. It is hard to imagine any other
President taking such action over such unified military advice.”

Monday: Defense Sec Mark Esper says Trump gave him a direct order to stop the
disciplinary process for a Navy SEAL who was charged with war crimes.

Related: (video)

Trump’s rising interference in military irks Pentagon
Concerns grow that president is politicising defence department after Navy Seal case.

Worry rises in military over Trump’s decision-making

(Trump) can pardon war criminals but he can’t absolve them. “Trump Tells Allies
He Wants Absolved War Criminals to Campaign for Him”

April: Navy Judge says SEAL charged with war crimes  threatened to kill teammate who turned him in

According to HuffPost, Trump’s golf hobby has now cost Americans an estimated $115 million in travel and security expenses – the equivalent of 287 years of the presidential salary he frequently boasts about not taking.

Trump Tax Records Reveal New Inconsistencies – This Time for Trump Tower
Documents show the president’s company reported different numbers – higher ones to lenders, lower ones to tax officials – for Trump’s signature building. Last month, ProPublica revealed a similar pattern in two other Trump buildings.

See referenced Trump comment…
Hey, what do you mean “I” offered? Did you forget, you told us that you turned over your business to your kids. You probably forgot since that was almost three years ago, but maybe one of your staffers can refresh you memory.

It is incredible how Donald Trump continually trips over his lies, but perhaps even more
incredible that so many of his big lies (who cares about the little ones) are just ignored
by the media.

See referenced Trump comment…
Actually past presidents had no problem complying with congressional subpoenas, everyone can see you’re just trying to protect (yourself). No one is fooled with this nonsense.

See referenced Trump comment…
No such “some polls”



“The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears.
It was their final, most essential command.” – George Orwell

The Department of Homeland Security separated thousands of migrant families under its “zero tolerance” policy despite knowing that it lacked the information technology to record and track the migrants, according to a blistering report by an internal government watchdog released Wednesday.

The report also revealed for the first time that border officials planned to separate five times as many children than it did in 2018.
Richard Gonzales in “New (DHS) Report: U.S. Lacked Technology To Account For Separated Families

Question: How is this not kidnapping?
O’Malley tears into former schoolmate Ken Cuccinelli, says caging children “not what we were taught by Jesuits”

Some predictable folks criticized @MartinOMalley for confronting @KenCuccinelli. Said he wasn’t “civil.” I’ll tell you what’s not “civil”. Ripping children away from their parents & putting them in cages, denying entry to refugees & asylum-seekers, & threatening #Dreamers. – James Zogby

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