Towards an issues-based 2020 election (51)

===2020 Big Picture===
My response to a candidate’s fundraising letter:

According to polling *trends* voters agree on several major issues. Are you a can-do, can’t-do or won’t-do-the-will-of-the-people candidate?

If you can’t or won’t answer that question, please take my name off your contact list.

For example…
Americans want an End to Fossil Fuels, but Corporate Media won’t Tell You So

…a solid seven-eighths of U.S. adults – including half of the supporters of the unabashedly pro-fossil fuel Republican Party – support a phase-out of fossil fuels. And that population is based in the world’s largest oil and gas producer, third largest coal producer, and the only country to leave the universally-adopted Paris Climate Agreement.

  Compare / Contrast…
Merkel’s Germany dumps 20% of Its Coal Use, CO2 Falls 7%, Renewables at 40%

How Youth Have Changed the Climate Movement

Someone in their late 20’s has now seen two rigged electoral college presidential elections, an illegal war, the longest war, a financial collapse to rival the Depression, and now two impeachments


Can’t imagine why young voters are jaded with our current political system

…White & older voters favor candidate with “best chance to beat Trump,” while voters of color & younger voters favor candidate who “shares your position on most issues.”
White: 34%
POC: 55%
-45: 54%
45+: 34%
Beat Trump
White: 63%
POC: 42%
-45: 45%
45+: 62%

Note: It’s still too early to bank on polls, but given the above “best chance to beat Trump” poll…

Also from new @EmersonPolling national poll:
Head to head polling against Trump, all voters under 50
– Sanders: +11%
– Biden: +3%
– Warren: +3%
– Buttigieg: +1%
(Head to head polling) Against Trump, black voters
– Sanders: +54%
– Warren: +50%
– Biden: +41%
– Buttigieg: +33%

Given the misleading reports after the UK election…

Labour got wrecked but one thing to keep in mind about the UK Election is that voters did not flock to centrists and moderates in opposition to Corbyn and the far-right. The centrist party – the Liberal Democrats – performed poorly and their leader is set to lose her own seat.


The left isn’t losing everywhere. Lib-left coalitions have won recent elections and now govern
in Denmark, Portugal, Spain. Worth exploring why.

Europe looking increasingly like the US. John Bercow just now: “What we’ve got here is identity politics trumping old fashioned socioeconomic determination of how people vote. People used to vote on a straightforward economic basis. People are now voting on a different basis.”

Dark day for minorities in the UK. Especially for British Muslims who watched as a man
who said “Islam was the problem,” mocked veiled Muslim women, & also turned a blind
eye to massive anti-Muslim hatred in his party, was just given a landslide majority
by their fellow Britons.

The left needs to help citizens see what unites them, instead of focusing on their differences

For example…
In the US, climate is polarizing. Clean energy, meanwhile, is incredibly popular.

Renewable tax incentives tagged as a winnable platform, new poll finds

Reading the new book from @WuDunn and @NickKristof with great interest – the US is
unraveling, which means it needs a lot of work to knit it back together again. …

UK election driver details …

Update – see chart…
Study from Loughborough University on the media coverage of this election shows what many suspected. An enormous anti-Labour, pro-Tory media trying to swing the election.

I heard the line that Corbyn is a traitor and a terrorist sympathiser on the doorstep, in one of the
most deprived wards in Yorkshire. And when I asked why, I was told to my face that
“he’s letting those Muslims and foreigners take over.”


“The fall in support for Corbyn had a lot to do with Brexit. He was seen as… indecisive.
Was it fair? No.  “Most of Labour’s supporters were Remainers and defecting from them.
Yet they couldn’t win without their Leavers. I don’t know what the answer to that is.” –
@OwenJones84 (video) –

See chart…
This was an election dominated by Brexit.
Boris Johnson successfully united the Leave vote across the country, whereas the Remain vote
was divided and Corbyn deeply unpopular. Yet, it’s worth noting that a majority of voters chose
a party that advocated a 2nd referendum #GE19

See chart…
An illustration of the divided Remain vote

Labour’s gain in Putney was expected by the exit poll. Underscores the huge divides laid bare
in this election – Labor advancing in wealthy, diverse, graduate heavy Remain areas
while collapsing in poorer, whiter, Leave voting towns with few graduates


Post-election commentary speaks of Corbyn’s party achieving “its worst result since 1935.”
Alexander Mercouris shows why that is a serious misrepresentation.


Labour won’t win again until it works out why it lost
It’s not enough to blame Jeremy Corbyn, Brexit or the media.
The picture is far more complex than that

Boris Johnson won by embracing a health care program much to the left of Medicare for All,
calling for 100% clean and renewable energy by 2050, and rejecting a multinational trade deal
that gave up national sovereignty and is unpopular with voters in post-industrial areas.
Ask U.S. Presidential Candidates to Produce Basic Federal Budgets

Public Education Forum 2020 Video

Dem Candidates Focus on Public Education at Historic Forum with Civil Rights & Labor Groups

At December’s debate, moderators need to get some new questions about abortion

Note: I couldn’t find debate video that didn’t also include commentary.

The DNC’s Bad Rules Are Mangling the 2020 Race by Excluding Diverse Voices From the Debates
Cory Booker and Julián Castro belong on the debate stage.

At this still-early point in the nomination contest, before a single vote has been cast, it’s foolish to practice exclusionary politics. The Democratic race will take many twists and turns before delegates convene next July in Milwaukee, and it’s wrong to exclude serious contenders in a way that artificially narrows the debate and candidacy pool.

The fate of L.A.’s Democratic presidential debate hinges on a bargaining session

The Democratic debate is on after candidates threatened to boycott over labor dispute
Democrats stepped in on the side of labor ahead of the debate – and helped workers win.

PBS Decides What Debate Watchers Need Is More Talk From Pundits

The PBS/Politico debate was almost good. The only problem was the eternal problem: Every time it seemed like an actual debate might be breaking out, the moderators would interrupt, cut speakers off and generally dumb things down.

We’re halfway through tonight’s #DemDebate and nuclear weapons haven’t come up.
Here’s why they should, from @DenisePSRLA and David Wright @UCSUSA for @sacbee_news.

===2020 Issues===
Vitally important new paper from Stanford’s @mzjacobson and team: they show how 143 countries that produce 99.7% of greenhouse gases can run on sun, wind, and water–which would save immense amounts of money, not to mention the planet.

Holland’s Supreme Court holds the government must cut emissions to safeguard the rights of its citizens. …

Europe Announces Green Deal

Europe’s Energy Giants Line Up to Endorse Green Deal

McKibben: How Pressure on Banks Helps Fight Climate Change

Swiss lawmakers are preparing a campaign that would make targeting climate change
one of the policy objectives of the Swiss National Bank, alongside the traditional
monetary targets of ensuring price stability and fostering economic growth.


The huge economic cost of Austalia’s bushfires
At least A$240m in insurance claims have already been filed
and the fires could go on for months


#ClimateChange high and low points of 2019 from scientists including @PeterGleick @AndrewDessler and more by @bud_ward @CC_Yale in which @KHayhoe lists the high points below, but worries that our fear may doom us. (Let’s not do that!) Get the details here:

Five things we’ve learned from Madrid talks

The Path to Meeting Paris Targets for the United States – Rocky Mountain Institute

Almost Half Of All Americans Work Low Wage Jobs – as Praise Heaped on ‘Strong Economy’

Baker argues that many policies that would hurt the stock market – stopping Big Pharma price gouging, curtailing fossil fuel production, and allowing labor unions to bargain for better wages – would be good for the economy and broader society. The economist notes that the U.S. had very strong growth with widely shared benefits in the 1950s and 1960s despite stock prices being far lower relative to the economy.

Because these policy changes would improve peoples’ jobs and living conditions, Baker argues that it is important for people to “recognize that reining in bad practices in the corporate sector is good for the economy of the country and the world, even if it is bad for investors.”

A nice gesture by the donor, but mostly I find this story, and the concept of “lunch debt,” very sad. These are poor families — destitute, hungry, homeless in some cases. One parent says the lunch debt relief “is allowing his family to have a Christmas.”

Hartmann: The Real Boston Tea Party was an Anti-Corporate Revolt

The real Boston Tea Party was a protest against huge corporate tax cuts for the British East India Company (BEIC), the largest trans-national corporation then in existence. This corporate tax cut threatened to decimate small Colonial businesses by helping the BEIC pull a Wal-Mart against small entrepreneurial tea shops, and individuals began a revolt that kicked-off a series of events that ended in the creation of The United States of America.

CBPP: Senate Bill Aims to Cut Intergenerational Poverty by Expanding Families’ Housing Opportunities


America Needs an Industrial Policy

Revenue Options For a Fair Tax System

2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates on Taxes and Investments

Oct: White House officials ramp up new tax cut talks,
as Trump seeks sharp contrast with 2020 Democrats

It’s far from perfect, but the USMCA (updated NAFTA) incorporates a number of long-sought-after progressive priorities. My take on its politics, substance, and most important, what it says about future deals.

See referenced comment…
Data for Progress has a new memo showing strong voter support for the environmental
provisions Democrats decided not to fix in the NAFTA reboot reboot.
Instead of getting Trump to rejoin Paris, we got inter-agency committees to study stuff.

Country of origin labeling…
Cattlemen asssociation disappointed in lack of COOL in USMCA

Leo McDonnell, USCA Director Emeritus, wrote, “this administration promised to “Make America Great Again,” but it is becoming evident this does not include U.S. ranchers.” He called the lack of COOL in USMCA “disheartening at best.” The letter presented years of data, dating back to 1988, as evidence of unfair trade in the beef sector by Canada and Mexico, in making a case for the necessity of COOL.

COOL, which is illegal by World Trade Organization standards, was in place but repealed by the U.S. Congress after Canada and Mexico planned trade retaliations.

  Future trade deals will have little to do with trade, but rather well be more concerned with
locking in regulatory structures which will often be protectionist (e.g. patent and copyright
monopolies) – On Patreon

Congress just struck deals to:
– Provide $738B for the military
– $427B in tax breaks to medical device makers, racetrack owners & other special interests
= $1.165 trillion
Amount paid for: $0.
But how are we going to pay for #MedicareForAll?


CBPP: Health Extenders Agreement Takes a Step Backward
Because it would harm consumers, Georgia’s proposal isn’t approvable under federal law. …

… At a moment when policymakers should focus on reducing health costs and raising revenues to expand health coverage, this legislation repeals an important cost-reducing measure and sacrifices hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue. In addition, the agreement provides two years of additional Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico and the other territories, short of the four years of funding that lawmakers had previously agreed to on a bipartisan basis.

Expands definition of biologic drugs…
In a win for pharma, lawmakers included a provision in the end-of-year spending package that would give certain drugs seven extra years of patent protection.

Surprise medical bills legislation…
The proposal’s apparent demise was not a result of partisan division, but instead reflected certain lawmakers’ reluctance to pursue an approach that would reduce doctors’ pay.

See table…
Surprise medical bills are not only unaffordable for the patients who receive them,
but also inflate everyone else’s premiums.

That is probably a few million food stamp person years.


Last three tweets of the thread…
So what’s the issue now?
@RepRichardNeal (D-MA1), chair of Ways & Means, is delaying legislation until 2020 (likely
with approval from leadership). It’s hard to see this as anything but a way to water down
the proposed legislation or let it die completely.

And guess who’s suddenly interested in @RepRichardNeal’s reelection campaign?
Executives from Blackstone, which owns TeamHealth.

Blackstone execs dumped $25,000 into Neal’s campaign in two weeks in September

Ending surprise billing is important – in a 2019 poll, 41% of Americans reported they got some
kind of surprise bill. And there’s broad consensus in ending the practice.
(“Centrist”) Democratic leadership shouldn’t be standing in the way.

Former insurance executive turned whistleblower…
***Wendell Potter thread on preserving healthcare “choice”


Hightower: Who’s Afraid of Medicare for All?


For the love of all things holy, stop saying we can’t afford to provide health care
for all Americans. We’re spending $738 billion on a Space Force.

Toxic Taps
The military is running away from its legacy of PFAS-contaminated water.


Four Lawyers. Four Projects. One Non-Stop Year.
Here are some of our attorneys’ takes on 2019 and the year ahead – what’s changed for the better and for the worse, and how the outcome of the 2020 presidential election will affect the fight for civil rights and liberties in years to come.

From Marijuana to the Death Penalty, States Led the Way in 2019
A retrospective on the year that was on criminal justice reform. Seven maps. 16 issues. 50 states.


Can we prevent nuclear war? Dr. Ira Helfand (TED talk)

Rapidly expanding nuclear arsenals in Pakistan and India
portend regional and global catastrophe

===2020 Watch List===
Where we identify and remove state-backed information operations on our service, we disclose them publicly in the interest of transparency. Today we’re updating our archive with new activity we’ve removed originating within Saudi Arabia. Read more here:

If you wondered why the Twitter conversation on Iran has been so disconnected from reality,
it may have something to do with the fact that the Saudi gov employed *at least* 88,000
fake accounts to fuel conflict and silence voices seeking de-escalation and challenging

Note: And new fake accounts keep popping up. For example…

Israel Defense Forces…
Check out this “upcoming project” Very similar to the “Labour Against Antisemitism” account.
This *brand new* account’s second follower also founded Our Soldiers Speak (OSS). Per OSS website: “Benjamin arranges briefings by senior IDF officers for members of the US Congress.”

The foreign dark money group attacking Sanders (which gave itself away not knowing
American date customs) – – is now out with some extremely
expensive research that doesn’t remotely prove the case Sanders is anti-Semitic. …

…excellent discussion by @TVietor08 and Ben about the absurd attack on @SenSanders,
@mattduss & @fshakir for “antisemitism.” The attack aims to constrain policy discussion
on Israel & weaponize charge of antisemitism, they warn. At 54′ mark

Corporate Media Find All the Wrong Lessons for US Left in Corbyn’s Defeat

Two reported pieces this week finally dropped the dismissive attitude toward the Sanders campaign.

“It’s no surprise; the establishment will do what it’s always done to protect the status quo,”
said Turner. “We’re ready for it. Thank God our victory won’t be contingent on the
establishment or media elites.” – me in @thehill #Bernie2020

===2020 Watch List-Bias===
House Dems political committee…
DCCC to Consultants: Helping to Elect a Republican? Sure, We’ll Work With You.
Despite its blacklist policy, DCCC has paid over $2 million to Trilogy Interactive, one of the biggest vendors working with the With Honor PAC.

So, let me preface this by saying that, while I am a big Elizabeth Warren fan, there are any number of Dems running that I would happily vote for. But this article from Politico about @ewarren is infuriating.

The actual story here, if you know the background, is that @ewarren is a passionate advocate
for financial reform who understands that Democrats can sometimes be unreliable allies in that
fight, particularly when they are cozying up to Wall Street for campaign contributions.

In 2016, she worked effectively both behind the scenes and publicly to ensure that,
if elected, Hillary Clinton wouldn’t fall into that trap.

But, instead of telling that story straight,
Politico can’t resist making this another story about how Elizabeth Warren is a bully.

Consumers could use more members of Congress, and more presidential candidates,
who are as “uncompromising” as @ewarren in fighting to reform the financial system
and build an economy that works for everyone.

See referenced Axelrod & NYT comments…
When Buttigieg was on the Daily he was not asked why people see him as inauthentic or opportunistic.
But Warren gets asked repeatedly why she’s “alienating” or “uncompromising”
“Why do people hate you?” is a question asked only to women

PBS Taps Journalist With Anti-Sanders Bias to Help Moderate Debate

Luntz counted 14 hands (video) and tweeted 10. Guess which candidate was shorted. (see video)

Fox Nation’s Diamond & Silk offer racism but no proof for their Big Lies…


===2020 Presidential Candidates===
Tulsi Gabbard… Jan 11th
Important article. It’s the duty of every American politician of Hindu faith to stand for pluralism, reject Hindutva, and speak for equal rights for Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhist & Christians. That is the vision of India my grandfather Amarnath Vidyalankar fought for.
Cory Booker… Feb 1st
Cory Booker Just Went All-In Against Factory Farming and the Meat Industry
The most famous vegan in politics unveils a bold new plan.
Elizabeth Warren… Feb 9th
Kicking Off The First 100 Days Of My Green New Deal
Elizabeth Warren outlines how she’ll begin the Green New Deal in the opening months of her presidency.

I hadn’t heard this before, but I think @ewarren has the right balance on nuclear energy. Keep the ones we have, but don’t build new ones. They’re too expensive, too dangerous but we need a nuclear wedge in the short run. And Styer adds excellent points about renewables

“Warren’s plan to tax the assets of America’s wealthiest individuals continues to draw broad support from voters, across party, gender and educational lines. Only one slice of the electorate opposes it staunchly: Republican men with college degrees”

.@ewarren makes a key point that many believe but few practice: We need a strong military but our foreign policy should use all the tools of American power and lead with diplomacy, economic power and our moral authority.

Elizabeth Warren Took on Corruption in Both Parties
From impeachment to “wine caves,” the senator refused to let President Trump, or her fellow Democrats, off the hook during the debate.
Amy Klobuchar… Feb 10th
See referenced comment…
Funnier than what?

Senator @amyklobuchar’s debate answer on Trump’s Ukraine abuses – “This is a Global Watergate…”– and impeachment is by far the best. Klobuchar even got in a reference to “all the president’s men.”

After every debate, the pundits say Amy Klobuchar broke through and will surely move up in the polls. Then, a few weeks later, when Klobuchar remains in fifth or sixth or seventh place, the pundits start speculating about whether the next debate will be her breakthrough moment.
Bernie Sanders… Feb 19th
Senator @BernieSanders got the #USMCA question right. He recognizes that it is a mistake to fall for the promises that are always made on trade deals. Look at the details: this is not the deal that’s needed.

Not only pro-Israel… “We must be pro-Palestinian, as well.” — Bernie Sanders

“Netanyahu… who, to my view, is a racist.” — Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders is the only leading Democrat who hasn’t taken money from billionaires

Pete Buttigieg… April 14th
Update (Buttigieg worked for McKinsey)…
When ProPublica/NYTimes published @i_m_m’s investigation into McKinsey, the firm issued a statement basically calling it fake news. Now, ProPublica responds with a detailed refutation of McKinsey’s argument – it’s a clinic in dealing with corporate misinformation

But, hey, who you gonna trust? ProPublica, a non-profit investigative newsroom with a track-
record of breaking some of the most important stories of the decade… or McKinsey, a
consulting firm that throws parties in the shadow of Chinese internment camps

The consulting giant, which likes to compare itself to the Marines and the Catholic Church,
has a habit of disregarding rules and norms in its government work.

How consulting companies like McKinsey optimized American inequalit

How McKinsey Became a Villain (audio)

Capitalism’s Consigliere: McKinsey’s Work for Insurance Companies,
ICE, Drug Manufacturers, and Despots

Pete Buttigieg Was Part of McKinsey Team That Pushed Postal Service Privatization
Buttigieg’s campaign insists he had nothing to do with the McKinsey report’s
cost-cutting recommendations.

At the same time, @BernieSanders formed a coalition to stop the Postal Service from:
– Closing 15,000 post offices
– Ending 6-day mail delivery
– Slashing over 100,000 jobs
We didn’t get everything we wanted, but we also stopped
over 100 mail sorting plants from shutting down.

***A backgrounder piece suggests Buttigieg is more of a Washington insider than he lets on.

Warren: …”(Buttigieg’s) plan is not offering full health care coverage to anyone. His plan is still about high deductibles, about fees, about co-pays and about uncovered expenses. What I’m offering is full health care coverage.” (video)

“Medicare for all who want it” leaves in place a system designed to make huge profits for drug
and insurance companies, not guarantee health care for all. We cannot have an effective health
care system as long as greedy corporations are allowed to dictate our priorities. (video)

Pete Buttigieg Pledged to Make Diversity a Priority, but His Mayoral Leadership Is Mostly White

Pete Buttigieg Stood by Police Officer
Who Mocked and Profited From Eric Garner’s Final Plea of “I Can’t Breathe”

Moderators trying to score cheap points on Sanders connecting climate justice to racial justice but still haven’t asked Pete about his faked black endorsements. Got it.

Pete was just *so* patronizing to Warren. …

Agree. He just lost that exchange big time.

Buttigieg omitted high-powered bundlers from disclosure
The financial supporters not published by the campaign
include former ambassadors and wealthy investors

The Buttigieg campaign lists HK Park on its website as one of its top fundraisers…
Buttigieg fundraiser dangles influence for cash

See referenced article about why young progressives don’t like Buttigieg…
No, most of these explanations are not quite right. The real explanation is the simplest of all:  young people are getting absolutely crushed by the billionaires who bankroll Pete in a wine cave

See text graphic…
Pete Buttigieg calls his big donors “investors” – and he held an investment conference
in a wine cave owned by people who pumped cash into politics and got themselves
an ambassadorship and a federal bailout during the S&L scandal.


Buttigieg while running for DNC chair: “Winning elections in red territory is my bread and butter.” (video)  …His one (statewide) race in red territory he lost by 25 points.
Joe Biden… April 25th
Biden: “We shouldn’t build a new highway in America that doesn’t have charging stations on it.”
Yes! #ElectricCar

Despite signing the #NoFossilFuel money pledge – – @JoeBiden continues to use loopholes to accept contributions from the fossil fuel industry and its lobbyists.
“Joe Biden just doesn’t get it – where ‘it’ refers to an existential threat to humanity.”

See referenced question…
Joe Biden promising his big donors that if he wins the presidency, “nothing would
fundamentally change”

If nothing fundamentally changes in our politics, the climate crisis will make sure
everything fundamentally changes in our planet’s ecosystem – and not for the better

Biden’s two NYC fundraisers in early January will be hosted by elite corporate lawyers,
finance executives & real estate magnates. The lawyers represent fossil fuel, finance,
pharma, and health care companies.

Biden’s “style” was to pass the crime bill, the bankruptcy bill,
and push us into a trillion dollar war with Iraq.

I listen to @PodSavetheWorld every week. @brhodes’ discussion of Biden this week is outstanding. Stop defending your vote for the Iraq War, he says, and argue that you learned from that mistake. Don’t defend US primacy. At 45′ mark.

As far as I know, what Biden said on the failed Afghan War is correct. He opposed it. Wanted to shrink the force to a minimum. What’s hard for him to say – for any official to say – is that he lost that fight. Gates, Clinton, JCS opposed him. Obama was boxed in.

As long as the phrase, wine caves, is trending…
Here Are The Billionaires Backing Joe Biden’s Presidential Campaign

Biden 2018: “You shouldn’t accept any money from a super PAC,
because people can’t possibly trust you”
Biden 2019: I desperately need cash, so I’m now totally happy
to be bankrolled by a super PAC led by health care lobbyists …

Joe Biden is bashing Medicare for All while he’s being bankrolled by a super PAC
run by health care industry lobbyists. Money talks.
Michael Bennet… May 2nd
See referenced comment…
Is there a reason … that this is the year some presidential campaigns
decided to rebrand fundraising as “investment”?

I think kids should have to go to school six days a week. 181 days is not enough if you’re a kid living in poverty in this country. #PublicEdForum

90% of American politics is pretending that we can help people who need money
in some way besides giving them money (or unrigging the system)

Chris Cuomo just said he’d never seen Biden better than tonight and then explained “he was alert the whole time”

Note: That’s a very low bar for president.

Here Are the Corporate Elites Hosting Biden’s Manhattan Fundraisers
More than a dozen high-powered lawyers and executives, including the man who inspired Gordon Gekko, will help “Middle-Class Joe” raise campaign cash in early January.
Andrew Yang… Nov, 2017
Krugman – Yang – Bernstein – Smith – Baker exchange on automation…
This article by Andrew Yang is really sad. It’s a blizzard of claims and facts designed to avoid confronting the simple fact that the data don’t back up the central claim of his campaign

See chart…
If rampant automation were destroying millions of jobs, productivity – output per remaining worker
– should be soaring. It isn’t; productivity growth has actually slowed

If Yang has an argument about why the data don’t mean what they seem to mean – an actual
argument, not “I’ve talked to workers and they’re scared” – he should lay it out

Thanks Paul. The productivity growth stat could be a result of the fact that many workers are
being pushed into – or stuck in – low productivity sectors as a means of survival. It could also
be a lagging indicator.  As you know it’s hard to pack every stat into an Op-Ed.

It’s hard to see why you are so dismissive. McKinsey, MIT, BCG, Oxford, the Obama White
House, the World Bank and just about every other org who has looked at this is deeply
concerned about automation. They see the same stats you and I do.

Instead of citing a backward-looking stat why not get out and visit with the technologists, labor
leaders, factory workers, educators, retail workers, truckers, Amazon facility workers and
others who are experiencing this day-to-day? You might have a different perspective.

This is an important point that you (@andrewyang) need to incorporate in your rap, big time!
It’s not that robots taking all the jobs (Paul’s stats are correct). It’s that job quality has declined,
notably, as you say, for workers displaced from better jobs.

For the record, that’s both trade deficits in goods and automation. But the policy solution starts
from recognizing the job quality, vs. quantity, problem. What’s the policy agenda to improve job

See chart…
For one, raise the minimum wage and – rather than your too scattershot $1K for everyone –
a more targeted, robust wage subsidy. Please give the Working Families Tax Relief Act
a close look:

Andrew, hey! Just wanted to pop in and say that if a human were replaced by a machine and then
hired into a low-productivity job, aggregate labor productivity would go up, not down. So this
explanation for slow productivity growth can’t really work… cheers!

Baker’s response to questions about Yang’s comment…
(The claims make) zero sense. Productivity growth has slowed pretty much everywhere.
I frankly don’t know how it can be a lagging indicator, but in any case, how long a lag
does he envision, 15 years?

What happens when you automate a productive job and then that worker gets a new much less
productive job, and works more hours? Furthermore, what happens to productivity as people
burn out working more to try and get by, or as they do work that doesn’t engage them as much?

If Yang is talking about inequality, there is a large literature that he can familiarize himself.
If he is talking about massive job loss due to automation, he is on the wrong planet –
it ain’t happening here.

Note: So Yang is wrong *and* appears unwilling to accept that he’s wrong. Not great qualities in a presidential given our need for economic reform.

Yang released his healthcare plan

(His plan) lays out *nothing to* address the millions of people who are uninsured or those
underinsured who are struggling to pay high premiums, co-pays or deductibles.
Inadequate is an understatement.

See referenced Yang comment…
People dying young is a problem, but we really don’t have to worry
about running out of white people
Michael Bloomberg… Nov 2019
No show…
Michael Bloomberg is everywhere – except on debate stage

Mike Bloomberg has a plan to clean up electricity and it doesn’t need Congress
Bloomberg would supercharge the EPA to get rid of coal and block new natural gas.

Bloomberg hasn’t released his health policy…

See polling graphic regarding Bloomberg’s self-funding his campaign…

See infographic…
If Tom Steyer can get to 10% in early primary states based on millions in TV ads alone,
Bloomberg can probably go even further. #Democracy

Donald Trump
Financing for Sports Stadiums Could Count as Helping the Poor
– U.S. is shifting what qualifies as helping poor under 1977 law
– But one example, stadium financing, is already controversial

Which is it, President Trump? – See referenced Trump statement…
His real view of federal workers:
– Called them “deep state” and “scum”
– Pushed out foreign service and climate scientists
– Morale has fallen past 2 years
– His budgets have proposed freezing federal worker pay
– Demoted federal workers who dissented
– Appointed incompetent leaders

See referenced Trump comment…
Has anyone told you that, in spite of your “giant Trade Deal” soy bean prices are still down by 10 percent from when you took office?

When is a tariff not a tariff? When $12.8 billion out of $50 billion worth of imports is exempted in an opaque, unaccountable process that the @PIIE calls a “substantial off-budget concession to lucky firms”:

[O]n Trump’s watch healthcare costs have devoured all wage gains, sent 530K into bankruptcy, increased wealth concentration, caused sick people to defer treatment as our life expectancy declined 3 years in a row.

Los Angels Times post-debate voter: “I want to see Bernie vs. Trump because
we are in a class war. That is what it is. It is #MedicareForAll vs. status quo” (video)

Backed by White House, NE and other state Attornies General…
CBPP: Suit Challenging ACA Legally Suspect, But Threatens Loss of Coverage for Millions

The $120B increase in endless wars under Trump could have:
– Made every public college & university tuition free
– Eliminated homelessness
– Provided universal school meals to every kid
Instead, we will now have a space force. And guess what? It wasn’t paid for.

See text graphic and link…
Came across this “white paper” that China released last year, presenting a systematic
defense of its conduct in the face of US economic aggression. It uses facts somewhat…
selectively…but also channels what much of the rest of the world has been saying:

It also explains why it’ll be so hard for China to make significant promises on IP or state
subsidies in any trade deal with the US, since the paper maintains that all of its actions
have been above board, making any concession seem humiliating.

Good on IP – I don’t see any reason our government should be fighting to give
even more money to Boeing, Pfizer, and Microsoft!

How US-China trade deal achieved a little but left out a lot

Hansen: The Trump Administration was not able to achieve the structural reforms they sought relative to their use of state owned capitalism. It was described this way below:

“With only limited concessions, China has been able to preserve its mercantilist economic system and continue its discriminatory industrial policies at the expense of China’s trading partners and the global economy,” said Scott Kennedy, a China specialist at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

In my view, after all the bellowing and pawing of the ground, the failure of the U.S. to isolate China from the rest of the world community from the start was in fact as I described in the Hill article last fall: a huge unforced error.  That upfront error was the direct result of the President’s combined mega ego and ignorance. If the other big kid on the world economic playground, the U.S. is to take on China who is the playground bully and force them to fundamentally change the way they do business despite the fact that system has worked to their economic advantage, for decades, it will take coordination and cooperation from the rest of the world community that has a shared interest in reining in the playground bully.

Includes images of now inaccessible maps…
Goodbye to ToxMap – and Our Environmental Right-to-Know

While people / corporations illegally hire and often abuse undocumented workers with impunity…
Stephen Miller launched a secret effort to embed ICE officials at the US refugee agency that cares for unaccompanied child migrants (ORR), part of new push to gather enforcement data on migrant families

Congress has prohibited the use of UAC sponsor data to develop ICE target lists, but ICE says
sponsors who are rejected are fair game for arrest because they are no longer “potential
sponsors,” giving the agency a trove of new addresses, phone numbers and biometric data

Office of Refugee Resettlement…
Miller’s latest effort to break down the info barrier between ICE and ORR will potentially leave
minors in government shelters longer, as parents are forced to choose between reclaiming
their children and risking arrest and deportation. Already the number of unclaimed children is up.

Good thing (Miller) wasn’t in charge  when his great-grandparents
were escaping the pogroms in Russia.

GOP controlled Senate quietly cuts the phrase “white nationalist” from a measure in the NDAA which was intended to explicitly address the threat of white nationalists in the military.

See Trump’s comment…
This is also the man who, when told North Korea was about to test an ICBM, said: “It won’t happen.”
Then it happened.  Three times.

A few days later…
U.S. Braces for Major North Korean Weapons Test as Trump’s Diplomacy Fizzles

A very useful thread. – – I have slight differences that I’ll detail tomorrow…

Trump’s Mar-A-Lago Winter Vacation Pushes Taxpayer Golf Tab Above $118 million
Trump criticized predecessor Barack Obama for spending too much time playing golf – but is on track to pass Obama’s eight-year total in just four years.

In debates over protecting the environment, and especially global warming, it is standard practice to refer to the pro-protection side as being in favor of government regulation and the anti-protection side as being pro-free market. This is nonsense and it is nonsense in a way that strongly benefits the enemies of environmental protection.

There is a simple way to think about environmental protection. If I build a home and want to dispose of my sewage in the cheapest possible way, I will just dump it on my neighbor’s lawn. Environmental regulation means having the government say that I can’t do this.

It is bizarre that somehow the prohibition of dumping my sewage on my neighbor’s lawn is treated as government regulation interfering in the market. …

In this context, there is no defense to regulations restricting GHG emissions. There are no philosophical or ideological points at issue. The only question is how best to limit GHG emissions and how much we should be willing to pay to do so.
Dean Baker in “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Right to Dump Sewage on Your Lawn ”

Impacts of Green-New-Deal Energy Plans on Grid Stability, Costs, Jobs, Health, and Climate in 143 Countries:

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