Towards an issues-based 2020 election (52)

===2020 Big Picture===
From @FlyingWithSara: “Everyday people – sinking under the weight of a system rigged against us – realized no one was coming to bail us out & decided to do it ourselves…the only real way to claim our fair share is through solidarity with one another”

My friend Larry Cohen wrote this opposing view in USA Today. “The voters I spoke to at
these events are fighting for change. They want an economy that puts workers first…”
I’m sure many agree with his experience. Add your voice to the poll question.

Billionaires emerge as the defining campaign issue for 2020

High temperatures and natural disasters have started to make people vote for candidates who talk about climate change:

House passes climate bill, with few Republican backers
The bill blocks funding for the Trump administration to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement

While the measure will likely die in the Republican-controlled Senate, the bill marks the latest effort by Democrats to underscore the scientific dangers of climate change and the jobs to be had by supporting low-carbon industries.

Before a final vote on HR 9, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement that the measure would fail in the Senate because “middle-class Americans” oppose it. “So this futile gesture to handcuff the U.S. economy through the ill-fated Paris deal will go nowhere here in the Senate,” he said.

    Fortenberry, Bacon, Smith and all but 3 colleagues voted against the bill

Energy Efficient Government Technology Act
Fortenberry, Bacon, Smith & all but 22 colleagues voted for the bill

Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act
House passes bipartisan bill to support energy efficiency in schools (voice vote)

Based on the following list (which contains 1 Senate bill)
McConnell hasn’t brought up a climate-related bill

Democracy Town Hall With Bernie Sanders

Brilliant event with @SenSanders tonight in Concord with @ZephyrTeachout.
Every answer, perfect – especially his committing to @RoKhanna’s democracy
vouchers and making reform issue number 1. – See

—The Problem—
How it works:
1. Candidate promotes policy that pleases voters
2. Big donors threatened by the policy give cash to candidate, sometimes in a wine cave
3. Candidate suddenly helps donors by attacking the policy candidate had supported
4. Wash, rinse, repeat & buy the election

This is how it works. – – Money for access to power.
Access to power for influence. Influence that takes away poor and working class
people’s rights, freedoms, dignity. If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.
Everybody knows it.
We don’t have to accept it.

Here Are The Billionaires Funding The Democratic Presidential Candidates

Federal filings show that the billionaire basher (Sanders) received a negligible $470 from Marta Thoma Hall, the wife of billionaire Velodyne founder David Hall. After Forbes notified the Sanders’ camp of the contribution, the campaign said he won’t be keeping the money.


CNN pretends the person at the end of a 21 year trend line
gets credit for everything that happened before…

I guess you can say that Trump hasn’t sunk Obama’s economy

Note: After an $8 trillion housing bubble collapsed and destroyed the world’s economy on Bush’s watch… Republicans opposed the stimulus / blocked jobs bills. And once the economy recovered, the economy continued to grow as economies tend to do – but the growth isn’t shared by all. Links follow.

Remember these Great Recession graphs?…
Jan 28, 2009: Stimulus passes House with zero GOP votes
  After Voting No, Republicans Tout (stimulus) Funds

Note: Stimulus eventually passed in the Senate after major concessions were made…

Feb 4, 2009: A struggling stimulus

Note: When more stimulus was needed, Republicans blocked it / opted for austerity…

June 24, 2010: GOP poised to kill tax-extenders bill
For weeks, Senate Democrats have tried to pass what’s called the “tax-extenders bill” – a key economic package that extends unemployment benefits, maintains popular tax breaks, protects doctors from Medicare cuts, and boosts state aid to prevent massive job layoffs in the states. The country needs this bill to pass, but Republicans won’t let it come up for a vote.
In the hopes of finding a compromise, Dems have repeatedly scaled-back the measure, watering it down and removing worthwhile investments. The GOP has responded by insisting the reductions aren’t enough, and that they still won’t allow a vote.
It now appears Republicans are going to win this fight – and Americans will lose.

Note: …The GOP then had the chutzpah to run ran on jobs. …

  2010: “Where are the jobs?” The GOP’s Rhetoric(al) question

Note: With the help of Fox et al, voters rewarded GOP’s obstruction and deceit by giving them back control of the House. They blocked a needed jobs bill…

   Oct 11, 2011: President’s Jobs Measure Is Turned Back…

Note: And they misled voters again…

  2014: Has (Speaker) Boehner (R-OH) read his list of ‘jobs bills’?

Note: The stimulus jump started the economy, but it wasn’t enough to get us out of the hole left by the $8 trillion housing bubble collapse. And Republicans wouldn’t support more stimulus (likely for political reasons). …

2012: Case closed: the stimulus worked

Democratic Cave to Trump on Border Wall Had an Ulterior Motive
Democrats gave Trump major concessions and leverage in the year-end funding bill so Representative Henry Cuellar could get federal funding for a riverwalk in his district.

Note: House Dem leadership wanted to help one of the most conservative Dems in the House more than standing up to Trump’s border wall boondoggle and the bigotry it represents.

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee – DSSC…
Democratic campaign arm accused of trying to hinder progressive candidates in key Senate primaries

Progressive candidates in Colorado and Maine – two of the most competitive 2020 Senate races – say political consultants and vendors have refused to work on their campaigns after being warned that doing so would risk a future boycott by the DSCC, which endorsed other Democrats for those primaries.

See chart…
Three years after 2016, I think one area that is still broadly under-theorized in progressive circles is the extent to which earned media fundamentally explains the outcome. There is evidence of a similar force in the UK. These charts are telling.

2016: Donald Trump Rode $5 Billion in Free Media to the White House


Earned Media is when customers, the press and the public share your content and speak about your brand. Think of it as the social media equivalent of “word-of-mouth” publicity. … Unearned Media is when a company pays for promoting itself with the aim of increasing customers and sales.

===2020 Issues===
The transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050 would cost nations $73 trillion and would pay for itself in under seven years @Stanford The study also found that the shift to a zero-carbon global economy would create 28.6 million more full-time jobs.

How Big Oil Blocked the Nation’s Greenest Governor on Climate Change
Publicly, BP supported carbon pricing. Behind the scenes, it extracted concessions
from Gov Jay Inslee, then dropped its support at the last minute, emails show

U.S. Financial System ‘Whistling Past a Climate Graveyard’: ‘BradCast’ 12/6/2019
Guest: American Prospect’s David Dayen on mag’s landmark Green New Deal edition…

See text graphic…
States can lead the way in fighting climate change — we are doing that here in Colorado. I hope legislators across the country will replicate this bill in their states.

Lessons from California in 2019: The Challenges of Adapting to Climate Change

Bigger picture…
Call It ‘Right-to-Work-for-Less,’

Context: Supreme Court Ruling Delivers a Sharp Blow to Labor Unions


A Small Chicago Firm Has Quietly Funded Nearly Two Dozen Anti-Union Lawsuits
In a court filing, Jonathan Mitchell identified Juris Capital as the backer
of a wave of lawsuits he’s pursued following the Supreme Court’s Janus ruling.

See chart…
… The US is the only advanced economy that doesn’t guarantee its workers any paid vacation time or holidays. Some employers voluntarily offer these benefits, but distribution is extremely unequal.

Click text abstract…
African American kids who grow up in areas with high black male incarceration rates and harsher sentencing policies are less likely to go to college and their incomes lag further behind their white peers.

Note: The Dec 16th “All Rise” episode effectively contrasted Lola’s judicial viewpoint with a hard line prosecutor.

The Data Defying The Job-Killing Robot Myth
To date the data are very clear: This mass displacement is not happening.

Top charts of 2019
Thirteen charts that clarify what our economic priorities need to be in 2020

Bill Greider and Secular Stagnation

Bill Greider exposed the insidious workings of economic elites that conspire to control
both parties. He sought a politics of purpose and solidarity. It was his mission to break
the grip of big money not just on political parties but on our imagination.

His book “Who Will Tell The People?: The Betrayal Of American Democracy”
is a must read critique of the corruption of American politics.

Not Patreon…
The Future of Trade Deals

What Billionaires Don’t Understand About College Debt
Forget big donations. Go for structural reforms.

Completely agree that philanthropists should focus on the structural problems of higher ed
rather than short-term fixes. Policy reform is hard work, lonely, and rarely gets attention,
but it’s the path to improving millions of lives rather than hundreds.

In the U.S., an angioplasty costs $32,000. Elsewhere? Maybe $6,400. New data shows just how much more Americans pay for medical services.

“Nothing would fundamentally change” – Joe Biden – See

Cancer Culture
“They treated him like a movie star until the insurance money wouldn’t pay,” a woman named Rose told me about her ex-husband’s experience at the CTCA.

… none of (the politicians) seem to have made (patent reform) a major cause. There is a huge amount of money at stake (many trillions over a decade), which no one seems to appreciate. Oh yeah, also lives.

It is strange (or telling) that the ‘libertarian’ candidates on the Republican side haven’t advocated
for abolishing patents but they are keen to get rid of the Fed, Affordable Care, etc, etc.  …

It’s always confusing when the “free market” folks and “small government” folks defend a
patent system enforced by a large government. It’s almost as if they don’t really have an
ideology and just like saying certain phrases.

Christmas Present for Public Health Experts:
We Don’t Need Patent Monopolies to Develop New Antibiotics

The possibility that is excluded here is simply having the government pay for the development of new antibiotics up front, under contract, as it already does now with more than $40 billion in research that goes though the National Institutes of Health and other public agencies. If this funding mechanism were used all new antibiotics would be cheap, since they would be available as generics from the day they were approved by the Food and Drug Administration. (The piece tells us that the industry charges up to $2,000 per prescription for some of the new antibiotics.)



Horizontal mergers in the pharmaceutical industry lead to higher prices for drugs and have no discernible effect on innovation:

See referenced Sen Cornyn and the next comments…
Keep going! You’re so close to getting it!

Senate Confirms Another Trump Court Pick Rated ‘Not Qualified’ To Serve
Justin Walker, 37, lacks the experience to be a lifetime federal judge, says the American Bar Association. Republicans voted for him anyway.

Fischer & Sasse voted for Walker

Activists Demand a Migrant Justice Platform as Democratic Candidates Discuss Immigration in Debate

Revealing the Real Threats and the Manufactured Ones:
The Intercept’s 2019 National Security Coverage

===2020 Watch List===
Classic WaPo “really big numbers” piece on Democratic candidates spending plans

The Congressional Budget Office projects that GDP will be close to $280 trillion in the decade after the next president takes office in 2021. This means that Sanders projected spending comes to roughly 18.0 percent of projected GDP, while Warren’s would be a bit less than 11.0 percent. Biden’s proposals would be less than 1.5 percent of GDP. We are currently spending close to 22.0 percent of GDP.

However, this is only the beginning of the picture. The Sanders and Warren’s proposals would both radically reduce what the country pays for prescription drugs and medical equipment. Most of our payments for these items now are an implicit tax that the government imposes by granting patent monopolies. The Washington Post literally never talks about this implicit tax. (One can speculate about the reason for this neglect, but it is worth noting that the paper gets lots of advertising revenue from the prescription drug industry.)

There are other random uses of really big numbers in the piece. …

…The point is obviously to scare readers with really big numbers rather than to provide information.

  By comparison, we are on course to spend about $15 trillion on the Pentagon and the
military in the next ten years. When is the last time you saw a major news story
questioning that spending?

A summary of this year’s $1.25 trillion largesse to the Pentagon and military is found here
by @WilliamHartung and Mandy Smithberger. Adjusting for low 2% inflation and no increase
yield $15 trillion/ten years. 3% inflation = $17 trillion. Increases = $20T+

The pharmaceutical industry is so spooked by the popularity of Medicare for All that they’re taking out full page ads in the NY Times promising to be *somewhat less* evil. But as long as your ability to get insulin is contingent on your wealth, big pharma = death panels.

They’re spooked by Chapter 5 in @DeanBaker13’s book “Rigged”

Fact check: Inspector general debunked Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA23) claim that the FBI ‘broke into’ Trump’s campaign

James Comey tried to cover up this scandal by…. attacking Clinton in an indefensible manner
(even Trump agrees!) In October 2016. The FBI anti-Trump conspiracy was so brilliant…
they elected him!

The idea that patent and copyright monopolies are government policies,
and not given to us by the market, is very scary to many policy types

===2020 Watch List-Bias===
How ‘Centrist Bias’ Hurts Sanders and Warren
The media has a bigger problem than liberal bias

…”Centrist bias confuses the idea of centrism (which is very much an ideology) with objectivity
and fairness.. They equate balance with the midpoint between the two parties’ ideologies”

2018:  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.

Mainstream media, February to June, 2019:  @ewarren turning her back on selling the rich access to the candidate is the death of her candidacy.
Mainstream media, December 2019:  Warren is a hypocrite for changing her mind and embracing the harder path they had called impossible.

But accusing her of hypocrisy for something *she billed as a change* for a decision
well covered 10 months ago reflects the media letting @PeteButtigieg spin them.
Embarrassing and quite partial.

Meet Sally Albright. Sally used to work for Newt Gingrich when he called Obama the “food stamp president.” Today, she runs an AstroTurf network of alt accounts – many with digital blackface – which she uses to attack Sen. Sanders with accusations of racism/sexism.She’s paid to do it

Deeply disappointing that @SallyAlbright is already agitating for a third party candidate
if Sanders or Warren win the nomination. The use of the word “our” to refer to Democrats
here is inappropriate.

See graphic…
Image for the blocked

See graphic…
Good sign you’re still running a bot farm: you sometimes RT yourself

I’m starting to think that pundits aren’t operating in good faith when they simultaneously argue that it’s good Biden can win back some GOP votes (an assertion they have zero data to substantiate), but it’s bad that Bernie has an actual, proven ability to win back some GOP votes.

Sirota’s theory on why this is happening…

See referenced Rakesh Bhandari’s comment…
I voted for Hillary Clinton in the general election of 2016.
This is literally a lie that has been circulating … for months…

I have also worked for House Dems; helped elect a Democratic congressman and governor;
worked on Democratic US Senate races, and am literally married to a Democratic state

Responding to someone asking for confirmation…
In the 2016 general election in a crucial swing state?
You’re da-n right I voted for the entire Democratic ticket.

I have kids. Politics is not a game, no matter how much cable TV tries to ESPN-ize
elections. I vote like my kids’ lives depend on it – because they do. I had *serious*
differences with the 2016 Dem ticket but I didn’t hesitate to vote for that ticket
in the general in a swing state

Btw, I also don’t slam people on the left for making a different calculation. Ultimately your
vote is your sacred choice. IMO Dems must continue working to do a better job of offering
a truly progressive agenda that gives more people a compelling reason to vote for Democrats

===2020 Presidential Candidates===
Julian Castro… Jan 12th
Pedro, a fellow Texan, represents the best of America.
As a prosecutor, he uses the law to serve his community – but as a DACA recipient the law leaves him vulnerable to deportation.
As president, I will pass immigration reform in my first 100 days.
Elizabeth Warren… Feb 9th
We’re closing out the decade with a widening wealth gap and millions of families drowning in debt due to the costs of health care and higher education.
In 2020, let’s fight for big, structural change to build an economy that works for everyone.
Bernie Sanders… Feb 19th
In the fight against climate change we have a choice: protect fossil fuel profits or protect our children. I choose to protect our children.

In 2012, @BernieSanders led the effort against the Erskine Bowles-Alan Simpson plan to:
– Cut Social Security benefits by up to 35%
– Cut disabled veterans’ benefits by up to $2,260/yr
– Raise the retirement age to 69
– Cut taxes for billionaires
– I’m glad they won’t be endorsing us

There is something fundamentally wrong when we are spending twice as much per capita on health care as other major countries and our average life expectancy is going *down*.

Earlier today in Dover, NH @berniesanders explained how he plans to pass M4A through budget reconciliation. “Do not hesitate for one second in thinking that this legislation will require 60 votes.” Sanders then adds a message to Leader McConnell: (video)

“Opposing antisemitism is a core value of progressivism.” – @BernieSanders

I’ve known @BernieSanders for 20 years – I can tell you that President Sanders will spend his time in office fighting every single day against the billionaire class. The billionaires know this – which is why they are so afraid of him.

“The loyalty Mr. Sanders commands has turned him into a formidable contender in the 2020
race… His anti-establishment message hasn’t changed for 50 years, and it resonates with
working-class voters and young people who agree the system is corrupt.”

Note: Thom Hartmann used to air a weekly hour-long segment called “Brunch with Bernie.” Sanders intelligently and compassionately fielded questions and comments from around the country. That’s how I first came to know Bernie Sanders.


11 federal races against Republicans…
Underappreciated fact: @BernieSanders won a U.S. House seat that had been in GOP hands for 30 years, then he won a U.S. Senate seat that had been in GOP hands for more than 100 years.
Pete Buttigieg… April 14th
Buttigieg Blames Private Equity Firms for Surprise Billing. One of His Bundlers, a Blackstone Exec, Is Linked to the Problem.

Click graphics…
This is the system that (Biden, Buttigieg and other “can’t-doers”) are trying to protect and preserve

.@PeteButtigieg, no more evading like Trump. In your final act as Mayor, please release the secret police tapes that have deeply troubled South Bend’s Black community. Our community demands police accountability and transparency. (video)


The Defenders of the Wine Cave Are Missing the Point

The stages of revelations about Pete’s Wine Cave just keep getting more awesomely ridiculous:
1. Pete raised cash in a wine cave
2. Billionaires own the wine cave
3. The billionaire wine cave owners bought an ambassadorship
and got a bailout during the S&L scandal
4. Health-care industry executive Bill Wehrle went to Pete Buttigieg’s “wine cave” fundraiser &
defended it in a @washingtonpost op-ed, claiming he isn’t a millionaire. Except – as @ryangrim
& @schwarz pointed out – he is. So the Post had to correct this

Click text graphics…
So the guy who wrote the WaPo oped defending Pete Buttigieg’s wine cave fundraiser
isn’t just  a health care VP, he was also a registered lobbyist for the health industry in
California  from 2000-2011.

Also worth noting: the author of the oped about attending the Buttigieg wine cave fundraiser
is a Kaiser Permanente Vice President for Health Insurance Exchanges.
ie, his job would be eliminated under Medicare for All.


“People say, ‘Oh (money) doesn’t have any effect on me’… if that were the case, we’d be the only
human beings in the history of the world who took significant amounts of money from strangers
& made sure it had no effect on our behavior.” – Barney Frank

“Buttigieg started off this race saying he was all in for Medicare for All. And then he flip flopped…
it does raise the question about whether big money is over influencing his decisions.”
– @JulianCastro (video)

Aren’t campaign donation contests illegal?
Joe Biden… April 25th
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.”

Andrew Goldman, the natural gas company co-founder that had Biden in trouble
for violating his no-fossil-fuel pledge, is also a bundler, according to his campaign

April: Biden Says He’s the Workers’ Candidate, But He Has Worked To Cut Medicare and Social Security
The universal retirement programs are Biden’s go-to sacrificial lambs.


The world’s 500 wealthiest people gained $1.2 trillion this year, boosting their collective net worth 25% to $5.9 trillion

“Nothing would fundamentally change” – Joe Biden – See

I just watched @MarkRuffalo’s terrific film #DarkWaters.
(Biden’s) quote is so much worse once you’ve seen that movie
> …@JoeBiden, at the Fairmont in San Francisco, tells Dem donors of Delaware’s duPont family
> “And by the way I never demonized them. I’ve never run one of these campaigns about –
>  these super populist campaigns.”


The CEO of Centene, which manages health insurance plans, is a bundler for Joe Biden. Here’s audio of an event hosted by Centene filled with Democratic lobbyists laughing it up about how Medicare for All will never happen

Joe Biden Criticized at Democratic Debate over Iraq, Afghanistan Wars & Failure to Close Gitmo

Biden: GOP has no ‘legal basis’ to subpoena him in Trump impeachment trial
The former vice president told the Des Moines Register on Friday
he wouldn’t comply with a subpoena if it came.

…If Biden doesn’t think he can make his questioners look like the fools they are,
he should not be president, end of story.

Someone has to tell Biden that complying with a subpoena is not optional. …

Biden Reverses Course: “I Would Obey Any Subpoena That Was Sent to Me”

How to Disengage With the Republican Conspiracy Theories Swirling Around Impeachment
Debunking hasn’t worked. Maybe this will.

Citing Joe Biden’s Troubling Voting Record, Bernie Sanders Warns ‘My God… Trump Will Eat His Lunch’
The Vermont senator said defeating Trump in 2020 will require “ideas that are going to excite and energize millions of people who right now are not particularly active in politics, and who may not vote at all.”

Note: This is a factual concern about his voting record. …As opposed to Biden’s M4A lies.

Unite the Country is going back up on TV in Iowa. Start date is 1/1/20

Biden’s super PAC “Unite the Country” gets to keep its donors secret until the last 72 hrs
of the Iowa caucus, meaning most Iowa voters will never know which big donors are trying
to buy their election for Biden. Has anyone even bothered to ask who is bankrolling this
super PAC?
Michael Bloomberg… Nov 2019
Mike Bloomberg Exploited Prison Labor to Make 2020 Presidential Campaign Phone Calls

Shockingly, I still haven’t received any word from Bloomberg News
on why they are now allowing hit pieces on candidates not named Bloomberg (see next link)

Bloomberg makes a few exceptions to its rule about not investigating Bloomberg’s opponents
> Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have hammered Amazon on the stump, but their campaigns have also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars buying supplies off the site

Warren, Sanders demand stronger  clean-water regulations, but their campaign staff
have taken thousands of individual showers in it and used it for hundreds of thousands
of brushstrokes of teeth

We also have a new breaking scoop for them:
“Michael Bloomberg harshly criticized Donald Trump – yet he lives in & does business
in the country where Trump is President.” Is Bloomberg low key endorsing Trump
by not immigrating elsewhere?


…Bloomberg doesn’t need to do high-dollar fundraisers but he lacks understanding of how to talk to actual voters, so he’s doing high-dollar fundraisers anyway, without the funding.

Donald Trump
Oct: President Trump Just Showed Us What’s Wrong With A Federal Whistleblowing Law

Trump, just before midnight on the Friday after Christmas, retweeted a tweet
that singled out the alleged whistleblower by name to his nearly 68 million followers

Note: Outing whistleblower discourages whistleblowing which in turn protects corruption. In this case helps Trump obstruct oversight. It also places cross hairs on the whistleblower. Remember Pizzagate? …

Pizzagate: From rumor, to hashtag, to gunfire in D.C.

‘Pizzagate’ Gunman Sentenced To 4 Years In Prison

Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones Apologizes For Promoting ‘Pizzagate’

Disturbing if true (thread)…

President Trump Badly Losing his War on Federal Funding for Clean Energy

2018: America’s poor becoming more destitute under Trump: U.N. expert

Homeless population rises for third year in a row

So… who does Trump blame for the rising homeless population on his watch?

Also keep in mind…
The GOP Tax Bill Was a Deliberate Attack on Blue States …

See referenced Trump comment…
…candidate Trump ridiculed the 2.0 percent growth rate we have been seeing as “pathetic.”


Baker: Trump Touts Weak Trade Deals That Likely Won’t Benefit US Workers

Trump Has Told Friends That Gutting Medicare Could Be a Fun “Second-Term Project”

Trump’s Mar-A-Lago winter vacation pushes his taxpayer-funded golf tab past $118 million.
That amount is equivalent to 296 years of the $400,000 presidential salary that his supporters often boast he’s not taking.

That would be around 80,000 food stamp person years for Donald Trump’s golfing vacations

How Trump’s North Korea nuclear talks gambit came undone
US negotiations have been characterized by a lack of clarity, unrealistic demands and unjustifiable optimism, analysts say.

Excellent analysis by @simondenyer . Shows US failures & NK expectations. “NK believes it
deserves something (such as ending exercises) in return for ceasing its nuclear and long-range
missile tests. The US believes dialogue is a sufficient reward.”

Amazing chutzpah! Bolton’s responsible for most of the failure towards North Korea. He killed the Agreed Framework that froze the program. It was on his watch that NK first tested a nuke. On his watch in Trump administration that NK tested H-bomb and ICBM.
> John Bolton hits Trump for bluffing on North Korea nukes

For a more complete view of how Bolton’s policies have failed over and over again:

Trump says North Korea may be planning nice ‘Christmas gift’

I don’t think Kim’s gift is going to be a vase. It is highly likely that North Korea
will conduct a missile test by year’s end, though not, perhaps, on Christmas. …

As Trump downplays North Korean threats @Cirincione speaks to @MSNBC:
“We haven’t detected any launch preparation at the known missile sites, but it’s
almost certainly to come and be a long range ballistic missile test that can hit the US.
We need a diplomatic plan in place.”

North Korea Promises A Christmas Surprise. Here Are The Options

Read or listen to this comprehensive analysis. @gbrumfiel @NPR interviews @ArmsControlWonk
and @nktpnd . All are spot on. This is not going to go well and could go very badly, indeed.

No Christmas gift from North Korea? @duyeonkim says “Not so fast.” There may be some
backstory that we don’t yet know; whatever it is, it’s unlikely that Kim Jong-un simply got
cold feet:

Secret Service Records Contradict Trump’s Claim on Doral G-7

CREW received records from the United States Secret Service that, along with emails from Doral city officials, undermine President Trump’s dubious claim that members of the Secret Service wanted the 2020 G-7 Summit to be hosted at Trump’s Doral resort in Miami. …

Trump leaned heavily on a claim that after an exhaustive search, members of the government preferred Doral, saying “When my people came back…They went to places all over the country. And they came back and they said, ‘This [Doral] is where we would like to be.’ Now we had military people doing it. We had Secret Service people doing it.”

See referenced Trump comment…
…The Dems are the ones arguing for lawyers and witnesses,
it is your guy, Mitch McConnell who is refusing. …

The Congressional Budget Office projects that GDP will be close to $280 trillion in the decade after the next president takes office in 2021. This means that Sanders projected spending comes to roughly 18.0 percent of projected GDP, while Warren’s would be a bit less than 11.0 percent. Biden’s proposals would be less than 1.5 percent of GDP. We are currently spending close to 22.0 percent of GDP.

However, this is only the beginning of the picture. The Sanders and Warren’s proposals would both radically reduce what the country pays for prescription drugs and medical equipment. Most of our payments for these items now are an implicit tax that the government imposes by granting patent monopolies. The Washington Post literally never talks about this implicit tax. (One can speculate about the reason for this neglect, but it is worth noting that the paper gets lots of advertising revenue from the prescription drug industry.)

…The point is obviously to scare readers with really big numbers rather than to provide information.
Dean Baker on Washington Posts selective fearmongering over proposed Democratic expenditures

Joe Cirincione points out WaPo’s hypocrisy with respect to military spending: and

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