Towards an issues-based 2020 election (57)

===2020 Big Picture===
In preparation for President Trump’s State of the Union speech, the Economic Policy Institute has assembled research from the last year that examines the real state of the union for working people on wages, manufacturing and trade, taxes, labor standards, housing, and immigration.

Most Iowa Democratic caucus-goers support a single-payer health-care plan

How to Figure Out Who “Won” the Iowa Caucuses

I hope the moderators of the #DemDebate are going to ask every presidential candidate if:
1. They can get their agenda passed by a Republican Congress and
2. Who likes you?
God help us with these elementary school questions

People of Color…
It’s remarkable how much currency #Republican votes get at the #DemDebates. POC are relentlessly disenfranchised by the #GOP & yet POC votes are taken for granted. It’s not lost on me that it’s #BlackHistory Month & we still haven’t heard how we will grow the POC electorate.

Caucuses were on Monday. Results weren’t released until Friday…
Thread: Three different sources say a firm called “Shadow” developed the Iowa Dem caucus app. They haven’t responded to comment, neither has Iowa Dem Party. The firm was paid by both Nevada & Iowa Democratic Party, disclosures show. Also by Mayor Pete’s campaign.

“Robust,” “scalable” not words that apply to Iowa Dem Caucus app [Updated] Untested platform from campaign tech startup buckles under strain of caucus tallies.

New Details Show How Deeply Iowa Caucus App Developer
Was Embedded in Democratic Establishment

While there is no evidence hackers intercepted or tampered with the results,
a security firm consulted by ProPublica found that the app lacks key safeguards.

…Turns out a skilled hacker could intercept – and even change – vote tallies
and other sensitive data if they wanted to.

Thursday we learned…
‘Clog the lines’: Internet trolls deliberately disrupted the Iowa caucuses hotline for reporting
results. Several officials at caucuses attended by NBC News reporters struggled with lengthy
hold times that made it impossible for them to report results over the phone.


…several reports on Thursday confirm that there was an apparent effort by Trump supporting trolls to jam the phone lines used as the backup for precinct officials to phone in caucus results when the IDP’s smartphone app had failed. That element of the story is eerily similar to the 2002 GOP phone-jamming scandal during a U.S. Senate election in New Hampshire that year. Four Republican operatives hired by the party were convicted in a criminal scheme and the party had to pay NH Dems $125,000 in damages afterward. How does that tie to what happened in Iowa? We hope to report more on that on tomorrow’s BradCast. But for now, we hope it serves as a reminder that Russia is not the only threat to the integrity of U.S. elections. Not by a long shot.

    GOP’s Convicted 2002 NH Phone-Jammer Rings In on
2020’s IA Caucus Phone-Jamming Scheme: ‘BradCast’ 2/7/2020

The #IowaCaucasDisaster must be dealt with in a way that’s fair to all candidates:
1. Finish the current count. Don’t leave it incomplete at 97%.
That locks in potentially misleading narratives.
2. Do a full re-canvass immediately.
3. Develop best practices for coming caucuses.

Amid irregularities, AP unable to declare winner in Iowa

With 100% of caucus results in, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders
are in a near tie in state delegates

Thread: IA Democratic Party attorney’s statement…

Most primaries are run by state and local governments. But caucuses are different – and Iowa shows how that can be a problem.

Note: If caucus efficiency requires a change in law, the opposing party might not go along with it. NE Dems wanted to change the law but NE Repubs refused to help.

Is It Time To End The Iowa Caucus After Last Night’s Disaster?

Boston Globe Editorial Board: “Kill the tradition: N.H. and Iowa should not vote first.
Some customs must die. Like the first-in-the-nation primary and caucuses.”

Suggestion: Hold a national primary.

The app didn’t work.
The hotline wasn’t answered.
The results of the #IowaCaucuses could not be tabulated.
This is a fiasco.
And it should spell the end of “First-in-the-Nation” status for Iowa.

The problems that beset the Democratic Party’s first state caucus of the presidential race
ran far deeper and wider than one bad app. …

The DNC’s Move to Accommodate Bloomberg Stirs Outrage in Iowa
Candidates, members of Congress, and activists are outraged over debate rule changes that bow to a billionaire.


In July 2019, the Mike Gravel campaign contacted the DNC after receiving over 65,000
unique donors.  On the call, a senior official swore that they would never change the debate
rules for any candidate. Six months later, they did exactly that.
Listen to them lie to our faces:

The Democratic National Committee refused to change debate rules to:
– organize a climate debate
– organize a poverty debate
– organize a diverse debate
*But* they agreed to change the rules to accommodate billionaire Mike Bloomberg.

DNC changes debate rules to accommodate a billionaire.
A group of DNC members discuss renewing the old role of superdelegates.
Iowa Democratic Party botches the tabulation of the #IowaCaucuses.
Democratic leaders have veered dramatically off course.

…In 2018, a group of savvy organizers executed a sophisticated digital and on-the-ground
strategy – which involved developing the breakthrough app @reach_vote – that knocked
out the heir to the Speakership, Joe Crowley. The party responded not by examining what
had happened, learning and absorbing lessons, but instead by simply banning any firm
who supports challengers to incumbents from working for the DCCC.


Maybe the @dccc should worry less about punishing vendors who back primary challengers
and more about vetting vendors that produce apps.

New Hampsire Democratic Debate Video

Really hit home for the debate to end talking about child poverty. Everyday my colleagues
and I take care of children who have faced the consequences of our failures as a society
to address their health, wellbeing, and access to material goods. They are the reason I fight.

There seems to be a lot of outrage about the black-white wealth gap on stage.
This is your friendly reminder that our country’s tax policies continue to exacerbate the racial
gap remarkably efficiently. Spending can’t achieve equity alone.

When nearly 8 in 10 workers live paycheck to paycheck, poverty is not some abstract concept.
The American People need to hear from all the candidates on how to confront this moral crisis.
That is why we stand with @RevDrBarberto call for a national debate on poverty #DemDebate

Most knowing tweet of #DemDebate night comes from @Trevornoah and @TheDailyShow

Note: The first few minutes of the following video apparently refers to comments from a previous video.

New Hampshire Debate: Biggest Winner and Loser

===2020 Issues===
Antarctica logs hottest temperature on record with a reading of 18.3C (69.9F)
A new record set so soon after the previous record of 17.5C (63.5F) in March 2015 is a sign warming in Antarctica is happening much faster than global average

…this week an iceberg twice the size of Washington DC broke off from Antarctica’s
Pine Island glacier–these massive calving events are becoming ‘increasingly common.’

January was a pretty intense start to the year. We know that this decade is going to be pivotal for the climate and humanity. But it doesn’t have to be terrifying.
Here are some things you can do now to get things going and ease the anxiety:

First in a detailed thread…
In @nature today, my colleagues and I make the case that ending fossil fuel subsidies matters greatly, “in ways both material and political.”

China is installing enough #solarpower to cover a football pitch every hour of every day. They’re even making them look like pandas.
We have the solutions. Tell your gov’t to implement them. #ActOnClimate (video)

…the Green New Deal is happening in China.
It’d be nice too if richer countries like the US took some responsibility for climate change.

US broadband gaps are twice as bad as the government claims
Researchers estimate that 42 million Americans still have no access to either fixed or wireless broadband, double FCC estimates.

Eye opening short video…

Suggestion: Repeat the experiment with 1970’s data and wrap the two videos into one.


Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy
Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer

CBPP: (Non-military) Programs Face Tight Funding in 2021

CBPP: Corporation-Friendly Treasury Regulations Reducing Federal Revenues

A new article by @jaredgabybiegel released today by @ceprdc summarizes the struggle for a national paid leave policy, including state-level policies, and a critique of current proposals for a national policy. #PaidLeaveForAll

The Farmer’s Share

(National) NFU Candidate Calls for Dairy Incentive Zones

The Left Becomes Center: Financial Transactions Taxes and Beyond (not Patreon)


Last year, @AOC ‘s proposal for a marginal tax rate on incomes over $10 million at 70% received a ton of coverage.  A new poll from @DataProgress finds that 74% of Democratic voters and 50% of Americans overall support the policy – only 39% oppose it.

Taxing the Superrich
For the sake of justice and democracy, we need a progressive wealth tax.

Brookstone: A private equity (PE) thread

The U.S. Spends $2,500 Per Person on Health Care Administrative Costs.
Canada Spends $550. Here’s Why

Study finds single-payer health care plan would save money

Iowa Caucuses…
Despite a fierce and well-funded campaign by special interests, a strong majority of Iowa
Democrats support a single-payer, Medicare for All system.


@wendellpotter tells @KatyTurNBC why the one clear winner in Monday’s Iowa caucus was
Medicare For All – and the results were a nightmare for the health insurance industry (video)

The Hidden Disability Consensus in the 2020 Campaign

CBPP: Adopting a State-Based Health Insurance Marketplace Poses Risks and Challenges

China’s Drug Patent Grab Makes Coronavirus Scary for Pharma
An attempt to patent a medicine developed by drugmaker Gilead raises intellectual property concerns and may cool the industry’s China ardor.

Great argument for publicly funded research on coronavirus…

Factory farms provide abundant food, but environment suffers

The Government is Using its Foreign Intelligence Spying Powers for Routine Domestic Investigations

===2020 Watch List===
Google is selling (and profiting from) QAnon apps
despite prohibiting apps with content that “incites violence”

Countering PhRMA’s talking points…
Wouldn’t it be great if the results of all your clinical trials were fully available on line for clinicians and other researchers to benefit from?

The Neuroscience of Picking a Presidential Candidate
How new technology is allowing campaigns to tap into the subconscious thoughts and feelings of potential voters.


See graphic…
Bernie Sanders is the *only* candidate in Iowa facing a tidal wave of paid negative ads, both pro-Trump SuperPAC and right-wing, pro-biz Democrat PACs are running vicious negative ads. Other candidates skating by w/o such a big money hurdle.

Responding to a can’t-doer in the media…
Rather than sitting in the peanut gallery during a time of crisis and telling us nothing can ever be better, maybe folks like you with vast resources and big platforms could instead actually try to help make things better.

Manufacturing Success: CNN’s Premature Parade for Buttigieg in Iowa

Four days after the Iowa caucuses took place, no victor has been declared and the vote remains mired in controversy and irregularities. But if you’ve been watching CNN for the last few days, you could be excused for imagining Pete Buttigieg had won.

Click text graphics…
What the NYT iowa prediction looked like for the past 48 hours and what it looks like now…

I wonder if @SteveRattner can go on @Morning_Joe and show us a chart of how much money @MikeBloomberg has stashed in tax havens.

===2020 Watch List-Bias===
This, from the Washington Post editorial board, is climate denial

Right-wing media, Facebook spread false and debunked report of “dirty voting rolls” in Iowa

Conservatives push false claims of voter fraud on Twitter as Iowans prepare to caucus. …

Context: Story of Citizens United v FEC

Context: Money Unlimited
How Chief Justice John Roberts orchestrated the Citizens United decision.

Brit Hume’s billionaire whopper

CNN Chyron: Buttigieg Fires Back at Sanders, Defends Billionaires’ Donations

Leaked memo shows Fox knew Hannity’s show pushed Ukraine “disinformation” — but did nothing

Fox News is willingly participating in what it has correctly identified as a disinformation campaign
The network hosted Giuliani and Solomon this weekend, after news broke that an internal
Fox research report determined they’re not credible

A truly classic column from Richard Pildes in the Washington Post – a complaint that small donor contributions over the Internet allow people he doesn’t like to get enough money to seriously contest political races.

Responding to David Brooks…
House Democrats released their infrastructure plan less than a week ago.

Since some people seem confused about this, we could have had a major infrastructure
bill, with overwhelming Democratic support, at any point in the past 3 years; Trump and
his party were the obstacle

How about 400 bills the House passed and sent to the Senate, where they gather dust.
Brooks even has a research assistant, so how he could tweet something this ridiculous
is hard to fathom.

Fabricated and wildly inaccurate: Peter Schweizer’s new book
gets bankruptcy law totally wrong in attack on Elizabeth Warren

The 20-year argument between Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren over bankruptcy, explained
A clash over a 2005 bankruptcy bill – and a broader contrast in worldviews.

The Erasure of Elizabeth Warren Continues
The media is ignoring that Warren beat Joe Biden… and outperformed her final polling

See referenced NYT comment…
Warren doesn’t exist, apparently

After GOP voted to increase death and suffering among their constituents…
Fox News Doc (Saphier) Literally Argues
That Obamacare is Killing People By Covering Their Medical Care

See text graphic…
The WaPo today decided to leave out almost everything @BernieSanders did to lead the fight against the Iraq War. They tried to scandalize stuff with a nonsequitur quote from war proponent Dick Gephardt. But see the thread below for all the work Bernie did to try to stop that war.

See text graphics…
In between these @JRubinBlogger columns, Bernie started surging in the Iowa polls
This is way, way, way beyond parody. It’s truly performance art at this point


It’s weird Bloomberg News said that to prevent a conflict of interest, it wouldn’t report on the 2020 race…then Bloomberg News published a story distorting Bernie’s Social Security record & not mentioning Mike Bloomberg proudly pushing to cut Social Security.
Weird, I tell you

Correcting an ABC News report. (The final tally has yet to be announced)…
Bernie Sanders won 43% of nonwhite voters in the Iowa caucus, almost three times that of the next highest candidate, Pete Buttigieg

To review: @MikeBloomberg hasn’t released his tax returns and lives part-time in an offshore tax haven. He also publicly touts that tax haven even as it has long been criticized for being a place where American corporations can use shady schemes to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

Nonetheless, MSNBC has insisted to us that @MikeBloomberg is not, in fact, an “oligarch”

Rep. Khanna responds to Democratic strategist James Carville’s skepticism that Sen. Sanders can win a general election against Pres. Trump, saying, “Look at what Carville said about Obama.”

See text graphic…
When you see @JamesCarville incoherently attack @BernieSanders just remember:
Carville incoherently attacked @BarackObama in 2008, and Obama was absolutely
right about Carville right here


See referenced comments…
Who needs Fox News when Chuck Todd will compare the supporters of a Jewish candidate whose family was slaughtered by Nazis to Nazis


This reporter @DrewGriffinCNN claimed that he contacted me for comment. That’s a demonstrable lie. He also wildly mischaracterized an old tweet. I then asked both him & his producer to correct their story and they then went on air and repeated what they knew to be lies. Surreal.

Bernie Sanders is a frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States & his agenda is supported by the vast majority of Democratic voters.
It would be better if there were some voices on cable TV who consistently reflected that indisputable reality.

Jonathan Chait update…


David Frum update…

===2020 Presidential Candidates===
Elizabeth Warren… Feb 9th
“People are worried that the fight against Trump is unwinnable… I’ve got a record of winning fights they said were unwinnable – from CFPB to unseating a popular R senator. Everyone thinks they know what fights are unwinnable – until we fight, persist, and win.” @ewarren #DemDebate

Just a reminder: @ewarren’s … CFPB proactively investigated to see if lenders were cheating members of the military. Trump torpedoed that.

Another reminder: @ewarren ‘s brainchild, the @cfpb , used to have an Office for Students
that helped inform enforcement cases against servicers scamming students, and produced
data about the private student loan market no one else did or could. Trump torpedoed that, too

I really appreciate Warren tying abortion rights to class.
Abortion restrictions never apply to the rich. #DemDebates

Warren is right. The rich can afford to go to states (or even countries) that permit abortions.
It’s the poor and working class who suffer when abortion clinics are closed, or laws ban

Something that peaked our interest in this interminable health care-focused debate: Elizabeth Warren promises to use “march-in” rights to lower prescription drug prices

March-in Rights: A Lost Opportunity To Lower US Drug Prices

Immigration does not make this country weaker. Immigration makes this country stronger. #WarrenTownHall

The way we keep America safe and reduce tension with Iran is to work with our allies, build out our State Department, get Iran back to the negotiating table, and back away from the edge of war. #WarrenTownHall

@ewarren ‘s team weighs in on the low-yield nuke debate.
1) She’d take low-yield nukes of submarines. “These warheads are dangerous, unjustified, and destabilizing. We should be taking steps to reduce the chances of nuclear war, not searching for new ways to fight one.”

2) No more building low-yield nukes for arsenal. “A Warren admin. will reject the Trump admin.’s
return to the concept of nuclear war fighting. The idea that we could control or win a nuclear war
is dangerous and should be left in the dark years of the Cold War. With around 1,000 low-yield
weapons in our current arsenal, there is no need to build new ones.”

“I’m not running a race that has been shaped by a bunch of consultants. I’m not offering a bunch of proposals carefully designed not to offend big donors. I’m running a race based on a lifetime of fighting for working families.” – @ewarren Saturday (video)

Savvy move by @ewarren  She opens Ames IA event with compliments for candidates who dropped out, speaking about what she learned from them. She wants the support of their supporters – and of the supporters of candidates who may not hit Caucus night thresholds. That’s good strategy.

I think @ewarren got a bad break in the #IowaCaucusDisaster. The story of a significant finish-well ahead of Biden, with evidence of key strengths-has been widely obscured (except in @joanwalsh ‘s fine reporting) by the counting fiasco and headlines based on incomplete returns.
Amy Klobuchar… Feb 10th
As a Prosecutor, Amy Klobuchar Went After Somali Users of Khat, an Herbal Stimulant
Criminal justice scholars say that khat, an herbal stimulant used in parts of Northeast Africa and the Arabian peninsula, is no more harmful than tobacco.

Bernie Sanders… Feb 19th
CNN Town Hall video:
How does your Jewish heritage impact your vision of the world and politics?

Just how rich are Wall Street speculators?
A tax of just a few pennies on their financial trading can fund tuition-free public college for all and erase all $1,700,239,090,564 in student debt.
This is how we make higher education a right in America.

What do Amazon, Starbucks, Chevron, Netflix, GM, Duke Energy, Xcel Energy, Halliburton, Eli Lilly, JetBlue, U.S. Steel, FedEx, and Dow-DuPont have in common?
They all paid $0 in corporate taxes last year.
We need government of, by, and for the people – not huge corporations.

Undocumented immigrants pay more in US taxes than Amazon or Facebook do.

This is a country with more billionaires than any other nation. We also have most child poverty than every other major industrialized nation. That’s not an accident. It’s by design. It’s called a rigged system &that’s why the Billionaires are united against our campaign. #DemDebate

…clip of @BernieSanders explaining why we cannot allow #PetesBillionaires
to buy the Democratic primary (video)


Note: Three groups have surfaced: can do (left), can’t do (“centrists”) and won’t do (Republicans). Only one of those groups is aspirational and it’s not the group that Chuck Todd identified (above link).

Maybe – just maybe – instead of spending $1.8 trillion a year on military budgets and weapons of destruction designed to kill each other, we can pool our resources as a planet to fight our common enemy: climate change.

Last week, the House passed the No War Against Iran Act that I introduced with @RepRoKhanna
Senate Republicans now have a choice: Will they pass my bill and stand up for the Constitution? Or will they allow Trump to illegally lead us into a disastrous war in the Middle East? (video)

We are earning Black votes in SC. Anyone who feels they’ve got a constituency’s on lock needs a history book!
A candidate’s record matters. Who @JoeBiden kept close & who he praised matters! I said what I said & I’ll say it again. #DemDebate

NH Debate…
Sanders is *spot on.*
His policies, more than *any person in politics*, will lift children and families *out of poverty*.
– Medicare for All.
– College for All.
– Green New Deal.
– Massive Home Ownership Programs.
– Elimination of All Student Loan Debt.
– Overhaul of Entire Justice System.

Sanders is not beholden to 40 billionaires.
He’s beholden to teachers, nurses, forklift drivers, fast food workers, Amazon workers, baristas, factory workers, servers, cashiers, and truck drivers.
In other words, he’s beholden to you. #DemDebate

“There is no excuse for black women dying in childbirth at three times the rate that white women are.” – Sanders #DemDebate

“We have a racist society from top to bottom.” — @BernieSanders is dropping some hard truths here. 59% of America’s uninsured are people of color. That’s not an accident. It’s the racist impact of insufficient policies. *Now* is the time for #MedicareForAll. #DemDebates

“Maybe, just maybe, the world can understand that instead of spending $1.8 trillion a year globally on weapons of destruction .. maybe we pool our resources and fight our common enemy – climate change.” – @BernieSanders The #ClimateCrisis is a public health crisis. #DemDebate (video)

Click text graphics…
Responses to The Washington Post on the question: “Do you support cutting the defense budget from its current levels? Buttigieg vs. Sanders

Sanders Campaign Releases Internal Caucus Numbers
We recognize that this does not replace the full data from the Iowa Democratic Party, but we believe firmly that our supporters worked too hard for too long to have the results of that work delayed…


See chart…
With 97% of precincts counted in #IowaCaucus results, @BernieSanders is now more than 2,500 votes ahead of @PeteButtigieg  Sanders is more than 10,000 votes ahead of @ewarren and more than 20,000 votes ahead of @JoeBiden

Click chart…
How well did @BernieSanders perform in the #IowaCaucus results from the #SatelliteCaucuses
where working people who could not make it to regular caucuses were allowed to have a voice
in the process? Very, very well.

On Rising with @krystalball & @esaagar – I talked about why the #IowaCaucusDisaster shouldn’t obscure the remarkable stories of working-class immigrants, young people and other first-time caucuses who gave @BernieSanders his popular-vote lead.

Sanders Surged in Iowa on a Wave of New Voters

Neighbor, the time is now
Pete Buttigieg… April 14th
…Pete Buttigieg Has Most Exclusive Billionaire Donors Of Any Democrat

Pete Buttigieg lures even closer look from Wall Street donors
following strong Iowa caucuses performance


Pete Buttigieg is seeing support from dozens of business execs since … Iowa. Many of them
were on the sidelines of the Democratic primary. David Heller, a former executive at Goldman
Sachs, has privately indicated he will back Buttigieg.

Heller helped raise up to $500,000 for President Obama’s first run for the White House in
2008. Meanwhile, Joe Biden donors have started to see outreach from Buttigieg’s bundlers
as they look to pick them off from the former vice president.

For reference…
Amid irregularities, AP unable to declare winner in Iowa

“While being very clear in his political values, @BernieSanders was actually pretty
successful in working with people across the aisle” – what @PeteButtigieg argued
before he started taking billionaire cash (video)

Pete Buttigieg’s Policy Director Has Been Traveling the Country for Months to Meet With
“Investors” in His Campaign. Sonal Shah, Buttigieg’s national policy director, has been
meeting with high-level donors on at least a weekly basis throughout the fall and winter.

Pete Buttigieg calls for deficit reduction and claims the mantle of fiscal hawk in the Democratic field, while conceding that it’s “not fashionable in progressive circles.”
He also takes a shot at Bernie Sanders on the cost of Medicare for All.


Buttigieg wants to raise the unemployment rate, especially for African Americans and
Hispanics. That’s what his whining about deficit reduction means. If he is too ignorant
to know this, he should do some homework before he runs for president next time.


By the way, anyone who claims to be concerned about the burden of the debt better also
be talking about the burden created by government-granted patent and copyright monopolies,
otherwise they are either not serious or don’t know what they are talking about – Also see

It’s amazing how people who hysterical about $300 billion in interest payments
(1.4% of GDP), don’t notice at all $400 (1.8% of GDP) billion in annual patent rents
going to drug companies. …

We Can Develop New Drugs Without Patent Monopolies…

For those who think of the Clinton years were some sort of golden age
fostered by deficit reduction, please look at this 2005 paper

Private debt exploded. It was a bubble economy (followed by
an even worse bubble economy in the 2000s), and left us far worse off.

I honestly can’t think of a worse platform for Democrats to run on.
It also betrays a deep economic illiteracy given how low interest rates are.

And it shows an ignorance of the debates over deficits in the current economic environment.

It would be great if a reporter would ask Buttigieg whether he is completely ignorant of the
debates over deficit among progressives for the last dozen years or whether he is just saying
this to curry favor with wealthy Wall Street types.

Backgrounder thread on Buttigieg’s embrace of austerity…
2017 Context: The Sad And Hilarious Story Of America’s Most Incompetent Deficit Hacks

Earlier this week, Politico’s Byron Tau reported on the sad state of The Can Kicks Back, a deficit-hack outfit spun off of Fix The Debt, whose unique strategy in the “OMG TEH DEFICITZ” Wars was to attempt the enlistment of millenials in the effort to impoverish their grandparents.

  See referenced report on Buttigieg supporting deficit hawks…
Now  we know who The Can Kicks Back reached

See referenced comment
This wasn’t an off-handed comment either.

See referenced comment
That’s Pete’s team lifting up the Progressive Policy Institute, and here they are lifting up
the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. It sounds like 2 separate analyses,
but they’re both part of the Peterson deficit hawk empire, so really it’s 1

PPI is the “radically pragmatic” (their words) think tank of the DLC/New Dems, which has
been consistently wrong about its budget scaremongering. Interest rates haven’t soared,
inflation hasn’t gone nuts. These are liars who use big-sounding numbers to prevent progress.

See referenced comment
Here’s the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) supporting Trump’s
proposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare. This is the organization Team Pete
is relying on for fiscal analysis

In fact, CRFB has consistently groused that Trump’s budget
doesn’t cut Social Security and Medicare enough

Click text graphic…
In the last 24 hours, Pete Buttigieg and the Trump administration promoted the same talking
points that are typically used to justify cuts to Social Security and Medicare:

A few responses to this debate video clip…

Or all who want it…
Why a M4A public option won’t work

When “moderate” Democrats attack Medicare for All, listen closely how they won’t discuss
the uninsured, the sick people going bankrupt, high the price of drugs. They want to talk
about cost and people “losing their insurance” as if they would lose their care. #DemDebate

Reminder: Buttigieg is taking money from pharma. – See

Pete Buttigieg touted his support for Medicare for All… until #PetesBillionaires started
funneling him cash – then he suddenly turned around and started criticizing Medicare
for All.


Pete Buttigieg Trivializes the Impact of Trade on US Job Losses

I like how Pete maintained a straight face while he basically argued that having his
campaign bankrolled by #PetesBillionaires is actually an altruistic and principled act
of unity and consensus

Buttigieg is wrong – free college should be free for all, including children of the rich

The 2020 Climate Test

Note: In general Buttigieg supports middle of the road policies, claims real solutions are polarizing and ignores the fact that middle of the road policies have left millions behind as inequality continued to grow.


Compare / Contrast with Sanders’ comment…
When I ran for Congress we won a seat that had been Republican for decades.
I passed more amendments than any member from 1995 to 2007. #DemDebate (video)

One of the few areas where Buttigieg actually has a policy record is on policing and it is not good. He’s getting hit hard on it tonight. #DemDebate

Buttigieg’s Invisible (South Bend, IN) Black Police

So Buttigieg, confronted by the facts of what his administration did on pot arrests, twice
lied and denied it. Then pressed a third time he admitted it was true, but claimed the pot
arrests were linked to gangs and murderers. @akela_lacy has the data that question
came from:

Pete Buttigieg Repeatedly Dodged a Question About Black Marijuana Arrests in South Bend –
Then Invoked Gangs

While @StatusCoup covered @PeteButtigieg NH rally earlier that *we had media credentials for,* a Buttigieg staffer went up to my cameraman @cinematicjones – an African American – & pulled his name tag off before saying:
“I don’t think you’re supposed to have credentials.” (video)

Click text graphics…
…If you’re running for president, you need to answer foreign policy questions. maybe your answer is popular or unpopular… but you should answer.

Buttigieg simply didn’t answer a bunch of the questions here. Bernie, Warren, and Biden did.

…if you’re patterning yourself after Barack Obama, let’s remember that Obama ran in 2008
with a very open position on the most important foreign policy issue since vietnam:
ending the iraq war.

Click graphics…
I mean… cmon. *Come on!*

One theory…

“Just about all of the candidates said they would re-enter the Iran nuclear deal that Trump
abandoned in 2018, as long as the Iranians also came back into compliance.” Very positive
that Iran diplomacy is the strong consensus position among Democrats.

Click text graphics…
Responses to The Washington Post on the question: “Do you support cutting the defense budget from its current levels? Buttigieg vs. Sanders

“By all indications, we are going on to New Hampshire victorious,” Pete Buttigieg said in a late-night speech. 0% of Iowa caucus results are in.


The McKinsey guy declaring victory before votes have even been counted
is just a little too on the nose #IowaCaucus

Pete Buttigieg’s campaign donors include top McKinsey employees
Forty employees have contributed to the former mayor’s campaign
as experts say his ties have ‘cast a shadow of questions’

Why Buttigieg’s Shadowy Consultant Past at McKinsey Matters
Joe Biden… April 25th
First in a detailed thread…
As Iowans prepare to caucus tonight, this new story by @onesarahjones is a must-read about how a health insurance company harming Iowans is boosting Vice President Biden’s campaign as he opposes significant health care reform. Let me explain

Biden’s health care proposal, by his own admission, leaves 10 million americans without insurance and many, many more underinsured.

Politicians have lied about social security. The US must elect someone who’ll fight for it


***After the Iowa Caucus***…
Biden at tonight’s CNN town hall accused Bernie supporters of “misrepresenting” his record on social security & lied by saying he’s been a “strong supporter of social security” his whole career. No pushback from Anderson Cooper. (video)

After getting crushed in Iowa on the Social Security issue, Biden is somehow still trying
to erase 40 years of his own record trying to cut benefits & freeze funding for the program.
His tactics won’t work, because the facts are the facts right here:


Question: How much of his Iowa defeat was due to his repeatedly lying about his record?

Joe Biden Is on Both Sides of the Debate Over Medicaid Privatization

Wendell Potter thread…

Biden in #NHDebate: “It’s a long race. I took a hit in Iowa and I’ll probably take one here.”
Now that @JoeBiden has conceded, who will his New Hampshire backers support?

Tonight @JoeBiden continued his lies about being in the Civil Rights Movement.
He’s been telling these lies for 50 years, but has not been held to account for them.
*It must stop now*

Biden: Who could have known Bush & co. was lying about Iraq?!?
Sanders: “I listened very carefully, and I concluded that they were lying through their teeth” #DemDebates

The sheer collapse of Biden’s campaign on display precinct-to-precinct is possibly the biggest story of the night. Sanders campaign’s relentless messaging around Biden’s past support for Social Security cuts seems to have worked very well. #IowaCaucuses

In hindsight, Biden spending the last month talking about his Social Security record
may not have been the best tactic

See referenced comment…
Love that the discourse immediately became all about warning Left Twitter not to spread
conspiracy theories and misinformation while the Biden campaign leaked a memo calling
the eventual results into question and Pete literally went on TV and declared himself the
Andrew Yang… Nov, 2017
Yang seems to have missed the huge slowdown in productivity growth over the last 15 years

…the market does not make the tech folks hugely rich, our policies on things like patent and copyright monopolies make people hugely rich. …

Technology, Patents, and Inequality…

First in a thread…
It is amazing that Andrew Yang said we can eliminate racism by giving people of color “buying power.” As if buying power will prevent me from being killed by racist cops. #DemDebate

No – @AndrewYang – the whole capitalism/socialism dichotomy is *not* completely out of date. It is more relevant today than at any time in history. #DemDebates
Michael Bloomberg… Nov 2019
After the Iowa caucuses focused so much on Social Security, it’s worth now remembering that @MikeBloomberg has pushed to cut Social Security. In 2012, he said “entitlement cuts being discussed are both less than what I & many others believe are necessary”

@tperry518 asks Mike Bloomberg how his net worth increased from $4 billion in 2001 to $33 billion when he left office in 2013. Bloomberg says he won’t release his tax returns until “sometime in March.” Voting starts on Monday.

2010: Bloomberg’s Offshore Millions

It was a dark time for the city. In 2008, and early into the next year, morale was low, Wall Street was sputtering and Mayor Michael Bloomberg was steeling New Yorkers for pain. Brace for service cuts and tax hikes, he warned-while also pledging to find a way to keep tax money, particularly from the city’s richest citizens, from fleeing.

“I’ve said this before, but the first rule of taxation is, you can’t tax too much those that can move,” Mr. Bloomberg intoned on a radio show late in the crisis. “You know, we’re yelling and screaming about the rich. We want the rich from around this county to move here. We love the rich people.”

And yet the richest New Yorker of them all – Mr. Bloomberg himself – had been ignoring his own advice.

According to an extensive review of the mayor’s financial records by The Observer, even as Mr. Bloomberg was trying to counter the loss of taxes and other income from the richest New Yorkers, the foundation he controls was in the process of shuttling hundreds of millions of dollars out of the city and into controversial offshore tax havens that would produce nothing at all for the city in terms of tax revenue.

    New York’s Mayor, but Bermuda Shares Custody


Michael Bloomberg Hits Quarter-Billion Mark in Campaign Spending

Confirmed: Former New York Mayor @MikeBloomberg is planning to expand his staff
to at least 2,000 personnel nationwide and to double his ad spending in the television
markets where he’s currently airing commercials touting his candidacy.
– See

Ross Barkan…
An oligarch has bought his way into the 2020 race. Why is no one talking about this?
Michael Bloomberg has already spent more of his own money than Trump or Tom Steyer.
He’s making a joke of our democracy – and Democrats should be appalled

Oligarch of the Month: Michael Bloomberg
The former NY mayor is trying to spend his way to the White House

…Chris Matthews and @DrJasonJohnson are getting the vapors because @ninaturner
called Bloomberg “an oligarch.” Dude just bought his way onto a presidential debate stage.
How the he– could any sane person not think he’s an oligarch?

Bloomberg ad just on MSNBC sets Guinness record
for most substance-free platitudes spoken in 30 seconds. …

Bloomberg Campaign Ran Ads Asking Voters How He Should Spend His Money

Mike Bloomberg could pay all 2100 of his campaign staff $1 million each, spend $3 billion
on ads & still have $55 billion left to spend from his estate in the offshore tax haven of Bermuda
Meanwhile tens of thousands of Americans die each year because they cant afford healthcare

See chart…
…at some point Bloomberg is mass bribing cable/local news. Usually this isn’t an issue
because candidates effectively cancel each other out but when it gets to $1B, $2B we’ll
have one candidate underwriting the whole TV news industry.

Mike Bloomberg’s campaign gripes that it is “insulting” when @BernieSanders says:
“He is spending hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars to buy the election.
There’s something wrong with that.”
It’s not insulting.
It’s true.

Note: Bloomberg didn’t engage voters on the issues during last year’s debates or the Iowa Caucuses. It took the DNC changing the rules to get him on last week’s debate stage… after he had previously given the DNC money.

It’s weird Bloomberg News said that to prevent a conflict of interest, it wouldn’t report on the 2020 race…then Bloomberg News published a story distorting Bernie’s Social Security record & not mentioning Mike Bloomberg proudly pushing to cut Social Security.
Weird, I tell you

Bloomberg Plagiarized Parts of At Least Eight of His Plans

Joe Walsh…Aug 25th…
Joe Walsh Suspends Republican Presidential Campaign
Donald Trump
After Trump whipped up hatred against Adam Schiff, an Arizona man has been accused by federal authorities of threatening to kill Schiff. In the accused’s home, police found an AR-15-style rifle, two pistols & more than 700 rounds of ammunition.

The True State of Our Union under the Trump Administration
– Instead of supporting families, fair lending and consumer protections weakened
– Economic growth only for the wealthy
– Voting rights suppressed
– Nothing done about student debt
– An extremist anti-environmental agenda

Primer – The state of the union for working people

Trump claims he’s protecting preexisting conditions – as he sues to get rid of them
– See and

At the State of the Union, Trump asked the House to pass a bill to lower the cost of
prescription drugs. That’s good. The only problem? We already did. And he threatened
to veto it.

Click chart graphic…
…this (December) @CenterOnBudget table is the perfect BS detector for Trump admin
claims that their health care “plan” does anything other than deny pre-ex protections and
reduce coverage/benefits. You’ll want this handy when they release their budget on


Trump’s hostile agenda against low-wage workers
Yes, the tight labor market is boosting low-wage growth.
But the Trump administration is pushing hard in the other direction

CBPP: 2021 Trump Budget Would Increase Hardship and Inequality

CBPP Greenstein: President Trump’s 2021 Budget Would Widen Country’s Divisions

CBPP: President’s Paid Leave Proposal Would Push Costs to States, Produce Stark Disparities

Trump’s budget proposal shreds Social Security and Medicaid benefits

Trump promised to save Medicare and Social Security – his proposed budget targets them

…When (the NYT) refers to $2 trillion in “changes” to social programs, it meant “cuts”
to social programs. This is $200 billion a year, which is equal to about 0.8 percent of
GDP over the decade.

President’s Budget Shortchanges Farm Programs for the Fourth Year in a Row

Federal employee retirement benefits would be cut under Trump’s budget.

Donald Trump is on a nuclear weapons-spending binge using your money. His new budget
calls for nearly $50,000,000,000 for nuclear weapons in fiscal 2021, which is more in
inflation-adjusted dollars than at any time since 1990 and the end of the Cold War.


Navy budget cut to make room for more nukes so we can make the rubble bounce.
> U.S. Navy’s Ship Spending Plan Cut by $4 Billion in Trump Budget

Trump is calling for a 20% increase in annual spending on nuclear weapons, which should
tell you everything you need to know about this administration’s supposed commitment
to pursuing arms control with China and Russia

My running tally of Trump’s obscene nuclear budget keeps rising.
– DOD delivery systems ($29 Billion)
– DOE warheads ($19.8B)
– Environmental Cleanup ($5.9B)
– Missile Defense ($20.3B)
Total of $75 Billion for nuclear weapons and related programs.
Here’s the clean up bill: (see text graphic)

Click text graphics…
By large margins, US #voters support smaller #Pentagon budgets:
3/4ths want Congress to find other ways to create #jobs that aren’t DoD outlays
2/3rds (incl half of #Trump voters) say DoD should *not* get increases if it fails audit

Responding to Trump…
For the 80 millionth time: there is no evidence Iran is actively pursuing nuclear weapons.
The US government’s *own* intelligence community has attested to this. And yet the
State Department still sends these tweets out.

A rule change to the federal food stamp program proposed by the Trump admin will cause children in low-income families across the U.S. to go hungry, educators and hunger advocates told Congress. …

I’m pretty sure… the GOP federal deficit is ~ 4% of GPD/yr, & GDP/yr is ~ 2%. Under Obama, ~ same GPD/yr, but deficit was much smaller. If true, not getting much economically from gigantic deficit. @DeanBaker13 – can you verify or correct my #s?

That’s right

As a long-lived investment, structures should benefit most from the lower cost of capital implied by a reduced tax rate. Structure investment fell at 10.1% rate in the quarter and is now 7.5% below its year-ago level,” said @DeanBaker13

Midwest states lost factory #jobs last year. “With fewer union members in those states…manufacturing jobs, once a bulwark of the postwar middle class, now pay less on average than private-sector jobs overall,” @DeanBaker13 said.


Responding to Trump…
Actually … that’s 6.5 *million* brand new jobs, down from 8.1 *million* brand new jobs
in the last three years of the Obama administration…

@realDonaldTrump ‘s quantity math is bad, but the quality of the jobs created
since January 2017 is worse:

Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs are cascading out of control

President Donald Trump’s brazen move in late January to extend his previously imposed “national security” tariffs on steel and aluminum to cover even more products was greeted with a collective yawn by many weary of his unending trade wars. But this latest action was significant because, explicitly for the first time, Trump was imposing new tariffs to help an industry suffering because of his previous tariffs.

Economists refer to a second round of tariffs on products hurt by earlier duties as “cascading protection.” These sorts of cascading barriers are worrisome for two other reasons aside from the economic impact of Trump’s new tariffs.

The Trump admin, confident that China will follow through on its agreement to buy more U.S. agriculture, plans to shutter its bailout program for farmers hurt by tariffs.
But allegations of unfairness and other criticisms continue to dog the initiative.

Trump touts ‘Great American Comeback,’ says tariff strategy ‘worked’

Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union, said that Trump’s “rosy” description of the economy “is not just inaccurate, it’s insensitive to the millions of rural Americans who are struggling every day just to scrape by.”

“Despite trade assistance payments, many farmers haven’t been able to withstand the financial pressures: nearly 600 farmers filed for Chapter 12 bankruptcy last year, a shocking 20 percent spike, while thousands more decided to leave the business entirely,” Johnson said.

  Rural America Hasn’t Felt the “Great American Comeback” Touted by Trump

“Debt is expected to grow faster than farm equity in 2020…”


Trump will tout “his” economy tonight. That’s not unusual; all presidents get credit and blame for the economy over which they preside. But Trump will lie about the fact that he’s riding inherited trends.

As predicted…

Note: After an $8 trillion housing bubble burst and destroyed the world’s economy nearly every Congressional Republican (including Fortenberry) voted *against* stimulus, but it passed anyway. And when they gained some power, Republicans blocked more stimulus in favor of austerity. So… Republicans can’t take credit for this economy.

See video…
Trump said: “Since my election, we have created 7 million new jobs.” @DeanBaker13
counters: “While job growth seems healthy, wage growth continues to slow. By sector,
the strongest growth continues to be in the lowest-paying industries.”


In addition, much of the wage growth that has happened has a been a product of Dem
policies to raise min wages often at the state level, which Repubs have opposed.

…Some folks on my Twitter feed are proud to announce that payroll taxes rose 6.2 percent
last year. This is supposed to be evidence of strong Trump-induced wage growth. The
small problem with this story is that payroll taxes rose just 0.8 percent the prior year.
Tax collections are always somewhat erratic. The two-year average is truly mediocre
3.5 percent.

I left the #SOTU after Trump – a draft dodger who has mocked Sen. John McCain,
Gold Star families, and soldiers with traumatic brain injury – started talking about
the good he has done for our military.

Trump loosens restrictions on use of landmines
President Donald Trump rescinded restrictions on the US military’s ability to use landmines, weapons that have been banned by more than 160 countries due to their history of killing and wounding civilians, the White House said Friday.

Americans Demand a Rethinking of the ‘Forever War’

“Despite his denunciations of endless wars, Mr. Trump’s policies and actions
have gone in the opposite direction.”

The Iraq War Has Cost the U.S. Nearly $2 Trillion
The Pentagon has spent more than $800 billion on military operations in Iraq. But that
doesn’t include money needed to care for veterans, rebuild the country or pay interest
on war debt.

Dr. Matthew Connelly, professor of history at Columbia: “Why you may never learn the truth about ICE: The National Archives is letting millions of documents, including many related to immigrants’ rights, be destroyed or deleted.”

Trump is blowing up a national monument in Arizona to make way for the border wall

Here are the latest stats on the wall as of January 31:
– 115 total miles the administration describes as “new,” but…
– Only “approximately 1 mile” built where no barriers existed before
– 104 miles of replacement barriers
– 10 miles of “secondary” reinforcement barriers

Newly installed panels from the US border wall fell over in high winds Wednesday,
landing on trees on the Mexican side of the border

Trump’s border wall likely will require the installation of hundreds of storm gates
to prevent flash floods from undermining or knocking it over, gates that must be left
open for months during ‘monsoon season’ in the desert, according to U.S. officials.

At Embassies Abroad, Trump Envoys Are Quietly Pushing Out Career Diplomats
“There’s zero support or pushback from the department for the career people,”
said one former U.S. official.

State of the Union…
Pelosi went for a handshake and Trump did not shake her hand.

…Trump’s 2020 SOTU lost 30M viewers (!!) from last year


In spite of what Trump said…
There’s *no* blue-collar boom in the Midwest: “From January to September, the states
bordering the Great Lakes have lost more than 25,000 manufacturing jobs: Pennsylvania
lost 8,100; Ohio lost 6,000; Michigan lost 6,500; and Wisconsin lost 4,700.”


In State of the Union, Trump Celebrates Hate & Xenophobia
While Touting “Great American Comeback”


Secret Service has paid rates as high as $650 a night for rooms at Trump properties

While Trump keeps reminding us about Hunter Biden, let’s not forget that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump made at least $82 million in outside income last year while serving in the White House.

Trump re-told his story last week about how Van Jones made a speech about justice reform and thanked Al Sharpton but not Trump, but then apologized.
None of this happened. Jones told me in October: “I literally do not know what he’s talking about.”

Click text graphic…
This entire story is imaginary.

So it turns out the spiral of escalation that led to the US assassination of Suleimani, and to the brink of war, may well have begun with the Trump administration wrongly attributing the death of an American contractor to an Iran-backed militia.

I have a short thread on the new, dangerous nuclear weapon that Donald Trump has just deployed. …

Donald Trump is on a nuclear weapons-spending binge using your money. His new budget calls for nearly $50,000,000,000 for nuclear weapons in fiscal 2021, which is more in inflation-adjusted dollars than at any time since 1990 and the end of the Cold War.

  CBPP: 2021 Trump Budget Would Increase Hardship and Inequality:

For the 80 millionth time: there is no evidence Iran is actively pursuing nuclear weapons. The US government’s *own* intelligence community has attested to this. And yet the State Department still sends these tweets out.

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