Towards an issues-based 2020 election (66)

===2020 Big Picture===
Ken Burns: The Roosevelts; An Intimate History

Note: I recently watched episode 5 (PBS) and was struck by the political, economic (relative to stimulus and austerity) and social similarities to today. Well worth the watch.

Also… FDR launched the New Deal Era which preceded the current Reagan era. …

America’s Right Turn 1976-1980


Note: The most important economic issue in this Reagan Era is whether or not candidates support everyone (and companies) paying their fair share. We can pass balanced budgets *and* plan for / invest in our future *if* we have the revenue.

Debt / deficit supporters are all about grossly reducing rich folks and corporate taxes (i.e. regressive taxation). *Not* planning for / investing in our future.

The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party, my new book, launches this week. It tells the story of the 75-year-long battle to wrestle the party away from bankers and power brokers and to make it a fighting force for economic and social and racial justice.
La Lucha Continua!

We have a rich history of anti-fascism. It was once championed by the Vice President of the
United States. Henry Wallace worked to make the Democratic Party a fighting force
against fascism abroad *and* at home. This is the story of his struggle. And ours.

“Big business must not have such control of Congress & the executive branch as to make it
easy for them to write the rules of the postwar game.” ~ Henry Wallace

Repeated several for context…
The “centrist’s” war against the Democratic base continues…
Ocasio-Cortez blasts New York elections board for canceling presidential primary

What a self-own by New York Democrats — kicking Bernie off the ballot is an effort to protect
down ballot incumbents.  Establishment wonders “Why are people so cynical?”
Answer doesn’t require being a rocket scientist, a political scientists, or a brain surgeon….

Rs shut down primaries in a number of states to prevent voters from choosing delegates
who disagreed with Trump’s agenda. It was a shameful, anti-democratic act. It is every bit
as shameful for Ds to shut down the NY primary to prevent voters from choosing Sanders

Yang sues over NY’s shutdown of presidential primary: Former D candidate argues that
axing primary would deny voters due process and hurt down-ballot candidates.
@AndrewYang is 100% right about this. If Joe Biden was smart, he’d back this suit.

See text graphic…
My statement on today’s federal ruling reinstating New York’s Democratic presidential primary

Note I did an advanced twitter searcher using @JoeBiden and New York primary. No results.

Senator @BernieSanders just won 33,142 votes in the Kansas primary. He picked up another 10 – yes, 10 – delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

There is still time for Democrats to make another choice. Excellent op-Ed from @lyzl on what #BelieveWomen actually demands.

A Cornavirus Cover-Up Is Already Starting

George Bush’s fmr aide Mitch Daniels is telling kids everything is safe & they should enroll
in the college he runs – and he’s also insisting that he & his GOP friends shouldn’t be held
accountable if people follow their advice and then get infected.

===2020 Issues===
There’s no race for the cure for climate change

An idea whose time has come: Fossil Fuel Non Proliferation Treaty. End new exploration, phase out existing stockpiles.

CBPP: State Emergency Assistance Fund Could Help Families Facing Significant Challenges Avoid Increased Hardship

CBPP: Contrary to Arguments, States Need More Federal Relief

CBPP: Red, Blue States Alike Need More Federal Support

CBPP: States Grappling With Hit to Tax Collections

CBPP: Protect, Bolster TANF Cash Assistance Amid State Fiscal Crisis, Rising Need

CBPP: States Can Make Applications More Accessible During COVID-19 Crisis

CBPP: Larger, Longer-Lasting Increases in Federal Medicaid Funding Needed to Protect Coverage

CBPP: States Are Leveraging Medicaid to Respond to COVID-19

CBPP: Puerto Rico Needs More Food Aid to Better Respond to COVID-19

See charts…
Martin Wolf in top form with this column on how the savings glut of the rich distorts the global economy:

Up to 43m Americans could lose health insurance amid pandemic, report says
Prior to pandemic, 160 million got insurance through their job – but up to 7 million are unlikely to find new plans, say researchers


The Covid-19 crisis has exposed many problems with US healthcare. How can these flaws
be remedied, and should the US move to a single-payer system right away, or opt for
incremental reforms? @wendellpotter & @nealemahoney discuss.

Wendell Potter thread on pandemic insurance profits


[W]e will spend around $500 billion on prescription drugs this year. Without patent monopolies we would spend less than $100 billion. The difference of $400 b, is about 1.8% percent of GDP, more than five times the food stamp budget

It’s not even profits — it’s patent monopolies. The drug companies can do research and make
a profit it, the problem is the government grants them a patent monopoly.  There is nothing
about capitalism that requires patent monopolies

[T]he government just pays for the research upfront and then it is fully open for other researchers
to learn from and build on, and all drugs and vaccines are available as cheap generics

(Gov) Cuomo & (Bill) Gates Plan (Seizing on Pandemic to Privatize New York Schools) Raises Ire


Screen New Deal
Under Cover of Mass Death,
Andrew Cuomo Calls in the Billionaires to Build a High-Tech Dystopia

Why Are We Still Prioritizing Military Spending?
As American families continue to struggle, war profiteers are requesting their own bailout.

Great read from @LarryKorb: Pandemic spending will force US defense budget cuts –
some of which should come from #nuclear weapons programs – like the new #ICBM. via @BulletinAtomic


(The) Pentagon wants more money while small businesses go without.
Not on my watch.
DOD has gotten over $750 billion in FY20 and it shouldn’t get a cent more!

.@Politico Magazine’s Domestic Threat Assessment “a list of the most significant events that might impact the U.S. over the next 30 to 50 years. These are threats that seem rare, but that over a given period are almost guaranteed to occur.” @GarrettGraf

(The president) has vetoed a war powers resolution that would have curbed his ability to direct military action against Iran without Congress’ authorization. The bipartisan measure came after Trump ordered a strike that killed Iranian Gen. Soleimani in January.

(The president’s) veto statement for S.J. Res 68 – restricting his ability to preemptively attack Iran –
is chilling. It says his authority to use the military without Congressional authorization is not
limited to “imminent threat” scenarios.


Blundering Toward Nuclear Chaos


The nuclear pandemic



===2020 Watch List===
Three for context…
Ad: Mourning in America

Note: McConnell and his Senate supporters share responsibility for the terrible economic response to covid-19 yet the Republicans behind this ad didn’t mention them.

Two for context…
Trump Throws Full-Blown Tantrum Over GOP Ad Criticizing Coronavirus Response

The Lincoln Project, run by Republican operatives who oppose Trump, had its biggest day
of fundraising ever after Trump attacked the group on Twitter this week.

Lincoln Project called Facebook to dispute warning label on anti-Trump ad

A  deep-dive report on how an army of 90 lobbyists from major insurance & hospital corporations just convinced (CO) Democrats to kill a modest public health insurance option as Americans are losing their job-based health care during a lethal pandemic.

Congress Desperately Needs to Call Out Trump’s Authoritarianism


“[House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi has left Democrats largely invisible in negotiating COVID-19 legislative responses and sidelined at a moment that cries out for congressional oversight,” said Jeff Hauser, the founder and director of the Revolving Door Project, a public interest group. “An unleashed House could also make sure Trump’s systemic errors are well understood and beyond dispute for the 70 percent of Americans who are not willfully indoctrinated by Fox News. Such public education is necessary to make sure the federal government is never again so unprepared for a mass tragedy.”


See chart…
How concerned people are about a candidate’s sexual harassment and misconduct is driven by whether the candidate is in their party.

===2020 Watch List-Bias===
CBPP Context:
Sabotage Watch: Tracking Efforts to Undermine the ACA
President Trump has said that, politically, the best thing to do would be to let the Affordable Care Act (ACA) “explode.” This timeline tracks Administration actions that would sabotage the ACA by destabilizing private insurance markets or reversing the law’s historic gains in health coverage.

Kellyanne Conway channels Obi Wan…

Compare / Contrast…
“Healthcare must be a human right, and if we don’t learn that lesson right now, we will never
learn that lesson.” – @BernieSanders speaks to @thenation on what we must understand
about the #CoronavirusPandemic and an economic meltdown

Baker responds to Yglesias…


Trailer: Bernie Blackout
An investigative deep dive into the corporate news media’s coverage of Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign that asks: who actually gets a say in America?

===2020 Presidential Candidates===
Bernie Sanders… Feb 19th (Suspended Campaign)
.@BernieSanders talked with The Nation about international solidarity and what we need to learn from the pandemic.

Bernie Sanders: “Trump essentially says, no, we know you’re unemployed. We know you have no income. You may get evicted … We are going to give you a choice. Either you can starve and go into economic misery, or else you can go to work and get the virus.”
Joe Biden… April 25th
Field organizers for Biden’s campaign ratified a union contract that will give them a $15-an-hour minimum wage, overtime pay and a grievance process.
For the first time, the staff of a major party’s presidential nominee will be covered by a union pact.

Fixing the Bailout Scammers: The Ten Percent Solution

As Israel considers annexation, Biden calls to keep the two-state solution alive

Apple Gets a Boot in Joe Biden’s Door
Cynthia Hogan, one of the members of Biden’s vice-presidential search committee, was a top lobbyist for the computing giant.

Guess which recently shuttered campaigns Biden isn’t drawing from…

Defenders blamed others for Biden’s problems

Question: What do “centrists'” gain by demonizing a large portion of their base? Does it appeal to the right-of-center folks whose votes they covet.

The Biden campaign is secretly building a Republican group of supporters.
One name in particular has been floated as a choice to help give legs to such an effort
from the inside: former Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

2015: Ohio Governor Kasich: Do Nothing On Climate Change Because It’s An Unproven Theory


Here are four policies the former Lehman Brothers executive has supported that prove he is just as conservative, or even more conservative, than his Republican (presidential) challengers:

…While Kasich has said that his Christian faith calls him to help the poor and try to lift them up, the massive tax cuts he enacted in Ohio have had detrimental effects for low-income Ohioans. …

In 2013, Kasich signed a budget that included a number of anti-women’s health provisions including language that ultimately defunded Planned Parenthood, redirected funding to right-wing “crisis pregnancy centers,” threatened to shut down abortion clinics, and stripped funding from rape crisis centers that provide women with vital information about abortion services. Polling at the time he signed the restrictions showed that the majority of Ohio voters didn’t support the provisions limiting women’s reproductive rights. …

Early in his governorship in 2011, Kasich supported a bill to limit the collective bargaining rights of public-sector unions.

Voters ultimately repealed the bill with 62 percent of people voting against it, a slap to Kasich who had championed the legislation as a cost-cutting measure. But then this year, finally making good on his promise, he rescinded two executive orders which made two kinds of independent, self-employed contractors home health care contractors and in-home child care contractors eligible for collective bargaining with the state even though they are not employed by the state.

Pushed through charter school reform while ignoring failing schools: Ohio has about 123,000 kids attending nearly 400 charter schools, but the privately-run, publicly-funded schools have been performing terribly and have been criticized by education leaders across the country. …

Baker responds to the president…
Donald Trump
A member of the U.S. Navy who serves as one of Trump’s personal valets has tested positive for coronavirus.

Multiple members of the U.S. Secret Service have tested positive for COVID-19, according
to DHS documents reviewed by Yahoo News. There are at least 11 active cases at the agency
as of Thursday evening.

(The president) Met With GOP Lawmakers For An Hour. Nobody Wore A Mask Or Stayed Apart.

Trump flouts coronavirus protocols
as security experts warn of need to protect president from a lethal threat.

“(the president) tried to minimize this threat from day one,” said one ex-security official. “If he
backtracks now and starts wearing a mask, it will contradict the red meat he’s feeding
to his base … This is the first health crisis that has been politicized.”

“It appears to be a moment when there is a widening and very likely unsustainable gulf
between (the president’s) truth and what is actually happening. That’s because the numbers
are the numbers and, for Trump and for America, they look terrible.”

Or as Dean Baker put it in the following February thread which begins…
Donald Trump faces the classic “snow on the streets” problem with the Coronavirus.

And ends with…
The snow on the street problem refers to something that people can see with their own
two eyes, where you can’t get away with lying.

An aide to Mike Pence has tested positive for coronavirus.

Mike Pence is self-isolating away from the White House following his press secretary’s
diagnosis of Covid-19, said three people familiar with the situation.
William Barr’s Justice Dept (but not the prosecutors on the case) told a federal judge it doesn’t believe it can prove a charge that Mike Flynn *has admitted to in open court*

It’s possible Judge Sullivan will deny the motion to dismiss, esp given that he thought the deal
too lenient in the first place. He, like anyone experienced with criminal law, will see this motion
to dismiss for what it is: A backdoor pardon based on lies about facts and law.

Toobin on Flynn decision: The fix is in

Don’t Forget, Michael Flynn Pleaded Guilty. Twice.
Even President Trump has said his former national security adviser lied to the F.B.I.

Barr Accused of ‘Capturing Justice System’ for Benefit of (the president)
as DOJ Drops Case Against Michael Flynn. “Fairness, independence, and the rule of law
are principles that have no meaning to Barr. This is a dark day for the Justice Department.”

Trump Says Further Virus Stimulus Must Include (Social Security funding cut)

Seniors (criticize the president) for Tying Relief to Social Security Cuts

The Labor Dept Is Sacrificing Workers on the Altar of ‘Reopening’
Worker safety and security must be the top priority.

Trump is considering imposing new taxes on people in the United States to punish China. (i.e. tariffs)

American Consumers Are Paying for Trump’s Tariffs

Farm bankruptcies up 23% even before COVID-19 fallout
Coronavirus impact will come later as unemployment
is projected to climb to 14.5% in second and third quarters.

Farmers skeptical that federal loans will have much impact

Repeated for context…
Trump administration ducks and dodges to justify wall spending

(The president) is once more pushing to have his border wall painted black, a design change
that is projected to add at least $500 million in costs, according to government contracting
estimates obtained by WaPo.

Betsy DeVos rolls back Obama-era guidance on campus sexual assault

(The president) and His Infallible Advisers
Beware men who never admit having been wrong

House Oversight officials want info from the Trump Org.
about its request for coronavirus funding from the U.K.:
“Officials in the United Kingdom have raised serious concerns about using
their own taxpayer funds to bail out President Trump’s companies.”

A lawyer for WarnerMedia has written a cease-and-desist letter to Trump’s re-election campaign over the misleading contents of a new campaign ad. WarnerMedia says the Trump ad is misusing CNN coverage in a way that’s “false, misleading and deceptive.”

Meet the Shadowy Accountants Who Do (DJT’s) Taxes and Help Him Seem Richer Than He Is
The Supreme Court fight over Donald Trump’s tax returns has pushed his accounting firm into the limelight. In various episodes over 30 years, partners – including the CEO – have run into trouble for fraud, misconduct or malpractice.

(The president) made Florida his official residence. He may have also made a legal mess

CREW has filed a Hatch Act complaint against Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff with the Office of Special Counsel.

Donald Trump’s campaign manager @parscale somehow believes a good positive metaphor for Trump’s campaign during a lethal pandemic is a weapon that literally blows up an entire planet

In her Thursday afternoon briefing on the local pandemic response, Gaylor Baird said she was disappointed Ricketts said he would not extend beyond Sunday the Lancaster County restrictions currently in place.
Lincoln, Lancaster County to reluctantly adopt eased restrictions Ricketts outlined

New documents obtained by ProPublica show public health officials in Grand Island, Nebraska, wanted the JBS meatpacking plant closed. But Gov. Pete Ricketts said no. Since then, cases have skyrocketed.

The company that wouldn’t excuse Juan Manuel Jaime to see a doctor while he worked sick
for two weeks says it wasn’t aware he had covid-19 until he died.

Think about this story when you hear about covid-19 liability shield laws. Should JBS have
complete immunity from a wrongful death suit from this man’s family, or from customers
adversely impacted by how it runs its operations? Would that be just?

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