Towards an issues-based 2020 election (68)

===2020 Big Picture===
FDR on Democracy: The Greatest Speeches and Writings of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

“Those who write the peace must think of the whole world. There can be no privileged peoples… we cannot perpetuate economic warfare without planting the seeds of military warfare.”
– Vice President Henry Wallace sought to “win the peace” after WWII by ending economic imperialism

“Another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to democracy & the common
welfare, in their insatiable greed for money & (power), do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade
the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion.” – Henry Wallace, 1943

“Those who fan the fires of racial clashes for the purpose of making political capital here at home
are taking the first step toward nazism.” – Vice President Henry Wallace decrying racism
as “Americanized fascism,” Detroit, 1943

More race-related quotes

The Democrats nominated Alabama segregationist John Sparkman for Vice President in 1952.
They carried 9 southern and border states, but lost the Electoral College 442-89. I write in my
new book about the danger of compromises that put parties on the wrong side of history.

Alternate Histories; In 1944, another Democratic Party was possible

Omaha World Herald Editorial…
We can trust the outcome of mail voting, as Nebraska’s primary shows

We must prepare for the general election in November.

Lessons from Nebraska that show how progressive candidates can win

“The World Bank puts our income inequality on par with some of the poorest & unequal nations
in the world. This is dangerous for our economy & damaging to our collective sense of morality.”
— Kara Eastman…

If you want a perfect example of what next-level Distributed Organizing looks like, read this incredible article by @danielalapidous and her team @michelleyujin  & @RenshawMercedes

Dems passed the HEROES Act in 2 days and are waiting for Sen McConnell to pass
his version of the next stimulus bill (along with several other important bills)
Yet Sen Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) had the chutzpah to say…

A Progressive Analysis of the HEROES Act: Three Key Questions

CBPP Greenstein: Pelosi Package Would Provide Essential Support for Economy,
Relief to Households

If they aren’t passing stimulus, what are Senate Republicans up to?…
Senate Republicans were laser-focused on confirming judges in 2019 – even the unqualified ones
Even as lawmakers blocked hundreds of bills, they confirmed more than 100 judges.

“Leave no vacancy behind”: Mitch McConnell remains laser-focused on judges amid coronavirus

And what’s the impact of some of the judges that the Senate Republicans approved?
*****Michigan Judge Pens Partisan Rant Against Gretchen Whitmer’s “Totalitarian” Shutdown
(The president) has hastened the decline of “judicial temperament.”
We Can Finally See the Real Source of Washington Gridlock

Pelosi hits McConnell for relief package delays: “Mitch McConnell says no, we need a pause.
We need a pause? Tell that to the virus. Is the virus taking a pause? Is hunger in America
taking a pause?”


A bill to reauthorize three expired surveillance programs is in jeopardy

Pelosi, offered an explicit choice between moving to protect civil liberties to win progressive votes,
or moving right to win Republican votes, is choosing to move right.


See referenced comment…
The fringe national-security hawk posture of @SpeakerPelosi and @RepAdamSchiff
might have just undermined both reform and reauthorization of the Patriot Act.

Corporate Democrats are working with Ted Cruz to try to funnel PPP money to corporate lobbying groups that vilify progressives and block progressive legislation.
I want you to really think about that.

S&P fired one of its employees, Andrew Park, after he briefed Senate Banking Committee staff on the growing risks in the $1.2 trillion market for loans that finance private-equity buyouts

Worth mentioning in this context that Al Franken had a mechanism for fixing the conflict of interest
that leads to rating shopping. He had an amendment to Dodd-Frank that would have the SEC pick
the rating agency. It passed with an overwhelming bi-partisan majority.

Treasury Sec….
Timothy Geithner had Barney Frank get the provision removed in the conference committee.


We no longer need to engage in hypothetical “what ifs.”
White protestors, armed with rifles, aggressively confront the police
to defend their right to a speedy haircut.
Unarmed Black protestors congregating at the site of a police murder.
Tear gas and riot police

Top 6 Reasons Authorities are Cracking down Hard on Black Protesters
while Treating White Supremacist Reopeners with Kid Gloves


Open carry is a relatively recent thing. …

California had laws allowing open carry, and in the ’70s, when Reagan was governor, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale (founders of the original Black Panther Party) pulled up to the statehouse as Reagan was doing some sort of photo-op with a bunch of little kids, and they walked up the steps of the Capitol building with loaded guns and Reagan freaked out, as did all the legislators, and within a month, California had banned open carry.

  Two Simple Laws Could Solve America’s Epidemic of Violence

The quote “When the looting starts, the shooting starts” originated by a racist white Miami police chief named Walter Headley who targeted black people in 1967 ahead of the Republican convention. Donald Trump used the same line tonight to threaten to shoot his own citizens.

12 a.m. Thursday: (The president) RTs video saying “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.”
12:53 a.m. Friday: (The president) tweets “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

Whether the President Understands the Racist History of “Looting and Shooting”
Is Beside the Point. Don’t take him literally or seriously, they smirk.

It cannot continue to be the working definition of “liberty” that one class of Americans is permitted to break and to smash, solely because they are incapable of imagining that their actions have any consequences, while a second class of Americans can neither jog, nor sleep, nor go bird-watching, nor film news, because the first class of Americans is imagining make-believe harms. One of the reasons the country is on fire is that millions of people are tired of living in a world in which their every word and step can get them killed, while for a shrinking handful of others, nothing they do can ever matter. Just because the president cannot comprehend this reality doesn’t immunize him from inflaming it.


Russia Trying to Stoke US Racial Tensions Before Election, Official Say
Russian intelligence services are trying to incite violence by white supremacist groups to sow chaos in the US, American Intelligence

It’s not just Russians…


Compare / Contrast…
Thread: Minneapolis provocateurs alleged by state leaders…

Second thread begins…
What national media need to understand is that what happened in Minneapolis last night seems
to be different from what happened in previous nights, and different from normal riots in other
places. Stop trying to analyze it as rhetoric by the governor. Something new is happening.

There’s no right to riot. But when @Kaepernick7 tried peaceful protest in response to police killings of unarmed black men a lot of people said he had no right to do that either.
So what is the proper response to police killings of unarmed black men?


Sally Jenkins: “Two knees. One protesting in the grass, one pressing on the back of a man’s
neck. Choose…which knee you will defend. There are no half choices; there is no room for
indifference. There is only the knee of protest or the knee on the neck.”

Imagine. If we had embraced Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful protest…

The unbearable grief of Black mothers

Dear world – please listen to the words of this young brother. Feel the pain of our
communities. Stand up for justice. #BlackLivesMatter  #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd (video)

I’m thinking about George Floyd today. Yet another Black man viciously killed by the police.
Black men are routinely targeted and brutalized by our entire justice system, from police to
courts to prisons. It has to change or there is no justice. #blacklivesmatter

.@AOC: “If you are calling for an end to this unrest, and if you are a calling for an end to all of this,
but you are not calling for the end of the conditions that created the unrest, you are a hypocrite.”

Keith Ellison on Police Brutality: ‘We Need a Vision
That Says There’s Going to be Accountability’

“The spark is police. But the kindling that made the house burn down was joblessness,
unemployment, poor housing, concentrated poverty, people without opportunity who were
just done with that and needed… to say, ‘This must change.'” – @keithellison

NFP’s Statement on the Killing of George Floyd

Jimmy Kimmel

Lynchings a century ago affect black voting behavior today

Thread on lynching and economics…

Killer Mike


My father on April 4, 1967, one year before he was assassinated:
“I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the
ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world
today: my own government.”

Nonviolence is a flop.  The only greater flop is violence’ – Joan Baez

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral,
the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” – Bishop Desmond Tutu

Mehdi Hasan and Ilhan Omar on Police Brutality and the Murder of George Floyd

How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change

Question: Good social justices resources. But what about economic inequality?

“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” – Albert Einstein

The Right-Wing Legal Network Is Now Openly Pushing Conspiracy Theories

===2020 Issues===
When our courts are corruptly captured by vested interest, public policy debate becomes a sham. Thanks to @SenWhitehouse et al for this new report

Great roundup from @BrooklynSpoke on all the steps cities across the planet are taking to shift away from cars.  (This essay is one-stop-shopping for intellectually curious mayors!) PM 5/31/2020

Latest One Earth issue…

What a Week’s Disasters Tell Us About Climate and the Pandemic

A plan to support creative work – 100 government dollars at a time

CBPP: 3 Principles for an Anti-Racist, Equitable State Response to COVID-19 – and a Stronger Recovery

See referenced comment…
As a practical matter, it makes far more sense to reduce inequality across the board, so that we have much smaller pay gaps in this country, than say that we will get more minorities in high-paying positions

See referenced comment…
How about just stop protecting rich people from market competition?

‘Something isn’t right’: U.S. probes soaring beef prices
One hundred years ago, U.S. antitrust prosecutors broke down monopolies in meatpacking. But can they do it again?

How Lax Antitrust and Concentrated Market Power Rig the Economy
Against American Workers, Consumers, and Communities.

“With this report, we want to make two facts abundantly clear,” said Marshall Steinbaum, Research Director at the Roosevelt Institute and the report’s co-author. “First off, the ‘invisible hand’ will not save us. Second, the economy’s market power problem, and the misguided Chicago School antitrust mindset that got us here, make it clear that legislation is necessary. …


Webinar: Building a Pro-Worker Anti-Monopoly Movement
3-4pm EDT Tues June 2nd. See link for RSVP info

Podcast: Rethinking Trade

Webinar: Food Systems Summit

CBPP: How Should States, Localities Spend CARES Act’s Coronavirus Relief Fund?

CBPP: Medicaid Coverage Protections in Families First Act:
What They Require and How to Implement Them

In defense of the Fed’s bailout

David Sirota’s Word of the Week: Looting
In this Orwellian era, working-class people pilfering convenience store goods is called “looting,” while rich people stealing hundreds of billions of dollars is deemed good “public policy”


Looting is 25 billionaires increasing their wealth by $255 billion in 2 months while up to
580 million people throughout the world are pushed into poverty during this horrific pandemic.
That’s looting.

See chart…
There was looting in America yesterday
5 men extracted $6B in wealth from our society in 24 HOURS:
Jeff Bezos: $2.27B
Michael Dell: $1.51B
Elon Musk: $1.13B
Steve Ballmer: $592M
Sergey Brin: $528M
While billionaire bosses now pay a lower tax rate than essential workers.

Compare / Contrast…
A Moral Argument for Progressive Taxes

CBPP: The Great Recession Badly Hurt Kids’ Schooling;
Today’s Recession Could Do Much Worse

Cutting our excessive defense budget post-COVID-19 will be difficult. Here’s how to do it

We are leaving international agreements and institutions at a rate of one per week right now.
I’m not sure I remember the last time we helped build or strengthen an international arrangement.
Again, destroying is easy. It takes creativity, leadership, and hard work to build.

Of all the administration’s national security blunders, the destruction of the arms control regime is perhaps the most dangerous. @natsecaction does an excellent job outlining the stakes in their latest piece.

As the United States reckons with its decline, it should understand where its power came from in the first place. The ‘Liberal World order’ Was Built With Blood

Trump administration to end Iran deal waivers in a blow to (the Iran Deal)

The projects Pompeo is killing are the ones to neutralize some of Iran’s most concerning
pre-JCPOA nuclear work. They’re exactly the projects an Iranian hardliner hell-bent on getting
nuclear weapons would want ended. It’s an epic self-own that plays right into the IRGC’s hands.

“Pompeo has handed Tehran a perfect excuse to resume nuclear activities
of proliferation concern,” warns @MarkTFitz

Davenport counters Rep Luria (D)…

The Open Skies Treaty Bites the Dust
(The president) has once again done what Putin wants by withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty, weakening US ties with friends and allies including Ukraine and Georgia


(The president’s) Nuclear Brinkmanship Keeps Backfiring, but He Keeps Doubling Down

Nuclear watchdog says any US test would be ‘grave challenge to peace’
Lassina Zerbo, head of body monitoring test ban treaty, responds to White House discussions about potential first US test for 28 years

The only reason for the US to test is that some unreconstructed Cold War hawks
want to break one of the last remaining nuclear restraints. We can’t let them.


Norms matter.
“If the US breaks the informal ban that it has in place since its last test in September 1992,
it provides India an opportunity to also follow suit, and confirm the design of its thermonuclear
bomb, something it failed to do in 1998 tests.”

  DoE Could be Ready to Go With Minimal Nuke Test in Nevada in ‘Months,
‘ Pentagon Official Says

From the guys that brought you the 2003 Iraq War comes a new generation of experts pushing for regime change… in Iran by publishing various versions of the same argument in different outlets!

===2020 Watch List===
Facebook reportedly had evidence its algorithms were dividing people, but top executives killed or weakened proposed solutions

The world would be so much better if Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook were liable for spreading
false and damaging claims, just like CNN, NYT, and every other media outlet

Twitter labels Trump’s tweets with a fact check for the first time

President Trump on Wednesday threatened to regulate or shut down social media companies,
one day after Twitter for the first time added a warning to some of his tweets prompting readers
to fact check the president’s claims.

Compare / Contrast…

Baker corrects Krause…

The president is using the full authority of his office to try and force social media platforms
to stop fact checking his lies, his racism and his glorification of deadly violence.
These are dangerous times for the First Amendment – and for the republic.

Trump is glorifying violence.
Twitter is refusing to amplify the president’s dangerous words. And it is challenging his outright
lies. If we the people, our media and our media platforms cannot object to official wrongdoing,
the First Amendment is void.

The Chamber of Commerce, in an unusually pointed statement against Trump:
“Regardless of the circumstances that led up to this, this is not how public policy is made
in the United States. An executive order cannot be properly used to change federal law.”

It’s a safe bet that if Section 230 was repealed, Mark Zuckerberg would be a lot less rich …

Twitter flags and hides Trump’s tweet that ‘glorified violence’

(The president), Twitter and the society-crushing pursuit of monetized rage

The Cruelty of Conspiracy: A Personal Story

Accountability. A much needed commodity…


===2020 Watch List-Bias===
Breaking precedent, White House won’t release formal economic projections this summer that would forecast extent of downturn

“Both liberal and conservative critics said the White House should publish its economic
projections … The White House under President Barack Obama continued to release
these numbers during the Great Recession, although they were unflattering.”

Baker responds to drug / health lobby


===2020 Presidential Candidates===
Tulsi Gabbard… Jan 11th (Suspended her campaign)
Tulsi Gabbard dropped her defamation lawsuit against Hillary Clinton.
Kamala Harris… Jan 21st  (Suspended her campaign)
Given Klobuchar’s story, a reminder – with context…
Lawyer at Center of Robo-Signing Scandal Sees ‘More of the Same’ From Banks

Note: The financial industry securitized mortgages – often bundling good and bad mortgages then rating that security AAA. But after the bubble popped they couldn’t foreclose on properties because they had lost the mortgage papers (legal documents). So they recreated documents and had someone sign them (i.e. robo signers)… which is fraud.

Robosigning King…
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin is angry about an unflattering nickname he wholeheartedly deserves

2017: Kamala Harris Fails to Explain Why She Didn’t Prosecute Steven Mnuchin’s Bank
Elizabeth Warren… Feb 9th (Suspended her campaign)
Hmm (thread)…
Amy Klobuchar… Feb 10th (Suspended her campaign)
Former MPD Officer Derek Chauvin In Custody, Charged With Murder In George Floyd’s Death
Complaint Says Chauvin Was On Floyd’s Neck For 8 Minutes And 46 Seconds

George Floyd’s death in police custody
is renewing criticism of Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (D-Minn.) prosecutorial record.

…Klobuchar spent eight years as the Hennepin County attorney, in charge of prosecution for Minneapolis. And while in that position, Klobuchar declined to prosecute multiple police officers cited for excessive force, and did not prosecute the officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck as he protested, The Guardian reports.
Joe Biden… April 25th
Make her Treasury Secretary, too, Joe…
Among 9 women reportedly in the mix to be Biden’s VP, Sen. Elizabeth Warren would have the biggest net positive impact on Biden’s candidacy.  26% of registered voters said placing her on the ticket would make them more likely to vote for Biden.

Picking @ewarren as a running mate would be one of the smartest things
@JoeBiden could do to win in November.

See referenced plan…
This is embarrassing. We don’t want virtual happy hours with young politicians. We want Medicare for All and a Green New Deal. These people learned absolutely nothing from the success of a 78 year-old Senator with young people.

Oct Context: Joe Biden’s Super PAC Is Being Organized
by Corporate Lobbyists for Health Care Industry, Weapons Makers, Finance

Big duh…
CNBC: “Health care donors [say] they have nothing to fear from a Biden administration.”

Joe Biden Unveils 2 Separate Proposals To Help Americans With Disabilities
After advocates pushed him on his lack of a disability platform for over a year, Biden has dropped two plans, including one specifically addressing coronavirus.

Anti-War Groups Push Biden and the Democrats to Rethink Foreign Policy
Faced with a global pandemic, and economic meltdown, and the climate crisis,
more than 50 groups argue it’s time to reset priorities

‘America Needs a Coronavirus Cure, Not More War’


Just got back from the centrist rally. Amazing turnout.
Thousands of people holding hands and chanting “Better things aren’t possible”

As of this month, 32% of Americans say they are “satisfied with the way things are going
in the United States at this time,” according to Gallup. Who are these 32% of people,
other than billionaires and lobbyists?

We have militarized police forces deploying organized violence against our citizens and yet
the thing that was considered too radical and dangerous in the 2020 Democratic primary
was giving everyone Medicare.


COVID survivor receives $840,000 statement for treatment, with more on the way

Lightly regulated Obamacare marketplaces are not the solution
to this kind of inhumane outrage


Black Americans Have a Message for Democrats:
Not Being (the president) Is Not Enough

CNN’s Van Jones says that the black community is tired of hearing empty promises
of change and that they should be more worried about “the White Liberal Hillary Clinton
supporter” than a white racist.


Many affluent liberals thought America could MSNBC/West Wing its way to a better future.
But history tells us progress only comes through real struggle. If we have any chance for a
brighter future, we will have to make politicians – even our favorites – very uncomfortable.

See NYT’s nonsensical and propagandistic leaning headline…
How can Biden both move left *and* remain in the same place at the same time, NYT?

Biden: We are a nation furious at injustice.

I have been a critic of Biden & I make no apologies for that. But I also believe (the
president) must be defeated, and I believe this from Biden is exactly the right message:
“Protesting such brutality is right and necessary. It’s an utterly American response.”


Joe Biden meets with black leaders at Wilmington church amid unrest

See referenced comment…
[W]hy are they offering a word salad rather than just answering the specific question?

Context: The Sudden But Well-Deserved Fall of Rahm Emanuel

Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is having regular conversations with Joe Biden and his
top advisers about economic policy, the selection of a running mate and the political
machinations of taking on President Donald Trump. Here’s what we know.

It’s weird that a person can kill the public option, get elected mayor, run an administration that
buried the tape of a murder of a teenager, leave office in disgrace, get a Wall Street job and
a TV pundit side gig and remain in the upper echelons of the Democratic Party


Note: Don’t do it, Joe.
Donald Trump
In Days of Discord, a President Fans the Flames

As cities burned, (the president) stayed silent – other than tweeting fuel on the fire


Pritzker: “The rhetoric that’s coming out of the White House is making it worse …
People are feeling real pain out there. And we’ve got to have national leadership
in calling for calm and making sure that we’re addressing the concerns of the
legitimate peaceful protestors.”


The president unilaterally left the treaty (and he’s pushing policies that increase CO2 emissions)…
Paris climate goals failure ‘could cost world $600 tn’

(The president) quietly vetoes measure
that would have made it easier for defrauded students to obtain debt relief


Compare / Contrast…
2015: Trump University fraud claims follow Donald Trump on campaign trail

2017: A federal judge has approved a $25 million settlement President Donald Trump agreed to
late last year in a bid to head off a civil fraud trial over his Trump University real estate seminar

A pro-worker US government (very hypothetical) would cut a deal with China to lower value of US dollar in exchange for relaxed “intellectual property” enforcement as @DeanBaker13 has long argued

The Washington Post tells us about Trump’s “existential” threat to China and his plan to tank
U.S. stock markets

(The president’s) Fixation on Intellectual Property Rights Serves the Rich

As (the president) removes federal watchdogs,
some loyalists replacing them have ‘preposterous’ conflicts

WSJ Ed Board on (the president) and Scarborough: “We don’t write this with any expectation that (the president) will stop. Perhaps he even thinks this helps him … though we can’t imagine how. But (the president) is debasing his office, and he’s hurting the country in doing so.”


(The president’s) ‘Horrifying Lies’ About Lori Klausutis May Cross a Legal Line

(The president) brags about getting Republicans elected. Research suggests his endorsements in 2018 cost his party 15 seats – 11 in the House and four in the Senate.

Trump Tower’s 2010 Profits Magically Grew By $3 Million In New Loan Filings
One set of reports listed the tower’s 2010 profits as $13.3 million; a second put them at $16.1 million. That helped the Trump Organization borrow $73 million more than it had before.

Fact check: Trump has spent far more time at golf clubs than Obama had at same point.
Several for context…
Max US @ ~100,000; UK is 2nd at ~37,000
Confirmed deaths of Covid-19 for selected countries (log scale graph)

The log scale graph at the following link
allows you to select a county’s line and get info about it

If you standardize the data as deaths / 100,000 people (i.e. concentration),
our ranking is reduced

See tweets…
Misleading spin is your response to 100,000 deaths, Mr President?

When (the president) took office, his team stopped work on new federal regulations that would have forced the health care industry to prepare for an airborne infectious disease pandemic such as COVID-19. That decision is documented in federal records NPR reviewed.

America’s response to the coronavirus pandemic is “incomprehensibly incoherent,” says a historian who studied the 1918 flu.

As the reported U.S. death toll from the coronavirus hits 100,000, the president is tweeting clips of Lou Dobbs’ Fox Business show and falsely claiming that big tech is censoring the election.

It cannot continue to be the working definition of “liberty” that one class of Americans is permitted to break and to smash, solely because they are incapable of imagining that their actions have any consequences, while a second class of Americans can neither jog, nor sleep, nor go bird-watching, nor film news, because the first class of Americans is imagining make-believe harms. One of the reasons the country is on fire is that millions of people are tired of living in a world in which their every word and step can get them killed, while for a shrinking handful of others, nothing they do can ever matter. Just because the president cannot comprehend this reality doesn’t immunize him from inflaming it.
Dahlia Lithwick in “Whether the President Understands the Racist History of ‘Looting and Shooting’ Is Beside the Point”

Imagine. If we had embraced Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful protest…

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