Towards an issues-based 2020 election (78)

===2020 Big Picture===
George McGovern warned that, if Lyndon Johnson pursued the Vietnam War, “our dreams of a Great Society and a peaceful world will turn to ashes.” In my new book, I explain how domestic progress has repeatedly been undermined by deference to the Pentagon.

Lessons from the New Deal point the way forward in the era of Covid-19.

‘She Votes!’ Is the Definitive Podcast on the Women’s Suffrage Movement
One hundred years ago this month, the 19th Amendment was ratified. But American women’s battle for the ballot and representation in government began long before that day in August – and continues, even to this day.

Today (Aug 6th) is the 55th Anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act
One of the most important pieces of legislation in American history

A Call to Action on the Voting Rights Act

Sign the petition to Mitch McConnell: Honor John Lewis’s legacy
and bring the Voting Rights Advancement Act to a floor vote

Opinion: Want a democracy? Stop making voting hard.

I think it should be clear by now not everybody wants a democracy.

How Shelby County v. Holder Broke America
In the five years since the landmark decision, the Supreme Court has set the stage
for a new era of white hegemony.

Inside John Roberts’ (R) Decades-Long Crusade Against the Voting Rights Act

Trump aides exploring executive actions to curb voting by mail

See referenced comment…
We’re not polarized. One party is a pluralist center-to-left coalition whose ideas are broadly
popular, based in scientific consensus; the other is reality-denying, near an authoritarian cult
with waning minority support, hanging onto power through cheating and and panic-mongering.

See referenced comment…
Dropboxes, Dan. Get the Obamas quickly behind a massive effort
to expand drop boxes in battleground states to bypass the Postal Service!


Honoring Voting Rights Day with articles about voter suppression is exactly what
other US news organizations should be doing, too:

Today is the 55th anniversary of the #VotingRightsAct.
Tomorrow, I will re-introduce my bill to make the right to vote a Constitutional amendment so that everyone-no matter their race, gender, whether they served time in prison or not – will have the right to vote.

Tips to Mitigate Threats to Our Votes and Voter Registrations Before November

You better vote – but that’s just the start of what you can do! Wonderful essay from the wonderful Daniel Hunter

At any given moment in the life of a movement, one looks for the highest-leverage action. For progressive Americans over the next 90 days, that means defenestrating Donald Trump (and flipping the Senate) so that actual political pressure can matter #VoteTrumpOut (video)

Defenestration: a usually swift dismissal or expulsion (as from a political party or office)

Don’t Let the Trump Administration Rush the Census Count
The 2020 Census is the largest, most complex population count in the nation’s history that affects redistricting, federal funding and a host of other policy decisions for a decade. It’s crucial we get the count right.

A Census Bureau memo on creating a state-by-state estimate of people illegally in the country is raising new fears of a politicized census – this time involving the population totals that will be used to reapportion the House of Representatives next year.

Time for Some #WearADa-nMask Politics

My column: In ’88 @RevJJackson said “it takes 2 wings to fly.” We must make sure grassroots progressives feel their voices are heard at the convention & they have a home in the party. It can’t be “we won, you lost.” Don’t repeat the mistake of ’16!

Note: One way to do that is to select a solid progressive as VP… and Elizabeth Waters as Sec of Treasury. No more treating us like b-stard step children


Is This the Beginning of the End of American Racism? Donald Trump has revealed the depths of the country’s prejudice – and has inadvertently forced a reckoning.

Click text graphic, then click right arrow (at right side) to page through the document…
This qualified immunity decision from Judge Carlton Reeves is truly extraordinary.

“Over the decades… judges have invented a legal doctrine to protect law enforcement officers
from having to face any consequences for wrongdoing. The doctrine is called ‘quali?ed
immunity.’ In real life it operates like absolute immunity.”

WaPo on Judge Carlton Reeves’s must-read ruling on “qualified immunity”
as the new “separate but equal”:

Judge: Doctrine shielding police from lawsuits is wrong

Same judge in 2015…
A Black Mississippi Judge’s Breathtaking Speech To 3 White Murderers

===2020 Issues===
Letter from economists: to rebuild our world, we must end the carbon economy

‘Worst-case’ global warming scenario still best guide until 2050, study says
UN panel’s RCP8.5 scenario of sharply rising emissions matches trends since 2005, PNAS study says, rejecting criticisms it’s “alarmist”

Here’s What Extreme Heat Look Like: Profoundly Unequal

When senators like Manchin defend the filibuster by invoking Senate tradition, they should be pressed on what they mean. The filibuster was not created by the Framers, it was forged later for the “tradition” of preserving slavery & blocking civil rights…

It is necessary to have a back up plan. Move from 60 required to end debate to 40 required
to continue it. Make the minority have to come up with the bodies, including around the clock
for days on end. Doesn’t end the filibuster but something Manchin can support if vote is needed

…The only “constitutional” part of a super majority requirement is that, in every discrete instance,
the Founders indicate it, eg, impeachment, ratifying treaties. The implicit point is that ordinary
legislative business need only require a majority.

Note: Congress subverted the Constitution’s treaty ratification supermajority requirement as they pushed NAFTA-style trade deals that shipped our jobs overseas.

Why Black Workers Will Hurt the Most if Congress Doesn’t Extend Jobless Benefits
An extra $600 a week smoothed out sharp differences in benefits among states, and among the people who lived in them



Bolstering State Economies by Raising Progressive Taxes

“The Air Force just awarded a contract to develop a hypersonic Air Force One” I call insane levels of budget waste shenanigans on this

Biden needs to setup a Pentagon anti-corruption task force.  We’re past fraud, waste, and abuse.
The Services and the defense contracting community are way too comfortable, and on the basis
of flimsy strategic logic and the endless resources of the American taxpayer.

At a time of a global crises, the United States is weaponizing its humanitarian aid

Why we will win the fight to cut the Pentagon budget

Check out Broken, Bankrupt, and Dying, an important new book with real patient stories that build the case for a feasible approach to universal healthcare that is a win for patients, taxpayers, & businesses; appealing to Dems & Repubs @JoeBiden @BarackObama

John Roberts’ Stealth Attack on Abortion Rights Just Paid Off
A federal appeals court will allow Arkansas to create degrading new hurdles for people seeking abortions.

Congress Put the Brakes on Cuba Relief to Protect Front-Line Democrat
Two amendments aimed at alleviating the stranglehold on Cuba’s economy were withdrawn because of pressure to protect a vulnerable Florida rep.

Moving Beyond Good and Evil in the Middle east. There are alternatives to America’s heavy-handed attempts at “helping” the region. It’s time to pursue them.

Aspen Security Forum Details.
All of our digital sessions will be recorded and posted to this website and our YouTube channel for those who missed segments of the digital Aspen Security Forum.

Great read from @RepTedLieu
“There is no way the framers would have authorized one person to launch [#nuclear] weapons that could kill hundreds of millions of people in less than an hour and not have called that war.”

===2020 Watch List===
Things brought to you by The Most Brilliant Policy Minds In Both Parties:
– Wall Street deregulation that led to the financial crisis
– Trade policies that eviscerated good-paying jobs
– The Patriot Act
– The Iraq War

Billionaires need the working class.
The working class does not need billionaires.

See text graphic…
Four words – “at no personal risk” – explain all of Washington punditry.
Elites never have to personally face the real-world consequences of the policies they demand for everyone else.

Who’s responsible for our failed pandemic response, Sen Schumer?

===2020 Watch List-Bias===
Trump aides exploring executive actions to curb voting by mail

Facebook’s fact-checkers have ruled claims in Trump ads are false –
but no one is telling Facebook’s users

Twitter, Facebook Remove Trump Post Over False Claim About Children And COVID-19

Inbox: Facebook has put a temporary ad ban on a pro-Trump PAC. “As a result of the
Committee to Defend the President’s repeated sharing of content determined by third-party
fact-checkers to be false, they will not be permitted to advertise for a period of time.”

Facebook has removed hundreds of accounts from a foreign troll farm posing as African-American
Trump supporters and QAnon supporters. It also removed hundreds of fake accounts linked to the
conservative Epoch Times that pushed pro-Trump conspiracies.

Under Facebook’s own rules, high-profile accounts get their reach and advertising restricted
if they have two misinformation “strikes” within 90 days. Leaked internal documents show FB
repeatedly bent these rules for conservative partners

Census Bureau confirms all #2020Census counting efforts will be cut a month short, risking a severe undercount of people of color. Collecting responses online, over the phone & by mail, plus door knocking at unresponsive homes, to end on Sept. 30

A Census Bureau memo on creating a state-by-state estimate of people illegally in the country is raising new fears of a politicized census – this time involving the population totals that will be used to reapportion the House of Representatives next year.

Banner on @CNNSitRoom just now: *”After Weeks of  Attacking Mail-In Voting, Donald Trump Now Says It’s OK… In Must-Win Florida”*

Why is it okay to have mail-in voting in Florida and not elsewhere?
Donald Trump: “Florida has a great Republican governor…”


Note: Based on some of the comments… the Trump campaign might just declare themselves the middle relatively early on voting day. GW Bush pulled that trick in 2000

Dozens of billionaires have donated to the RNC’s legal fund that is being used to fight against expanded access to mail voting.

Baker responds to Pharma’s lobby


Why is the fossil fuel industry getting more than its fair share of bailout money? Maybe it’s because the system is rigged in its favor. @moira_kb explains. #PeopleNotPolluters #YEARSproject (video)

===2020 Presidential Candidates===
Elizabeth Warren… Feb 9th (Suspended her campaign)
I’d love @ewarren to explain how her views on @JoeBiden evolved. She was his harshest critic. What made her such a fan today? What does she think has changed about him? I’m not snarking – her explaining this would help make a progressive case for Biden.

This is important because Warren has gone beyond just supporting the nominee, which every
Dem does. She’s gone much further than that — she’s now (reportedly) very close to Biden.
So it would be helpful to understand what she thinks has changed about him.
Joe Biden… April 25th
87% of Democrats support “Medicare for All,” though Joe Biden doesn’t

Tend to support military intervention…
Some DNC Delegates Call Biden Foreign Policy Team ‘A Horror Show’

I can’t share all of the fine articles marking today’s solemn anniversary, but one you should read is a beautifully illustrated and tightly argued new @plough_shares report from @Akshai_Vik

It argues that @JoeBiden must take three steps to stop the new arms race: extend New START;
mitigate the risk of accidental launch by declaring No First Use, ending launch-on-warning, and
cancelling the new ICBM; and roll back weapons that increase the risk of nuclear conflict.

Our secret’s out, but Joe Biden’s commitment to nuclear arms control has never been a secret.
We’re proud to make our first-ever Presidential endorsement today. The stakes have never been
higher, and our issues have never been more important. (video)

My Statement on the 75th Anniversary of Hiroshima

The Wallets of Wall Street Are With Joe Biden, if Not the Hearts


A note to my critics: Here’s a more productive way to channel any concern that my noting the many corporate revolving door figures surrounding Biden will hurt his chances. Tell Anita Dunn to  to quit the campaign.

Video: This is a good ad for Biden, and a good ad for electric cars–it will reach people who need reaching. (tho we need electric buses more)


Karen Bass’ statement provides missing context for last week’s story…

They’re really going full red-scare on Karen Bass huh?
First time I’ve had a favorite in the Biden Veepstakes

Progressive delegates from more than three dozen states have spoken. They want Karen Bass.

Susan Rice…
Disclosure docs show that one of Biden’s top candidates for VP made big investments in the fossil fuel industry. The revelations come as Biden has faced renewed questions about his climate policies.
Donald Trump…
Donald Trump Is Writing A Terrifying New Chapter In The History Of Political Repression
In desperate pursuit of reelection, the president is pitting America against itself.

See picture…
The White House Has Become a Militarized Island in Downtown DC

“U.S. federal prosecutors have produced no evidence linking dozens of people arrested in
anti-racism protests in Portland, Oregon, to the antifa or anarchist movements, despite
President Donald Trump’s assertions they are fueling the unrest.”

Ethics watchdog American Oversight has sued six federal agencies to compel the public release
of key documents relating to the Trump admin’s crackdown on protests against across the
country, “including the violent removal of peaceful demonstrators from Lafayette Square.”

John Dean: Donald Trump Has Been Comparing Himself to Nixon. That’s Hooey.
The former president (Nixon) could only dream
of wielding the police powers Mr Trump has seized for himself

When it comes to the Internet, Donald Trump prefers the Chinese model.
The Trump administration is implementing policies that resemble those it claims to be combatting

Donald Trump, TikTok and a dangerous precedent for democracy

Donald Trump’s Tantrum Against TikTok Is No Laughing Matter


Trump aides exploring executive actions to curb voting by mail

“The Presidential Transitions Improvements Act of 2015 requires presidential candidates to set up a transition process with agency leaders six months out from Election Day.”

…We requested documents on the Trump admin’s preparation.
We haven’t received a response, so we’re suing.

Nearly 30 million Americans told the Census Bureau they didn’t have enough to eat last week

The Census Bureau is cutting short critical door-knocking efforts for the 2020 census amid
growing concerns among Democrats in Congress that the White House is pressuring the
bureau to wrap up counting soon for political gain, NPR has learned.

A Census Bureau memo on creating a state-by-state estimate of people illegally in the country is raising new fears of a politicized census – this time involving the population totals that will be used to reapportion the House of Representatives next year.

Judge Rejects Donald Trump Restrictions on Coronavirus Sick Leave For Employees

Donald Trump’s Record on Unemployment

See infographic…

Editorial: Donald Trump’s trade war has cost billions and ensnared farmers in federal dependency

CBS’s @PaulaReidCBS presses Trump for lying about passing Veterans Choice when he did not pass Veterans Choice. Trump leaves his news conference without answering.

Donald Trump claims he’ll issue an executive order to do what the Affordable Care Act already does: require health insurance companies to “cover all pre-existing conditions for all customers.” Trump lies when he says this has never been done because, of course, the ACA does it.


2017: President Trump celebrates House vote to repeal Obamacare

Note: This took place when Republicans controlled everything. The bill failed in the Senate on a 49-51 vote.

This year…
Obamacare Must ‘Fall,’ Trump Administration Tells Supreme Court

Donald Trump keeps promising an overhaul of Obamacare that never arrives

Of the four documents just signed by @POTUS, only one is an executive order (“assistance to renters and homeowners”). The other three are memoranda.


Candidate Trump promised to protect Social Security and Medicare.
President Trump just promised to *Permanently Defund* Social Security and Medicare.



Donald Trump Reinstates Tariff on Canadian Aluminum
The tariff, which could prompt retaliation from Canada, was imposed just one month after a new trade deal betweein the two countries went into effect

Trump Trade Deficit 6.5% Higher than Obama’s Last Year,
Not Eliminated as Then-Candidate Trump Promised
Trump Trade Deficit Increases Even as Trade Flows Show COVID-19 Effect,
Dropping 15% in First Six Months of 2020 Compared to Same Period in 2019

The Trade Deficit: The Biggest Obstacle to Full Employment

150 Attacks on Science and Counting: Trump Administration’s Anti-Science Actions Hurt People and Communities Nationwide

Three Years Battling the Trump Administration’s Attacks on Our Health and Environment
Federal courts have checked some of the Trump administration’s worst environmental attacks, but harm continues

One of his administration’s latest rollbacks…
June: US drops planned limit for toxin that damages infant brains (perchlorate)

2012: Perchlorate in Drinking Water Raises Health Concerns
Besides its potential to cause endocrine system and reproductive problems,
perchlorate is considered a “likely human carcinogen” by the EPA

An older rollback that was reversed…
Court Slaps Down Trump Administration’s Rollback of Methane Rule
Victory: Ruling reinstates Obama administration’s BLM Waste Prevention Rule

July: Study Links Gas Flares to Preterm Births, With Hispanic Women at High Risk.
Expectant mothers who lived near flaring sites had higher odds of giving birth prematurely
than those who did not, researchers found. The adverse outcomes fell entirely on Hispanic

The EPA’s Cost-Benefit Proposal Is Corrupt – And Deeply Consequential. Call It Out.

EPA Made So Many Mistakes with Clean Cars Rollback, Even Its Own Lawyers Want to Know What’s Up

A Donald Trump timeline:
Mar. 13: “I don’t take responsibility at all.” –
May 8: “It’s going to go away without a vaccine.” –
Jul. 4: “99% of COVID-19 cases are totally harmless.” –
Aug. 3: “They are dying. That’s true. It is what it is.” –

A must-read by @mollyhf: “So many bodies … I lost count.” The coronavirus pandemic has
brought an unrelenting tide of death to the border in Texas, where one exhausted man has
gone from transporting 15 bodies a week to 22 a day. Most are Latino.

Donald Trump is lying when he says that it’s ‘possible’ that a vaccine will be available by Election
Day. His own public health officials have said that it’s not. Dr. Fauci has said that a vaccine won’t
be “widely available” to the public until “several months” into 2021.

Just days after @realDonaldTrump hailed a deal between the Fed gov and Kodak to make ingredients for generic drugs, the @WSJ reports the SEC is investigating circumstances surrounding a $765 million loan from the government to Kodak to make the transition.

A new poll finds Germans largely support US troop removal after Trump’s announcement – and want all US nuclear weapons to leave Germany as well

U.S. confirms it plans to redeploy thousands of troops from Germany

In Pompeo’s statement announcing Brian Hook’s departure, he said Hook had “achieved historic results countering the Iranian regime.” Hook leaves his job with Iran having refused all 12 demands the Trump administration made and having significantly cut its breakout time.

“His record of diplomatic success was mixed.”
Are you kidding me? Hook oversaw a disastrously stupid policy that worsened problems it aimed
to solve, severely strained US alliances and demolished US credibility, and defended it all along
with an endless stream of b-llsh-t.

Do not forget, ever, that Brian Hook participated in a bigoted campaign
against a career staffer of Iranian origin working in his office at State.

His replacement…
Elliott Abrams, convicted of lying about Iran-Contra, named special representative for Iran

Retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor…
Donald Trump’s German ambassador pick disparaged immigrants and refugees, called for martial law at US-Mexico border

Merritt Corrigan…
White House-USAID liaison fired after series of anti-LGBTQ tweets

Alarm at Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that Beirut blast was an ‘attack’
Off-the-cuff remarks not backed by US government officials
Lebanese officials reportedly seek urgent clarification

Anthony Tata’s nomination failed last week over his anti-Muslim comments, deranged conspiracies, and claims Obama was a “Muslim” Manchurian candidate” “terrorist leader.”
So Donald Trump directed aides to have the Pentagon to put him in a top “acting role” instead.

Pentagon Nominee Questioned About Company’s Reported Ties to Khashoggi Killers
Louis Bremer is on the board of a company that may have trained the Saudi team that killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

There’s Never Been a Better Time to Be a White-Collar Criminal
Thanks to the Trump administration’s signature mix of incompetence and corruption, America is knee-deep in fraud and corporate malfeasance.

Deutsche Bank opens review into personal banker to Trump and Kushner

Donald Trump’s Bank Was Subpoenaed by NY Prosecutors in Criminal Inquiry

The President has no power – none – to change individual *state* rules regarding mail-in voting by Executive Order.
As usual, this is just bluster – designed not to lead to any actual action, but only to further create a cloud around an election potentially decided by mail-in ballots.

The White House Is Not a Political Convention Hall

An undocumented immigrant who worked for years at Trump’s golf resort in New Jersey and later revealed that he employed many immigrants who are in the country illegally has been placed in deportation proceedings.

If “optics” were still a thing, holding a de facto campaign rally in front of your private country club patrons then flying off to the Hamptons for a $500k a couple fundraiser hosted by a billionaire wouldn’t be a good look.



“The Constitution says everyone is entitled to equal protection of the law – even at the hands of law enforcement,” Reeves wrote. “Over the decades, however, judges have invented a legal doctrine to protect law enforcement officers from having to face any consequences for wrongdoing. The doctrine is called ‘qualified immunity.’ In real life it operates like absolute immunity.”

“Just as the Supreme Court swept away the mistaken doctrine of ‘separate but equal,’ so too should it eliminate the doctrine of qualified immunity. … Let us waste no time in righting this wrong,” Reeves wrote
Emily Wagster Pettus in “Judge: Doctrine shielding police from lawsuits is wrong”

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves’ decision:
A Black Mississippi Judge’s (Reeves) Breathtaking Speech To 3 White Murderers:

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