Towards an issues-based 2020 election (81)

===2020 Big Picture===
Today is National Poll Worker Recruitment Day! Sign up to be a poll worker to help elections run smoothly, efficiently, and fairly in your community.
Wondering why being a poll worker is important? Watch the video below, then sign up here

Old Navy to pay store employees to work election polls in November

Pinterest will give employees eight hours of paid time off for “civic engagement,” which can be
used to vote, serve as a poll worker or other forms of civic or community engagement.
Employees can use the paid time off anytime, not limited to Election Day.

Webinar: Getting ‘Election Night’ Right (Thursday, September 10; 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. EDT)

As part of the Electionland project, @propublica works with U.S. journalists to cover the voting process. In this article, it offers some tips for local reporters to tackle coverage of voting by mail.

The Orlando Magic’s home arena will serve as an early voting site.

US Chamber of Commerce set to endorse 23 House freshman Democrats

Note: If you’re a Dem backed by the Chamber of Commerce, you’re likely a corporatist. Push these folks.

You can talk about Michael Cohn’s book or you can talk about how if Democrats win in November they will raise the minimum wage, expand Pell Grants, and provide money to avert layoffs of teachers & firefighters.

This is a bit of a troll from @Davidshor but it’s a serious point – your communication with friends,
colleagues, family members, etc on social media is one of the most powerful tools of political
action available to you and the choice of message matters.

===2020 Issues===
Climate change has arrived
The connection between hellacious weather and man-made climate change is becoming undeniable

To be quite honest, we need decarbonization by like 2025 if we want to save this place.

I’m so excited to launch a project of mine I’ve been building for awhile. “Radical Reimagining” is a new global online space that will gather visions around the better world we can build. Sign up today:

How Fast Is the Climate Changing?: It’s a New World, Each and Every Day

In a rational world lawmakers wouldn’t have to demand a global crisis impacting the lives of every person on the planet be discussed during a presidential debate … but after moderators asked no climate question in 2016, this is where we are.

Ed Markey Has a Message for Democrats: ‘The Age of Incrementalism Is Over’
“Now,” says the sentor who won an unprecendented primary victory, “is our moment to think big and take bold and urgent action.”

Groups pressure Biden to exclude fuel execs from team
More than 100 climate and advocacy groups are asking Joe Biden’s presidential campaign to commit to blocking fossil fuel representatives from its transition team or administration should the former vice president win the election

3 decades into the climate crisis, these firms have shown over and over that they’re the problem,
not part of the solution. Their execs and board members reliably work to delay action;
they should not be formulating public policy

Business columnist in the Houston paper sounding like a divestment activist: “While the
broad S&P 500 index is up 6.6 percent for the year, the energy sector is down 40 percent.
Energy was the worst performing sector in 2018 and 2019, too.”

Big Oil Is in Trouble. Its Plan: Flood Africa With Plastic
Faced with plunging profits and a climate crisis that threatens fossil fuels, the industry is
demanding a trade deal that weakens Kenya’s rules on plastics and on imports
of American trash. Confronting a climate crisis that threatens the fossil fuel industry,
oil companies are racing to make more plastic.
A majority of young adults in the U.S. live with their parents for the first time since the Great Depression

Meet the average American millennial, who has an $8,000 net worth, is delaying
life milestones because of student-loan debt, and still relies on parents for money

The Labor Day Graph That Says It All
If we hope to ever rebuild an economy that works for everyone we’re going to need many more workers in unions and a much stronger labor

The best Labor Day graph and the best rejoinder (see chart)



It is time to constitutionally guarantee the right to organize strong unions

Many Republicans used to support labor unions. Eisenhower lauded them. Nixon courted them
& even signed OSHA into law. But Donald Trump & today’s GOP lawmakers are extremely
anti-union & often very anti-worker, too. They even oppose increasing the minimum wage.

Note: The former Republicans were called “moderates” by the latter folks – like Grover Norquist who wanted to destroy government. Folks who helped Jeff Fortenberry win his first election.

Seeing the Last Acceptable Prejudice Clearly: The More Educated Scr-wed the Less-Educated


Note: I oppose violence. I oppose inciting violence. But when all attempts for change fail, people tend to rise up. The moral? Listen and respond reasonably.

I’m still waiting to see the NYT, or any other major publication, print a single piece
saying the economy was structured to redistribute income upward.

Related: (page up)

The president who solves this problem
will probably make his party dominant for generations to come.

Not progressives. Neoliberals….

What is Neoliberalism?

Review: “A Brief History of Neoliberalism”


Why the Neoliberal Agenda Is a Failure at Fighting Coronavirus

Thom Hartmann: What is Neoliberalism

Quest For Fire Episode 21 – Graham Christensen, regenerating our rural communities

A simple economics question…
Are Corporate CEOs Worth $20 Million?

@EileenAppelbaum and Rosemary Batt talk about an INET-supported study on the dramatic impact that private equity funds are having on everyone’s medical bills and on the healthcare industry as a whole

First in a thread…
Two episodes in 1992 presidential campaign show Bill Barr is flat wrong in saying how the “60-Day Rule” applies to Durham investigation and October surprises. And Barr knows it.
He was deeply involved in both 1992 cases.


Such fear-mongering.
China’s #nuclear arsenal is 10 times smaller than US. If we want China to avoid dangerous policies like quick launch, we should match their policy on #NoFirstUse. Instead #Trump admin is using China as an excuse for new arms race.

The JCPOA worked.  Maximum pressure has failed.

Miller counters Goldberg

===2020 Watch List===
A federal judge has extended the deadline for absentee ballots to be returned in Georgia, ruling that they must be counted if postmarked by Election Day and delivered up to three days afterward.

75% of mail voters in Colorado dropped off their ballots in 2016. It’s secure, voters like it & avoids USPS delays. It’s insane Trump campaign litigating to prevent drop boxes in states like PA

The RNC and the Trump campaign have sued the state of Montana in federal court to cut back voting by mail statewide.

===2020 Watch List-Bias===
A few for context…
2017 CBPP: Senate Tax Plan’s End to SALT Deduction a Poor Trade for Tax Cuts for Wealthy

2017: Blue states already subsidize red states. Now red states want even more.
What the state and local tax deduction fight is really about.


Note: Republicans (who controlled Congress) were attempting to defund Blue states while the rest of their bill upended tax structure. The problem still hasn’t been fixed…

2018: New Tax Law Is Fundamentally Flawed and Will Require Basic Restructuring

2019: Repealing SALTCap Would Be Regressive
and Proposed Offset Would Use up Needed Progressive Revenues

There’s a whole lot of missing context in this op-ed headline

It Was Not “Flaws in the U.S. Financial System” that Caused the Great Recession, It Was the Collapse of the Housing Bubble

Do Most Economists Think Government Deficits Should Have Been Lower Before the Pandemic Hit?

Baker counters Pharma…

False equivalence…
Truly embarrassing from AP. Everything that is wrong with journalism in the Trump era, sadly.

Compare / Contrast…

Twitter flags House Republican Whip Steve Scalise’s (R-LA01) video as ‘manipulated’ for altering disabled activist’s words


Facebook has taken down a small network of fake accounts and pages associated with Russian operatives that had recruited U.S. journalists to write articles targeting left-leaning readers on racial justice, the Biden-Harris campaign, and Trump’s policies.

Facebook, Twitter crack down on Trump’s double-voting remarks
Trump during a visit to the state on Wednesday urged supporters to try to vote both by mail and in-person – an act in violation of federal and North Carolina voter fraud laws.


Misleading ad is still being aired…

Donald Trump hasn’t done anything to bring down drug costs. You’re paying the price

Despite Zuckerberg’s claims that Facebook had removed a militia event where people discussed gathering in Kenosha to shoot and kill protesters, Facebook never took any such action. The event was taken down by the militia group after two people were killed.

Facebook will ban new political ads for the week leading up to Election Day and remove posts that try to suppress or discourage voting. The measures also aim to prevent campaigns and their supporters from making premature claims of victory.

Facebook’s Political Ad Ban Also Threatens Ability
to Spread Accurate Information on How to Vote


[Y]ou can still spread misinformation with political ads on Facebook, you just can’t do it with NEW ads just ONE week before Election Day. According to this new policy, political ads that have at least one impression prior to October 27th can be rerun and re-targeted to new groups during the week of Election Day.

Facebook’s policy will only further empower those seeking to do harm, while weakening the ability of outside forces to counteract attacks and misinformation, something that has proven necessary given Facebook’s weak enforcement.

 “I think Facebook should provide ‘related articles’ side by side with political ads and include
fact-checking articles, if any are available,” says @factcheckdotorg director Eugene Kiely

Donald Trump and allies ratchet up disinformation efforts in late stage of campaign
The president and his supporters are disseminating falsehoods and trafficking in obfuscation at rapid clip, through the use of selectively edited videos, deceptive retweets and false statements.


===2020 Presidential Candidates===
Joe Biden… April 25th
Rebuilding the Economy Will Require Joe Biden to Think Very Differently Than 2009

Farmers roundtable participants share thoughts about how Biden Plan for Rural America will improve the economic health of US farmers

Before Covid-19…
Oct 2019: We are not prepared for a pandemic. Trump has rolled back progress President Obama and I made to strengthen global health security. We need leadership that builds public trust, focuses on real threats, and mobilizes the world to stop outbreaks before they reach our shores

Joe Biden has promised that, if elected, he will restore the program, called Predict, which searched for dangerous new animal viruses in bat caves, camel pens, wet markets and wildlife-smuggling routes around the globe.

Anita Hill vows to vote for Joe Biden and work with him on gender issues.
“My commitment is to finding solutions, and I am more than willing to work with him.”

Joe Biden Delivers Remarks on Public Safety and Law Enforcement


Joe Biden Promises a Moral Renewal for the U.S. Here’s Where He Can Start.

Another attempt to push Biden to the right. In this case into the hands of the banksters…
This Black Democrat is urging Biden to do the opposite.
We need less Wall Street in the next administration and more working class representation.

Diversity of experience and career path never gets mentioned in these discussions. Having a
senior official not rotate in from industry would add some diversity!

The notion that the only way to have a diverse White House is to fill an administration with
corporate lobbyists is so cynical, absurd and insulting to people of color that I cannot believe
anyone would make such an argument…but here we are

Agreed. It is indeed a false choice &using “diversity” as an excuse to maintain the status quo
is backwards as he–. There is a way to recognize variables &”unintended consequences”
while taking action against an entrenched system that rewards the ultra wealthy above all others.

Biden transition team shapes up with Obama-Biden alum hires
The new group provides the most insight so far into how a Biden administration would look.


What a crew! Anita Dunn has worked as a consultant for the Tory Party and Keystone pipeline.
Harvey Weinstein called her for advice right before NY Times expose. Zients is huge deficit hawk,
Kaufman wants to cut social security etc.

As a flashback, here’s what we had to say about Jeff Zients, newly installed
as a co-chair of the Biden transition, in March.

Sirota on Buttigieg…

The Democratic Party should not sit on Biden’s lead. It should adopt a bigger, bolder strategy that is sufficient to meet a moment shaped by the #CoronavirusPandemic, mass unemployment, police violence and climate crisis. That’s the strategy for a big win.

“We are clear that Biden is no savior, and will likely seek to implement the same kind of corporate-friendly policies as previous Democratic presidents…” BUT… “The working class cannot afford four more years of Trump.” – @ueunion

“We do not consider this to be an endorsement of Joe Biden by United Electrical union
but instead that it is a strategic recommendation to our members and to working people
in general that they vote for Biden to remove Donald Trump from office.”

“Now is the time that we need to force politicians to put needed changes into law & policy.
We have the ability to have those fights on offense under a Biden presidency while we are
likely to be almost entirely on defense under a 2nd Trump administration.”

Beware the Never-Trumpers, whose No. 1 goal is and always has been to be at war with someone…


Note: Another example of people trying to push Biden to the right.
Donald Trump
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh blocks Trump administration (new) scheme – – to limit the final process of in-person door knocking and outreach, which is vital to getting a complete count of all communities. (click text graphic)

Judge orders Census Bureau to temporarily stop winding down operations. The bureau
is set to end its count at the end of September, a month earlier than previously planned.

Recent census reports / comments

U.S. Postal Service police barred Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz from entering two mail sorting facilities in Florida this week, threatening to escort her from the property if she didn’t leave.

Trump admin quietly pulls funding for disinfecting N.Y. subways, schools

Question: Trying to kill off Democratic voters before the election?

Trump seemingly encourages North Carolina residents to try to vote twice
The president said voters could send a mail ballot and then try to vote in-person to see if the mail ballot was tabulated.

Click text graphic…
.@NCSBE statement in response to Trump:

Note: Apparently the president committed a felony in NC.

Blitzer: “You can’t vote twice.”
Barr: “I don’t know what the law in the particular state is.”

Note: But Barr knows federal law makes it wrong.

Same interview…
Barr claims a man collected 1,700 ballots and filled them out as he pleased.
Prosecutors say that’s not what happened.



The following day…
The president just, once again, urged people to potentially commit a crime and vote twice.

Meanwhile (click graphics)…
Trump campaign sending mail ballot request forms to its supporters in Texas while TX GOP
blocks voters under 65 from voting by mail & TX Supreme Court prevents Harris County
from sending mail ballot applications. GOP only opposes mail voting when Dems use it
Via @texasdemocrats

“Take a look at Carolyn Maloney, whose race should be redone” – Trump demands that an
election be redone because it took a few weeks to tally mail ballots (file this away for November)

We’re all inured to this but Donald Trump calling on AG to prosecute political enemies is the very definition of abuse of power.

Just to drive this home in case it’s not clear, Donald Trump has no specific crime for which
he wants Barr to prosecute Biden and Obama. He wants Barr to prosecute them
for being his political opponents.


Several for context
2008: Appeals court sides with Air America host in defamation suit

Note: Randi Rhodes had served in the Air Force and was horrified that CACI had inserted itself into the chain of command at Abu Ghraib. She was also displeased that a few people below CACI were tried and imprisoned. CACI sued her and lost.

2017: U.N. finds torture widespread in Afghanistan

CIA Uncensors Memoir of FBI Agent Who Protested Torture of Terrorists
Nine years after the CIA blacked out parts of Ali Soufan’s book, the agency
has finally allowed a more complete version of his story to be published

Thanks to @Ali_H_Soufan @alexgibneyfilm @MFIADave & Ray Bonner for their persistence
in challenging this censorship. Such a scandal that the intel officials who authorized torture
managed to distort the public record for so long.

March: International Criminal Court Allows Investigation Of U.S. Actions In Afghanistan

April: U.S. Imposes Visa Ban on International Criminal Court Prosecutor

Q&A: The International Criminal Court and the United States

The Trump administration has put Fatou #Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor of the International
Criminal Court (@IntlCrimCourt) and one of her top aids, on the sanctions list historically
reserved for war criminals and international terrorists.


Note: Judicial intimidation has nothing to do with justice, law and order. Or put another way

Donald Trump’s Incitements to Violence Have Crossed an Alarming Threshold
Faced with the prospect of losing power, the President has gone beyond mere scaremongering and resorted to fomenting unrest from the White House

Former DHS Official: Donald Trump Pouring ‘Fuel On The Fire’ Of Domestic Extremism

Historian Rick Perlstein on the RNC & Trump’s Dangerous Propaganda Driving People to Violence

Deja vu all over again…
Flashback: July 2016.
Donald Trump: “The crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end.
Beginning on January 20th 2017, safety will be restored.” (video)

Calls for shooting ‘rioters’ show up on pro-Madison police Facebook group

14 veteran journalists at the Voice of America send letter of protest against Trump’s appointee as parent agency’s CEO, Michael Pack, saying he is harming US aims and imperiling its reporters / more

White House: Regulatory chief to agencies: Rein in enforcement.
The White House regulatory chief issued a new memo yesterday that critics say would curtail government enforcement of rules, including those related to the environment.

Public Citizen counters Donald Trump…

Context: GOP senator (Rand Paul) mocked for grandstanding against antifa
Antifa, which is short for anti-fascist, is not an actual group that has an address or membership to subpoena.


White supremacists present the gravest terror threat to the United States, according to a draft
report from the Dept of Homeland Security. “None of the drafts POLITICO reviewed referred
to a threat from Antifa.”

While we wait for the Senate and White House to pass an economic survival bill
that counters the House bill passed last May…
Donald Trump threatens to defund major cities.

See text graphic…
It’d be in my lane to write an explainer about the legal context of Donald Trump’s memo on
purportedly restricting funding to “anarchist” cities like New York, except the White House didn’t
even bother to try to cite a legal basis. It’s just the usual get-a-one-day-headline vacuousness.

Social Security in the Crosshairs
SSA’s chief actuary warns Trump could kill the program.

Glenn, I think you went overboard on this one. “Just joking” should not be an acceptable defense

Note: Destroying the lives of millions of Americans isn’t funny.

As Wall Street logged its best August in more than 30 years, the number of Americans going hungry amid the novel coronavirus crisis has approached record levels.

People should also note the Fed pumped more than $6 Trillion to prop this stock market.

Dan Froomkin contextualizes Donald Trump’s comment

“[S]upplemental and ad-hoc disaster payments under COVID-19 relief” boost farm incomes

‘Trump bump’ in farm income to disappear in 2021

Question: Why are government farm handouts referred to positively (i.e. income) and urban handouts are referred to negatively (i.e. welfare, handout etc)? And are these survey results related to the handout?:

The trade deficit is rising again

As small U.S. farms face crisis, Trump’s trade aid flowed to corporations

Donald Trump campaigned as a champion of blue-collar workers. But his administration, with its close ties to corporations & business lobbyists, has unfortunately been vigorously anti-union & often anti-worker.


Charles Rettig, the Trump-appointed IRS Commissioner who has refused to release Trump’s tax returns, has made hundreds of thousands of dollars renting out Trump properties while in office, according to documents obtained by CREW.

Why would AG Barr rush an antitrust case? Dean Baker has a possible reason…

Farm forum: Donald Trump failed on trade and ethanol

In July, Donald Trump promised: “We’re signing a health care plan within two weeks.”
In August, he claimed: “We’re going to be introducing a tremendous health care plan sometime, hopefully, prior to end of the month.”
Nothing ever happened. Nothing at all.

The federal government is backing out of a ventilator deal we scrutinized in the spring, and now a Congressional subcommittee is broadening its investigation to include other cononavirus-related deals negotiated by Trump’s trade adviser, Peter Navarro
> The Trump Administration Is Backing Out of a $647 Million Ventilator Deal

An executive from a scandal-scarred, COVID-19-ravaged meat-processing giant has been named to a federal oversight panel on the meat-packing industry.

USDA Seeks to Permanently Speed up Poultry Plant Line Speeds

Where is Betsy DeVos? Many K-12 schools are reopening this week. Where is she? Why isn’t Trump’s Education Secretary speaking every day about schools’ COVID preparations? Where are the news conferences? Where are the reassurances? Where are the plans? Where is she?

Donald Trump’s war on history…


“The world is swimming in excess oil. Crude prices are weak. Oil companies are starving for cash. And climate change fears are palpable.” Yet the Trump administration is working feverishly to open the Arctic Refuge to oil development. #ProtectTheArctic

2014 Context: Cleaning Up Power Plant Water Pollution
Power plants are the biggest sources of water pollution in the country. Power plant water discharges are filled with toxic pollution such as mercury, arsenic, lead, and selenium.

Toxic water pollution sickens people, and power plants are by far its largest source. The toxics in coal plant waste raise cancer risk, make fish unsafe to eat, and can inflict lasting brain damage on children.

Arsenic, mercury, cadmium, lead and other pollutants are being discharged into public waters from power plants without any specific limits.

  Now: EPA Relaxes Rules Limiting Toxic Waste From Coal Plants

White House plans to bar federal agencies from racial sensitivity trainings that it calls ‘Un-American’

Border patrol made a fictional video that elicits fear of migrants…

Repeat for context…
Office of the Director of National Intelligence
DNI has informed the House and Senate Select Committees on Intelligence that they’ll no longer be briefing on election security issues, a senior administration official told CNN. It’ll provide written updates the official said. @jaketapper

The Daily Beast reports that top White House officials, including Robert O’Brien and Mark
Meadows, have repeatedly discussed in meetings with staff and with Donald Trump
how to restrict and control the flow of information on election threats to Capitol Hill.

A growing, disturbing pattern at DoD. Select journalists invited to briefings that should be open to
all press. It appears that info is being treated as something only available to preferred journalists.
Multiple attempts to stop this have failed.

Donald Trump’s director of national intelligence, John Ratcliffe, has ordered ODNI communi-
cations staff to freeze out NYT reporters as punishment for a NYT Magazine article by
@DraperRobert on the politicization of intelligence re Russian interference in the 2020 election. (see text graphic)

“Donald Trump blows past the intelligence to”… (I won’t repeat what appears to be a lie.)

Theresa May wanted solidarity from Trump over the 2018 Skripal chemical attack. Leaked notes reveal he pushed back: “We really need your leadership on this,” May said, according to notes.
“No, I would rather follow than lead,” Trump is quoted responding.

On Donald Trump’s watch…
As U.S. air war in Afghanistan surged, investigations into civilian harm plunged

Compare / Contrast…
…the top people in the Pentagon probably aren’t (in love with me), because they want to do
nothing but fight wars so all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs & make the
planes & make everything else stay happy.

2018: Donald Trump changes his mind again on military spending,
now wants a big boost next year

How Donald Trump Draws on Campaign Funds to Pay Legal Bills

Trump and his affiliated political entities have spent at least $58.4 million in donations
on legal and compliance work since 2015. …

[T]he latest example of President Trump (illegally) using his office to boost his reelection hopes.


Two for context…
2018: ‘Trump, Inc.’ Podcast: Where’d Trump’s Record Inauguration Spending Go? ‘It’s Inexplicable’
Another thing we found on this week’s “Trump, Inc.”: Two members of President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee have been convicted of financial crimes, and a third – the committee’s treasurer – was an unindicted co-conspirator in an accounting fraud.

2018: Trump’s Inauguration Paid Trump’s Company – With Ivanka in the Middle
As the inaugural committee planned the landmark celebration, internal concerns were raised
about whether Trump’s Washington hotel was overcharging for event space. The spending
could be a violation of the law.

Mrs. Trump’s ex-adviser says she taped calls for protection

Melania Trump regularly used a private Trump Organization email account, an email from a MelaniaTrump-dot-com domain, iMessage and an encrypted messaging app while in the White House, according to her Stephanie Winston Wolkoff.

“The Post has viewed messages dated after the inauguration that appear to be from private email
and messaging accounts used by Melania Trump. The messages contained discussions
of government hires and contracts (including Winston Wolkoff’s).”


Where neoliberalism is strong, governmental preparations for and copings with coronavirus were weak, too late, and too little: as in the U.S., the UK, and Italy, among others. In societies where neoliberalism is relatively weak, government is accorded considerable respect and deference. Its anti-viral initiatives and policies including economic interventions were welcomed or at least expected to play positive roles. Examples include China, South Korea, and New Zealand, among others. Where neoliberalism is weak, government economic interventions can receive ad hoc criticisms and oppositions, but they are not opposed in principle. Where neoliberalism is strong, opponents define government as always and necessarily an inefficient intruder into what private enterprise, if left alone, would do better.
Richard D Wolff in “Why the Neoliberal Agenda Is a Failure at Fighting Coronavirus”

NPR: Swedish Approach To The Pandemic: Is It Working?:
Senegal’s quiet COVID success:
South Korea posts fewest COVID-19 cases in three weeks after tightening (measures):
Review: “A Brief History of Neoliberalism”

Hits: 1

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

twelve + eleven =