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HomeUncategorized1/19 News Roundup & Open Thread – Bernie Sanders’ Manchester/Exeter Rallies With Naomi Klein & John Cusack (+ More)
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In the highly competitive Democratic presidential race, expanding the electorate is vitally important for the pack of four candidates straining to break out in the coming two weeks.

And with good reason. The candidate who turns out the most and the broadest array of first time participants stands a very good chance of winning.

“They’ve got to be working new people. There’s nor rhyme nor reason not to,” said Paul Tewes, who directed Barack Obama’s surprise victory in Iowa in 2008. “I pity the ones that aren’t, if that’s the case.”

Certainly, other campaigns are trying to expand the pool of voters, but it is Sanders and Buttigieg who are betting most heavily on attracting the most newcomers.

“A significant part of our strategy is engaging people who have been left out of politics,” said Misty Rebik, Sanders’ Iowa state campaign director. “And we’re doing that by meeting people where they are.”

Sanders’ volunteers set up a table outside a CVS in Cedar Rapids last week, and they talked to people as they entered the store. Others volunteers have become regulars at the familiar red-roofed Casey’s Convenience Stores throughout Iowa, a common daily coffee stop for older Iowans who gather to talk politics. Some campaign volunteers have even recruited some of the Casey’s regulars to help make phone calls from the tables near the pizza counter.

One Sanders organizer was kicked out of a half-dozen nursing homes, which typically are used as satellite caucus locations, after showing up to talk to residents, Rebik said. “But she came back with lots of commit-to-caucus cards,” Rebik said. “That’s all I’m saying.”

When calls to past caucus participants showed signs of being ineffective, the Sanders campaign sent volunteers, wearing “Bernie” T-shirts and carrying clipboards, to approach patrons at at farmers markets and parades.

It’s not that Sanders, who narrowly lost the caucus in 2016 to Hillary Clinton, is unfamiliar with traditional organizing, the act of reaching out to past caucus participants by using the Iowa Democratic Party’s voter list.

It’s that Sanders, who this time has multiple top-tier opponents dividing up traditional caucus voters, cannot rely solely on his past supporters, some of whom have decided to back a different candidate in 2020.

Plus, his arm’s-length association with the national Democratic Party, as a self-identified Democratic socialist, has soured relations with many in the party’s establishment, forcing him to look outside the traditional base for support.

Though Chloe Sokolov always considered herself a Bernie supporter, the 25-year-old bartender at Eatery A, a popular Des Moines restaurant, plans to caucus for the first time this year in part because Sanders’ campaign convened more than 50 service industry workers to discuss their economic challenges.

“It was actually a really big turnout, maybe 60,” Sokolov said of the mid-December meeting. “I’ve never caucused in Iowa, but it’s important to me especially this year.”

This year, there appears to be healthy interest among new participants, based on recent Des Moines Register/CNN/MediaCom polls, which show roughly 30 percent of those participating would do so for the first time.

The fact that the percentage is lower than the eve of the 2008 caucuses could merely mean that the surge of first-timers 12 years ago raises the bar for another such influx.


I’m glad that Sanders has been putting the spotlight on Biden’s centrist approach to ‘fixing’ social security, but I kind of wish he campaign didn’t circulate that video in which Biden appears to have been speaking sarcastically (using that creepy whispering thing that Biden does).

It’s interesting to watch Biden’s campaign react to the spotlight on Social Security (not to mention watching the MSM largely spring into action defending Joe). Some of the many receipts I’ve seen regarding Biden’s efforts to cut Social Security are this article from The Motley Fool.

Joe Biden Has Called for Social Security Cuts 3 Times

As detailed by Bob Woodward, an investigative journalist who’s worked for the Washington Post for the past 48 years, in his 2012 book The Price of Politics, then-President Obama leaned on Vice President Biden to be his key negotiator at the congressional level between Democrats and Republicans regarding Social Security and other revenue-generating and expenditure-cutting initiatives. The final tax deal that reached Obama’s desk in 2010 extended the George W. Bush-era tax cuts and, most notably, created a payroll-tax holiday that cut payroll tax collection by $112 billion.

In 2017, payroll taxes accounted for more than 88% of the just over $1 trillion collected by the Social Security program. By providing a partial payroll-tax holiday, lawmakers hindered the revenue collection potential of the Social Security program’s workhorse.

It’s also worth noting that when Biden helped to orchestrate this tax deal, it was well known that Social Security was in deep trouble. In 2010, the Trustees had been forecasting an eventual depletion of Social Security’s asset reserves by 2037, and the report has been alluding to a long-term cash shortfall since 1985. Thus, even with Social Security short on long-term revenue, Biden led the creation of a tax plan that further reduced the program’s income for a short amount of time.

Okay, remember that this article was published on The Motley Fool, so it should not be a surprise to anyone that it ends with this:

Now, understand that highlighting Biden’s record on Social Security reform isn’t meant to shame him or put him on a pedestal. Rather, it highlights Biden as perhaps one of the few candidates in Washington who may be willing to look at resolutions from both sides of the aisle when fixing Social Security. Since each party brings something to the table that the other lacks, a centrist wouldn’t be such a bad thing for America’s most important social program.

The writer favors Biden for the very reason that Biden would cut Social Security!

Sorry about all the bolding, I hope it doesn’t come across as yelling…although there is probably some exasperation in there. This issue is so important and Bernie’s campaign needs to ace it!


Well the good thing was that it got Biden to comment and he wrongly claimed that the video was doctored. It set up the press to examine all the other Biden SS stuff out there. Also hopefully gets the attention away from that stupid divisive Warren stuff.


This is behind a WaPo paywall for me. I’d love to get a birdie perspective.


Don midwest
Don midwest

My wife pays the $10 per month for WA Post, so I can get the articles.

A reasonably good article about SS and the need to keep it funded.

two camps — will run out of money, or essential program give it more money

One man firmly in the latter camp is Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT.), who is bringing back his Social Security Expansion Act on Wednesday. The day selected is no accident: Wednesday also marks something Social Security activists call Scrap the Cap Day, an annual event designed to highlight how little millionaires pay into the system.

this is the last paragraph and I added the bold

Sanders tells me that he believes momentum on the issue has shifted in recent years. As recently as a decade ago, even many Democrats agreed with Republicans that Social Security needed to be trimmed back. Now among his bill’s co-sponsors are several declared and potential presidential candidates, including Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). “I think most elected officials would be terribly, terribly unpopular if after giving a trillion-dollar tax cut to corporations and wealthy Americans,” they voted to take benefits away from those living on a Social Security stipend, Sanders said. (Note that Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), have stepped forward to argue just that.) Sanders’s office says an analysis by the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Chief Actuary says his bill would solidify the system for about 50 years. Larson’s bill would take us to the end of the century. So why not take the opportunity to simultaneously improve lives and bulk up Social Security? I can think of a lot of worse ideas.


Bydone must have forgot about Obama’s “Grand Bargin” in 2011 when both of them were going sell their souls on SS.


Yes, I remember the Catfood Commission.


Pretty good article

One Democrat who isn’t vulnerable? You guessed it: Sanders. He’s a longtime Social Security champion and last year introduced legislation that would increase benefits for lower-income Americans, as well as change the cost-of-living formula to compensate for the higher inflation seniors experience thanks to their disproportionate medical spending. He said he would pay for it by eliminating the payroll tax cap on income above $250,000 and include dividends and capital gains in that number. The Social Security Administration’s Office of the Chief Actuary says the Sanders initiative would, if adopted, stabilize the program’s finances for next half-century.

It’s tough to overstate how important Social Security is: As the National Institute on Retirement Security pointed out in a study released Tuesday, the program is the only income source for 40 percent of retirees over the age of 60. Age discrimination remains a potent issue. For all the talk of raising the retirement age to account for longer lifespans, a majority of people over the age of 50 are likely to be forced out of their job at some point. This stuff is a day-to-day reality for millions of Americans. Whether or not Biden’s record on Social Security gets a full hearing in the Democratic primary — starting, say, with Tuesday night’s debate — it will certainly get one in a general election if he’s nominated. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


Just as the Biden campaign argues that Republicans would lambaste the Vermont senator as a socialist if he wins the Democratic nomination, Sanders’ backers retort that Trump would use the same video clips they cite to harm Biden with older voters who will prove critical in battleground states in November.

Don midwest
Don midwest

Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper run the Rolling Stones sponsored podcast Useful Idiots

I had never watched them before until they had Michael Moore on and then Glenn Greenwald

And I followed up with Michael Moore’s podcast on the Bernie/Warren flap on a woman being president

I found the three podcasts excellent.

Michael Moore laid out his history with Bernie and Liz — noting that he probably gave Liz the first national attention when she was in a couple of his movies.

Glenn is risking his life to write about the situation in Brazil and his reporting. He spent a long time on the democratic party and the transformation of Rachel Maddow to a DNC syncopath. Now that she makes $10 million per year, she goes along with the dem establishment and this was not how she worked with Glenn years ago when they were on Air America radio broadcasts and they talked extensively about problems with the democratic party.

Also, Glenn pointed out the destructive campaign to blame Russia for Trump’s election and loose focus on important issues.

And Glenn who used to be a welcome guest on MSNBC has been banned because he doesn’t play nice with the dems. And others who called out the Russia hoax — yes some interference, yes Trump and Russia are mafia operations, but that is not the reason to start up the cold war rhetoric again.

I am writing this because there is a diary up at DK/TOP attacking Moore for his attacks on Warren. There are over 500 comments and scanning some of them it is clear their hatred for Moore and there are a few comments on Glenn. Most people there are big on personalities and they love a food fight.

Moore’s comments on Liz Warren really, deeply, pissed them off. And they remind us that Moore didn’t say nice things about Hillary. How dare he point out that Bernie had a dozen or more rallies in Michigan for Hillary and Hillary would not even come to MI. And that Bernie had almost as many rallies for Hillary (after she became the nominee) as many rallies for Hillary in MI than Hillary had in the entire US for Obama. How dare he point that out!

Don midwest
Don midwest

Impeachment is a political process written into the constitution.

Republicans incorrectly argue that impeachment must be for criminal behavior alone.

But in this case there is both political basis for impeachment and also criminal behavior.

Federal Criminal Offenses and the Impeachment of Donald J. Trump

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Problem of Missing Witnesses and Documents for the Conviction of Donald J. Trump
Andrew Weissmann

Campaign Finance Law
Paul Ryan

Randall Eliason

Honest Services Fraud
Barbara McQuade

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
Susan Simpson

Hatch Act
Gary Stein

Contempt of Congress
Michael Stern

Impoundment Act (non-criminal law)
Sam Berger

Editor’s note from co-editor-in-chief Ryan Goodman: This collection of leading legal experts discusses a range of federal crimes that apply to the conduct of President Donald Trump, based on the evidence produced by the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry. These crimes include all of the federal offences listed in the Chapter headings, except for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In that Chapter, the author concludes that the impeachment inquiry did not examine the relevant evidence for one of the elements of the crime, although a lot of that evidence has arisen in investigative reports by journalists. The final Chapter includes an important federal law that does not trigger criminal liability, but does implicate the President’s constitutional obligation to ensure the laws are faithfully executed. Close readers will also notice some nuances in the authors’ analyses. Compare for example Barbara McQuade’s and Randall Eliason’s discussion of whether a White House visit for a head of state counts as an “official act” for the purposes of bribery and honest services fraud. Finally, a point worth underscoring: as Andrew Weissmann explains in the Introduction, impeachable offenses need not be criminal in nature, and not all crimes are impeachable offences. Members of Congress certainly do not need to conclude that the President committed a crime for impeachment, conviction, and removal. Nevertheless, the fact that these leading experts reach the conclusion that several federal crimes apply to President Trump’s conduct involving Ukraine is an important consideration for the annals of history and for the historic decision Congress now faces.




Food for thought; we have video of Bydone talking about cuts to SS. Their is NO video of Bernie saying a women cant be president. The craprate media takes Warrens words as the gospel truth. Meantime Bydone says the video was doctored and the media runs with it.