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T and R, LD!! Hope you and JD are enjoying the weekend. 🙂


These are the accomplishments wrought by Biden’s comity with his purported ideological foes. It goes without saying that offers to resurrect such a politics should be greeted with suspicion, if not hostility. But their dubiety is underscored further by the idea that the bigots of yesteryear weren’t suit-wearing lawmakers who rolled back rights, punished the poor, and denied access to health care and quality education. In an effort to illustrate what he views as a shift, Biden hasn’t just described the modern Republican Party; he’s described the upper echelons of the Jim Crow regime, and similar governing regimes spanning centuries of U.S. history. He’s described the political forces to which he happily capitulated when he was a senator. Few illustrations of the well-heeled properties of racism in the 20th century are more vivid than Biden’s own career.

If there’s been any shift in understanding around this issue, it’s that many Americans now seem unable to conceptualize racism that’s less overt than a slur-laced tirade or police hosing down black people in the name of segregation. (That today’s law-enforcement reality can be a perilously short trip — police teargassing black people in cities like Ferguson for demanding better treatment — appears to be equally lost on them.) One convenient feature of narrowing racism’s definition such that Alabama good ol’ boys with badges come to mind before George Wallace swearing into office is that the people pulling the levers are often exempted. The governors and members of Congress who’ve dog-whistled and demagogued their way into office on racism’s coattails are relegated to background status in stories about the workers obeying their directives. Rich racists in suits are the oldest kind. Attributing their rise to the Trump era gives the president too much credit. He is, at best, an inheritor. His forebears are the very men Biden credits with honing his coalition-building skills in the Senate. If anyone should know firsthand that today’s racists are little different than yesterday’s, it’s him



Congressional Progressive Caucus cochair Mark Pocan is a Wisconsinite, and Wisconsin has a lot to do with why Pocan announced an early endorsement of Bernie Sanders last week.

To secure the presidency in 2020, Pocan and a lot of other Democrats believe their nominee must take the state that backed Democratic nominees for president in every election from 1988 to 2012, but where Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton by 22,748 votes in 2016. And Pocan is convinced that the senator from Vermont is uniquely positioned to win Wisconsin and other Great Lakes battleground

Noting that Sanders swept Wisconsin’s 2016 Democratic primary and that the senator has kept active in the state, the congressman says, “Not only did [Bernie Sanders] win 71 of 72 counties, but [he] also won nearly three-quarters of young voters and independents who voted in the primary. Bernie’s strong and unwavering advocacy for working families resonated in my state. In 2020, he will carry Wisconsin and the upper Midwest.


What a surprise

Joe Biden is locking down support from powerful New York donors who have spent the past year flirting with multiple candidates, setting him up for a major cash boost just as 2020 voting begins.

Biden’s campaign — sometimes with help from the candidate himself — has spent the last few weeks reaching out to big donors who have collectively raised tens of millions for past presidential campaigns and are not yet attached to 2020 rivals. The Biden camp, which suffered serious money problems in the fall, came to them with a message: The time is now to join up and back Biden to beat President Donald Trump, after the former vice president lasted the whole year as the Democratic polling frontrunner, despite frequent predictions that his campaign was about to collapse.

The message landed. And Biden’s campaign will cash in on those efforts in mid-February, when Biden will head to New York City for a pair of fundraisers hosted by a litany of Wall Street power players, many of whom previously helped Kamala Harris’ campaign or split their support among several candidates in 2019. Originally scheduled as one event, organizers had to split the Feb. 13 fundraising blowout in two because so many donors new to the Biden fold signed up to help.

Hosts for a cocktail-hour fundraiser will include financiers and former Harris supporters Blair Effron and Marc Lasry, both of whom were major donors to Hillary Clinton, as well as JonathanHenes, a lawyer and Harris’ former finance chair, and Tom Nides, a Clinton donor and former State Department aide. Later that evening, another set of major donors will fete Biden, including former U.S. Ambassador to France Jane Hartley, Blackstone president Jonathan Gray and PR executive Michael Kempner — another who was once a bundler for Harris, who dropped out of the 2020 race in December.