HomeUncategorized11/1 News Roundup & Open Thread
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Anybody’s race in Iowa. MOE is 4.7. No previous poll so can’t compare. I’m not believing though that Warren leads the 18-29 Voters while Bernie leads the 30-44 voters. The rest of the usual characteristics of everybody’s base is present. 2/3 of voters could change their minds but Bernie voters are the most committed. Buttigieg has been spending a lot in Iowa. Bernie has just begun to ramp up spending on ads and Warren hasn’t begun ads but has spent a lot on organization.


The top Democratic presidential candidates are locked in a close race in the 2020 Iowa caucuses, with Senator Elizabeth Warren slightly ahead of Senator Bernie Sanders, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., according to a New York Times/Siena College poll of likely Democratic caucusgoers.

Ms. Warren appears to have solidified her gains in the first voting state while Mr. Buttigieg has climbed quickly to catch up with Mr. Sanders and overtake Mr. Biden, the onetime front-runner. Ms. Warren is drawing support from 22 percent of likely caucusgoers, while Mr. Sanders is at 19 percent, followed by Mr. Buttigieg at 18 percent and Mr. Biden at 17 percent.

The survey is full of alarming signs for Mr. Biden, who entered the race in April at the top of the polls in Iowa and nationally. He is still in the lead in most national polls, but his comparatively weak position in the earliest primary and caucus states now presents a serious threat to his candidacy. And Mr. Biden’s unsteadiness appears to have opened a path in the race for other Democrats closer to the political middle, particularly Mr. Buttigieg.

There is still plenty of room for shifts in political momentum: Two-thirds of likely caucusgoers in The Times poll said they could still be persuaded to change their minds.

Outside the top tier of four candidates, the best-performing Democrat was Senator Amy Klobuchar, supported by 4 percent of respondents, followed by Senator Kamala Harris and Andrew Yang, both at 3 percent, and Senator Cory Booker, Representative Tulsi Gabbard and Tom Steyer, all at 2 percent.

They have assembled somewhat different political coalitions: Ms. Warren is the top choice of younger voters, women and people with college degrees, while Mr. Sanders fares better with men and people with high school degrees or less. He also retains significant backing from young people, and his supporters are the least likely to say they might change their minds before February.

Though Mr. Buttigieg would be the youngest president ever, he is not exceptionally popular with his generational cohort. He fared somewhat better with older voters than younger ones; like Ms. Warren, he registered strongly among people with college and postgraduate degrees.

Mr. Biden’s support comes almost exclusively from older voters: Among people 65 years or older, he is still the front-runner, with backing from nearly a third of them. But he has negligible support among younger Iowans. With voters under 45, Mr. Biden is polling several points behind Mr. Yang, a former tech executive who has never run for office before.

An ideological gulf, running along generational lines, is a major feature of the Democratic race. Two-thirds of voters under 30 favored either Ms. Warren or Mr. Sanders, while a smaller majority of people over 65 favored either Mr. Biden or Mr. Buttigieg.


yes, the old “male and uneducated.”


T and R, LD!! 🙂 I can only comment from past campaign experience. Consider the source: NYTimes. There’s no way Polly the parrot beats the Bernster among the 18-29 cohort. Not the ones I met in the first campaign.



All told, it is extraordinary that the team pushing Biden’s candidacy—after a presidential election in which America witnessed just how much damage the linkage between presidential campaigns, post-Soviet lobbyists, and their networks of corrupting cronies can wreak—thought it wise to bring aboard a man whose business model Paul Manafort would recognize. To those running Biden’s Super PAC, the best way to combat the slings and slurs that post-Soviet actors and their spin-men fling at Biden is, apparently, to hire a post-Soviet spin-man of their own.

In order to gauge the moral repugnance of anyone who’d willingly take thousands of dollars to whitewash a government like Azerbaijan, it’s worth running through the nauseating record of the government in Baku. It doesn’t take much to realize that the Azeri government, under the despotic reign of Ilham Aliyev, has carried its Soviet legacy firmly forward, nearly three decades after the USSR’s collapse.

There’s no indication Rasky did anything illegal. But that’s the rub: The fact that these practices and pipelines remain in place—and remain perfectly legal—is to the detriment of our national interests, and a source of stigma to boot. As Sarah Chayes, one of the U.S.’s leading anti-corruption voices, recently wrote, “How could America’s leading lights convince themselves—and us—that this is acceptable?… If we want to help our country heal, we must start holding ourselves, our friends, and our allies—and not just our enemies—to its highest standards.”

Chayes was writing about Hunter Biden’s cushy involvement with a Ukrainian gas firm, and the high-paying jobs family members of American politicians receive more broadly. But she could equally have been writing about the Americans taking obscene amounts of money in order to help tyrants abroad launder their image—and then turning around to help run major prongs of American political campaigns. It’s never too late for shame to play a role when it comes to steering clear of foreign agents. Donald Trump’s 2020 opponents should want to lead the way, not follow in his wake.


I’m sure others will comment on the feasibility of her plan’s funding, but at least she didn’t take the back off the M4A route, so it looks we are set up again for a Bernie/Warren vs. Biden/Buttigieg/Klobuchar battle royal over health care at the next debate.


Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s long-awaited “Medicare-for-all” funding plan projects the government-run health care system would cost a staggering sum of “just under $52 trillion” over the next decade, with the campaign proposing a host of new tax increases to pay for it while still claiming the middle class would not face any additional burden.

“We don’t need to raise taxes on the middle class by one penny to finance Medicare for All,” Sen. Warren, D-Mass., said in her plan — a copy of which was obtained by Fox News.

Some of Warren’s rivals for the nomination are unlikely to buy that claim, after having repeatedly challenged her assertions that the middle class would not be hit by tax hikes and suggesting she has not been upfront with voters.

The campaign’s detailed Medicare-for-all proposal, however, insists that the costs can be covered by a combination of existing federal and state spending on Medicare and Medicaid, as well as roughly $20 trillion in taxes on employers, financial transactions, the ultra-wealthy, large corporations and more. This includes what is essentially a payroll tax increase on employers, something economists generally say can hit workers in the form of reduced wages.

Like Medicare-for-all’s chief Senate champion, fellow candidate Bernie Sanders, the Warren campaign argues that many of these costs already are being spent in the existing health care system by governments, employers and individuals in the form of premiums, deductibles and other expenses.

The Warren campaign claims those individual costs would drop to “practically zero,” while the plan maintains and boosts a funding pipeline from other sources. However, unlike Sanders’ plan, Warren’s projects no burden for the middle class and a price tag of “just under $52 trillion” over the next 10 years, or slightly less than cost projections for the current system. Sanders’ plan has been estimated to cost roughly $32 trillion, though that price tag reflects additional spending while Warren’s seems to factor in current spending as well.

So how would she pay for it?

Among other proposals, Warren calls for bringing in nearly $9 trillion in new Medicare taxes on employers over the next 10 years, arguing this would essentially replace what they’re already paying for employee health insurance. Further, Warren’s campaign says if they are at risk of falling short of the revenue target, they could impose a “Supplemental Employer Medicare Contribution” for big companies with “extremely high executive compensation and stock buyback rates.”

Whether some of those costs, however, still could be passed on to middle-class employees – as economists argue payroll tax costs often are – remains to be seen. As the Tax Policy Center has noted, it is assumed the “employee bears the burden of both the employer and employee portions of payroll taxes.”

Bernie Sanders files for New Hampshire Democratic primaryVideo
Warren also proposes even more taxes on the ultra-rich, expanding on her previously announced signature wealth tax, to tax more of anyone’s net worth over $1 billion (estimated to raise another $1 trillion). Warren also calls for raising capital gains tax rates for the wealthy, taxing more foreign earnings and imposing a tax on financial transactions to generate $800 billion in revenue.

Aside from those and other taxes, the campaign claims they can scrounge up $2.3 trillion with better tax enforcement and policies, as well as additional funds by reining in defense spending.


She is definitely not backing off M4A. Whether her funding is feasible will be debated.


Warren’s new health-care financing blueprint comes at a pivotal moment in the Democratic presidential primary, as the Massachusetts senator’s steady rise in the polls has prompted sustained attacks by competitors about how she would pay for her plans. As someone known to come up with politically savvy ways to sell dense policy ideas, communicating the gist of this 20-page proposal will be a major test of her candidacy.

It’s also likely to serve as the next flashpoint in the primary race, coming out as the top candidates in the Democratic field are heading to Iowa for a busy weekend of political and campaign events starting Friday night.

“Health care is a human right, and we need a system that reflects our values. That system is Medicare for All,” said Warren in a Medium post published Friday. “A key step in winning the public debate over Medicare for All will be explaining what this plan costs — and how to pay for it.”

Warren’s decision to firmly embrace the Medicare-for-all plan has tied her closely to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who first proposed the idea and who built a big part of his 2016 presidential campaign message around it. It’s a policy proposal that has tripped up a number of Democratic candidates, however, prompting several to back away from it after initially supporting the proposal. It’s an idea that is popular with many Democratic activists but whose details can prove tricky.

Some had speculated that Warren would back away from key parts of Medicare-for-all and bring down the cost by offering a less-generous plan. She addressed that concern head-on in her proposal.

“Medicare for All will cover the full list of benefits outlined in the Medicare for All Act, including long-term care, audio, vision, and dental benefits,” Warren wrote, referring to the legislative proposal she has co-sponsored.

“My plan will cover every single person in the U.S., and includes common-sense payment reforms that make Medicare-for-all possible without spending any more money overall than we spend now.”
Instead of costing families more, Warren contends that middle- and working-class Americans would see $11 trillion in savings from no longer paying for premiums, deductibles, co-pays, out-of-network costs and other out-of-pocket health costs.

Central to making Warren’s math work is re-purposing the approximately $9 trillion private employers are already projected to spend on health care over the next decade.

Warren’s plan calls for effectively locking these payment levels in place under the Medicare-for-all program, also called a single-payer system, by taxing firms at about the same rate that they currently spend on private insurance.

This move nets Warren a big part of the revenue she needs for her program — $8.8 trillion of $20.5 trillion. It could also allow her to avoid the charge that her plan hikes middle-class taxes, because the tax would be assessed on employers rather than employees.

But this financing mechanism is likely to raise questions from critics about its viability and fairness.

Some analysts have warned that companies would have strong incentives, in the years before such a law’s enactment, to make it appear their health-care costs are low. Businesses may be encouraged to split off into two entities, one of which might be able to avoid the required health-care contributions because it had none the year before the program kicked off.

Warren argues, however, that her plan would still lower the amount firms spend on health care. The plan exempts all firms with fewer than 50 employees from the required contribution, sparing many small businesses.

“Additional rules, including anti-evasion rules, would be developed,” the plan says.

Warren also rewrites part of her signature wealth tax to bring in about $1 trillion, taxing wealth over $1 billion at six percent each year rather than the three percent she initially proposed at the beginning of her campaign.

By readjusting a central aspect of her wealth tax, however, Warren could open herself to the charge that she might continue expanding the tax beyond the current universe of 75,000 families that would feel it.


This is a lynchpin of her plan and will be closely examined.


Her advisers also lower the estimate of Medicare for All from the $34 trillion the Urban Institute predicted to $20.5 trillion over 10 years, by using the new Medicare-for-All negotiating power to slash administrative spending, drug prices and provider payments.


I think she’s right about doctor and hospital payments, but it is going to be a tough battle. I wonder if Bernie now will completely flesh out his plan’s funding. I guess it depends on how Warren’s plan will be received. We will see.


Because Sanders’ bill lacked key details that determine how much the overall system will cost — such as how much physicians and hospitals would be paid — Warren is proposing these details herself.

The most sweeping and controversial piece of her additions to Sanders’ bill is a pledge to pay all physicians current Medicare rates — which are much lower than private insurance rates but higher than Medicaid — and to pay hospitals slightly above Medicare rates. She argues that doctors will save money overall because they’ll be able to dedicate the hours they currently spend billing a swath of interlocking private and public insurance plans to providing care.

But medical providers who are already mobilizing against Medicare for All are likely to take this as a declaration of war.

Warren’s latest plan is designed to try and get her off her heels and put her opponents on the defensive.

“We need plans, not slogans,” she writes in what is likely an implicit swipe at Buttigieg, who has also not provided details on how he would pay for his less expensive health care plan. “Serious candidates for president should speak plainly about these issues and set out their plans for cost control – especially those who are skeptical of Medicare for All.”


thx 4 these m4a comments. ???


Ady Barkan calls out Biden again


Activist Ady Barkan called out former Vice President Joe Biden for the 2020 candidate’s “refusal” to sit down with him to discuss health care policies.

Barkan, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2016, has met with several top 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to talk about his push for more affordable health care and listen to their policies.

He said he was “disappointed” that Biden did not take time to talk with him, alleging it shows he’s not ready to take on President Trump in the general election.

“If he’s afraid of a paralyzed man who talks politely and very slowly, how does he expect to survive a debate with Trump?” Barkan quipped.


That’s fer sure.

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