Home2020 Elections2/25 BNR Evening & Open Thread: CNN Town Hall at 8ET Live Blog
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Breaking! Beth was able to obtain a preview of the Town Hall./S

Here are some excerpts:


I’ll move this one and the next one up here from the main BNR thread


Bernie Sanders might be holding campaign kick-off events in Brooklyn and Chicago this weekend, but he’s saving his “official launch event” for Burlington.

The New York and Illinois rallies begin a sweep of early primary states for Sanders, who is seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

The campaign did not specify a date for the Burlington event which will follow his initial campaign tour.

The Sanders campaign said that the senator will travel to the early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, as well as California, which moved up its primary to March.



Duss, a staunch progressive who broke into the political world as a blogger, has gained prominence among left-leaning foreign policy wonks and added significant credibility to Sanders on matters of global import.

Sanders’ bold approach to domestic politics is reflected in his views on foreign affairs, which at times makes him a fringe figure in Congress. In recent days, for example, he’s been criticized by some congressional Democrats for not recognizing Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate leader and for not referring to Nicolas Maduro as a dictator.

Duss spoke with INSIDER last week, offering an intimate view into how Sanders sees the world and what the senator will be prioritizing along the campaign trail. He also addressed the criticism Sanders has received on the subject of foreign policy, and why he feels much of it is unfounded.




INSIDER: Sanders’ criticism of Israel, particularly on the debate stage in 2016, is notable for multiple reasons. He’s Jewish and less susceptible to accusations of anti-Semitism. But it’s politically risky. Does Sanders want to radically alter the US-Israel relationship or is he more concerned with the rights of Palestinians and related humanitarian issues?

Duss: I don’t think he wants to radically reorient the relationship. He’s been clear he supports Israel’s right to exist, he supports the two state solution.

But going back to that debate you mentioned, his point about [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] has been borne out many, many times. We just saw this week with Netanyahu literally forming an alliance with fascists, people who are identified as terrorists.

But the approach [Sanders] would support, and has supported, is one that is consistent with our relationships with other countries, which is to say: we support the rights of Israelis and Palestinians to live in security and dignity. And we have to recognize when policy, for example the settlements or the occupation, undermine those goals. So the US needs to speak clearly about that and when necessary we need to take steps to put pressure to stop those policies. [Sanders is] going to be willing to do that.


INSIDER: Sanders is also facing criticism for not recognizing Juan Guaidó as the legitimate leader in Venezuela, including from Democrats in Congress, as the US and many of its allies take a stand against Maduro. From the senator’s perspective, how should the US approach the crisis in Venezuela?

Duss: No one is defending Maduro — the senator certainly is not doing that.

But coming out as Trump has done and sort of putting the US in the lead — just completely recognizing Guaidó as the president— and putting the US four-square behind the opposition, has the potential to create some possible outcomes that the US is not quite prepared for.

There are also other people the US could be talking to. It’s unfortunate that the Trump administration did not pursue the opening with Cuba that the Obama administration started, because talking to Cuba right now could actually be really useful.


INSIDER: So, if we ultimately have a President Bernie Sanders, would we also see more dialogue with America’s geopolitical adversaries?

Duss: We certainly would. We’d be clear about the values and the outcomes the US favors — self-determination and human rights, respect for people’s dignity and their security.

But the fact is the US is extraordinarily powerful and we don’t have to fear sitting down with anyone, whether it’s the North Koreans, whether it’s Iran, whomever.






Cenk just begging journalists to do their jobs re Venezuela. Over now.


Pass it again without the stupid anti-Semitism language


President Trump’s threatened first veto has been averted, at least for now, following an unexpected Senate parliamentarian decision derailing legislation to end the U.S. role in Yemen’s civil war.

The legislation passed the House Feb. 13 in a 248-177 vote and was expected to be considered by the Senate this week, before the parliamentarian determined it wasn’t actually entitled to an up-or-down vote.

The news came as a shock to supporters, who first learned Monday that the bill was deemed “de-privileged,” meaning it is not entitled to a guaranteed Senate vote after passing the House.

The decision allows Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to block the legislation from a vote. McConnell has repeatedly said he won’t allow legislation to have a floor vote if Trump won’t sign it.

Supporters of the legislation believe the reason for the surprise derailment is the addition of language condemning anti-Semitism before the final version passed.

A Capitol Hill legislative aide said that “privileged” motions are generally formulaic, but that only germane amendments are allowed or else the bill will be considered de-privileged. Before the addition of anti-Semitism language, the bill only technically had one amendment, from Colorado Rep. Ken Buck, a Republican, who modified the bill to allow continued intelligence-sharing with Saudi Arabia.






$10 million!


A clutch of advisers to Senator Bernie Sanders began arriving at the Capitol Hill townhouse that served as his makeshift headquarters before dawn last Tuesday, where they readied themselves to track, among other things, the deluge of donations that would land after Mr. Sanders made his presidential campaign official.

As the team snacked on doughnuts that Jeff Weaver, Mr. Sanders’s 2016 campaign manager, had brought for launch day, one laptop screen showed a map of the United States. It would light up with an orange dot every time someone gave with the location of each donation.

Within minutes of the 7 a.m. announcement, the whole screen was glowing orange, according to people in the room.

By Monday, after less than a week as a presidential candidate, Mr. Sanders has collected $10 million from 359,914 donors, campaign officials said. But perhaps just as daunting a figure for his rivals is this: Nearly 39 percent of those donors used an email address that had never before been used to give to Mr. Sanders.

For Mr. Sanders, the flood of money from fresh email addresses suggested to his team that he was dramatically expanding a donor network that had already dwarfed his 2020 competition.


The last 2 paragraphs are impressive.


T and R, Benny!!