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As of 5:30 at the DK straw poll, Warren is at 34, Bernie is at 24, Biden at 12, Harris at 7, Buttigieg at 6, and Yang at 4. Biggest takeaway, Kamala’s free fall after her poor debate performance. I’m sure some of her support has migrated to Warren. If this is replicated in the real world, she’s in trouble.


Final results Warren 33 Bernie 25. Everybody else the same except Yang ended with 5.


Note that a lot of the Warren followers on Twitter have multi-digit numbers on the end of the name, no profile photo, and relatively new accounts.


He couldn’t have waited until one of them dropped out?


Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), who became the first member of Congress to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) 2016 presidential campaign, announced this week that he will back Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) this time around.

“I think it’s a very powerful combination that Elizabeth has,” Grijalva told The Daily Beast ahead of a Thursday event in Arizona where he will introduce the Massachusetts Democrat. “And that’s that she’s got the intellect and more importantly the heart for this job. And that I think she brings in a level of smarts and energy. I think that’s what it’s going to take to take Trump out. And philosophically, I agree with her.”

Grijalva stressed that his support for Warren was “not a repudiation of Bernie. This is not an abandonment of the reasons and positions of why I supported him.”


Very very bummed. word salad from my “native” state. wonder if Bernie hurt his feeyslong the way. Because Warren is not strong on M4A. she’s getting better, but not strong. So is that what he agrees with?

what exactly is appealing about Bernie light? word salad. grrrr.


I’m afraid you’ll just see more of this. They are being pressured by the DNC/DCCC, just like last time. If you recall, only Jeff Merkley endorsed Bernie in the Senate. I’m proud to say he’s my senator, but one is not enough. Bernie can win without all the endorsements, but it makes it even harder, and they already dislike him. But man, does Bernie have people!



And that was just the opening segment on health care; Harris still had hours to go. Her worst moment of the night came when Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii) hit Harris with her own record as a prosecutor — including her refusal to release evidence that could have freed a man from death row, at least until a court finally forced her to do so. Harris failed to muster a convincing response, probably because this charge is entirely accurate.

The best Harris could manage was an esprit de l’escalier retort during the post-debate interviews, in which she accused Gabbard of being an apologist for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Then Harris botched even her belated delivery by choosing a rather unfortunate descriptor for Assad’s Syrian victims, saying he “has murdered the people of his country like cockroaches.”

Gabbard’s attack, and Harris’s inept response, goes to the heart of the senator’s weakness, which is that she is still fundamentally a prosecutor. This can be an asset; Harris garnered an unusual amount of attention for a freshman senator through her surgical cross-examination of conservative witnesses in committee hearings. Most notably was during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.

But while prosecutors are usually adept at asking questions, they don’t necessarily get much practice answering them. That didn’t matter so much when Harris was one of many hopefuls and could simply deliver her focus-grouped talking points. But now that she’s one of the leading candidates, all of the other contenders are looking to shove her aside. She has to play defense as well as offense, and she’s apparently not very good at it.

Those deficits could theoretically be repaired by intensive practice with her debate prep team. Unfortunately, that team can’t sandpaper away the other legacy of her prosecutorial history: Harris’s long record of putting low-income people in jail and keeping them there. She is now trying to recast herself as a crusading reformer who was really fixing the system. But any close examination of Harris the prosecutor reveals someone very much like Harris the presidential candidate: keen on getting the job, not particularly concerned with the details of how she gets there.


If anything, Tulsi is a Biden bot


Progressives, many of whom have their own issues with Gabbard for her views on foreign policy and problematic comments from her past, took issue with a framing of the criticism of Harris that sidestepped the substance of the attack by tying Gabbard to Russia.

In a series of tweets, defense attorney and legal commentator Rebecca J. Kavanagh said that accusing Gabbard of being a Russian pawn didn’t meet the smell test.

“This idea that anyone who criticizes Kamala Harris is a Russian bot or plant or working for MAGA is RIDICULOUS,” tweeted Kavanagh. “The questions asked of Senator Harris last night were more than reasonable and should have been asked by the moderators.”

“People have every right to question Tulsi Gabbard about her own record, but this does not make the points she made about Kamala Harris inaccurate or unfair,” Kavanagh added. “Why are people attacking the messenger rather than addressing the criticisms?”

The Intercept’s Mehdi Hasan made a distinction between Gabbard’s views on foreign policy and her critiques of Harris.

“Lets be clear,” tweeted Hasan, “Gabbard’s refusal to condemn Assad is awful and revealing but it doesn’t change the fact that her attack on Harris was legitimate and accurate and Harris has questions to answer about her record in California.”



This week, two of the lesser-known Democrats in the presidential race, Rep. Tim Ryan (OH) and former Rep. John Delaney (MD), suggested on the Democratic debate stage that Sen. Bernie Sanders’s Medicare-for-all plan goes against union interests.

“This plan being offered … will tell the union members that give away wages in order to get good health care that they will lose their health care because Washington is going to come in and tell them they have a better plan,” Ryan said. Delaney talked about his father, a unionized electrician, suggesting he would “never want someone to take [his health care] away.”

But some of the biggest unions in the country couldn’t disagree more.

“Tim Ryan, that’s a great failure of understanding how unions work,” said Sarah Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants. His suggestion was “offensive to me,” she added.

American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten noted that that AFT is supportive of Medicare-for-all and other universal health care plans. “Any plan that provides more people with the care they need and gets us one step closer to affordable coverage is a step in the right direction,” she said.

Both Ryan and Delaney oppose Medicare-for-all on the grounds it is radical, politically unfeasible, and too disruptive to the current health care system. They advocate instead for proposals that would expand coverage while keeping private employer-sponsored plans.

Ryan’s campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment about where he got this idea. But those close to the labor movement suggested it may come from a vestige of a shrinking and transforming labor movement.

“Ryan, coming from Ohio, really frames this in terms of the union members with hard hats,” said Andrew Feldman, a Democratic strategist who has close ties to the labor movement. “It’s this old guard of labor. What we have seen in the last couple years, is this labor movement that’s made this grassroots resurgence, [like the teachers and service workers]. Those unions have publicly come out and said they would support Medicare-for-all.”



As a practical matter, in the routine lexicon of U.S. mass media, “moderate” actually means pro-corporate and reliably unwilling to disrupt the dominant power structures.

“Moderate” is a term of endearment in elite circles, a label conferred on politicians who won’t rock establishment boats.

“Moderate” sounds so much nicer than, say, “enmeshed with Wall Street” or “supportive of the military-industrial complex.”

In the corporate media environment, we’re accustomed to pretty euphemisms that fog up unpretty realities—and the haze of familiarity brings the opposite of clarity. As George Orwell wrote, language “becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.”

If Joe Biden is a “moderate,” the soothing adjective obscures grim realities. The framing was routine hours after the debate Wednesday night when the front page of The New York Times began its lead story by reporting that Biden “delivered a steadfast defense of his moderate policies in the Democratic primary debate.”

But how are policies really “moderate” when they perpetuate and increase extreme suffering due to vast income inequality? Or when they support U.S. wars causing so much death and incalculable anguish? Or when they refuse to challenge the fossil-fuel industry and only sign onto woefully inadequate measures in response to catastrophic climate change?

Whatever their discreet virtues, 18 of the 20 candidates who debated this week have offered no consistent, thoroughgoing challenge to corporate power. Among the contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination, only Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are providing a coherent analysis and actual challenge to the realities of corporate power and oligarchy that are crushing democracy in the United States.



Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris inadvertently highlighted one of the key virtues of Medicare for All with their jumbled, vague, and at times dishonest healthcare discussion during Wednesday night’s Democratic presidential primary debate.

That was a major takeaway of progressives and health policy experts, who said Harris and Biden’s difficulty in explaining the details and benefits their respective proposals showed by comparison the simplicity — and, single-payer proponents argued, the superiority — of Medicare for All in both messaging and policy.

“This flailing discussion is a good demonstration of why Medicare for All makes for great messaging,” tweeted The Week’s Ryan Cooper. “All these complicated-ass half-measures are impossible to explain.”


They might not be allowed to drop out.


T and R!! Go Benny!! 🙂


Tulsi had to fight like crazy to get in a word in edgewise during this ‘interview’, it took a full minute for the host to allow Tulsi to talk. But then she makes her points (finally).



Yang, who is running for president on some big ideas about universal basic income and protecting jobs from automation and AI, found his fame — and his “Yang Gang” — in part thanks to a February appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience. His new supporters are attracted to his technology-first political platform. And because they hail largely from the chanterculture meme swamps of Instagram, Reddit, Twitter, and 4chan, they have plastered social media with pro-Yang content, helping him raise the crucial small contributions needed to qualify for a debate.

But the meme swamps the Yang Gang calls home harbor all sorts of life — some of it far less affable. And the Yang campaign is learning that lesson the hard way. Over the past few days, its deputy chief of staff has become the target of a textbook 4chan harassment campaign. She’s been doxed, harassed, and cast as the lead character in an outlandish conspiracy theory about a “Jewish plot” to manipulate 4chan users into sharing pro-Yang content.

Yang’s campaign, for example, has also attracted admirers from the far-right. White supremacist website the Daily Stormer has written about him. White nationalist leader Richard Spencer has enthusiastically tweeted about him. YouTuber James Allsup, another white nationalist, said Yang is the future. 4chan users declared him a savior of the white race for defending American workers.

Yang’s embrace of 4chan started going south earlier this month, after Yang’s deputy Chief of Staff Carly Reilly tweeted, “UBI (universal basic income) is feminist.” The remark irked some on 4chan’s Politically Incorrect (/pol/) board, home to some of the community’s more hardcore white nationalists. They lashed out, infiltrated a pro-Yang Discord server, and started leaking screenshots, hoping to destabilize the Yang Gang.

When a pro-Yang Discord member posted a link to Reilly’s Calendly calendar and asked supporters to email her, some 4chan trolls snagged it and doxed her, posting her personal information and circulated a rumor that her former employer, RadicalMedia, was secretly being paid by the campaign to infiltrate 4chan to spread pro-Yang content.