HomeUncategorized8/14 News Roundup & Open Thread
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https://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/08/13/absentee-voting-election-michigan-benson-postcard/3364515001/blockquote>Michigan is sending postcards to more than 4 million registered voters, encouraging them to apply to vote absentee in the November election. The state also plans to spend millions in order to reimburse local cities that offer pre-paid return envelopes for absentee ballots.

The moves are the latest by Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to advocate for casting a ballot before Election Day, an initiative aimed at increasing voter participation while preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
“Last week’s primary election was a success in large part because a record number of voters cast their ballots from home, helping all voters and election workers stay safe during the pandemic,” Benson said in a news release Thursday.

“To ensure similar success and safety in November, when turnout is expected to double or even triple, voters must know they have the right to vote from home and how to do so.”


The orange maggot is in panic mode. It’s pretty obvious to anyone with even half a functioning brain. Why else would he be trying to destroy the P.O.? Listened to several recent Michael Moore Rumbles this morning. There is a lot of noize surrounding the Senate changing hands in Nov. It’s not the usual pie-in-the-sky suspects talking either. Example: even Lindsay Graham is in danger of losing his seat. Go figure!




SMH! Pelosi will save the day and she has her priorities all lined up.


The Donald to the rescue!


Maggot brains is so full of sh1t, he/it doesn’t just smell, it REEKS!😖


gawd, I would love to see that Botoxed Bimbo defeated! And yes, politically correct yahoos, I called her a bimbo. Too bad!


For what its worth, back in the day I had a casual male friend who was called “Bimbo” rather than his first name so never really thought about it that much as PC



An exponential rise in Covid-19 cases among children in the US has raised the alarm among experts as the new school year begins.

A recently released study from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association found that nearly 339,000 coronavirus cases among children have been reported across the nation since the start of the pandemic, with 97,000 cases reported just in the last two weeks of July.

The findings add concern to troubling reports emerging from places that moved early to reopen schools. The day after school resumed for one Georgia school district, a second-grade student tested positive for coronavirus, sending his teacher and classmates home for a two-week quarantine. The same week, Georgia’s department of health confirmed the death of a seven-year-old boy, the state’s youngest to die from the virus. He had no underlying health conditions.



Despite having promised “not to touch” Social Security, the President listens to conservative ideologues who have long wanted to undo FDR’s landmark program, including former budget director Mick Mulvaney, chief of staff Mark Meadows, and economic advisor Larry Kudlow. The Heritage Foundation’s Stephen Moore and billionaire businessman Steve Forbes also have outsized influence, not to mention Republican “entitlement reformers” in Congress, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. While the President pays lip service to protecting Social Security, he has been enlisted in the effort to dismantle it.

The most glaring example is the President’s unilateral (and possibly unconstitutional) action to defer the payroll taxes that fund Social Security through the end of the year. This could cost the program over $300 billion in lost revenue, plus the interest it would have earned. Upon announcing this executive order, the President promised to “terminate” payroll taxes if re-elected. That would either bankrupt Social Security or force depend on general revenue, which would destroy the program’s worker-funded nature and open it up to benefit cuts in the name of deficit reduction.

The Trump administration’s campaign against Social Security did not start with the payroll tax cut. Each of the President’s annual budgets have called for deep cuts to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), with then-budget director Mick Mulvaney claiming with a straight face that SSDI is not “part of Social Security.” The administration has changed the rules to make it harder for disabled Americans to continue collecting benefits, and attempted to replace the administrative law judges who decide the fate of workers’ disability appeals with partisan political appointees.

Today’s Social Security antagonists do not proclaim their outright hostility to the program and instead speak of “saving” or “reforming” it. Naturally, “reforming” really means some form of benefit cuts or privatization. They try to shatter the intergenerational compact at the heart of Social Security by cynically telling millennials that the program will not be there when they retire. Conservatives must feel compelled to employ these misleading tactics because they know that 85 years after its enactment, Social Security is still enormously popular with the public. Poll after poll shows that Americans across party lines want to see Social Security protected, not cut, privatized, or compromised. In a recent survey of our own membership, 88% of respondents opposed cutting payroll taxes for Coronavirus relief.



For pro­gres­sives and those on the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Party’s so-called ​“left wing,” Biden’s can­di­da­cy has been a tough pill to swal­low. After all, with an ongo­ing nation­wide upris­ing against struc­tur­al racism amidst a crush­ing pan­dem­ic and eco­nom­ic col­lapse, what cir­cum­stances could bet­ter illus­trate the need for the type of con­fronta­tion­al, sys­temic change pro­posed by can­di­dates like Bernie Sanders and Eliz­a­beth War­ren? Yet now, with unem­ploy­ment spik­ing, and mil­lions tak­ing to the streets to assert that Black Lives Mat­ter and demand­ing offi­cials defund the police, we’re in the unen­vi­able posi­tion of being forced to acknowl­edge that vot­ing for Biden — the author of the grue­some 1994 crime bill — and Har­ris — a for­mer tough-on-crime pros­e­cu­tor — is unde­ni­ably bet­ter than the alternative.

If there’s a sil­ver lin­ing to this pick, it’s that oth­er fron­trun­ners for the VP nom­i­na­tion, like Michi­gan Gov. Gretchen Whit­mer and for­mer Oba­ma Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Advi­sor Susan Rice, are, on paper, all more con­ser­v­a­tive than Har­ris. More­over, there’s some evi­dence that Har­ris is some­thing of a polit­i­cal weath­er vane: if she rose to nation­al promi­nence as a mod­er­ate pros­e­cu­tor, she’s moved marked­ly to the left since 2016, and has devel­oped one of the most pro­gres­sive vot­ing records in the Sen­ate. For exam­ple, in the cur­rent 116th Con­gress, she’s vot­ed with Sanders 92% of the time — and even signed onto his Medicare for All bill, before intro­duc­ing her own more watered-down ver­sion dur­ing the pri­ma­ry campaign.

More recent­ly, she’s joined demo­c­ra­t­ic social­ist Rep. Rashi­da Tlaib (D‑Mich.) in call­ing for month­ly direct cash assis­tance of $2,000 dur­ing the pan­dem­ic, and intro­duced a sweep­ing hous­ing bill call­ing for a year-long evic­tion freeze. Her left­ward shift has even been acknowl­edged by Lara Bazelon — the San Fran­cis­co law pro­fes­sor who authored a New York Times sto­ry that was arguably the most influ­en­tial case against Har­ris’ pros­e­cu­to­r­i­al record. As Bazelon described Har­ris’ evo­lu­tion in an NPR inter­view, ​“Her record has been con­sis­tent, and it’s been good. And my hope is that she’s going to con­tin­ue in that vein, first of all, because it’s the right thing to do but then, sec­ond of all, prag­mat­i­cal­ly, because that’s where the coun­try is moving.”

The groups Root­s­Ac­tion and Pro­gres­sive Democ­rats of Amer­i­ca were slight­ly more blunt in their assess­ment of Har­ris’ selec­tion: ​“While her pen­chant for tak­ing posi­tions broad­ly palat­able to the cor­po­rate donor class rais­es con­cerns about her ded­i­ca­tion to pro­gres­sive prin­ci­ples, her habit of align­ing her stance with the pre­vail­ing polit­i­cal winds gives us some hope.”

­Ultimate­ly, while defeat­ing Trump remains a pri­or­i­ty, it’s up to those of us on the left to gen­er­ate the winds we want to pre­vail by build­ing pow­er out­side of pres­i­den­tial pol­i­tics. Tak­ing to the streets for racial jus­tice, strength­en­ing the labor move­ment, demand­ing uni­ver­sal health­care, estab­lish­ing ten­ants’ unions, elect­ing more can­di­dates up and down the bal­lot who are com­mit­ted to tak­ing on cor­po­rate pow­er to ben­e­fit the work­ing class — this is how we can reori­ent politi­cians’ incen­tives and pri­or­i­ties. The weath­er vanes will follow.



I was one of the people who publicly expressed concern about Harris during her presidential campaign. A few key things have changed since then. She impressed me with her actions, and I’m hoping that this apparent pivot is what voters can expect of her. Yet more importantly than her recent actions, my politics have changed.

While I wholeheartedly still believe in the power of voting, I’m now more committed to what I call zoning in. I’m narrowing the focus of my political efforts and treating voting as simply one tool for change. This change in my political view has caused me to emotionally divest more from a failing two-party system that often places its most vulnerable citizens in the position of choosing between how slowly we want to be metaphorically killed. This is my truth.

Yet it is also true that I intend to vote for the Biden and Harris ticket because I believe they present a better chance at improving the lives of marginalized communities than this current administration. I will do this while increasing my efforts to organize on a local level and use every weapon at my disposal to fight for a path for justice that isn’t predicated on me choosing between the “lesser of two evils”. Simultaneously, while Harris starts to fight like hell to re-energize the Democratic base, I’ll use my position as a writer to push back on unfair attacks on her that are simply misogynoir masked as criticism. This nomination almost guarantees that valid criticism and utter hatred of Black women will be on full display, and we will have to quickly learn the difference and respond accordingly.

For those currently expressing concern, I challenge you to sit with it a minute and consider if this concern was ever present for any of the other highly questionable candidates. I invite those with criticism to still express it and demand the best from Harris, but I will challenge them to interrogate the root of their angst. I intend to do the same. I’m going to stand with Harris and fight against sexist and racist attacks, celebrate with the Black women who are rejoicing in pride, while I simultaneously organize on a local level and strategize ways to help ensure my community gets more than just a false sense of hope from this ticket. All of this can happen at the same time.


One of the Moore podcasts had Shaun King on. It was excellent and made a lot of the same points, jcb. I really enjoy the reads from ‘In These Times.’


The plot thickens


AS THE PRIMARY in Massachusetts’ 1st Congressional District turned into a national story following allegations of misconduct against Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, the state Democratic Party declined to weigh in, citing its policy to remain neutral in contested primaries.

But behind the scenes, the state party had been coordinating with the College Democrats of Massachusetts to launch those very allegations, according to five sources within the state party and connected to the CDMA, a review of messages between party leadership and CDMA leadership, and call records obtained by The Intercept. The documents show that the Massachusetts Democratic Party’s executive director Veronica Martinez and chair Gus Bickford connected the students with attorneys: among them was the powerful state party figure and attorney Jim Roosevelt, who worked with the college group on a letter alleging Morse behaved inappropriately.

Martinez reached out to CDMA members repeatedly by phone and text from at least late July up to and including Thursday, records show. In text messages reviewed by The Intercept, Martinez takes an active role in directing the group on the strategy behind the letter before and after its release, including coaching on how to interact with the press.

On Thursday, the College Democrats posted a statement that apologized to Morse, adding, “We wrote the letter to Alex Morse’s campaign on the advice of legal counsel,” but did not specify who that counsel was.

The grandson of Franklin D. Roosevelt, attorney Jim Roosevelt is a major power broker within the state and national Democratic parties and contributed to Neal’s campaigns in 2008 and 2016, giving $1,000 and $500 respectively, according to records filed with the FEC. He has a history of tangling with the Bernie Sanders-aligned wing of the party. In 2016, he chaired the Democratic National Convention’s credentials committee, rejecting Sanders’s formal request to remove Barney Frank as the chair of the rules committee, after the Vermont senator deemed the former lawmaker too hostile to Sanders and his agenda. A year later, Roosevelt publicly rebuffed the suggestion by Sen. Elizabeth Warren that members of the DNC had tilted the presidential playing field toward Hillary Clinton’s campaign. A former CEO for health insurance giant Tufts Health Plan, Roosevelt will once again co-chair the credentials committee next week at the DNC.

Asked if anyone from the state party leadership ever reached out to him about concerns being expressed by College Democrats, Morse said: “Never.”

The allegations landed in part because there had long been rumors about Morse’s sexual life in Western Massachusetts political circles, the kind of vague insinuations that are often referred to as common knowledge, though without specifics. Earlier this year, a Capitol Hill Democrat who works closely with Neal’s staff on the Ways and Means Committee said they approached a senior Neal staffer to ask how serious the threat by Morse was to his boss. He wasn’t concerned, he replied, because the young mayor was known to have slept with college students and that information would emerge at the right time. That doesn’t mean, however, that Neal’s team played any role in surfacing those allegations, and he has denied having done so.

A DSC member told The Intercept that in their view, the different roles Martinez, Bickford, and Roosevelt played in the development and release of the CDMA letter — as well as the ensuing attempts to cover up their involvement after the fact — make the state party’s hostility to Morse, a young gay man, hard to ignore.

“As a DSC member, it’s pretty angering that party resources and party staff were put into an effort to attack a gay candidate,” the member said. “I don’t know how we can have any trust with the LGTBQ community going forward.”

According to three sources with knowledge of the timeline, party leadership talked to the college group three weeks ago and then referred them to Roosevelt for assistance. The exact nature of that help, however, is a matter of some contention — details that could be illuminated by the forthcoming investigation. Bickford, according to Politico, said that the investigation would not begin until after the September 1 primary, so as not to influence the result.

According to multiple sources close to the state party and the College Democrats, who spoke on condition of anonymity, after Bickford and Martinez recommended him, Roosevelt took control of the process and led UMass College Democrats leadership in the letter’s composition. Reached by phone Thursday, Roosevelt told The Intercept he would not comment on work with clients.

Sources close to the college group told The Intercept that a number of members felt the best way forward was a private letter to Morse that would remain between the young mayor and the organization. Roosevelt dismissed that idea, telling the group that a public letter would be more effective. The leadership of the UMass Amherst College Democrats have denied privately that they leaked the letter, which was published on August 7, according to members of the chapter. Some of the leaders of the College Democrats were caught off guard when the article was published, according to the messages.



Massachusetts progressive House candidate Alex Morse’s campaign announced Friday it had its best fundraising week following allegations of inappropriate behavior during his time as mayor of Holyoke, Mass., and as a lecturer at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Morse, who is challenging House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.), raked in a record $257,000 in one week from over 7,500 donations, according to the campaign, surpassing their previous record of $110,000 from more than 2,200 donations.


My last check should have arrived mid-week so glad to be one of those 7,500.

So glad that I sent another last night. 🙂


Jim Roosevelt is the chair of anti-Medicare for All lobby group America’s Health Insurance Plans’ Policy and Regulatory Committee and is also an at-large member of the DNC who serves on the Executive Committee and the Rules Committee.



Jim Roosevelt’s grandmother is turning over in her grave. Her grandson aligned himself with the Clintons and helped break the New Deal.

FDR’s kids had issues with money, thus it’s not surprising that a grandchild sold out.


T and R, LD!! 🕊😊👍Glad to see you hosting our OTs again. 👏👏