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Benny

Tip jar for the usual suspects, especially obf! Thanks for starting our daily thread!

Benny

In Massachusetts, Markey Outflanks Kennedy by Running as Bold Insurgent

Mr. Kennedy is trailing Senator Edward J. Markey in every poll ahead of the Senate primary on Tuesday, and may become the first Kennedy to lose a race in Massachusetts. He is struggling with idealistic young liberals and older, affluent white Democrats, the sort of voters who in an earlier era idolized his grandfather, Robert F. Kennedy, and his great-uncles.

Mr. Kennedy pointed to his strength with working-class Democrats and voters of color who are bearing the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic, all but scorning what he suggested was the hypocrisy of white liberals.

“For a progressive left that says that they care about these racial inequities, these structural inequities, economic inequities, health care inequities, the folks that are on the other side of that are overwhelmingly supporting me in this race,” he said. “Yet there seems to be a cognitive dissonance.”

It wasn’t supposed to be this way — at least not in the minds of Massachusetts Democrats, who have spent a lifetime watching a parade of Kennedys win elections against little opposition. When Mr. Kennedy first considered leaving his House seat last year to challenge Mr. Markey in a primary race, some in the party wondered if the 74-year-old incumbent would step aside for the 39-year-old political scion.

Instead, Mr. Markey, who was elected to the House before Mr. Kennedy was born, has harnessed the energy of the ascendant left and wielded his rival’s gilded legacy against him. And he has used his support from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whom he featured in an ad, and their joint authorship of the Green New Deal to establish himself as the clear front-runner.

That backing may help him avoid the fate of other longtime incumbents upended by young progressives, among them Representative William Lacy Clay of Missouri, who was defeated in a primary contest in August, and Joseph Crowley of New York, who was stunned by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez two years ago.

Mr. Markey’s strength illustrates the growing clout of progressives in the Democratic Party, particularly in states and districts that are heavily metropolitan and filled with well-educated voters. Each of the Democrats who have unseated incumbents in primaries in 2018 or this year did so in House seats anchored in cities or close-in suburbs, which is where most of the votes in Massachusetts can be found.

What’s so striking about the Senate race here, though, is that it’s the incumbent who framed himself as the bold insurgent.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement provided the validation for that approach, Mr. Markey said.

“When she said, ‘It’s not your age but the age of your ideas,’ when she said that Ed Markey was the generational change that we have been waiting for, it helped to make clear that in this race I am the youngest guy because it’s about ideas,” Mr. Markey said, grinning through his Boston brogue.

Entitlements, aided and abetted by the national Establishment media. This is a NYT piece. They can’t fathom the idea of a Kennedy losing.

Benny

Ed Markey, Joe Kennedy Hope To Sway Undecideds In Final Hours Of Senate Primary Race

Markey, the incumbent, will wrap up his bus tour with stops in Brookline, Roxbury, Mattapan, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury.

“In politics only the paranoid survive, so we are going to go 24-7, non stop, right to the wire, all gas, no brake,” Markey said Sunday.

Kennedy is planning a day of “get out the vote” efforts ending with a rally at 8:30 p.m. in the IBEW 103 parking lot in Dorchester.

“I got in this race not because of his mixed record on some of these big moments, I got in this race because I think this moment demands leadership out of our Senator,” Kennedy said Sunday.

If Kennedy loses, he would be the first Kennedy to ever lose an election in Massachusetts since John F. Kennedy entered Congress in 1947, according to CBS News.

This will be the first statewide election in Massachusetts with a vote by mail option.

That’s quite a swatch of territory Markey is doing in one day. They aren’t that far apart in distance, but it represents a mix of some Brahman and working classes.

Markey 2020-08-31 085657.jpg
Benny

What a tool.

Benny

Link to Encore of People’s Convention, in case one missed it. I only saw Elmwood (very good) and Danny Glover.

polarbear4
polarbear4

ty🎈

Benny

polarbear4
polarbear4

i spoke with the move to amend director at a white privelege workshop at a longhouse prolly 2016. she’s passionate and i hope move to amend can make more headway. i think lots more people would support them if mcresistance end citizens united wasn’t sucking up all the oxygen.

polarbear4
polarbear4

whoa. . chris blows the damn house down.

for me, the in person voting sealed me off. The bully punched me once too often and I have to stand up before I die.

Benny

It Sure As Hell Matters: So what happens if Richie Neal actually loses to Alex Morse?

Last week, local leaders gathered in Springfield to announce a long-awaited $51 million project to transform an abandoned downtown hotel into new apartments, shops, and restaurant space. One after another, they stepped and gave credit to Rep. Richard Neal for using his voice — both publicly and behind the scenes — during deliberations over the 2017 tax cut bill to persuade the then-Republican-controlled House Committee on Ways and Means not to repeal a relatively obscure tax credit for renovating and restoring historic properties.

If not for Neal’s efforts, “we would not be here today,” real estate developer Peter Picknelly said during the event.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker — who minutes earlier made a rare cross-partisan endorsement of the Democratic congressman’s reelection campaign — echoed those words, both in person and on Twitter, writing that Neal had been a “powerful voice” for both the 1st District and the entire state.

While the event was unrelated to Neal’s campaign, the subtext was hard to ignore: Now the chairman of Ways and Means committee, Neal’s perch in Congress gives Massachusetts an influential hand in federal legislating — one the state could potentially lose Tuesday.

Charlie Baker is throwing his support behind Richard Neal. Alex Morse is ‘not surprised.’
Confronting a powerful Democrat in Richard Neal, Ocasio-Cortez supports Morse.

Richard Neal’s campaign is demanding local TV stations remove an attack ad. Here’s why.
Recent polls have shown Neal’s primary challenger, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, within striking distance, after a politically motivated smear by the longtime Western Massachusetts congressman’s supporters backfired and progressive groups doubled down on their efforts to elect the 31-year-old mayor.

For his part, Morse doesn’t contest the fact that Neal has power. He does, however, question how the 71-year-old Springfield native is wielding it.

“What’s the point of having institutional power, if we’re not going to use it to help the people and communities of the 1st District?” Morse said during a debate earlier this month. “Instead, Congressman Neal has been using his power to benefit the wealthy, the well connected, and the corporations that have invested millions of dollars in his campaign.”

According to the Neal campaign, the 2017 tax credit fight is just one small example of how the congressman has used his position to benefit Massachusetts families.

At the same time, Morse and his supporters argue that Neal — whose Ways and Means Committee has domain over bills involving taxes, trade, and programs like Social Security and Medicare — serves as a barrier to the more transformational reforms that they want to see passed if Democrats take back the Senate and White House. Even if a hypothetical President Joe Biden isn’t likely to enshrine Medicare for All or a Green New Deal — both of which Morse supports and Neal does not —into law, progressives argue that getting the Ways and Means gavel to someone else would still make a significant difference.

“It sure as hell matters,” Ezra Levin, the co-founder of Indivisible, a national progressive advocacy group backing Morse in the race, told Boston.com in a recent interview.

“Richie Neal knows how Washington works, but Alex Morse wants to change how Washington works.”
While he acknowledges that being Ways and Means chair, powerful as it may be, doesn’t make one “king of tax policy” or welfare programs, Levin says the position is one of the major power centers in the Capitol when if comes to crafting bills.

Noting that a Biden administration is likely to prioritize some sort of COVID-19 pandemic recovery plan, Levin points to how Neal rejected a “Paycheck Guarantee” program that progressives wanted to be included in the House’s last coronavirus bill. He also points out how Neal “squashed” progressive amendments to a Democratic prescription drug bill last year.

jcitybone

https://jacobinmag.com/2020/08/alex-morse-richard-neal-congress-massachusetts

On Tuesday, September 1, Alex Morse will attempt to unseat sixteen-term incumbent Richard Neal. Neal is an establishment Democrat who’s devoted his career to protecting corporate interests and blocking the expansion of social programs. Morse is a progressive challenger who supports Medicare for All, a Green New Deal with a federal jobs guarantee, and tuition-free public college.

Naturally, wealthy executives, large corporations, and party insiders and hopefuls are circling the wagons to stop Morse. In early August, the Intercept revealed that he’d been intentionally wrongfully accused of sexual misconduct. Though all available evidence exonerates Morse, the opposition is still smearing him over the weekend, with the election days away.

Jacobin’s Meagan Day spoke to Alex Morse about the attacks he’s endured, the limitations of a Joe Biden presidency plus a Richard Neal chairmanship, his record on policing, his personal relationship to the opioid crisis, and democratic socialism.

I would be excited to join the Progressive Caucus and to join the Squad. We share the same values. It’s really about having a government and a Congress that fights for working people. Even less than about progressive versus moderate or centrist, it’s really about having a party that fights for people, not for corporations.

We did not expect a global pandemic when I launched this campaign, but this pandemic has only crystallized why progressive leadership and our victory is so critical to the people of Western Massachusetts and to our country.

Even in the middle of this pandemic, as I said before, Neal still doesn’t think health care should be a human right. He came out against Pramila Jayapal’s Paycheck Guarantee Act, which was actually a quite commonsense, conservative proposal of just maintaining wages for the American people making up to $90,000. He was also publicly opposed to [Ed] Markey, [Kamala] Harris, and [Bernie] Sanders’s bill for a $2,000 a month recurring payment to the American people. I would support that. And I’m also, pandemic or not, a supporter of a universal basic income (UBI).

When you look at the wealth gap and growing income inequality in this country, including the racial wealth gap, it’s clear that how we value production and work is completely off base. The fact that we have working parents that right now have to choose between their job or raising their child in the wealthiest country on earth is completely unacceptable.

I would not be a Democrat like Congressman Neal who has voted for nearly every defense authorization budget, which has created a federal system where over 60 percent of our discretionary budget goes to the Pentagon and war and defense. I would be one of the few Democrats that stands up to the Democratic Party, not just the Republican Party, in fundamentally changing our federal budget to reinvest in people and in domestic priorities like transportation, health care, education, and other social programs.

jcitybone

jcitybone

polarbear4
polarbear4

OzoneTom
OzoneTom

If we do attack Venezuela the Democrats are going to be right there waving flags. Not sure about the appetite in this country for yet another war and one so close so might not help the incumbent.

But if the Trump administration doesn’t do it before the election and Biden actually wins, I would also expect an attack on the country by the new administration.

Benny

But if Biden wins, and if there is a sweep, Biden has to contend with the Bernie wing first.

humphrey

The Bernie wing is growing but it is overshadowed by the growing number of ex (state department and military individuals) recruited by the DSCC and the DCCC.

OzoneTom
OzoneTom

I agree. The Democratic Party is the hawk party now and nothing that the Bernie wing cares about has made a difference to them thus far.

So it would have to be a big sweep of actual progressives to slow the gears of war. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see that.

Benny

I agree that the DSCC and DCCC (in particular) has a fetish for Vets, especially women. I don’t have a problem with women vets in Congress, but not just to keep Lockheed or General Electric happy though.

phatkhat
phatkhat

Haha! If I went to Congress as a woman vet, they wouldn’t like me much!

jcitybone

https://theintercept.com/2020/08/30/fintech-debt-personal-loans-economic-crisis/

THE ECONOMIC CATACLYSM brought on by the coronavirus caught American consumers in an extremely precarious position — one that was evident well before more than 50 million people filed for unemployment. By the end of last year, Americans had racked up nearly $4.2 trillion in consumer debt, not including mortgage debt — a record high. The greatest contributor to this surge was not credit card spending or student debt or auto loans, but something newer and, for many borrowers, even riskier: high-interest personal loans, increasingly offered by online financial technology companies known as “fintechs.”

These fintech firms have eclipsed banks and other traditional credit suppliers to become the nation’s No. 1 source of personal loans — the kind of loans people take out when they need extra cash to stay afloat, or when they have already amassed large amounts of debt and are looking to refinance. At the end of 2019, an unprecedented 20.8 million Americans owed money on at least one personal loan — more than one-third of which came from a fintech company.

This surge in fintech lending may have dire consequences for American consumers. Just as financial engineering by Wall Street banks fueled unsustainable consumer borrowing in the 2000s, online fintech companies’ quest to squeeze more debt out of borrowers through loans signed via a few clicks on screens has helped set the stage for a new consumer financial crisis today, an investigation by The Intercept and Type Investigations reveals.

Such borrowing might provide short-term relief to some Americans. And, in light of the current crisis, some fintech firms are working with borrowers to defer payments temporarily. But ultimately, the surge of fintech lending in recent years will likely result in a massive wave of loan defaults over the coming months, as borrowers burn through enhanced unemployment benefits, which have been reduced since the end of July, and the stimulus payments that the federal government began sending out in April. The resulting spike in defaults will be catastrophic for consumer credit.

“The significant GDP decline and unemployment spike in 2020 will pressure borrowers’ income levels and ability to make loan payments,” analysts at Fitch Ratings warned in May. Online fintech loans may be the first to go unpaid, as consumers prioritize keeping up with payments on their most essential possessions, such as homes and cars.

Moreover, Trump administration banking officials have begun to deregulate the industry. Those rule changes are poised to vault already aggressive lending into overdrive, capitalizing on desperation.

jcitybone

Trump welcomes another quack into the White House

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/wh-covid-adviser-advocating-controversial-herd-immunity-approach

Scott Atlas, a new member of the White House’s COVID-19 task force, is reportedly pushing President Donald Trump to combat the coronavirus with the “herd immunity” strategy, which requires allowing mass infections to bloom throughout the country uninhibited.

The idea behind the herd immunity approach is to build immunities to a disease by allowing it to spread. The elderly and other high-risk groups would be kept away from the population in the meantime.

The Washington Post reported on Monday that Atlas, who joined the team this month and reportedly refers to himself as the “anti-Dr. Fauci,” has advocated this strategy, which would fulfill Trump’s desperate push to lift social distancing guidelines to potentially save the economy and therefore bolster his chances of reelection in November.

Officials told the Post that Atlas has cherry-picked data to back up his arguments for herd immunity. The Post also noted that Atlas, a neuroradiologist, does not have a background in epidemiology.

polarbear4
polarbear4

and he wants us to in vote on machines. i hope people are understanding why he hates mail voting so much. it’s not perfect and you can hack the scanners, you can disqualify ballots, etc , but it’s miles better than machines. you can’t do the fractional hacking that you can with a machine, you can’t close polls, and there’s a solid record.

wi62

Another “Best and Brightest” Yeesh

jcitybone

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/meet-the-press/poll-third-party-voters-2016-are-backing-biden-2-1-n1238841

One of the major differences between 2016 and 2020 is that this year’s presidential contest features a smaller third-party vote than four years ago, and Gary Johnson/Jill Stein voters from 2016 are breaking more toward Joe Biden than they are Donald Trump.

Given Trump’s narrow win four years ago, that movement — if it holds — is a big deal.

The combined national NBC News/Wall Street Journal polls from this year have interviewed 215 voters who said they backed either Johnson or Stein in 2016, and Biden holds a 2-to-1 advantage among them.

Forty-seven percent say they’re voting for Biden, 20 percent are supporting Trump, and 33 percent are unsure or say they’re backing another candidate.

humphrey

That is an entirely meaningless article!

215 voters of the millions of third party voters is not representative of anything but gaslighting. Although the ratio might be correct but the infinitesimal sample is indicative of editorial malfeasance.

jcitybone

Actually, not true. All polls are small samples of millions of voters. This poll probably has a fairly large margin of error but, since the result was 47-20, it would still result in a large Biden lead in any case It’s similar to when they pick a sub sample of voters from a poll, say 65+ or black voters. NBC is an A- poll so it’s usually pretty accurate

humphrey

Nice try but I still don’t buy it.

The combined national NBC News/Wall Street Journal polls from this year have interviewed 215 voters who said they backed either Johnson or Stein in 2016, and Biden holds a 2-to-1 advantage among them.

This gives the opportunity to get whatever result you desire.

Benny

Disraeli said it best: “Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics”.

wi62

The media does like a close race for their ratings

Benny
Benny

+27

jcitybone

Problem for Trump—there will be more Dem voters and young voters in 2020 than in 2016.

Even in states like Wisconsin and Michigan, where voters don’t register with parties, data modeled from existing demographic and geographic patterns shows that Democrats hold an edge among new voters.

Even in states like Wisconsin and Michigan, where voters don’t register with parties, data modeled from existing demographic and geographic patterns shows that Democrats hold an edge among new voters.

For Republicans and Trump, there may be some hope in the unaffiliated voter data. In every state, the number of unaffiliated new voters is higher than the Democratic advantage in new registrations.

But there’s a problem with that reading of the numbers. A deeper dive into those unaffiliated registrations shows the majority of them were made up of younger voters in every state.

In Florida, 56 percent of the unaffiliated voters were under age 40. In Pennsylvania, the figure was 61 percent. In Arizona, it was 63 percent, and in North Carolina, it was 69 percent. Trump won about 37 percent of the under-40 vote in 2016.

Add it all up and the new registration numbers show an additional challenge for Trump in key battleground states. The voter pool is changing.

Benny

If the Dems can inspire them to turn out.

jcitybone

Definitely but Trump hatred is much stronger now too

humphrey

This Massachusetts primary is everything wrong with the Democratic Party

https://theweek.com/articles/934497/massachusetts-primary-everything-wrong-democratic-party

Up in western Massachusetts this week, a Democratic congressional primary may well determine whether or not the country gets any kind of health-care reform under a Biden administration. Alex Morse, the young mayor of Holyoke, is challenging Rep. Richard Neal for the 1st district seat.

Neal is the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, and has used that power over the last two years to not investigate President Trump’s unprecedented corruption, and to bottle up legislation taking on medical extortion rackets. To protect Neal, the party establishment attacked Morse with a Republican-style dirty tricks campaign. When that didn’t work, big money interests started dumping trainloads of cash into the race to save him.

This is everything wrong with the Democratic Party.

Richie Neal may well be the worst Democrat in the House, and that is saying a lot. (Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey maybe has worse politics, but he also has little power.) Let me start with oversight: During the 2018 midterm campaign, then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi promised one of the first things a House Democratic majority would do is demand Trump’s tax returns. That task would be up to the Ways and Means chair, and as Eleanor Eagan and Jeff Hauser write at The American Prospect, after they won control of the House, Neal dragged his feet for months even asking for the returns, months more issuing a subpoena, and months more before actually filing a lawsuit to get them.

Neal clearly didn’t want to do it, and more importantly, he wanted (on behalf of his insurance industry donors) Trump to sign a bill allowing 401(k) fund managers to rip off their clients, which indeed passed. By that time, Neal had dithered and procrastinated so long that when the case got to the Supreme Court, they simply kicked it back to a lower court to run out the clock before the election (which is probably what Neal hoped would happen). Now Pelosi is nonsensically promising that Neal will get Trump’s tax returns after Biden is elected president — that is, when it would be basically meaningless.

More at the link as it is worth a read.

jcitybone

Great closing

So here we have a bunch of amoral sharks who think nothing of inventing a frankly homophobic smear campaign simply to get an internship with a guy who does nothing but give in to Republicans and sell his own constituents down the river to Wall Street and Big Medical. The country is falling to pieces and all these cretins can think of is their own careers — if being in politics simply to serve as a cat’s paw for the worst industries in the country even counts as such.

If Democrats are to repair the terrible damage Trump is doing to this country, people like Neal and those who surround him have to go.

humphrey

humphrey

What a great way to elevate the enthusiasm of supporters of The Green New Deal.🤦‍♂️🤦‍♀️

But he may get more donations from the fossil fuel industry.

humphrey

humphrey