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Seven Democrats running for president, including frontrunners Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, will be in Philadelphia on Tuesday to speak before the city’s largest coalition of unions.

Biden, the former vice president, and Vermont U.S. Sen. Sanders, along with U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, businessmen Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang and author Marianne Williamson will speak about their labor platforms before members of the Philadelphia Council of the AFL-CIO.

Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, is not expected to be part of the event. A spokeswoman for the AFL-CIO said all Democratic candidates were invited, but referred questions about candidates’ attendance to their campaigns.



Former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders will be joined by five other presidential candidates at the Workers’ Presidential Summit this afternoon. They’ll each speak for 20 to 30 minutes, taking questions in front of thousands of union workers from the region.

The president of the Philadelphia AFL-CIO started the event out of concern that unions could be too quick to support Biden. But Biden was slow to commit to the event, which is at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and just a few blocks from his headquarters. Biden’s campaign told The Inquirer yesterday that he would appear at the event.



We are now just one week away from the end of Julian Assange’s uniquely lengthy imprisonment for bail violation. He will receive parole from the rest of that sentence, but will continue to be imprisoned on remand awaiting his hearing on extradition to the U.S. – a process which could last several years.

At that point, all the excuses for Assange’s imprisonment which so-called leftists and liberals in the U.K. have hidden behind will evaporate. There are no charges and no active investigation in Sweden, where the “evidence” disintegrated at the first whiff of critical scrutiny. He is no longer imprisoned for “jumping bail.” The sole reason for his incarceration will be the publishing of the Afghan and Iraq war logs leaked by Chelsea Manning, with their evidence of wrongdoing and multiple war crimes.

In imprisoning Assange for bail violation, the U.K. was in clear defiance of the judgement of the UN Working Group on arbitrary Detention



The party announced its backing of Sen. Elizabeth Warren for president yesterday. Its leadership’s rationale for the endorsement was curious.

“We need a mass movement to make her plans a reality, and we’re going to be a part of that work,” WFP director Maurice Mitchell said. “You don’t defeat the moderate wing of Democrats through thought pieces or pithy tweets, you defeat their politics through organizing.”

Mitchell is correct here — which makes the choice of Warren baffling.

If you read his quote out of context or without its pronouns, you might assume that Mitchell was praising Sanders, not Warren. After all, Sanders has made such organizing central to his campaign.

If the WFP views bottom-up organizing, of and by a multiracial working class, as a core necessity to win social change, why would the party endorse Warren, whose campaign has catalyzed neither — especially over Sanders, whose campaign has?

Another important question: Did the party’s left-of-center membership, the same one that gave him 87 percent four years ago, really sour on the ever-popular left-of-center Sanders so dramatically? The WFP’s tally for Sanders was down to 36 percent in its announced weighted results.

It’s impossible to know, given the process the party used to choose their candidate, split evenly between the votes of tens of thousands of WFP members and a small board of several dozen people. The party announced that Warren drew just over 60 percent of the ranked-choice vote, but refused to release the exact breakdown of member votes versus board votes, as they did in 2015 when Sanders won.

The leadership’s rationale for not releasing the tally was incoherent. “For there to be one true vote, and to maintain the nature of secret ballot,” Maurice Mitchell said, “all of that went into the back end.” Since when did a secret ballot mean not having to disclose the results?

It seems obvious the party has something to hide: members were likely divided between Warren and Sanders. Perhaps the latter even ended up with a majority of rank-and-file votes. The leadership, several board members tell us, was strongly behind Warren.

We can speculate on why, but there is no doubt that Warren is a more respectable choice in NGO circles and among the Democratic Party politicians that the WFP exerts pressure on to stay relevant — to say nothing of major donors.

The Sanders base isn’t going away, whatever the election results next year. The future of progressive politics lies with them. The Working Families Party has waited decades for that future, but the party may have just written itself out of it.


This same pattern surfaced in the 2016 campaign. There were plenty of rank-and-file union members who voted to endorse Bernie. Their leadership did the opposite. T and R, LD!!


Close race in NY


Joe Biden leads the crowded field of Democrats in the presidential primary race with 22% in a new poll — but Sen. Elizabeth Warren is close behind him in second place.

Biden’s lead is just 5% over Warren, who clocked in at 17% in the Siena College poll of 798 voters.

Sen. Bernie Sanders scored 15% and placed third. No one else cracked 5%.



The politics of race relations have been a central part of Biden’s career, from his high-profile opposition to busing to his authoring of the 1994 Biden Crime Bill. When he talks about his criminal justice record on the campaign trail, argues today that the focus on the ’94 bill is unfair, because the real rise in mass incarceration happened at the state level, and was long underway by then.

Biden is correct that the surge began in the 1970s and accelerated in the 1980s, but a closer look at his role reveals that is was Biden who was among the principal and earliest movers of the policy agenda that would become the war on drugs and mass incarceration, and he did so in the face of initial reluctance from none other than President Ronald Reagan. Indeed, Reagan even vetoed a signature piece of Biden legislation, which he drafted with arch segregationist Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, to create a federal “drug czar.”

At the time, many Republicans were hesitant about increasing federal spending, and in fact looking for ways to slash the budget. Reagan wanted to focus on deregulating the economy and doing battle with organized labor, and had little interest in an expansive federal spending program geared toward building new prisons and hiring new police. Biden, on the other hand, was a key policy leader among both parties on the issue of expanding funding to states and municipalities for policing and prisons.

Although mass imprisonment is and was primarily driven by states, at the federal level Biden shaped the punitive political culture of the 1980s and 1990s by re-enlivening a policy agenda that was briefly in decline at the end of the 1970s. In three years under Carter, the federal prison population fell by a quarter, drawing Biden’s ire, even as it was rising at the state level. By the final days of the Carter administration, the federal program that provided resources to states for policing and imprisonment, the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, or LEAA, was being dismantled.

As Biden pushed Republicans to spend more on policing and prisons, he was part of a wave of “New Democrats” pushing the party in evermore punitive directions. Now, with upward of one in every two families having suffered the harms of mass incarceration, Biden says he worries that “too many people are incarcerated.”



Joe Biden’s recent efforts to deny his record of support for invading Iraq are marvels of evasion, with falsehoods that have been refuted by one well-documented appraisal after another after another. This month, Biden claimed that his vote for war on the Senate floor was somehow not a vote for war. Ironically, while he was spinning anew to deny the undeniable, theaters nationwide began screening a movie that exposes the deceptive approach to the Iraq war that Biden exemplifies.

Historically factual, “Official Secrets” is concerned with truth—and the human consequences of evading or telling it. Katharine Gun, portrayed by actress Keira Knightley, was a worker at the British intelligence agency GCHQ. Risking years in prison, she did everything she could to prevent the Iraq war, and took responsibility for doing so.

Biden did everything he could to enable the Iraq war, and—still—takes no responsibility for doing so.

More than 16 years ago, Biden and Gun were at cross purposes as the Iraq invasion neared. Subterfuge vs. candor. Misinformation vs. information. War vs. peace. Today, their public voices contrast just as sharply.

But now, on the campaign trail, Biden is eager to scramble and rewrite history. He’s displaying the kind of disregard for facts that paved the way for the invasion of Iraq in the first place.

A basic flaw in Biden’s latest Iraq doubletalk has to do with his inversion of actual timing. Either he can’t remember when the Iraqi government agreed to allow U.N. weapons inspectors back into Iraq—or he’s so desperate to keep lying about his actual record on the Iraq war that he can’t bring himself to be truthful.


Re: the WFP endorsing Warren thread, which seems to be locking out Sanders and Gabbard supporters. If you want to read the comments and cannot (“Something went wrong” or “Twitter is overloaded” errors), then using a browser which you have not logged into Twitter with before, go to the thread; it will load fine for you. If you want to comment (which you can’t do without logging in, only then you will be blocked again), you need to copy the link to the tweet you want to comment on and paste it into your regular Twitter browser. THAT tweet will then load and you can comment as normal. This is a really crappy workaround, but it does work if you absolutely have to say something.

Obviously, if you are using the Twitter App, this doesn’t work.

Here’s the thread: https://twitter.com/WorkingFamilies/status/1173614425565204480

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