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HomeUncategorized9/3 News Roundup & Open Thread – Bernie’s Labor Day Town Halls, Sanders Slams Saudi Arabia’s Bombing of Yemen & More
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Welcome back LD/JD. Hope you guys (gender neutral) had a fun trip. T and R, LD and the usual excellent TPW suspects (you know who you are)!! 🙂


Fall Campaign Season Begins With Biden Teetering Atop Democratic Field

Joe Biden sincerely did not understand the hullabaloo about a Washington Post story detailing how the former Vice President had mangled facts about U.S. soldiers and his own role in honoring them. For the life of him, he told his staffers on Thursday between campaign stops in South Carolina, he could not process why journalists, let alone the public, saw this as a problem. He had meant well enough, Biden told aides. The campaign wouldn’t dignify it with a proper statement.

When it came time to do two previously scheduled interviews on the road, Biden stood defiant against any suggestion that he did, in fact, have his facts wrong. He told The Post and Courier of Charleston, S.C., that he had the “essence of the story” right. And he told a Washington Post podcast that he saw nothing wrong with his retelling, despite having misstated his role at the time, the military branch of the hero, the year it took place and what actually happened.

The ability to defeat Donald Trump — the centerpiece of his campaign rationale — has become less sturdy as polls indicate other candidates, too, could beat the incumbent in a hypothetical match up. Biden remains the polling leader, although nowhere near as comfortably as when he entered the race in April and then had a rally-style kick-off in May. The once-perceived inevitable nominee has been proven as fragile as his critics warned.


Unless — or until — his rivals coalesce in an anti-Biden bloc, he may be impossible to stop. Only candidates who win 15% support are eligible to win delegates to the nominating convention in Milwaukee. A brokered convention is entirely possible, which is why Buttigieg delegate chief George Hornedo has been aggressively working the phone with super delegates, who, in a twist of irony, may end having more power than in 2016 to actually decide the nomination. The rules changes passed after 2016 strip super delegates, the party insiders who can back anyone at the convention, of their votes on the first ballot. But if a brokered solution cannot be found, they may end up being called upon to sway the results. The fallout may be nothing short of chaos.

This is why Biden’s backers are trying to win the nomination outright, on that first ballot. Still, the last week shows just how fragile Biden’s advantages are at this moment.

The fall campaign will certainly test those advantages further still.


I still think that story Biden told needs to be run through a plagiarism checker. When I was teaching, his story would have set off warning bells for me, and I would have spent the time trying to track the itch down.

If it could be found, it would solve a lot of our problems.


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Quite a few months left before ballots are cast.



In the early 1990s, as a new congressman in Washington D.C., Bernie Sanders would escape to Vermont on weekends where he and his senior adviser, Anthony Pollina, drove around the state to meet with constituents.

During those hours in the car, the two shared ideas on environmental policy — seeds that form the basis of his recent $16 trillion plan to combat climate change.

In the late 1990s and the early 2000s, Sanders began to focus more on climate change and renewable energy.

While the Vermont independent was in the U.S. House, Bill McKibben, the environmentalist and co-founder of, said he would regularly accompany Sanders to town hall meetings in Vermont to talk about climate change and renewable energy solutions.

During President Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House, Sanders, then a senator, would fight against the controversial Keystone oil pipeline, which became a symbol of the battle over climate change and fossil fuels for many environmentalists.

“When we started the fight against the Keystone pipeline, he was the only senator willing to stand up to the Obama administration about any of this,” McKibben said.

David Blittersdorf, a renewable energy entrepreneur and engineer who founded AllEarth Renewables, said Sanders took bold steps to address climate change when former President George W. Bush was in office.

Over the years, Sanders has asked Blittersdorf, who has been involved in developing wind and solar energy for four decades, for his opinion on policy questions.

In 2007, Sanders brought Blittersdorf to Washington D.C., to testify in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on how “taking measures to reverse global warming can, in the process, create a new sector of the economy known as ‘green jobs.’ ”

“Bernie really has always gotten it,” Blittersdorf said. “He’s been there I think more strongly than three-quarters of our environmental organizations,” he added.

Pollina sees Sanders’ $16 billion plan to combat climate change as a logical extension of his evolution as an economic and environmental thinker.

“Bernie has been more and more willing over time to focus attention on the idea of having to protect the environment and realizing its connection to the economy and people’s lifestyles,” Pollina said.

“Economic issues and environmental issues coming together, from my point of view as well as his,” he added.


As with the earlier fact check on inequality, The Washington Post is trying to use fact checking as an ideological weapon. Sanders is under attack not for making false statements, but for calling attention to facts that are politically unpalatable for those who are happy with the economic status quo. It’s unclear why the Post so often goes after Sanders in such a myopic fashion: The paper denies that its coverage is influenced by billionaire owner Jeff Bezos, but institutional bias can be more subtly grounded in factors like the economic class of the editors or the newspaper being embedded in elite Washington culture.

With these polemics-disguised-as-rebuttals, the Post is discrediting the entire journalistic genre of fact checking. This is dangerous in a way that goes beyond any damage it does to Sanders as a presidential candidate. In truth, Sanders has little to worry about. The fact checks are so ludicrous they are unlikely to sway any voters. What they are more likely to do is feed into a pervasive distrust of the mainstream media, which is bad for democracy.


I am looking forward to the day that WaPo, the NYT and similar outlets become supermarket tabloids proclaiming about the latest two-headed cow.


Or the father of my child is from outer space 🙂


My usual non-political contribution to the day:


A beauty! What is her breeding? Malinois? Belgian Shepherd?


She’s a Belgian Tervuren. I’m not a snob though; I like all the Belgians. 🙂 (Even the rarely seen Laekenois, which has a curly coat.)


Never heard of those breed. Going tp look that right now!