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    1. good morning, tildes--this is not a test. we are 475 days and dropping away from possibly the biggest election day in recent american history. this week saw a return to normal: we not only have...

      good morning, tildes--this is not a test. we are 475 days and dropping away from possibly the biggest election day in recent american history. this week saw a return to normal: we not only have opinion pieces this week, but we also have fundraising and polling numbers, and quite a bit of news both in policy and in punditry.

      the usual note: common sense should be able to generally dictate what does and does not get posted in this thread. if it's big news or feels like big news, probably make it its own post instead of lobbing it in here. like the other weekly threads, this one is going to try to focus on things that are still discussion worthy, but wouldn't necessarily make good/unique/non-repetitive discussion starters as their own posts.

      Week 15Week 16

      News

      Polling

      From Saint Anselm College (MoE +/- 5.2 percent) New Hampshire state poll [PDF warning]:

      Biden 21%
      Harris 18%
      Warren 17%
      Buttigieg 12%
      Sanders 10%
      All others below 5%

      Fundraising (Q2, 2019)

      (h/t Shane Goldmacher):

      Buttigieg $24.8 million
      Biden 21.5
      Warren 19.1
      Sanders 18
      Harris 12
      ...
      Booker 4.5
      Klobuchar 3.9
      O'Rourke 3.6
      Inslee 3
      Castro 2.8
      Bennet 2.8
      Yang 2.8
      Gillibrand 2.3
      Bullock 2
      Moulton 1.9
      Gabbard 1.5
      Hickenlooper 1.1
      de Blasio 1.1
      Ryan .9

      General News

      • from POLITICO: Third Democratic primary debate will be in Houston. the third democratic debate series will be held in Houston on Sept. 12 and (potentially) 13. this is a change from the end-of-month dates they've used for june and the coming july debates; note also they will not be having debates in august. the qualifications for this one are being bumped up such that candidates need to receive at least 2 percent in four approved polls and have 130,000 unique donors including at least 400 individual donors in at least 20 states, which makes it pretty likely that there will not be 20 candidates on the stage in september. only 5 people qualify currently.
      • from USA Today: Penalizing candidates who interrupt, and other changes coming to the Democratic debates. a welcome change for some of you, USA Today reports that "[...]candidates who interrupt "consistently" will be penalized and have time taken away from them" for the july debates which CNN will be hosting, although they note that "CNN did not specify how it defines the level of interruption that would trigger the penalty nor how much time would be deducted." CNN will also be allowing an opening statement for candidates.
      • from FiveThirtyEight: It Won’t Be Easy For Many Democrats To Make The September Debate. as i mentioned above, it's looking pretty unlikely that 20 democrats will meet the qualifications for the september debates. aside from the five frontrunners (sanders, biden, warren, harris, buttigieg) who have all qualified already, only castro, o'rourke, and yang have hit the donor criteria and only booker has hit the polling criteria. the donor criteria will probably be met by at least 15 candidates, but the polling criteria is going to be a big hurdle for most of the remaining candidates.
      • from FiveThirtyEight: A Midsummer Overview Of The Democratic Field. FiveThirtyEight puts things a bit more technically: while there are clearly five frontrunners and the rest of the pack, there's reason to believe even the frontrunners are more two clusters of biden, warren, harris and then sanders, buttigieg as of current. everybody else after them of course still has a shot, but it's going to require some agenda setting and, currently, that doesn't look very likely to happen.
      • from CNN: Kamala Harris soars in our latest 2020 rankings. CNN's rankings by chris cillizza and FiveThirtyEight alum harry enten not surprisingly look basically identical among the frontrunners. for the most part, it seems as though the popular consensus among the punditry has coalesced for the time being--for good reason, to be clear. it will take quite an act or performance to dislodge the front five from their positions.

      Joe Biden

      • from POLITICO: Embattled Biden ditches Rose Garden strategy. biden's whole strategy of playing it safe and avoiding gaffes is now out the window, and with it has gone biden's reluctance to draw strong contrasts between himself and other people running. biden has also been increasingly confrontational on his ideas to other candidates, particularly with healthcare which he's recently sparred with bernie sanders over. will the pivot to actually addressing other people work out? who the fuck knows, this is joe biden.
      • from the Atlantic: Biden Stops Playing It Safe. in the same vein, the Atlantic has a piece here on how biden's best chance is most likely to continue to exploit the healthcare issue, since it's one where he isn't a spectacular fuckup or one where he's open to consistent attack from all sides. biden's record on healthcare is actually moderate, too, which allows him to play to centrist voters without having to explain votes, for the most part.
      • from POLITICO: Biden unveils health care plan: Affordable Care Act 2.0. oh, he also has a health care plan now which is more of the same and predominantly builds on the existing infrastructure of the PPACA. his issues page on it can be found o'er yonder.

      Bernie Sanders

      • from NBC News: Sanders skips Netroots as Warren strengthens her hold on progressives. bernie sanders was notably absent from the progressive forum and gathering netroots nation this week, primarily because he had other comittments (although there was this whole stupid ordeal about how he wasn't going because markos moulitsas, founder of the daily kos, doesn't like him). sanders, who has been sliding in the polls recently to warren, probably missed out on an opportunity to make his case to the wing of the party he actually needs to win over on some level by not showing up. his base, while significant, remains entirely insufficient to win the nomination of its own.
      • from Jacobin: Bernie Sanders’s Campaign Is Different. jacobin meanwhile focuses on an underrated aspect of the sanders campaign which has not been focused on very much by the media, this being the campaign's elevation of labor issues. sanders has made the bully pulpit for labor issues one part of his campaign and, incidentally tying into why he didn't show up at netroots nation this week, has often spent time campaiging and organizing at labor disputes like the one trying to prevent the closing of philadelphia's hahnemann university hospital.

      Kamala Harris

      • from the Atlantic: Harris Gains Momentum With Democrats’ Most Important Voter Base. kamala harris is in a decent position to win the nomination, and it's mostly on the back of her well-covered recent surge after the first debates. a lot of this comes from the fact that she's improved her standing with black women, who are a constituency that at this point cannot be overlooked by any democrat wanting to seriously win the presidential nomination. harris would be relatively formidable if she manages to win over even a significant plurality of black women, especially given her homestate advantage in early, delegate rich california. she still has a ways to go before that comes to fruition, but she is on the right path.
      • from the Guardian: With her back against the wall, Kamala Harris surged. Will it last?. this sorta-profile of harris so far in the race and the history which has gotten us here is an interesting look into how the more things change, the more things stay the same for harris's political strategy. the somewhat cautious, reserved approach which had previously gotten harris somewhat mixed reviews from the punditry and people at large did a pretty big turnaround after the debates. she still has things to reckon for, of course, but on the whole those things seem less likely to derail her campaign now than they did before.

      Pete Buttigieg

      • from CNN: Pete Buttigieg unveils new details of racial justice plan in bid for black voters. pete buttigieg has new policy this week aimed at black voters in what he's calling the douglass plan. the plan, among other things, entails "increasing federal funding for historically black colleges and universities, increasing investments in minority-held depositories and mandating 25% of government contracts go to minority owned businesses." CNN also notes that "The plan would also seek to reduce incarceration by 50% at the state and federal level and abolish private federal prisons." buttigieg also hopes to address racial inequality in the healthcare system with the plan.
      • From Vox: Pete Buttigieg says Americans should have the right to hide personal details from the internet. buttigieg is also, interestingly, in support of importing the right to be forgotten from the european union. we don't hear very much internet related policy from candidates even as the internet looms larger and larger in both politics and the broader culture wars that are being waged by people, so this is a welcome addition to the vast list of policies that people are going to be parsing through for the inevitable nominee to consider putting in their agenda.

      Everybody else

      The proposal would decriminalize crossing the border into the United States without authorization and separate law enforcement from immigration enforcement [...] designate a Justice Department task force to investigate accusations of serious violations -- including medical neglect and physical and sexual assaults of detained immigrants." It would be granted "independent authority to pursue any substantiated criminal allegations." [...] end privately-contracted detention facilities and promises that, if Warren is elected, she would "issue guidance ensuring that detention is only used where it is actually necessary because an individual poses a flight or safety risk." [and] expand legal immigration, raising the refugee cap, and making "it easier for those eligible for citizenship to naturalize." She would also reduce "the family reunification backlog" and provide "a fair and achievable pathway to citizenship."

      • from CBS News: Amy Klobuchar unveils plan to address medical needs of America's aging population. amy klobuchar has a plan to "provide a cure and treatment options for some of the most aggressive chronic conditions facing the country's elderly population, including Alzheimer's disease, by 2025" and to "strengthen Medicare and Social Security, reduc[e] drug prices, creat[e] personal savings accounts to help Americans save for retirement and ensure paid family leave for all." as part of helping to reduce the strain of an increasingly old population of america. i assume we'll see a few more people with plans of some sort like this, since it's a growing issue and will only continue to be in the future as the boomers begin to die off.
      • from POLITICO: Inslee knocks Sanders, 2020 rivals over filibuster support. jay inslee wants to nuke the filibuster and does not like people who do not want to nuke the filibuster. this is something a bunch of democrats, not just inslee, want to do because it's probably the only way anything will ever pass the senate again. godspeed, inslee, godspeed.

      Opinions

      As New York’s Rebecca Traister aptly pointed out in a recent essay, the pundits aren’t keeping up with the politicians: “In all of their hand-wringing,” she writes, “they seem not to have noticed that … assumptions about a safe center are crumbling in the hands of a new generation of political leaders willing to make a stirring case for radical ideas,” like the Green New Deal and Medicare for All.
      Is Bernie Sanders down for the count? Probably not. But you definitely shouldn’t take the mainstream media’s word for it.

      Some political evolutions are genuine, and Harris’s “law-and-order” past wasn’t out of place in the Democratic party at the time. But that old wisdom is now being called into question. It’s hard to imagine that a party tacking to the left in an increasingly polarized country is about to elect a criminal prosecutor as its nominee.
      [...] Kamala Harris isn’t just not leftwing enough to be the Democratic party’s nominee, she’s also not bold enough to win a presidential election and bring about the change we desperately need

      10 votes
    2. good morning, tildes--this is not a test. we are 482 days and dropping away from possibly the biggest election day in recent american history. no opinion pieces or longform this week; this week...

      good morning, tildes--this is not a test. we are 482 days and dropping away from possibly the biggest election day in recent american history. no opinion pieces or longform this week; this week was pretty quiet, as was true of last week. a few polls also dropped, and they are included here.

      the usual note: common sense should be able to generally dictate what does and does not get posted in this thread. if it's big news or feels like big news, probably make it its own post instead of lobbing it in here. like the other weekly threads, this one is going to try to focus on things that are still discussion worthy, but wouldn't necessarily make good/unique/non-repetitive discussion starters as their own posts.

      Week 15

      News

      Polling

      Biden: 30%
      Sanders: 15%
      Warren: 15%
      Harris: 15%
      Buttigieg: 5%
      All others below 5%.

      Biden: 31%
      Sanders: 19%
      Harris: 14%
      Warren: 13%
      Buttigieg: 6%
      All others below 5%

      General Stuff

      Buttigieg: 24.8 million
      Sanders: 24 million (18 million fundraised, 6 million transferred)
      Biden: 21.5 million
      Warren: 19.1 million
      Harris: 12 million
      Bennet: 3.5 million (2.8 million fundraised, 700k transferred)
      Bullock: 2 million
      Hickenlooper: 1 million
      Swalwell (dropped out): 850k

      • from the Atlantic: The Most Critical Argument Democrats Will Have in 2020. healthcare is again going to loom pretty heavily over this race, consistently being one of the top issues for americans. the healthcare debate is part of what led to the democratic wave in the 2018 elections and, if republicans don't get better messaging in short order, is probably going to be one of the many things which leads to trump losing re-election in 2020. of course, what the democratic plan for healthcare looks like to the eventual nominee isn't set in stone either; most of the frontrunners define their plan as some form of medicare for all and would get rid of private insurance, most of the perennial 1%ers want something less "socialisty". given that the party is to the left of where it used to be and that biden is the only person really standing on the status quo who has a chance at winning at this point, i'd bet on M4A winning out ultimately.
      • from the Atlantic: The Long-Shot Candidacy Conundrum. one of the candidates in this piece has already dropped out (swalwell), but the weird slate of swalwell, seth moulton, and tim ryan as candidates in the presidential race is still interesting because they really have few if any compelling reasons to be running and most people have no idea why they're running at all. ryan perhaps has the best case: ohio, likely to lose a congressional district in 2020, will possibly redistrict him out and leave him having to run in a less friendly district; there are no such excuses for swalwell (now dropped out and committed to his house seat) or moulton (in a safe seat but almost certainly limited in his ability to climb the political rungs by his anti-pelosi posturing). nonetheless, running is almost certain to land them all more political capital or better positions than the ones they currently have, which makes the presidency pretty alluring even if they come nowhere near it.

      Elizabeth Warren

      • from the Guardian: 105 town halls and 35,000 selfies: how Warren has shaken up the 2020 race. warren's strategy which early on in the race seemed to be leading her down a road to inevitable failure has turned around quite significantly in the past few months, as this article by the guardian explores. in practice, this piece on warren's strategy is also a candidate profile, talking mostly about warren's policy focus and her eventual aims to save capitalism from itself.
      • from POLITICO: Elizabeth Warren shuns conventional wisdom for a new kind of campaign. warren's campaign is also crafting a new path by eschewing the standard model of campaigns where you just hire a shit ton of consultants who advise you on everything. warren's campaign has no consultants, no in-house pollster, plans to do its ad-making in-house, and has an extensive payroll of staffers, all of which is funded by the idea that her fundraising will continue as it has this quarter (19.1 million). this model has no guarantees of working, since it is entirely underpinned by warren continuing to raise absurd amounts of money, but if it manages to stay afloat, it could be quite formidable and serve as a future model for campaigns.
      • from CBS News: Elizabeth Warren proposes executive orders to address race and gender pay gap. warren has some policy that she intends to push through with executive orders on the race pay gap and the gender pay gap. per CBS: "...companies and contractors with historically poor records on diversity and equality [would be] den[ied] contracts with the federal government." also a part of this plan:

      To address the underrepresentation of women of color in leadership in the federal workforce, Warren says she would issue an order to recruit from historically black colleges and other minority-serving institutions; establish paid fellowships for federal jobs for minority and low-income applicants, including formerly incarcerated people; and require federal agencies to incorporate diversity into their strategic plans and mentorship efforts.

      • from Jacobin: Elizabeth Warren’s Next Step on Medicare for All. warren embraced medicare for all at the debates, which was not especially surprising; however, it remains to be seen how much warren makes talking about it a focus of her campaign. warren has been pretty silent on healthcare issues despite having polices on significantly more esoteric issues and her website still lacks a healthcare page as of now. jacobin makes the case here that warren would be smart, if she cares about medicare for all genuinely, to defend it at every opportunity and sell it to the american public, lest it be rendered unpassable in the future.

      Kamala Harris

      • from CBS News: Harris proposes 100 billion plan to increase minority homeownership. kamala harris has some new policy aimed at promoting minority house ownership. CBS reports that the plan "...calls for 100 billion Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant to provide homeowners or homebuyers who rent or live in historically red-lining communities, where minority home and business owners were largely blocked from accessing capital for investment, up to a $25,000 down payment in assistance and closing costs." there are some other fairly esoteric qualifications involved here, but i won't quote those because they're mildly confusing and don't necessarily contribute to an understanding of the policy.
      • from VICE: Iowa Is Getting Serious About Kamala Harris. unsurprisingly, harris's meteoric rise following the first set of debates continues. harris and biden both swung through iowa over the fourth of july and harris was immediately greeted to significantly more reception than she presumably would have gotten prior to the the debates. biden remains the slight frontrunner, of course, but despite harris prioritizing the more diverse early states of south carolina and nevada in her electoral strategy, she increasingly looks competitive in iowa.

      Everybody Else

      • from Jacobin: Bernie Is the Best Candidate on Palestine. jacobin makes the case for sanders being the best candidate on palestinian issues. this is relatively straightforward; sanders is probably the only candidate in the race currently who has consistently pushed for palestinian issues and really his only contemporary with a comparable record is warren, who used to be staunchly pro-israel before gradually moderating on the issue. sanders still has many rough spots around the edges when it comes to palestinians, namely the fact that he's anti-BDS (but against banning of the movement), but there are no perfect candidates.
      • from Jacobin: We Don’t Need Pete Buttigieg’s National Service Program. jacobin is also unsparing in its criticism of buttigieg's national service program which is, admittedly, pretty silly in its justification. in the article's words:

      But more to the point, the basic diagnosis behind Buttigieg’s proposal (and others like it) is simply incorrect. True enough, few would probably challenge the suggestion that America is a deeply fragmented and polarized society. Revealingly, though, Buttigieg thinks the causes are spiritual and cultural rather than material and political: people have different identities, backgrounds, income levels, religious beliefs, and party affiliations, with these differences being hardened by epistemological bubbles online; ergo, a divided country that might become more unified if people were brought together in common cause.

      It’s a tidy narrative, and one that conveniently sidesteps America’s maldistribution of wealth, its general dearth of quality public programs and services, and the numerous ways these injustices and others contribute to a coarsening of its social fabric.

      • from CBS News: Tulsi Gabbard says Kamala Harris hatched "political ploy" to "smear" Joe Biden on race. y'all remember tulsi? she's still around, and she's making headlines for the wrong reasons yet again. for some reason, she's decided to die on the hill of kamala harris smearing biden on race issues, saying harris was "leveling this accusation that Joe Biden is a racist — when he's clearly not — as a way to try to smear him." this is interesting: harris not only never said that biden was a racist, but in fact immediately prefaced her comments with "I do not believe you are a racist"; i suppose tulsi is trying to argue that harris was lying or something similar here. either way, it's a bizarre line of attack that doesn't really make a lot of sense, not least because gabbard has literally nothing to do with the whole situation.
      • from CNN: 2020 Democrats Klobuchar and Inslee unveil education plans ahead of summit. jay inslee and amy klobuchar meanwhile unveiled some education plans. here are the highlights:

      klobuchar:

      • would end the Trump administration's push for a school choice tax credit
      • proposes a federal-state partnership program under which states would tackle education funding equity and recommend how school services can better meet the needs of working parents

      inslee:

      • will end the diversion of federal funds to private charter schools
      • would provide universal preschool, double funding for magnet schools and fully fund the federal Title I program for schools that serve low-income areas
      • promises to help states fund pay increases for educators, providing student loan forgiveness for educators and protecting teacher pensions
      • supports giving federal funds to districts that switch to zero-emission buses and investing in climate change education and STEM programs at K-12 schools and historically black colleges and universities

      both:

      • promise to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and to provide protections for the LGBTQ community
      • want to ban the use of federal funds to arm teachers or for firearms training
      • from NBC News: Swalwell ends presidential campaign less than two weeks after first debate. eric swalwell, one percenter extraordinaire and man whose name is impossible to spell correctly on the first try, is hanging up his presidential campaign after lackluster polling and fundraising. swalwell's most recognizable moment for people will probably be his tagline "pass the torch"; unfortunately, it does seem that he's passed the torch himself to candidates who can actually gain traction with the american public. swalwell remains a house representative, and will be seeking reelection in 2020.
      • from Vox: “I call her a modern-day prophet”: Marianne Williamson’s followers want you to give her a chance. marianne williamson remains the media's token "wacky candidate", for which she receives occasional media attention including this article focused on the people who support her. broadly, her main demographic is wine moms, but williamson also has a number of younger supporters to her campaign and message. williamson supporters are, unsurprisingly, not "williamson or bust" types: just as other candidates's supporters, they're more than happy to get behind other people and the eventual nominee, whether that's marianne or not. williamson's supporters will probably remain behind her for the duration of her campaign, though.

      anyways, feel free to as always contribute other interesting articles you stumble across, or comment on some of the ones up there. see also: Why America is Ignoring Kirsten Gillibrand, Warren Rising: Massachusetts Progressive Announces $19 Million Fundraising Haul, Any Democrat Who Wants to Be President Should Reject War with Iran, Not Hide Behind Process Criticisms

      15 votes
    3. welcome to debate #1, night 2. the first thread on this turned out to be about twice as active as i was expecting (i estimated at most 50 or so replies), and that was for the "undercard" so unless...

      welcome to debate #1, night 2. the first thread on this turned out to be about twice as active as i was expecting (i estimated at most 50 or so replies), and that was for the "undercard" so unless something changes with this night, i think we'll be doing these in pairs from here on out--at least until either the DNC pushes out enough candidates for one debate, or activity drops significantly in these threads. previous night's thread can be found here if you'd like to continue the discussions of last night's candidates. anyways here are all the details you'd ever need, and probably then some:

      first off, i recommend you sort by newest first instead of the default since this thread will likely be semi-active and covering a live event.

      How to Watch:

      The debate is being broadcast by NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo, and will air live across all three networks starting at 9 p.m. ET.
      Telemundo will broadcast the debate in Spanish.
      The debate will stream online free on NBC News' digital platforms, including NBCNews.com, MSNBC.com, the NBC News Mobile App and OTT apps on Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV, in addition to Telemundo's digital platforms.

      livestreams will also be available on Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube because the DNC mandated that of its partners for the debates.

      The Candidates:

      Democratic Presidential Debate: See The 20 Candidates Who Will Be Onstage

      • Michael Bennet (Senator from Colorado)

      Bennet is running on fixing a broken political system, the blame for which he puts at the feet of Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell. Bennet says spending from wars and tax cuts was essentially the U.S. lighting “money on fire.”

      • Joe Biden (Former vice president)

      Biden’s top concern is less about reshaping America and more about returning America to “normalcy.” He argues that if President Trump gets another four years, the DNA of the country will be fundamentally altered.

      • Pete Buttigieg (Mayor of South Bend, Ind.)

      The 37-year-old is making a generational-change argument. He argues for progressive processes — like fixing redistricting and voting rights — in addition to policies — like being more cautious on war and more progressive on climate change and health care.

      • Kirsten Gillibrand (Senator from New York)

      She’s focused on women’s rights, especially when it comes to health care. She boasts that a Fox host called her “not very polite” for speaking out about the “nationwide assault on women’s reproductive freedoms” and “fundamental human rights for women.”

      • Kamala Harris (Senator from California)

      Harris’ slogan is “for the people,” and she’s making the case that President Trump is a “fraud.” The former prosecutor says Trump is fighting for the wrong people — the powerful and wealthy — while she wants to “advocate for the voiceless and vulnerable.”

      • John Hickenlooper (Former governor of Colorado)

      The centrist has a pragmatic message. He says pragmatists aren’t against big things; they know how to get them done. He has also spoken out against Democrats’ lurch toward socialism, warning that moving in that direction would reelect President Trump.

      • Bernie Sanders (Senator from Vermont)

      Sanders wants to beat President Trump, but he believes the way to do it is not with “middle-ground” approaches, but with promising wholesale progressive change. He’s the only candidate willing to wear the (democratic) socialist label.

      • Eric Swalwell (Representative from California’s 15th District)

      He has focused his campaign on ending gun violence in the country, targeting semiautomatic assault weapons in particular by calling for a mandatory national ban and buyback.

      • Marianne Williamson (Spiritual guru, entrepreneur)

      The New Age author is campaigning with a philosophy of “Think. Love. Participate.” As an outsider to politics, she believes change needs to come from the outside and that “half-truth tellers” can’t beat President Trump.

      • Andrew Yang (Founder of Venture for America)

      The startup investor is running on a data-first approach to the presidency. His big idea is to address the threat of automation with a Universal Basic Income, in which every adult would get $1,000 a month.

      The Rules:

      Candidates will have 60 seconds to answer questions and 30 seconds to respond to follow-ups. No opening statements, though candidates will have a chance to deliver closing remarks.
      Five segments each night separated by four commercial breaks.

      The Analysis:

      NPR has 7 questions of their 8 for the debates which apply to today's debate:

      Will Biden stand up to the scrutiny?
      Is the debate an opportunity or danger zone for Bernie Sanders?
      Can Harris and Buttigieg stand out?
      Do the pragmatists or progressives win out?
      How much of a focus is Trump?
      How will foreign policy factor in?
      Who will stick in voters' minds?

      other pre-debate analysis pieces that may be pertinent to you:

      34 votes
    4. good morning, tildes--this is not a test. we are 488 days and dropping away from possibly the biggest election day in recent american history. this week was pretty slow because the debates sucked...

      good morning, tildes--this is not a test. we are 488 days and dropping away from possibly the biggest election day in recent american history. this week was pretty slow because the debates sucked all the oxygen out of the room; as a consequence, there are no opinion pieces this week and relatively few stories in this edition.

      the usual note: common sense should be able to generally dictate what does and does not get posted in this thread. if it's big news or feels like big news, probably make it its own post instead of lobbing it in here. like the other weekly threads, this one is going to try to focus on things that are still discussion worthy, but wouldn't necessarily make good/unique/non-repetitive discussion starters as their own posts.

      Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6Week 7Week 8Week 9Week 10Week 11Week 12Week 13Week 14


      News

      Polling

      22% Biden
      17% Harris
      15% Warren
      14% Sanders.
      No one else in the 23-person field tested hits 5%.

      Biden 24%
      Harris 16%
      Warren 13%
      Sanders 9%
      ... The new standings are hardly set in stone. Twenty-one percent are undecided. Six of 10 who have decided say they might change their mind before the caucuses. One in four say their minds are firmly made up.

      Biden 22%
      Harris 20%
      Warren 14%
      Sanders 13%
      Buttigieg 4%
      No other candidate tops 3 percent.

      Biden 29%
      Sanders 23%
      Warren 11%
      Harris 11%
      No other candidate tops 4 percent.

      Biden 22%
      Sanders 16%
      Harris 10%
      Warren 9%
      No other candidate tops 3 percent.

      General News

      • from the Trace: Where the 2020 Democratic Candidates Stand on Guns. we lead off today with a piece from the trace on where all the candidates stand on gun issues and gun things in general; these range from whether or not the candidate owns a gun to questions like "Do you have a plan for reducing community gun violence?" and "Should the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act be repealed?". this is probably about as comprehensive of a piece as you'll ever get on an issue with such a crowded primary.
      • from Pacific Standard: The Democratic Primary Field Is Not as Wide Open as It Seems. not all candidates are equal either in potential or in public perception of viability; this is true with the public, but also with campaign staffers---this'll be touched on further down because it's already becoming a problem for some candidates. it somewhat goes without saying that, because presidential campaigns are infrequent, there is a very small pool of experienced presidential campaign staff, and those folks tend to be gobbled up by the bigger, more serious, better looking campaigns. what is less evident is that without experienced campaign staffers, as this article notes, it is extremely hard to seriously contest a primary. as such, by this metric, the number of "serious" candidates is generously less than half the current field, and mostly frontrunning campaigns.

      Joe Biden

      • from Buzzfeed News: Joe Biden’s Careful Debate Plan Got Blown Up. it goes without saying, i think, but biden did not come out of last week's debates the winner. aside from the nosedive in polling he's taken across the board (sometimes of up to ten points), biden's carefully-cultivated, extremely-cautious approach in all other things backfired spectacularly in the span of one night. biden's campaign so far has been--if not subtlely hostile to the media--generally avoidant of it where possible. he answers questions on his own terms for the most part and generally does his own things, irrespective of how it'll go over. and that works--or did, anyways--when he didn't have people gunning for him in front of a large portion of the primary's voting base. but now that he's wounded relatively badly in primary terms, i'm not sure the strategy he employed here is going to be practical. not defining yourself to the media and coasting off of obama nostalgia works until it doesn't, and right now, it's really not working.
      • biden's fundraising numbers for this quarter: 21 million dollars. something to cheer about i suppose.

      Bernie Sanders

      • from CNN: Bernie Sanders 2020 is in big trouble. bernie's also not having the best time in the polls. although he mostly held his own in the snap polls immediately after the debates, the polls after that have bene less kind to him, broadly. he's still usually second, but increasingly commonly he is third or fourth, and there's an undeniable trend of warren and harris now playing catchup and winning out. to be clear, sanders is probably not at risk of becoming a basement dweller candidate like beto due to his significantly high floor--but his base alone absolutely cannot and will not win him the primary. he needs to expand who is going to vote for him--and on that count, he is seemingly failing so far.
      • sanders's fundraising numbers for this quarter: 24 million; 18 million raised, 6 million transferred.

      Pete Buttigieg

      • from the Guardian: Pete Buttigieg returns to South Bend amid tension over police shooting. buttigieg was back in south bend over the weekend to once again deal with the aftermath of the shooting of eric logan. to my knowledge, buttigieg has cut down on or outright stopped campaigning for the time being to deal with this situation; it's not clear how long this situation will be lingering over him or when he does intend to get back into the full swing of campaigning. it's worth bearing in mind that he's also been slightly slipping in the polls recently; whether it's over the south bend situation or because his appeal is wearing thin on people or some other event is probably unattributable.
      • from NBC News: Buttigieg raises nearly $25 million in second quarter. nonetheless, buttigieg has something to cheer about at minimum: he raised an impressive 25 million dollars this quarter, outpacing every other candidate that's announced their totals so far. now he just needs to put that money to good use.
      • from POLITICO: Buttigieg introduces national service plan. buttigieg also has some new policy out this week related to national service, an issue which i am sure is very animating for people:

      Buttigieg's plan would immediately increase the number of available national service positions to 250,000 opportunities, up from the current 75,000. It would emphasize recruiting students at high schools, community colleges, historically black colleges and universities, and vocational schools, as well as Americans between 16 and 24 who aren't working or in school.
      The proposal also calls for establishing grant funding programs for "service ecosystems" focused on local and regional issues.
      Service fellows would be considered for student debt forgiveness, hiring preference and vocational training. The plan also calls for developing new types of service corps like a Climate Corps, a Community Health Corps, or a Intergenerational Service Corps.

      Cory Booker

      • from Pacific Standard: Cory Booker's Immigration Plan Focuses on Day-One Changes. cory booker isn't looking to congress to be the final arbiter on his immigration plans, which is probably a good idea since it seems unlikely--but absolutely not impossible, mind you--that the democrats will wrestle control from the republicans in the senate in 2020 (note: they'd only need 50 votes if they win the presidency since the VP tiebreaks). booker's plan in the domestic sphere is mostly based on issuing executive orders; it also has ideas for what to do in foreign policy, which is a part of the issue which can't really be ignored (and, for the msot part, is not being ignored by democratic candidates so far).

      Kamala Harris

      • from Buzzfeed News: Kamala Harris Just Showed How She'd Debate Trump. kamala harris unsurprisingly came out of the debate nights with a great deal of press, of which this buzzfeed article looking to a hypothetical future with her and trump sharing a debate stage might be the most prototypical. harris, the pretty much undisputed winner of the second debate, is in an interesting position now due to her meteoric rise in the polls. previously she'd been running close-but-not-quite-in with the main frontrunning group of biden, sanders, and warren. now, in the immediate term, she's almost always second or third in the polls. will this bring additional scrutiny to her record? probably. she was already getting a bit of it from online leftists and parts of the media, and suddenly being a frontrunner from a single debate performance is almost certain to have that effect. those lines of attack haven't hurt harris yet, though, and it's arguable that her prosecutorial career is what allows her to have the sorts of successes you see when you put her on a debate stage to begin with. call it a double edged sword.

      John Hickenlooper

      • from POLITICO: Hickenlooper campaign in shambles. remember the bit from earlier about how there's only so much talent to go around and how campaign staff can make or break a campaign? well, the hickenlooper campaign, that bastion of perennial once-percenter, anti-socialist and moderate rhetoric, is not a particularly great campaign to be on, it turns out. hickenlooper's campaign is losing five people and will probably run out of money pretty shortly if nothing changes. he has almost no chance of making future debates, either. if i had to guess, he'll be one of the first people to drop out:

      The campaign also only raised just over $1 million in the second quarter — about what he raised in the first 48 hours of his candidacy — and will likely run out of money completely in about a month.
      At least five staffers have left or are leaving Hickenlooper’s struggling operation, including his campaign manager, communications director, digital director and finance director. Hickenlooper named a new campaign manager on Monday night.
      ...
      Hickenlooper met the polling requirement to qualify for last week’s debate and the upcoming debate in July. But his prospects for making the fall debates — candidates must have 130,000 donors and hit 2 percent in four qualifying polls — were dicier. The latest CNN poll released Monday shows Hickenlooper with just 1 percent support.

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