welcome to week eleven. after a few weeks of smaller candidates getting attention, we're back to news consolidating mostly around a select few candidates. the opinion section is only one article long today, mostly because there haven't been any especially good ones.
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.
- from FiveThirtyEight: Who Do Non-Religious Democrats Prefer? there's an interesting (but not especially surprising) trend in who non-religious democrats support for the most part. in part because they tend to be more liberal than the religious, sanders and warren do quite well with athiests and agnostics; biden, by virtue of simply being popular across the board, is also quite well established with these groups. (some other interesting points: sanders does quite poorly with jews despite being ethnically jewish himself; "other" candidates also do best with people who categorize themselves as something else or roman catholics, religion-wise; biden dominates with protestants and roman catholics.)
- from Buzzfeed News: Democrats Want To Make 2020 The Climate Change Election. climate change barely factored into the 2016 elections, and that is definitely not going to be the case this time around. Buzzfeed notes that "Of the 23 Democratic candidates running, 14 have signed the “no fossil fuel money” pledge; 11, by participating in a green fundraising platform, have vowed to address this crisis on day one of their presidency and committed to the goal of 100% clean energy, and at least 22 have mentioned climate change on their campaign websites, according to a BuzzFeed News review." to say nothing, of course, of the fact that candidates are already rolling out climate policies. it's not certain of course how things like the debates will factor into the climate change discussion or how candidates will include it in their advertising, but rest assured you're going to hear much more about it this year.
- from Buzzfeed News: We Asked All The 2020 Candidates If The US Should Stop Arresting Sex Workers. Only Four Said Yes. if you've been following some segments of online discourse, you'll have no doubt heard about things like SESTA/FOSTA which have had serious implications for sex workers. sex work is, of course, something of an awkward issue which in a puritan country like america people like to avoid if they can, but that didn't stop Buzzfeed from asking around about whether candidates would support sex workers. buzzfeed specifically asked "Do you think sex work should be decriminalized?" and "If so, what changes do you support on the federal level?" and didn't get back very many responses either affirmative or negative. (the four yeses they got are from cory booker, kamala harris, tulsi gabbard, and mike gravel; several other candidates are open to it; bill de blasio is the only no.)
- from the Atlantic: 2020 Candidates Are Going All In on Abortion Rights. not surprisingly, democrats are going all in on abortion rights in response to the recent wave of anti-abortion activism. every candidate except for tulsi gabbard and bill de blasio expressed unequivocal, affirmative support for roe v wade as a previous buzzfeed article examined last week, so as a collective the party is as unified as you can expect. this article mostly frames the issue through kirsten gillibrand and her views on the subject, and whether or not it'll ultimately lose democrats voters since it's polarizing and democrats seem to be taking a hardline stand on it.
- from NBC News: Booker, Harris, other presidential contenders call for impeachment proceedings. this is the first time we've really seen a bunch of candidates come out clearly on this, and pretty overwhelmingly candidates came out in favor of impeachment proceedings. even smaller candidates like seth moulton and eric swalwell get in on the action, which would suggest that the arithmetic behind impeachment proceedings is changing pretty quickly.
- from NBC News: 2020 candidates flock to California in search of more than votes. lastly, a big draw this week was the great, big, grand california democratic convention which saw more or less half the field come to california in search of voters, but also donors and activists who might be willing to join their campaign. most of the stuff and most of the policy in this week's edition was either said or done at/during the convention, which goes to show you what a high profile event it was.
- from NBC News: Biden's personal loss emerges as a touchstone on the campaign trail. biden's been on the campaign trail with a mixture of private fundraisers and public meet-and-greet type events, and at the latter he's been expressing a lot of his personal experiences in the past few years. most of this is centered around beau biden, whose terminal brain cancer and death derailed what might have otherwise been a biden 2016 run instead of a biden 2020 run. the death of the younger biden has also informed some of the elder's political viewpoints in a pretty visceral way. this'll presumably remain a campaign theme.
- from CBS News: Joe Biden rolls out climate policy amid questions over his climate credibility. biden also rolled out his maligned climate policy this morning, with actual details that can now be compared against other plans. see also jay inslee's and beto o'rourke's plans on this.
"The former vice president is setting a goal of net-zero emissions by no later than 2050, the same goal set by the Obama administration. If elected, the Biden administration on "day one" intends to implement a number of executive actions to push for a "100 percent clean energy economy" including:
- Requiring "aggressive" methane pollution limits for new and existing oil and gas operations;
- Streamlining federal government activities to for better energy efficiency;
- And advocating for "liquid fuels of the future" like biofuels."
- from POLITICO: How Joe Biden would address K-12 and early childhood education. biden also has a K-12 and early education policy he rolled out earlier this week. this plan is multifaceted but, in general it seeks to improve funding across the board, particularly with respect to salaries, mental health resources, and decreasing the funding gap between white and non-white school districts.
- from Vox: Joe Biden is spending a lot of money on Facebook — to tell older voters about himself. unsurprisingly, biden is trying to shore himself up with older voters, since those are his main base and the people who will likely be needed to propel him to the nominationg given how incredibly poorly he does with everybody under the age of 45 or so. per Vox here, "According to BPI’s tool that tracks digital ad spending by presidential candidates, nearly half of Biden’s Facebook spending from April 27 to May 18 was spent on ads aimed at people between the ages of 45 and 64, and 32 percent of spending was aimed at those over 65. Just 17 percent of his Facebook ad spend went toward reaching the 25-to-44 age group."
- from POLITICO: The dire problem that Bernie Sanders has to fix. bernie sanders, on the other hand, is trying to find inroads with the older people that biden dominates with. it is quite hard to exaggerate the disparity; as this POLITICO article notes, "In the latest Morning Consult weekly tracking poll, Sanders leads Biden by 12 points among Democratic primary voters under 30, and Biden has only a 1-point lead among voters aged 30-44. But Biden leads Sanders by 44 points among seniors, 53 percent to 9 percent." it's early goings, of course, so sanders still has plenty of time to figure this out (and it is likely that the debates will do some shuffling of data like this) but it does present a glaring roadblock in his path to the nomination.
- from POLITICO: 'I'm not a Bernie Bro': Sanders' base splinters in California. sanders is also fighting off a lot of challengers for the mantle of the progressive candidate, particularly in california. sanders still generally polls second in california and there's no reason to think that he'll recede from being in that position given his general strength in polling across the board so far, but with more people trying to take his slice of the primary vote it's going to be hard to overcome biden.
- from the Atlantic: Bernie Sanders Tries to Reclaim the Insurgency. perhaps above all else though, sanders is trying to recapture the insurgent zeitgeist that has defined his campaign since his first run began in 2015. so far in this race, sanders has mostly been seen as more of a frontrunner over an insurgent coming from the bottom to the the top, which contrasts pretty heavily with how he markets himself generally. whether or not defining himself as the insurgent again is actually going to reverse his fortunes is another matter, but i imagine it can't hurt.
- from Jacobin: Bernie Wants Power in Workers’ Hands. this article focuses mostly on the idea of funds socialism and a bernie sanders proposal that is apparently in the work that would apply some of the ideas behind funds socialism. more than anything this seems to demonstrate that sanders is willing to push margins some more this year.
- from The Ringer: Will Slow and Steady Win the Race for Elizabeth Warren?. warren's strategy throughout the primary so far has basically been to sit back and let name recognition and policy proposals do the work, which has gone fairly well for her since she's the only candidate who's consistently been on the rise. it is questionable whether or not this will be successful in the long term, though. warren probably needs explosive growth (which the debates might give her) to be a serious contender for the nomination.
- from POLITICO: Inside Warren's battle plan to win Iowa — and the nomination. that's where POLITICO comes in. warren's ground game has been extensively focused on staffing; she's shooting to have 60 staff in iowa, 50 in new hampshire, and 30 each in nevada and south carolina, and she has extensive groundwork laid in iowa. something like 200 events(!) have already been held there on behalf of the warren campaign, which is wild. there are some concerns that this could possibly bleed her campaign dry in its most crucial hour (when people vote), but warren doesn't seem to be especially worried about this possibility currently.
- from CNN: O'Rourke announces immigration plan ending family separation, offering solution for Dreamers. beto o'rourke has a plan for immigration, which i believe makes him the second candidate to do this after julian castro. per CNN here:
The plan takes a three-pronged approach, O'Rourke's campaign said: rescinding "inhumane" Trump administration policies such as family separations at the border; convincing Congress to pass better immigration laws, including a legislative solution for the so-called Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children; and investing $5 billion in Central America to help address the root causes of migration.
- from POLITICO: How Gov. Jay Inslee would address immigration. jay inslee also has a plan, interestingly:
Inslee’s plan would call for an immediate end to a number of signature Trump policies, including the construction of a wall on the southern border and the ban on travel from some majority-Muslim countries, and would reinstate the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protected undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children from deportation.
Inslee also has pledged to allow more refugee admissions to the United States and change the Trump administration’s asylum policy [...] The plan would also raise the number of annual refugee admissions into the United States, eventually going past the target of 110,000 the Obama administration set during its final year. Most sweepingly, Inslee wants to overhaul the current legal immigration system with a focus on providing a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers and other undocumented immigrants.
- from NBC News: Inside Pete Buttigieg's plan to overhaul the Supreme Court. pete buttigieg has a plan to overhaul the supreme court meanwhile, which makes him the first (and only, as far as i'm aware) candidate to support something of the sort explicitly. buttigieg's idea, in short, which resembles how some forms of arbitration are done:
Under the plan, most justices would continue serving life terms. Five would be affiliated with the Republican Party and five with the Democratic Party. Those 10 would then join together to choose five additional justices from U.S. appeals courts, or possibly the district-level trial courts. They’d have to settle on the nonpolitical justices unanimously — or at least with a “strong supermajority.”
They final five would serve one-year, nonrenewable terms. They’d be chosen two years in advance, to prevent nominations based on anticipated court cases, and if the 10 partisan justices couldn’t agree on the final five, the Supreme Court would be deemed to lack a quorum and couldn’t hear cases that term.
- from NBC News: Cory Booker takes hardline on gun violence day after Virginia Beach shooting. cory booker, one of the perennial few-percenters, decided to go hardline on guns over in california this week in response to the latest shooting that has captivated us. most of this was off the cuff, and booker threw out a speech he was originally going to give to give this one, so he's apparently trying to define himself on this issue in particular.
- from CBS News: Julián Castro unveils police reform plan. julian castro meanwhile is putting forward a proposal on police reform, which he previewed in california this week. CBS reports that, among many other things, it tackles "restricting the use of deadly force; making officers responsible for intervening if they know of or see fellow officers using excessive force or engaging in inappropriate conduct; and requiring law enforcement to get written consent for consensual car searches." this is pretty good, but castro is a very low-polling candidate and criminal justice reform hasn't been a big focus for candidates so far so i'm not sure if anybody will match castro on this.
- from Pacific Standard: Jay Inslee Is the Self-Proclaimed 2020 Climate Candidate—but His Own State's Activists Are Skeptical. jay inslee's focus as the climate change candidate has drawn some criticism from activists in his homestate, who note that his track record on the issue has been inconsistent at best and sometimes actively bad at varying times. this is not universal criticism, though, because nothing ever really is, and inslee has at least shown overtures of learning from criticisms levied at him by activists, so most of them remain cautiously optimistic about his candidacy.
- from CNN: Seth Moulton, who has struggled with post-traumatic stress, unveils mental health plan. seth moulton, another perennial one-percenter, has a small policy roposal related to mental health, which would "increase mental health screenings for active-duty and military veterans and establish a new National Mental Health Crisis Hotline." mental health seems to be playing a significant part in how he positions himself, as this is a part of a multi-day state tour where he's meeting with mental health activists and veterans.
Opinions & Other
- from Truthout: If Pete Buttigieg Is the “Opposition” to Trump, We Are Screwed. our sole op-ed today is one that is intensely critical of the now-stalled rise of pete buttigieg, coming from Truthout. in summary, what it argues is that:
Buttigieg’s work, personal and political, has consistently served the interests of Silicon Valley, the police and the military-industrial complex. If the only way to oust Donald Trump is with someone like Buttigieg, then the far right really has flipped the board, and the regulatory capture of any so-called opposition is already complete.
anyways, feel free to as always contribute other interesting articles you stumble across, or comment on some of the ones up there.