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    1. good morning, tildes--this is not a test. we are 461 days and dropping away from possibly the biggest election day in recent american history. the coverage is even more spread out this week, with...

      good morning, tildes--this is not a test. we are 461 days and dropping away from possibly the biggest election day in recent american history. the coverage is even more spread out this week, with pieces from gillibrand to gabbard and delaney to de blasio; unfortunately, however, our opinion pieces continue to tread water and there is but one piece which even sniffs being longform. (nevertheless, expect a flurry of pieces after the debates today and tonight.)

      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 16Week 17Week 18


      News

      General News

      • from CNN: CNN to host climate crisis town hall with 2020 Democratic candidates. in some surprising, good news, CNN is hosting a climate crisis town hall on september 4th, regardless of the decisions the DNC makes on whether or not to host a debate on climate change. while a town hall isn't quite the same thing as a debate, it's still a significant improvement over what was. CNN is also, to presumably make things not a giant clusterfuck beyond words, applying the 2% in 4 polls threshold for the 3rd debate to invitations here; this means that only 8 or so candidates have qualified so far, but a few others likely will too.
      • from VICE: 2020 Democrats Are Doubling Down on Impeachment Calls as Mueller Testifies. while the mueller testimony has come and gone largely without public movement, it was never going to be a factor in whether or not democrats in the presidential race called for impeachment or not. among those who doubled down on their calls for impeachment proceedings this week: warren, harris, sanders, klobuchar, and booker.
      • from In These Times: The First Labor Plans of the 2020 Race Just Dropped. Here’s What to Make of Them. in these times has analysis of the first specifically labor focused plans in the 2020 race to drop, which are courtesy of pete buttigieg and bill de blasio; in general: they're fine. not particularly groundbreaking on either count, although de blasio has actually implemented a lot of what he has in his plan in NYC. the main problem with these plans is that "fine" isn't really good enough, because the status quo is shit for labor and has only gotten worse for the past 30 years--to realistically undo the damage done by the erosion of labor power, plans most likely need to be bold and sweeping at this point.
      • from CBS News: As they woo Iowa's religious voters, 2020 Democrats talk faith. one of the consequences of such a large field this time around is that there are a number of democrats taking the religious ground that has usually been ceded to evangelical republicans and running with it as a par of their campaign. typically this is a muted part of the democratic party, on account of the party being the "secular" party of the US (implicitly or explicitly), but between openly religious candidates like buttigieg and delaney and lower-key-but-still-spiritual candidates like warren and booker there are signs the party might be willing to embrace a more religious aspect in the future.

      Joe Biden

      • from CBS News: Biden at next debate will go on offense with criminal justice plan, adviser says. leading into the debates, biden has made it very clear that he's not going to be turned into the punching bag--in theory, anyways--and instead he intends to flaunt his record, establish his new plans, and bring the offensive to other candidates. this is and interesting strategy, and i'm not sure it's gonna work. on one hand, biden obviously can't just sit back and take it like he did at the first debate, but on the other hand for every thing he can hit other candidates on, he has two things he's either guilty of similarly, or two things he can be beaten over the head with that probably won't play wth the american public that well. his best bet may be to just weather the storm.
      • from Buzzfeed News: Joe Biden’s Time As A Public Defender Was A Brief Line On His Résumé. Now It’s A Virtue Signal For His Campaign. biden is also touting an interesting part of his career, one which he probably wasn't at for more than a year: his record as a public defender. biden spent some period of his life between 1969 and 1970--when he got into politics--on the public defender beat, but until very recently it was basically irrelevant to any of his political campaigns because it was basically irrelevant to anything he did afterwards. it's an interesting piece of his life to revive, but i'm not sure it's exactly something he wants to keep harping on either given that it seems mildly opportunistic and there's not actually that much record of him doing anything as a public defender.
      • from NBC News: Two longtime Biden African American supporters in S. Carolina defect to Tim Ryan. on an unrelated note, somehow he lost two of the people who played senior roles in his 2008 presidential bid to tim ryan, of all people. this probably doesn't mean anything in the long term, but it's a reminder that biden--frontrunner as he is--has by no means sewn up support from the vast majority of people you'd expect to be in his camp.

      Beto O'Rourke

      • from the Atlantic: Searching for Beto. here is the latest piece on beto's increasingly wilted campaign. he does still have time to turn this around as has been mentioned previously, and he's certainly not given up the campaign trail nor his hyperlocal campaign efforts, but it's obviously a bit of a steep climb. realistically, he'd probably need an exceptionally good debate performance in this week's debates to vault him back into relevance, and even then it's far from a given that it would be enough (see also: julian castro).
      • from Texas Monthly: The 2020 Texas Polling is Much Better for Beto O’Rourke than Julián Castro. that said, he is doing way fucking better than he has any business doing in this race (and he does way better than castro, who polls equally to him) purely because he's a favorite son in texas. even at his 1-2%, he's on track to win delegates because of that fact--this was something i touched upon with last week's delegate polling, and how the popular vote doesn't inherently track with the delegate totals because of the way the DNC and states apportion their delegates. this means that, conceivably, he's still in the running for president even if he does quite badly and doesn't recover from his tailspin, and it also means he has an incentive to stay in even if things go to shit.
      • from CBS News: Beto O'Rourke calls for a sweeping $500 billion fund to address education inequality. policy wise, o'rourke wants to create "a $500 billion 'Permanent Fund for Equity and Excellence' in an effort to close the funding gap between predominately white and non-white school districts." this would, according to the plan, "aim to close [the school funding] gap while also making sure states and districts allocate funds weighted based on the number of 'low income students, English learners, students with disabilities or other groups of students in need of additional resources.'" o'rourke would pay for that with a tax on wall street speculation.

      Pete Buttigieg

      • Can Pete Buttigieg Fix America's Vacancy Problem?. one of the aspects of pete buttigieg's douglass plan that has not been touched on that much are the provisions which seek to deal with the vacancy problem that exists in many places, particularly in former rust belt boomtowns like gary, indiana and detroit. the hemorrhaging of population from the urban north in particular has left huge areas underpopulated and hundreds of thousands of lots vacant. buttigieg, being the mayor of one such boomtown, naturally had to deal with a similar problem (his somewhat controversial 1,000 houses in 1,000 days initiative) and so it's not a surprise that he has provisions on this issue. noteworthy is the fact that he's the only candidate with such provisions. it's not a given, of course, that those provisions will do something--but it is a start for something that basically gets no attention in the first place.
      • Pete Buttigieg reveals details on how he’d tackle climate change. buttigieg does not, however, have very many current provisions on how to deal with climate change. he has skeletons of a plan namely in carbon taxes and climatecorps, but nothing like most of the candidates in the race so far, a curious absence for someone who is--like warren--very much policy oriented. it goes without saying that we'll probably see a real plan eventually, but until we do it can only make people wonder what the hangup is.

      Everybody Else

      • from Buzzfeed News: This Presidential Candidate Has The First Plan To Fix Disparities Faced By Native American Communities. julian castro has a plan for native americans, which makes him the first candidate this cycle--and, as far as i'm aware, in recent memory--to do that. among other things, this plan "proposes additional investments in health care, housing, education, economic development, and other areas for Native Americans. It also pushes for Native American communities to have greater input in Washington by setting up a White House Council on Indigenous Communities and establishing advisory committees within every federal agency by 2024." it would also seek to address the ever-present issue of missing and murdered native women, which is possibly the least-reported-on high-key issue that exists in native communities.
      • from Jacobin: Will Elizabeth Warren Keep Her Promise to “End the Occupation”?. warren is in an interesting position as someone who has gone from one of the more staunch defenders of israel in congress to someone who is increasingly critical of them; this has, naturally, raised questions as we come into this cycle and she's pressed on things like ending the occupation of palestine by israel. jacobin's line here is that while warren is commendable, it's also easy to say something but not do it: if warren is committed to this promise, she'll have to demonstrate that.
      • from NPR: Kamala Harris Releases 'Medicare For All' Plan With A Role For Private Insurers. kamala harris has a healthcare plan named 'medicare for all' and it's, naturally, not that much like the bill that she literally is a cosponsor of named the same thing. among the key differences here are that harris pays for this with tax increases for people over $100k income, harris preserves private insurance and, probably most importantly, harris is basically banking on a democrat being in office in 2030, because her transition period for going from what exists now to her plan is 10 years. (that, and the fact that her plan currently has an outline, but very few details.)
      • from CNN: Kirsten Gillibrand releases $10 trillion, 10-year plan to combat climate change. kirsten gillibrand's climate change plan is basically the green new deal, which means it's the largest of the so-far-released climate change plans of running candidates. among other things, it phases out fossil fuels, ends fracking, includes a carbon tax of $52 per metric ton, intends to build an economy of green jobs, and will upgrade the power grid.
      • from The Verge: Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard sues Google for suspending her ad account. tulsi gabbard's problems continue, as she's now suing google for suspending her ad account and consequentially gimping her campaign site. google maintains that this was innocuous, but gabbard is stumping on the idea that it was politically motivated by her criticisms of google and other tech companies (although this would beg the question of why they'd go after gabbard specifically, who is nearly irrelevant, and not the literally dozens of more prominent political candidates advocating for breaking up big tech who have plans to do so).
      • from CNN: Delaney proposes ambitious mandatory national service plan. john delaney, a one-percenter, wants to make national service mandatory. delaney's plan is "[...]compulsory for all Americans upon high school graduation or upon turning 18. The proposal would apply only to those born after 2006, and would phase in over time, according to the campaign." what are the benefits of doing this, you ask? well, it's basically just a front for delaney to cover tuition: "The plan would provide two years of free tuition at a public college or university, and three years of tuition for those who extended their national service year to two years. Tuition could also be applied to vocational or technical training, the Delaney campaign told reporters."

      anyways, feel free to as always contribute other interesting articles you stumble across, or comment on some of the ones up there.

      13 votes
    2. welcome to debate #2, night 2. with night one out of the way, and the expectations set by our first night of candidates, we turn to a much more diverse, much more ideologically separated group of...

      welcome to debate #2, night 2. with night one out of the way, and the expectations set by our first night of candidates, we turn to a much more diverse, much more ideologically separated group of candidates ranging from asian-american technocrat andrew yang to moderate-progressives african-americans in booker and harris, and from berniecrat-type tulsi gabbard to solidly moderate joe biden. it seems likely that we'll see more fireworks today than we did last night, especially given CNN's adversarial lines of questioning in the first night. as always, here are all the details you'd ever need, and probably then some:

      i recommend you sort by newest first (or order posted) instead of the default since this thread will likely be semi-active and covering a live event.

      How to Watch:

      The debate each night will start at 8 p.m. ET and last two hours.
      TV broadcast: CNN
      Free online stream: CNN.com, CNN apps
      Additional coverage: CBS News, NBC News

      CNN's stream is here.

      The Candidates:

      The second Democratic presidential debate: July 30-31, 2019

      ~ Night 1 (Tuesday, July 30): Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, author Marianne Williamson, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock. ~
      Night 2 (Wednesday, July 31): Former Vice President Joe Biden, California Sen. Kamala Harris, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, business leader Andrew Yang, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet.

      The Rules:

      A candidate "who consistently interrupts" on Tuesday and Wednesday nights will be penalized by having his or her time reduced.
      Campaign representatives have also been told there will be no "lightning round"-type questions requiring a show of hands or one word responses.
      The debate will be moderated by Dana Bash, Don Lemon and Jake Tapper. Each of the 10 candidates each night will be allowed to make brief opening and closing statements, the network said.

      The Analysis:

      NPR has 5 questions for this debate:

      1. Will there be any distinctions drawn between Sanders and Warren?
      2. Will some of the air be taken out of Sanders' sails because Biden isn't onstage?
      3. How is race raised?
      4. Who breaks out?
      5. Without hand-raising, will we get answers that are as clear?

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

      Aftermath of Night One:

      Expectations for Night Two:

      24 votes
    3. welcome to debate #2, night 1. after a margin-moving first set of debates, the bar has been set for candidates. some candidates tonight are probably in a fight for their campaign hopes, while...

      welcome to debate #2, night 1. after a margin-moving first set of debates, the bar has been set for candidates. some candidates tonight are probably in a fight for their campaign hopes, while others are mostly looking to not get obliterated and stay the course. here are all the details you'd ever need, and probably then some:

      i recommend you sort by newest first (or order posted) instead of the default since this thread will likely be semi-active and covering a live event.

      How to Watch:

      The debate each night will start at 8 p.m. ET and last two hours.
      TV broadcast: CNN
      Free online stream: CNN.com, CNN apps
      Additional coverage: CBS News, NBC News

      CNN's stream is here, ABC stream which may or may not be meta commentary

      The Candidates:

      The second Democratic presidential debate: July 30-31, 2019

      Night 1 (Tuesday, July 30): Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, author Marianne Williamson, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.
      Night 2 (Wednesday, July 31): Former Vice President Joe Biden, California Sen. Kamala Harris, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, business leader Andrew Yang, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet.

      The Rules:

      A candidate "who consistently interrupts" on Tuesday and Wednesday nights will be penalized by having his or her time reduced.
      Campaign representatives have also been told there will be no "lightning round"-type questions requiring a show of hands or one word responses.
      The debate will be moderated by Dana Bash, Don Lemon and Jake Tapper. Each of the 10 candidates each night will be allowed to make brief opening and closing statements, the network said.

      The Analysis:

      NPR has 5 questions for this debate:

      1. Will there be any distinctions drawn between Sanders and Warren?
      2. Will some of the air be taken out of Sanders' sails because Biden isn't onstage?
      3. How is race raised?
      4. Who breaks out?
      5. Without hand-raising, will we get answers that are as clear?

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

      31 votes
    4. good morning, tildes--this is not a test. we are 468 days and dropping away from possibly the biggest election day in recent american history. the coverage is more spread out this week, with...

      good morning, tildes--this is not a test. we are 468 days and dropping away from possibly the biggest election day in recent american history. the coverage is more spread out this week, with candidates that normally don't catch the media's attention getting some; there are, alas, no opinion pieces this week. we do have a very important poll, however, which i elaborate on in detail.

      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 16Week 17


      News

      Polling

      from CBS News: Early contests by the numbers: Democratic delegate race tightens — CBS News Battleground Tracker. CBS News is out with an update to its important poll that is based on delegate allocation rather than voter preferences. as some of you may or may not know, primary contests are not purely FPTP affairs when it comes to delegate allocation, but instead based on rules of proportional allocation at district and statewide levels. complicating matters, the DNC has a rule which states a candidate must win 15% or more of the vote in a state to be eligible for any delegates. this means that national/state polling does not inherently jive with the projected results of the primaries, and this poll actually is an example of that:

      the order is Biden (581 delegates of 1494 possible in the 18 "early contests"), Warren (430 of 1494), Sanders (249 of 1494), Harris (173 of 1494), O'Rourke (48 of 1494), and Klobuchar (13 of 1494). no other candidates would currently receive delegates. obviously, this does not jive with the polling completely: biden, warren, and sanders all punch above their polling; harris, buttigieg, o'rourke, and klobuchar do not. buttigieg, who generally polls better than klobuchar and o'rourke by a mile, also doesn't benefit from his homestate and doesn't appeal enough elsewhere to win delegates with his polling. harris, meanwhile, is really only tethered by california in her delegate count despite polling similarly to sanders. basically, it's a bit of a shitshow.

      as far as shifts: biden has eaten a loss of 150 delegates since june; warren is up 75; sanders is down 68; harris is up 97; o'rourke is down 25; klobuchar is down 8; buttigieg is down 2.

      General News

      • from Pacific Standard: There Are Many Democratic Candidates. Party Insiders View a Bunch as the Same.. among the more interesting trends that exist within the democratic primary so far is the fact that the activist base of the democratic party and the broader public are somewhat at odds with each other currently. while biden, warren, sanders, harris, and buttigieg round out the five major candidates with more than token public support, party insiders back a much broader set of candidates which expands to booker, klobuchar, castro, and gillibrand. sanders, naturally, is mostly absent from insider support--this is partly because most insiders don't support him to begin with, but also because the ones that do are generally not considering other candidates.
      • from NBC News: Democrats duel over health care in new campaign dust-up. healthcare is shaping up to be a big part of the democratic stategy to win back the white house, and naturally that's the first big faultline in the primary since it's one of the things which most divides candidates into ideological quadrants. biden, who is mostly pushing for improved obamacare, disputes the idea of medicare for all as too expensive and "starting over", which sanders has of course derided as misinformation and basically jacking conservative talking points. while they won't be sharing the debate stage in july, don't be surprised to see similar issues litigated by more moderate candidates against sanders and warren, and don't be surprised if biden has similar disputes with his more progressive leaning debate stage.
      • from Buzfeed: The Best Day Of Joe Biden's Presidential Campaign Was The First One (and other things you can learn from new data on how many donors contributed to Democratic presidential campaigns each day this year). with fundraising now in, analysis of that fundraising begins, and to say the least it looks pretty bad for most candidates outside of the front six or so as far as keeping donors interested. most candidates barely register donors above the $200 threshold set here by Buzzfeed, even as they raise what might be respectable amounts of money; meanwhile, even frontrunning candidates are having difficulties creating an upward trajectory in their donor bases.

      Joe Biden

      • from NPR: Why Progressives Think Joe Biden Is Not 'Electable'. the progressive argument against joe biden is relatively straightforward: he has a bad track record and is effectively on the right-wing of the party right now in a time where voters seem to be clamoring for some answer to the increasingly radical rhetoric of the republican party. in a time where change seems to be necessary or we're fucked, biden wants to keep the status quo almost exactly as it is, but "better" in some unknown sense. more moderate elements of the party argue that this approach is necessary to win the house, senate, and presidency, but for somewhat obvious reasons progressives don't buy that argument very much either.
      • from Jacobin: Bidencare Is a Scam. biden's healthcare plan, by extension, isn't particularly fondly regarded either by people left-of-center. billed mostly as an extension of obamacare, jacobin notes that biden's plan doesn't do a whole lot to address places where obamacare has been unhelpful or to fix things which obamacare hasn't addressed. it more or less has the same failings as obamacare, just for less people--while also most likely setting back the fight for equitable healthcare.

      Kamala Harris

      • from CBS News: Kamala Harris introduces plan to lower prescription drug prices. kamala harris has some policy out this week which seeks to regulate how the government would handle drug prices. per CBS here, "The senator's plan would task the Department of Health and Human Services with setting "fair" prescription drug prices ... determined in part by looking at the prices for the drug in other industrialized countries such as the United Kingdom and Canada." should companies try to sell higher than that price set by HHS, "the government [would] tax their profits from the drug at 100%, with the money reallocated to consumers in the form of rebates." in the event congress doesn't advance this within the first 100 days of her presidency, she would use executive orders to investigate price gouging (along with the attorney general) and HHS would, after a 30-day warning period, be allowed to import drugs from countries where they are cheaper. further failure to comply with reducing drug prices would also lead harris to award patents for drugs produced in part with federal funding to companies which produce the drug cheaper.
      • from CBS News: Kamala Harris to propose decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level. harris is also looking to legalize marijuana, and in doing so not just promote minority business but expunge the records of people convicted on marijuana charges. her plan would also make it illegal to deny federal benefits on the basis of marijuana possession or use, and prevent immigrants from being deported or denied citizenship purely because of marijuana infractions.

      Beto O'Rourke

      • from Texas Monthly: Should Beto O’Rourke Drop Out?. the question posed most to the beto campaign is this. o'rourke severely undershot his fundraising in Q2 and has been consistently dropping in the polls basically since he entered the race because what worked for him in texas is not what works nationally. but at the same time, there's a question of where he has to go if he drops out: the senate seat cornyn currently occupies is already subject to a pretty big primary on the democratic side, and o'rourke might be spoiled goods if he becomes a presidential failson. it's a fun dynamic, one which will probably ruin him and send him packing back down to a more reasonable role in the future, provided it doesn't kill his political aspirations completely.
      • from NBC News: O'Rourke's campaign is cratering. But he's got a plan to bring back 'Betomania.' nonetheless, the beto campaign remains optimistic. o'rourke after all was a dark horse candidate for the majority of his senate race and certainly not a stranger to adversity. o'rourke also has the benefit of it still being like, 7 months before any votes are cast at all, which is plenty of time to turn things around. still, not the best situation to be in.
      • from CBS News: Despite a tumble in polls and fundraising O'Rourke campaign betting it all on Beto. the campaign, in the mean time, is also setting up new infrastructure with what it has, having continued its shift from a person-first strategy to one which involves much more media limelight. (i also assume they're getting better debate prep.)

      Everyone Else

      • from CBS News: On the road with Cory Booker in New Hampshire. this is a small profile of cory booker that CBS did a few days ago. booker, who has struggled to get out of the logjam of lower candidates now that buttigieg has risen, has yet to have a true breakout moment in his campaign. additionally, although he has constituencies he appeals to, many of those constituencies are also occupied by one or more candidates currently doing better than he is. nonetheless, booker has an extensive ground game in new hampshire and a pretty experienced campaign team coordinating his movements on the campaign trail. if he fails in his endeavors, it certainly won't be for lack of a network or experienced advisers.
      • from the Atlantic: Elizabeth Warren Has Momentum. Can She Build a Movement?. one of the more underrated aspects of the rise of warren's campaign is that, in many ways, it mirrors the coalition that bernie sanders built in 2016 and has serious potential to turn into a political movement of its own--although probably at the expense of the political machinery which has enabled sanders to be a frontrunner. warren's campaign is also noteworthy in that it's managed this feat so far without any particularly splash-worthy moments. warren hasn't especially dominated the soundbyte market, nor is she the frontrunner most media scrambles to cover; yet, she is polling just behind biden, just ahead of sanders and harris, and seems only capable of climbing further from there. there's still time for some gaffe to derail her or for her rise to be blunted, but at least in the present, it seems pretty likely that her campaign is on track to be the next popular political movement.
      • from CBS News: Buttigieg says white Americans "can't be defensive" when talking about race. pete buttigieg meanwhile continues to navigate the question of race, something that could be a great boon to his campaign if he is able to effectively harness it--but which currently is burdening him pretty badly both politically and polling-wise. of note in buttigieg's remarks:

      "When somebody is saying that we are benefitting from living in a system that creates privileges associated with systemic racism, we can't kind of retreat into this idea that, 'We're being personally attacked, so we're not going to want to talk about that.' Or that, 'Hey these were distant historic problems, we can't be held accountable for dealing with that,'" he said. "No."
      ...
      "I am worried that in different ways we may not be able to imagine, in the 21st century, if these inequalities keep getting worse, then that could once again threaten to unravel the American project."

      • from New Hampshire Public Radio: Klobuchar in N.H.: To Beat Trump, Dems Need Positive Message and Some Humor. amy klobuchar, who hasn't made much news recently, continues to pitch herself as a moderate who can win in red, rural america and takes the line of thinking that any democratic candidate wanting to unseat trump will have to come at it from a message of positivity--and probably also have some wit. in her words: "I think sort of making fun of [Donald Trump], the absurdity of him. And I know that every day we think to ourselves this isn’t a laughing matter. We know that right? But you also know one of the cardinal rules of politics is you take your work seriously but you can’t always take yourself seriously."
      • from Colorado Public Radio: After Crickets Following The First Debate, Hickenlooper Campaign Goes All In On Iowa. despite some frankly awful fundraising and being nowhere near the frontrunners, the john hickenlooper campaign is pushing the pedal to the floor and investing heavily in iowa. hickenlooper intends to spend much more time in the state than he has previously--he had previously been darting across the country--with the hopes of garnering some sort of traction. however, it's going to be quite an uphill climb for him, given that he polls worse than 1%, and it seems reasonable to assume that if he fails to gain traction in the next few months he'll cut his losses early (perhaps in favor of the colorado senate race? who knows).
      • from CBS News: Delaney disputes reports he's dropping out of 2020 presidential race. y'all remember john delaney? he still exists, and he's fighting rumors he's dropping out, which is always a sign of a healthy campaign. delaney has mostly self funded and is the longest candidate in the race, having announced all the way back in 2017, but has pretty much entirely failed to take off with the electorate. he does not show signs of taking off, either.

      anyways, feel free to as always contribute other interesting articles you stumble across, or comment on some of the ones up there.

      13 votes
    5. 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

      16 votes
    6. 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
    7. 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
    8. 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.

      16 votes
    9. welcome to debate #1, night 1. given tildes's small size, i'm not really sure how this will go, so my plan here on paper is to do two threads (one today, one tomorrow) for this set of debates, and...

      welcome to debate #1, night 1. given tildes's small size, i'm not really sure how this will go, so my plan here on paper is to do two threads (one today, one tomorrow) for this set of debates, and then based on how active this set is make a decision on whether or not to consolidate them for the many future debates that will happen. if things go particularly well or poorly tonight though, i might expedite that decision (hence the un-specific title), but we'll see. anyways, here are all the details you'd ever need, and probably then some:

      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.

      here is the youtube link.

      The Candidates

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

      • Cory Booker (Senator from New Jersey):

      Booker is running on an aggressive optimism, promising to bring people together and fight for things like criminal justice overhaul, improved economic opportunity and LGBTQ rights.

      • Julián Castro (Former secretary of housing and urban development):

      The former Obama administration housing chief is running on hopeful notes. He promises students being saddled with less debt, veterans being respected, people of color being safe and immigrants being welcome.

      • Bill de Blasio (Mayor of New York City):

      Leading the country’s most populous city, de Blasio is running on putting working people first and is touting his record on minimum wage, sick leave, health care and universal pre-K. And he’s running against President Trump’s immigration and climate policies.

      • John Delaney (Former representative from Maryland’s 6th District):

      Delaney has campaigned in early states for nearly two years. He takes a pragmatic approach, especially on health care. He has spoken out against “Medicare for All,” a stance that hasn’t sat well with liberal activists.

      • Tulsi Gabbard (Representative from Hawaii’s 2nd District):

      The military veteran is running on a platform of “peace,” to end foreign wars and use the money to spend in America.

      • Jay Inslee (Governor of Washington):

      His campaign begins and ends with the threat posed by climate change. He argues that the economy and fighting climate change are not incompatible and that a green economy creates jobs.

      • Amy Klobuchar (Senator from Minnesota):

      Klobuchar believes in a pragmatism that’s rooted in her senatorial experience and a Midwestern optimism. She believes it’s necessary to reach out to solve problems and bridge divides between rural and urban communities.

      • Beto O’Rourke (Former representative from Texas’ 16th District):

      Best known for almost beating Ted Cruz, O’Rourke has a “positive, unifying vision.” He wants to fix American democracy with changes to campaign finance and voting, and to end wars, reduce gun violence, address climate change and guarantee women’s health care.

      • Tim Ryan (Representative from Ohio’s 13th District):

      He’s running on “rebuilding the American Dream,” and that means, in his view, blue-collar jobs, public education and health care.

      • Elizabeth Warren (Senator from Massachusetts):

      You name it, Warren has a plan for it. She’s not running to create a new system, but she is running on big, structural change, including increased regulation and scrutiny of Wall Street and banking.

      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 5 questions of their 8 for the debates which apply to today's debate:

      Does Warren make the most of commanding the stage?
      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
    10. good morning, tildes--this is not a test. we are 496 days and dropping away from possibly the biggest election day in recent american history. we have one opinion piece this week and a number of...

      good morning, tildes--this is not a test. we are 496 days and dropping away from possibly the biggest election day in recent american history. we have one opinion piece this week and a number of [LONGFORM] pieces this week. our polling section continues this week as well.

      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 13


      News

      Polling

      • From Emerson (B+ on 538); margin of error +/- 4.5: National poll

      Joe Biden continues to hold his announcement bounce, and has gained a point since May – now holding 34% of the vote, followed by Senator Bernie Sanders who moved up 2 points to 27%. Senator Elizabeth Warren has broken away from the rest of those running, into 3rd place – improving from 10% of the vote up to 14%. Senator Kamala Harris comes in fourth with 7%, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is in fifth with 6%, and Senator Cory Booker follows in sixth with 3% of the vote. All other candidates poll at 1%.

      Biden 26%
      Warren 14%
      Sanders 13%
      Buttigieg 9%
      Harris 7%
      O'Rourke 4%
      Booker 2%
      All others 1% or less

      General Stuff

      • from Vox: 2020 Democrats share plans to fight poverty at presidential forum. this week has been rich with townhalls and events, one of the first of which was the Poor People's Campaign forum, specifically dedicating itself to the issues of low-income Americans and poverty. a number of the perennial one-percenters showed up, as did frontrunners biden, sanders, warren, and harris; in general, the frontrunners took the opportunity to show off their plans where they had them for low-income america, and the one-percenters tried to make a case to voters.
      • from FiveThirtyEight: Democratic Candidates Answer Yes-Or-No Questions About Criminal Justice Policy. FiveThirtyEight decided to ask some criminal justice questions of the candidates running, and the results are interesting. the chart summarizing responses to the questions is here. literally the only thing all the candidates who answered agree upon unconditionally is pell grants for prisoners, but everybody basically agrees upon death penalty abolition (ryan, the sole dissenter, wants an exception for terrorists but otherwise does not support it), abolishing cash bail (inslee is the one exception), and marijuana legalization (delaney and klobuchar are the exceptions). inversely, only sanders and gravel support granting prisoners the right to vote; gravel is also the only person who answered in the affirmative to all six questions.
      • from NPR: 2020 Democrats Offer Up Affordable Housing Plans Amid Surging Prices. increasing concern with housing prices is driving democratic candidates to seek to tap into a voting base which spans a large part of the electorate. if it seems like not a coincidence that housing is playing a much larger role in this primary than it ever did in 2016, tha's because it is and it's being driven by voter sentiments. "When [Democratic pollster Geoff Garin] asked voters in 2016 if they thought housing affordability was a problem where they lived, 39% said it was a fairly serious or very serious problem. This year, that number is 60%."
      • from Vox: [LONGFORM] We asked all the 2020 Democrats how they’d fix child care. Here’s what they said. Vox's second entry in this section sees them asking around about child care policy, which is something that a number of candidates have taken up this year in their campaign planks. their findings are:

      universal childcare supporters: warren, sanders, harris, o'rourke, swalwell, klobuchar
      tax credit supporters: gillibrand, buttigieg, bennet, moulton, williamson
      universal preschool supporters: castro, yang, booker, ryan
      other: biden (no stated policy); de blasio (NYC-type program?); hickenlooper ("subsidies on a sliding scale"); bullock ("universal access to voluntary, early childhood education")
      did not respond: inslee, gabbard, delaney, messiam

      • from POLITICO: The gloves come off in the Democratic primary. the previously amicable primary got mildly spicy this week because of a number of plotlines. last week we of course began the "biden sorta kinda praising segregationists" plotline, for which he drew significant criticism but doubled down inexplicably; earlier in the week we also had the "sanders criticizes warren as corporatist" plotline, which sanders later said was actually directed at a moderate thinktank called third way. now that the veneer of not criticizing other candidates has been worn off, we're probably bound to see some other beefs flair up as the primary goes on.
      • from NPR: 8 Political Questions Ahead Of The 1st Democratic Debates. NPR offers up 8 questions for consideration given that tomorrow is the first debate of this long, grueling cycle:
      1. Will Biden stand up to the scrutiny?
      2. Is the debate an opportunity or danger zone for Bernie Sanders?
      3. Does Warren make the most of commanding the stage?
      4. Can Harris and Buttigieg stand out?
      5. Do the pragmatists or progressives win out?
      6. How much of a focus is Trump?
      7. How will foreign policy factor in?
      8. Who will stick in voters' minds?

      Elizabeth Warren

      • from POLITICO: Warren emerges as potential compromise nominee. warren has been the biggest beneficiary of the moderate/centrist wing of the democratic party realizing that its influence over the party is waning and that the increasing normal is going to be candidates in the vein of warren and sanders. warren is most likely getting the benefit here for obvious reasons: she self identifies as a capitalist, and sanders for the most part does not. of course, if you actually compare notes on their policies, they're mostly the same, so... not sure this gambit is going to work out?
      • from POLITICO: How Sen. Elizabeth Warren would try to ban private prisons. policy wise, warren unveiled a plan this week to ban private prisons. this is pretty straightforward:

      Warren would end federal contracts with the Bureau of Prisons and Immigrant and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for detention facilities and private prisons. Warren would try to extend this ban to states and localities as well. In addition, the plan calls for prohibiting contractors from collecting service fees for "essential services" such as phone calls, health care, and bank transfers."

      “This is a democracy. In a democracy, the laws should reflect the values of the people. So I say it is time to go on offense with Roe v Wade. It’s not enough to say we’re going to rely on the courts. We need to pass a federal law to make Roe v Wade the rule of the land.”

      Bernie Sanders

      • from CNN: Elizabeth Warren's rise opens a new chapter in the progressive primary. although titled for warren, this piece is actually about bernie sanders and how warren's rise in the polls threatens to balkanize the progressive vote between the two of them. it als goes into some details about the controversy over the sanders tweet that was apparently aimed at warren but which sanders said was actually directed toward third way.
      • from Vice: Bernie Sanders Wants to Wipe Out All Student Loan Debt. sanders's big coup this week was a plan to eliminate all student loan debt. Vice explains that: "Under the Sanders plan, there would be no eligibility standards — it would cancel 1.6 trillion in undergraduate and graduate debt for all 45 million people who hold it. Sanders would also make public universities, community colleges, and trade schools free." and as for how you pay for it, "Sanders intends to pay for the plan with taxes on Wall Street, namely a 0.5 percent tax on stock transactions and a 0.1 percent tax on bonds. The plan is projected to cost $2.2 trillion over 10 years."

      Pete Buttigieg

      • from CBS News: Officer-involved shooting remains Pete Buttigieg's biggest 2020 challenge yet. buttigieg has had a rough week dealing with what can really only be described as a complete clusterfuck of a situation. the set-up: "Prosecutors say the officer who killed Logan, Sgt. Ryan O'Neill, was responding to a report of a person breaking into cars when he encountered Logan in an apartment building parking lot. O'Neill told authorities that Logan had a knife, and when he refused the officer's orders to drop it, O'Neill opened fire, shooting Logan in the stomach. Another officer took Logan in a squad car to the hospital, where he later died." no body camera was activated.
      • from CBS News: Pete Buttigieg faces South Bend protesters: "You want black people to vote for you — that's not going to happen". unsurprisingly this has not gone over well with some segments of the black community, for which this is a regular occurrence. buttigieg was first confronted with protests prior to the town hall this week which were somewhat tense because of his seeming failure to address the problems in south bend's police department.
      • from the LA Times: Black residents of South Bend unload on Mayor Pete Buttigieg. this tension continued into the town hall, where buttigieg was at times roundly criticized by some members of the black population in a town hall that was kind of a train wreck. the town hall was a proxy for some of the broader gripes that members of south bend's black community but also for some of the problems various community members have with each other, and just in general things went badly. buttgieg for the most part was fine, but obviously shaken both in the town hall itself and afterwards when interviewed by CNN.
      • from NBC News: Buttigieg learns the hazards of campaigning for president as a mayor. this all has of course gotten buttigieg off message at possibly the worst (or best, depending on how you see it) time on an issue that has not been especially good for him and could potentially jeopardize what little black support he does have.
      • miscellany: south bend has basically had everything possible go wrong with it in the past week and change. there was the police shooting which has caused much controversy; there was also a mass shooting which killed one a few days later; most recently, there was also an EF2 tornado which impacted part of the city.

      Cory Booker

      • from TIME: [LONGFORM] Cory Booker's Moment is Yet to Come. this longform profile of cory booker by TIME goes into the significant efforts of the booker campaign so far to make a splash, and how despite those efforts and a fairly flawless campaign so far, booker has yet to see particularly good poll numbers, even in iowa where he has invested extensively.
      • from Vox: Cory Booker has a plan to reform the criminal justice system — without Congress. booker also has some policy on establishing a clemency system unilaterally. "Booker’s plan calls for granting an early release to as many as 17,000 to 20,000 people in federal prison for drug offenses, and establishing a panel within the White House that would make recommendations for more clemency applications in the longer term."

      Beto O'Rourke

      • from Buzzfeed News: These Donors Helped Give Beto O'Rourke A Historic Start. They're Disappointed With What Happened Next. beto's slip in the polls has not exactly inspired his voterbase. he's not dropping support like flies here as the article makes clear, but at least a vocal portion of his donor base is less than impressed and some of them are seeking to go elsewhere with their money, which is generally not good, especially given that beto is actually polling better than most candidates in the race currently even with his rather bad numbers. it's possible that if this continues, he'll end up in a feedback loop which drags down his candidacy. we'll have to see.
      • from USA Today: Beto O’Rourke: From Juneteenth to today, Americans are still on the march for justice. nonetheless, beto is still on the beat, and this week he had an op-ed in USA Today promoting his new voting rights act, which would "crack down on draconian voter ID laws; prevent politically motivated state officials from purging the voter roles to game the system; expand vote-by-mail and early voting; and declare the first Tuesday of every November a national holiday, so no one has to choose between going to work and participating in their democracy."

      Andrew Yang

      • from NBC News: Some Asian Americans are excited about Andrew Yang. Others? Not so much. andrew yang is an interestingly polarizing character in the asian-american community. while he is getting some of his best funding from them, he also is struggling with winning over many asian americans, which makes his path quite difficult since he doesn't really poll well with any other groups to make up for that.
      • from The Baffler: Andrew Yang’s War on Normal People. this article from The Baffler runs through the fairly comprehensive list of criticisms against yang, and especially his proposal for UBI. namely it argues that yang is taking a silicon valley approach to a problem that is decidedly not a silicon valley solvable problem. it also argues that yang, while he has the right rhetoric on paper, his execution both historically and currently falls well flat.

      Everyone Else

      • from NBC News: Biden doubles down on segregationist comments, says critics like Cory Booker 'should apologize' to him . as mentioned in the last thread, biden's big controversy this week was touting his ability to be bipartisan with segregationists, then doubling down on it and insisting that cory booker apologize for raking him over it. this has gone unresolved as far as i know; booker and biden talked about it at some point during the week but i'm not sure that they actually made up over it. booker refused to apologize to biden in the immediate aftermath of the remark here and really does not have a reason to apologize in the first place.
      • from CBS News: Kamala Harris: Concerns about my prosecutorial record are "overblown". kamala harris is finally getting enough heat for her prosecutorial career that she's decided to address it, apparently. harris has previously received large amounts of criticism from the progressive wing of the democratic party but especially leftists for some of her decisions as a prosecutor. harris has expressed regret for some of the policies that she helped enact and uphold, but in general she is fairly unrepentant about her record, as seen here.
      • from NBC News: Julián Castro wants to transform housing assistance for poor, give renters tax credits. julian castro has some housing policy: "[Castro] wants to transform the housing assistance program, known as Section 8, into a fully funded entitlement program — a reference to federal safety net programs such as Social Security. In addition, Castro called for a refundable tax credit for low- and middle-income renters if their rent exceeds 30 percent of their income."
      • from POLITICO: Michael Bennet pushes sweeping plan to remake political system. michael bennet has some political reforms he'd like to pass, which include "a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, a lifetime ban on members of Congress becoming lobbyists, a prohibition on political gerrymandering and a push for ranked choice voting. Bennet is also supporting a laundry list of long-desired Democratic reforms, including automatic voter registration, D.C. statehood and greater transparency around super PAC fundraising and spending." most of this is fairly stock for democrats, but some of it is not.
      • from CBS News: Joe Sestak, former congressman and 3-star admiral, joins 2020 presidential race. another rando, joe sestak, decided to cast his lot in. sestak was a representative of pennsylvania's house delegation for a number of years before trying and failing to run for senate twice. he is democrat number 25 to enter the race.

      Opinions

      • from the Guardian: The secret to Elizabeth Warren's surge? Ideas. our sole opinion piece this week comes from the Guardian, and argues that the rise of elizabeth warren in the polls is driven by her unrelenting torrent of policies and willingness to treat voters as if they can understand that policy instead of watering it down.

      anyways, feel free to as always contribute other interesting articles you stumble across, or comment on some of the ones up there.

      12 votes
    11. good morning, tildes--this is not a test. we are 503 days and dropping away from possibly the biggest election day in recent american history. no opinion pieces this week, but we do have a number...

      good morning, tildes--this is not a test. we are 503 days and dropping away from possibly the biggest election day in recent american history. no opinion pieces this week, but we do have a number of [LONGFORM] pieces this week. our polling section is large this week, and donald makes his first entry onto the TWIEN scene with his formal reelection campaign's kickoff today.

      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 12


      News

      Polling

      Biden 49 - 39 Trump
      Sanders 49 - 40 Trump
      Harris 42 - 41 Trump
      Warren 43 - 41 Trump
      Buttigieg 41 - 40 Trump

      Biden 46 - 35 Trump
      Sanders 47 - 35 Trump
      Harris 41 - 35 Trump
      Warren 42 - 36 Trump
      Klobuchar 34 - 36 Trump
      Buttigieg 34 - 36 Trump

      Biden 50 - Trump 41
      Sanders 48 - Trump 42
      Warren 47 - Trump 43
      Harris 45 - Trump 44
      O’Rourke 45 - Trump 44
      Buttigieg 44 - Trump 43

      In Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan [...] Trump trails Biden by double-digits. In three of those states — Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida — Biden’s leads sit outside the poll’s margin of error.
      Trump is also behind the former vice president in Iowa by 7 points, in North Carolina by 8 points, in Virginia by 17 points, in Ohio by 1 point, in Georgia by 6 points, in Minnesota by 14 points, and in Maine by 15 points.
      In Texas, where a Democratic presidential nominee hasn’t won since President Jimmy Carter in 1976, Trump leads by just 2 points.

      Half of the registered voters in Texas would vote to reelect President Donald Trump, but half of them would not, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.
      Few of those voters were wishy-washy about it: 39% said they would “definitely” vote to reelect Trump; 43% said they would “definitely not” vote for him. The remaining 18% said they would “probably” (11%) or “probably not” (7%) vote to give Trump a second term.

      General Stuff

      • from Buzzfeed News: [LONGFORM] People In Flint Are Still In Crisis. They Want Presidential Candidates To See Them As More Than A Rallying Cry. the people of flint, long used to being a stopover location for prospective presidential candidates, are seeking to be something a little more this year as the city continues to try and recover from its massive infrastructural problems. flint has been a national issue since 2016; some of you may remember that both clinton and sanders debated there during that cycle, and donald trump also stopped over. so far this cycle though, only one candidate has stopped in the city--julian castro, who incidentally has a plan to eliminate lead poisoning. we're still quite early in the cycle, of course, so this is likely to change, but the question is worth asking whether or not it'll be anything extensive.
      • from Alternet: ‘Storm of a century’: Why voter turnout in 2020 might be nothing like we’ve ever seen. we're still quite a ways out but there is already extensive speculation that based on the 2018 midterms and the continued, extremely polarizing presidency of donald that 2020 could be the highest turnout election since 2008 (61%), or perhaps even 1960 (63%). this would most likely require about 156 million ballots to be cast, compared to the 139 million cast in 2016.
      • from POLITICO: Dems take red state detours to prove 2020 electability. a fair amount has already been said of the trend of democratic candidates going to places that they don't ordinarily go to in presidential cycles, which is the crux of this article. democratic candidates are taking the opportunity to go places that have never seen presidential candidates before, and while it's not going to win deep red states obviously, it suggests that maybe the democratic party is finally readopting something resembling the 50 state strategy.
      • from Vox: A new poll shows how sexism and electability collide in 2020. one of the things that could genuinely be holding back the female candidates in this race is sexism--but not voter sexism, interestingly. for you see, the problem confronting female candidates this year is not necessarily voter opinions on whether a woman can be president per se, but voter's perceptions of other voters' opinions on the subject: "Only 33 percent of voters surveyed believed their neighbors would be comfortable with a woman in the Oval Office, despite 74 percent saying they themselves would be comfortable with a woman president." this, vox argues here, basically leads to the electability argument kinda fucking women over.
      • from Vox: Young voters of color are supporting Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. But many want a different candidate. emphasizing how early we are in this, it's worth noting that many candidates are being buoyed in part by name recognition currently, particularly biden and sanders. they of course have solid bases, but a lot of people are defaulting to people they know since it's early, and in the next few months those people might start shopping around for other candidates.
      • from Vox: Why the Democratic Party doesn’t want a presidential debate about climate change. the longest lasting of the controversies surrounding the democratic debate series continues. the ostensible reason for this: "Perez said that even without a climate change-specific debate, it will be an issue that’s impossible to ignore. “I have the utmost confidence that, based on our conversations with networks, climate change will be discussed early and often during our party’s primary debates,” he wrote."

      Donald Trump

      • from the Guardian: Can lightning strike twice? Trump set to launch 2020 campaign. donald trump formally launches his reelection campaign today in orlando, florida. focuses of his campaign are all but guaranteed to be economy, national security, and immigration; how well he sticks to these given his inability to tout them effectively in 2018 remains to be seen, of course. socialism also seems like it's shaping up to be a part of donald's reelection message, and he may be preparing to relitigate the 2017 healthcare fight as well.

      Joe Biden

      • from NBC News: Biden's 'Back to the Future' dilemma. joe biden has an interesting issue: the crux of his appeal is based in the past, but so are most of the criticisms of him. the source of most of the things that make people like him are obviously rooted in the obama administration and his extensive legislative and senate career, but his past also leaves him open to attack because it leaves a lot to be desired. NBC offers some observations: "Biden is finding out that William Faulkner's observation applies to presidential politics: The past is never dead; it's not even past. To win, he may have to figure out how to get past his past."
      • from VICE: Biden Has an Aggressive Plan to Force China to Go Green. policy-wise, biden's climate plan has some interesting international features. per VICE, "It promises that as president, “Biden will rally a united front of nations to hold China accountable to high environmental standards in its Belt and Road Initiative infrastructure projects so that China can’t outsource pollution to other countries.”" this is not really a feature in any other candidate's plans, it is worth noting.
      • from CNN: Biden slams critics of working with GOP: 'Why don't you all go home then, man?'. biden is trying to play up the bipartisanship argument, probably against better judgment. while other candidates have stumped on the idea of nuking the filibuster in the senate and using executive orders to pass their policies instead of trying to ram things through the senate at all, biden takes a consensus line: "The fact of the matter is, if we can't get a consensus, nothing happens except the abuse of power by the executive. Zero." in the event that biden somehow cannot make this work, he intends to "[...]go out and beat these folks if they don't agree with you, by making your case -- and that's what presidents are supposed to do: Persuade the public."

      Bernie Sanders

      Elizabeth Warren

      Kamala Harris

      • from Buzzfeed News: Kamala Harris Has A Network Of Black Sorority Sisters Mobilizing For Her In The South. one advantage kamala harris has going for her organization wise is sorority sisters. harris is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, the oldest (greek letter) sorority for black females in america, and as it happens that is a very convenient for campaign organizing. harris is fairly distant from the front runners in the south currently, polling only around 8% in south carolina (biden is polling at 40%!), so she'll probably take every volunteer she can get. harris's campaign in fact identifies the sorority connection as one of the keys to sucessful organization in the south as of now.
      • from the Atlantic: Kamala Harris’s Mistake. harris is not without criticism this week, of course. some people are not very appreciative of her statement on the DoJ most likely having no choice but to prosecute donald in a post-trump presidency because it reeks too much of some sort of effort to create an illiberal democracy, or some similar criticism like that.

      Pete Buttigieg

      • from POLITICO: Pete Buttigieg raised staggering $7 million in April alone. despite stalling in the polls, pete buttigieg is still raising fairly large amounts of money (in part because of his continued appeal to some liberals, but also probably because he is apparently one of the favorite sons of many wall street types); it is worth bearing in mind though that we currently do not have anybody to compare this against besides biden, who has supposedly raised 19.8 million according to basic math. it's entirely possible that buttigieg is on the short end of the stick. we'll have to see.
      • from CNN: Buttigieg cancels top-dollar California fundraisers to focus on officer-involved shooting in South Bend. buttigieg also had to cancel appearances at a number of events this week to handle an officer-involved shooting that took place in south bend this week. this move has mostly been praised, but i imagine will be under a decent amount of scrutiny given that buttigieg is running for president and will, if he wins, have to address things like this on a national level.

      Everybody Else

      • from POLITICO: Julián Castro in Fox News town hall: Let’s talk about me, not Hillary. julian castro was the latest candidate to have a fox news town hall, at which he rebuked the network's efforts to tie everybody to hillary clinton (and also rebuked efforts to talk about really any other candidate actually in the primary). castro also doubled down quite significantly on his plans for immigration and in his criticisms of donald trump, despite the conservative audience at home.
      • from CNN: Amy Klobuchar joins Democrats calling for impeachment proceedings. amy klobuchar, the other other female candidate, became the latest democrat to call for impeachment proceedings that is running for president. this brings the total number of candidates in favor of impeachment proceedings up to about a dozen, according to CNN.
      • from the Atlantic: This Isn’t Going According to Plan for Kirsten Gillibrand. kirsten gillibrand's mighty, shambaholic campaign continues to get press--but most likely not for the reasons she'd want. last week i had an article on how she's used to uphill battles, but in this case it seems like she picked off a battle that is entirely too much for her abilities as a skilled campaigner, because her polling remains incredibly bad. her one solace is she's made the first debate, but that's about it. that, i think, is really her last chance to start rising in the polls before she's going to be relegated to perennial 1%er status the rest of the way.
      • from POLITICO: How Rep. Eric Swalwell would tackle gun violence in America. eric swalwell has a plant to tackle gun violence. it is quite straightforward, and "includes banning assault weapons, instituting a gun buyback program and requiring licenses for all gun owners." he also says he "would hold weapon manufacturers responsible by “lifting the shield of liability that protects” them" and wants insurance to be a part of gun licensing.
      • from New York Magazine: [LONGFORM] Tulsi Gabbard Had a Very Strange Childhood, which may help explain why she’s out of place in today’s Democratic Party. And her long-shot 2020 candidacy. this piece by NYMag is an extensive profile of possibly the second most odd candidate running in the primary and perennial 1%er tulsi gabbard, the congresswoman for hawaii's second congressional district, noted "progressive" candidate, apparent hindu nationalist, and supposed assad apologist. gabbard is an interesting candidate mostly because of her own incredibly unique past, but also because of the incredibly odd people she brings together to form her 1% coalition that polls just behind yang but just ahead of williamson, usually (that coalition being progressive types, hindu nationalists, intellectual dark web dogwhistlers, and more).
      • from CBS News: Marianne Williamson on bringing spirituality back into politics. marianne williamson, who is arguably the weirdest candidate of the cycle ahead of gabbard, takes a very interesting line of approach to the campaign, which i think i'll just quote directly: "The problem [with politics] is with an over-corporatized, over-secularized political conversation so disconnected from values, so disconnected from issues of moral and ethical responsibility, as to have broken itself off of the major river of American thought and American life. That's why so many people can't relate to it." interestingly, williamson also supports a 200-500 bllion dollar reparations package.
      • from Vox: [LONGFORM] Andrew Yang is promising to revitalize America. His nonprofit tried, too, but couldn’t. andrew yang is running on a platform of revitalizing america among other things, but his record on the issue suggests he might have a hard time messaging on that. as Vox reports, yang intended to create 100,000 jobs through venture for america, but VFA has failed to create even 4,000 "jobs" so far. given that VFA is sorta kinda a model for yang's campaign, this does leave a number of questions up in the air.

      anyways, feel free to as always contribute other interesting articles you stumble across, or comment on some of the ones up there.

      16 votes
    12. welcome to week twelve, one day late edition. this delay is brought to you by the weirdly confined issue to the file i wrote this in, which necessitated three days(!) of writing because of the...

      welcome to week twelve, one day late edition. this delay is brought to you by the weirdly confined issue to the file i wrote this in, which necessitated three days(!) of writing because of the sheer number of links this week. the opinion section is only one article long this week again, but we have some [LONGFORM] pieces and some recent polling to make up for that.

      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 11

      News

      Polling

      Twenty-four percent of Iowa’s likely Democratic caucusgoers say former vice president Biden is their first choice for president. Sanders, a Vermont senator, is the first choice for 16% of poll respondents, while Warren, a Massachusetts senator, and Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, are at 15% and 14% respectively. No other candidate cracks double digits. California Sen. Kamala Harris comes closest at 7% [...] Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke are at 2%.

      In a first look at head-to-head 2020 presidential matchups nationwide, several Democratic challengers lead President Donald Trump, with former Vice President Joseph Biden ahead 53 - 40 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University National Poll released today. [...]
      Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders over President Trump 51 - 42 percent;
      California Sen. Kamala Harris ahead of Trump 49 - 41 percent;
      Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren tops Trump 49 - 42 percent;
      South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg edges Trump 47 - 42 percent;
      New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker by a nose over Trump 47 - 42 percent.

      • National Democratic Primary, from Quinnipiac:

      Biden leads the presidential primary race with 30 percent among Democrats and voters leaning Democratic. [...] Sanders is next with 19 percent; Warren has 15 percent; Buttigieg has 8 percent; Harris is at 7 percent; Former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke is at 3 percent; No other Democrat tops 1 percent, with 14 candidates polling at less than 1 percent.

      General Stuff

      • from Vox: Poll: a growing number of Democratic voters are prioritizing gender-related issues we begin with some polling, which suggests that the recent slate of abortion bans and heavy restrictions on abortion is having an impact on what voters prioritize. a doubling of democratic voters who prioritize women's issues has been observed across the board in the span of just a month. this might not be maintained if the slate of abortion bans gradually dies off, but at least in the immediate term you definitely seem to be seeing this in how often these issues are mentioned in the media.
      • from Vox: 2020 is quickly becoming the abortion rights election. Here’s proof. also from Vox, in a similar vein some activists are considering 2020 the year of the abortion rights, and the 2020 election a defining election on them. in iowa, for example, it was ranked the top issue of caucusgoers, placing ahead of climate change narrowly. this piece is primarily a conversation focusing on the issues surrounding abortion and how activists think it will play out in this election cycle.
      • from Pacific Standard: Can Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, and U.S. Cities End Exclusionary Zoning?. exclusionary zoning policies are something that's gotten attention from a few candidates, most obviously cory booker and elizabeth warren who both have plans which seek to end it. zoning policies are but one part of a greater issue in affordable housing, but the fact that candidates are even bothering to take the time to acknowledge its existence probably demonstrates something about what an issue housing is for a lot of people.
      • from CBS News: Some progressives worry Puerto Rico is being left behind on 2020 campaign trail. despite the focus on the complete bottling of aid being sent to puerto rico by the trump administration, a number of progressive groups are concerned that puerto rico is being largely left out of the conversation when it comes to 2020. puerto rico has been largely ignored by candidates so far (only 3 of the candidates in the race have visited the island so far) and is still recovering from hurricane maria; nonetheless, progressives seem ready to make it a defining issue of the campaign trail.
      • from Slate: The Democratic Candidates Ought to Debate Climate Change Policy. one of this week's plotlines with respect to the debates was the DNC's unwillingness to agree to a debate specifically on the issue of climate change. this has been a generally poorly received move, and the party has received considerable backlash for it as this piece is representative of. the DNC might walk this back or it might not, but regardless this seems like it will be an issue that causes future friction, especially given the DNC's expressed desire to uninvite anybody who qualifies for the debates should they engage in a non-DNC affiliated one.
      • from Buzzfeed News: California’s Early 2020 Primary Is Pushing Presidential Candidates To Talk To Latino Voters. the california primary coming so early on in the cycle and being such a decisive part of it in 2020 is leading to democratic candidates placing significant priority on appealing to latino voters this year, who are likely to be a major constituency in the primary. this is a welcome change for a lot of latinos and the state of california in general, which has generally come late in the cycle previously and not played an especially significant role in most of them.
      • from the Atlantic: [LONGFORM] How the Democrats Got Radicalized on Student Debt. the recent policy developments of the democrats on student debt are the focus of this article by the Atlantic. this has been a rapid change for the party; in the span of just three election cycles the party has gone from "one year of college free for “qualified students”" (the John Edwards proposal, 2008) to things like "making public college tuition-free for students from families who made less than $125,000 a year" (Clinton, 2016) and probably beyond in this cycle.

      Joe Biden

      • from Grist: Joe Biden says he’ll take the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge. Here’s why that matters. joe biden, in rolling out his climate plan next week, also became the latest candidate to take the "no fossil fuel money" pledge, which most candidates have also taken (and which counterintuitively allows candidates to take donations of less than 200 dollars from the fossil fuel industry). biden's acceptance of this--even though it is far from binding--is particularly significant because it suggests that the progressive wing of the party has basically forced people's hands on this.
      • from In These Times: [LONGFORM] Hold the Applause. Biden’s Climate Plan Is Mostly Fluff. meanwhile, In These Times has an extensive critique of biden's climate plan; primarily it notes that biden's plan when you strip it down is not that special and is essentially shared by the rest of the field which has rolled out plans so far at its best moments. at others, it is actively misleading, relies on technological optimism as a crutch, or implies biden supports things like the green new deal which he for the most part does not.
      • from the Atlantic: Joe Biden Has the Most to Lose at the Debates. the Atlantic has a piece on joe biden, his near total lack of experience with debates in the past decade, and his debate prep in light of that fact. biden's last serious debate was of course 7 years ago when he faced off against then-VP candidate paul ryan; however, as far as debating other democrats goes, he hasn't done that in a decade. the majority of his prep is centered around trying to stave off the inevitable questions about his record and his positions while presenting himself as a viable alternative to both other democrats and to trump (not that most people necessarily need convincing on the last point)
      • from the Guardian: Biden abruptly drops support for 'discriminatory' abortion rule. in policy news, biden decided to do a weird and wholly unnecessary flip-flop on the hyde amendment after originally affirming his continued support for it ,and then having to immediately walk his support of it back when it turned out that literally nobody else but him supported it in the democratic primary. great look, joe.
      • from Pacific Standard: Green Jobs and New Technology: A Look at Biden and Warren's Latest Climate Plans. this small article from Pacific Standard compares warren and biden's climate plans together on a number of issues, since they are actually fairly similar in a number of respects despite their ideas being relatively different as a whole.

      Elizabeth Warren

      • from the Guardian: Elizabeth Warren gains momentum in the 2020 race plan by plan. warren has continued her quiet, but consistent rise in the polls; she's currently pushing some of her best numbers thus far in the campaign in multiple polls. this is good for her campaign of course, but it's also a bit of a potential quagmire for progressives because with sanders and warren both splitting the difference of mostly the same voting demographics, it's unlikely that biden will relinquish his lead over the primary any time soon.
      • from the Guardian: Watch Elizabeth Warren blast Biden for his stance on abortion funding. biden drew a massive amount of criticism from democratic candidates over supporting the hyde amendment, probably the strongest of which came from elizabeth warren. in warren's words here: "We do not pass laws that take away that freedom from the women who are most vulnerable"
      • from Jacobin: Elizabeth Warren Has a Plan for Everything — Except Health Care. jacobin has an article focusing on the conspicuous absence of an actual healthcare plan from all of warren's ideas so far in the campaign. warren has been pretty vague about what her healthcare policy actually is despite firmly falling into the progressive camp, and she's not really committing to anything in particular yet, to which jacobin encourages her supporters to press her. in their words:

      The entire country is desperate for health care security, and Warren is in a position to argue intelligently and emotionally in support of a bold, progressive solution, just as she has for so many other important issues. Her voice can help the single-payer movement in a significant way. Together with Sanders, she could make Medicare for All an unambiguous and uncompromising demand of the progressive left in the 2020 campaign. The longer she stays silent, the weaker the Medicare for All movement becomes in the face of relentless attacks from right and center.

      Kamala Harris

      • from CNN: Kamala Harris rolls out proposal that would require states to prove abortion laws were constitutional. kamala harris has basically proposed a section 5 provision for abortion rights, which would create a standard where states or polities with a history of unconstitutionally restricting abortion rights would have to prove the constitutionality of their restrictions before they go into effect. this mirrors section 5 of the voting rights act, and would be implemented by harris if she becomes president.
      • from NBC News: Kamala Harris ramps up in early primary states. harris has largely lagged behind other candidates, but seems to be finally kicking her campaign in the early states into full gear this week. harris has been relatively low-key with her scheduling so far, only attending around 50 events, but she seems to be intending to gradually pick up the pace, which is probably a good idea because she still has a name recognition problem.

      Beto O'Rourke

      • from Buzzfeed News: Beto O’Rourke Wants Term Limits For Congress And The Supreme Court. beto o'rourke wants to do a bunch of stuff, but in particular he seems to want to implement term limits for congress; he has a plan which would "limit members of Congress to serving 12 years and create 18-year Supreme Court terms."
      • from the Texas Tribune: Beto O'Rourke's proposed election reforms seek to simplify voting registration, get big money out of politics. that plan is also part of a broader scheme to reform politics. the crux of his ideas revolve around elections, where he wants "a national transition to same-day voter registration and automatic voter registration when any citizen visits a government office, with pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds" along with "let[ting] people vote without ID as long as they sign a "sworn written statement of identity."" o'rourke wants to "mak[e] Election Day a federal holiday, expanding early voting to two full weeks before Election Day and relocating polling stations to more convenient places." o'rourke also wants to reform campaign finance, among other thing spporting "encouraging low-dollar donations by making contributions up to $500 tax-deductible and matching those donations with public funds" and "requir[ing] campaigns to disclose donations over $1,000 within 48 hours" among other things.
      • from CBS News: Beto O'Rourke says Biden "absolutely wrong" on abortion stance. o'rourke was extensively interviewed by CBS News the other day, during which he also threw some criticism at biden for his bad stance on the hyde amendment:

      "I hope Joe Biden rethinks his position on this issue," O'Rourke said. "Perhaps he doesn't have all the facts. Perhaps he doesn't understand who the Hyde Amendment hurts the most...lower income communities, communities of color. I would ask that he rethink his position on this."

      Pete Buttigieg

      • from Buzzfeed News: Pete Buttigieg’s Struggle To Win Over Latinos Could Limit His Rise In California. pete buttigieg is going to need to do a lot of things if he wants to win the nomination, and one of them is win over latinos who currently are not going to him in nearly the numbers he needs. in california in particular, the biggest state in the primary his bump in the polls is really being limited by his current lack of appeal to the latino community (to which he is trying to rectify things, but not necessarily doing the best job). he's made overtures toward the latino community, but he's still going to need to do a lot more than what he currrently has on the card if he wants to compete with them.
      • from NBC News: Buttigieg's big accomplishment that he never mentions on the campaign trail. buttigieg incidentally has one proposal which might actually endear him to the latino community's undocumented members but which he has yet to really play up on the campaign trail. in south bend he organized a "Community Resident Card" program through a private organization and basically turned it into an acceptable form of ID accepted by most of the businesses and services in the city, which allowed undocumented immigrants in south bend to participate in life without having to worry about immigration services.

      Jay Inslee

      • from Reuters: Presidential hopeful Inslee unveils plan to reclaim U.S. leadership on climate issue. jay inslee not only has plans on climate change, he also has plans on how to make the US a leader on climate change internationally. according to reuters, inslee's plan on taking the reins internationally "ranges from rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, an international accord to fight climate change that Trump opposes, to more ambitious ideas like overhauling U.S. trade and immigration policies to prioritize climate change, and blocking U.S. financing for foreign fossil fuel projects."
      • from Buzzfeed News: Gov. Jay Inslee Says He Is Running For President To Do “Everything Humanly Possible” To Defeat Climate Change. buzzfeed interviewed jay inslee primarily on climate change here and he goes into a bit more detail about his campaign, but probably the most interesting thing about this interview is inslee's non climate policies, which he also goes into a bit here. (he does not want to change the law federally on sex work, leaving it up to the states, for example.)

      Everybody else

      He would ask Congress to allocate $5 billion per year for 10 years to replace lead pipes and address lead contamination in paint and soil “in areas of highest need,” as well as an additional $100 million per year toward preventing lead poisoning in children.
      For people whose blood has high levels of lead, Castro’s plan includes provisions for treating lead poisoning under universal health care, mandatory lead testing for children under 2 years old, and “support services including counseling, tutoring, education on nutritional needs.”

      • from RollCall: Think Kirsten Gillibrand has no chance? She’s heard that before — and won anyway. kirsten gillibrand might be well behind most of the frontrunners, but she's no stranger to longshot races. as this RollCall article notes, gillibrand's first big victory came in a district that was something of a longshot, and despite the expectation that gilibrand would lose. obviously a congressional race is not a presidential race, but we're also early and technically speaking, nobody is out of it yet.
      • from the Guardian: 'For the NRA, the gig is up': Eric Swalwell on why gun control is a winning issue. from one perennial 1%er to another, we now turn to eric swalwell, who the guardian snagged an interview with on the issue of gun control, the topic which motivated his run. in his view gun control is a winning issue primarily because of the massive toll mass shootings have already wreaked on the country and the fact that most people support restrictions on guns.

      Opinion

      • from the Guardian: Want to defeat Trump? Attack Biden. this opinion piece by bhaskar sunkara echoes a similar refrain from a number of people, which is that biden is out of step with the party and needs to be halted because his policies essentially make him an empty suit.
      10 votes
    13. 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...

      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.

      Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6Week 7Week 8Week 9Week 10


      News

      General Stuff

      • 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.

      Joe Biden

      • 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."

      Bernie Sanders

      • 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.

      Elizabeth Warren

      • 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.

      Everybody Else

      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.

      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

      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.

      15 votes
    14. welcome to week ten. this week sees a lot of smaller candidates making news and getting their own little sections and pieces. the opinion section is once again short, and [LONGFORM] gains some...

      welcome to week ten. this week sees a lot of smaller candidates making news and getting their own little sections and pieces. the opinion section is once again short, and [LONGFORM] gains some representation for the second week in a row.

      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 9


      News

      General Stuff

      • Biden, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Michael Bennet, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Rep. Tim Ryan, Gov. Steve Bullock, and Mayor Wayne Messam: did not comment
      • Sanders: supports regulation of platforms
      • Harris: would hold social media companies accountable for the “hate” spreading across their platforms; believes companies have a “responsibility to help lead the fight” against the “threat to our democracy.”
      • Buttigieg: in favor of applying the same strategies used to combat “foreign radicalism” to address domestic white nationalism
      • Booker: "part of the problem with dealing with these issues is getting the social media platforms to even acknowledge that they have a problem on their hands"; however, did not clarify if he’d specifically support regulating social media companies to curb white nationalism
      • Williamson: “The companies should shut down hate speech that incites violence. I support regulation of the platforms so they are not used to perpetrate violence on blacks, Jews, the media, or others”
      • Moulton: “Social media companies must take the lead in developing the rules and processes necessary to combat white nationalism online”
      • Inslee: “I applaud Facebook for its recent decision to ban praise and support for white nationalist ideals, but this is a beginning to a solution and not an end.”
      • Castro: “[Banning white nationalist content] is a start, but they're playing catchup and need to do better at extinguishing hate speech quickly.”
      • Yang: appreciates Facebook’s move after the Christchurch shooting but that the social platforms are not in the best position to figure out what changes are needed to curb white nationalist violence.
      • from Buzzfeed News: Almost All The 2020 Presidential Candidates Say They Want To Make Roe V. Wade Law. it may seem unsurprising, but pretty much every democrat--even the 1% randos like wayne messiam, marianne williamson, andrew yang, seth moulton, eric swalwell, and others--supports roe v wade explicitly, according to buzzfeed. the two people who did not respond to their requests for comment are bill de blasio and tulsi gabbard.

      Joe Biden

      • from POLITICO: Biden nets fundraising windfall in 2-day Florida swing. biden began the week by casually raising 2.2 million in a swing around florida. this is one of a series of several fundraisers since biden announced; according to POLITICO biden raised $700,000 earlier this month in Hollywood, and $700,000 of the $6.3 million biden raised in the first 24 hours of launching his campaign came from an event.

      • from Slate: The Premise of Joe Biden’s Campaign Is That Every Left-Wing Criticism of the Democratic Party Since 2008 Has Been Wrong. slate's article takes the stance that joe biden is essentially bucking the democratic orthodoxy since obama's first win in trying to work as a bipartisan candidate, appealing to white-working-class voters, and by continuing to use big donors over grassroots organization. so far, it's working pretty well--but see also that NPR article above which notes much of this so far is seemingly driven by name recognition.

      Beto O'Rourke

      • from POLITICO: Slumping O'Rourke looks to regain mojo at prime-time town hall. beto o'rourke has slumped pretty badly in the past few weeks, and this has led him to take on something he said he wouldn't really do: cable television. this townhall was o'rourke's first big media appearance, amazingly enough, and it's a part of his changing strategy toward the media as he seeks to figure out how to actually become relevant again in the primary.

      • from FiveThirtyEight: Beto O’Rourke Ignored Cable News — And It Ignored Him. unfortunately, o'rourke's reboot has come to largely coincide with a few new candidates. consistently behind the major frontrunners of the campaign already in terms of cable news mentions, o'rourke got pushed behind new york dipshit bill de blasio for the week of may 12, which is laughable. this will probably not help him any.

      • from POLITICO: O’Rourke feels 'really good' about 2020 campaign. o'rourke is still optimistic, though, about his chances. he rejects the media's narrative that his bubble has basically burst and that his fleeting Candidate of the Month moment has passed.

      Elizabeth Warren

      • from the Atlantic: Elizabeth Warren Takes a Different Strategy to Court the Black Vote. warren's approach to the black vote is getting some attention from the media this week. education policy and other policies related to racial discrimination are the crux of warren's approach here so far, with a particular emphasis in this case on things like funding for HBCUs (which have been pushing for such for awhile now). for the most part, this has been received quite well by the black community--it is up in the air though whether or not warren's policies could pass congress though, which is... bad, to say the least, about a lot of education reform.

      • from the Guardian: 'Let's figure this out': Elizabeth Warren's calls to supporters delight the internet. warren's also been calling up supporters randomly, which has caused quite a bit of internet attention. to my knowledge she's the only person to really make this a part of her campaign so far, and while this has been done in the past by candidates, it hasn't really been done to the extent warren's been doing it recently (she's been doing it since she announced her campaign!)

      • from Vox: What’s behind Elizabeth Warren’s comeback in the polls. warren has seen a slow, but steady uptick in her polling for about the past month, amounting to a movement of about 3 points. that's not much, of course, but it's allowed her to solidify her position as the 3rd place candidate in the primary on average. she also is one of the net most liked people in the primary and it seems like she only has an ability to go up.

      • from the Center for Public Integrity: Elizabeth Warren decries big money in politics. Her campaign treasurer embodies it.. it's not all good for warren, though. her campaign treasurer, Paul Egerman, is tied to a number of positions on campaign finance that stand in apparent contradiction to how warren is angling herself. this is obviously not a deal breaker for the overwhelming majority of people, but it is a mild annoyance that probably could have been avoided.

      Kirsten Gillibrand

      Focusing on various aspects of childcare up to kindergarten, Gillibrand said her plan "levels the playing field starting at birth" for children and parents.
      The plan also aims to fight pregnancy complications and maternal mortality by "providing states and hospitals with access to new resources to develop and implement standardized best practices." Gillibrand also proposed solutions modeled after a 2017 bill introduced by former North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, which called for funding to study maternal and obstetric health records in rural regions of the country.
      The "Family Bill of Rights" would implement equal adoption rights meant to prevent discrimination against prospective parents belonging to any religion, socioeconomic class, or gender. To make adoption more affordable, the plan offers a refundable tax credit for families that have adopted.

      Cory Booker

      • from Vox: Cory Booker wants banks to stop charging so many overdraft fees. in between campaigning, cory booker is taking on overdraft fees, trying to get a bill passed which would: "bar banks from imposing overdraft fees on debit card or ATM transactions. It would also curb the number of overdraft fees that could be levied on check-based transactions and prohibit banks from reordering the sequence of user activity." i imagine if this does not get passed, he will probably start campaigning on it (provided he isn't already).

      • from POLITICO: Booker builds out campaign team. booker's campaign team is being built up this week. among other things, his team is taking on a number of clinton campaign staffers, EMILY's List folks, and a few staffers from 2018 gubernatorial and senate campaigns.

      John Hickenlooper

      • from CBS News: John Hickenlooper releases plan to reduce gun violence. john hickenlooper released a plan on gun violence, which to my knowledge makes him the third or fourth candidate to do so. compare cory booker's plan to combat gun violence; the two are relatively similar, but also have quite a few differences.

      • from NPR: Former Colorado Governor And 2020 Candidate Urges Distance From 'Socialism'. hickenlooper has also clearly sorted himself to the right side of the pack already, mostly through his emphasis on bipartisanship and distancing himself from the left-wing shift of the party. hickenlooper was known for being fairly moderate as colorado's governor, it should be noted, so this is not out of character for him.

      Everybody Else

      “I had a very real, personal experience where I had to fight to keep my case — and my argument was, ‘I was elected to exercise my discretion, and no one’s going to take my case from me,’” Harris said in the MSNBC interview. “It was that personal experience that informed my principle, which is that these cases shouldn’t be taken from the person who was elected to exercise their discretion.”
      But Harris said it’s now clear to her that there needs to be an independent entity brought in to probe the recurring shootings and brutality by police officers from the beginning.

      • from the Guardian: 2020 candidate John Delaney pitches vastly unusual climate change plan. john delaney, the first candidate to announce for the 2020 presidential primary all the way back in 2017, has an unorthodox climate change plan. in essence according to the Guardian, his idea is "to capture carbon dioxide pollution heating the planet and transport it in pipelines criss-crossing US" which is... novel? i guess? this is of course not going to happen. delaney is a <1% poller and he has no profile at all, but add it to the list of ideas.

      • from NPR: Julián Castro Wants To Redefine Which Immigrants Have 'Merit'. julian castro has mostly been focusing on immigration issues, which shows in his interview here with NPR. this is unsurprising for fairly obvious reasons--castro being the hispanic candidate that he is and mostly drawing his support mostly from hispanics.

      • from Buzzfeed News: [LONGFORM] Democrats Like The Idea Of A Gay President. But They Are Quietly Worried About Mayor Pete. pete buttigieg has been cruising fairly nicely since he entered the race, but behind the scenes it's unclear even among the democratic caucus whether or not he'd ever be able to get over the hump in the primary, much less the general. as this longform piece notes:

      Nearly 30% of Democratic voters believe it is “always wrong” for “same-sex adults to have sexual relations,” a 2018 poll found. In a poll just last month, 86% of Democrats and left-leaning independents said they are “open” to electing a gay male president — but a majority said they didn’t think the country was ready.
      That’s a stark contrast to 2007, when most voters said they thought the country was ready for a black president, and in 2015, when most voters said the country was “ready” for a woman.

      it's also pretty likely that things would get wacky in the general, given that buttigieg is already drawing small, anti-gay protests.


      Opinions & Other


      anyways, feel free to as always contribute other interesting articles you stumble across, or comment on some of the ones up there.

      12 votes
    15. week nine is here, and while we don't have a lot of candidates this time, we still have a bunch of stuff to go through. the opinion section is back this week, since there were a few pieces of the...

      week nine is here, and while we don't have a lot of candidates this time, we still have a bunch of stuff to go through. the opinion section is back this week, since there were a few pieces of the sort, but it's pretty short this week. we actually have more [LONGFORM] tagged pieces this week than op-eds, so that's always interesting. anyways.

      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 8


      News

      General Stuff

      • from Buzzfeed News: [LONGFORM] “Abolish ICE” Was The Call Of Last Summer. 2020 Democrats Have Moved On.. despite the big hooplah surrounding this last year, it's been surprisingly quiet on the abolish ICE front since then, to the chagrin of many immigration activists. given the fact that it's fairly radical (despite ICE only being an agency since 2002), don't expect a lot of movement here; many of the democrats running who adopted the drumbeat last year have almost totally dropped it and show no signs of really picking it back up.

      • from The Atlantic: [LONGFORM] The 2020 Presidential Candidates’ Families Look Like Americans’. this is an interesting piece which analyzes how even the "nuclear" family which we're all so used to has essentially ceased to exist on the campaign trail, on both sides of the aisle, and become more reflective of what you'd expect of such a large and diverse country:

      Of the 24 candidates, eight have blended families: Donald Trump has children with multiple partners; the candidates Elizabeth Warren, John Hickenlooper, Bill Weld, and Joe Biden are married and have children from previous marriages, while Bernie Sanders is married and has a son from a previous relationship; Sanders, Tim Ryan, and Kamala Harris all have stepchildren. Seven are remarried divorcés or divorcées (Trump, Warren, Hickenlooper, Weld, Sanders, Eric Swalwell, and Tulsi Gabbard), and four have no children of their own (Harris, Gabbard, Pete Buttigieg, and Cory Booker). One has a spouse of the same sex (Buttigieg), one is a remarried widower (Biden), and two are unmarried (Booker and the self-help and spirituality author Marianne Williamson). Two candidates have at some point lived as single mothers (Warren and Williamson).

      • from Pacific Standard: What Role Will Religion Play for Democratic Presidential Candidates in 2020?. religion has been largely absent from the democratic side of presidential elections for awhile, but interestingly even as organized religion starts to decay in america, this year you're seeing a few democrats pick up the banner of religion in their campaigning. this might be because WASP-types tend to vote heavily republican and even scalping a few of them or making them more hesitant to pull the lever for republicans could render a republican unable to win nationwide except in particularly unique circumstances--but it could also just be that there are a lot of candidates this year, and some of them just happen to be openly religious and democratic. either way, it's too early to really say how this will shake out in future elections, but keep an eye on it.

      • from FiveThirtyEight: [LONGFORM] How Will Democrats’ Move Away From Caucuses Affect The 2020 Race?. a lot of states which used caucuses in 2016 are not going to be doing so again in 2020; in fact, the caucus system is basically dead at this point in the democratic party. besides turnout, though, it's unclear how this will actually affect the 2020 race. maybe the biggest subplot of this will be the party-run primaries some states will be having (which differ significantly from government-run primaries: "While state governments might open hundreds or thousands of polling places statewide for 12 hours or more, party-run votes might provide less than one voting location per county or keep the polls open for just four hours on primary day. These party-run affairs will likely offer forms of early and absentee voting in 2020, but seeing as they won’t be able to rely on the state-run systems that normally handle these kinds of election administration, it’s unclear how effective the parties will be at managing this on their own.") beyond that? shruggie.

      Joe Biden

      • from POLITICO: ‘Slow and steady’ strategy pays off for Biden. biden's early game so far has been pretty laid back compared to just about everybody else. this is very much intentional--biden has several reasons to not want to attempt the wild pace of everybody else, namely that he's old and gaffe prone--and so far, seems to be working. biden's lead has been retained thus far in the primary and doesn't seem to be really abetting yet.

      • from The Atlantic: Joe Biden’s Bet That 2016 Didn’t Change Everything. this piece by The Atlantic goes into a bit of detail about the big bet of the biden campaign: "that in the four years since Trump launched his campaign, the country hasn’t changed, the Democratic Party hasn’t changed, and politics hasn’t changed." it's an interesting bet, one which i'm not sure is exactly correct. also, this feels like possibly the most accurate summary of biden's case for the presidency thus far:

      [...]It’s early days yet in the Democratic primary, but Biden’s campaign is discussed in some circles as a self-fulfilling prophecy: that he will win the Democratic nomination simply because he appears the likeliest to win the nomination, that he will beat Trump simply because everyone is talking about how electable he is—not because voters are actually excited about him or the specifics of what he’s running on.

      "I know some of the really smart folks said that Democrats do not want to hear about unity. The Democrats are so angry, the angrier that candidate could be the better chance to win the nomination. I do not believe it," Biden said. "I believe Democrats want to unify this nation."
      [...]
      "I am running to offer our country — Democrats, Republicans and Independents — a different path, not back to a past that never was but to a future that fulfills our true potential,” he said.

      Elizabeth Warren

      Warren would call on Congress to pass laws enshrining the right to an abortion that would preempt any state attempt to ban the procedure or impose onerous regulations on abortion providers. She would also push for the repeal of the Hyde amendment, a long-time prohibition on federal funding for abortion and sign executive orders rolling back recent Trump administration moves aimed at cutting Planned Parenthood out of the Title X family planning program.

      a lot of this is contingent on congress, you might note, and this is one of the big weaknesses of her plan here. democratic control of the senate in either 2020 or 2022 is far from a given, meaning that in the event they fail to take control of the senate this plan basically cannot go through since it'd fail on a party-line vote. (she might be banking on the democrats splitting the chamber 50-50 since it is unlikely they'd--in 2020 anyways--outright win the senate.)

      • from CBS News: Elizabeth Warren introduces bill to curb defense lobbying. warren's also introduced a bill in congress which, among other things, seeks to "ban defense contractors from hiring senior officials directly from the Defense Department and extend to four years the ban on former generals lobbying the Pentagon", "[disqualify former contractors who join the government] from working on any issue that could help or hurt their former employer for four years", and "limit foreign governments' hirings of U.S. national security officials."

      • from CBS News: Elizabeth Warren introduces plan to reduce military's carbon footprint. aside from abortion and lobbying, warren's also been busy with climate policy. specifically she's pushing for "the military to reach zero carbon emissions for all non-combat bases and infrastructure by 2030." this is a surprisingly ambitious goal, because the military's carbon emissions have been increasing recently.

      • from Jacobin: How Warren’s Climate Defense Bill Undermines Itself. of course, warren's bill isn't without some controversy. jacobin argues that some of the provisions of the bill essentially undermine it completely, specifically the "market waiver" and the "war waiver":

      WAIVER: the Secretary of Defense may waive the requirements of this section . . . [if] he determines that market conditions for a product or service make it difficult for the Department to acquire that product or service and the waiver will accelerate the Department’s acquisition of the product or service.
      [...]
      WAIVER: the Secretary of Defense may waive the requirements of this section . . . [if] he determines that meeting these requirements would adversely affect the national security interests of the United States . . .

      in their view these waivers are likely to be exploited to such an extent by the government that they essentially offset any benefits the bill could have and render it incapable of addressing climate change in the way climate change needs to be addressed in the time we have.

      • from In These Times: [LONGFORM] When It Comes to U.S. Militarism, Elizabeth Warren Is No Progressive. more broadly, In These Times makes an argument for warren being basically joined at the hip with military interests, even as she tries to address some of the biggest problems with it. specifically they note that her voting record outside of yemen on military issues is not the best, and they often stand in contrast to some of the policies and rhetoric she espouses on the issue.

      • from Vanity Fair: Can MAGA Country Learn to Love Elizabeth Warren?. vanity fair notes meanwhile that warren seems to be gaining some traction with trump voters, at least on policy issues:

      [...]In a recent focus group observed by Axios in Sioux City, Iowa, voters who flipped from Obama to Trump “strongly supported” Warren’s plan to cancel up to $50,000 in student debt for voters whose families made less than $100,000 a year. They echoed her message that many Americans are not reaping the benefits of a booming economy, pointing to stagnant wages and a declining quality of life. And there was a strong consensus that big financial institutions should be taxed to pay for infrastructure.
      The only catch? The focus group wasn’t told that the student debt plan was Warren’s. All but 1 of the 11 Obama-Trump swing voters in the group said they would re-elect Trump if he were running against Clinton.

      Kamala Harris

      Harris wants to ban AR-15-style assault weapon imports and suspend all other assault weapon imports until the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives can analyze whether they should be permanently banned under U.S. law. Her campaign argues the weapons could be banned because they aren't "suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes." This includes all 44 AR-type models listed in the latest assault weapons ban that was introduced in Congress.

      • from POLITICO: Kamala Harris: Biden would make ‘great’ running mate. one of the weirder subplots of the week is the row that's been stirred up by a few members of the Congressional Black Caucus suggesting harris would make a good running mate for joe biden. harris herself mostly dismissed this with the humorous jab in the title here, but...

      • from POLITICO: 'It's infuriating': Kamala Harris team galled by Biden veep talk. ...her campaign was less than enthralled with this, to say the least. making it doubly awkward, harris is--as a significant black democrat--a pretty visible member of the CBC, so they had to figure out how to address this without egging this on further. this ultimately seems to have been where harris's jab came from:

      Anticipating questions from news media on Wednesday, Harris and her advisers settled on the humorous one-liner, according to an aide.

      harris remains committed to running for president, obviously.

      Cory Booker

      • from Mother Jones: Can Cory Booker Really Turn His Back on Silicon Valley?. a significant booker sticking point so far (although it's gone mostly unreported) is his desire to step in on silicon valley and social media; he's been angling himself in this way for the past few years. the problem with this, of course, is that booker has a long history with silicon valley himself. for the most part, he hasn't really been punished for this by the voters, it seems (not that there are many to punish him in the first place of course--he's sitting on like, 4% in the polls now), but it is a legitimate question whether or not his barnstorming on this issue can necessarily be backed up.

      • from Buzzfeed News: Cory Booker Vows To Make Roe V. Wade The Law Of The Land As President. on another note, he is one of several candidates who have pledged to do this. not surprising, and i'd be shocked if anybody besides maybe biden eschewed eventually stumping on this, but it's interesting to see how openly people are running on this.

      • from POLITICO: Booker campaign official urges donations for Gillibrand to ensure debate spot. also, perhaps demonstrating the extent to which democrats are trying to avoid conflict, booker's campaign is encouraging people to donate to the perennial disappointment of a campaign that gillibrand has been running so she doesn't miss out on a debate spot. kinda wild!

      Everybody Else

      Sanders’ plan would ban for-profit charter schools, which make up a small slice of charters nationwide, and put strict limits on nonprofit charter schools, temporarily banning federal funding for new charters. Charter schools tend to be more segregated than public schools — the NAACP has called to ban them outright — though they are also popular among black voters.
      [...]
      One significant roadblock for Sanders’ sweeping plan: the reality that the federal government plays a relatively small role in K-12 education. The vast majority of money for education comes from states, which set their own policies; some states ban for-profit charters, and others allow them to proliferate.

      Other notable components of Inslee’s new 38-page policy proposal includes investing $35 billion in clean energy and climate solutions research, a big increase over current levels; creating a $90 billion "Green Bank" at the federal level to help finance clean energy development; phasing out potent greenhouse gases called hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, in line with global agreements; proposing federal agencies get all of their domestic energy production from clean energy sources and purchase only zero-emission vehicles by 2024.
      To pay for it all, Inslee proposes a federal investment of about $300 billion a year, which his campaign anticipates will generate an additional $600 billion a year in outside funding. This adds up to $9 trillion in total investment over a decade.

      • from POLITICO: ‘He’s white, male and gay’: Buttigieg hits obstacles with black voters. buttigieg is one of the few democrats who might have genuine problems appealing to black voters, most of which is outlined in this POLITICO piece. in a field this large with multiple minority candidates, he's going to have a hard time (and already is having a hard time, honestly) establishing himself as a candidate minorities should go for. for the most part, i think that his status as white is going to be the bigger barrier than him being gay (at least with the majority of black voters--the article notes the big generational disparity on that: "In 2017, 69 percent of African Americans aged 18 to 29 backed same-sex marriage, but just 40 percent of African Americans aged 65 and older did, according to a Public Religion Research Institute poll."), but we'll see.

      • from The Atlantic: [LONGFORM] Democrat Steve Bullock Won a Red State in 2016. Can He Beat Trump in 2020?. steve bullock is one of the latest candidates to throw himself into the woodchipper. hailing from the nominally red state of montana, though, he probably has a better case for the presidency than most of the perennial 1% polling crowd. this article mostly outlines who he is, what he wants, and what he's shooting for, because honestly unless you're a politico, you probably have no clue who he is or what he stands for (he's the governor of montana, for the record).


      Opinions & Other

      • from GQ: Elizabeth Warren Deserves Your Undivided Attention. this piece by drew magary is basically an op-ed, even though it's not labeled such by GQ. anyways, magary basically lays out all of the places where warren's policies would be good, and why in his view they'd be good. it's not that special nor is it the most elegant basically-an-oped ever written, but GQ doesn't exactly run a lot of pieces like this so i figured i shouldn't pass it over.

      • from The Guardian: Joe Biden would be a disaster for climate change. this was a theme with last week's post where people raked biden for his awful climate change policy. maybe the biggest takeaway from this op-ed, though, is this line: "As atmosphere scientists Andrew Dessler told HuffPost’s Alexander Kaufman, Biden’s plans would “be more in line with stabilizing at 3-4C of warming, rather than staying below 2C”." this is... not optimal! it's actually barely an improvement over donald's policy, which is in line with 4C+ warming.

      • from The Guardian: If New Yorkers won't back Bill de Blasio, nobody else will. oh, by the way, bill de blasio is running for president. nobody cares about him, though, and he's a perennial 1% candidate. super funny how badly he polls, though:

      In a Quinnipiac poll last month, 76% of New Yorkers agreed that their mayor should not run for president. This included 70% of black voters, who usually make up De Blasio’s strongest base of support. As the Washington Post’s Philip Bump pointed out, De Blasio was a standout in another poll, this time of national Democratic primary voters, for being the candidate with the highest unfavorability ratings. He was also the only candidate with net unfavorability, with more respondents having an unfavorable than favorable view of him. The Quinnipiac poll even showed that one-third of Democrats in De Blasio’s home city – what ought to be his main bulwark of support – disapprove of his job performance.


      anyways, feel free to as always contribute other interesting articles you stumble across, or comment on some of the ones up there.

      EDIT: minor spelling stuff

      15 votes
    16. week eight graces us with a particularly large edition of This Week in Election Night, 2020. a lot of candidates have been in the news, for good reasons and bad, and there's a bunch of stuff to go...

      week eight graces us with a particularly large edition of This Week in Election Night, 2020. a lot of candidates have been in the news, for good reasons and bad, and there's a bunch of stuff to go through. no opinion pieces this week, since i didn't end up compiling any particularly good ones and this is going to be pretty long already.

      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 1 threadWeek 2 threadWeek 3 threadWeek 4 threadWeek 5 threadWeek 6 threadWeek 7 thread


      News

      General Stuff

      Joe Biden

      • from Reuters: Exclusive: Presidential hopeful Biden looking for ‘middle ground’ climate policy. we begin on a high note, with joe biden deciding... well... this: "Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden is crafting a climate change policy he hopes will appeal to both environmentalists and the blue-collar voters who elected Donald Trump, according to two sources, carving out a middle ground approach that will likely face heavy resistance from green activists." as far as details, this appears to be the most we have so far:

      The backbone of the policy will likely include the United States re-joining the Paris Climate Agreement and preserving U.S. regulations on emissions and vehicle fuel efficiency that Trump has sought to undo...
      The second source, a former energy department official advising Biden’s campaign who asked not to be named, said the policy could also be supportive of nuclear energy and fossil fuel options like natural gas and carbon capture technology, which limit emissions from coal plants and other industrial facilities.

      • from VICE: A Biden Presidency Would Be a 'Death Sentence,' Climate Activists Warn. to put it lightly, biden's plan is getting fucking obliterated by climate activists. activists are unsurprisingly worried that biden, by trying to seek a middle ground, is basically just going to bring us into hellworld--a likely prospect, honestly, just going off what we have. VICE also expounds on just how unhelpful and non-specific biden's climate policy is so far with this detail:

      Biden’s campaign website contains only three sentences about the greatest crisis ever to face humankind, and these are located midway down a secondary page. “We must turbocharge our efforts to address climate change and ensure that every American has access to clean drinking water, clean air, and an environment free from pollutants,” the site reads.

      • from Mother Jones: The Planet Is Heading to Catastrophe and Joe Biden Apparently Wants to Take the “Middle Ground”. Mother Jones also has some other reporting which expounds on the amazing fact that biden somehow was the first person to really introduce climate change into the political arena, and yet his policy on it is borderline regressive nowadays. not the best look, although i doubt it'll change votes

      • from POLITICO: Bernie Sanders: Biden’s reported climate plan ‘will doom future generations’. if you thought this criticism stopped at voters though, you'd be wrong, because sanders is just as unimpressed with this plan, and i'd imagine he is not the only candidate like this. this is probably about as strong of a rebuke as you'll ever see this early on: “There is no ‘middle ground’ when it comes to climate policy,” Sanders tweeted Friday. “If we don't commit to fully transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels, we will doom future generations.”

      • from POLITICO: Florida takes shape as Joe Biden’s firewall. on a lighter note for biden, he is--for now anyways--the solid frontrunning candidate. florida in particular looks like a key state for him to win, which would be good news for him since it'll give him an advantage in the later half of the primaries (it will, in 2020, be one of the last large states to vote on account of not being a super tuesday state). given its demography, if he's on track to lose in this state, don't count on him realistically winning the primary.

      Bernie Sanders

      Elizabeth Warren

      • [LONGFORM] from TIME: 'I Have a Plan for That.' Elizabeth Warren Is Betting That Americans Are Ready for Her Big Ideas. i don't have a whole lot to say here. we have a tildes discussion on this piece, as it was posted earlier this week, so i would encourage you to post there if you have thoughts on this one like i did.

      • from POLITICO: Trump backers applaud Warren in heart of MAGA country. warren's been hustling around a bit in the past week and change, even stopping over in rural west virginia on friday to talk about the opioid crisis and other socioeconomic factors which have been massively fucking over the region. pitstops like these presumably aren't going to be swinging things blue in west virginia again anytime soon, but as the article notes: "...Warren was here to try to send a message that she’s serious about tackling the problems of remote communities like this one." also, in case you're curious, you can find her policy on the opioid crisis here.

      • from Reuters: Democrat Warren confronts 2020 electability question head-on in Ohio. she was also over in ohio this weekend, where she barnstormed on similar issues of tackling income inequality and the likes of that.

      • from Slate: Warren Has Earned Her Wonk Reputation. this article from Slate is mostly an overview of the many, many policies that elizabeth warren has proposed just over the course of the campaign so far. it's a lot! the article does note that currently she seems to lack detailed policies on many of the big issues prioritized by democratic voters, but we're still pretty early in the campaign so i assume she'll roll those out in the future.

      Kamala Harris

      Harris pulled in at least $1 million from ZIP codes where most residents are not white, about two-and-a-half times the total of former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas, who was second to Harris, raising more than $408,000 from the same set of neighborhoods, the analysis showed. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., was third, about $1,400 behind O'Rourke, and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., was fourth, with at least $391,000.

      • from CNN: Kamala Harris eyes black voters, women in campaign tour to win over Midwest. aside from fundraising, harris spend most of last week swinging through the midwest barnstorming in minority communities; her current angle seems to mostly run through women and minorities, and while she's doing relatively poorly in polling, people do seem to have interest in her campaign. CNN's most recent polling found "...Harris at 5% but leading the field at 23% among those polled when asked which candidate they'd most like to hear more about."

      • from Reuters: Kamala Harris stood up to big banks, with mixed results for consumers in crisis. one of harris's signature points on which she's been campaigning is, in Reuters's words, "the $20 billion relief settlement she secured as California attorney general for homeowners hit hard by the foreclosure crisis"; this article proceeds to pour a bit of cold water on how this played out in practice, though, as harris's actions didn't prevent significant damage to many people's livelihoods.

      Amy Klobuchar

      • from The Guardian: 'Iowa slingshot': Amy Klobuchar plots midwest route to victory in 2020. klobuchar has also been pretty quiet (and been polling quite badly), but she's also gotten some attention this week. as this article talks about, her path to the presidency has always been basically the same: win over midwestern voters which democrats have been collapsing with since obama cleaned house in 2008. she has the electoral history to back this up: despite relatively close races up-ballot being pretty regular in minnesota since 2000, klobuchar has regularly destroyed her republican opponents statewide and won otherwise-republican-voting white people.

      • from Politico: Klobuchar says she isn't worried that older white men are leading the 2020 race. she's also pretty optimistic about her chances. she notes that her campaign is still in the early stages and that despite the dominance of white men, there's still harris and warren in the top-eight, which suggests that she too could have capital as her campaign continues.

      • from the Huffington Post: Amy Klobuchar On Female Presidential Candidates: ‘Discount Them At Your Own Peril’. and of course, she notes that discounting female candidates is something to be done at your own peril--female candidates have been particularly successful in recent electoral cycles.

      • from Reuters: Klobuchar pitches pragmatism as she seeks to carve identity in Democratic presidential field. klobuchar's main ideological approach so far has been to be the "pragmatic" female candidate, advocating for a more incremental tackling of the issues instead of sweeping progressivism as advocated by people like warren. no signs of this changing, although she does openly consider herself to be a progressive in the same vein as people like warren and sanders.

      Pete Buttigieg

      • from POLITICO: Mayor Pete blindsides Kamala Harris in California. california has been a state targeted by just about every candidate so far, but the one with probably the biggest impact relative to how they poll has been buttigieg, who is putting a lot of people who might otherwise be donating to or endorsing harris in an interesting position with where they're going to place their support. LA mayor eric garcetti, who appeared at an event with buttigieg on thursday, might summarize this best:

      “We have a lot of people who are very candidate curious,” Garcetti notes. “Kamala has a ton of love up and down the state, but people might say, ‘That doesn’t mean I’m not going to shop around … Maybe I’ll keep her as my senator and go with somebody else as president.’”

      • from CBS News: Could Pete Buttigieg make history in LGBTQ-friendly Nevada?. buttigieg is also, obviously, hoping to make history with his candidacy, and he's been making overtures toward LGBT organizations accordingly. on saturday he was a headliner at the human rights campaign gala in nevada--nevada it should also be noted has a pretty large LGBT population, which is likely to help him significantly in the state.

      • from NBC News: Buttigieg is the only top 2020 candidate not offering staffers health care yet. however, buttigieg hasn't had all good headlines this week. NBC news highlighted his campaign's failure to offer healthcare to staffers, an ignominious feat for him and something which stands in contrast to the rhetoric he's espoused on the campaign trail so far. NBC reports:

      Buttigieg’s campaign currently has 49 workers, but has been staffing up rapidly, and plans to hit the 50 mark imminently.
      “Crossing this threshold will put us in a position to get a good multi-state group plan, which we are currently negotiating,” said Buttigieg press secretary Chris Meagher.
      In the meantime, the campaign is giving salaried staffers a $400 monthly stipend to buy health care themselves. That’s just enough for a single adult with no children to cover a “silver plan” through the Obamacare exchanges, according to national cost data analyzed by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

      Everybody Else


      anyways, feel free to as always contribute other interesting articles you stumble across, or comment on some of the ones up there.

      11 votes
    17. week seven comes a bit early this week again because this week offers up what might be the most articles that i've covered in one of these so far. no [LONGFORM] articles this week, but we do have...

      week seven comes a bit early this week again because this week offers up what might be the most articles that i've covered in one of these so far. no [LONGFORM] articles this week, but we do have a lot of policy stuff, mostly from the secondary and lesser candidates!

      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 1 threadWeek 2 threadWeek 3 threadWeek 4 threadWeek 5 threadWeek 6 thread


      News

      General Stuff

      Joe Biden

      Bottom line: 96 hours in, Biden looks more like John Kerry of 2004 (the slight front-runner in a volatile Democratic field) than Al Gore of 2000 or Hillary Clinton of 2016.

      • from Jacobin: Joe Biden Is Not a Blue-Collar Candidate. jacobin offers up this take, arguing that biden is not a blue-collar candidate because his voting record suggests he sells out the working class often, and while he is generally acceptable at representing the white working class, he fails to really represent minority working class voters and therefore cannot be a properly blue-collar candidate.

      • from the Atlantic: Biden Is Betting on Unions. They Might Bet on Someone Else. biden is of course angling for the union vote and union endorsements, which he's already winning to some extent with an endorsement from the (admittedly in the biden tank) International Association of Fire Fighters (membership: 300,000). he's going to have a hard time garnering labor endorsements, though, because he is far from the only candidate with union ties. as the article notes, among the other candidates vying for the backing of the unions are sanders, warren and harris, and each of them have arguably just as much claim to the working-class as biden does (see also last week's Democratic presidential candidates seek union support at workers' forum).

      Bernie Sanders

      • from CBS News: Bernie and Biden: Fighting for Trump voters. one of the side effects of how this primary is being waged is that obama-trump voters are being targeted significantly by just about everybody involved. this targeting by the two ends of the primary (and the related issues involved with that) is the subject of this article by CBS News.

      • from Reuters: Bernie Sanders promises help for family farms, rural residents on trip to Iowa. policy-wise, sanders has focused on rural communities in recent weeks, promising among other things to "strengthen anti-trust laws to block new corporate agriculture mergers and break up existing monopolies" and "changes to farm subsidy programs to shift the benefits away from bigger farms to smaller and mid-sized operations".

      Everybody Else

      New Hampshire is a state where Massachusetts candidates like Warren typically do quite well, but a Suffolk University survey of Granite State Democrats released earlier this week had her in fourth place behind Biden, Sanders, and Buttigieg. When asked why, nearly 1-in-5 non-Warren voters said the main reason they don't support her is because they doubt she can beat Mr. Trump.

      • from the Atlantic: Mayor Buttigieg Is Working Remotely Today. this article mostly focuses on the interesting issue buttigieg has--which is, of course, that he is still the mayor of south bend while he's out campaigning. since buttigieg has state he has no intentions of stepping down from the mayoral position he holds (and his term expires in november), this is probably going to be an interested background note of his campaign for the next little while.

      • from POLITICO: Gillibrand proposes public campaign financing plan. kirsten gillibrand has policy too, folks! admittedly, i have no idea why her policy takes this form, but she nonetheless proposes that:

      ...eligible voters could opt into her “Democracy Dollars” program and register for vouchers, provided by the Federal Elections Commission, to donate up to $100 in a primary election and $100 in a general election each cycle. Each participant would get $200 for each type of federal contest: House, Senate and presidential elections.
      But there would be limits on both donors and candidates in order to use the public voucher program. Voters could contribute only to candidates in their state — including House candidates outside their district but within their state. In order to accept the public money, candidates would have to restrict themselves to accepting only donations of $200 or less.

      “Amy will support incentives for state governments to enact ignition interlock laws for those convicted of drunk driving to help reduce repeat offenders. Since problems with alcoholism often start early, Amy will support educational initiatives that focus on the risks of alcohol as well as early identification and treatment of alcoholism,” a summary said.

      supplemental reporting by CBS News also notes the following: "The Minnesota Democrat wants to pay for treatment for those addicted to opioids by charging a two-cents-per-milligram fee to companies that make the drug."

      His plan includes the typical Democratic proposals: universal background checks, an assault weapons ban, better enforcement of existing gun laws, and more funding for gun violence research. But Booker’s plan goes further by requiring that gun owners not just pass a background check but obtain a license to be able to purchase and own a firearm. It’s a far more robust gun control proposal than any other presidential candidate has proposed.

      in many respects this is similar (but more comprehensive in some respects and les comprehensive in others) to the current gun policy of massachusetts. booker's plan also includes a national database for tracking firearms, and also limits on purchases to prevent things like resale. vox's part of the writing here also has info on the underlying research and statistics with respect to whether or not these policies work (for the most part, they seem to).

      • Ensure trading partners adopt and enforce fair labor and safety standards
      • Ensure the protection of IP rights of American companies
      • Require trading partners to enforce environmental and climate standards
      • Ensure U.S. firms enjoy equitable and comparable investment rights abroad
      • Ensure U.S. workers have assistance to adjust to job displacement from trade

      if you're interested in that sort of thing, CBS also helpfully embedded the five-page outline going into more detail on those planks in the article.


      Opinion/Ideology-driven

      ...the discussion around the topic is fraught, particularly for the Democratic Party, which has defined itself in recent decades as the party that embraces and seeks inclusion and diversity. If you're going to assert that a white man is better qualified for a job (the party's nominee) by virtue of being a white man, you really need to be sure on your facts. And the facts just aren't there.

      • from Jacobin: Stick With Bernie. this jacobin piece argues that progressive/leftist types need to rally behind bernie given biden's strength, or else they risk a biden v trump general election which would likely (in their view) go the same way as clinton v trump did in 2016. it's pretty much impossible to tell this far out, but honestly, it's pretty easy to see their point here given biden's circumstances.

      • from Truthout: The Era of “Centrist” Establishment Democrats Is Over. this op-ed from Truthout strongly rebukes the "centrist" tendency of the democratic party, arguing that there is basically no place for that tendency anymore and that it simply does not and cannot produce a winning coalition at this point. bold and new ideas which buck the traditional orthodoxy in this view are the only way to mobilize and produce a winning coalition, because otherwise either too many people stay home, or not enough people vote democratic.

      • from the Guardian: Bernie Sanders needs black women's support. So what's his plan to win us over?. bernie's biggest failing so far between his two presidential runs has almost certainly been his failure to appeal to minority voters, particularly black women. this is of course an issue because he likely needs black women to win the primary and the general. as allison writes here: "Black voters and women of color do not want another president who does not see or value us. Sanders needs to let us know that he understands deeply how frightening, difficult and dangerous this political moment is for us, and for the entire country."

      • from the Guardian: Joe Biden wants us to forget his past. We won't. perhaps the biggest failing of biden on the other hand is his absolutely god awful track record, for which he is raked here and will likely continue to be raked. the main crux of the op-ed:

      As times have changed, Biden has expressed retrospective misgivings about some of those earlier actions and stances. For example, he very recently attempted to offer an apology of sorts, more like an unpology, to Anita Hill, which she quite understandably rejected. And he remains a pure, dyed-in-the-wool neoliberal, as much as ever a tool of Wall Street and corporations. We deserve better than a candidate who wants us to look past his record and focus only on the image he wants to project and, when that tack fails, can offer progressives only a “my bad”.

      • from the Guardian: We can't save the planet with half measures. We need to go all the way. this is one part an op-ed written about climate change, one part an op-ed responding to beto o'rourke's climate plan. on one hand, it does note that o'rourke's plan is good--but it also notes that "good" is not nearly enough to avert the problem, and it's also a downgrade from what o'rourke originally endorsed, which was net-zero emissions by 2030.

      • from the Guardian: Is Elizabeth Warren's college plan really progressive? Yes. this op-ed is pretty straightforward and argues against the somewhat-weird position that warren's college plan isn't progressive because it also helps middle-and-upper-class people that's been advanced by a few people.


      anyways, feel free to as always contribute other interesting articles you stumble across, or comment on some of the ones up there.

      17 votes
    18. week six comes slightly early, because i have way too many links and i actually started writing this yesterday because it's just over a page and fuck writing all this in one day, lol. the...

      week six comes slightly early, because i have way too many links and i actually started writing this yesterday because it's just over a page and fuck writing all this in one day, lol. the [LONGFORM] tag continues and finally returns, offering up two pieces to us today.

      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 1 threadWeek 2 threadWeek 3 threadWeek 4 threadWeek 5 thread


      News

      General Stuff

      • from FiveThirtyEight: What The Potential 2020 Candidates Are Doing And Saying, Vol. 16. a pretty quiet week for most of the candidates. most of the highlights came after the end-date for this volume and will be reflected in next week's.

      • from NBC News: Can a woman beat Trump? Some Democrats wonder if it's worth the risk. even though it's pretty inane, this topic is probably going to be a recurring theme, because voter preferences are some of the absolute weirdest, most unfathomably illogical shit possible. electability is a large part of why this is probably going to be a theme: clinton might have poisoned the well for all of this year's "first" candidates by fucking up in 2016, and that might make voters hesitant to pull the lever for another one. but again, who the fuck knows. voter preferences have an uncanny tendency to make zero sense.

      • from the Guardian: Black female voters to Democrats: 'You won't win the White House without us'. another recurring topic is going to be the black female vote, which is consistently the most democratic bloc possible. in really any place where there's a significant minority vote, democrats have to turn these voters out significantly, and obviously presidential primaries and elections aren't exceptions to that rule. most of the candidates don't seem to be doing the best job of winning them over yet.

      • from Reuters: Democratic presidential candidates seek union support at workers' forum. union voters could be significant in the democratic path to the presidency, and so you're seeing a lot of democrats try and angle themselves as union candidates also. which one will win out here? i have no fucking clue.

      • from NPR: The Democratic Field Is Set: 8 Questions About What Comes Next. NPR offers up a series of questions about the trajectory of the primary, which will probably aid us in the coming months:

      1. How far does name identification go?
      2. It's there for Biden now, but can he prove himself?
      3. Can Bernie Sanders expand beyond his loyal base?
      4. Does Pete Buttigieg continue his momentum?
      5. Does Elizabeth Warren find her lane?
      6. Does Beto O'Rourke get edged out or does he find his way in?
      7. Can Kamala Harris supercharge her candidacy – and fend off Biden in South Carolina?
      8. Can others have a breakout moment?

      Joe Biden

      • from the Atlantic: Unlike His Rivals, Biden Sees Trump as an Aberration. we begin this week with how biden is framing his candidacy. one of the cruxes of biden's campaign is that trump doesn't reflect a change of values in the american public or even in the republican party, necessarily. in his view, the status quo hasn't really changed, and if we return to electing people like biden then trumpism will effectively cease. whether you buy that, i leave up to you.

      • from Vox: The health care industry is betting on Joe Biden in its war against Medicare-for-all. another thing about biden is that he has very decisively positioned himself against medicare-for-all, which mostly reflects his status as an establishment candidate. this, as it happens, is super great if you're a lobbyist for the healthcare industry, which is unsurprisingly and firmly in biden's camp in this election.

      • from Buzzfeed News: Joe Biden Backs A Public Option — Not Medicare For All — As He Argues For Electability. as far as biden is concerned though, this is mostly a matter of electability. among his other points of policy: "[a] on noncompete clauses ... a $15 minimum wage and ... a more simplified process for issuing professional licenses."

      • from the Guardian: 'Battle for America's soul': Biden comes out swinging at first 2020 event. beyond that, biden also has this for policy: "reversing Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations" and "enacting the so-called “Buffett Rule” – which would apply a minimum tax rate of 30% on individuals making more than $1m". he's supposed to unveil more of this in the near future.

      • from Slate: 10 Questions Joe Biden Needs to Answer About His Views on Race. Slate offers up 10 questions that they feel joe biden is obligated to give us better answers on, thanks in no small part to his incredibly long history of being a dumb politician who might now be on the wrong side of the political traintracks.

      Bernie Sanders

      • from Buzzfeed News: Bernie Sanders Is Getting A Shadow Organizing Campaign In The Midwest. bernie sanders has had a quiet week in the media, relatively speaking. one of the only notes from this week about him came in the form of people realizing that yes, our revolution does actually exist and yes, it does actually do things. the sanders campaign is probably going to need things like this to win this year.

      Beto O'Rourke

      The plan begins with proposed executive actions, including rejoining the Paris climate agreement on day one of an O’Rourke administration and moving quickly to raise efficiency standards for buildings, cars and appliances. Longer term executive actions include setting a net-zero emissions carbon budget for federal lands by 2030 and adding more national parks and monuments to protect land and seascapes.
      The meat of the O’Rourke plan is a promise to send Congress, as his first piece of legislation, a bill that would mobilize $5 trillion over the next 10 years to upgrade infrastructure and spur innovation — including more than a trillion dollars in tax incentives to reduce emissions, and $250 billion dedicated directly to research and development.

      His plan, starting day one in the White House, would include spending a record $5 trillion on climate action over ten years and mandating the US reduce its emissions to net zero by 2050. (This means the nation, by midcentury, would no longer be emitting more climate pollution into the atmosphere than it was pulling out of it through trees and other ways.)

      Elizabeth Warren

      Pete Buttigieg

      • from the Atlantic: Authenticity Just Means Faking It Well. this article is more about authenticity than it is about buttigieg, but its catalyst is buttigieg so i'm placing it in this section. what constitutes "authenticity"? who the fuck knows, honestly, but buttigieg is apparently it in a way that resonates with voters.

      Opinion/Ideology-driven

      • from Truthout: [LONGFORM] None of the 2020 Frontrunners Go Far Enough on Climate. Truthout opines that realistically, absolutely none of the current frontrunner candidates have a compelling platform on climate change that will work. this might change now that o'rourke has actually unveiled a comprehensive plan, but in general outside of inslee (who is running as The Climate Change Candidate), so far climate change hasn't really played much of a role in the primary.

      • from the Guardian: Joe Biden is the Hillary Clinton of 2020 – and it won't end well this time either. this take opines that biden is basically this cycle's hillary clinton and that biden basically does not get it. perhaps the best distilling of this argument is in this paragraph:

      Biden’s answer to Trump isn’t systemic change that will make America a more equitable place. He’s not offering progressive policies like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. His is the vaguest and most centrist of battle cries: let’s go back to, you know, “all those good things”. Let’s go back to a time where racism was a little more polite and white people could pretend America was a post-racial society. Let’s fight for the soul of America by pretending that Trump is the problem, not just a symptom of the problem. Let’s pretend that Charlottesville was a direct result of Trump – an aberration – and not a product of a racism that has always existed in America. Let’s rewind the clock a few years to when everything was just fine and dandy.

      The Shakir-Tanden debate about money in politics at Cap is also the larger debate Sanders is sparking in the Democratic party. Joe Biden opened his presidential bid by allowing a Comcast executive to host a fundraiser for him at his home in Pennsylvania. Sanders, on the other hand, has written off such fundraisers and is insisting on relying on small donor funders, not corporate executives or lobbyists.


      anyways, feel free to as always contribute other interesting articles you stumble across, or comment on some of the ones up there.


      EDIT: minor grammatical stuff

      7 votes
    19. week five begins with another page worth of links, a big presidential announcement, and the long creep of this cycle that will make us all go fucking crazy by the end of it. the [LONGFORM] tag...

      week five begins with another page worth of links, a big presidential announcement, and the long creep of this cycle that will make us all go fucking crazy by the end of it. the [LONGFORM] tag continues, but i don't think there's any longform this week either, so c'est la vie.

      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 1 threadWeek 2 threadWeek 3 threadWeek 4 thread


      News

      General Stuff

      • from FiveThirtyEight: What The Potential 2020 Candidates Are Doing And Saying, Vol. 15. if you're curious what candidates have been up to, FiveThirtyEight has you covered with this week's roundup.

      • from FiveThirtyEight: Who Might Make The Democratic Debate Stage?. this is probably the most important question now that the field is basically set: how many people will qualify for the debate stage? the DNC has said the cap is 20 candidates, and we have at least 21 running with potentially more on the way. a lot of them meet at least one criterion for being included. the DNC seems to have prepared extensively for that possibility, so it's not like they're on the backfoot here, but i suspect the politicking surrounding this for some of the smaller candidates is going to be pretty wacky.

      • from The Atlantic: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Race: A Cheat Sheet, like CBS News's roundup, this extensive piece covers every candidate currently declared, why they're running, and what they're running on. pretty good resource for those of you needing to cite something.

      • from The Atlantic: The Strategic Move That Gave Bernie Sanders a Fundraising Edge. despite its title, this article mostly focuses on fundraising and how it's been either lackluster for democrats or not been, depending on who you ask and under what criteria, and whether or not that even matters in the grand scheme of things. it's an interesting discussion.

      Joe Biden

      we begin with two words: HE'S RUNNING. The Atlantic first reported this in a piece on the 19th called Joe Biden Is Running for President, and he was expected to announce yesterday but curiously, something (Biden's team was warned about announcing 2020 bid on same day as forum focused on women of color) seems to have interfered with that master plan that joe biden should have known about, so he announced this morning instead.

      here is his announcement video:

      The core values of this nation… our standing in the world… our very democracy...everything that has made America -- America --is at stake. That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for President of the United States.

      and nobody was really surprised. anyways, onto articles covering his announcement. take your pick of source:


      moving on to analysis:

      Bernie Sanders

      • from Buzzfeed News: Bernie Sanders Isn’t Fighting The Wars Of 2016, His Campaign Says — The Democratic Establishment Is. in case you haven't noticed, we're still religitating the bullshit that characterized the 2016 primary because nobody can drop it. nowhere is this more clear than with the sanders campaign, who feel like they're still having to defend themselves from the same lines of attack they did back then. whether or not this is accurate is probably debatable, but it's pretty obvious that this isn't going to just go away, so expect it to continue to be a fracture point this year.

      • from The Guardian: Sanders dares Democrats to stop him – but is he the man to beat Trump?. in a similar vein, the sanders campaign seems to be contending with the prospect of the democratic party trying to meddle in the primary and anoit a non-sanders winner, as they were accused of doing in 2016. this is going to also likely remain a fracture point, because the democratic party no doubt feels it has reasons to step in here--but also, it would absolutely be inviting trouble if sanders is the leading candidate when everything is said and done at the convention and they step in, given 2016.

      • from Vox: Republican strategist Karl Rove says Bernie Sanders could beat Donald Trump in 2020. whether realpolitik or genuine concern (and in contrast to rick wilson in the above piece), karl rove seems to think that sanders is the exact sort of candidate who would beat donald in 2020.

      Beto O'Rourke

      In a statement about her and Malitz’s departure to BuzzFeed News, Bond said it was “time for us to move on to other challenges.”
      “Launching a presidential campaign without a big staff or even a campaign manager was no easy feat and it took everyone pitching in,” she said. “We’re proud to have been part of the team of deeply dedicated staff and volunteers who nearly pulled off a historic upset in the 2018 Texas Senate race and broke records launching Beto’s campaign for the presidency.”

      • from the Huffington Post: Beto O’Rourke’s Non-Media Strategy. on a more strategy-driven note for beto, his campaign has interestingly been one of the only thus far to not have a nationally televised town hall. this seems to be intentional. as the article notes:

      O’Rourke ... sa[id] he preferred interacting with voters “eyeball to eyeball” rather than by doing TV, as evidenced by his dozens of events where he regularly takes questions from the audience and reporters alike. But he acknowledged “at some point, I may have to give in” to doing cable television.

      it's a bold strategy for certain, but i do suspect that he's going to have to at some point get his voice out nationally. he's been slightly slipping in recent polls, mostly to candidates like buttigieg, and it suggests that he's lost a bit of his lustre with democratic voters.

      Elizabeth Warren

      Pete Buttigieg

      • from Buzzfeed News: Pete Buttigieg’s Presidential Run Has Many LGBT Democrats Eager For Their Obama Moment. buzzfeed has a piece on the significance of pete buttigieg to LGBT americans and how he's been able to leverage that to tap into a donor network that's usually pretty splintered. it's unclear to me that he's going to be able to parlay that untapped base into success, though, and more recent polling seems to have buttigieg sorta stalling out around 10% with the logjam of other sorta-kinda-frontrunner candidates.

      • from CBS News: Pete Buttigieg on the presidency as a "moral office". this is mostly a personality piece on buttigieg and both his history in afghanistan and his electoral history, and how that has influenced his current candidacy and what he views as priorities. it's kinda straightforward and the title sorta speaks for itself, so there's not actually that much to be said for it.

      Kamala Harris

      Harris said she would mandate universal background checks on anyone selling more than five guns a year, ending a loophole that allows private gun sellers to bypass background checks on 1 in 5 gun sales nationwide, bar people classified as fugitives from buying guns. She would also, her campaign said, close a loophole in federal law that allows perpetrators of domestic violence to keep their guns if they are not married to their partner.

      • from POLITICO: Kamala Harris says she supports adding third gender option to federal IDs. she also supports the fairly small idea of adding a third gender option to federal IDs. i guess you gotta have some tiny policies in there too with the big ones for maximum efficiency. it is possible this raises questions about her history of LGBT policy, though, which is probably not something that she wants to litigate because it's not the best.

      Everybody else


      Opinion/Ideology-driven

      For voters, Booker's Wall Street ties and his T-Bone stories are part of the same problem: Authenticity. Can you be a liberal Democratic willing to take on billionaires, entrenched corporations and the deregulation unleashed by the Trump Administration after years of cozying up to Wall Street and pharmaceutical donors? Can you address the racial divides in America — not just what's in people's hearts, but the problems of differential education, mass incarceration and inequality of opportunity — if you can't bring yourself to call Trump a racist? And can you be trusted to tell the truth of why you've arrived at your liberal politics if you made up a T-Bone to explain to white people a cartoon version of black intergenerational trauma?


      anyways, feel free to as always contribute other interesting articles you stumble across, or comment on some of the ones up there.

      11 votes
    20. week four is upon us because i have simply run out of space to put links in. i have a literal page of links that comprise today's post, and that suggests to me it's probably time to make another...

      week four is upon us because i have simply run out of space to put links in. i have a literal page of links that comprise today's post, and that suggests to me it's probably time to make another one of these. the [LONGFORM] tag continues (although this week there are no longform pieces) and once again, i will also be sorting by candidate--but also with a Fundraising header today since reporting deadlines came yesterday and there are a lot of pieces on that, and a Polling header since we have a few polls going now.

      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 1 threadWeek 2 threadWeek 3 thread


      News

      Fundraising

      • from FiveThirtyEight: What First-Quarter Fundraising Can Tell Us About 2020. probably the seminal piece of fundraising reporting from the slate since it's 538, this article is pretty straightforward. in general, this means basically nothing for the actual 2020 election--but it means a lot for the primary, since fundraising is a decent barometer for energy and likability and suggests a candidate will be able to hold their own. 538's metrics suggest that sanders, warren, and harris, and gillibrand are punching well for their weight class and the primary itself, while beto, buttigieg, booker, and others are punching well for their weight class, but not necessarily the primary.

      • from Vox: 7 winners from the first big presidential fundraising reports. Vox takes a slightly more subjective approach to their reporting than 538, but a similar story arises: they name their winners on actual fundraising as sanders, harris, warren, and buttigieg. interestingly, they also name biden a winner because nobody did truly "exceptional" in fundraising in their view which keeps his path slightly open; john delaney's consultants get an amusing mention for shaking him dry of money.

      • from NBC News: Six things we've learned from the 2020 candidates' fundraising reports. NBC News gives raw numbers on contributions, cash on hand, burn rate, so if you're curious about the numbers themselves, this is your source. as far as analysis, NBC crowns the two big winners as sanders and o'rourke on their fundraising totals, mostly on their average daily amount raised (sanders 445k over 41 days; o'rourke 520k over 18 days). they note that most of the senators in the race are doing respectably (although outside of kamala this is partly because of campaign transfers), and also think castro is the big loser with a paltry 1.1 million raised, less than some of the minor candidates like yang and marianne williamson.

      Polling

      A new national Emerson poll, including 20 Democratic candidates for President, found Senator Bernie Sanders ahead of the pack with 29%, followed by former Vice President Joe Biden at 24%. They were followed by Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 9%, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Senator Kamala Harris at 8%, and Senator Elizabeth Warren at 7%. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang and former HUD secretary Julian Castro were at 3%. The poll was conducted April 11-14 of Democratic Primary voters with a subset of n=356, +/- 5.2%.

      Joe Biden on 31%, Bernie Sanders on 23%, Kamala Harris on 9%, Beto O'Rourke on 8%, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg on 7%, Corey Booker on 4%. All others below 3%. n=5,000, +/- 1%.

      Buttigieg ticks up again, and now has 7% of the Democratic primary vote share. This is the fourth straight week his vote share has increased. High income earners in particular are warming to Buttigieg: in the last six weeks, his vote share among Democratic primary voters earning more than $100k has risen from 1% to 11%. Bernie Sanders holds a strong lead with young voters: 41% of 18-29 year-old women and 39% of 18-29 year-old men support Sanders as their first choice. Andrew Yang lands in 5th place with 18-29 year-old men, with 5% of the vote.

      If Biden doesn’t run, Sanders has the most to gain. A projection based on second choice vote shows that Sanders would pick up 12 points if Biden opts not to run, enough to give him a 23 point first place lead.

      In a field of 24 announced and potential candidates, Biden holds the lead with 27% support among Democratic voters who are likely to attend the Iowa caucuses in February. He is followed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (16%), South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (9%), Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (7%), California Sen. Kamala Harris (7%), former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke (6%), Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar (4%), New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker (3%), and former cabinet secretary Julián Castro (2%). Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, California Rep. Eric Swalwell, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang each receive 1% support from likely caucusgoers. The remaining 10 candidates earn less than 1% or were not chosen by any respondents in the poll.


      Bernie Sanders

      Cory Booker

      • from Reuters: Booker launches 'Justice' tour, aiming for surge in U.S. presidential bid. cory booker ostensibly kicked off his middling campaign a few days ago, starting on a two-week whistle stop tour that'll see him around the country like the other candidates. booker is in a weird position, polling wise. he's not quite a frontrunner, but he's also not irrelevant (and he's probably siphoning votes from kamala, to be honest). theoretically, he has a path to the presidency, but i'm not entirely sure that the way he's trying to position himself is going to be particularly helpful in that end.

      • from NBC News: Booker kicks off campaign in hometown of Newark, promises to stay above the fray. NBC News has a more policy-focused article on booker's campaign launch: "Democratic ideals of health care for all, LGBTQ rights, economic equality and a pathway to citizenship for immigrants" among other things. he's also trying to embrace civility politics, it would seem. how well that works for him remains to be seen, but i would bet on him staying about where he is for the time being.

      • from Buzzfeed News: Cory Booker’s Campaign Hasn’t Gotten The Candidate’s Memo On His Message Of Urgency. the booker campaign as a whole is also fighting a battle of contradictory messaging: booker is an energetic candidate--his campaign, however, is very much a slow and steady affair. the booker campaign in general seems to be admitting it won't be able to keep the pace of the frontrunners, and so instead of fighting a battle it knows it can't win, it'll instead sit back and try and gain institutional backing that will benefit booker's chances in the likely event that the primary doesn't end with a presumtive nominee. it's an interesting strategy (it probably will not work, though). there's also some additional policy in this article that NBC and Reuters don't touch on, if you're curious about that.

      Pete Buttigieg

      • from The Guardian: Does everyone really love Mayor Pete? His home town has some answers. pete buttigieg's record and history as south bend, indiana's mayor is getting some traction in the media this week (as you'll see from some of the other articles in this section), and this is no exception. this article focuses mostly on the favorable reception south bender have toward both buttigieg and his candidacy, and the good things that his mayorship did for the city.

      • from NPR: Pete Buttigieg Helped Transform South Bend As Mayor, But Some Feel Left Out. contrast NPR, which has this article (similar to last week's Buzzfeed article) on the people who are less thrilled with buttigieg's tenure as mayor and his efforts to win the presidency, and the greater context they place buttigieg in.

      • from Slate: The Mayor Who Wants to Be President: Pete Buttigieg is a long shot. But so was Donald Trump.. this is the transcript of an interview that one of slate's podcasts did with pete buttigieg about a week ago, mostly focusing on his political history and policy issues but also on some of buttigieg's personal history like coming out. probably a good place to start if you're unclear on who he is or what he says he stands for.

      • from Reuters: Millennial 'Mayor Pete' Buttigieg makes case for U.S. presidency. this small article mostly focuses on buttigieg's formal launching of his campaign, which occurred a few days ago. we have a tildes thread on this, so i feel like there's not much to be said here that hasn't already been said there.

      • from Vox: Pete Buttigieg, Barack Obama, and the psychology of liberalism. this article basically puts into context one of the ways buttigieg seems to be trying to position himself and his campaign, and there's not a whole lot more to be said about it. this article is one of those ones that really only makes sense if you read it, and trying to explain it back to people just makes it a bit confusing all around, so if you're curious about this one, just read it.

      Kamala Harris

      • from Reuters: Kamala Harris carves distinct early-state path in her 2020 White House bid. the kamala harris path to the white house probably does not involve many of the early states necessarily, but that has not stopped harris from stumping in places like iowa and south carolina extensively in the past few weeks. harris would probably be the frontrunner if she were to do very well in the early states; california will be favorable to her, you would think, and comes very early in the 2020 primary cycle (early march) this year relative to where it fell in 2016.

      • from CBS News: Kamala Harris releases 15 years of tax returns. harris is also the frontrunner in this weird litmus test democrats have going on. will anyone upstage her on this? probably not. is it important? probably not. but here you go, if you wanted to know what her tax returns are like.

      Everybody else

      • from CNN: Seven takeaways from CNN's town halls with Andrew Yang and Marianne Williamson. andrew yang and marianne williamson both got town halls, and both of them are pretty interesting people when you actually press them on issues instead of having them shoot things into the wind without needing to really back them up. williamson is arguably the more interesting of the two, but really i think you'll find some of what CNN took away here from the both of them as pretty novel.

      • from FiveThirtyEight: Can Julian Castro Rally Latino Voters?. 538 poses this question--to which the answer seems to currently be no by most accounts. to be clear he's positioning himself pretty well with latino voters, but his problem isn't really latino voters so much as everybody else. he does quite badly with all non-latino demographics, to put it lightly, and him getting the latino vote only really matters if he can do well with other demographics on top of that. maybe he'll turn it around, but judging by his fundraising numbers, i think we might already be able to relegate him to the bin with yang and williamson and the other 'basically novelty' candidates

      General Policy

      • from CBS News: Democratic presidential candidates stay vague on immigration. despite what you might think based on how much of an issue it's been, julian castro is literally the only democrat so far to have a particularly detailed immigration policy plan. most candidates thus far have been pretty quiet on the subject, although i'm sure you can at least guess how most of them would structure an immigration plan. we'll probably see some be rolled out later on in the primary cycle as the race actually gets going, but at least for now this is the one thing castro can pride himself on that other candidates cannot.

      • from NPR: Democratic Candidates Are Releasing Tax Returns, Answering Big Questions For Voters. tax returns are a litmus test this year, and you can expect to see more of them in the future since most of the major candidates have either released them already or will do so at some point in the future. pretty straightforward.


      Opinion/Ideology-driven

      • from The Guardian: Elizabeth Warren is the intellectual powerhouse of the Democratic party. this op-ed mostly focuses on warren's extensive policy proposals and how, in moira donegan's view, this makes warren the aforementioned intellectual powerhouse of the democratic party. this is not wrong--warren is probably far and away the most policy-driven candidate so far in the campaign--but also it's not necessarily indicative of anything voters want. in the last election, hillary clinton had a pretty extensive set of policies, to which voters kindly responded by electing our non-clinton president. it does remain to be seen if they're more kind to warren, or if her ideas get picked up by other people in the race.

      • from The Guardian: Buttigieg is the Democrats' flavour of the month. Just don't ask what he stands for. nathan robinson hammers home one of the bigger criticisms of pete buttigieg in this op-ed, namely that nobody seems to know what he really stands for and he very much reeks of a "flavor of the month" democrat who is going to peter out at some point when the novelty wears off. robinson is actually pretty brutal to buttigieg here, to a point where i think i'm just going to quote him to give you an example of how not-sparing this op-ed is:

      But politics shouldn’t be about people’s attributes, it should be about their values and actions. Buttigieg is a man with a lot of “gold stars” on his résumé, but why should anybody actually trust him to be on their side? (Amusingly enough, in his campaign book Shortest Way Home, Buttigieg describes an incident in which a voter asked him how he could prove that he wasn’t just another self-serving politician. Buttigieg couldn’t come up with an answer.) The available evidence of his character is thin. Has he spent a lifetime sticking up for working people? No, he worked at McKinsey before he entered politics. Has he taken courageous moral stands? No: while Gary, Indiana, declared itself a sanctuary city in response to Donald Trump’s immigration policies, Buttigieg’s city of South Bend did not.

      yeah.

      • from The Guardian: How wide is Bernie Sanders' appeal? This cheering Fox News audience is a clue. bhaskar sunkara has another op-ed this week about the sanders fox news town hall, which he uses as proof that sanders has more widespread appeal than people give him credit for. considering that you're already seeing other candidates try and arrange similar plans, there's probably something to be said about whether or not that also applies to other candidates and the modern democratic message, too. (also, it does seem somewhat weird that candidates don't do this more often considering how much bipartisanship gets played up.)

      • and lastly, from NBC News: Fox News, Bernie Sanders and the value of discomfort. steve krakauer on the other hand argues a more pragmatic viewpoint: sanders going on fox news for the town hall was good for both himself but also for fox news because it pierced the filter bubbles that exist in modern politics, and allowed crosspollination of viewpoints that don't normally do so.


      anyways, feel free to as always contribute other interesting articles you stumble across, or comment on some of the ones up there.

      9 votes
    21. week three brings a deluge of essays and pieces long enough that i'm going to break this week down by the candidate. news today is sorted by candidate, while opinion will remain unsorted for now...

      week three brings a deluge of essays and pieces long enough that i'm going to break this week down by the candidate. news today is sorted by candidate, while opinion will remain unsorted for now since there's not much going on there worth talking about. i've also, for clarity's sake, added a [LONGFORM] note to the longer pieces in this slate for those of you on a time crunch.

      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 1 threadWeek 2 thread


      News

      Bernie Sanders

      • from the Huffington Post: Bernie Sanders Says Felons Should Be Able To Vote While In Prison. bernie sanders called for the end of felony disenfranchisement over the week, which is a thing that almost all states do currently in some form. iowa in particular has possibly the most severe such law, something that the republican governor kim reynolds has been (unsuccessfully) trying to change, making it a fairly large issue there. this currently is not a litmus test for the Democratic Party, but don't expect it to go away, because the ACLU is pushing for candidates to adopt it as a plank.

      • from Jacobin: Votes For All. for a leftist take on the above, Jacobin has you covered. this article mostly focuses on the historical push by socialist and socialist-adjacent movements in america to do away with felony disenfranchisement and achieve universal suffrage, and sanders in that broader context.

      • from Slate: The Favorite: Can Bernie Sanders finally start acting like the one thing he’s never been?. slate mostly focuses on sanders's curious status as a genuine goliath in this race here, in contrast to the underdog status which has characterized basically the entirety of his political career previously. in many respects, this is unprecedented territory for sanders, and it is a genuine question whether he'll be able to adapt to that fact (or if he'll need to at all).

      • from TIME: Sen. Bernie Sanders Unveils New 'Medicare for All' Plan With Support From Some 2020 Rivals. policy wise, sanders unveiled his idea of what medicare for all looks like. this appears to have the support of gillibrand, warren, booker, and harris, who signed on to it (although they've also signed on to less things like a public option), so at least for now, you could probably say it's the leading healthcare reform option on the table.

      Pete Buttigieg

      Kamala Harris

      • from The Atlantic: [LONGFORM] Kamala Harris Takes Her Shot. this is a pretty comprehensive piece on harris, who made a big splash early but is now mostly trying to tread water without losing further ground to bernie and biden or giving up position to warren, buttigieg, or o'rourke. it's humanizing, but it also covers a lot of the criticisms and contradictions of harris's political history, and some of the nagging questions surrounding her political positions as she bids for the white house. if you're curious about or unfamiliar of what some of those criticisms people often launch at her are, this piece is probably for you.

      • from Buzzfeed News: Kamala Harris Wants Her Teacher Pay Raise Proposal To Bring Young Black Americans To The Profession — And To Her Campaign. as far as policy, harris has been staking her wagon to teachers in the form of pay raises. those of you who pay attention to the news might have heard her bring this up previously, as it's been an early feature of her campaign so far. it'll be interesting to see if other people take up the beat if she finds success with this issue--so far nobody really has, explicitly speaking, which might be because it's gotten relatively little attention.

      Everybody else


      Opinion/Ideology-driven

      • from In These Times: The Case for Using Ranked Choice Voting in the 2020 Democratic Presidential Primaries. this article makes the case for the primaries using ranked choice voting which, to be honest, would probably really help when there are literally going to be like sixteen people in iowa next year (especially given the fact that the democratic party has a 15% popular vote threshold for attaining any delegates in a state). this will definitely not happen this year, but maybe we'll see movement in the future toward something like RCV being used.

      • from The Week: The Democratic Party Is Not Going Nuts. It's Coming to Its Senses.. this piece by The Week puts foward the argument that the lurch to the left by the Democratic Party isn't some sort of weird mirroring of the lurch to the right in the GOP, but rather the Democratic Party realizing that centrism isn't really what people want. whether or not that's an accurate assessment, i'll leave to you.

      • finally, from The Guardian: Barack Obama is stuck in the past. He represents the old Democratic party. this piece is by bhaskar sunkara, who you may know as one of the figureheads of Jacobin. his case here is mostly that obama's remarks last week about cautioning the party to not become a circular firing squad are motivated more by his desire to continue to hold power within the party than by genuine desire to see the party succeed. again, whether or not that's an accurate assessment, i'll leave to you.


      anyways, feel free to as always contribute other interesting articles you stumble across, or comment on some of the ones up there.

      edit: some minor grammar stuff

      13 votes
    22. after some delay, we're back with the second week of this thread as we chug headlong into what will probably be a shitshow of a primary and an even bigger shitshow of an election. this is going to...

      after some delay, we're back with the second week of this thread as we chug headlong into what will probably be a shitshow of a primary and an even bigger shitshow of an election. this is going to be longer than the last one, because there's been quite a bit going on, and i'm going to split the actual news from pieces that are either opinion or ideologically driven.

      as with the previous thread, 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 1 thread


      News

      from CBS - The 2020 contenders. this is probably one of the most comprehensive rundowns of who exactly all of these people are, what they stand for, are what their qualifications are. (it also demonstrates what an absolute clown car of a race this is already, but that's another thing). if you're shopping around for a candidate in the democratic primary to support, this might be a good place to start.

      from FiveThirtyEight - What The Potential 2020 Candidates Are Doing And Saying, Vol. 13. in case you were curious what all of these people scurrying around the country were up to this week, 538 has you covered. of note are the whistlestop tours that sanders, o'rourke, yang, and harris are going on in iowa, as well as the ones gillibrand, booker, and currently speculative candidate michael bennet (the democratic senator from colorado and just-diagnosed pancreatic cancer victim) are going on in new england.

      from NPR - Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan Joins 2020 Race With A Populist Pitch To Blue-Collar Voters. the clown car of a primary continues to grow with tim ryan's announcement. tim ryan, for the unaware, is a democratic congressman from ohio who currently sits in a district that voted D+6 in the last election, but is probably quickly sprinting to the right along with most of ohio. whether this is him trying to get ahead of what will probably be a hard seat to hold on to or him just being opportunistic, i dunno, but he's a fringe candidate to say the least. i'd be surprised if he made the debates, and he'll likely retain his seat since ohio is a state that allows you to run for two offices at the same time.

      from The Hill - Swalwell running for White House on gun control: report. incidentally, we should also know by next week whether or not the primary will gain another member in representative eric swalwell (rep for california's 15th congressional district), who appears to be angling himself as the gun control candidate. for those of you keeping track, this will make him candidate number 19 if he does run (20, if you count ojeda before he withdrew). we're probably on track for at least 20 declared candidates, seeing as biden is presumably going to announce at some point.

      from NPR - Sanders Tops Democratic Fundraising As O'Rourke, Harris And Buttigieg Draw Big Sums. fundraising is a very large part of the early stages of the race, and so far it's been a bonanza of cash for the frontrunners. sanders hauled in 18 million, harris hauled in 12 million, o'rourke 9.4 million, and buttigieg 7 million among others. smaller candidates will probably be releasing their numbers in the next few days or, if they don't, we'll see them on april 15th.

      from Buzzfeed News - Andrew Yang Is Finding New Ways To Get Attention Offline. support for andrew yang is largely an internet phenomenon, but that hasn't stopped yang from campaigning like he isn't. we'll see if it pays off for him (he's seemingly in a weird middle ground between the second-tier of viable candidates and the ones that are basically guaranteed to get 1% in iowa and drop out), but i suppose actually being in front of the media can't really hurt him right now.

      from Buzzfeed News - Joe Biden Says He'll Be "More Mindful" About Personal Space After Allegations Of Inappropriate Contact. if you've paid any attention to the news, you've probably seen the raking of joe biden recently for his history of being touchy-feely toward people who don't necessarily want it. this is his first personal acknowledgement of that, and while we'll have to see how it goes over, i don't think this is the last you'll be hearing of that particular subplot.

      from The Guardian - Why the populist wave is setting the tone for Democratic candidates. this is a pretty straightforward piece on the undercurrent of populism--or the decided lack thereof--in the campaigns of many of these candidates on the campaign trail. expect to see this label come up a lot now that it isn't only sanders who it gets applied to.


      Opinion/Ideology-driven

      from Vox - Howard Schultz hasn’t gotten into policy specifics. Here are 4 ideas from women candidates who have. one of the early issues people are taking with the media so far in reporting on the primary is the decided lack of attention given to the female candidates (to which there may or may not be merit based on 538's tracking of candidate mentions). enter vox, then, with this piece highlighting some of the policy proposals they have. i could have probably categorized this under news, but it feels more like an opinion piece than not, so i'll leave it under this subheading.

      from The Guardian - Democrats need a 2020 candidate who inspires. Joe Biden isn't it. biden is a fairly popular democrat both inside and outside of the party, but whether that lasts and whether or not people think he's worth voting for is a different story. there are plenty of people who have criticisms of biden, and this op-ed goes into a few of those criticisms. they're probably familiar to you if you've gone anywhere biden gets discussed, and whether or not they'll tank him if he runs remains to be seen.

      from Slate - In a Diverse Candidate Field, How Is Pete Buttigieg’s Sexuality Factoring Into His Appeal? and A Conversation About Pete Buttigieg, Identity, and Diversity in the 2020 Race. these two pieces on buttigieg have been slightly controversial over the past week in their point that buttigieg, gay man as he is, doesn't really get treated like a gay man because he's also white and well off and shares more in common with sanders and o'rourke than any of the female or minority candidates. that's of course something you can probably dispute, but it's an interesting discussion to have (which is probably why there's a follow-up piece in the first place).

      lastly and also from Slate - Elizabeth Warren’s Proposal to Imprison More Corporate Executives Is a Bad Idea. this article makes the case for the misguidedness of one of warren's proposals (which you can find here and also find her op-ed about here). on premise i personally agree, but i do find it curious that this objection comes when it's about corporate executives, seeing as corporate executives aren't exactly immutably corporate executives and they're also not a large portion of the population. i dunno, food for thought.


      anyways, feel free to as always contribute other interesting articles you stumble across, or comment on some of the ones up there.

      12 votes
    23. in the interest of trying to slightly curtail the domination of politics in ~news for people who don't care for it while also consolidating discussion for people who potentially do, i think we...

      in the interest of trying to slightly curtail the domination of politics in ~news for people who don't care for it while also consolidating discussion for people who potentially do, i think we should try one of those weekly threads that's so hip and popular on the rest of tildes, so here we go: this is a test run of a weekly thread on 2020 presidential news/analysis/etc. it's probably not going to get any lighter from here, news wise, so it might pay to establish a recurring topic like this before the media really gets rolling with election coverage (and potentially before ~news becomes a deluge of 2020 topics).

      i think common sense should be able to generally dictate what does and does not get posted in this thread if it works out, so i guess i'll just say: 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.


      leading off (and demonstrating that there really is going to be no dearth of 2020 primary and election news about this despite this week being pretty quiet on that front):

      from NBC - Why some Democrats say: Don't sleep on 'Mayor Pete' Buttigieg. buttigieg is a pretty small candidate in a field of big names, but that hasn't put the damper on people's optimism for him as this NBC piece shows. i personally don't think he's got the runway necessary for takeoff, but with the debates, who knows. it might be that the debates stratify the field even more than it's already stratified--or it might be that they level it out a bit, to the benefit of people like buttigieg

      from Buzzfeed - The Romance Of Mayor Pete In The Season Of Scam. another piece on buttigieg. this one is a bit light on substance and is basically an opinion piece, but if you're curious about buttigieg's qualifications you might be interested in it.

      from Heavy - Bernie Sanders’ Los Angeles Rally Draws So Many, Overflow Crowd Fills City Hall Steps Across the Street [PHOTOS]. bernie sanders made the second of three stops in california yesterday, and he drew a pretty major crowd that's currently estimated at around 15k--and could potentially be as high as 20k or 25k, depending on the setup of the venue. his stop the day before was in san diego where he drew a crowd of about 6,400, and today he'll be in san francisco, which could lead to an early messaging and marketing win if he can draw a comparable crowd to kamala harris's kickoff in oakland (which drew 20k).

      from The Guardian - The B-Team: are Beto, Biden and Bernie the best Democrats can offer?. i'll let this one present itself: "...But three of the top-polling candidates for 2020 so far are white men: Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, O’Rourke and former vice-president Joe Biden, who has not even declared his candidacy. Does that present a problem?" one of the big criticisms of the democratic party is that, even as it diversifies its slate of candidates across the board, its biggest hitters generally remain white and male, especially in this presidential election. whether or not that's a particularly valid criticism, i'll leave up to you.

      from POLITICO - Harris and O'Rourke go straight for each other's strongholds. sanders wasn't the only one buzzing around this week: o'rourke and harris have both been on tours of their own in states that will be pretty instrumental to the path of any democrat that wants to win the nomination. o'rourke, you may remember (tildes discussion), is the current day-one fundraising leader, and it appears we now actually have his individual donor numbers now (112,000, average donation of $55). so far, he doesn't appear to have parlayed that into particularly large crowd sizes (and outside of her campaign launch, harris hasn't really either) but we're still very early on, so i anticipate as their campaigns ramp up they'll start pulling larger numbers.

      from NBC - Beto O'Rourke could be a threat — to Biden on his right and Sanders on his left. this article, as you can probably guess by its title, mostly focuses on how beto is trying to position himself in the primary, but also how some of the people he appeals to feel about his candidacy and why they support him.

      lastly, from NPR - Small Donors Hold The Key To Campaign Buzz And The Democrats' Debate Stage. this NPR article on push by democrats to incentivize campaigns to build up their small donor bases in the leadup to 2020. the democrats have pretty much always been the undisputed champions of small-donor politics since the internet became a significant player in american politics, mostly on the back of things like actblue. nevertheless, there are still a lot of places they've been looking to improve (and it's really only a matter of time before republicans build infrastructure of their own), so it makes sense that they're really trying to shore up that advantage where they can while they can.


      this isn't even every article that i could have tossed on here, but i've already been working on this post for like an hour, so i think that'll suffice for now. feel free to contribute other interesting articles or comment on some of the ones up there.

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