Friday, August 30, 2019

The Weekly Twenty Twenty Update

Lots to cover in developments over the past seven days.

All the details are here.

Those who did not make the cut -- Steyer, Gabbard, and Williamson came closest -- and those who dropped out as a result (Gillibrand) were the newsmakers.  (Last week's Update mentioned Frackenlooper, Moulton, and Inslee.)  A quick word about each of these in bold.

-- Steyer has proven the Beatles correct: Money didn't buy him love.

Running as something of a patrician populist, Steyer brushed aside the dissonance of someone with his résumé -- Exeter, Yale, Stanford, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, his own hedge fund -- flooding the airwaves with ads that castigate the influence of “the powerful and well-connected.” ...

In a fraction of the time, Steyer has already outspent his opponents online: $1 million on Google and $3.9 million on Facebook, peaking at $215,000 a day on Facebook as he sought the 130,000 donors needed to qualify for the next debate.

He appears to have spent at least $12 million on the effort.  Gillibrand also spent millions, on both TV and digital, in some early states after she got her only qualifying poll earlier this month.  All for naught.  There must be something better to do with all this money than to give it to the corporate media, new and old.  (This is where Bernie would say: "and how we'll pay for it is ...")

Gabbard returned from her two-week National Guard deployment to a Twitter party thrown in her honor by the #Khive.

Those Copmala folks sure are classy, aren't they?  Actually I don't have a mention for Marianne, just the usual fear and loathing coupled with relief from the establishment that she fell short.

-- Don't forget that before our H-Town affair, there's the 7-hour long CNN climate town hall next Wednesday ...

Details per CNN (all times are Eastern Time):
  • 5 pm: Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro
  • 5:40 pm: Businessman Andrew Yang
  • 6:20 pm: California Sen. Kamala Harris
  • 7 pm: Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
  • 8 pm: Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • 8:40 pm: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
  • 9:20 pm: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
  • 10 pm: South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • 10:40 pm: Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke
  • 11:20 pm: New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker

... and, the week after the third debate, another climate forum on MSNBC.  See if you can tell the differences between the two.

Several Democratic presidential candidates and one Republican primary challenger to President Trump will appear in a climate change forum moderated by MSNBC next month.

The Democratic presidential candidates attending the two-day forum include Sen. Bernie Sanders and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, according to a statement from Georgetown University, which will host the event.

Other Democratic candidates attending are Sens. Michael Bennet, Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand in addition to Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, former Rep. John Delaney, Rep. Tim Ryan, Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang.

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld will also participate.


The MSNBC forum will take place Sept. 19 and 20 and will be moderated by hosts Chris Hayes and Ali Velshi. The event is also being hosted by Our Daily Planet and New York Magazine.

Participating candidates will discuss their plan to address climate change and will take questions from students at universities including Georgetown.

-- There will also be a forum on gun violence in October, sponsored by March for Our Lives and Gabby Giffords' organization, on the day after the second anniversary of the worst mass assassination in US history: the Las Vegas music festival massacre.  It will be limited to third debate participants.

-- More climate referenda, not all of it presidential candidate-related -- although you could expect their participation if, you know, a hurricane tears up Florida this weekend or the Amazon keeps burning or some other horrible conflagration draws notice between now and then.

-- Old Uncle Joe is having the problems with his memory again.

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday rebuffed a news report that he has recently misrepresented an anecdote on the campaign trail about giving awards for valor to members of the military, possibly conflating three separate real life events.

Though Biden said he hadn’t seen the Washington Post article, he told a reporter for the The Post and Courier after a campaign event in South Carolina that he stood by his retellings of meeting with heroes of the Afghanistan war over the last decade.

According to The Post, Biden has told a shifting and increasingly dramatic account of a trip to Afghanistan while vice president to award a medal to a heroic soldier who initially resisted the honor out of guilt. The former vice president most recently told the story at a campaign event in New Hampshire last Friday.

But The Post found after conducting “interviews with more than a dozen U.S. troops, their commanders and Biden campaign officials, it appears as though the former vice president has jumbled elements of at least three actual events into one story of bravery, compassion and regret that never happened.”

I'ma try to be fair here.

Biden insisted on Thursday that there was no reason for the fuss.

"I was making the point how courageous these people are, how incredible they are, this generation of warriors, these fallen angels we've lost," he told the Post in an interview.

"I don't know what the problem is. What is it that I said wrong?"

We should be reminded that he has used a better excuse than 'It's not me, it's YOU'.

"I am a gaffe machine, but my God, what a wonderful thing compared to a guy who can't tell the truth," he said ... "I'm ready to litigate all those things. The question is what kind of nation are we becoming? What are we going to do? Who are we?"

These are reasonable questions in the Trump post-fact era.  Biden, after all, was the guy who had to leave the 1988 race because he puffed his resume'.  And with respect to wartime embellishments, Hillary Clinton did catch a lot of flak -- pun intended -- for the 'sniper fire at the Bosnia airport' comment.  Al Gore, similarly, for inventing the Internet and James Lee Watt (use your own Google, kids).  Trump would climb a tree to tell a lie before he would stand on the ground and speak the truth, and the Right worships him like Jeebus.  So, truthfully and factually: what the fucking fuck?!

My answer is that we shouldn't be excusing either one of these dudes.

-- Texas is Berning, y'all.

-- Plenty of people wrote obituaries for Kirsten Gillibrand that attributed her demise, or failure to launch, on her outspokeness in regard to Al Franken's conduct, which eventually compelled his resignation from the Senate.  Strange how nobody blames Chuck Schumer at all.

I'm still conflicted about that whole deal, but it's accurate that what we all thought was going to be a big issue this cycle -- #MeToo -- isn't.

Unlike this guy, I don't really see that Gillibrand had enough support to actually benefit any of the top ten, but whatever.

-- Warren won the Kos poll again this week, which lets him crow about how much influence he thinks he still has.  Everybody in the media does seem to love Liz lately, even as they continue to shit on Bernie (same story, different week).  This may be a better way of looking at the race.

Warren's biggest weakness is still 'Pocahontas'.

-- This story, trying to tie a strange and somewhat false attack on Joe Biden to Liz Warren ... is strange.  Too weird, in fact, to get the gist of in an excerpt.

-- The DNC keeps finding more goats to blow.  On the one hand: "Cellphones! hACKERZ! election security!"  On the other: "voter suppression"!

-- Beto's 373rd "last chance".

-- A handful of Texas blogs weighed in this past week with incredibly weak takes: El Jefe Bob -- the guy who owns the oil company, loves Biden, hates Bernie, and calls himself a progressive -- mansplained Gillibrand's exit.  Worse because it's uncharacterisitically lazy, "Endgame: Presidency" reads like a two-minute brain fart, complete with the by-now-regular assertion that something is false, or a lie, when it isn't.  It's Joe Walsh, FWIW, who hasn't ruled out a third party bid.  (This dude has blogged better than this but not lately, either because I'm on his 'I hate you' list or because his St. Louis Cardinals are shit.  Doesn't really matter.)

On a brighter note, Zach Taylor -- never one to mince pixels -- chops and grinds Warren.

-- Let's listen again to all those people complaining about Berniebros.  Boot Edge Edge will never, ever be president for this reason alone.

Each video is ten minutes. Whether you love him or hate him, watch them and you'll understand why we think he's our last chance to get this right.

-- Polling sucks because the people who answer landlines are ... I've already done this.  Those of us who own cellphones exclusively don't answer calls we don't recognize because spam.

Pollsters who use phones of both kinds cast aspersions on YouGov, etc. because they are both internet and opt-in, but I see that as simply trying to keep your dinosaur alive.

-- The Greens are up to seven, and none are named Jill Stein.  Howie Hawkins is in Houston and Dallas next week.  I asked David to ask Howie for me about how convinced he is that Russia, or Julian Assange, hacked the DNC and thus the 2016 election.  This video, along with his inability to recognize Chelsea Manning as a transgender and whatever that "Klansmen" remark meant, makes him a no for me but I'll be open-minded if he's evolved to a better place.

-- Ballot Access News tells us that the founder of the Bread and Roses Party, Jerome Segal, will be their 2020 nominee.

It hopes to get on the ballot in all the states that are not “swing states.” Currently it is only on the ballot in Maryland.

-- Did I mention that Kamala Harris sucks?

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