Thursday, May 14, 2020

Race for the White House Update

-- Anybody else watch "Bernie Blackout" last night?

Bernie missed it; he was doing a town hall on climate.

Some people are wishing he'd been busy doing something else.

The Senate on (Wednesday) took up a key bill to reauthorize domestic surveillance programs while making changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, with several substantial amendments on the line. One of the amendments, introduced by Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden and Republican Sen. Steve Daines, would have required authorities to obtain a warrant to access internet users’ search histories and browsing information. Uh, yes, pass that??

The amendment, however, met an extremely Senate grave: It “failed” with 59 yeas to 37 nays, one short of the 60-vote threshold it needed to overcome the streamlined vestigial filibuster. The splits didn’t fall neatly along partisan lines: 24 Republicans voted for it, while 10 Democrats voted against it. (Would you like to see the names of the Democrats who voted against it? Their names are: Tom Carper, Bob Casey, Dianne Feinstein, Maggie Hassan, Doug Jones, Tim Kaine, Joe Manchin, Jeanne Shaheen, Mark Warner, and Sheldon Whitehouse.)

But where was Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, ranking member of the HELP Committee and assistant Democratic leader, or Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats and also constantly comes in second place for the Democrats’ presidential nomination?

Murray, a spokeswoman told me after the vote, was “flying back to D.C. from Washington state today. She isn’t in quarantine; she’s just been working remotely.” An aide confirmed separately to Politico that Murray would have supported the Wyden–Daines amendment had she been there.

Bernie is, as usual, getting more of the blame here than he deserves.  But that's his lot in life.  He's not going to be able to please anybody at the rate he's going.

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday named the co-chairs and members of their joint task forces meant to shore up Democratic Party unity ahead of November’s general election.

The announcement follows through on a pledge the two men made last month — when Sanders, the runner-up in the Democratic presidential primary, endorsed Biden, the party’s presumptive nominee — to establish working groups to advise the Biden campaign on six key policy areas: climate change, criminal justice reform, economy, education, health care, and immigration.

Neither is AOC.  Click the link if you don't already know.  It's hard to be a revolutionary who wins; becoming part of the establishment you fought against.  (Some would say Fidel Castro was able to pull it off, but as we know he killed a lot of people in order to stay in power.  That's a digression.)

Our progressive idols also aren't mentioning the obvious shortcomings of the presumptive nominee, and we can only hope that has a underlying agenda: to make a case for Sanders, as the candidate with the second-most delegates, to be the party's choice.  Fat chance.  Let's briefly rehash.

-- What Should Be Bad Enough to Make Politically Savvy People Abandon Joe Biden?

-- Trump vs. Biden is the 2020 election nightmare women like me warned America about

-- This poll number shows something very important about the Tara Reade allegation

If you read those first two, you'll understand what Cillizza at CNN is referring to in the third.

-- Voters Sour on Biden as Reade Allegations Find Higher Platform

Some early polling shows strength for Biden.  Some doesn't.  If you needed a reminder NOT to put any faith in polls this cycle, there you go.  Same goes for consultants.

These are the kind of folks -- please don't pick nits between political advisers and lobbyists, FFS -- that are being bailed out by Nancy Pelosi in the latest corona-stimulus bill, and if that isn't enough to prove the Jackass Party is irredeemable, then maybe this is.

The minute Old Joe gets his running mate chosen for him, the powers that be will put him out to pasture.  Today my money is going on Kamala.  This shades-of-1944 business is why the DNC wants to move their convention online.  No protests for the cameras.

-- So where does that leave those of us in the #NeverBiden #NeverTrump caucus?  Same as it ever was.  Larry Sabato says so, after all.  With some extra motivation to have it better in four years.

He makes a logical case but it's not what I am seeing or sensing.  Twitter doesn't translate well to real life either, however.  So there's just too much uncertainty, especially with the variable of COVID-19's effects still to be factored.

-- Does Trump (or Jared Kushner) actually entertain thoughts of postponing or canceling the November election?  I would be more inclined to believe that the Mango Megalomaniac would simply be unable to process losing to Biden (if that happened, which IMO, today, is not likely) and refuse to vacate the office or the White House or something.  Talk about your constitutional crises.

On the other hand, there will be lots more machinations like this, and Ken Paxton's latest, that are designed to not simply obstruct and suppress the vote but to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the outcome, enough so to give a few kooks with guns a bit of impetus to "defend freedumb" or such.

-- I am really impressed with Howie Hawkins' running mate, Angela Walker.

-- And I like that Mark Charles is calling out the MSM for ignoring his campaign.

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