Politics

Health Affairs Rural Health briefing

Balloon Juice - Wed, 12/04/2019 - 07:00

This morning I will be one of the featured speakers at the Health Affairs Rural Health briefing.

 

I will be presenting a paper: The  Rural-Urban Differences in Individual Market Health Plan Affordability after Subsidy Payment Cuts

 

I co-wrote this with Jean Abraham, Ph.D, University of Minnesota and Coleman Drake, Ph.D, University of Pittsburgh.  We found that CSR cuts led to significantly cheaper plans for subsidized enrollees when there was silver loading and silver switching of CSR obligations.  Non-subsidized enrollees paid more no matter what strategy a state adopted.  Rural subsidized enrollees saw bigger affordability gains than urban subsidized enrollees.

 

This is our key exhibit where the subsidized individual is a single 50 year old non-smoker earning 400% FPL, and the unsubsidized individual is the same except that they earn 401% FPL.

 

Health Affairs Rural ACA affordability

 

I will be speaking at 11:00 EST.

 

Webcast is here:

 

Health Affairs Rural Healthcare briefing 1

The post Health Affairs Rural Health briefing appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Daily Kos Radio is LIVE at 9 AM ET!

Daily Kos - Wed, 12/04/2019 - 07:00

Ah, Wednesday! Isn’t it just the greatest?

Greg Dworkin! Joan McCarter! And of course, the Time Magazine Person of the Year for 2006, you! (Loaf of bread and jug of wine optional. It’s a morning program.)

Lots of other good reasons to look forward to this particular Wednesday, not the least of which is that the House Judiciary Committee opens its impeachment hearings today. That can’t be bad!

Listen right here at 9:00 AM ET!

PODCAST LISTENERS: The great RadioPublic “paid listens” program has come to an end. Thank you to all of you who helped support the show that way! It’s still a great way to listen to the show on your Android or iOS phone. And yes, you can still download directly from their site, or listen to the player embedded right here, each day.

Nothing changes on our end. It’s still Greg Dworkin, Joan McCarter, plus also, me. And you! As always, we still want your voice on the air with us. Sit down with your smart phone or other electronic recording device and send us your stories and commentary to share with the audience. There’s no easier way to try your hand at podcasting, without all the hassle!

Of course there’s no substitute for having your support via Patreon, or one-time contributions via Square Cash. (And hey, if you want a cool trick for donating sorta-kinda cost free, get their cash.me app and use this share code to get $5 in your account (plus $5 in mine) when you send your first $5 (to anyone)!

For now, how about one on the house? Here’s what we did on our last new show:

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Today, David Waldman comes out against killing Republicans for the holidays... indeed, it would be probably inappropriate most of the time. That is... until… No! For the record, civil war is still 100% bad form. In fact, this is the very reason why we have free and fair elections. (Although Donald Trump has already cheated on the upcoming one.) Impeachment is not political for the “Oh yeah, you and whose army?” president. It is as essential for democracy, as subversion of democracy is Trump’s raison d'être… or at least how he’s still sticking around. On the other hand, the Republican premise is that Donald Trump is the nation. He is all that is “right”… or what is “good”… or at least what is “all good right now”. Jerry Nadler plans to continue Democrat’s level headed, even handed, losing approach with the Judiciary committee hearings. Still, there’s hope. Newly released documents reveal more Trump-Mueller lies. Don McGahn’s subpoena on testifying to House Judiciary Committee might be enforced. Trump may have to turn over his financial records to the House. And, you know someone in the Rudy Colludy gang is bound to be a snitch.

Thanks to Scott Anderson for the show summary! Please help me pay him more! Need more info on how to listen? Find it below the fold.
Categories: Politics

Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Another Day of Ugliness

Balloon Juice - Wed, 12/04/2019 - 06:29

I haven’t been able to watch all the way through this, but from what I have it’s a good, if crowded, recap:

The post Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Another Day of Ugliness appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Late Night NATO Open Thread: They’re Not Laughing *With* Him, They’re Laughing *At* Him

Balloon Juice - Wed, 12/04/2019 - 00:45

It’d be funnier, if not for the war crimes part…

The post Late Night NATO Open Thread: They’re Not Laughing *With* Him, They’re Laughing *At* Him appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

When Republicans Sound Just Like Putin

Crooks and Liars - Tue, 12/03/2019 - 23:30

Wapo mashup shows Republican lawmakers repeating Putin's talking points.

Russia hacked the RNC, as well. Never forget.

Open thread below...


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Categories: Politics

Democrats are telling America that Trump's repeated abuses are urgent. We should listen

Daily Kos - Tue, 12/03/2019 - 23:21

The House Intelligence Committee’s 300-page report on its impeachment inquiry, released Tuesday and approved by the panel on a 13-9 party-line vote, received a mixed bag of reviews—both damning on one hand and incomplete on another. Donald Trump's personally directed scheme to corrupt the 2020 elections by pressuring Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden was thoroughly and convincingly documented, even as Trump's inner circle almost entirely escaped being compelled to cooperate with the inquiry. So although Trump's racket to win reelection has been exposed for all to see, a plethora of loose ends remain. In fact, in a press conference following the report’s release, House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff stressed the urgency of the matter at hand even as he promised to continue investigating the possibility that Trump’s scheme began far earlier than is already known.

"There is, I think, grave risk to the country with waiting until we have every last fact," he told reporters.

But to many people, reporters and liberal activists alike, the notion that more than a few stones have been left unturned feels deeply "unsatisfying," as veteran journalist Howard Fineman told MSNBC. Indeed, there's a passionate argument to be made that cutting the inquiry short for political considerations is a complete abdication of responsibility, as our own Joan McCarter pointed out on Tuesday. And yet I admittedly find myself persuaded by the immediacy of Democrats' argument for making the referral now rather than waiting for the courts to decide the fate of multiple top Trump officials, not to mention Trump’s financial records and perhaps even his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who clearly orchestrated Trump's entire Ukraine scheme. 

One of the main problems with waiting until it's all out there in the open is that Trump's corruption is pretty much endless. There will always be another stone to turn over. What Democrats have done is detailed a distinct instance of Trump’s malfeasance that is also perfectly representative of all the ways in which he has exploited the power of the office entrusted to him by the American people. 

"What we're seeing unfolding in front of us with Ukraine is the same pattern of obstruction and abuse of power and obstruction of Congress that we saw in the Mueller report," Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, told MSNBC. But the main difference between Mueller's investigation and the House inquiry is that, while Mueller's team was probing what had already transpired in the last election, House Democrats have been examining Trump's effort to rig an upcoming election. "We can't wait for all of those things to come to the forefront because the threat to our democracy and our elections is so severe that we do need to quickly move on this," Jayapal noted.

Strategically speaking, there might be a political upside to keeping the impeachment probe from bleeding too far into 2020 and potentially overtaking the Democratic primary and alienating voters. Likewise, one could argue that dragging Trump through the mud throughout the entirety of 2020 would give voters the perfect impetus to head into the voting booth next November. Instead, it appears that we will get some hybrid of those two options: a truncated impeachment proceeding and Senate trial followed by a series of delicious revelations throughout 2020 courtesy of the courts. It's not perfect, but then again, there's also no silver bullet in this crapshoot of a political environment.  

But exposing Trump's pattern of corruption now, when there's still enough time to heighten voter awareness and maybe even take preventative measures, is a strategic imperative for saving the democracy. As Schiff told reporters, "We do not intend to delay when the integrity of the next election is still at risk."

 

Categories: Politics

C&L's Late Nite Music Club With The Plimsouls

Crooks and Liars - Tue, 12/03/2019 - 23:01

Those times when you wake up in the morning with a song stuck in your head and no matter what you do, it just won't seem to leave.

This was that song for me today. Probably the first time in decades it has been "that song." A definitive one when it comes to thinking the 1980s as it seemed so ubiquitous at the time. Interestingly enough, the song itself never charted and the album it was from, Everywhere at Once, only reached 186 on the Billboard albums chart. Finding a used copy of the LP in bins at record stores is not all that rare even to this day.

What are you listening to tonight?


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Categories: Politics

Open thread for night owls: Republicans gaslight their way through prebuttal to impeachment report

Daily Kos - Tue, 12/03/2019 - 23:00

David Corn at Mother Jones writes—How the Republicans Are Trying to Gaslight America With Their Impeachment Report:

This just in: House Republicans are not being honest.

In a slapdash fashion, staffers for Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, who has been implicated himself in the Trump-Ukraine scandal, and two other Republican ranking members—Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Michael McCaul of Texas—have cobbled together a report on the impeachment inquiry that unshockingly proclaims Donald Trump innocent of…everything. This document was released on Monday ahead of the committee’s 300-page, highly detailed summary of its investigation and hearings that was unveiled on Tuesday and forwarded to the judiciary committee for that panel’s impeachment deliberations.

Three_Owls_2.jpg

The Republican staff report is as predictable as a typical Trump tweet—and as mendacious. It assails and belittles the Democrats’ effort to investigate whether Trump muscled Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to initiate investigations that would dig up dirt on Joe Biden and produce information to back up a nutty conspiracy theory that holds that Ukraine, not Russia, hacked the 2016 election. And the GOP report proclaims the Democratic-led probe is “not the organic outgrowth of serious misconduct; it is an orchestrated campaign to upend our political system.”

Even after Ambassador Gordon Sondland, who Trump used as a lieutenant in this caper, testified that there was a quid pro quo—White House action backing Zelensky in return for the Ukrainian government pursuing these investigations—the Republicans claim in this report there was “no quid pro quo, bribery, extortion, or abuse of power.” The report also asserts there was “nothing wrong” with Trump asking Zelensky to investigate Biden’s activities regarding Ukraine and his son Hunter’s involvement with a Ukrainian energy company called Burisma. It’s the product of Deep Spin.

The report echoes many of the rants of distraction and deflection issued by Nunes and Jordan during the intelligence committee’s hearings. And it is chock-full of attempts at gaslighting that are easily challenged or debunked. [...]

TOP COMMENTS • HIGH IMPACT STORIES

QUOTATION

[Fictional demagogue Berzelius "Buzz" Windrip’s backers] realized that this country has gone so flabby that any gang daring enough and unscrupulous enough, and smart enough not to seem illegal, can grab hold of the entire government and have all the power and applause and salutes, all the money and palaces and willin’ women they want.”
               ~~Sinclair Lewis, It Can’t Happen Here, (1935)

TWEET OF THE DAY

ScreenShot2019-12-03at5.57.29PM.png

BLAST FROM THE PAST

At Daily Kos on this date in 2008—EPA Declares Open Season on Mountains: 

As threatened, the Bush Environmental Positively-useless Administration has repealed key parts of the Stream Buffer Act. Previously, the EPA had been cooperating with companies to subvert the act, but judges in some districts were still slowing down approval of mountaintop removal operations. Now even that token obstacle has been removed.

Approval by EPA and the White House Office of Management and Budget paved the way for Interior Department officials to finalize industry-backed changes in the 25-year-old stream "buffer zone" rule.

Environmental groups had fought the change, because they hoped that either court actions or moves by the incoming Obama administration might use the buffer zone as a tool to more strictly regulate mountaintop removal.

]Despite the destruction of more than 400 mountains, and the routine violation of the existing rules, the Bush administration still hustled through this gift to the worst operators in the coal industry. In doing so, they fulfilled one of the dreams Bush has held since coming into office.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: It's a Political Science Tuesday! (Something we just made up.) Republicans are falling back to a "Who cares about Ukraine, anyway?" defense. That's wrong, on its face. But it doesn't even touch the real reason why what Trump did was impeachable.

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Categories: Politics

Rookie Congressman Lists UPS Store In Topeka As Official Residence

Crooks and Liars - Tue, 12/03/2019 - 22:06

We've done several posts on this jerk from Kansas, a clown so bad that even Republicans want to rid themselves of him, with several planning to run against Watkins in 2020. From the myriad scandals surrounding Watkins, from financial impropriety, to allegations of sexual assault, Watkins has been a big mess and a headache for Republicans from the moment he announced he was running for Congress. It'd certainly be ironic that the thing that took him down, when all the other problems did not, was this gross bit of stupidity and/or fraud and perjury.

Source: Topeka Capital-Journal

U.S. Rep. Steve Watkins’ decision to sign a Kansas voter registration form and two other election documents that asserted his residential address was a UPS Store in Topeka could constitute felony voter fraud under federal law and election perjury under state statute, officials said Tuesday.

Shawnee County records show the first-term Republican listed his official residence as 6021 S.W. 29th St. in Topeka, which corresponds to a UPS Store, when he signed a form to change his residency for voter registration purposes in August, signed an application for a mail-in ballot in October and signed a document to complete advance voting for the November election.

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Categories: Politics

Meanwhile in Ukraine

Balloon Juice - Tue, 12/03/2019 - 21:41

While everyone is focused on all the President’s, his political appointees’, his personal attorney’s, and the variety of post-Soviet state oligarchs’/post-Soviet state mobsters’, and various other riffraffs’ ongoing attempts to screw around with and screw over Ukraine until President Zelensky announces an investigation into the Bidens, which he’s not going to do, and Guiliani and the various post-Soviet state oligarchs/post-Soviet state mobsters he’s working with to shake down the Ukrainian natural gas industry, life actually goes on in Ukraine. And that life is one where part of Ukraine has been scarfed up by Vladimir Putin and another part has been invaded by Putin. And, as a result, Ukraine is at war with Russia in order to preserve its territorial integrity.

As a result of all of this, President Zelensky has learned some hard lessons in his short time in office. His views below are just one of those lessons.

I don’t trust anyone at all. I’ll tell you honestly. Politics is not an exact science. That’s why in school I loved mathematics. Everything in mathematics was clear to me. You can solve an equation with a variable, with one variable. But here it’s only variables, including the politicians in our country. I don’t know these people. I can’t understand what dough they’re made of. That’s why I think nobody can have any trust. Everybody just has their interests.

He also knows that at least for right now, he’s largely on his own despite the US’s international agreement obligation to preserve Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

“If you’re our strategic partner, then you can’t go blocking anything for us,” he said. “I think that’s just about fairness. It’s not about a quid pro quo.”

Ukraine has just reached an unfortunate milestone, for lack of a better term.

Since the beginning of the fighting in the Donbass, human casualties from explosive objects amount to more than a thousand people. Mine killed 300 civilians, including 27 children. About it reports ArmyInform  with reference to management of ecological safety and mine action of the Ministry of Defense.

According to preliminary estimates, the area of ​​areas contaminated with mines and explosive objects is about 7 thousand square meters. km controlled areas and approximately 9 thousand square meters. km of occupied territories.

Infrastructures are in a critical condition because sometimes they cannot be accessed through shells and improvised explosives.

This is a humanitarian nightmare and is going to take decades to fix even if a ceasefire was put in place immediately and was quickly followed by the withdrawal of Russian and Russian proxy forces and the reestablishment of Ukrainian sovereignty over the occupied territories in Donbass.

This is the actual effects on the Ukrainian citizenry not only of the occupation and the war, but the mine fields:

Here’s more from Christopher Miller at Buzzfeed (emphasis mine):

When he’s not engaged in gun battles with Russian-led forces on Ukraine’s eastern front line, Stas, a scruffy 26-year-old soldier, likes to cozy up in his bunker and brush up on his English skills by watching Stephen Colbert and Saturday Night Live. He cracks up at Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of President Donald Trump.

Watching political satire on American TV — when he’s able to get a strong enough signal on the battlefield to access YouTube — is also how Stas learned that Trump had frozen $391 million in US security aid meant for the Ukrainian armed forces over the summer. The news made him angry. The fighting was hot at the time, and he and his fellow soldiers were stuck with mostly crappy, old gear.

“Look at this. It’s old and falling apart,” he complained of his Ukrainian government–issued bulletproof vest in accented English. It was barely stitched together and slouching on one side. “It’s a piece of shit.”

There’s one thing Stas and the soldiers in Ukraine’s 72nd Mechanized Brigade positioned in the village of Novooleksandrivka do have, which they say has helped them spot enemy soldiers who creep within grenade-throwing range of their trenches at night: a pair of US-made night vision sights.

The only problem? They don’t fit on the Ukrainian rifles.

He explained that “they would definitely be more effective if we had them on our rifles,” which is impossible without a special adapter. He demonstrated how he has to hold the sight in one hand, pick a target, lower the device from his eye, and try to remember where he was looking as he aims and fires his weapon. Despite all this, an extra pair or two would be good, he said.

He wondered: Would his brigade have gotten at least another sight if the security aid hadn’t been held up? If only Americans knew how much the equipment would help…

“Nobody in your country knows what’s happening here,” Stas continued, waving his arms in frustration. “They don’t know how we are fighting for our lives with almost nothing.”

Fought for more than five years in trenches cut through some of Europe’s most fertile farmland, Russia’s war in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas has killed around 14,000 people and brought under its control a chunk of a territory larger than the state of New Jersey. Yet — despite it being fought with $1.6 billion of US help in the form of military aid and training since 2014 — the war had largely been forgotten before it was catapulted into the headlines amid the House impeachment inquiry against Trump. “While they were playing with our aid, I wonder, did they know we were dying out here?” asked Oleksandr, a sergeant in the 14th Mechanized Brigade who goes by the call sign “kuvyrok,” or “somersault.” As we crept through trenches outside the village of Krymske, 40 miles northwest of Stas’s position, careful to keep our heads down and out of Russian snipers’ sights, Oleksandr said at least two soldiers were killed at the position over the summer.

According to statistics from the Ukrainian military, at least 46 soldiers have been killed since July 18, when word spread throughout the Trump administration that the president had secretly frozen aid for Ukraine. Around 19 of those deaths came during the window of time in which the aid was delayed. While there’s no way of tying those deaths directly to the lack of new US aid at the front line, more than two dozen Ukrainian soldiers — located at four fighting positions, a tank base, and a military hospital — told me they were disappointed by the news. Their morale suffered, and they felt vulnerable and abandoned by their biggest supporter.

The soldiers, whom I met over the course of a week this month while traveling along the snaking 250-mile front line in eastern Ukraine, painted a clear picture of just how important US military assistance is for Ukraine in its war against Russia. The soldiers spoke on the condition that their surnames not be used for security reasons. In what many described as a David-and-Goliath-like fight, they shared several stories about how the US aid has helped level the battlefield and stop the larger and more powerful Russia from grabbing more of their land.

They also said that any aid freeze — even a temporary one — jeopardizes not only themselves but perhaps the very future of Ukraine.

There is much more at the link.

14,000 Ukrainians – Soldier and civilian alike – have been killed in Ukraine’s attempt to resist Russia’s incursion into Donbass. And to establish enough of a position of strength so that Ukrainian officials can negotiate a ceasefire and peace agreement that maintains Ukraine’s territorial integrity and gets Crimea back as well. That isn’t going to happen without the US backing it up. Which means it isn’t going to happen until, at least, January 2021 and despite the US’s international obligations to preserve Ukraine’s territorial integrity. What the US would need to do today is much harder than it would have been in 2014 and in 2021 any response will be that much harder than it would be today. And throughout it all Ukrainians are dying – Soldiers and civilians – because Putin has decided that he gets to draw the borders of eastern Europe wherever he likes. And that cannot be allowed to stand. However, because Ukraine has now been turned into another partisan issue, just as trade, Israel, healthcare, education, climate change, and so many other issues, as long as there is a Republican president and/or at least one chamber of Congress in Republican hands, stepping up and doing the right thing for Ukraine, as well as for the rest of our European and NATO partners is going to be a very heavy lift. Because it is going to be a partisan lift.

When you see the domestic news reporting on Ukraine, where Ukraine is simply a sort of funny sounding part of the horserace coverage of domestic American politics, keep in mind that the real focus here should be Ukraine; should be on the fact that Ukraine has been invaded and been occupied for going on five years; should be on the fact that the US has an actual international obligation to safeguard Ukraine’s territorial integrity; and that it isn’t just another partisan football so the talking heads on the news shows have something to stroke their chins about.

Open thread!

The post Meanwhile in Ukraine appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Brits Shocked By Real Health Care Costs In The U.S.

Crooks and Liars - Tue, 12/03/2019 - 21:03

British people, most only ever knowing universal health care, were asked to guess what basic health services cost in the United States. As might be expected, they were shocked and appalled.

Source: Mediaite

Brits expressed their shock after being told on camera how much healthcare in the United States costs in a video that went viral this week.

UK media outlet JOE interviewed Brits on the streets of London, asking them to guess how much it costs for various health procedures and products in the United States.

After one man was asked how much he thinks it costs for an ambulance call out, he replied, “Zero payment.”

“No, 2,500 dollars,” the interviewer declared, as the shocked man responded, “For real?”

As one British woman was told how much it costs for an inhaler (“$250 to $350”), she remarked, “Man, so if you’re poor, you’re dead.”

None of the Brits managed to guess the costs correctly, and typically made guesses that were far below the actual value.

The video concluded with the interviewees expressing gratitude for the UK National Health Service (NHS), England’s public health care.

Categories: Politics

Conversations With Dad

Balloon Juice - Tue, 12/03/2019 - 19:59

Dad: “Did you ever take that DNA test?”

Me: “What DNA test? And no, I wouldn’t have taken it anyway.”

Dad: “Why not? Don’t you want to know about your family history?”

Me: “I know enough about you people and I don’t want the government to have my DNA.”

Dad: “How would the government get your DNA?”

Me: “All those companies give their data to law enforcement. How do you think they caught the Golden Gate killer?”

Dad: “Are you a Golden Gate killer?”

Me: “No, not yet.”

Dad: “But don’t you want to know about your heritage?”

Me: “You took the test, mom took the test, and the other kids took the test. I think we have it narrowed down by now. Unless there is something you or mom want to tell me.”

Dad: “Goodbye.”

I’ve always been the ‘difficult’ child. Part of it is instinctive, though- if everyone is doing something I generally don’t want to do it just because they are. I need a reason I should do it.

The post Conversations With Dad appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

The Bob Cesca Podcast: The Kardashian Factor

Little Green Footballs - Tue, 12/03/2019 - 19:39

https://rss.art19.com/episodes/d930c742-dcf4-47c7-a63c-c20cfb1e64c0.mp3?_=1

Today's program from our podcasting affiliate, The Bob Cesca Show, powered by Tony Munter Attorney at Law:

The Kardashian Factor -- NSFW! Buzz Burbank from Buzz Burbank News and Comment is here; Our harrowing Thanksgiving holidays; Bob swarmed by the Yang Gang; Kamala Harris drops out; Democratic House Intelligence Committee impeachment report released; Buzz and 'Chicken Little Democrats'; Judiciary Committee hearings begin Wednesday; Pizzazz; Senate Intelligence Committee found no evidence of Ukraine interference in the election; Former Deutsche Bank executive commits suicide; The Sept 9 call that never happened; Barr vs the DOJ inspector general; With music by Mia Montenegro and Well-Known Strangers; and more!

Categories: Politics

Frank Figliuzzi: Is Rudy Giuliani Running A Corrupt Organization In The White House?

Crooks and Liars - Tue, 12/03/2019 - 18:53

Well, Sarah Kendzior has been saying this for years...only she's been calling it a transnational crime syndicate. Same, same.

Today, on Deadline White House, Nicolle Wallace looked at the call logs they got from Impeachment Report released by Rep. Adam Schiff and the House Intelligence Committee today. It shocks no one that lots of connections were made via telephonic device between Rudy Colludy, Hill reporter/conspiracy nut John Solomon, Lev Parnas, and the OMB (Office of Management and Budget) in the White House. Wheeeee!

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Categories: Politics

Guess which 2020 Democrats are spending the most on the airwaves

Daily Kos - Tue, 12/03/2019 - 18:13

Not that this is some big mystery, but check out which Democratic candidates (in concert with outside groups) are currently carpet bombing the airwaves with TV ads and, likewise, who's been doing that ever since the summer. It's not the frontrunners, folks: It’s the billionaires. Check out Michael Bloomberg in gold and Tom Steyer in green below.

Graph showing Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer vastly outspending every other Democratic candidate.

We're going to see what all that advertising adds up to in terms of winning the Democratic primary. If nothing else, it appears to have helped Steyer secure a place on the debate stage, which is certainly worth something in terms of name ID and getting one's message out.

The FiveThirtyEight search engine quantifies ad spending by candidate (including support from outside groups) by sifting through data from Kantar/Campaign Media Analysis Group. Here's how ad spending by the billionaires compares to that of the Democratic primary’s frontrunners, listed in descending order of total spending.

  • Steyer: Found 23 ads (estimated cost $45M)
  • Bloomberg: Found 2 ads (estimated cost $26M)
  • Sanders: Found 11 ads (estimated cost $3.5M)
  • Buttigieg: Found 12 ads (estimated cost $2.7M)
  • Biden: Found 6 ads (estimated cost $1.0M)
  • Warren: Found 4 ads (estimated cost $450K)

Categories: Politics

Kamala Harris Just Never Got Serious Enough

Kevin Drum - Tue, 12/03/2019 - 17:48

As a proud employee of a 501(c)3, I have to be a little careful about expressing my personal support for political candidates. But now that Kamala Harris is out, I can say a bit more about her.

Initially, I was tentatively in her camp. I’ve seen her in Senate hearings and she’s very impressive. She has considerable political experience. She’s plenty liberal, but knows how to play nice when she has to, unlike folks like Bernie Sanders. She obviously had an inside track on both the black vote and the women’s vote. I knew perfectly well that she had done some things as California attorney general that would hurt her in a Democratic primary, but everyone with experience has at least a few issues like this. Overall, she seemed like a good, serious contender.

Then came the Biden moment in the first debate. “You also worked … to oppose busing,” she said to Biden, who was standing right across from her. “And, you know, there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day. And that little girl was me.”

Now, this was something of a cheap shot, but I was OK with that. Like they say, politics ain’t beanbag, and I was actually pleased to see that Harris was willing to be a little mean. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm is not going to beat Trump in November. But things went downhill from there.

What Harris should have done is taken the poll bump and the fundraising bump and then smoothed things over. The very next day she should have said something a little conciliatory. “I understand it was different times, and I don’t really hold this against Joe even though I would have done something different.” This would have accomplished a couple of things. First, it would have taken the issue off the table and reduced the inevitable rain of media fact checks, which were never going to make her look good. Second, it would have allowed Harris to get off of busing, which is not a popular topic even now, and move on to other subjects.

Instead, she treated her mini-victory in the debate as a template. The fact checks came in and Harris was wobbly responding to them. But because it had worked, she seemingly started looking around for other trivial little things that she could toss out to get a bit of a media bounce. It made her seem unserious, the captive of a media strategy instead of a candidate with real policy chops. And that’s what she needed. She should have used her moment in the spotlight to get some attention for well-thought-out policy ideas that positioned her where she naturally belongs: clearly progressive, but not trying to out-left Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. That never really happened, and she eventually seemed like a one-hit wonder continually casting about for a second hit.

So I became increasingly disenchanted with her. If you’re going to triangulate, you have do it like you mean it. She didn’t, and the man behind the curtain was a little too obvious.

This is not the conventional story about Harris, by the way. Jamilah King summarizes that for us today, saying that Harris “ultimately could not reconcile the nearly two decades she spent in law enforcement with a rapidly changing political landscape on criminal justice issues that’s driven by the progressive base’s desire for systemic change.” That may well be the case, and I don’t know how many people had reactions similar to mine. But I’ll bet at least a few did.

Categories: Politics

Election 2020 Open Thread: Kamala Harris Is Out — For the Moment

Balloon Juice - Tue, 12/03/2019 - 17:41

C(ash) R(ules) E(vrything) A(round) M(e):


Victory lap by her (our!) enemies:

Ms. Harris’s online fund-raising slowed in recent months and large donors increasingly turned toward other candidates. In the third quarter of the year, she spent more than $1.41 for every dollar she raised, burning through millions of her treasury. She stopped buying ads, both online and on television, slashed staff in New Hampshire and retrenched to Iowa, where she spent the Thanksgiving holiday with her family…

Even as she struggled, Ms. Harris had assembled a coveted list of more than 130 bundlers who had raised at least $25,000 for her campaign, more than half of whom were from her home state of California, one of the deepest wells of Democratic cash. Ms. Harris canceled a scheduled fund-raiser with some of her top bundlers in New York on Tuesday just hours before the event. On Wednesday, she had been scheduled to attend an event in Los Angeles at the home of Sean Parker, the billionaire tech entrepreneur…

In addition to the financial troubles, some of Ms. Harris’s supporters worried that a poor showing once voting began, particularly in the California primary, would leave Ms. Harris vulnerable to a Senate primary challenge in 2022…

The post Election 2020 Open Thread: Kamala Harris Is Out — For the Moment appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Bombshell Impeachment Report Released By House Intelligence Committee

Crooks and Liars - Tue, 12/03/2019 - 17:03

The much anticipated Impeachment Report was released on Tuesday and is even more damning than anyone expected. It lays out an extensive plot to utilize bribery and extortion to try to force another government to investigate a political adversary and then a months long stone walling effort to obstruct justice. Truly wide ranging and egregious abuse of power that warrants impeachment as the only remedy to correct these offenses.

Twitter had thoughts:

Categories: Politics

Call Records In House Democrats' Impeachment Report Implicate Devin Nunes

Crooks and Liars - Tue, 12/03/2019 - 16:53

The House Intelligence Committee released their report on the Impeachment Inquiry. Based on a quick review of just a part of it, Devin Nunes should never have served as the ranking member on the Intelligence Committee, and should face an Ethics investigation which culminates in his expulsion from Congress.

From Page 46 of the report:

Over the course of the four days following the April 7 article, phone records show contacts between Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Parnas, Representative Devin Nunes, and Mr. Solomon. Specifically, Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Parnas were in contact with one another, as well as with Mr. Solomon. Phone records also show contacts on April 10 between Mr. Giuliani and Rep. Nunes, consisting of three short calls in rapid succession, followed by a text message, and ending with a nearly three minute call. Later that same day, Mr. Parnas and Mr. Solomon had a four-minute, 39 second call.

Here is what those phone records look like:

That was just one day. There's more. On April 12th there was a flurry of telephone calls with Parnas and Giuliani.

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Categories: Politics

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