A Washington Post contributor asks this morning, “Is this the morning that Trump panics about COVID-19?” The article points out that, since moving into the White House, Donald Trump has minimized every crisis—whether it’s a hurricane, a wildfire, or a looming war—because he doesn’t want people to associate anything bad that happens with his time in office. And this may be a mercy. After all, the last thing people dealing with an emergency need on top of everything else is a reminder that their lives depend on Donald Trump.
But with COVID-19, many, many lives depend on Trump. This is a hurricane that is likely to strike everywhere across the nation. We can see it coming. We don’t know whether it’s going to fade to a tropical storm, or roar in as a Category 5. But that it’s going to hit is almost inevitable. Almost. The world is teetering at a tipping point.
Throughout the history of the Republic, traitorous and treasonous have held a broader, more generic meaning for treason than the one found in the U.S. Constitution. The rebellious founders, having themselves been traitors to the British Crown—and being fully familiar with how English treason laws had been extended and abused in what was then the not-very-distant past—the drafters wisely kept to the narrowest of definitions in the first paragraph of Article III, Section 3:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
This year, our nominee is going to be a progressive. Bernie Sanders is the clear front-runner right now. Even though only 1.7% of delegates have been assigned, Sanders has leads in upcoming states (including delegate-rich California). Things can change! But as of now, things are looking good for him to amass a strong plurality of delegates.
Elizabeth Warren, on the other hand, is off to a woeful start. So why is she the best positioned candidate to give Sanders a run for his money?
If there’s one thing the Washington pundit class suffers from, it’s a lack of imagination. Once one person says something that everyone thinks sounds smart, it catches on like wildfire, it quickly becomes conventional wisdom, and anyone who says anything different is obviously stupid.
The latest conventional wisdom is that the Democratic primary is playing out just like the 2016 GOP primary did, with the anti-establishment candidate—Donald Trump/Bernie Sanders—running away with the whole thing while his competitors are powerless to stop him. It’s totally possible, and even probable at this point, that Sanders ultimately will win the Democratic nomination, but below are two graphs that show the Democratic primary looks nothing like the Republican primary in 2016.
Three of the four early states—the states that go one by one and get individual attention from both the candidates and the media—have voted in the Democratic presidential primary, boosting Sen. Bernie Sanders into a clear-cut position as the leader in the race. Now the strategy changes as candidates look past South Carolina, which votes on February 29, to Super Tuesday on March 3, when 14 states vote.
Former Vice President Joe Biden is counting on South Carolina to boost him with black voters in key Super Tuesday states by showing that his candidacy is still viable. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been using his massive personal fortune to carpet-bomb the airwaves in Super Tuesday states, the first states where he will be on the ballot. Other candidates, meanwhile, are trying to shift quickly from focusing on individual states to a multi-state race.
Donald Trump continues his march to autocracy, planning his largest purge of government officials yet. And he’s getting outside help in assembling his enemies list, with a conservative activist network headed by Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, providing a stream of memos detailing how some administration officials have been insufficiently loyal to Trump.
The pieces are being put in place. Trump is getting ready to push the purge with a new head of presidential personnel—his former body man, Johnny McEntee, who was fired by then-White House chief of staff John Kelly in 2018. And Groundswell, the Ginni Thomas group, helped push former national security adviser H.R. McMaster out of office, and is not remotely done, Axios reports.
Morning Digest: National Democrats spend to pick their GOP foe for competitive California House seat
The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.Leading Off
● CA-25: National Democrats are supporting Assemblywoman Christy Smith over progressive commentator Cenk Uygur in the March 3 top-two primary in California's vacant 25th Congressional District, and they're also now making it clear exactly which Republican they want Smith to end up facing.
The DCCC has begun what Politico reports is a $318,000 buy attacking Navy veteran Mike Garcia, who is competing with former Rep. Steve Knight next month for a spot in both the May 12 special election for the final months of former Democratic Rep. Katie Hill's term and in the November general election for a full two-year term. The DCCC spot declares that Garcia backed a tax increase for middle class families while his business repeatedly failed to pay its own taxes.
Relive the trauma and anxiety of the past three years with my new book, LIFE IN THE STUPIDVERSE, coming out in June — preorder here (or, better still, at the fine local bookstore of your choice)!
Cheers and Jeers is a multi-pixel weekday post from the great state of Maine.
An Open Letter
Dear Donald Trump, Tulsi Gabbard, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Mike Bloomberg, Tom Steyer, William Weld, and all the Write-in-Candidates,
Please do something about your supporters. I mean, jeez, come on.
All the Write-in Candidates, William Weld, Tom Steyer, Mike Bloomberg, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard and Donald Trump
Let us Continue…
The Abbreviated Pundit Round-up is a daily feature at Daily Kos.
Let’s put angst aside for a day, and look at the case for Bernie Sanders. [This isn’t to tell you who to vote for, it’s for perspective. Bernie has not won the nomination yet, vote your choice.] It starts with Bernie getting the most votes. It also includes how often the pundits are wrong, and it goes from there. It will be twitter heavy, because written pundits aren’t doing enough of it. Let’s have at it, starting with a conservative:x
During the 2016 election campaign, when Dems prayed for Trump to win the nom, @EsotericCD said something to the effect of: ANY major party nominee is one unpredictable event away from being president. Do not tempt fate.— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) February 23, 2020
I see too many conservatives doing the same with Bernie.
Good Monday to you. Hey, how about those results out of Nevada, huh? What a bout for Tyson Fury! And what a name, too. That’s crazy!
There were also other happenings from the weekend that we’ll catch up with, when Greg Dworkin checks in. And we all get to enjoy the start of a new week with Trump out of the country—usually a welcome reminder of how normal things can feel, and might one day be again.
Listen right here at 9:00 AM ET! Even more ways to listen, live or by podcast, below the fold.
Night Owls, a themed open thread, appears at Daily Kos seven days a weekAt Grist, Yvette Cabrera writes—Why being green comes naturally to U.S. Latinos:
[...] “In the United States too often we think that ‘environmentalist’ means the person who is driving in that electric vehicle, when in fact we neglect the 20 people who are riding in the bus,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra — the first Latino to hold his position — said during a speech at the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. “Hard-working people around the globe, people of modest means like my parents, are some of the best conservationists in the world because they can’t afford not to be.”
Becerra grew up in a working-class Sacramento household where his parents, Mexican immigrants, taught him frugality as a way of life.“Hard-working people are the ones telling their kids, ‘Apaga la luz! Turn off that light when you leave that room!’” Becerra continued at the summit. “They’re the ones that say, ‘Clean up that plate. Don’t serve yourself more than you can eat. It’s too precious.”
In an interview with Grist, Becerra recalled that many of the conservation lessons he learned during his childhood were driven by economic need. His family couldn’t afford to stay in hotels when they visited relatives in Guadalajara, so his parents invested in a camper shell for the family pick-up truck, which doubled as a place to sleep and eat for the family of six. Becerra learned to cook on a tiny portable stove, create as little garbage as possible, and identify yerba buena (mint) and té de limón (lemongrass) plants, which Mexicans use to cure stomach aches and other ailments. “At the end of the day, you find that out of necessity you become really good stewards of the land,” said Becerra.
This thriftiness of working-class families translates into energy-saving behavior: In the United States, low-income households generally use about one-fifth the energy of their wealthier counterparts, Becerra pointed out. And in California, where almost 40 percent of the population is Latino, the average carbon footprint is nearly 50 percent less than the average American’s. In Becerra’s view, California’s diverse working class represents “our best environmentalists.”
Yet despite having a smaller carbon footprint, these communities don’t enjoy the full benefits of their energy-saving practices — in part because they often live near industrial facilities, heavily-trafficked corridors, or contaminated Superfund sites. Latinos and African Americans across California disproportionately live in communities overburdened by pollution. More than 18 percent of the state’s Latinos and 17 percent of African Americans live in one of the top 10 percent most pollution-burdened communities, compared to less than 3 percent of white state residents. [...]
President Truman in 1945: Ã¢ÂÂPeople with low or moderate incomes do not get the same medical attention as those with high incomes. The poor have more sickness, but they get less medical care." https://t.co/xQzeK0kZ3e— Democracy Now! (@democracynow) February 23, 2020
At Daily Kos on this date in 2003—Americans believe war will increase terror:
Bush Co. and its media and warblogging cabal argue that taking out Saddam will help the nation combat the terrorism threat. However, the public isn't buying it. In the latest CBS News poll, 59 percent of respondents believed war would lead to more terrorism in the US. Only 12 percent thought it would lower the threat.
In addition, 60 percent of all respondents, and 40 percent of Republicans, think the US should wait for UN approval before invading.
Not that Bush will heed poll results, but it does indicate that he will place this nation at war without the full and enthusiastic backing of the people—a reality that may bear consequences down the road.
Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio.”LINK TO DAILY KOS STORE
It’s another Sunday, so for those who tune in, welcome to a diary discussing the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic Campaign. If you’ve missed out, you can catch up anytime: Just visit our group or follow Nuts & Bolts Guide. Every week I try to tackle issues I’ve been asked about, and with the help of other campaign workers and notes, we tackle how to improve and build better campaigns or explain issues that impact our party.
This week we’re focusing on a very different kind of campaign: the campaign to become a member of the Democratic National Committee, or the DNC. The majority of DNC members are elected and represent their states, either as state party chairs and vice chairs, or by others who are DNC members based on population and elected strength.
So you want to become a DNC member? Let’s talk about how you can do that.
Former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana Pete Buttigieg shared a sweet exchange with a 9-year-old boy, Zachary Ro, during a rally held in Aurora, Colorado on Saturday. Zachary submitted a question for the Democratic presidential hopeful that quickly earned cheers and support from the room. Read by Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, the question (which was submitted by fishbowl and, according to Griswold, selected randomly), said simply: "Thank you for being so brave. Would you help me tell the world I'm gay, too? I want to be brave like you."
Trump National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien took to multiple Sunday shows Today to, evidently, lie outright to the American people on Donald Trump's behalf. Parroting a Donald Trump line that does not mesh with any of the previously-known revealed intelligence about Russia's repeated efforts to disrupt United States elections via state-sponsored hacking and online propaganda efforts, O'Brien is insisting that he "has not seen" any intelligence to indicate that Russia is again attempting to boost Donald Trump's campaign.
In a Saturday-taped interview for Face the Nation, O'Brien made claims that could have come directly from Trump's own mouth.
The entire segment is remarkable. Again and again, host Margaret Brennan pushed O'Brien on his claims—at odds with all publicly revealed intelligence of the past four years—even asking him bluntly "Are you denying that it is happening?" O'Brien, however, maintained the Trump-favored line. If anything, he said, he has "heard" that Russia wants "Bernie Sanders to win."
With Sen. Bernie Sanders securing the top spot in Nevada caucuses, businessman and former presidential hopeful Andrew Yang urged bottom candidates to accept the same truth he was forced to face when he dropped out of the presidential race less than two weeks ago. "Someone needs to pull an Andrew Yang and be like, 'I've done the math, I'm not going to win,'" Yang, a new CNN commentator, said on Saturday. He announced Feb. 11 after the New Hampshire primary that he had accepted his fate. “I am the math guy, and it is clear tonight from the numbers that we are not going to win this race,” he said. “So tonight I am announcing that I am suspending my campaign.”
Although Yang failed to name the candidates he thinks should follow in his footsteps, he said, “the rest of the field needs to consolidate ideally.” With 60% of precincts reporting by Sunday afternoon, Sanders had 46% of the vote and 10 delegates in Nevada, according to The Associated Press.
Last week Mike Bloomberg seemed poised to take control of the party’s center lane, creating a potential face-off with Bernie Sanders, fresh off having consolidated the bulk of the party’s left flank. Then the debate happened and oh well. Back to the drawing board for anti-Sanders forces.Real Clear Politics poll aggregate, last three months.
1. Bernie Sanders ⬆️⬆️⬆️ (Last week: 1)
I just invented the triple-up arrow for today’s addition, because a singular one wouldn’t do Sanders’ justice, having taken about half of delegates available in Saturday’s Nevada caucus. His total percentage of the (second-round) vote, 39.3% with 60% reporting, puts him close to where he needs to be to be able to demand convention delegates fall in even if fails to reach 50% of the required delegates (which seems more and more likely by the day). His opposition remains fragmented and divided, giving him the chance to score big victories despite having a solid majority of the party preferring someone else.
The Sanders campaign, early in the cycle, gamed out a path to victory that required only winning about a third of delegates. I mocked it then, but it’s become a legit threat to the nomination. And if Elizabeth Warren can’t catch a break somewhere and is knocked from the race, he’d pick up enough of her center-left support to make him impossible to beat. He has to like her electoral difficulties.
On the flip side, Sanders is on track to once again get less votes than he did in 2016, suggesting that he isn’t growing from last cycle’s baseline. But at this point, who cares? It’s not keeping him from victory.
It really should have come as no surprise when Attorney General William Barr interfered politically in the sentencing of Donald Trump associate Roger Stone. The Attorney General has a long track-record of practically asking how high when the president he serves requests he jumps, starting with his first attempt at Attorney General from 1991 to 1993, during former President George H.W. Bush’s tenure. In what has also become part of his MO, Barr all but forewarned the country of his shoddy work to come during his Senate confirmation hearing in 1991. During the hearing, he touted Bush-era “tough on crime” policies that would shape the climate leading to mass incarceration of black and brown people for decades to come.
On Thursday, Florida’s legislature passed a state bill to require pregnant minors (pregnant people under the age of 18) to receive consent from a parent or guardian in order to access an abortion, as reported by CNN. Senate Bill 404 will move to the conservative governor, Republican Ron DeSantis. The Florida state House approved the restrictive, anti-choice bill 75-43.
Here’s how the bill works. Physicians would need to receive written consent via a notarized document from a parent or guardian before performing an abortion. Along with this written consent, parents would need to provide a copy of their government-issued ID. Physicians who provide an abortion for a minor without this consent could face third-degree felony charges, facing up to five years in prison.
A debate. An election. A debate. An election. It seems like that is the new rhythm for 2020. Oh yeah, and the fact that Trump is still president, so a never-ceasing news cycle.
Feel like you might have missed something? Don’t worry, we’ve got you.
How do you begin to do justice to the Greatest Debate of All Time? Let’s start with a simple list.
1. Elizabeth Warren won, and won big. It wasn’t even close. THIS was the Warren that so many of us love and support, and it’s the Warren that has been systematically erased by the political media.
The story of the week really was just how stunning Senator Warren’s debate performance was. How her campaign has consistently been under-appreciated. How she really is the definition of persistence. Now we wait to see if her performance on the Nevada debate stage will have a ripple effect on the rest of the country.