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Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Current location: Switzerland
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 04:01 PM
Number of posts: 14,837

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What Elizabeth Warren Is Quietly Telling Democratic Insiders

Sorry for posting a NYT link again. But I apparently still have some free articles left this month, so I've selected some of the most salient parts of this excellent article. It describes how Elizabeth Warren is the consummate Democratic team player.


In phone calls, text messages and small gatherings before her rallies, as well as in one-on-one meetings over hot tea at her Washington condominium, Ms. Warren is simultaneously courting and assuring Democratic town leaders, statewide officials and the chiefs of the country’s largest unions.

The outreach is not just an effort to avoid the confrontational approach Mr. Sanders took in 2016, when he inveighed against party insiders and the committee itself, which he correctly believed was favoring Hillary Clinton. Ms. Warren is also trying to allay concerns among Democrats that, as a progressive candidate proposing sweeping change, she may not have enough mainstream appeal to compete with President Trump in the general election.
Ms. Warren’s campaign events often begin out of public view, when she meets with a small groups of Democratic officials in gatherings, called “clutches,” for pictures and a few minutes of conversation. While the size of her crowd last week in St. Paul — roughly 12,000, her campaign said — drew headlines and attention on social media, her meeting beforehand with a few state lawmakers may have been even more memorable for them.
While Ms. Warren has been careful to avoid directly criticizing Mr. Sanders, her regular references to being a capitalist withstanding, she is also quietly taking steps within the party to make clear that she does not want to create a competing power base should she become president. She was one of the first Democratic candidates to sign a pledge circulated last month by the Association of State Democratic Committees vowing not to create any parallel political or organizing infrastructure that would compete with the national or state Democratic parties. ...

If you have a NYT subscription or still have some free articles left this month, I encourage you to read the whole article.

The Education of Elizabeth Warren

As a rule, I don't post from the NYT or WaPo because of the paywalls. But this is an excellent article. If you are still able to get free articles from the NYT, this is a must-read, IMO.

It is one of the best that I have seen about Warren's "road to Damascus" moment from being a "default Republican" to becoming an activist Democrat. For me, her ability to make fact-based decisions and then act upon them is her strongest quality. It is among the many reasons that I support her.


Ms. Warren’s political awakening didn’t simply happen all at once. Her road to Damascus was a long one. But over several decades, she transformed from a largely pro-business and politically disengaged academic — a sort of default Republican — to a fierce consumer advocate and bankruptcy expert whose advice was sought on Capitol Hill, and then, finally, to a Democratic force on the Hill herself.

Her bankruptcy work with two Texas colleagues, Jay L. Westbrook and Teresa A. Sullivan, resulted in a 1989 book, “As We Forgive Our Debtors,” regarded as a landmark among many bankruptcy lawyers and academics for its depth and conclusions. One central finding — that bankrupt debtors represented a social cross-section of society — dispelled the popular narrative at the time. Even more controversial was the book’s uncompromising criticism of the credit card industry for enticing consumers to take on ever more high-interest debt.

Ms. Warren, who said she began the study on the lookout for “cheaters and deadbeats,” quickly realized that the people she was studying seemed familiar. Her own family in Oklahoma had teetered on the brink of financial ruin. It is a part of the biography she discusses in folksy speeches across the country — her father’s unemployment, her mother’s effort to save the family home with a minimum-wage job, and how that wouldn’t be possible today, with minimum wage paying below the poverty rate.
But a look at Ms. Warren’s philosophical and political metamorphosis provides yet another perspective on her personality, revealing a woman who searched for answers and found something she had never expected, then altered her thinking accordingly.

As Mr. Westbrook put it, “She is really someone who is willing to learn and willing to be persuaded.”

An Incredible Interactive Chart of Biblical Contradictions

This is absolutely fascinating!


A few years ago, computer science whiz Chris Harrison created a beautiful visualization linking up every cross reference in the Bible. So, for example, if a verse in the New Testament referred back to a verse in the Old Testament, there was an arc drawn between the two chapters they were in (the vertical lines at the bottom represent the number of verses in that chapter):

Amazing! Turns out there are 63,779 cross references in the Bible (and that many arcs in the image)! If it’s any indication of how complex this image is, the high-resolution version is more than 100MB large.

In 2009, graphic designer Andy Marlow used Harrison’s work as his inspiration to created a similar visual for Sam Harris‘ Reason Project. This time, though, he only included arcs representing contradictions in the Bible:

Democrat Elizabeth Warren talks plans for presidency at USC Aiken rally


This is a report about Elizabeth's visit to Aiken, SC yesterday.

... Warren was fired up and the crowed was electric.

After she rolled out her plans for office if she's elected, she took a few questions from the crowd. The icing on the cake for some was when she took selfies with those who came. She even started out with pictures for those who didn't make it inside.

Warren even had some young fans in the crowd, "I got a picture by myself and then a family picture!"

Warren is the first presidential candidate to come to Aiken this cycle. Her next stop is Saint Paul Minnesota on August 19th.

Travers: Peter Fonda, The Easiest Rider of Them All


The Easy Rider himself, Peter Fonda, was pushing 80 when he passed away early Friday morning — it was respiratory failure due to lung cancer that took him out. But that gamechanging 1969 movie made him immortal, freezing him in time as Wyatt, the stoned biker chasing an elusive freedom. Wearing a leather jacket (a large U.S. flag sewn across the back) on a Harley and going by the handle Captain America, Fonda rode into screen history by roaring through the American south in celebration of hippies, communes, drugs, free love and anything that raised a finger to the Establishment. Easy Rider was a western played as an acid-fueled road trip. Along with his costar and co-writer Dennis Hopper, who played Billy (as in Billy the Kid) to Fonda’s Wyatt (as in Earp), Fonda blasted a hole in Hollywood’s lazy mainstream culture. It made $60 million on a $400,000 investment. It turned indie filmmaking into the coolest game in town.

Fonda and Hopper, who died in 2010, fought like badgers for the rest of their lives about who deserved credit for the film the former produced and the latter directed (they both were Oscar nominated for the screenplay they wrote with Terry Southern). For Fonda, one of the unintended consequences of the wildfire success of Easy Rider, also noted for a bright, shiny breakthrough performance from Jack Nicholson as a boozing ACLU lawyer befriended by the bikers, was to reduce this member of a showbiz dynasty to a one-trick pony. In fact, he created quality work before and well after he went searching for America and couldn’t find it anywhere. And he did it against daunting odds.

RIP, Peter!

Warren Chips Away at Biden's Strength as The One Who Beats Trump


This article is from Bloomberg. I like the way that the Warren campaign responded.

Warren’s campaign declined to comment on the latest surveys and pointed to her remarks in the second debate

“There is a lot at stake, and people are scared. But we can’t choose a candidate we don’t believe in just because we’re too scared to do anything else. And we can’t ask other people to vote for a candidate we don’t believe in,” Warren said in the debate. “Democrats win when we figure out what is right and we get out there and fight for it. I am not afraid. And for Democrats to win, you can’t be afraid, either.”

Go Elizabeth! I believe in you!

Elizabeth Warren Sells Populism to Professionals

Courtesy of the wonderful DSB!!!


Warren’s campaign rests on the theory that the past decade has transformed the way class is felt in America, so that instead of the uneducated against the educated, or the heartland against the coasts, it is now also possible to run a widely inclusive, populist campaign against the ultra-rich. If you keep your eye on what the capitalists get away with, you can run on economic populism with the support of doctors and lawyers and the P.T.A. “Your first fifty million, you get to keep. Good for you,” Warren said on Wednesday, explaining her signature wealth-tax proposal. From the ultra-rich—only “a tenth of a tenth of a per cent” of Americans—the government would take two per cent of every dollar after the first fifty million. By the way, she went on, most Americans already pay a wealth tax. “How many people here own their own homes?” Warren asked, and virtually the whole crowd put its fingers to the sky. Looking affirmed, Warren told them that their property taxes were effectively wealth taxes, just for a lesser level of wealth. She wanted to go after the guys “with the Rembrandts and the yachts.”
But Warren is the only candidate in the race whose fortunes have materially improved over the past six months, which suggests that the vein she’s found has less to do with what is permanent within the Democratic electorate than with what is changing. When Rakich analyzed polling data from Emerson College last month, he found that Warren, alone among the major contenders, drew support from voters who were split almost evenly between Sanders and Clinton in 2016. The signal story of the past decade—of the financial crisis, of Donald Trump, of the #MeToo movement—is about how wealth, power, and depravity have been concentrated in the hands of a very few. The Warren campaign is a test of how broadly that story has resonated, and how much the country has been transformed. As the selfie line formed in Franconia, I saw a new national poll on my phone, from the Economist and YouGov—Biden had fallen to twenty-one per cent, in their accounting, and Warren was up to twenty per cent. Not the front-runner—at least not yet—but the race’s central figure.

Warren leads Democratic field by 5 points in Wisconsin: poll

I don't put too much stock in ANY polls at this point. I also am not sure how credible this pollster is. But, for those who love polls, this one looks very good for my preferred candidate.


Wisconsin's primary is scheduled for April 7, 2020, putting it toward the end of the calendar.

The state has received increased focus this election cycle, however, because of President Trump's win over Hillary Clinton in the state's last general election.

Thursday's survey predicts a tight race in the 2020 general election, with 45 percent of respondents saying they will probably or definitely vote for Trump and 46 percent saying the same for the eventual Democratic nominee.

Change Research polled 1,966 likely voters in Wisconsin between Aug. 9 and 11. That figure includes 626 likely Democratic primary voters. The margin of error for the full sample is 2.2 points.

The Hillary factor: Worries about Warren's electability miss big differences


I found this to be a very interesting article, especially given the source.

From the link:


Earlier this year, I called attention to some analysis by Nathaniel Rakich at FiveThirtyEight. He compared Warren's 2018 vote totals to those garnered by Clinton in 2016. With the enormous caveat that it is always tricky comparing a midterm to a presidential election, it was interesting what Rakich said about the 10 towns where Warren most outperformed Clinton: "They are all small towns in Western Massachusetts. With a few exceptions, they have incomes lower than the statewide average. Most of them have fewer college graduates than average as well. And Trump improved upon Romney's margin in all but one of them."

Conversely, the towns where Warren most underperformed Clinton were the wealthy suburbs around Boston, and suburban, moderate women Republicans and independents were the key to the Democrats' retaking the House last year. I wonder, though, how many such Republicans and moderates voted for Trump in 2016 because they told themselves he would mature into the job. Either way, it is not inconceivable that Warren could hold onto some of the Democratic gains from the midterms, while overperforming Clinton in rural areas of the country. And she could slip on a banana peel tomorrow.

Elections are not predictable events. Trump certainly looks vulnerable today and if the economy slows down, he could be subjected to a thumping by almost any Democrat. Bill Clinton look vulnerable in the summer of 1995 and Obama did in 2011. Democratic primary voters should select whom they want to carry their banner and not get into the business of electoral prognostication. If they want Warren, they should vote for Warren, and if they do, they may have selected the first nominee in this century who can actually beat an incumbent president. (emphasis mine)

What a great story!

I am dividing my day between activities for the Swiss National Holiday and watching the horse races at Goodwood (UK).

ITV, who basically was awarded the racing broadcasting rights after the Beeb's reign of many years, is currently airing the meet at Goodwood and had also broadcast a feature on this young Muslim jockey. She won her first race today in a squeaker.

Khadijah Mellah claims fairytale Magnolia Cup win on Haverland


Student Khadijah Mellah registered a fairytale victory as she steered Haverland to victory in the Magnolia Cup at Goodwood.

The 18-year-old was the first rider to race in a hijab in Britain and she delivered her Charlie Fellowes-trained mount with a perfectly-timed run to lift the ladies-only charity race.

Mellah, who hails from Peckham in South London and is set to study mechanical engineering at university in September, learnt to ride at the Ebony Horse Club charity in Brixton - but sat on a racehorse for the first time only in April.

She certainly belied her lack of experience, as she exercised plenty of patience aboard Haverland, only making her move coming into the final furlong.

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