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Beastly Boy

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Member since: Fri Mar 18, 2016, 12:21 PM
Number of posts: 4,858

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Biden begins 8-day blitz of Iowa as caucus race heats up

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday kicked off an 8-day blitz of Iowa as the White House hopeful seeks to gin up support ahead of the Hawkeye State’s first-in-the-nation caucus.

Biden will barnstorm Iowa in his “No Malarkey” tour through Dec. 7 as the crowded 2020 primary field gets ready to blanket the state before the crucial Feb. 3 caucus.

“You might have heard, we’re heading out on an eight-day, 18 county, 'No Malarkey' barnstorm across Iowa next week," Biden said in a fundraising email to supporters this week. "The plan is to meet as many caucus-goers as I can, and we’re going to cover a lot of ground to do it

“My job is to let folks know just how I plan to get this country back on track so that our economy works for everyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, disability, or zip code," he continued. "Restoring the backbone of this country – the great American middle class – will be my north star as president because I’m confident that given a fair shot, there’s nothing the American people can’t do.”

The tour comes as polling shows a tight race heading into the nation’s first nominating contest. Biden’s once double-digit lead has evaporated as surveys now show a competitive top-tier among the former vice president, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Biden still leads the 2020 field in national primary polls, but observers speculate that a misstep in Iowa for any candidate could hinder any momentum moving deeper into the primary season.

The former vice president is banking on his strong infrastructure in the Hawkeye State, as well as support from local politicians, to help boost his appeal in the caucuses – his campaign includes 26 offices and approximately 110 paid staffers on the ground, and he touts the support of 175 current and former Iowa elected officials, union leaders, teachers, veterans, community leaders and Democratic Party activists.

Biden won the crucial endorsement of former Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-Iowa) last week, boosting his support among the party’s establishment.

“As I thought about the candidate who has the ability to bring us together as one nation, the progressive but practical vision for progress at home, the experience and personal relationships to repair America’s image abroad, and the best chance at winning the states we have to win to govern I concluded that Joe Biden is the person for the job,” Vilsack said in his endorsement.


Joe Biden nabs endorsement from Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus

evada Democrat Dina Titus threw her support behind Joe Biden on Monday, scoring the former vice president his first endorsement from a sitting member of Congress in any of the nation's early nominating contests.

"I can't tell you how happy I am to have Representative Titus in my corner for the fight we have ahead of us," the former vice president told reporters on a phone call later in the day. "We've been friends for a long time."

Nevada votes third among the early contests, after Iowa and New Hampshire, and is a crucial test of support among the Western state's booming Latino, Asian American, and labor union constituencies. Recent polls show Biden with a commanding lead in the state, ahead of Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren


How Bernie's small donation campaign funding model is lining the pockets of credit card companies

Low-dollar, repeat contributions are a great talking point for campaigns. They’ve also resulted in a massive financial windfall for credit card processors (to the tune of millions of dollars).

When you give a dollar to a political campaign using your credit card, a portion of that money is paid to a range of companies—the bank that issues a donor’s credit card, the campaign’s bank, the credit card company, etc.—and is generally taken as a percentage of the donation, plus a fixed amount per transaction. Even ActBlue, which advertises a flat fee of 3.95 percent, gets charged a per-transaction fee behind the scenes, though the organization would not give exact amounts.


Even if Bernie is not aware of this, which I find hard to believe, at the very least this shows the ignorance, if not the hypocrisy, of bashing alternative methods of campaign funding.

New Nevada Democratic Presidential Caucus poll

Biden 24,
Warren 18,
Sanders 18,
Buttigieg 8,
Steyer 5,
Harris 4,
Yang 3,
Klobuchar 2,
Gabbard 2,
Booker 1,
Castro 1,
Bennet 0


New North Carolina primary poll

Biden 37,
Warren 15,
Sanders 14,
Buttigieg 6,
Harris 4,
Yang 2,
Steyer 2,
Klobuchar 1,
Booker 2,
Castro 0,
Gabbard 2,
Bennet 1,
Bullock 1


Biden 22 points ahead? Now that's some slump!

Joe Biden proposes $1.3 trillion infrastructure overhaul -- and swipes at Trump for inaction

Joe Biden released a plan Thursday to pile $1.3 trillion into a U.S. infrastructure refresh as part of a push to boost the economy and curb climate change.

The Democratic presidential candidate’s campaign said it would invest in restoring highways, roads and bridges, while trying to spur further adoption of electric vehicles and trains. The former vice president’s plan also calls for replacing water pipes, building out rural broadband access and updating schools, among other measures.


The Biden campaign said it would pay for “every cent” of the $1.3 trillion plan through tax increases on corporations and the wealthy. It plans to fund the infrastructure overhaul through what it called “reversing the excesses of the Trump tax cuts for corporations; reducing incentives for tax havens, evasion, and outsourcing; ensuring corporations pay their fair share; closing other loopholes in our tax code that reward wealth, not work; and ending subsidies for fossil fuels.”

Biden has specifically called for raising the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21%. It stood at 35% before Republicans passed tax cuts in 2017.


A whole bunch of state primary polls from NYT/Sienna

North Carolina Democratic Presidential Primary--- Biden 29, Warren 15, Sanders 13, Buttigieg 1, Harris 1, Yang 0, O'Rourke 2, Klobuchar 0, Booker 1, Castro, Gabbard 1--- Biden +14

Michigan Democratic Presidential Primary--- Biden 30, Sanders 17, Warren 21, Buttigieg 3, Harris 0, Booker 0, Yang 1, Gabbard 1, Klobuchar 1--- Biden +9

Arizona Democratic Primary--- Biden 24, Sanders 16, Warren 15, Buttigieg 5, Harris 3, Yang 1, Klobuchar 1, Gabbard 0, O'Rourke 0--- Biden +8

Florida Democratic Presidential Primary--- Biden 27, Warren 19, Sanders 13, Buttigieg 5, Harris 1, Messam, Klobuchar 2, O'Rourke 0, Gabbard 1--- Biden +8

Wisconsin Democratic Primary--- Biden 23, Warren 25, Sanders 20, Buttigieg 5, Harris 1, Yang 2, Klobuchar 0, Gabbard 1, Booker 1, O'Rourke 1--- Warren +2

Pennsylvania Democratic Presidential Primary --- Biden 28, Warren 16, Sanders 14, Buttigieg 4, Bennet, Klobuchar 1, Gabbard 0, Harris 1, Yang 2, Booker 0--- Biden +12

What jumped out at me was Sanders below 15% in North Carolina, Florida and Pennsylvania.

The "Medicare for All" Conversation Is Surreal

This is what makes the whole conversation about Medicare for All so surreal. On the primary trail, Warren and Bernie Sanders are trying to outdo one another over who has the best plan to nationalize the American health insurance system. Journalists and think tankers—myself included—are scrutinizing the detailed mechanics of their proposals while the candidates’ supporters snipe at one another. Just about every primary debate has started with a repetitious scuffle over single payer. The topic has sucked the oxygen out of almost any other major policy discussion.


Even if Democrats can retake the Senate—which would require a small miracle—there is more than enough opposition to kill a single-payer bill. Sitting Sen. Amy Klobuchar is campaigning for president on a platform that consists largely of trashing Medicare for All. Ohio’s Sherrod Brown, long one of the chamber’s most progressive members, says that it would be a “terrible mistake” for the Democratic nominee to support Medicare for All. Joe Manchin exists. Kyrsten Sinema exists. These are the facts on the ground. And while Bernie Sanders can threaten moderates like Manchin all he likes, American presidents don’t exactly have the greatest track record of bending a recalcitrant Congress to their wills, even when they’re relatively fresh off an election win and Capitol Hill is led by their own party. (See: Donald Trump and Obamacare repeal, George W. Bush and Social Security privatization, Bill Clinton and his health care plan.)

So why are we even talking about Medicare for All at this point?

One part of the answer is that presidential campaigns aren’t just about making realistic promises about what you’ll do in the White House, but are also about laying out a broader philosophical vision. They are also a chance to change public opinion: Single payer was barely on the public’s radar before Bernie Sanders ran in 2016. Now it’s mainstream. And while Sanders and Warren might have little chance of passing Medicare for All as president, their efforts to build support for it could pay off one day down the line when President Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is entering her first 100 days in office. It’s fair to think about all this as part of a larger, ideological battle over the party’s very long-term future, not just on health care policy but regarding the entire size and role of government in society.


But there’s an additional, possibly more cynical layer of this whole odd debate. Warren is fighting to win over Sanders voters (or at least trying to make herself acceptable to them) and has pretty clearly decided that hugging single payer for dear life is the only way she can do it. Early on in the campaign, she was wishy-washy on health care. It wasn’t really her issue. When Bloomberg’s Joe Weisenthal asked her in January whether she’d support banning private insurance or preferred something more like a public option, she basically answered: Yes, all of the above.


If reason is to be applied to the debate, it is clear that MfA has a snowflake's chance of being passed any time soon. In the mean time, the debate seriously cuts into the chances of winning the next election, no matter who is the eventual Democratic nominee.

So, is the entire MfA debate useless or even worse, counter-productive? Hell no! It defines a long-term narrative for the Democrats and clears the path to single payer health care in one form or another, however long it might take. Just let's not lose perspective, and let's take it easy on the rhetoric. The first step, which makes all other steps possible, is to end the Trump nightmare and take charge of government.

Will Hillary make an endorsement for the Primaries? And if she does, what may be the implications?

I would especially like to hear from Warren supporters, since I suspect many of you are former Hillary backers. Or perhaps I am wrong on this one. Either way, I would like to know what you think.

This is one of only a handful of reasons why I support Biden over Warren

‘This is going to cause down-ballot damage’: Warren's $20 trillion health plan fails to quiet critics


“This is going to cause down-ballot damage in swing districts and states if she’s the nominee,” Buentello says, describing how her Pueblo-area constituents — who voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump in 2016 — were already echoing criticisms about a giant, one-size-fits-all big government run plan that cancels private health insurance and raises taxes.

The fear of blowback is indicative of the broad and largely negative response to Warren’s proposal from centrist, moderate and rural Democrats — many of whom, like Buentello, back Joe Biden in the primary. And it exposes the fault line between those who fret about winning voters in the center and the activist progressive base propelling Warren to the front of the Democratic pack.

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