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Member since: 2002
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"The 2020 Democratic Field, Minus Joe Biden, Embraces a Death Penalty Moratorium"

I Posted Biden in 1991 being proud about his 51 death penalty provisions - and he didn't care whether there was a racial provision or not. People objected to it being 28 years ago. So here we have this - up to date story about the same thing. It is good to consider people's change - or not - over time.

Democrats running for president in 2020 are rushing to cheer Governor Gavin Newsom, after the recently inaugurated California Democrat signed an executive order to halt further executions in his state.

The first two candidates to make public statements on Newsom’s order were California’s own Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), both of whom have focused their campaigns in part on criminal justice reform and the country’s incarceration of people of color.

...But there is one likely candidate who has previously taken a different path. As a U.S. senator, Joe Biden helped write the 1994 crime bill that expanded the application of the death penalty, saying at one point that “we have predators on our streets” who are “beyond the pale.” Sanders voted for it too, though he framed it as a compromise measure.

After one Republican had complained that an earlier crime bill coddled criminals, Biden replied, in support of the law, that "we do everything but hang people for jaywalking." A request for comment made to Biden’s spokesperson was not returned.


Other thread:

1991 C-span link:

Biden's record - video from C-span - Anyone think this is a good thing?

Joe Biden on crime bill June 20, 1991


[People] applaud Warren in heart of MAGA country (West Virginia)

KERMIT, W. Va. — It was a startling spectacle in the heart of Trump country: At least a dozen supporters of the president — some wearing MAGA stickers — nodding their heads, at times even clapping, for liberal firebrand Elizabeth Warren.

The sighting alone of a Democratic presidential candidate in this town of fewer than 400 people — in a county where more than four in five voters cast their ballot for Trump in 2016 — was unusual. Warren’s team was apprehensive about how she’d be received.

About 150 people gathered at the Kermit Fire & Rescue Headquarters Station to hear the Massachusetts senator and former Harvard professor talk about what she wants to do to fight the opioid epidemic. Trump-supporting college students in baggy t-shirts, housewives in pearls, and the fire chief dressed in uniform joined liberal retirees wearing rainbow “Persist” shirts and teachers with six-figure student loan debt.


What if we started expecting our candidates to consider their planetary footprint?

What if we started choosing politicians who 'get it' enough to live in small-sized energy efficient homes. (And not multiple ones).

What if we considered the candidates' modes of transportation? Are they being as energy efficient as possible?

What if we considered the candidates' diets? Are they being good role models? (At least to the point of lowering meat consumption)

What if we considered the candidates' leisure activities and consumption habits in general? Are they thoughtful?

If not now, when? If not us - then who?

Snips from 'Human society under urgent threat from loss of Earth's natural life':

“…The report paints a picture of a planet in which the human footprint is so large it leaves little space for anything else. Three-quarters of all land has been turned into farm fields, covered by concrete, swallowed up by dam reservoirs or otherwise significantly altered. Two-thirds of the marine environment has also been changed by fish farms, shipping routes, subsea mines and other projects. Three-quarters of rivers and lakes are used for crop or livestock cultivation. As a result, more than 500,000 species have insufficient habitats for long-term survival. Many are on course to disappear within decades….

Our species now extracts 60bn tons of resources each year, almost double the amount in 1980, though the world population has grown by only 66% in that time. The report notes how the discharges are overwhelming the Earth’s capacity to absorb them. More than 80% of wastewater is pumped into streams, lakes and oceans without treatment, along with 300m-400m tons of heavy metals, toxic slurry and other industrial discharges. Plastic waste has risen tenfold since 1980, affecting 86% of marine turtles, 44% of seabirds and 43% of marine mammals. Fertiliser run-off has created 400 “dead zones”, affecting an area the size of the UK….


Recommend Netflix' 'Knock Down the House' - streaming now

This is great! This could be good for Democrats.

It shows what grassroots progressive political campaigning is all about.

IMO a better title would be 'Build up the House' or 'Rebuild the House'.

"Can a Woman Win? 2020 Candidates Offer an Easy Answer: 'I Have'"

....Ms. Warren, Ms. Gillibrand, Ms. Harris and Ms. Klobuchar can all claim an interesting distinction: They have never lost an election in their political careers. All of the most prominent male Democratic candidates, including Mr. Biden, Mr. Buttigieg, Mr. O’Rourke, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, have lost at least one


Solnit: Unconscious Bias is Running for President

"...I’ve just spent a month watching white male people in particular arguing about who has charisma or relatability or electability. They speak as if these were objective qualities, and as if their own particular take on them was truth or fact rather than taste, and as if what white men like is what everyone likes or white men are who matters, which is maybe a hangover from the long ugly era when only white men voted. It’s a form of self-confidence that verges on lunacy, because one of the definitions of that condition is the inability to distinguish between subjective feelings and objective realities.

Ryan Lizza, fired from the New Yorker for undisclosed sexual misconduct, tweeted, “The Kamala Harris fundraising numbers drive home just how impressive Pete Buttigieg’s fundraising numbers are” when hers were nearly twice as large, and maybe who has money to donate and why white men have always been carried forward and black women have always been held back are relevant things here. One notable thing about the 2016 election is that some of the leading pundits whose misogyny helped shape the race—including Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Mark Halperin, Glenn Thrush—were later charged with sexual abuse or harassment; that is, their public bias was paralleled by appalling private misconduct. Fox’s Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes were outed earlier; heads of networks, directors, and producers have also been outed as serial sexual abusers in charge of our dominant narratives.

Meanwhile, the New York Times in all its august unbearability just published this prize sentence in a piece about Joe Biden’s failure to offer Anita Hill an apology she found adequate: “Many former Judiciary Committee aides and other people who participated did not want to talk on the record because they feared that scrutiny of Mr. Biden’s past conduct would undermine the campaign of the candidate some think could be best positioned to defeat President Trump, whose treatment of women is a huge issue for Democrats.” That translates as, let’s run a guy whose treatment of women is an issue, and let’s ignore that treatment because even so we think that he’s best positioned to defeat the guy whose treatment of women is an issue, and also fuck treatment of women, especially this black woman, as an issue, really....

The problem, as feminist philosopher Kate Manne put it recently, is that what we say now is not just commentary about what is possible; it is shaping what is possible. She said, “If we knew for sure that a candidate couldn’t beat Trump, that would be reason not to support them. But electability isn’t a static social fact; it’s a social fact we’re constructing. Part of what will make someone unelectable is people give up on them in a way that would be premature, rather than going to the mat for them.” ...What makes a candidate electable is in part how much positive coverage they get, and how much positive coverage they get is tied to how the media powers decide who is electable, and so goes the double bind...."

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