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BlueMTexpat's Journal
BlueMTexpat's Journal
February 13, 2020

I am inherently skeptical of ANY candidate

who only runs for one office as a Democrat and that is for the Presidency.

To me, that indicates a Democrat "of convenience" who wants to piggyback on Democratic Party resources, rather than one who truly espouses the principles of the Democratic Party. Bloomberg is in some ways an anomaly because he is self-funded and hasn't so far had to rely on Democratic Party resources such as debates, etc. But he still raises WAY too many red flags for me.

I am sorry to see that several here at DU, of all places, so readily jump into the column of ANYONE ELSE when we still have some exceptional candidates in the running who have either run for office ONLY as Democrats or who have been life-long Democrats.

But that's JMO. And a sad one. IMO.

September 18, 2019

Elizabeth Warren's Crusade Against Corruption


Warren’s speech took place just as the Democratic-primary campaign is entering a new, more serious phase: the field of candidates has winnowed, and the debates have become less unwieldy. Warren has crept steadily up in the polls, hovering in many of them in second place, behind Joe Biden. The morning of the speech, the Warren campaign announced an endorsement from the Working Families Party, which was a coup for the campaign, and a disappointment to Bernie Sanders, who has been vying with Warren for second place and earned the Party’s endorsement when he ran for the Democratic nomination in 2015. The combination of events has created a sense of momentum around Warren that will be tested in the coming months, as primary voters and competitors begin focussing more narrowly on the candidates left in the race.

Voters are unaccustomed to hearing politicians speak so directly and frequently about corruption, perhaps because the system they’re participating in is an example of the depth of the problem. But, from the early days of her campaign, Warren has pointed to corruption as the root cause of most of the country’s problems. She lists tax laws that favor corporations, spiralling health-care costs and pharmaceutical prices, rising temperatures, and declining public-school systems as symptoms of the influence that the wealthy have over the policymaking process. In 2018, she introduced the Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act in the Senate, which proposed a lifetime ban on most lawmakers going into lobbying and the creation of a new public-integrity office, among other things. (The House passed its own, less drastic anti-corruption bill that addressed some of the same issues earlier this year.) Warren describes her bill as the “biggest anti-corruption plan since Watergate.” During one of her first campaign stops in Iowa, which I attended, she told a crowd, “We have a Washington that works great for the rich, the powerful, the well-connected. And here’s the deal: when a government works for the rich, the powerful, and the well-connected and isn’t working for anyone else, that’s corruption, plain and simple, and we need to call it out.” The lines resonated.
September 13, 2019

How Warren Won Without Having a Big Moment


Frankly, I am not really into which pundits consider who is "winning" and who is not. The final decision will be made by the voters. But still, there are some who felt as I did about Elizabeth Warren's performance after last night's debate.


But perhaps the most notable takeaway is how good Elizabeth Warren in this format. There was no one moment of stand-out eloquence, no flash of humor that sent the audience and debaters laughing. It was, rather, her capacity to turn every question into an occasion for an answer that demonstrates political shrewdness, if not always substantive candor.

For instance, she still will not say that her health career plan will raise taxes for the middle class, which it almost certainly will and which Bernie Sanders frankly acknowledges. Instead, she says:

“What families have to deal with is cost, total cost.…And understand, families are paying for their health care today. Families pay, every time an insurance company says, sorry, you can't see that specialist. Every time an insurance company says…sorry, we are not covering that prescription. Families are paying every time they don't get a prescription filled because they can't pay for it. They don't have a lump checked out because they can't afford the copay. What we're talking about here is what's going to happen in families’ pockets, what's going to happen in their budgets...”
On the subject of education, Warren fused her personal background with a message aimed squarely at the public school unions that form a key part of the Democratic Party’s base—rejecting flatly the idea of public money for charter schools— and managed to shoehorn in another popular notion as well.

“You know,” Warren said, “I think I'm the only person on this stage who has been a public school teacher. I wanted to be a public school teacher since I was in second grade. And let's be clear in all the ways we talk about this, money for public schools should stay in public schools. Not go anywhere else. I've already made my commitment. I will—we will have a secretary of education who has been a public school teacher. I think this is ultimately about our values. I have proposed a two-cent wealth tax on the top one-tenth of one percent in this country. That would give us enough money to start with our babies by providing universal child care for every baby age 0 to 5. Universal pre-k for every 3-year-old and 4-year-old in this country, raise the wages of every child care worker and preschool teacher in this country. Cancel student loan debt for 95 percent of the folks who’ve got it.”

This is a skill most debaters, even those with years in public life, do not possess. They know how to deliver up packaged pieces of policy, and predictable applause lines. But taking a question and using it as a platform for a coherent message is a skill in short supply. [emphasis mine] (The last Presidential candidate to demonstrate such skill was Newt Gingrich back in 2012).

While I hate the comparison to Newt Gingrich (ugh to the nth power!), he did have an ability to reach voters.
September 12, 2019

Biden, Warren and the Debate Fight a Decade in the Making

This is a good article. It should not be considered as bashing, but rather as explanation. These issues may also be raised in tonight's debate.

The article describes why I am a staunch supporter of Elizabeth Warren.



The friction between the frontrunners isn’t personal. It’s rooted in long standing policy differences, particularly over the rights of Americans to discharge their debts in bankruptcy. The last major overhaul of the nation’s bankruptcy laws took place during the W. Bush administration in 2005. And the GOP administration found an eager bi-partisan partner in its reform efforts in Joe Biden — then a senator from Delaware, a state whose lax financial regulations make it one of corporate America’s favorite places be headquartered, at least on paper.
The details of the 2005 bankruptcy bill are mind-numbing. But in its broadest strokes, the law made it more difficult for individuals to escape the yoke of their debts. The bill made debt from student loans nearly impossible to dismiss. It raised the bar on discharging medical debt. The law was particularly harsh on what’s known as unsecured debt. Examples of secured debt include mortgages and auto loans. These lenders can always seize the underlying asset if you fail to pay, foreclosing on your house or repossessing your car. The most common form of an unsecured loan? Credit card debt.

For Biden, the ostensible aim of the law was to crack down on fraud, what he termed “unnecessary and abusive bankruptcy” that allowed people with ability to repay their debts to use bankruptcy to slough off their obligations on their creditors, raising costs across the economy to the detriment of “every single American consumer.’’
Warren, whose academic legal research focused on bankruptcy, had seen first hand how and why families ended up in bankruptcy. She came to see bankruptcy as a tool for families in crisis, whether that was divorce, or job loss, or a serious health problem. Warren understood bankruptcy as a critical part of the safety net — a protection for Americans who would otherwise fall through the cracks.

These differences in worldview exploded onto the national stage in Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the bankruptcy bill back in February 2005, when Biden and Warren — invited by then Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy as “one of our Nation’s leading experts on bankruptcy law” — sparred over details like fair access to bankruptcy court and who should be responsible for medical debts.

The article also quotes from the exchange between Biden and Warren.

Just FYI: I am a Kennedy liberal and have been since I joined the Peace Corps in 1964. For me, EW is a Kennedy liberal. If that makes me an "Elizabeth Elite," as per Ed Rendell, then I am VERY proud to be one.
September 10, 2019

Elizabeth Warren rises as Joe Biden clings to delegate edge -- CBS News Battleground Tracker

Please be sure to read through the whole article. There are also some very interesting graphs.


One snippet: there are lots of interesting others.

Biden's support has largely held and even risen in some places like in Iowa, so the movement toward Warren is not attrition from Biden, but of lower-tier candidates losing supporters who have gone to Warren or, in lesser numbers, to Sanders.

For instance, Warren has benefited most from former Kamala Harris supporters switching their allegiance. Twenty-nine percent who were backing Harris in July, whom we re-interviewed for this study, have switched to Warren. Biden picked up 15% of former Harris backers. Partly as a result, Harris has fallen behind in the delegate estimate from her position earlier this summer, when she was closer to the upper tier of contenders.

Warren is also under consideration by more Democrats (60%) than Biden is (50%) — suggesting her campaign could have even more room to gain.

Biden does better than Warren in being named the first choice among those currently considering him.

We are still in early days.
September 9, 2019

It Worked for Barack Obama

Elizabeth Warren is imploring Democrats to choose inspiration over caution—just as an insurgent Illinois senator did against Hillary Clinton in 2007.



What Elizabeth Warren said Saturday at the New Hampshire Democratic state convention might have sounded faintly familiar. “I am not afraid,” she declared. “And for Democrats to win, you can’t be afraid either.”

Consciously or not, Warren was echoing one of the most important lines of Barack Obama’s primary campaign against Hillary Clinton. “If we are really serious about winning this election, Democrats,” Obama declared at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner on November 10, 2007, “we can’t live in fear of losing it.” That line became part of the message that won Obama the Iowa caucuses, and the Democratic nomination. ...
...when Obama took the stage at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner, he exploited a sense among Iowa Democrats that Clinton lacked political courage, and that a vote for her would reflect their own lack of courage, too. “Not answering questions ’cause we are afraid our answers won’t be popular just won’t do,” he told the crowd. “Triangulating and poll-driven positions because we’re worried about what Mitt [Romney] or Rudy [Giuliani] might say about us just won’t do. If we are really serious about winning this election, Democrats, we can’t live in fear of losing it.”
There are obvious differences between Warren now and Obama then. Obama was more frequently attacked for his lack of experience; Warren is more often criticized for being ideologically extreme. Obama also enjoyed a greater reservoir of potential African American support. After he won Iowa, black voters moved to him en masse, which laid the foundation for his victories in the South. If Warren wins Iowa, she’s unlikely to benefit from the same decisive shift.

We still have a LONG way to go. But I believe in Elizabeth.

September 7, 2019

Warren and Clinton talk behind the scenes as 2020 race intensifies


I truly LOVE seeing this! These are two of my favorite women. Period!

Though Warren harshly criticized Clinton's vote for a 2001 overhaul of bankruptcy laws, the two have developed a healthy respect for each other in recent years. When Clinton was developing policies for her own campaign in 2015, her aides kept in close contact with Warren to give her an opportunity to raise concerns before they were rolled out.

By that point, Warren already had opted out of mounting her own campaign — disappointing many progressives — when she signed a letter, along with other Democratic women in the Senate encouraging Clinton to run. Later, as Clinton reviewed her options for a vice presidential running mate, Warren made a late ascent onto the short list on the strength of the excitement Clinton and her advisers thought Warren might bring to the ticket.
Clinton has been impressed with Warren's campaign so far, according to a Democratic strategist who has spoken with her.

"She has applauded her about being serious and disciplined and loves that she is sticking to her guns," the strategist said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because Clinton's remarks were intended to remain private.

Clinton has relationships with most if not all of the Democratic candidates, and she met with or spoke to many of them at the start of this campaign cycle. Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, sat down with Clinton in New York several months ago when his star was rising and he needed to clear the air following a report on his criticism of Clinton's campaign. But the contact with Warren appears to have been more than a courtesy call or a trip to the principal's office.

I doubt that Clinton will publicly support ANY Democratic candidate at this point.

But I found this snipped very interesting:

... Clinton and Biden developed a rivalry when they worked in the Obama administration and as they both prepared for a 2016 campaign that Biden ultimately didn't enter. She also might take into consideration factors other than proximity on policy if she decides to back a candidate at some point.
September 5, 2019

6 winners and 3 losers from CNN's climate town hall

This is a fairly good article about last night's climate debate. While I do not agree with all conclusions, I certainly agree that Jay Inslee, CNN, the audience questioners and the Democratic Party are the BIG winners!

I prefer this format to the usual debate format. Thanks to CNN for presenting it.


I loved that ALL our candidates believe that the fossil fuel industry MUST be restricted and curtailed.


The CNN climate town hall once again showed just how much the Overton window has moved for Democrats on climate change. President Obama openly boasted about increasing US fossil fuel production, fossil fuel exports, and low gasoline prices. Climate change barely came up at all in the 2016 presidential race.

Now Democrats are describing all kinds of ways they will hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for its pollution and emissions, and they are charting the course for weaning American off its products.
Subsidies to oil and gas companies, which all the candidates oppose, also came up; Sanders wants to end them entirely by 2050. “What goes on right now is we are giving the fossil fuel industry approximately $400 billion every single year in subsidies and tax breaks,” Sanders said.

Yang and Warren highlighted just how the industry has distracted and manipulated the public on climate change; Yang described how he intends to reduce the industry’s influence in politics. “You know how they’ve been spending some of their money, their billions of dollars in profit?” he said. “On a misinformation campaign to the American people, and they’ve taken our legislature hostage. They have the fossil fuel lobbying industry that’s in the tens of millions a year.”

The candidates differ in their timelines for transitioning off fossil fuels, but the forum made it clear just how unified they are in their commitment to policy that will radically restrict and curtail this industry come 2020.

It's worth a read.
September 4, 2019

Elizabeth Warren Narrows Joe Biden Lead Among Democrats: IBD/TIPP Poll

Elizabeth Warren does quite well in this recent poll. May the trend continue and her appeal to other voting groups grow!

Personally, I believe that will happen the more she visits states with more diversified populations than IA and NH. As people meet her and hear her speak, she more often than not wins them over.



Elizabeth Warren had the support of 24% of registered Democrats and independents who lean Democratic, up from 17% in August. Joe Biden's support dipped to 28% from 30%.

Meanwhile, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders came in a distant third at 12%, unchanged from August. Support for Calif. Sen. Kamala Harris sank to 6% from 11% in August.
Warren led all candidates among whites, with 26% support to Biden's 24% and 14% for Sanders. That suggests early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, whose demographics tilt white, offer her a potential opening. Yet polling ahead of the Granite State primary has shown Warren trailing Biden and Sanders there. That could make Iowa's caucus a must win for her.

Elizabeth Warren is the favorite among self-described liberals, with 35% vs. 18% for Joe Biden and 14% for socialist Bernie Sanders. Biden dominates among self-described conservative or moderate voters who are Democrats or Democrat-leaning, with 41% and 33% of those groups.

September 2, 2019

Where Each Democratic Candidate Stands In The Presidential Race In 100 Words

Here's an NPR report from this morning.


The intro:

Labor Day has long been an unofficial start to election season. So far, two rounds of Democratic debates, and two fundraising deadlines have revealed a lot about where the Democratic primary stands.

Former Vice President Joe Biden continues to lead, as questions linger about his candidacy. Meanwhile, after a good summer, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is clearly on the rise, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders maintains his significant and loyal base of followers. California Sen. Kamala Harris saw a quick rise and then a receding after the second debate. And time is ticking for the rest of the candidates to stand out in the still crowded field.

Here are some takeaways and lingering questions, candidate by candidate, the 10 who made the Sept. 12 debate stage stand today: (in order of their poll average):

Just one comment: Per NPR, Warren and Sanders each average 17%, yet they classify Sanders as second and Warren as third. If they had clarified that this ranking was alphabetical or even that Sanders had raised more $$$ and led in other categories, fine.

Either would have made sense. But they didn't clarify this.


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