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Member since: Mon Apr 5, 2004, 04:58 PM
Number of posts: 82,641

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Texas governor says religious gatherings are 'essential services' and can continue as coronavirus sp


Law enforcement officials have arrested two pastors for holding services in violation of social distancing orders, but Texas Governor Gregg Abbott is apparently of a different mindset, saying Tuesday he believes religious gatherings are essential for his state.

While he has issued an executive order in regards to the continuity of essential services and activities as the coronavirus continues to spread, the order also mandates that Texans minimize social gatherings and limit contact with others who aren’t in the same household, according to The Daily Signal. But the order lumps religious gatherings conducted in churches and houses of worship in with other services that are considered essential.

“Essential services shall consist of everything listed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in its’ Guidance On the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce 2.0, plus religious services conducted in churches, congregations, and houses of worship,” the order states. “Other essential services may be added to this list with the approval of the Texas Division of Emergency Management.”

Joe Biden's statement on the firing of Captain of Aircraft carrier with COVID 19


04/03 Mike Luckovich: Only the biggest


Bernie Sanders Soared Back To Life. But He Couldn't Close The Deal.

This is a very long but good read. There is a great deal of history about the internal workings of the sanders campaign. The bottom line was that sanders was counting on winning with 30% of the vote and the campaign fell apart when the moderate wing stop splitting the vote and Mayor Pete, Amy and Beto endorsed Joe

HuffPost spoke to more than three dozen Sanders aides, allies and critics about why the progressive leader stumbled. Many of them requested anonymity to speak freely.

The answers they suggested are myriad. He failed to erect a campaign nimble enough to overcome the built-in challenges he was bound to face from a skeptical press corps and a hostile party establishment. He hung his electoral success on the relatively risky bet that he could both expand the electorate and do so in a way that would benefit him disproportionately. His staff feuded unnecessarily with Elizabeth Warren, and he failed to make inroads with older Black voters ― a repeat of 2016 dynamics.

Perhaps most significantly, Sanders failed to expand his core bloc of support into a coalition capable of winning a majority, and he did not adequately prepare for the prospect that moderates would consolidate behind Biden.

There was a strategy to get to 30% and not to 50%,” one Sanders ally said.....

Of course, Sanders’ professed theory of the case did not require him to muse about how he might reach voters outside his demographic and ideological comfort zones. That’s because he insisted that his fortunes rested on bringing in new voters. He planned to expand the electorate by increasing turnout among an allegedly untapped bloc of young and working-class voters with a progressive worldview.

“The mythical voter that stayed home, but if you just give them a progressive candidate, they’ll show up ― it’s a lot like the tooth fairy, you hear about it a lot, but you never see it,” Mikus said. .....

In the end though, Sanders’ posture as a left-wing candidate likely did more to hurt his chances among South Carolina’s older Black voters than any single decision his campaign made.

Older Black Democrats, especially in the South, typically prioritize a Democrat’s electability above all else, since they believe protecting the freedoms they have won depends on keeping Republicans out of power, according to Darby. Biden’s perceived electability vis-a-vis the more radical Sanders was thus a critical factor.

Although Sanders racked up wins in the first three states to vote, he never managed to convince Black voters in South Carolina that he was the strongest contender against Trump in November. Clyburn’s endorsement of Biden three days before the primary was particularly powerful in this respect, according to polling.

“If the house is on fire, you put out the fire first, then you figure out what to do with the house,” Darby said. “I think Joe was the best person to put out the fire.”

This is a long read and there is a good discussion of the issues between sanders and Senator Warren. After reading this political obituary, it is clear to me that the primary is over

sanders based his campaign on a magical voter revolution that never materialized in the real world. One cannot win a primary with 30% of the vote unless the remaining 70% is split. sanders never anticipated that Amy, Mayor Pete and Beto would put the best interests of the Nation and the party over their own self interests because that is a concept that is foreign to sanders

04/02 Mike Luckovich: Thankful


The benefit of the Democrats denouncing Sanders's selfishness

I am tired of sanders and his supporters demanding that we bend a knee and anoint sanders as the nominee. It may be better to simply give up on the 15% who will not vote for any real Democrat and move on

If you are in the search for silver linings, one benefit of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) pointlessly continuing his losing campaign is the freedom for Democrats to denounce him and his anti-party escapades. After years of humoring him, the vast majority of Democrats, from super-progressives to moderates, can now say out loud what they’ve said quietly: It has always been about Bernie. It’s not a movement, but rather a vanity project. ....

The problem, according to many Democrats, remains that 15 percent of Sanders supporters say in polling that they would vote for President Trump over Biden. This nugget actually makes the opposite argument: There is nothing that would satisfy some faction of the Sanders coalition that would rather blow up our democracy and reelect Trump. With people so irrational, the best response is to ignore them. They, like the MAGA-hat crowd, are unreachable and cannot be bargained with (e.g., more New Green Deal talk!). So do not try. No more outreach to Sanders, no more promised policy modifications, no more speaking slot at the convention. Enough

This would have some salutary effects.

First, it would make perfectly clear that Biden is not Sanders and not a crazy left-winger, as Trump would like to paint him in the campaign. Biden makes a sharp distinction between the “democratic socialist” crowd and his own brand of center-left politics. Since he cannot get the 15 percent of “Bernie or Bust” Democrats (or independents), he might as well make a strong play for moderate independents and disaffected Republicans. Cutting Sanders off effectively allows Biden to pitch to gettable swing voters, not waste time on unattainable Bernie Bros.

Second, freezing out Sanders will make governance in a Biden administration much easier and more cohesive. There will be no debt to be paid to Sanders, no advisers taken on to satisfy Sanders, and no weird and distracting policy initiatives to lead the new administration astray. This would be a center-left administration confident of its own governing agenda — and personally cohesive.

Third, it would free up constructive, smart progressive leaders such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to lead that wing of the party. She has already begun that process, contributing bankruptcy and student loan forgiveness plans to the Biden campaign. With a practical, crafty progressive in the Senate (hopefully in the majority and able to lead on legislation), Biden would be able to broaden his appeal and cultivate allies in the Warren wing of the party.

In other words, shoving Sanders offstage opens up room for party builders and party reformers, putting aside unattainable proposals (e.g., Medicare-for-all) in favor of a smarter, more broadly acceptable agenda. (Biden would not need to fend off a Warren primary challenge, as Barack Obama did with Sanders in 2012.)

The party is never going to make the 15% to 25% of sanders supporters happy. 25% of sanders supporters either voted for trump, voted for a third party candidate like Stein or stayed home
I am tired of trying to appease sanders supporters who are not going to be happy and there are real benefits in moving on and ignoring these voters.

How 'Never Bernie' Voters Threw In With Biden and Changed the Primary

sanders was appealing only to 30% of the party and after South Carolina the rest of the party moved to Joe Biden to stop sanders.
Rarely has political momentum flipped as quickly as it did in the first half of March, as Mr. Sanders lost serious ground to Mr. Biden before the coronavirus slowed their race. There are well-known reasons for the shift: Moderate candidates like Mr. Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota rallied around Mr. Biden. He enjoyed demographic advantages, particularly with black voters. And turnout among young voters and liberal nonvoters did not surge, failing to reshape the electorate as Mr. Sanders had hoped.

But beyond ideology, race and turnout, a chief reason for Mr. Biden’s success has little to do with his candidacy. He became a vehicle for Democrats like Ms. King who were supporting other candidates but found the prospect of Mr. Sanders and his calls for political revolution so distasteful that they put aside misgivings about Mr. Biden and backed him instead.

In phone interviews, dozens of Democrats, mostly aged 50 and over, who live in key March primary states like Massachusetts, Virginia, Michigan and Florida, said that Mr. Biden’s appeal went beyond his case for beating President Trump. It was his chances of overtaking Mr. Sanders, the only candidate in the vast Democratic field they found objectionable for reasons personal and political.....

These voters’ willingness to unite against Mr. Sanders helped Democratic Party leaders stave off his insurgent campaign and has made Mr. Biden the all-but-certain Democratic nominee. The convergence behind Mr. Biden also highlights a critical difference between this year’s primary and what happened to the Republican Party in 2016. Four years ago, establishment Republicans were openly skeptical of Mr. Trump after his victories in early primary states, but a fractured field and split primary vote allowed him to amass an insurmountable delegate lead, reshaping the party in the process.....

Ahead of Mr. Sanders’s presidential run in 2020, his campaign did not concern itself with smoothing tensions among voters who supported Mrs. Clinton in 2016. He did not seek the endorsements of many party leaders, who were always unlikely to back him, but could have been swayed from being openly antagonistic to ambivalent.

As a result, after a strong finish in Iowa and wins in New Hampshire and Nevada, Mr. Sanders did not benefit from an assumed truth of presidential campaigns: that early-state victories help bring in voters from other factions. Instead, people like Lori Boerner of McLean, Va., said Mr. Sanders’s performance sent them searching for a candidate who could stop his rise, and after the South Carolina primary, they landed on Mr. Biden.

04/01 Mike Luckovich: Losing the race


NEW @JoeBiden AD "American Heroe


No, Trump Cannot Move the General Election

Marc Elias is one of the top election law attorneys in the country and was the head of the Clinton Victory Counsel program. Marc has been busy suing to expand voting rights including a couple of lawsuits in Texas

We are three months into a major presidential election year and in the middle of a global pandemic. Not surprisingly, I am getting a lot of questions — from family, friends, reporters, political consultants, even from Members of Congress — about the impact that all of this may have on our elections. But there is one question that I get asked more than any other: is there any way—at all—that Trump can legally cancel or postpone the November General Election?

The answer is clearly no.

The president has no legal authority to change the date of federal elections — period. And though one court — one time — found that a congressional election, in part of one state, could be postponed by a few weeks, the circumstances under which the court found that was warranted does not apply in 2020 and could never apply to the office of the president.

With respect to congressional elections, the Constitution gives states the power to set the “times, places and manner” of elections, subject to Congress’s ultimate authority to “make or alter” state regulations. This means that while states have the power to enact rules around how elections for federal office are run, ultimately Congress can overrule the states. Congress has used this power in a number of ways including requiring states to ensure that military and overseas voters receive mail ballots in time for them to be able to vote.

Most importantly, more than 100 years ago, Congress set, by federal statute, the date on which congressional elections are to be held as the Tuesday following the first Monday in November. Neither the president nor a state can alter or postpone that date and only once has a court done so.

The only time a congressional general election was postponed was in 1982, when a federal district court in Washington, DC struck down two Georgia congressional districts under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. With the election nearing, the court postponed the general election to later in November for those districts. Among its reasons, that Section 5 of the VRA, like the Election Day law, was an Act of Congress—and a more recent one. To read the two federal laws in harmony, the court found that the postponement was consistent with federal law, policy, and the U.S. Constitution. Sadly, since that ruling, the Supreme Court struck down the coverage formula that is used for Section 5 preclearance. Thus, even that limited historical exception could not happen today.

With respect to the presidential general election, things are even clearer. The Constitution provides that “the Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.” In 1845, Congress enacted a statute to exercise its power to set a uniform date for “choosing” electors: “The electors of President and Vice President shall be appointed, in each State, on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, in every fourth year succeeding every election of a President and Vice President.”

This year that day is November 3: no statute provides authority for postponing or rescheduling the “time of choosing the electors” determined by Congress—that is, for postponing an election past November 3, 2020.
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