2020 Dem Debate #10

This is the last chance voters will get to hear from these candidates before Super Tuesday, 3 March…..

But first here is a thought…..our forever wars has made little appearance thanks to the corporate control of these debates….so a few facts before I go to the analysis of this debate….

Donald Trump’s tax scam will cost $2.3 trillion over the next 10 years—with the lion’s share going to the top 1%.

George W. Bush’s tax cuts cost over $4 trillion over the same time frame.

And since 2001, our forever wars in the Middle East have cost nearly $6 trillion.

You wouldn’t know any of that from watching CNN or Meet the Press. And yet every time a presidential candidate supports Medicare for All or the Green New Deal, the corporate media want to know exactly how every red cent will be paid for.

Just a thought.

Now on to the night of debate…….

And the dumbest question of the night was the one about the filibuster rule change…..(more to come)…..

Now thoughts on the debate last night…..

Seven Democrats took part in a fiery debate in South Carolina Tuesday night—one more than in last week’s primary debate. Tom Steyer joined Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, and Michael Bloomberg in the Charleston debate, co-hosted by CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. Analysts expected Sanders, the frontunner, to be a target and in the opening minutes, the senator was attacked by Bloomberg over reports that Russia plans interference to help his candidacy, by Biden over his record on guns, by Buttigieg for being divisive, and by Warren for his team “trashing” her after she “put in the work” on reining in Wall Street, Politico reports. “I’m hearing my name mentioned a little bit tonight. I wonder why,” Sanders quipped. Some highlights:

  • After Bloomberg said Russia was supporting Sanders so he could lose to President Trump, Sanders directly addressed the Russian president. “Mr. Putin, if I’m President of the United States, trust me, you’re not going to interfere in any more American elections,” he said.
  • Biden was asked about polls that show his support among black voters is falling ahead of South Carolina’s Feb. 29 primary, the Guardian reports. “I’ve worked like the devil to earn the vote of the African-American community,” Biden said. Asked if he would continue his campaign if he loses the state, Biden said: “I will win South Carolina.”
  • When addressing Bloomberg’s “stop-and-frisk” policy as New York City mayor, Buttigieg admitted that his own record as mayor of South Bend had shortcomings and said: “I’m conscious of the fact that there are seven white people on this stage talking about racial justice.”
  • Bloomberg was visibly angry after Warren said he once told a pregnant employee to “kill it.” “I never said it. Period,” he said. Warren also slammed Bloomberg for donating to Republican candidates. “Who funded Lindsey Graham’s campaign for re-election last time? It was Mayor Bloomberg,” she said. “He is the riskiest candidate standing on this stage.”
  • Klobuchar and Steyer both attacked the cost of Sanders’ proposals, saying Democratic voters would not support massive spending increases, the Washington Post reports. “The math does not add up,” Klobuchar said.
  • Biden criticized Steyer for investing in private prisons. When the billionaire said he no longer supported them, Biden gave him a Trump-style nickname: “Tommy come lately.”
  • Asked about his record on gun control, Sanders was booed when he tried to start criticizing Biden’s record on trade deals, the Guardian reports. Sanders admitted there were some “bad votes” on his record but stressed that he only had a D-plus record from the NRA.
  • Biden vowed to take on the NRA. “If I’m elected, NRA, I’m coming for you, and gun manufacturers, I’m going to take you on and I’m going to beat you,” said Biden, who claimed, incorrectly, that gun violence has killed 150 million Americans since 2007.
  • Warren and Buttigieg both targeted Sanders for his opposition to changing Senate rules to stop legislation being filibuster, the New York Times reports. “How are we going to support a revolution, if you don’t even support a rule change?” Buttigieg asked.
  • Tom Steyer got some cheers when he said he was the only candidate onstage that supported reparations for slavery. The policy is one that he mentions “when he’s asked why he’s doing so well among black voters in South Carolina,” FiveThirtyEight notes.
  • As the debate became increasingly bad-tempered, with candidates desperate for speaking time talking over each other, Buttigieg was asked to “honor the rules of the debate.”
  • Bloomberg, seeming slightly more relaxed than he was in last week’s debate, cracked a joke when asked about New York’s anti-obesity tax on sugary drinks, CBS reports. “What’s right for New York City isn’t right for every other city, otherwise we’d have a naked cowboy in every city,” he said.
  • Bloomberg said he supported decriminalizing marijuana because the “cat is out of the bag,” but said legalization should go slowly because “until we know the science, it’s just nonsensical to push ahead.”
  • On the coronavirus outbreak—which Bloomberg was the first candidate to bring up, more than an hour in—Biden stressed that he had been part of the administration that dealt with the Ebola outbreak. Klobuchar advised worried viewers to check the CDC’s website.
  • When asked whether she would allow China to build parts of America’s infrastructure, Warren pivoted to attacking Bloomberg. “We know that Mayor Bloomberg has been doing business with China for a long time, and he is the only one on this stage who has not released his taxes,” she said.
  • Asked about his remarks on Fidel Castro’s education policy, Sanders said he rejected authoritarianism and he had merely been making the same point Barack Obama did, the Times reports. Biden said his former boss “did not in any way suggest that there was anything positive about the Cuban government.”
  • Sanders, who would be the first Jewish president, called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “reactionary racist” and said he would consider moving America’s embassy back to Tel Aviv. US foreign policy should ensure the “independence and security of Israel, but you cannot ignore the suffering of the Palestinian people,” he said.
  • The final question was a two-parter: Candidates were asked what the biggest misconception about them was, and what their motto is. Klobuchar said the biggest misconception about her is that she is boring. Warren said one misconception “is that I don’t eat very much because I eat all the time.” Bloomberg joked about his height, while Biden promised to put a black woman on the Supreme Court.

All in all the game plan that the media had set about to create was followed to the letter by the candidates.

The night was a waste of time…..but the moderators did what they set out to do….have the candidates assassinate their opponents….the voter learned nothing new or for that matter anything at all.  I am still waiting for a substantial conversation n immigration…..a little in Nevada but now…..(sound of crickets)….

I did like Biden’s Reagan-esque attempt to look tough…..it failed.

But if you need a winner and losers then this should help……

  • Joe Biden. The former vice president was among the winners, analysts say. South Carolina is a must-win for him, and he “kept his hopes alive with one of his strongest debate performances,” writes Niall Stanage at the Hill. Biden—”sharper and more vigorous” than in previous debates—sought to portray himself as someone with the political and strategic chops to get things done rather than merely talk about aspirations,” Stanage writes.
  • Bernie Sanders. This was not the senator’s strongest debate performance, but facing a barrage of attacks from rivals, he held his own well enough to be considered a winner. “As the primary’s commanding frontrunner, Sanders’s chief objective Tuesday night was to exit with only mild bruising and limited blood loss. And he met that goal,” writes Eric Levitz at New York. “The sheer messiness of the proceedings … allowed the Vermont senator to escape without suffering any viral humiliation or headline-worthy blow,” he writes.
  • Elizabeth Warren. The senator made it into most lists of debate winners with a performance considered strong, but not the game-changer she needs. “She was dominant in last week’s debate “but she did not replicate that performance, and some strategists criticized her decision to once again focus on Mr. Bloomberg instead of the front-runner, Mr. Sanders,” writes Maggie Astor at the New York Times. “But she did have several strong moments, and commentators praised her ability to cut through the free-for-all onstage.”
  • Pete Buttigieg. The former South Bend mayor received mixed reviews, though Chris Cillizza at CNN ranks him among the winners. “He found several occasions to make direct contrasts with Bernie Sanders—most notably on the dangers for Democrats of nominating a democratic socialist and the differences in their health care plans—which is a win in and of itself,” Cillizza writes
  • Amy Klobuchar. Klobuchar had a reasonably good night, analysts say—but not on a par with her New Hampshire debate performance, and probably not good enough to keep her campaign alive for much longer. “Klobuchar had a good night,” Geoffrey Skelley writes at FiveThirtyEight. “She looked competent and knowledgeable about a host of issues. She also made some appeals to the African-American community, which were very important given her almost nonexistent support among that voting bloc.”
  • Michael Bloomberg. The former New York City mayor turned in a slightly better performance than last week—but it wasn’t enough to keep him out of the losers’ column. “Bloomberg did little to make an affirmative case for himself, even on the electability front,” writes Aaron Blake at the Washington Post. And he offered mealy-mouthed rebuttals to some of the attacks against him, including again downplaying the women who complained about their treatment at his companies.
  • Tom Steyer. “The commentariat didn’t have much bad to say about Mr. Steyer,” Astor notes at the Times. “But the hard truth was that they didn’t really have much to say about him at all.”

For me the biggest loser was Bloomberg…he still cannot grasp the idea of a debate.

The winner was Bernie….he took flak all over the stage and still did not lose his composure….the rest were just typical blah blah blah…….

Not to worry there is more to come.

A thought–the whole debate process should be reformed to the point of outlawing slogans and theatrics…..to a real debate not a regurgitation of talking points.

Saturday’s South Carolina vote and then next Tuesday is the Super Tuesday vote…..

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2020 Nevada Dem Debate

Just days before the Nevada caucus and the Dem candidates meet for the 9th time and this time Bloomberg will have to answer questions….. There is a lot to get to so without any delay……I begin…….

I will admit that this debate had it all….applause….boos….attack and parry…..in other words all had a good night with the exception of Bloomberg….he took the hits well but at times he looked bored and fed up….not a good look for him.

But let’s look at the action……

Michael Bloomberg was on a Democratic presidential debate stage for the first time Wednesday night and he became a major target in the Las Vegas debate from the opening minutes onward—more so than frontrunner Bernie Sanders. Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Joe Biden, and Pete Buttigieg also took part in the first debate since the New Hampshire primary. Nevada holds its Democratic caucuses on Saturday. Highlights:

  • Sanders quickly brought up Bloomberg’s record as New York City mayor, arguing that defeating President Trump will require “the largest voter turnout in the history of the United States” and Bloomberg’s record on issues like stop-and-frisk will make that impossible, the Washington Post reports. Bloomberg countered that Sanders’ support of policies like Medicare for All would make it impossible for him to beat Trump.
  • Warren also went on the attack against Bloomberg, saying: “I’d like to talk about who we’re running against. A billionaire who calls women fat broads and horse-faced lesbians, and no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump, I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.” She added: “Democrats take a huge risk if we substitute one arrogant billionaire for another.”
  • Buttigieg tried to portray himself as more electable than either Sanders or Bloomberg. He called them “polarizing” and said Democrats “shouldn’t have to choose between one candidate who wants to burn this party down and another who wants to buy this party out.” “Let’s put forward someone who is actually a Democrat,” he said. Sanders responded that “maybe it’s time for the working class of this country to have a little bit of power in Washington rather than your billionaire campaign contributors.”
  • Sanders distanced himself from some of his supporters’ online attacks on critics including Nevada union leaders, the Guardian reports. “If there are a few people who make ugly remarks, who attack trade union leaders, I disown those people—they are not part of my campaign,” he said.
  • Warren, asked about her plan for Medicare for All, derided the policies of Buttigieg and Klobuchar, saying Buttigieg’s policy was more of a Powerpoint presentation than a plan and Klobuchar’s is a “Post-It note.” Klobuchar observed that Post-It notes were invented in her home state, Minnesota, NBC reports. Buttigieg said he was “more of a Microsoft Word guy.”
  • Bloomberg defended the intent behind the stop-and-frisk policy, saying it was to stop murders. “I’ve apologized. I’ve asked for forgiveness,” he said. “We stopped too many people.” Warren noted the harm the policy had caused to minority communities and told him: “You need a different apology.”
  • Sanders, asked about releasing detailed health records after his heart attack, noted that fellow 78-year-old Bloomberg has also had heart surgery, the Post reports. “I think the one area maybe that Mayor Bloomberg and I share is, you have two stents as well,” he said . “25 years ago,” Bloomberg responded.
  • Warren used the transparency issue to go after Bloomberg again, telling him he should release women who had complained about sexual harassment in his company from nondisclosure agreements, Politico reports. “They signed those agreements, and we’ll live with it,” he said.
  • Buttigieg criticized Klobuchar for forgetting the name of Mexico’s president during a recent town hall meeting.”Are you trying to say that I’m dumb? Are you mocking me?” she asked him. Warren interjected to defend Klobuchar during the heated exchange, CBS reports.
  • The second half of the debate began with a discussion of climate change. “If we don’t elect a president who actually believes in climate science now, we will never meet any of the other scientific or policy deadline—and we need to,” Buttigieg said.
  • Sanders focused on Bloomberg when asked about his remark that billionaires “shouldn’t exist.” “We have a grotesque and immoral distribution of wealth and income,” Sanders said. “Mike Bloomberg owns more wealth than the bottom 125 million Americans. That’s wrong. That’s immoral.” Bloomberg said he was giving his money away “to make the country better.” “Mr. Bloomberg, it wasn’t you who made all that money, maybe it was your workers as well,” Sanders told him.
  • Sanders said America is already a socialist country—but only for the rich. “I believe in democratic socialism for working people, not billionaires,” he told Bloomberg, saying it was a “cheap shot” for the former mayor to compare democratic socialism to communism.
  • Warren implied that some of her rivals had conflicts of interest, ABC reports. “Amy and Joe’s hearts are in the right place, but we can’t be so eager to be liked by Mitch McConnell that we forget how to fight the Republicans,” she said. “Mayor Buttigieg has been taking money from big donors and changing his positions. So it makes it unclear what it is he stands for other than his own.”
  • Buttigieg and Klobuchar clashed again when the debate turned to immigration and he targeted her voting record in the Senate. “You’ve memorized a bunch of talking points and a bunch of things,” she told him before listing immigration reforms she has worked on in Congress, the Guardian reports
  • Addressing fears of a brokered convention in July, every candidate except Bloomberg said they believed the candidate who got the most delegates should win the nomination, even if they failed to reach the 1,991 necessary to clinch it.
  • Most candidates focused on unity in their closing statement. “What I want everyone out there watching to remember is that what unites us is so much bigger than what divides us and that we need a candidate that can bring people with her,” said Klobuchar. Biden’s closing statement was briefly interrupted by protesters.

For those readers that wanted to see fireworks then you probably would not be disappointed….

Elizabeth Warren. Warren, who savaged Bloomberg from her opening answer onward, could hardly have had a better debate, analysts say. “Warren needs a miracle to save her campaign, and while strong debate performances haven’t always translated into good polling in the past, Wednesday night was still one hell of a start,” writes Zack Beauchamp at Vox. “Warren dominated the stage, delivering striking answers in one of the best performances I’ve seen from a presidential candidate—not just in this cycle, but ever.” In one of the most talked-about exchanges, she urged Bloomberg to release women who had complained about sexual harassment at his company from their nondisclosure agreements.

Michael Bloomberg. This was the billionaire’s first time on a debate stage since a 2009 mayoral debate in New York City, and he seemed ill-prepared for the onslaught on issues like the stop-and-frisk policy. “The first hour of the debate was an absolute and total disaster for the former mayor,” writes Chris Cillizza at CNN. “Warren dunked on him repeatedly. Sanders slammed him. Biden bashed him. It was like watching a pro wrestling match where everyone decided to gang up on a single wrestler in the ring—and that wrestler was totally and completely caught off-guard.”

Bernie Sanders. Sanders went into the debate the undisputed frontrunner and emerged largely unscathed, with his rivals preferring to focus on Bloomberg. He had a few weak moments, including when he was asked about releasing detailed medical records, “but there was no singular moment that would seem to upend his current positive trajectory, both in Nevada and nationally,” Shane Goldmacher and Reid Epstein write at the New York Times. “Even if Mr. Sanders did not deliver his most forceful performance, that might be enough.”

Joe Biden. While Biden had some strong moments, he was widely seen as an also-ran. “If there was a bystander on the debate stage Tuesday night, it was Biden,” Aaron Blake writes at the Washington Post. “There was nothing there to suggest he might rescue his struggling campaign.”

Pete Buttigieg. The other former mayor on stage is behind in the polls in the next two states to vote, and his debate performance is unlikely to help him regain momentum. “A stand-out night would have helped, and he didn’t get one. He did not have any obvious gaffe, either,” writes Niall Stanage at the Hill. “Buttigieg, on Wednesday, was OK. And that probably isn’t good enough.”

Amy Klobuchar. Klobuchar, who repeatedly clashed with Buttigieg, got mixed reviews for a debate performance seen as below her usual high standard. “Klobuchar’s streak of successful debates came to an end tonight,” says Christopher Cadelago at Politico. “She’ll need a big finish this weekend to keep herself in the game.”

I do not think that this debate changed many minds on who to vote……I heard NOTHING but the status quo from any candidate with the exception of Bernie.

The one thing I noticed in the debate and the pundits that analyzed the night…..it is wealthy people telling working people what they want……and yet they cannot explain the popularity of Bernie….

All in all great fun for the old professor in me……

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“lego ergo scribo”

February Dem Debate–2020

Debate 8

I once again apologize for deviating from my tradition of trying to be an FYI blog on the weekends…..but this year is choke full of news that cannot be ignored…..it can but at a peril that I for one do not want to be responsible for .

The voting has begun….the field is thinner now and thinning as I type…..the impeachment is done with the outcome as predictable as the seasons….and now we have the 2nd debate for the Dems for 2020 is in the bag…..

Pete Buttigieg emerged as a major target, while Amy Klobuchar was earning high marks Friday night for a strong debate showing as seven Democrats took the stage in Manchester, New Hampshire. Specifically, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Andrew Yang, and Tom Steyer participated. Highlights follow, but also read about applause for two non-candidates and Sanders’ response to Hillary Clinton’s criticism.

  • Biden not hopeful: Right off the bat, Biden lowered expectations for himself in the state’s primary next week. “I took a hit in Iowa and I’ll probably take a hit here,” he said at the start of the debate, reports CNN.
  • Zinging Pete: Klobuchar (“one of the main aggressors of the night,” per Politico) went after Buttigieg in particular over the impeachment trial. Noting that three of the candidates on stage served as senator-jurors, she quoted Buttigieg as joking from afar that he would have rather watched cartoons than the trial. Knocking DC service is easy, but that’s not leadership, she said, adding that Buttigieg is trying to be the “cool newcomer.” Then she drew a parallel to Trump. “We have a newcomer in the White House and look where that got us.”
  • Big close: Vox adds that Klobuchar ended the night in “particularly strong” fashion in her closing statement: “There is a complete lack of empathy in this guy in the White House right now, and I will bring that to you,” she said. “If you have trouble stretching your paycheck to pay for that rent, I know you. I will fight for you. If you have trouble deciding if you are going to pay for your child care or your long-term care, I know you and I will fight for you. If you have trouble figuring out if you’re going fill your refrigerator or prescription, I know you and I will fight for you.”
  • Warren’s efficient slam: In a question about Michael Bloomberg (who wasn’t on stage) entering the race, Warren accused him of trying to buy the election. “I don’t think any billionaire ought to be able to do it, and I don’t think people who suck up to billionaires in order to fund their campaigns ought to do it,” Warren said. The New York Times sees that single line as a shot against Bloomberg, fellow billionaire Steyer, and Buttigieg, who has the backing of large donors. The AP thinks it also hits Biden for the same reason.
  • Sanders vs. Buttigieg: Sanders also took a shot at Buttigieg on donors: “Unlike some of the folks up here, I don’t have 40 billionaires, Pete, contributing to my campaign,” he said, per Politico. Buttigieg reiterated that he was the only non-millionaire or non-billionaire on stage. He also decried “my way or the highway politics” and answered yes when asked if he was referring to Sanders, reports the Hill.
  • On race: Warren had another pointed putdown of Buttigieg. After he defended his handling of racial issues in South Bend, particularly on arrests for marijuana possession, Warren was asked if his answer was sufficient. “No,” she said, to audience applause. Then: “You have to own up to the fact. And it is important to own up to the fact, about how race has totally permeated our criminal justice system.”
  • Buttigieg’s plea: The 38-year-old celebrated his lack of “Washington establishment experience,” saying he had plenty of real-world experience as openly gay man, a military veteran, and a former mayor. “We need a perspective right now that will finally allow us to leave the politics of the past in the past, turn the page and bring change to Washington before it’s too late.” Biden, 77, responded, “The politics of the past, I think, are not all that bad.”
  • Sanders gets hit, too: Biden warned that Trump would have a heyday if a Democratic socialist won the nomination, and Klobuchar also warned against nominating a divisive candidate. They won’t beat the “divider in chief” that way, she warned.
  • Strong line: Buttigieg had one of the better-received lines of the night in regard to the prospect of Republicans investigating the Bidens. “No, we’re not going to let them change the subject,” he said. “This is not about Hunter Biden or Vice President Biden or anybody. This is about an abuse of power by the president.”
  • Steyer warns: Steyer said Democrats were missing the boat on Trump. “If you look at what Mr. Trump is saying, he’s saying those words: ‘It’s the economy, stupid,'” Steyer said. “I trust every one of these people a million times more (than Trump). But we’re going to have to take Mr. Trump down on the economy, because if you listen to him, he’s crowing about it every single day. And he’s going to beat us unless we can take him down on the economy, stupid.” As Aaron Blake of the Washington Post notes, however, Democrats don’t seem to have an answer to Trump on the economy.
  • Yang’s complaint: Yang pushed back against the focus on Trump. “Donald Trump is not the cause of all of our problems. And we’re making a mistake when we act like he is,” he said. “He is a symptom of a disease.”

Pete is trying to look like a front runner but failed in my eyes……Yang was desperate…..Biden looked defeated…..and the rest of the crowd just went through the motion of being a Dem candidate.

Steyer had the most prophetic statement of the debate…..“I trust every one of these people a million times more (than Trump). But we’re going to have to take Mr. Trump down on the economy, because if you listen to him, he’s crowing about it every single day. And he’s going to beat us unless we can take him down on the economy, stupid.” 

If I lose my candidate then I will look elsewhere for none of those on that stage will fit my bill…..Trump will not get my vote …Hell I would vote for a shopping cart before him.  But where to go for my vote?

2020 is far from over……on to Las Vegas 19Feb20…….

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January Dem Debate for 2020

6 candidates and nothing was settled……no winner everybody stayed on their talking points…..but there were some good foreign policy questions and answers…..

With less than three weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses, six Democratic White House hopefuls are debating at Drake University in Des Moines. Three of them—Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, will soon be serving as jurors in President Trump’s impeachment trial. Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Tom Steyer are also taking part in the CNN/Des Moines Register debate, which is the seventh Democratic primary debate. There will be three more next month. Some highlights:

  • The first question was on Iran, the Guardian reports. Asked why he would be best suited to serve as commander-in-chief amid rising tensions. Sanders pointed to his vote against the Iraq war in 2002, when he warned it would lead to ” unprecedented levels of chaos in the region.” Biden, who voted to authorize military action, said that vote was a mistake but defended his record, saying: ” The man who also argued against that war, Barack Obama, picked me to be his vice-president .”
  • Buttigieg—the youngest candidate on stage, and the only veteran—said his generation was the one suffering the consequences of the 2002 votes. “There are enlisted people I served with barely old enough to remember those votes,” said Buttigieg, who will turn 38 next week.
  • “We have to get combat troops out” of the region, said Warren, though others, including Biden and Buttigieg, called for keeping a small number of US troops in the Middle East, the AP reports. “We’ve turned the corner so many times we’re going circles in these regions,” Warren said.
  • Biden, asked whether he would meet North Korea without preconditions, said “No” and criticized Trump’s handing of dictator Kim Jong Un, CBS reports. “We gave him everything he’s looking for: legitimacy,” Biden said. After the former vice president noted that Kim had once called him a “rabid dog” that should be beaten with a stick, Sanders quipped: “But other than that, you like him?”
  • Warren defended her vote in favor of the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, while Sanders argued against the “Trump-led trade deal” and vowed to vote against any trade deal that did not address climate change.
  • Sanders denied telling Warren in 2018 that a woman could not win the presidency. “Anybody who knows me knows that it’s incomprehensible that I would think that a woman cannot be president of the United States,” he said. “Go to YouTube today. There’s a video of me 30 years ago talking about how a woman could become president of the United States.”
  • Warren sought to defuse the conflict, saying “Bernie is my friend and I’m not here to fight with Bernie,” the New York Times reports. She added: “The only people on the stage who have won every single election that they’ve been in are the women: Amy and me. And the only person who has beaten an incumbent Republican any time in the past 30 years is me.” Sanders told her he defeated a GOP incumbent in 1990, leading to a brief back-and-forth over whether her “30 years” remark was accurate.
  • On health care, there was a split between those who support Medicare for All and those content with expanding ObamaCare, reports the Guardian. Biden and Klobuchar accused Sanders of not being candid about the costs of Medicare for All. “I think you should show how you’re going to pay for something, Bernie,” Klobuchar said. She argued that the idea of Medicare for All is so impractical that the “debate isn’t real.”
  • Steyer, who has had the least speaking time of any candidate, argued that health care costs are so high in America because corporations “own the system.” “We’re not negotiating against those corporations,” he said. “We have corporations who are having their way with the American people and people are suffering.”
  • Sanders argued that college tuition should be free and student debt should be canceled, while Buttigieg and Steyer—a billionaire—said the children of the wealthy should not be going to college for free.
  • On impeachment, Biden said it is “irrelevant” whether Trump would be harder to beat if he is acquitted in a Senate trial. Warren, asked how serving as a juror in Trump’s trial would affect her ability to campaign, said: “Some things are more important than politics.”
  • Sanders called climate change a “national crisis” and rejected Klobuchar’s claim that the candidates all had similar plans. “If we as a nation do not transform our energy system away from fossil fuel, not by 2050, not 2040,” he said. “But unless we lead the world right now—not easy stuff — the planet we are leaving our kids will be uninhabitable and unhealthy.” Steyer said he would declare an emergency on his first day in office.
  • Buttigieg, asked about his lack of support among black voters, admitted that he wasn’t “perfect” on all the issues but said ” the black voters that know me best are supporting me.” He added: “The biggest mistake we can make is take black votes for granted. I never will.”
  • In closing statements, Klobuchar said she could bring the country together and “end the noise and the nonsense.” Warren said she had a “heart filled with hope,” while Biden said another four years of Trump would be an “absolute disaster” for America. “This is the moment when we have got to think big, not small,” said Sanders. Steyer accused Trump and other Republicans of “kicking the American people in the face,” and Buttigieg described himself as a unity candidate urged people who are used to “voting for the other party but right now cannot look your kids in the eye and explain this president to them” to join him, CNN reports.
  • Warren appeared to reject a handshake from Sanders after the end of the debate, leading to a brief exchange.

The American voter is hitting that plateau of weary….this debate did nothing to change anybody’s mind on whom  to vote for……

Me?  I still have my candidate and as long as she is in this I shall support her….do I have an alternative?

Not really.  That will be a decision for another day.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Last Dem Debate

Before the voting begins….this time there will be only 5 candidates on the stage……it will be mostly corporatists with a liberal and a radical thrown in…..but the one thing they all have in common…..they are lily white.

The lineup for Tuesday’s Democratic debate in Iowa is set, and this time it’s a manageable list: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, and Elizabeth Warren. Notice anything different from the previous debates? As NPR points out, this lineup lacks even one person of color. The last debate included Andrew Yang, but he failed to make the cut this time. As such, this is the “smallest, whitest” debate yet, per Politico. Warren, for one, is making an issue of it. “We started out with such an importantly diverse field, a field that had lots of different voices, lots of different perspectives,” she said last week, after the lineup was official.

“For me the particularly hard day was the day that (Sen.) Kamala Harris … was dropping out of the race because of money and that same day a billionaire bought his way onto the debate stage,” she said, taking a jab at Steyer. Yang and another nonwhite candidate, Cory Booker, have been pushing for changes in how the party determines who qualifies for the debates, which involves a combination of polling and fundraising metrics. Tuesday’s will be the seventh of 12 such contests. After Tuesday, the next one will be Feb. 7 in New Hampshire

This could be an interesting debate….we have Pete sniping at Biden, Warren pushing on Bernie and Steyer is in there….

I am hoping that we will finally have a foreign policy debate after the actions committed by the president…..but we will just have to wait and see…..

As usual I will offer my analysis of the evenings entertainment tomorrow……my candidate will not be representative but at least she is still plugging away and her support seems to be holding.

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“lego ergo scribo”

The Last 2020 Dem Debate Of 2019

It is December and the last Dem debate before the primaries and caucuses begin and we are off to pick the next Dem candidate to get the nomination and the privilege of taking on Trump for the presidency.

The first thing that the viewer would notice is it looked more like a GOP debate stage….all white…with the exception of Andrew Yang.

This time only 7 of the Dem candidates that will participate……

And a good time was had by all……

A narrowed field of seven Democratic candidates qualified for the final debate of the year—and the first question at the Los Angeles debate to nobody’s surprise, was on the impeachment of President Trump 24 hours earlier. Judy Woodruff asked how the candidates would move the country forward after the highly partisan vote. Three of the candidates—Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Amy Klobuchar—will serve as jurors in Trump’s Senate trial. Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang, and Tom Steyer are also taking part in the PBS/Politico debate. Some highlights:

  • Warren called Trump “the most corrupt president in living memory,” while Klobuchar accused the president of starting a “global Watergate” with his actions in Ukraine, the Guardian reports. Trump is “dumbing down the presidency beyond what I even thought he would do,” said Biden, who promised to “restore the integrity of the presidency.”
  • Asked about America’s strong economy, candidates stressed that things are far from ideal for many millions of Americans, the AP reports. “The middle class is getting killed,” said Biden. “This economy is not working for most of us,” Buttigieg said. Warren said the economy is working for the “wealthy and well connected but no one else.”
  • Warren, asked about economists who say her proposed new taxes would stifle the economy, was applauded when she said: “Oh, they’re just wrong.” Steyer agreed that billionaires like himself should pay more taxes, though he argued that the Democrats should nominate somebody with a record of building wealth, the Washington Post reports. Buttigieg called Warren’s wealth tax proposal “extreme.”
  • On climate change, Steyer—who is getting a lot more speaking time than in previous debates—promised to declare an emergency on his first day office. After Steyer told Buttigieg he should ” prioritize this higher,” the South Bend, Indiana, said the issue was already hitting home for him. “I live right by the river,” he said. “My neighborhood flooded.”
  • Warren, asked how she would close the Guantanamo Bay detention center—which costs more than $13 million per inmate per year to operate—called it an “embarrassment” and promised to close it, but did not explain how.
  • Yang, asked about being the only candidate of color present, said he missed Sens. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker. “It’s both an honor and disappointment to be the lone candidate of color on the stage tonight. I miss Kamala, I miss Cory,” he said, though he predicted that Booker will be back. When Sanders was asked about racial inequality, moderators had to ask him to return to the question about he tried to say more about climate change. He argued that the two issues are related.
  • On China, Yang said he had family in Hong Kong and warned about Beijing’s use of facial recognition technology. Steyer described China as a “frenemy,” while Biden said: “We have to be firm. We don’t have to go to war,” the Post reports.
  • Sanders said it is important for the US to support Israel, “but we must be pro-Palestinian as well,” CBS reports. In Israel right now, “we have leadership under Netanyahu who has recently … been indicted for bribery, who, in my view, is a racist,” he said.
  • When the candidates were asked about Barack Obama’s recent remarks about “old men” failing to “get out of the way,” former VP Biden quipped that his former boss probably wasn’t talking about him. The 78-year-old said he wasn’t planning to commit to serving a single term.
  • Another big line for Warren: When told that she would be the oldest president even inaugurated, she said: “I’d also be the youngest woman ever inaugurated.”
  • In what may have been the night’s most anticipated clash, Buttigieg and Warren tangled over campaign funding, with Warren targeting Buttigieg’s high-dollar fundraisers, including a recent one in a California “wine cave.” “I do not sell access to my time,” she told Buttigieg, who accused her of issuing “purity tests” that she can’t pass herself, reports the New York Times. “I have never even been to a wine cave. I have been to the wind cave in South Dakota,” Klobuchar said.
  • Sanders said Biden and Buttigieg were competing to see who could get donations from the most billionaires—and Biden is winning.
  • Klobuchar also targeted Buttigieg, noting that he had lost a statewide race in Indiana by 20 points. “We should have someone at the top of the ticket who has actually won,” the senator said. “Try building a coalition to win re-election with 80% of the vote as a gay dude in Mike Pence’s Indiana,” the mayor countered.
  • A tough question for Biden: He was asked about reports that the government was lying to the public for years about the “unwinnable” war in Afghanistan. He said that from the start, he was against the troop surge and had argued with Obama and Pentagon officials, the Guardian reports. Former senior Obama adviser David Axelrod confirmed in a tweet that Biden was telling the truth. Buttigieg said that when he left Afghanistan years ago, he thought he was “one of the last troops, turning out the lights.”
  • Sanders, asked about transgender rights, pivoted again and started talking about Medicare, the Times notes. Warren said that in the White House, she would read out the names of murdered transgender women so the nation can “confront a particular vulnerability.”
  • Biden raised his voice during a clash with Sanders over Medicare for All, which he called unrealistic. “Whoa guys, hey,” Klobuchar interjected as the debate turned into a shouting match
  • The final question appeared to take the candidates by surprise: They were asked if there was somebody on stage they wanted to apologize to or give a gift to. Yang, the first candidate to answer, said “Wow” and paused before saying he wanted to give everybody a copy of his book. “I can give out any one of four books that I wrote,” said Sanders. Warren said she would ask for forgiveness. “I get a little worked up,” she said. Steyer said he wanted to give the gift of “teamwork.”
  • In closing statement, Sanders and Warren promised to tackle income inequality. Biden said he had the best chance of defeating Trump. “Who can help elect Democrats to the United States Senate in states like North Carolina and Georgia?” he asked. Steyer said he would “break the corporate stranglehold” and fight climate change.

My thoughts on the debate…..Warren looked strong as well as Amy….still not impressed with Biden or Buttigeig and the lack of diversity on the stage was troublesome.

Finally, my candidate was not on the stage so I have no pony in this race…..

I was unimpressed by any on the stage….there was onky one progressive up there the rest are just shades of progressive…..basically the rest were nothing but centrists slap fighting…..what did the voter learn?

On policy…not a damn thing!  On quick repartee a couple of the candidates had time to practice this and it showed.

The evening showed that the thought that one must be either dunce or rogue holds true…..plenty of dunces and one rogue….The tagline of this debate should have been…..”Everything is gonna be all white”.

Nothing substantive was brought forward…..lots of cutesy one liners but nothing else.

Be thankful you have me to sit through the most boring evening I can never get back….but now you know what happened and who did what…..and did not have to injure yourself in the process.

“lego ergo scribo”

Democratic Debate #5

I start each of these posts with the same thought…”I do this stuff so you do not have to”…..you are welcome!

The fifth debate of 2019 is in the can……and as usual it was mostly a beauty contest and not a true debate…..

The November Dem debate was last night ….and the summaries are as follows……

Ten Democratic candidates are debating in Atlanta—including five of the senators who will serve as jurors if there is an impeachment trial for President Trump. Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Amy Klobuchar are on stage, along with Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Andrew Yang, and Tom Steyer. The first question at the debate, which is being hosted by the Washington Post and MSNBC, was on impeachment. Warren, asked if she would try to convince fellow senators to convict Trump, said: “Of course I will.” More:

  • Warren added that US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, who testified earlier in the day, should never have been appointed to the position in return for donating $1 million to Trump. Harris said the impeachment inquiry proves “we have a criminal in the White House,” the Guardian reports. Sander stressed that to defeat Trump, Democrats need to focus on issues beyond the inquiry, while Biden argued that the fact Trump and Vladimir Putin don’t want him to be president helps make the case for his candidacy.
  • Warren and Booker clashed over her proposed wealth tax. “I’m tired of free-loading billionaires,” Warren said. Booker called the tax “cumbersome,” saying: “We as Democrats need to fight for a just taxation system” but “Democrats also have to talk about how to grow wealth as well.”
  • Buttigieg argued that Democrats shouldn’t turn off Republican and independent voter with massive social programs like Medicare for All, reports the New York Times reports. He invoked President Obama and said: “Even on issues where Democrats have been on defense, like immigration and guns, we have a majority to do the right thing, if we can galvanize, not polarize that majority.” Sanders promised to pursue Medicare for All in his first week in office.
  • Harris and Gabbard clashed after Gabbard slammed the “ongoing Bush, Clinton, Trump foreign policy doctrine of regime change war.” Harris accused Gabbard of “buddying up” to Steve Bannon and said it was “unfortunate” that one of the candidates onstage was somebody who “during the Obama administration spent four years full time on Fox News criticizing President Obama.”
  • A line from Klobuchar is going viral: “If you think a woman can’t beat Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi does it every single day.”
  • Sanders declined to disavow “Lock him up” chants directed at Trump, saying “the people of this country are catching on to the degree this president thinks he is above the law.”
  • Booker said he would deal with the housing crisis by giving tax credits to people who paid more than a third of their income in rent, while Warren and Steyer said they would use federal funds to build affordable housing, the AP reports.
  • On paid family leave, Klobuchar declined to commit to more than three months, saying: “We have an obligation as party to, yes, be fiscally responsible, yes, think big, but be honest.” Yang said the only countries that don’t provide paid leave for new moms are the US and Papua New Guinea, and “we need to get off that list,” Politico reports.
  • In a discussion of climate change, Biden accused Steyer of having a terrible record on the issue, saying: “My friend was producing more coal mines and produced more coal around the world … than Great Britain.” Steyer said like unlike Biden and Warren, the issue was his No. 1 priority.
  • On foreign policy, “Donald Trump got punked” by North Korea, Harris said. “He has conducted foreign policy since Day 1 borne out of a very fragile ego,” she said, calling the president the “greatest threat” to America’s national security.
  • Yang got some laughs when he was asked what he would say in his first conversation with Vladimir Putin after being elected president. “Sorry I beat your guy,” Yang responded.
  • Sanders, asked about the US relationship with Israel, said the US need to think about the Palestinians as well, reports FiveThirtyEight. “It is no longer good enough for us simply to be pro-Israel, I am pro-Israel, but we must treat the Palestinian people as well with the respect and dignity that they deserve,” he said.
  • Booker criticized Biden for opposing marijuana legalization, saying he thought he “must have been high” when he remarked on the issue recently. Biden went on to say he “comes out of the black community” in terms of support and claimed to have been endorsed by the “only African-American woman that had ever been elected to the United States Senate.” The Guardian notes that he was quickly corrected by Harris, the second African-American woman to have been elected to the Senate.
  • On abortion, Warren declined to denounce Louisiana’s Democratic governor for signing a strict anti-abortion bill in the law, but promised to defend abortion rights.
  • Buttigieg and Gabbard, who are both veterans, clashed on foreign policy, with Buttigieg slamming Gabbard’s “outlandish” claim that he wanted to send the US military to deal with Mexican drug cartels, MSNBC reports. He responded to her suggestion he was inexperienced by questioning her judgment in sitting down with murderous dictator Bashar al-Assad.
  • In closing statements, Booker urged voters to help him qualify for the December debate. Yang warned that the American dream is vanishing. “Our kids are not alright,” he said. “They’re not all right because we’re leaving them a future that is far darker than the lives that we have led as their parents.” Steyer said he was best qualified to call Trump “a fraud and a failure on the economy,” and Klobuchar said she was the candidate who could carry “red districts, suburban purple districts and bright blue districts.”

Sorry Biden supporters Uncle Joe looked his age and tired….he did not gain many more supporters.  Booker had a good night but will it be enough?  Harris needed a win and the best she did was a draw…..

We heard all the usual terms like “on day one”……slogans are the fodder for the pundits and the headlines…..I do not think many people changed their minds on who to support…..I did not…..I support Gabbard and still do so….even as the media tries desperately to get her support to wane……Me?  I do not let toadies working for corporations tell me who my candidate should be.

Sen. Harris is still doing the work for Hillary and Mayor Pete is still a centrist that will change NOTHING if elected….and the candidate that MSNBC’s Matthews wants to be the president….he still has a hard on for the “hard Left”…..I listened to the Dems talk like Neocon warmongers……and then the pundits jumped into the same boat…..

Who was the biggest loser in this debate…once again it was the voter…they had very little diversity just the same non-starter policies with some new window decoration.

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THe MSM pulled NO punches in their attacks on Tulsi……they want her gone, the only antiwar candidate…..now once they succeed who will they come for next Yang or Steyer…..once they eliminate all the “radicals” they will then set their sights on the Left leaning meaning Warren, Sanders…then they will have the roster they want…..centrists fighting it out……

I aw nothing in this debate that has changed anything…..As the election comes closer it is shaking out as a usual election…..the voter will hold their nose and vote for the least offensive candidate….policies be DAMNED!

Status quo wins again!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”