The race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues to get a bit smaller. On Friday, US House Rep and Iraq War veteran Seth Moulton announced he was dropping out of the race.
Running for president with you behind me was one of the greatest honors of my life. Thank you for everything.
His announcement was as misguided as his campaign. Why in the world would you want to, for example, run "on taking back patriotism from the Republican Party"? You might want to remind or stress that Democrats are patriotic as well. But why be in a tug of war over patriotism as though only one side can be patriotic? Especially if you're aspiring to be president of the United States, wouldn't you want all Americans to be patriotic?
As far as driving "the national conversation around foreign policy"? No, you didn't. You did try at times, yes, but the press wasn't interested in it and your campaign wasn't significant enough to challenge the press narratives.
And what was the deal with standing with the disgraced general, Seth? The only reason to be with that man who was forced out of office by Barack Obama was if you planned to launch a serious questioning of Joe Biden's merits (McChrystal was forced out of office because of the remarks he made about Joe Biden to journalist Michael Hastings).
Seth saw the polling and took a hint. US House Rep and Iraq War veteran Tulsi Gabbard has yet to take a hint. In fact, she's now whining about the rules -- in place for some time -- to qualify for the debates. When Seth didn't qualify in June or July, Tulsi didn't say s**t about the rules. But now they are arbitrary and unfair because they may block her from the next round of debates.
It's call myopia or self-interest or the inability to see beyond your own personal bias. With that in mind, let's note this idiotic Tweet she's made a pinned Tweet for weeks.
I tried to ignore her nonsense but it's been at the top of her feed for five days short of a month.
Is Tulsi trying to brag about how stupid she is? Or is she just so stupid that she doesn't know how the government works?
She would not be the American people's "commander in chief." I know this is hard for the rah-rah war crowd to grasp. The commander in chief is a role over the military. It is not a role over civilians. Most Americans are civilians (and veterans are also civilians if they've left the forces and are not in the reserves). Is it that hard for War War Tulsi to grasp how the Constitution works, how the government works?
This is not a minor point. And we've made it many times before -- including noting how ridiculous Diane Sawyer was when she tried to shame the Dixie Chicks by insisting that Bully Boy Bush was their commander in chief. No, he wasn't.
Stop militarizing our democracy.
With each idiotic statement she makes, Tulsi makes it ever more clear that she's not ready for the presidency.
"I'll end wars that waste money," she's taken to declaring of late. By that she means, she'll continue The Drone War.
As she prattles on and on about what she will or won't do, does no one ever notice that? Or notice that all she really talks about is war? Well that's not true. She talks about one aspect of war: Her 'brothers and sisters.' War doesn't effect anyone but them, apparently.
She has no qualms about the people on the other side who die -- civilians included. That's why she's all for The Drone War. She's not fighting for peace, she's not fighting to end destruction. She choked in the July debate for that reason.
She is John Kerry in 2004 insisting the plan is to do 'smarter war.'
The press -- especially her supporters -- have allowed her to present herself as the anti-war candidate when she's not that at all. They've also refused to question or challenge her on her support for continuing The Drone War -- a war that tends to attack, let's be honest, the 'crime' of wedding parties, a war that has been used by presidents to assassinate American citizens -- with no trial. Assassiantion on the whim of the Executive Branch -- exactly where does that exist in the Constitution? And why hasn't anyone forced Tulsi to address that topic?
Senator Bernie Sanders is seeking the presidential nomination and he has qualified for the next round of debates. Yesterday, he appeared on CNN's THE SITUATION ROOM and spoke with Brianna Keilar:
KEILAR: Joining me now is presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders.
Senator, thank you so much for joining us.
SANDERS: My pleasure.
KEILAR: I want to start on the G7, where one of the major topics is the U.S. trade war with China.
President Trump escalated his tariffs on Friday, after China promised new retaliatory tariffs. You've made clear that China is treating the U.S. unfairly when it comes to trade.
And I understand that you don't agree with the president's tactics or his style, but if you were president, would you use tariffs to negotiate a deal with China?
SANDERS: That is one tool that you have.
What the president is doing is totally irrational, and it is destabilizing the entire world economy. You do not make trade policy by announcing today that you're going to raise tariffs by X-percent, and the next day by Y-percent, by attacking the person you appointed as head of the Federal Reserve as an enemy of the American people, by denouncing the president of China, who last year you really loved as a great leader.
This kind of instability and irrationality on the part of the president is causing very serious harm to the entire world economy.
Yes, we need a new trade policy.
KEILAR: I understand your criticism of that, but you say this would be a tool. Is it a tool that you would use? Would you use tariffs?
SANDERS: Yes, of course. It is used in a rational way within the context of a broad, sensible trade policy. It is one tool that's available.
What we need a -- you're looking at somebody, by the way, who helped lead the effort against permanent normal trade relations with China and NAFTA, because trade policies that we've had in the past have lost us millions of good-paying jobs, and were written primarily by large corporate -- large corporations, at the expense of workers and farmers.
We need a rational trade policy today, not what Trump is doing by tweet.
KEILAR: I want to talk about Medicare for all now.
You revealed an addition to your plan this week, saying that if companies save money by switching from union health care -- from a union-negotiated health care plan to Medicare for all, those savings would have to be passed along to those workers who belonged to that union.
KEILAR: How would you explain to those workers why they should not also receive a benefit for giving up their private insurance, if, for instance, theirs saves money as well going to Medicare for all?
SANDERS: Well, they are going to receive an enormous benefit. The overwhelming majority of the American people are going to pay significantly less for better health care under Medicare for all.
Right now, you've got 87 million people who are uninsured, who are underinsured; 500,000 people go bankrupt every year because they cannot pay their outrageous medical bills. You've got 30,000 people who are dying. People are spending 10, 15, 20 percent of their limited incomes on health care.
But Medicare for all...
KEILAR: But they won't get the higher wages or the benefits that union members would get.
SANDERS: No, no, no, no. Wait.
KEILAR: No, I hear what you are saying, but you say union members...
SANDERS: What Medicare for all would -- excuse me.
What Medicare for all will do is lower the cost of health care for the overwhelming majority of Americans. That's how they benefit, no premiums, no co-payments, no deductibles, no out-of-pocket expenses, every American, virtually every American.
KEILAR: But a non-union worker, unlike a union worker, under your plan, if there is a savings, their employer sees a savings, they would not be guaranteed to have higher wages or benefits to realize the savings.
SANDERS: Well, the difference -- that's right. KEILAR: Why not?
SANDERS: But the difference is -- I will tell you why not, because union workers gave up wage benefits over the years in order to pay for health care, and non-union workers did not. That's the difference.
But,at the end of the day, the vast majority of the American people, workers and non-union -- workers -- union workers and non-union workers, will benefit under a Medicare for all.
And, by the way, under Medicare for all, we'll cap what any American pays for prescription drugs at $200 a year. We're going to take on the pharmaceutical industry. The function of health care, Brianna, is not to allow the health care industry, as they did last year, to make $100 billion in profit, while so many of our people are uninsured, underinsured, and paying more than they can afford to pay.
KEILAR: Several of your 2020 rivals and their campaigns have been attacking you over this sweetener for union members. So how do you respond to critics who say that this is special treatment to a voting bloc?
SANDERS: Very few people -- very few people have been attacking me, I think one candidate, and the media picks up on it.
Again, we have not changed...
KEILAR: There's three.
SANDERS: ... one word of our -- we have not changed one word of our Medicare for all system, no deductible, no co-payments. The vast majority of the American people save money.
The issue, again, as I've just said, is that, if you are a worker in a union shop, and the company says, well, we're going to offer you a 3 percent wage increase, but you know what, it's -- you're going to have to pay -- you're going to lose 4 percent in your health care, your deductible is going up, your premium is going up, those workers have given up wage increases in order to retain the health care that they have.
Those are the workers we are reaching out to in this -- what we are doing right now.
But we have not changed one word in our Medicare for all program, which is gaining more and more support from the American people. The American people understand that we have a dysfunctional system in which so many people are uninsured, underinsured, and which we spend twice as much per person on health care as do the people of Canada or any other industrialized nation.
Now, it is true we're going to take on hundreds of millions of dollars from the health care industry in 30 second TV ads. They're going to distort what I'm trying to do. They're going to demonize me personally. But, at the end of the day, the American people will go forward in
guaranteeing health care to all people as a human right, just as every other major country does.
KEILAR: You -- I want to talk about how you describe yourself, which is as a democratic socialist.
You have said that -- quote -- "Unfettered capitalism is destroying the moral and economic fabric of this country." It's one of the things that draws a lot of your supporters to you.
But your 2020 opponent Elizabeth Warren, who agrees with you on most issues, says she is a capitalist down to her toes, she's not a democratic socialist, like you describe yourself. How do you explain that to voters who are wondering what's the difference here?
SANDERS: OK. Well, I will let Senator Warren speak for herself.
But I will tell you what I believe. And I believe, right now, if we are going to transform our economy, so that it works for working people, and not just large profitable corporations and the 1 percent, if we're going to end the absurdity of major corporations like Amazon that make $10 billion in profit last year, not paying one penny in federal income tax, if we're going to end the outrage that three people today in America own more wealth than the bottom half of the American people...
KEILAR: But is it possible...
SANDERS: ... 29 percent of all new -- if you're going to end that, the only way you do it is, when millions of people stand up and take on the corporate elite.
To me, one of the aspects of democratic socialism...
KEILAR: I know -- I know what your -- what know what your...
SANDERS: ... is organizing people -- excuse me -- and getting people involved in the political process, so that we take on those people today who have so much economic and political power.
KEILAR: I know what your pitch is on that.
Is it possible for two candidates who see eye to eye, but one is a capitalist and one is not?
SANDERS: Well, I'm not quite sure what that question is about.
All I know is, Senator Warren is running her campaign. I'm running my campaign. I feel very good -- I feel very...
KEILAR: I mean, the labels are -- the labels are very far apart, and yet some of your policies are much closer together than those labels would indicate. How do you make sense of that?
SANDERS: Well, we'll let - we'll let the American people make those decision.
All I am saying is that, if you look around the world, you look at Germany, you look at Scandinavia, they have public colleges and universities tuition-free. They have retirement benefits for their senior citizens much stronger than we have in the United States. They are addressing problems of income and wealth inequality.
So, to me, what democratic socialism is about is in fact creating an economy and a government that works all, not for wealthy campaign contributors.
KEILAR: All right, Senator Sanders, thank you so much for coming on STATE OF THE UNION.
SANDERS: Well, thank you for having me.
Also seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination is Senator Elizabeth Warren. Patrick Quinn (KOMO NEWS) reports:
Presidential hopeful, Sen. Elizabeth Warren made a stop in Seattle on Sunday.
According to her campaign, fifteen-thousand people greeted the Massachusetts senator at Seattle Center for her afternoon town hall forum.
Sen. Warren shared her life story and broke down her campaign goals in between interruptions of “Warren” cheers from the crowd.
Mark Caputo and Alex Thompson (POLITICO) note Elizabeth Warren appears to be on a collision course with former Vice President Joe Biden:
On Sunday, Warren stood on the biggest stage of her presidential campaign for a rally here that drew an estimated 15,000 people — eclipsing an estimated 12,000-person event she held in Minnesota earlier in the week, according to her campaign. Across the country, Biden presided over a series of intimate, subdued events in New Hampshire and Iowa, hosting crowds that numbered in the low hundreds.
Warren roused her supporters with calls for “big, structural change,” and the crowd roared with chants of “Two cents! Two cents” while waving two fingers in the air as Warren discussed her 2 percent "wealth tax.” Biden pounded away at President Donald Trump, his campaign subtly and overtly reminding voters that polls consistently show him as the party's best general election candidate and the primary’s frontrunner.
The parallel displays by two of the three leading Democratic candidates offered a possible preview of the collision course looming if Biden and Warren maintain their current trajectory. It would be a clash of opposites: the progressive firebrand against the establishment favorite; the cerebral candidate of big, bold plans vs. the elder statesman offering himself as a safe haven for people who simply want a return to pre-Trump normalcy.
With Warren rising in the polls and Biden’s lead narrowing since late spring, her message is igniting progressives.
Gaffe-prone Biden was the subject of Isaiah's latest THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Joe's Gaffes."
THE NEW YORK POST notes:
“Joe Biden has led Democratic polls since day one,” Dan McCarthy observes in Spectator USA. But there are plenty of reasons why “you should still bet against” the former vice president “getting the nomination or getting into the White House.” The biggest problem? His age and its effects on his mental acuity. At 76, he is showing signs of senescence “more than Bernie Sanders (77) or Donald Trump (73)” are. And those infamous gaffes of his “are increasingly worrying,” because they just “keep coming.” The question is: “How many will it take before voters seriously question his competence?” True, Biden’s name recognition is tremendous, but voters are “surely remembering the Biden of the Obama years,” not today’s iteration. Bottom line: “Should he make it past the primaries, he won’t seem like a pair of safe hands with which to restore America to ‘normal.’ ”
The gaffes? The latest ones? John Bowden (THE HILL) explains:
Former Vice President Joe Biden mistakenly praised the state of Vermont on Saturday when asked about his impression of Keene, N.H., by reporters during a press gaggle.
Video of the exchange shows Biden remarking about Vermont's "beauty" after an unseen reporter asks him for his "impression" of the town, which is located in southwestern New Hampshire, close to the state's border with Vermont.
"I love this place. Look, what’s not to like about Vermont in terms of the beauty of it? And what a neat town. This is like a scenic, beautiful town. The mayor's been a good guy. Everybody has been really friendly. I like Keene a lot," Biden said.
He doesn't even know what state he's in -- although it's becoming obvious to the rest of us that he resides in a state of confusion. We're not done. Karu F. Daniels (THE ROOT) notes:
Was it wishful thinking? Or just another off-kilter faux pas?
While on the campaign trail Friday, presidential hopeful Joe Biden came out of his face with an audacious thought.
The 76-year-old former Veep to forever President Barack Hussein Obama pondered the thought: “What if Barack Obama had been assassinated during his presidential campaign in 2008?
“Imagine what would have happened if, God forbid, Barack Obama had been assassinated after becoming the de facto nominee?” Biden asked a crowd at a Hanover, N.H., stop on Friday.
Surely, the thought has crossed many minds over the past decade or so. But old Joe brought it right out to the forefront.
The campaign's excuse for Joe's topic? This is how he discusses his heroes RFK and MLK. Mark Caputo (POLITICO) adds, "The question came just days after Biden, known for his verbal flubs and off-message gaffes, mistakenly said the two men had been assassinated in the 1970s instead of 1968." All of these gaffes are resulting in growing concerns about Joe and his campaign is trying to fight back by pretending his gaffes aren't news. Former chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party Phil Johnston tells Rick Sobey and Sean Philip Cotter (BOSTON HERALD), "“It's a cause for concern if you're running for president, especially if you're not sure what state you're in. We all love and respect him, but in 2020 we have to make sure the nominee is up the task of taking on President Trump." Seema Metha and Janet Cook (LOS ANGELS TIMES) note that Joe's built his campaign on he is the most electable and that this appears to be changing:
But “when you have to tell people you’re electable, you’re probably not as electable as you think you are,” said Andrew Smith, a political science professor at the University of New Hampshire.
Some of Biden’s rivals, especially Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), have been gaining strength and cutting into his polling lead in the early states in the nominating process, attracting bigger crowds and drawing more media attention. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released this month found feelings about Biden were less intense than about his top rivals, Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Among Democratic primary voters, 56% had positive feelings about Biden — compared with 66% who felt that way about Sanders and 61% about Warren.
Increasingly, polling of hypothetical general election matchups shows that Biden is not the only Democrat who could beat Trump. That complicates the Biden campaign’s emphasis on polls that show him winning. The prospect that others could beat Trump could shift the focus of debate among primary candidates from who can beat the president to what kind of leader the party wants to lead it to victory in 2020.
Every election cycle since the start of the latest round of the Iraq War (2003) has seen the Democratic Party put at least one person on the presidential ticket who voted for the Iraq War. 2004 saw both John Kerry and John Edwards on it, 2008 saw Joe Biden (as Barack's running mate), 2012 saw Joe Biden and 2016 saw Hillary Clinton. Everyone of them supported the Iraq War. The ones on the ticket who did not vote for the Iraq War? They weren't in Congress at the time. Thus far, the Democratic Party has refused to put anyone on the ticket who actually voted against the Iraq War although they've been happy to, five times, have a ticket holder who voted for the illegal war.
Along with Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Joe's Gaffes,." Kat's "Kat's Korner: Tanya and Taylor" went up Sunday.