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Maybe a President's Age Doesn't Matter That Much

Statistically, all the remaining 2020 candidates can survive two terms. But older leaders might make decisions differently.

Donald Trump is the second-oldest president in U.S. history. If he wins re-election in November he would pass Ronald Reagan to become the oldest president ever around the middle of his final year in office. Three of the Democratic contenders to replace him, Bernie Sanders, Michael Bloomberg and Joe Biden (listed in descending order of age), would break the record on Inauguration Day. Elizabeth Warren would break it during a second term.

Sanders, Bloomberg (who is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News) and Biden have already passed the average life expectancy of a male American, recently estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at 76.2 years. Does this mean they’re living on borrowed time? Well, no, life expectancy doesn’t work that way. Once an American man has made it to 78 years and 5 months, as Sanders has, he can expect to live to 88, according to the Social Security Administration’s life expectancy tables. Here are the estimated additional years of life expectancy, based solely on gender and age, for him and other significant remaining candidates.

All these candidates are in the upper reaches of the income distribution (Pete Buttigieg, the poorest, has a taxable income right around the 90th percentile), which in recent years has translated into much longer-than-average lifespans. As president, they would also have access to the very best medical care, and though the office is known to age its occupants in superficial terms, a 2011 study by longevity researcher S. Jay Olshansky of the University of Illinois at Chicago concluded that it did not appear to shorten their lifespans. There are obviously risks specific to individual candidates, such as Sanders’s heart troubles or Trump’s weight, but I think it’s fair to describe the life expectancy estimates in the chart as quite conservative for all of them.

Still, while all the candidates can expect to see through two terms in office, the risk that Sanders or Bloomberg or Biden wouldn’t make it is clearly a lot higher than Tulsi Gabbard’s risk. In a white paper published last year by the American Federation of Aging Research, Olshansky and five co-authors estimated the chances that each of the then-declared candidates would survive one and two terms based on the Social Security tables and a “third-degree monotone cubic spline using Hyman filtering.” For one term, Sanders came in at 76.8%, Biden 79.2%, Trump 84.8% (to make it through a second term), Warren 91.8%, Tom Steyer 93.7%, Amy Klobuchar 96.8%, and Buttigieg and Gabbard 99%. For two terms, it was Sanders 66.6%, Biden 70%, Warren 88%, Steyer 91.6%, Klobuchar 95.7%, and Buttigieg and Gabbard 98.7%. Bloomberg wasn’t a candidate at the time, and the authors haven’t run exact percentages for him yet, but they would come in slightly lower than Biden’s.


'We Are Not That Stupid': Rev. Al Sharpton Says Black Voters Won't Be Fooled by Red-Baiting

Attacks on Sanders
"The civil rights movement always was targeted by those that would use the Red Scare. They accused Dr. King of being a communist. We've been down that road before."


Rev. Al Sharpton said Wednesday that black voters in South Carolina, which holds its Democratic presidential primary on Saturday, will not be deceived by red-baiting attacks on Sen. Bernie Sanders because "we've been down that road before."

"Every major leader in the 60s they tried to call socialist or communist. Whatever you decide to do on Saturday, do not go by those that use the 'socialist' tag to try to separate us from what we need to do for this country."
—Rev. Al Sharpton

"The civil rights movement always was targeted by those that would use the Red Scare," Sharpton said at the South Carolina Ministers' Breakfast in North Charleston as he introduced the Vermont senator.

Sanders and five other Democratic presidential hopefuls attended the event, which was hosted by the National Action Network.

"They accused Dr. King of being a communist," Sharpton said. "Every major leader in the 60s they tried to call socialist or communist. Whatever you decide to do on Saturday, do not go by those that use the 'socialist' tag to try to separate us from what we need to do for this country... And we are not that stupid to allow you to tell us who is what."

"Those of us that had to fight for the right to vote need to use that vote in a fair way, fair to those that fought for it," added Sharpton, pointing to Sanders' involvement in the civil rights movement in the 1960s. "One of them that came south to fight for that and was arrested was the senator from the state of Vermont, Senator Bernie Sanders."


Inside Bernie's relationship with Chuck and Nancy

The insurgent-turned-frontrunner will need the Democratic leaders if he's going to win the White House and then get his agenda enacted.


Sanders has known both Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi for decades — relationships that will become pivotal if Sanders wins the Democratic nomination and the party is fractured. And if Democrats do win the White House and control of Congress, their ability to work together will be crucial.

The resistance to Sanders’ support for the "Green New Deal" and "Medicare for All" suggests major friction ahead in the campaign and on Capitol Hill. But there’s also little animosity and a feeling of mutual respect between Sanders and the leaders, according to interviews with a dozen Democrats on Capitol Hill this week.

Faiz Shakir, Sanders’ campaign manager and a former aide to both Reid and Pelosi, said party leaders should prepare for a President Sanders to “assume the responsibility for setting the agenda, creating the mandate for change, and pushing Congress to act.

“Sen. Sanders has respect for the burden of leadership that Schumer and Pelosi carry, but he also believes the party can and will need to act far more boldly for working-class issues in the years ahead,” Shakir said.

insurgent I will never understand how fighting for the working class and the poor makes one a rebel or a revolutionary.

Sanders surpasses Biden among African American voters: Reuters/Ipsos poll

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders has widened his lead for the Democratic presidential nomination and overtaken Joe Biden in support among African Americans - a voting bloc that until now has largely favored the former vice president, according to a Reuters/Ipsos national poll released on Tuesday.

The result could spell trouble for Biden, the one-time frontrunner who has lagged behind the field after the first few Democratic nominating contests. To remain a viable contender, Biden has been banking on a strong showing in Saturday's South Carolina primary, a state where black voters make up more than half of the Democratic electorate.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll, conducted Feb. 19-25, also showed that support for billionaire media mogul Michael Bloomberg slipped by 2 percentage points after the former New York City mayor faced intense scrutiny from other candidates last week in his first debate as a presidential candidate.

Among all registered Democrats and independents, 26% said they would vote for Sanders, while 15% said they were backing Bloomberg and another 15% supported Biden.
Senator Elizabeth Warren and former mayor Pete Buttigieg were each supported by 10% of respondents. Another 4% said they would vote for Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and 3% said they were supporting billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer.


US politics After Bernie Sanders' landslide Nevada win, it's time for Democrats to unite behind him

No other Democrats can beat him at this point. Sill, the liberal establishment is still struggling to come to terms with Sanders’ inevitable nomination

Nathan Robinson

It was a landslide. Bernie Sanders had been expected to win the Nevada caucuses, but not like this. With just 4% of the vote in, news organizations called the race for Sanders, since his margin of victory was so large. Sanders has now won the popular vote in all of the first three states, and is currently leading in the polls almost everywhere else in the country. He was already the favorite to take the nomination before the Nevada contest, with Democratic party insiders worrying he was “unstoppable.” His campaign will only grow more powerful now.

Importantly, Sanders’ Nevada victory definitively disproved one of the most enduring myths about his campaign: that it could attract left-leaning young white people, but was incapable of drawing in a diverse coalition. In fact, voters of color were a primary source of Sanders’ strength in Nevada; he received the majority of Latino votes. Entrance polls showed Sanders winning “men and women, whites and Latinos, voters 17-29, 30-44 and 45-65, those with college degrees and those without, liberal Democrats (by a lot) and moderate/conservatives (narrowly), union and non-union households.” The poisonous concept of the white “Bernie Bro” as the “typical” Sanders supporter should be dead.

The other candidates and their supporters did their best to spin a humiliating defeat. Amy Klobuchar said her sixth-place finish “exceeded expectations”—if sixth place is better than you expected, you’re probably not a viable candidate. Biden vowed, implausibly (and for the third time) that he would bounce back. Pete Buttigieg took to the stage to denounce Sanders, who he said “believes in an inflexible, ideological revolution that leaves out most Democrats, not to mention most Americans.” A Warren supporter rather charmingly said that while Sanders had won, Warren had the “momentum,” and the Warren campaign itself said the Nevada “debate” mattered more than the Nevada “result.”

Let’s be clear: the other candidates were crushed, and Nevada was yet more evidence that there is no longer much serious opposition to Sanders. Michael Bloomberg fizzled completely in his big debut, and Democrats would be out of their minds to enrage every Sanders supporter by nominating a Republican billionaire. Joe Biden has lost badly in all of the first three contests, and it’s very clear that he can’t run an effective campaign. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign has nearly gone broke and in desperation she has resorted to relying on the Super PACs that she previously shunned. Pete Buttigieg can’t win voters of color or young people (and has accurately been described as sounding like “a neural network trained on West Wing episodes”). As Matthews says: it’s over. Bernie is dominating the fundraising, dominating the polls, and winning every primary. I am not sure Jacobin is right that “it’s Bernie’s party now”—for one thing, virtually the entire Congressional Democratic party is still opposed to Bernie. But it’s certainly Bernie’s nomination. There is simply no other credible candidate.


It's Time for the 2016 Primary to End. Bernie Sanders Is the Clear Frontrunner for the

2020 Nomination.

FEB 23, 2020

A very good read.


OK. Hug your kids. Walk your dog. Have a drink. Smoke some weed. Eat some edibles. Gobble some ‘shrooms. Meditate. Contemplate. Ruminate. Calm down. Find peace. Take a breath. Take a pill. Take a break. Calm down, Ringo, and, for the love of god, chill the fck out, Yolanda. Bernie Sanders won the Nevada caucuses. He won handily. He won easily. As a matter of fact, he probably won Saturday night last week, when 75 percent of the voters cast early ballots. Bernie Sanders is the clear frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination. He is the clear frontrunner because he and his people have been developing a strategy for five years and they have been executing it splendidly. Those are the facts on the ground and they are incontestable.

(One solid indication of the depth of his appeal is that, almost immediately after the New Hampshire primary, the culinary workers union in Nevada slammed him over Medicare For All—but, on Saturday, the actual membership of that powerful union turned out for him in droves.)

Meanwhile, Pete Buttigieg, the man who will unify us to turn the page to a bright new day in which we will galvanize and not polarize, gave a speech early in the evening that, for sheer optimistic inspiration, lacked only a bell and a guy intoning, “Bring out your dead.” (There was one great moment on MSNBC when Steve Kornacki told the panel that, according to the network’s entrance polling, Buttigieg didn’t register among black voters. At all.) On the other side, the Sanders people have started measuring the drapes already. People supporting other candidates are being told to get in line or get the hell out. (In fact, that he has managed to get to this position with a national staff containing some people whose only apparent political skill is being pissed on television and snotty online is a further measure of what a formidable candidate he is.) This prompted pushback, and the pushback prompted more pushback, until the desert itself was a’light with the fires from a thousand flaming heads.

Going forward, here’s what I think. It’s time for both billionaires to get out. They’re not going to be president, either one of them, and they’re not helping anyone else who might be. Tom Steyer’s campaign is utterly pointless and seems dedicated at this point only to mucking up the South Carolina primary. If the Democrats nominate Michael Bloomberg, they’re taking a bigger risk than they ever would by nominating Sanders because given what we already know about him, and anticipating that we’re going to learn even more—and worse—stuff as the campaign grinds on, he’s the only candidate that could give someone in the vote-blue-no-matter-who crowd the same pause that the aforementioned 53 percent of Sanders voters have. Plus, my god, he’s a terrible candidate.

Members Of Nevada's Largest Union Defied Their Leadership To Support Bernie Sanders

Some of the rank-and-file members of the Culinary Workers Union backed Sanders in the caucus, despite the union leaders’ opposition to Medicare for All.


LAS VEGAS — Despite the leadership of Nevada’s largest union criticizing Bernie Sanders over his health care plan in the lead-up to the state's presidential caucus, the majority of union members caucusing at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas strip backed Sanders on Saturday.

Some workers who spoke to BuzzFeed News said they support Sanders’ Medicare for All proposal, even though they appreciate the union health care they have, because they have friends and relatives who don’t have union health care and worry about what would happen if they lost their jobs.

Health care is “the number one issue,” said Monica Smith, a Culinary Workers member since 1987 and an in-room dining server at the Bellagio, who caucused for Sanders.

“We have so many people that have walked that picket line, blood sweat and tears, for us. We’re going to be here to protect it, but I worry about other people that aren’t protected by unions. How do they get healthcare. What's the dollar amount that they have to go through, do they have to worry about not being able to go to a hospital?”

The results of the caucus, which was the only caucus site open to press on Saturday on Las Vegas’ hotel- and casino-lined strip specifically for workers, saw Sanders walk away with 76 supporters, followed by Joe Biden with 45 supporters, out of a total 123 caucusgoers.

Latinos, Sanders's secret weapon in Nevada, could make him unstoppable on Super Tuesday

LAS VEGAS — Bernie Sanders’s Nevada caucus campaign ended with a convincing win Saturday afternoon, thanks in large measure to a 37-percentage-point victory among Latino caucus-goers. But the seeds of that victory were sown five years ago when a staffer on Sanders’s first presidential bid had trouble reading a Spanish website.

Sanders was short on resources; his staff was a skeleton crew, with no one who could translate Spanish. So the campaign summoned Chuck Rocha, the founder and president of Solidarity Strategies, a consulting firm specializing in reaching Latinos and blacks that was launched by Rocha in 2010. He charged Sanders triple his usual rate to work on the holiday.
“I remember sending him an invoice for $824, which was a big invoice for me,” Rocha told Yahoo News in an extensive interview five days before the Nevada caucus. “Little did I know that that $800 invoice would turn into millions and millions of dollars of work for Bernie Sanders.

In the summer of 2015, Black Lives Matter protesters interrupted two Sanders events, claiming the candidate wasn’t paying enough attention to racial issues. Jeff Weaver, the 2016 campaign manager, hired Solidarity Strategies to ensure that the senator’s work was, as Rocha put it, “reflective of the larger diverse communities.” Soon Rocha was consulting on minority hiring, outreach and advertising for Sanders. By the end of the race he was in charge of all of the campaign’s print communications.

Now Rocha, a 51-year-old self-described “Mexican redneck” who campaigns wearing a cowboy hat and driving a rented pickup truck, has become a leader of Sanders’s 2020 operation. While he remains in charge of his firm, Rocha officially joined the campaign last year as a senior adviser with a broad purview that includes general strategy, hiring staff and overseeing print ads and merchandise. Rocha also crafts the campaign’s Spanish-language ads on television, radio and the internet. If anyone is responsible for the huge Latino outreach effort that has helped propel Sanders to the front of the Democratic pack, it’s Rocha.

Chuck Rocha

Biden, Sanders tied for first place in South Carolina: poll

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are running neck and neck in South Carolina, with billionaire activist Tom Steyer not far behind, according to a new poll released exclusively to The Hill.

The poll, conducted by Change Research for the Democratic group The Welcome Party, shows Biden and Sanders knotted at 23 percent support each in the Palmetto State. Meanwhile, Steyer is running in second place at 20 percent.

Only one other candidate, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, registered in double digits in the poll, with 15 percent support.

The poll, which was fielded from Feb. 12-14 in the wake of the New Hampshire Democratic primary, suggests that Biden, the longtime front-runner in South Carolina, is losing ground in a state that he’s counting on to power his presidential bid into Super Tuesday and beyond.


Where's Tom Steyer? A Few People in Las Vegas Were Wondering

Mr. Steyer did not make the cut for the Democratic debate. He was missed!


But while Mr. Steyer did not poll high enough to make the debate stage this round after landing distant finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, he has emerged as a genuine threat to a number of his rivals in South Carolina and, potentially, here in Nevada, as the largely self-funded candidate spends millions on the airwaves in both states.

He is also spending his money on splashy campaign events: On Friday, he is set to rally here with the group TLC, known for 1990s hits like “No Scrubs.”
Mr. Steyer, a spokesman said, was spending the evening meeting with precinct captains and making calls to his teams around the state to encourage them in the homestretch before the caucuses.

“Tonight’s debate helped one person — Donald Trump,” Mr. Steyer said in a statement after the debate, also saying it was “clear that Bloomberg is probably running in the wrong primary.”

“Instead of focusing on how we can improve the lives of Americans and build a diverse coalition to beat Donald Trump,” Mr. Steyer said, “we saw a lot of bickering over policy discrepancies that won’t matter if we don’t win in November.”
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