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BeyondGeography's Journal
BeyondGeography's Journal
July 31, 2019

CNN Iowa City focus group goes 8-1 for Warren

The lone dissenter went for a mix of Bullock/Ryan/Klobuchar, the chateau maison de la casa house moderates platter.
July 31, 2019

Warren and Buttigieg Beg Democrats Not to Fear Republicans

(And Sanders)

Democrats need to win the presidency and the Senate to have a chance of enacting any of the ambitious health-care plans they’ve proposed in the presidential primary so far, including Medicare for All. But if tonight’s debate made anything clear, it’s that they first have to get Republicans out of their head—and out of their fight.

...”It is time to stop worrying about what the Republicans will say,” South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg declared toward the end of the exchange, after candidates including former Representative John Delaney of Maryland and the author Marianne Williamson voiced concerns that Democrats were risking electoral suicide by touching what has become yet another third rail of American politics.”

“It’s true that if we embrace a far-left agenda, they are gonna say we’re a bunch of crazy socialists,” Buttigieg said. “If we embrace a conservative agenda, you know what they’re gonna do? They’re going to say we’re a bunch of crazy socialists. So let’s just stand up for the right policy, go out there, and defend it.”

...Warren and Sanders want desperately for Democrats to change the conversation, to stop fearing the big bad Republican wolf. They each begged their fellow Democrats to keep the GOP and its spectral presence out of the party’s internal debate over health care. “Let’s be clear about this: We are the Democrats. We are not about trying to take away health care from anyone. That’s what the Republicans are trying to do,” Warren said early on, in one of the night’s first big applause lines. “And we should stop using Republican talking points in order to talk with each other about how to best provide that health care.”

The debate over health care is tied up in the party’s broader argument over electability in the 2020 primary. In her opening statement, Warren warned Democrats against going for “small ideas and spinelessness.” What she really wants, however, is for the party to not get bogged down in the same fight that’s long been dictated by its opponents.

More at https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/07/warren-democrats-fear-trump/595069/
July 30, 2019

Putin Denies Mitch McConnell Is Russian Asset: "He Has Never Been an Asset to Any Country"

MOSCOW (The Borowitz Report)—Pushing back against charges that Senator Mitch McConnell is a Russian asset, the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, said on Tuesday that McConnell “has never been an asset to any country.”

“You can scour the four corners of the globe, and you will not find a nation that would ever in a million years consider Mitch McConnell an asset,” Putin said.

The Russian President urged pundits who have called McConnell a Russian asset “to look up the word ‘asset’ in the dictionary.”

“You will find that ‘asset’ means a useful or valuable thing,” Putin said. “The only part of that definition that fits McConnell is ‘thing.’ ”

More at https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/putin-denies-mitch-mcconnell-is-russian-asset-he-has-never-been-an-asset-to-any-country

Note: Borowitz = Satire. There was no room for "The Borowitz Report" in the most excellent thread title.
July 30, 2019

Gillibrand's underhanded swipe at Elizabeth Warren

TROY — On Friday, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand made an extraordinary claim. "We have Democratic presidential candidates running for president right now who do not necessarily believe that it's a good idea that women work outside the home," Gillibrand said during a women's labor event in Iowa. "No joke."

...Wow. Who are these retrograde misogynists? Gillibrand didn't say and still won't. I asked Evan Lukaske, her national press secretary, whom she was referring to, but the question went unanswered. That's cowardly. A politician willing to make such a dramatic accusation should have the backbone to follow through with names. Instead, Gillibrand left voters guessing. You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes, though, to deduce that she was taking an underhanded swipe at Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

That may seem unlikely given that Warren is a woman (obviously) who has spent much of her life working. But Warren also coauthored a book called "The Two-Income Trap," which argued that women's entrance into the workforce was disastrous for middle-class families. Published in 2003, before Warren was a national figure, it's a thoughtful and well-researched book borne from her bankruptcy work and experience as a working mother. I won't be able to do justice to the complexity of her argument here.

To be clear, Warren didn't argue that women shouldn't work; she explicitly made it clear that wasn't her point. But she did contend that having millions of women entering the workforce allowed corporations to lower wages and eventually boosted the cost of housing, day care and other key components of modern family life. "Middle-class mothers went into the workforce in a calculated effort to give their families an economic edge," wrote Warren and her daughter, coauthor Amelia Warren Tyagi. "Instead, millions of them are now in the workforce just so their families can break even." Some of those moms, spending exorbitant amounts on child care, would like to stop working so they can spend more time with their children, Warren noted. But many feel unable to do so. "Today's middle-class mother is trapped: She can't afford to work and she can't afford to quit," Warren wrote as she argued for a federal subsidy for stay-at-home moms — a proposal that, unfortunately, is not part of her presidential platform.

...Gillibrand and other presidential candidates who have lived exceptionally privileged lives may not understand that anxiety or why some moms — and dads — might rue falling into the two-income trap. But Warren certainly does. No matter her faults or mistakes as a candidate, she at least knows what it means to live with the constraints faced by a typical American family. By the way, I twice asked Lukaske, the Gillibrand spokesperson, specifically if the senator was referring to Warren. He didn't answer, but did send along a statement attributed to Meredith Kelly, the campaign's communications director. Here it is: "Kirsten believes we need to have a broader and more intentional conversation about valuing women in this country and even this primary, and she intends to do so in the coming days. Stay tuned.” Again, it's a cowardly, mealy-mouthed answer, and one only needs to look at the polls to understand why Gillibrand might be desperate to make waves.

More at https://www.timesunion.com/7dayarchive/article/Churchill-Kirsten-Gillibrand-s-unfair-swipe-at-14201944.php
July 25, 2019

Warren: I would've accepted a VP offer from Clinton

Elizabeth Warren would have accepted an offer from Hillary Clinton to become her running mate in 2016, the Massachusetts senator and 2020 White House hopeful said in a report published Thursday.

Warren — who declined to launch her own presidential bid 2½ years ago despite intense efforts by progressives to draft her — even received a “full vetting” for the vice presidential slot by Clinton’s team and was interviewed in August 2015 at the candidate’s Whitehaven mansion in Washington, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

Clinton “seriously weighed” Warren as a potential running mate, the report states, and top aide Philippe Reines wrote in a memo to his boss after their meeting: “If a crystal ball said she wouldn’t antagonize you for four years, it’s hard to argue she isn’t the most helpful for the next four months to get you elected.”

Asked whether she would have agreed to become Clinton’s No. 2 on the ticket, Warren responded: “Yes.”

More at https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.politico.com/amp/story/2019/07/25/warren-hillary-clinton-vice-president-1435422

July 23, 2019

"I got to pose for a picture and I got to hug her. You can tell she's not a bunch of words."

How to Get a Selfie With Elizabeth Warren in 8 Steps
NY Times

However you feel about Warren, don't miss how the campaign worked out the mechanics of the Warren selfie machine. Great job by the NYT.

Since entering the presidential race, Ms. Warren has taken pictures with more than 38,000 people, her campaign estimates. Ms. Warren says the photos are part of her effort to build what she likes to call a “grass-roots movement.”

...In a primary race where Democrats have two dozen candidates to choose from, a personal moment with the candidate can make a difference. For Ms. Warren, the interactions may also help dispel any preconceived notions about the approachability of a candidate who spent much of her career as an Ivy League law professor.

...Ms. Warren is one of two key figures in the selfie line. The other is Nora Kate Keefe, 29, who serves as Ms. Warren’s body woman — the aide who is always close by the candidate’s side. She is also the campaign’s go-to selfie line photographer. “I took on the clicks, as you’d say,” she said in an interview. Ms. Keefe speaks in selfie-line lingo. “It really starts with line prep,” she said, explaining the mechanics of the undertaking. “Then there’s the bag push,” she said, referring to the person who takes bags and coats from people, so they do not fumble with them while meeting Ms. Warren.

One of Ms. Keefe’s signature techniques is to take photos throughout a voter’s interaction with Ms. Warren — not just when they pose for a picture. Voters are then pleasantly surprised to find a collection of pictures showing them meeting Ms. Warren, rather than a single snapshot.

...For some voters, their brief encounter with Ms. Warren was an opportunity to mention something important to them. Two law students were in their second Warren selfie line of the year, and even spent precious time showing Ms. Warren a photo from their first meeting. A woman in her 70s said it was among the highlights of her life — and she had just seen “Hamilton” twice. For Stephanie Kittleson, 69, a retired teacher, the saying did appear to come true: A selfie was worth a thousand words. “I got to pose for a picture and I got to hug her,” she said. “You can tell she’s not a bunch of words.”

More at https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/07/22/us/politics/elizabeth-warren-selfies.html

July 23, 2019

Sherrod Brown isn't running because he didn't want it bad enough

The Only Democrat in America Not Running for President
New York Times

...Despite being a noncandidate, Mr. Brown seemed to make a shadow campaign swing this month. He addressed two of his party’s core constituencies — grass-roots progressives in Philadelphia and organized labor in Pittsburgh — while also squeezing in a trip to the southwestern border to take on Mr. Trump over the most torrid issue of the 2020 race, immigration.

But over the three-day fly-around, for which the senator’s office invited a reporter, Mr. Brown gave no indication he was teasing a change of heart and might belatedly enter the race.

A gravelly voiced Clevelander, with a tendril of unruly gray hair grazing his forehead, he said he always believed he had a path to the nomination, but concluded he lacked the ambition to be president.

...Although there was speculation Mr. Brown bailed out of 2020 because he and Mr. Biden would have competed for the same voters, both husband and wife denied that was the reason. “He didn’t keep us out, that’s for sure,” Ms. Schultz said, referring to Mr. Biden. “I never thought he’d be the nominee,” Mr. Brown added.

...He said that he hoped to influence the race from outside. “I just didn’t want it enough,” he said of his decision not to run. “In the end you’ve got to really, really, really want it.”

More at https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2019/07/23/us/politics/sherrod-brown-2020.amp.html

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