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HerbChestnut's Journal
HerbChestnut's Journal
January 31, 2020

Joe Biden is betting the farm on Iowa


DES MOINES — Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s campaign has quietly rolled back hundreds of thousands of dollars of television ad reservations in New Hampshire and South Carolina in recent weeks and redirected the funds to buy more ads in Iowa instead.

Mr. Biden’s campaign and a super PAC supporting him are on pace to churn through nearly $9 million on television ads in Iowa ahead of the caucuses on Monday, while spending virtually nothing so far in the other three states that vote in February. Mr. Biden has also planted himself in the state this week, seizing on the Senate impeachment trial and President Trump’s rally in Des Moines on Thursday night to try to convince voters that Republicans are scared to run against him.

The movement of money and energy into Iowa is a sign of not only the opportunity that Mr. Biden’s campaign now sees here — he sits in second or first place in most polls — but also the acute risk for him, according to interviews with Democratic strategists, Biden fund-raisers and allies.

In Iowa, Mr. Biden is not just chasing votes and delegates. He’s chasing cash.

A disappointing finish in the state, where there are four candidates bunched in the top tier in polls, could dampen his fund-raising at a crucial juncture. Candidates need resources to build up their operations in delegate-rich Super Tuesday states like California, where campaigning and ad rates can be prohibitively expensive and early voting begins next week.
January 30, 2020

Postal workers union with 200,000 members endorses Sanders


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Bernie Sanders was endorsed Thursday by the 200,000-member American Postal Workers Union, an influential group that also backed the Vermont senator’s presidential bid against Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.

The union’s support is key because it promises organizing muscle across the country. Sanders says that if turnout is high during Monday’s lead-off Iowa caucus, he will win — and a win there will key victories in the next two states that vote, New Hampshire and Nevada.

“As with 2016, once again the Sanders campaign is boldly uplifting the goals and aspirations of workers,” union president Mark Dimondstein said in a statement. “Simply put, we believe it is in the best interests of all postal workers, our job security and our union to support and elect Bernie Sanders for president.”

Polls in Iowa and other states show Sanders bunched near the top of the polls with former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

January 30, 2020

Document shows Bernie Sanders's team preparing dozens of potential executive orders


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is considering dozens of executive orders he could unilaterally enact on a wide range of domestic policy issues if elected president, including immigration, the environment and prescription drugs, according to two people familiar with the campaign’s planning and an internal document reviewed by The Washington Post.

Sanders has risen in national and early-state polling in the final days before Monday’s Iowa caucuses, the first contest in the Democratic presidential primary, which has fueled concerns among some party insiders that he could win the nomination.

Summary of potential executive orders:

Declare a national climate emergency;

Ban U.S. exports of crude oil;

Allow the importation of prescription drugs from Canada;

Cancel federal contracts for companies that pay their workers less than $15 an hour;

Direct the Department of Justice to legalize marijuana at the federal level;

Reverse existing rules that bar the U.S. from funding organizations that provide abortion services;

Immediately halt the construction of President Donald Trump's U.S.-Mexico border wall;

Lift the cap on the number of refugees the U.S. accepts each year; and

Release billions in disaster aid to Puerto Rico that the Trump administration has withheld.

All of this is aimed at reversing the Trump agenda.
January 27, 2020

Why Bernie is best suited to lead on foreign policy.

Here's one of Bernie's pleas on the House floor in the lead up to Iraq. Everyone knows he voted against the war, but what stands out to me about this video are the questions and concerns he raises about the consequences of an invasion. This shows that he's willing to consider these types of situations with a cool head and think through the repercussions of military action.

EDIT: I see I unleashed the horde with this post. Here's some more videos of Sanders talking about foreign policy issues.

Talking about the Israel-Palestine conflict:

Talking about trade with China (first few minutes):

January 27, 2020

NYT: Fact-Checking Joe Biden Before the Iowa Caucuses.


"The former vice president has made inaccurate claims this month about his record on Social Security, race and foreign policy."

Goes into several issues related to Biden's history as a legislator and VP. Here's how it starts:

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. remains atop most national polls before the first votes are cast next month in the Democratic presidential primary. Before the Iowa caucuses, The New York Times reviewed recent statements he made defending his decades-long career, stressing his standing in the black community and highlighting his perceived strength on foreign policy. Here’s a fact check.


Mr. Biden tried to defend his record on Social Security and birth control with questionable claims.


Antonia Hylton, a reporter for Vice News: “Do you think, though, that it’s fair for voters to question your commitment to Social Security when in the past you’ve proposed a freeze to it?”

Mr. Biden: “No, I didn’t propose a freeze.”
— at the Brown & Black Democratic Presidential Forum last week in Iowa

False. In 1984, faced with budget deficits under the Reagan administration, Mr. Biden was a co-sponsor of an amendment with two Republican senators that froze for one year nearly all military and domestic spending, including cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security benefits.

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