What Now?! – February 17, 2020

A new East Carolina University poll in South Carolina finds Joe Biden leading the Democratic primary field with 28%, followed by Bernie Sanders at 20%, Tom Steyer at 14%, Elizabeth Warren at 7%, Pete Buttigieg at 8% and Amy Klobuchar at 7%.

“Michael Bloomberg has made it his late life’s mission to take on the National Rifle Association, calling the organization ‘shameful,’ ‘dangerous’ and extreme,” Politico reports.

“The problem now that he’s seeking the Democratic nomination? In his final year as New York mayor, Bloomberg compared two groups core to the Democratic base — a local faction of the American Civil Liberties Union and the New York City teachers union — to the NRA.”

“The White House told Congress on Friday that President Trump authorized the strike last month that killed Iran’s most important general to respond to attacks that had already taken place and deter future ones, contradicting the president’s claim that he acted in response to an imminent threat,” the New York Times reports.

“In a legally mandated, two-page unclassified memo to lawmakers, the White House asserted that the strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani was ‘in response to an escalating series of attacks in preceding months’ by Iran and Iran-backed militias.”

“Bernie Sanders hasn’t picked up the voters who are deserting Joe Biden, but he’s the clear beneficiary of the former vice president’s rapid collapse,” Axios reports.

“Of the top six candidates in the race, Sanders’ polling numbers have changed the least over the last few weeks— but Biden’s fall has made Sanders the biggest winner, since the moderate vote is now splintered four ways.”

Wall Street Journal: “Self-described democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders and President Trump rose in politics by developing strong personal brands, while keeping only tenuous ties to—and frequently criticizing the leaders of—the parties they later sought to lead.”

“Their ascents are the latest sign that the nation’s political parties have lost influence in choosing their own presidential nominees, a development that some party officials see as inevitable in the modern media environment and an era of billionaires funding their own campaigns, as Mr. Trump initially did and Democrat Michael Bloomberg is doing today. But it is one that they say has made politics more volatile and partisan.”

New York Times: “In the compressed and crucial weeks between the New Hampshire primary and Super Tuesday, Pete Buttigieg is moving aggressively to replenish his campaign coffers with an ambitious schedule of 10 fund-raisers held across six states in a 14-day period.”

Mike Bloomberg said the final Obamacare bill would do “absolutely nothing to fix the big health care problems” and also called the program “a disgrace” in comments made in 2010, just months after the law’s passage, CNN reports.

He added: “The President, in all fairness, started out by pointing out what the big problems were, but then turned it over to Congress, which didn’t pay any attention to any of those big problems and just created another program that’s going to cost a lot of money.”

Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), who is running to unseat Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) in November, released a new attack ad against fellow GOP primary contender and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, The Hill reports.

“In the new 30-second ad, Bryne criticizes Sessions for being forced by President Trump to resign as attorney general. The video also appeared to reference a common refrain, ‘lock her up,’ to dig at Sessions’ job while serving as attorney general, that was chanted about former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during Trump campaign events in 2016.”

From the ad: “Hillary still ain’t in jail.”

“Progressive firebrand Bernie Sanders jabbed his more moderate rivals on Saturday for taking campaign cash from billionaires as Democratic officials at some sites across Nevada were overwhelmed by long lines on the first day of early voting in presidential caucuses,” the AP reports.

Said Sanders: “Democracy is not candidates going to the homes of billionaires raising money.”

Robert Reich: “Over the last decade, half of all donations to Super PACs came from just 25 people.” “If this isn’t the mark of a kleptocracy, I don’t know what is.”

“Republican leaders on Capitol Hill are fearful that the conservative hardliner Kris Kobach could cost them a crucial Senate seat in Kansas and potentially their narrow majority — and are eager to find a way to defeat him in a hotly contested primary,” CNN reports.

“But Kobach is getting face time with President Donald Trump and consulting with Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, over an immigration plan that the White House is developing. And no one knows how Trump will insert himself into the GOP primary, and whether Senate Republican leaders will succeed in getting him to endorse a candidate they argue has a better chance of winning in November.”

Joe Biden called on Bernie Sanders to accept greater accountability for tactics and rhetoric of his staunchest supporters and do more to discourage it, after what he called the “outrageous” threats on a prominent union that criticized his healthcare plan, NBC News reports.

Representatives of the powerful Culinary Workers Union said this week that supporters of the Vermont senator had “viciously attacked” its members after its leadership warned about the risk to their negotiated health plans under a Medicare for All system.

Sen. Bernie Sanders took aim at Michael Bloomberg over his self-funded 2020 presidential campaign, saying that the former New York City mayor would not be able to produce the “excitement” and “energy” needed to defeat President Trump, Reuters reports.

Said Sanders: “The simple truth is that Mayor Bloomberg, with all his money, will not create the kind of excitement and energy we need to have the voter turnout we must have to defeat Donald Trump.”

Vox: “Although the caucuses — which will take place on February 22 this year — have been the third Democratic primary contest in the nation since 2008, the state is notoriously hard to poll.”

“So hard, in fact, that until Friday, the most recent poll included in RealClearPolitics’ Nevada polling average — from Suffolk University — was more than a month old.”

“We now have exactly one recent poll of the state, courtesy of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which shows Sen. Bernie Sanders in the lead among likely caucus-goers with 25 percent support.”

“More than 1,100 former federal prosecutors and Justice Department officials called on Attorney General William Barr on Sunday to step down after he intervened last week to lower the Justice Department’s sentencing recommendation for President Trump’s longtime friend Roger Stone,” the New York Times reports.

“They also urged current government employees to report any signs of unethical behavior at the Justice Department to the agency’s inspector general and to Congress.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

27 comments on “What Now?! – February 17, 2020

  1. I’ll be helping Warren get signatures to be on the ballot in De (though this should have happened long ago)

    I was inching closer to giving up and getting back in line with Bernie until 2 BernieBro specials hit the twits this weekend. one accusing Pete (who was a young gay boy in Indiana as a teenager and probably had a rough time in sich a maggy state) of setting dogs on fire as a teen. The second picked some unfortunate random African Pete supporter and accused him of being a fake account. SO to recap… through the actions of Bernie Bros, his opponent’s supporters (or one of em) has found new motivation to oppose his rise.

    I saw very few apologies or retractions from Team Bern.

    Bernie Fans. I WANT TO LIKE YOUR CANDIDATE….. read that again. it’s true. He actually scores higher (1-3 points) on those “who is your candidate” than Warren. but you fucks make it impossible.
    Here’s a good anecdote. I, as a Jewish person, feel is is my obligation to be vocally against Netanyahu’s government and the atrocities it commits. It is important that people dont confuse Judaism with the brutal oppression and building genocide that Israel, an increasingly fascist state, commits against Palestinians.
    I, as an America, feel it is my obligation to represent what Americans SHOULD be and not what has creeped into the White house.
    I think Republicans who dont want to be thought of as racist have the duty SQUARELY on their shoulders to be LOUD about how their party must change and should be the front lines fighting the racist GOP.
    White people must be the MOST anti racist
    Men must be the MOST anti-sexist.

    Bernie fans……… let’s see if you V SMART folks can see where i’m going with it…… or maybe rev will pwn me into supporting his guy. You guys… more than anything else make this feel like 2016 redux. figure it the fuck out. I want to like your candidate.

  2. John Kowalko

    Seriously? “BernieBro specials hit the twits” So you waste your time and intellectual curiosity by perusing tweets and twitters from any unverified source and regard it as “gospel” and sourced legitimately from whoever claims to validate it. Get a grip here “Ben-Bro”. Those tweets, twits and posts from any Tom, Dick, Harry or “Vladimir” claiming to originate from your imaginary friends (AKA “BernieBros”) surely demand an apology from Bernie himself. You should feel a bit embarrassed to admit such gullibility dominates your thought process.
    Representative John Kowalko

    • Shit dude.. I put your sign in my yard last year.
      Live in Robscott and everything.

      Guess im a gullible idiot. asshole.

    • I mean seriously… case in fucking point. I express annoyance that Berners make it hard to like him EVEN THOUGH I WANT TO…. and one of his fanboys comes out swinging.
      One that is a supposed leader of progressive causes nonetheless. You lost an enthusiastic constituent because it is clear you are in it for the PWNage and not to gain more people to your cause.

      Hope it felt good.

      • here’s a free lesson.

        “yeah, there are a lot of problematic people out there who claim to support Sanders. I wish the media would focus on the ones who arent asses (a dumb point, but better than what you did). Try to focus on Bernie’s long history of dedicated service and his agenda. It’s likely he would dislike many of these jerkoffs who attack would-be allies to show how big and tough they can be online. again, i know they’re loud, but they are the few, (insert clip) here’s a really good interview with Bernie that didnt get media attention, but it shows who he really is, have a nice day”

        not the chest thumpy posturing you came with.
        no, you cant put your sign in my yard again. howabout see if you can get my vote back.

  3. RE Vanella

    Ben. Work on your coping mechanisms.

  4. John Kowalko

    “I express annoyance that Berners make it hard to like him EVEN THOUGH I WANT TO…. and one of his fanboys comes out swinging.”
    Yeah, I’m a dedicated fan and supporter of Bernie Sanders and the principles and policies he espouses. Don’t try to insult or intimidate me with your childish rhetoric (“fanboy” indeed) I have and always have supported progressive principles and policies that best serve the concept of Democratic Party idealism. Fairness, justice, equal treatment and opportunity for all, protecting the environment and guaranteeing health care for all are among the many issues that Bernie Sanders and I agree with. If you choose to call me names and close your mind to the reality that the MEDIA and the party powerful have never supported or acknowledged Bernie Sanders’ accomplishments and efforts on behalf of the most vulnerable than that’s on you “Bro.” I am the one asking you to “Try to focus on Bernie’s long history of dedicated service and his agenda” and you apparently can’t see the obvious truth that these tweets and crap you swear by should not be attributed to Sanders or his campaign and therefore do not merit an apology from Bernie. You can “chest thumpy posture” all you want but have shown absolutely no proof or evidence that Bernie Sanders or his campaign is in any way, shape or form, responsible for that social media bullcrap you embrace. Your close-minded name-calling attitude guarantees that I wouldn’t put my sign in your yard again. If you choose to vote against my record and efforts to help people than so be it but don’t try to justify your close-mindedness with some made up “you’ve offended me” claptrap.
    Representative John Kowalko

    • now THATS how ya build a movement! a little bideny at the end ” FINE! DONT VOTE FOR ME GRUMBLE GRUMBLE” but you show some promise there, big guy.

      First of all. top marks for being exactly what i though you would be. Hoestly, i expected it more from Rev… but hey. I set a trap and *SPROING!!!!!

      If you had read my comment…. or any i have made here…. you’d know I’ve defended sanders quite a bit. Much to the ire of many contributors here. I even said…. seriously… that I would happily vote for your Dear Leader…. but had a preference.
      I voted and volunteered for him in 2016 (im only saying this because apparently we’re using our histories to justify our dickish actions…. your rules “Representative”, not mine). the fact you have one setting is sad… but i guess ya get what you pay for.

      Anyhoo “representative”, your hissy fit at my suggestion to “be a little nicer to people you’re trying to win over” proves you care not for your movement. only that YOU WIN THE ARGUMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think you’re full of shit.

      I think you play at being a progressive but your dick-head approach guarantees that your caues die in the Delaware Way. You have a long history of photo ops and sound bytes that once appealed to me, but I think once you move on, someone better will come along and you’ll be forgotten by everyone outside of 19713 forever.
      Ya did. you’re right, big strong man! anyone who is put off by th hordes of aggressive ape-like Sanders fans SUCKS!!!!!!!!!

  5. RE Vanella

    I want everything Bernie wants, but an account on Twitter called BolshevikPuppers🌹 told me I did a mess in my doo doo pants. I hate Bernie now.

  6. Wow. Way to prove Ben’s point. Guess coalition building is out, while gaslighting and belligerence is in.

    On a political strategy note: This a problem for Bernie. You may dismiss it as not real, but you need to handle it in a way that grows your base. So far, you haven’t figured out how to effectively address this issue – an issue that is getting bigger. Basically, you’ve handed your opponents a weapon. My advice would be to figure out how to disarm them and kill this issue, but I doubt you’ll listen.

    • John Kowalko

      Coalition building 101:
      “gaslighting and belligerence” =
      “hordes of aggressive ape-like Sanders fans”.
      “I think you play at being a progressive but your dick-head approach guarantees that your causes die in the Delaware Way.”
      I set a trap and *SPROING!!!!!
      “Anyhoo “representative”, your hissy fit at my suggestion to “be a little nicer to people you’re trying to win over” proves you care not for your movement. only that YOU WIN THE ARGUMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think you’re full of shit”.
      “im only saying this because apparently we’re using our histories to justify our dickish actions….”
      Rep. Kowalko

      • hey, it’s not on me to build the coalition. It’s on you. Your cult leader is the front runner now.
        you forget, employee… you need our votes. You serve us. More self-absorbed pols thinking they cant have everything yanked away in one election.

    • hey now, Pandora… Kowalko is BIG IMPORTANT fighter for whats right, you dont HATE WHATS RIGHT, do you?
      How dare you (or me…i? i too stupid to know) with our feeble, closed minds question someone who has such a long record of accomplishments.

      I guess he cant help it . Boomers gonna boom.

    • I mean, it must be nice to have defeated Carney and all the Magats. I mean, we MUST have right? since now Representative OPEN MIND has time to lash out and whine at people who are asking for help embracing his candidate?

      He doesn’t need votes! he doesn’t want anyone voting for Bernie that dosnt LOVE BERNIE. Maybe that’s the key to his legislative success.

      new rule “ive been fighting for X decades” isnt a brag if you have little to show for it.

      You, John Kowalko turned me… in all honestly, a (well now former) supporter of yours… into a person who will not vote for you again. in this one interaction, because you’re being such a lameoid (you started the name calling, sunshine) bent on showing how tough you are to strangers… proved every criticism of Sanders’ and indeed your long career of “fighting”

      Warren Or Bust. cry about it.

  7. RE Vanella

    Learn coping skills. What we’re doing is working. Have you been following the primary champaign. 😂😂😂

  8. RE Vanella

    Warren. Ok, yeah. Good luck with that.

  9. RE Vanella

    I’ve just been informed that my last comment was violence.

    • i dont get this joke. are you trying to be violent at me? are you as good at jokes as you were at getting KEH elected? ooo plug your podcast. that’s always a winner.

  10. John Kowalko

    Actually Warren is my very close second option. My “lameoid” support for her as a viable and great alternative to Bernie won’t dissuade you from fighting for her, will it Bro?
    Representative John Kowalko

    • no, boomer. but dont say that too loud, your various accounts will be flooded with very smart snake emojis and racist comments about ancestry. Just yesterday i saw my candidate straight up accused of worsening the AIDS epidemic because she was a registered republican in the 80s. I think im less telling you to look in the mirror and more saying you should look PAST the mirror.

      • John Kowalko

        You are a hopeless and hapless person. Did Bernie “straight up accuse her of worsening the aids epidemic”? Hey answer the door, it’s reality knocking and you don’t seem to be at home.
        Rep. Kowalko

        • *answers the door…

          oh look, it’s my state representative making a jackass out of himself on a local political blog… that’s extremely disappointing.

          • no dude. I never said bernie did any of this. lol I like Bernard Sanders. He’s a grizzled old liberal Jewish man like I one day hope to be (old, im already the other 4)

            I said his supporters are the ones who are making it hard to join his movement. then his supporters …… did what your people do. The truly special part was an elected showed more fire at me… a hesitant bernie fan… than i have EVER seen you throw at Magats. that, sir (see? im being respectful now) tells me more about you than your record.

  11. I really wish Democrats could decide to just support their candidate without trashing others.

    • It’s what they do best. Still, sometimes they win. Of course even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and again.

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