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🗳 2020 Primary Election


Yes, Russia is interfering with our 2020 election, but of course, Trump couldn’t care less. Makes it all about himself.

Once again Trump paints himself as the victim when it is our very democracy that is under attack.

And BTW, that’s probably the last report we’ll have on this matter since Trump promptly replaced the Director of National Intelligence who delivered the report with a new one, who he owns lock, stock, and barrel. :rage:

Intelligence officials warned House lawmakers last week that Russia was interfering in the 2020 campaign to try to get President Trump re-elected, five people familiar with the matter said, in a disclosure that angered Mr. Trump, who complained that Democrats would use it against him.

The day after the Feb. 13 briefing to lawmakers, Mr. Trump berated Joseph Maguire, the outgoing acting director of national intelligence, for allowing it to take place, people familiar with the exchange said. Mr. Trump cited the presence in the briefing of Representative Adam B. Schiff, the California Democrat who led the impeachment proceedings against him, as a particular irritant.

During the briefing to the House Intelligence Committee, Mr. Trump’s allies challenged the conclusions, arguing that Mr. Trump has been tough on Russia and strengthened European security. Some intelligence officials viewed the briefing as a tactical error, saying that had the official who delivered the conclusion spoken less pointedly or left it out, they would have avoided angering the Republicans.

That intelligence official, Shelby Pierson, is an aide to Mr. Maguire who has a reputation of delivering intelligence in somewhat blunt terms. The president announced on Wednesday that he was replacing Mr. Maguire with Richard Grenell, the ambassador to Germany and long an aggressively vocal Trump supporter.

(David Bythewood) #591

And the other shoe drops.


We will flip the Senate! :muscle:

No wonder Sen. Martha McSally is so desperate to get all of Trump’s supporters to have a fighting chance against Mark Kelly.

The retired NASA astronaut has opened a 6.7-point lead over McSally in a new poll released on the same day Trump is to boost her candidacy.

The poll of 400 likely voters conducted Feb. 7 though Feb. 9 shows Kelly ahead with 46% compared to McSally’s 39.3%.

… The fact that Kelly is ahead is significant considering McSally is Trump and Ducey’s choice.

Under normal circumstances that kind of backing and McSally’s high-name-recognition statewide would give her an edge.

But these aren’t normal times. And McSally isn’t a senator who even pretends to represent all Arizonans. She has sided with Trump, betting her political career on him and his policies, which have divided the nation and Arizonans.

All bets are off and she’ll have to get all conservative Republicans and a few moderates to win. That’s still possible, of course, but pulling out a victory won’t be easy.

Arizona is changing. It is no longer the conservative stronghold that Republicans dominated for decades. It has been turning purple with a more diverse and independent-voting population, something McSally has chosen to ignore.

And there’s this: Arizonans know that McSally is a proven loser.

She’s already lost one race for the U.S. Senate in 2018 when she was bested by Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. McSally is only serving in the Senate now because she received a “consolation prize” from the Governor. He appointed her to the late Sen. McCain’s seat. Now, having just lost in 2018, she must defend her seat in a 2020 special election against Kelly. It’s not looking good for her at this point. :8ball:


Yes, this speaks volumes…

My brother lives in Maine and sent this to me. He’s not certain that either she or T will be ousted because of the conservative segments in the State.

But I like that current Colby College poll…which @Keaton_James included 2020 Primary Election

But women do not like Collins…

Collins won previous elections with more than 60% support of women voters. More than 60% of women now oppose her

Collins is in a virtual tie with Maine Speaker of the House Sara Gideon, one of four Democrats running to face the GOP incumbent, according to a new Colby College poll first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Gideon leads the Democratic field in the poll by more than 50% and is the overwhelming favorite to face the Republican in November.

Gideon leads Collins 43-42 in the survey, which has a margin of error of 3%. Fourteen percent of Maine voters remain undecided.

(David Bythewood) #594

Bernie Sanders briefed by U.S. officials that Russia is trying to help his presidential campaign

U.S. officials have told Sen. Bernie Sanders that Russia is attempting to help his presidential campaign as part of an effort to interfere with the Democratic contest, according to people familiar with the matter.

President Trump and lawmakers on Capitol Hill have also been informed about the Russian assistance to the Vermont senator, according to people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence.

It is not clear what form that Russian assistance has taken. U.S. prosecutors found a Russian effort in 2016 to use social media to boost Sanders’s campaign against Hillary Clinton, part of a broader effort to hurt Clinton, sow dissension in the American electorate and ultimately help elect Donald Trump.

“I don’t care, frankly, who Putin wants to be president,” Sanders said in a statement to The Washington Post. “My message to Putin is clear: Stay out of American elections, and as president I will make sure that you do.

“In 2016, Russia used Internet propaganda to sow division in our country, and my understanding is that they are doing it again in 2020. Some of the ugly stuff on the Internet attributed to our campaign may well not be coming from real supporters.”

A spokesperson for the Sanders campaign declined to comment on the briefing by U.S. officials on Russia’s efforts.

Sanders has frequently warned about the threat of foreign interference in U.S. elections and criticized Trump for not doing enough to stop it.

“Let me be clear: We must not live in denial while allowing Russia and other state actors to undermine our democracy or divide us,” the senator in January. “Russia targets the divisions in our society; we will work to heal those divisions.”

Sanders’s opponents have blamed some of his most vocal online supporters for injecting toxic rhetoric into the primaries. At a Democratic candidates debate Wednesday in Las Vegas, Sanders indirectly blamed Russia, saying it was possible that malign actors were trying to manipulate social media to inflame divisions among Democrats.

“All of us remember 2016, and what we remember is efforts by Russians and others to try to interfere in our elections and divide us up,” Sanders said. “I’m not saying that’s happening, but it would not shock me.”

Also this week, a senior U.S. intelligence official said Russia had “developed a preference” for Trump in the 2020 campaign — an assessment that infuriated the president. Trump lambasted his acting intelligence director, Joseph Maguire, and DNI staff for sharing that information with lawmakers, believing that Democrats would use it to hurt Trump in the election.

Despite Trump’s skepticism of Russian efforts to damage American democracy, officials in his administration have repeatedly warned that Russia has ongoing plans to interfere in U.S. elections and foster divisions among Americans, part of a strategic goal to undermine U.S. standing in the world. Some analysts believe the Kremlin’s goal is to cause maximum disruption within the United States and that it throws the support of its hackers and trolls behind candidates based on that goal, not any particular affinity for the people running.

After Sanders’s remarks at the debate, some social media analysts were skeptical of the notion that Russians already were masquerading as the candidate’s supporters.

“We have seen no evidence in open sources during this election cycle that an online community of Sanders supporters, known as Bernie bros, were catalyzed by what Sanders suggested could be ‘Russian interference,’ ” said Graham Brookie, director of the Digital Forensic Research Lab at the Atlantic Council, which tracks disinformation on social media sites. “Any candidate or public official casually introducing the possibility of Russian influence without providing any evidence or context creates a specter of interference that makes responding to real interference harder.”

It now appears, however, that Sanders may have had a reason to suspect Russia was again injecting itself into the U.S. electoral process, repeating some of what occurred in 2016.

In a February 2018 indictment of 13 Russian individuals and three companies that were alleged to have orchestrated the 2016 social media scheme, prosecutors alleged that the group “engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump.”

Prosecutors alleged that in February 2016, while Clinton and Sanders were locked in a bitter battle for the Democratic nomination, an internal memo was circulated at the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, which prosecutors said led the online effort, instructing their paid online trolls to “use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump—we support them).”

The Internet Research Agency was bankrolled by a Russian oligarch close to President Vladi­mir Putin, according to U.S. officials.


Now that Doug Collins has turned down the DNI post and has pledged to stay in the Georgia Senate race, Republicans are faced with a worst case scenario as explained by CNN:

This is an excellent article that digs into the race and offers some thoughtful analysis, but I’ll leave that to those who are following this race closely and just cut to the part that explains why Collins’ presence in the race is so damaging to Republicans – it all comes down to the fact that it’s a special election and there’s no primary – so all the candidates will be appearing on the ballot in November. If no one wins more than 50%, there will be a run off in January. This gives Democrats a shot. If we can unite behind a single candidate, we have a chance of winning a majority in November – while the Republicans split their votes between Collins and the other major Republican contender, Kelly Loeffler.

… The special election won’t have a typical party primary. Instead, all the Democratic and GOP candidates will compete in the general election in November. And if one candidate gets above 50%, they will be elected to the Senate. If no candidate reaches a majority of the vote, then there will be a two-person runoff in January.

Republicans worry that a bitter battle between Loeffler and Collins will divide their voters and make it easier for the Democratic candidate to secure a majority vote in the fall. Some state legislators, including some of Collins’ allies, have pushed to change the rules to end the free-for-all and create party primaries in the race. But that prospect appears unlikely, especially since Kemp has threatened to veto the bill.

More Questionable Behavior from Trump, T Admin, DOJ, and R's vs Dems, Press, Justice
(M A Croft) #596

That is the truth of it. That is why they promoted T in 2016.

A house divided cannot stand

T has done Russia’s work for them - from what I read now, I regret to say that I have a strong impression that the US is a very divided country.

But you are not alone. Russia have done much the same in the UK. From reports there, there is ample evidence to believe that Russia gave a great deal of support both financial, and in online influence, to fostering the disaster that is Brexit. The UK is now a very divided country, for instance, most in Scotland and Northern Ireland want out, and back in the EU.


@macro Question, who do you like in the 2020 Democratic primary because I really adore your PM, Jacinda Ardern and I’m curious to hear what it’s like overseas looking in on America. :slightly_smiling_face:

(M A Croft) #598

I’m sort of reluctant to put my 2 cents worth in, because I would hate to think of interference on your elections - just as I would hate any interference from outside on ours. But having said that, my sympathies lie with your 2 progressive candidates, because that is where I believe the future, not only for America, but for the whole world lies. I would hope that they could work together, if either one is selected to be the Democratic Presidential candidate because I believe that they would add to each others policy platforms and attract a broader cross-section of the population. Take for instance the obvious support that Trump gains from the Religious Right in your country with the selection of Pence as his running mate. Despite his obvious “sinful” nature this sector of the population provide some of his main support base. Of course, the continued appointment of similarly inclined persons to the judiciary just adds to their worship of him - but it was a cunning move by Trump IMHO.

I myself am a member of the NZ Green Party which is in coalition with Jacinda’s NZ Labour Party, and the NZ First Party.

There are many challengers facing our country at the moment after a period of neglect on social policy such as you are facing right now under the current Trump administration, and these are matters that cannot be put to rights over night. Like all western countries NZ is facing a large influx of immigrants, and over the years the building of housing has not kept pace with population growth. The result has been a massive increase in the cost of housing across the country, and for those who cannot afford their own homes a massive increase in rental costs. NZ is one of the least affordable countries in the world for housing costs.

The annual Demographia International Housing Affordability shows New Zealand has continued to be one of the most unaffordable countries in the world to buy a house, with the median price more than six times the median annual household income.

Flowing on from these pressures has been a large increase in homelessness.

In mid August 2019, the Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi and Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced that the Government would be launching a NZ$54 million program to tackle homelessness in New Zealand. This includes investing $31 million over the next four years for 67 intensive case managers and navigators to work with homeless people and a further $16 million for the Sustaining Tenancies Programme. This funding complements the Government’s Housing First programme

Compounding that problem is the ongoing inadequacy of our social welfare benefits. In the mid 1930’s NZ lead the way under the first NZ Labour govt out of the Depression. State housing for all, Health care for all, Work for all, and if you were not in work, sick, or aged, adequate income provide by the state so that you could a decent life. It was said that the Prime Minister knew all three unemployed persons by name. In 1984 the 4th Labour Government under the economic guidance of Roger Douglas influenced by the theories of Milton Friedman began the open borders, free trade, floating currency, and neo-liberal experiment that is now the current doctrine of all western countries.

Some people became extremely wealthy. But most have continued to suffer.
In 1991 the NZ finance minister of the time, Ruth Richardson, asked the Treasury what was the minimum amount required each week for a person to live. Having been told what was a living amount she then cynically set the benefit for all those who relied upon State funding to be 70% of that amount. This she called the “Mother of all Budgets”. (She missed out a modifier on the first word.) Regrettably despite there being two terms of Labour Governments since that decision one under Helen Clark, and the current with Jacinda that level of underfunding of the benefit has never been addressed, and is one of the major reasons why so many of the children in this country still live in relative poverty.

Number of children in poverty according to current figures

295,000 children are living under the 60% income poverty line in New Zealand. That is 28% of all children.

155,000 children are living in material hardship in New Zealand. That is 14% of all children.

85,000 children are living in severe poverty and are in both below the income poverty line and severe material hardship. That is more than 8% of all children

One of the reasons for this inability of progressive politicians to adequately address this situation is the fact that they do not get the support they need to do something really substantial to implement the changes needed.
In NZ we have an electoral system called Mixed Member Proportional Government. Essentially it means that major parties in the country receive representation in Parliament in proportion to the total votes they receive across the country - so that if on party receives 36% of the total vote they will be entitled to around 36% of the members of Parliament. There are 2 votes cast. One the party support, and the second for the candidate you wish to represent your electorate (district). The Party vote is the most important, and the final number of MPs is worked out after the number of electorate MPs is known and the proportional spread across parties they represent. There are obviously fewer electoral MPs than their are seats in Parliament And the remaining seats in the house are made up from each Party’s list.
This is a relatively new electoral system and it works well - there are some minor tweeks we would like to see, but essentially it ensures almost every persons vote counts equally, and we get a government that by and large represents the wishes of the country as a whole.
So while I would like to see more progressive action taken by the current government, the fact that they represent just a smidgen over 50% of the population at the last election, and they have NZ First (a Centerist leaning Conservative Party Winston Peters, the leader, is Deputy Prime Minister to Jacinda) as one of the coalition, means that more progressive actions will have to wait : Sigh

Sorry for this long dissertation and thank you for your interest. I think Jacinda is an amazing woman, and am very happy that she is our PM. But if you read some of the commentary about her, you will hear that she suffers some backlash here. I have tried to explain why that is. But most of it is from some of the 40% who are not supporters of Labour ie National Party voters and they are never going to say anything nice.

(David Bythewood) #599

Russia has done the same the world over. This is something I’ve been tracking.

Putin’s real genius has been to change the narrative on Russia. They did by looking out at Western Democracy and seeing that its embrace of a modern, diverse world left behind a lot of angry white men and women who couldn’t or wouldn’t change.

They set themselves up as the bastion of white supremacy and hard-right Christianity. This was the plot from the start for them, and they’ve been eagerly levering at schisms and fractures across Europe and America.

Here are eleven articles. They are all related. They paint this picture, of how Putin transformed Russia from the “godless Soviet Union” into the leader of the fundamentalist, white nationalist Christian right.

I pieced the above together in a thread:

(David Bythewood) #600

This thread is wild:


Texas is turning Blue :ocean:

A surge in voter registrations – especially among young people – is helping propel a blue wave across Texas.

And for election wonks, here’s another article with a more detailed analysis:

(David Bythewood) #602

(David Bythewood) #603

#NeverTrumpers Never Had a Chance, but Consultants Still Cashed In


“I’ve been around politics for awhile and there’s always somebody ready, willing and able to take your money and spend it,” said South Carolina governor Mark Sanford.

(David Bythewood) #604

If I drove, that’s a law I’d be more than willing to break. Let’s see them take me to court over it and explain it to a judge or jury.


How to watch the Democratic debate

  • Date: Tuesday, February 25

  • Time : 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET.

  • Watch on TV: The debate will air on CBS stations.

  • Live stream online: Stream on CBSN via the video player above or across a number of devices, including Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. You can also watch live on CBS All Access with a free trial. The debate will be live-streamed on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. You can also stream on FuboTV with a free trial.

  • Analysis and spin room: Coverage of the spin room will begin at 10 p.m. ET and will be carried on CBS stations, CBS All Access, CBSN and in the video player above.

  • Live updates : Follow along on

(David Bythewood) #606


McConnell’s Senate Seat is Up for Grabs!

:running_woman: In a tight race, Amy McGrath is charging ahead and on track to overtake Mitch McConnell!

Kentucky can be a tough state for Democrats to win elections in. Amy McGrath first ran for congress in the state back in 2018, losing to incumbent Andy Barr. She performed very well, losing by only 10,000 votes to Barr who had won by over 22% points in 2016.

McGrath, who served in the Marine Corps as a fighter pilot, will now challenge Mitch McConnell for his senate seat in 2020. While McConnell has held the seat since 1985, new polling shows that he will be in for a significant battle this time around.

The first poll that showed a close race was from the AARP. This survey showed McConnell only leading his opponent by a margin of 1%.

Now too more recent polls are backing up the findings from that July survey. A study conducted by Garin-Hart-Yang had the incumbent holding a 43-40 lead over the challenger.

Another survey, this one taken by Change Research, had the duo in a dead heat for the senate seat.

Complicating things for McConnell is the presence of Libertarian candidate Charles Barron. Right-leaning Kentuckians could opt to vote for Barron rather than the incumbent.

Another issue for McConnell is his unpopularity with Americans. Susan Collins recently passed the Kentucky lawmaker as America’s most unpopular senator, but McConnell still only holds a 37% approval rating.


Some Comments from tonight’s debate

NBC reporter

Journalist Good Luck America/Vanity Fair


NYT reporter

Wapo Reporter




Pro T Super Pac ad blitz in these states Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania - going after Sanders, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Warren. Here come some more attack ads… They see Sanders and Bloomberg as the likely candidates to beat - buckle up.

Pro-Trump super PAC America First Action is preparing to unleash a series of targeted, swing-state attacks on the Democrat most likely to face President Trump after Super Tuesday, people familiar with the group’s plans tell me in an exclusive preview of its strategy.

The state of play: The group has been tracking favorable/unfavorable ratings in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania for 2020 candidates Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg — under the theory that if Trump wins each of these six states he would win re-election.

The spending isn’t expected to begin until it’s clear who the Democratic nominee will be, whether that’s after next week’s Super Tuesday or in July at the Democratic National Convention.

It sees Sanders or Bloomberg as the most likely nominees — as of now.

The attacks will be targeted to specific audiences in each state, based on rich data gathered beginning last August. The super PAC has pulled together about 500 pages of research on four of the five candidates, with about 300 pages on Buttigieg, given his shorter record.

Their onslaught will come in the form of high-dollar digital and TV ad buys and mailers, one of the people familiar with the strategy said.

Details: Axios reviewed overall and state-by-state data the group provided on each of the candidates. (The group did not poll Trump favorability numbers as part of this effort, the person said.)

Biden still enjoyed the most favorable numbers of those Democrats in each of the six states, but slid underwater between last August and this January, from 46%-48%- favorable/unfavorable to a 44%-50%.

By January, Sanders’ favorability was highest in Michigan (44%) and lowest in Ohio (38%). His unfavorable numbers in Florida (54%) led America First officials to believe that could take that key state off the table if Sanders becomes the nominee, and allow them to shift their resources to Michigan and other places where his message seemed to resonate with blue-collar, union workers.

Bloomberg’s six-state average was 34%-45% favorable/unfavorable. The strategists said they expect him to struggle more in culturally conservative states with strong pro-gun cultures, and perform stronger in states like Pennsylvania that have “the northwestern mentality.”

Warren’s average slid between August and January, from 39%-45% favorable/unfavorable to 38%-51%.

Buttigieg, who only polled by the group in January during its second wave of surveys, had an average of 32%-36% favorable/unfavorable across the six states.

Methodology: The super PAC conducted live-caller surveys of likely voters in the six states in August 2019 and the second half of January 2020, with sample sizes ranging from 800-1,000 per survey. The likely voters were on average slightly more Democrat, 40.2% to 37.5%. The margins of error in these surveys ranged from 3.1%-3.5%, according to the group.