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🗳 2020 Primary Election


Schumer persuades Montana Governor and popular Democrat, Steve Bullock, to run for Senate :clap:

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is making plans to run for the US Senate, telling Democratic leaders that he intends to declare his candidacy in the coming days, a decision that improves the party’s chances for winning a majority in the Senate.

Two Democratic officials familiar with the matter tell CNN that Bullock, who briefly ran for president in 2020, is now opening a door that he repeatedly insisted was closed. For months, Bullock bluntly said he had no interest in serving in the US Senate and would not be on the Montana ballot this fall.

In recent weeks, Bullock’s resistance to a Senate campaign has eased, the officials said, with his family now warming to the idea. In conversations with party leaders, he has also cited the gravity of the times and the importance of Democrats trying to win back the chamber. Bullock would face Republican Sen. Steve Daines, who has built up an impressive $5 million war chest.

Bullock is expected to make his announcement before the filing deadline on Monday.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer flew to Montana to personally urge Bullock to run, according to Politico.


Ok…could Warren and Sanders align themselves with one another? Warren’s similar platform could get more traction this way…

I always thought there might be a Sanders-Warren ticket. Ultimately that may prove to be what they would do.

Top surrogates and allies of Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are discussing ways for their two camps to unite and push a common liberal agenda, with the expectation that Warren is likely to leave the presidential campaign soon, according to two people familiar with the talks.

The conversations, which are in an early phase, largely involve members of Congress who back Sanders (I-Vt.) reaching out to those in Warren’s camp to explore the prospect that Warren (D-Mass.) might endorse him. They are also appealing to Warren’s supporters to switch their allegiance to Sanders, according two people with direct knowledge of the conversations who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss delicate discussions that are supposed to be confidential.

The whirlwind of activity reflects the rapid changes in a Democratic primary that is still very much in transition. As late as Tuesday, many Warren allies believed she would stay in the race until the Democratic convention, despite her poor showing to date in the primaries, in hopes of retaining her clout and influencing the eventual nominee.


It’s a very tricky thing to discern where the real divide amongst the polarized political populations exists. We’ve seen since 2016, the increased public outings or politically charged spewings often recorded by video and posted on social media of outrageous bullying based on ideology, race, religion or ‘other.’

And we know we’re being egged on further and that outrage is amplified by Russian propaganda trolls…to make that divide even deeper.

Quote: Russian trolls shift tactics to become “curators more than creators,” with the same goal of driving Americans apart.

“Please move.” The white woman doesn’t raise her voice; she’s got her shirt on inside out and she’s aiming a cellphone at the taco-truck vendors parked on her street. She wants them gone, and they’re telling her to go back inside. “Okay, baby girl,” she says. “ Vamonos . I’ll call ICE.” “ Stupida bitcha ,” comes a reply.

A video of the confrontation, filmed outside a house in Dallas last spring, soon went viral, with the title “racist woman talking about shes gonna call ICE ON US FOR SELLING FOOD IN DALLAS WHEN WE HAVE PERMIT.” Within weeks, it had more than 170,000 views.

This is the new face of Russian propaganda. In 2016, the Kremlin invested heavily in creating memes and Facebook ads designed to stoke Americans’ distrust of the electoral system and one another. Now, after nearly four years under a president whose divisive rhetoric and policies have inflamed voter anger on issues such as race, inequality, and his own conduct, the Russian government is still interfering, but it doesn’t need to do much creative work anymore. The taco-truck video wasn’t fabricated in some St. Petersburg workshop. It was a real video of a real incident, made in America—and all Russia had to do was help it spread with its Twitter trolls.

Luckily for the Russians, then, the two current front-runners for the presidency, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, are both polarizing figures—and they’re both candidates Russian trolls sought to promote in 2016, as Special Counsel Robert Mueller found. This time, the Democratic field is crowded and squabbling, but it includes no hawkish, long-established Hillary Clinton to tear down. If the election does end up being a Trump-Sanders face-off, one of the Kremlin’s favored candidates from 2016 is guaranteed a win. They are far apart ideologically but nearly equally suited to the Kremlin’s interests, both in being divisive at home and in encouraging U.S. restraint abroad. Both Sanders and Trump profess to want to refocus the U.S. inward—a message that clearly appeals to many Americans. But that doesn’t mean the Russian propaganda machine is slowing down; it’s just aimed at a new target.

No matter what, Polyakova said, “a U.S. that’s mired in its own domestic problems and not engaged in the world benefits Moscow.” That’s where the videos come in.

Americans are now the chief suppliers of the material that suspected Russia-linked accounts use to stoke anger ahead of U.S. elections, leaving Russia free to focus on pushing it as far as possible. Linvill has seen Russian trolls shift tactics to become “curators more than creators,” with the same goal of driving Americans apart. “The Russians love those videos,” he said, “because they function to make us more disgusted with one another.” He and a colleague have traced viral tweets about the Dallas incident to Russia-linked accounts that Twitter has since suspended.
America’s largely self-inflicted political condition has provided a stunning return on investment for the Russian government, which began orchestrating—as far back as 2014—what Mueller later called a conspiracy of “fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes,” including the 2016 presidential election. Mueller laid bare the extent of the conspiracy led by a St. Petersburg–based organization called the Internet Research Agency. The IRA was the nerve center of the interference operation; it had hundreds of employees and a budget of millions of dollars dedicated to what it internally referred to as “information warfare” against America, with Facebook ads, fake Twitter personas, and even efforts to organize real-world protests.

Meanwhile, the irony is that the specter of Russian interference itself has become a tool to discredit political enemies online. “The biggest effect that I think foreign disinformation has had on our conversations is the perception that if someone disagrees with you, they’re a Russian troll,” Linvill said. “When, in fact, they probably just are somebody that disagrees with you.” Twitter, for instance, at one point suspended an account supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement as a suspected Russian troll. Wired later identified the user: an American living in Florida.


Warren out!!!

She was hugely qualified for the role…but faced decades worth of being underappreciated as a woman and progressive. I think she will be involved with the new administration in 2020.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren will drop out of the Democratic presidential race, leaving former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders as the last major contenders for the nomination.

Warren’s exit — like that of billionaire Mike Bloomberg — came after the Massachusetts senator’s poor showings in crucial Super Tuesday contests.

It leaves what was once a historically diverse Democratic field essentially narrowed to two white men in their seventies.

It was not immediately clear if the progressive Massachusetts senator planned to endorse one of her rivals, a move which could be pivotal as Biden and Sanders jockey for a delegate lead.


I’m thinking the same thing.


Here’s a primer on what the nomination process has been with primaries and issues like superdelegates, planks and brokered conventions mean. I did not know really how it broke down, so it is good to check History Prof. Heather Cox Richardson (I tout her a lot…but she knows her stuff, and writes clearly)

@MissJava - Would you be able to move this over to 2020 Primary please? Many thx!

There is a lot of news about both the novel coronavirus and politics tonight, but I’m going to let it rest so I can address the concern that has been popping up in my email and messages all day. People are concerned that there has been some sort of a corrupt bargain between the “Democratic establishment”—possibly even including former President Barack Obama-- and retiring presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar to throw the Democratic nomination to former Vice President Joe Biden in order to thwart the popular will to nominate Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

First of all, the nomination process is not over, and there is not currently a winner. Second, the nomination has not been rigged. This is a deeply problematic construction at a time when our actual elections really ARE in danger; it is also an argument pushed by Russian disinformation to undermine faith in democracy.

Here’s how the Democratic nomination process currently works. (I am not going to talk here about the Republican system—I’ve talked about it before—but it permits less input from voters than the Democratic system.)

First of all, neither the Republican Party nor the Democratic Party, nor any other party, is a government institution. While they have to abide by our laws, they make their own rules, and a LOT of jockeying goes into the writing of those rules. (FWIW, Sanders is the only candidate running who had a hand in writing the current Democratic National Committee rules. Three of his top advisors were on the commission that wrote the current rules, and he chose four others.)

The process is crazy-complicated, but it makes more sense if you know some of the history behind it. Democratic presidential candidates used to be chosen by party leaders, behind closed doors. That exploded in 1968, when Vice President Hubert Humphrey won the nomination without winning any primaries as a solo act— he had been running as President Lyndon Johnson’s vice president when Johnson abruptly withdrew from the race too late for Humphrey to enter the primaries. Humphrey was associated with the ”establishment” and the war in Vietnam (although he was eager to end it), at a time when leaders were increasingly suspect and 80% of voters in the Democratic primaries had voted for anti-war candidates (including Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who was making a strong play for the nomination when he was murdered). So when he won the nomination over anti-war candidates, demonstrators began to protest and the police counter-rioted. The convention turned into violent chaos. And, of course, Humphrey lost the election to Richard M. Nixon, who dramatically escalated the war in Vietnam, (among other things!).

After the 1968 debacle, DNC leaders commissioned a 28-person panel overseen first by South Dakota Senator George McGovern and then, when he resigned to run for president himself, Minnesota Representative Donald M. Fraser, to figure out how to get more people involved in the nomination process. The result was the state primary, which has now replaced caucuses in all but three states (and three territories), by my count. In primaries, voters cast ballots for their choice for the nomination, who then gets allotted delegates to the convention. With luck, there will be a clear winner, but if not, the convention delegates will wheel and deal to decide who should win the nomination. The commission also reduced the roles of party leaders in the nominating process, and required better representation for minorities, women, and young people.

These rules governed the 1972 convention, which gave the presidential nomination to McGovern himself, who was enormously popular with young people and those opposed to Nixon’s escalation of the Vietnam War, but much less so with the traditional Democrats (especially workers) who had lost representation at the convention under the new rules.

McGovern lost to Nixon in a landslide—the Electoral Count was 520 to 17, and McGovern didn’t even carry his home state. Then Democratic President Jimmy Carter lost his reelection bid by a similar landslide (the Electoral College split was 489 to 49). At that point, Democratic leaders decided the nomination process had swung too far away from professional politicians. They thought that primary voters, who tend to be much more extreme than those in the general election, were choosing unelectable candidates.

Another commission, this one of 70 people, met in 1981 and 1982, and added back into the nomination process the voices of state party chairs, the Democratic governors and members of Congress, former presidents and vice presidents, and certain DNC leaders. These are the so-called superdelegates, and they are not pledged to any candidate. The idea is that, having won or run elections, these people will have a sense of who can win at the national level and will provide a counterweight if primary voters choose someone unelectable. Originally, the superdelegates made up about 15% of the delegate count, but before the 2016 election they had crept up to about 20%.

Before the 2016 election, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sanders tussled to win the nomination, the DNC overwhelmingly voted to change the rules to compromise between the two camps. Under those rules, a new commission of 21 people, including 9 nominated by Clinton and 7 by Sanders, met in 2017. They reduced the percentage of superdelegates to about 15% again, and refused to let them vote on a first ballot, bringing them in only if the nomination is contested.

So back to the question of rigging. The Sanders camp wanted to get rid of the superdelegates altogether, believing it would help him win the 2020 nomination. But they had to compromise on keeping the superdelegates from voting on the first ballot, expecting that he could win quickly with a majority if the superdelegates stayed out of it. But now that it looks like he will likely not win outright, he will likely be sunk when the superdelegates are in play on a second ballot. So now he wants the nomination to go to someone with a plurality of delegates—that is, not a clear majority, but more than anyone else—on the first ballot. This would be highly unusual: brokered conventions used to be the norm, and they are a good way to unite the party behind a candidate.

But do members of the Democratic establishment—those who could be superdelegates—want Sanders as the nominee? Almost certainly not. They do not think he is electable. He is not popular with African American voters, who are a key part of the Democratic Party’s base, and he has a history that will play badly with moderate voters.

Are they right that he is unelectable? Before Tuesday, I was not at all certain of that. But Sanders’s big play for the nomination has been that he could bring new voters into the party by attracting young people. He certainly is popular with younger folks, but they did not turn up to vote for him on Tuesday, suggesting his key strength is not as strong as it seemed. Still, political prognostications at this stage of the game are a fool’s game. My opinion and $3 will get you a cup of coffee.

Did Buttigieg or Klobuchar cut a deal with Biden before endorsing him? Almost certainly. But that is not a corrupt deal; it’s how politics works. If they followed the norm, they will have gotten him to promise to make a priority in his administration (if he is elected) something they and their supporters care about. This is key to the other part of the nomination process that is going on now: hashing out the issues (they’re known as “planks”) that will be in the party’s platform, indicating its priorities. The jockeying going on now between voters and candidates and the party’s eventual leader is key to that construction.

This is why we go through this process, and why the president and the platform matters. We often forget that when we show up at the polls every four years to pick a president, we are not simply electing a charismatic leader, we are electing someone who can get legislation we care about passed by nailing together coalitions that will move the country in a direction we like. That is incredibly important, and it’s why working with experienced politicians matters.

But it is also important to put pressure on those leaders to move in directions we want. If your favorite candidate has left the race or looks to be pushed aside, it is more important than ever to continue to advocate for the causes (and people) you believe in, to keep those things front and center. That, too, is part of the political process. Most famously, in 1890, an upstart reform party took America by storm. It organized as the People’s Party in 1891 and demanded a slew of changes to take American finance and politics out of the hands of the very wealthy. The party largely fizzled out when the Democrats absorbed their ideas in 1896. Within twenty years, though, most of their reforms had become law.

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Some post-Warren reviews…

In my mind, the women were always awestruck by her. She performed so very well, not just as a woman but as a presidential candidate. She had her facts down, her figures percolating in her head, and she was decisive, articulate and could swing for the fennces. In other words, she was Presidential. To get such a strong performer with someone who could pierce any of the candidates with her incisive critiques was awe inspiring, but not because she was a woman but she had the chops and the fight.

So to say adios to her strengths and hello to the elder B’s is less than awe inspiring…but doable. The guys will hopefully fit the ‘Presidential’ bill…but do they inspire confidence and can they articulate a true (workable) vision? Not really. But they will do the people’s work…and beat this sad and despotic President we hope.

This article talks to Warren’s strengths…and to her take-no-prisoners approach…she will be no one’s Sally…or foil. She has locked in a certain segment of the voting population…and she is not giving that endorsement yet to either B.

But she will encourage women and girls to persist.:crossed_fingers:

Here’s what I kept thinking about.

I kept thinking about Elizabeth Warren going back to her house or her hotel, exhausted and disappointed, having spent a career trying to do the right thing and now preparing to do the right thing again: drop out. Unite the party. Work with either Biden or Sanders. Try to ignore the foot-stomping rage of whichever side you turn down, since supporters of both will feel entitled to your compliance.

Choose to fight only righteous fights,” she told her campaign staff on a Thursday call, previewing her decision to leave the race. “Because then when things get tough — and they will — you will know that there is only [one] option ahead of you. Nevertheless, you must persist.”

I thought about how, exhausted as she is, she’ll still remember to open the jar of Pond’s cold cream and dab it across her forehead and cheekbones, the way her older cousin Tootsie once taught her, because these are the rules of womanhood. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Put on your fresh face for the next day. Cultivate your little tips and tricks, your time hacks and the secrets of your success. Pass them down to another, younger woman. Hope to God they work for her.

(David Bythewood) #651


4 R Senate seats in play…

New PPP polls find Sara Gideon leading Susan Collins 47-43 in the Maine Senate race and Mark Kelly leading Martha McSally 47-42 in the Arizona Senate race. Additionally a PPP poll for a private client last week found Cal Cunningham leading Thom Tillis 46-41 in the North Carolina Senate race, and when PPP last polled the Colorado Senate race John Hickenlooper led Cory Gardner 51-38. This makes four Republican held US Senate seats where PPP has found Democratic challengers with at least a 4 point lead.

Cunningham 46 - 41 Tillis

Gideon 47 - 43 Collins

Kelly 47 - 42 McSally

Hickenlooper 51 - 38 Gardner

And Gov Bullock is trying for Montana seat…

(David Bythewood) #653

My wife and I are silly people.

(David Bythewood) #654



Erik Prince is out digging up dirt …

Mr. Prince, a contractor close to the Trump administration, contacted veteran spies for operations by Project Veritas, the conservative group known for conducting stings on news organizations and other groups.

Erik Prince, the security contractor with close ties to the Trump administration, has in recent years helped recruit former American and British spies for secretive intelligence-gathering operations that included infiltrating Democratic congressional campaigns, labor organizations and other groups considered hostile to the Trump agenda, according to interviews and documents.

One of the former spies, an ex-MI6 officer named Richard Seddon, helped run a 2017 operation to copy files and record conversations in a Michigan office of the American Federation of Teachers, one of the largest teachers’ unions in the nation. Mr. Seddon directed an undercover operative to secretly tape the union’s local leaders and try to gather information that could be made public to damage the organization, documents show.

Using a different alias the next year, the same undercover operative infiltrated the congressional campaign of Abigail Spanberger, then a former C.I.A. officer who went on to win an important House seat in Virginia as a Democrat. The campaign discovered the operative and fired her.

Both operations were run by Project Veritas, a conservative group that has gained attentionusing hidden cameras and microphones for sting operations on news organizations, Democratic politicians and liberal advocacy groups. Mr. Seddon’s role in the teachers’ union operation — detailed in internal Project Veritas emails that have emerged from the discovery process of a court battle between the group and the union — has not previously been reported, nor has Mr. Prince’s role in recruiting Mr. Seddon for the group’s

(David Bythewood) #656

Don’t forget that for three years Donnie and his people have pushed the lie of #Spygate. So of course that’s what they were doing. I cross-posted under the Impeachment thread.

(David Bythewood) #657

Russia Trying to Stoke U.S. Racial Tensions Before Election, Officials Say

Russian intelligence services are trying to incite violence by white supremacist groups to sow chaos in the United States, American intelligence officials said.

Russian intelligence services trying to stoke racial tensions and incite violence by white supremacist groups to sow chaos in the U.S. before the election is not an isolated incident.

It’s been Putin’s playbook for a long time. This whole thread is about that:


Bloomberg summarily let all his battle ground staff go effective end of March, with a laptop and Iphone as recompense, even though they were promised they would work through November. And naturally, a non-disclosure agreement was signed.

Warren did press him on those NDA’s…and was certain they hid damaging information. These workers just spoke anonymously.

Shocking but not unexpected. It falls into the category #MyBillionsAreMineSuckIt - WTF :pig_nose:

Former campaign workers for Michael R. Bloomberg’s presidential bid reacted angrily on Monday to news that they would not work through the November election, as expected.

When the multibillionaire Michael R. Bloomberg hired an army of staff members for his presidential campaign, he lavished them with salaries that were nearly double what other candidates were paying. His campaign also promised something rivals could not match: job security through the general election, even if he dropped out of the race.

But now, less than a week after Mr. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, left the Democratic presidential race — endorsing former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and pledging to put his vast resources behind him — hundreds of Mr. Bloomberg’s field organizers and regional organizing directors around the country are suddenly without jobs, having received emails on Monday that encouraged them to keep their campaign-issued electronics as a sort of severance payment.

In a series of conference calls on Monday, campaign staff members outside certain battleground states learned that their work had ended and that they would be paid through the end of March, according to seven people who were on such calls . The people spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing nondisclosure agreements they had signed with the campaign, from which they were seeking to be released.

“We sincerely appreciate your commitment and dedication over the past few months!” read an email that the workers received, which was reviewed by The New York Times. “As a token of our appreciation, we are offering you the opportunity to keep your laptop and iPhone.”

The email specified the value of those devices — ranging from $1,400 to $1,700, depending on the model of the computer — and noted that employees would be required to pay taxes on those amounts.

The former campaign workers — at-will employees who said they had been promised employment through November in job interviews — were asked in a survey to indicate if they wanted to be referred to another presidential campaign, and if they were open to moving to one of six states: Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.


True. He’s really got to focus and not get ahead of himself. Tonight his speech in Philadelphia reflected that. More measured and confident Joe, please.


No question that Bernie’s prospects for a real path to the Dem nomination have been severely curtained after this round of primaries. Biden is leading in delegate counts, and Bernie’s loss in Michigan and so many others tells us, that there is a clear backing for Biden from several categories - African American, suburban women, white men ( in more areas).

Bernie can continue to pound away, but what will be the net effect. He certainly needs to keep Biden’s feet to the fire, and leverage his position to push his agenda.

While Democratic leaders more or less tolerated Sanders’s continuing his 2016 campaign against Hillary Clinton until June of that year, the party’s desire to beat Trump will likely make it much less forgiving of another extended crusade, Devine told me. “Biden needs the spring and the summer without Bernie,” he said. “I think Bernie is smart enough and reasonable enough to recognize that [it’s irrational] to keep this thing going for the sake of—what?”

Another option for Sanders could be to remain in the race in order to keep attention on the policy issues he cares about, but to mute his criticism of Biden. Jesse Jackson, who endorsed Sanders last weekend, followed that model in the latter stages of the 1988 Democratic primary, which Michael Dukakis ultimately won. Several Democratic operatives, though, say one major difference between 2020 and 1988 could complicate this approach: Sanders’s aggressive network of supporters is unlikely to muffle its criticism of Biden even if the candidate himself does. That could translate into escalating demands for Sanders to quit.

Beyond Democrats’ concerns about Trump, McElwee believes that Sanders will likely face more pressure to cede the field because of the coronavirus outbreak and the new constraints on campaigning. Such concerns prompted both Biden and Sanders to cancel events yesterday.


Bernie is staying in…

CNN reporting

@MissJava - Would you please move this over to Primary 2020 when you can please?? THanks!!

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(David Bythewood) #662

(David Bythewood) #663

I am already seeing MAGA trolls gloating over this idea: