Friday, January 31, 2020

Pick One-- AOC Or Everyone Who Endorsed Biden Combined


AOC has 6.2 million Twitter followers, compared with 3.8 million for Speaker Nancy Pelosi and 1.3 million for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. People appear to be interested in what AOC has to say. There's an authenticity about her that attracts people, not lobbyists on K Street, but actual people.

Biden's campaign keeps talking about what a big deal it is that the two conservative freshmen backbenchers from Iowa, Cindy Axne and Abby Finkenauer, are his version of Bernie having AOC (as well as Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Ro Khanna and Pramila Jayapal) as surrogates. In the time AOC gathered 6.2 million followers, Axne gathered 11.7K and Finkenauer gathered 23.9K followers. Problem with the Biden campaign's claim, though, is that while hundreds and sometimes thousands of people come to see AOC in Iowa but in their own state, rarely do more than a dozen come to see Axne or Finkenauer.

Washington Post reporter Jada Yuan wrote yesterday about AOC's role in the primary election. Writing from Sioux City yesterday, Yuan wrote that "This past weekend, with the Iowa caucuses looming Feb. 3, Ocasio-Cortez was on a three-day, 10-event mad dash across the state. The senator from Vermont had asked her to be his voice while he was stuck in Washington, as she said, “fighting the good fight on impeachment.” (He got out of impeachment duty unexpectedly early Saturday and made it to Iowa by late afternoon.) Wherever the campaign needed her, she showed up, racing across Iowa’s vast, snowy fields with barely an hour between shaking hands in one town and rousing the crowd in the next. At a canvass launch in Fort Dodge, a dying steel town, so many people were crammed into an upstairs office space that there was barely room for a microphone. At a packed auditorium in the college town of Ames, an additional 400 to 500 people showed up and had to be stationed in a basketball gym."
In Sioux City in the far northwest, at a raucous rally of more than 1,200, she... talked about how her mother had cleaned houses when she was growing up in the Bronx and Westchester County, N.Y., and how “I would do my homework on other people’s kitchen tables, and I would read books on other people’s staircases. And even in high school, my mom cleaned an English teacher’s house for free so that I could have SAT lessons.” She talked about school counselors who discouraged her from applying to Boston University, where she eventually went, and about her first job, at 14 or 15, as a hostess at an Irish pub, where she first learned to pull a Guinness.

“I won’t say which one,” she said, laughing, “because they paid me under the table.”

Before that crowd at Sioux City’s convention hall, she wove this story of being a kid in houses her family could never afford together with Sanders’s background as the son of a paint salesman, and how they’d both wound up on Capitol Hill, “one of the ultimate places where working people aren’t supposed to be,” she said. Then she moved on to imploring the crowd to show up for Sanders at the caucuses and change the country.

And she did it all with that stool and without referencing notes, which her 2020 congressional campaign spokesman, Corbin Trent, says is the norm. “She used a teleprompter once,” says Trent, “and she was pretty good at it, too. She just doesn’t like using it.”

Gary Lipshultz, 77, a liberal who’s been active in Democratic politics since the ’60s, said he’s impressed.

“I mean, you could hear a pin drop in that room, and this is a girl from the Bronx in Sioux City, Iowa!” he said. “I’ve seen 19 presidential candidates this year. I think she had the most magnetism of any of them. Bernie included.” (Lipshultz is caucusing for Warren and came to the rally solely to see Ocasio-Cortez.)

Her big role in the campaign is being called a catalyst for Sanders’s recent surge in the polls. Her support for him runs deep: She was a self-described “scrub” knocking on doors as a Sanders field worker in 2016, well before she ran for Congress. And she was at his side in October, when his campaign had begun to decline after his heart attack, endorsing him (and calling him “Tio Bernie”) to a crowd of 25,000 under the Queensboro Bridge in New York City.

“I think everybody now, even in the small hindsight that we have, sees that as the moment that it turned around,” says the filmmaker Michael Moore, another Sanders loyalist who spoke at all of AOC’s events and is stumping for Sanders in Iowa for 12 days straight. Two of the other three members of the so-called Squad of freshman congresswomen of color, Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), came out with their own endorsements around the same time. “I was there in Queens with a front-row seat,” says Moore, “and I just thought, ‘If she can do that for the next president of the United States, what other wonderful power does she hold in her hands? And what’s the good she’ll do with that?’”

The superstar surrogate

All the senators left in the race-- Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and a barely registering Michael F. Bennet-- have the same dilemma as Sanders: being required to spend long hours, six days a week devoted to Trump’s impeachment trial. They need surrogates to keep their momentum going. In Iowa, Warren had Julián Castro, a former presidential candidate himself, and activist-actress Ashley Judd in New Hampshire. Klobuchar’s Iowa surrogates included her daughter, Abigail, and curling champion and former Olympic coach Phill Drobnick.

But none of the others have been the kind of draw that Ocasio-Cortez has been.

“Look, I’ll say it, she’s the progressive movement’s rock star,” says Stacey Walker, the first African American to be elected as county supervisor in Iowa’s Linn County, which encompasses Cedar Rapids. “So when she comes through, for people in the political space, she’s our Beyoncé.”

At her first headlining event, minus Sanders, on Friday night at Iowa University, several young bearded men waved a giant homemade sign with her initials and the ‘o’ replaced with a globe, while the crowd of hundreds chanted, “AOC! AOC! AOC!”

Sanders is a candidate who presents himself less as a personality than a conduit for a movement. And in the Bernie bubble, Ocasio-Cortez is seen as the future of the movement embodied. What makes her so effective as a surrogate, beyond her star power, is that if you campaign on electing a movement rather that a person, there’s no difference between hearing the message from the 78-year-old white male candidate or his 30-year-old Latina supporter. The perception among her supporters is that a vote for Sanders is also a vote for Ocasio-Cortez to continue her rise.

In fact, she’s been so focused on articulating her vision of the country, of “fighting for people we don’t know,” as she said many times, that at that first event, she spoke for 20 minutes and never mentioned Sanders’s name.

Breathless headlines and articles speculated that the Iowa trip was a prelude for something bigger.

“AOC Is Campaigning for Bernie Sanders in Iowa and Voters Are Falling in Love,” wrote BuzzFeed News.

“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wows in Iowa, Probably Not for the Last Time,” wrote New York Magazine.

“ ‘I really hope she is the future’: AOC’s support of Sanders fuels 2024 speculation,” wrote The Guardian.

2024 would be the first year that Ocasio-Cortez, who was the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, would be old enough to run for president.

Even her most enthusiastic fans, though, find that time frame a little over-the-top.

“Bernie’s another white male. It’ll be a nice ease for America and then I think in 10 years they’ll be a lot kinder to AOC,” says Daneissa Folker, 24, who’s black and showed up to a morning Cedar Rapids canvass launch after a overnight shift at a hospital emergency room.

“Oh, she’s going to be the first Latina president of the United States,” said Kenia Calderon, 26, a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient from El Salvador who saw her at a campaign office in Ankeny, Iowa, outside of Des Moines. “But she has a lot more work to do in Congress.”

“I predict when she’s 45, or longer,” said Calderon’s sister Fatima, also a DACA recipient. “We’ve got to get Bernie elected first.”

Despite the glow, a rocky year

Bernie Sanders is consistent about many things, including the line he used to thank Ocasio-Cortez at the seven of 10 Iowa campaign events he showed up at and the two he phoned into last week.

“I have been in Congress for a few years”-- pause for laughs-- “and I honestly cannot recall any single first-term member of Congress having as much impact on our country as Alexandria has.”

Impact, yes, but it’s been a rocky year.

She’s been a political superstar since her upset primary win in 2018, as the bartender who handily beat a 10-term incumbent who was also the fourth-most-powerful Democrat in Congress.

She ran as a democratic socialist, meaning she hoped to create a benevolent state safety net like that in Finland, but was painted by her political opponents as someone who wanted to turn America into Cuba.

Her Twitter following coming to Capitol Hill was so many millions (then 3.8, now 6.2) that her congressional colleagues asked her to give them lessons. Her family is Puerto Rican and she drew the ire of President Trump, who told her and other members of the Squad to “go back to your own country,” even though all are U.S. citizens and all but one of them was born in the United States.

She drew the ire of Fox News, which studies showed mentioned her an average of 75 times a day for two months and mocked her shoes, designer clothes she wore for a photo shoot and a video of her dancing in college-- one that was meant to embarrass her as carrying out conduct unbefitting a member of Congress, but only served to further endear her to her supporters. She drew the ire of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for joining in a climate-change protest outside Pelosi’s office at the start of the term and for being the one Democrat who voted against reopening the government after the 2019 shutdown, because the bill continued to fund ICE. She got flack on both sides for introducing her first piece of legislation, the Green New Deal, with a flawed summary. Senate Republicans easily defeated it. Pelosi called it “the green dream, or whatever.”

At the same time, she’s earned the praise of the likes of conservative commentator David Brooks for her thorough, tough questioning of witnesses in congressional hearings, with videos of her floor speeches and grilling of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and a former ExxonMobil consultant going viral.

“She’s made me feel like I can inspire other people. I’ve shown a lot of people her videos,” said Tyler Terrell, 34. He’d come straight off a night shift working in a local emergency room to see Ocasio-Cortez at a canvassing launch in Cedar Rapids. “I would vote for her tomorrow,” he said. “I think I’ve donated more money to her than any candidate in Iowa.”

At a canvass launch the next day in Ankeny, Esperanza Pintor Martinez, a Mexican immigrant, had waited for over an hour with her 3-year-old daughter, Zarai, to hear Ocasio-Cortez. “It’s important for me as a Latina to bring my daughter here and show her that we can show up and do something, in this country where Trump is trying to extinguish us and make us go away,” she said.

If there was dissent outside that bubble in Iowa, though, Ocasio-Cortez didn’t see it. She traveled with an all-woman team of her campaign manager, a field officer and a photographer. The media was kept at a distance, and she was not available for questions.

As Ocasio-Cortez campaigned her way through Iowa for Sanders, she turned the ups and downs of her first year in Washington into strengths.

At a solo town hall in Cedar Falls at the University of Northern Iowa, she told the story of how she got to Congress and realized she wouldn’t get her first paycheck for an entire month, yet was being attacked by Republicans for being unable to pay for maintaining apartments in both her New York City district and Washington.

“It’s funny because there’s a lot of kind of confusion in messaging, especially from the right,” she said. “One minute I’m a know-nothing. The next minute I’m a mastermind who’s taking over the party. They can’t figure out if I’m an elitist or if I’m embarrassingly poor-- which there’s no such thing.”

She couldn’t afford “a second home,” and she certainly couldn’t afford a second set of furniture, she said, so for her first three months in Congress, she slept on an air mattress. “And it was such a surreal experience, because I’d wake up on that air mattress and I’d walk to my work where the nation’s laws are made and be told all the time that health care for my family wasn’t possible... To be able to walk into a space and be told that our lives are too politically inconvenient to fight for is quite an experience.”

Soon after, a woman stood up, sobbing, and told the story of how her wages were being garnished to pay off her medical debt. Ocasio-Cortez gave her a hug, told her that a system that asked that of her was “morally wrong” and launched into another story. Eighteen months ago, when she had only catastrophe insurance with an $8,000 deductible, she said, she’d tried to pay a doctor with a bag of her cash tips, then burst into tears when the doctor told her she needed a blood test, because she couldn’t afford one.

“And the doctor said, ‘What do you do for a living?’ And I said, ‘I’m running for Congress.’”

At that same town hall, an Asian immigrant from Brooklyn stood up and began telling a long and winding story of his awakening to the idea that society saw him as different, and how his time in the military had shown him that people all around the world aren’t so different from one another; they just want dignity, freedom, home, “and if you’re lucky you get to spend that journey with loved ones.”

There was no question in sight, and that had been clear from the beginning, but when the man apologized for taking so long, Ocasio-Cortez laughed and said, “You’re halfway there. Keep going!”

Filmmaker Moore said someone took a picture of him weeping during that moment.

“That guy, he went on and on, and at first it was a little weird, but she sat down on the stool,” he said. “She didn’t have that look of, ‘Hurry up,’ or, ‘Let me interrupt you.’ She let him tell his whole story, and when the story expanded and we all heard it, the people were choked up in the audience. A normal politician would not have let a guy go on that long. That’s what’s different about her. She’s not thinking like a politician. She’s thinking like a human being. She’s not that far from that bag of cash and the air mattress.”
As of September 30, 2019 she had raised $3,354,732 for her reelection bid, taking exactly no corporate money. And so far she has raised nearly a million dollars for her Courage to Change leadership PAC which will be helping finance progressive Democrats, some of whom are being blacklisted by the DCCC.

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The House Voted To Prevent Trump From Attacking Iran; Moscow Mitch Laughs


Yesterday, the House passed a bill written by Ro Khanna and one written by Barbara Lee that taken together would put the country on a much more peace-oriented path than the one the Trump regime has been leading the country down. Khanna's bill would block funding for a war that Trump starts against Iran. It passed 228 to 175. Only 3 Democrats crossed the aisle to vote with the Republicans, warmongers whose names you can probably guess: Ben McAdams (Blue Dog-UT), Conor Lamb (PA) and Kurt Schrader (Blue Dog-OR). At the beginning on the video above, you can hear Ro referring to the leader of the warmonger faction in Congress, Michael McCaul (R-TX). I might note that on Wednesday, Ro had endorsed his election opponent, Michael Siegel.

Right after Schrader voted for war with the Republicans, I called Milwaukie mayor Mark Gamba, his opponent for reelection, to ask him why Schrader would make a move that so obviously flies in the face of what Oregon voters want. "The constitution wisely gave the power to declare war to Congress," he said. "That has been eroded and overridden for the last 50 years or so. In that time we have engaged in a number of wars without the direct authorization of Congress to our detriment. The main beneficiaries have been the military industrial complex and often, a president looking to improve his polling. The bill that the House passed without the vote of Kurt Schrader and the Republicans, simply attempts to return those powers to where they belong. At a time when the least stable president in my lifetime is looking for anything to distract the public from his mis-deeds, it is the very least the House could do. Why on earth would Schrader vote against it? Does he yearn for yet another endless war? Are the trillions we've spent over the last few decades not enough? Are the young lives put at risk of no concern? They certainly won't be to the narcissist-in-chief. Why would you give free rein to someone who has proven his immorality? Kurt has taken a lot of cynical votes in his time that do not represent the people of Oregon's 5th congressional district, but this may be the most disgusting vote of his career. I hope the folks in the district will remember this vote the next time Kurt pretends to lament the endless wars at one of his town halls. We have real problems to solve like stopping climate chaos and providing 21st century, world class healthcare to everyone in this country. The last thing we need to do is bleed another few trillion dollars into the sands of Iran."

Lee's bill repeals the 2002 authorization for the use of military force. Her bill passed 236-166. Lamb stayed over on the Republican side of the aisle for this one too and was joined by Nashville warmonger Jim Cooper (Blue Dog-TN). There were even 11 Republicans (+ Justin Amash) who backed Lee.

Both bills are attached as amendments to the bipartisan Merchant Mariners of World War II Congressional Medal Act already passed by the Senate. The fate of the amendments will be determined in a reconciliation committee of members of both houses. Ro told me earlier that "Senator Church helped end the Vietnam war by stopping the funding. We can prevent war in Iran by cutting off the funds. This amendment does that." He told reporters just before the vote that "The reality is that Congress needs to exercise the power of the purse. We need to make it very clear that Congress is not going to authorize a dime for an offensive war in Iran."

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Why African-American Voters Should Be Saving Us From Biden, Not Thrusting Him On Us


I was living in Amsterdam when I first started following the career of a new young racist politician rising in the Democratic Party. And I've detested everything about that guy-- who was soon elected to the U.S. Senate-- since then. That's almost 5 decades of hate for a segregationist politician from Delaware, a state he once told other racist politicians, would have joined the Confederacy during the Civil War if it hadn't been for Maryland being in the way. And now this racist pile of dog crap-- who came to be viewed positively because Obama chose him to balance his presidential ticket-- is considered a frontrunner because many elderly, rural and small town African-American voters conflate him with Obama. If only they knew the real Status Quo Joe. I hope some of them follow Shaun King on Substack.

King's latest, 2 truths and 31 lies Joe Biden has told about his work in the Civil Rights Movement, needs to get to South Carolina voters-- stat. "In 1987," began King, "when Joe Biden was running for President for the very first time, his campaign got swallowed up in a swarm of lies that Joe Biden told about himself all over the country. First, Biden was caught plagiarizing a famous speech from British Labour Party Leader Neil Kinnock-- including parts of the speech that came straight from Kinnock’s personal life that simply were not true for Joe Biden. Then, he plagiarized yet another speech from the late Robert Kennedy and another from JFK and another from Hubert Humphrey. You have to understand-- this was pre-Internet, pre-social media, and something in Joe Biden’s mind made him think he could get away with it. He didn’t. And it ultimately tanked his campaign." Watch Biden lying and cheating on a level nearly on a Trumpian level:

Soon, it was discovered that Biden had not just plagiarized those four speeches, but had lied about academic awards, lied about scholarships, lied about his ranking at Syracuse Law School, where he had nearly been kicked out for plagiarizing five entire pages of an essay, and that he also frequently lied about something that he had made a central part not just of his 1988 presidential campaign bid, but of his entire public persona. Temporarily, Joe Biden paid a price for most of those lies, but was never fully held to account for the worst of them all. On the backs of people who actually paid an enormous price for being activists and organizers in the Civil Rights Movement, Joe Biden created a completely false narrative of his work and contributions to the movement that persists to this very day. Instead of plagiarized speeches, he was plagiarizing details about his actual life. He not only told these lies in previous generations, they have now fully returned to his current stump speeches in churches and venues around the country as if he never acknowledged and apologized for them in the past. It’s shameful. Below is a full accounting of every lie Joe Biden has told about his work in the Civil Rights Movement. First, though, we must begin with two truths.

On two very important occasions, Joe Biden actually told the entire truth about his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. Nearly everything else has been a lie. I’ve counted at least 31 different lies he has told about being an activist, organizer, sit-in demonstrator, boycott leader, voter registration volunteer, Black church trainee and more in the Civil Rights Movement, but every single time I dig, I actually find more interviews, more lies, more fabrications, more tales he told to voters, reporters, historians, and more. First, let’s start with the two truths.

In September of 1987, with his presidential campaign completely consumed by his lies, Biden, with his entire public life in shambles, fell on his sword and told the truth about his lack of work in the Civil Rights Movement. In repeated interviews, campaign events, and national keynote speeches at the Democratic Conventions of both Maine and California, Biden told wild tales of how he marched, sat-in, and boycotted during the Civil Rights Movement and even went so far as to suggest that he had traveled to Selma and Birmingham with such actions, but with his campaign in tatters, he finally said they were all lies.

Truth #1
“During the 1960s, I was in fact very concerned about the civil rights movement. I was not an activist. I worked at an all-black swimming pool in the east side of Wilmington, Delaware. I was involved in what they were thinking, what they were feeling. But I was not out marching. I was not down in Selma. I was not anywhere else. I was a suburbanite kid who got a dose of exposure to what was happening to black Americans.”
When pushed about false claims that he had also been against the Vietnam War, Biden also owned up to that lie and said:
“When I was at Syracuse, I was married, I was in law school, I wore sports coats. You're looking at a middle-class guy. I am who I am. I'm not big on flak jackets and tie-dyed shirts. You know, that's not me.”

Those honest, transparent words from Joe Biden are the single truest words he ever spoke about his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. From 1987 until the release of his autobiography, Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics, 20 years later, as he entered yet another presidential race, Biden was actually very careful to never tell another lie about his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. In fact, that leads us to:

Truth #2

Joe Biden’s autobiography is colorful. He’s a great story teller. When I purchased the book, which is 400 pages long, I was curious how he would frame his “involvement” in the Civil Rights Movement. I read the book from cover to cover. In light of what Joe Biden is now again saying in the 2020 presidential campaign about his work in the Civil Rights Movement, what I found in his autobiography shocked me. He reduces his entire involvement in the Civil Rights Movement to two sentences on page 43. It reads,
I worked there (a swimming pool) back in the early sixties, when freedom rides, sit-ins, and Bull Connor’s dogs and fire hoses were starting to get people’s attention. Like everybody in America in those years, I was getting dramatic lessons about segregation and civil rights from newspapers and television.
Newspapers and television. That’s where Joe Biden, like most people, in his own words, admitted that he learned about the Civil Rights Movement. Newspapers and television. Not during trainings in Black churches. Not during sit-ins at segregated restaurants and movie theaters. Not during the deeply organized marches and protests he claimed to be a part of along Route 40.

See, I just wrote a book that comes out this April. The editing and fact-checking process was fierce. It took months. The same was true of Biden’s autobiography. Unlike his campaign speeches and media interviews, Biden, or his aides, knew better than to tell lies about his days as an activist in the Civil Rights Movement in his autobiography-- or for that matter in any of his future books. It’s never mentioned-- not one single time. And that’s what we call a tell. In every fact-checked publication, speech, and video Joe Biden has ever produced, every mention of his “work” in the Civil Rights Movement is completely omitted. It doesn’t exist. Could you imagine being a 17 year old white boy in Delaware in 1960 who did sit-ins, boycotts, protests, marches, and voter registration drives, while getting trained in Black churches, and not having one single story or memory or recollection to tell about it? It’s fundamentally absurd. Those events would’ve had such a drastic impact on Joe, and on his whole family for that matter, that they would be told non-stop.

That’s why it is so incredibly disturbing, that after Joe Biden admitted in 1987 to telling such egregious lies about his role in the Civil Rights Movement that he has now, under the pressure of the 2020 presidential campaign, resorted to doing it again. If it was a lie in 1987 that he marched and did sit-ins and so much more, it’s a lie today.

Joe Biden’s Very Modern Lies About the Civil Rights Movement

After nearly losing his career because of lies, from 1987 until 2014 Joe Biden appeared to refrain from telling any at all about his role in the Civil Rights Movement. But suddenly, while giving a speech at a King Day Breakfast in January of 2014 for the National Action Network, he resorted back to the same old debunked lies and also added one brand new one that he had never told in his entire life saying that he was regularly trained for the Civil Rights Movement in 1960 on Sunday mornings in Black churches when he said,
“And so I got involved in deseg- (pause), I was no ‘big shakes’ Reverend, in the Civil Rights Movement. I got involved in desegregating movie theaters and helping, you may remember, Reverend Moyer in Delaware and Herman Holloway, organized voter registration drives-- coming out of Black churches on Sunday-- figuring how we were going to move.”

From 2014 until early 2019, Joe Biden would not again repeat the false claim that he was an activist and organizer in the Civil Rights Movement. But once he began running again, he could not resist himself. It’s as if he is not fully clear on how the Internet works.

In Waterloo, Iowa on this past December 5th, 2019 Biden began telling falsehoods again about being an activist and organizer, and then added new color to the lie from 2014 that he was being trained as an activist in Black churches on Sunday mornings, saying,
“I got involved, most of you don’t know me well, I got involved in public life, because when I was about the age of the guy standing over there (points to teenage boy), I got involved in the civil rights movement…

Well, I got my education, Reverend Doc... in the Black church. Not a joke-- because when we used to get organized on Sundays to go out and desegregate movie theaters and things like that, we'd do it through the Black church. I got to admit to you I'd go to my Catholic Mass at 7:30 first, and then I'd show up in the Black church."

Because Joe Biden did not actually do what he’s saying in this video, or in other videos-- waking up early as a 17 year old high school senior to go to the 7:30AM Catholic mass so that he could then go to a local Black church for their 10AM church service to be trained for the Civil Rights Movement-- he has absolutely no idea just how foolish this sounds. In 1960, during the Civil Rights Movement, even in the Deep South, even in churches pastored by Dr. King himself, Sunday morning was not at all like a Monday night planning meeting or strategy session. Sunday mornings were sacred religious moments of prayer, song, praise, offering, sermon, and invitation. Even during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Sunday morning services were almost exclusively religious in nature. They weren’t brainstorming sessions, as Biden describes, where Black folk and their white friend named Joe would decide where they’d go desegregate next.

Apparently itching for another scandal to end yet another presidential campaign, Biden continued his lies again-- this time at a special service at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Columbia, South Carolina on this past January 20th, 2020. Each time he tells these lies he appears to be abandoning his script and adding new layers of lies on top of the old ones.
“You know, when I was a teenager in Delaware, for real, I got involved in the Civil Rights Movement. We have the 8th largest Black population in America, most people don’t know that. And, uh, I’d go to 8 o’clock mass, then I’d go to Reverend Herring’s church, where we’d meet, in order to organize and figure where we were going to go, whether we were going to desegregate the Rialto movie theater or what we were going to do. I got my education. For real. In the Black Church. And that’s not hyperbole. It’s a fact.”

The Reverend Herring he speaks of there is the late legendary Reverend Otis Herring of Union Baptist Church in Wilmington. Other times this year when Biden tells this story he says he’d leave mass and go to the late Reverend Maurice Moyer’s church. I spoke to former members of their churches, as well as people close to both families. Neither stories are true. Joe Biden met both of these men much later in life and only learned about their great work in retrospect. Reverends Herring and Moyer were revered in Delaware and Joe Biden is abusing their names and deaths by falsely claiming they were his mentors in 1960. They were not. Four different people in Wilmington expressed to me that these claims of Biden are so outrageous and dishonest that it caused them to truly worry for his mental health.

This past week in Iowa Biden went so far as to say he “was raised in the Black church.” It’s about as absurd of a claim as a person running for President has ever made. Again, I must remind you that he has never mentioned any of this for his entire life.

All the Places Biden, Obama, and Staff Carefully Left Out His Lies about the Civil Rights Movement

In 2008 Barack Obama, the first Black man to ever get the Democratic nomination for President gave a rousing speech in Illinois to introduce Joe Biden as his choice for Vice President, he carefully left out any involvement Joe Biden claimed to have in the Civil Rights Movement. Here’s the transcript. Could you imagine how important and relevant such moments would’ve been to include? It’s unthinkable that Joe Biden, as he now says, was trained as a 17 year old white boy in Black churches, boycotted, marched, and put his body on the line all over Delaware, all for equality and freedom, but it never got mentioned one single time by Barack Obama not just in these speeches, but in his entire presidency-- not one single time. Ever.

When Joe Biden came up after this speech, to accept the task ahead, he too, left out any mention of any work in the Civil Rights Movement. A few weeks later when Joe Biden was introduced and nominated as the Vice Presidential nominee at the DNC in 2008, one of the most historic times in our country, as we neared closer to electing our first Black president, again, Joe made no mention of his time in the Civil Rights Movement. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. What better time, what better moment would it ever be mentioned? Here’s the transcript.

When the DNC did this long biographical video of Joe at the 2012 convention, they made no mention of any work in the Civil Rights Movement. Even when President Obama bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Joe Biden, and recounted all of Joe’s accomplishments, not a single mention of the Civil Rights Movement was made-- not by Obama, and not by Biden. Here’s the transcript. It is fundamentally preposterous to believe that a former freedom fighter in the Civil Rights Movement got a Presidential Medal of Freedom by the First Black President, but such actions were completely ignored not just in this speech, but for the entirety of eight years.

And here’s the thing-- when Joe Biden actually has an experience, like the time where he really was the only white lifeguard at a segregated swimming pool for one single summer in Wilmington, Delaware his stories and details about those moments are endless. He has an entire chapter about that swimming pool in his autobiography. I’ve counted hundreds of very detailed stories he has told about his time there across the years. He won’t stop talking about it.

But from the early 1970s, until this very week, when Joe Biden mentions stories of his work in the Civil Rights Movement, something very un-Joe like happens-- the details are scarce. He has no color or nuance on how he felt as an activist or organizer, who he was with, what it looked like, what it sounded like, or what the specific actions were.

Was he afraid? Was he arrested like everybody else? How come his name doesn’t appear in the arrest records? What did he tell his dear mother and father and siblings when he joined the Civil Rights Movement and participated in such bold actions? Who did he travel with to and from each action? What did his classmates and teachers and mentors think? How did the sit-ins end? What did the owners of the restaurants and movie theaters say to him? All of these details, and so many more, are left out, I have found, because they simply do not exist.

Where are the photos? Where are the images or newspaper clippings? Where are the details from Joe Biden in any of his books? Why was it so thoroughly omitted from the entire presidency of Barack Obama?

Below, I have carefully tracked and detailed the painful, disturbing lies Joe Biden has made for nearly 50 years about his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement.
I have interviewed esteemed historians of the Civil Rights Movement as well as countless historians of Delaware history.
I have interviewed living legends and elders from the Civil Rights Movement in Delaware that were in Wilmington and all over the state when Joe Biden claimed to be doing courageous work in the movement.
I have carefully combed through archives of every single newspaper article ever written about the Civil Rights Movement in Delaware, over 1,000 total articles from the time Joe Biden moved to the state until he became a United States Senator.
I have found and carefully catalogued every single mention of Joe Biden’s work in the Civil Rights Movement in newspapers, books, and magazines from 1973 until this morning.
I have found and carefully catalogued every video mention by Joe Biden of his “work” in the Civil Rights Movement. And my findings are below.
It is amazing that Joe Biden has gotten a pass on this for so long. Current and former elected officials in Delaware told me that it is an open secret among them that Joe Biden is a serial pathological liar when it comes to his “work” in the Civil Rights Movement and that he has told such lies, for so long, so many times, that it is an unwritten rule in Delaware that one must hold their nose and go along with them or risk being ostracized in such a small, close-knit political community. He is a legend there - and crossing him is akin to political suicide. Below, I will begin to unpack and explain the lies.

Videos of the Old Debunked Lies Joe Biden Told About His Role in the Civil Rights Movement

On February 26th, 1987 Joe Biden began giving speeches in New Hampshire as he prepared to run for President. Here he made multiple false claims about marching in the Civil Rights Movement saying, “When I marched in the Civil Rights movement, I did not march with a 12-point program, I marched with tens of thousands of others to change attitudes, and we changed attitudes.”

Except Joe Biden never marched in the Civil Rights Movement. Not once. He didn’t march with or without a 12 point program. It was a complete fabrication. Seven months later Biden explicitly admitted as much when his campaign crashed and burned. What’s doubly disturbing about this is that multiple staffers on his campaign begged him to stop telling this lie. They knew he had never marched in the Civil Rights Movement, but he continued telling the lie anyway.

I spoke directly to Matt Flegenheimer of the New York Times who really broke the video above about where he first unearthed the quotes from Biden’s 1988 presidential campaign staffers. “It’s all in a book that you’ve gotta get. It’s by Richard Ben Cramer. It’s massive. It’s called What It Takes: The Way to the White House and it’s all about the 1988 presidential race.” I bought it as soon as Matt and I hung up the phone. Cramer, who won the Pulitzer Prize, was a brilliant writer. He conducted over 1,000 interviews for the book, which is seen by many as the single best text ever written on modern presidential politics. It’s exhaustive. And there, plain as day, are Biden’s staffers talking about how desperately they wanted Biden to stop telling the lies about working in the Civil Rights Movement. He acknowledged that they were right, but kept on telling the lies anyway. Here’s Kramer, in Chapter 25, speaking to campaign staff:
“How he started in the civil rights movement, remember? The Marches? Remember how that felt? And they’re nodding in the crowd, and he’s got them, sure. Trouble is, Joe didn’t march. He was in high school playing football. The gurus would shake their heads. “That’s not marching.” And Joe would say, “I know, Okay.” But then a week later, another crowd, and Joe would do it again.

"Folks, when I started in public life, in the civil rights movement, we marched to change attitudes ... I remember what galvanized me ... Bull Connor and his dogs ... I'm serious. In Selma." Joe’s voice drops to an urgent whisper. “Absolutely. Made. My. Blood. Run. Cold. Remember?”
But Joe Biden had never seen such things with his own eyes. Turns out, Joe had been telling those lies for years.

In 1983 Joe Biden was a keynote speaker at the Democratic Conference in Maine and falsely claimed there to participate in sit-ins at movie theaters and restaurants to desegregate them when he was 17 years old in 1960.

Joe Biden did no such thing. In fact, nobody did.

Sit-ins at segregated restaurants did not begin in Delaware until 1961 and sit-ins never happened at the segregated movie theaters like the Rialto that Joe Biden sometimes falsely claims to have helped desegregate in 1960. Let me explain.

To get into those theaters you had to be white and purchase a ticket. So African Americans never “sat-in” and whites could only sit-in if they bought a ticket. So every time Joe Biden said he did sit-ins at those theaters he foolishly exposes the reality that he was never there. Protestors were there though. I spoke to them. Not a single protestor or organizer who demonstrated in Wilmington or anywhere in Delaware for that matter, has even one faint memory of seeing Joe Biden at any such event in 1960 when Biden said such actions took place (or 1961 or 1962 or 1963). Their efforts were chronicled almost daily in local papers and in the new book Historic Movie Theaters of Delaware by Michael Nazarewycz, who is seen as the leading expert on the subject. The form of protest that took place at those theaters was not even sit-ins, but relentless picket lines outside of the theater that started in November of 1962 and carried on all the way until 1963 when the theaters were finally desegregated-- first by choice in May, then by law in December of 1963.
"When I was 17, I participated in sit-ins to desegregate restaurants and movie houses. And my stomach turned upon hearing the voices of [Arkansas Democratic Governor Orval] Faubus and [Alabama Democratic Governor George] Wallace. My soul raged upon seeing Bull Connor and his dogs."

As you will notice there, Joe Biden, in 1983, also hinted again at actually being in the Deep South during the Civil Rights Movement. That never happened.

In February of 1987 Joe Biden served as a keynote speaker at the California Democratic Convention. In the video below, Joe rekindles the lie that he participated in sit-ins at restaurants and movie theaters saying, “When I was 17 years old, I participated in sit-ins to desegregate restaurants and movie houses of Wilmington, Delaware."

Biden never once participated in a sit-in demonstration in his entire life. Not in Wilmington or elsewhere.

Speaking to a group of reporters in April of 1987, Biden again falsely claimed to have both marched and participated in sit-ins during the Civil Rights Movement. Again, he did neither. Again, his campaign admitted this in September of 1987.

In the video below, from Iowa in May of 1987, Biden, in the crescendo of his speech, falsely claimed to march in the Civil Rights Movement and in the anti-war movement. He did neither.

Pay particular attention in the video below to the flippant vagueness of how Biden describes what he did in the Civil Rights Movement in 1960 when he was just 17 when he says, "I came out of the civil rights movement. I was one of those guys that sat in and marched and all that stuff."

This is not how one who actually did any such thing would EVER describe the courageous work of activism. And it’s not even how Joe Biden himself tells stories about his actual life. He is vague and irreverent because he did not actually do these things.

When pressed further on this, Joe Biden and his 1988 campaign team eventually admitted he never once marched in the Civil Rights Movement that he never once participated in any sit-ins in any restaurants in Wilmington or along Route 40 anywhere in Delaware. When his campaign was finally over, his spokesperson, Larry Rasky, said that Biden may have helped in some non-sit-in kind of way at just one movie theater and one restaurant, but Biden has named and claimed multiple movie theaters and restaurants all over Wilmington and up and down Route 40.

And the restaurant that Joe Biden most often told people for decades that he helped to desegregate as a 17 year old in 1960, the Charcoal Grill, has a dubious and deeply problematic story once it was actually fact-checked by reporters.

On December 26th, 1982 in a story about the history of the Charcoal Pit in the Sunday News Journal in Wilmington, Biden said, he loved the place and only had one negative memory there from his senior year in high school in 1960.
“I organized a civil rights boycott because they wouldn’t serve black kids. One of our football players was black and we went there and they said they wouldn’t serve him. And I said to the others, ‘Hey, we can’t go in there.’ So we all left. It was very brief and not nasty. My clear intent was to boycott.”
Except the lone Black student in the class, Dr. Francis Hutchins, said that wasn’t what happened at all. In September of 1987, as investigative reporters began digging into all of Biden’s lies, they found that even his lone story about desegregating the Charcoal Grill was a farce. Here’s their report:
“That student, who is now a Philadelphia physician, says that Biden’s group was not even aware of what was going on because his ejection from the restaurant happened out of their vision. It was only later, after the students had eaten and left the restaurant, that they found out from the Black student what happened.”

“They weren’t aware of what happened,” Dr. Francis Hutchins, Jr. said. “I was only 16 then. It was my problem and my battle for me to work out. They were oblivious to it until later on.”

It wasn’t just that Joe Biden made these things up, they’ve been written about him hundreds of times in newspapers and magazines going back as early as 1975.

In September of 1975, after Joe Biden was elected to the United States Senate, he soon began working with lifelong bigots and white supremacists to pass/block certain pieces of legislation. In the below Washington Post article from that month we see the first printed account claiming that Joe Biden had been active in the Civil Rights Movement.

It says of Joe that, “He has accumulated some very credible civil rights credentials since adolescence-- participating in a high school restaurant boycott and in sit-ins along US 40.”

Both are outright fabrications that were painfully debunked not only by his lone Black high school classmate in the case of the restaurant boycott, but by historians, civil rights leaders, and by Joe Biden’s own timeline in the case of the sit-ins along US 40 Biden claimed to participate in. By the time Biden started running for President in 1987, he had promoted lies about his work in the Civil Rights Movement for the entire previous generation.

In the Morning News in Delaware, also in September of 1975, they repeated the same claim about Biden saying that, “As a young man, he took part in sit-ins to desegregate restaurants along U.S. 40 in Delaware.”

Except Joe Biden did no such thing.

First off, Joe Biden said the only year he participated in the Civil Rights Movement was in 1960 when he was 17 years old. When Joe Biden was caught in his lying scandal in 1987, again, Biden said none of this ever happened and his spokesperson reduced it to lone incident at the Charcoal Grill and something at a movie theatre. The sit-ins and protests along Route 40 in Delaware did not take place until 1961 and 1962. Secondly, they were organized primarily by CORE (The Congress for Racial Equality) with adults who drove and bussed in from states across the country. These were trained, experienced activists and organizers. In fact, in his autobiography, Biden says at great length that one of the primary reasons he decided to take a summer job away from college at a segregated pool in Wilmington was so that he could finally get to know Black people and Black life personally. Had Biden, as he now says, been mentored in Black churches, and protested and sat-in with Black people all over Wilmington in 1960, why would he take a summer job in 1962 to meet the people he says so frequently that he never knew until he took that position? That doesn’t add up.

I spoke directly with Dr. Raymond Arsenault, an expert in the Civil Rights Movement as well as a History Professor at the University of South Florida, who wrote one of the most important texts on the Civil Rights Movement entitled Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice. It’s the single most sourced book ever written on the topic. He confirmed for me that out of hundreds of interviews and source documents he has never seen a shred of evidence that Biden ever participated in a single sit-in along Route 40 in Delaware. The primary activists and organizers of those actions, including Duane Nichols, who kept meticulous records of the Route 40 protests and Betsy Marston, who managed much of the work at the University of Delaware have also come forward to say that Biden was not a part of their circles and that no records suggest he ever was.

Without fail, when I asked elected officials or legendary activists who I should speak with in Wilmington, they each said that I should speak directly to the first Black Mayor of Wilmington, James Sills-- who moved to the city in 1959 and called it home for the past 61 years. An activist and organizer himself, he participated in the actual pickets at the Rialto Theater in 1962-63 and confirmed that they were not sit-ins. He participated in, and was arrested in sit-ins at segregated restaurants. Like almost every other young activist in the area, he went to hear Dr. King in 1960 for the only time he came to Delaware. This, according to Biden, was his hey-day of activism, but he strangely did not go to hear King when he came to town. Mayor Sills, in fact said the first time he ever remembered meeting Joe Biden was closer to 1970 when Biden was running for office. Larry Morris, another veteran of the Civil Rights Movement in Wilmington, said he had no recollection of Biden ever being a part of the work.

And all of this leads me to a man named Mouse. In fact, his name is Richard “Mouse” Smith and he first met Joe Biden in that summer of 1962 when Biden was a lifeguard at the segregated swimming pool. Biden was 19 and Mouse was just 13 years old. Back in July of 2019, in the weeks after Joe Biden and Kamala Harris had a public disagreement in one of the early Democratic debates over Biden’s record on bussing and school integration, the Biden campaign began floating Mouse out to news outlets as someone interesting they could interview that would vouch for Biden’s character. A few places, like Blavity and the Washington Post took the bait. Blavity published an op-ed written by Richard “Mouse” Smith. And the Washington Post wrote a long-form story on Mouse, his life, and how it all intersected with Joe Biden. It was brilliantly written.

But only one thing Mouse said is confusing-- very confusing. I called the author of the Washington Post piece, Robert Samuels, and immediately asked for clarification because it seemed like a clear error of some kind. Here’s what it says,
One day, in 1965, Smith told Biden that some politicians and preachers were going to picket outside the Rialto, the last segregated movie theater downtown.

“I’ll be there,” Biden said.

That was Biden’s first known civil rights protest.
In the summer of 1965 Joe Biden was 22 years old and had just graduated from college. According to every statement he’s ever made about his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, including every lie, every book, every speech, including the very speeches that Joe Biden gave just this week, and last week, and the week before that, Joe said that he was protesting as a 17 year old in 1960. Never, once, has Biden said he attended a protest in 1965 after his senior year of college.

In fact, I searched local, regional, and national archives and not a single protest was documented at the Rialto theater in 1965. It was formally and legally integrated in 1963. But here’s the strange thing-- the author of the story, Robert Samuels, said he called the Biden campaign to confirm the dates and the facts of the story, and that they “confirmed” that what Mouse said was true-- that it was Biden’s first protest and that it did happen in 1965.

Without saying it, the campaign basically confirmed that everything Biden is saying on the campaign trail right now is a lie.

Because Biden has said 5 times on the record in the past 2 months that he did loads of civil rights work, from protests to trainings in Black churches, all in 1960 when he was just 17.

Mouse said it was one fluke moment that happened 5 years later.

The campaign confirms it was 5 years later.

But records don’t even show anything like that happening at the Rialto 5 years later.

What a mess.

I travel internationally... a lot. It makes me uncomfortable when people, here or abroad, note that the president of the United States is a pathological liar, even though he obviously is. We shouldn't have two outhouse in a row. And there is virtually no one who knows Joe Biden who disagrees that he is also a pathological liar-- even if they refuse to admit it publicly. Careerists on the Democratic side of the aisle who won't admit Biden is a liar are no better than those hovering around Trump who won't admit it. Just look at who has endorsed Biden. I think I saw one progressive on his list of endorsers; everyone else was from the Republican wing of the Democratic party-- self-proclaimed "centrists," and you know what a centrist in politics really is, right?

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Do You Think Congress Needs More Working Class Members? Or Should It Just Be A Playground For The Wealthy?


At the end of the week, a non-political source, Teen Vogue, featured Nabilah Islam's proposal on behalf of working class candidates. It's something we discussed with Nabilah earlier as part of the Blue America endorsement process. A dedicated advocate for Medicare-for-All, his advocacy for health care for candidates is related but different. The idea is to help elect more working class candidates who, in turn, will advocate more working family-friendly policies. That's not going to happen if only relatively wealthy people can run for Congress. Her idea is pretty simple: allow candidates to use their campaign contributions for health insurance.

She wrote OpEds for both Teen Vogue and Vox. She began her piece for Vox with an all-to-familiar statement: "About four months ago, I canceled my health care plan. A couple of months before that, I put my student loans-- of which I still owe $30,000-- into forbearance. My story isn’t unique among working-class millennials in the country. But what sets me apart is that I had to do all of this because I decided to run for Congress... I’m here to tell you what I’ve learned: Political campaigns are often a pastime for the wealthy, meaning they’re off-limits for working-class people with backgrounds like mine. Let’s start with the fact that it’s nearly impossible to run for Congress while holding down a job. Campaigning is a full-time endeavor that requires having enough money to live without a salary for months on end. It also usually means paying out of pocket for health insurance, forgoing money that could have been put toward a retirement account, buying a house, or caring for loved ones.
All of this might be fine if you’re independently wealthy, but that’s not me. I grew up in Gwinnett County as the daughter of Bangladeshi immigrants, attending Gwinnett public schools. My father was a file clerk with the IRS for nearly 30 years, and my mother has worked multiple low-wage jobs all my life. I worked odd jobs as a teenager and in college, putting myself through school and helping my family make ends meet.

I never thought I was electable. But 2018, the year we elected the most diverse Congress in history, showed me that “electability” is a myth. So I came back home and worked really hard to put together a grassroots campaign.

And yet, hard work isn’t enough. People like me can do everything in their power to cut costs and climb the ladder, and still find themselves at the bottom financially.

I thought I would be able to hold down a part-time job waitressing or driving for Uber while campaigning, but the demands-- calling and meeting with voters, attending events across my community, pursuing endorsements-- became too high. For a while, I was paying out of pocket for a junk health care plan. It was unfortunately the only plan I could afford, especially since Georgia has refused to expand Medicaid. I knew the plan wouldn’t do much for me if I got sick or got hurt on the trail, so eventually, I canceled it. Having no income also means I’ve eaten enough packets of dollar ramen to last a lifetime.

My situation is difficult, but it’s not unique. Working-class people don’t usually run for Congress, and when they do, they often find themselves struggling like I am. It’s hard to build up independent wealth if you aren’t paid fairly, and women and people of color are disproportionately impacted by the wage gap. I’m struggling to support just myself, and I know it would be nearly impossible for me to continue my bid for Congress if I had a family to care for too. It’s no wonder nearly 40 percent of Congress members are millionaires. Three of my competitors in this race have spent more than $250,000 to self-fund their campaigns.

If we don’t eliminate barriers that prevent candidates from supporting themselves while running for federal office, we’ll continue to see a Congress that’s largely composed of wealthy, older white men. Americans will be deprived of representation by people who understand their lived experiences, and will continue to struggle under mounting student and medical debt.

The Federal Election Commission currently doesn’t allow candidates to use campaign funds for health care. I’m challenging the FEC to change its rules and to explicitly allow working-class candidates to use campaign funds to pay for health care, so at least one hurdle to running for Congress is eliminated for the non-wealthy.

I have hope that the FEC’s position will change. Liuba Grechen Shirley, an activist and founder of Vote Mama, successfully petitioned the FEC to use campaign funding for child care costs in 2018 while running for Congress, and it’s why I’m hoping to change the face of health care funding for candidates for years to come.

Running for Congress has taught me that the process is not designed for the working class. It’s also taught me that voices like my own are badly needed in the House of Representatives. And that starts with creating a system where people like me can run in the first place.
She's been reaching out to progressive members of Congress for advice and support. Today Ro Khanna announced his endorsement for her campaign. Iron worker and former congressional candidate Randy Bryce told me yesterday that "It’s tough enough finding an everyday working person willing to put their life on pause for a while in order to run for Congress but most of us can agree that we need more working people to be elected to Congress. There are already quite a few hurdles. Money is probably the biggest. Not only do we need it to fund a campaign but we need it to pay our bills and it needs to come from a different source. Too many live paycheck to paycheck. One of the biggest worries is health care. Imagine having an amazing campaign that comes screeching to a halt because the candidate can’t afford to go to the doctor? Until we have Medicare for all this is going to be an issue. Appears most of those running for office who would benefit from being covered the most have a M4A platform to make sure all of us have health care. It says a lot to oppose a candidate being allowed to cover their health insurance while expecting them to take care of their staff. We can take care of everyone and we should be looking for ways to remove the hurdles if we really want to see people like us representing people like us. If we don’t we’ll keep having people elected who just view us as money farms.And we still won’t be able to afford to see a doctor ourselves."

I asked some of the other Blue-America endorsed candidates what they think about Nabilah's proposal. Kara Eastman is running for the second time in the Omaha swing district (NE-02) and she's experienced this already. "When I decided to run," she told me, "people told me to pull out my 'Rolodex' and call my friends and ask them for money. As a nonprofit CEO, I asked 2 questions. 'What is a Rolodex?' And 'how will I fund my race with the $50 each one of my nonprofit friends and colleagues can afford to give me?' As a mom, and the primary breadwinner in my family, running is and has been a sacrifice. The system is set up for wealthy people to run since the average net worth of a sitting congressperson is $1 million. Before we finally get around to getting money out of politics, we need to make running more attainable for regular working people. Allowing candidates to use funds for healthcare and childcare would certainly help."

Goal ThermometerThis is Robin Wilt's first congressional campaign, but not the first time she's run for office. "Today, the majority of members of Congress are millionaires," she reminded me, "and the typical congressional representative has an estimated net worth of over $500,000-- roughy fives times the median US household net worth. At the same time we are more likely to be represented by a member of the financially elite, running a Congressional campaign has become increasingly costly. If we don’t want running for and serving in Congress to be exclusively the province of the wealthy-- those who don’t have to pay a mortgage, college tuition or student loans, or other every day real-life expenses-- we need the campaign finance rules that allow fundraising to relieve some of the burdens that are associated with running for office. If more people like Nabilah ran for office, we would have more representatives that share our priorities-- like Medicare for All and legislation to remove money from politics. That’s why we need more people like Nabilah in Congress that share the average Americans experience!"

California Central Valley progressive Kim Williams told us last night that she "grew up in Nabilah’s home county, and I’m behind her 100%. She is spot on when she says that the candidates we need are hampered by a system that supports the candidates we don’t. Like her, I’ve had to make hard choices. I’m a single mom, and I’ve had to maintain my full-time job to support my child. This means I start my day at 4:00 a.m. to get a jump on my day before work and then I drive to events all over the district in the evenings and on weekends. But I have great hope that the system will change, and I know every working class candidate that makes it into office will fight to make sure those behind them have a fair shot. It's why I back Nabilah’s proposal and why I support publicly funded elections."

Rachel Ventura, the Will County reformer running for Congress against New Dem multimillionaire Bill Foster: "I certainly agree with Nabilah that we need to allow candidates to use campaign funds to pay for healthcare. In my first two campaigns I went without insurance and it was unsettling. Working people have it much harder than the 40% of Congress that fall into the millionaire category. The only way we are going to take our democracy back is to build a powerful grassroots movement that can propel working people into the halls of power without corporate campaign contributions. I look forward to fighting alongside Nabilah to pass a Medicare for All system and transform our political system to being one that serves all Americans."

"Running a campaign while working full time," said Arizona progressive and labor activist Eva Putzova, "is almost unheard of and even that is a privilege most people don't have-- they don't have an understanding employer that allows a candidate to flex their time to run. We need a complete overhaul of the campaign finance law and we need campaigns to be publicly funded-- to ensure that it's not just rich and corrupted to have a chance to represent us in Congress. Until we have such system, the campaign finance law should allow candidates to raise money to reasonably replace their income and non-wage benefits, including healthcare."

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No Time Like Now For Bernie To Start Planning For What He Can Do For The American People During His First Week In Office


Feeling The Bern by Nancy Ohanian

Bernie's polling has been going up, up, up. And Biden-- the status quo establishment's choice for the 2020 Hillary role-- has been watching his "inevitability" shatter. Biden-- not as corrupt as Trump, but too corrupt to be president-- is looking like a loser in Iowa and New Hampshire. The new Civiqs poll for Iowa State University shows Biden battling it out with Klobuchar, the other conservative with race problems in the Iowa contest, for 4th place.
Bernie- 24%
Elizabeth Warren- 19%
Mayo Pete- 17%
Status Quo Joe- 15%
Klobuchar- 11%
Yang- 5%
Steyer- 4%
Tulsi- 2%
Bloomberg- 1%
The latest NBC News poll by Marist of New Hampshire likely primary voters has Biden in third place behind Bernie and Mayo Pete.
Bernie- 22%
Mayo Pete- 17%
Status Quo Joe- 15%
lizabeth Warren- 13%
Klobuchar- 10%
Tulsi- 6%
Yang- 5%
Steyer- 3%
And the newest poll out of Nevada shows Bernie catching up to Biden, who now leads him by less than 2 points.
Status Quo Joe- 19.4%
Bernie- 17.6%
Elizabeth Warren- 10.6%
Mayo- 8.2%
Steyer- 7.6%
Yang- 4.4%
Klobuchar- 3.6%
The latest polling in California shows Bernie with double the support of Biden, who is in third place after Warren.
Bernie- 30%
Elizabeth Warren- 16%
Status Quo Joe- 15%
Mayo Pete- 8%
 Yang- 5%
Bloomberg- 4%
Tulsi- 4%
Klobuchar- 3%
Steyer- 2%
Even in Biden's Southern stronghold, Bernie is catching up. The new Texas Lyceum poll shows Biden ahead of Bernie by 2 points (28-26%) but shows that Bernie comes closer to beating Trump in a general election match-up. Biden's till has one state he's doing well in, South Carolina, but that looks like it could be the only state he wins-- a state where he wouldn't come close to winning in the general election.

As Holly Otterbein pointed out at Politico yesterday, Bernie is starting to be viewed-- and treated-- as the frontrunner, for better and worse. The darkest forces of the Democratic establishment has unleashed their Kraken against him-- barrages of ugly, vicious ads to kill his campaign. "Faced with the dilemma of how to respond in the face of bombs dropped on him," she writes about the Biden SuperPAC, "days away from the Iowa caucuses, the Sanders campaign is mostly sticking to pocketbook issues-- for now. Sanders’ TV ads in the state remain centered on Medicare for All, a major focus of his campaign, as well as women’s rights and his movement... The spots are designed to remind Democratic voters of one of Sanders’ key strengths: Polls show they trust him on health care more than any other 2020 candidate. But they also risk feeding into perceptions among some voters that he is too far left to defeat President Donald Trump, particularly as outside organizations amplify that message with negative ads... Sanders responded in an online video, using the attacks as an opportunity to underscore his populist message: 'It is no secret that our campaign is taking on the political establishment and the big-money interests who are now running negative ads against us in Iowa. The billionaire class is getting nervous, and they should.'"

On Wednesday AP's Will Weissert reported on a speech Bernie gave in Sioux City on Sunday: "You can tell how good I feel by how nervous the establishment is getting. We’re their worst nightmare." The far right of the Democratic establishment, stinking of putrid corruption-- what establishment media inaccurately calls "moderates-- "argue that Sanders’ liberal views, which include universal, government-funded health care under a Medicare for All program and tuition-free public college, are too extreme." But that isn't what voters think, just what the super-rich think, since they are well aware that their taxes will go up.

Donald Shaw broke a story for Sludge about how corrupt MSNBC, a pro-Biden operation, is. "A Sludge review of Federal Election Commission records," wrote Shaw, "shows Biden is the preferred candidate of the station’s owners, the behemoth Comcast Corporation. Biden has received 17 large campaign contributions from executives and vice presidents at Comcast, including eight for the legal maximum of $2,800. Of all the other candidates still in the race, only South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg has received any Comcast executive contributions-- Buttigieg received a single contribution from Comcast Managing Director Amy Banse. In addition, Comcast’s top lobbyist, David Cohen, co-hosted Biden’s kick-off fundraiser in April and he is listed as a bundler for the campaign, meaning that he has collected at least $25,000 in contributions from others for Biden." Does that matter? Well, MSNBC's on-air coverage of Bernie has been worse than Fox's! Bernie has received not only the least total coverage (less than one-third of Biden’s), but the most negative, with the multimillionaire status quo on-air shitheads like Chris Matthews going out of his way to insert snide anti-Bernie remarks and inviting on anti-Bernie self-servers as frequently as possible.

From a policy point of view, Comcast’s support of Biden makes sense. Comcast has been a leading force against neutrality rules, spending millions on lobbying against the issue, and, unlike Sanders and Warren, Biden’s record does not suggest that he would be a strong advocate for restoring net neutrality as president.

In 2006, as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden said that he did not think net neutrality rules were needed. “[Biden] indicated that no preemptive laws were necessary because if violations do happen, such a public outcry will develop that ‘the chairman will be required to hold this meeting in this largest room in the Capitol, and there will be lines wandering all the way down to the White House,’” CNET reported. The next year, he declined to co-sponsor the Internet Freedom Preservation Act, a bipartisan bill that would amend the Communication Act of 1934 to include net neutrality protections. Sanders was a co-sponsor of the bill. Warren signed on as a co-sponsor of Sen. Ed Markey’s (D-Mass.) net neutrality bill in February 2014 just weeks after becoming a U.S. senator.

Comcast is the nation’s largest broadband provider, operating regional monopolies that give consumers no choice but to subscribe to their services or have no home internet service. About 68 million Americans have access to no broadband or only one internet service provider. For the majority of those with just one ISP option, that option is Comcast. In 2018, Comcast’s revenue from its internet division alone was more than $17 billion.

Sanders has called for Comcast’s regional broadband internet and cable monopolies to be broken up and Warren has called for aggressive antitrust action tech companies. Biden, on the other hand, has not put forth an antitrust platform and has a history of fighting against strong antitrust rules.

In the 1970’s, Biden broke with his Democratic colleagues to oppose legislation that would have blocked corporate mergers based on the total size of the resulting company. Biden voted with Republicans to exempt soft drink companies from antitrust legislation and he voted against a bill from Sen. Ed Kennendy (D-MA) to ensure consumers had authority to sue companies for antitrust violations.

“The Biden-Kennedy split carried symbolic connotations beyond the policy implications of their individual votes,” HuffPost reported. “Where Kennedy wanted to use the Judiciary Committee to continue the old New Deal-era attack on corporate power, Biden became an advocate for corporate interests that had previously been associated with the Republican Party.”

Last year, Comcast spent more than $13 million on lobbying the federal government. In 2014, the company’s PAC  donated to nearly every member of the congressional committees reviewing its bid to take over TimeWarner Cable, according to Politico. Former Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) told Politico that the company had “an army of over 100 lobbyists ready to swarm Capitol Hill.”

Yesterday, writing for the Washington Post, Jeff Stein and Sean Sullivan reported that while Biden and his team are working with the plutocracy to undermine Bernie, he "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. The document reviewed by The Post shows how the Sanders campaign has already begun extensive planning for how the senator would lead the country in his first days as president if he won the Democratic nomination and defeated Trump in November. Many of the proposals Sanders has floated on the campaign trail do not have support from congressional Republicans and are opposed by some Democrats, so a willingness to move forward without congressional approval could determine whether many of his policies are enacted."

And by the way, yesterday the American Postal Workers Union, whose membership is close to a quarter million, endorsed Bernie. APWU Secretary-Treasurer Liz Powell: "Senator Sanders was a champion of workers’ rights long before he became a candidate for president. Like those who make up the core of the APWU, he is a firm believer in social and economic justice for all. It’s no wonder that he is ranked as the most popular member of the U.S. Senate. Union president Mark Dimondstein emphasized that Bernie's campaign "is boldly uplifting the goals and aspirations of workers. 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... [W]when we judge candidates by their long-term and consistent actions, Bernie Sanders stands out as a true champion of postal workers and all workers throughout the country. Bernie Sanders has proven he is a fierce advocate on the side of postal workers. He has opposed the closures of postal facilities and reduced service standards. He has been a leader in the fight for expanded postal financial services and was the lone senator who stopped postal privatizers from appointments to the Postal Board of Governors."

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