Senator Harris has a big Debate Moment

Kamala Harris: 'Voters Are Able To Distinguish Who Can Best Do The Job' | Andrea Mitchell | MSNBC

The Story:

On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, the campaign to determine who the Democratic Party shall nominate to be the next President of the United States kicked into a higher gear with a two-part debate in Miami, Florida, broadcast on NBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo.

Important Takeaways:

Early in the first round of the debate, moderator Savannah Guthrie asked Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke whether he would support a reform of the personal income tax that would put the highest marginal tax rate at 70%, a change favored by some of the other candidates. This was a “yes/no” question and O’Rourke drew unfavorable attention by repeatedly refusing to give it a yes or no.

O’Rourke switched back and forth between English and Spanish at this time, but he wasn’t giving Guthrie’s question a straight answer in either language.

Early in the second night’s proceedings, Marianne Williamson, best known as an author and lecturer on spirituality and love, made a forceful case that the United States does not have a “health care system” at all: that what we have is a “sickness care system” merely designed to maintain ill people in their illnesses.

Both of those are moments worth remembering. But neither is the one moment that stands out.

The Thing to Know:

The one moment that does stand out from the two proceedings comes from later on in the second night, when Senator Kamala Harris confronted former Vice President Biden about his record in the US Senate in the 1970s.

“Do you agree today that you were wrong to oppose busing in America?” she asked, referring to the use of school busing to desegregate educational patterns.

Biden replied that he had not opposed busing, only “busing ordered by the Department of Education.” The echo of those old 1970s controversies in 2019 was striking, and may have been a breakthrough moment for Senator Harris.

Kamala Harris: ‘Voters Are Able To Distinguish Who Can Best Do The Job’ | Andrea Mitchell | MSNBC

Kamala Harris: 'Voters Are Able To Distinguish Who Can Best Do The Job' | Andrea Mitchell | MSNBC

Senator Kamala Harris talks about sexism on the 2020 race and how she doesn’t pay attention to terms like ‘Likability.’
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Kamala Harris: ‘Voters Are Able To Distinguish Who Can Best Do The Job’ | Andrea Mitchell | MSNBC

Kamala Harris: Barr’s Non-Response On Suggestions From W.H. ‘Suspicious’ | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

Kamala Harris: Barr's Non-Response On Suggestions From W.H. 'Suspicious' | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

Senator Kamala Harris talks with Rachel Maddow about Attorney General William Barr’s evasive answers before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week and his conduct on behalf of Donald Trump overall.
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Kamala Harris: Barr’s Non-Response On Suggestions From W.H. ‘Suspicious’ | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

A Change of Course for Pete Buttigieg

The Story:

Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has returned $30,000 of donations to the lobbyists it came from as part of a change in course for his campaign.


In an email to Buttigieg supporters on April 26, the Mayor’s campaign manager, Mike Schmuhl, said that if Buttigieg becomes President he “will not be influenced by special-interest money.” He said that Buttigieg is promising not to accept any further such donations from lobbyists, and that making this promise is an important part of his commitment to keep himself out of the pockets of those special interests.

Buttigieg has been polling third of late in both of the key early-voting states: Iowa and New Hampshire, behind only Vice President Biden and Senator Sanders. Buttigieg has pulled ahead of candidates who until very recently were much better known, including Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Kamala Harris (D – CA).

The Thing to Know:

The question of how campaigns ought to be financed has been a hot one in US politics for a long time now: arguably since Theodore Roosevelt’s Presidency. The system of laws governing the question is in flux: but the Democratic candidates in this cycle especially are illustrating their views on that subject by how they are financing their own campaigns.

CNN hosts 5 Democratic town halls

Kamala Harris is up now. Here’s where she stands on key issues.

In announcing her run for president, California Sen. Kamala Harris said the time has come to fight against what she views as the injustices of the past two years of the Trump presidency.

The Democratic lawmaker has accused the President of stoking racist and xenophobic rhetoric, while aligning his administration with white supremacists at home, and cozying up to dictators abroad. Harris has argued that the middle class has been ignored.

Harris said she’s running for president to lift voices and “bring our voices together.”

As she takes the stage in New Hampshire, here’s where Harris stands on key issues:

  • On gun control: She made impassioned calls for banning assault weapons and universal background checks.
  • On Medicare for All: Harris is open to multiple paths to Medicare-for-all and also cosponsored Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ bill, which would phase out for-profit insurers.
  • On possibility of reparations for the descendants of slaves: Harris told a radio station recently that he idea of reparations should be considered in the face of economic inequality.
  • On an all-woman ticket: Harris has embraced the idea of choosing a female vice president to create an all-woman ticket in her quest for the White House.

You can watch her town hall live in the video player above.

Bernie Sanders calls Netanyahu’s government “racist”

Sen. Bernie Sanders called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government “racist” on Monday night, pointing to its treatment of Palestinians.

“I am 100% pro-Israel,” Sanders said. “They have every right in the world to exist and to exist in peace and security and not be subjected the terrorist attacks, but the United States needs to deal not just with Israel, but with the Palestinian people as well.”

Sanders has been a fierce critic of Netanyahu and American foreign policy in the region, which includes massive financial support for Israel.

“I just believe that the United States should deal with the Middle East on a level-playing-field basis,” Sanders said, referring to the stalled peace process. “In other words, the goal must be to try to bring people together and not just support one country, which is now run by a right wing, dare I say, racist government.”

“As a young man about your age, I spent a number of months in Israel,” he continued, discussing his time volunteering on a kibbutz in the 1960s. “I have family in Israel. I am not anti-Israel but the fact of the matter is that Netanyahu is a right wing politician who I think is treating the Palestinian people extremely unfairly.”

Sanders, who is Jewish, has repeatedly come to the defense of Rep. Ilhan Omar, who has questioned American politicians’ close relations with Israel and pro-Israel American lobbyists. Omar’s comments, which have included the use of anti-Semitic tropes, have set off fierce criticism from both Republicans and Democrats. Sanders last week denied that Omar was anti-Semitic herself, but also said that the freshman congresswoman, one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, “has got to do maybe a better job in speaking to the Jewish community.”

Bernie Sanders says he worries focus on impeachment would benefit Trump

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders argued Monday that the best way to oust President Donald Trump was by defeating him at the ballot box in 2020, not impeaching him before then.

The answer was notably different to the one Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren gave just minutes earlier, when she delivered a lengthy answer in favor of impeaching the President.

“Here is my concern: At the end of the day, what is most important to me is to see that Donald Trump is not re-elected President and I intend to do everything I can to make sure that that doesn’t happen,” Sanders said.

He added: “But if for the next year all the Congress is talking about is ‘Trump, Trump, Trump,’ and ‘Mueller, Mueller, Mueller’ and we’re not talking about health care and raising the minimum wage to a living wage and we’re not talking about climate change and sexism and racism and homophobia and the issues that concern ordinary Americans, I worry that works to Trump’s advantage.”

While most voters at Democratic town halls don’t ask about impeachment, the issue has risen to national prominence following the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report and the fact that Warren and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro have backed impeachment proceedings.

“I think there has to be a thorough investigation,” he said. “The House Democrats will do it. I’d appreciate if my Republican colleagues in the Senate had the guts to do it as well, but I won’t hold my breath. I want to see that we’ll see where it goes but right now, you know, that’s it.”

Bernie Sanders: I’ve changed… on foreign policy

Bernie Sanders talks a lot on the campaign trail about the consistency of his positions over decades in political life.

But on Monday night, the Vermont senator conceded that past criticism of his foreign policy ideas — or the lack…

is Devouring the 2020 Dems


The 2020 Dem field is very diverse.

If the Democrats were within reaching distance of sanity, that would mean a positive campaign based on diversity. Since they instead inhabit an insane intersectional dimension in which a permanent victimhood competition determines who gets what, anti-diversity tantrums follow.

These Queer Women Don’t Care That Pete Buttigieg Is Gay—They Want a Female President

The article is even worse than the headline.

With a record-breaking six women running in 2020, and Hillary Clinton’s bitter defeat still fresh on their tongues, a number of LGBTQ women told The Daily Beast they would simply prefer a female candidate.

Who are these women? Who empowered them to represent all lesbian Democrats? Stop asking, the echo chamber echoed.

“For me, being queer or lesbian, nominating a young, inexperienced white gay man is not my priority,” Duke University professor Ara Wilson told The Daily Beast. “The fact that we have…

Tucker Carlson: What Happens When You Can No Longer Denounce Political Opponents As Russian Spies?

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: What happens when you can no longer denounce your political opponents as Russian spies? You call them “white nationalists” instead. It’s every bit as stupid and slanderous, and even more effective in shutting them up. But what does it do the country when you whip up hatred and fear like that? We’ll tell you, just ahead.

But first tonight, attorney general William Barr has finally confirmed what has been obvious for months: The Obama administration spied on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Nothing like this has happened in modern American history. Barr dropped the news almost in passing, during testimony before Congress this morning:

BARR: I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal, a big deal.

SHAHEEN: So you are not suggesting though that spying occurred?

BARR: Well, I guess — I think spying did occur. Yes, I think spying did occur. … I am not suggesting that it wasn’t adequately predicated but I need to explore that.

There’s no disputing Barr’s first point: Spying on a presidential campaign is a big deal, especially when it was authorized by a rival administration. Imagine if, a year from now, the Trump administration allowed the FBI to surveil officials in the Kamala Harris for president campaign. Imagine if, when caught, Trump pointed to opposition research generated by the RNC as justification for that surveillance. How would the media react to that? Like it was a major, jaw-dropping scandal. And this show would heartily agree. We wouldn’t defend it. Law enforcement should never be used as a partisan political tool, no matter who it benefits.

But the media doesn’t feel that way about Obama’s spying. They refuse to admit it was even spying. Professional dumb person, Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post, attacked the attorney general for daring to bring up the topic at all. She called Barr “Trump’s toad.” CNN,…

The Labor Movement’s Resurgence in Democratic Politics

Sometimes, solidarity means donuts.

Intelligencer staffers Benjamin Hart, Sarah Jones, and Ed Kilgore discuss how the Democratic Party’s leftward drift fits in with a newly confident labor movement, and which candidate might get the unions’ nod.

Ben: Today, Elizabeth Warren joined striking Stop and Shop workers in Massachusetts, who are taking part in the second-largest private-sector walkout since 2016. Senators Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Bernie Sanders have also signaled their support for the workers. What does the enthusiasm from top Democrats about the strike, and others like it, say about the party’s relationship to unions right now?

Sarah: Labor’s always been an important partner for the Democratic party, but the dynamics of that relationship have changed over the last 12 months. We seem to be in a strike wave, but that’s not the only way labor has demonstrated its resilience lately. Though the Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus v. AFSCME was a blow for labor, right-to-work groups didn’t really get the result they’d hoped for, either. There was no exodus of fee-payers; public-sector unions are adding members. Unions themselves remain relatively popular with voters, too. All of this is to say: Top Democrats have typically been supportive of unions, at least on paper, for a long time. But labor’s in a position now to make them prove exactly how serious they are about that support, and I think that’s why we’re seeing what looks like a surge of enthusiasm from this year’s crop of candidates.

Ed: Well, there’s a supply as well as a demand side to this phenomenon: all these candidates pursuing a fixed quantity of labor resources and endorsements.

Sarah: That’s also true. Unions can afford to be picky because they have a lot of options at the moment.

Ed: Unions are in a position to carefully vet candidates instead of succumbing to the pressure to side with some front-runner like many did in 2016. And to leverage candidates to get cozier — and even to supply doughnuts!

Ben: Labor had slipped in power fairly dramatically over the decades, since the days when it was a truly crucial element of securing the Democratic nomination. Now, as you’ve said, we’re seeing renewed attention to labor issues as the party veers left. But is that renewed attention simply a result of the party’s leftward drift, or is it because labor has actually gotten more powerful too?

Ed: I’d say labor is in the process of rebounding, both in membership and — more importantly — in economic and political relevance.

Sarah: I’m not sure it’s totally possible to pry the two trends apart. They both exist in large part because they are responses to dramatic inequality. The simplest explanation for the labor movement’s relative popularity with voters is that people generally understand why they need unions. Members have told me that their fellow workers didn’t need a lot of convincing to stay in their unions after Janus.

Ed: By the time Nikki Haley finally…

Bernie Sanders fast facts: 5 things to know about the Vermont senator

Sanders on Fox News town hall: It's important to talk to Trump supporters
Sanders on Fox News town hall: It’s important to talk to Trump supporters

Bernie Sanders made waves as a presidential candidate in 2016 — with supporters backing the Vermont senator’s call for a “political revolution” and repeating the popular campaign phrase “Feel The Bern.”

And though Hillary Clinton ultimately defeated him to become the Democratic party’s nominee, the 77-year-old is making quite a comeback.

Sanders has already hauled in a whopping $18.2 million since launching his 2020 campaign in February, surpassing his 2016 numbers. He appears to be miles ahead of his competitors, making at least $6 million more than his closest fundraising opponent, California Sen. Kamala Harris, who has pulled in at least $12 million in donations.

Sanders will join Fox News Channel for a Town Hall co-anchored by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum on Monday, April 15, at 6:30 p.m. ET in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.


Name recognition has apparently worked in Sanders’ favor this time around.

His name remains on the top of polls, typically behind former Vice President Joe Biden who has stayed silent about his 2020 plans thus far. In an early March Monmouth poll, Sanders sat just 3 percentage points behind Biden. Weeks later, in a Fox News poll, Democratic primary voters once again voted him as their second choice — with Biden at 31 percent and Sanders at 23 percent.

Before Sanders discusses his political record, economic policies and ideas on stage during Fox News’ Town Hall next Monday, take a look at five fast facts to know about the self-described Democratic socialist.

He’s the longest-serving Independent member of Congress in U.S. history

Bernie Sanders calls Democratic socialism a 'vibrant democracy'

Sanders has served as Vermont’s senator since 2007. Before that, he spent 16 years as a lawmaker in the U.S. House of Representatives. His combined years of service in the government makes him the longest-serving Independent member of Congress ever, according to his official bio.

His political career kickstarted in 1981 when he was elected mayor of Burlington by just 10 votes. Sanders often points to his narrow mayoral victory as an example that every vote…

Pete Buttigieg: U.S. Politics Is ‘Horror Show,’ Slams Trump’s ‘Chest-Thumping’ Rhetoric in Chuck Todd Interview

During a 15-minute interview Sunday with Chuck Todd on Meet The Press, presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg defended himself against critiques that he lacks political experience while also criticizing President Donald Trump’s caustic rhetoric.

Todd began by asking Buttigieg — mayor of South Bend, Indiana — why he felt qualified to sit in the Oval Office, despite never having served as an elected official in Washington like other contenders for the Democratic ticket, including Senators Elizabeth Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

In response, Buttigieg argued that his relative inexperience was, in acutality, an advantage.

“I would stack up my experience against anybody,” he said. “I know it’s not as traditional, I haven’t been marinating in Washington here for a very long time and I’m not part of that same establishment but I would argue that being a mayor of a city of any size means that you have to deal with the kinds of issues that hit really hit Americans.”

He continued by noting his extensive experience serving in the U.S. military, and then suggested his candidacy would be an antidote to the fiery rhetoric oozing out of the Trump administration, which he said suffers from a “loss of vision” and a “loss of decency.”

“It just might…