Thursday, February 20, 2020

Who needs to drop out?

Maureen Groppe (USA TODAY) reports:

Before former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined his fellow presidential hopefuls on the debate stage for the first time Wednesday, his campaign had a not-so-subtle message for the other center-left candidates.
They should stop acting like spoilers and let Bloomberg take on Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders before it’s too late to stop him from winning the Democratic nomination.
The argument, laid out in a memo by Bloomberg’s campaign aides, didn’t go over well.
Former Vice President Joe Biden pointed to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showing he’d do best in a matchup against President Donald Trump.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said voters don’t “look at Donald Trump and say, 'We need someone richer in the White House.’”
Pete Buttigieg agreed with Bloomberg that there should be one alternative to Sanders, but said he – and not Bloomberg – is the obvious choice

So Michael Bloomberg wants everyone else to drop out?  For him?  And that was before he ever stepped onto the debate stage?

And let's be clear that he bombed last night.  He was awful.

And this was after he had prepped and rehearsed.

He has wasted his money and he has wasted our time.

If it's time for anyone to get out, then it's time for Bloomberg to drop out.



Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, February 20, 2020. Michael Bloomberg bombs at the debate.


Last night in Nevada, some of the Democrats running for the party's presidential nomination participated in a debate.  Also participating was long time Republican, recent Democrat Michael Bloomberg of Stop And Frisk fame.  Tom Steyer and Tulsi Gabbard, though still in the race, were not allowed on stage.  In addition, because of all the money he's spending (like Donald Trump before him), Bloomberg will get his own townhall on CNN.  Tulsi comments:

This week, CNN chose to reward a billionaire with MILLIONS in additional free advertising by giving him an invitation to their series of televised town halls, while our voice has been shut out. But, that hasn’t stopped me from speaking with and hearing from voters all. across. the. country.
Why are they doing this? It’s simple. They want to be able to pick this election’s winners and losers. They’re afraid of my candidacy and what our movement represents — a campaign that isn’t beholden to special interests; a campaign that is truly of, by, and for the People.

In spite of our broken system, I’m humbled by the stories, courage, and aloha I witness everyday. I know the American people don’t have a price tag.


The clear loser of last night's debate?


The American people.  Democracy.  Free and fair exchanges.

After that?

Michael Bloomberg.  Nutty Mike was not ready to be on the stage nor were the people ready for him.  He finally aired an ad where he spoke -- during ABC's MODERN FAMILY which meant those not watching the debate got to hear the lisping fool.  A number of community sites covered the debate last night:







  • Many notes that Michael Bloomberg sounds like Sylvester the Cat.  Well sufferin' succotash, if only that were his biggest problem.

    Last night, as Senator Elizabeth Warren was talking about the many women  who have accused Michael Bloomberg of harassment, as she was talking about the women he had "harassed and discriminated against," the camera's caught Bloomberg's reaction as his eyes went nutty and cross-eyed -- like Faye Dunaway's Joan Crawford in MOMMY DEAREST at the end of the no-more-wire-hangers scene.

    He really gave the audience something to root against which is why he was repeatedly booed throughout the debate.  Jake Johnson (COMMON DREAMS) points out:

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren on the presidential debate stage Wednesday night implored Democrats to oppose a billionaire businessman with a long history of sexist remarks and numerous accusations of sexual harassment in the workplace.
    She was referring to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, not President Donald Trump.
    Warren argued that Democrats cannot defeat Trump, who himself has a well-publicized record of mistreating and insulting women, by nominating a candidate with a similar history.
    "I'd like to talk about who we're running against: A billionaire who calls women 'fat broads' and 'horse-faced lesbians.' And no, I'm not talking about Donald Trump. I'm talking about Mayor Bloomberg," the Massachusetts senator said. "Democrats are not going to win if we have a nominee who has a history of hiding his tax returns, of harassing women, and of supporting racist policies like redlining and stop and frisk."

    "Look, I'll support whoever the Democratic nominee is," Warren added. "But understand this: Democrats take a huge risk if we just substitute one arrogant billionaire for another."



    Elizabeth called on him to release the women who have signed Non-Disclosure Agreements from those NDAs and Bloomberg refused.  We're using NBC's transcript.  Moderating were NBC's Lester Holt, Chuckie Todd and Hallie Jackson and TELEMUNDO's Vanessa Hauc and THE NEVADA INDEPENDENT's Jon Ralston.   On the stage were Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg.



    JACKSON: Senator Warren, you've been critical of Mayor Bloomberg on this issue.

    WARREN: Yes, I have. And I hope you heard what his defense was. "I've been nice to some women." That just doesn't cut it.
    The mayor has to stand on his record. And what we need to know is exactly what's lurking out there. He has gotten some number of women, dozens, who knows, to sign nondisclosure agreements both for sexual harassment and for gender discrimination in the workplace.
    So, Mr. Mayor, are you willing to release all of those women from those nondisclosure agreements, so we can hear their side of the story?

    (APPLAUSE)

    BLOOMBERG: We have a very few nondisclosure agreements.

    WARREN: How many is that?

    BLOOMBERG: Let me finish.

    WARREN: How many is that?

    BLOOMBERG: None of them accuse me of doing anything, other than maybe they didn't like a joke I told. And let me just -- and let me -- there's agreements between two parties that wanted to keep it quiet and that's up to them. They signed those agreements, and we'll live with it.

    BIDEN: Come on.

    WARREN: So, wait, when you say it is up to -- I just want to be clear. Some is how many? And -- and when you -- and when you say they signed them and they wanted them, if they wish now to speak out and tell their side of the story about what it is they allege, that's now OK with you? You're releasing them on television tonight? Is that right?

    (APPLAUSE)

    BLOOMBERG: Senator...

    WARREN: Is that right, tonight?

    BLOOMBERG: Senator, the company and somebody else, in this case -- a man or a woman or it could be more than that, they decided when they made an agreement they wanted to keep it quiet for everybody's interests.

    BIDEN: Come on.

    BLOOMBERG: They signed the agreements and that's what we're going to live with.

    (CROSSTALK)

    BUTTIGIEG: You could release them now.

    WARREN: I'm sorry. No, the question is...

    BLOOMBERG: I heard your question.

    WARREN: ... are the women bound by being muzzled by you and you could release them from that immediately? Because, understand, this is not just a question of the mayor's character. This is also a question about electability.
    We are not going to beat Donald Trump with a man who has who knows how many nondisclosure agreements and the drip, drip, drip of stories of women saying they have been harassed and discriminated against.

    (APPLAUSE)

    That's not what we do as Democrats.

    JACKSON: Mr. Vice President?

    BIDEN: Look, let's get something straight here. It's easy. All the mayor has to do is say, "You are released from the nondisclosure agreement," period.

    (APPLAUSE)

    We talk about transparency here. This guy got himself in trouble saying that there was a non -- that he couldn't disclose what he did. He went to his company...

    BUTTIGIEG: Just to be super-clear, that was about the list of clients, so nobody gets the wrong idea.

    BIDEN: No, no, no. Yeah, I'm sorry.

    (LAUGHTER)

    BUTTIGIEG: I know what you mean. No, you're right.

    BIDEN: But he said -- he went to the company and said I want to be released, I want to be able to do it. Look, this is about transparency from the very beginning, whether it's your health record, whether it's your taxes, whether it's whether you have cases against you, whether or not people have signed nondisclosure agreements.
    You think the women, in fact, were ready to say I don't want anybody to know about what you did to me? That's not how it works. The way it works is they say, look, this is what you did to me and the mayor comes along and his attorneys said, I will give you this amount of money if you promise you will never say anything. That's how it works.

    (APPLAUSE)

    JACKSON: Mayor Bloomberg, final word to you?

    BLOOMBERG: I've said we're not going to get -- to end these agreements because they were made consensually and they have every right to expect that they will stay private.

    (AUDIENCE BOOS)

    BIDEN: If they want to release it, they should be able to release themselves. Say yes.


    That's one of the key moments of the debate.  (Though for SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE's part in parodying the event, they should probably go with Bloomberg when he lisped, "What am I chicken liver?")

    He will not release the women from the NDAs.  That means he's running unchecked and unvetted.  That means any woman -- or all women -- may decide, for the sake of patriotism, love of country, love of money, whatever -- to come forward during a general election if Bloomberg were to get the nomination.  And the whole party would be sideswiped by whatever was revealed.

    Bloomberg trusts women . . . if he can control what they can or cannot say.

    That's not someone worthy of the Oval Office.



    Bloomberg bombed in the debates.  He came off like the little priss that he is and he was rude throughout.  His voice is a problem and his face is a problem.  The right side just sorts of slides down, doesn't it?  He was also the shortest on the stage which was rather comical when he'd start raging.  Kat enjoyed Joe Biden's facial reactions to Bloomberg's various hissy fits and, yes, they should probably become popular memes.





    Mike Bloomberg got a number of women—who knows how many—to sign non-disclosure agreements for sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

    He needs to release the women from the non-disclosure agreements so we can hear their side of the story. Watch our new ad.







    Elizabeth Warren is 100% right on this.


    Let's talk about Tweets for a moment.

    The candidates were on the stage during the debate.  Clearly, Elizabeth Warren was not Tweeting from the stage.  But whomever she had Tweeting did a great job.  Every major point that she made in the debate ended up a Tweet on her feed in real time.

    Joe Biden's Twitter feed is very unimpressive.  He had some good moments in the debate -- and more than anyone, he needed some good moments.  But his Twitter feed did not note them in real time and they've not been posted to the his feed since.

    Yes, the below is a great ad.



    Michael Bloomberg has dedicated his life to Michael Bloomberg.

    And as Mayor, he stood by the side of Donald Trump.

    Donald Trump is no doubt, thrilled to have his support.
    />



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    But Joe had so many moments better than that ad in the debate and you'd never know it to look at his Twitter feed.

    I'm not supporting Joe and I can still note he had some good moments onstage last night.  The whole point of the Twitter survey was to hopefully find something kind to say about every one of the candidates -- well, maybe not Bloomberg but I haven't visited his feed yet.  Then there's Pete.

    Pete's Twitter feed is a mess.  Bitchy remarks are what you want to be known for?  He tries to act so high minded -- and doesn't pull it off -- when he speaks in a debate but all his team does is post the bitchiest of his remarks to his Twitter feed.  It's embarrassing, is he trying to be Don Rickles with these insults?  (That said, having your brother-in-law attack you to your press does not make for an easy time to campaign.  His brother-in-law is spouting nonsense -- homophobic nonsense -- and I do feel sorry for Pete having to put up with that in the middle of a campaign.)

    Amy Klobuchar was repeatedly insulted by Pete last night.  (At one point, she shot back, "Are you trying to say I'm dumb?").  In her official Twitter feed, she fails to address that.  She also ignores the issue of Mexico which was the toughest issue for her -- and went beyond, as Vanessa Hauc observed, not being able to recall the name of the president of Mexico.  Her defense of that should be part of her Twitter feed but it's not.  Otherwise, her feed is a highlights version of some of her prepared talking points going into the debate.  Not impressed.

    It's better than Bloomberg's.  Bloomberg's including some bad Spanish at his feed.  We should note that Pete tried to pull a Beto in the debate and really needs to work on how to pronounce words before he sails off on little bits of prepared Spanish again.  It was laughable.  To read Bloomberg's feed, no one was on the stage but Bernie Sanders last night.  He's bitter and he came across that way on the stage and he comes across that way on Twitter.

    Which brings us to Bernie.  Okay, he touches on many important points he made in the debate.  Not all though.

    If you were trying to follow the debate -- or just the candidate in that debate -- via Twitter, Elizabeth Warren would come in first, then Bernie Sanders, then Amy Klobuchar, then Joe Biden, then Pete Don Rickles and the loser would be Michael Bloomberg.

    In the election, the loser will be the American people if the Democratic nominee can't even get behind the very popular and most needed Medicare For All.


    This was a key moment in the debate.





    SANDERS: Somehow or another, Canada can provide universal health care to all their people at half the cost. U.K. can do it. France can do it. Germany can do it. All of Europe can do it. Gee-whiz, somehow or another, we are the only major country on Earth that can't do it. Why is that?
    And I'll tell you why. It's because, last year, the health care industry made $100 billion in profits. Pharmaceutical industry, top six companies, $69 billion in profit. And those CEOs are contributing to Pete's campaign and other campaigns up here.

    BUTTIGIEG: Let's clear this up right now.

    SANDERS: So maybe it is finally time that we said as a nation, enough is enough, the function of a rational health care system is not to make the pharmaceutical industry and the drug companies rich. It is to provide health care to all people as a human right, not a privilege.

    TODD: Mr. Vice President, you got it.

    (CROSSTALK)

    SANDERS: No premiums, no copayments, no deductibles.
    Tiny Pete was for Medicare For All for years and he was for it when he started running for the presidential nomination.  But then he took a lot of money from the insurance industry and changed his mind.  
    Medicare For All is a key issue and it's part of what FDR envisioned for Americans.  Not just Social Security, but universal healthcare.  FDR died while president (passed away in 1945).  It should be a torch, Medicare For All, that every Democrat should want to carry.

    It's deeply troubling that Pete can support it and then drop it.  It's all the more troubling when we factor in that corporate donations are what changed his mind.  Is he ever going to stand for the American people?  With the American people?  His tiny record thus far is one of a politician who can be easily swayed and bought by corporations.

    In Iraq, the protests continue.




    Understand how we are responding and supporting hospitals during the protests in . ⬇🏥

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    Fayd Meki a middle school student from . He got injured in the protests due to the use of hunting riffles by security forces. Fayd might never be able to see again. Why? Simply because he felt the need to go out and demand a free country.











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