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2020 Democratic Contenders

Let’s pin this to the front page and keep a running list. Hit up the comments any time you come across important updates on the intentions of any of these folks:

*Legitimate Candidates*
Sen. Kamala Harris (California)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts)
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota)
Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (New York)
Former VP Joe Biden

*Legitimate Longshots Worth Following*
Beto O’Rourke (Texas)
Mayor Eric Garcetti (Los Angeles) withdrew late-January 2019 but will consider VP.
Gov. John Hickenlooper (Colorado)
former Gov. Deval Patrick (Massachusetts) withdrew Dec 2018.
Sen. Corey Booker (New Jersey)
Mayor Mitch Landrieu (New Orleans)
Gov. Steve Bullock (Montana),

*Candidates Who are Running for Reasons Other Than to Win*
Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vermont),
former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (Virginia)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (New York)
Rep. Tim Murphy (OH)
Rep. John Delaney (Maryland)
former Attorney General Eric Holder
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (IN)
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI)

*Irrelevant Candidates Who Will Be Ignored by Everyone But the Press*
Howard Schulz (Starbucks CEO),
Tom Steyer (billionaire), withdrew January 2019
former Mayor Michael Bloomberg (New York City),
Michael Avenatti (obnoxious lawyer) withdrew Dec 2018
Richard Ojeda (Trump supporting WV Democratic activist)

JANUARY 30 UPDATE:

I added Buttigieg and Gabbard to the list of those running for reasons other than to win, and removed the handful of people who have formally announced that they do not intend to run.

As of today, it seems to me that Biden isn’t likely to be a legitimate contender, both because I don’t think he really wants to run and because I think Kamala Harris will crush him should he choose to. She is to me the very clear front runner as of this moment, and barring some kind of screw up, she is the one most likely to win the whole thing.

Gillibrand has been surprisingly quiet since announcing, and although it is obviously still very very early, it seems to me that she’s going to have a very hard time getting traction so long as Kamala Harris maintains the perception that she’s going to be hard to beat.

Warren….is who she is? I love her as my Senator. I think she’ll be a powerful force for good in the campaign. But no way do I think she wins the nomination. I thought that before she formally announced, and I think it much much more so since.

Tulsi Gabbard unexpectedly threw her hat into the ring, which is bizarre given her truly bizarre past, and it’s all quite predictably gone sideways very quickly (see, for example: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/29/tulsi-gabbard-2020-election-1134055). Not only is she not going to win the nomination, she’s not likely to make it past the spring, and now she’s got a DailyKos-backed primary challenger to boot. Which is great, because she is truly awful

Schulz, the Starbucks dude, is out there pretending to be a disaffected Democrat preparing to run, but no way he sees this through to the end, and anyway, he’s really just a disaffected moderate Republican confused about how partisanship works in American politics. The fact that he hates what the REpublican Party has become does not even remotely mean he is a Democrat, or that he will appeal to Democrats, or that his influence will somehow help Trump get elected. That’s all very backwards.

Beto is making exactly the kinds of noises that a person who doesn’t want to run but feels sort-of-but-not-really compelled to , so while I’m making predictions, let me put myself down as him formally announcing he will NOT run sometime in late-Spring.

And hey….why not go all in. If I had to bet money today, I’d either go with Harris-O’Rourke or Harris-Hickenlooper.

I’m not saying he IS a racist and a lowlife. I’m saying the racists and lowlifes claim him as their own.

NY mafia edition!

TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) — The man charged with killing the reputed boss of the Gambino crime family wrote pro-Donald Trump slogans on his hand and flashed them to journalists before a court hearing Monday.

Anthony Comello, 24, was arrested Saturday in New Jersey in the death of Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali last week in front of his Staten Island home.

While waiting for a court hearing to begin in Toms River, New Jersey, in which he agreed to be extradited to New York, Comello held up his left hand.

On it were scrawled pro-Trump slogans including “MAGA Forever,” an abbreviation of Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.” It also read “United We Stand MAGA” and “Patriots In Charge.” In the center of his palm he had drawn a large circle. It was not immediately clear why he had done so.

talkingpointsmemo.com/news/anthony-comello-gambino-mob-boss-murder-hearing-pro-trump-slogans

Trump believes Kim Jong Un’s explanation of the death of an American in North Korea. This is NOT normal

People Trump reflexively takes at their word:

Kim Jong Un

Vladimir Putin

Roy Moore

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman

Rodrigo Duerte

Abdel Fatah al-Sissi

Recep Erdogen

Jim Jordan

Sean Hannity

Rob Porter

Brett Kavanauagh

People Trump reflexively dismisses as untrustworthy

The current and former leadership at the FBI

The staff of the New York Times and Washington Post

The civil service staff at the United States Department of State

The Directors of National Intelligence

Federal judges

I could go on, but u think you get the point?

Context:

During President Donald Trump’s summit-ending news conference in Vietnam on Thursday, a reporter asked him if he’d confronted North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un about the treatment of Otto Warmbier, an American student who was imprisoned in North Korea for 15 months, only to return to the US in a comatose state in June 2017 and never recover. 

The reporter noted that despite Warmbier’s brutal death, Trump has called Kim “my friend” and repeatedly boasted about their “great relationship.” The journalist then asked him, “Have you in Singapore [during the first Trump-Kim summit] or here confronted Kim Jong Un about Otto Warmbier’s death, asked him to take responsibility, and what did he say to you?”

Trump confirmed that he had — but went on to say he takes Kim’s word for it that he had nothing to do with it.

“I really believe something very bad happened to [Warmbier], and I don’t think that the top leadership knew about it,” Trump said. “I don’t believe that [Kim] would’ve allowed that to happen. It just wasn’t in his advantage to allow that to happen.”

www.vox.com/2019/2/28/18244659/trump-kim-jong-otto-warmbier-death

“Something bad happened.” The man DIED after coming home in a conspiracy. He was in their custody for more than a year and he DIED. And the President’s take is that we can’t hold North Korean leadership responsible for this because Kim Jong Un says they weren’t responsible.

“Pelosi’s freshmen fracture amid GOP pressure.” Or not at all, if you actually can read

Politico runs with the inevitable DEMOCRATS IN DISARRAY theme. Only…

Freshmen Democrats in swing districts say they have no plan to stop voting with the GOP when they feel the need. They’ve even been given the blessing to do so by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), despite resistance from Pelosi.
— Read on www.politico.com/amp/story/2019/02/14/house-democrats-freshmen-voting-gop-1169554

Yeah, sure. Clyburn and Hoyer are for it but Pelosi isn’t. She’s being outmaneuvered by her deputies and by Republicam leadership at the same time. Makes sense.

In other news, you wanna buy a bridge? I’ve got a really good deal for you if you actually!

For gods sake–this is exactly, precisely the story Pelosi would want told about these members in swing districts. They’re bucking leadership! They’re independent! They’re double-crossing Pelosi! And the worst part of it is, I’d be willing to bet that at least one of the reporters on this story knows that’s what’s going on.

Stop it. Stop. It.

The problem with the outrage over Cohen’s lying liar-ness

Here’s the problem with the feigned outrage over Cohen’s lies:

In his initial testimony before Congress, Cohen’s story perfectly matched that of President Trump. Almost word for word, the two men told the same story about the same set of events. So if they admit that Cohen lied in his testimony the first time around — and they clearly have admitted that — then they are necessarily admitting that Trump was also lying! Because if Cohen’s lies back then we’re so outrageous, then Trump’s lies must also be outrageous!

And that’s the point! Trump and Cohen were engaged in a conspiracy to commit felony violations of numerous laws as part of an effort to keep the public from knowing the full story about Trump! That’s why both of them lied!

Either that or Cohen told the truth back then, and then lied while pleading guilty for those crimes and then lied again while testifying today. Except that theory is so stupid that even the Republicans on the committee didn’t try to advance it.

And since someone is bound to ask, no, “he lied both times” isn’t an option, at least not if you’re trying to exonerate Trump, since Trump was telling the public the same version of events as Cohen back then.

So you see? If Cohen was lying back then, so was Trump. And if Cohen’s lies were outrageous and disqualifying, so we’re Trump’s. And if he was telling the truth back then but lying now, well…you’re off in a la la land that enot even Rep. Clay Higgins was willing to venture into. And if Trump was lying back then, not just to you and to me and to the public but also to Mueller and to the SDNY and in a wide variety of legal and financial filings, then the President has necessarily committed numerous felonies while President!

Forget Russia. Forget collusion. This is, as I’ve said from the beginning, a conspiracy to defraud the United States and a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization. Necessarily.

If we can do this with North Korea, then what exactly was wrong with the Iran Deal?!?

Honest question: if we can make these kinds of concessions in advance to the North Koreans, then what exactly is the complaint about the Iran Deal? And if your answer is “Obama did it, so it’s automatically bad,” you’re doing this entirely wrong.

U.S. negotiators are no longer demanding that North Korea agree to disclose a full accounting of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs as part of talks this week between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, according to current and former senior U.S. officials.

The decision to drop, for now, a significant component of a potential nuclear deal suggests a reality that U.S. intelligence assessments have stressed for months is shaping talks as they progress: North Korea does not intend to fully denuclearize, which is the goal Trump set for his talks with Kim.

The Trump administration is hoping to get a significant concession from North Korea on Yongbyon, but it’s unclear if the U.S. can offer something in exchange that Kim would accept. North Korea wants sanctions relief, and U.S. officials have advised the president against taking such a step at this stage in negotiations. North Korea has offered to freeze activity at Yongbyon in past rounds of negotiations with previous U.S. administrations.

Current and former U.S. officials note that North Korea has other sites with similar capabilities, however, and they are raising concerns that Pyongyang won’t negotiate on all aspects of its weapons programs if it’s not forced to disclose them.

In recent months researchers have discovered that North Korea has as many as 20 undisclosed ballistic missile sites, according to Beyond Parallel, a project sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a defense think tank. One of the sites is the Sino-ri Missile Base about 130 miles north of the demilitarized zone between North Korea and South Korea, where about 28,000 U.S. troops are stationed.

Read More: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/u-s-drops-demand-full-accounting-n-korea-nuclear-program-n977251

We have reached the “Cohen has ties to the Russian mob” stage of Team Trump’s defense. Because of course we have.

The fact that this was always inevitable does NOT mean that it isn’t remarkable.

Rudy Giuliani is out with a round of attacks on Michael Cohen. A central one is that Cohen was “connected to Russian organized crime” and that – relatedly – he got his money from his Ukrainian immigrant father-in-law Fima Shusterman…Rudy is not making this up. But in the nature of things, with the current questions before the public, accusing Trump’s former fixer of being tied to Russian organized crime seems like a perilous line of attack.
— Read on talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/annals-of-curious-defenses

Seems like? LOLOLOL

Look, I get why Rudy is doing this. It’s the last line of defense. And outside politics, it might work. Not here. Not now. Not today.