fresh voices from the front lines of change








Miles Mogulescu

Democrats Should Want Joe Biden To Testify

Joe Biden’s strongest argument to be the Democratic Presidential nominee is that he has the best chance of defeating Donald Trump. There’s a clear way to test this. Democrats should accept the challenge being floated by some Republicans to trade witness testimony by John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney for testimony by Joe Biden. If, when testifying under oath, Biden strongly and convincingly refutes implications of corruption being cast at him by Trump and the Republicans, then he strengthens his electability argument for the Democratic nomination. If, on the other hand, he wilts under the pressure, and allows Republicans to tar him with a whiff of corruption, then Democrats should seriously consider whether nominating Biden means nominating a loser. Democrats have the chance to see this ultimate test played out in the public arena of the Impeachment trial now, rather than risking discovering too late, whether they’ve nominated the most electable or the least electable candidate to take on Trump. Trump boosters want to create a false equivalency between his massive corruption – the worst of any President in history – and the more soft-core corruption of a Democratic rival. They could undermine the image of the Democratic nominee. In doing so, they plan to give swing voters an excuse to choose the demonstrably corrupt Trump over a Democratic rival whom they come to view as corrupt. This threatens a replay of the 2016 election. If Biden is chosen as the Democratic nominee, the Republican Convention will likely resonate with chants of “Lock Him Up!” So if Biden is to be the Democratic nominee, he needs to prove to primary voters now – not after the primaries – that unlike Hillary, he can stand up to Republican charges of corruption.

Republicans Move To Block Witnesses

Republicans move to block impeachment witnesses, driving toward acquittal. NYT: "The White House and Senate Republicans worked aggressively on Wednesday to discount damaging revelations from John R. Bolton and line up the votes to block new witnesses from testifying in President Trump’s impeachment trial, in a push to bring the proceeding to a swift close. As the Senate opened a two-day, 16-hour period of questioning from senators, Mr. Trump laced into Mr. Bolton, his former national security adviser, whose unpublished manuscript contains an account that contradicts his impeachment defense. The president described Mr. Bolton on Twitter as a warmonger who had “begged” for his job, was fired, and then wrote 'a nasty & untrue book.' On Capitol Hill, Mr. Trump’s aides circulated a letter informing Mr. Bolton that the White House was moving to block publication of his forthcoming book, in which he wrote that the president refused to release military aid to Ukraine until its leaders committed to investigating his political rivals. That is a core element of the Democrats’ case, which charges Mr. Trump with seeking to enlist a foreign government to help him win re-election this year. Before the trial convened, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, and other Republicans signaled that they were regaining confidence that they would be able to cobble together the 51 votes needed to block new witnesses and documents and bring the trial to an acquittal verdict as soon as Friday."

Apologia For Authoritarianism

Trump lawyer argues president can do whatever he wants to boost reelection chances. Common Dreams: "Lawmakers and legal analysts observing President Donald Trump's ongoing Senate trial voiced alarm at a brazen and sweeping line of defense offered Wednesday by Trump attorney Alan Dershowitz: 'If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.' Dershowitz's argument during a Senate question-and-answer session reverberated across Capitol Hill and social media, sparking warnings that—if accepted—Trump or any other president would be free to do whatever they please as long as they can claim they were acting to advance their chances of reelection. 'This of course would mean that a president could not be impeached for doing literally anything in the service of his own reelection,' tweeted Cornell Law professor Josh Chafetz. One observer described Dershowitz's claim as an 'apologia for authoritarianism,' and another remarked: 'I'm not sure even kings had such powers.' Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the lead House impeachment manager and chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said Dershowitz's defense suggests presidents have free rein to cheat in elections to boost their hopes of victory. 'If you say you can't hold a president accountable in an election year where they're trying to cheat in that election,' said Schiff, 'then you are giving them carte blanche.'"

House Dems Demand Housing Solutions

Federal representatives need to take action to solve the housing crisis. SF Examiner: "Prior to disinvestment of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the 1980s, urban homelessness was a rare sight in the United States. HUD provided funds to local governments to construct affordable housing and operated a robust public housing program. Our public housing programs have been decimated. Tenants in public housing today struggle with buildings in disrepair. A federal law called the Faircloth Amendment prohibits the United States from building more public housing, so while San Francisco struggles from a severe housing shortage, the housing being constructed today is not targeted towards those who need it most. Much of this crisis was caused by our federal government and we need federal intervention to solve it. There are a slew of federal proposals right now that would reinvigorate the federal government’s role in housing. The Homes Guarantee, endorsed by Bernie Sanders, is a national platform to guarantee housing as a human right. It would repeal the Faircloth Amendment, build 12 million more permanently affordable homes, enact federal rent control, tackle segregation, and invest $150 billion to rehab existing public housing. The platform, created by dozens of grassroots housing activists over more than a year, has strong support from progressives in Congress and has led to a series of bills enacting components of the platform. The Place to Prosper Act, by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the Green New Deal for Housing Act, by both Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez, would enact national rent control and retrofit every existing public housing unit in the country. The Homes for All Act, introduced by Ilhan Omar, is based on the Homes Guarantee and would repeal the Faircloth Amendment to build millions more permanently affordable homes."

Scientists Slam Biden's False Claim About GND

57 climate scientists object after Biden falsely claims "not a single solitary scientist" thinks Sanders' Green New Deal can work. Common Dreams: "After former Vice President Joe Biden late last week falsely claimed that "there's not a single solitary scientist that thinks" the kind of bold Green New Deal initiative put forth by his 2020 Democratic primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders "can work," more than four dozen U.S. climate scientists responded Tuesday to make clear that just isn't true. Sanders' Green New Deal is a sweeping proposal that calls for "100 percent renewable energy for electricity and transportation by no later than 2030 and complete decarbonization by at least 2050" while investing $16.3 trillion over ten years to create an estimated 20 million new jobs, support vulnerable communities and a just transition for workers, and fund a massive infrastructure project. The Vermont senator has said such a plan is necessary to avert the worst impacts of the climate crisis. Biden made his comment attacking the plan during a campaign event in Claremont, New Hampshire on Friday, but climate experts were quick to object."

MI Sues Over 'Forever Chemical' Contamination

Michigan sues companies over 'forever chemical' contamination. The Hill:  Michigan is suing several companies over the use of PFAS chemicals, or 'forever chemicals,' due to their persistence in the environment and human body 'Who knew that firefighting foam, teflon, leather goods and clothing ... are just a few of the thousands of industrial and consumer products made with defendants' 'forever' PFAS chemicals that persist and build up in our environment?' asked Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) at a press conference on Tuesday. 'I'll tell you who knew,' she continued, 'The 17 defendants we sued today' In the lawsuit, Michigan accused the companies of manufacturing and using the chemicals 'with full knowledge of PFAS health and environmental risks, which they intentionally hid from the public and the State.' It also accused the companies of failing to act despite knowledge of health and environmental risks posed by PFAS."

Sanders Or Warren? Why Not Both?

Sanders or Warren? Why not both? The Nation: "A progressive unity ticket may seem utopian, but it need not be a fantasy. In fact, the progressive candidates may make the most electable ticket. Corporate Democrats might not like the result, but after lecturing the left about the importance of party unity for decades, they’ll just have to practice what they’ve preached. What if we could have both? Sanders’ courage and consistency and deep understanding of what a rigged system does to the lives of the people it runs over and brands as failures. And Warren’s policy chops and personal warmth and cold intellectual fury at the same bankers and billionaires and predatory monopolists targeted by her rival. Among its other advantages, this approach ensures both candidates would remain in the race until the final primaries on June 2. That’s essential, because the delegate math is clear: If, as now seems likely, three candidates finish with 15 percent of the vote, none would have the nearly 2,000 delegates required to win on the first ballot. That would hand the decision to some 750 unelected delegates appointed by Tom Perez and the Democratic National Committee."

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