Friday Morning Open Thread: Not So Fast, Squash Boy

(Jack Ohman via GoComics.com)
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And, of course, there’s this side note:








Late Night 2020 Election Open Thread: Steve Bullock, Bill de Blasio, Mike Gravel, Uncle Tom Cobleigh* et al.

(*Refers to the other folkloric Uncle Tom, and one overburdened… horse.)

Also Dave Weigel, in the Washington Post:

On Wednesday, when the news broke that New York mayor Bill de Blasio was going to seek the White House, Mike Gravel asked why he’d even bother…

Gravel, who celebrated his 89th birthday last weekend, is not typically included in the count of Democratic White House hopefuls. There’s a reason: He initially said he was not really running for president. He was running to get into the party’s televised debates, like he had in 2007, when he emerged from decades of obscurity to hector the Democratic field about the risks of nuclear war. And he was doing so this time at the behest of some perspicacious, teenage left-wing activists, whose stated goal was to not to win but to shift the party to the left.

That has been enough to get Gravel halfway to the 65,000 donors needed to qualify for a slot in the debates, a stronger position than at least a half-dozen candidates who say they’re actually running. The Gravel project epitomizes what the primary has become before it can be winnowed down: a contest with a clear leader in the polls (former vice president Joe Biden), a left-wing challenger (Sen. Bernie Sanders), a few candidates with the money and staff to seriously compete, and a whole lot of candidates who are not being taken seriously…

I, of course, blame the Republicans — after their 2016 KKKlown Karnival ended with the ‘winner’ embedded in the Oval Office like a tick, why wouldn’t any halfway ambitious politician try during the next cycle? Jonathan Bernstein, at Bloomberg Opinion:

There was always going to be a large field in this cycle, given that there was no obvious front-runner and most Democrats think President Donald Trump is beatable. Those are two standard reasons that candidates choose to run.
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Cold Grey Pre-Dawn Open Thread: Cosplay Socialists for Fox

Elsewhere in the Extremely Online multiverse…


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Warren Says NOPE to Fox News Town Hall

Good for her:

I get why Democratic presidential primary candidates appear on Fox: It burnishes their bipartisan bona fides and can generate a lot of positive press from a Beltway media that is determined to uphold Fox News’ legitimacy as a “sister organization,” as Jake Tapper once called it.

But while preening hacks like Tapper may coo over the alleged bravery of Dems who appear on the TrumpCo propaganda outlet, in my book, Warren’s is the more courageous approach. She’s standing up for something more important than a momentary bump in the polls or both-sidesy hack approval; she’s standing up for the truth, which is that Fox News is a white grievance/racism distribution network that has done incalculable damage to America. Warren, quoted in HuffPo:

“A Democratic town hall gives the Fox News sales team a way to tell potential sponsors it’s safe to buy ads on Fox ― no harm to their brand or reputation (spoiler: it’s not),” she said. “I won’t ask millions of Democratic primary voters to tune into an outlet that profits from racism and hate in order to see our candidates ― especially when Fox will make even more money adding our valuable audience to their ratings numbers.”

So far, Sanders and Klobuchar have done a Fox News town hall, and Gillibrand and Buttigieg have scheduled one. Castro is said to be “in the process of scheduling one,” and Booker, O’Rourke and Harris are considering it.

Again, it might work out for those individual candidates as a campaign strategy, but appearing on Fox News undermines the larger and ongoing project of documenting the network’s relentless bias and discrediting it as a legitimate news source outside wingnut circles. People like Jane Mayer have done great work to that end, and when Democratic presidential candidates appear on Fox News, they undermine that work. That’s not brave. It’s selfish.








Late Night Cheap Mockery Open thread: Bill de Blasio Is A Schmuck

Despite his (literally) lordly stature, he doesn’t rise even to the putz level.

His NYC subjects are sceptical! NYMag:

All that mayor of New York and presidential hopeful Bill de Blasio wanted to do on Monday was to travel by SUV caravan to a home of the current president and lambaste him for the steep emissions emanating from his buildings. But de Blasio’s conference at Trump Tower was derailed when a group of protesters counterprogrammed the mayor’s eight-minute speech by playing surprisingly loud music in the lobby, chanting “you suck” (the jack-of-all-trades of heckling phrases), and holding signs that read “Trump 2020” and “Worst Mayor Ever.”

It shouldn’t be surprising that the event was inundated with protesters, considering that three out of four New Yorkers don’t want the mayor to run for president and he held the speech at the historic capital of Trump World. But de Blasio held his ground: “This is a public space where people are allowed to express their views. In New York City, we’re perfectly tough. If people want to offer their opposition, it doesn’t change me one bit.”

On paper, de Blasio’s speech was meant to promote the NYC Green New Deal and publicize a City Council bill passed in April requiring buildings larger than 25,000 square feet to cut emissions. De Blasio, who has yet to sign the bill, said it’s a symbol of the city’s intention to hold all landlords accountable, “even the president of the United States.”…

Against all evidence, de Blasio remains convinced that, if the White House is to be occupied by a “brash, big-picture” New Yorker, it should be him — no matter what all those timid timeservers in his own inner circle may say behind his back. From the Atlantic, last week:

Multiple people close to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio gave up trying to talk him out of running for president earlier this year. Now he’s reportedly going to try to win Iowa and New Hampshire without most of his friends—or even people on his payroll—supporting him…
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