Monday Morning Open Thread: Speaking Truth

Saturday Morning Open Thread: Readership Capture


Balloon Juice After Dark Open Thread: GO COUGARS, Sen. Warren!

Friday night, presumably the young & impressionable are either in bed or off partying somewhere, let’s indulge in a nice rowdy game of Kick the Wohl-ball!

First off — if Warren isn’t our 2020 candidate, the winner should most definitely hire her social media staff instanter, because they are GOOD:

Backstory / fisking, ICYMI:

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Election 2020 Open Thread: Kamala Harris Gets Her TIME Cover

Molly Ball is always worth reading, even when her editors have saddled her with a blatantly biased pre-take. “Kamala Harris Is Making Her Case… “:

Harris is here, in Iowa, trying to regain her footing in the race. After a promising start in January, her campaign has stalled. While she is in the competition for the nomination, she’s stuck in the mid–single digits in most national and early-state polls and draws modest crowds. Perhaps three dozen people showed up to see her in Waterloo, where they were packed into a few rows in front of the stage so that the large room–an ornate century-old former department store–wouldn’t look so empty.

In mid-September, Harris said she’d be focusing on the first-to-vote caucus state. It was something of an unwitting announcement: she was overheard in Washington joking to a colleague, “I’m f-cking moving to Iowa.” (At least, a staffer quipped, “she didn’t say, ‘I’m moving to f-cking Iowa.’”) Her campaign is doubling its staff in the state, to more than 130 people, and she has pledged to visit every week for the foreseeable future. “I’m really excited about it,” she tells me, saying the opportunity to engage in “old-school retail politics” reminds her of her San Francisco political roots. “I like people.”

People like Harris too; they just can’t quite place her. Like the acquaintance you recognize but can’t recall how you met, she seems both familiar and yet mysterious. Is she a liberal or a moderate, establishment or populist, reformer or radical? Critics point out that she has flip-flopped or obfuscated her positions on important policy issues, like health care and immigration, and the speeches she could use to define herself often devolve into paeans to unity.

For all that, however, Harris remains in the hunt. She consistently polls among the top five candidates in the jumbled Democratic field, and she has the financial resources to remain viable. Her campaign raised $11.6 million in the quarter ending Sept. 30–a respectable haul, although far short of what some other front runners pulled in. As more long-shot candidates bow out of the race, campaign officials expect Harris to benefit from voters’ renewed focus. With a little luck, they say, she still has a fairly clear path to the nomination…

Meanwhile, as the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives moves toward impeachment, another piece of Harris’ record may supercharge her candidacy in the coming months: her background in law enforcement. At a time when liberals are clamoring to make the criminal-justice system less punitive, her record as a district attorney and state attorney general has been a liability. But in this new political climate, voters may relish the idea of seeing Harris–with her icy prosecutor’s glare–square off against President Trump on the national stage.

“This guy has completely trampled on the rule of law, avoided consequence and accountability under law,” she says of the President. “For all the sh-t people give me for being a prosecutor, listen. I believe there should be accountability and consequence.”…
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Election 2020 Open Thread: Warren Moves Fast , Wins (Some) Hearts

Hunter Walk, a former product director at Google who is now a venture capitalist, calls it his “evolution.”

“To find her right on everything else and then disqualifying when it’s about my industry? Maybe that’s a little bit too precious,” said Walk. “I’m willing to say, ‘Yes, change all the other things! Uproot all these other assumptions!’ But then, oh my goodness, when she said something about tech, that’s disqualifying? Come on.”

Walk isn’t alone. Recode’s canvass of a group of major Democratic donors and fundraisers in Silicon Valley shows Warren is making significant inroads with some of tech’s wealthiest Democrats. That progress would have been unthinkable just six months ago after she called for the industry’s iconic companies to be split asunder.

Warren has not moderated her at times vitriolic rhetoric toward Silicon Valley. But tech elites are not, as often caricatured, single-issue voters driven by tech policy. And the two dozen tech executives, investors, and veteran fundraisers who spoke with Recode outlined three key reasons why their industry is making this unexpected shift toward Warren: They say they respect her policy rigor. They see her as less radical than once imagined (and especially when compared to Bernie Sanders). And perhaps most importantly, she has a reasonable path to winning the nomination, and there’s nothing Silicon Valley loves more than a winner.

What’s even more unusual is that Warren is gaining traction with these elites by doing barely any of the traditional coaxing and coddling that is a mainstay of today’s big-money era. While some of her 2020 competitors are returning to Silicon Valley multiple times within a single month, Warren is, by at least one measure, doing the best in the tech industry while also doing the least — sometimes with glee
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