Thursday Morning Open Thread: Enjoying Summer to the Full

Looks like a photoshopped backdrop, doesn’t it? But from what I’ve seen of that area, it actually is that pretty, at least in the summer and fall. My favorite Senator has lived in New England long enough to know that she might as well do some campaigning outside of arenas and auditoriums while she can…

Four years ago, New Hampshire voters put Sanders on the national map and catapulted him into a heated primary contest against the establishment favorite, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Now the senator has to repeat his strong performance in the first-in-the-nation primary, eight days after the Iowa caucuses, if he has any chance of making it to the convention next summer.

Unlike in 2016, however, Sanders is facing several well-funded opponents who are battling with him for front-runner status in the early nominating states ― some of whom are running for president for the first time. (Former Vice President Joe Biden is currently leading the polls.) The progressive firebrand who took the left by storm several years ago still has his loyal supporters, of course, but he no longer has the “it” factor of four years ago. He’s still railing against the political establishment and the “corporate media,” but his radical ideas on job security, health care and education don’t seem so radical anymore, at least among a significant chunk of the Democratic Party ― something he acknowledged this week on the campaign trail…

 
Speaking of taking advantage of the summer recess, props to Nancy Smash…








Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Excellent Choice, Ms. Abrams!

Per the Washington Post:

Abrams, speaking at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades in Las Vegas, announced a 20-state voter protection initiative, using her experience challenging voting laws during her gubernatorial campaign last year in Georgia, which included widespread irregularities.

“We’re going to have a fair fight in 2020 because my mission is to make certain that no one has to go through in 2020 what we went through in 2018,” Abrams said…

The effort, expected to cost between $4 million and $5 million, will target 20 states, most of them battlegrounds in the Midwest and Southeast, and three states with gubernatorial elections this year: Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi…

In past election cycles, campaigns and state parties tended to wait until the start of general election campaigning to put together voter protection programs, which were often dismantled after elections. But with ongoing efforts by Republican state lawmakers to pass more restrictive voting laws, Groh-Wargo said, it was important that Democrats start working now to be ready to help voters navigate potential hurdles. Similarly, some states, such as Michigan and Nevada, have recently passed laws to expand access to voting, and party leaders and activists in those states need to make sure voters can take advantage of the changes…

The majority of the program will be run by Fair Fight PAC. Depending on the campaign finance laws of individual states, Fair Fight will make direct cash donations or will help groups raise money to hire staff, set up voter hotlines and develop public information campaigns…

Read the whole thing — it’s really uplifting!


Read more








Open Thread: Good News for My Favorite Candidate

Ed Kilgore, at NYMag“Surging in Polls, Elizabeth Warren Now Has a Path to the Nomination”:

… [T]he development that currently demands attention is the emergence of Senator Elizabeth Warren as something other than the candidate of policy wonks, dismissed as nonviable even among people who think she’d make an outstanding president. Her strong debate performances, a knack for organizing (based on her outstanding retail political skills), and the misfortunes affecting some of her rivals have combined to give her the clear path to the Democratic nomination that she really did not have in the early going.

Recent polls have clearly indicated that Warren is going places. The RealClearPolitics national polling averages show her as basically tied with Bernie Sanders for second place with Joe Biden’s lead narrowing. The two most recent national polls (from Quinnipiac and Economist–You Gov) place her seven and five points, respectively, ahead of Sanders. Just as important, she’s gaining strength in the early states. A new Monmouth poll from Iowa places her ten points ahead of Bernie, and just nine points behind Biden, in a state where everyone concedes she has the best organization. In New Hampshire polls, where Biden’s early lead was less formidable, she’s nipping at Sanders’s heels. Warren is in a similar position in Nevada (which holds its caucuses 11 days after the New Hampshire primary), where Politico reported yesterday that she has already built a “monster” of an organization.
Read more








Monday Morning Open Thread: Because of Wow

For this brief moment, let us celebrate the wonder…


.


.

And a slightly belated Eid Mubarak! to our Muslim readers…








Sunday Morning Open Thread

Nobody sent me any garden photos, probably because everybody’s out keeping those gardens in picture-perfect shape. And I should most definitely spend this afternoon (several many afternoons, TBH) doing just that…

Stay positive, y’all!