Small Potatoes & Few in the Hill: The NYTimes Presents Sen. Sanders with A Status Update


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During the 2016 campaign, Sanders was of infinite use to the NYTimes hierarchy in their decades-long quest to demonize Hillary Clinton.

Clinton’s not running in 2020, and it would seem the NYTimes wants the widest audience possible to know their current far-more-lukewarm assessment of the Vermont Independent:

Senator Bernie Sanders met on Wednesday with former staff members who conveyed their dismay over the mistreatment of women during his 2016 campaign, in an effort to calm the unrest over sexism that is overshadowing his possible 2020 bid.

Mr. Sanders met with roughly two dozen former workers for about an hour in a conference room at a hotel near the Capitol. The meeting was convened in response to a recent letter sent by more than two dozen people who worked on Mr. Sanders’s 2016 campaign, asking to meet with the senator and his leadership team to discuss issues of harassment.

The senator did not make himself available for comment afterward, and some attendees said they preferred to keep the discussions private. One woman said she found the meeting exhausting but declined to elaborate…

Among those close to Mr. Sanders who attended were Jeff Weaver, his 2016 campaign manager, and Ari Rabin-Havt, Mr. Sanders’s deputy chief of staff. There were also some people from his campaign arm, including Arianna Jones, a communications aide. Mr. Sanders’s wife, Jane Sanders, made a brief appearance.

Mr. Sanders skipped an important Senate vote on Russia sanctions to attend the meeting around noontime. He was the only senator not to appear as Republicans blocked a Democratic resolution to prevent the Trump administration from easing sanctions on a Russian oligarch. The measure, which required 60 votes to proceed, was defeated, 57 to 42, and his vote would not have affected the outcome.

There were some signs of trouble even before the meeting began. Some attendees were upset that the draft of the agenda did not directly address specific allegations of mistreatment of women, or say which top Sanders aides would attend. Several women said the travel logistics were poorly handled, with some saying they were not invited until 48 hours before the daylong meeting was scheduled to begin…

Truly, a climactic change of attitude. Perhaps the NYTimes will be able to unearth copies of Sen. Sanders’ tax returns this time?



Someone had to say it.

Michelle Obama created a bit of a stir at a stop on her book tour last night, speaking about the struggle women face to balance their personal and professional lives:

Tell that truth, ma’am. Open thread!



Open Thread: An ‘Angry (But Positive!) Mob’ — of Women Voters

From the Washington Post, “Anti-Trump fervor fuels a new movement aimed squarely at winning elections”:

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio — President Trump’s political nightmare, a mother of two in a custom campaign polo, bounded down the driveway like a sweepstakes winner. She had just chatted up a shirtless Republican out to mow his lawn, and he liked what she said.

“He’s with me on the cost of health care and preexisting conditions,” Lorraine Wilburn, a first-time Democratic candidate for the Ohio statehouse, told her 11-year-old son, Finn. “He said he would take a look at me.”

Finn was used to this sort of enthusiasm, ever since his mother started attending liberal activist meetings after the 2016 election. He had learned not to be surprised if Mom started sounding like a comic book heroine akin to Wonder Woman, whose image she keeps on her phone…

Thin margins of error have not discouraged the new foot soldiers of the Democratic resistance. They don’t cover their faces with bandannas, speak of socialist revolution or get lost in debates about the best model for Medicare expansion.

Instead, many of them juggle campaign events with school commutes and soccer practice. They leave the kids with their husbands to march, come out of retirement to register voters and form close bonds with neighbors who were strangers when Hillary Clinton was the presumptive president. An aspiring blue wave with a decidedly pink hue, they are women defined by a desire to atone for their relative inaction in 2016.

“People are making social connections that they really, really like,” said Abby Karp, an organizer for Swing Left in North Carolina, who works days as a dean at a private school in Greensboro. “I don’t even have a Facebook page anymore. I have a political page. I don’t know what my cousin is doing. I know what canvass is coming up.”…

ActBlue, a central conduit for Democratic campaign contributions, has recorded 4.5 million contributors so far in the 2018 cycle, with about 61 percent of the money coming from women. That compares with 1.5 million donations in the 2014 cycle, when about 52 percent of the money came from women.

“Coming together is the antidote. It’s the antithesis of the divisiveness,” said Lauren Friedman, an Ohio state Senate candidate and mother of three, who started organizing with Wilburn in Canton days after Trump’s election. “Even us just going and canvassing — that is making a change.”…

Michelle Goldberg, in the NYTimes, on “A Cure for Political Despair”:

There is, I find, only one thing that soothes my galloping anxiety, and that is talking to women who are actually doing the work of campaigning. The people who are knocking on doors and organizing rallies tend to be much more cheerful and confident than those who spend too much time on Twitter obsessing over each new poll.
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International Day of the Girl

Just some images from the day:

 

#InternationalDayoftheGirl

Open thread.



Proud to Be A Democrat: Concerning Heidi Heitkamp

North Dakota’s 2017 voter law ID was challenged by Native residents who alleged that the law disproportionately blocked Native Americans from voting. In April, a federal district court judge blocked large portions of the law as discriminatory against Native voters. “The State has acknowledged that Native American communities often lack residential street addresses,” Judge Daniel Hovland wrote. “Nevertheless, under current State law an individual who does not have a ‘current residential street address’ will never be qualified to vote.” According to the website of the Native American Rights Fund, which represents the plaintiffs, many native residents lack residential street addresses because “the U.S. postal service does not provide residential delivery in these rural Indian communities.”As a result, tribal IDs use P.O. boxes, which are not sufficient under North Dakota’s new law—a specification that seems designed to disenfranchise native voters. Hovland’s ruling was in place during the primaries this spring.

But in September, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the law to go into effect. The Supreme Court upheld that ruling Tuesday. In her dissent, Ginsburg argued that the Supreme Court’s order was at odds with one of the top court’s most frequently invoked doctrines on election law: not to change the rules right before an election. By allowing a different set of ID rules in the general election from in the primary, Ginsburg warned, the court was risking widespread confusion and disenfranchisement…

Ginsburg noted that according to the factual record of the case, about 20 percent of voters likely to try to cast a ballot in the midterms will lack the required identification. Another “approximately18,000 North Dakota residents also lack supplemental documentation sufficient to permit them to vote without a qualifying ID,” she noted.

But very few among that 20% will be elderly white people who’ve lived at the same address for decades, so the chances of losing Repub votes is much smaller!

Per the Washington Post:

RUTLAND, N.D. — … One day after the [Kavanaugh] vote, she was back among North Dakotans, wearing a dark sweatshirt against the chill as she led a group of about 100 supporters during the parade for Uffda Day, a Scandinavian heritage festival held each year in this town of fewer than 200 residents.

“I knew this was going to be a difficult vote,” she said in an interview. “I just hope I have the chance to explain why.”…
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