Patterico's Pontifications


Democratic Presidential Debate – Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:41 pm

[guest post by Dana]

So while the last debate before the Iowa caucuses happens tonight, there is already the potential for some real drama to happen as contenders Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders finally took the gloves off this week.

But first, on stage tonight at Drake University in Des Moines will be an all-white group of Democratic millionaires (excepting Buttigieg) and one billionaire: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer and Elizabeth Warren.

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have had an interesting week, to say the least. First, the Sanders camp allegedly instructed campaign workers to push a claim to voters that Warren would be weak in a general election because her appeal is limited to wealthy, well-educated Americans:

[T]he script instructs volunteers to tell voters leaning toward the Massachusetts senator that “I like Elizabeth Warren. [optional] In fact, she’s my second choice. But here’s my concern about her.”

It goes on to instruct volunteers to say “people who support her are highly-educated, more affluent people who are going to show up and vote Democratic no matter what” and that “[s]he’s bringing no new bases into the Democratic Party”…

Warren pushed back against the accusation. And then, being a true politician, fundraised off the kerfuffle:

“I was disappointed to hear that Bernie is sending his volunteers out to trash me… Bernie knows me and has known me for a long time, he knows who I am, where I come from, what I have worked on and fought for, and the coalition and grassroots movement we’re trying to build. Democrats want to win in 2020, we all saw the impact of the factionalism in 2016 and we can’t have a repeat of that.”

Sanders denied knowing anything about the talking points:

Asked if he personally approved of such talking points, Sanders gave a straightforward answer.”

“No, of course I did not,” the senator said.

It is now being reported that said Sanders’ camp talking points have been pulled, due to “sloppy wording”.

Next, one day before the Democratic debate, Warren alleged that in 2018 Sanders told her during a private meeting that a woman could not win the presidency:

The two agreed that if they ultimately faced each other as presidential candidates, they should remain civil and avoid attacking one another, so as not to hurt the progressive movement. They also discussed how to best take on President Donald Trump, and Warren laid out two main reasons she believed she would be a strong candidate: She could make a robust argument about the economy and earn broad support from female voters.

Sanders responded that he did not believe a woman could win.

The description of that meeting is based on the accounts of four people: two people Warren spoke with directly soon after the encounter, and two people familiar with the meeting.

Sanders poo-pooed Warren’s claims:

“It is ludicrous to believe that at the same meeting where Elizabeth Warren told me she was going to run for president, I would tell her that a woman couldn’t win,” Sanders said. “It’s sad that, three weeks before the Iowa caucus and a year after that private conversation, staff who weren’t in the room are lying about what happened. What I did say that night was that Donald Trump is a sexist, a racist and a liar who would weaponize whatever he could. Do I believe a woman can win in 2020? Of course! After all, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 3 million votes in 2016.”

Warren was compelled to then release a specific statement about the encounter with Sanders:


[Ed. What a girl: Lob the missile, hit the target, and then say you don’t want to talk about it anymore.]

I’ll just leave you with Democracy for America’s plea for Gran and Gramps to stop this fighting:

“Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, you both are progressive champions and our movement needs to see you working together to defeat your corporate Democratic opponents – not attack each other,” the statement said. “Progressives will win in 2020, but only if we don’t let the corporate wing or [President] Trump divide us.”

Should be a fun night!

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Countless Businesses Still Reeling from Trump Tariffs

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:49 am

Shockingly, the Big New China Tariff Deal is not fixing tariffs for all businesses hurt by them.

Even as the White House celebrates the president’s negotiating accomplishment, the “phase one” deal offers little relief for countless American businesses — including chemical makers, apparel retailers and auto parts manufacturers — that will still face the same punishing tariffs they have confronted for some time.

“There was an assumption that this was a short-term situation,” said Ed Brzytwa, director for international trade at the American Chemistry Council, an industry group. “We’re now at the point where we’re telling our members they should expect these tariffs are going to stay in place for a long time. This has become the new status quo for us.”

. . . .

[T]he tariffs that remain in place will still cover the same $360 billion in Chinese goods that the administration taxed before the signing. Nearly two-thirds of everything Americans buy from China will be tariffed, compared with less than 1 percent before Trump began his anti-China campaign, according to calculations by economist Chad Bown of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

It’s bad for the economy as a whole:

Already, Trump’s tariffs have been a net drag on the economy and have failed to achieve his stated goal of boosting domestic manufacturing, according to a new study by two Federal Reserve Board economists, Aaron Flaaen and Justin Pierce.

Any jobs saved or created in U.S. industries protected by tariffs are more than offset by jobs lost in companies that suffer higher input costs or lose export sales because of retaliatory tariffs, the study, which was released last month, concluded.

“The tariffs have not boosted manufacturing employment or output, even as they increased producer prices,” the study found.

Further suggested reading: How Donald Trump broke U.S. Trade Policy.

Hint: by being an ignorant jackass.

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