I didn’t take the time to try and make some cutting remarks about last night’s candidates, so I’ll bypass that opportunity for tonight. But let’s set the stage with a few questions to ponder:
Does Joe Biden need to hit Kamala Harris with a zingy one-liner tonight, even if it isn’t quite a haymaker of a blow?
Will Kamala Harris say something tonight that her campaign will immediately be forced to “clarify” once the debate ends?
How in the world does Cory Booker get his campaign untracked without telling an embellished story which casts himself as selfless and heroic?
Who among the rest of the crowd — Michael Bennett, Julián Castro, Bill de Blasio, Tulsi Gabbard (ta-thump! ta-thump! goes my heart!), Kirsten Gillibrand, Jay Inslee, and Andrew Yang — will be making his or her final appearance on the debate stage tonight?
There will be a Black Moon tonight in the Western Hemisphere. Space.com explains What It Is (and Why You Can’t See It):
While a full moon refers to the moment when the moon’s Earth-facing side is fully illuminated by sunlight, a new moon refers to the moment when the moon’s Earth-facing side is fully in shadow. (Unfortunately, that means the Black Moon will be more or less invisible, even if the moon is high in the sky).
The lunar calendar almost lines up with Earth’s calendar year, so there is typically one full moon and one new moon each month. A second full moon in a single calendar month is sometimes called a “Blue Moon.” A Black Moon is supposedly the flip side of a Blue Moon: the second new moon in a single calendar month. The next Black Moon takes place on July 31 (in the Western Hemisphere).
The Black Moon is a somewhat unusual celestial event — they occur about once every 32 months, and they sometimes only occur in certain time zones. From most of the Western Hemisphere, the new moon occurring on Wednesday, July 31 is a Black Moon. Officially, it occurs at 11:13 p.m. EDT (0313 GMT on Aug. 1).
This has nothing to do with the Democratic debate, which is also tonight. Or does it?
The Federal Reserve cut its key interest rate Wednesday for the first time in a decade to try to counter the impact of President Donald Trump’s trade wars, stubbornly low inflation and global weakness.
It left open the possibility of future rate cuts, but perhaps not as many as Wall Street had been hoping for. During a news conference, Chairman Jerome Powell struggled to find just the right words to articulate the Fed’s strategy and what might prompt future rate cuts at a time when the risk of a recession in the United States seems relatively low.
The central bank reduced its benchmark rate — which affects many loans for households and businesses — by a quarter-point to a range of 2% to 2.25%. It’s the first rate cut since December 2008 during the depths of the Great Recession, when the Fed slashed its rate to a record low near zero and kept it there until 2015. The economy is far healthier now despite risks to what’s become the longest expansion on record.
Following up on last night’s Democratic debate (Part 1 of infinity), President Trump attacked CNN’s Don Lemon for a debate question. The question was: “Senator Klobuchar, what do you say to those Trump voters who prioritize the economy over the President’s bigotry?”:
President Trump took aim at Don Lemon Wednesday, calling him “the dumbest man on television” over a question the CNN host asked during Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential debate.
“CNN’s Don Lemon, the dumbest man on television, insinuated last night while asking a debate ‘question’ that I was a racist, when in fact I am ‘the least racist person in the world.’ Perhaps someone should explain to Don that he is supposed to be neutral, unbiased & fair or is he too dumb (stupid} to understand that,” Trump tweeted.
“No wonder CNN’s ratings (MSNBC’s also) have gone down the tubes – and will stay there until they bring credibility back to the newsroom,” he added. “Don’t hold your breath!”
This sums up our horrible politics, media, and culture all in one nice short clip. John Delaney was thought to have had a strong night until this supposed gaffe, where he decried “impossible promises” and “fairy tale economics.” Elizabeth Warren scolded him for this and the crowd went wild:
Most of what Delaney says there is garbage, but the one sensible thing he said — that his party should be more realistic and less pie-in-the-sky — is what Warren seized on. She issued a superficial retort that basically said “yes” to impossible promises and fairy-tale economics.
As you can see, the reaction of the chattering class was “yay Warren!”:
John Delaney was having a strong night up until this point, says editor @PoliticoCharlie. Clear, concise, creating a sharp contrast, making the most of the opportunity – then Elizabeth Warren delivered that roundhouse punch.
No discussion of whether he’s right. Just a statement that Warren’s support of fairy tales was a “roundhouse punch.” And why not conclude that? After all, a crowd of hyperpartisans (who I assume, per usual practice, had been handed tickets to the debate by the campaigns) cheered Warren loudly.
Stupid Delaney, trying to get sensible for a brief moment in that environment. You see what happens when you try to move away from superficiality for even a second.
Even the satirists at the Babylon Bee have a limit to jokes — and the attempts by Snopes to “fact check” their humor doesn’t qualify. In a message to subscribers yesterday, the Bee declared that Snopes was attempting to exploit its position as a Facebook partner to “deplatform” the conservative satire site. In response, the Babylon Bee has decided to sic their very real and non-humorous attorneys against the urban-legend site to put an end to their harassment.
NOTE: I edited the title to add “may” since there doesn’t appear to be a lawsuit filed. My thanks to Davethulhu for pointing this out.
President’s lawyer threatens court challenge, calling new law unconstitutional
California will require presidential candidates to hand over their tax returns in order to appear on the state’s primary-election ballot, setting up a likely legal conflict with President Trump over his continued refusal to disclose any tax documents.
Under a law signed Tuesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, candidates must turn over five years of tax returns at least 98 days before the March 3 primary. The state would then release a redacted version of the documents.
The Constitution sets forth the requirements to be President that are based on age, citizenship and residency but laws do allow states to establish rules to limit ballot access, such as requiring filing fees and gathering signatures. In addition, this law only applies to the primary election, not the general election.
The Trump administration said Wednesday it will set up a system to allow Americans to legally import lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada, weakening a longstanding ban that had stood as a top priority for the politically powerful pharmaceutical industry.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar made the announcement Wednesday morning. Previous administrations had sided with the industry on importation, echoing its concerns that it could expose patients to risks from counterfeit or substandard medications.
Azar, a former drug industry executive, said U.S. patients will be able to import medications safely and effectively, with oversight from the Food and Drug Administration. The administration’s proposal would allow states, wholesalers and pharmacists to get FDA approval to import certain medications that are also available here.
This likely won’t impact those who take generic drugs but the article says it could help cancer and Hepatitis C patients and diabetes patients who take insulin.
Secretary Azar “credited President Donald Trump for pushing the idea.”
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