Democrat Debates: Making the Cut (and Primary News)

The first Democratic debates will be held over two days in June -- who's in and who's out? The NY Times has a graphic that's easy to read and informative.

The basic rules to qualify:

A candidate either has to receive donations from 65,000 people (including 200 donors apiece in 20 states) or has to register 1 percent support in three polls. Only polls from a preset list of organizations are accepted, and candidates cannot count two polls from the same pollster in the same place.

Right now, 17 of the 20 contenders would qualify. I have never heard of 8 of them. One seems to be buying his way in with a process that's not illegal: he's offering $1,000 a month for 12 months to an ordinary Iowan who agrees to media coverage. Is that why he has over 100,000 unique donors? Who would want a venture capitalist as President? (Answer: Not me).

Here's the point: [More...]

If more than 20 qualify at the time of the debate, more cuts will be made. Among the determining factors:

[T]he final tie-breaking measure would be the number of donors, in which case candidates who just barely cleared the 65,000 threshold could be cut.

So if you have a favorite or two or three, even a donation of $5 or $l0 would make you a unique donor, thereby reducing the chance of their elimination.

We get the Government we elect. Millions of Democrats will have their first real chance to evaluate the candidates who are not household names at the debates. Don't let your fave get bounced by a low donor threshhold.

In other primary news, Colorado Governor Jared Polis has changed Colorado's primary day to Super Tuesday.

“I’m excited that Colorado voters will have the opportunity to weigh in early in the process,” Polis said. “By joining the Super Tuesday states I think we can really highlight Colorado as a key state, because among the Super Tuesday states Colorado is one of the only ones that is also a competitive state for (the general election in) November, a purple state.”

Another bonus for Colorado: Voting will be by mail-in ballot instead of by caucus and the unaffiliated can vote.

The order will be: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina and then the 20 Super Tuesday states and then the rest.

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    Pete just lost me (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 01, 2019 at 03:51:43 PM EST
    Sorry Pete.  F your "belief"

    They should not be allowed.  Period.

    "The law of the land for more than a century has been that states may enforce mandatory vaccination for public safety to prevent the spread of a dangerous disease. Pete does support some exceptions, except during a public health emergency to prevent an outbreak," a spokesperson for the South Bend, Indiana, mayor told BuzzFeed News.

    In particular, Buttigieg believes exemptions are appropriate for people who can't be vaccinated for medical reasons. Personal belief and religious exemptions should only be allowed in states that aren't facing a public health crisis and where herd immunity rates of vaccination are maintained.

    "These exemptions include medical exemptions in all cases (as in cases where it is unsafe for the individual to get vaccinated), and personal/religious exemptions if states can maintain local herd immunity and there is no public health crisis," the spokesperson said.

    After this article was published, the campaign added in a "clarifying statement" early Wednesday that Buttigieg only supported medical exemptions to vaccinations.

    "Pete believes vaccines are safe and effective and are necessary to maintaining public health," the spokesperson said. "There is no evidence that vaccines are unsafe, and he believes children should be immunized to protect their health. He is aware that in most states the law provides for some kinds of exemptions. He believes only medical exemptions should be allowed."

    A fast back-track. (none / 0) (#17)
    by KeysDan on Wed May 01, 2019 at 04:28:40 PM EST
    Hope this was not one of his policies based on "vindication" of values, as he proclaimed in a Town Hall question about his specific proposals:  "It's important that we not drown people in minutia before we've vindicated the values that animate our policies."   Whatever that means.

    Starting to think (none / 0) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 01, 2019 at 04:35:33 PM EST

    could be his campaign slogan


    I sent a couple of bucks (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 02, 2019 at 07:34:11 AM EST
    To Klobuchar

    After listening to some excerpts of (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Peter G on Thu May 02, 2019 at 08:50:03 AM EST
    the hearing, my opinion of Cory Booker has fallen significantly, while my opinion of Kamala Harris has risen.

    Harris shined for sure (none / 0) (#26)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 02, 2019 at 09:19:08 AM EST
    I thinking she was born to be AG

    That said (none / 0) (#27)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 02, 2019 at 09:38:38 AM EST
    I also think of all the women she seems to me the most likely to get traction in the debates and be a contender.

    was it her sharp questioning of (none / 0) (#34)
    by Jeralyn on Thu May 02, 2019 at 11:18:46 AM EST
    Barr? A career prosecutor ought to know how to grill a hostile witness. I'd like to see her show some compassion (not just lip service) for those the government prosecutes. Yesterday was not the day to do it, but before jumping on her band wagon, I'd like to see something other than courtroom skills (which we saw during Kavenaugh). She's a little too bombastic for my taste.

    Not jumping on her bandwagon, for the reason (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Peter G on Thu May 02, 2019 at 03:47:59 PM EST
    you articulated. But I will admit that I want my President to be very bright, and I do associate that kind of intelligence with the ability to get a thought to come out of your mouth articulately and intelligibly. Booker doesn't have it; sadly, he reminded me of George W. Bush in that respect.

    intelligence (none / 0) (#57)
    by thomas rogan on Tue May 07, 2019 at 10:12:29 AM EST
    Lawyer skills like being quick on your toes verbally are a sort of a trick not highly correlated with being a good president.  You have to be able to see through a brick wall in time, as Tolkien would say, and you have to be able to read a teleprompter persuasively.  

    Likeable, (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by KeysDan on Thu May 02, 2019 at 10:41:24 AM EST
    funny, brilliant. At once my world was rocked and saddened by what might have been gained and what was lost.  

    Secretary Clinton was interviewed last night by Rachel Maddow. Rachel started with the unnecessary question, have you read the Mueller Report. She not only read the report, but quoted from it extensively---word for word. Perhaps Secretary Clinton could have briefed the "exonerators," the low Barr and lickspittle Rosenstein, who it appeared did not read the Report in its entirety.

    Mrs. Clinton noted that she was "living rent free" inside Trump's brain and illustrated the Constitutional undermining of our elections by foreign meddling if Republicans are backed by Russia, and Democrats sought help from another power, such as Iran or China.  "China if you are listening, why don't you get Trump's tax returns?"
    Emphasizing both the seriousness and ridiculousness, she added the familiar line of the orange menace: "I'm sure our media would richly reward you."

    Saw that (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 02, 2019 at 10:51:26 AM EST
    It was all you say.

    Listening to her and to Barr and the republicans I'm starting to think the behavior of the whole republican bloc can simply no longer be explained by desperation to protect Trump.  

    Sure the "base" loves him.  But if they allowed the House to do its work much of that would change.  In fact I would argue they are hoisting themselves on their own petards and virtually guaranteeing the loss of the senate in 18 months.


    Why on earth would they do this? Lie after ridiculous lie that's easily proven.  Why when they could have Pence?  Who might actually get re-elected.

    I think the only possibility that makes any sense any more is they are neck deep in the Russia/NRA/ money nexus and dozens of them would go down in flames if the truth actually comes out.  Which it seems likely to do.

    What they are doing just seems absurdly desperate


    Their is desperation (none / 0) (#41)
    by smott on Thu May 02, 2019 at 04:39:47 PM EST
    For ones up to their neck in Russian money.

    But for all the rest starting most plainly with McConnell, it's simply about power, period.

    "There is only power, and those to weak to seek it"

    We have our own Voldemort, basically.


    They (none / 0) (#43)
    by FlJoe on Thu May 02, 2019 at 04:57:47 PM EST
    are all neck deep in Russian money.
    An example is Len Blavatnik, a dual U.S.-U.K. citizen and one of the largest donors to GOP political action committees in the 2015-16 election cycle. Blavatnik's family emigrated to the U.S. in the late '70s from the U.S.S.R. and he returned to Russia when the Soviet Union began to collapse in the late '80s.

    Data from the Federal Election Commission show that Blavatnik's campaign contributions dating back to 2009-10 were fairly balanced across party lines and relatively modest for a billionaire. During that season he contributed $53,400. His contributions increased to $135,552 in 2011-12 and to $273,600 in 2013-14, still bipartisan.

    In 2015-16, everything changed. Blavatnik's political contributions soared and made a hard right turn as he pumped $6.35 million into GOP political action committees, with millions of dollars going to top Republican leaders including Sens. Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham.

    Including Mitch most likely (none / 0) (#44)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 02, 2019 at 05:02:46 PM EST
    As far as power, that is my exact point.  If it is about power it makes no sense because they are setting themselves up to lose the senate.  Pence would give them just as much or more power and they would not look like shameless shills to 60% of the country.

    What's happening has stopped making any sense based on what we know


    It (none / 0) (#45)
    by FlJoe on Thu May 02, 2019 at 05:40:23 PM EST
    makes sense if they aren't afraid of free and fair elections. They cheated last time and are getting away with it, they will do it again.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#46)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 02, 2019 at 05:46:56 PM EST
    I thought about adding that but didn't.  Seems almost silly.  

    Until you take a good look around.


    On (none / 0) (#47)
    by FlJoe on Thu May 02, 2019 at 06:01:02 PM EST
    my most cynical days it almost seems inevitable.

    At this point in time tRump is essentially above the law.

    That status quo for the next 18 months spells doom.


    what did nancy pelosi say? (none / 0) (#58)
    by thomas rogan on Tue May 07, 2019 at 10:13:48 AM EST
    She said that Trump would not accept the results of a close 2020 election.  Sound familiar?

    Randy Rainbow explains it all to you. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 01, 2019 at 03:25:37 AM EST

    Oops. (none / 0) (#2)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 01, 2019 at 03:27:57 AM EST
    If you are not watching tv (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 01, 2019 at 08:57:40 AM EST
    You should be.  This is going to be good.

    Robert Costa, a very cautious reporter (none / 0) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 01, 2019 at 09:04:04 AM EST
    Just said democrats are looking to impeach Barr.  And his answers today will determine if they do.  But they probably will.

    I actually wonder if this was some kind of plan to keep the democrats busy.


    Barr (none / 0) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 01, 2019 at 09:18:43 AM EST
    Is looking at DiFi a bit like a deer in the headlights.

    A deer with the attitude (none / 0) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 01, 2019 at 09:20:44 AM EST
    "Vehicle speeding toward me? I do not concern myself with vehicles speeding toward me."

    Lindsey and Barr (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 01, 2019 at 09:42:46 AM EST
    Are f'ing desperate.

    Watching them is awsum.

    Seriously.   Watch THIS.


    SERIOUSLY (none / 0) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 01, 2019 at 09:43:33 AM EST
    watch this

    Honest to god (none / 0) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 01, 2019 at 09:54:29 AM EST
    I am watching while I am making Cream of Asparagus soup with chicken and shrooms Soup.

    And doing shots with every LIE.

    I expect to pass out soon.


    Mueller's letter to (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by KeysDan on Wed May 01, 2019 at 10:31:28 AM EST
    Barr, is even more damning than that initially reported. Both in terms of the summaries already provided to the DOJ by Mueller and the nicely/legally worded assertion by Mueller of Barr lying in his own non-summary, summary.

    And, once again, Barr is lying to the Senate and sweating like a gas station hot dog.

    Yes, Barr should go---one way or another.  However, we should not allow Barr to be the impeachment decoy.  Trump is the head from which the Republican fish has rotted.  (Note: scroll down on the Vox link for the referenced Mueller letter)


    Sheldon Whitehouse (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 01, 2019 at 10:39:26 AM EST
    When did you have the conversation worth Bobb mueller

    Senator Kamala Harris (none / 0) (#12)
    by KeysDan on Wed May 01, 2019 at 11:10:07 AM EST
    should be a barn burner.  

    Mueller Time (none / 0) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 01, 2019 at 03:33:08 PM EST
    WASHINGTON, May 1 (Reuters) - The Democratic chairman of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee said on Wednesday an agreement had been reached to have Special Counsel Robert Mueller testify to Congress on his probe into Russian election interference and possible attempts by the President Donald Trump to impede the probe.

    Representative Jerry Nadler told reporters the agreement was for Mueller to testify sometime in May, but that a specific date had yet to be agreed upon.

    Wow, Barr (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by KeysDan on Wed May 01, 2019 at 03:55:37 PM EST
    threw Mueller under the bus.  A snitty letter, probably written by Mueller's staff, says Barr with no small amount of snit.  A lot of talk among pundits and in a letter by Comey, wondering what in the world happened to wonderful Barr. Maybe Trump ate his soul, says Comey.  Or, maybe, he has always been a Republican hack (cf. Iran Contra, Noriega.)

    Kamala Harris uncovered the fact that Barr, Rosenstein et al. did not look at the underlying evidence before making their decision, no collusion, no collusion, no obstruction, no nothing.  

    I have a feeling that Mrs. Barr and Mrs. Mueller will not be going to Bible Study together anymore.


    Seriously (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 01, 2019 at 06:50:22 PM EST
    and Comey wonders why people have a problem with him? I mean he comes off as incredibly naive for someone his age with the things he has said and done over the past few years.

    I am more convinced than ever that (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Anne on Wed May 01, 2019 at 10:42:11 PM EST
    Barr has not read the report, but had it briefed to him. There are too many things he seemed unfamiliar with, didn't know, seemed puzzled about, for him to have read it.

    And why should he? His August memo made clear he'd already decided Trump could not have committed obstruction.

    I was particularly struck by Barr saying that "we" had not made a decision about invoking executive privilege. We? Perhaps a slip of the tongue, but clear evidence of Barr's bias & his functioning more as an upgrade from Giuliani than as the people's attorney.

    And aren't we all glad that Barr has decided that this president has the power to end investigations that he decides are based on false allegations?

    I have no idea why anyone expected anything better or different from this guy.


    Hi stranger (5.00 / 4) (#23)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 02, 2019 at 06:59:17 AM EST
    Define (none / 0) (#16)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 01, 2019 at 04:03:13 PM EST

    Barr was brought in to be Trump's firewall. (none / 0) (#20)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 01, 2019 at 06:31:26 PM EST
    Instead, he's quickly turned into Trump's soft underbelly, and is now a liability rather than an asset. Congressional Democrats should issue Barr a target letter for contempt of Congress, which should force his recusal. Take out Barr, and Trump's legal flank is exposed.

    Our own Sen. Mazie Hirono was awesome today.


    Barr will NOT (none / 0) (#19)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 01, 2019 at 04:44:08 PM EST
    Be in the House tomorrow

    WHAT a surprise.

    Barr's blowing off (none / 0) (#31)
    by KeysDan on Thu May 02, 2019 at 10:54:55 AM EST
    the House cannot stand, so there will have to be follow-up and consequences.  However, there does not seem to be much to be gained by an appearance by Barr, unless there is interest in hearing him lie some more.  Better to move ahead with other witnesses, and do so with some speed.

    Nancy said this morning (none / 0) (#37)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 02, 2019 at 11:41:56 AM EST
    "He lied to congress"

    We have been told a president can't be indicted Barr may need to commission a new broader memo.

    Also Barr said, unbelievably, yesterday that if a president thought an investigation of him was unfair or unfounded he could end it.  I would love to force him to say the same thing about himself.


    Michael Bennet (none / 0) (#28)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 02, 2019 at 10:12:37 AM EST
    Sen. CO is in

    I guess he got (none / 0) (#32)
    by Jeralyn on Thu May 02, 2019 at 11:14:07 AM EST
    positive news about his prostate cancer (that's why he held off making a decision.) I hope he doesn't end up taking votes from Hickenlooper.

    Seems late (none / 0) (#33)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 02, 2019 at 11:17:59 AM EST
    To make all the hoops for the first debate.

    I guess Bullock from Montana is also about to jump.


    Republican voters do not care (none / 0) (#35)
    by Jeralyn on Thu May 02, 2019 at 11:29:36 AM EST
    about Barr. Or Mueller. They think the whole Russia probe was an attempted set up and their guy beat the bad rap which they believe shouldn't have been a rap at all.

    The more Dems focus on holding Trump accountable re: Russia instead of locking onto a fresh face (not Biden or Sanders) to beat him, the further behind they will beome in 2020.

    Donald Trump will be 73.5 years old in January, 2021. He'd be the oldest second term president ever. He'd be 77.5 years old when his term is done.

    Maybe his base can be persuaded he's too old to run -- maybe they can find a challenger, preferably a woman. At least make him debate for his job -- everyone needs to be reminded how little he knows and his tactics (usurping the private space of his competitor when she's speaking)...

    He has one official primary challenger (none / 0) (#36)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 02, 2019 at 11:38:04 AM EST
    Bill Weld.  He is being dismissed a bit more quickly that I think he deserves.  He's smart and he is a good politician and he has more or less said his primary goal is to destroy Trump.  He could be very helpful but I doubt if Trump will debate him.

    The Governor of MD has also made serious noises about jumping in as has John Kasich.


    Republican voters don't care (none / 0) (#38)
    by CST on Thu May 02, 2019 at 11:44:34 AM EST
    And never will, so why should we care if they care?

    Democrats do care, and they are the ones we need to show up in November.


    The irony (none / 0) (#40)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 02, 2019 at 04:21:29 PM EST
    is the more focused we are on Russia the more likely neither Biden or Bernie will be the nominee since both of them have Russian baggage.

    Could we be cautious (none / 0) (#42)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 02, 2019 at 04:45:14 PM EST
    In our zeal to get Biden that we do not push oppo research said to have been given to Rudy by the Russians.

    Washington Examiner

    NYT ran a devastating piece on Biden's self-dealing in Ukraine. So why is the headline about Trump?

    All that work and effort reporting on fair questions about whether the son of a Democratic presidential candidate profited from his father's involvement in U.S. foreign policy activities, and the Times' editors kneecap the story from the get-go with a headline insinuating that this is just a bunch Trump-world nonsense.

    Hunter is (none / 0) (#48)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 02, 2019 at 06:49:35 PM EST
    a piece of work. I hope I have my stories straight here but apparently Hunter has had a cocaine problem in the past and showed up on the Ashley Madison hack as having used their services. He ended up divorcing his wife but I don't know if it was because he wanted to move in with Beau's widow or because he was cheating. I just read where Beau's widow and Hunter are no longer a couple. So I guess now we can add Hunter doing business in the Ukraine. One of these days I would love to know what is so attractive about the Ukraine that causes people to go there and what on earth is in the water there that encourages criminal behavior.

    Will you please stop pushing (none / 0) (#49)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 03, 2019 at 06:37:47 PM EST
    THis right wing bullshi+

    I realize you are desperate to say anything bad about Biden but fir the love of god just stop and think about what you are doing.

    Lock her up' redux? Biden's son becomes the right's new target
    Clinton veterans say the attacks on Hunter Biden are giving them painful flashbacks to 2016.

    The unseemly optics of Biden's son appearing to benefit financially from his father's diplomacy were reported by the New York Times in 2015, though Biden's office has long maintained that Hunter's work had no bearing on the vice president's approach to Ukraine. But the story has slowly reemerged over the past year -- largely on the right and in conservative media -- as a Biden presidential run appeared increasingly likely.

    It exploded again on Wednesday night when the Times reported that Giuliani has met with Ukraine's new prosecutor general, Yuriy Lutsenko, multiple times this year and has discussed the Burisma case with him and the prosecutor Biden helped oust, Viktor Shokin. Lutsenko reopened the investigation into Bursima earlier this year. Giuliani also told the Times that he has discussed the Biden-Ukraine case with Trump himself.

    Giuliani has been suggesting that the Biden case must be investigated as part of the larger inquiry into the origins of the Russia investigation, which may involve Ukraine. In a Fox News interview in early April, Giuliani spoke at length about the Biden case but said it was only because of broader questions about the Russia investigation.

    Truthfully (none / 0) (#50)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 03, 2019 at 08:44:26 PM EST
    I had no idea this was being pushed by the right wing 'cause I didn't get the information there. I got it from regular news sources.

    Did you read (none / 0) (#51)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 03, 2019 at 08:57:17 PM EST
    The comment you replied to

    Yes, (none / 0) (#52)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 03, 2019 at 09:09:43 PM EST
    but I think you left off the word "rid" and said get Biden.

    I read it as if we get Biden we get this.

    So I see that Trump is planning to weaponize DOJ against any candidate. I would think Biden is not unique in that. Any candidate is going to experience this unfortunately. Personally I think the fact that Biden knew about the Russians attacking us in 2016 and didn't say anything is going to be a problem. I'm not sure that is completely on him since he was VP not president but so far as I've read there hasn't been an explanation and I don't accept "Mitch McConnell wouldn't let me" as a reason.


    I have no idea how to civilly respond to that (none / 0) (#53)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 03, 2019 at 09:14:33 PM EST
    So I'm done.

    Have a pleasant evening.


    I've decided to run for the dem nomination (none / 0) (#54)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat May 04, 2019 at 06:58:30 AM EST
    Why not?

    De Blasio expected to announce 2020 presidential run next week: sources

    I'd support your candidacy (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by leap on Sat May 04, 2019 at 08:45:33 AM EST
    over more than half the others! Where should I send the three bucks (Cervidae)?

    It just occurred to me (5.00 / 4) (#56)
    by CST on Sat May 04, 2019 at 12:24:26 PM EST
    That by the time November 2020 rolls around I'll technically be qualified.

    Because what we really need is another radical liberal from Massachusetts (aka the hubris state) entering the race.  Especially someone who just doesn't give a flying f*ck about winning over fence sitters.  I'd probably make literally everyone else seem likable in comparison.