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The [Thursday] Papers

From this morning's Politico Playbook:

THIS PRIMARY HAS BECOME, in part, a referendum on BARACK OBAMA. See Booker, Cory, right here. And see Trump, Donald Jr., on Twitter: "It was nice to see Democrats finally go after Obama's failed policies very aggressively. Wish they would have done that years ago." Here's Neera Tanden, retweeting DJT Jr.: "Good job everyone." And Steve Israel -- the New York Democrat who ran the DCCC for two cycles -- went with this: "Democrats need to make this a referendum on Pres. Trump. Instead they're making it a referendum on [Barack] Obama."

I'm not one to defend politicians, but this popular mainstream media take is wholly disingenuous.

First, up 'til now, media pundits have largely insisted that, in order to win in 2020, Democrats have to do more than just not be Trump; they have to explain to the middle- and working-classes how they intend to improve their quality of life.

Then, when Democrats discuss those very things, those same media pundits complain - with supreme arrogance - that Democrats are arguing among themselves instead of going after Donald Trump.

Reminder: we are in the primary phase. Democratic candidates are putting themselves before Democratic voters right now. That doesn't mean there should be no general election considerations, and certainly a discussion on how best to campaign against Trump - and who is best-equipped to do so - is in order, but JESUS CHRIST!

The last two nights have been DEBATES! The very word describes a process whereby disagreement, argument and fighting is inherently part of the process. That's exactly what these candidates have been on stage to do! My god.

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To wit:

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More Playbook:

'MEDICARE FOR ALL' is no longer a goal, but now a litmus test for serious Democratic candidates. If you're a candidate, and you support some version of it, you might find yourself explaining how that version is the real version, not the other guys'.

Democratic candidates have been discussing - and proposing - universal health plans for decades. Medicare for All is just the latest flavor. Let's stop acting like it's such a huge departure from the past.

The fact is, Obamacare sucks. Who is happy with it? Years of stories about its fault lines but come the debates it's a perfect program that shouldn't be touched? (And by the way, Medicare for All or any other single-payer plan doesn't have to eliminate private insurance; Western European nations with single-payer systems still retain private insurance plans, too.)

As far as the primary being a referendum on Obama, so be it! Why shouldn't it be? Every intraparty battle is a referendum on the previous leadership.

It's also something the media should have seen coming, given the surprising popularity of Bernie Sanders in 2016. Why was Sanders popular? Because his supporters saw him as Obama-in-action, not the disappointing Obama who was all talk and hewed toward the status quo. In Bernie, they saw the real deal, and that's what is driving Elizabeth Warren's campaign too - the notion that she would've jailed corrupt bankers and isn't going to just pussyfoot around.

Or you can have Joe Biden, who is basically Obama without the eloquence, leaving you with . . . what?

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More . . .

THE ATLANTIC'S ISAAC DOVERE in Detroit: "There's an elevated train here, in the city's downtown, called the People Mover. It doesn't cost much to ride. It goes in a loop every 15 minutes or so. It moves only in one direction, around and around.

"It's a lot like the Democratic primary, after two rounds of formal debate and seven months of campaigning. There have been flashes of dynamism in the campaign so far, candidates who've popped for a news cycle or two. But take a step back, and the race has barely changed since before the weather grew warm.

"Former Vice President Joe Biden is the front-runner in every poll, but he's a weak front-runner, without a commanding lead or evidence of deep attachment among the voters surveyed. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is holding on to his core voters, but he doesn't seem to be expanding their ranks.

"Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; Senator Kamala Harris of California; and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg are always in the mix in third or fourth place. And then there's everyone else: the candidates who sometimes grab as much as 4 or 5 percent but rarely more, and rarely for more than a few days. The only major change is that former Representative Beto O'Rourke of Texas, a onetime front-runner, is now firmly a part of the latter tier."

Um, so? What's the point - that you're bored?

Another way to look at it is that the Dems have an awfully strong field - Biden, Warren, Sanders and Harris leading the way. And you know what? Castro and Klobuchar have their own appeals. I personally don't like most of them, but from an analytical point of view, I don't see anyone having a particular problem taking on Trump and winning.

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Also, if Medicare for All is a litmus test and the primary is thus far a referendum on Obama, then why is Biden winning?

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#DemDebate Twitter pundits also angry that Biden is under attack for racism and misogyny for the first time when no one said boo before, either in his eight years as vice president or his long career before that. To those media pundits, that makes the attacks on Biden illegitimate. I'd say it's about time, and only illustrates the slow march toward wokeness that many are taking. I mean, nobody said boo about sexual harassment for a long time, either. And Obama began his presidency opposing same-sex marriage. Things change! The attacks on Biden - and his record - are perfectly legitimate.

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To wit:

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Also:

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And now, from a real reporter:

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

CPD Not In Body Camera Compliance
"How often do Chicago police officers fail to activate their body cameras? It's hard to know."

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Edward Snowden's Permanent Record
"So I just completed an international conspiracy across twenty countries, and somehow the secret never leaked. On Constitution Day, the result will be on shelves worldwide."

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Katie Got Bandz Is Back
The queen of drill delivers the goods, y'all.

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The Ex-Cub Factor
One still needs anger management, another is a Mud Hen now, and yet another just may face his old team tonight.

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Intelligent Automation Week Chicago 2019
Here's the press invitation!

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ChicagoReddit

Slovak Dumplings in Chicago? from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

DJ Flashback Chicago, Ghetto Love V1 (Side B)

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BeachBook

Click through for the backstory.

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Old playbook.

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So Long, Mini Shampoos: Holiday Inn's Owner Switching To Bulk Sizes To Cut Waste.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood McRibTipLine: You know the drill.



Permalink

Posted on August 1, 2019


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PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Doomsday Chicago 2019.


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