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Who won the Democrats' debate? Our panelists' verdict

Who won the Democrats' debate? Our panelists' verdictAnother combative Democratic debate saw clashes between Joe Biden and his opponents – but no clear winner emerged Nathan Robinson: ‘Biden did better but remains a liabilityThe consensus will probably be that Julián Castro distinguished himself in Thursday’s debate, thanks to some forceful talk on immigration, a good story about hard ethical choices, and some deliciously salty exchanges with Joe Biden. Biden himself did better than before, which isn’t saying much. There were still painful moments, especially a downright bizarre ramble delivered in response to a question on his racial record – Biden implied that black parents need instructions on how to raise children, told people to “make sure you have the record player on at night”, and then started talking about Venezuela for no reason at all. I continue to believe he is a political liability who should under no circumstances be nominated.Bernie had some excellent answers on foreign policy and democratic socialism, sadly made less forceful thanks to a hoarse voice. Unfortunately, he was also denied the chance to say anything about climate change, meaning he couldn’t explain the urgent need for a Green New Deal.Warren distinguished herself as an explainer of progressive policies and effectively replied to the line about people wanting to “keep their insurance” by saying “I’ve never met anybody who likes their health insurance company.” Kamala Harris continues to duck tough questions about her atrocious record as a prosecutor, Amy Klobuchar continues to offer uninspiring centrist cliches, Beto O’Rourke continues to emphasize guns and racism, Andrew Yang gets ever closer to becoming Matthew Lesko, and Cory Booker continues to be personally endearing without offering any reason to vote for him. Oh, and please: no more three-hour debates. They are truly unendurable. * Nathan Robinson is the editor of Current Affairs and a columnist for the Guardian US Lloyd Green: ‘For Democrats, 2020 can’t arrive quickly enough’Joe Biden came out swinging hard but then struggled to stay focused in the third hour. Still, his swipes at Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were effective. Warren refused to own up to the cost of her single-payer healthcare plan; as for Sanders, he was reminded that “socialist” can be a putdown. Biden’s line, “I’m with Barack, Elizabeth is with Bernie” is here to stay.Kamala Harris also did well. Her tart Wizard of Oz description of President Trump, “When you pull back the curtain it’s a really small dude,” got the audience’s attention.Presidents Obama and Trump were also winners. This time, the candidates on stage repeatedly sang Obama’s praises on his healthcare reform. As for Trump, he had to be smiling when Julián Castro angrily taunted Biden over his age. For the Democrats, 2020 can’t arrive quickly enough. * Lloyd Green was opposition research counsel to George HW Bush’s 1988 campaign and served in the Department of Justice from 1990 to 1992 Jessa Crispin: ‘I miss Marianne Williamson’Biden as the Democratic frontrunner only makes sense if no one is watching any of his media appearances or these debates: he spends half his time stuttering, digressing, and bleeding from sensory organs.Everyone on stage on Thursday agreed on which issues are important and squabbled about how they will all magically solve intractable problems like healthcare, gun control and environmental devastation. The only fun left here is guessing who leaves the race next. Well, that and figuring out why Kamala Harris, who kept giggling at her own awkward jokes, had such a strong wine mom energy tonight.I miss Marianne Williamson. While everyone else argues about whose plan is going to actually raise taxes the most, she spoke to the deep issues of apathy, loss of authority, and weariness with a system that spends a year making big promises and then spends four years explaining why those promises are all impossible to achieve.If Biden is the Democratic future, responding to every mass shooting with an Oh Jeez and every diplomatic crisis with a “got your nose” joke, I want at least one person talking about why this is a joke too many. * Jessa Crispin is the author of Why I Am Not a Feminist Malaika Jabali: ‘No clear winners – but better moderators’It’s clear that Democratic debate hosts continue their disingenuous framing of socialism and the left, from asking loaded questions about what distinguishes Bernie Sanders from Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro to repeating conservative talking points about Medicare for All. The debates are becoming increasingly redundant, with few revelations materializing among them. However, moderators Linsey Davis and Jorge Ramos asked tough questions that were a welcome shift from the tone of previous debates.Davis unflinchingly confronted Biden on his positions on racial equality and lack of interest in reparations, and she directly called out Kamala Harris’s criminal justice record. Likewise, Jorge Ramos keyed in on Biden’s support for the Obama administration’s deportations of 3 million people.As the debate was three hours long, there should have been plenty of time to follow up on these questions, instead half of the first hour was spent relitigating Medicare for All. While there were no clear winners, and the frontrunners’ positions will likely change little after tonight, at least a few pointed questions forced some to contend with their records. * Malaika Jabali is a public policy attorney, writer, and activist Art Cullen: ‘Beto had a tremendous night’The best moment in all the debate was when Joe Biden made his closing remarks, speaking of resilience against all his tremendous personal loss: “Faith sees best in the dark. You find purpose in what you do. I stayed engaged.” Going up against that, Julián Castro looked small nipping at Biden’s heels by suggesting that he was forgetful.Beto O’Rourke had a tremendous night, the best on stage, with accolades all around and the most applause from the crowd for championing gun safety and condemning racism with passion, calling Trump a “white supremacist”. “Would you take away their guns? “Hell yes,” O’Rourke said. “We’re gonna take away your AR-15, your AK-47.”Elizabeth Warren maintained her momentum with cogent riffs on trade, Afghanistan, healthcare and corruption. Amy Klobuchar’s midwestern appeals for pragmatism will echo for voters looking for relief from chaos. She stayed in the fray. * Art Cullen is editor of the Storm Lake Times in north-west Iowa, where he won the Pulitzer prize for editorial writing. He is author of the book: Storm Lake: A Chronicle of Change, Resilience, and Hope from a Heartland Newspaper



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Democrats' Medicare for All must consider union-won plans: AFL-CIO

Democrats' Medicare for All must consider union-won plans: AFL-CIODemocratic White House hopefuls should ensure their Medicare for All proposals honor union-negotiated private insurance, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, head of the largest federation of U.S. labor unions, said on Thursday. How to best extend health coverage to millions of uninsured or under-insured Americans has been one of the early issues defining the Democratic nominating contest to take on Republican President Donald Trump in November 2020. “You can’t ask the American worker, who sacrificed wages and everything, to simply say: ‘Okay, I’ll accept this plan here,’” Trumka added, noting that some union plans likely provide more benefits than Medicare.



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Rising calls for impeachment may not alter House Democrats' course

Rising calls for impeachment may not alter House Democrats' courseMounting support among Democrats in Congress for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump seems unlikely to change House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s caution on moving ahead with the politically risky move, Democrats said on Thursday. Support for an impeachment inquiry has surged about 30% among Democrats in the House of Representatives since former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified on July 24 about his probe of Trump and Russian interference in the 2016 election, a Reuters headcount shows.



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Ingraham: The Democrats' race to the bottom

Ingraham: The Democrats' race to the bottomHow the party of John F. Kennedy became the party of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.



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Biden says he was surprised by Harris attack at Democrats' debate

Biden says he was surprised by Harris attack at Democrats' debateFormer US vice president Joe Biden said in an interview broadcast on Friday that he had not expected Senator Kamala Harris to confront him on racial issues during their 2020 Democratic presidential candidate debate. “I was prepared for them to come after me, but I wasn’t prepared for the person coming at me the way she came,” Biden told CNN in a reference to Harris. Harris notably accused Biden, a former senator from Delaware, of opposing the busing of black students to schools in white neighborhoods during the 1970s as part of efforts to desegregate schools.



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Biden scrambles after slipping in Democrats' debate

Biden scrambles after slipping in Democrats' debateA wounded Joe Biden scrambled to defend his frontrunner status Friday after getting pummeled over his record on race relations at a Democratic election debate, throwing the battle for the party’s nomination to challenge President Donald Trump wide open. Watching from Japan, where he was attending the G20 summit, Trump licked his chops as the 10 Democrats at the Thursday night debate in Miami veered sharply to the left on immigration, health care, taxes and the ever-emotional subject of gun ownership. Biden, vice president under still highly popular ex-president Barack Obama, came in as the favorite, polling well ahead of Trump and all Democratic rivals.



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Who won the Democrats' second debate? Our panelists' verdicts

Who won the Democrats' second debate? Our panelists' verdictsA combative Democratic debate saw clashes on race and healthcare policy – and many more attacks on Trump. Our experts weigh in Kate Aronoff: Democrats – and America – need better than BidenJoe Biden has been running for president on the idea that he’s the best equipped to beat Donald Trump. Tonight’s debate shed considerable doubt on that premise. If this is how he performs against his opponents on the same side of the aisle – clinging desperately to the legacy of an administration he didn’t lead – then how do we think he’ll fare against the most talented bully in American politics?Other candidates performed impressively. Bernie Sanders had the clearest ideas on how to improve the lives of people in this country and take on vested interests hoarding wealth and power. But Kamala Harris delivered the night’s and possibly the cycle’s most powerful moment when she challenged Biden on his history of supporting racist policies and politicians. In response, he got as defensive as a grandfather going up against his kids at a Thanksgiving table, taking pains to clarify precisely which type of desegregation he opposed in the 1970s. America deserves better. * Kate Aronoff is a writing fellow at In These Times. She covers elections and the politics of climate change Art Cullen: One of the real winners was actually Elizabeth WarrenKamala Harris wowed early when, during shouting chaos among the 10 candidates, she reminded the other candidates that Americans “don’t want a food fight; they want to know how to put food on the table”. She was powerful, precise and put her formidable legal skills to work on camera attacking Joe Biden’s record on race and bussing.Biden worked hard to tie himself to President Obama and aggressively defend his civil rights record, but he struggled under Harris’s withering prosecutor-style cross-examination.One of the debate’s other winners wasn’t even present: Elizabeth Warren – who, along with Harris, has clearly taken Bernie Sanders’ mantle as flag-bearer for the progressive base. Sanders started the revolution, but Warren and Harris seem poised to execute it. * Art Cullen is editor of the Storm Lake Times in Iowa and won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. He is the author of Storm Lake: A Chronicle of Change, Resilience, and Hope Moira Donegan: Harris was the only real standoutAt once more scripted, less policy-oriented, and more emptily contentious than Wednesday’s debate, the second Democratic presidential debate was mostly a competition to outshine the current frontrunner, Joe Biden.Kamala Harris succeeded; few of the other candidates managed to convey their message as effectively. Harris emphasized economic justice and conveyed her policy agenda through a series of morally charged anecdotes about struggling families, including her own: she adeptly attacked Biden’s record on race by invoking her own childhood as a beneficiary of school bussing. She also had one of the best sound bites of the night, when the debate devolved into one of several shouting matches: “America does not want to witness a food fight; they want to know how we’re going to put food on the table.”Biden tried to continue coasting on leftover goodwill from his time in the Obama administration, delivering answers thin on details and thick with platitudes. His vague and non-committal description of the country he would build as president seemed to accomplish little aside from reifying the message he gave rich donors at a recent fundraiser: “Nothing would fundamentally change.” * Moira Donegan is a Guardian US columnist Malaika Jabali: No one really wonIn a Democratic debate that was obnoxious, contentious, and spent the first 30 minutes largely setting up socialism and progressive policies – like free healthcare, free education, and taxing the wealthy – as impracticable and not the popular positions that they are, no one really won.Nevertheless, within these confines Kamala Harris succeeded. She was assertive but composed, she forcefully addressed racism, and she pushed Biden on his anti-bussing record. Her prosecutorial record will be scrutinized as the race draws on, but tonight she has much to celebrate. * Malaika Jabali is a public policy attorney, writer, and activist whose writing has appeared in Essence, Jacobin, the Intercept, Glamour and elsewhere Geoffrey Kabaservice: Biden was out of step with his own partyKamala Harris was the standout in tonight’s debate, bringing a force, focus, and fire that had been missing since her campaign rollout.Her gains came directly at Joe Biden’s expense and punctured the image he’d cultivated of an above-the-fray front runner. Their viral clash on bussing as a means of achieving racial balance in schools hammered home not only how out of step Biden is with the Democratic left’s evolving stance on identity issues but also his age – since Harris was a schoolchild when Biden was cutting deals with former segregationists.Harris’s victory may be pyrrhic, however, since bussing is an unpopular subject with a long history of widening divisions between Democrats. * Geoffrey Kabaservice is the director of political studies at the Niskanen Center in Washington DC as well as the author of Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party Doug Pagitt: Harris won the roomThree candidates clearly had the energy in the room tonight: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, and Kamala Harris. While the other candidates had their moments, there was no doubt that the applause and focused interest in the room was behind those three.As someone who organizes religious people to vote for Democratic candidates, I found it interesting to hear the enthusiastic and prolonged applause for Pete Buttigieg when he said that the Christian faith calls us to care for kids and not put them in cages and he called out the hypocrisy of the Trump administration. It seemed like an indicator that there is interest and enthusiasm for Democratic candidates who talk about faith.Of all the candidates, Biden issued the most forceful denunciations of Trump, and the crowd ate it up. But by the end of the debate it became clear how much passion there is for Harris. I’m not sure how it came across on television, but to those of us inside the room she projected powerful charisma and confidence. * Doug Pagitt is the founding pastor of Solomon’s Porch, a holistic missional Christian community in Minneapolis, Minnesota



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Here's How 2020 Democrats' Student Loan Debt Proposals Compare

Here's How 2020 Democrats' Student Loan Debt Proposals CompareStudent loan forgiveness has become a hot topic in the 2020 Democratic primary, with two of the top liberals putting forward competing plans



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Trump Delays Raids on Migrants, Cites Democrats' Requests

Trump Delays Raids on Migrants, Cites Democrats' Requests(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump put off for two weeks the start of a planned nationwide roundup of undocumented immigrants, tempering a vow made earlier Saturday to have them “removed from the country” starting next week. Trump said he was acting “at the request of Democrats,” although immigration officials suggested that reports on the timing of the actions played a role. The delay will give time “to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border,” Trump tweeted on Saturday. “If not, Deportations start!” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke by telephone with Trump Friday night, asking him to call off the raids, according to a person familiar with the discussion. An hour after Trump disclosed his decision, she tweeted her response.“Mr. President, delay is welcome,” Pelosi said. “Time is needed for comprehensive immigration reform. Families belong together.”U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents had been poised to start attempting to round up about 2,000 people in 10 cities, including Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago and Baltimore, according to media reports. Trump said the raids were to start in the coming week.The Washington Post first reported on the timing of the potential raids on Friday. “Any leak telegraphing sensitive law enforcement operations is egregious and puts our officers’ safety in danger,” ICE spokeswoman Carol Danko said in an emailed statement on Saturday. As he left the White House early Saturday for meetings at Camp David, Trump said the people to be apprehended had defied orders to return to their home nations after breaking the law to enter the U.S.“They have to be removed from the country. They will be removed from the country,” Trump told reporters.In an earlier tweet, the president said the government had grounds to take action.“The people that Ice will apprehend have already been ordered to be deported,” he said on Saturday. “They broke the law by coming into the country, & now by staying.” Trump added that people coming to U.S. illegally “will be DEPORTED!”Agents with ICE are reportedly preparing to carry out raids in major cities this weekend, after Trump announced a new push aimed at undocumented residents in a June 17 tweet: “Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States.”ICE Acting Director Mark Morgan on Friday said the agency sent letters to more than 2,000 migrants in February, urging them to report to authorities or leave, according to an interview Friday. Not many appeared, he said, without discussing specific plans.“So what are our options?” Morgan said in the interview. “They’ve had due process, they’ve had access to attorneys, they’ve had access to interpreters,” Morgan said. “We have no choice.”It’s the latest effort by Trump to restrict undocumented migration — either by curbing arrivals at the border or cranking up deportation efforts. Trump has also pushed to add a citizenship question to the census, which critics warn would scare off non-citizens from participating, skew the count and weaken the political clout of immigrant communities.Mexico, facing Trump’s threat of new tariffs, agreed this month to send National Guard soldiers to its border with Guatemala in a bid to slow the flow of migrants from Central America, through Mexico, to the U.S.Trump has said that deal has prompted a “night-and-day” difference, and on Thursday thanked Mexico for its efforts, but also warned of new punitive measures if migration levels aren’t reduced. On Saturday, he said Mexico has been “really good” on the border since the deal.The U.S. government has not released migration data for June, though numbers typically slump in the summer.(Updates with ICE statement in seventh paragraph.)\–With assistance from Kim Chipman and Laura Litvan.To contact the reporters on this story: Josh Wingrove in Washington at jwingrove4@bloomberg.net;Billy House in Washington at bhouse5@bloomberg.net;Margaret Talev in Washington at mtalev@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: James Ludden at jludden@bloomberg.net, Steve Geimann, Ros KrasnyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Could the inspector general's FISA probe derail Democrats' impeachment plans?

Could the inspector general's FISA probe derail Democrats' impeachment plans?Former Whitewater Independent Counsel Sol Wisenberg expects a hard-hitting report from Michael Horowitz.



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