"Together, you and I and our 2016 campaign began the political revolution," said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) in a Tuesday morning email blast. "Now, it is time to complete that revolution and implement the vision that we fought for."
Welcome to the Sanders 2020 presidential campaign.
Already, most of the prominent Democratic candidates have been campaigning far to the left of most Democrats in recent elections or their own former selves. A large part of this can be attributed to Sanders' success in 2016 and the momentum for democratic socialism that it ushered in.
Sanders' entry into the campaign could cause some of them to pull back, or to go further left, to stand out. So far, Sen. Amy Klobuchar* (Minn.) has been the only one making an appeal for the unclaimed middle ground.
Klobuchar seems willing to say one word that often goes unspoken by presidential candidates: No. From Medicare for all to the Green New Deal to free college, she's resisted the urge to pander as she tests the balance between pragmatism and purity. #KlobucharTownHall
— Jeff Zeleny (@jeffzeleny) February 19, 2019
Meanwhile, Sen. Elizabeth Warren is rolling out a plan for a massive new entitlement program:
Elizabeth Warren is about to unveil a universal child care plan…
• It's free for families 7%, however many kids they have
• Financed by wealth taxhttps://t.co/v7oCPtiVLf
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) February 19, 2019
(What's a "wealth tax," you ask? More here.)
Asked about his age, Sanders told Vermont Public Radio that "we have got to look at candidates, you know, not by the color of their skin, not by their sexual orientation or their gender and not by their age. I mean, I think we have got to try to move us toward a non-discriminatory society which looks at people based on their abilities, based on what they stand for." Here's Sanders' video announcement:
"It's not accurate to say, 'This sort of thing almost always turns out to be a hoax,' and it's also not accurate to say, 'This sort of thing almost never turns out to be a hoax.'" National Review's Jim Geraghty addresses actor Jussie Smollett's alleged hate crime, which police now suspect he faked. "The way we measure hate crimes is imperfect; more police agencies are collecting data and providing it to the FBI than in the past, making year-to-year comparisons," he notes.
Nearly 1,000 police agencies started providing data to the FBI in 2017 who weren't in 2016. Last year many news organizations reported hate crimes "increased by 17 percent" but we don't know how much of that represents the crimes occurring more frequently or simply more extensive data collection.
Still, many progressives are convinced that that we've seen a huge spike in hate crimes since Donald Trump was elected. Of course, many conservatives see similarly delusional spikes in immigrant crime, notes Geraghty. And on both sides, people are willing to go to extreme lengths to validate people's fears.
Promising response to Tumblr prohibition. "With Tumblr's strict adult-content ban, which began a slow rollout in December, kinky bloggers fled the site–searching for, and trying to build, new communities," points out Fast Company.
One of the fastest growing of these sites is relative newcomer newTumbl, which has gained about 40,000 blogs since it launched on December 31. True to its name, the site closely resembles Tumblr–at least the NSFW parts that are now banned. But newTumble is also promising ways for posters to earn money for original content–what may be a growing trend.
- "Thirty-five percent of Americans name the government, poor leadership or politicians as the greatest problem facing the U.S.," reports Gallup. "This is the highest percentage Gallup has recorded for this concern." (Cheers!)
- RIP Karl Lagerfield.
this note from Karl Lagerfeld for Dazed's 25th birthday is lovely –
'Freedom – the greatest luxury'
What's your ultimate fantasy? – 'I nearly realised them all' pic.twitter.com/ptBHH5eXbl
— Anna Cafolla (@AnnaCafolla) February 19, 2019
- Houston police say they will stop serving no-knock warrants. (Read Jacob Sullum on the most recent tragedy they spawned there.)
- Stockton, California, is testing a basic income program.
- The governor of Wisconsin just proposed decriminalizing possession and legalizing medical marijuana, while recreational marijuana legalization is moving forward in New Jersey.
- A civil liberties win in Alabama:
On Monday, Judge Watkins ruled that Alabama's branding of registered sex offenders' identification cards is a form of compelled speech prohibited by the First Amendment. "The branded-ID requirement compels speech," he writes, "and it is not the least res… https://t.co/kcpG7xN1sA pic.twitter.com/m7y2i6COXn
— The NAPD (@NAPD2013) February 15, 2019
- Are you ready for the embryo adoption debate?
*Correction: The part above about Democratic presidential candidates and Sen. Amy Klobuchar initially referred to Sen. Joni Ernst, an Iowa Republican, on first reference. I cannot explain why my morning brain and typing fingers made this bizarre juxtoposition. Apologies.