Day 120: 9/17/19

By the time this goes live, I will be in South Bend at a fundraiser for Pete Buttigieg. Again, massive thank you to everyone who donated to send me there, and if there are any other candidates in the area, I’ll do what I can to cover them as well. Look for the special all-Pete post tomorrow, and check out my Twitter for possible updates! (Then again, the fundraiser is inside a bank vault. I’m not going to hold my breath on phone reception.)

More campaigns are waking up.

Kamala Harris sent 4 emails on Tuesday, and not all of them were fundraising! Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang all sent 3 emails, also not entirely fundraising.

Aside from Fundraising, it’s a healthier mix.

Kamala Harris’ non-fundraising email was about her appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s show. Not only did she slow-jam the news with Fallon, making her the second Presidential candidate to do so this cycle (Pete Buttigieg was the first), but she also became the first woman to slow-jam the news.

The GM UAW strike has taken hold of politics, with many candidates joining the workers or speaking in solidarity with them. Andrew Yang sent out an email musing on how his administration would help the workers.

You probably saw the news today that 46,000 GM workers courageously decided to strike at 11:59pm Sunday night — the first national UAW strike since 2007.

The UAW has been a force for worker equity and fair treatment for decades, even as our economy has stopped working for everyday Americans.  GM should value its workers fairly and compensate them what they deserve.

The truth is, the entire auto industry is in a tough situation:  The union wants higher pay, better benefits, and increased job security for their employees.  GM wants to cut costs so it can keep investing in electric vehicles and self-driving cars, and keep their business afloat.

No one wants a strike, but workers feel that they don’t have a choice — so much so that they’re willing to forgo their salaries and accept $250 per week in strike pay.  That is dangerously low — and GM knows it.

So how do we solve this problem?  You guessed it.  The Freedom Dividend.

A Freedom Dividend of $1,000 per month for every adult would increase these workers’ bargaining power by allowing them to afford to strike and make all workers much harder to exploit.  As I’ve said before, it’s easier to push for fair treatment if you don’t have an economic boot on your throat.

I know that most, if not all, of the Democratic candidates running for president will make public statements supporting the UAW.  But if we really want to support our workers, we need structural reform.

We need a Freedom Dividend for all to address the problem facing most Americans — economic scarcity that prevents us from building the lives we want for ourselves and our families.  By investing in our people, we can empower them to fight for better working conditions.

I’m running for president to solve the problems that got Donald Trump elected in the first place.  This story is just another example of a problem our current politicians simply aren’t equipped to solve.

Andrew Yang

To be clear, “strike pay” comes from the union and not from the company. It is something the union sets, paid from reserves gained by things like union dues. If it’s $250/week, that comes out to… oh, about $1000/month. Maybe a little more. So Yang is saying that UBI is “dangerously low” for someone to live on. His solution is to double the amount.

Does Yang have any policies that aren’t “I’ll give you money, figure it out yourself?”

Tulsi Gabbard sent an email expanding on her Tweet in which she informed Trump that Saudi Arabia was making us their b*tch (censoring hers in email, not censored in Tweet).

Make no mistake: President Trump is making our country Saudi Arabia’s b*tch — this is not “America First.” His willingness to pimp out our military to the highest foreign bidder is a betrayal of my proud brothers and sisters in uniform. Servicemen and women who are ready to put our lives on the line for our country—not for the Islamist dictator of Saudi Arabia.

Tulsi Gabbard

As a veteran, Gabbard’s fury is clear and tangible. The rights of the military men and women are one of her strongest passions, and that’s good. I appreciate her voice in this cycle.

Julian Castro, meanwhile, just learned that Tom Steyer qualified for the debates (on September 8). His heart just dropped.

Funny, his heart just dropped last week on Tuesday too, for the same reason. He just turned 45. Do you think he’s getting forgetful in his old age?

Cory Booker is worried: he missed his goal and is tracking behind on making up for it with the extra day of deadline. But that’s okay, it was a really ambitious goal. Still, it would be awesome if I could help him out!

Michael Bennet launched some campaign ads that will definitely be catapulting him up into the ranks of Democrats the American People (of the early states) care about.

John Delaney decided to write me a lengthy email explaining his thoughts since he didn’t get a chance to talk about them on the debate stage. He actually made no mention of even attempting to get onto the October debate stage, unlike Tim Ryan, who is still optimistic that his old-fashioned way of campaigning for New and Better will pay off.

Elizabeth Warren referenced the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in her email and her anti-corruption speak. She spoke about Frances Perkins, one strong, persistent woman who changed the country by refusing to be quiet after that disaster.

Bernie Sanders told me about a veteran that had over $130,000 in medical bills and was considering ending his life over the debt. He used this story to explain how people come up to him and talk to him, and could I take a moment to answer his survey to tell him my story?

And Joe Sestak told me why he was running for President: his country was hurting and scarred. He didn’t want to see her crying anymore.

Several campaigns are picking up on the “DNC might require 260,000 donors!” refrain now.

Joe Biden asked me if I wanted to defeat Trump. He asked me to prove it by donating to him.

He also told me that he was not on track to meet his end-of-quarter donation goal, which was for 9,500 donations by the end of the month. I did the math: this means Biden is getting fewer than 730 donations per day.

In contrast, Bernie Sanders is also not on track to meet his goal. He estimates he needs 9,312 donors to step up by the end of the day.

Needless to say, if Sanders meets his goal, he’s cleared Biden’s two-week goal in one day.

However, Biden did tell me that I should imagine the SHOCK on Trump’s face if he did hit his goal. Just imagine Trump realizing that Biden was in such a strong place to challenge him from!

I can’t see that shocking Trump. I can see Trump laughing about it.

Andrew Yang also wanted to let me know that his sold-out Marijuana Math hat is back in stock in his store! This is also a limited run, so I needed to hurry up and get it!

Actually, I can think of some chemists who might like this…

Kamala Harris had a new sticker for me. Totally free, she said! She didn’t even ask for a donation at all!

I don’t think it’s a very good sticker design. Maybe a poster design?

However, the real talk of the Twitter on Tuesday was Beto O’Rourke’s sticker. StickerS.

You see, he emailed me asking if I supported his assault weapon ban. If I donated, he’d send me a sticker so I could show my support with a themed sticker.

Plain, but on-brand

Seems harmless, right? Well… that was what the non-donor email said.

The donor email had the exact same text, but the sticker image was… a little different.

I was pretty speechless.

This sticker is… off-brand. It’s white instead of black. The font is thin and serifed. Instead of a unifying statement, it has a picture of an assault rifle. And the tagline plays off of Elizabeth Warren’s “I have a plan for that” motto.

In short, it is disturbing.

I am very concerned with what the presence of this sticker says about O’Rourke’s campaign. Most people who are against guns don’t want to slap a picture of a gun on their property. It is far more likely to be used as a talking point, a way to rile up right-wingers who hate the thought of any sort of infringement on their Second Amendment rights. This isn’t something meant to be positive or affirming. This is a gauntlet thrown. “Come at me!”

This is anger. Not a good, righteous anger that drives you to fight injustice, but an ugly, hateful anger that encourages you to fight dirty because f- it all. O’Rourke always felt positive and uplifting before.

This sticker felt like a slap.

Joe Biden and Tim Ryan remain tied for first… for now.

2 thoughts on “Day 120: 9/17/19

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