Primarily Speaking

image of a cartoon version of me holding a wide-eyed emoji sign in front of my face, pictured in front of a patriotic stars-and-stripes graphic, to which I've added text reading: 'The Democratic Primary 2020: Let's do this thing.'

Welcome to another edition of Primarily Speaking, because presidential primaries now begin fully one million years before the election!

This is a really good article about Julián Castro and what he learned (everything) from his mother, Rosie Castro, a firebrand political activist and legend in San Antonio.
He is, on the surface, the opposite of his fiery mother.

But they are connected by intellect and strategic savvy. She is the most influential figure in her sons' professional lives; she is never among their public critics. Their differences from her — in terms of style, in terms of tactics — aren't a form of rebellion or a disavowal of her life. They're very much a means of continuing the work she started five decades ago. And Rosie Castro wouldn't have it any other way.
And here is a really good interview with Castro. I am just continually impressed with what a good politician he is, how full of integrity, how generous in giving credit, how forthright, what a deep knowledge he has of electoral politics and history.

Standard disclaimer that this is not an endorsement and standard caveat that I don't agree with him on everything blah blah fart, but I really like Castro a lot, and I wish he were getting more press. He's a great candidate.

And, to be perfectly frank, it is extremely important to me that there is a candidate in this race from an immigrant family who is offering a smart and compassionate immigration reform policy and can speak authoritatively and intimately on the ethics of being a country who welcomes immigrants.

* * *

Senator Elizabeth Warren, aka Professor Policy, is making it rain with wonkery! "Outlining detailed policy proposals has become Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren's signature move on the campaign trail as she aims to secure the Democratic presidential nomination, and in a Thursday Iowa stop, she leaned on that move to call for investing in child care and education though her wealth-tax proposal. ...Warren said her wealth tax would pay for universal free child care, universal free college, and would fund the cancellation of student-loan debt for a large portion of the population."

[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Not to be outdone, Senator Cory Booker is dishing out some hot policy, too! "2020 Democratic hopeful Sen. Cory Booker introduced on Friday the specifics of what he calls his 'environmental justice plan.' Booker, who is campaigning in South Carolina, said in a statement that he would be taking 'immediate steps' to strengthen the 'power of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).' 'The Trump administration has gutted the EPA, rolled back clean air and clean water protections, and allowed polluters to go unchecked, causing immense harm and suffering by vulnerable communities,' Booker said in a statement."

Meanwhile, Senator Amy Klobuchar is introducing a Senate bill, with Senator Chris Coons, to help people save for retirement: "Our legislation, the Saving for the Future Act, would guarantee that if you're working full time, in addition to your pay, you would receive a savings contribution of at least 50 cents per hour worked, or a little over $1,000 per year. The amount would rise to 60 cents after two years and then keep pace with wage growth after that. If a worker sticks with their own automatic contributions, which start at just 4% of pay, their savings over the course of a career would grow to more than $600,000 by retirement, according to the think tank Third Way."

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand isn't worried about where she currently sits in the field (near the bottom), because she's used to it: "I've always been an underdog. I'm used to it. I've also won every race I've run. So when I say I'm not worried about being discounted now, you can believe it."

Senator Bernie Sanders continues to get bad press from his poor showing at She the People: "When Sanders was asked a question about the prevalence of violence against women, his generic and seemingly out-of-touch response was angrily shouted down. 'You're not for us,' one female voice shouted from the crowd. 'You don't get the black community,' was another comment, while others called out: 'Answer the question' as Sanders rambled about 'a troubled nation' and gave a vague pledge that 'we have to address' violence. He was obliged to pause as he was repeatedly interrupted, and at one point had to gather himself before finding his thread again. Several other candidates had a warm but not rapturous reception or displayed patchy performances at times, but Sanders by far elicited the most disapproval."

The problem for Sanders, of course, is that violence against women cannot be solved by economic policy. Which is not to say that violence against women isn't an economic issue; it is, especially for women who are trying to escape violence and lack the means to do so, for example. But it cannot be solved by taxing billionaires alone.

And when Sanders is asked to address issues that demand comprehensive policy solutions, he falters. Violence against women is but one issue that quickly exposes the limitations of his narrow policy slate.

[CN: Misogynoir; white supremacist violence; hostility to consent] More bad news for Joe Biden, whose campaign is only a day old: "Joe Biden knew Anita Hill was going to be an issue for him. So a few weeks ago, as he prepared for his presidential announcement, he reached out to her through an intermediary and arranged a telephone call, hoping to assuage her. It did not go how he had hoped. ...In a lengthy telephone interview on Wednesday, she declined to characterize Mr. Biden's words to her as an apology and said she was not convinced that he has taken full responsibility for his conduct at the hearings — or for the harm he caused other victims of sexual harassment and gender violence." And, after referencing Heather Heyer's death in Charlottesville in his campaign video, her mother says Biden didn't even give her the courtesy of a heads-up. Awful.

John Hickenlooper is still definitely running for president.

Talk about these things! Or don't. Whatever makes you happy. Life is short.

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