Primarily Speaking

image of a cartoon version of me wearing a tuxedo and standing on the bow of a sinking ship playing the violin, 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!

Once again, I feel obliged to start with the admission that I have real complicated feelings about this series, because I am constitutionally averse to pretending like everything is fine when it isn't. And sometimes it feels like this series implicitly suggests we're going to have a normal election, even though I don't believe that. But I don't know how to proceed except with the desperate hope that something seismic will happen and meaningful changes are made swiftly to ensure a legitimate election.

I expect more, and prepare myself for the worst.

If the ship of state really is going down, I am going to keep playing my violin about these Democratic candidates, many of whom I believe in and admire, for as long as I can.


So, if you have been considering donating to a candidate, or multiple candidates that you want to see stay in the race, here is the best argument for going ahead and making that donation(s): "Donald Trump's campaign and the Republican National Committee raised a combined $105 million in the second quarter of 2019, the campaign announced Tuesday." Fucking hell.

The DNC is finally considering a climate change debate. I hope they also consider a dedicated immigration debate, because, although climate change is certainly urgent, so are the concentration camps at the border, and, unlike climate change, the Democratic candidates need to be leveraging the visibility that the presidential election provides to raise awareness about this profound humanitarian crisis.

The new CNN/SRSS poll, "which was released on Monday and conducted entirely after the first two Democratic presidential primary debates last week, has [Senator Kamala Harris] in second place, among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who are registered to vote, at 17 percent." Meanwhile: "Joe Biden's once double-digit lead has crumbled in a national poll taken after last week's debate." Sad trombone!

With Harris surging, it's the women who are "grabbing momentum as Democratic race catches fire." Nice! "Recent shifts in the Democratic primary are raising the prospect that a new political glass ceiling may shatter in 2020 — a duel for a presidential ticket between two women." Can you even imagine?! (I CAN.)

On that note, Harris tweeted a video about a little girl running for student council who asked her for political advice, and I am a puddle!

And Senator Amy Klobuchar tweeted this:

I can't get over all those women running and I don't even want to!

* * *

Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro says that the first debate showed "I can stand up to Donald Trump" and makes the case for being bold and fearless and uncompromising on immigration: "The worst mistake that we can make is to squirm and fear what Donald Trump is doing on the issue of immigration." Fucking right.

Senator Cory Booker says, if elected, he would take immediate executive action on immigration (which is one of the only issues on which I support the candidates promising unilateral action):
Cory Booker vowed to use executive authority as president to end detention for asylum seekers, shut down "inhumane" holding facilities, and de-emphasize prosecutions of those in the country illegally unless they pose a safety risk.

The New Jersey senator and Democratic presidential hopeful said that if elected he'd reverse most of [Donald] Trump's border policies on his first day in office without waiting for Congress to take action.

"When kids are being stripped away from their parents and held in cages, I will not wait for Congress to solve this crisis," Booker said in a statement outlining his immigration plan. "On day one of my presidency, I will take immediate steps to end this administration's moral vandalism."

...Booker also said he would expand protections for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, known as dreamers, as well as those granted Temporary Protected Status, who can't return to their homeland because of armed conflicts, natural disaster, or other extraordinary situations.

Under Booker's proposal, immigrant detention centers would have to meet standards outlined by the American Bar Association or face closure. Facilities that host children would further have to meet the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Booker in the release also called for an end to government contracting of for-profit private prisons.

To aid immigrants through the court system, Booker said he would expand access to legal counsel, first focusing on children's access, and create "a presumption of liberty" by changing the bond process. The Department of Homeland Security would have to provide a probable cause for the arrest of immigrants within 48 hours.

Booker's plan also calls for a reinvestment in areas such as Central America, Africa, and the Middle East. This is a direct response to the Trump administration's recent decision to cut aid aimed at improving conditions in migrants' home countries.

"This action, like [Donald] Trump's entire approach to immigration, is based on a faulty notion that force and threats are what is needed to control migration," according to a statement from Booker's campaign. "That approach hasn't worked, and has contributed to a humanitarian crisis at our border and the inhumane treatment and abuse of immigrants within our country."
I just want this so badly. I just want a president who will stop this cruelty. Sob.

Senator Elizabeth Warren is also talking about the humanitarian crisis at the border, urging us to "Watch Rep. Judy Chu's story and #DontLookAway. What's happening at DHS border detention facilities is inhumane."

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is refreshingly blunt about "conscience clauses" as a court delays implementation of the Trump Regime rule that would allow healthcare workers to refuse to perform medical procedures with which they disagree: "Here's an idea: Cancel this rule altogether, and don't give health care providers the ability to discriminate at all." A+

Rep. Eric Swalwell is still hammering Biden about his 32-year-old "pass the torch" comments. Wow. LOL.

John Hickenlooper's finance director just quit to go work for Beto O'Rourke (ouch) which has prompted him to "shake up his campaign." My advice would be that his shake his ass right out of the campaign altogether, because his candidacy is dead in the water.

Bernie Sanders is still definitely running for president.

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

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