Wednesday, August 19, 2020

-Laura Loomer's primary rival, a QAnon supporter

Sixty seconds of AOC, a viral state appetizer, and John Kerry’s Intimidating Flag Emporium: The second night of the virtual DNC is in the books. Here’s what you missed (or didn’t, we’re not accusing you of anything):

  • A virtual roll call of delegates that showcased voices and landscapes from each state and territory was an unexpected highlight of the proceedings—and the closest thing to a road trip most of us will get this summer. Some key moments included Khizr Khan speaking from Charlottseville, VA, the parents of Matthew Shepard pledging Wyoming’s delegates, and Rhode Island establishing its DNC dominance with a plate of calamari.  After the delegates had cast their votes, Joe Biden was formally nominated to the ticket by Jacquelyn Brittany, the New York Times security guard whose elevator encounter with Biden went viral during the primary.
  • Tuesday night’s other big highlight was Dr. Jill Biden’s deeply personal endorsement of her husband, delivered from the empty Delaware high school where she once taught English. Following a segment that chronicled their partnership and the losses the family has overcome, Biden made the case that the grief her husband endured has made him uniquely prepared to carry the country through a time of crisis: “How do you make a broken family whole? The same way you make a nation whole. With love and understanding and with small acts of kindness, with bravery, with unwavering faith.” Watch her full keynote here
  • If you watch only one other segment (and are somewhere you can cry), make it this one, from activist Ady Barkan. He detailed his experiences navigating the healthcare system since developing ALS, and noted how the pandemic had exposed the consequences of not guaranteeing healthcare as a human right. Barkan condemned President Trump and congressional Republicans for nevertheless continuing their efforts to strip healthcare from millions, and made clear that there’s no path towards Medicare For All without electing Joe Biden: “We all have a profound obligation to act—not only to vote, but to make sure that our friends, family, and neighbors vote as well.” (Hi, we’re here to help.)

As promised, Night Two brought together an array of leaders from across the party’s generational spectrum. Also, from the other party.

  • Bill Clinton slammed Trump’s coronavirus response, John Kerry characterized his foreign policy as a “blooper reel,” and Colin Powell joined a group of national security experts to warn the public about the dangers of Trump’s deference to despots, and endorse Biden’s judgment to, you know, not do that. Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates spoke to Trump’s attacks on the rule of law and democratic institutions, and didn’t mince words: “The future of our democracy is at stake.”
  • Representing the youths, 17 rising stars in the party (including Stacey Abrams) kicked off the night with a joint keynote address. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) praised the “mass people’s movement working to establish 21st-century social, economic and human rights” in her short speech seconding Bernie Sanders’s nomination—a procedural role that was misinterpreted by some dorks on Twitter (including NBC News?) as a slight against Biden. Of course.

Let that be a lesson to everyone to watch our convention livestream, where other, better dorks will slap down these misapprehensions in real time. Starting in about an hour, the third night will include Kamala Harris’s acceptance of the vice presidential nomination, and speeches from Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Elizabeth Warren. See you in the groupthread →

As we were saying, the Democratic National Convention is HAPPENING NOW, and we’re streaming the whole thing live each night this week. Join us on starting at 6pm PT/9pm ET to catch all the speakers and join Crooked’s Groupthread.

Tomorrow we’ll have a special LIVE Pod Save America pre-show where Jon, Jon, Tommy, and Dan will recap the biggest moments of the week, relive some memories of past conventions, and host the world premiere of the documentary short Dress Rehearsal, about the progressive organizers who pulled off a stunning upset in Wisconsin during a pandemic and are preparing to do it again on November 3. 

We have a lot of content coming, and you can find all the details on 

Facebook scaled back its voter-registration drive, after the Trump campaign started complaining. Undoubtedly a complete coincidence! Mark Zuckberg announced in mid-June that Facebook would kick off the “largest voting information campaign in American history,” with the aim of helping to register four million voters. That campaign has had a slow, quiet start. The company scaled back its initial registration drive from two days to one, and took nearly two months to introduce the Voting Information Center, which hasn’t been made prominent on either Facebook or Instagram. Those changes followed sustained pressure from the Trump campaign, which baselessly claimed that the initiative was intended to help Joe Biden.

A Trump administration fetal-tissue ethics panel voted to block 13 out of 14 medical research proposals that had already been approved for federal funding by scientists. The panel was created over a year ago as part of a larger Trump administration effort to block federal research involving fetal cells, under pressure from anti-abortion groups. Fetal tissue cultures have been widely used in medical research and vaccines for decades—they were used in the development of several current coronavirus vaccine candidates. In the words of one stem cell research expert, “People may die unnecessarily because the administration has allowed an ideological special interest group to hijack biomedical research.” We’ve already seen the consequences of an administration that puts politics over science, and it wasn’t a one-time thing. Let’s not wait around for the next preventable crisis.

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Nebraska will send absentee ballot applications to all registered voters. 

Gov. John Bel Edwards (D-LA) signed an executive order committing Louisiana to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. 

Facebook took down nearly 800 QAnon pages and more than 10,000 related Instagram accounts, which is probably too little and absolutely too late, but it's a start.


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