Illustration for article titled Biden Is Getting Dragged to the Left
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Barf BagWelcome to Barf Bag, a daily politics roundup to help you sort through the chaotic Trumpian news cycle.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has a few things to feel confident about at the moment. The presumptive Democratic candidate for president is favored in national polls, President Trump’s approval rating is in decline, and it turns out party big wigs aren’t pressed about Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegation (an alarming precedent for those who come forward with credible accusations against powerful men, a relief to those desperate to get President Trump out of office at all costs, and a headache for those who care about both).

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But Biden is still trying to make his pitch for younger voters and Democrats who are disappointed by Bernie Sanders’ crash and burn. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Biden made a pitch to young voters, assuring them that he’s the real deal:

Young people want the truth and they want authenticity. No one doubts I mean what I say. I sometimes say more than I mean, but no one doubts I mean what I say. And younger Americans have had a really tough run of it. Millennials came of age defined by 9/11, the 2008 financial crisis, losing 80,000-odd jobs a month. Generation Z has grown up at a time of school shootings, crushing student debt, broken politics. So, attacking student debt, making college affordable—start by immediately forgiving a minimum of $10,000 in student debt, [making] two-year community college free, four-year public college for families making under $125,000 free, tackling climate.

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Along with the youths, Biden says he’s slowly, but surely, trying to appeal to progressives. What’s he doing? Well, he’s in favor of a federal rent bailout... that’s a start. “There should be rent forgiveness and there should be mortgage forgiveness now in the middle of this crisis,” Biden said. “Forgiveness. Not paid later, forgiveness.”

He also said that nobody should be paying more than 30 percent of their income on rent... nice thought!

But talk is cheap. Getting Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Varshini Prakash, the executive director of the environmental activist group Sunrise Movement on a climate change task force is plus cher.

From CNN:

The task forces, which also cover health care, the economy, criminal justice and education, include a lineup of progressive leaders and top Biden campaign aides and allies. [Bernie] Sanders revealed plans to form the advisory panels when he dropped out of the presidential primary last month, a sign of both campaigns’ desire to form a united front against President Donald Trump and smooth over worries among Democrats that the party would splinter along ideological lines.

[...]

The task forces will work toward issuing a list of recommendations to the Biden campaign in the next six weeks.

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Here’s a list of some of the other people involved in the so-called Unity Task Forces. They include congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, a strong advocate of Medicare-for-all, and Analilia Mejia, the former national director for the Sanders campaign:

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While many of the aforementioned progressives will possibly be labeled sellouts for working with the Biden campaign in the first place, it’s reassuring that the people shaping Biden’s policy agenda aren’t just sycophants. Silver linings?


In some deeply fucked up news that likely gave Stephen Miller a boner, the United States has granted asylum to just two people since March. Yes, two.

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From the Washington Post:

Citing the threat to public health from the coronavirus, the Trump administration has suspended most due-process rights for migrants, including children and asylum seekers, while “expelling” more than 20,000 unauthorized border-crossers to Mexico under a provision of U.S. code known as Title 42.

Department of Homeland Security officials say the emergency protocols are needed to protect Americans — and migrants — by reducing the number of detainees in U.S. Border Patrol holding cells and immigration jails where infection spreads easily. But the administration has yet to publish statistics showing the impact of the measures on the thousands of migrants who arrive in the United States each year as they flee religious, political or ethnic persecution, gang violence or other urgent threats.

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We’ll likely be waiting for those statistics for a very long time. The Trump administration is likely gleeful that they can use the covid-19 pandemic to excuse its paltry treatment of migrants, and it’s hard to imagine that they won’t continue to milk the extreme circumstances of the virus to justify other appalling acts. Stay tuned, folks.


  • So, this is real:
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  • A Vice President Amy Klobuchar is looking more and more likely as Biden’s VP shortlist gets shorter and shorter. [CNN]
  • Republican Senator John Kennedy is worried that the House Dems’ new covid-19 aid package will force him to “wear a mask in the shower.” [MSNBC]
  • Yes, free all the prisoners, but maybe not Paul Manafort first? [Washington Post]
  • Purto Rico is telling the Trump administration to run that covid check... quickly.
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  • The right-wingers are shaking over Greta Thunberg’s inclusion in a covid-19 CNN town hall event.
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Staff writer, mint chocolate hater.

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