If you’re one of the absolute masochists who was looking forward to the December Democratic Debate, you’re out of luck. Every candidate who met the qualifications for the December 19 debate has vowed not to cross the picket line of Unite Here Local 11, a labor union that is currently in a dispute with Loyola Marymount University, the site of the debate.
LMU subcontracts its food service operations to a company called Sodexo, and Local 11 has been in negotiations with Sodexo since March for a collective bargaining agreement, according to the letter. A resolution has not been reached and Sodexo last week canceled scheduled contract negotiations, according to the union.
Elizabeth Warren was the first candidate to pull out of the debate, followed by Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang. Tweets from Joe Biden, Tom Steyer, Pete Buttigieg, and Amy Klobuchar followed (in that order).
This is the second time that the December debates have encountered a hiccup due to labor disputes after it was initially moved from UCLA, which the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees has been boycotting for three years. This is a good look on the solidarity front, but also... maybe this will double as some much-needed time off for these nerds.
And speaking of debates, if President Trump gets his way, he won’t attend debates at all during the general election cycle. The New York Times reports that Trump is floating around the idea of sitting out the 2020 debates due to “misgivings” he has towards the Commission on Presidential Debates. In other words, he doesn’t trust them!
It all started back in 2016 when he debated Hillary Clinton, and sucked at it:
After his performance in one of the debates was panned, Mr. Trump blamed a “defective mic” and questioned whether it was done “on purpose” to put him at a disadvantage. It turned out that a technical malfunction had indeed affected the volume of his voice during that debate, in September 2016.
The commission owned up to the mic issue, but Trump was not satisfied with their apology. Trump’s beef continued after the commission refused to let Team Trump strategically place women who accused President Clinton of sexual harassment in the “V.I.P. box.”
The Trump campaign invited the women as surprise guests to the second debate in St. Louis. Mr. Trump wanted them seated in his V.I.P. box, where Mr. Clinton would have to walk past them; they would also have been in her line of sight from the stage. In the end, the campaign had to stand down after the commission threatened to call security and have the women removed.
So there you have it, the commission is not to be trusted due to a technical glitch and the prohibition of psychological mind games on candidates’ scumbag husbands.
- Joe Biden wants you to know that Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party’s defeat in the UK’s general election is a cautionary tale against leaning too far left. Of course, the circumstances are entirely different, but why focus on reality when you can make excuses for milquetoast centrism? [Politico]
- In other UK news, uh, Boris Johnson and white nationalist goon Stephen Miller hung out loads when Johnson was foreign secretary under Theresa May. [Politico]
- It sure looks like the Trump administration gave a $400 million border wall contract to a firm that used Fox News appearances for clout. [AP]
- Bloomberg Media bought CityLab from The Atlantic only to lay off half of its workers immediately after the fact. Presidential candidate and Bloomberg founder Michael Bloomberg still has an 88 percent ownership stake of the company. Gotta love a presidential candidate who owns a news publication and kills jobs at the same time. [Mother Jones]
- And speaking of Bloomberg, this is fake, folks!
- You know, I just think it’s funny how precinct closures during the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race prevented an estimated 54,000 to 85,000 people from voting—according to a new report—and black Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams lost the election by approximately 50,000 votes. What a coincidence! [AJC]
- The anti-bullying portion of Melania Trump’s Be Best initiative apparently doesn’t include teen activists:
- President Trump has one Jewish friend with four different names. Amazing! [Washington Post]
- Jesus Christ, dude: