We just wrapped up night one of the Democratic National Convention, featuring Republican John Kasich, Republican Meg Whitman, and surprise, a few actual Democrats. Bernie Sanders was there too. Here’s what went down.
Meanwhile, new details in the strange story of Alex Morse’s Congressional Campaign show that the Massachusetts Democratic Party conspired with and urged College Democrats to delete communications records that allegedly outlined their campaign to smear Morse with sexual impropriety.
And lastly, Donald Trump finalizes a plan to open up an Arctic nature sanctuary to oil and gas drilling.
THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:
The DNC kicked off Monday night and oh boy. Well. We’re one night down at least.
For some reason, the Democrats front-loaded their convention with a line of Republican speakers, including abortion and unions opponent John Kasich, Quibi CEO and former Republican Rep Meg Whitman, and more. Eventually, some actual Democrats did speak, but there wasn’t much in the way of political platform.
Instead, Images of black people hugging cops followed by testimonials from the families of George Floyd and Eric Garner. Andrew Cuomo went on and pretended his mistakes didn’t kill thousands of Americans in New York City.
The DNC did give runner-up Bernie Sanders a chance to speak, and he wasted no time, giving the first substantive discussion of Biden’s platform. It was pretty depressing to hear him champion Biden’s health plan, which is very much not Medicare for All, but you can tell the guy is just trying to do his part in beating Trump. He sucked it up for Hillary and he’ll do it again.
Michelle Obama, the night’s headliner, closed out the evening with an impassioned speech about Biden’s merits and the value of empathy, which was pretty effective in striking a contrast between what the Trump campaign and RNC will offer. But will the vague emotional tone get the
Democrats across the finish line? We’ve probably got two more days of it at least, so I guess we’ll find out!
Mass Dems Plotted Against Morse
A new report by the Intercept shows some shocking new details in the strange smear campaign against Alex Morse, a progressive candidate for Congress in Massachusettes’s Democratic Primary.
The Intercept reports that the executive director of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, Veronica Martinez, told student leaders that UMass Amherst to delete communications records between them and the state party. The offending messages could implicate that the party organized the strange purity scandal around Morse.
The initial scandal was always strange. Morse, who is in his early 30s and openly gay, was accused of sleeping with students at UMass, where he was an adjunct professor. But none of the students made accusations that the sex was anything but consensual.
Several days later, the Intercept reported that members of the Massachusetts college democrats association had a long-running scheme to smear Morse with rumors of sexual impropriety.
Now, the new reporting shows that the Massachusettes state party may have been in on it too. The context here is that Morse is an open progressive who’s running to take down Rep. Richard Neal, the chair of the powerful Ways and Means committee. The state’s primary is on September 1, but even throughout the strange scandal the Morse campaign’s internal polls show them within 5 points of Neal.
After the victories of Jamal Bowman and Cori Rice against longtime Democratic incumbents, it’s pretty clear that some party insiders are willing to stoop to some pretty low lows to make sure some centrists keep their seats.
Trump Lets Big Oil into Arctic
The Trump administration finalized a plan to turn over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas developers, overturning decades of protection for the country’s largest remaining stretch of wilderness.
Advocates quickly denounced the move, obviously, because it’s a gift to environmentally destructive companies that can’t wait to savage the land. Steve Blackledge, senior conservation program director for Environment America, said quote:
"The door is being flung wide open for oil and gas drilling to impose irreversible harm to one of America's iconic spaces. Claims that this thoroughly invasive industrial work can be done in an environmentally responsible way are either naive or, even worse, cynically deceptive."
That pretty much sums it up. According to Common Dreams, Blackledge said Trump’s interior department’s plans for the region were quote “wrongheaded and tragic.”
Opponents are sure to challenge the move in court, but if Trump gets a second term, we can imagine far more of the same.
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
Common Dreams reports that according to new research, just 12 billionaires have now amassed a combined wealth of 1 trillion dollars. Some of the top of that list, like Jeff Bezos, have seen their net worth skyrocket by dozens of billions of dollars even in the midst of the pandemic.
California’s Death Valley hit 130 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, which, if confirmed, would be the region’s hottest temperature since 1913. Climate activists warned that unless we make some changes soon, that record will get broken a whole lot sooner this time.
According to the Mississippi Free Press, 71 of the state’s 82 counties are now reporting coronavirus outbreaks in schools, with more than 2500 students and teachers in quarantine. For many schools, it’s only the second day of classes.
And finally, Postmaster General LaJoy has agreed to testify before the House on August 24, as Democrats pressure the Senate to come back and get a deal to save the post office on the table. Will it work? Let’s not go there just yet.
That’s all for the Majority Report’s AM Quickie today. Stay tuned for the full show with Sam this afternoon.
Aug 18, 2020 - AM Quickie
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Jack Crosbie
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn