News Round-Up: September 30, 2020

Greg Bloomer and Bisquit (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

Woof Wednesday: Chicago InstaHunk Greg Bloomer and his handsome pooch Bisquit (above) make Hump Day just that much better 🙂

CNBC: U.S. presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign broke its single-hour fundraising record as the Democrat’s debate with President Donald Trump wrapped up on Tuesday, pulling in $3.8 million, a campaign official said.

VoteVets: Air Force veteran and fighter jet pilot Captain ‘Sully’ Sullenberger endorses former Vice President Joe Biden for president. “Leadership isn’t just about sitting in the pilot seat. It’s about knowing what you’re doing and taking responsibility.”

* Celebitchy: Coronavirus depression nearly caused designer Tom Ford to skip his next collection. “I was irritated when I had a Zoom meeting because it meant washing my hair and perhaps trimming my beard. At the time, the thought of designing a collection seemed frivolous when so many important and disturbing things were happening in our world.”

Reuters: Results from an early study of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine showed that it produced virus-neutralizing antibodies in older adults at levels similar to those seen in younger adults, with side effects roughly on par with high-dose flu shots, according to researchers.

Twitter: After telling the violent group Proud Boys to “stand by” at last night’s presidential debate debacle and refusing to denounce white supremacy, Trump told reporters today he doesn’t know who the Proud Boys are but “Antifa is the real problem.”

Cindy McCain, Widow Of 2008 GOP Nominee, Endorses Joe Biden For Prez

Cindy McCain (photo: Flickr/Gage SkidmoreCC License)

From NPR:

Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain, is the latest prominent conservative to urge Republicans to cross party lines and support Joe Biden for president.

“There’s only one candidate in this race who stands up for our values as a nation, and that is Joe Biden,” she tweeted Tuesday evening.

McCain’s endorsement comes nearly a month after she contributed to a video that aired during the Democratic National Convention that detailed the friendship between her late husband and the Democratic presidential nominee.

Ms. McCain says she hopes she can encourage disillusioned voters in Arizona, which her late husband spent years representing in the Senate, to consider Biden over Trump amid the country’s current woes.

In response, Trump predictably clapped back on Twitter saying he hardly knows Cindy McCain: “Joe Biden was John McCain’s lapdog. So many BAD decisions on Endless Wars & the V.A., which I brought from a horror show to HIGH APPROVAL. Never a fan of John. Cindy can have Sleepy Joe!”

100 Top Republicans Endorse Biden For President

Former Vice President Joe Biden (image via Instagram)

Via Reuters:

Nearly 100 Republican and independent leaders will endorse Democrat Joe Biden for president on Thursday, including one-time 2020 Republican presidential candidate Bill Weld and the former Republican governors of Michigan and New Jersey, people involved in the effort told Reuters.

The latest Republican-led effort to oppose the re-election of President Donald Trump also includes current and former Republicans in the key battleground state of Michigan that will help decide the outcome of the Nov. 3 election, the group’s members said.

Called ‘Republicans and Independents for Biden’, the group is headed by Christine Todd Whitman, a former Republican governor of New Jersey who has become one of Trump’s fiercest critics and who spoke at the recent Democratic National Convention in support of Biden.

While the group’s members come from all over the country, it’s notable that a fifth are from Michigan, where Trump barely eked out a win of less than a percentage point in 2016.

Hillary Clinton Endorses Biden: ‘I Wish He Were President Right Now’

(image via Twitter)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton endorsed her longtime friend and colleague, former Vice President Joe Biden, for president today adding, “I wish he were president right now.”

From the New York Times:

Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee and a political veteran who knows firsthand what it is like to compete against President Trump, threw her support behind Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Tuesday, the latest party leader to make the case for returning the White House to Democratic hands in November.

“I’ve been not only a colleague of Joe Biden’s, I’ve been a friend, and I can tell you that I wish he were president right now but I can’t wait until he is — if all of us do our part to support the kind of person that we want back in the White House,” Mrs. Clinton said on Tuesday afternoon during a virtual town hall-style event with Mr. Biden about the impact of the coronavirus on women.

Accepting her support, Mr. Biden said: “I really appreciate your friendship. What a, just a wonderful personal endorsement.”

Here’s the full Town Hall video from today:

Elizabeth Warren “I’m Proud To Endorse Joe Biden As President Of The US”

L-R Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (images via campaign sites)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president today via a video message.

Noting that she hasn’t agreed 100% of the time with any lawmaker during her tenure in public life, Warren says she appreciates that when she and Biden haven’t seen eye-to-eye it’s evident he listens and hears other viewpoints.

She also points out Biden’s ability to empathize with others in times of crisis, something many have noted Donald Trump severely lacks.

“Empathy matters,” says Warren. “And, in this moment of crisis, it’s more important than ever that the next president restores Americans’ faith in good, effective government.”

“Joe Biden has spent nearly his entire life in public service. He knows that a government run with integrity, competence, and heart will save lives and save livelihoods. And we can’t afford to let Donald Trump continue to endanger the lives and livelihoods of every American. That’s why I’m proud to endorse Joe Biden as president of the United States.”

President Obama Endorses Joe Biden For President

Former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden (public domain)

Former President Barack Obama released a video today endorsing his former vice president, Joe Biden, for president in the 2020 election.


Here’s the full transcript of the endorsement:

Obama’s full endorsement:

Hi everybody. Let me start by saying the obvious – these aren’t normal times. As we all manage our way through a pandemic unlike anything we’ve seen in a century, Michelle and I hope that you and your families are safe and well. If you’ve lost somebody to this virus, or if someone in your life is sick, or if you’re one of the millions suffering economic hardship, please know that you’re in our prayers. Please know that you’re not alone. Because now’s the time for all of us to help where we can and to be there for each other, as neighbors, as coworkers, and as fellow citizens.

In fact, over the past weeks, we’ve seen plenty of examples of the kind of courage, kindness, and selflessness that we’re going to need to get through one of the most difficult times in our history. Michelle and I have been amazed at the incredible bravery of our medical professionals who are putting their lives on the line to save others. The public servants and health officials battling this disease. The workers taking risks every day to keep our economy running. And everyone who’s making their own sacrifice at home with their families, all for the greater good.

But if there’s one thing we’ve learned as a country from moments of great crisis, it’s that the spirit of looking out for one another can’t be restricted to our homes, or our workplaces, or our neighborhoods, or our houses of worship. It also has to be reflected in our national government. The kind of leadership that’s guided by knowledge and experience; honesty and humility; empathy and grace – that kind of leadership doesn’t just belong in our state capitols and mayors offices. It belongs in the White House.

And that’s why I’m so proud to endorse Joe Biden for President of the United States.

Choosing Joe to be my Vice President was one of the best decisions I ever made, and he became a close friend. And I believe Joe has all the qualities we need in a President right now.

He’s someone whose own life has taught him how to persevere; how to bounce back when you’ve been knocked down.

When Joe talks with parents who’ve lost their jobs, we hear the son of a man who once knew the pain of having to tell his children that he’d lost his.

When Joe talks about opportunity for our kids, we hear the young father who took the train home each night so he could tuck his children into bed – and we hear the influence of Jill, a life-long teacher.

When Joe talks to families who’ve lost a hero, we hear another parent of an American veteran; a kindred spirit; somebody whose faith has endured the hardest loss there is.

That’s Joe. Through all his trials, he’s never once forgotten the values or the moral fiber that his parents passed on to him, and that made him who he is. That’s what steels his faith – in God, in America, and in all of us.

That steel made him an incredible partner when I needed one the most.

Joe was there as we rebuilt from the Great Recession and rescued the American auto industry. He was the one asking what every policy would do for the middle class and everyone striving to get into the middle class. That’s why I asked him to implement the Recovery Act, which saved millions of jobs and got people back on their feet – because Joe gets stuff done.

Joe helped me manage H1N1 and prevent the Ebola epidemic from becoming the type of pandemic we’re seeing now. He helped me restore America’s standing and leadership in the world on the other threats of our time, like nuclear proliferation and climate change.

Joe has the character and the experience to guide us through one of our darkest times and heal us through a long recovery. And I know he’ll surround himself with good people – experts, scientists, military officials who actually know how to run the government and care about doing a good job running the government, and know how to work with our allies, and who will always put the American people’s interests above their own.

Now Joe will be a better candidate for having run the gauntlet of primaries and caucuses alongside one of the most impressive Democratic fields ever. Each of our candidates were talented and decent, with a track record of accomplishment, smart ideas, and serious visions for the future.

And that’s certainly true of the candidate who made it farther than any other – Bernie Sanders. Bernie’s an American original – a man who has devoted his life to giving voice to working people’s hopes, dreams, and frustrations. He and I haven’t always agreed on everything, but we’ve always shared a conviction that we have to make America a fairer, more just, more equitable society. We both know that nothing is more powerful than millions of voices calling for change. And the ideas he’s championed; the energy and enthusiasm he inspired, especially in young people, will be critical in moving America in a direction of progress and hope.

Because for the second time in twelve years, we’ll have the incredible task of rebuilding our economy. And to meet the moment, the Democratic Party will have to be bold.

You know, I could not be prouder of the incredible progress that we made together during my presidency. But if I were running today, I wouldn’t run the same race or have the same platform as I did in 2008. The world is different; there’s too much unfinished business for us to just look backwards. We have to look to the future. Bernie understands that. And Joe understands that. It’s one of the reasons that Joe already has what is the most progressive platform of any major party nominee in history. Because even before the pandemic turned the world upside down, it was already clear that we needed real structural change.

The vast inequalities created by the new economy are easier to see now, but they existed long before this pandemic hit. Health professionals, teachers, delivery drivers, grocery clerks, cleaners, the people who truly make our economy run – they’ve always been essential. And for years, too many of the people who do the essential work of this country have been underpaid, financially stressed, and given too little support. And that applies to the next generation of Americans – young people graduating into unprecedented unemployment. They’re going to need economic policies that give them faith in the future and give them relief from crushing student loan debt.

So we need to do more than just tinker around the edges with tax credits or underfunded programs. We have to go further to give everybody a great education, a lasting career, and a stable retirement.

We have to protect the gains we made with the Affordable Care Act, but it’s also time to go further. We should make plans affordable for everyone, provide everyone with a public option, expand Medicare, and finish the job so that health care isn’t just a right, but a reality for everybody.

We have to return the U.S. to the Paris Agreement, and lead the world in reducing the pollution that causes climate change. But science tells us we have to go much further – that it’s time for us to accelerate progress on bold new green initiatives that make our economy a clean energy innovator, save us money, and secure our children’s future.

Of course, Democrats may not always agree on every detail of the best way to bring about each and every one of these changes. But we do agree that they’re needed. And that only happens if we win this election.

Because one thing everybody has learned by now is that the Republicans occupying the White House and running the U.S. Senate are not interested in progress. They’re interested in power. They’ve shown themselves willing to kick millions off their health insurance and eliminate preexisting condition protections for millions more, even in the middle of this public health crisis, even as they’re willing to spend a trillion dollars on tax cuts for the wealthy. They’ve given polluters unlimited power to poison our air and our water, and denied the science of climate change just as they denied the science of pandemics. Repeatedly, they’ve disregarded American principles of rule of law, and voting rights, and transparency – basic norms that previous administrations observed regardless of party. Principles that are the bedrock of our democracy.

So our country’s future hangs on this election. And it won’t be easy. The other side has a massive war chest. The other side has a propaganda network with little regard for the truth. On the other hand, pandemics have a way of cutting through a lot of noise and spin to remind us of what is real, and what is important. This crisis has reminded us that government matters. It’s reminded us that good government matters. That facts and science matter. That the rule of law matters. That having leaders who are informed, and honest, and seek to bring people together rather than drive them apart – those kind of leaders matter.

In other words, elections matter. Right now, we need Americans of goodwill to unite in a great awakening against a politics that too often has been characterized by corruption, carelessness, self-dealing, disinformation, ignorance, and just plain meanness. And to change that, we need Americans of all political stripes to get involved in our politics and our public life like never before.

For those of us who believe in building a more just, more generous, more democratic America where everybody has a fair shot at opportunity. For those of us who believe in a government that cares about the many, and not just the few. For those of us who love this country and are willing to do our part to make sure it lives up to its highest ideals – now’s the time to fight for what we believe in.

So join us. Join Joe. Go to right now. Make a plan for how you are going to get involved. Keep taking care of yourself, and your families, and each other. Keep believing in the possibilities of a better world. And I will see you on the campaign trail as soon as I can.


Bernie Sanders Endorses Joe Biden: “We Have To Make Trump A One-Term President”

In a joint live stream today, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) officially endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president and he asked his supporters to do the same.

“Today I am asking all Americans … to come together in this campaign to support your candidacy,” Sanders told Biden.

From the New York Times:

In throwing his weight behind his former rival, Mr. Sanders is sending an unmistakable signal that his supporters — who are known for their intense loyalty — should do so as well, at a moment when Mr. Biden still faces deep skepticism from many younger progressives.

The two men appeared via live stream on split screens — each on each other’s live streams — talking to each other. “We need you in the White House,” Mr. Sanders said to Mr. Biden. “And I will do all that I can to make that happen.”

Mr. Biden said: “I’m going to need you. Not just to win the campaign, but to govern.”

On Sunday, however, the Democratic Socialists of America tweeted in no uncertain terms they will not support Biden. #smh

Biden Gets Endorsement From Huge Public-Service Union

Former Vice President Joe Biden (image via Instagram)

Former Vice President Joe Biden received a big endorsement from one of the nation’s largest public-service unions today.

From the Washington Post:

The 35-member executive board of the American Federation of County, State and Municipal Employees met Monday afternoon, speaking by teleconference because of the coronavirus outbreak, and voted unanimously to support Biden.

“We believe that it’s time to prepare to work like hell for Joe Biden and to bring the party together so we’re unified behind one candidate,” AFSCME President Lee Saunders said in an interview with The Washington Post.

Members of the board used “a lot of colorful language” to describe how President Trump’s policies have hurt workers, particularly in the Midwest, according to a person familiar with the proceedings who was not authorized to discuss a private meeting.

Cory Booker Endorses Joe Biden For President

L-R Sen. Cory Booker, former Vice President Joe Biden (via Instagram)

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker has officially endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president adding to the growing support of Democratic lawmakers for Biden.

From the New York Times:

Mr. Booker’s endorsement comes one day after Senator Kamala Harris of California endorsed Mr. Biden, and the two senators will appear with him at a rally in Detroit on Monday night. Mr. Booker will also campaign alongside Mr. Biden in Flint, Mich., earlier in the day and attend a fund-raiser with him.

Mr. Booker and Ms. Harris were two of the most prominent black candidates to run for president, and their endorsements come as Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont scrambles to make up ground among black voters in Michigan, where they make up a sizable part of the electorate.

“African-American voters in the South, African-American voters here in Detroit, they have played a pivotal role in my entire lifetime in choosing the Democratic nominee,” Mr. Booker said. He pointed to Mr. Biden’s deep connections with black voters and what Mr. Booker saw as “understanding the issues of race and frankly racial reconciliation and racial justice, and even saying things now about choosing a black woman on the Supreme Court.”