Things That Matter

Here Are The Winners And Losers Of Last Night Democratic Debates In Miami Last Night

The Democratic Party had their first presidential debate last night in Miami hosted by NBC News. Ten candidates for the Democratic Party spoke last night on immigration, the economy, student loans, and the humanitarian crisis happening at the southern border. While the candidates did debate some real issues, there were moments that caught everyone’s attention that had nothing to do with policy and politics. Here’s a quick recap of the first Democratic debate.

The Democratic Party hosted their first debate last night in Miami and there were clear winners and losers. Elizabeth Warren was the clear standout.

Credit: MSNBC / GIPHY

Senator Warren did not hold back on what she plans to do as president to make the United States work for all Americans. She came out of the gates swinging with a progressive platform that more and more Americans are supporting. Notably, Warren defended her calls to break up big tech firms like Google, Facebook, and Apple.

In a platform released by the Warren campaign, the presidential hopeful laid out why it is important to end the monopoly the current tech companies have.

“Today’s big tech companies have too much power — too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy,” Warren wrote in a Medium post. “They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation.”

Warren also spoke on how she would use the people who elect her to fight to make the country work for everyone.

The current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to bring bills to the Senate floor to a vote. Bills that many Americans support like gun control measures and health care amendments. While Warren was not completely clear with her stance on how to work with a Republican controlled Senate, she seems ready to fight.

Julián Castro showed his strength and delivered an exceptional night for his campaign.

Credit: MSNBC / GIPHY

Castro, who was the former secretary of Housing and Urban Development, lead the debates when it came to immigration. Chiefly, Castro stated that if elected he would make crossing the border a civil infraction as opposed to the criminal infraction it has become.

Castro used his moment addressing immigration to spar with his fellow Texan competitor Beto O’Rourke who stated he did not support that same measure. Instead, O’Rourke told Castro that he has introduced legislation to decriminalize those crossing the border for seeking asylum.

Castro claimed that O’Rourke is not going far enough because targeting just asylum seekers is not addressing the full problem because some people cross without seeking asylum. Castro’s plan to decriminalize border crossing has been used by Republicans to push the inaccurate narrative that Democrats support open borders.

Castro set off a strong reaction from the audience when he included trans people in the conversation about reproductive rights and, as he says, reproductive justice.

The candidates were asked if they supported a health care plan that would cover abortions. The nation is in the middle of a major discussion about who should and should not have access to abortions. We have watched states take unprecedented steps to limit a women’s right to safe and legal abortions in several southern and Republican-led states. One of the largest applause moments during the debate was when Castro included the trans community, one often overlooked, into the conversation about abortion rights.

Castro was the candidate who most needed a good night to get his name and face in front of American voters and it seems to have paid off.

Castro announced his candidacy in January 2019 and has dealing with a severe enthusiasm gap. Other candidates, like Warren, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, and Kamala Harris have dominated media coverage and Castro couldn’t break through. It seems that the debates last night gave him the boost he needed to become a household name.

Coming in third would be New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Credit: MSNBC / GIPHY

During the debate, de Blasio gave an impassioned speech about the unjust vilification of the immigrant community in the United States. He referenced the horrific photo that has been shared of a migrant father and daughter, Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and Valeria, and how what led to their deaths is not the America we know.

“We have to change the discussion about immigration in this country, because look at the bottom line here. .. That tragic photo of that parent, that child – and I’m saying this as a father – every American should feel that in their heart, and every American should say that is not America,” de Blasio said.

“Those are not our values, but we have to get under the skin of why we have this crisis in our system, because we’re not being honest about the division that’s been fomented in this country, the way that Americans citizens have been told that immigrants somehow created their misery and their pain and their challenges.”

“For all the American citizens out there who feel you’re falling behind or feel the American dream’s not working for you, the immigrants didn’t do that to you. The big corporations did that to you. The one percent did that to you.”

The debate did offer some lighter notes that worked as fodder for infinite social media jokes and memes, namely, the use of Spanish.

O’Rourke, who ran a campaign attempting to unseat Senator Ted Cruz, used his first remark to use his Spanish skills. Now, there is nothing wrong with a presidential candidate speaking Spanish. In fact, it is good to know that there are people running for the office willing to speak directly to the people they want to help.

However, O’Rourke’s attempt to speak Spanish came off as pandering so many who watched the debates.

And a lot of the focus was on Cory Booker’s reaction to O’Rourke’s Spanish.

That is what shook looks like. It seems as if Booker was prepared to speak Spanish himself and was caught off guard when Texan O’Rourke beat him to the punch.

For some Latinos watching the debate, it seemed like an unnecessary flex for someone from Texas who would likely know Spanish.

Credit: @cry_camp / Twitter

Again, there is nothing wrong with them speaking Spanish at the debate. It is admirable that they would use the language and normalize it to a broader audience. However, it did strike some people as pandering and it is just something the candidates will have to learn to navigate.

The second round of Democratic debates are happening tonight at 6 p.m. PST.

READ: Julian Castro Is Running For President On A Platform Of Giving A Pathway To Citizenship For 11 Million People

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Pretty Damning: Trump Paid $750 in Federal Income Tax — He Even Wrote-Off That Sad Comb Over

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Pretty Damning: Trump Paid $750 in Federal Income Tax — He Even Wrote-Off That Sad Comb Over

BILL PUGLIANO / GETTY

After four long years, we finally know why Trump didn’t want to release his tax returns: abominably, he thought his terrible haircuts and adult age children were worthy of write-offs. Oh yeah… and the year he was elected he only paid $750.00.

Long before his 2016 presidential election bid, Trump dodged calls to reveal his tax returns. At the time of his bid, however, he refused to take part in a 40-year tradition carried out by presidential nominees to release tax returns to the public. During his initial run, Trump falsely claimed that he was unable to release his returns publicly while they were under audit, and throughout his presidency, he has avoided sharing them despite grand jury subpoenas. Fortunately, thanks to a piece published by The New York Times, they’re finally getting a chance to see the light of day.

On Sunday, The New York Times published the first of several reports examining Trump’s tax information.

In 2016, Trump became the first president since 1976 to not release his tax records. The decision promptly roused dismay and questions about whether the records carried “undisclosed conflicts of interest that may impair his ability to make impartial policy decisions.”

According to NYT’s latest exposé, Trump (a man who has long boasted about his wealth and has also claimed a net worth of billions of which he has also declared to be self-acquired) paid a mere total of $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017.

While the Times report did not cover 2018 and 2019 tax filings, the newspaper looked into 18 years of Trump’s tax returns. They also looked into his business dealings as far back as 2000 and found that in 10 of those years, the president of the United States failed to pay any income taxes “largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.”

The Times also revealed that Trump “racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes” despite millions in income and property. In a statement for the piece, Alan Garten an attorney for the Trump Organization claimed to the Times that “most, if not all, of the facts, appear to be inaccurate.” NoteL the Times underlined that Garten appeared to be “conflating income taxes with other federal taxes.”

According to the article, beginning in 2010, Trump had been given a $72.9 million tax refund from the IRS.

The Times article explains in detail how Trump has managed to handle his business and categorize his wealth. The paper found that most often, Trump claimed his expenses as deductions from his tax bill chalking them up to business expenses. These include nearly $70,000 in hairstyling costs for his time on NBC’s “The Apprentice” over $300,000 for landscaping of the Mar-a-Lago Club and $95,000 written off for hair and makeup done for his daughter Ivanka. That’s right, the president wrote off his own adult children.

Addressing the report, the Times noted that they would not include the actual tax documents in its coverage to avoid outing its sources.

“We are publishing this report because we believe citizens should understand as much as possible about their leaders and representatives — their priorities, their experiences and also their finances,” Times editor Dean Baquet wrote in an editor’s note. “Every president since the mid-1970s has made his tax information public. The tradition ensures that an official with the power to shake markets and change policy does not seek to benefit financially from his actions.”

In response to the reports, Trump called the story “fake news” during a White House press conference on Sunday.

Speaking about the piece, Trump bemoaned that the IRS “does not treat me well.” “It’s totally fake news. Made-up, fake,” he continued. “We went through the same stories, people you could’ve asked me the same questions four years ago. I had to litigate this and talk about it. Totally fake news… Actually, I paid tax, and you’ll see that as soon as my tax returns — it’s under audit,” Trump went onto explain. “They’ve been under audit for a long time. The IRS does not treat me well. … They don’t treat me well; they treat me very badly. You have people in the IRS, they treat me very, very badly…But they’re under audit. And when they’re not, I would be proud to show you, but that’s just fake news.”

It’s important to note that even an audit could not prevent Trump from releasing his tax records to the public.

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Joe Biden And President Donald Trump Are Battling It Out For Florida’s Crucial Latino Vote

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Joe Biden And President Donald Trump Are Battling It Out For Florida’s Crucial Latino Vote

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Florida’s Latino vote is a crucial part of a winning strategy in the Sunshine State. The demographic shifts in recent years because of natural, financial, and governmental disasters has led to a big Puerto Rican diaspora in Florida. President Trump’s handling of the Hurricane Maria recovery has left Puerto Ricans upset with the administration.

Joe Biden and President Donald Trump are battling for Florida’s Latino voters.

Both the Democratic and Republican nominees are making concerted efforts to shore up Latino support in Florida. There are 3.1 million eligible Latino voters in the swing state and make up a crucial voting bloc. While a large number are conservative Cubans and Cuban-Americans, there are also other Latino communities representing different parts of Latin America.

The polling tells a story of two candidates locked in a heated race for the Latino vote in Florida.

Polls, like The Washington Post-ABC News poll, show Biden taking the lead with Latino voters in Florida. According to that poll, Biden is leading Trump 52 percent to 39 percent. However, Hillary Clinton won the Latino vote in Florida 62 percent to 35 percent in 2016. Clinton’s success with the Latino community of Florida shows that the Latino vote is not the only way to clinch the electoral college votes.

On the other hand, President Trump wants everyone to pay attention to one poll. President Trump is sharing a poll by The Washington Post and ABC News that shows him leading in Florida. According to the poll, Trump leads in Florida by 4 points.

The Latino community in southern Florida is being bombarded by a disinformation campaign.

The disinformation is aimed at Florida’s Latino voters and is peddling conspiracy theories against Biden. One of the most prominent examples of this disinformation was the racist and anti-Semitic insert published in a recent edition of the Miami Herald. The insert compared BLM protesters to Nazis but argued that Nazis were nicer since they didn’t steal anything.

Both candidates are pouring money into their campaign efforts in Florida. Both are spending time and money trying to court the Latino vote in an effort to win the key state.

Critics of the president are pointing to the sudden relief package to Puerto Rico is a grab for votes.

President Trump was harshly and fairly criticized after he didn’t respond to the natural disaster in Puerto Rico. The 2017 hurricane devastated the island and left millions without power for weeks. One of the most memorable moments of that time was President Trump throwing paper towels to Puerto Ricans recovering from the disaster.

President Trump, during an election, approved $13 billion in relief funds for Puerto Rico. Puerto Rican voters have not forgotten the three years it took for the president to approve relief funds to help rebuild the island after a devastating storm.

READ: The Miami Herald Apologizes For Including Racist, Anti-Semitic Insert In Newspaper

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