Things That Matter

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

The Bernie Campaign Teamed Up With Cardi B To Talk About Police Brutality, DREAMers And Raising Wages

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The Bernie Campaign Teamed Up With Cardi B To Talk About Police Brutality, DREAMers And Raising Wages

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Vermont Senator and Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and rapper Cardi B have been teasing their on-screen discussion on issues ranging from police brutality to canceling student debt for a few weeks now. Finally, the Sanders campaign published the video in all its nearly ten minutes of glory.

The two met at Detroit’s TEN nail bar, a deluxe nail salon founded and operated by two women of color. Cardi B came prepared with a list of questions that her own followers have brought up with her. In essence, Cardi B served as a representative of her fans’ political interests and brought them to a Presidential candidate to see if he would be the guy to officially represent their needs in the nation’s most meaningful capacity–as POTUS 2020.

Six weeks ago, Cardi asked her fans what they would want to hear Bernie Sanders discuss.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

On July 2, the rapper shared a video to Instagram telling her followers that her number one question to Bernie Sanders is about how to end police brutality in this country. “What would you like to ask? what change would you like to see in your community and in the USA 🇺🇸?” she posted. “2020 is getting very close let’s get familiar with who is running and how they can change the country! Put your questions down below and your questions may be answered very soon.”

Nobody expected she was actually going to sit down with Bernie Sanders and represent the Bardi Gang’s political issues.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

Hilariously, Sanders wiggled his fingers alongside Cardi B’s as he told us that, “Cardi B’s nails are juuuust a little different than mine. Our views on the issues are pretty similar.” 

Cardi B absolutely nailed it as an interviewer. She steered the conversation and truly represented her followers’ interests. She opened the video to remind everyone that, “A couple of weeks ago, I asked my followers what types of questions would you want to ask a Democratic candidate. Let’s go baby.” Here are the takeaways.

Number one: Cardi and Bernie’s shared goal is getting Trump out of office.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

“You know what I’m trying to do is I’m trying to advocate the youth in my community because I feel like there’s a serious problem right now in America,” Cardi opens. “We have this bully as a President and the only way to take him out is somebody winning.”

“We’ve got to get rid of Donald Trump, obviously. Because Donald Trump is an overt racist. He’s just way out there.”

The first question on Cardi’s mind is putting an end to police brutality in America. Bernie has a three-pronged plan.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

Cardi B got vulnerable and talked about the mental effects of what it’s like to “constantly see on social media police brutality against black men and against minorities. What are we going to do to change that, because that is discouraging our people? We constantly see our men getting killed every day, and it seems like nobody cares.”

Sanders wants to end the militarization of police departments, which he sees as a form of intimidation.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

To address police brutality, he wants the Department of Justice to investigate every police killing to ensure accountability and prevent local police departments from covering up crimes. He also wants to federally obligate police departments to “look like the community they serve” and “not like an oppressive army.” Sanders related to the “disgust” of seeing 1 in 4 young black men in the criminal justice system. His solution to that specific issue is to invest in free education instead of investing in prisons and incarceration. 

During his first week as President, Sanders will reinstate the executive order that gave protections to DREAMers, and he wants to extend those protections to their parents.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

Cardi had recalled meeting a fan who enrolled for protections under DACA and is now facing deportation back to Mexico–a place that he has no living memory of ever knowing. Bernie wants the 1.8 million young people who qualify for DACA to experience the freedoms of this country. When he said he wants to expand that program to their parents, Cardi did a little jiggle and let out a “Yeahhh!”

Bernie is going to raise taxes to allow free healthcare and education, but it will be cheaper on a day to day for Americans.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

“People are afraid to pay more taxes than they’re already paying,” Cardi rightly stated. Bernie’s plan to offer free health care for all will ultimately be cheaper for the overwhelming majority of people than paying for premiums, deductibles, and copayments.

Cardi B will never forget how hard it was to make a living wage before she found fame.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

Cardi B brought up how “certain people like to brag” about how there are more jobs in America, but she’s questioning the quality of these jobs. Why are her followers having to work two or three jobs to survive? Bernie wants to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. 

By placing a modest tax on Wall Street, Sanders plans to cancel student debt.

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

Forty-five million Americans are living with student debt. Sanders knows that those of us in our 20s and 30s were told that we had to go to college to get a good job. Where the good jobs at? Our generation is far less likely to own homes and make financial progress in our lives. For the first time, our generation is worse off than the generation before it. 

Sanders has a message to Cardi B’s followers: “Trump doesn’t want people of color to be participating in the political process.”

Credit: @BernieSanders / Twitter

“Participate in the political process,” he tells POC. You can spend five minutes to register to vote here.

Watch the full interview below!

What do you think about Cardi B’s interview?

READ: Cardi B Claps Back At “Republicans And Conservatives” Who Want Her To Shut Up When It Comes To Politics

Trump Made It His Personal Business To Get Israel To Ban Two Democratic Congresswoman From Entering After Saying They “Hate Jewish People”

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Trump Made It His Personal Business To Get Israel To Ban Two Democratic Congresswoman From Entering After Saying They “Hate Jewish People”

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Two Democratic members of Congress have just been barred from visiting Israel next week in a move that many fear will deepen the injured relationship between Democrats and the Jewish state and strengthen the bond between Trump and Israeli leaders. On Thursday, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blocked Congresswomen Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) from embarking on a planned trip to the country. 

Deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely confirmed the ban in a statement to CNN. 

“The plan of the two Congresswomen is only to damage Israel and to foment against Israel,” Netanyahu said.

The decision came after President Donald Trump said Israel would be showing “great weakness” if they allowed the women of color legislators, who have both been very critical of the country, to visit. “It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people,” the president wrote on Twitter Thursday morning. “There is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!”

The private trip was organized by a Palestinian-led nonprofit. The women were expected to visit Israel and the West Bank, where Tlaib has family, as well as Bethlehem, Hebron, Ramallah, and Jerusalem. In the latter Middle Eastern city, they were to join members of the Palestinian Authority at the Temple Mount (called Haram al-Sharif by Muslims), a major holy site for Jews, Christians and Muslims.

The decision to block the trip comes one month after Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer said that the women would be allowed to visit Israel, noting at the time that barring them would be impertinent.

“Out of respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America, we would not deny entry to any member of Congress into Israel,” Dermer, who is close to Netanyahu, said

For some on the left, the Israeli government’s decision to go back on their word is proof that the decision was made in spite of the women. 

Even more, they see it as potentially damaging to an already strained relationship.

“Israel’s denial of entry to Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar is a sign of weakness, and beneath the dignity of the great State of Israel,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “The President’s statements about the Congresswomen are a sign of ignorance and disrespect, and beneath the dignity of the Office of the President.”

In a separate statement, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the decision a “sign of weakness, not strength,” adding that “it will only hurt the U.S.-Israeli relationship and support for Israel in America … Many strong supporters of Israel will be deeply disappointed in this decision, which the Israeli government should reverse.”

Netanyahu’s main grievance with the women is that they support the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Both Omar and Tlaib voted for legislation that would have made it US policy to boycott Israel; the measure was thwarted 398-17 in the House.

Since about 2005, the BDS movement has attempted to force Israel to change its approach to the Palestinians through external pressure, like demanding companies to halt business with Israel, asking consumers to stop buying Israeli products and calling on scholars and cultural leaders to stop collaborating with colleagues in the country. For supporters, the mission is much like the boycotts that targeted apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s. 

For opponents, however, the movement, and its followers are deemed anti-Semitic.

Democratic presidential candidates have chimed in on the matter as well, with some recognizing that difference in views does not equate to anti-Semitism and others directly placing their anger with Trump, who they believe helped stir up Isreali leaders with his damaging remarks against Reps. Tlaib and Omar.

“Israel doesn’t advance its case as a tolerant democracy or unwavering US ally by barring elected members of Congress from visiting because of their political views,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tweeted. “This would be a shameful, unprecedented move. I urge Israel’s government to allow @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib entry.”

Speaking to Trump, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) called the president a bigot and told him, “opposing Netanyahu’s policies is not ‘hating the Jewish people.”

Former US representative Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) added: “President Trump, you show great weakness every single day—when you attack women of color when you degrade the office of the president, and when you ask our allies to stoop to your level.”

In July, Trump told Omar and Tlaib, among other members of their “squad” — which also includes Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) — to “go back” to their countries. Tlaib was born in the United States, and Omar was born in Somalia and is a naturalized US citizen.

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