Things That Matter

Many People On Twitter Are Angry At CNN For How They Managed Last Night’s Debate And The Candidates Agree

Wednesday’s Democratic debate was definitely more heated than some of the previous editions. Within minutes, several candidates were already lading attacks against those considered to be the front runners in the race, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Harris took attacks for her “middle of the road” health care plan while Biden took shots from all sides on all sorts of issues from his record on crime, immigration, and abortion rights.

Here are some of the highlights from last nights blockbuster debate:

Many are saying that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris we’re the main event last night.

And if you watch most news coverage, you’d probably think the same. Each of them came under fire for previous performances and policies.

Thanks to a now-viral attack against Joe Biden on the part of Kamala Harris, when the two took the stage together, Mr. Biden shook her hand and joked, “Go easy on me, kid.” But she didn’t. And neither did anyone else. But despite that, Joe Biden came out performing much better in this debate than he did in the first.

Pretty much every candidate on last night’s stage came for Biden’s record. Julián Castro, the former housing secretary, on deportations; Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey on criminal justice; and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York on gender issues.

In his closing statement, he seemed to confuse a text message for a URL. “Go to Joe 30330

But Sen. Gillibrand also had her moment.

She landed one of the debate’s most memorable lines. “The first thing that I’m going to do when I’m president,” she said, “is I’m going to Clorox the Oval Office.” Twitter reported it was one of the top three most talked about moments of the night — and the only one not involving a dispute between two candidates. 

Fresh off a widely celebrated performance at the first debate, Julian Castro had a lot of pressure to keep the momentum.

And it appears that he was successful. Last night marked he second night the former San Antonio mayor has stood out — in a good way. He probably had the line of the night, hitting back on Biden with this hammer: “It looks like one of us has learned the lessons of the past and one of us hasn’t.” Castro was forceful and effective on immigration.

The challenge for Castro now is to qualify for the September and October debates, which could be a heavy lift given his polling thus far. If Castro can make these next two debates, he could really make noise in the race.

For Biden, much of the night was spent defending his record and the record of President Obama – and Biden didn’t seem too into it.

As A former Vice President, Biden is finding himself in the firing line of pretty much every other candidate for his policies and for the decisions of the previous administration.

And as the eldest candidate in the race, Biden has a long track record to critique – which his opponents are very skilled at doing.

And he wasn’t the only one who wanted to refocus the debate on Trump. Sen. Harris also wanted to pivot the conversation towards defeating Trump.

Sen. Kamala Harris seems eager to get to discussing Trump and how she can help not only defeat him in next year’s election, but also undo the damage he’s done on the country. However, not everyone is prepared to turn the conversation there.

Many at last night’s debate wanted to focus squarely on Harris’ record as California’s lead prosecutor, a position the senator has come under attack for in the past.

Perhaps in one of the most memorable moments last night, Tulsi Gabbard (HI) truly came for Harris. She said “I’m concerned about this record of senator Harris. She put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana.” She went on to say that Harris owed those arrested an apology.

It appeared that even Donald Trump Jr. had some thoughts on the debate.

And Comedy Central came back with the ultimate burn.

Many were upset that Puerto Rico didn’t come up even once during the debate.

Several people on Twitter were upset that in such a wide-ranging debate, not once did the topic of Puerto Rico come up for discussion. The island’s governor was just ousted in a popular uprising of massive protests after being implicated in several scandals. The island is still dealing with the aftermath of the 2017 hurricane season in which thousands died. And Puerto Rico is still in a strange legal relationship with the US in which it’s not a state but is subject to US laws and pays taxes without many of the benefits of statehood.

Many will be watching to see what happens in September’s debates as the debate season continues.

So far, only seven of the current 20+ candidates have qualified for the next round of primary debates. We could be looking at a much smaller stage the next time we see them.

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Georgia Delivers Control Of Congress To Democrats Thanks To This Incredible Coalition Of Voters

Things That Matter

Georgia Delivers Control Of Congress To Democrats Thanks To This Incredible Coalition Of Voters

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

In what seems like the never ending 2020 election cycle, we can finally say that the votes are in. And the results out of Georgia are truly worth celebrating as a diverse coalition of Georgian voters helped deliver both U.S. senate seats to Democrats.

Thanks to a well organized voting apparatus, a record-breaking number of voters hit the polls and helped elect the state’s first Black senator along with the youngest senator in nearly sixty years.

The results out of Georgia help put the Senate under control of the Democrats, handing President-Elect Joe Biden a major tool in helping to implement a progressive agenda once he is inaugurated on January 20.

Georgia elects two Democrats to the U.S. Senate with history-making votes.

Democrats have swept both seats in Georgia’s critical runoff elections, giving the party control of the Senate and removing a major roadblock for President-elect Joe Biden.

Democrat Jon Ossoff defeated Republican David Perdue in Tuesday’s election, while networks had earlier called Georgia’s other race for Democrat Raphael Warnock over GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

The results are a rebuke of President Donald Trump, whose supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol Wednesday to try to stop Congress from counting the Electoral College results.

The Senate will now be split 50-50, but Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris will be able to cast tie-breaking votes, putting Democrats in charge of the legislative agenda, committee chairmanships and Congress’ confirmation and investigative powers.

Black and Latino voters deserve recognition for their hard work in making this possible.

Senator-Elect Warnock is the pastor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s former church in Atlanta. He will be the first Black senator from Georgia and only the 11th Black senator in American history. He won, in part, thanks to astronomical Black turnout.

Many are praising the work of Stacey Abrams and groups like Mijente, who helped register a record-breaking number of new voters. In fact, Mijente helped knock on the doors or call every single Latino resident in the state of Georgia to help get out the vote.

Meanwhile, Stacey Abrams – who had already done so much work in helping turn Georgia blue for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in November – continued her trailblazing mission in the state. Her organization, Fair Fight 2020, helped register more voters than ever before and helped make sure they understood their rights and responsibilities as a voter.

Joe Biden will now have full control of government.

Biden will now enter the White House on Jan. 20 with his party in control of both chambers of Congress, allowing him to confirm his Cabinet and judicial nominees and giving him and a chance to advance his legislative agenda, which would have gone nowhere as long as Sen. Mitch McConnell remained in charge.

Biden and Senate Democratic leaders agree their top priority will be a new round of Covid-19 relief, especially after the president-elect promised Georgia voters this week that $2,000 stimulus checks would “go out the door immediately” if Democrats won the Senate.

Many in the community are hopeful that with control of both the Senate and House, Biden will be able to push through comprehensive immigration reform and undo many of the cruel and inhumane policies put into place by the Trump administration. However, given the legislative filibuster remains in place (requiring a two thirds majority), many question just how much will be accomplished.

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The Georgia Senate Races Are Two Of The Most Important In Modern History And Here’s Why

Things That Matter

The Georgia Senate Races Are Two Of The Most Important In Modern History And Here’s Why

ELIJAH NOUVELAGE/AFP/Getty Images

With a runoff election just weeks away that could tip the balance of the U.S. Senate, many people across the United States have Georgia on their minds. And it’s obvious why: the stakes are high.

What happens in January’s dual senate runoff in the state, will directly impact how much of a progressive agenda a President Joe Biden can get through Congress.

Adding to the important dynamic, is the pivotal part that voters of color, in particular Black women, are playing in the races. From grassroots organizing to being members of a key voting bloc that helped lift Democrats to the White House in November, Black, Brow, and Native voters are working hard to turn out the vote.

Georgia’s two senate run off races are two of the most important races in modern history.

Although Georgia went blue for the first time since 1992 by voting for Joe Biden for president, the fight for Georgia is far from over.

This January, there will be two critical U.S. Senate runoff elections, one between Republican Sen. David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff, and the other between Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Reverend Raphael Warnock. The elections will not only decide the state’s representation, but also which political party will have a majority in the U.S. Senate, which could dramatically alter Biden’s upcoming administration.

If we want to see criminal justice reform, compassionate immigration policy, a permanent DACA program, a fairer economy that works for all Americans, and a common sense, science-based approach to the Coroanvirus pandemic – among so much else – what happens in Georgia is critical.

Here’s why the race is so critical for a Democratic agenda to have any chance of becoming reality.

Credit: Spencer Platt / Getty Images

As it stands, following the 2020 election, the new U.S. Senate will consist of 46 Democrats, two independents who caucus with Democrats, 50 Republicans, and then whoever wins these two races in Georgia.

If Democrats win both races, they will have a majority in the Senate (the Senate tie breaker is the Vice President, or in this case, Kamala Harris), giving Biden increased power to pass legislation and move forward on his policy agenda. Otherwise, if even one of the Republican candidates wins in January, the GOP will have majority control.

As the Times reports: “With judicial nominees, a stimulus deal, infrastructure and health care measures, and tax and spending policies all on the line, the Senate races in Georgia are likely to take on an intensity that mirrors the presidential race that just ended.”

What are the issues candidates are talking about?

Although much is said about the elections impact on the Senate and Biden’s presidency, the candidates are also talking issues that affect Georgians.

Joe Ossoff is highlighting Sen. Perdue’s highly questionable stock trades in which the senator seemed to financially benefit from the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, the Daily Beast recently reported that Perdue invested in a company called BWX Technologies that manufactured Navy submarine parts right around the time he became head of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower. Ossoff has also hammered hard on Perdue’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act, and the larger issue of the need for financial relief for those made newly unemployed by the pandemic.

As for Loeffler, reportedly the wealthiest person in the Senate, she too has made some questionable trades. According to published reports, Loeffler and her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, who is the CEO of a company that owns the New York Stock Exchange, reportedly sold $20 million in shares after she attended a closed-door Senate briefing on the coronavirus in January, while also making investments in companies that may benefit from the pandemic.

Do the two Democrats have a chance to flip the Senate?

Credit: ELIJAH NOUVELAGE/AFP/Getty Images

It’s been 24 years since Georgia last sent a Democrat to the Senate, so it would appear that it’s a steep slope in achieving a double win come January. But notably, the last time the state voted for a Democratic candidate for president was in Bill Clinton’s first race in 1992—and Joe Biden changed that this year.

Can Ossoff and Warnock do the same? Recent polls show that both races are essentially even, with Warnock one point ahead of Loeffler, 49 to 48%, and Ossoff and Perdue tied at 49%. But as we know from the recent presidential elections, polls have become notoriously unreliable.

Black and Brown voters – especially women – will likely hold the key to Democratic wins.

Georgia owes it’s history-making switch to blue in part to a large and well-organized coalition of Black voters, especially Black women. Black voters were essential to Biden’s win: of the 160 million people who voted in the recent presidential election, exit polls show nearly 50 percent of registered Black women voters cast ballots. At least 90 percent voted for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-president elect Kamala Harris. 

The shift was thanks, in part, to the tireless work of Black organizers—women like Stacey Abrams and Fair Fight, LaTosha Brown and Black Voters Matter, and Nse Ufot and The New Georgia Project—who registered, educated, and mobilized voters.

If you’re looking for ways to help – even from outside of Georgia – there’s so much you can do.

Even if you don’t live in Georgia, you can still assist from afar. One way is to phone or text bank for the Democratic challengers. Find a handful of upcoming events here and here.

Besides donating straight to the candidates’ campaigns, there are a number of organizations working to get out and protect the vote this January.

  • Fair Fight is a national voting rights organization that promotes fair elections and encourages voter participation and education.
  • The New Georgia Project has both a donation page and an Amazon wish list for its volunteers.
  • Black Voters Matter works to expand Black voter engagement through voter registration, policy advocacy, and more.

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