The seven things we learned from the Democrats

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The morning after the televised Democratic debate, we took a look at seven facts from the event.

1. “It’s not a critique for me to say that Donald Trump’s policies have hurt millions of people.”

During the debate, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand made a surprisingly unsubtle swipe at Donald Trump. “We’ve spent more money trying to stop him than in trying to protect people from getting poisoned,” she said.

The real estate mogul has been criticized for his proposal to block sales of a particular measles vaccine at gunpoint. He has also said that millions of people are living in a “bubble” because of their religion.

On the latter claim, there is no evidence that people are refusing to vaccinate their children out of political convictions. But they are, a little, refusing to vaccinate themselves.

2. “For example, the tax cuts passed in the last Congress benefitted only the wealthiest one percent of the American people.”

That, apparently, was the point of the answer on taxes. On taxes, many of the Democrats who spoke during the debate supported the border adjustment tax, which would hit wealthy people but not low- and middle-income people.

“There is no big benefit to working families,” said former Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Some of the Republican tax cut is targeted at low-income people, but much of it is for corporations and the wealthy.

3. “I will stop giving billions and billions of dollars every year to companies that are shipping jobs overseas.”

How would Gillibrand do that? No one knows.

Investigations are underway about whether AT&T paid Apple and other companies too little in taxes. Apple has announced plans to move some operations to Ireland and possibly shut down a number of manufacturing plants.

4. “We have a huge trade deficit with China, the largest ever recorded by any country. And yet, we also have no tariffs on Chinese products that are coming in here. How does that make sense?”

Gillibrand’s summary is accurate, but the numbers she is citing do not cover the whole $500 billion trade deficit between the United States and China. It’s an indicator of the impact of Chinese imports, not necessarily how many there are.

5. “The number of prisoners who’ve come out of prison who have been convicted of murder, have been convicted of rape.”

That’s a stretch. On a popular website used by crime-prevention organizations, there were nearly 400,000 people who were on death row in the United States, as of September. Fifty-six states have the death penalty, and not every person on death row is convicted of murder or rape.

The other 3,300 or so people are convicted of murder or rape. Yet, according to the website, less than 400 are convicted of either rape or murder. About 40 percent of people on death row are innocent. Many, maybe most, are never put to death.

6. “This war on coal is the biggest, most destructive thing that we’ve done since the Great Depression.”

This didn’t change anyone’s mind. In fact, it seemed to bolster Gillibrand’s argument that the economy could use some improvement. That wasn’t the message from the other candidates.

7. “I will fight for Dreamers every single day.”

This was just another recognition that Donald Trump is among the most aggressive opponents of immigrants. The name Dreamers is not actually a federal government program, but instead, it is a reference to a concept in the “DREAM Act” — the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act.

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Tim Sykes, Washington Examiner columnist, and Kassia Pilat, reporter, discuss what they want to see addressed in Democratic gubernatorial debate

Tim Sykes, the Democratic candidate running for Tennessee governor, and Washington Examiner columnist Kassia Pilat, the newspaper’s campaign editor, sat down with The Washington Examiner at Comic-Con International in San Diego, where they discussed what they’d like to see addressed at the upcoming Democratic gubernatorial debate in Tennessee.

Sykes: We’re in a fight, and the fight is all about momentum. And momentum is up and down and changes all the time, so we need to have a robust debate in every one of our states that we do running.

Primarily, I think that one of the biggest things that we need to get across is that this is not “us vs. them,” it’s “we vs. the average person in each of our districts.” And that is going to be one of the central themes of our debates and other events in the campaign.

To have this intense campaign on a national level, here in Tennessee, where we want to build momentum, what we have to do is open that conversation and have an eye toward voter turnout in each of our districts — particularly our relatively small population districts — because we need to see more Democratic candidates from each of those places.

It’s not just us talking about candidates and policy and national issues, it’s a direct and direct focus on our state issues.

Pilat: On many different levels, we have to listen to our voices. There are so many incredible people who live here in Tennessee — teenagers like myself, those who make their living making a living from art, and just everyday residents who are looking for a vote on key issues.

As we head toward Election Day, I think that issue of voter outreach will be an integral part of this debate.

I’m 17 years old, and I’m terrified of going into the voting booth and making a decision that I’m not confident about. We have to figure out, for those who aren’t familiar with the process, how to reach out to those that are unfamiliar and figure out how to educate them.

The older candidates, where do you pick that fight?

Sykes: I think what we want to do from this debate is expand on that idea, if you will, and explain to younger voters that they need to get involved — and if they’re people that do participate, they’re that much more informed, and perhaps that provides more pressure to the candidates that are participating.

Pilat: I think it’s equally about giving everyone a chance to be heard in a manner that is more fair and nonpartisan, where there’s no donor advantage whatsoever — so those of us on the media, those of us in politics, those of us in the media, the people who’ve been out there as volunteers for our candidates, they don’t benefit from being on TV, and likewise they don’t benefit from the understaffed nonprofits and some of these entities that support political campaigns.

It’s hard to run a campaign when we’re understaffed and underfunded. You can always have more volunteers if you have more help, and I think we need to lean on the programs and the organizations that are out there like that and make sure we’re asking for them and that we’re open to them.

We can’t put on a show for our contributors or something like that. It’s like 50 people sitting down to play chess and putting on the same kind of show.

Sykes: We’re relying on a grassroots effort that involves millions of people across the country and tens of thousands of people in Tennessee, and so we have to have that big online platform, and we also have to rely on a coordinated and grassroots effort with organizations like this.

It’s just as important to talk to volunteers across the country as it is to interview a candidate. What we’re trying to do is not just be able to bring 50 or 60 or 70 or 80 people across the country who have signed up as volunteers and asking them, “Well, why are you going to the races and why are you helping?”

We have to talk to those volunteers individually, and also to those who live in the state and those who don’t live in the state.

So, there’s a lot of different ways of doing it, and that’s what we need to be able to present in this debate.


Most of you are saying what you want to hear in the CNN debates

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It was announced this week that two female Democratic candidates are set to participate in the debate hosted by Mark Zuckerberg’s political action committee,, on Saturday. That match-up, the second Democratic debate on CNN, comes after House Democrats who planned to boycott the event agreed to attend.

Two Democratic women candidates — democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke and democratic socialist challenger Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — are slated to appear, as is another democratic woman and well-known democratic candidate, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Read on to see what our readers are hoping come up during the debate.

“What’s the cause of all this racist harassment and hate crime?”

“Overwhelmingly more of a function of social media. That is the place for these vitriolic comments. And so I think that when the ‘alt-right’ for instance or (white nationalists) have their time on the air, it’s because they’re on social media. They’re being recorded, they’re being reported, they’re having to live in a live interview with MSNBC (or CNN) … and they have to be careful they’re not angry comments or violent comments or hateful comments or divisive comments that’s when you get some violence and that’s when you get these extremely extreme statements and hostile rhetoric.”

“I’m a millennial who has been a Trump voter since the beginning of the Trump candidacy, but there’s so much that I take issue with, and my fear is that people don’t realize that they’re voting for a serial liar, a narcissist, a bully, an America first conservative who is self-proclaimed racist and a neo-Nazi. … I don’t feel comfortable with Hillary taking on Donald Trump.”

“I would like to see more questions directed at Bernie Sanders.”

“Being the people that don’t agree with a certain thing, my feeling is don’t hesitate to call me an idiot and I’ll call you an idiot back.”

“So what do you think she should do with her opponent?”

“Take her opponent and shake his head with a bug smirk as he squeals in incredulity at her brazen audacity.”

“I’d love to see what the liberals would call abortion if there wasn’t a tissue to protect.”

“We need help.”

“If I could go back in time, I would make a concerted effort to help this young woman, her mom, her dad, and anyone else that had cancer, because that is no one’s fault that they have cancer. Cancer is a terrible, terrible disease, but they are taking care of themselves and they shouldn’t have to turn around and try to treat it with cancer doctors that are not connected with them.”

“Sailor’s IQ, I was told was 102 when she was born, so I’m not going to judge her for that. However, I have a question … it’s interesting she says she knows of 50 senators in the Senate who voted against the Iran deal. One is, probably, Joseph Biden. I’m just wondering if she’s counting Joe Biden because it takes a 91st vote in the Senate to cut off a filibuster. If you do that, you are over 2,000 votes short of a veto. Even if you add up all the Democratic senators, you’re still … if you deduct Joe Biden’s vote, then it’s only 734 votes … and that’s the number of Democrats that voted against the Iran deal. Not 50, so I don’t know how you would possibly find out who voted against the Iran deal.”


‘I’m 17 Years Old, and I’m Terrified’: The Issues Our Readers Hope Come Up at the Democratic Debate

× ‘I’m 17 Years Old, and I’m Terrified’: The Issues Our Readers Hope Come Up at the Democratic Debate

Twitter: @grazzyglenn

Three candidates are vying for the position of Democratic nominee for Ohio governor. The winner will face Republican state Attorney General Mike DeWine in the general election in November.

Candidates include former consumer advocate Richard Cordray, state Rep. Joe Schiavoni and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. The Democratic debate, moderated by News 6 anchor Gosia Wozniacki, will be held at the University of Cincinnati on Thursday, November 22, at 8 p.m. (central time).

I am 17 years old, and I’m terrified. — Rainni Irizarry (@Rainniizzarry) November 21, 2018

You may remember our starting date of: 4.11.09, when our Democratic candidate won the NY election by less than 1,000 votes. 7, 8 years later and things are pretty still. You’d need a ton of telescopes to even see them in #es2 #TrumpElections — Giselle Cohen (@GiselleCohen) November 21, 2018

Me when I think about the Democratic debate: — Elisabetta Loble (@elsbrokesxx) November 21, 2018

I’m 17 yrs old and obviously terrified to be going up against the Democrats currently occupying the Oval Office. I’ve been coming to Democratic debates for many years and yeah, soo much has changed. I mean, they stopped showing planes landing, let alone planes taking off. — Jenny Fettig (@JennyFFettig) November 21, 2018

The most terrifying thing I’ve seen in years was when Linda Harvey clogged up Twitter with righteous rant after righteous rant. Is it too late to name-drop me in a speech about removing this sexist bigot? — Rod Geisler (@rogggett) November 21, 2018