it's the latest edition of
The Recommentunde Newsletter
For the week that began September 15 2019
I wrote a beautiful newsletter for you but lost all the changes somehow. No matter how long I’ve been using technology, I’m still impressed with how it can fail us. I don’t have time to recreate what I did so you’re going to get more of a dump of thoughts then some links. Sorry. Blame Apple.
First, quick thoughts on the most recent democratic debate candidate performances.
• Biden: not as sloppy with language as usual but still below what I want to see in a president. Also his answer about the legacy of slavery seemed to exclusively address bad parenting in the black community. Sounded a bit paternalistic to me. I’m with writer Jamil Smith: Joe Biden Should Drop Out
• Warren: remains my favorite. She's smooth and clear and sharp. I like her statement that she understands the problems we face and has the solutions. I wish she could just say out loud that her healthcare proposal will raise taxes and that’s ok because taxes aren’t evil and also your overall costs will go down so we save money in the end.
• Bernie: hard to get past his raspy voice. I wish he had some throat lozenges or hot tea and honey on hand. Did a good job defending Medicare For All but I hope he learns to set his volume at something other than 11. I also have a free line for him. Mayor Pete came at him strong with "We have to trust the American people to choose the health insurance system they want. If we're right, they'll leave their private insurance for Medicare, but we shouldn't force everyone off." Bernie didn't say this but should have. "It's not that I don't trust the American people. It's that I don't trust the insurance companies to have an honest conversation about their products and costs. They will, as they've done before, manipulate the process, buy off politicians, and spend millions marketing lies to make Medicare look like the wrong choice. They will use fear to keep us from the system we deserve." If anyone knows Bernie or Warren teams, send them my freebie!
• Kamala: what's going on with her? The self-laughing at not-great jokes really hit me wrong, and she just sounded less coherent. It's like she's running low on battery versus how she started this campaign season.
• Mayor Pete: Keeps impressing me. Great closing statement and clear articulation of why Medicare For All could be a problem. Nice zinger on wanting to see Trump close a deal with President Xi of China. I legit LOL'd
• Andrew Yang. Nope. Clever guy but the freedom dividend gimmick was clearly a gimmick and we don't need game show mechanics on the democratic side of this upcoming contest. Trump has enough for all of us for generations. He's good at pivoting to his Freedom Dividend, and he's doing a great service expanding the conversation of how we measure economic value. Also his supporters need to calm down.
• Booker: Well done. Remains in my view the clearest moral voice in this campaign. I hope he lands on someone's ticket (Warren-Booker?). Really appreciated him gently calling out Beto and even himself about being late to empathizing with victims of gun violence.
• Beto: Surprised me! Best answer on race. Best answer on guns. Yes we should take people's massacre machines away duh. Beto said we like to think America was founded in 1776 but it really was founded in 1619 with arrival of first captive Africans. Respect to the NYT for the 1619 project without which major candidates for president would not talk this way about their own nation. Also Beto kept way better control of his arms!
• Klobuchar: Surprised me! Very well done Senator. She did a very effective job of staking out her position as more moderate in contrast to Bernie and Warren. She did what Joe Biden does but she does it better. I don't even agree with her that much but she stuck the landing and I hope she lasts longer so we can debate the size of the ambition we should have for this country.
• Castro: aka Low Blow Castro. Tried to make a point repeatedly about Biden's memory with zero subtlety then acknowledged but still copied Booker on calling out Biden's use of Obama as a criticism shield. Ive been impressed with him before but not so much on this night.
• The Moderators: did the best job of any of these debates so far BY FAR. It was a great mix. The questions had context embedded. And there were no stupid games. More of this please!
Now for that link dump. Again sorry it lacks the grace of my previous formats, but all that work just disappeared for mysterious reasons. I can’t wait for the future when our cloud-based refrigerators just lose all our food because of a bad firmware update.
For your ears! Two podcast episodes I’ve added to my curated playlist for you. One is Marianne Williamson talking with Kara Swisher. The other is Nikole Hannah-Jones explaining how America ended up with such a garbage healthcare system (hint: it’s slavery).
And the Passive Voice Award goes to MIT president for this Letter regarding preliminary fact-finding about MIT and Jeffrey Epstein. Spoiler Alert: he not only knew about the donations but signed off on them along with his senior leadership team.
Final link. Do something this week and attend or support the global climate strike happening September 20th.
Peace and Love to you.