Joe Biden is... uh, back? After being pretty MIA last week, the former vice president made sure that his face was on every conceivable screen imaginable this week. And now that he has a studio set up in his home, there’s no excuse for Biden to hide from the American people nor his role as assumed Democratic nominee for president. But it’s been a rough campaign pivot for Biden. In a piece titled “Inside Joe Biden’s Bizarre Coronavirus Bunker,” Politico reports that the campaign has been trying to make digital campaigning more effective while competing with President Trump and even Governor Cuomo for airtime. They’re even looking back at the Spanish Flu of 1918 to make some sense of what’s going on and what to expect with the campaign moving forward–because shit is sideways, folks.
They’ve been studying the midterms of 1918, the year of the Spanish flu pandemic when large gatherings were banned in many places and candidates were forced to invent new ways to communicate with voters and run their campaigns. Turnout plummeted that year to 40%, from 50% in the 1914 midterms.“We went back and looked at voting in 1918,” said Anita Dunn, one of Biden’s top advisers, “where of course turnout was down, but the election was still held, and Congress was still seated.”
Turnout may be fucked this year, but Biden is determined to win the hearts and minds of Americans. And he’s going to do it by... starting a podcast!
His campaign is thinking a lot about how to foster the human connection he thrives on under the new rules of social distancing.“We’re thinking through what does a virtual campaign look like, and how do we ensure that Biden is able to have that one-on-one connection that he is able to form with voters when he’s out in the real world,” said Bedingfield. “How do we create that online? We’re experimenting with a lot of different formats on that front.”Next up, launching on Monday, is a regular podcast that Biden will host with a one-on-one conversation format.
I just... okay.
Meanwhile, over in Trump land, Jared Kushner is somewhere, smiling that creepy little haunted doll smile of his. Why? Because that little stimulus package the Senate passed reportedly has a teeny tiny little tax code provision that he and the rest of his wealthy buddies will be able to enjoy while everyone else is on the struggle bus.
You can thank the Senate Republicans for that one.
From The New York Times:
Under the existing tax code, when real estate investors generate losses from gradually writing down the value of their properties, a process known as depreciation, they can use some of those losses to offset other taxes. The result is that people can enjoy big tax breaks stemming from only-on-paper losses, even if they enjoy big cash profits in the real world.
But the use of those losses was limited by the 2017 tax-cut package. The losses could be used only to shelter the first $500,000 of a married couple’s nonbusiness income, such as capital gains from investments. Any leftover losses got rolled over to future years.
The new stimulus bill lifts that restriction for three years — this year, and two retroactive years — a boon for couples with more than $500,000 in annual capital gains or income from sources other than their business. That group comprises the top 1 percent of taxpayers, according to Internal Revenue Service data.
So what does this really mean? Vanity Fair reports that this could result in “$170 billion in tax breaks for real estate investors.” Which means slumlords like Kushner can take advantage of this. Sure, the bill included a provision that prevents business-owning elected officials to benefit from the stimulus package, but the Kushner clan isn’t bound to those restrictions.
Hope the richies enjoy this shit!
- The Pennsylvania primary is postponed until June 2. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not fucking impressed by that stimulus package.
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren launched Warren Democrats, a grassroots organization to combat corruption in government. [Medium]
- In deeply fucked up news: The U.S. government has 1.5 million expired N95 masks sitting in a warehouse in Indiana and seem to be shopping them around to TSA officials, instead of say, medical personnel? [Washington Post]
- And in good news: Rep. Katie Porter doesn’t have covid-19!
- The Enviornmental Protection Agency wants to make it easier to pollute, thanks to covid-19. Make it make sense. [New York Times]
- Make the Road have released a statement regarding DACA and covid-19:
- Ivanka Trump teaches us commoners how she and her family stay safe and sanitized in the covid-19 pandemic, with $40 Aesop soap. Jealous TBH.
- Surprise: Donald Trump Jr is racist: