Biden holds U.S. election kick-off rally as Democratic rivals sharpen attacks

Biden holds U.S. election kick-off rally as Democratic rivals sharpen attacksFormer U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday will hold a presidential-style rally intended to make his march toward becoming the Democrat to take on President Donald Trump seem inevitable, even as rivals search for ways to slow him down. Since entering the race last month, Biden, 76, has largely ignored the other 23 contenders in the Democratic field, instead training his fire on Republican Trump. Trump, in turn, has regularly knocked Biden, making the 2020 presidential contest sometimes feel like a general election more than a year before the vote takes place.


Ocasio-Cortez Sides With Buffett on How Errant CEOs Should Pay

Ocasio-Cortez Sides With Buffett on How Errant CEOs Should PayThe freshman New York Democrat retweeted a CNBC article about how the Berkshire Hathaway chairman recently told shareholders that if a bank needs a government bail-out, the responsible CEO and his or her spouse should lose their net worth. In the CNBC story she retweeted, originally published on May 4, the day of Berkshire’s annual meeting in Omaha, Buffett was quoted as responding to a shareholder’s question regarding the Wells Fargo scandal in 2016 involving the creation of fake accounts. The story pointed out Berkshire is one of the largest shareholders in Wells Fargo.


Democrat 2020 hopefuls eye coveted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsement

Democrat 2020 hopefuls eye coveted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsementShe is the great young hope of America’s Left-wing, an articulate and impassioned progressive whose policies have gained traction and Twitter feed is followed by four million.  Now Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 29-year-old first-time congressman from New York, is seeing her newfound political clout manifest in a new way – a race for her endorsement.  With two dozen Democrats seeking their party’s presidential nomination, the support of Ms Ocasio-Cortez is being seen as a way to win over the young, energised voters who will help shape the race.  Chief among the contenders are Bernie Sanders, the independent 77-year-old senator from Vermont, and Elizabeth Warren, the former academic now representing Massachusetts in the Senate.  Both have made tacit acknowledgement of Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s influence in public in recent weeks – whether for policy reasons, or for political gain, or both.  Earlier this month, Mr Sanders appeared alongside Ms Ocasio-Cortez at an office table where they discussed the importance of reducing credit card interest rates.  At the end of the 25-minute video, shared on social media and viewed by more than half a million people, the pair patted each other on the back warmly and smiled.  Last month, Mr Warren wrote a 180-word ode to Ms Ocasio-Cortez for Time Magazine when the latter was named in its top 100 most influential people.  “A year ago, she was taking orders across a bar. Today, millions are taking cues from her,” Ms Warren wrote of the congresswoman’s remarkable political rise. “And she’s just getting started.” Those two are not the only Democratic hopefuls vying for an endorsement, it appears. Politico reported that both senator Kirsten Gillibrand and former housing and urban development secretary Julian Castro have made “overtures”.  There is no reason a person should pay more than 15% interest in the United States. It’s common sense – in fact, we had these Usury laws until the 70s. It’s a debt trap for working people + it has to end.https://t.co/sO0p5NF7WR— Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@RepAOC) May 9, 2019 The enthusiasm is understandable. The Democratic Party’s progressive base appears fired up for change and many candidates hoping to win the right to take on Donald Trump are leaning its way.  Government-funded health care for all, a $15 minimum wage and bold action on climate change have been widely adopted by the field ahead of the first debate in June and the first primary vote next February.  Ms Ocasio-Cortez, who last year shocked the political establishment by ousting a 10-term Democrat in her own party to take his seat, has become the progressive movement’s most recognisable star.  That was underscored this week as Joe Biden, the former US vice president who is polling top and running on a centrist ticket, was forced to defend his climate change stance after Ms Ocasio-Cortez dismissed it as “middle of the road”.  Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic senator for Massachusetts, has developed a reputation for standing up to Wall Street Credit: AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall Mr Sanders is best placed to win the endorsement race. Ms Ocasio-Cortez worked on his 2016 presidential campaign, identifies like him as a democratic socialist and shares many of the same policy beliefs.  Ms Warren has also laid out a left-wing platform taking on Wall Street and redistributing wealth but makes clear she remains a believer in capitalism.  Asked recently about an endorsement by a CNN reporter, Ms Ocasio-Cortez said: “What I would like to see in a presidential candidate is one that has a coherent worldview and logic from which all these policy proposals are coming forward. “I think senator Sanders has that. I also think senator Warren has that.” And, the questioner followed up, would she consider endorsing Mr Biden? Ms Ocasio-Cortez turned and walked away without a definitive answer.


‘Ibiza affair’ topples Austrian government, snap election announced

'Ibiza affair' topples Austrian government, snap election announcedAustrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz dramatically pulled the plug on his coalition government and announced fresh elections Saturday after an explosive camera sting claimed the scalp of his far-right deputy. Media reports on Friday alleged Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache promised public contracts in return for campaign help from a fake Russian backer he met on the island of Ibiza a few months before 2017’s parliamentary elections in Austria. “I have suggested to the president of the republic that new elections be carried out, at the earliest possible date,” Kurz said in a televised statement.


Political pitfalls: Iran tests ‘America First’ pledge

Political pitfalls: Iran tests 'America First' pledgeWASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump won the White House pledging to wind down the nation’s many foreign entanglements and put “America First.” But as his administration in recent days has sent mixed signals on the prospects of a military conflict with Iran, Trump’s campaign trail promise is being put to the test.


Joementum: Biden ramps up 2020 bid with wind at his back

Joementum: Biden ramps up 2020 bid with wind at his backAs the one true known quantity in the Democratic nomination race, former vice president Joe Biden sits atop the pack of 2020 presidential contenders, relishing the prime position as he hosts a kickoff rally Saturday. No one knows whether the man who served as number two to popular Democratic president Barack Obama for eight years will run away with this contest — his third White House bid in as many decades — or fade out in the months-long test of political skill and stamina to come. After a month of modest events at union halls and pizza joints in early-voting states like Iowa, Biden is counting on making a splash at a rally in Philadelphia, the largest city in must-win Pennsylvania, a state Trump snatched from Democrats in 2016.