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LIVE UPDATES: Night two of the Democratic debates
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LIVE UPDATES: Night two of the Democratic debates

LIVE UPDATES: Night two of the Democratic debates

LIVE UPDATES: Night two of the Democratic debates

After a Tuesday night face off which featured a divide between the progressive and moderate wings of the Democratic Party, another ten Democrats will go on stage tonight at the Fox Theater in Detroit, for the second 2020 debate sponsored by CNN, with former Vice President Joe Biden headlining this gathering.

Biden's performance in the first debate in June was somewhat uneven, as Democrats will certainly be watching to see how he handles likely attacks from Cory Booker and others in this second debate.

First, let's remind everyone of which candidates will be on the stage in this second debate.

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LIVE UPDATES: Night two of the Democratic debates

Follow along for the high points of the second debate:

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10:45 pm  - As the debate comes to a close, a liberal group - Democracy For America - puts out a statement praising Warren and Sanders from Tuesday night, and knocking most of the candidates on the stage tonight.  It seems to me that most every candidate is going to declare victory in the Spin Room tonight.

10:37 pm - The closing statements are including the websites for the various candidates - a reminder that they need more support in terms of money and the polls to get into the next debate.

10:30 pm - Time for closing statements to bring this second debate to a close.  It's always interesting to see who rolls their message right off their tongue, and who stumbles.

10:25 pm - What is Google showing tonight?  That some of those at the back of the pack are getting a lot more interest from viewers.

10:22 pm - CNN did not bring up the Mueller Report and the Russia investigation on Tuesday night, but did bring it up tonight.  Not surprisingly, the Democrats on stage are certainly all for investigating the President.

10:18 pm - Biden has certainly been under fire a lot in this debate.  I can easily find experts on social media tonight who think he's done great, and some who think he's leaking oil.

10:08 pm - Andrew Yang has already spoken more in this debate than in his first. 

10:05 pm - Mayor de Blasio has taken an interesting tactical move tonight in his debate answers, as he has used his time to ask direct questions of Biden and others on stage, instantly putting them on the defensive.

9:50 pm - All of the candidates were asked about why the Democrats lost Michigan in the 2016 election.  Biden goes back to the auto bailout under the Obama Administration, and notes that he's been endorsed by the Mayor of Detroit.

9:45 pm - Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand D-NY will get a lot of attention for her line that she would “Clorox” the Oval Office if she's elected President.

9:31 pm - Bennet raises his voice and complains about the debate stage focus on what Biden was doing 50 years ago, making the case that schools in big cities like Detroit are just as segregated now as they were in the 1960's.

9:28 pm - Tulsi Gabbard lays into Harris about her record as state Attorney General in California in how she dealt with imprisoning marijuana suspects in jail, and her treatment of death row inmates.  “You owe them an apology,” Gabbard says.

9:20 pm - CNN's Jake Tapper tees it up for Kamala Harris to slam Biden over race issues, busing, and more, as Biden is really getting hammered in the last 25 minutes.

9:15 pm - Booker will get a lot of play on this jab at Biden.

9:07 pm - DeBlasio and Booker zero in on Biden, and the record of large numbers of deportations under the Obama Administration.  Booker sternly criticizes Biden for not saying whether he supported or opposed that policy. 

9:06 pm - Looks like some Republicans are watching.

8:59 pm - Biden takes flak from Castro as they break sharply over the question of whether crossing the border should be treated as an illegal action. 

8:55 pm - There are more demonstrators interrupting the debate, this time chanting about deportations of illegal immigrants, as Biden was getting ready to answer a question about the subject.

8:50 pm - The debate continues on health care - Biden spars with Harris over her health plan, as he rips de Blasio and Harris over their health care math on the cost of the Medicare For All idea.

8:45 pm - Under attack on her health care plan, Harris tries to channel Elizabeth Warren's rejoinder from last night about using Republican talking points - but it wasn't delivered as effectively.

8:41 pm - We're seeing some division like last night in the debate over health care, as Sen. Michael Bennet D-CO goes after Harris and her health plan, echoing Biden's arguments.  “It doesn't make sense to take away insurance from half the people in this room.”

8:39 pm - Harris quickly pivots on a health care answer to smack Biden, arguing his health care plan won't cover some 10 million people.  Biden disputes her assertion.

8:38 pm - The RNC quickly drops an email into the inbox of reporters: “Democrats Want To Make Private Health Insurance Illegal.”

8:34 pm  - Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand D-NY does something that wasn't brought up last night, as she pivots from the health care debate among Democrats to hit President Trump. “Let's not forget what the Republicans are doing...their goal is to take away  your health care.”

8:33 pm - The debate begins on health care, just like on night one, this time focusing on Medicare For All, and a health plan set out by Kamala Harris.  Biden blasts it as too expensive, and stands by the current system, which he was involved in setting up. "Obamacare is working...build on Obamacare"

8:25 pm - Being a radio guy, my ear hears things - Kamala Harris's microphone seems like it's not working correctly.

8:23 pm - The debate is on hold because of a group of protesters inside the Fox Theater.  Booker had to stop his opening speech for about 45 seconds.

8:22 pm - Andrew Yang starts by talking about his plan to give everyone $1,000 a month.  He spoke for less than three minutes in the first debate.  He's getting one minute right now.

8:16 pm - “I'm Jay Inslee and I'm running for President.”

8:13 pm - The debate starts with opening statements.  New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio goes first.  It's still quite amazing that the Mayor of the largest city in the United States isn't having much of an impact on this race.  DeBlasio immediately reaches out and takes a jab at both Biden and Harris.

8:10 pm - I thought that's what I heard, but I wasn't sure.

8:06 pm - Here's the view of the ten Democrats on stage tonight:

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LIVE UPDATES: Night two of the Democratic debates

8:00 pm - As we wait to get started, there are still press releases being churned out about last night's debate.

7:55 pm - It's possible that half of the candidates on the stage tonight will not qualify for the next debate in September.  So far, seven candidates are locked in for the Houston debate - Biden, Booker, Buttigieg, Harris, O'Rourke, Sanders and Warren are in - while Castro, Klobuchar, and Yang might still qualify.

7:50 pm - My father - who grew up just outside of Detroit - checks in via email with a memory of his childhood at the same place where the debate is being held tonight.

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LIVE UPDATES: Night two of the Democratic debates

7:45 pm - President Trump isn't here, but he's certainly the elephant in the room for the Democratic candidates - and the President knows it.

7:40 pm - Before this debate begins, what about Tuesday night?  A lot of political know-it-alls argued that Elizabeth Warren was the winner of the first night, including GOP pollster Frank Luntz.

7:30 pm - After last night's debate spent over 30 minutes on the subject of health care - specifically the pros and cons of “Medicare For All” as backed by Senators Sanders and Warren - one would expect that subject will come up tonight for the second group of Democratic candidates.  And watching from afar are some Democratic U.S. Senators, who make the argument that the Trump Administration deserves more mention for trying to repeal the Obama health law.

7:20 pm - What's the buzz on the ground here in Detroit?  It's pretty basic stuff - will Joe Biden do well tonight?  If he has another uneven performance, that's going to be the top story in the morning.  No one is quite sure whether Kamala Harris will go after Biden again, but it seems likely that Cory Booker will make that effort.  From Nevada, we get this perspective from longtime political reporter Jon Ralston.

7:15 pm - The Biden campaign will have a full roster of surrogates to speak to the press after the debate - but that may depend on how Biden does in the debate.   After the first debate in Miami - when Biden encountered some turbulence courtesy of Kamala Harris - most of his surrogates did not show up in the 'spin room' after the debate.  We'll see the Mayor of Atlanta and some members of Congress show up here once this second gathering is done.

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  • A single blood test may be able to detect your risk of dying within five to 10 years. That’s according to new research published this week in the journal Nature Communications, for which scientists in the Netherlands examined blood sample data on 44,168 Europeans ages 18 to 109 from 12 cohorts. More than 5,500 participants died during follow-up studies. When looking through the data, lead researcher Eline Slagboom and her team identified 14 biomarkers in the blood independently associated with “all-cause mortality.” These biomarkers, which are “involved in various processes, such as lipoprotein and fatty acid metabolism, glycolysis, fluid balance, and inflammation,” ultimately help determine one’s score (or risk) of dying within five to 10 years. “Such a score,” study authors wrote, “could potentially be used in clinical practice to guide treatment strategies, for example when deciding whether an elderly person is too fragile for an invasive operation.” But how well can those 14 biomarkers actually predict risk of death? To find out, the scientists also compared their data with a 1997 cohort in Finland. According to data on more than 7,600 Finnish individuals (1,213 of whom had died during follow-up), the 14 biomarkers initially examined predicted patient deaths within five to 10 years with approximately 83% accuracy, according to the study. This suggests the biomarkers “clearly improve risk prediction of five and 10-year mortality as compared to conventional risk factors across all ages,” study authors wrote. Conventional risk factors, such as systolic blood pressure and total cholesterol, typically have a mortality prediction accuracy of 78% to 79%. Still, further research is certainly needed before a blood test based on the 14 biomarkers is used in clinical settings. Because the data used in the study comes from a variety of cohorts, future efforts should focus on creating a biomarker score based on individual-level data. Read the full study at nature.com.
  • A federal judge has placed the man at the center of the John Grisham book 'The Innocent Man' on the path to potential freedom. Karl Fontenot’s story was also made into a Netflix documentary series. U.S. District Judge James Payne, of Muskogee, ruled there is reasonable doubt that Fontenot should have been convicted in 1988 in the kidnapping and killing of Ada convenience store clerk Denice Haraway in 1984.  Judge Payne's opinion discusses alleged misconduct by police, investigators and prosecutors. Fontenot and co-defendant Tommy Ward were convicted in Haraway's murder in part due to a recording of them talking about dreams they had about her murder.
  • On a day of big losses on the stock markets sparked first by China levying new tariffs on imports from America, President Donald Trump wasted no time Friday afternoon in announcing higher import duties against the Chinese, plunging the two countries even deeper into an economic standoff which could have negative worldwide ramifications. 'China should not have put new Tariffs on 75 BILLION DOLLARS of United States product,' the President tweeted about an hour after the close on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones dropped over 600 points. 'Starting on October 1st, the 250 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, currently being taxed at 25%, will be taxed at 30%,' the President wrote.  'Additionally, the remaining 300 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, that was being taxed from September 1st at 10%, will now be taxed at 15%,' he added. The President also called on American companies to take their manufacturing businesses out of China, arguing that the United States was the victim of an 'unfair Trading Relationship.' 'Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA,' Mr. Trump tweeted. The White House did not provide any explanation as to how the President would have the power to force U.S. companies to abandon their manufacturing operations in China. Economic experts and businesses were worried by the days events. “(T)his is a major risk as it's the economy - households and businesses - that are in play,” said Gregory Daco of Oxford Economics. “The administration's approach clearly isn't working, and the answer isn't more taxes on American businesses and consumers,” said the National Retail Federation. “Where does this end?'  “These added tariffs will ratchet up consumer prices, stall business investment, escalate uncertainty and cost American jobs,” said the pro-free trade group Tariffs Hurt the Heartland. “In just the past three years, U.S. soybean exports to China have fallen nearly 80 percent, and once these tariffs kick in, things are likely to get worse,” said Roger Johnson, the head of the National Farmers Union.  The standoff with China was a far cry from President Trump's prediction in March of 2018, when he wrote on Twitter that trade wars are 'easy to win.' As for Democrats - even though many of them would like to see the United States be more forceful with China - their answer is not retaliatory tariffs and a trade war. “Our economy is showing signs of weakening due to the president’s trade war, and these back-and-forth tariffs will only make things worse,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). “The facts are clear: President Trump's destabilizing and reckless trade war is undermining growth,” said Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA). “Your tariffs are hurting our country badly,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). “There's nothing funny about tanking people's retirement accounts with a failed trade war,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA).
  • The Trump campaign has a message for its female supporters: It’s time to come out of hiding. “There’s a lot of people that are fearful of expressing their support, and I want you ladies to know it’s OK to have felt that way, but we need to move past that or the Democrats win,” said Tana Goertz, a Trump campaign adviser, at an Iowa “Women for Trump” event on Thursday. The Iowa event, held in the back room of a barbecue joint in a Des Moines suburb, was one of more than a dozen in battleground states nationwide as part of a push to make the president’s case on the economy and train volunteers. The move is a recognition of the president’s persistent deficit with women — an issue that has the potential to sink his chances for reelection. Over the course of his presidency and across public opinion polls, women have been consistently less supportive of President Donald Trump than men have. Suburban women in particular rejected Republicans in the 2018 midterm by margins that set off alarms for the party and the president. Trump himself called into a gathering of hundreds in Tampa, Florida, and insisted, to cheers: “We’re doing great with women, despite the fake news.”
  • With the United States set to slap a new 10 percent tariff on billions of dollars in Chinese goods coming into the U.S. on September 1, the Chinese government officially retaliated on Friday, announcing its own new tariffs on American products, and denouncing President Donald Trump's get-tough actions on trade. 'The US measures have led to the continuous escalation of Sino-US economic and trade frictions, which have greatly harmed the interests of China, the United States and other countries,' the Chinese Minstry of Finance announced. The documents released by China today apply to over 5,000 categories of items imported from the United States, covering everything from diapers to pipes and cigarette holders, to a range of agricultural products like barley, wheat, oats, corn, sorghum, soybeans, peanuts, cotton, covering about $75 billion in U.S. goods. Much like a 122 page list of targeted items put out by the United States earlier this month, China issued over 100 pages of products which would face new import duties. The reaction from Congress and business groups was negative. 'This trade war is not holding China accountable,' said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA). 'It's hurting farmers and small business owners all over the country who are just trying to earn a living.' “The fact of the matter is that nobody wins a trade war, and the continued tit-for-tat escalation between the U.S. and China is putting significant strain on the U.S. economy, raising costs, undermining investment, and roiling markets,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a statement. As for President Trump, he has not wavered in his public statements about taking on china, tariff for tariff, as one of his Friday tweets caused some shock on  the markets. “Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China,” the President wrote. “Here’s the thing: Somebody had to take on what China was doing to the United States economically,” the President told reporters this week. “We’re winning big. I took it on. And it should have been done by previous Presidents,” he added. And on Twitter Friday morning, the President expressed no concerns about the Chinese response. Asked by reporters earlier this week about the trade war with China, Mr. Trump said he was the only President who had decided to actually confront Beijing. “I am the chosen one,” the President said, as he looked skyward.

Washington Insider

  • On a day of big losses on the stock markets sparked first by China levying new tariffs on imports from America, President Donald Trump wasted no time Friday afternoon in announcing higher import duties against the Chinese, plunging the two countries even deeper into an economic standoff which could have negative worldwide ramifications. 'China should not have put new Tariffs on 75 BILLION DOLLARS of United States product,' the President tweeted about an hour after the close on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones dropped over 600 points. 'Starting on October 1st, the 250 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, currently being taxed at 25%, will be taxed at 30%,' the President wrote.  'Additionally, the remaining 300 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, that was being taxed from September 1st at 10%, will now be taxed at 15%,' he added. The President also called on American companies to take their manufacturing businesses out of China, arguing that the United States was the victim of an 'unfair Trading Relationship.' 'Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA,' Mr. Trump tweeted. The White House did not provide any explanation as to how the President would have the power to force U.S. companies to abandon their manufacturing operations in China. Economic experts and businesses were worried by the days events. “(T)his is a major risk as it's the economy - households and businesses - that are in play,” said Gregory Daco of Oxford Economics. “The administration's approach clearly isn't working, and the answer isn't more taxes on American businesses and consumers,” said the National Retail Federation. “Where does this end?'  “These added tariffs will ratchet up consumer prices, stall business investment, escalate uncertainty and cost American jobs,” said the pro-free trade group Tariffs Hurt the Heartland. “In just the past three years, U.S. soybean exports to China have fallen nearly 80 percent, and once these tariffs kick in, things are likely to get worse,” said Roger Johnson, the head of the National Farmers Union.  The standoff with China was a far cry from President Trump's prediction in March of 2018, when he wrote on Twitter that trade wars are 'easy to win.' As for Democrats - even though many of them would like to see the United States be more forceful with China - their answer is not retaliatory tariffs and a trade war. “Our economy is showing signs of weakening due to the president’s trade war, and these back-and-forth tariffs will only make things worse,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). “The facts are clear: President Trump's destabilizing and reckless trade war is undermining growth,” said Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA). “Your tariffs are hurting our country badly,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). “There's nothing funny about tanking people's retirement accounts with a failed trade war,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA).
  • With the United States set to slap a new 10 percent tariff on billions of dollars in Chinese goods coming into the U.S. on September 1, the Chinese government officially retaliated on Friday, announcing its own new tariffs on American products, and denouncing President Donald Trump's get-tough actions on trade. 'The US measures have led to the continuous escalation of Sino-US economic and trade frictions, which have greatly harmed the interests of China, the United States and other countries,' the Chinese Minstry of Finance announced. The documents released by China today apply to over 5,000 categories of items imported from the United States, covering everything from diapers to pipes and cigarette holders, to a range of agricultural products like barley, wheat, oats, corn, sorghum, soybeans, peanuts, cotton, covering about $75 billion in U.S. goods. Much like a 122 page list of targeted items put out by the United States earlier this month, China issued over 100 pages of products which would face new import duties. The reaction from Congress and business groups was negative. 'This trade war is not holding China accountable,' said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA). 'It's hurting farmers and small business owners all over the country who are just trying to earn a living.' “The fact of the matter is that nobody wins a trade war, and the continued tit-for-tat escalation between the U.S. and China is putting significant strain on the U.S. economy, raising costs, undermining investment, and roiling markets,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a statement. As for President Trump, he has not wavered in his public statements about taking on china, tariff for tariff, as one of his Friday tweets caused some shock on  the markets. “Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China,” the President wrote. “Here’s the thing: Somebody had to take on what China was doing to the United States economically,” the President told reporters this week. “We’re winning big. I took it on. And it should have been done by previous Presidents,” he added. And on Twitter Friday morning, the President expressed no concerns about the Chinese response. Asked by reporters earlier this week about the trade war with China, Mr. Trump said he was the only President who had decided to actually confront Beijing. “I am the chosen one,” the President said, as he looked skyward.
  • Before the leaders of the G7 nations had even boarded their flights for the meeting in Biarritz, France, President Donald Trump was already stirring the political pot associated with the meeting of western allies, making it clear he wants to see Russia return to the group, after being exiled in 2014 over the seizure of the Crimea from Ukraine. 'We spend a lot of time talking about Russia at those meetings,' the President told reporters this week. 'And they're not there. I think it would be a good thing if Russia were there so we can speak directly.' Russia was a member of what was then known as the 'Group of Eight' - but Moscow was booted out in 2014 after Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine. 'President Obama thought it wasn't a good thing to have Russia in,' Mr. Trump said to reporters. 'But I think it's much more appropriate to have Russia in.' But there seems to be little chance of that happening in the current political environment in Europe, especially with Russian backed forces fighting in Ukraine. During a meeting with Vladimir Putin earlier this week, French President Emmanuel Macron made clear his opposition to such a move proposed by President Trump, arguing that Russia must first address Crimea - and the ongoing proxy war pushed by Russian backed forces inside Ukraine - before any such change is made. 'In effect, the resolution of this conflict is a magic wand that will open the door for Russia to return to the G7 club,' Macron said . With the two leaders seated before reporters, Macron labeled the Ukraine situation an 'irritant' in Russian relations with the West. 'It is obvious that the return to the G8 format and normal relations with the EU requires the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis,' Macron added. Last year, the 2018 meeting of world leaders from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom, ended in odd fashion, when President Trump suddenly left the meeting early, refusing to endorse a joint communique by the leaders. In order to avoid a dispute along those lines in 2019, Macron has decided there will not be a joint communique issued by the G-7. It will be the first time since the meetings began in the 1970's that the group will not issue a statement of joint goals. White House officials previewing the President's trip said much of his focus at the G-7 will be on free, fair and reciprocal trade, as he has often criticized Canada and the European Union of unfair trade barriers to U.S. exports.
  • Back in their home districts on an extended summer break, the drip-drip sound Democrats hear is not coming from the watering the plants, but rather from the halls of the Congress, where more and more Democratic members of the House are publicly announcing their support for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. A flurry of announcements were made on Thursday, as a series of Democrats said they would back an impeachment inquiry by the House Judiciary Committee, bringing the total number to 135 - more than a majority of Democrats in the House. 'I cannot ignore the call to defend our institutions, to safeguard our democratic norms, and to stand up for our democracy,' said Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) on Thursday afternoon. A few hours earlier, Rep. William Keating of Massachusetts told his Bay State constituents that the Mueller Report left too many unanswered questions about the President, accusing the White House of stonewalling legitimate Congressional oversight. 'No person in America is above the law, including the President of the United States,' said Rep. Lauren Underwood, a freshman Democrat from Illinois. 'I support moving forward with an impeachment inquiry, which will continue to uncover the facts for the American people and hold this president accountable,' said Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), the fourth ranking Democrat in the House.  'This is not a position I’ve reached lightly,' Lujan said earlier this week. When Democrats left town four weeks ago for their six week summer break, the number of lawmakers endorsing the start of an impeachment idea was nowhere near 100. But it's been creeping up on almost a daily basis - and more lawmakers seem likely to join in the weeks ahead.
  • Unlikely to qualify for the next debate among Democratic candidates for the White House, Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington State told supporters in an email on Wednesday night that he was dropping his bid for the Democratic Party's nomination for President, further thinning the field with just over five months until the first vote is cast. 'I want to share a tough decision with you,' Inslee said to supporters, as he cited his top priority of climate change. 'But I've concluded that my role in that effort will not be as a candidate to be the next president of the United States,' Inslee added. Earlier in the week, Inslee touted that his campaign had hit 130,000 donors - one of the qualifying requirements for the next Democratic debate in Houston. But Inslee had no chance to register at 2 percent or higher in four different polls, leaving him on the sidelines - and off the debate stage. 'As a result, I don't believe we can compete for the attention and exposure needed to have a reasonable shot at the nomination,' Inslee said. Inslee had tried hard to be the loudest voice in the party on climate change, bringing it up in both debates, and doing numerous events on the subject. But the former Congressman, and current Governor, was never able to break out of the lower tier of Democratic candidates. “I want to once again thank everyone who helped in this effort. We have so much to be proud of,” Inslee wrote to his backers.  “Make no mistake, we also have a lot more work to do.” On MSNBC Wednesday night, Inslee said it was clear this was the right choice. “I'm not going to be carrying the ball,” Inslee said in an interview.  “I'm not going to be the President, so I'm withdrawing tonight.”