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Elizabeth Warren had a little announcement to make at the annual Netroots Nation conference this weekend. Not only does she have a plan for immigration, she also has some plans for those who have broken laws while carrying out Donald Trump's agenda of maximum cruelty toward immigrants. It may involve sending some people to jail, and not for a misdemeanor charge of crossing the border without papers. Tempting though it might be, Warren didn't say she'd take any officials' children away. In the case of Trump himself, there might be something to be said for sentencing to house arrest at Eric Trump's place, which you just know reeks of unwashed socks.


Warren had a pretty good weekend in Philly even before her talk. She and her husband, Bruce, celebrated their anniversary Friday night, and Philadelphia magazine informs us she was the one who proposed to him, a thing we somehow didn't know. Then on Saturday, she got the crowd... what's that phrase? Fired up. Ready to go.

Here's Warren's portion of the candidate forum. It starts with what was reportedly the second-biggest standing ovation of the weekend (her comments about pursuing criminals who abused immigrants got the loudest applause).

Elizabeth Warren Netroots Nation Speech youtu.be

Warren got some cheers for her call to break up the big tech companies, arguing that Amazon shouldn't be able to both provide a sales platform and use buyer data to undercut profitable businesses that have no choice but to sell on Amazon. "They can be the umpire in the baseball game, or they can have a team in the league, that is, they can be the businesses, but you don't get to do both." Also, she'd like to see the anti-trust laws enforced. What a crazy idea!

Warren went on to take a question about ending cash bail. The community organizer who asked it prefaced the question with, "This may be a little wonky, but I'm sure you can handle it," to which Warren cheerfully replied, "Are you making fun of me?" The question involved a mention of Michelle Alexander's book on mass incarceration, The New Jim Crow. Not only did Warren know the book, she summarized a few key points Alexander made about bail, and talked about the potential of big tech to reinforce institutional racism if it's used in determining who gets pretrial release. We'll confess, having a president who reads would be nice again! This applies to all of the 2020 Dems -- although we suspect Marianne Williams mostly reads Dr Bronner's soap bottles.

The BIG moment came after a brief interruption by some protesters who demanded all 11 million undocumented migrants in the US be made legal immediately, which Warren handled pretty well, talking about some details of her immigration plan (which includes a path to citizenship for Dreamers and families, but doesn't promise blanket amnesty). Then she had a warning for perpetrators of the New Cruelty:

To anyone out there who's working in the system, understand: You abuse immigrants, you physically abuse immigrants, you sexually abuse immigrants, you fail to get the medical care that they need, you break a law of the United States of America. Donald Trump may be willing to look the other way, but President Elizabeth Warren will not.

On her first day, Warren said, she would empower a Justice Department commission to "investigate crimes committed by the United States against immigrants." Left unsaid, because it doesn't have to be said, is that President Elizabeth Warren would then back off and let that commission do its work. Wouldn't it be weird to have a president again, who didn't think the Justice Department was her own personal lawyer?

On abortion rights and the Supreme Court, Warren rejected a question's framing: Republicans hadn't merely "unfairly tilted" the Supreme Court nominating process, she said. "The Supreme Court seat was stolen by the Republicans, in a naked power move." While she's not thrilled by the idea of explicitly packing the Court with liberals, she said she's open to proposals to return fairness to the Court, like possibly expanding it through rotating in judges from federal appeals courts. But the prospect of the courts squelching progressive legislation should worry us all, she said. And along those lines, she added,

For far too long, we've been relying on the Supreme Court when it hasn't helped [...] Here's the deal: About three out of four people in America believe Roe vs. Wade should be the law. And when that's the case, then it's time for legislative action.

Warren also said she'd like to see Congress fix Supreme Court decisions that are bad for democracy, like ending gerrymandering and protecting union rights. That sure sounds radical, too!

Before the presidential forum, Senator Sherrod Brown told the crowd, "elections aren't about some 'electability' question. They're about the question, Whose side are you on?" Warren seemed to echo that sentiment in her own closing comments, noting polls showing broad support for universal healthcare, access to higher education, and raising the minimum wage. For that matter, she added, even large portions of Republicans support student loan forgiveness and Warren's own wealth tax.

The progressive agenda is America's agenda and we need to get out there and fight for it ... We have a chance to realign politics in this county, and it starts by getting in the fight for the things we believe in!

Now all we have to do is to figure out how to break the stranglehold of minority rule by Republicans, not to mention the structural power imbalance that gives small conservative states undue influence. Getting rid of the Electoral College would be a start.

This election is even giving us some hope for democracy now and then. Warren -- and other Democrats -- have a plan for that, too.

[Elizabeth Warren on Medium / Philadelphia / Philadelphia Inquirer / Atlantic]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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