Voters are headed to the polls and caucus sites today in six states: Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Idaho, North Dakota and Washington. Voting also ends today in the Democrats Abroad primary. A total of 352 delegates are up for grabs, with the biggest prize being Michigan, which will award 125 delegates.
Bernie Sanders beat out Hillary Clinton in Michigan in 2016. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has backed Joe Biden, while Sanders has been campaigning in the state with Reverend Jesse Jackson following his recent endorsement. Bernie Sanders has called out Joe Biden’s record on trade and his support for deals like NAFTA, which he says have cost Americans millions of well-paid jobs and hurt unions. This is Sanders speaking at a Detroit rally Friday.
Sen. Bernie Sanders: “If we are going to defeat Trump in Michigan, in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, it will be very hard for a candidate who voted for these disastrous trade agreements.”
The primaries have narrowed down to a race between Senator Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden after Senator Elizabeth Warren and billionaire Mike Bloomberg dropped out last week after disappointing Super Tuesday results. Hawaii Congressmember Tulsi Gabbard also remains on the ballot, though she has been locked out of next week’s debate following a DNC rule change on the delegate count needed to qualify.
Bloomberg has since endorsed Joe Biden, joining other former presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Senators Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris. Senator Warren has yet to back either candidate. The Working Families Party Monday endorsed Bernie Sanders. The group, which initially endorsed Elizabeth Warren before she dropped out, wrote, “Bernie Sanders has been a lifelong champion for working people. He wants to make healthcare, housing, childcare, and education basic rights, reform our criminal justice system, protect and expand Social Security, and take bold action on climate.” The progressive group backed his candidacy in 2016.
Meanwhile, “Axios on HBO” is reporting Joe Biden’s inner circle has been discussing possible Cabinet appointments if he wins the presidency. Contenders reportedly include Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, and Anne Finucane of Bank of America for Treasury secretary; Mike Bloomberg for World Bank president; and Susan Rice — Obama’s national security adviser — or John Kerry as secretary of state. Pete Buttigieg may be considered as ambassador to the U.N. after he quickly moved to endorse Biden after suspending his own presidential campaign. The plan is being described as “Return to Normal,” as a counter to the tumultuous Trump administration.
In more primary news, Dallas County is requesting a recount of last week’s Super Tuesday votes after officials discovered a discrepancy between the number of voters who signed in and number of ballots cast.
Marches continued across Latin America Monday — one day after International Women’s Day — to protest femicide and state repression, and demand equal rights and reproductive freedom. In Mexico, tens of thousands of women withdrew from public life as part of a nationwide strike dubbed “A Day Without Us.” Organizers are drawing attention to the fact that 10 women in Mexico are killed every day, often by their domestic partners.
Women across Chile staged mass rallies and took part in a work stoppage as part of the strike effort. Similar actions took place in Argentina, where demonstrators called out violence against women and voiced their support for recent efforts to legalize abortion. This is Andrea Conde, of the feminist organization Avanza.
Andrea Conde: “Again, women, lesbians and trans people go out to continue fighting for our rights, in a very special year in Argentina, in a year where the president has just announced that he will present a project for legal and safe abortion. So this year has that very strong significance. And we are, as always, overflowing the streets of all the cities of this country. And this women’s revolution does not only occur in Argentina, but it occurs everywhere in world, and that’s why it has the power it has.”
In Afghanistan, U.S. troops have started their withdrawal as part of the U.S.-Taliban agreement, as political turmoil deepens following dual inaugurations Monday. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and rival leader Abdullah Abdullah both held inaugural ceremonies — interrupted briefly after explosions were heard, though no injuries have been reported. The fate of intra-Afghan talks, due to kick off today, remains uncertain. The U.S. is calling for the U.N. Security Council to endorse its deal with the Taliban.
Ceremonies are being held in Ethiopia and around the world today to mark one year since the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which killed all 157 people on board. A new House report released Friday finds that engineering errors, inadequate federal safety oversight and a “culture of concealment” were responsible for the crash, as well as Indonesia’s Lion Air crash in October 2018, which killed 189 people — both crashes on Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Ethiopian aviation authorities also released a report this week blaming Boeing equipment and training for the crash.
In other aviation news, the trial of four people — three Russians and one Ukrainian — accused of downing Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014 opened in the Netherlands Monday. The names of the 298 victims were read in court before proceedings began.
A memorial tribute for Puerto Rican revolutionary Rafael Cancel Miranda is planned in New York City on Thursday following his death last week. Rafael Cancel Miranda was a hero in the Puerto Rican liberation movement and one-time member of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, but was labeled a terrorist by the U.S. government after he and three others shot up the U.S. Capitol on March 1, 1954, to protest Puerto Rico’s status as a U.S. colony. Miranda often referred to the attack as an “armed demonstration.” He was eventually released from prison by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. In the subsequent decades, Miranda continued to advocate for the independence of Puerto Rico. In 1990, he told The New York Times, “If this is still a colony, why should I change?” He died at his home in San Juan, Puerto Rico, at the age of 89.
The 2020 Izzy Award “for outstanding achievement in independent media” will be shared between three recipients: journalist Matt Taibbi, the publication News Inside and Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism.
Longtime reporter Matt Taibbi has focused on media bias, government misconduct, and the presidential campaign, calling into question corporate and so-called liberal media coverage of politics. He is the author of the book “Hate Inc.” and co-host of the “Useful Idiots” podcast. News Inside was launched by The Marshall Project in 2019 and provides reporting on criminal justice issues for prisoners with articles written by current and former inmates. Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism published 900 pages of damning messages last year between then-Governor Ricardo Rosselló and other top-level officials, triggering a mass uprising that led to his resignation.
The Izzy Award is presented by the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College and is named for legendary dissident journalist I.F. Stone. You can see our interview with three members of the Center for Investigative Journalism, as well as our past interviews with Matt Taibbi, at our website, democracynow.org.