Max Burns Profile picture
@PRSA award-winning Democratic Strategist & Columnist, @thedailybeast More opinions at: @NBCNewsNow, @BloombergRadio, @Independent, @AlterNet, @ArcDigi
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6 Aug
BREAKING: New York AG @TishJames files suit against the NRA
This is more than your regular NRA case: according to @TishJames, her lawsuit aims to *dissolve* the NRA as an entity for "years of self-dealing and illegal conduct."
For those who haven't been following the NRA's recent troubles, hundreds of staffers have left or been laid off as the org faces a major crisis.

Years of financial trickery, executives funneling money to their allies, and blatant corruption got them here. theguardian.com/us-news/2020/j…
Read 25 tweets
2 Aug
I was busy this evening and missed the Conspiracy of the Weekend, which involves rumors of helicopters rushing Trump to Walter Reed hospital.

For the record: no legitimate source has reported that, for the good reason that it is *not at all true*.
Seems it came from a blend of things. Folks were talking about a discoloration/bruise on Trump's hand as he walked into his Virginia golf course. Then someone posted a 2019 article about Trump's last visit to Walter Reed. Speculation did the rest.

What we do know for a fact is that Donald Trump spent yet another day golfing at his Virginia golf course and put the bill on your taxpayer tab.

Trump should be back in Washington working to get a handle on #COVID19 and the sweeping unemployment crisis facing our nation.
Read 3 tweets
30 Jul
"The law doesn't allow him to do that" is written on the epitaphs of so many countries that fell to the creeping grasp of authoritarianism.
When the Mamertines pleaded with Perpenna that they were protected from his violent, autocratic rule by the sacred and undeniable laws of Rome, Perpenna remarked, "Will you not stop mentioning laws to us who are girded with swords?"
Also I want to make sure I link Aminatou's earlier tweet because she expresses the same thought much better than I ever could. I'm glad to stand alongside Aminatou in sounding the alarm.
Read 3 tweets
29 Jul
- THREAD -

I'm live tweeting today's big House Antitrust Subcommittee hearing featuring the CEOs of Apple, Google. Facebook, and Amazon.

That is, if the committee can fix its technical issues and actually get the hearing started. You can watch along! c-span.org/video/?474236-…
In a fitting scene, all four Big Tech CEOs will be offering testimony through a video conferencing service instead of sitting for in-person questions.

We're going to see a lot of Matt Gaetz yelling at computer screens about why Twitter won't verify his friends.
What should you expect from today's Big Tech hearing? A lot!

This is ostensibly a hearing about whether Silicon Valley is getting too powerful and running afoul of federal antitrust laws. But expect questions on data security, Russian misinformation campaigns & account hacking.
Read 91 tweets
24 Jul
Hitchens was a warmongering hack who took a superficial view of American politics and masked it behind charming words and a posh accent. He took joy in being needlessly disagreeable and in polarizing arguments that didn't need to be polarized. His legacy is not an honorable one.
Hitchens loved that a certain set of D.C. and NYC media folks considered him some kind of irreverent public intellectual.

This is the same Hitchens the Intellectual who called the Dixie Chicks "fat fucking slags" and regarded Islam as "extremely dangerous."
This is the same Hitchens the Intellectual who spent most of his time maintaining the Aaron Sorkin character he pretended to be. Who used his intellectual and rhetorical gifts to belittle and insult and abuse people through petty personal attacks. Boy, what a contribution.
Read 5 tweets
28 Jun
The @GOP has responded to catastrophically to #COVID19 because over the decades their party has been reduced to little more than holding voter attention through culture wars and social wedge issues. It's why their only response to Coronavirus was to politicize wearing masks.
Coronavirus is pushing the @GOP to a breaking point because Republican elected officials long ago forgot what actual governance looks like. The GOP of 2020 exists to confirm right wing judges, and not much else.

#COVID19 is an opponent immune to phony GOP grievance politics.
Think about that press conference where Ron DeSantis bragged that Florida beat #COVID19 without listening to those public health eggheads in Washington. Now Florida is leading the nation in a catastrophic re-infection event, and the governor has...nothing to say.
Read 10 tweets
26 Jun
.@VP Pence called the first #COVID19 Task Force meeting in two months to...declare victory over coronavirus?

The Trump team can lie about a lot of things, but COVID-19 isn't one of them. Americans can see when their loved ones are dying. They can see their jobs vanish.
This week, Dr. Fauci and senior Trump admin health officials briefed Congress on resurgent #COVID19 outbreaks across the country. They painted a picture of infection Fauci called a "wildfire scenario."

@VP undermines our medical experts every time he downplays their warnings.
I discussed Dr. Fauci's sobering testimony before the House at length in @thedailybeast this week. It's clear from White House obstruction that it will be up to Congress to protect this country from a disastrous second wave of #COVID19. thedailybeast.com/trumps-done-wi…
Read 17 tweets
24 Jun
Big House Judiciary Committee hearing on Justice Department oversight coming up in a few minutes. Not sure I have the stamina to live tweet this one, too, but I'll at least provide highlights.
Taking an over/under on how fast Jim Jordan will be speaking today, we're already at 13,000 words per minute.
I'm not sure what Jim Jordan is talking about at this House Judiciary hearing but I'm 90% sure these are lyrics to We Didn't Start the Fire?
Read 60 tweets
23 Jun
If you aren't watching the House E&C hearing featuring Dr. Anthony Fauci and CDC Director Redfield, the @GOP is attempting to prevent Fauci and Redfield from speaking.
@GOP House Republicans just claimed that *only the Chair and Ranking Member* are allowed to speak, because the @GOP is concerned about "respecting everyone's time."
@GOP You should be watching Fauci & Co. testify before the House. It's incredible how much actual information you get when @RealDonaldTrump isn't arguing with his doctors and spreading blatant lies. c-span.org/video/?473229-…
Read 94 tweets
22 Jun
This ABC News interview has done a great job showcasing all of the @GOP pols and influencers - including Trump! - who praised #JohnBolton to the skies before calling him a traitor this week.

It really gets to the heart of how quickly Trump hollowed out the GOP's values.
#JOHNBOLTON: "My experience was he very rarely read much. The intelligence briefings took place maybe once or twice a week."

RADDATZ: "Is that unusual?"

BOLTON: "That is unusual. They should take place every single day."
#JohnBolton goes into detail, saying he went over things with Trump "again and again and again" with nothing sinking in.

Trump needed Bolton and others to repeatedly explain to him why Korea was partitioned. - this after Bolton once criticized Obama for "learning on the job."
Read 18 tweets
2 Jun
If you aren't following a developing situation out of Washington, D.C.: roughly 40 protesters were invited into a private home to prevent police from roughing them up. This put the protesters in compliance with D.C. curfew law.

In response, police teargassed the private home.
Police have surrounded the #WashingtonDC home, and have attempted to gain entry by threatening the homeowner, claiming COVID-19 gives them authority to enter, and ultimately teargassing the entire place.

Activists on the ground are livestreaming.
Right-wing outlets are using this standoff to create hysteria, claiming these protesters are violently breaking into homes.

Even more concerning, police are echoing that rhetoric even though the homeowner has repeatedly said these protesters were invited.
Read 8 tweets
1 Jun
President Trump is having a peaceful protest outside the White House forcibly cleared by mounted police with pepper balls and flashbangs.

This is so Trump can give a speech about how well he's handling the protests.
Mounted police are now charging into nonviolent activists outside the White House.

From where he's waiting to deliver his remarks, @RealDonaldTrump can almost certainly hear the explosions going off.
.@MSNBC now confirming the law enforcement charging at protesters is an entirely federal police force.

DC police are not involved. This was a White House call.
Read 3 tweets
8 May
A year ago I made the decision to leave an amazing 9-to-5 in-house comms role to strike out on my own as a consultant and writer.

Like so many new entrepreneurs, I spent months building up relationships, cold pitching, taking one-off jobs, and hustling for meetings. 1/
My first three months as a consultant worked out to a 75% pay cut from where I was as a nonprofit comms exec. As an advocacy storyteller in New York, I was competing with hundreds of other incredible comms pros.

But business grew, bit by bit, and it felt liberating! 2/
Six months in and my little operation had its first major anchor client, and I was finally learning about the magic of referrals. I started getting calls returned. No one tells you how validating it feels to have a potential client say they know you by reputation. 3/
Read 15 tweets
21 Mar
If you include @RealDonaldTrump's ~$30 billion bailout of American agriculture, the Trump administration will likely spend more on direct government handouts to American business in one term than Presidents Bush and Obama did in 16 combined years.
Rememind the @GOP of their spending-crazy party leader the next time they try to lecture progressives on paying for Medicare for All or univeral free public college.

With Republicans, it's always fiscal conservatism for you and endless handouts for them.
In the last week we've seen the @GOP:

> Go from decrying socialism to hyping a #UBI
> Call for more government intervention in healthcare
> Invoke powers allowing POTUS to direct industry production
> Promote bailouts for cruise lines, airports, hoteliers, and banks
Read 5 tweets
14 Mar
Has anyone seen an idea they proposed move from radical to mainstream as quickly as @AndrewYang and UBI?

The #Coronavirus outbreak has shown how ill-equipped our current economic model is to absorbing major disease events. UBI would be a huge improvement.
@AndrewYang A year ago, UBI was considered a futurist pipe dream and @AndrewYang was mocked for making it a centerpiece of his economic argument. Hell, even I mocked him.

#COVID19 caused a rethinking among policy elites about securing our way of life from shocks. thehill.com/homenews/house…
With UBI, @AndrewYang has succeeded in actually being what so may politicians claim to be: a visionary policy mind.

Yang was right about the fragility of our economic order to widespread disruption. In my mind, he's a must-have in a Biden administration. theweek.com/articles/90112…
Read 4 tweets
11 Mar
As someone who has been a big fan of @BernieSanders and has gone to bat for Bernie in op-eds and on TV, tonight tells me a lot about where this party is, and what unifies us.

I'm proud say I support @JoeBiden as we come together as Americans to send Toxic Trumpism packing.
There's no doubt @JoeBiden would be wise to listen to the voices empowered and emboldened by @BernieSanders' unapologetic progressive campaign. Democrats are lucky to have Bernie in our corner in the Senate.

Joe Biden is an honest and good man. We need that now more than ever.
I believe in the decency @JoeBiden has represented throughout his life. I also believe in his ability to enact meaningful change and much-needed institutional repairs after the moral rot of Trumpism.

It's time we take the fight to Trump and the vote-suppressing, ruinous @GOP.
Read 6 tweets
22 Feb
I've been critical of @BernieSanders when I felt he deserved it - and this recent frothing-at-the-mouth panic about Sanders' growing 2020 lead isn't just a wild overreaction, it's a hysteria that makes the Democratic Party look foolish on the world stage.
@BernieSanders The simple truth of any primary campaign remains as true in 2020 as it ever was: don't like what @BernieSanders (or any candidate!) is saying or doing? Organize and beat them at the ballot box.

Calling Sanders a Russian asset is, in a word, risible.
@BernieSanders I've spoken with Democrats who are now flatly gunning for a damaging, contested primary with the aim of forcing a second ballot and the inclusion of party Superdelegates.

Instead of calling for a party fracture, they should follow Sanders' example and build a winning coalition.
Read 6 tweets
10 Feb
I want to be perfectly clear: I have never said Mike Bloomberg can't beat Trump. In fact, he has a pretty decent shot if he's the nominee.

I'm saying it is corrosive to the core values of our party if Democrats reward Bloomberg's transparent attempt to purchase the nomination.
Democrats can't campaign to get money out of our electoral process on one day and then elevate a candidate who blatantly flooded the zone with his own personal fortune.

Democrats can't oppose the rise of plutocratic party capture while allowing our party to be captured.
Democrats can't talk about the importance of sharing our values and then nominate a former Republican with an *extremely* checkered past on issues of race, policing, and minority engagement.

Democrats can't say billionares are rigging the system and then excuse *our* billionaire
Read 7 tweets
25 Apr 19
"In framing a government, we should consider a century to come as but a day, and leave the least possible for posterity to mend. Errors sanctified by long usage are not easily relinquished."

Philadelphia Freeman's Journal
9/26/1787
"[The president] cannot be an idiot, probably not a knave or a tyrant, for those whom nature makes so discover it before the age of 35, until which period he cannot be elected."

Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer
9/26/1787
"Beware those who wish to influence your passions, and to make you dupes to their resentments...invectives can never persuade, but they always fix prejudices which candor might have removed."

New York Journal
9/26/1787
Read 38 tweets
30 Oct 18
White supremacists like to harken back to Ancient Rome as the cradle of pure Western glory. Here are some fun facts about "jus soli," the Roman practice of birthright citizenship:
Back in the day, pretty much only the tribes of Italy had Roman citizenship - you most likely had it because Rome conquered your town some time in the distant past. This goes for Samnites, Veiites, the Italics, the Latins, and a ton of Greeks.
Citizenship was a valuable commodity in the early Principate of Augustus, given for conspicuous military gallantry, service in a combat auxiliary (allies), or any number of poorly legally defined reasons.
Read 12 tweets
20 Mar 18
DO NOT CONGRATULATE
Folks I specifically said not to congratulate him and many of you have done the exact opposite.
Read 2 tweets