Archive for category Bernie Sanders

Man Up, CNN

Show us the first Democratic Debate in the 2016 presidential election.

Maybe you really ARE “the Clinton news network”. I used to laugh at that designation because you guys attacked Bill Clinton with the same voracity that every other lame “news” network did during the Bill Clinton impeachment nonsense.

Hillary Clinton did pretty well in the debate. She was strong, attractive, defiant, unflappable, funny, human and all the rest. So why are you so averse to giving everybody in America, no matter their internet speed, the ability to see what happened instead of the chopped up pieces you present on your crappy internet website? Could it have something to do with “capitalism”?

I went to the union center in Salt Lake City, because I was afraid my internet connection was going to hang, but it was doubtful that the internet connection there was going to work in time there either.

I woke up early the next day to see if you had a full debate video and was unable to find one, so I went to YouTube and found one – in three parts – that was taken down a couple of hours later. There is a new one on YouTube that is in sixteen or more parts. Are you going to take this one down too, or possibly give the American people the right to see American political debates on your own domain?

I present number one of…

UPDATE: I have found an actual FULL version of the debate in one segment. The previous 17 part presentation is no longer needed. I still think CNN has enough help to offer the debate on their own website though.


Bernie Won the Debate

CNN debate poll

I know the media are going all out to claim that Hillary Clinton won the debate. Hillary held on and did well, but she didn’t win. Bernie Sanders won the polls, raked in the campaign contributions, and reached many more voters with his message (15 million people watched the debate).

In the debate, Bernie was the only candidate who identified climate change as the number one national security threat (not Russia, not ISIS, not China).

Remember when the USA PATRIOT Act passed the Senate 99-1? Last night Bernie proudly reminded us that he was the one vote against it. Hillary is still defending the USA PATRIOT Act.

Hillary doesn’t want to bring back Glass–Steagall. Lincoln Chafee said he didn’t even know what the Glass-Steagall Act was when he voted to repeal it.

Oh, and Jim Webb killed a guy in Vietnam. That was an awkward thing to bring up in a presidential debate, but it does carry commander-in-chief cred.

More info:
Ignore the Media Pundits: Bernie Sanders Won the First Democratic Debate
DC insiders think Bernie Sanders lost the debate. Here’s why they might be wrong.
CNN Focus Group Says Bernie Sanders Won The First Democratic Debate
Frank Luntz Focus Group Agrees: Bernie Sanders Won Debate
All Marco Rubio Heard At Last Night’s Debate Was ‘Free Stuff’

Bernie Won All the Focus Groups & Online Polls, So Why Is the Media Saying Hillary Won the Debate?


NPR Does Hack Job On Bernie Sanders

I was listening to NPR the other day and heard a report about Bernie Sanders’s visit to, and speech at the very conservative Liberty University. If you think my heading is harsh, you won’t after you compare what actually happened, to NPR’s report which played a couple of portions of the speech and literally cut out the applause. You are almost left with the sense that the Sanders event was like going to a funeral excepting when the audience cheered for fetuses.

Here is NPR’s short take on the event.

And here is Sanders’s actual speech.

I don’t appreciate being made into a fool when I try to tell people about important events. I expect a lot more from Nation Public Radio then blatant censorship and shoddy reporting. :(

UPDATE: I like to have integrity and this probably helps NPR’s case, but I’m still not changing the heading, because they could have reported it and not cut out the applause. I hadn’t seen Sanders’s introduction at Liberty University and the presenter said the front rows had been reserved for his supporters. Being the cynic that I am, and knowing Falwell as I did, I’m not so sure his son wouldn’t do that just in case there were cheers for Sanders from the students. We’ll never know.

I have replaced the original YouTube video with one that runs better and starts with at his introduction.

I’m sorry, but in my opinion, Jerry Falwell was a real swine.


Look What Tim DeChristopher’s Up To

Go to Tim’s site for more.

It was a nice event. Looked like about one hundred showed up. Here’s how things went down:

1 Comment

‘Bernie Sanders Can Become President’ Has Replaced ‘I Like Him, But He Can’t Win’

Bernie Sanders

I stole the title above from H.A. Goodman because I couldn’t come up with a better one. There is an enthusiasm gap among Democratic primary voters, and Senator Bernie Sanders is way ahead. Polls now confirm this.

From Goodman’s latest post on HuffPo:

Polls once extolling Hillary Clinton’s enormous lead over Sanders are now dwindling for the same reason Sanders beats Republicans in various other polls: Americans have had enough of dynasties, scandals, wars, and Wall Street corruption.

…[M]ore and more Americans have had enough with a two-party system that doesn’t give people a choice.

Bernie Sanders is the only candidate with practical ideas about what he would do to reverse the trend of increasing inequality in America.

Bernie Sanders knew in 2002 that invading Iraq would be a terrible mistake with horrible consequences. He voted not to authorize the use of military force, unlike then-Senator Clinton and then-Senator Biden.

Also too, voters don’t trust Hillary Clinton.

Looks like the campaign dirty tricks are starting now…
Black Lives Matter Seattle Protestor Is A Former Tea Party Palin Supporter
Bernie Sanders rally crasher Marissa “Johnson” Jenae is a Republican

How could two people take over the stage and preempt Bernie’s speech in Seattle? Now he’ll have to get some security and his events won’t be as friendly.

After the event was canceled the Democratic presidential candidate said in a statement, “I am disappointed that two people disrupted a rally attended by thousands at which I was invited to speak about fighting to protect Social Security and Medicare. I was especially disappointed because on criminal justice reform and the need to fight racism there is no other candidate for president who will fight harder than me.”

The so-called protest doesn’t even make sense. Why attack the one candidate who’s most committed to civil rights?

Sanders talks at University of Washington rally after activists disrupt earlier speech at park

Audience of 12,000. No fake protesters.

The Real Black Lives Matter Wants Activists To Publicly Apologize to Bernie Sanders

#BlackLivesMatter activists believe that this type of behavior is inappropriate and counterproductive, and we will not support it.


Bernie Sanders for President

Bernie Sanders

Don’t look now, but there is a real socialist running for President. Today, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) formally kicks off his by-all-accounts-doomed bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

But the thing is, Bernie has been talking to the media while Hillary Clinton hides. And he has some interesting things to say about the issues that Hillary is trying to avoid taking any positions on.

Peter Beinart writes: Don’t Underestimate Bernie Sanders. “The Vermont senator’s authentic outrage over how the super rich have distorted America’s economy and bought its government will find an eager audience.”

Sanders is better positioned to exploit this resentment against the one percent that many pundits understand. First, because he’s virtually the only Democrat challenging Hillary (especially given the Baltimore riots’ crippling impact on Martin O’Malley) Sanders will get more media attention than he would in a more crowded field. Second, although Hillary Clinton has shifted left, her ties to Wall Street—and her need to raise vast sums from it—will keep her from fully assuaging the party’s left. Three weeks into her presidential bid, for instance, she still hasn’t taken a clear position on either the Keystone Pipeline or fast-track authority for the Trans-Atlantic and Trans-Pacific trade deals, even though progressive activists loathe both. Third, there today exists a liberal media echo-chamber—from MSNBC to MoveOn to Daily Kos—that did not exist in the 1990s, and which amplifies whoever in the Democratic Party articulates the most ambitious, most uncompromising progressive agenda.

More info:
Bernie Sanders Would Tax The Income Of The Wealthiest Americans At 90 Percent
Bernie Sanders Takes It to Wall Street With Financial Transactions Tax
Sen. Bernie Sanders: Media Failing To Convey That Climate Change Is “The Great Planetary Crisis We Now Face”
Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign has more support than Graham, Jindal, Fiorina and Kasich combined

This Presidential Candidate Wants Everyone To Be Able To Take A Vacation

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (I) held his first rally after launching his bid for the Democratic presidential candidacy on Wednesday evening. And during his speech, he made a call for “guaranteed vacation time for every worker in this country.”
That’s a first for someone vying for the American presidency, according to Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. “I feel pretty comfortable saying that it is a first,” he said. “I’ve been pushing on this one for years and I’m pretty sure I would know if another candidate had pushed this idea.”

The United States does not in fact have any requirement that employers offer their workers vacation time or paid holidays.


More Awfulness From Congress

Hell no we won't go
Hell no, we won’t go!!

The must-pass National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) contains a 449-page package of public lands riders. As you might expect from this Congress, it’s a stinker full of corporate giveaways. It transfers 110,000 acres of our public lands into private ownership. Part of the Tonto National Forest in Arizona will be given to Rio Tinto for a copper mine, including sacred Apache lands. Coal reserves in the Bull Mountains of Montana will be given to Great Northern Properties, a Houston-based coal company. Sealaska Corporation gets 70,000 acres of the Tongass National Forest for clear-cutting timber that used to belong to all Americans.

There’s a stealth provision removing existing Wilderness Study Area (WSA) protections for two areas in eastern Montana, without any public input whatsoever.

The legislation also mandates automatic renewals of livestock grazing on our public lands, even where grazing operations are degrading wildlife habitat and fouling streams and rivers — without the evaluation under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that’s currently required. The so-called “Grazing Improvement Act” also automatically extends grazing permits on public lands from 10 to 20 years. The exemption of grazing permits from NEPA basically puts public land management agencies out of business with regard to ecosystem management. That is a heavy hit with far-reaching consequences.

Ten right-wing Tea-GOPers including Tom Coburn of Oklahoma had objected to including parks and wilderness bills in a defense bill. They were joined by Democratic Senators Jeff Merkeley (OR), Ron Wyden (OR), and Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) and Independent Bernie Sanders (VT). On December 11, the Senate voted 85-14 to break the filibuster.

As a “Christmas tree” bill enjoying widespread bipartisan support, the NDAA passed the House by a vote of 300-119 last Thursday and the Senate by 89-11 yesterday. The package of legislation is expected to be signed by the President soon.

On the plus side, the NDAA riders would add 250,000 acres to the National Wilderness Preservation System, establish or expand national parks, and designate more than 100 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers. But the losses far outweigh the wins.

More info:
Some Context on the Defense Bill Riders: Public Lands Losses Far Outweigh Any Wins
Top 5 Offensive Provisions of the Public Lands Rider
Defense bill with wilderness & parks plus land giveaways beats cloture 85-14. 3 Dems & Sanders no
Congress Protects New National Parks And Wilderness Areas For The First Time In 5 Years
Defense Bill Passes, Giving Sacred Native American Sites To Mining Company


‘A Bad Bargain’

When you see the word “grand” in front of the word “bargain,” look out. They are trying to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. This is why President Obama is treating right-wingers to lunch and dinner, while ignoring progressives.

After first making nearly all the Bush-Obama Tax Cuts For The Rich permanent, key members of Congress and the White House now say there is a deficit problem that can only be solved by austerity budgets. Well, the last election wasn’t about dismantling our earned benefits programs and the social safety net that Americans have relied on since the New Deal. President Obama is proposing a BAD bargain.

Sign Senator Bernie Sanders’ petition today.

Send a Message to President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Reid and House Speaker Boehner: No Budget Deal on Backs of the Elderly, the Children, the Sick and the Poor.

At a time when the middle class is disappearing, poverty is increasing and the gap between the rich and everyone else is growing wider, we demand that the federal budget not be balanced on the backs of the most vulnerable people in our country.

A federal budget that reduces the deficit by cutting cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security and disabled veterans, raising the Medicare eligibility age and lowering tax rates for the most profitable corporations in this country is not a grand bargain. It is a bad bargain.

We oppose the chained-CPI, a new way to measure inflation and consumer prices designed to cut benefits for Social Security recipients, disabled veterans and their survivors.

We demand a budget that puts millions of Americans back to work in decent paying jobs.

We demand a budget that makes sure that the wealthiest Americans and most profitable corporations pay their fair share.

UPDATE: Rep. Ryan, announcing his budget plan today:

“This to us is something that we’re not going to give up on, because we’re not going to give up on destroying the health care system for the American people.”

Definition of a Bushism: when a right-winger accidentally tells us what he really wants to do.

UPDATE: Obama’s Poll Numbers Drop As He Tries To Push Cuts To Social Security And Medicare

UPDATE: Obama To GOP: I’m Serious About Cutting The Social Safety Net

DC’s Worst-Kept Budget Secret: Lots Of Democrats Support Entitlement Cuts


Solitary Man Ambushes “Gang of Six” and All Three Branches of Government

Well, OK! Ambushes usually involve hiding behind opaque objects with deadly weapons. Reasonable people don’t always need to go to that extreme.

Sometimes words can get a point across perfectly well:

Congratulations Sen. Coburn.


Republicans Can’t Escape Blame For Bad Economy

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has proposed a plan to let Republicans vote unanimously against raising the limit on the National Debt without actually causing a sovereign default for the first time in the history of the United States. Maybe other politicians of both parties will go along with this plan, maybe not. But Senator McConnell is fantasizing when he says (emphasis added):

“[Obama] will say Republicans are making the economy worse,” Mr. McConnell said in an interview with the conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. “It is an argument that he could have a good chance of winning, and all of the sudden we have co-ownership of the economy. That is a very bad position going into the election.”

Following years of declining wages and rising poverty, the Republicans finally crashed the American economy in 2008, after the housing bubble burst and exposed the Bush administration’s so-called “Ownership Society” as a fraud. Everyone knows this. The GOP would like to blame President Obama, but that’s a counter-factual argument that only appeals to hard-core partisans.

A Quinnipiac poll released today: The country is in a recession, 71 percent of American voters say, but by 54 – 27 percent they blame former President George W. Bush more than President Obama. Other poll results indicate that people have been paying attention to the Republican brinksmanship over the debt limit, and President Obama’s very cynical response:

  • Voters will blame Republicans over Obama 48 – 34 percent if the debt limit is not raised;
  • Voters say 67 – 25 percent that an agreement to raise the debt ceiling should include tax hikes for the wealthy and corporations, not just spending cuts;
  • Voters say 45 – 37 percent that Obama’s proposals to raise revenues are “closing loopholes,” rather than “tax hikes”;
  • But voters say 57 – 30 percent that Obama’s proposals will impact the middle class, not just the wealthy.

There is no one representing the middle class in Washington right now, except maybe Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). You can’t revive our economy by cutting budgets, laying off public employees, and sabotaging Social Security and Medicare — but is anybody saying that?

UPDATE: David Dayen on FDL:

The “hybrid deal” between Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid… includes all of the political pitfalls of the McConnell deal with the cuts-only approach sought by House Republicans. It’s basically everything that was discussed before: $1.5 trillion in cuts, no net revenues, a convoluted voting process that forces all votes sustaining an increase in the debt limit to come from Democrats, and a Catfood Commission II to deal with taxes and entitlements at a later date.

Basically the Democratic argument for this is, hey, it’s better than default on the National Debt. As if that is the only alternative.

UPDATE: Romney: Jobless Americans Have To Bear Burden Of Budget Cuts Because Corporations Need A Tax Cut


Senator Bernie Sanders: Shared Sacrifice

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) gave another great speech yesterday, on the subject of shared sacrifice. He held the senate floor for 90 minutes, talking directly to President Obama, pleading, cajoling, scolding–begging the president to take the lead on obvious things like lifting the poor and the downtrodden out of the depths, protecting them from any more grief, and demanding that the rich pay their fair share of U.S. taxes. He condemned the Republicans for hypocritically holding the debt limit hostage to force budget cuts on the middle class and people who have already lost their homes, jobs and life savings. Ordinary Americans have sacrificed enough already, it’s time for the rich to give something up!

“Instead of yielding to the incessant, extreme Republican demands, as the President did during last December’s tax cut agreement and this year’s spending negotiations, the President has got to get out of the beltway and rally the American people who already believe that deficit reduction must be about shared sacrifice.”

Go to Senator Sanders’ website and sign his letter to President Obama.

Mr. President, please listen to the overwhelming majority of the American people who believe that deficit reduction must be about shared sacrifice. The wealthiest Americans and the most profitable corporations in this country must pay their fair share. At least 50 percent of any deficit reduction package must come from revenue raised by ending tax breaks for the wealthy and eliminating tax loopholes that benefit large, profitable corporations and Wall Street financial institutions. A sensible deficit reduction package must also include significant cuts to unnecessary and wasteful Pentagon spending.

Please do not yield to outrageous Republican demands that would greatly increase suffering for the weakest and most vulnerable members of our society. Now is the time to stand with the tens of millions of Americans who are struggling to survive economically, not with the millionaires and billionaires who have never had it so good.

As of this morning, more than 41,000 people have signed the letter.

A word about the hypocrisy of Republicans. They raised the debt ceiling five times when Bush was in office, doubling the National Debt without ever questioning the need for deficit spending.

Americans’ disposable income has actually declined this year after adjusting for inflation. How long can President Obama ignore the fact we’re in a depression? Without consumer spending, how can the economy recover? Tax cuts for the rich got us nowhere.

UPDATE: Economist Mark Zandi says that if Republican congressional leaders force the nation into default, the fragile recovery will be “blown out of the water.” The entire global economy is based on trust and confidence. Just by making threats, the Republicans are doing major damage.


Bipartisanship And BATNA

Monopoly money
This is the best possible bipartisan agreement – is it better than nothing?

Those of us who observed politics during the Clinton administration know that you have to pay careful attention to the exact words Bill Clinton uses, and never assume that he has said something he didn’t actually say. Yesterday at the White House, this is what Clinton said about the McConnell-Obama tax cuts for the rich:

“[T]he agreement taken as a whole is, I believe, the best bipartisan agreement we can reach to help the largest number of Americans…”

He did not say McConnell-Obama is the best possible agreement, and he did not say it is the best policy for the country as a whole. He said it is “the best bipartisan agreement we can reach” (emphasis added). Bill Clinton knows as well as anyone that the Party of NO (aka the Republican Party) refuses to compromise on taxes, and any “bipartisan agreement” means agreeing to surrender to the GOP.

CNN’s Fareed Zakaria is the latest observer to confirm that the McConnell-Obama deal was “lopsided in that the Republicans got exactly what they wanted.”

What we need to do is look at this objectively. President Obama’s goal may be to achieve bipartisanship at any cost (in this case, nearly $900 billion of our money). That’s not the right approach. The President would be well-advised to do what’s best for America. Under the present circumstances, refusing to make a deal with the Republicans would be better than any possible agreement. The Bush tax cuts are set to expire automatically on December 31 if Congress does not act. These tax cuts are the major cause of the long-term budget deficit problem.

In negotiation theory, the “best alternative to a negotiated agreement” or BATNA is the course of action that will be taken if negotiations fail and an agreement cannot be reached. A successful negotiator constantly keeps the BATNA in mind, and is prepared to walk away if the deal that is offered is worse than no agreement at all.

It’s very unlikely that Senator Bernie Sanders has enough to support to win a cloture vote on Monday and kill the McConnell-Obama deal. However, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has the power to keep this bad deal from reaching the House floor before the end of the 111th Congress.

Remember, getting President Obama to openly betray the 63 million Americans who voted for him was just the first part of the Republican plan. Next year the GOP-controlled House can be expected to declare federal deficits as the nation’s number one problem. Ignoring the need for economic recovery, including aid to state governments, they will try to cut budgets for non-defense programs. They will renew the assault on Social Security.

I’ve been keeping an eye on the right-wing blogs and it really seems they are laying low and keeping quiet. The Tea Party Patriots are opposed to McConnell-Obama, but there hasn’t been much coming from anybody else. Wasn’t extending the Bush tax cuts a big issue for the right? Why are we hearing crickets now?

UPDATE: I found an interesting commentary on The Right Sphere, which seems to be taking a wait-and-see position (emphasis added):

Moving forward, the GOP needs to tackle the budget. Cuts need to be made everywhere. They need to propose cuts over and over again and force Democrats to defend every single program run by the Federal Government. …

The only way this tax deal works is if it is followed up by these spending cuts. The GOP needs to prove that they understand that spending is the problem, not revenue. They need to pound on this message constantly: “Taxes aren’t spending. Spending is spending.” Many are very skeptical if the GOP even believes this and if they can deliver this message with policy.

UPDATE: Robert Reich: Why Bill Clinton’s Favorable View of Obama’s Tax Deal Should Be Disregarded

UPDATE: Jeff Cohen: President NAFTA Backs President SHAFTA

UPDATE: Obama-GOP Tax Cut Bill Turning Into ‘Christmas Tree’ Tinseled With Gifts For Lobbyists, Lawmakers

UPDATE: Rocky Anderson and 56 leading progressives sign an open letter calling for a protest in front of the White House on December 16th.

The election of Obama has not galvanized protest movements. To the contrary, it has depressed and undermined them, with the White House playing an active role in the discouragement and suppression of dissent – with disastrous consequences. The almost complete absence of protest from the left has emboldened the most right-wing elements inside and outside of the Obama administration to pursue and act on an ever more extreme agenda.

Poll: Obama losing base support – Romney would beat him now

UPDATE: McCain Flashback: ‘I Would Clearly Support Not Extending [Bush] Tax Cuts In Order To Help Address The Deficit’ (That was six years ago, bet he thought we forgot).


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