Democratic Leadership Needs to Understand That the Political World Is Changing


Bernie Sanders | Reader Supported News | May 18, 2016

.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday issued the following statement:

“It is imperative that the Democratic leadership, both nationally and in the states, understand that the political world is changing and that millions of Americans are outraged at establishment politics and establishment economics. The people of this country want a government which represents all of us, not just the 1 percent, super PACs and wealthy campaign contributors.

“The Democratic Party has a choice. It can open its doors and welcome into the party people who are prepared to fight for real economic and social change – people who are willing to take on Wall Street, corporate greed and a fossil fuel industry which is destroying this planet. Or the party can choose to maintain its status quo structure, remain dependent on big-money campaign contributions and be a party with limited participation and limited energy.

“Within the last few days there have been a number of criticisms made against my campaign organization. Party leaders in Nevada, for example, claim that the Sanders campaign has a ‘penchant for violence.’ That is nonsense. Our campaign has held giant rallies all across this country, including in high-crime areas, and there have been zero reports of violence. Our campaign of course believes in non-violent change and it goes without saying that I condemn any and all forms of violence, including the personal harassment of individuals. But, when we speak of violence, I should add here that months ago, during the Nevada campaign, shots were fired into my campaign office in Nevada and apartment housing complex my campaign staff lived in was broken into and ransacked.

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Secret Service Will Investigate Trump’s Former Butler as Campaign Disavows Statements


Mother Jones | May 13, 2016

 

Earlier today, Mother Jones published a story detailing some extreme and threatening statements about President Barack Obama written by Donald Trump’s former butler Anthony Senecal on his personal Facebook page. The 84-year-old worked as Trump’s butler for 17 years before becoming the in-house historian at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. In the last year, Senecal has written multiple public posts on Facebook calling for Obama to be killed, with remarks such as, “If that means dragging that ball less dick head from the white mosque and hanging his scrawny ass from the portico–count me in !!!!!”

Threatening the president is a federal crime, and the Secret Service told the Daily Beast in a statement Thursday afternoon that it plans to investigate the butler’s statements. “The U.S. Secret Service is aware of this matter and will conduct the appropriate investigation,” wrote spokesman Robert Hoback in an email to the Daily Beast.

Also on Thursday afternoon, the Trump campaign distanced itself from Senecal’s statements. “Tony Senecal has not worked at Mar-a-Lago for years, but nevertheless we totally and completely disavow the horrible statements made by him regarding the President,” campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks told CNN.

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The Bernie super delegate panic is based on lazy reporting — here is what’s really going on in the DNC


 | Raw Story | February 11, 2016

As the Democrats head to Nevada, Bernie Sanders has 36 delegates, Hillary Clinton has 32, but you might not know that if you’ve been exposed to some lazy or sensational journalism suggesting that Clinton is in the lead.

Following the New  Hampshire primary, a number of outlets reported that Clinton, rather than Sanders, was ahead in the delegate race because she had secured the backing of a number of Democratic super delegates – officeholders, party activists and officials who are not bound to vote for a candidate at the party’s convention in Philadelphia. In fact, if you Google “Democratic delegates,” this graphic appears:

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 2.12.29 PM

And while that storyline plays well with Sanders supporters who have a deep distrust of the party establishment, it’s also complete bullshit – and the last thing anyone should be worried about as we head to the third state on the primary calendar.

There are 712 Democratic super delegates. While they’re free to back whomever they choose at the convention, an Associated Press survey conducted in November found that 359 of them “planned” on supporting Clinton. Only eight said they’d support Sanders. But to count them as Clinton delegates at this stage is putting the cart before the horse in the most ridiculous way.

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Bernie Sanders and Election Season at the Supreme Court


Rob Hager | Truthout | January 21, 2016

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaking of Vermont at a town meeting at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona on July 18, 2015. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)US Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont speaks at a town meeting at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona, on July 18, 2015. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

 

The Supreme Court has completed its 2015-16 calendar of cases ending in June, when it normally issues its most political decisions. After a fairly quiescent 2014-15 term, cases pending decision on the court’s docket will affect the important Democratic constituencies of women, labor and communities of color; possibly weaken majoritarian policies on health care and voting rights; and even rule on a significant immigration issue for good measure.

Politico sums up: “With at least five core Obama policies on the line … Democratic insiders are bracing for the Supreme Court to dismantle huge chunks of core issues for the president and other Democrats.” One experienced Supreme Court litigator finds it “hard to imagine a set of issues that could have as great impact and are as politically salient in an election year.”

The bulk of this politically charged agenda will likely go public about the time that the primary season is ending in June, a month before the Democratic National Convention in July.

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Hillarycare Won’t Cover Everyone, Berniecare Will


The Democratic candidates faced off in Charleston, South Carolina, Sunday evening. (photo: Randall Hill/Reuters)
The Democratic candidates faced off in Charleston, South Carolina, Sunday evening. (photo: Randall Hill/Reuters)

 

Scott Galinde | Reader Supported News | January 18, 2016

hile Hillary Clinton has made statements in the past in support of single-payer health care, she has never proposed it. Even in 1993, when she chaired Bill Clinton’s special commission on “universal” health care, she didn’t propose a plan that would have covered everyone. Like Obamacare, it had a mandate that said everyone has to buy into a private plan. She called it universal, but like Obamacare it would not have led to everyone getting health care.

Politicians have thrown around the term “universal health care” around, but rarely have they proposed it.

Hillary’s current plan is to defend the Affordable Care Act (ACA) against Republican efforts to repeal it. According to her website, she is “committed to building on delivery system reforms in the Affordable Care Act that improve value and quality care for Americans.”

Bernie Sanders also would not repeal Obamacare without first passing a better plan. But if you listen to Hillary, you would think Bernie is ready to throw everyone off their health care. That couldn’t be further from truth.

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We Haven’t Scratched the Surface of What Bernie Is Capable Of


Senator Bernie Sanders. (photo: Getty)
Senator Bernie Sanders. (photo: Getty)

 

Charles Pierce | Esquire | Reader Supported News | January 15, 2016

It’s time for Hillary Clinton to check the rearview mirror.

 

K, shit’s starting to get real on the Democratic side of things.

As the countdown to the caucuses continues, 40 percent of Democrats say they could be persuaded to change their minds about their first choice candidate. Sanders is running strong with young voters and with those who say they plan to attend their first caucus on February 1—the same type of coalition that helped Barack Obama surge to victory over Clinton in Iowa in 2008. Among those younger than 45, Sanders bests Clinton 59 percent to 27 percent. And among those who say they plan to attend their first caucus, he leads 52 percent to 34 percent. Clinton wins with older Democrats (56 percent to 26 percent) and women (49 percent to 32 percent). Both candidates remain popular with Democrats in the state. Eighty-nine percent said they view Sanders favorably, while 86 percent said the same of the former secretary of state.

Now, as far as I’m concerned, polling numbers as they relate to the screwy Iowa caucus system are completely meaningless, since so much depends on your campaign’s ability to get enough white people to the local middle school. But the race has tightened in New Hampshire as well, and that leaves us to ponder what the week of free media is going to be like if Hillary Rodham Clinton, the consensus frontrunner, comes out of the beginning of the actual process at 0-2.

(I think cable news would be rendered a nightmare and/or a bloodbath. But I also think she’s the only candidate alive who could survive those early losses. What she would have to do to survive them—raise even more big money, get physical with the TV ads, move toward a more Bill-type—likely would alienate further the party’s activist base.)

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Millennials Prefer Sanders to Clinton


Sarah Burris | AlterNet | January 14, 2016

The latest Rock The Vote/USA Today poll outlines the political leanings of the millennial generation, 18- to 35-year-olds. If the Democratic primary were held today, Sanders has an 11-point lead over Clinton, with young voters supporting Sanders at 46 percent and Clinton at 35 percent.

A Pew Research Survey that came out early last year outlined the tipping point for the millennial generation, which eclipsed baby boomers in the number of voters. This will be the first presidential election since millennials became a political force to be reckoned with. OurTime.org, a youth empowerment organization (not to be confused with OurTime.com, the dating service), has worked since 2011 to register over 350,000 young voters during the last election using its online voter registration tool. “We’ve known from the beginning that this generation would be a powerful voting block,” Johanna Berkson, OurTime’s board chair told AlterNet. “That’s why we’ve worked to consistently engage them on the issues critical to them. And once they realize how much progress can be made when they vote for candidates who fight for these issues, they will begin to vote more consistently.”

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GOP Lawmakers: Presidential Race Won’t Set Our Agenda


Bridget Bowman | The Hill | January 14, 2015

Cruz, left, and Trump, right, are at the top of the GOP polls. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cruz, left, and Trump, right, are at the top of the GOP polls. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

BALTIMORE — As House and Senate Republicans gathered to plot policy here Thursday, they vowed not to let the divisive campaign for the presidential nomination set their agenda in Congress.

Rather than try to fashion measure that suits the crowded field of presidential contenders, GOP leaders said they plan to use the next congressional session to present Americans with their vision for the country. They hope their plan will eventually merge with the priorities of the Republican nominee and boost the party’s returns in November, delivering the White House and maintaining a Senate majority.

“Our presidential candidates are out there beating each other up at the moment, and that’s going to solve itself at some point here in the process,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters gathered at the Baltimore Marriott for their bicameral retreat.  “We’re going to do issue development and get ready for 2017.”

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Why the 2016 Election Will Be One of the Most Pivotal Moments of Our Time


The winner of the 2016 election will likely be able to nominate a number of Supreme Court justices. (photo: Tannen Maury/Landov)
The winner of the 2016 election will likely be able to nominate a number of Supreme Court justices. (photo: Tannen Maury/Landov)

 

Sean Wilentz | Rolling Stone | Reader Supported News | December 28, 2015

Every four years the political parties describe the impending presidential election as a historic event – and every once in a while it’s true

 

ore than 150 years ago, in 1858, as the national crisis over slavery heightened, Abraham Lincoln famously remarked that “a house divided against itself cannot stand,” and that the “crisis” would be “reached and passed” only when the house divided would “become all one thing or all the other.” Now, the long conflict over social equality, political democracy and American government that began during the Progressive era, followed by the New Deal and the Great Society, is reaching its inescapable conclusion. If the Republicans win the presidency in 2016, they will also almost inevitably control both the Senate and the House of Representatives, giving them virtually unfettered command over the entire federal government to go along with their domination of the great majority of the state governments. The Republican president could easily be in a position to appoint new justices to the Supreme Court for an unstoppable right-wing majority that would last for a generation to come. Bush v. Gore, Citizens United and Shelby County v. Holder (the 2013 ruling that greatly weakened the 1965 Voting Rights Act) would be merely the prelude to tilting political and social power. If, however, the Democrats win the presidency in 2016, they will almost certainly take back the Senate and make gains in the House – and the Democratic president will likely be able to appoint new justices to the Supreme Court that will eventually comprise a liberal majority. Between these two stark alternatives, there is no middle ground. In 2016, the country will become either one thing or the other.

How did we arrive at this decisive moment? Two powerful historic developments have driven American politics over the past half century. The Republican Party has been transformed by a conservative movement that has pushed it ever further to the right. The Democratic Party, stunned by the conservative counterrevolution, has struggled to reinvent itself and its politics, while facing the increasingly formidable resources of the right. These shifts are responsible for the polarization and dysfunction that have gripped American government since the 1990s. But they began in 1968.

Amid that year’s turmoil, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy crushed liberal hopes and paved the way for the election of Richard M. Nixon. Although at the time Nixon seemed to represent a moderating force inside the Republican Party, his triumph, in retrospect, set in motion what has proved to be the Republicans’ unending radicalization.

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Sanders Polling Better Against Trump Than Clinton


U.S. senator Bernie Sanders speaks to a crowd at the Phoenix Convention Center. (photo: Charlie Leight/Getty Images)
U.S. senator Bernie Sanders speaks to a crowd at the Phoenix Convention Center. (photo: Charlie Leight/Getty Images)

 

Informed Comment | Reader Supported News | December 26, 2015

Quinnipiac Poll has found that 61% of Americans say Donald Trump does not share their values, 50% would be positively embarrassed to have him as president, and that Sen. Bernie Sanders would defeat him 51% to 38%. Sec. Hillary Clinton would defeat Trump by 47% to 40% if the election were held today, according to this poll.

Data on a Quinnipiac Poll covering Donald Trump (photo: Juancole.com)

Data on a Quinnipiac Poll covering Donald Trump (photo: Juancole.com)

Wochit notes:

“According to the latest poll from Quinnipiac UniversityBernie Sanders would beat Donald Trump 51-38 in a general-election match-up, Or like Donald trump likes to taunt people he would get ‘Schlonged’ like he said about Hillary CLinton Earlier this Week. While he may be leading the GOP right now it doesnt mean much when 61 percent of Americans say the Republican frontrunner “does not share their values,”. Other polls by the University said 58 percent believe Trump “is not honest and trustworth”. But when it comes to the GOP Nod With 28 percent support, Trump Leads Texas Sen. Ted Cruz by 4 points, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio by 14 points.”

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