Lazy Saturday Reads: Serenity Now!Posted: April 16, 2016
Happy Weekend Sky Dancers!!
We just have a few more days until the New York primary is over with. I hope we all survive. Honestly, I don’t know how much more of the Bernie Sanders hype I can take.
Apparently, Bernie got to meet with the Pope in Rome after all, although there are no photos. The Associated Press reports:
U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders told The Associated Press that he met briefly with Pope Francis at the papal residence Saturday and said it was a “real honor” to call on “one of the extraordinary figures” in the world.
Sanders, in Rome for a Vatican conference on economic inequality and climate change, said the meeting took place before the pope left for Greece, where Francis was highlighting the plight of refugees.
The Vermont senator, in a race with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president, said he told the pope that he appreciated the message that Francis was sending the world about the need to inject morality and justice into the world economy. Sanders said that was a message he, too, has tried to convey.
Jeffrey Sachs must have some serious pull at the Vatican.
Sanders and his wife, Jane, stayed overnight at the pope’s residence, the Domus Santa Marta hotel in the Vatican gardens, on the same floor as the pope….Jeffrey Sachs, a Sanders foreign policy adviser, said there were no photographs taken of the meeting.
The Pope lives in a hotel? I did not know that.
Sanders said the meeting should not be viewed as the pope injecting himself into the campaign.
“The issues that I talked about yesterday at the conference, as you well know, are issues that I have been talking about not just throughout this campaign but throughout my political life,” Sanders said in the interview. “And I am just very much appreciated the fact that the pope in many ways has been raising these issues in a global way in the sense that I have been trying to raise them in the United States.”
Well, Sanders doesn’t get to decide how this is “viewed.” In my opinion, it will certainly be interpreted as the Pope “injecting himself” into a U.S. election campaign.
Sachs said the candidate and his wife met the pope in the foyer of the domus, and that the meeting lasted about five minutes. Sanders later joined his family, including some of his grandchildren, for a walking tour of St. Peter’s Basilica, one of the holiest Catholic shrines.
I expect we’ll be learning more about this as the day wears on. The meeting sounds oddly similar to the “private meeting” that Kim Davis claimed to have with Pope Francis during his visit to the U.S. last year.
In that instance, Francis “greeted” a number of people in passing as he left the Vatican Embassy in Washington DC. The Pope did not know that Davis was there.
The AP article says that Sanders “met” the pope in “the foyer of the domus” of the hotel. If Francis did actually meet and talk personally to Sanders, I think he made a big mistake. We’ll just have to wait and see what the fallout will be.
The Daily Mail provides details on Sanders’ trip to Rome, which was funded by campaign donations.
A day after Bernie Sanders claimed he ‘introduced the most comprehensive climate change legislation’ and said he would tax carbon use, the Democratic presidential candidate chartered a Delta 767 to fly him to Rome and back for less than 24 hours.
After attacking rival Hillary Clinton for her stance on fossil fuels stepped on Thursday, Sanders stepped off the plane on Friday in Rome for the Vatican conference with his wife, ten family members, a group of campaign staff, Secret Service detail and members of the press.
The total group of what is believed to be below 50, flew in a chartered Delta 767 for their trip, which can seat between 211 and 261 people, depending on the model. It is unclear if Sanders’ aircraft had flatbed seats.
A 767 aircraft carries up to 23,980 gallons of fuel, which is ‘enough to fill 1,200 minivans’, according to Boeing.
Sanders’ wife, who is Catholic and ten of Sanders’ other family members joined him for the 8,870 round-trip flight, including four of his grandchildren….
With a range of 6,408 miles on a full tank of gas, it can be calculated that a 767 like Sanders’ flying 4,435 miles from New York to Rome uses approximately 16,596 gallons of fuel. The round-trip flight will use approximately 33,193 gallons.
On average, an American flies only 7,500 miles per year, according to AmericanForests.org, 1,360 fewer miles than Sanders’ round-trip Rome travel. Thus, an average American releases less carbon emissions via aircraft each year than Sanders did in 24 hours.
Yesterday, while Sanders flew to Rome on a chartered plane and spent a night at the Pope’s residence, Hillary Clinton visited a public housing building for elderly people in Harlem. New York Daily News:
Clinton traveled to East 116th Street in Harlem for a tour of the Corsi Houses, a seniors-only New York City Housing Authority building that has struggled with mold, leaks and an inadequate repair system.
“I wanted to come here to really make a very strong plea that we do more when I am president to help the people who live in developments like this,” Clinton said.
She was given access to an apartment on the second floor that was in the midst of a major repair job to fix mold issues and leaks….
“I will do everything I can as your president to remember what needs to be done here in the city that I love, that is the greatest city in the world,” she said to cheers from the crowd.
To fix NYCHA, which has suffered for years from federal disinvestment, she said she would boost funding for the section 8 program, invest $125 billion to help struggling communities like the South Bronx, and expand Low Income Housing Tax Credits to curb rental costs.
“I will fight for you,” she said.
Clinton also hobnobbed with residents and guests, at one point joining in a game of dominoes in the rec room.
In other strange Bernie Sanders news, actress Sharon Stone hypothesizes that Bernie has done a lot of acid. NY Daily News:
Outspoken actress Sharon Stone recently told The Hollywood Reporter she worries the presidential candidate, 74, dabbled in psychedelic drugs during his younger years.
“He didn’t really work until he was 40, so I wonder, like, how much acid has this guy taken?” the “Basic Instinct” star told the magazine.
“I really do (wonder), that’s not a joke. We were so aggressive asking people, ‘Did you smoke pot?’ But in reality, how much acid has Bernie Sanders taken?” she asked again.
“There’s a certain edge to his personality and way about his behavior that makes me wonder, ‘How much LSD have you taken?'” she asked a third time during the recent interview.
Weird. IMHO, if Bernie had taken some acid trips he might not be so grumpy and negative today.
Bernie and Jane have finally released their full tax returns (except for the list of charities) from 2014. They say they will also release the 2015 return once it is filed. No word on the rest of the promised returns going back to 2007. David Cay Johnston at The National Memo:
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders released nearly all of his and wife Jane Sanders’ 2014 tax return Friday night, but that disclosure still remains far from his wife’s promise to release returns for the last eight years — raising more questions about the candidate’s judgment and his wife’s claims.
As expected there was nothing startling in the schedules, but the failure to fulfill their promise to release returns back to 2007 — when Sanders was first elected to the U.S. Senator from Vermont — erodes the likelihood that other Presidential candidates this cycle and in the future will release their own full returns.A key detail withheld by Sanders until Friday night prompts yet another question: The senator and his wife have both said on national television that Jane Sanders prepares the couple’s returns using TurboTax software. But a schedule that had been withheld until now shows $204 in tax preparation fees.
The most expensive version of TurboTax sold currently — a higher grade product than needed to prepare the couple’s returns, costs $109.99 That price includes both an online download and a compact disc. And that is the price charged by Intuit, the manufacturer, with retailers offering discounts pricing the top product at under $100.
Hmmm . . . maybe Jane got a fee for filling out the forms?
While Bernie was out of the country, his supporters picketed a fund-raiser hosted by Amal and George Clooney for Democratic candidates in San Francisco, where they chanted, “Hey hey, ho ho, Hillary Clinton has got to go.” Very classy. ABC News describes the bizarre scene:
Clinton and her aides arrived at the home of venture capitalist and Democratic donor Shervin Pishevar around 6:30 p.m. for the fundraiser, which kicked off at 7 p.m. Tickets to the event cost roughly $30,000 per person or $350,000 per table. (This is the first of two Clooney-hosted fundraisers this weekend. On Saturday night, the Clooneys are hosting another fundraiser, at his home in Los Angeles.)
The San Francisco street where the home is located was blocked off by police, but the protesters gathered at the top of the hill and then marched around the block.
Holding signs that read “Hillary: You can’t sit with us unless you have money” and “$353,000 for Dinner? And you thought SF home prices are high,” while banging pots and pans, protesters were vocal about Clinton’s ties to big money.
“Hey, hey, ho ho, Hillary Clinton has got to go!” the crowd, many of whom appeared to be in their twenties and thirties yelled out. “Bernie or Bust!”
It’s difficult to fathom why these people oppose raising money for Democrats running for Congress. Wouldn’t a President Bernie Sanders need Democrats in the House and Senate? The ways of Bernie supporters are very mysterious.
That’s all I have for you today. I didn’t even look at the Republican side of the campaign. It’s all just too crazy for me today. And now I plan to try to regain some kind of serenity before the big showdown arrives on Tuesday.
What stories are you following?