Following Hillary’s thrashing of Bernie in New York, the media is finally waking up to the fact that she is just about guaranteed to be the Democratic presidential nominee and most likely will become President of the U.S. next January.
What shock for the poor pundits! How did this happen while they were so busy ooohing and ahhing over Bernie’s giant rallies and the “enthusiasm” of all those white millennials for his shouting and finger-wagging? Why didn’t all the crowds, the $27 “grass roots” donations, the yard signs, and on-line bullying turn into votes for “the Bern?”
Until Tuesday night, I had assumed that my neighborhood, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, was overwhelmingly supporting Bernie Sanders. Sanders bumper stickers and T-shirts outnumbered those for Hillary Clinton by what seemed like 20 to 1. A couple of times, I thought about putting my baby daughter in a Clinton onesie—whatever my hesitations about Clinton’s candidacy, I love the idea of my girl’s first image of an American president being female. But I always hesitated, not wanting to invite playground harangues from local dads about Goldman Sachs and the Fed.
When I looked up Cobble Hill on the nifty New York Times tool providing neighborhood-by-neighborhood results, however, it turned out that Clinton won the immediate area around my apartment by 59.4 percent. A block over, she won by 72.5 percent. She won all around me. A lot of Clinton supporters, evidently, have been keeping quiet about their allegiances.
There are a couple of explanations for this. Sanders fans seem to be more enthusiastic, though it takes a certain amount of enthusiasm to vote in a primary at all. Registered independents couldn’t vote in New York’s closed primary, particularly given the absurd, undemocratic October deadline for switching parties. But I think there might be something else at work as well: an optical illusion that the candidate with the most white male support had the most support, period. I had let myself mistake the loudest people for The People.
I’m not trying to deny that the Sanders coalition is diverse or to erase the many passionate women and men of color who supported him. But the fact remains that according to exit polls, Clinton won every racial and gender demographic except white men. And somehow, I’d become convinced that, in my own backyard, their preferences were far more widespread than they really are.
Brooklyn is full of a certain kind of archetypal Sanders voter—young, hip, highly educated, and ideological. But in Brooklyn as a whole, Hillary Clinton beat native son Bernie Sanders by 20 percent. The borough was with her, even if it didn’t always feel like it.
It’s not that Clinton voters aren’t enthusiastic, it’s just that they aren’t as loud and obnoxious at Bernie supporters. And of course, they voted. How many people at Bernie’s huge rallies were from out of state or not registered as Democrats? Probably plenty.
A few days before Bernie Sanders lost badly in the New York primary, 27,000 souls filled Washington Square Park, many wildly cheering him on. The political media consensus interpreted the scene as evidence of surging support for the senator from Vermont….
The numbers at Washington Square were dwarfed by the battalions of working-class New Yorkers juggling two children and three jobs. These mostly Clinton voters were unable to attend any rally.
This last group is the subject here. It is the silent liberal majority.
Richard Nixon popularized the term “silent majority” in 1969. He was referring to the Middle Americans appalled by the Vietnam-era protests and associated social chaos. They didn’t demonstrate, and the so-called media elite ignored them.
Today’s liberal version of the silent majority is heavy with minorities and older people. Its members tend to be more socially conservative than those on the hard left and believe President Obama is a good leader.
Harrop points out that many reporters fall into the Sanders demographics.
Many political reporters belong to the white gentry that has fueled the Sanders phenomenon. Nothing wrong with that, as long as they know where they’re coming from. But some don’t seem to know about the vast galaxies of Democratic voters beyond the university and hipster ZIP codes.
In so many races — including those of the other party — reporters confine themselves to carefully staged political events and a few interviews with conveniently placed participants. From the atmospherics, they deduce the level of support for a particular candidate.
As our country heads toward the second half of the primary season as well as the general election, the national media is doing its best to gauge the level of excitement for each of the remaining five campaigns. From rallies to political donations to online polling, our friends in the media are attempting to quantify the unquantifiable level of excitement that each campaign is generating. By using this immeasurable measure, the media feels it can then interpret its result to create an overall narrative for how each campaign is doing. Clearly the campaign with most excitement is the one where the people are excited for their candidate and are going to go all out for him and her. This campaign will be the one with all the momentum moving forward while those campaigns with less excitement are likely to fall flat as we approach the conventions.
But let us take a moment to examine this theory, particular with the Democratic primary. Based on all the metrics listed above, it should be clear that Bernie Sanders is the candidate whose campaign is engulfed in enthusiasm. His rabid army of supporters have flocked to his rallies, producing crowds of upwards of 30,000 people, causing many venues to overflow. He raised nearly $44 million last month and now has amassed over 6 million contributions and growing. His loyal followers frequent online polls and exuberantly declare Sanders the winner of each and every Democratic debate or town hall performance….All this combined with victories in five out of the last six states and it would appear that the enthusiasm and momentum are clearly on the side of Bernie Sanders.
Especially when you compare his campaign to that of Hillary Clinton. Clinton’s rallies are never raucous, overflowing events. In fact, her most recent rally was held at the Apollo Theater, a venue that seats a mere 1,500 people. Clinton raised $13 million less than Bernie Sanders last month and she only recently amassed her one-millionth campaign contribution in mid-March. She often loses online polls by 60+ points after debates regardless of how well either her supporters or the media say she fared. Her national lead in the polls has all but vanished and after having won five consecutive primaries on March 15th, she has only won a single one since. Based on all this, there would appear to be a distinct lack of enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton’s campaign at this point in time.
But appearances can be deceiving, especially appearances falsely created by our mainstream media.
Read the rest at the link.
On Tuesday night, Sanders abandoned his campaign press corps in Pennsylvania and flew back to Burlington, Vermont to rest and reassess his situation. MSNBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald asks “Where does Sanders go from here?”
With the Democratic presidential nomination now further out of reach after his drubbing in New York on Tuesday, the Vermont senator faces the difficult question about what comes next. Does he set a do-whatever-it-takes course to wrest the nomination from rival Hillary Clinton? Or does he return to the message campaign, as his long-shot White House bid started out to be?
The Sanders campaign poured itself into New York, throwing a hail mary pass to try to change the delegate math while they could. They spent $5.6 million (twice what Hillary Clinton did), made 3 million phone calls in the final weekend alone, and organized the biggest rallies of a campaign defined by big rallies.
But in the end Sanders came up short – not just of winning, but of the delegate target allies had aimed to hit, which might set them up for a path through California, the campaign’s final hope.
Now, with the nomination even further out of reach, Sanders faces the difficult question about what comes next. Does he set a do-whatever-it-takes course to actually win the Democratic nomination? Or does he return to the message campaign his long-shot White House bid was originally seen as?
Seitz-Wald talked to people at Democracy For America and Move On, which support Bernie; and although they don’t explicitly say so, their representatives apparently were not happy with Sanders’ focus on attacking Clinton and complaining about the election process. Read all about it at the link. It’s an interesting article.
At The New York Times, Lara M. Brown, a political science professor at George Washington University, says that Bernie Sanders should drop out because he has already achieved his purpose of pushing the Democratic Party to the left and helped Clinton become a better candidate because of the competition.
We’ll probably see more of these kinds of reevaluations by journalists over the next couple of days. It should be interesting to see whether the messages coming out of the Sanders campaign will be modified.
It’s already clear that there’s a difference of opinion between campaign manager Jeff Weaver and senior adviser Tad Devine about going to the convention and trying to flip superdelegates. Sanders himself has suddenly announced that he will remain a Democrat for life. What brought that on? It should be an interesting day in politics.
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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.
Domus Santa Marta
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.
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.
Bernie and Jane Sanders disembark from chartered Delta 767 in Rome.
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.
Hillary Clinton tours public housing building in Harlem yesterday.
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.
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?
Bernie bros protest high dollar fund-raiser for down-ticket Democrats in San Francisco
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:
Approximately 100 Bernie Sanders supporters demonstrated outside of a George and Amal Clooney-hosted Hillary Clintonfundraiser Friday night in San Francisco’s upscale Nob Hill neighborhood.
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.
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Well, I’ve just about had it with the 2016 primary season. I’m thankful that the most no nonsense city in the country and the diversity it represents is voting next. It’s possible that both Democratic and Republican Primaries will be settled by the City that Never Sleeps and the rest of the Empire State. Bernie will continue to be hopelessly behind. Trump will inch closer to the magic number. The Atlantic seaboard will not be Cruz-friendly.
Also, count me as a yuggggge donor to whatever authentic Democrat primaries his damn ass for his Senate seat next time up. I’ve had it with him. His misinformed cult needs to quit defending him when he’s being indefensible.
From the beginning, many and probably most liberal policy wonks were skeptical about Bernie Sanders. On many major issues — including the signature issues of his campaign, especially financial reform — he seemed to go for easy slogans over hard thinking. And his political theory of change, his waving away of limits, seemed utterly unrealistic.
Some Sanders supporters responded angrily when these concerns were raised, immediately accusing anyone expressing doubts about their hero of being corrupt if not actually criminal. But intolerance and cultishness from some of a candidate’s supporters are one thing; what about the candidate himself?
Unfortunately, in the past few days the answer has become all too clear: Mr. Sanders is starting to sound like his worst followers. Bernie is becoming a Bernie Bro.
Let me illustrate the point about issues by talking about bank reform.
The easy slogan here is “Break up the big banks.” It’s obvious why this slogan is appealing from a political point of view: Wall Street supplies an excellent cast of villains. But were big banks really at the heart of the financial crisis, and would breaking them up protect us from future crises?
Many analysts concluded years ago that the answers to both questions were no. Predatory lending was largely carried out by smaller, non-Wall Street institutions like Countrywide Financial; the crisis itself was centered not on big banks but on “shadow banks” like Lehman Brothers that weren’t necessarily that big. And the financial reform that President Obama signed in 2010 made a real effort to address these problems. It could and should be made stronger, but pounding the table about big banks misses the point.
Yet going on about big banks is pretty much all Mr. Sanders has done. On the rare occasions on which he was asked for more detail, he didn’t seem to have anything more to offer. And this absence of substance beyond the slogans seems to be true of his positions across the board.
You could argue that policy details are unimportant as long as a politician has the right values and character. As it happens, I don’t agree. For one thing, a politician’s policy specifics are often a very important clue to his or her true character — I warned about George W. Bush’s mendacity back when most journalists were still portraying him as a bluff, honest fellow, because I actually looked at his tax proposals. For another, I consider a commitment to facing hard choices as opposed to taking the easy way out an important value in itself.
But in any case, the way Mr. Sanders is now campaigning raises serious character and values issues.
Sanders continued to blame Clinton for going on the attack and said he has simply been defending himself. And while he expressed regret for the tenor of the campaign over the previous 24 hours and said the acrimony will make it harder for Democrats to unite in the fall, he also said he does not regret his own statements.
“When somebody says that I am unqualified to be president and gives her reasoning,” Sanders said, “I think it is totally appropriate for me to respond as to why I think she may not be qualified as well. And that has to do with her views and her actions on a number of the major issues facing this country, and the way she’s run this campaign in terms of how she’s raised her money.”
Clinton had raised questions in a television interview about whether Sanders was prepared to be president, but she repeatedly stopped short of saying he was unqualified.
Some Democrats are worried about potentially longer-term fallout of an increasingly personal conflict between Sanders and Clinton. Most of those Democrats are Clinton supporters who view her eventual nomination as inevitable despite the drawn-out nomination battle with Sanders. And most blame him for the ugliness.
This is typical Bernie. He never absorbs new information that I can tell. Once he’s mind is made up on something–correct or incorrect–he appears to shut down. How on earth can anyone think that some one with that much of a closed, nonadaptive mind can be in an executive position where quick thinking on new information means life or death for large swaths of people at many points in time?
He’s totally uniformed about Banking and about Trade and those are his two signature issues. They’re his only freaking talking points and he sees no daylight between reality and the dark penances that reside only in his brain. Break up all big banks! Shutdown all trade agreements!
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has been invited to the Vatican on how to create “a moral economy,” he announced Friday morning.
“I was moved by the invitation, which was just made public today,” Sanders said during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I’m a big, big fan of the Pope. Obviously there are areas where we disagree on—women’s rights or gay rights—but he has played an unbelievable role, an unbelievable role of injecting a moral consequence into the economy.”
The Washington Post reported Sanders will head to Rome after his debate against Hillary Clinton on April 14. He is scheduled to speak at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.
If you think Sanders is radical, read Pope Francis on poverty, Sanders said.
“He’s trying to inject a sense of morality into how we do economics,” he said.
A senior Vatican official accused Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders of showing a “monumental discourtesy” in his lobbying for an invitation to a church-sponsored conference on economic and environmental issues for political purposes.
Sanders, whose foreign policy experience is under attack by rival Hillary Clinton, on Friday said he was “very excited” about being invited to the meeting hosted by a pontifical academy. It will put him at the seat of the Roman Catholic Church just four days before the New York primary.
The head of the academy said Friday that Sanders sought the invitation and that put an inappropriate political cast on the gathering.
“Sanders made the first move, for the obvious reasons,” Margaret Archer, president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, which is hosting the conference Sanders will attend, said in a telephone interview. “I think in a sense he may be going for the Catholic vote but this is not the Catholic vote and he should remember that and act accordingly — not that he will.”
Sanders’s travel to the Vatican following a debate with Clinton and just before the primary potentially injects into the Democratic nominating contest the agenda of Pope Francis, one of the most popular world leaders whose papacy is especially admired by the political progressives who play an outsized role in Democratic primaries. Archer’s response plays into criticism by Clinton of Sanders’s inexperience in diplomacy and dealing with foreign institutions, a central role of the U.S. president.
So, Bernie is now going to be an unwanted house guest who horned himself into an invitation. Not only will he be an unwanted house guest, he’ll be one that demanded a chance to finger wag at the world. Basically, the #Vatican now says #Bernie invited himself while Sanders says he was invited. They also characterized him as rude.
“Sanders cast a political shadow over a nonpolitical event by being pushy in requesting an invitation”
Only a huge ego with an overwhelming amount of gall can explain this kind of rude, ill-mannered and inconsiderate behavior. Who said that Trump was the only egomaniac in the race.
In a prolonged exchange Thursday afternoon, former President Bill Clinton forcefully defended his 1994 crime bill to Black Lives Matter protesters in the crowd at a Hillary Clinton campaign event.
He said the bill lowered the country’s crime rate, which benefited African-Americans, achieved bipartisan support, and diversified the police force. He then addressed a protester’s sign, saying:
“I don’t know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-old kids hopped up on crack and sent them out onto the street to murder other African-American children,” Clinton said, addressing a protester who appeared to interrupt him repeatedly. “Maybe you thought they were good citizens …. You are defending the people who kill the lives you say matter. Tell the truth. You are defending the people who cause young people to go out and take guns.”
After a protester interrupted him repeatedly, Bill Clinton began to take on that critique directly, making the claim that his crime bill was being given a bad rap.
“Here’s what happened,” Clinton said. “Let’s just tell the whole story.”
“I had an assault weapons ban in it [the crime bill]. I had money for inner-city kids, for out of school activities. We had 110,000 police officers so we could keep people on the street, not in these military vehicles, and the police would look like the people they were policing. We did all that. And [Joe] Biden [then senator and chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee] said, you can’t pass this bill, the Republicans will kill it, if you don’t put more sentencing in it.”
“I talked to a lot of African-American groups,” Clinton continued. “They thought black lives matter. They said take this bill, because our kids are being shot in the street by gangs. We have 13-year-old kids planning their own funerals.”
Throughout the spirited defense of his policy, Clinton continued to be interrupted, and he repeatedly seemed to single out one protester.
“She doesn’t wanna hear any of that,” Clinton said to the protester. “You know what else she doesn’t want to hear? Because of that bill, we have a 25-year low in crime, a 33-year low in murder rate. And because of that and the background check law, we had a 46-year low in the deaths of people by gun violence, and who do you think those lives were? That mattered? Whose lives were saved that mattered?”
For several minutes, the discussion of the crime bill, Clinton’s exchange with the protester and the crowd’s attempts to yell and chant over her were missing one thing: any mention of Hillary Clinton, the one Clinton running for president this election cycle.
Bill Clinton did finally address her. “Hillary didn’t vote for that bill, because she wasn’t in the Senate,” Clinton said. “She was spending her time trying to get health care for poor kids [referencing her advocacy for the Children’s Health Insurance Program]. Who were they? And their lives mattered. And her opponent [Bernie Sanders] did vote for it. But I don’t blame him either … There were enough Republicans in the Senate to kill this bill, and nobody wanted it to die. That’s what happened.”
“But she [Hillary Clinton] was the first candidate, the first one to say let’s get these people who did nonviolent offenses out of prison,” Clinton continued. “And guess what? A lot of Republicans agreed. They know they made a mistake.”
Still, Clinton continued for some time defending his own administration. Twitter blew up over the situation and it will undoubtedly be a topic of conversation for a few days.
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders on Monday agreed to face off in a prime-time debate in Brooklyn, New York, on April 14, five days before the state’s crucial primary.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer will host the presidential forum, scheduled for 9 to 11 p.m. Eastern time at the Duggal Greenhouse in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The event will be CNN’s seventh time hosting a Republican or Democratic debate during this election cycle. The agreement put to rest days of public and private back-and-forth between the two campaigns about if and when a debate would take place before New Yorkers head to the polls April 19.
I promise I will have a huge Bronx Cheer for Bernie. I’m looking forward to him being hit on his undying love for gun manufacturers and his lack of knowledge on the actual workings of Dodd-Frank. Please New York! Send this man back to the most obscure part of Vermont possible. Join us!!!
Bernie Sanders sure turned out to be a nasty piece of work. His campaign has devolved into non-stop character attacks on Hillary Clinton, jabs at President Obama, and endless whining about supposed unfair treatment by the media and the Democratic Party.
The latest is Sanders’ outright false claim that the the Clinton campaign has received millions in donations from “the fossil fuel industry.” He may have finally gone too far for the media to keep shielding him.
This time, instead of turning the other cheek, Hillary hit back when a Greenpeace organizer asked her a question based on Sanders’ lies. I’m sure you’ve seen the video of Hillary saying she’s “sick of it.”
The video of Hillary saying, “I am so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me. I’m sick of it,” is embedded in news stories and is being played all over cable news and the internet. While we take absolutely no issue with the activist’s right to ask the question, we see this as an important inflection point in the 2016 campaign.
There are two ways the story is being covered. In some places, the video (or just Hillary’s quote) is being shared with little commentary beyond some description of her being angry, usually accompanied by the note that she “jabbed” her finger. This coverage treats the fact of Hillary’s demonstrable anger as the entire story.
And, in the sense that Hillary has been pressured to conceal her emotion—indeed her very humanity—by a media and commentariat who have, for decades, unscrupulously policed her every expression and every turn of phrase, the fact that she refused to abide the unwinnable rules they’ve set for her, is newsworthy all on its own.
But, of course, that is not the real story.
Other media outlets, more responsible ones, are using the incident to actually research and report on Hillary’s statement that Bernie, his staff, his surrogates, and his supporters have lied about her. Repeatedly.
These journalists are digging into the numbers, and finding that, in fact, the insinuation that she has accepted money from the “fossil fuel industry” (or any other industry for that matter) has no justification. It is a smear by innuendo.
Monica Bellucci in Dolce & Gabbana Photography by Signe Vilstrup Harper’s Bazaar Ukraine
There have been a number of stories about this, some of which McEwan cites in her post.
Who’s right in the Democratic spat over oil-industry contributions? A lot depends on what is counted –and how it is counted. Clinton made a strong accusation that the Sanders campaign is “lying” about the issue. Let’s see whether the Sanders campaign’s math hold up.
This all started when a Greenpeace activist approached Clinton on a rope line to ask her to “reject fossil-fuel money in the future” in her campaign. As a matter of law, campaigns are prohibited from taking money directly from corporations, though the Clinton campaign has not received money from oil-industry PACs either.
As Clinton noted in her angry response, she does get money from people who work at oil companies. (These calculations involve people who contribute at least $200 and provide an occupation or employer.) According to the Center for Responsive Politics, as of March 21, the Clinton campaign has received nearly $308,000 for individuals in the oil and gas industry. The Sanders campaign has received nearly $54,000.
In you include contributions from outside groups supporting a candidate, Clinton’s total increases slightly to $333,000, compared to Sanders’ $54,000. Compared to Republicans, Democrats have received just a pittance from the fossil-fuel industry: 2.3 percent of oil and gas contributions in this election cycle. That should be no surprise, given that both Clinton and Sanders have been critical of the oil and gas industry — and have targeted it for higher taxes or reduced loopholes.
Painting by Meghan Howland
You can read more details at the WaPo link, but the conclusion is:
The Sanders campaign is exaggerating the contributions that Clinton has received from the oil and gas industry. In the context of her overall campaign, the contributions are hardly significant. It’s especially misleading to count all of the funds raised by lobbyists with multiple clients as money “given” by the fossil-fuel industry.
That was before the fact checker article came out. But the Clinton campaign said they weren’t about to apologize for calling out Sanders’ lies.
Sanders was also upset that Clinton criticized him for dismissing reproductive rights as a side issue when compared to income inequality, the minimum wage, and his other preferred (in an interview with Rachel Maddow). So in a speech in Wisconsin yesterday, he claimed to be listening to women.
Sanders says his campaign is listening to women. Green Bay crowd cheers. Sanders adds: "Hard not to listen to women they are very loud."
Whoops! This man is no feminist folks, no matter what he and his supporters think.
For Frida, by Sheri Howe
The Wisconsin primary is on Tuesday, and tonight both Democratic candidates will speak at the Democratic Founders Day Dinner in Milwaukee tonight at 7PM. I wonder if there will be fireworks? C-Span is going to live stream it, and maybe other cable networks will too. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that early voting in the state has been heavy.
Of course the big prize will be the New York primary on April 19. Remember when Bernie’s campaign claimed that Hillary was refusing to debate him in New York? It turns out he’s the one dodging a debate there.
Sanders’ campaign has been publicly challenging Clinton to agree to a debate in New York ahead of the state’s primary, which both candidates are eager to win as they compete for the Democratic nomination. According to Fallon, in the past week, the Clinton campaign offered the night of April 4, the night of April 14 and the morning of April 15 as potential dates to meet for a debate.
Past debates this cycle have been nighttime events, but Fallon said the morning option was offered after Sanders agreed to debate on that day on Good Morning America.
“That, too, was rejected,” Fallon said.
The night of April 14 and the morning of April 15 are still on the table.
“The Sanders campaign needs to stop using the New York primary as a playground for political games and negative attacks against Hillary Clinton,” Fallon said. “The voters of New York deserve better. Senator Sanders and his team should stop the delays and accept a debate on April 14 or the morning of April 15th.”
Little Green Bee Eaters of Upper Egypt, by Sushila Burgess
The Sanders campaign rejected the April 4th date because of competition from the NCAA basketball championship, but
In a tweet Saturday, Fallon said the Clinton campaign had “offered a time” that ensured the debate would end “before tipoff.”
Does Bernie want to debate or not? It’s not clear. If he does, Hillary will come out on top, so maybe he’s afraid.
Clinton has pointed to her advocacy for groundbreaking medical research, from her push for more dollars as a New York senator for the National Institutes of Health to her long support for stem cell research that could eventually lead to regenerative medicine.
Sanders, a Vermont senator, has supported stem cell research in the Senate. But advocates within the scientific community cite his voting record in the early 2000s in the House when he repeatedly supported a ban on all forms of human cloning, including one called therapeutic cloning intended to create customized cells to treat disease.
“We were looking for signs that he is going to be a supporter of what science and technology can do and I think everyone in the country ought to be worried about that,” said Dr. Harold Varmus, the Nobel Prize-winning former NIH director under President Bill Clinton.
“I am quite concerned about his stance on these issues,” Varmus said. “This is a litmus test. It was 10 years ago — it’s still a test that he failed in the view of many of us….”
While serving in the House, Sanders voted to ban therapeutic cloning in 2001, 2003 and 2005 as Congress grappled with the ethics of biotechnology and scientific advances. Patient advocacy groups note that Sanders co-sponsored bans in 2003 and 2005 that included criminal penalties for conducting the research and opposed alternatives that would have allowed the cloning of embryos solely for medical research.
Clinton, meanwhile, co-sponsored legislation in 2001 and 2002 in the Senate that would have expanded stem cell research and co-sponsored a bill in 2005 that would have banned human cloning while protecting the right of scientists to conduct stem cell research.
Sanders said following a vote in 2001 that he had “very serious concerns about the long-term goals of an increasingly powerful and profit-motivated biotechnology industry.” In a later vote, he warned of the dangers of “owners of technology” who are “primarily interested in how much money they can make rather than the betterment of society.”
Oil painting by Indian artist Ilayaraja
For Sanders, it’s always about corporations not people. And guess who was on Bernie’s side on this issue?
“Sanders and (then Republican House Majority Leader Tom) DeLay…were just unyielding and they were part of the religious right’s attempt to shut down this whole critical new frontier of therapy for chronic disease,” said Robert Klein, chairman of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
“It’s fine to say you’re for stem cell research but you vote against it and you vote against all therapeutic application, it doesn’t mean anything to say you’re for it,” Klein said. “Fine, he votes for it years later when it’s more popular and the pressure is off. We needed leadership then.”
Bernie did say in his Young Turks interview that “I’m not that big into being a “leader”… I’d much rather prefer to see a lot of leaders and a lot of grassroots activism.” Well, the President of the United States has to be a leader. He or she can’t just respond to the dictates of the “grassroots.”
Finally, here’s a good piece at The Atlantic on why voting for Hillary isn’t just about her being a woman.
At a February rally for Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire, actress Emily Ratajkowski said just that when explaining her support for the Vermont senator: “I want my first female president to be more than a symbol. I want her to have politics that can revolutionize.” In a piece by my colleague Molly Ball, one woman interviewed about Sanders took this position one step further, saying Sanders is “‘more pro-woman’ than Clinton.” And in a recent Politico article, Molly Roberts lamented that, for Millennials, Clinton’s gender is “simply not enough to make her a groundbreaker.” ….
But are Millennials really being asked to support Clinton for no reason other than to shatter the glass ceiling? Unfortunately, because that message has been repeatedly linked to Clinton’s campaign—yet never directly espoused by it—its noise obscures the deeper reasons that young women should support Clinton. It’s not just that she’s a woman; it’s that she has fought for women her whole career.
For decades, Clinton has prioritized bills and policies promoting reproductive rights, equal pay, and family leave—far more so than Sanders. This is not to say that Sanders has not supported such legislation or practices. The key difference is that, for him, they simply haven’t been as much of a priority.
Read the rest at the link.
What stories are you following today? Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread and have a great weekend!
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Today should be a big day for Bernie Sanders supporters. Get ready to hear about how Sanders now has the “momentum.” There are caucuses today in Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington, and he could win all three. There hasn’t been much polling so we still don’t know for sure; but most likely Sanders will cut into Clinton’s pledged delegate lead after today, possible by as much as 50 delegates, according to Al Giordano.
Anthony Pignataro, editor of Maui Time Weekly(and one-time mentor to this reporter, who cut her teeth at said publication), says Maui’s strong progressive community, which packed the house at Maui Plantation to see Sanders’ wife, Jane, speak, in recent years has had enough of a voice to get voters to sign off on a GMO ban, but he’s not sure the same can be said for Sanders. Speaking of teeth, we have teeth whitening products along with Teeth whitening tips.
“He’s definitely riding the same wave of supporters who fueled a recent ballot measure that attempted to ban GMO cultivation in the county (though successful at the ballot box, the measure was later thrown out by the courts),” Pignataro said in an email. “At the same time, though, Clinton is generally favored to win the state.”
He said while there’s no real polling being done, (Hawaii is not exactly a high stakes state), but UH Political Science professor Colin Moore, who “makes the rounds” at election time and correctly forecast Trump’s win in the states caucus, has predicted a win for Clinton.
We’ll probably have to wait until tomorrow to find out, since it’s 6 hours earlier in Hawaii than on the East Coast.
Here’s another take on today’s contests from CNN’s Chris Moody:
Democrats will hold presidential contests in Hawaii, Alaska and Washington state on Saturday, three states expected to be friendlier to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders than former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
But with Clinton leading Sanders by more than 300 pledged delegates, and because none of the contests are winner-take-all, Sanders needs stunning wins in each state to give the Clinton campaign any real anxiety about the outcome of the race.
In the run-up to the votes, Sanders has left nothing to chance. His campaign has spent millions on ads in Washington, Alaska and Hawaii, including a powerful television spot featuring Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who resigned her position with the Democratic National Committee earlier this year to endorse Sanders.
Going into Saturday’s contests, Sanders needs to net an estimated 75% of the remaining delegates, while Clinton only needs 35%.
Read what Moody thinks we should watch for at the link.
Anyway, if today goes very well for Bernie, Hillary’s lead could fall a bit below 300 delegates. Then there will be a break in the primary schedule until April 5 when Wisconsin holds its primary. The two candidates are close in the polls there, and Bernie thinks he could win the state. On April 9, Sanders will most likely win the Wyoming caucus.
Bernie supporters will be in ecstasy until the New York primary on April 19. New York will go big for Hillary. Then there there will be another break until Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island vote on April 26. Each of those states looks very good for Hillary, although I don’t think there’s been much polling in tiny Rhode Island.
Basically, there’s close to zero chance that Sanders will catch up to Clinton, but I still expect him to stay in until the convention. It’s really unfair to many of his young followers, because he’s taking money from them knowing he can’t win the nomination.
Meanwhile, the Hillary hate on blogs and social media is getting more unhinged than ever before. It’s hard to know how much worse it can get, but I expect it will get worse.
Bernie supporters are claiming election fraud in every state that Hillary has won, except possibly the Deep South states that they call “the Confederacy.”
Mr. Craig stated to me that knows a a senior employee who works for Priorities USA Action (“Priorities USA”), a Hillary Super Pac. In late February, after Craig casually mentioned to her that Ryan Hughes was running the Sanders’ campaign, that person told him Hughes was receiving direct payments from Priorities USA, all while Ryan Hughes worked as the Sanders’ campaign’s state director for Michigan, along with several other paid Sanders’ Michigan staffers….
Priotities USA Action is a Super Pac, to which unlimited contributions may be made, that supports one candidate in this election cycle: Hillary Clinton. As noted in my post yesterday about Mayor Weaver of Flint MI endorsement of Hillary, thetop donors to Priorities USA Action include many of Hillary’s wealthiest and most prominent supporters, including billionaires such as the J.B Pritzker and his wife, George Soros, James Simon (hedge fund manager worth over $15 Billion), Steven Spielberg, and many other wealthy individuals in the finance and entertainment industries.
Does that make any sense? Not to me. Why would a superpac that supports Hillary waste money on paying Bernie’s employees to sabatage him? If it happened, why are these people still working for Bernie’s campaign? Furthermore, Priorities USA has to report all expenditures to the FEC, and there were no such payments. From the managing editor of Crooks and Liars:
Let me offer a clue on conspiracy theories. This post is BS. https://t.co/ycT2O8q3EE I checked everyone, even consultants. ZERO PAYMENTS
Even though Sanders came up short in Arizona, where his campaign invested most heavily, the Vermont senator ended up netting 17 delegates over Clinton Tuesday, thanks to lopsided wins in the Idaho and Utah caucuses.
He ended up taking away a tidy 57 percent of the pledged delegates up for grabs that day. And as it happens, 58 is the percentage of outstanding pledged delegates Sanders needs to win from now on in order to finish the primary calendar with more pledged delegates than Hillary Clinton, according to an NBC News analysis.
On Saturday, Sanders is hoping to win an even larger portion of the delegates in Washington state, which holds the largest caucus of the entire year, with 101 delegates at stake. Alaska and Hawaii will also hold caucuses, which Sanders also hopes to win Saturday.
Tad Devine and Jeff Weaver
Seitz-Wald says the Sanders Campaign admits this is a “tall order.”
But it’s at least doable. “We’re trying to win more pledged delegates by the end,” Sanders senior strategist Tad Devine told MSNBC Friday. “If we can demonstrate that he is the strongest candidate by defeating her in these states, a lot of superdelegates are going to take a step back and say, ‘What’s the right thing to do?’ And that’s when we will try to persuade them.”
Good luck with that after Bernie has repeatedly attacked President Obama and the DNC and after he admitted he only ran as a Democrat so he could get media attention and raise money.
And then there’s the Sanders campaign’s attack on Hillary Clinton, Amal Clooney, and George Clooney for holding a fundraiser from which most of the money collected will go to downticket Democrats.
“In the movie Oceans 11, a gang of lovable thieves successfully heist $150 million from a vault in the basement of the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas,” Sanders’s campaign manager Jeff Weaver said in an email to supporters.
“Fueled primarily from high-dollar donations, Hillary Clinton has raised more than that in this campaign, and is now enlisting the support of George Clooney (Danny Ocean) to pad that total at a dinner event that will cost people up to $353,400 to attend.”
Weaver added that the price of admission an “obscene amount of money.”
“It’s a sum that would require an employee making the federal minimum wage to work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for more than 5 years,” he said.
Weaver included a fundraising pitch, saying that the Sanders campaign was relying on small donations from “working Americans.”
Amal and George Clooney
Again, the Clooney fundraiser is to support Democrats, not just Hillary Clinton. Apparently raising money for Democrats running for the House and Senate is problematic for Bernie, which explains why he hasn’t been raising money for them. Hillary has been doing it all along.
“If I can’t make it — and we’re going to try as hard as we can until the last vote is cast — we want to completely revitalize the Democratic Party and make it a party of the people rather than one of large campaign contributors,” Sanders said in an interview on the progressive Web show “The Young Turks.”
Sanders also listed policy demands he would make of Clinton, including a single-payer health care system, a $15 an hour minimum wage, tougher regulation of the finance industry, closing corporate tax loopholes and “a vigorous effort to address climate change.”
“I am very worried. I mean, I talk to these scientists. This planet is in serious danger. You can’t cuddle up to the fossil fuel industry — you’ve got to take them on,” Sanders said, alluding to Clinton’s ties to oil and gas companies.
He also expressed concern about Clinton’s consistency on policy issues.
“What we need is to create a movement which holds elected officials accountable and not let them flip” on issues, Sanders said.
On the night of the New Hampshire primary, the high-water mark of his presidential campaign, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont called his rout of Hillary Clinton “nothing short of the beginning of a political revolution” and vowed to stop the “billionaire class” from buying elections.
It was barely different from the speech he gave March 15, the day he lost five of five primaries, when he asked thousands of his adoring fans: “Are you ready for a political revolution? Are you tired of a handful of billionaires running our economy?”
Nor, for that matter, was it much changed from his address to a spaghetti dinner of the Addison County Community Action Group in 1984, when he called for a “political revolution” and urged working people to take power from a “very small group of wealthy people.”
It is a political score Mr. Sanders has been singing for the last 40 years, and he does not seem ready to stop anytime soon. Regardless of the results on the scoreboard, the state on the map, the year or even the decade, Mr. Sanders has talked with clockwork consistency about an economy rigged against the working class, a campaign finance system that corrupts politicians and a corporate media that obscures the truth.
While politicians constantly try to stay on message, Mr. Sanders is the king of message discipline. While other candidates have been lampooned for robotic redundancies or caricatured as cut-and-paste campaigners, Mr. Sanders has made oratorical consistency his calling card.
His young and loyal fans practically sing along with his timeless refrains: “the richest one-half of 1 percent” in 1971, the “richest 1 percent of the population” in 1991 and “the top one-tenth of 1 percent” in 2015. Last year, the MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow began a segment on Mr. Sanders’s hyperconsistency by playing an audio clip of Mr. Sanders lamenting “the two-party system dominated by big money,” and asking viewers when he said it. The answer: 1989.
In other words, Sanders has not grown and changed at all over the past 40 years. Is that really supposed to be a good thing?
That’s all I have for you today. What stories are you following?
UPDATE: Please send good vibes to NW Luna, who is braving the Washington Caucuses today!
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The Sky Dancing banner headline uses a snippet from a work by artist Tashi Mannox called 'Rainbow Study'. The work is described as a" study of typical Tibetan rainbow clouds, that feature in Thanka painting, temple decoration and silk brocades". dakinikat was immediately drawn to the image when trying to find stylized Tibetan Clouds to represent Sky Dancing. It is probably because Tashi's practice is similar to her own. His updated take on the clouds that fill the collection of traditional thankas is quite special.
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