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Bernie Sanders seeks U.S. presidency again in 2020

Close The Gaps: Disparities That Threaten America

Postby smix » Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:02 pm

Close The Gaps: Disparities That Threaten America
Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senator for Vermont

URL: https://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom ... en-america
Category: Politics
Published: August 5, 2011

Description: MUST READ

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Washington, it seems to us, is focusing on one gap -- between spending and revenue -- to the exclusion of others. That's unwise, because these other gaps also pose threats to America and its social structure. They, too, ought to be closed. Take the jobs gap, which doesn't need much explanation. There are far fewer jobs than people seeking work, which is why unemployment is close to 10 percent or higher, if you count those who would like a job but have given up looking. According to economist Laura D'Andrea Tyson, writing last week in The New York Times, the U.S. economy would have to add about 12.3 million jobs to return to employment levels that existed before the 2008-2009 recession blindsided America. A quarter of a million people enter the labor force each month. At the current pace of recovery -- which is to say slower than slow -- closing this gap could take 10 years or more. Talk about a lost decade. Closing the jobs gap might be easier if there were a solid commitment to closing the investment gap. Unlike other rich nations and, we hasten to add, developing countries such as India and China, the United States doesn't spend nearly enough on education and work force training; research and development; and vital infrastructure such as bridges, roads and air traffic control. This is what's known as "non-security discretionary spending," which is a misnomer. Investing in these areas would actually help strengthen America and secure the future. Yet spending in these categories accounts for less than 10 percent of all federal expenditure, and the share has been falling and is likely to fall further in the grip of the Scissorhands caucus that has taken control of Congress. Finally, and most worryingly, there's the widening wealth gap. The inequality of incomes in this country has been well documented and much commented on, to wit: The richest 1 percent of Americans now account for almost a quarter of the nation's income, creating an imbalance even worse than the days of the Rockefellers and the Vanderbilts. Less remarked, however, is the fact that America's wealth gap is also a race gap. As the Pew Research Center reported last week, the median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households and 18 times that of Hispanic households. Think about that. In 2009, the typical black household had $5,677 in wealth -- defined as assets minus debts; the typical Hispanic household had $6,325; the typical white household, by contrast, had $113,149. The disparity is twice as large as it was in the two decades prior to the Great Recession and the largest since the government began publishing such data a quarter century ago. The downturn has been particularly hard on blacks, who are twice as likely to be unemployed as whites. Moreover, according to the Pew analysis, the wealth gap widened between 2005 and 2009 because minorities disproportionately reside in states hit hardest by plummeting house values -- Michigan, California, Arizona, Florida and Nevada, where median house prices fell as much as 50 percent . White households saw house values decline as well, of course, but they tended to be cushioned by other assets that many black and Hispanic households don't have, including savings accounts, pensions and stocks. "What's pushing the wealth of whites is the rebound in the stock market and corporate savings, while younger Hispanics and African Americans who bought homes in the last decade -- because that was the American dream -- are seeing big declines," Timothy Smeeding of the University of Wisconsin told The Associated Press. These days, the American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in places such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina, where incomes are actually more equal today than they are in the land of Horatio Alger. Who's the banana republic now?
-Valley News Editorial Board
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Another Bernie Sanders Tax Hike

Postby smix » Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:01 pm

Another Bernie Sanders Tax Hike
The Wall Street Journal

URL: https://www.wsj.com/articles/another-be ... 1550616137
Category: Politics
Published: February 19, 2019

Description: As he begins another presidential campaign, the Vermont socialist promotes a plan to collect more payroll taxes.

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Bernie Sanders has lately been pretending that there was a time when he appreciated businesses in a market economy. He’s certainly not pretending to like capitalism now. As he begins another campaign for the presidency, it’s getting difficult to keep track of his various proposals to move cash from the private economy to the federal Treasury. His latest is a plan to collect $15 trillion in additional payroll taxes over the next 75 years. The basic idea is to stop pretending that Social Security is a retirement program in which participants make contributions during their working years and then draw upon their savings in retirement. The Sanders plan is to raise taxes on some participants and spend the money on others. A recent letter to Mr. Sanders and his legislative partner Rep. Peter Defazio (D., Ore.) from Social Security Chief Actuary Stephen Goss features an analysis of the proposal. For now, Messrs. Sanders and DeFazio are saying that their plan would raise much more in taxes than it would spend in new benefits. So the official forecast from Mr. Goss, who notes that the work of his office is “not consistent with estimates made by the Office of Management and Budget or the Congressional Budget Office” suggests that the plan will make the Social Security program go bust less quickly than under current law. But by tradition, taxpayers should not expect such forecasts to accurately predict changes in behavior as a result of rising tax burdens or expanding benefit packages. Americans earning high incomes should definitely expect that if the Sanders bill is enacted they will be paying higher payroll taxes and receiving nothing in return for the tax hike. Currently the 12.4% Social Security payroll tax (6.2% is collected from employees and another 6.2% from employers) is applied to a worker’s first $132,900 in earnings. The Sanders plan will also apply the full tax to earnings above $250,000. Mr. Goss explicitly states that the plan will “not credit the additional taxed earnings for benefit purposes.” This is about redistribution, not retirement savings. But wait, there’s more. Mr. Sanders also will apply a separate 6.2% tax on investment income starting at $200,000 for a single filer and $250,000 for a married couple filing jointly. Mr. Goss observes: “Under this provision, there is no limit on the amount taxed.” “No limit on the amount taxed” sounds like a perfect slogan for the Sanders 2020 campaign. Whether or not Team Sanders chooses to use this catchy phrase in its advertising, it would clearly be the overriding theme of a Sanders presidency.
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Bernie Sanders Is Proof that You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

Postby smix » Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:11 am

Bernie Sanders Is Proof that You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks
National Review

URL: https://www.nationalreview.com/the-morn ... ew-tricks/
Category: Politics
Published: February 19, 2019

Description: Making the click-through worthwhile: Bernie Sanders makes his 2020 bid official, demonstrating that no matter what happens in the world, his worldview will not change; billionaires who enjoyed the fruits of the Old Left suddenly find the New Left inhospitable.

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Bernie Sanders, the Unchanging Man
Bernie Sanders is running for president, again. Bernie Sanders is pretty much the exact same guy that he was four decades ago, running on the same platform. He’s making the same arguments for the same ideas about how America needs a socialist revolution that puts an end to millionaires and billionaires and private hospitals and moves social services from charities to government institutions. He’s always been friendly to leftist critics of America overseas and radicals eager to tear down the existing order and has been at best skeptical of U.S. military actions abroad (except during the Clinton administration) and U.S. intelligence agencies. Becoming a millionaire didn’t prompt him to revise his relentless demonization of millionaires as greedy. The collapse of the Soviet Union, several American economic booms, innovative technological revolutions, the fracking and energy boom, the alleviation of poverty around the world through global trade over the past two generations — none of them prompted him to change much of what he thinks about economics, politics, international relations, or society. No government management scandal of the past four decades — vets dying while waiting for care at the Department of Veterans Affairs, vast sums on nonfunctional web sites, lavish conferences at the General Services Administration, IRS abuses, Fast and Furious, substandard conditions for wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, endless allegations of cronyism, favoritism, and incompetence — has shaken Sanders’s faith that the federal government is equipped and ready to handle huge new programs that would exercise much more control over the daily lives of Americans. No country’s experience with socialism, or countries that call themselves socialist, has prompted him to rethink whether the concepts work as well as the advocates insist. In a 2016 debate, he showed his praise for Fidel Castro in 1985, saying that Castro “educated their kids, gave them health care, totally transformed their society.” Moderator Maria Elena Salinas asked Sanders three times if he regretted his characterizations of Nicaragua’s authoritarian ruler Daniel Ortega and Fidel Castro. Three times, Sanders dodged, saying that “the key issue here was whether the United States should go around overthrowing small Latin American countries” and finally reiterating his praise for Castro’s regime: “It would be wrong not to state that in Cuba they have made some good advances in health care. They are sending doctors all over the world. They have made some progress in education.” Back in 2016, Venezuela’s dictatorial president, Nicolas Maduro, said that he supported Bernie Sanders in the U.S. presidential race, adding that the candidate, who describes himself as a democratic socialist, would win if the vote were “free.” (Sanders was uncharacteristically quiet about Venezuelan politics since Maduro came to power, but he offered some criticism of the Maduro regime in January.) He has his theories about how the world ought to work, and he’s going to stick to it.

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The Fear of Being Considered the Wrong Kind of Billionaire
One argument of the billionaire-bashing club that has some merit: Some particular billionaires do have an astonishing ability to set the terms of discussion in America’s public discourse, and this is separate from the billionaire Twitter stormbringer in the Oval Office. Each day, when you log on or pick up a newspaper or turn on your television or radio, there’s a good chance that what you read or hear is shaped by the decision of some billionaire. Howard Schultz is roiling the Democrats by considering an independent bid for president. Jeff Bezos’s company Amazon got almost every city in America to run around chasing their tales putting together incentive packages for HQ2, and of course he runs one of the most powerful news institutions in the country, the Washington Post. (This isn’t even counting the recent news about his, er, other “incentive package.”) People argue whether Mark Zuckerberg’s grand creation of Facebook is exacerbating American social divisions. Every few months, Elon Musk does something amazing or bizarre, whether it’s launching a car into space or smoking weed with Joe Rogan. Michael Bloomberg is also thinking of running for president, and he periodically throws a couple dozen million dollars into the gun-control movement. The world has conservative billionaires such as the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson, but most of those splashy cover-of-a-magazine billionaires are left-leaning. As I noted in my profile of Schultz, a whole lot of billionaires and big corporations had no real problem with the Obama administration. If a CEO wanted to stay on good terms with the administration and its media- and cultural-elite allies, he talked a good game about going green, building a diverse workforce and inclusive workplaces, and tut-tutted about gun violence and talked about the need for “common sense gun laws” and “universal background checks.” Throw some solar panels on your corporate headquarters, ensure your board had a few minorities, donate to the party, and the Democrats were generally going to be happy to see you. In other words, left-leaning billionaires were happy to ally with the Democratic party on a wide range of social issues as the party enacted policies that posed no real threat to their wealth and stature (although they may hinder others’ efforts to climb the economic ladder). Throughout the Obama era, it became clear that political, financial, and cultural elites were (deliberately or inadvertently) establishing a progressive aristocracy — where once you had the right credentials and connections, and gave generously to the right causes, you were insulated from any real criticism or consequences of your actions. Nobody gave Tim Geithner grief for botching his taxes, environmentalists grief for their private jets, gun-control advocates flak for their armed security, or voucher opponents problems for sending their kids to private school. Filmmaker Michael Moore used non-union labor and lived to tell the tale; lawmakers insisting anything less than $15 per-hour wages was inhumane thought nothing about having unpaid interns. Apparently, the actions of Harvey Weinstein and Les Moonves were open secrets, but few high-profile feminist activists ever gave them too much grief; crossing them meant making a powerful enemy. At a certain level of status, everyone agreed to avert their eyes from contradictions between how you live and what you profess. The new socialism-friendly Democrats may not be willing to maintain this arrangement. Ironically, the part of this hypocrisy that they find most offensive is the part that the Right finds least offensive: being wealthy. Most conservatives don’t care if Al Gore uses a lot of electricity, Bloomberg has armed personal security guards, or that Democratic presidents send their kids to Sidwell Friends. Just don’t use your wealth and power to take away our options. Even now, those who are quite wealthy on the Left are eager to establish that the threshold for problematic wealth begins just above what they could reasonably expect to earn, barring some unexpected good luck. Elizabeth Warren wants to “impose a 2 percent tax on Americans’ net worth above $50 million and a 3 percent tax on wealth above $1 billion.” Judging from her released tax returns and Senate financial-disclosure forms, Warren and her husband have combined assets between about $4 million and $11 million. Quite the identity crisis: fake Native American, real multimillionaire.



Bernie Sanders: Government ‘Cannot Go Too Far’ in Addressing Climate Change
National Review

URL: https://www.nationalreview.com/news/ber ... te-change/
Category: Politics
Published: March 1, 2019

Description: Senator Bernie Sanders (D., Vt.) dismissed Friday the notion that the recently introduced Green New Deal plan is extreme and unrealistic, arguing instead that there is no action too drastic for the government to take to address climate change. “Does the Green New Deal go too far?” Sunny Hostin asked Sanders Friday on ABC’s The View. “No. You cannot go too far on the issue of climate change. The future of the planet is at stake, ok? . . . According to the best scientists in the world, we have twelve years to begin substantially cutting carbon emissions,” Sanders responded. Hostin also pressed Sanders on Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s recent suggestion that couples are rightfully hesitant to have children because of the threat of climate change. “[Ocasio-Cortez] claimed that the looming threat of climate change that continues to exacerbate global conflicts has gotten so dire that it is a legitimate question to ask whether it is moral for people to have children now. Does she have a point there or is that too radical?” Hostin asked. “Obviously that’s an enormously personal choice that every couple is going to have to make,” Sanders said before redirecting the conversation to President Trump’s past skepticism of the threat posed by climate change. “In terms of a couple’s decision that they make, that is their decision. Couples make a lot of decisions in terms of whether they’re going to have kids. Often it’s economic and there are other factors as well,” he later added. Ocasio-Cortez joined Senator Ed Markey (D., Mass.) in introducing the Green New Deal resolution to much fanfare in early February. The proposal promises to transition all sectors of the economy to renewable (but non-nuclear) energy within ten years while providing millions of jobs building the clean energy infrastructure necessary to replace our existing system. The proposal, which Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced the Senate will vote on, does not suggest any revenue-raising measures, but rather relies on credit, extended by “public banks,” to finance its reforms. Sanders is joined in endorsing the Green New Deal by a substantial majority of the 2020 Democratic primary field.
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Bernie Sanders’s biggest strength for 2020 is his ability to thrive on chaos

Postby smix » Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:28 pm

Bernie Sanders’s biggest strength for 2020 is his ability to thrive on chaos
The Washington Post

URL: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions ... ive-chaos/
Category: Politics
Published: February 23, 2019

Description: Bernie Sanders has spent the past two years losing steam. He ended the 2016 primary with 43 percent of the national vote, but now he’s polling below 20 percent nationally. His preferred candidates generally performed poorly in down-ballot Democratic primaries in 2018. And, unlike Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney and other past second-place finishers, he hasn’t been able to scare off politicians like Elizabeth Warren who might try to compete for his voters. But Sanders just might have an advantage that some of his opponents don’t: He’s well suited to capitalize on chaos. Sanders might not be able to win a one-on-one fight with a well-known, establishment-backed, consensus-building candidate like Clinton, but his particular mix of strengths and weaknesses could make him a solid candidate in a completely bananas multiway brawl.

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Sanders outperformed expectations in 2016, but he was, in some ways, always destined to lose. Clinton started the race with a better organization, more backing from the establishment, a longer history with the Democratic Party and more experience running a presidential campaign. Sanders built a solid coalition of millennials, progressives and anti-Clinton hard-liners, but that’s not enough to get to 50 percent plus one in a somewhat ideologically diverse and increasingly racially diverse party. Clinton could have tried to bury him with negative ads or roll out more opposition research, but she never felt threatened enough to do that. She had the luxury of taking the high road because she was always winning. And if she had really started losing or was disqualified by something like a health event anytime before Super Tuesday, another consensus Democrat like Joe Biden probably could have jumped in, gotten the party’s support and won the nomination. The 2020 primary could become that sort of clean two-person contest, but right now it doesn’t look like that. It looks more like the 2016 Republican primary, where everybody is running and nobody is the heir apparent. And Sanders has a few advantages in that sort of an environment. Unlike most of his competitors, Sanders has a real and established base. He’s currently in second place in the polls, and it’s safe to assume that at least some of these people are part of the 43 percent he had last time around. And he could grow his 2020 base by simply targeting some of the people who voted for him last time around.

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Having a base is a huge advantage in a crowded primary. These sorts of races sometimes have a boom-and-bust feel to them — an unknown candidate grabs some media coverage, catches fire and then withers under scrutiny or just flames out as voters move on. That happened to Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain at various points in the 2012 Republican primary. But it didn’t happen to Donald Trump in 2016 because he, like Sanders, had followers who weren’t just jumping on a bandwagon. And in a chaotic primary environment, Sanders’s base could give him a solid number of delegates and maybe even democratic legitimacy. That’s because Democratic primary rules have traditionally been proportional with a floor of 15 percent — meaning that candidates who can’t get above 15 percent of the vote get basically zero delegates, and the candidates who do get over that hump divide the delegates up proportionally among themselves. So if there are only two candidates who get 60 percent and 40 percent of the vote, they’ll get about 60 percent and 40 percent of the delegates, respectively. And if two candidates get 30 percent and 20 percent while the rest of the field is under the threshold, those candidates will still divide the delegates roughly proportionally and get 60 percent and 40 percent each. (You can find a step-by-step guide to the math here.) These rules make it hard for Sanders to win a one-on-one race with an establishment candidate like Clinton. But if the field splits up in a weird way — say, a solid chunk of the vote goes to candidates who don’t hit the threshold, a few candidates get above 15 percent but Sanders is leading with 30 to 40 percent of the vote — his delegate total could start to inflate. Democratic rules don’t reward front-runners in the same way that Republican rules do: The GOP often has winner-take-all states and other rules that give the winners disproportionate shares of the delegates. But circumstances like this could allow Sanders to get more than 30 percent of delegates with only 30 percent of the vote. More importantly, a situation like this could give Sanders democratic legitimacy. If the primary field has more than two or three strong candidates with solid followings, it’ll be hard for any of them to get the 50-percent-plus-one delegates they’ll need to lock down the nomination. In that case, the candidate who won the most votes — which very well might be Sanders — could correctly claim some amount of small-d-democratic legitimacy. It’s hard to deny the nomination to the candidate who gets the most votes. Sanders has other advantages, too — he has a huge small-dollar donor network, experience running in a presidential primary, and the ability to put together large rallies and get media attention.

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I think I’ve been underestimating him this cycle, and it’s definitely possible to imagine scenarios where he ends up with the nomination. But that doesn’t make Sanders the front-runner. This is an important needle to thread when you’re thinking about any Democratic candidate’s odds of winning. Sanders might have a better shot in 2020 than he did in 2016, but his win probability is still low. No candidate (Sanders included) is anywhere close to a 50 percent win probability in my view (for what it’s worth, my educated guesstimate is that he has a 15 to 20 percent win probability). The race is chaotic — and that chaos has caused me to become more bullish on Sanders than I have been in the past. But the smart money is still on the rest of the field.



Is Bernie Sanders serious?
The Washington Post

URL: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions ... e-serious/
Category: Politics
Published: April 24, 2019

Description: It’s the first big misstep of the 2020 Democratic primary season. A candidate with an obvious liability hands opponents a powerful, easy-to-grasp issue that reveals the candidate really cannot be trusted as the party’s standard-bearer in an election that simply cannot be lost. I’m not talking about Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and her DNA test. I’m talking about Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and the jaw-dropping suggestion that serious felons still in prison should get to vote. The Post reports:
A questioner at a CNN town hall Monday night asked the presidential candidate whether he believes that incarcerated felons — the Boston Marathon bomber, for instance, or sex offenders — should be allowed to vote while they are serving their sentences. Sanders’s answer: an unapologetic “yes.” “I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy — yes, even for terrible people — because once you start chipping away … you’re running down a slippery slope,” Sanders said. “I do believe that even if they are in jail paying their price to society, that should not take away their inherent American right to participate in our democracy.”

Let’s stop there for a moment. Sanders is saying that we as a society are incapable of differentiating between a felon in prison and one who has paid his debt. Really? It sure seems like a simple, bright line. While re-enfranchising felons has gained momentum, no major-party candidate has suggested that we have to give the Boston Marathon bomber the franchise since Florida voters chose to give a million felons the right to vote. His reasoning is so illogical that one wonders whether he actually is serious. (Will politicians start holding campaign rallies in prison? Do death-row inmates get to vote — maybe to end the death penalty?)

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The idea is so easily mocked that one wonders whether Sanders understands what it takes to defeat President Trump and unify the Democratic Party. One is inclined to conclude that Sanders is either pandering in a desperate way to compensate for his poor showing among African American voters in 2016 or that he lacks rudimentary common sense. To no one’s surprise, Sanders immediately came under withering attack from Republicans on an issue for which there is no significant support even within the Democratic Party. In an election in which Democrats are desperate to win, this episode should serve as big red flag. (“Sanders has been working to persuade Democrats he can defeat President Trump, but Monday’s remarks could give pause to some of the voters he would need to win over.” To put it mildly.) Sanders has made a career of propounding extreme, unworkable views that escape serious scrutiny because “it’s just Bernie.” Democratic voters should have reason to worry that a candidate who wants to outlaw private health insurance and cannot bring himself to condemn Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro is precisely the sort of candidate who will scare away moderate voters, rile up Trump’s base and nevertheless have little appeal to key Democratic constituents such as African Americans. Even his embrace of socialism seems designed to provoke and instill hostility rather than to win allies. (Josh Barro in 2015 pointed out: “After all, Mr. Sanders does not want to nationalize the steel mills or the auto companies or even the banks. Like [Hillary] Clinton, he believes in a mixed economy, where capitalist institutions are mediated through taxes and regulation. He just wants more taxes and more regulation than Mrs. Clinton does. He certainly seems like a regular Democrat, only more so.”) Sanders’s peevishness and habit of picking fights within the party don’t bode well for his ability to bring the party together after a hard-fought primary. Just last week, he went after a progressive think tank, the Center for American Progress, when the editorially independent ThinkProgress criticized him. His demand? Stop saying mean things about him. Sanders is in a strong but hardly commanding position, as Nate Silver points out. (“He’s probably the 3rd- or 4th-most likely nominee, in my estimation — slightly behind Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and roughly tied with Pete Buttigieg, but ahead of everyone else. ... Empirically, however, Sanders’s position in the polls is not all that strong; it’s consistent with sometimes winning the nomination but usually not.”) A few more episodes like “give prisoners the vote!” and we will see just how quickly his position can deteriorate.



Inside Bernie Sanders’s 1988 10-day ‘honeymoon’ in the Soviet Union
The Washington Post

URL: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics ... story.html
Category: Politics
Published: May 3, 2019

Description: Bernie Sanders was bare-chested, towel-draped, sitting at a table lined with vodka bottles, as he sang “This Land Is Your Land” to his hosts in the Soviet Union in the spring of 1988. The just-married socialist mayor from Vermont was on what he called “a very strange honeymoon,” an official 10-day visit to the communist country, and he was enthralled with the hospitality and the lessons that could be brought home. “Let’s take the strengths of both systems,” he said upon completing the trip. “Let’s learn from each other.” The Soviet sojourn has long been an extraordinary, if little understood, chapter in Sanders lore. He has for years used it to help explain his views about foreign policy, citing it as recently as last month. The trip garnered brief mention in the 2016 presidential campaign, but earlier this year, a video from a Vermont community television station was posted online that showed a few minutes of Sanders’s unlikely celebration with the Soviets. Right-leaning websites suggested Sanders was cozying up to communists, underscoring how the trip might be used against the senator if he becomes the Democratic nominee. Until now, however, relatively few details about the trip have emerged, and most accounts have relied heavily on Sanders’s recollection. An examination by The Washington Post of the trip — based on interviews with five people who accompanied Sanders, as well as audio and video of it — provides a fresh look at this formative time for Sanders, foreshadowing much of what animates his presidential bid. As he campaigns for president a second time, Sanders, an Independent who is running in the Democratic primaries, takes credit for moving the party to the left, and he now finds himself competing with candidates who advocate for the kind of activist government positions Sanders touted during his Soviet trip, such as government-sponsored health care for all. As he stood on Soviet soil, Sanders, then 46 years old, criticized the cost of housing and health care in the United States, while lauding the lower prices — but not the quality — of that available in the Soviet Union. Then, at a banquet attended by about 100 people, Sanders blasted the way the United States had intervened in other countries, stunning one of those who had accompanied him. “I got really upset and walked out,” said David F. Kelley, who had helped arrange the trip and was the only Republican in Sanders’s entourage. “When you are a critic of your country, you can say anything you want on home soil. At that point, the Cold War wasn’t over, the arms race wasn’t over, and I just wasn’t comfortable with it.” Sanders declined to be interviewed for this report. Jeff Weaver, his senior adviser, said the trip fits into Sanders’s effort to form partnerships between people who may seem at odds with each other. “Just like his politics in the U.S. are animated by bringing ordinary people together,” Weaver said, the trip to the Soviet Union “was an example of that, if you can get people from everyday walks of life together, you can break through some of the animosity that exists on a governmental level.” Sanders has often emphasized the difference between his views as a democratic socialist and communist dogma, noting that he supports democratic elections and business enterprises that were inimical to the Soviet system. Sanders, who in 1988 had been mayor of Burlington for seven years, took the trip at a time when he was trying to put himself on the national stage. He wrote that Burlington, a city of about 40,000, had a foreign policy because, “I saw no magic line separating local, state, national and international issues . . . How could issues of war and peace not be a local issue?” He was already known as a firebrand on foreign affairs, finding much to like in socialist and communist countries. Sanders had visited Nicaragua in 1985 and hailed the revolution led by Daniel Ortega, which President Ronald Reagan opposed. “I was impressed,” Sanders said then of Ortega, while allowing that “I will be attacked by every editorial writer for being a dumb dope.” At the same time, Sanders voiced admiration for the Cuban revolution led by Fidel Castro, whom Reagan and many others in both parties routinely denounced. Sanders, in turn, said Americans dismissed socialist and communist regimes because they didn’t understand the poverty faced by many in Third World countries. “The American people, many of us, are intellectually lazy,” Sanders said in a 1985 interview with a Burlington television station. The trip to the Soviet Union was, at that time, Sanders’s most significant foreign venture. U.S. relations with the Soviet Union were in the midst of transformation. Just before Sanders departed, Reagan traveled to Moscow for a summit with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who was pushing for openness and reform. As a result, Sanders muted his criticism of Reagan, praising the summit as “a major step forward for humanity. . . . What we are doing is actually the same thing at a lower level.”
'This is the enemy?'
The timing of Sanders’s trip drew much notice. He got married before a crowd of hundreds in Burlington. “On the next day we began a quiet, romantic honeymoon,” Sanders wrote in his book “Outsider in the White House,” jocularly describing the journey with his bride, Jane, and about 10 others. “It cost him some political capital when you are self-identified as a socialist and you go to the Soviet Union,” said Terrill G. Bouricius, who accompanied Sanders as a Burlington City Council member. “We knew there would be some negative effects of that, but we thought pushing peaceful coexistence was important.” The trip had its genesis a year earlier, when Kelley helped arrange for a Soviet choir of about 30 girls to visit Burlington. After staying with local families and visiting schools, the choir performed for about 500 residents, and Sanders asked to take the stage. At one point, according to Kelley, Sanders pointed to the choir and said, “This is the enemy?” The main purpose for the trip to the U.S.S.R. was to establish Burlington’s “sister city” in the Soviet Union. Kelley said he initially proposed that Burlington partner with Kaunas, Lithuania, but he said Sanders, who is Jewish, rejected that idea because thousands of Jews had been killed there by the Nazis in 1941. Instead, Sanders agreed to choose Yaroslavl, a Russian city of 600,000 on the Volga River that had scenic views but also a depleted industrial core. Sanders and his companions paid their own way, according to news accounts at the time and his campaign. Sanders and his entourage first visited Moscow, where Sanders walked through Red Square days after Reagan appeared there, and he saw Lenin’s Tomb, according to his companions. Then they went to Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), where they visited a cemetery where thousands of Soviets killed during World War II are buried, while “Swan Lake” played from speakers strung from trees. Sanders then traveled to Yaroslavl, where he and his companions toured factories, hospitals and schools. During a boat ride on the Volga River, Sanders interviewed the city’s mayor for a Burlington radio show, quizzing him on the costs of housing and health care. Throughout the trip, local officials took aside members of Sanders’s entourage, telling them that the Soviet system was near collapse. At one point, officials of an engine factory that employed thousands of people told Howard Seaver, an official with a Burlington business group, that orders from Moscow had fallen, and they asked whether he could help arrange business with the United States. “I think [Sanders] saw and we all saw the downside of the Soviet system,” Seaver said. “Yes, they may have had low-cost apartments, but things were very out of whack — there were food shortages, no political freedom. I suspect that what Bernie saw in Russia probably affected his views that you see today, where he is not anti-free-enterprise or capitalism but he wants to have a safety net and give a fair shake to all, but certainly not to have a command economy we saw in the Soviet Union.” On one of the last days of the trip, officials in Yaroslavl took the Vermonters to a workers’ retreat at an oil refinery for a classic Russian celebration: a trip to the sauna and a bath in cold water. Wrapping themselves in towels and then putting on toga-style sheets, Sanders and his colleagues gathered around a table lined with vodka bottles. A video of the event shows Sanders, bare-chested, listening in delight to Russian folk songs. In response, Sanders and other Americans sang the Woody Guthrie ballad “This Land Is Your Land.” Weaver, the adviser, said Sanders “looks back on it with great fondness as a moment of celebrating with other people.” Bouricius recalled the moment vividly. “It would have been a normal, boring kind of diplomatic exchange except we had just come out of the sauna,” he said. “I think we were probably naked in the sauna. I certainly hadn’t brought a bathing suit . . . We were bare-chested with towels on.” Alan Rubin, an internist who was on the trip, recalled it similarly, saying: “I remember the togas, the vodkas . . . I don’t remember anyone not drinking vodka.” Sanders, he said, “was jolly and light. I think we don’t see that often. He is genuinely that way.” Rubin, who spent part of the trip talking with local hospital officials, said Sanders was changed by the experience. “He was delighted,” Rubin said. “He met people he cared about and cared about him. He got very curious about life in Russia, and I think it became part of his life. He was interested in the way they organized health care, education, street life, families . . . It opened up a new world for me and, I expect, for him, too.”
Ben & Jerry's
Returning to Vermont, Sanders held an hour-long news conference in which he extolled Russian policies on housing and health care, while criticizing the cost of both in the United States — and boasted that he was willing to criticize his homeland. “The fact that we were willing to be critical of the United States . . . I think that made them maybe more appreciative of our criticisms we made of their own society,” Sanders said then. “We were saying, ‘Yeah, in our country, we also have a housing crisis. Our housing in general is better than yours, but people are paying 40 percent of their income for housing. The quality of your housing is not good, but we appreciate the fact that people are paying 5 percent. The quality of your health care is not good, but in the United States, believe me, we have enormous problems in terms of our health-care system.’ ” Part of Sanders’s mission was to encourage U.S. investment in Russia, and he suggested that Vermont-based Ben & Jerry’s build an ice cream factory there. Concluding the news conference, Sanders said, “I think we are all here to make a strong prediction: The people in the Soviet Union love ice cream and that Ben & Jerry’s is going to make a fortune.” Ben Cohen, the co-founder of the Vermont-based company and co-chairman of Sanders’s presidential campaign, said in an interview that he did build a facility in the Soviet Union. But he said that “it had nothing to do with Bernie” and that he has never talked to him about it. Cohen said it was not possible to make money from the venture — he said he was paid at one point with Russian nesting dolls — and that it was eventually transferred to a local partner. Instead of seeking a fortune, Cohen said, he was hoping to foster better relations between the two countries. Kelley, the Republican who helped organize the trip, said he and Sanders were naive in thinking that the Soviet system would be profitable for American businesses. But Kelley said Sanders was prescient in criticizing U.S. interventions. At the time, Kelley said, Sanders seemed to be comparing the U.S. war in Vietnam to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and Kelley was offended. In retrospect, Kelley said, Sanders was right. Kelley said that in observing Sanders on the trip and afterward, he has concluded that “he is intelligent, he is hard-working, he is courageous, he is idealistic, and many of his ideas are absolutely impractical and unworkable.” Sanders, meanwhile, was so enthused by the trip that he soon began planning his next foreign venture: a visit to Cuba the following year, during his last month as mayor. “Under Castro, enormous progress has been made in improving the lives of poor people,” Sanders said before leaving, while noting “enormous deficiencies” in democratic rights. While he failed in his goal to meet Fidel Castro, he returned home with even greater praise than he had for the Soviet Union. “I did not see a hungry child. I did not see any homeless people,” Sanders told the Burlington Free Press. While Cuba was “not a perfect society,” he said, the country “not only has free health care but very high-quality health care . . . The revolution there is far deeper and more profound than I understood it to be. It really is a revolution in terms of values.”
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Bernie Sanders and his socialist views are as wrong now as back in 2016 | Charlie Gerow

Postby smix » Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:44 pm

Bernie Sanders and his socialist views are as wrong now as back in 2016 | Charlie Gerow
Penn Live

URL: https://www.pennlive.com/opinion/2019/0 ... gerow.html
Category: Politics
Published: February 23, 2019

Description: He’s back. Bernie Sanders, the self-proclaimed socialist senator from Vermont is running for president again. Although he’s not a Democrat (He’s not registered with any party, a true independent, but caucuses and votes with Democrats in the Senate), he’s had profound influence over the Democrat Party since he nearly bested Hillary Clinton for the nomination in 2016. It’s one thing about which Sanders and President Trump are agreed. Sanders boasts that the ideas he promoted and were considered “radical” just three years ago are now “mainstream” among national Democrats. President Trump clearly thinks Sanders is right about that, saying, “he’s already won the debate in the Democrat primary because every candidate is embracing his brand of socialism.” Many of the socialist ideas championed by Sanders are now me-too’ed by other Democrat contenders. From Medicare-for-all (socialized medicine) to “free” college-for-all (socialized higher ed) the Democrat contenders are jostling to see who can get closet to the far-left without actually falling off the edge. They’re all promising tons of “free” stuff without even a hint of the oppressive taxation of every working American it will take to pay for any of it. Four years ago Bernie Sanders was an obscure senator from one on the nation’s smallest states with some unconventional views about just about everything. Yet he challenged the party’s front-runner and the media’s darling to the very end. Many of his supporters argued that without party rules that allowed so-called ‘superdelegates” to give Clinton an insurmountable lead, Bernie would actually have won the nomination at their convention. Interestingly, it was the first Democratic National Convention that Sanders had ever attended. Today Bernie is a household name with a fund-raising prowess capable of raising $6 million dollars in the first 24 hours following his announcement. His radical ideas are not truly “mainstream,” at least not along the Main Streets of America, but are widely accepted by the large and growing field of Democrat presidential hopefuls. Bernie is still Bernie — outspoken, straight-talking and “authentic.” Many who espouse his views now try to differentiate themselves by saying that they’re not REALLY “Democratic Socialists.” Bernie hasn’t strayed far from when he said, “As a socialist, the word socialism does not frighten me”

bernie-bernie-bernie.jpg

It ought to scare the hell out of the rest of us. The socialism that Bernie Sanders, and increasingly more and more of his comrades, espouses had him championing Fidel Castro, Danny Ortega and Hugo Chavez not that long ago. They were all swell guys, but you’ll have a hard time finding many Americans who would trade their current residence for the chance to live under one of their repressive regimes. Socialism doesn’t work and the fact that Sanders defended those thugs should cause every thinking person to pause. Sanders once said that breadlines in communist countries are a “good thing.” Hard to imagine. John F. Kennedy and other Democrats like him must be rolling over in their graves. They were hard-line anti-communists and rejected the socialist model at every turn. “Ask not what your country can do for you,” rings loudly in the cacophony of cries for free everything. The Democrat Party has historically been a capitalist party — and unabashedly so. It wanted a bigger “safety net” and a bigger bureaucracy to administer it. Those were subjects of legitimate debate. Rejecting our capitalist successes for the unmitigated disaster of socialism isn’t. Yet that is what Bernie has managed to do. His hard-left agenda has moved the debate — and the national Democrats — significantly farther to the left. That’s bad news for the Democrat Party and bad news for America. As Democratic candidates fall over each other trying to get as close to Bernie and his agenda as possible they increasingly distance themselves from the voters they need to win a national election. President Trump is right: America will never be a socialist country.
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Breaking News: Bernie Sanders May Be a Socialist!

Postby smix » Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:07 pm

Breaking News: Bernie Sanders May Be a Socialist!
Ricochet

URL: https://ricochet.com/599158/breaking-ne ... socialist/
Category: Politics
Published: February 23, 2019

Description: There’s an interesting article up on Fox News about Bernie Sanders. It includes multiple video clips of him from his younger years, saying things that make him sound like a Socialist. There are some interesting quotes from Mr. Sanders in this article:
* “It’s funny sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is because people are lining up for food. That’s a good thing,” he said in one vintage video unearthed by conservative activists. “In other countries, people don’t line up for food, rich people get the food and poor people starve to death.”
* “The basic ‘crime’ being committed by the people of Nicaragua today is that the government there has the strange and unusual idea that they should attempt to do something for the people of Nicaragua rather than for the United States corporations,” he grumbled in one speech. “It’s a very strange idea for an independent nation to have”
* “In 1959 … everybody was totally convinced that Castro was the worst guy in the world and all of the Cuban people were going to rise up in rebellion against Fidel Castro,” Sanders said. “They forgot that he educated their kids, gave their kids healthcare, totally transformed the society.”
* “Reagan and the media, every time Reagan gives them a photo op, it’s going to be thousands of: ‘Oh thank you Mr. President, thank you for telling us another lie.’ The media of course is not allowed to ask sharp questions of the president, that’s not allowed.”
His wife Jane also had some interesting things to say after their tour of the Soviet Union in 1988: “Instead of compartmentalizing their lives into a job and hobbies, it’s all interrelated and all under the banner of community involvement,” she gushed. That really is remarkable. What on earth was she talking about? If you asked a Soviet citizen about life under communism, I rather doubt that they would answer that way. What an incredibly stupid thing to say. I remind you that Jane Sanders is a university president. Reading all this, a few questions crossed my mind:
First, how many people will be surprised, when they read this? I’m guessing absolutely nobody, but I suppose I could be wrong. I think most conservatives understand what Sanders is. Do the Democrat voters who support him understand what he is? I presume that they do, and that they share his views, which is why they support him. But perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps they think Sanders is a modern Jack Kennedy, who plans to cut taxes and fight communists at home and abroad. But I don’t think so.
Second, why is this article being printed now, instead of during the previous election? The author of the article anticipates this criticism, and addresses it with this, the second paragraph: “Videos of those comments have recirculated online at a furious pace ever since Sanders jumped in the 2020 race Tuesday, this time as a putative front-runner rather than the underdog he played in 2016 against an establishment favorite. With his increased stature, and role in pulling the entire field to the left, has come a tougher look at his long record talking up socialist governments.” They published this now because of Bernie’s “increased stature?” He seems to play a less significant role in the Democrat party now that he has in the past. I wonder what the real reason is? Why publish this now?
Third, I find his public support of Fidel Castro and praise of the USSR interesting. If David Duke says he supports a Republican candidate, that Republican candidate can disavow him, but it doesn’t matter. The media will build up that supposed connection until people start to think that they’re old friends. But a Democrat can praise Fidel Castro, and never face public criticism for his own beliefs.
Fourth, I wonder, if you asked Mr. Sanders to distinguish between a communist government and a socialist government – I wonder what he would say? Ask him to give the benefits and drawbacks of each.
And then, lastly, I wonder how far out of the mainstream of the Democrat party Bernie Sanders really is. He may have been a true Communist while much of the Democrat party was supporting Bill Clinton’s efforts and triangulation and moderation to increase voter share. But now, how many Democrats will publicly criticize these statements from Mr. Sanders? Heck, how many Democrats publicly criticized him when he actually said them, during the Reagan and Clinton administrations? So maybe the Democrat party really was this far left the whole time.
When he was running for the Democrat nomination in the last election, his opponent Hillary Clinton was asked, on two separate occasions, “What’s the difference between a Socialist and a Democrat?” She was unable to distinguish one from the other. Perhaps she was right. You could argue that a moderate Democrat is any Democrat who will publicly criticize the quotes listed above. I look forward to seeing how many moderate Democrats step forward in the coming weeks and months. I’m not holding my breath.
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Bernie's Red bona fides

Postby smix » Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:22 pm

Bernie's Red bona fides
Washington Times

URL: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/20 ... ations-ov/
Category: Politics
Published: February 24, 2019

Description: So, it’s come to this: One of America’s major parties is in the grip of a crazy old communist — Bernie Sanders, 77 — and a crazy young communist — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29. The two of them are driving the Democrats’ green microbus upon which the other presidential wannabes are scrambling to get aboard. This column is about the crazy old communist — Vermont Sen. Sanders, who just announced his candidacy for the presidency and raised $6 million. He prefers the less scary term Democratic Socialist. But his Marxist economics, Marxist cultural activism and well-documented support for communist causes — such as Fidel Castro’s revolution in Cuba — speak volumes. Quicker than you can say Joe McCarthy this will be dismissed as another Red Scare. But even though truth is not much of a defense in this fake news era, let’s look at Mr. Sanders‘ background, and you can make up your own mind. At the University of Chicago, Mr. Sanders was a member of the Young People’s Socialist League. In 1963, he lived in Israel at Kibbutz Sha’ar Ha’amakim (KSH), which was co-founded by Aharon Cohen, who was arrested for spying for the Soviet Union in the 1950s. According to Discoverthenetworks.org, “the founders of KSH referred to Joseph Stalin as the ‘Sun of the Nations,’ and a red flag was flown at outdoor events held at the kibbutz. Sanders stayed at KSH as a guest of the Zionist-Marxist youth movement Hashomer Hatzair (HH), which pledged its allegiance to the Soviet Union.” HH founder Ya’akov Hazan lamented Soviet mass murderer Stalin’s death in 1953, saying, “His huge historical achievements will guide generations in their march towards the reign of socialism and communism the world over.” In 1971, Mr. Sanders joined the Liberty Union Party (LUP), which called for a government takeover of all U.S. banks and private utility companies. In the mid-1970s, Mr. Sanders headed the American People’s History Society, which journalist Paul Sperry describes as “an organ for Marxist propaganda.” As mayor of Burlington, Vermont, in the 1980s, Mr. Sanders hung a Soviet flag in his office in honor of Burlington’s Soviet sister city, Yaroslavl, where he honeymooned in 1988 with his second wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders.

bernie-and-jane-sanders-in-russia.jpg

Mr. Sanders set price controls, raised taxes and placed restrictions on the rights of landlords. He named Burlington’s softball team the “People’s Republic of Burlington,” and its minor league baseball team the “Vermont Reds.” Remember, he’s just a “Democratic Socialist.” In 1980, he backed for president Socialist Workers Party candidate Andrew Pulley, a Marxist who called for a government takeover of America’s energy industry. According to Accuracy In Media, Mr. Sanders collaborated with Soviet and East German “peace committees” whose goal was “to stop President Reagan’s deployment of nuclear missiles in Europe.” In 1985, Mayor Sanders went to Nicaragua to celebrate the sixth anniversary of Daniel Ortega’s communist Sandinista regime and speak at an anti-American rally. He arranged for Burlington and Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, to be sister cities, and also visited communist Cuba. When Ortega orchestrated mass arrests of critics and shut down opposition media, Mr. Sanders refused to condemn him, later saying the crackdown “makes sense to me.” He now supports Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro, who has turned that once-prosperous country into a communist nightmare. In 1989, Mr. Sanders addressed the U.S. Peace Council, a Communist Party USA front whose members were committed, according to the FBI, to advancing “the triumph of Soviet power in the U.S.” As an admirer of crackdowns on pesky opposition media, Sen. Sanders in 2007 co-sponsored the Media Ownership Reform Act, which, among other things, would have re-established the misnamed Fairness Doctrine in order to muzzle conservative talk radio. In 2011, Mr. Sanders was the first U.S. senator to support the violent Occupy Wall Street movement and opined: “These days, the American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in places such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina, where incomes are actually more equal today than they are in the land of Horatio Alger. Who’s the banana republic now?” Lest we write all this off as earlier exuberance, here’s a short list of his current positions: Government takeover of health care and drug companies; “free” college tuition; “free” child care; confiscatory taxes on “the rich,” and much of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal. That hare-brained scheme calls for a massive government expansion to do away with airplanes, the internal combustion engine, “farting cows” (thus, hamburgers), and all fossil fuels within 11 years. Don’t laugh; they’re serious. It would take not only trillions of dollars but suspension of most basic liberties to do this. Karl Marx summarized communism as “abolition of private property,” which ultimately requires violence. Sen. Sanders also has a problem with religious liberty. In June 2017, he assailed the Christian faith of Russell Vought, President Trump’s nominee to be deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. There’s much more, but it should be clear that “Democratic Socialist” Bernie Sanders is a communist in sheep’s clothing.
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HAMMER: Bernie Sanders’ Entire Worldview Is Grotesquely Immoral And Evil

Postby smix » Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:44 pm

HAMMER: Bernie Sanders’ Entire Worldview Is Grotesquely Immoral And Evil
Daily Wire

URL: https://www.dailywire.com/news/43796/ha ... osh-hammer
Category: Politics
Published: February 21, 2019

Description: Sen. Bernie Sanders (Loonbag - VT) is best labeled as not merely a "democratic socialist," as is voguish for the mini-Robespierres du jour. He is not even merely best described as a run-of-the-mill "socialist" — you know, your typical pothead college sophomore who hasn't even taken an introductory macroeconomics course but just knows that true justice requires state seizure of the means of production. Instead, as Paul Sperry argued at the New York Post in 2016, Sanders is actually best described as a "diehard communist."
In the early ’70s, Sanders helped found the Liberty Union Party, which called for the nationalization of all US banks and the public takeover of all private utility companies. After failed runs for Congress, Sanders in 1981 managed to get elected mayor of Burlington, Vt., where he restricted property rights for landlords, set price controls and raised property taxes to pay for communal land trusts... In 1985, he traveled to [Nicaragua] to celebrate the rise to power of the Marxist-Leninist Sandinista government. He called it a "heroic revolution."... Sanders also adopted a Soviet sister city outside Moscow and honeymooned with his second wife in the USSR. He put up a Soviet flag in his office, shocking even the Birkenstock-wearing local liberals. At the time, the Evil Empire was on the march around the world, and threatening the US with nuclear annihilation. Then, in 1989, as the West was on the verge of winning the Cold War, Sanders addressed the national conference of the US Peace Council — a known front for the Communist Party USA, whose members swore an oath not only to the Soviet Union but to "the triumph of Soviet power in the US."

The Daily Wire has also covered Sanders' 1980s-era pro-communist, pro-Sandinista radicalism. Let us state this as explicitly as possible. In the 1980s, in the midst of a Reagan-Gorbachev détente that ultimately led to the dissolution of America's existentially threatening superpower foe, the Marxist-Leninist Soviet Union, Bernie Sanders stood not with America — but with the Soviets. That is not an exaggeration. Toward the end of the hellish Cold War, facing a hegemonic Soviet arch-nemesis whose only reason for not annihilating us via nuclear holocaust was a game theory-backed faith in "mutually assured destruction," Bernie Sanders honeymooned with his second wife in the Soviet Union. Toward the end of the hellish Cold War, facing a hegemonic Soviet arch-nemesis whose only reason for not annihilating us via nuclear holocaust was a game theory-backed faith in "mutually assured destruction," Bernie Sanders flew a hammer-and-sickle Soviet flag in his Vermont mayoral office. At the end of the hellish Cold War, facing a hegemonic Soviet arch-nemesis whose only reason for not annihilating us via nuclear holocaust was a game theory-backed faith in "mutually assured destruction," Bernie Sanders willfully addressed a known front group for a political party whose members swear an oath of allegiance to that very hegemonic arch-nemesis. As The Daily Wire's Matt Walsh wrote yesterday, this can only be described as "morally deranged" behavior.
Sanders is not some stupid college student who champions communism because he has no idea what happened in the world prior to 2005. He lived through much of the 1900s and very well knows that it was a century bathed in the blood shed by communist governments. He knows that communism very recently killed 100 million people, and that it continues to add to the body count even today. Yet he advocates for communist policies and wishes to see the great evil of the 20th century reborn in the 21st. What else can we call this but morally deranged?

Even holding aside rudimentary economic literacy and the uncontested macroeconomic wonders of free-market capitalism in lifting generations of people out of real, inflation-adjusted poverty, socialism is itself a stridently immoral ideology. At its core, socialism is about not altruism, but about pure, self-aggrandizing selfishness. The economic class warfare that Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and the professional grievance peddlers push is, ultimately, rooted in nothing other than good ol'-fashioned envy. None of the great Western religions teach that envy of one's fellow man is anything other than sinful. In the Abrahamic tradition, envy violates at least one (and, arguably, more than one) of the Ten Commandments; in Catholicism, envy is one of the seven deadly sins. Indeed, America's entire founding political philosophy is based on a powerful rejection of envy as an overarching principle of governance: Our social contract, as established by the Declaration of Independence, is one of natural rights-based negative liberty. Free enterprise, then, is inherently moral insofar as it merely connects freedom of labor, freedom of contract, and private property protection to the natural right to liberty of which our Declaration speaks. But Bernie Sanders' dystopian death cult ideology is even worse than merely being economically misguided or morally perverse. And the reason for that is simple:



The loonbag openly, proudly, and defiantly stood with the genocidal, mass-murdering Soviet regime when that regime stood at existential loggerheads with the United States of America. The same Soviet regime that willfully committed the Holodomor mass famine in the Ukraine. The same Soviet regime that quite possibly — indeed, quite likely — ended up killing more innocents over the course of its bloody reign than did the Third Reich. The same Soviet regime that sent up to 18 million to the gulags. The same Soviet regime that brutally and persistently repressed Sanders' very own religious/ethnic brethren. The same Soviet regime that consistently meddled in domestic American political elections. The same Soviet regime that, for decades, constantly threatened to launch nuclear missiles into the heart of the American homeland. Bernie Sanders' ideology is grotesquely immoral. But what he has publicly stood for throughout his career is not merely grotesquely immoral. It is also affirmatively evil.
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Katy Burns: Bernie, go home

Postby smix » Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:19 pm

Katy Burns: Bernie, go home
Concord Monitor

URL: https://www.concordmonitor.com/Bernie-go-home-23680914
Category: Politics
Published: February 24, 2019

Description: Bernie Sanders – to the amazement of absolutely no one – is running for president. Again. And he’s running – again – on the Democratic ticket, although the Vermont senator is identified as an independent and has long insisted he’s a democratic socialist. But “democratic socialists” – whatever they are, exactly – seem to be sort of rare around here. And so Bernie – and everyone calls him “Bernie,” not “Senator Sanders” – decided that he’d attach himself, as parasites are wont to do, to the good old Democratic Party, which cheerfully seems to accept … well, just about anybody. He pulled the same stunt in 2016. And that worked out so well, didn’t it? Well, no. It didn’t – as we all remember whenever we see or hear the current occupant of the White House. Or whenever we gaze at the wreckage of 70 or so years of bipartisan domestic and diplomatic policy our president has left in his wide wake. Now we can’t really blame Donald Trump on Bernie. Hillary Clinton was a stupendously lousy candidate carrying enough baggage to fill a railroad luggage car – at least if there still are such things. But his running against her in – and winning – the New Hampshire primary gave her a big push down the hill, and his acolytes kept shoving. Packs of offensive “Bernie bros” haunted her to the convention, and vowed they’d never vote for the woman who was clearly going to head the ticket. It didn’t exactly help her in the general election, and we all know how that turned out. Bernie, as it happens, has spent most of his adult life on a public payroll. After years as a local officeholder in Burlington, Sanders went to Washington. Since 1991 he’s been a member of Congress, first as a member of the House of Representatives and, since 2007, as Vermont’s junior senator. All along the way, he has used – and dumped on – the Democratic Party even as he has steadfastly refused to join that organization. And now Bernie – still not a Democrat and still determined not to be one – wants to hijack another Democratic primary campaign, which is his longtime modus operandi. A few years ago, he happily outlined his strategy for a reporter from the Washington Post by citing one technique he’d use: Facing possible competition for his congressional seat, he’d file as a candidate in the Democrat primary, fairly certain he’d win Then, after the primary, he’d decline the actual Democratic nomination, presumably to preserve his purity. And, voila! He’d face the general election with no Democratic opposition. It’s not, of course, that Sanders has used his accumulated seniority to accomplish much of real significance, although he gets credit for having been an effective chairman of the Veterans Affairs committee. His most notable legislative victory so far, according to his bio on Wikipedia, has been to get through a bill designating a postal facility in Danville, Vt., as the Thaddeus Stevens Post Office. I guess that Vermonters – as long as they have at least one effective senator, the redoubtable Patrick Leahy – like having their gadfly around. Curious minds might well ask what the senator has done in the last 28 years to advance his pet projects, notably Medicare for All and free public college education for all. Well, those curious minds would ask in vain, for he seems to have done nada. They’re great ideas, but enacting such major projects would require a lot of in-the-trenches grunt work, which might take time away from, say, running for president. Nevertheless, back on the campaign trail, he is tooting his own horn. The other night, interviewed by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, he patted himself on the back, something he likes to do.

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“We’ve come a long way in transforming the Democratic Party in making it into a more progressive party. . . .” Bernie, there is no “we” here! You are not a Democrat! You are adamant that you will never be a Democrat! You do your best to neutralize and to disarm the Democratic Party! There’s another factor to consider in all this presidential maneuvering, by the way. Bernie is also – what’s a nice way of putting this? – ah, yes. Bernie is old. And I can fearlessly say this because, well, I am also old. As, incidentally, is Joe Biden, who’s also said to be eyeing his own presidential run. If Bernie by some wild chance would actually be elected, he would be just months shy of his 80th birthday when he is inaugurated. That is too old, and I say that as a Sanders contemporary. Whether we like it or not, we are prey to the maladies and infirmities that come along with being old. Does this country really want to be ruled by a gerontocracy? The modern presidency is an exhaustingly stressful job. Look at our last two presidents. George W. Bush and Barack Obama were glowing with youthful vigor when they were sworn in. A scant eight years later each was notably more aged – gray-haired, with a lined face and somber mien. (Yes, the current White House resident does seem oddly immune to the changes wrought by the burden of his job – he continues to sport a preternaturally orange complexion and an odd but unchanging furry thing on his head, not to mention the same black suit, over-long red tie and huge black overcoat he seems to wear everywhere. But he is truly sui generis, which I think all sides can agree is a good thing.) Now – unlike four years ago – there’s a whole slew of people advocating the kind of things Bernie endorses. Kamala, Beto, Tulsi, Cory, Amy, Kirsten, Sherrod. And – unlike the gentleman from Vermont, Joe Biden and, well, me – they are young.
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Sanders stammers when asked about when he’ll release his ‘very boring’ tax returns

Postby smix » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:10 pm

Sanders stammers when asked about when he’ll release his ‘very boring’ tax returns
The American Mirror

URL: http://www.theamericanmirror.com/sander ... x-returns/
Category: Politics
Published: February 26, 2019

Description: Bernie Sanders will release his “very boring tax returns” sometime soon, in the future, just not right now. The socialist senator from Vermont owns several homes and has inked lucrative book deals in recent years, despite his heated rhetoric about evil rich Americans who allegedly don’t pay their fair share. Sanders recently joined a crowded field of Democrats vying for the presidential nomination for 2020, including some who’ve promised to divulge their tax returns, prompting CNN’s Wolf Blitzer to broach the subject with Sanders at a town hall Monday.



“Will you release 10 years of your tax returns, as you know Elizabeth Warren has decided to do that?” Blitzer questioned. “Ya,” Sanders said. “What was the delay? Why haven’t you done that so far?” Blitzer pressed. Sanders suggested there’s pending issues with the documents, though he wouldn’t elaborate on what the issues are or when, exactly, the public might get a glimpse at them. The issue became a flashpoint for Democrats in the 2016 election when President Trump refused to release his tax returns, but it appears Sanders is also less than eager to put his documents on display. “Well, you know, the delay is not … our tax returns will bore you to death,” Sanders said, sidestepping Blitzer’s question. “It’s simply a ma… there’s nothing special about them. It just was a mechanical issue, we don’t have accountants at home, my wife does most of it and we will get that stuff out.” But when? Blitzer questioned. “Sooner than later,” Sanders said. Blitzer pressed for a specific time, but Sanders wasn’t having it. “Soon,” the senator said. “I think we have to do just a few more little things, check them out, but they’re ready.” Blitzer pointed out that folks have been calling on him to expose his finances since he ran for president in 2016 and questioned why Sanders is only now deciding to do so. “I didn’t end up doing it because we didn’t win the nomination,” Sanders alleged. “If we would have won the nomination, we would have done it. “But again, … they’re very boring tax returns,” he said. As America waits for Sanders to get his stuff together, the senator’s federal financial disclosures paint an interesting picture of a candidate who rails against the rich while raking in millions as a public servant. Sanders’ 2017 Senate financial disclosure, filed last May, shows he inked several lucrative book deals about his socialist policies that have totaled nearly seven figures annually in recent years. It’s impossible to tell exactly what Sanders is worth because loopholes in federal disclosures allow politicians to exempt things like the value of a primary residence or certain personal possessions. The reporting system also lets lawmakers report broad ranges for their assets, making it difficult to tell what they’re really worth. Most of Sanders’ money and assets are listed in his wife Jane’s name. What is for certain is Sanders’ financial forms shows he has between $150,000 and $350,000 in cash in the bank, and three different high-dollar homes. The residences include a $600,000 vacation home in Vermont’s swanky Champlain Islands, a half-million dollar row house three blocks from the Capitol, and a home in Burlington worth between $100,000 and $250,000. To put it in perspective, Sanders’ book deals combined with his six-figure taxpayer funded salary amounts to about $1 million a year, or roughly 1700 percent more than the median household income of his constituents in Vermont.



Sanders gets testy on ‘The View’ — demands to talk about ‘climate change’ when confronted about his behavior
The American Mirror

URL: http://www.theamericanmirror.com/sander ... iew-after/
Category: Politics
Published: March 2, 2019

Description: “Climate change” is the new strategy for Democrats to dodge serious issues. Sen. Bernie Sanders made an appearance Friday on ABC’s “The View” to discuss his 2020 presidential campaign and the policies he will support. But one of the most notable exchanges came when co-host Meghan McCain asked the Vermont socialist about reports that he was “unbelievably abusive” to his own staff. Sanders, who was visibly rattled by the question, dodged and argued that we should be talking about climate change. “Des Moines Register asked you questions about it as well,” McCain said.

meghan-mccain-the-view.jpg

“But there wasn’t one person with their name on it. I have been in public life for 30 years and I’ve had hundreds of employees and I think the vast majority of employees will tell you that they enjoyed working with me, they were proud of what we’ve accomplished together,” sanders began. He then argued that reports that he was abusive to his staff weren’t relevant, and that we should instead discuss climate change. “This, unfortunately — and I know Amy very well and I think these — you know, this is what media does,” Sanders said. “We should be talking about the major issues facing our country. We should be talking about climate change and the future of the planet,” he added. Sanders also dismissed critics who say Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s socialist Green New Deal is too extreme and unrealistic. “Does the Green New Deal go too far?” Sunny Hostin asked. “No. You cannot go too far on the issue of climate change. The future of the planet is at stake, OK? … According to the best scientists in the world, we have 12 years to begin substantially cutting carbon emissions,” Sanders responded.

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Beyond his unsurprising endorsement of another socialist measure, this is the second time in a month that Sanders has refused to answer a serious question about concerning allegations. Last month, he ran away and literally hid in an elevator to avoid a question about the sexual assault allegations levied against Virginia Democrat Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax. The Daily Caller’s Henry Rodgers attempted to ask Sanders about Fairfax, who has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman during the 2004 Democratic National Convention. “Senator Sanders, do you believe,” Rodgers began before a gentleman walking with the Vermont lawmaker cut him off and said he “can’t” talk about that right now. Sanders then gets in the elevator, looks directly toward Rodgers and other reporters, and doesn’t say anything while donning a creepy smirk on his face. But more importantly, Sanders has a long history of refusing to answer questions about sexual assault, including when it allegedly took place under his own watch. During an interview with CNN last month, host Anderson Cooper asked Sanders about a bombshell report that several women experienced sexually harassment while working for his 2016 presidential campaign. Sanders, who is gearing up for a 2020 presidential run, told Cooper that he wasn’t aware of the numerous allegations because he was “uh.. a little bit busy.” “Just to be clear, you seemed to indicate that you did not know at the time about the allegations. Is that correct?”Cooper asked. “Uh, yes,” Sanders responded. “I was a little bit busy running around the country, trying to make the case.” Samantha Davis, the former director of operations in Texas and New York in 2016, said that she felt marginalized and “pushed aside” after declining to go to her supervisor’s hotel room. “I did experience sexual harassment during the campaign, and there was no one who would or could help,” Davis said. In an email obtained by the Times, a delegate wrote: “There was an entire wave of rotten sexual harassment that seemingly was never dealt with.” The Times’ expose came in response to another report detailing how a group of Bernie staffers have been trying to meet with the Vermont socialist to discuss their bad experiences, but he has not taken the time to meet with them.
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