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Thread: Sanders's Democratic Candidacy

  1. #1
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    Sanders's Democratic Candidacy

    If you do not know who Bernie Sanders is, go away and be ashamed, very ashamed. This topic is for discussing the Independent socialist Senator from Vermont.




    So Sanders has has high outcomes in one poll in New Hampshire. But do not get your hopes up, there are caveats.

    http://www.vox.com/2015/6/15/8784217...-new-hampshire

    Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) insists he's in the Democratic presidential race to win — not just to force Hillary Clinton to the left. That's a big long shot, but new polling from Morning Consult suggests that he's within striking distance of Clinton in one key early primary state: New Hampshire. While Hillary is still ahead by double digits with 44 percent of the vote, Sanders garners 32 percent. All other contenders — including Joe Biden, who's unlikely to run at this point — trail far behind.

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    Re: Sanders's Democratic Candidacy

    Another poll supports his popularity somewhat east of Vermont.

    http://www.vox.com/2015/6/16/8789171...illary-clinton

    Hillary Clinton may be facing much more of a fight than she expected in New Hampshire.

    A new poll from Suffolk University is the second in two days to show Bernie Sanders surging among the state's primary electorate — it shows him just 11 points behind the frontrunner. Another poll from Morning Consult, released Monday, showed Sanders 12 points behind Clinton.

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    Re: Sanders's Democratic Candidacy

    There have been a view articles about Sanders's history recently.

    First a weird psychoanalyst essay written by Sanders in the early 70s (with a clickbaity title from Vox).

    http://www.vox.com/2015/5/28/8682503...s-rape-fantasy

    This is a real essay that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) wrote in 1972 for the Vermont Freeman, a long-since-defunct alt paper:
    It was found by a writer at Mother Jones, who has some more context here.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/...-union-vermont

    Sometime in the late 1970s, after he'd had a kid, divorced his college sweetheart, lost four elections for statewide offices, and been evicted from his home on Maple Street in Burlington, Vermont, Bernie Sanders moved in with a friend named Richard Sugarman. Sanders, a restless political activist and armchair psychologist with a penchant for arguing his theories late into the night, found a sounding board in the young scholar, who taught philosophy at the nearby University of Vermont. At the time, Sanders was struggling to square his revolutionary zeal with his overwhelming rejection at the polls—and this was reflected in a regular ritual. Many mornings, Sanders would greet his roommate with a simple statement: "We're not crazy."

    "I'd say, 'Bernard, maybe the first thing you should say is 'Good morning' or something,'" Sugarman recalls. "But he'd say, 'We're. Not. Crazy.'"

    Sanders eventually got a place of his own, found his way, and in 1981 was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont's largest city—the start of an improbable political career that led him to Congress, and soon, he hopes, the White House. On Tuesday, after more than three decades as a self-described independent socialist, the septuagenarian senator launched his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in the Vermont city where this long, strange trip began. But it was during Sanders' first turbulent decade in Vermont that he discovered it wasn't enough to hold lofty ideas and wait for the world to fall in line; in the Green Mountains, he learned how to be a politician.


    A different take on history, Sanders has the very best voting history on climate change of practically anyone in Congress and also know how to gain and maintain initiative on the matter.

    http://www.motherjones.com/environme...tial-candidate

    The Democratic presidential primary race got its second major candidate recently, and its first true climate hawk: Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, self-described democratic socialist. Sanders has one of the strongest climate change records in the Senate. In fact, according to rankings released by Climate Hawks Vote, a new super PAC, Sanders was the No. 1 climate leader in the Senate for the 113th Congress that ended in January.

    Climate Hawks Vote measures leadership, not just voting records, tabulating actions like bills introduced, speeches given, and so forth. In the 112th Congress, Sanders ranked third behind Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). In the last Congress, he edged out Whitehouse by one point.

    "Sanders is very much among the top leaders," says R.L. Miller, founder of Climate Hawks Vote. "He has a record of really strong advocacy for solar in particular." Miller notes that distributed solar, which enables everyone with a solar panel to create their own energy instead of relying on a monopolistic utility company, fits especially well with Sanders' democratic socialist philosophy. It's bad for corporations and good for regular folks who get to own the means of production.


    Last but not least, a Guardian profile with descriptions of some very splendid actions:

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2...tial-candidate

    The diplomatic overture was dispatched to Hu Yaobang, chairman of the Chinese Communist party, on 29 October 1981. A near-identical letter was sent to the Kremlin, for the attention of Leonid Brezhnev, general secretary of the Communist party of the Soviet Union.

    “Like an unconscious and uncontrollable force, our planet appears to be drifting toward self-destruction,” the newly installed socialist leader of somewhere called Burlington wrote. He urged them “in the strongest possible way” to disarm militarily and begin immediate negotiations with other world leaders.

    Bernie Sanders, the ardently leftwing mayor of Vermont’s largest city, dispatched similar missives to Downing Street, the Élysée palace and the White House, before releasing a statement declaring: “Burlingtonians cannot calmly sit back and watch our planet be destroyed – with hundreds of millions of people incinerated.”

    The correspondence, unearthed by the Guardian, confirms what has long been said of America’s longest-serving independent member of Congress who, at the age of 73, recently launched a bid for the Democratic nomination for president. Bernie Sanders is unafraid of punching above his weight.
    The files confirm how Sanders spent much of his time as would be expected of a small-city mayor, solving a garbage disposal problem, building a bike path and securing a minor league baseball team for Burlington. But they also reveal a concerted effort by Sanders to leverage his modest power base to affect change in places far away from Vermont.

    The letters he sent to the Soviet Union, China, the UK and France, urging military disarmament in conjunction with the UN’s international disarmament week, was just one example of dozens of diplomatic initiatives from Sanders, who used his perch at city hall to influence issues as diverse as apartheid in South Africa and the US invasion of Grenada.

    In July 1981, the UK’s prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, was informed that Burlington was “deeply disturbed” by what Sanders said was her government’s abuse, humiliation and mistreatment of prisoners in northern Ireland. And when François Mitterrand announced a visit to the US later that year, Sanders wrote to the French president’s wife, Danielle, inviting her to his “struggling socialist municipal government” in Vermont to speak on any topic of her choosing.

    President Ronald Reagan was the recipient of several Sanders letters relating to international affairs, most of which concerned Nicaragua, where the US was covertly funding a guerrilla war against the leftwing Sandinista government. In 1985, Sanders actually travelled to Nicaragua, for the sixth anniversary of the Sandinista revolution, and met the country’s president, Daniel Ortega.
    But there's much more than just sending letters in the article.

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    Re: Sanders's Democratic Candidacy

    One of Sanders's problems is that his support base is mostly white and male.

    http://www.vox.com/2015/6/26/8847473...m-demographics

    Bernie Sanders's momentum is running smack into demographic reality.

    His base is white and male. Frontrunner Hillary Clinton is still crushing him with both whites and men. And Democratic elected officials say Sanders hasn't laid the groundwork to cut into her prohibitive leads with African Americans and Hispanics.

    "The message that Bernie brings forward in normal circumstances would find pockets of support," said Rep. Chaka Fattah, a black Philadelphia Democrat who backed Barack Obama over Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. "The challenge that he has is the overwhelming level of support that Hillary has. ... The case is closed."

    A Washington Post poll released earlier this month showed Clinton beating Sanders 62 percent to 8 percent among women; 62 percent to 14 percent among men; 72 percent to 5 percent among nonwhites; 56 percent to 14 percent among whites; and 63 percent to 17 percent among liberals.

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    Re: Sanders's Democratic Candidacy

    One of his greatest assets is that he is a true crowd magnet. And that is quite close to a vital campaign goal for him: establish an opposition movement to the plutocracy.

    http://www.vox.com/2015/7/2/8884351/...-madison-video

    Last night, Bernie Sanders managed to get 10,000 people to show up to a campaign rally in Madison, Wisconsin to watch a speech. At this point in the campaign cycle, that's incredible. The speech, which was met with thunderous applause from the crowd, is worth watching in full:

    Whether he wins or loses, Sanders' ability to inspire that kind of intensity around a political campaign has important implications for the future. He is potentially engaging a large new cohort of people in politics, people who are specifically inspired by a message of populist economics rather than the mix of anti-war sentiments and racial progress themes that mobilized people for Barack Obama in 2008.

    At the rally, Sanders hit on his key policy themes — single-payer health care, a $15 an hour minimum wage, free college tuition (a good theme in a university town like Madison), a $1 trillion infrastructure program, and a massive jobs program to tackle youth unemployment.

    But his biggest message, as is often the case with insurgent candidates, was a little bit meta.

    "This campaign is not about Bernie Sanders," he said, "It is not about Hillary Clinton or anybody else." Instead, it's "about putting together a grassroots movement of millions of people to make sure the government works for all of us and not a handful of wealthy campaign contributors."

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    Re: Sanders's Democratic Candidacy

    If you had any doubts Sanders is awesome: he hasn't stopped sending those international appeals (from Varoufakis's blog instead of HuffPo because the blog has less distractions and other crap):

    http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2015/07/02...ces-creditors/

    Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) attacked the International Monetary Fund and European authorities on Wednesday for imposing what he called excessive austerity measures on Greece in negotiations over the country’s debt payments.

    “It is unacceptable that the International Monetary Fund and European policymakers have refused to work with the Greek government on a sensible plan to improve its economy and pay back its debt,” Sanders said in an exclusive statement to The Huffington Post. “At a time of grotesque wealth inequality, the pensions of the people in Greece should not be cut even further to pay back some of the largest banks and wealthiest financiers in the world.”

    Sanders, a 2016 Democratic presidential candidate and veteran progressive lawmaker, called the loans-for-austerity policies that the IMF and eurozone nations have imposed on Greece an “abysmal failure,” and demanded that the United States and other world powers grant Greece new debt-repayment terms that would allow its economy to recover from the damage it has sustained since 2008.

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    Re: Sanders's Democratic Candidacy

    Ezra Klein has had a longer interview with Sanders:

    http://www.vox.com/2015/7/28/9014491...x-conversation

    When Sen. Bernie Sanders launched his presidential campaign, few treated it as a serious challenge to Hillary Clinton. Sanders, after all, isn’t even a Democrat: He’s a "democratic socialist." But his campaign struck a chord. He’s raised more than $15 million, primarily from small donors, and he’s turning out the largest crowds of the presidential race. But amidst all the media attention given to Sanders’s rapid political rise, there’s not been that much exploration of what he actually believes.

    So on July 16, Vox sat down with Sanders for a wide-ranging interview about his policy ideas and political theories. The discussion touched on everything from single payer to open borders to Zionism, but it began with perhaps the best-known but least-understood facet of Sanders’s political philosophy: his self-identification as a socialist. A transcript of the conversation, edited for length and clarity, follows.
    He still hasn't really fleshed out workable beliefs on systemic racism though, which will probably be a problem further down the line.

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    Re: Sanders's Democratic Candidacy

    Sanders continues to do poor on issues of racism. It's simply remiss of him it took so long to work out a platform on core issues for this topic (not that Clinton did better, but read the article to the end for that).

    http://www.vox.com/2015/8/11/9127653...k-lives-matter

    On Saturday, activists affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement interrupted a Bernie Sanders rally in Seattle to criticize his campaign for paying insufficient attention to issues of criminal justice and race.

    Sound familiar? Something similar happened last month at the progressive conference Netroots Nation: Black Lives Matter protesters interrupted a town hall meeting with Sanders and fellow Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley.

    The activists don't feel that Sanders — and, just as importantly, his supporters — are keeping racial justice front and center. Sanders has become a progressive hero for his economic populism, but at the beginning of his campaign he talked about racial inequality, if at all, as a symptom of economic inequality.

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    Re: Sanders's Democratic Candidacy

    This probably isn't well-known on American prime time TV, but Sanders also has an older brother in the UK who is a councillor for the Green Party (hard left) in Oxford.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33254500

    Bernie Sanders is known to many for taking on Hillary Clinton in a bid to become the Democratic candidate in next year's race for the White House. But his brother has been fighting a political battle of his own in the UK.

    Larry Sanders sounds pretty cheerful for a person who recently lost an election.

    The 80-year-old retired social worker and academic came fifth in the seat of Oxford West and Abingdon in May, representing the Green Party.

    "Although we didn't win, we increased our share of the vote... we recruited new members and established new branches," he says.

    He has lived in the UK since emigrating from his native New York in the late 1960s, but his voice still bears a trace of his childhood which was spent in Midwood, Brooklyn, from where his father used to travel to Long Island to sell paint.

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    Re: Sanders's Democratic Candidacy

    Ezra Klein regrets that Sanders's suggestion to replace medicine patents with medicine prizes has dropped out of mind:

    http://www.vox.com/2015/9/25/9397069...rs-drug-prices

    Bernie Sanders's best idea is, so far, missing from his presidential campaign.

    Both Sanders and Hillary Clinton have unveiled plans to cut drug prices. Both documents feature the standard raft of liberal ideas: Let Medicare bargain with drug companies, let pharmacies import drugs from Canada, force more transparency in pricing, and so on.

    But Sanders isn't a standard-issue Democrat when it comes to pharmaceutical spending. He's a radical. Yet his most radical idea — and perhaps his best — was left out of his proposal.
    Klein thinks Sanders's suggestion is too radical as he believes the market has led to enormous progress. I think that view depends too much on naĂŻve technological optimism: some papers on the history of medicine suggest that medical progress only contributed to two years in the increase of life expectation, with better nutrition causing the bulk of better living standards. That severely shakes the foundation of Klein's contention. We will obviously need new cures for currently untreatable diseases, but perhaps the current innovation rate is inefficient and research to improve the use of generic drugs would be more beneficial combined with tougher regulation in other domains.

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    Re: Sanders's Democratic Candidacy

    Sanders had a hard time on gun control, though it probably won't hurt him.

    http://www.vox.com/2015/10/13/951493...ocratic-debate

    At the first Democratic presidential debate, Bernie Sanders was forced to answer for one issue he's not so liberal on: guns.

    Now, Sanders isn't — as some people have described him — a "gun nut," but he does have a mixed voting record on gun policy. As a former representative and now senator of the very liberal Vermont, Sanders has swung to the left on many issues, particularly the economy and health care. But guns are one issue his rural state, with its relatively high levels of gun ownership, is moderate on — since so many residents use firearms for hunting and sport.

    But in light of recent shootings, Sanders's record will likely come under scrutiny in the first Democratic presidential debate. For Democrats passionate about this issue, it may come down to one question: Can someone with a moderate record on guns really carry the Democratic nomination, especially as mass shootings capture national attention?
    Sanders stated he tends toward supporting the legalisation recreational use of cannabis.

    http://www.vox.com/2015/10/14/952875...bate-marijuana

    Washington journos think he was the one who really lost the debate:

    http://www.vox.com/2015/10/14/953060...sanders-debate

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    Re: Sanders's Democratic Candidacy

    So apart from left-wing, Sanders is also left-field.

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2...t-pope-francis

    Bernie Sanders plans to warn against “the idolatry of money” in a speech at the Vatican next week which the Democratic candidate hopes will align his insurgent presidential campaign with the moral preaching of Pope Francis.

    “What the pope has been clear about is linking the issue of morality with the global economy and making the point that you can’t have a moral economy when so many people are living in poverty,” Sanders told the Guardian.

    “He has raised the issue more than any other person on the planet and I am very proud to be with him in the Vatican,” he added in an interview shortly after the campaign announced his surprise attendance at the conference on 15 April.
    According to the organisers in Rome, Sanders will be joined at the conference by Bolivian President Evo Morales, the socialist former leader of a coca-growers union who was the first president to come from the country’s indigenous majority, Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa, and professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University in New York.

    Attendance at Vatican conferences of this sort is not unusual for US politicians. New York mayor Bill de Blasio and other US mayors were at an environment conference last year. The announcement is also likely to be heavily overshadowed by the Vatican’s latest controversial publication on Friday on family issues, which did not go as far on the issue of gay rights as some Catholic Democrats would have liked.

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    Re: Sanders's Democratic Candidacy

    Apparently, the Panama Papers are Sanders's much needed second wind.
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    Re: Sanders's Democratic Candidacy

    Sanders had a very brief audience with the pope (though briefer audiences have been the stuff of media hype).

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2...at-the-vatican

    The Democratic US presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders brought his political revolution to the Vatican on Saturday, where he was granted a five-minute audience with Pope Francis.

    Sanders, the Vermont senator challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, told reporters he had met the pontiff on Saturday morning and discussed the need to inject morality and justice into the world economy, a view Sanders says he and the pope both share.

    “I told him that I was incredibly appreciative of the incredible role that he is playing in this planet in discussing issues about the need for an economy based on morality, not greed,” Sanders said.

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