Tag Archives: Bernie Sanders

Blowing up the anti-Brazile narrative

Democratic political operative (and former interim DNC chair) Donna Brazile.

Is Donna Brazile a self-important traitor to the DNC cause? Or has she been smeared by reporting-by-Twitter?

The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald thinks the latter, and has set forth what he says are four falsehoods that have been put forth about Brazile’s  bombshell allegations in her new book that the Clinton campaign had inordinate amounts of control over the key processes during the entirety of the last presidential campaign.

As early as this morning — Sunday, Nov. 5 — CNN is still reporting that Brazile said she had the unilateral power to remove Clinton as the nominee, even though the newspaper that originally reported that claim has had to walk it back (see below). This is important because this claim is  central to some others because it is being used to ridicule Brazile as being an ill-informed megalomaniac with an anti-Clinton agenda. 

Notes Greenwald:

Viral Falsehood #3: Brazile stupidly thought she could unilaterally remove Clinton as the nominee.

[On Nov. 4], the Washington Post published an article reporting on various claims made in Brazile’s new book. The headline, which was widely tweeted, made it seem as though Brazile delusionally believed she had a power which, obviously, she did not in fact possess: “Donna Brazile: I considered replacing Clinton with Biden as 2016 Democratic nominee.” The article said Brazile considered exercising this power after Clinton’s fainting spell made her worry that Clinton was physically debilitated, and her campaign was “anemic” and had taken on “the odor of failure.”

But Brazile – as a result of her stinging criticisms and accusations of Clinton, Obama and the DNC – is currently Public Enemy Number One among Democrats in the media. So they seized on this headline to pretend that she claimed the power to unilaterally remove Clinton on a whim, and then used this claim to mercilessly vilify her – the chair of Al Gore’s 2000 campaign, last year’s interim head of the DNC, and a long-time Democratic Party operative – as a deluded, insane, dishonest, profiteering, ignorant fabulist who lacks all credibility.

But the entire attack on Brazile was false. She did not claim, at least according to the Post article being cited, that she had the power to unilaterally remove Clinton. The original Post article, buried deep down in the article, well after the headline, made clear that she was referencing a complicated process in the DNC charter that allowed for removal of a nominee who had become incapacitated.

The Post then amended its story to reflect that she made no such absurd claim in her book, but rather noted that “the DNC charter empowered her to initiate replacement of the nominee” and that “if a nominee became disabled, she explains, the party chair would oversee a complicated process of filling the vacancy that would include a meeting of the full DNC.” The Post then added this note to the top of the article:

Journalists on Twitter spent hours yesterday mocking, maligning and attacking the reputation of Brazile for a claim that she simply never made – all because a tweeted headline, which they never bothered to read past or evaluate, made them think they were justified in doing so in order to malign someone who has, quickly and bizarrely, become one of the Democrats’ primary enemies.

Greenwald details three other ways he thinks the narrative of the story about Brazile’s claims in her book have been hijacked by credulous reporting of things reporters see on Twitter and then repeat as received wisdom without bothering to check their veracity, including her claim that the DNC agreement  with Clinton  applied to both the primary and general election — a claim that was allegedly debunked and for which Greenwald says requires a debunking of that debunking.

You can read all of it here.

I have my issues with Greenwald and The Intercept. They have been proof, at times, of the danger when people on the Left let their own beliefs get in the way of good reporting. (Witness Greenwald’s one-time insistence that claims of Russian interference were  a smokescreen to cover up Democratic Party ineptitude in the last presidential election — a claim he has had to abandon as evidence mounts of Russian interference happening on many fronts, including planting inflammatory stories supportive of third-party candidate Jill Stein.)

But Greenwald seems to be into something here. It does appear some Clinton loyalists have been fudging the truth in order to discredit Brazile. 

There are lingering questions about whether the agreement between the Clinton campaign and the DNC was an unseemly grab for power meant to exclude Bernie Sanders and others from an honest nominating process and campaign, or simply a wise candidate saying that if she was going to prop up the DNC financially to benefit the party and down-ticket candidates, she expected some control ensuring the money was spent wisely?

Absent further evidence, those are questions to which he may never have sufficient answers because we can’t read the minds of the people involved and those interpretations may largely depend on whom you supported in the presidential election. 

Complaining is easy. Real work for change is hard.

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I suppose it was inevitable that the Stein, Johnson and Sanders people are now blaming HIllary for the loss.

The made our lives miserable with feelings as facts throughout the election despite the fact that we coddled them and cajoled them and tried in vain to reason with them.

They are determined to make us even more miserable now that Trump is president with their endless rants that still don’t accept responsibility for their own part in her loss.

They demonized Clinton throughout and now whine that she was a flawed candidate. Of course she was. They and the Republicans made her so.thirdparty

Clinton was the candidate judged by fact checkers to be the most truthful of all of them throughout the primaries and the general election. Yet she was also the person in polls thought to be the least trustworthy.

Gee, I wonder how people ever got that impression even though it flies in the face of reality?

They have the president they deserve. Which would be fitting punishment — no student loan relief for you! — if it didn’t fuck over the rest of the country so completely.

I’ll get over the bitterness eventually. But for now I want all of them to just go away and find someplace to yammer with each other until their heads explode from their misinformed earnestness.

If you can’t work together for change, you’re part of the problem.

 

 
 
 

Herein lies proof that lefties can be as logic-proof as the extreme Right

Departing Daily Show correspondent Jessica Williams, one of the best reasons to still watch that program, filed this disconcerting bit of infotainment regarding Bernie Sanders supporters who are voting for Trump rather than Hillary.

Three male voters — black, Hispanic and white — told Williams they would “probably be looking at Trump,” whose campaign has been characterized by racist rhetoric and proposals, as Williams looked on in bewilderment.

“Why?” she said.

“He has diarrhea of the mouth, but a lot of things that he says are things that a lot of people may think,” said the Hispanic voter.

“You mean, like racist things?” Williams said.

“Racist things, I would say, yeah,” the voter admitted.

“He is a bigot and a racist,” one woman admitted, but started to qualify her statement with a “however.”

“You don’t have to continue with ‘however,’” Williams told her. “Where you gonna go with that?”

“I’m about to go there,” the woman said. “Hillary has been a scam artist all her life, and I hope the FBI comes and indicts her.”

Williams said she started to suspect these Sanders supporters didn’t actually like Trump, but perhaps had other motivations.

“Hillary will bring us to war within 90 days of her inauguration,” the same woman said.

A second woman weighed in, saying Clinton was “just a stack of garbage.”

“She’s a stack of garbage?” Williams said.

“She’s more like a leprechaun to me,” said the black man on the panel.

“What has a leprechaun ever done to you?” Williams said.

“They disgust me,” the man said.

It’s all downhill from that low point.

Before any of you starting railing about BernieBros and BernieBots, keep in mind that most Sanders supporters are, if polls are to be believed, wisely lining up behind Hillary Clinton.

The Daily Show most likely started out looking for the most intransigent Hillary haters they could find for this report because, well, there’s really only comedy potential in people who are this clueless.

The piece is funny and maddening all at once because the people on Williams’ panel are the flip side of Tea Party Republicans: so blinded by ideology and their various political echo chambers they have clearly been brainwashed just as much as any righteous right-wing fundamentalist. 

I have one Facebook friend who is absolutely convinced that Hillary stole the entire election and that the results will be overturned in Sanders’ favor because, well, that sort of thinking happens when all you read all day are conspiracy web sites.

Enjoy the clip. Laugh. Because getting mad won’t change the minds of any of these people. Laughing at them, rather than engaging then, often seems to shut them up.

DailyShow

Bill Maher with a Sanders/Clinton reality check

It’s not often I agree with !00% of what Maher says on any given segment of his show, but this time he is spot on.

BillMaher

 

Sanders comes to his senses on supporter misbehavior?

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Bernie Sanders primary range of responses up to now as to reports of violence and threatening behavior among his supporters has been to adopt the Alfred E. Neuman stance — who me? worry? — or talk about the unfairness of the system that is allegedly holding him down and stoking their basest emotions.

Both of which have essentially served to encourage and inflame them even more.

Now comes this from Bloomberg (caution: LOUD autoplay video) suggesting that the avalanche of last week’s of negative stories about Sanders’ inability or downright unwillingness to confront his followers’ excesses might be coming to an end.

As tensions were escalating between Bernie Sanders and Democratic Party leaders over the chaos caused by his supporters at a Nevada convention, Dick Durbin got an unexpected call from the Vermont senator.

Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, came away from the conversation on Wednesday convinced that Sanders, who has all but lost the presidential nomination battle to Hillary Clinton, understands the need for party unity and will do his part to defeat presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

“We talked about the demonstrations and such,” Durbin said Thursday in an interview. “I am convinced, as Bernie has said repeatedly, he is going to be on the team to defeat Donald Trump. I don’t have any question in my mind.”

We will see how long this lasts.

I’m of the mind that Sanders is a good guy who nonetheless has had the taste of the presidency in his mouth, no matter how long ago that became unrealistic, and will not give it up easily –especially with a campaign manager who has a taste for political blood in the water.

Rest of story here.

 

Britain’s Bernie Sanders sweeps to victory

Bernie Sanders
Jeremy Corbyn waves to supporters at his victory party.

Jeremy Corbyn, who has electrified Britain’s many disaffected voters — much like Bernie Sanders is doing in America — surprised everyone with a decisive victory in Labour Party elections.

His supporters are savoring his win at the polls:

On Saturday there were jubilant scenes after the release of results showing that Mr. Corbyn had won almost 60 percent of the vote, crushing his three opponents, Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham and Liz Kendall.

“We don’t have to be unequal, it doesn’t have to be unfair, poverty isn’t inevitable,” Mr. Corbyn told a cheering audience in a short acceptance speech.

“Things can change and they will change,” he added, denouncing “grotesque” levels of inequality and placing blame for the migration crisis currently sweeping Europe on the bitter legacy of going to war.

One of his first acts, Mr. Corbyn said, will be to attend a demonstration in London to highlight the plight of refugees. Mr. Corbyn’s perceived integrity and his willingness to speak his mind have struck a chord in a party in which many supporters were left disillusioned by the leadership of Mr. Blair, whose decision to join President George W. Bush in invading Iraq poisoned his legacy.

Yet Mr. Blair is one of only a handful of Labour leaders who has ever won a general election, and Mr. Corbyn’s critics fear he will turn the Labour Party into a protest movement, rather than a realistic alternative to the Conservative government of Prime Minister David Cameron.

Sound familiar?

The same voices that are nay-saying Sanders’ candidacy despite drawing crowds which dwarf his opponents’ rallies, are the same people who are predicting doom for Corbyn — namely the Labour (and Democratic Party) regulars who say their countries are not ready for so hard a shift to “the Left.”

Of course, all of this assumes that voters agree with those party stalwarts’ analyses of the election — and the mainstream media’s take on it. Many of both’s men’s policies and stances are resonating with voters across their respective countries’ political spectrums.

The New York Times spent almost as many words explaining why Corbyn’s victory is bad news for the general election as it did explaining why all those “misguided” voters chose Corbyn in the first place.

Corbyn’s victory will be interesting if for no other reason than to see if the voices of the Labour Party establishment will hold true, or if Corbyn’s supporters can keep up their numbers and enthusiasm in the general election.

No doubt the Conservative Party in Great Britain will begin doing exactly what they will do to Bernie Sanders should he win: pull quotes from a long career fighting the establishment out of mothballs  and use them to paint Corbyn as too extreme for his country.

Source: With Jeremy Corbyn Elected as New
Leader, Britain’s Labour Party Takes a
Hard Left Turn – New York Times

Bernie Sanders to speak at Liberty University

Bernie Sanders Madison WIsconsin
Bernie Sanders in Madison, Wisconsin.

A fundamentalist Christian student who lives in Lynchburg, Virginia and attends Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University explains why she’s for Bernie Sanders, who will be speaking at that conservative university’s convocation Sept. 14:

As a student at Liberty University, I have learned from my professors how to apply my conservative theology to all areas of my life. And that’s why I’m drawn to support Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign.

Jerry Falwell, the founder of the university, strongly believed that teaching students how to integrate their Christian worldview into all sectors of their lives, especially politics, is an essential part of providing a Christian education. I agree with the Liberty University Doctrinal Statement, which says that the Bible is “true revelation” that is “inspired by God” to create a standard of truth, there is one God “who exists eternally in three persons,” and Jesus Christ “offered himself as a sacrifice” for humanity’s sin. However, I find myself in the minority on campus politically.

Two years ago, I started my college journey at a similar point to most college freshmen, politically ignorant. Many of my southern friends and relatives hoped that I would develop a firm foundation of conservative Christianity, politically and theologically.

However, after joining the debate team my freshman year, I realized that I was much more politically liberal. On the debate team, I was able to research and explore political ideas that I never would have discovered on my own. At first this led to a massive amount of tension with the rest of my studies. I struggled to reconcile the secular politics I learned in debate, and the Christian principles leaders in my faith were teaching. With help from my coaches, teammates, and even some of my professors I began to learn to craft my own means of integrating what I believe about politics and what I believe about God.

I struggled to reconcile the secular politics I learned in debate, and the Christian principles leaders in my faith were teaching.

Many of my conservative Christian peers are baffled by the idea that my political beliefs could be grounded in my faith in Jesus Christ; but I believe the best way to find any sort of concrete truth among the shifting cultures of Christianity is to go directly to the Bible. From my studies, I have concluded that the Bible clearly indicates all life is valuable. Jesus calls his followers to care for those on the fringes of society: the poor, orphans, immigrants, and other disenfranchised groups. His calling leads me to a strong passion for social justice and an interest in hearing Senator Sanders speak.

Interesting.

Apparently some unlikely people are starting to #FeelTheBern.

I’ve always thought it strange so many fundamentalist Christians ascribe to GOP orthodoxy since Jesus had far more to say about helping the sick, poor, aged and otherwise downtrodden than he ever said about immigrants, guns, homosexuals and naughty lady parts.

If there are a heaven and a hell, I suspect there will be an awful lot of tea partiers with a lot to answer for at the pearly gates. Just before they are sent to bake down below where they will be forced to clean Satan’s orgy rooms without a mop for eternity.

Source: Bernie Sanders Speaks at Liberty University – The Atlantic

Is Bernie Sanders being shafted by the New York Times?

Bernie Sanders
A massive pro-Sanders rally in Madison, WI.

In some parts of the country Bernie Sanders is outpolling Hillary Clinton and he’s drawing huge crowds to his campaign events. 

Yet it is the impression of many Sanders supporters — an impression I share — that the mainstream media are not taking him seriously. One of the major targets of ire from Sanders fans has been the New York Times, arguably the nation’s newspaper of record.

If you are one of those individuals, you will be happy to note that the Times‘ Public Editor Margaret Sullivan has taken a look at the issue in a column that ran this morning:

Many readers also found this passage in an Aug. 20 campaign trail article objectionable:

When a gaggle of reporters — “corporate media” in Sanders parlance — mentioned Mrs. Clinton here, he snarled, “That’s the sport you guys like,” meaning their focus on the kind of political questions he disdains. When asked to reconcile his anti­establishment status with being a “career politician,” Mr. Sanders, who except for two years has held political office continually since 1981, glared at the young reporter who asked the question. “Career politician?” he said to her with a disdainful laugh. “Other questions.”

Constance Sullivan of Minneapolis wrote that it was “astonishingly inaccurate: “Sanders didn’t ‘snarl’ (I have seen the video clip). He typically responds calmly and with cool reason that tends to deflate a lot of self­ important young reporters.”

Regina Schrambling of Manhattan (a former Times writer and editor) wrote to me complaining about an early headline on a piece about Mr. Sanders’ popularity on Facebook and Reddit. It read: “A Grumpy Old Socialist and Social Media Sensation.” She couldn’t recall this sort of tone with any of the Republican “fringe candidates” as she put it. The article, too, she said, was dismissive. “It seems the editors have decided the race already and have written him off,” she said.

Beyond the specifics of word choice, many readers have told me in emails and written in hundreds of passionate comments on news stories that they are deeply frustrated by coverage that doesn’t dig into the important issues plaguing the nation, particularly economic inequality and climate change.

And Dave Lippman of Teaneck, New Jersey complained about a circular system of news, in which “fringe candidates are not deserving of respect because they don’t have support because the press doesn’t treat them with respect.”

Sullivan goes on to note:

Here’s my take: The Times has not ignored Mr. Sanders’ campaign by any means but it also hasn’t always taken it very seriously. The tone of some stories does seem regrettably dismissive, even mocking at times. Some of it is focused on the candidate’s age, appearance and style rather than what he has to say.

You can read the rest at the link below.

Source: Has The Times Dismissed Bernie
Sanders? – New York Times

Bernie Sanders to introduce bill to abolish private prisons

Go Bernie!

Prison privatization is one of the great moral scourges of this country right now, with the Kids For Cash scandal being the tip of a very sordid iceberg.

They end up costing just as much money and everyone ends up worse than where they started — taxpayers, prisoners, guards and administrative employees alike.

The only people who end up better than where they started are Wall Street investors.

Plus you have introduced the profit motive into incarceration, which is ripe for all kinds of immoral activity.

Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders said he will introduce a bill to abolish private prisons.

When Congress reconvenes in September, Senator Sanders says he will introduce legislation that will take “corporations out of profiteering from running jails.”

Sanders made the announcement at a campaign rally in Reno, Nevada the other day, to a crowd of thousands of supporters, some watching on from a multi-level parking complex nearby.

“It is morally repugnant and a national tragedy that we have privatized prisons all over America,” Sanders says on his website.

Today, for-profit companies are responsible for approximately 6 percent of state prisoners and 16 percent of federal prisoners.

Privatization of public services almost always turns out to be a scam, though you’d never know it from talking to Republicans who cannot get enough of the idea.

Source: Sanders to introduce bill to abolish private prisons – Bernie Post

BerniePrivatePrisons

Sarah Silverman at Bernie Sanders rally in LA

OK, so it’s a few days old, but it’s worth watching if you have not seen it.

Silverman is the thinking person’s comic, and even when she’s being entirely inappropriate for polite company — who likes polite company, anyway? — there is almost always a deeper message beneath the blue.

Bernie Sanders appears to be fast becoming the thinking person’s alternative candidate, if only we could guarantee his candidacy will not hand the election to the Republicans. 

That is not to say I would not support the guy. He is great and he’s been one of my favorites since before the campaign. But if he cannot win, and that is not yet clear, what is the point if it hands the White House to the GOP?

We will have won a battle and lost the war.

I’m keeping an open mind for now.

In any case, nice introduction by Silverman. The comic begins by declaring that she wants to take back the co-opted words “values” and “morals” from the people who misuse them to promote bigotry and greed.

To great cheers from the audience, of course.

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Bernie Sanders being introduced by Sarah Silverman at an Aug. 13 rally in Los Angeles.