Sunday, January 31, 2016

All Eyes On Iowa Tomorrow


We're backing Bernie Sanders at this blog and we urge you to caucus for him tomorrow if you live in Iowa and to contribute what you can to his campaign and to the campaigns of the congressional candidates who have endorsed him and who are running on his progressive platform. As you know, Hillary and her team are campaigning ferociously-- and very negatively-- to win Iowa's caucuses. Let me remind Iowans that in 2012, she privately said the caucus process favors "parties' extremes" (a disparaging way of describing progressives) over moderates (Beltway talk for "conservatives"), which she certainly considers herself.

Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist, H.A. Goodman, described why this election isn't just another crap shoot between a horrid Republican and a somewhat less horrid Democrat. For those of us who weren't alive when FDR was running, Bernie is a once in a lifetime candidate.
While Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump compete to sound more hawkish, only Bernie Sanders says, "I'll be damned if kids in the state of Vermont-- or taxpayers in the state of Vermont-- have to defend the royal Saudi family, which is worth hundreds of billions of dollars."

When people like Paul Krugman evaluate Bernie Sanders and Clinton, the feasibility of a single-payer program is scrutinized, but money spent funding perpetual wars never seems to be evaluated. In terms of interest alone for both Iraq and Afghanistan, Brown University's Cost of War
states, "By 2054, interest costs will themselves be at least $7.9 trillion unless the US changes the way that it pays for the wars."

Remember the war tax you paid to fund Iraq? Of course not.

Many of today's threats to U.S. national security stem from the Bush Administration, and the Democrats who sided with these neocons. Unlike Clinton, who views her Iraq Vote as simply a "mistake," Bernie Sanders possessed enough wisdom to evaluate the same intelligence Clinton now blames for her mistake.

One look at what Bernie Sanders warned in 2002 illustrates his unique status among American politicians. Here's his speech opposing the Iraq War, and ask yourself how much of today's world Sanders was able to foresee:
Mr. Speaker, in the brief time I have, let me give five reasons why I am opposed to giving the President a blank check to launch a unilateral invasion and occupation of Iraq and why I will vote against this resolution.

One, I have not heard any estimates of how many young American men and women might die in such a war or how many tens of thousands of women and children in Iraq might also be killed...

Fifth, I am concerned about the problems of so-called unintended consequences.

Who will govern Iraq when Saddam Hussein is removed and what role will the U.S. play in ensuing a civil war that could develop in that country?

Will moderate governments in the region who have large Islamic fundamentalist populations be overthrown and replaced by extremists?
Did Hillary Clinton possess the wisdom of Bernie Sanders, at a time America needed a leading Democrat to counter the neocons in Bush's administration?

Clinton might be "wicked smart," like President Obama states, but Bernie Sanders possesses wisdom. Wisdom and intelligence are different, and if you confuse the two, you're stuck with an endless stream of politicians like Hillary Clinton. With Bernie Sanders, America will get someone who makes decisions based upon principle and value system, not political expediency and evolution.

There's a reason The Economist ran a cover with the words, "What does Hillary stand for?"

If you've been in the spotlight for decades, yet people don't know what you stand for, then you might be "wicked smart," but your intelligence doesn't correlate to wisdom.

Furthermore, if you call an Iraq Vote a mistake, then repeat the mistake by advocating the bombing of Libya, the phrase "smart power" is meaningless. As stated in the New Republic, Benghazi Won't Stick to Hillary Clinton, But the Disastrous Libyan Intervention Should.

Also, if Hillary Clinton has been around forever, yet 59% of voters find her "not honest and trustworthy," then her experience hasn't correlated to effective leadership.

...[H]ow many American politicians do you know who would drive a busload of people in need of affordable medication, into Canada? The following is a C-Span transcript of Bernie Sanders describing his trip across the border in search of medication for his constituents:
Mr. SANDERS. Mr. President, there is not much I can add to the brilliant remarks made by Senator Dorgan. I think he, in a very comprehensive manner, made clear why the Senate and this country should move to prescription drug reimportation. I think he very ably answered the objections that we know are sure to come and made the case as well as could be made.

My State borders Canada. Some years ago, I put together what, in fact, turns out to be the very first bus trip to take constituents over the Canadian border to buy low-cost prescription drugs.

All of us have days which are transformative where something happens we will never forget, and that is the day I will never forget. On that day we took a busload of Vermonters, mostly women, many of the women struggling with breast cancer. We went from St. Albans, VT, to Montreal, Canada.

I will never forget the look on the faces of those women who were struggling for their lives when they bought breast cancer medicine at 10 percent of the cost they were paying in the State of Vermont.

The question is a very simple question: How do you have a drug manufactured by a company, manufactured in the same factory, put in the same bottles, sold in Canada, in some cases for one-tenth the price that same medicine is sold in the United States of America? How possibly can that happen?
Could you possibly imagine Clinton or Trump driving cancer patients across the border, in search of more affordable medication?

The time is now. Today, not tomorrow.

Save the cynicism for never-ending wars, not single-payer healthcare.

Will you ever see another statesman like Bernie Sanders in your lifetime?

Bernie Sanders is a once in a lifetime presidential candidate and I explain why I'm only voting for Sanders in this YouTube segment. I explain why Bernie Sanders will achieve a dominant victory to become president in my recent appearance on the David Pakman Show. There's a reason Donald Trump donated money to Hillary Clinton and other Democrats, and it's the same reason I'm only voting for Bernie Sanders in 2016. Herr Trumpf contributed to Hillary. Will you contribute to Bernie?

Today, the Quad-City Times, one of the most important media outlets for Iowa Democrats, endorsed Bernie's campaign, pointing out, correctly, that "Americans are tired of the hollow rhetoric" and that only Bernie can shift the party's paradigm. Clinton's greatest strength, they pointed out is also her greatest weakness: "Clinton embodies the status quo."
Few topics are as ripe for debate as the consolidation of wealth and power in the the U.S. among a wealthy few. It's an argument that only Sanders appears to truly appreciate, one that should carry through to November.

Democratic Party leaders know that much of its base is tired with the middling "third way" spearheaded by Clinton's husband, Bill, in the 1990s. Think "with your head instead of your heart," party leaders say, a shot at Sanders' alleged lack of electability, while warily eyeing the polls and a lack of enthusiasm for the anointed candidate. But it's also an acknowledgement that much of the rank-and-file identifies with Sanders' core beliefs. His calls to splinter massive financial institutions, implement truly universal, single-payer health care and provide tuition free college strike to the very heart of Democratic principles.

The party, however, is asking voters to reject their maxims for more of the same.

Then-Sen. Clinton voted for the war in Iraq. Sanders opposed it. She supported the Patriot Act, one of the greatest assaults on civil liberties in the nation's history. Sanders opposed it. She supported the Wall Street bailout. Sanders opposed it. There's a pattern here.

Sanders is correct: Experience and judgment aren't one and the same.

...In 2008, voters rejected Clinton for what they thought was a new era of political discourse. Obama has had his moments, for sure. But his supporters didn't get the new-century paradigm shift they desired. The corporatism persisted. Special interests and the wealthy continue to own Washington. Clinton is incapable of changing that. She's just too plugged in.

If the Democratic Party is to move forward, it must abandon its compromised policy and differentiate itself come November. Only Sanders can accomplish that goal.

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Too Late, Republicanos... You Created This Base Of Imbeciles And Now They're Shoving Fascism Down Your Throats


This week a gaggle of Mitt Romney operatives, led by Katie Packer and under the name, Our Principles PAC, spent over $2 million-- from undisclosed sources-- running TV ads in Iowa and New Hampshire attacking Herr Trumpf and his positions. The over-all theme is that he isn't a real Republican and all of the messaging is in the video above. The ads themselves are below. They've also been bombarding the media with anti-Trumpf press releases like this:
The latest TV and online advertisement from Our Principles PAC which begins airing this Friday, clearly exposes more inconsistencies of Donald Trump while raising serious questions Mr. Trump doesn't want to discuss in a campaign debate. This revealing ad shows Trump-- in his own words-- contradicting the major premise of his campaign: immigration. Trump blatantly talks about how the real path to citizenship in America is through an amnesty program.

This shocking new ad raises new questions-- thanks to Donald Trump's own words-- about whether the voters of Iowa can trust him, even when he makes tough statements about his signature issue of immigration. Trump's entire campaign claims that he "says it like it is," yet we are finding that over and over, on core Republican issues, Trump says different things to different audiences. More and more, Trump appears to be the kind of politician voters fear the most. Donald Trump's decision to opt out of the next GOP debate is clearly an attempt to duck the issues we've raised and avoid the tough questions about his chameleon-like campaign.

The barrage of ads have had no discernable impact on Trumpf fans and the latest polls from Iowa all show him ahead of his more conventional GOP rivals. The new CNN poll:
Herr Trumpf- 41%, up 2 points
Cruz- 19%, up 1 point
Rubio- 8%, up 2 points
Dr. Ben- 6%, down 4 points
Jeb- 5%, up 2 points
Christie- 4% down 1 point
All the other candidates are in margin-of-error territory. The new Fox poll is equally discouraging for those who think they can stop Herr:
Herr Trumpf- 34%, down 1 point
Cruz- 20%, no change
Rubio- 11%, down 2 points
Dr. Ben- 8%, down 2 points
Jeb- 4%, no change
Kasich- 4%, up 2 points
Everybody else-- bunched up in margin-of-error territory. And yet... Mary Kate Cary, a former George W. Bush speechwriter, in an editorial for US News and World Report-- yes, they're still in business-- just opined that Herr can still be stopped. "It's not too late. Not a single vote has been cast," she pointed out.
A few brave Republicans have come forward to say that Trump is completely unacceptable. Katie Packer, a veteran of Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign, has started the anti-Trump Our Principles PAC; Make America Awesome, another political action committee, is now running ads in Iowa. And groups supporting Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich have run anti-Trump ads as well... To be against Trump does not mean you are for Ted Cruz.

...It's not too late for good people to say that our next president should support women, war veterans and the disabled – not mock or denigrate them; that we believe experience counts when it comes to our commander in chief, and that the last seven years have taught us that on-the-job training is unacceptable; that we want fact-based, well-researched and consistent ideas for expanding opportunity for all Americans, strengthening our military, securing our border and limiting the size of government. We want a leader who respects life and the God-given dignity of every person. We want someone who uplifts and inspires, who plays by the rules and is a happy warrior. We need a president who knows how to build consensus. We seek integrity in our leaders, consistency of thought and action, and not least of all, humility. And finally, we want a leader who can unite the country, gain the support of mainstream voters and win the general election.

Donald Trump has none of those qualities. And it's not too late to say so. It's also not too late to talk about all the money Trump inherited from his father, all the bailouts he's accepted, all the bankruptcies and defaulted loans. It's not too late to hear from all the people who suffered because of his business deals-- the laid-off workers, the small business owners who sat across the table from him, the homeowners who had dealings with his failed mortgage company and those whose property he tried to get through abuse of eminent domain.

There's still time to point out to those who like Trump's promise of sticking up for the downtrodden that he's often the one doing the trodding. Make America Awesome's Iowa ad, entitled "Real Trump Record," catalogs examples from his business dealings and bankruptcies before ending with the line: "That's the real Trump record: fighting for himself-- not us."

What bothers me the most about Trump-- as a mom of two daughters, especially-- is the way he bullies women. He tries to torment and intimidate everyone he doesn't like, and he especially seems not to like women. There is no denying he is a misogynist bully.

Why the other Republican candidates are not attacking him more strenuously-- and instead are engaged in a circular firing squad against each other-- is beyond me. And why the Republican National Committee dropped National Review from cosponsoring a GOP debate-- so much for free speech by an opinion magazine-- is beyond me as well.

Trump is not the right man to lead the party-- or our nation-- forward.

These are dangerous times, and we can do better. Much better.

It's not too late to say so.
This weekend the Washington Post's Dan Balz, surveyed the GOP establishment's agony over what's left of the Deep Bench as it wonders if there's still away to thwart the rise of fascism inside the party.
Mainstream candidates have struggled as never before. Because there was no next-in-line candidate, no heir apparent among them, establishment support splintered, pitting the four candidates against one another to squabble among themselves for that portion of the pie. And they have been conventional in an unconventional year.

One strategist described the imbalance in the race to date as “an anti-establishment superhighway and an establishment dirt path.”

What is most striking about the assessments of how establishment candidates can get back into the fight is a consensus that it will not happen quickly, that it will require the capacity to absorb a series of losses before the dynamic shifts.
Their unrealistic hope starts with "a strong finish," whatever that means, by Rubio in Iowa tomorrow. He pointed out that "Rubio’s team thinks the survival strategy eventually can be a winning strategy. Two things will have to happen, however. One is that establishment money will have to coalesce around a single mainstream candidate. So far, that has not happened, and it probably will not until after Super Tuesday on March 1. But some strategists think that whoever ends up as the remaining establishment candidate will receive an unprecedented financial windfall sometime in March." And that has to go hand in hand with a wake up among GOP voters that "they cannot stomach either Trump or Cruz as the party’s nominee and swing decisively behind the remaining establishment candidate." This is all such incredible pie-in-the sky that it's hard to believe The Post even allowed Balz to publish it.

It is too late, Republicanos. If you want to thwart fascism, you have two choices now: conservative Democrat Hillary Clinton, who has a name you hate but is basically the same as most of you. Or someone who will transform America and push the country forward in a truly substantive way: Bernie Sanders. Think about the country and the ordinary families who live here, for a change.

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I Got An Email FromThe Right-Wing Husband Of This Year's Worst "Democratic" Candidate


Democrat Pat Murphy and his conservative primary opponent

Yesterday, I got an e-mail from Bill Vernon, a right-wing Republican who is backing the vile EMILY's List/DCCC conservative running for the Democratic congressional nomination in Iowa's first district. His wife, a Republican campaign donor who opportunistically switched party registration, is running against tried and tested progressive, former Iowa House Speaker Pat Murphy. (Murphy has been endorsed by Blue America and you can contribute to his campaign here.) The wife, Monica Vernon, has been named the worst election cycle spammer and pest of the 2016 cycle so far, often bothering people on the lists she bought from the DCCC and EMILY's List with 4 and 5 idiotic, contentless e-mails per day begging for money.

The one from her right-wing, anti-Choice, anti-regulation, anti-LGBT, pro-NRA husband Bill is typical:
Did you know that my wife Monica’s very first budget deadline of this year is tomorrow? She and her campaign team are working such long hours to make sure she wins her primary and defeats Rod Blum. They need to hit their fundraising goal tomorrow night and I want to do everything I can to help.

...Monica is so ready to beat Rod Blum in November-- she knows she can do it. But her campaign runs on grassroots support from people like you, and if you forget to give, she risks falling short and leaving gaps in her campaign budget.

I’m very proud of how far Monica has come, and this first deadline of the election year couldn’t be more important.
Vernon has contributed thousands and thousands of dollars to Republican candidates and Republican committees and has only ever contributed to one Democrat-- and a fake Democrat at that-- his wife Monica. He wrote two checks to his wife's campaign for $2,700 each, on March 30, 2015, the same week he wrote a check to the National Republican Senatorial Committee for $1,000. I wonder what the Democrats from the DCCC and EMILY's List mailing lists he contacted yesterday would think if they saw these contributions.
Republican Party of Iowa- $5,000
Republican Party of Iowa- $5,000
Republican Party of Iowa- $5,000
Republican Party of Iowa- $5,000
Republican Party of Iowa- $5,000
Republican Party of Iowa- $5,000
Republican Party of Iowa- $5,000
Republican Party of Iowa- $5,000
Republican Party of Iowa- $2,000
John McCain- $1,000
Greg Ganske- $1,000
Greg Ganske- $1,000
Republican Party of Iowa- $1,000
Jim Lightfoot- $1,000
National Republican Senatorial Committee- $1,000
Republican Party of Iowa- $1,000
George W. Bush- $1,000
Greg Ganske- $1,000
Greg Ganske- $1,000
Greg Ganske- $1,000
Greg Ganske- $1,000
Tom Latham- $1,000
Chuck Grassley- $1,000
Republican Party of Iowa- $1,000
Greg Ganske- $500
Greg Ganske- $500
Tom Latham- $500
Tom Latham- $500
Republican Party of Iowa- $500
Republican Party of Iowa- $500
Republican Party of Iowa- $500
Republican Party of Iowa- $500
Republican Party of Iowa- $500
Chuck Grassley- $500
Chuck Grassley- $500
Chuck Grassley- $500
RNC- $500
RNC- $500
Jim Leach- $500
Jim Leach- $500
Republican Party of Iowa- $500
George W. Bush- $500
Republican Party of Iowa- $500
Republican Party of Iowa- $500
Republican Party of Iowa- $500
Republican Party of Iowa- $500
Republican Party of Iowa- $500
Republican Party of Iowa- $500
Republican Party of Iowa- $500
Republican Party of Iowa- $500
Republican Party of Iowa- $500
Republican Party of Iowa- $500
Republican Party of Iowa- $500
Republican Party of Iowa- $500
Tom Tauke- $500
Tom Tauke- $500
Chuck Grassley- $500
Republican Party of Iowa- $500
And those are just the contributions over $500. There are also thousands of dollars in contributions of $400 and $250 to GOP candidates and committees all over the country, from Paul Ryan to Jim Nussle and Ben Lange. Monica also gave to Tom Latham as well as to right-wing extremist Phil Gramm. Just think of all the damage those thousands or dollars did to Iowa Democrats!

Yes, Bill is "very proud" of how far Monica has come... pulling the wool over Democrats' eyes with the help of EMILY's List, Steve Israel and Ben Ray Luján.

Iowa's first congressional district-- Dubuque, Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Marshalltown-- has a PVI of D+5 and has no need to draft a conservative Republican-lite like Vernon. Obama won there in 2008 with 58% and in 2012 with 56%. Steve Israel has been running around hissing into the ears of anyone who will listen and bear his shit-breath that the Democratic nominee, former Iowa House Speaker Pat Murphy, was lazy and didn't work hard enough to win. Israel's problem with Murphy, though, is that Murphy-- who is anything but lazy-- is an unabashed progressive with a spectacular record of leadership on progressive issues in the state legislature-- the kind of record that makes a viper like Israel shed his skin. He told Ben Ray Luján, who he's directing as DCCC Chair, to jump on Vernon, who is wealthy, conservative, without any sense of mission outside of careerism... exactly the kind of easily corruptible candidate Israel loves.

What does Vernon stand for? Well, nothing whatsoever, except a belief in her own destiny to hold higher office. At a meeting with a labor union she was asked if she supports the Keystone XL Pipeline and her response was basically that if they endorsed her she would back it or oppose it depending on what they wanted. (They declined to endorse her.) She's a classic political opportunist. Meanwhile, the EMILY's List hacks are lying bout Pat Murphy's record, trying to make it sound like Iowa's most determined progressive is less a champion of their own Republican-lite candidate, who may or may not be pro-Choice. Who really even knows? Here's Pat's actual record, for which EMILY's List, Rove-like, is attacking him:
1990 - Votes to require insurance coverage for newborns and well-baby care for first 6 months

1991 - Sponsors universal healthcare plan

1992 - Sponsors mandatory maternity leave bill

1995 - Co-sponsors Equal Rights Amendment Bill

1996 - Votes to make sure child care workers checked against sex offender registry

1997 - Again co-sponsors Equal Rights Amendment Bill

1998 - Votes for low income tax credit

1998 - Votes for increase to child tax credit

1999 - Advocates using tobacco trust fund money to increase medicaid reimbursements

2000 - Votes to prevent insurers from denying contraceptive coverage

2000 - Sponsors equal pay law

2000 - Sponsors bill to provide unemployment for women who miss work because of domestic violence

2002 - Writes Hawk-I bill to cover uninsured kids

2006 - Votes to increase the minimum wage

2007 - As Speaker, he has the Iowa House increase the minimum wage

2007 - Votes to establish pre-kindergarten in Iowa

2007 - Votes to increase the earned income tax credit for all families

2008 - Worked to keep sex offenders away from daycare centers

2008 - Votes to extend health insurance coverage to all Iowa kids by 2011

2009 - As Speaker, he has the Iowa House pass nation’s first equal pay law

2006-2010 - As Speaker, stops every attempt by right wing conservatives to affect women’s healthcare choices
Most of these accomplishments were from the time Monica and Bill were relentlessly campaigning against Democrats and funding right-wing anti-Choice fanatics. Have you ever contributed to EMILY's List or the DCCC? Here's where you can contribute to Pat Murphy's campaign.

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Wall Street Doesn't Care If It's Hillary Or Some Republican In The White House-- Just So It Isn't Bernie


There's also this wing of the Democratic Party

Eastern Iowa's Gazette has been around since 1883 and is a major source of news for Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, strongly Democratic Party areas of Iowa. Going into the caucuses this weekend they fact-checked a cynical question from Rove Does Iowa really want Wall Street in the White House?. According to a report by the generally pro-Hillary Washington Post "by Sept. 30, Hillary Clinton had received $6.42 million in donations toward her 2016 presidential campaign from employees and PACs of banks, credit card companies, securities and investment firms, accounting firms and insurance companies-- organizations commonly called Wall Street groups."
The second claim by American Crossroads is that Wall Street interests made Clinton a multimillionaire after her support for a $700 billion bailout. The ad shows the number “$3.15 million” and references a CNN report.

The bailout portion of this claim is easily determined. H.R. 1424, commonly referred to as the bailout of the U.S. financial system, passed the Senate on Oct. 1, 2008. Clinton, then a New York senator, was one of the 74 senators in favor. Two days later, President George W. Bush signed it into law.

For its $3.15 million claim, American Crossroads cites a CNN report from October, which delves into Clinton’s fees for speeches, using her tax returns as sourcing.

Using those returns, specifically the 2013 speech income document, we can see that Clinton charged $225,000 per speech. Fourteen of those speeches were for banks, investment firms or financial companies like Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and USB Wealth Management. The Goldman Sachs Group alone hosted three speeches that year, costing $675,000 in total.

Math for Clinton’s speeches for such companies comes to $3.15 million, which shows where American Crossroads got its number.

It should be noted Clinton charged $225,000 for at least 40 speeches made that year, which included other organizations such as Gap Inc. and Verizons Communications.

And while the ad implies a cause and effect relationship since the bailout. it’s not that simple-- the Clintons have been close to Wall Street groups since the 1990s.


A data search finds the ad’s comparison of Clinton’s donations from Wall Street with Iowa to be right-- the gap is actually larger.

It’s impossible to verify whether Clinton’s financial support from Wall Street groups is tied to the bailout. The numbers, however, show Wall Street interests paid millions in speaking fees to her subsequently.

That said, Fact Checker scores the two claims measured in the American Crossroads ad an A.
I don't know how many caucus goers in eastern Iowa read the New York Times but those who do this weekend will see why the mouthpiece of the Establishment has, very predictably, endorsed the candidate of the Establishment.

Hillary Clinton would be the first woman nominated by a major party. She served as a senator from a major state (New York) and as secretary of state-- not to mention her experience on the national stage as first lady with her brilliant and flawed husband, President Bill Clinton. The Times editorial board has endorsed her three times for federal office-- twice for Senate and once in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary-- and is doing so again with confidence and enthusiasm.

Mrs. Clinton’s main opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-described Democratic Socialist, has proved to be more formidable than most people, including Mrs. Clinton, anticipated. He has brought income inequality and the lingering pain of the middle class to center stage and pushed Mrs. Clinton a bit more to the left than she might have gone on economic issues. Mr. Sanders has also surfaced important foreign policy questions, including the need for greater restraint in the use of military force.

...Clinton can be more hawkish on the use of military power than Mr. Obama, as shown by her current call for a no-fly zone in Syria and her earlier support for arming and training Syrian rebels. We are not convinced that a no-fly zone is the right approach in Syria, but we have no doubt that Mrs. Clinton would use American military power effectively and with infinitely more care and wisdom than any of the leading Republican contenders.
So, what it comes down to is what we've said all along. She's a woman and she's not as bad as a Republican. They also make the point that she's more "realistic" in her goals than Bernie. That translates to "more conservative," just like the editors who wrote the piece. Her disgusting opposition to single-payer health care shows exactly who she is and what she represents and should be enough for most Democrats to reject her as a candidate. Elizabeth Warren has been careful not to directly attack Hillary's alliance with the Wall Street banksters and the Medical-Industrial Complex, which have largely financed her Republican-lite political career. But I guarantee you, she didn't have Bernie in mind when she was saying this on the Senate floor last week:

Writing today for the New York Review of Books scholar and author Simon Head blew the roof off the Clinton Machine's vast and incredibly corrupt fundraising apparatus. "[F]ew," he wrote, "have been as adept at exploiting this big-money politics as Bill and Hillary Clinton... What stands out about what I will call the Clinton System is the scale and complexity of the connections involved, the length of time they have been in operation, the presence of former president Bill Clinton alongside Hillary as an equal partner in the enterprise, and the sheer magnitude of the funds involved." And it stinks to high heaven of the kind of corruption both common-place among Republicans and of exactly what propelled Bernie Sanders into the race to begin with.
Scale and complexity arise from the multiple channels that link Clinton donors to the Clintons: there is the stream of six-figure lecture fees paid to Bill and Hillary Clinton, mostly from large corporations and banks, which have earned them more than $125 million in the fifteen years since Bill Clinton left office in 2001. There are the direct payments to Hillary Clinton’s political campaigns, including for the Senate in 2000 and for the presidency in 2008 and now in 2016, which had reached a total of $712.4 million as of September 30, 2015, the most recent figures compiled by Open Secrets. Four of the top five sources of these funds are major banks: Citigroup Inc, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and Morgan Stanley. The Clinton campaign meanwhile has set a goal of raising $1 billion for her Super PAC for the 2016 election.

...Former US presidents have long used charitable foundations as a way to perpetuate their influence and to attract speaking fees as a lucrative source of income. But the Clintons are unique in being able to rely on the worldwide drawing power of former president Bill Clinton to help finance the political career of Hillary Clinton—with the expectation among donors that as a senator, secretary of state, and possible future president Hillary Clinton might be well placed to return their favors. The annual meetings of the Clinton Global Initiative have provided a prime setting for transactions between the Clintons and their benefactors. Among the corporate sponsors of the 2014 and 2015 CGI conferences in New York City, for example, were HSBC, Coca Cola, Monsanto, Proctor and Gamble, Cisco, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Blackstone Group, Goldman Sachs, Exxon Mobile, Microsoft, and Hewlett Packard. For sponsorship of $250,000 or more, corporate executives attending the CGI meetings can enjoy special privileges up to and including direct access to the Clintons.

In a 2013 investigative article for the New Republic, Alec MacGillis described the annual CGI meeting as a complicated give and take in which CEOs provide cash for CGI projects in exchange for access to Bill Clinton. MacGillis focused on the activities of Douglas Band [who declared last week that he would support billionaire Michael Bloomberg if Clinton lost the nomination to Bernie Sanders], a former low-level aide in the Clinton White House, who at the CGI meetings arranged favors for selected CEOs such as “getting them on the stage with Clinton, relaxing the background checks for credentials, or providing slots in the photo line.” At the CGI’s 2012 meeting it was Muhtar Kent, then CEO of Coca Cola, who, New York Times reported “won a coveted spot on the dais with Mr. Clinton.”

Along with the Clinton Foundation, lecture fees have offered another way for interested parties such as Citicorp and Goldman Sachs to support the Clintons beyond direct campaign donations. Data drawn from the Clintons’ annual financial statements, the Clinton Foundation, and the banks themselves show that between 2001 and 2014 Bill Clinton earned $1.52 million in fees from UBS, $1.35 million from Goldman Sachs, $900,000 from the Bank of America, $770,000 from Deutsche Bank, and $650,000 from Barclays Capital. Since she stepped down as secretary of state in February 2013, Hillary Clinton has been earning comparable fees from the same sources. Of the nearly $10 million she earned in lecture fees in 2013 alone, nearly $1.6 million from major Wall Street banks, including $675,000 from Goldman Sachs (the payments referred to by Bernie Sanders in the January 17 2016 debate), and $225,000 each from UBS, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and Deutsche Bank.

Among the most striking and troubling aspects of the Clinton System are the large contributions corporations and foreign governments have made to the Clinton Foundation, along with Bill Clinton’s readiness to accept six-figure speaking fees from some of them, at times when the donors themselves had a potential financial interest in decisions being made at Hillary Clinton’s State Department. An investigation published in April 2015 by Andrew Perez, David Sirota and Matthew Cunningham-Cook at International Business Times shows that during the three-year period from October 2009 through December 2012, when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, there were at least thirteen occasions—collectively worth $2.5 million—when Bill Clinton received a six-figure speaking fee from corporations or trade groups that, according to Federal Government records, were at the time engaged in lobbying at the State Department. These payments to Bill Clinton in 2010 included: $175,000 from VeriSign Corporation, which was engaged in lobbying at the State Department on cybersecurity and Internet taxation; $175,000 from Microsoft, which was lobbying the government on the issuance of immigrant work visas; $200,000 from SalesForce, a firm that lobbied the government on digital security issues, among other things. In 2011, these payments included: $200,000 from Goldman Sachs, which was lobbying on the Budget Control Act; and $200,000 from PhRMA, the trade association representing drug companies, which was seeking special trade protections for US-innovated drugs in the Trans-Pacific Partnership then being negotiated.

And in 2012, payments included: $200,000 from the National Retail Federation, which was lobbying at the State Department on legislation to fight Chinese currency manipulation; $175,000 from BHP Billiton, which was lobbying the State Department to protect its mining interests in Gabon; $200,000 from Oracle, which, like Microsoft, was seeking the government to issue work visas and measures dealing with cyber-espionage; and $300,000 from Dell Corporation, which was lobbying the State Department to protest tariffs imposed by European countries on its computers.

During Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, US defense corporations and their overseas clients also contributed between $54 and $141 million to the Clinton Foundation. (Because the foundation discloses a range of values within which the contributions of particular donors might fall, only minimum and maximum estimates can be given.) In the same period, these US defense corporations and their overseas government clients also paid a total of $625,000 to Bill Clinton in speaking fees. In March 2011, for example, Bill Clinton was paid $175,000 by the Kuwait America Foundation to be the guest of honor and keynote speaker at its annual Washington gala. Among the sponsors were Boeing and the government of Kuwait, through its Washington embassy. Shortly before, the State Department, under Hillary Clinton, had authorized a $693 million deal to provide Kuwait with Boeing’s Globemaster military transport aircraft. As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton had the statutory duty to rule on whether proposed arms deals with foreign governments were in the US’s national interest.

Further research done by Sirota and Perez of International Business Times and based on US government and Clinton Foundation data shows that during her term the State Department authorized $165 billion in commercial arms sales to twenty nations that had given money to the Clinton Foundation. These include the governments of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Algeria, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, all of whose records on human rights had been criticized by the State Department itself. During Hillary Clinton’s years as secretary of state, arms sales to the countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation ran at nearly double the value of sales to the same nations during George W. Bush’s second term. There was also an additional $151 billion worth of armaments sold to sixteen nations that had donated funds to the Clinton Foundation; these were deals organized by the Pentagon but which could only be completed with Hillary Clinton’s authorization as secretary of state. They were worth nearly one and a half times the value of equivalent sales during Bush’s second term.

Among the most important, and lucrative, business friendships the Clintons have formed through the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiatives has been that with Canadian energy billionaire Frank Giustra. A major donor to the foundation for many years, Giustra became a member of its board and since 2007 has been co-sponsor of the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative, or CGGI. In turn, Bill Clinton’s political influence and personal contacts with foreign heads of state have been crucial to Giustra’s international business interests.

...The record of the Clinton System raises deep questions about whether a Hillary Clinton presidency would take on the growing political influence of large corporate interests and Wall Street banks. The next president will need to address critical economic and social issues, including the stagnating incomes of the middle class, the tax loopholes that allow hedge-funders and other members of the super-rich to be taxed at lower rates than many average Americans, and the runaway costs of higher education. Above all is the question of further reform of Wall Street and the banking system to prevent a recurrence of the behavior that brought about the Great Recession of 2007-2008.

So far, Hillary Clinton has refused to commit herself to a reintroduction of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, which Bill Clinton allowed to be repealed in 1999 on the advice of Democrats with close ties to Wall Street, including Robert Rubin and Larry Summers. The reintroduction of Glass-Steagall, favored by Bernie Sanders, would prevent banks from speculating in financial derivatives, a leading cause of the 2007-2008 crash. With leading Wall Street banks so prominent in the Clintons’ fundraising streams, can Hillary Clinton be relied upon to reform the banks beyond the modest achievements of the Dodd-Frank bill of 2010?
Is America ready for this level of corruption in the White House? Democrats shouldn't be and Iowa Democrats should lead the way in rejecting Clinton's candidacy tomorrow and supporting Bernie Sanders instead.

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A Look At Two Contrasting Endorsements In The Florida Senate Race


Chuck Schumer's corrupt candidate for the open Florida Senate seat, Patrick Murphy-- recently voted the most ineffective Member of Congress-- and the House's most effective progressive, Alan Grayson both announced very telling endorsements yesterday. Grayson was endorsed by Jane Kleeb, the grassroots organizer who helped kill the Keystone XL Pipeline. "I worked for years to stop Keystone XL, and there's only one candidate in Florida's Senate race who can say the same thing. Only one, and that is Alan Grayson," said Jane Kleeb, Bold Nebraska Director. "He stood strong when other Republicans, and Democrats, buckled to corporate pressure and pushed President Obama to approve this potential environmental disaster through our Heartland’s water supplies and farms. Alan Grayson never wavered, and he never quit fighting to stop the export pipeline. No other candidate in this race will protect our environment and fight for clean energy jobs with the same guts as Alan Grayson. He stands up to corporate bullies and we stand with him."

Schumer's corrupt right-wing candidate, Murphy, who "left" the Republican Party fairly recently-- but still votes for much of their agenda-- dutifully voted in favor of the Keystone XL Pipeline every time the GOP brought it up. In fact he was one of only 19 bribe-taking conservaDems who joined the GOP in voting to remove President Obama from the Keystone Pipeline decision-making process, a mind-blowing vote for a Democrat-- even a fake Democrat like Murphy-- to take.

But all those votes for Keystone XL was the basis of his big endorsement announcement yesterday. America's most right-wing and most corrupt union-- LIUNA-- pushed very strongly for Keystone XL. It was no surprise to anyone that they embraced Murphy. LIUNA, which disaffiliated from the AFL-CIO in 2006 and, earlier, was prosecuted by the Department of Labor for racketeering, corruption and ties to organized crime, is perfectly matched with Murphy. At the height of the battle over the Keystone XL Pipeline LIUNA threatened progressives in Congress that they would help Koch-backed Republicans beat them in November. (They had already started funneling cash into primaries on behalf of right-wing Democrats like Colleen Hanabusa against progressives.) Terry O'Sullivan, the conservative union boss, decided threatening House incumbents was the best tactic for his members and he singled out several top targets-- all 100% union backers: Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Tim Ryan (D-OH), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Carol Shea Porter (D-NH), Alan Grayson (D-FL), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Mike Honda (D-CA) and Judy Chu (D-CA). Here's part of a letter O'Sullivan sent to members in Jan Schakowsky's Illinois district, where she was facing a crackpot Republican who wanted to abolish unions altogether:
As we head into the 2014 election season, I want to bring your attention to an issue of critical importance to our Union; your member of Congress is trying to destroy job opportunities for our LIUNA brothers and sisters. Representative Jan Schakowsky recently signed a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urging him to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline, a vital infrastructure project that would create millions of hours of work for LIUNA members, increase U.S. energy independence, and safely transport a resource that will be developed with or without the pipeline.

To all proud, strong and united LIUNA brothers and sisters, I say, enough is enough! Our members and their families are angry, disappointed and disillusioned with out-of-touch, job-killing politicians who choose to side with environmental extremists over work for our members. There so-called "friends" of ours are destroying good-paying work opportunities with family-supporting benefits, at a time when LIUNA members are trying to put food on their tables, keep roofs over their heads, and maintain middle-class lifestyles.

For every action, there is a reaction, and our reaction to this frontal assault on our way of life needs to be loud and clear. If you do not stand with us, we sure as hell will not stand with you.

…[Your] member of Congress has chosen to side with hard-core anti-Keystone organizations rather than with hard working LIUNA members and their families. Please keep that in mind when Congresswoman Schakowsky seeks your vote this fall, and be sure to let her know how angry and disappointed you are that she is trying to keep your brothers and sisters from working.

If Congresswoman Schakowsky and other politicians continue to stand in the way of jobs for Laborers, let's make sure they "feel the power" and fury of LIUNA this November.
Schakowsky was reelected with nearly 66% of the vote and LIUNA bosses proved themselves impotent as their own members helped re-elect all the Democrats on their enemies list. Grayson was another one they targeted and Kleeb, who is originally from Florida and is credited as one of the most influential opponents of the toxic pipeline, hailed Grayson for his diligent and unwavering opposition despite the threats from O'Sullivan.

In acknowledging her endorsement yesterday, Grayson said, "It was organizing heroes like Jane Kleeb who convinced President Obama that rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline would put the wellbeing of our environment ahead of oil company profits. Few people dared to stand up and point out the pipeline would not offer a long-term benefit to our economy, and was merely a gift to foreign oil companies at the expense of our environment. I’m grateful she stood up to take on that fight, and I’m honored that she’s standing with me now."

So who do you stand with on this? President Obama, Alan Grayson, progressives and Jane Kleeb or with the GOP, Patrick Murphy and a corrupt union boss who recently fumed that "President Obama today demonstrated that he cares more about kowtowing to green-collar elitists than he does about creating desperately needed, family-supporting, blue-collar jobs.  After a seven-year circus of cowardly delay, the President’s decision to kill the Keystone XL Pipeline is just one more indication of an utter disdain and disregard for salt-of-the-earth, middle-class working Americans... Barack Obama’s disdain for working people is evident. The President may be celebrated by environmental extremists, but with this act, President Obama has also solidified a legacy as a pompous, pandering job killer."

Please consider the choice that Florida voters will be making between Grayson and Murphy and keep in mind that Schumer has made sure Murphy's would be swimming in Wall Street cash. The banksters have given him $787,750 so far this cycle, more than any other non-incumbent running for the Senate from either party-- and more than they've given many Senate incumbents as well as powerful GOP allies like Speaker Paul Ryan ($589,288) and House Financial Services Committee chair Jeb Hensarling ($592,465). Grayson really needs some financial assistance from grassroots Democrats who don't want to see Schumer end his career. Please consider contributing here.

Polar opposite of what Murphy & his GOP allies say

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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Paul Kantner-- On To The Next Gig


Paul Kanter and Grace Slick and their daughter, China

I didn't know we had computers back then and I'm sure Mitchel Cohen has the date wrong as well, but this was waiting in my inbox yesterday when I woke up:
Yet more awful news. The Airplane was my favorite rock band. My first date-- a "computer date" at Stony Brook when I was 17-- was to see the Airplane live in the Stony Brook gym in 1966. (Don't ask about the brilliant computer match-up).
It was actually 1967. How do I know? I was the chairman of the Student Activities Board at Stony Brook and I booked the show. It was February 18, 1967-- 2 days before my 19th birthday. Sandy Pearlman had originally turned me on to the band's pre-Grace Slick first album, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, which featured Signe Anderson. [UPDATE: Signe died the same day as Paul.] Many of the San Francisco bands were doing "Let's Get Together," which had first been released in 1964 by the Kingston Trio, then by the We Five in 1965 and then by the Airplane in 1966. The following year, The Youngbloods had a big hit with it. Here's the Airplane's version, sung by Paul Kantner, Signe Anderson and Marty Balin.

It was one of the songs I listened to a lot in my freshman year at college and on one of my trips to San Francisco to pick up marijuana I met concert promoter and Airplane manager Bill Graham who started sending me live tapes of the San Francisco bands I could play on my WUSB overnight radio show. I was hanging out in Manhattan a lot, at the Cafe Au Go Go, and I made a deal with Howard Solomon, the owner, that we would book cool bands together. I would get a Friday or Saturday night for Stony Brook and he would have the rest of the week. That's how I wound up with the Airplane on their first trip to the East Coast, a week or so after the release of their groundbreaking second album, Surrealistic Pillow. "Somebody to Love" and then "White Rabbit" where huge counterculture hits but the song I liked most was one of the songs Paul wrote with Marty Balin, "Today."

Paul had really started the band and he was the most outgoing of the members when I met them. I had been kicked off campus and out of the dorms for selling drugs and lived down Nichols Road in a suburban track development, Strathmore, where I was renting a room in a split level house with 5 or 6 girls who took care of me. The Airplane bus parked in front and they all crashed on the floor and I turned them on to my favorite album, the Classical Music of Pakistan by qawwali singers Salamat and Nazakat Ali. This was the song, influences from which showed up a few years later on another album. A lot of pot was smoked and after the concert, I went with Paul and Marty, Bill Graham and Sandy Pearlman to Ratner's Deli on Second Avenue in the East Village for some food. Timothy Leary had given me a tab of acid when he spoke at the school a couple months earlier-- cool speakers series, huh?-- and I had saved it and taken it that night-- my first acid trip. Maybe that's why I wound up bonding with Paul so strongly. I had hired the Daily Flash, a Seattle band that was playing in my friend Brad Pierce's club, Ondine's, under the 59th Street Bridge, to open the show. They were ok. The Airplane, though, was great that night so it didn't matter. The show was in the gym and it was free for students and, I think, $5.00 to non-students. Good crowd but not sold out. Other than a private RCA promotional show at Webster Hall in Manhattan a month earlier, it was the Airplane's first East Coast gig.

Many years later-- after a trek to Pakistan to meet Salamat and Nazakat (who weren't in the village in the mountains near Lahore when I got there) and a few years living in Europe-- I moved to San Francisco and renewed my friendship with Paul. He was one of the few guys from the psychedelic scene, passé by then, who understood and enjoyed the deep connection to the new punk rock scene that was starting up in the late 70's. Paul became a Mabuhay Gardens regular. He taught me how to make myself invisible and blend into a crowd. It was great for not attracting unwanted attention from fans and for getting into places for free.

Years later, another one of the Airplane guys, bassist Jack Cassidy, started a punk band, SVT, and I put his record out on my label. I never had any business dealings with Paul, just a strong bond, a lot of respect and admiration and a warm friendship. Paul had a heart attack early in the week and died Thursday from organ failure caused by septic shock. He was 74. He had three children, China, Gareth and Alexander and a couple of grandchildren.

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Thursday's Trumpless Debate Was Like An Expanded Kiddie Table


I missed Thursday's Trumpless debate. I was at my favorite restaurant, Michael Voltaggio's Ink, instead. For the last year I'm been battling cancer and one of the side effects of chemo is that you lose the ability to taste things. Sometimes everything tastes really bad and sometimes they don't taste bad, just not "right." My doctor warned me not to eat things I really loved while I was going through the treatment because I might never like them again. During the last 14 months, I did try Ink a few times and the food never tasted as good as I knew it was. Nothing did. But in the last month or so, my buds have started coming back. Last night's dinner was amazing and everything tasted as wonderful as ever. Oh my god-- the way they do their corn! And the little gem salad is the best in town!

Of course the food orgy left me with the problem of figuring out what had happened at the debate-without-Trump. Where to turn? YouTube, Philip Rucker and Sean Sullivan, the local press, Digby's blog, Crooks and Liars, PolitiFact, the New York Times... Twitter? I guess the Drudge poll summed up how the Republican base saw the debate.

Scary that 4,479 watched Fiorina in action and thought they would like to see her in the White House. That seems the definition of insanity! In the context of all the rest of the human garbage on the stage, though, maybe not certifiably insane. By far, though, my favorite descriptions from the debate was an unsigned post at Highlights:
Marco Rubio attempted to use his child preacher from There Will Be Blood over-religiosity to overcome his lack of accomplishments, plans or the later stages of puberty.

Every question made Ben Carson seem like the kid everyone knows wasn’t paying attention who’d been caught by the teacher.

Jeb Bush seemed like he was going to cry every time he thought of Trump.

Chris Christie used bluster to blunt his anemic poll ratings, criminal administration and shriveled ambitions by basically accusing Obama of starting #BlackLivesMatter.

But it was Ted Cruz’s night to remind everyone why he’s less popular in Washington D.C. than a wet toilet seat. The junior senator, former Donald Trump apprentice and monster who escaped from a laboratory before he finished baking was the focus of the seventh GOP debate, as the billionaire frontrunner skipped the event to host a faux-veterans’ charity event that looked like a DeVry graduation. Cruz attempted to dominate the debate by using his trademark move of accusing the moderators of trying to make incite Republican-on-Republican crime. But he forgot that only works when the moderators aren’t some of the most popular Republicans in America.

All and all the night reminded America of what the GOP primary would have looked like without Trump. Mostly the same, with a less jittery Jeb Bush and far fewer Americans aware that the party is more interested in building a wall against Muslims than keeping lead out of the drinking water.
The Trumpless debate had the second lowest viewership of the campaign-- 12 million, quite a bit down from 25 million. Not many people watched Herr Trumpf's sideshow either. Last word: help save our country.

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Beware: The Clinton Trolls Are Out In Force This Weekend


Hillary's campaign against Bernie-- and that's all it has degenerated into-- is deceitful, vicious and ugly. Part of it is to project its own shortcomings and tactics onto Bernie's campaign and his followers. "The BernieBros are being mean to everyone" is part of the Clinton message now, even as Hillary-bots fan out across the media-- social and corporate-- with their litany of offensive lies about "NRABernie" and Bernie the racist, Bernie the misogynist, Bernie in the pocket of the banksters, Bernie the flip-flopper and Bernie the unelectable.

Clinton's political conservatism, her timidity about progressive issues, her position embedded deep in the heart of the Wall Street predatory establishment, her failed tenure as Secretary of State and her mundane and mediocre job as a U.S. senator-- plus the fact that she is widely disliked by independents-- make her the dream candidate for the GOP, the easiest to beat by Trumpf. Polling consistently shows that Bernie would beat each Republican while Hillary might scrape through if Trumpf were the nominee, she would lose to Rubio and possibly even to Cruz.

Her "ex"-Republican attack dog, David Brock, one of the most unsavory figures in American politics, has become the face of Hillary 2016-- and its a face no Democrat should want to consider for even two seconds. Hillary's top aides and surrogates have been saying that if their own flawed candidate loses they will try to get jobs working for the election of New York plutocrat Michael Bloomberg, slightly to the right of Clinton and, like her, a standard bearer for the Wall Street elites. Her vocal online supporters seem uniformly incapable-- both intellectually and emotionally-- to ask themselves why or to even look at the sordid collection of lobbyists, careerists and conservatives dominating her inner circle.

This weekend, her campaign is all about smearing Bernie in the same ways she attempted to smear Obama when she ran against him. Funny how her most ardent supporters never ask themselves why every Democratic NRA shill in Congress has endorsed her and not one NRA shill backs Bernie. In Ohio her campaign is indistinguishable with that of NRA long-time hero Ted Strickland, Hillary's endorsed NRA A+ candidate for Senate. Virtually every single congressional Democrat who has backed the NRA agenda also backs Hillary. None back Bernie-- not one. Yesterday we wrote about the primary in TX-29, where progressive Adrian Garcia is challenging NRA darling Gene Green. Green, of course, is for Hillary, while Garcia is neutral and positive about all three Democrats running. NRA-friendly congressmen like Tim Ryan, Henry Cuellar, Jim Cooper, Filemon Vela, Kurt Schrader, Tim Walz, Derek Kilmer, and Pete Gallego, a Texas Blue Dog endorsed by the NRA who lost in 2014 and is running again this year.

Who wants this as president?

Greg Sargent pointed out that "whatever happens in Iowa, we can already reach this conclusion: Democrats, and Hillary Clinton, will have to engage in a serious, genuine effort to learn from the Sanders phenomenon and what it really represents.
The Sanders phenomenon raises possible warning signs for Clinton’s chances in a general election. His ability to engage, excite and involve younger voters-- his ability to make them feel invested in politics-- throws into sharp relief Clinton’s relative failure, at least for now, to do the same. Some Dem pollsters, such as Stan Greenberg, have already begun warning that Clinton will have to make extra efforts to excite millennials.

Sanders has figured out a way to speak to a sense that the system is fundamentally broken in very profound ways that put our future in doubt. Those two things may be related: Sanders appears to make young voters feel they have a stake in his candidacy-- and by extension, in this election-- because they think their future is the one that’s in doubt. By speaking in bold strokes about the need for gargantuan solutions, he seems to makes their deep concerns about the future feel heard and, perhaps, assuaged. (While Donald Trump’s diagnosis of the problem is very different, leading him to wallow endlessly in demagoguery and xenophobia, he also has flummoxed pundits who under-appreciate his ability to speak effectively to a similar sense that people feel the system is fundamentally failing them.)

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