Archive for the ‘Bernie Sanders’ category

Satire | Fed Up With Oppressive Capitalism, Bernie Sanders Retires To Socialist Paradise Venezuela

December 28, 2017

Fed Up With Oppressive Capitalism, Bernie Sanders Retires To Socialist Paradise Venezuela, Babylon Bee, December 27, 2017

LAKE CHAMPLAIN, VT—After years of suffering oppression at the hands of the capitalist system in America, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders announced Wednesday that he would be quitting politics and retiring to the socialist paradise of Venezuela.

Senator Sanders held a press conference at his summer vacation home on Lake Champlain to announce the move.

“I simply have had enough of being exploited by billionaires and evil corporations,” the democratic socialist who owns three homes said. “I will be retiring from my Senate seat and its problematic $200,000 annual salary and going to live in the idyllic land of Venezuela.”

“Here in America, we have great wealth inequality, whereas in the utopia of Venezuela, everyone has the same amount of money,” he added.

Sanders announced he would be driving his luxury SUV as far as he could before catching a ferry to the socialist wonderland, where he’d live in peace, comfort, and security for the rest of his days, “just like all the other lucky citizens of Venezuela.”

At publishing time, Sanders had been detained at the Venezuelan border and had his car confiscated by authorities.

Bernie Sanders to Friedman: Should Some Israel Funds go to Gaza?

March 3, 2017

Bernie Sanders to Friedman: Should Some Israel Funds go to Gaza?, Jerusalem Post, March 2, 2017

(Why shouldn’t we give everything to the IRGC, Al Qaeda and the Taliban instead? Aren’t they our allies in fighting the non-Islamic State.– DM)

bsandersBernie Sanders speaking at an event in Phoenix, Arizona.. (photo credit:GAGE SKIDMORE)

Washington (JTA) — Sen. Bernie Sanders asked David Friedman, President Donald Trump’s nominee to be ambassador to Israel, whether he would back using funds earmarked for assistance to Israel to help rebuild the Gaza Strip.

Sanders in a letter he handed Friedman after they met Wednesday also asked whether he thinks the tax-exempt status of groups that fundraise for settlers should be reviewed. JTA obtained a copy of the letter on Thursday.

The questions in the letter are significant as they suggest the path forward for Israel policy among progressive Democrats.

Sanders has emerged as a de facto leader of progressives following his insurgent but unsuccessful campaign last year for the Democratic presidential nomination. In perhaps the best-received speech over the weekend at the annual conference of J Street, the liberal Middle East policy group, Sanders pushed the theme that pro-Israel Jews need not hesitate to criticize Israeli government policies.

His letter outlines three questions for Friedman: whether he supports a two-state outcome to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; the appropriateness of an ambassador having deep involvement in the settler movement as a fundraiser and advocate, as Friedman does; and regarding Israeli assistance.

Two states has long been Democratic policy and for 15 years was official U.S. policy until Trump retreated into agnosticism on the issue when he met last month with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The second two points, however, venture into areas that Democrats have yet to embrace.

“As ambassador, would you take steps to end the flow of donations to illegal settlements, perhaps by supporting the re-examination [of] their tax-exempt status?” Sanders asked.

J Street has advocated for withdrawing tax-exempt status for groups that fundraise for settlements. Other pro-Israel groups – including some of J Street’s allies on the left – oppose the position, in part because it could trigger far-reaching consequences for all nonprofits on the left and right while turning tax-exempt status into a political battlefield.

Sanders also asked Friedman whether “a portion” of the $38 billion in defense aid to Israel over the next 10 years under an agreement signed last year by former President Barack Obama “should be directed toward measures that would facilitate a much greater flow of humanitarian and reconstruction materials” to Gaza.

Aid to Israel in Congress and the pro-Israel community has been sacrosanct, and no president has seriously proposed cutting it since Gerald Ford in the mid-1970s. Subsequent presidents used short delays in delivery of assistance and the amount that the United States guarantees Israel’s loans as means of leveraging pressure on Israel, but assistance has been untouched.

Sanders cast the proposal in part as one that would help secure Gaza by stabilizing the strip. But it comes at a time that Republicans in Congress are proposing cutting assistance to the Palestinians as a means of pressuring them into direct talks with Israel and pushing the Palestinian Authority to end subsidies for the families of jailed or killed terrorists.

Friedman, a longtime lawyer to Trump, did not reply to a request for comment. His ambassadorship is controversial in Congress and in the Jewish community because of his past involvement with settlers, and because of the rhetoric he has used to describe Jews who disagree with him.

Right Angle: Spin Cycle

August 4, 2016

Right Angle: Spin Cycle, Bill Whittle Channel via YouTube, August 4, 2016

Blurb beneath the video:

DNC email leaks a problem? It must have been the Russians! Trump benefits! TRUMP MUST BE A RUSSIAN SPY!!

‘Salon’ Fans Bernie Supporters’ Fire, Says #DemExit is ‘Serious’

August 1, 2016

‘Salon’ Fans Bernie Supporters’ Fire, Says #DemExit is ‘Serious’, PJ MediaStephen Kruiser, July 30, 2016

demexitPhoto Credit: Tyler O’Neil, PJ Media

So much for convention afterglow.

Shortly after Bernie Sanders publicly endorsed Hillary Clinton a new hashtag trended on Twitter: #DemExit. The hashtag offered Sanders supporters a chance to vent their frustrations with the Democratic Party and with the sense that their candidate had been pressured into an endorsement. Rather than reach out to these disaffected voters, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) ignored them. Understood within the larger narrative that Sanders supporters were just whining brats who refused to concede and move on, #DemExit was dismissed as just more sour milk.But now that the latest leak of DNC emails proves that Sanders supporters have a legitimate right to feel cheated, #DemExit increasingly seems like an appropriate response to a rigged system.

The new leak shows that the DNC never took the Sanders campaign seriously, even when he was winning state after state. Rather than recognize that Sanders was attracting new voters to the party, members of the DNC chose to mock them and close ranks around Clinton.

There was another hashtag, #StillSanders, that sprung up and was quite active all through the night that Hillary was officially nominated. I was going to do a post highlighting the hardest-hitting tweets from that, but most were far too expletive-laden to share in this forum. It was exceedingly obvious, however, that Bernie’s exhortation and Sarah Silverman’s admonition weren’t resonating with the Sanders folk much. Or at all, really.

If this does come back to bite the Democrats it will be due to the very thing that we conservatives complain about the most: the party’s coziness with the mainstream media.

Up to this point, left-leaning new media have been rather in sync with the mainstream outlets. It was easy to do during the Obama years, as they were all on board with the directive to make the historic presidency seem perfect. More often than not, old media was taking cues and talking points from new.

Enter Dame van der Cankles.

Hillary Clinton redefines “polarizing.” If this woman were a Republican, the media wouldn’t don their “be nice to her because she’s a girl” kid gloves when dealing with her. They would note that even she probably doesn’t like herself half the time. It was always a calculated risk elevating such an execrable human being into another “Historic First” position for the Dems, but they probably figured that a combination of Bubba nostalgia and media cover would be enough to distract the nice people. When even that didn’t convince them, they hedged their bets by rigging the primary process.

Then they got caught.

It is still unclear what the Democrats offered Sen. Sanders that immediately changed him from an inspiring firebrand into a visibly defeated, garden variety politician for the DNC, even though he switched his registration back to “independent” while it was all going on. What is very, very clear though is that the passionate Sanders supporters don’t have a convenient “Off” switch that the party can flip in order to move on smoothly.

The party’s presumptions about the post-convention Sanders supporters is what may be the most mystifying thing in all of this. Admittedly, it never did seem to pick a clear emotional side on how it felt about them, vacillating between a dismissive attitude and enough worry that it had to undermine his campaign behind the scenes. Obviously, it should have erred on the side of worry.

One thing that was very clear from the beginning was the passion of the Sanders movement. That passion is what made it an overnight sensation. It is remarkably naive for the Democrats to have thought that the passion could be easily managed after a few head fakes to the far left by Hillary during the primary season. Sure, what they want is insane, but the Democrats have been steadily moving leftward for thirty years and can’t be too upset that Sanders merely attempted to make them be less coy about the end game. Bernie gave the Democrats’ coveted youth vote a taste of the Soviet American dream they’ve been tiptoeing towards since the late 1960s and the kids aren’t patient enough to play the long game. The concessions in the platform haven’t satisfied the throaty lust for socialism Bernie spent almost a year firing them up for:

The recent fights over the DNC platform reveal a real lack of support for progressive policy, especially on key economic issues. As Marcetic reported for In These Times “there’s no denying that the platform compromises on certain core progressive values.” While some suggested that the new platform was a “win” for Sanders, in the end the platform submits to corporate will on many issues.Committee delegates selected by Clinton and Wasserman Schultz voted down several measures dear to progressives’ hearts: “amendments advocating single-payer health care and a $15 minimum wage indexed to inflation, several proposals to halt climate change, language criticizing Israeli ‘occupation’ of Palestine and an amendment explicitly opposing the TPP trade agreement.” As Marcetic shows, delegates to the committee with corporate ties were among the most avid in promoting pro-business policy completely out of step with the sort of progressive values that once separated Democrats from Republicans. Unsurprisingly, those very same delegates were the ones connected to Clinton and Wasserman Schultz.

Yeah, lunatic stuff, but Hillary and Tim Kaine both keep using the phrase “progressive agenda” on the campaign trail. They might want to get an intern to Google “progressive” for them so they can find out exactly what that entails. Remember, the only reason the Congressional Progressive Caucus signed onto Obamacare is because they were promised that it would eventually lead to single-payer.

If you are wondering just how otherworldly this election has become, trust me, it’s even weirder than you think. Salon is complaining about Democrat “collusion” with the media too:

The corporate media was no ally to the Sanders campaign. With AP calling the primary for Clinton before California, New Mexico, New Jersey, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota were set to vote, many Sanders’ supporters felt betrayed by the press. As Bill Boyarsky reports for Truthdig, “The story was not just a scoop. It fed the hostility and cynicism of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ fervent supporters.”The Guccifer 2.0 leaks also reveal a disturbing pattern of collusion between the media and the DNC to support Clinton and not Sanders. Luis Miranda, the national communications director for the DNC, communicated with reporters from both Politico and the Wall Street Journal in efforts to discredit Sanders.

Welcome to what the rest of us have been fighting for decades, little proggies.

The Salon post concludes with what could be the biggest problem going forward for the Democrats — that the party isn’t taking the email leaks seriously:

Much in the same way Clinton blew off her own email scandal, we basically have crickets from the DNC and party leaders. The failure to take responsibility or reach out to disaffected supporters has created a real blowback where voters who backed Sanders are irate. Now many supporters just think the party is corrupt– and they have point.

There’s your Bizarro World: Salon is echoing conservative frustrations with the Democrats.

As always, it remains to be seen if the Republican Party can effectively take advantage of this turmoil. Well, it remains to be seen if you are still holding on to any faith in the GOP. As I voted #GOPExit a couple months ago, I’m not a big believer. Still, there are signs of some opportunity for it to do so.

Raising the Palestinian cause at the DNC

July 28, 2016

Raising the Palestinian cause at the DNC, Vice NewsDalia Hatuqa, July 28, 2016

pal rightsA delegate holds a sign reading ‘I support Palestinian Human Rights’ at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia [Tannen Maury/EPA]

An issue that was once sidelined even in progressive circles, Palestine was pushed to the forefront of the electoral campaign this year, with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders showing that policy change on a seemingly intractable conflict is possible.

For the first time, the platform reflected the right of Palestinians to “independence, sovereignty, and dignity” in addition to Israel’s security. In a recent poll (PDF) of American attitudes on the conflict, 49 percent of Democrats said they recommended economic sanctions or other more serious action to counter settlement construction.

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Eva Putzova held a banner with a simple message just outside the Democratic National Convention (DNC) floor on Tuesday: “I support Palestinian rights.”

“I think it’s time that Democratic candidates – Hillary, Bernie or anybody else – start taking the issue seriously and start a real national conversation and get behind all human rights, including Palestinian rights,” said Putzova, a city council member from Flagstaff, Arizona.

She was among many pro-Palestine activists at the DNC this week who came out in a show of force unprecedented at other political conventions. They marched and rallied, held talks and town halls, carried signs and, at one point, raised a Palestinian flag on the convention floor.

“The issue is getting more media exposure, more people are aware,” Putzova said. “I think we are on the brink of changing the policy stands of the US, but it will take all of us to push the political elite. I think [Palestinians are] a community that has been marginalised for so long.”

An issue that was once sidelined even in progressive circles, Palestine was pushed to the forefront of the electoral campaign this year, with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders showing that policy change on a seemingly intractable conflict is possible.

In a debate last April, he pushed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to call the 2014 Israeli war on Gaza “disproportionate”. He said the US and Israel need “to treat the Palestinian people with respect and dignity” and that the US “has to play an even-handed role”. Sanders, however, was also criticised for not denouncing Israel more forcefully, and for the ousting of his campaign’s Jewish outreach director, who slammed Israel’s prime minister in a Facebook post.

A month later, Sanders assigned James Zogby, an advocate for Palestinian rights, and four others, including one of two Muslim congressmen, to the platform-writing committee, signalling his attempt to revise the party’s long-standing policy that favoured Israel.

“It took the work of a mass movement and a courageous person like Bernie Sanders, because if Bernie hadn’t elevated it, it wouldn’t have happened,” said Zogby, also President of the Arab American Institute, in a talk attended by pro-Palestine supporters in Philadelphia. “He gave us a qualitative boost forward.”

What’s on the platform?

On the DNC sidelines, pro-Palestine supporters discussed how the conflict with the Israelis was playing out on the domestic policy platform.

But in stark contrast to public support and activism, the party’s platform, which now supports a $15 minimum wage and Wall Street reform, did not include references to the Israeli occupation and its settlements.

Zogby said Clinton supporters cut out these references, fearing retribution from billionaire mogul and Republican donor Sheldon Adelson.  On an official level, Clinton’s backers said the call for negotiations for a two-state solution in the party’s platform was sufficient.

Going into the platform-writing committee, Zogby said he and other Sanders delegates were expecting to discuss removing a reference to Jerusalem being the “undivided capital” of Israel, and opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

“We wanted to strike the BDS line, we wanted to strike out a line on Jerusalem,” said Zogby, who is also on the DNC’s executive committee. “I thought that would be the fight. I had no idea the fight would end up being over occupation and settlements.”

They lost on all counts, and pro-Clinton supporters said they couldn’t change the language. “Here’s what they told me: ‘We can’t do it because Adelson will come out against us,'” Zogby said. “He will come after you no matter what you do. The people who like [Adelson] won’t vote for you.”

The platform committee discussions leading up to the DNC also spurred controversy, as civil rights activist and scholar Cornel West made an impassioned appeal to change the language to include “an end to occupation and illegal settlements”.

He called Palestine a “Vietnam War” issue for young Americans, and likened the party’s indifference to the conflict to the same apathy to “these Negroes” in the Jim Crow era.

Despite the fact that the resolution was voted down, some believe that the discourse on Palestine has shifted.

For the first time, the platform reflected the right of Palestinians to “independence, sovereignty, and dignity” in addition to Israel’s security. In a recent poll (PDF) of American attitudes on the conflict, 49 percent of Democrats said they recommended economic sanctions or other more serious action to counter settlement construction.

A changing conversation

“The conversation has improved a lot … it is broader and more inclusive,” said Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota, another Sanders pick on the DNC platform committee. “Over the past few years, members of Congress have gone to the Holy Land, not only to Israel, but also to Palestine. The perspective is changing, and it’s a good time to continue the work that you’re doing.”

Palestine supporters are banking on the presence of many activists and progressives in the city, in part because of Sanders’ candidacy, to expand and change the debate on the conflict.

They are also aware that the share of younger Americans sympathising with the Palestinian cause has risen significantly in recent years – from 9 percent in 2006 to 20 percent in July 2014, and finally to 27 percent today.

“We have seen some fairly remarkable changes in the landscape of how the issue of Palestine and Israel is being addressed – both in the news media and particularly within progressive circles,” said Mike Merryman Lotze, the American Friends Service Committee’s (also known as the Quakers) Palestine-Israel programme director.

“If we look back where the conversation was 15 years ago today, even really five years ago, we have to recognise that we are now in a fundamentally different place,” he said.

“That marks a shift … and that conversation has been pushed by the grassroots progressive movement.”

READ MORE: US Democratic Party – Closer to justice on Palestine?

Cartoons of the Day

July 26, 2016

H/t Town Hall

nazis

 

H/t Vermont Loon Watch

clinton 2016

 

H/t Vermont Loon Watch

unity

 

The Day the Bernie Dream Died

July 26, 2016

The Day the Bernie Dream Died, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, July 26, 2016

bernie sad

Near Philadelphia’s City Hall, an obese woman wearing a marijuana leaf bikini was telling a television reporter why she supported Bernie Sanders. City Hall, once the tallest building in the world, is a gloriously magnificent edifice whose pillars are held up by representatives of all the races of the world and whose clock tower is topped by a 37-foot statue of William Penn, was besieged by Sandernistas.

The Democratic convention was underway. Bernie Sanders had endorsed Hillary Clinton. But his followers still believed. If not in Bernie, then in the radical movement that had coalesced around him.

A cheerful woman wearing a “Bernie or Bust” t-shirt told me that even if Bernie won, she would be voting for Jill Stein and the Green Party. It was unclear how Bernie Sanders could possibly win. Let alone how Jill Stein could win. But Bernie and Jill were against drones, banks and GMOs while Hillary Clinton was for them. And the mood grew uglier as the temperature approached one hundred degrees.

The crazier elements had converged around the historic Arch Street United Methodist Church which was “training” activists to protest non-violently. There were illegal aliens in green t-shirts laughing uproariously and scowling elderly Trotsky fan club members wearing BDS buttons surrounded by posters denouncing America for its “ongoing war” in Iraq (against ISIS) not to mention Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and most of the rest of the world. The Revolutionary Communist party marched angrily past.

There were also “Bernie Peacekeepers” wearing plastic placards proclaiming that they do not support violence of any kind. If anyone doubted their seriousness, the placards had a rainbow peace sign.

But the core Bernie elements had gathered around City Hall. They had marched the day before when there was no convention. And they were going to march today. A giant banner denounced the “racist drug war”. The ragged crowd carrying it had clearly found themselves on the wrong end of that war. Younger fans wore Bernie t-shirts. Entire families with dreadlocks held up handmade signs.

There was something millenarian and apocalyptic about the scene. Everyone knew that Bernie was going to announce that the revolution was over. And no one wanted to go home.

Officially the Democrats were here to coronate Hillary. MSNBC had set up a giant stage outside the Independence Visitor Center where tickets were being distributed to Independence Hall and its recreations of the rooms where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed. MSNBC personalities leered at viewers from giant video monitors and NBC staffers had swamped the Independence Hall bathrooms. But on the ground, it was all Bernie, Bernie and more Bernie.

There were no Hillary shirts in the streets. It was all Bernie. Silhouettes of Bernie’s glasses, Bernie and his bird, Bernie as a strapping young socialist and Bernie speaking to the masses. He was their Stalin or Saddam. His image was on shirts, signs and banners. Meanwhile elderly DNC delegates wearing blue lanyards nervously shuttled between bars eagerly catering to delegates. The painted donkeys in the squares, a tired gimmick, mostly went ignored. Even an “I’m With Her” button was a rarity.

In a hushed voice, a DNC delegate told me that it was important to elect someone in the middle. But the message in the streets was dramatically different. It wasn’t even about Bernie anymore. Bernie Sanders had tried to address his supporters asking them to behave and they had booed him. And that made the booing of Hillary’s name at the convention inevitable. Bernie the politician had sold out. But the radical left had already created Bernie the character who would go on fighting even when the politician wouldn’t. Bernie could start the revolution. But he couldn’t stop it. Because it was never about him.

The most extreme Sandernistas had converged on Philly certain that they would win. And for all of Hillary’s elaborate organization, her networks of influential cronies, she couldn’t stop them from ruining her coronation. The DNC was on the run. Debbie Wasserman Schultz had resigned. And DNC delegates were outnumbered by angry radical leftists waving signs denouncing capitalism.

The radical left was trying to devour the Democratic Party ahead of schedule. And it wasn’t a pleasant sight. Sandernistas crowded the 30th Street Train Station holding forth on a rigged election. They had arrived on stuffy Amtrak trains clutching wadded up cardboard signs. There were angry grad students down from Yale upset about income inequality and anti-war activists from New York City toting models of drones and photos of crying children. Meanwhile the temperature kept on climbing.

Philly was an oven. The locals apologized for the weather as if they had somehow caused it. But the sullen unforgiving heat seemed to echo the mood of Sanders supporters. The hotter it got, the louder and crazier the chants became. At the heart of what was supposed to be a celebration of Hillary, a passionate portion of her party’s base was demanding that she be sent to jail. It was a secret wish that Bernie Sanders had been forced to swallow and abandon, but his supporters had not forgotten.

And they would not forget.

Even before Bernie Sanders could sell out his followers at the DNC, the rising tension reached a crescendo and broke. The heat that had been growing all day could continue no more. Torrents of rain gushed down from the sky. Lightning flashed past skyscraper scaffolding and thunder boomed louder than the loudspeakers. Furious gusts of wind blew rain past a handful of umbrellas that had been used as parasols against the sun. The MSNBC stage was quickly deserted. And the Sandernistas, like drowned rats, raised up their cardboard signs as makeshift umbrellas against the rain.

Hours later, the final betrayal took hold. Bernie Sanders spoke at the DNC and sold out his loyalists. But they too had been preparing for the end.

More than one Sandernista spoke wistfully to me of Jill Stein and the Green Party. One leftist messiah had failed them. Bernie Sanders had put the Democratic Party ahead of the radical left’s agenda. But there were always uncompromising leftist radicals who would never be practical no matter what.

Sanders’ own supporters booed him. They booed any mention of Hillary. And they rode Amtrak home clutching wet signs calling for socialized medicine and an end to capitalism. Whether it is the Soviet Union or the Sanders Union, the left never recognizes that its revolutions have failed. It never learns anything from history except how to hate harder.

The Democratic Party had allowed the left to take over. And the left has no sensible stopping point. It is an endless cycle of revolutions, of mad political agendas and madder personalities that will not stop. Leftists like Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders unleash revolutions that they cannot control.

That is what always happens to the left. It is what happened at Berniegeddon in Philadelphia.

The Bernie dream is dead, but the dream of a totalitarian revolution of the left lives on. Next to the great historical monuments of America, the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, Benjamin Franklin’s grave and the Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier, the left vented its hatred for this country and its desire to erase its existence and its freedoms from the earth.