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Bernie Sanders’ Wife Jane Under DoJ Investigation for Financial Fraud
| June 23, 2017 | 6:07 pm | Bernie Sanders | No comments
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders thrusts his fist in the air as he arrives with his wife Jane at his 2016 New Hampshire presidential primary night victory rally in Concord, New Hampshire February 9, 2016

Bernie Sanders’ Wife Jane Under DoJ Investigation for Financial Fraud

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Vermont Senator and 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ wife, Jane, is the subject of a Department of Justice probe into whether she used her husband’s office to secure funding for a college where she once was president.

Sanders has lawyered up under accusations of corruption. According to the accusations, she obtained bank loans for Burlington College, a now-defunct liberal arts college with approximately 200 undergraduates that she served as president of from 2004 to 2011. One of the tenets of the loans was that Burlington had to provide evidence of at least $2 million in donations as collateral.

The three largest donors claimed by Burlington – including one who allegedly donated $1 million – would later claim the school misrepresented the size of their donations.

Burlington fell into severe financial difficulties under Jane Sanders’ leadership. Enrollment fell and donations dropped. During 2010, Sanders purchased 33 acres of property to expand the college. To raise money for this expansion, she took out the loan in question, but the expansion that it paid for failed to increase enrollment. In 2011, Sanders stepped down from her position as president. In 2014, the school was placed under probation, and in 2016 it closed for good.

To defend herself, Sanders has hired two well-known lawyers: Rich Cassidy and Larry Robbins. Robbins in particular is famous in DC for defending high-profile figures like Scooter Libby, an advisor to former Vice President Dick Cheney, who was indicted for lying under oath and obstruction of justice in 2005. Libby also defended Representative Bill Jefferson (D-LA), who in 2009 was sentenced to 13 years in federal prison after being found guilty of accepting bribes.

The Trump administration has yet to announce the federal attorney that will be prosecuting the case.

In May 2017, Brady Toensing, who chaired President Donald Trump’s campaign in the state of Vermont, sent a letter to the FBI which alleged that Sanders used her political capital to falsely acquire the loans. The letter, released online, claimed that Sanders had “successfully and intentionally engaged in a fraudulent scheme to actively conceal and misrepresent material facts from a federal financial institution.”

Kyle Midura of Burlington TV station WCAX asked Jane’s husband, then-candidate Bernie, if his wife had committed fraud or not. After several attempts to avoid the question, Sanders answered. “It would be improp – this implication came from Donald Trump’s campaign manager in Vermont. Let me leave it at that, because it would be improper at this point for me to say anything more.”

Midura then asked Sanders if the charge was nonsense. “Yes,” Bernie responded. “It is nonsense. But now that there is a process going on, which was initiated by Trump’s campaign manager, somebody who does this all of the time, has gone after a number of Democrats and progressives in this state – it would be improper at this point for me to add any more to that.

VTDigger, an online outlet, broke the news that the FBI was reviewing Burlington College records, subpoenaing a former employee of the college in November 2016.

“[Sanders’ lawyers] wanted information on what I had been asked by the FBI. They were trying to get clarification on what the accusations are because they had not been contacted by anybody as to an investigation,” said Coralee Holm, the former dean of operations and advancement for Burlington College to VTDigger.

Sanders: Senate ObamaCare bill ‘worse than expected’

http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/338955-sanders-gop-obamacare-bill-worse-than-expected

Sanders: Senate ObamaCare bill ‘worse than expected’

Sanders: Senate ObamaCare bill 'worse than expected'

Sen. Bernie Sanders(I-Vt.) on Thursday slammed the plan put forth by Senate Republicans to repeal and replace ObamaCare, saying the legislation “is even worse” than he imagined.

“The bill Republicans announced today is even worse than expected and by far the most harmful piece of legislation I have seen in my lifetime,” Sanders said in a statement.

“This bill has nothing to do with health care. It has everything to do with an enormous transfer of wealth from working people to the richest Americans.”

The Senate GOP on Thursday unveiled the long-awaited legislation, which includes Medicaid cuts and repeals billions of dollars of ObamaCare taxes. It also defunds Planned Parenthood for one year.

Sanders in his statement called for Americans to unite against the “disastrous bill.”

“Our job now is to rally millions of Americans against this disastrous bill to make sure that it does not pass the Senate,” he said. “Instead of throwing tens of millions of Americans off of health insurance, we must guarantee health care as a right to every American.”

Bernie Sanders Drafts An Army Of Millions Of Americans To Fight The Senate Healthcare Bill

Bernie Sanders Drafts An Army Of Millions Of Americans To Fight The Senate Healthcare Bill

Bernie Sanders Drafts An Army Of Millions Of Americans To Fight The Senate Healthcare Bill

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is using his Senate leadership position as head of Democratic outreach to call on millions of Americans to come together to fight against the Senate health care bill.


Bernie Sanders Drafts An Army Of Millions Of Americans To Fight The Senate Healthcare Bill

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is using his Senate leadership position as head of Democratic outreach to call on millions of Americans to come together to fight against the Senate health care bill.

In a statement provided to PoliticusUSA, Sen. Sanders said:

For weeks, Republicans have been drafting their ‘health care’ bill in secret, refusing to hold hearings or public debate. Now we know why. The bill Republicans announced today is even worse than expected and by far the most harmful piece of legislation I have seen in my lifetime. This bill has nothing to do with health care. It has everything to do with an enormous transfer of wealth from working people to the richest Americans.

Republicans want to throw millions of Americans off of health insurance – including thousands of Vermonters – slash Medicaid, defund Planned Parenthood and substantially increase premiums on older Americans. Meanwhile, their bill would provide over $200 billion in tax breaks to the top 2 percent and hundreds of billions more to the big drug and insurance companies that are ripping off the American people.

Our job now is to rally millions of Americans against this disastrous bill to make sure that it does not pass the Senate. Instead of throwing tens of millions of Americans off of health insurance, we must guarantee health care as a right to every American.

Bernie Sanders was put on the Senate leadership team to mobilize millions of Americans for situations just like this.

Sen. Sanders was correct. The American people must come together right now, and in one loud collective voice tell Senate Republicans no on this health care bill. If Senate Republicans choose to defy the will of the people, they must be made to understand that they will pay with their seats.

A vote for this healthcare bill is a vote for a Democratic Senate majority.

Sen. Sanders has issued the call, and it is time for every American to stand up and save healthcare as a basic right.

Tripartite Summit of Greece-Cyprus-Israel: Who will be benefited from this “strategic partnership”?

Friday, June 23, 2017

Tripartite Summit of Greece-Cyprus-Israel: Who will be benefited from this “strategic partnership”?

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/06/tripartite-summit-of-greece-cyprus.html
Source: inter.kke.gr.
 
Another link in the chain of plans and antagonisms that are dangerous for the peoples
On 15/6 the 3rd Greece-Israel High Level Cooperation Council and the Tripartite Summit of Greece-Cyprus-Israel were held in Thessaloniki with the participation of the Prime Ministers A. Tsipras and B. Netanyahu and the Cypriot President N. Anastasiades.
The discussions and decisions taken there reflect the government’s goal regarding the geo-strategic enhancement of local business groups, the interconnection of capital from the three countries and the expansion of their joint business activity, mainly regarding energy resources and transport routes.
This effort is unfolding in the context of the sharpening antagonisms of the imperialist centers and countries in the Eastern Mediterranean, specifically over the control of the natural resources and transport routes, with enormous dangers for the peoples of the region.
 
A. Tsipras focused on the “strategic relationship”, as he characterized it, between the three countries, as well as on their plans for “stability and security” in the region, which is a necessary precondition for their next goal, which he described as “support for entrepreneurship”.
 
He also made reference to “energy cooperation”, which is based on the “geopolitical position of the 3 countries” at an important crossroads and on or close to energy deposits, serving the strategy of the bourgeois class by making the country an “energy hub”.In any case, he noted that this goal contributes to the implementation of the EU strategy concerning the diversification of its energy sources and supplies so that it can basically reduce its dependence on Russian fuel. In this framework, A. Tsipras referred to the Greece-Cyprus-Israel cable and “East Med” pipeline (which via Cyprus and Greece transports energy from the Eastern Mediterranean to the EU), as well to the development of renewable energy resources.
 
“There were also discussions at our table about the developments in the wider region, the Syrian and Cyprus issues.” added A. Tsipras, while in his reference to the Palestine issue he made a point of recognizing the “right of the Israeli people to live in security”, the pretext used by the state of Israel to carry out crimes against the Palestinian people on a daily basis.
The Israeli Energy Minister welcomed the participation of Greek companies in the sector of hydrocarbon utilization in the regions of Karich and Tanin. He called on them to strengthen their role in the utilization of Israeli natural gas deposits and underscored the impetus their increased role could lend to the EastMed pipeline plans.
A number of agreements were advanced in these meetings regarding cooperation with Israel in various industrial sectors, while in terms of military cooperation, even if it was not on the agenda of the meetings, the following was stressed “that it exists and is expressed both by the cooperation between the military industries of the two countries, as well as by their joint exercises and training.”
 
The newspaper ‘Rizospastis”, organ of the CC of the KKE, characterized the Tripartite Summit as being “another link in the chain of plans and antagonisms that are dangerous for the peoples.”
 
On the evening of 15/6 the working people and youth of Thessaloniki through their mass participation in the rally and march organized by the Committee for International Peace and Detente of Thessaloniki demonstrated their opposition to our country’s involvement in the imperialist plans, which accompany the antagonisms of the monopolies, in whose framework the Tripartite Summit of the Prime ministers of Greece-Cyprus-Israel is integrated.
The demonstration also sent the message that the peoples are united in their common interest to fight for a life without exploitation and poverty, without bosses, for a situation where they will enjoy the wealth they produce.
The demonstrators also denounced the presence of the Israeli Prime minister in Thessaloniki as a provocation to the pro-peace and anti-war feelings of the people, as he bears responsibilities for the criminal attacks against the peoples of the region and chiefly against the sorely tested Palestinian people.
“NATO Killers Go Home”: Trade Unions to raise their voice against imperialism in Thessaloniki

Thursday, June 22, 2017

“NATO Killers Go Home”: Trade Unions to raise their voice against imperialism in Thessaloniki

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/06/nato-killers-go-home-trade-unions-to.html
Large banner on the facade of the Thessaloniki
Labour Center calls for participation in the events.
The All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) continues the initiatives of common, unified workers’ struggle against NATO, against imperialism, its wars and interventions. After a series of international events, PAME is organizing a two-day event of Anti-War, Anti-Imperialist Action of Trade Unions of the Balkan and neighboring area.
Monday and Tuesday, June 19-20 were days of massive campaign in the workplaces against imperialism. Especially, as June 20 is the World Refugee Day, and Action Day of the European Regional Office of the WFTU in Solidarity with the Refugees, Against NATO and Imperialism. In this context there were visits to Refugee Camps and hosting facilities
PAME Executive Secretariat, on Monday, June 19, held a Press Conference to inform on the Program and aims of the 2 Day Anti-Imperialist Activities of PAME, the international support and its charter of demands. 
On June 24 a National Demonstration against the NATO headquarters in the area will take place at Thessaloniki’s Aristotelous Square, with the participation of unions from all over Greece and neighboring countries.
On June 25 PAME will host in Thessaloniki International Trade Union Meeting under the slogan “With The Workers Of All Countries, For A World Without Exploitation, Wars, And Refugees”. Till today, have confirmed their participation the following unions:
  •  World Federation of Trade Unions
  • Syria-General Federation of Trade Unions
  • Cyprus-PEO
  • Cyprus-KTOEOS
  • Serbia-SLOGA
  • Turkey-Birlesik Metal Is
  • Turkey-Nakliyat Is
  • Turkey-Toley Is
  • Egypt- GTUAFILW
  • Italy-USB
  • Palestine-WUCP.
SYRIZA: The “left” servants of NATO

Thursday, June 22, 2017

SYRIZA: The “left” servants of NATO

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/06/syriza-left-servants-of-nato.html

By Nikos Mottas*.

 
In the name of the so-called “geostrategic enhancement” doctrine of the country and following the path of the previous governments of New Democracy and PASOK, the SYRIZA-ANEL government has been proved NATO’s “best student”. Since its formation on January 2015, the governmental alliance between the social democratic SYRIZA and the nationalist ANEL party has aligned itself with the dangerous plans and goals of the imperialists.
The criminal decisions made in the recent NATO Summits in Brussels, as well as in the one in Warsaw a year ago, bear the signature of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. In an effort to serve the interests of the Greek capital, the SYRIZA-ANEL government works towards a more intense involvement of Greece in the interventions and imperialist wars in the Middle East and North Africa. That includes the expansion of the activities of the NATO-US forces in the Souda naval base (with the Greek side covering the enormous NATO’s expenditures) and the more planned utilization of other military bases and command centres in order to promote the euro-atlantic plans, within the framework of the US-EU competition with Russia over natural gas and oil, energy pipelines, the control of markets and strategically significant regions.
 
It is characteristic that just a few months after it rise to power, the government of Mr.Tsipras signed a 500 million dollar deal with the US company Lockheed for the maintenance of old airplanes for the needs of NATO. While it crushes the people, the working class with more and more austerity measures, the government of SYRIZA finds both money and time in order to correspond to the demands of the NATO imperialists.
 
We must remind that, among other things, the SYRIZA-ANEL government under Prime Minister Tsipras:
  • Has provided- and provides- military bases (Souda, Aktion) for the facilitation of the USA and NATO forces in the wars in Syria, Libya and Iraq. 
  • Maintains Greek military forces in imperialist missions abroad (from Afghanistan to Bosnia and from Libya to Mali), thus engaging Greece deeper into the dangerous inter-imperialist plans in the broader region.
  • Under the pretext of the refugee issue, the government agreed to the enhancement of NATO’s naval presence in the Aegean Sea. Such an action is connected to the sharpening competition in the wider region of the Middle East. The SYRIZA-ANEL government, like the previous bourgeois Greek governments, argue that NATO consists a force of “peace” and “stability” in the Aegean Sea and the Greek-Turkish relations. However, it is the opposite that happens: NATO not only does not recognize any borders between its member-states but, furthermore, it reinforces the aggressive plans of the Turkish bourgeoisie for the “greying” of the Aegean and the promotion of “disputes” over islands, sea borders etc. What does NATO, or the EU, say about the systematic violations of Greece’s airspace by Turkish fighters?
  • Actively participates in joined military exercises of NATO, as well as other bilateral and trilateral exercises with the USA and Israel, while it provides any facilitation (ports, airports, camps, military and other infrastructure) for multiple NATO military training in the Balkans (e.g. the recent “Noble Jump” military exercise in Romania). Within this framework, the government uses Greek soldiers as “assistant staff” to NATO’s forces.
  • Following the policy of its predecessors (New Democracy, PASOK), the government spends 2.4% of the GDP in military expenditures. At the same time, their policy has increased youth unemployment up to 50%! The “left” government of Mr. Tsipras cuts wages and pensions but when it comes to military expenditures, demanded by NATO, it shows remarkable obedience.   
Defense Minister P. Kammenos- the nationalist
governmental partner of Tsipras- with NATO’s Gen.
Secretary Jens Stoltenberg.

For its policy, the SYRIZA-ANEL government has received multiple “congratulations” and praises from the NATO, the USA and the EU. The intention of the Greek government to support and facilitate the imperialist plans of NATO in the region of Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans was confirmed, once again, during a meeting between Greek and US officials in Athens on June 8th. Praising the government for its willingness to serve the aims of the imperialists, the deputy commander of the EUCOM (US European Command) Lt. General Timothy Ray said: “Souda (base) served us during the Cold War and today continues to support our missions in the Middle East, the Mediterranean, in Northern Africa. Greece is a factor of stability in times of insecurity and instability […] today, more than ever, we ask from Greece to continue playing her leading role in ensuring security in Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans”.

 
The U.S. ambassador in Athens Geoff Pyatt also expressed his pleasure for the policy of the SYRIZA-ANEL government and underlined: “With her unique geostrategic position and her Armed Forces, Greece supports our missions, especially throught Souda, which gives us a strategic advantage and the capability to confront challenges with flexibility and efficiency in the broader region”.
 
Lies, deception and illusions.
 
For those who have followed the rapid political transformation of SYRIZA, from a small opportunist leftist coalition into Greece’s major social democratic party, the above stance consists no surprise. After all, during the last seven years, SYRIZA has been proved an extraordinary case of political deception and ideological manipulation. Foreign policy is another field where SYRIZA and its leadership has turned black into white.
 
The supposed “radical anti-imperialism” of SYRIZA as an opposition party has been fully transformed, thus proving the real illusionary political character of social democracy. More specifically:
 
On May 2012, in its electoral program, the party of Alexis Tripras was stating among other things:
 
Our policy includes…The closure of all the foreign military bases in Greece. Immediate abolition of the bases of Souda and Aktio. We want neither Greece is NATO, nor NATO in Greece and we are fighting for its (NATO’s) dissolution”.
 
After its electoral victory on January 2015, SYRIZA did exactly the opposite from what it had promised: Not only the US and NATO military bases remained, but the SYRIZA-ANEL government (through Defence Minister P.Kammenos) proposed the opening of a new NATO military airbase in the island of Karpathos (21/5/2015)!
 
On July 2013, the “Political Declaration” of SYRIZA’s congress was stating: “the disengagement from NATO, the abolition of the foreign military bases, the prevention of the military collaboration with Israel and the application of the doctrine “no Greek soldier in war-zones abroad” consist the axes of our Foreign Policy”.
 
The convenience and rapidity with which SYRIZA changed its positions would be a a ridiculously entertaining issue, if it wasn’t so seriously dangerous for the country’s people. After its electoral victory SYRIZA “forgot” all the above statements and became an obedient ally of the imperialists. Under Alexis Tsipras, Greece becomes more and more involved in NATO’s dangerous imperialist plans, the Greek-Israeli military co-operation has been strengthened and the government is determined to participate actively in future NATO missions.

The supposed “radical leftist” Mr.Tsipras – the one who has signed NATO Summit’s decisions in Warsaw and Brussels and who emerges as the “best student” of the murderous alliance – is the same person who, during a nationwide televised press conference in Thessaloniki on September 2014, was stating: “Our assessment was and still remains that in the new international balances of a multipolar world, this military formation (NATO) which reflects the Cold War era has no reason of existence”. 
 
The KKE had exposed the “multidimensional foreign policy” of SYRIZA as an instrument of serving the bourgeois interests a long time ago, when Tsipras’ party was rising as Greece’s “radical” opposition. Here is a characteristic part of an article published in ‘Rizospastis’ daily on December 18th, 2012 under the title “What SYRIZA says about foreign policy”:
 
When SYRIZA talks about a “multidimensional foreign policy” it means friendships with imperialist powers, according to their contradictions and what interests the domestic bourgeoisie or some powerful portions of her. SYRIZA also says that the aim of its foreign policy is to “politically enchance both Greece’s participation in the european institutions as well as her geopolitical value”. Even if we skip the unevenness in capitalist development, which makes impossible the equal participation of capitalist states in inter-state Unions, who is benefited by Greece’s strengthening in european institutions? And on behalf of whom (the government) will be negotiating a supposedly “more powerful” Greece in the bodies of the imperialist Union? Apparently, not on behalf of the people […] Therefore, SYRIZA’s agony is for the interests of the domestic bourgeois class and on behalf of her it promises a stronger Greece, like the previous governments did, either “liberal” or social democratic ones”.
 
What has been demonstrated in practice is that the SYRIZA-ANEL government is another anti-people government, which under “left” slogans served in an equally faithful way the bourgeoisie, the imperialist unions of EU and NATO as the previous governments had done. Foreign policy consists another field where SYRIZA has been totally and irreversibly exposed as the “left” servant of the bourgeois interests.
 
The working class, the popular strata of Greece, shall not forget nor tolerate the policy of the SYRIZA-ANEL government. Together with the workers of all countries, Greece’s workers-people’s movement must organise its counterattack and intensify the common struggle against the wolf-pack alliances of NATO and EU, the imperialist wars, the bourgeois classes and their warmongering policies for their own profits.

* Nikos Mottas is the Editor-in-Chief of ‘In Defense of Communism’, a PhD candidate in Political Science, International Relations and Political History.

KKE: “The 65.6 million refugees are victims of a system that brings war, horror and death”

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

KKE: “The 65.6 million refugees are victims of a system that brings war, horror and death”

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/06/kke-656-million-refugees-are-victims-of.html
Giant banners raised by the KKE at the
Acropolis, in support of the refugees, Oct. 2015.
In a statement regarding the World Refugee Day, the Press Office of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) points out the following:
 
“The 65.6 million refugees and domestically displaced people are not just a “humanitarian crisis”. It is the tragic confirmation of the actual character of a system which, when it cannot give solutions to its contradictions by crushing peoples’ rights, resorts to war sowing horror, death and refugees. The imperialist war crushes whatever imperialist peace leaves intact. 
 
The SYRIZA-ANEL government, which cultivates the myth of the supposedly humanitarian stance towards the refugees, isn’t innocent. It is responsible for the entrapment of 62,000 refugees in (mainland) Greece and the double entrapment- under miserable conditions- in the islands. It brought the special NATO naval force in the Aegean, using the refugees and immigrants as a pretext. It gives 2.4% of the GDP, 4 billion euros every year- stealing from workers, unemployed, pensioners, young people- to the murderous NATO machine. 
It offers to the NATO-US imperialists multiple facilitations and services, the upgrade of the Souda base and extends the time of its use. It participates in the imperialist missions and the imperialist war, serving the goal of the domestic capital’s geostrategic enhancement. It implicates the people, deeper and deeper, to the dangerous plans of the USA-NATO in the region. It bears responsibility for the uprooting and the refugee flows.
 
The KKE, steadily struggling against every imperialist war and every imperialist alliance such as NATO and the EU, calls the Greek people, the refugees and immigrants to struggle united and organised:
 

– Against the imperialist plans and any participation of the country in these.

 
– For the closure of all foreign bases and military infrastructure. To get NATO out of the Aegean and the Balkans. “Neither soil nor water to the murderers of the people”.
 
– No tolerance to nationalism and racism.
 
– Solidarity with the refugees and immigrants.
 
– Release of the refugees and demand of their right to move to the destinations they want, against the agreements and rules of the EU. 
 
– Decent living conditions for the refugees and their children, for as long as they stay in Greece, far from mechanisms established and funded by their own offenders, such as the NGOs”.
 
Source: 902.gr / Translation: In Defense of Communism.