Category: Bernie Sanders
People for Bernie Sanders Boots Sputnik Radio Host From EU Panel
| November 8, 2017 | 8:30 pm | Bernie Sanders, John Kiriakou | No comments
Former CIA officer John Kiriakou

People for Bernie Sanders Boots Sputnik Radio Host From EU Panel

© AP Photo/ Cliff Owen

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John Kiriakou, renowned Central Intelligence Agency whistleblower and co-host of Sputnik Radio’s Loud & Clear, was invited to address the European Parliament on national security whistleblowing before his appearance was scrapped at the last minute. Loud & Clear spoke with Kiriakou after the snub to find out what happened.

“Disappointingly,” co-founder of People for Bernie Sanders Winnie Wong, there to represent the organization, “objected to the fact that I work at Sputnik and said they did not want to appear on a panel with me.”

“I can’t be on this panel with you,” Wong told Kiriakou, by his account. “It’s nothing personal. I think you should be proud for what you’ve done, but you work for Sputnik and so I can’t be on the same panel,” she said.

​”The Russiagate witch hunt strikes again,” Walter Smolarek, producer of Loud & Clear, noted.

​Kiriakou was the only American imprisoned in connection with the CIA torture program authorized by President George W. Bush. His two-and-a-half-year jail sentence wasn’t based on the fact that torture is illegal under both US and international law and that Kiriakou had participated in human rights abuses, but rather because he exposed the program publicly. Nobody from the CIA who participated in the torture program has so far been jailed for it, only the person who shed light on its blatant unconstitutionality.

​”Any time I come to Europe, I’m treated so well. Europeans have a much deeper understanding of these issues of national security whistleblowing, torture, drones and nuclear weapons — far, far more than Americans in general, so I’m always treated very well here,” Kiriakou said Wednesday.

“I was supposed to appear on a panel this morning and then give a speech in the afternoon,” the ex-CIA officer explained. The afternoon speech was able to go forward without any hiccups, “but unfortunately I was removed from the panel,” he said, with a disbelieving chuckle, “after one of the other panelists objected to my presence.”

​​Wong told Kiriakou she “ran it up the flagpole” with the People for Bernie Sanders organization before saying she wasn’t allowed to appear on a panel with him.

“It’s so ridiculous on its face that I actually thought she was joking when she first said it, and I laughed when she said it,” Kiriakou said.

“It’s really something because these same people used to be on Radio Sputnik, they were on our shows, they were on Loud & Clear,” co-host Brian Becker said. When “progressives” silence other voices, they set a dangerous precedent regarding how much they think First Amendment is really worth.

“Americans are going to learn the hard way” about the dangers of censorship, Kiriakou said.

“A lot of the questions I fielded today, from a variety of European nationalities, centered on the fact that the United States seems to be easing its way into a new Cold War. But the Cold War has been initiated by the Democrats. This Red Scare is a Democratic invention, not a Republican one. And everyone wanted to talk about it,” Kiriakou said.

“It’s so ridiculous I thought it was a joke, and because it’s not a joke, that makes it actually very dangerous.”

Why I support the Sanders Institute
| October 6, 2017 | 9:22 am | Bernie Sanders, political struggle | No comments


The present state of our country and of our world beckons to all of us. As we confront climate change, multiple refugee crises, the threat of global conflict, and a disturbing normalization of fascism, our collective future mandates that we unite around calls for justice with a sense of urgency – justice for women, justice for LGBTQ communities, justice for immigrants, justice for racial and ethnic minorities, justice for religious minorities, justice for the economically disenfranchised, justice for our environment. We are called to defend the self-evident truths upon which democracy is built – equality, freedom, and the ability to pursue personal fulfilment – from forces rooted in falsehood, manipulation, and demagoguery. To do so, we must inform ourselves thoroughly and organize effectively. It is in this spirit that I support the Sanders Institute in actively engaging citizens and media in the pursuit of progressive solutions to economic, environmental, racial, and social justice issues.

The Sanders Institute’s focus on individuals and media speaks directly to the terrain of the digital age. Its emphasis on progressive solutions speaks to our collective need to defend our highest ideals by effecting positive change. While mendacity can be a shortcut to power, that power is ultimately unsustainable. We must speak powerful truths to power; truths rooted in our diversity and interconnectedness. In recognizing the ways in which we all have something to contribute and the ways in which we all depend on one another, we harness the value of our differences to establish powerful coalitions; coalitions that can effectively counter the rigidity and isolation of illiberalism. As a Fellow of the Sanders Institute, I offer my experience in supporting social justice movements around the world on issues like environmental justice, labor, economic inequality, and racism, and I hope to inspire a new generation of socially engaged citizens in fighting for justice and equality for all.

Danny Glover, Sanders Institute Founding Fellow, 2017

Michael Parenti on Bernie Sanders
| September 24, 2017 | 4:24 pm | Bernie Sanders, Michael Parenti | No comments

Introducing Medicare for All
| September 14, 2017 | 8:36 pm | Bernie Sanders, Health Care, Medicare for All | 1 Comment

RESPONSE TO: Some Dems sizzle, others see their stock fall on road to 2020
| September 14, 2017 | 8:29 pm | Analysis, Bernie Sanders, political struggle | No comments
By A. Shaw
So, according to the article, there are already about 20 apparent “Dems” or DP candidates positioning for 2020.
Some “sizzle” while others “fall on the road.”
At this time, Sanders sizzles in first place with 28% of likely voters in all social classes and race/nationality.
Biden sizzles with 17%.
Warren sizzles with 12%
The remaining 17 or so DP candidates don’t sizzle.
 They fall on the road.
Ideologically, Sanders strives to represent chiefly the liberal sectors of working and middle classes. He is not indifferent to the interests of the capitalist class, but the interests of millionaires are not his primary concern.
Biden primarily wants to represent the center and liberal sectors of the bourgeoisie, the rest of society is not his primary concern.
Warren strives primarily to represent the liberal sector of the middle class. Still, she has a real interest in other classes, especially the workers
With the exception of Sanders, this field of DP candidates accepts the flawed principle that reality is whatever story is prominently and consistently reported in the capitalist [or cappie] media. So, this field hustles for coverage in the cappie press.
Thus, if propaganda appears in non-cappie outlets, it isn’t real. If the story appears in the a cappie outlet but it’s buried in back pages, it isn’t real due to the lack of prominence. If the story appears one day but vanishes the next, it isn’t real due to lack of consistency.
The tactic of most of candidates in the DP field is to get coverage in the cappie press, then use the coverage to reach out to sectors of social classes  that may effect the candidate’s campaign favorably or unfavorably.
In 2016, Trump showed how to use the social media with full force.
In 2016, Sanders showed a little bit how to use the campaign’s media for propaganda as well as fundraising.
Some Dems sizzle, others see their stock fall on road to 2020
| September 14, 2017 | 8:26 pm | Analysis, Bernie Sanders, political struggle | No comments

Some Dems sizzle, others see their stock fall on road to 2020

Some Dems sizzle, others see their stock fall on road to 2020
© Greg Nash

Several potential Democratic presidential candidates have seen their stock fall since the beginning of the year, while others have risen.

Sen. Bernie Sanders(I-Vt.) has seen rivals jump on to his single-payer health-care bill, while former Vice President Joe Biden is preparing a major book tour through key swing states.

Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren(D-Mass.) have both generated headlines as Democratic opponents of President Trump who have been “shushed” by Republican lawmakers.

With so many Democrats fighting for attention, other rising stars seen as potential players in 2020, most notably Sens. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), have been crowded out of the spotlight.

And third-tier potential Democratic candidates such as Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Reps. Tim Ryan (Ohio), Seth Moulton (Mass.) and Rep. John Delaney (Md.), who has announced he is running for president, are yet to be taken seriously.

“You almost never hear their names come up in conversation, and when they do it’s almost met with a grin like, ‘Yeah, OK, that will never happen,’ ” said one top Democratic consultant. “There’s just no buzz around any of them, and you need some buzz.”

Gillibrand did win some attention by being the only senator to oppose Defense Secretary James Mattisnomination, and she has also earned some headlines with choice four-letter words about President Trump.

“If we are not helping people, we should go the f— home,” she said in June at the Personal Democracy Forum at New York University.

Earlier this month, Rolling Stone ran a piece with a headline that said Gillibrand was outsmarting Trump.

Klobuchar, for her part, is liked in Washington for her policy chops and an understated and underrated sense of humor.

Yet she risks getting overlooked by another potential candidate from Minnesota: Sen. Al Franken, who received good press for a book tour and raised questions during Attorney General Jeff Sessions confirmation hearing that led the former Alabama senator to recuse himself from the Justice Depatment’s investigation into Russian election meddling.

While Gillibrand stood to the side of Sanders as he offered his single-payer bill on Wednesday, Klobuchar, who is not a co-sponsor of the legislation, was giving a speech about Russia on the Senate floor.

Klobuchar’s office did not comment for this story.

It’s very early, with more than two years to go before the Iowa caucuses. Still, strategists say there’s a risk of being drowned out early in the “invisible campaign,” which is preceding what is expected to be a crowded Democratic race.

“In a field where 20-something people may show up in Iowa at the state fair, you really need to be in the top five,” said Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons. “If you’re in the top five, you’re in a good place to wage an incredible campaign.”

Polls consistently show the same front-runners.

A Zogby Analytics online survey conducted this month shows Sanders with a sizable lead among likely voters at 28 percent. Biden came in second at 17 percent. Warren came in third at 12 percent.

A poll conducted in June for Morning Consult and Politico showed that 74 percent of Democrats viewed Biden favorably, followed by Warren at 51 percent.

At the same time, the party has been craving “fresh blood”— Democrats who haven’t been on the scene and don’t have years of baggage weighing them down in a presidential campaign.

That desire could help potential candidates such as Gillibrand, Klobuchar or even Ryan, though they have plenty of competition in that space.

Harris, a new rising star on the scene, gained national attention when she was shushed by Republican senators in Senate Intelligence Committee hearings.

And Warren, who, like Sanders, has an established base of support but who would be a new candidate for president, gave the liberal base a battle cry with the “she persisted” line coined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Candidates do face the risk of peaking too soon, says Democratic strategist Jim Manley.

At times in 2014 and 2015, it was Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) who seemed like the Republican senator to watch for in 2016. Then he faded.

“Cycle after cycle, there’s always someone who is the flavor of the month,” Manley said.

Still, Democratic strategist David Wade, who served as a longtime senior aide to John Kerry, emphasized that candidates with an eye on 2020 should “always place a premium on patience and purpose.”

“Good candidates get their moment to audition on the national stage, and it takes patience because you can’t force the moment,” Wade said. “But it also demands purpose. Purpose is knowing what your candidate’s profile is and what lane they occupy.”

In the years before the 2004 Democratic primaries ultimately won by Kerry, “multiple candidates had their moment in the sun, and many melted,” Wade said.

To be competitive and stand out, lawmakers can develop an agenda, fill a federal war chest and travel the country building a fundraising network that can be transferred to a presidential campaign.

And with the fight over nominations and the contentious Trump agenda, lawmakers with the right speeches and tactics are uniquely positioned to break through quickly.

“I think it’s too early to discount people’s chances,” said Grant Reeher, the director of the Campbell Public Affairs Institute at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. “I think the candidates that we’re thinking about for 2020 aren’t people we’re thinking about right now.”

Some big news on Sen. Sanders’ Medicare-for-all bill
I have some important news to share with you:
Today — along with 15 co-sponsors — I am officially introducing our Medicare-for-all, single-payer health care legislation that will guarantee health care as a right for every single man, woman and child in the United States of America.
The last time I introduced this bill, it lacked a single co-sponsor.
Today, we have 15.
I want you to know the names of each and every Senator who is standing with us today, then sign my online card thanking them for joining this fight.
Here is the list:
Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Senator Al Franken (D-MN)
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Senator Ed Markey (D-MA)
Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI)
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
But it gets better.
Over the past two months, more than 500,000 people across the country have joined them as citizen co-sponsors of our bill. And in the House of Representatives, for the first time ever, a majority of the Democratic members have signed onto John Conyers’s Medicare-for-all legislation.
There is no doubt about it, momentum is on our side.
It was not long ago that the idea of Medicare for all was dismissed and ridiculed by the corporate media and political establishment of this country. Today, a strong majority of Americans understand that it is the responsibility of the federal government to provide health care for all.
But we still have a long way to go.
Because the truth is, the insurance companies and drug companies in this country are extraordinarily powerful and they are not going down without a fight. They have obscene amounts of wealth and have used that money to protect a dysfunctional system that allows them to make billions in profits while leaving far too many Americans behind.
But in my view, the people of this country have had enough of the greed and recklessness of these industries.
We understand that it is a moral outrage that the United States is the only nation in the industrialized world that does not guarantee health care as a right to all of its people.
We believe it is a national emergency that 28 million of our sisters and brothers lack health care coverage and that many more are underinsured with high deductibles and copayments.
We are tired of going to the pharmacy to get medicine we need and the price triples for no other reason than because the drug companies now have the right to charge as much as they like. Unbelievably, one out of five adults under the age of 65 in this country who gets a prescription from a doctor cannot afford to get it filled.
The American people are sick and tired of a health care system that spends twice as much per capita as countries around the world but has worse outcomes. All while the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry reward their executives with outrageous compensation packages.
All of us get sick.
All of us need medicine.
All of us have accidents.
All of us need good quality health care.
In my view, the function of a rational health care system in this country should be to provide quality care for everyone in a cost effective way, not to make health industry CEOs richer or drive up stock prices on Wall Street.
Even with growing support in Congress, we are still taking on much of the political and financial establishment in this fight. But when we are united, when we stand together, we are more powerful than they could ever imagine.
Sisters and Brothers: In this pivotal moment in American history, let us lead our country forward to guarantee health care as a right and not a privilege. This is a struggle whose time has come. This is a struggle not just about health care but about the heart and soul of our country, about what we stand for as a people.
Please remember that when we stand together and do not let allow demagogues to divide us up by race, religion, national origin or sexual orientation, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish.
That is the political revolution.
In solidarity,
Bernie Sanders