mfioretti: sanders*

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  1. I kept asking the party lawyers and the DNC staff to show me the agreements that the party had made for sharing the money they raised, but there was a lot of shuffling of feet and looking the other way.

    When I got back from a vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, I at last found the document that described it all: the Joint Fund-Raising Agreement between the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund, and Hillary for America.

    The agreement—signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to Marc Elias—specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.

    I had been wondering why it was that I couldn’t write a press release without passing it by Brooklyn. Well, here was the answer.
    https://www.politico.com/magazine/sto.../02/clinton-brazile-hacks-2016-215774
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  2.  For a small but committed group of economists, academics, and activists who adhere to a doctrine called Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), though, #mintthecoin was the tip of the economic iceberg. The possibility of a $1 trillion coin represented more than mere monetary sophistry: It drove home their foundational point that fiat currency is a social construct, and that there are therefore no fiscal limits on how much a sovereign currency-issuing nation can spend.

     To a layperson, MMT can seem dizzyingly complex, but at its core is the belief that most of us have the economy backward. Conventional wisdom holds that the government taxes individuals and companies in order to fund its own spending. But the government—which is ultimately the source of all dollars, taxed or untaxed—pays or spends first and taxes later. When it funds programs, it literally spends money into existence, injecting cash into the economy. Taxes exist in order to control inflation by reducing the money supply, and to ensure that dollars, as the only currency accepted for tax payments, remain in demand.

    It follows that currency-issuing governments could (and, depending on how you lean politically, should) spend as much as they need to in order to guarantee full employment and other social goods. MMT’s adherents like to point out that the federal government never “runs out” of money to fund the military, but routinely invokes budget constraints to justify defunding social programs. Money, in other words, isn’t a scarce commodity like silver or gold. “To people who’ve worked in financial markets, who work at the Fed, this isn’t controversial at all,” says Galbraith, who, while not an adherent, can certainly be described as “MMT-friendly.”



    According to this small but increasingly vocal cohort of economists, including Bernie Sanders’s former chief economic adviser, once we change the way we think about money, we can provide for everyone: We don’t have to “find” the money to “pay” for universal health care by “cutting” the budget elsewhere. In fact, our government already works that way: Spending must precede taxation, or there would be no dollars in the economy to tax. It’s the political will to spend on certain things, not the money to afford it, that’s lacking.
    https://www.thenation.com/article/the...star-appeal-of-modern-monetary-theory
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  3. The Clinton campaign in 2016, for instance, never saw the Bernie Sanders campaign as being driven by millions of people who over the course of decades had become dissatisfied with the party. They instead saw one cheap stunt pulled by an illegitimate back-bencher, foolishness that would be ended if Sanders himself could somehow be removed.

    "Bill and Hillary had wanted to put Sanders » down like a junkyard dog early on," Allen and Parnes wrote. The only reason they didn't, they explained, was an irritating chance problem: Sanders "was liked," which meant going negative would backfire.

    Hillary had had the same problem with Barack Obama, with whom she and her husband had elected to go heavily negative in 2008, only to see that strategy go very wrong. "It boomeranged," as it's put in Shattered.

    The Clinton campaign was convinced that Obama won in 2008 not because he was a better candidate, or buoyed by an electorate that was disgusted with the Iraq War. Obama won, they believed, because he had a better campaign operation – i.e., better Washingtonian puppeteers. In The Right Stuff terms, Obama's Germans were better than Hillary's Germans.

    They were determined not to make the same mistake in 2016. Here, the thought process of campaign chief Robby Mook is described:

    "Mook knew that Hillary viewed almost every early decision through a 2008 lens: she thought almost everything her own campaign had done was flawed and everything Obama's had done was pristine."

    Since Obama had spent efficiently and Hillary in 2008 had not, this led to spending cutbacks in the 2016 race in crucial areas, including the hiring of outreach staff in states like Michigan. This led to a string of similarly insane self-defeating decisions. As the book puts it, the "obsession with efficiency had come at the cost of broad voter contact in states that would become important battlegrounds."

    If the ending to this story were anything other than Donald Trump being elected president, Shattered would be an awesome comedy, like a Kafka novel – a lunatic bureaucracy devouring itself. But since the ending is the opposite of funny, it will likely be consumed as a cautionary tale.
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/...utalizes-the-clinton-campaign-w477978
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  4. Working in the south for voting rights, young activists such as Casey Hayden and Mary King had gained sophisticated organising experience and found strong female role models they could respect in the older black women who were such a central part of the civil rights movement. But by the mid-60s, as black nationalism, the student movement and antiwar protests moved to the centre of cultural prominence, white activist women found themselves both unwelcome within black identity politics and demoted within the other movements.

    Charged with making coffee while the male politicos speechified, shouted down and humiliated for daring to bring up the issue of gender inequality during rallies and leftist gatherings, their early calls for sexual equality were seen as trivial, hormonally inspired, and counter-revolutionary. Inspired by the Black Panthers to look to their own oppression, women began to speak up about what came to be known as “personal politics”. But unlike the Panthers, women were told over and over that they had to subordinate their demands to larger causes in the interests of the movement. They found themselves simmering and stewing as boyfriends and husbands defined what was revolutionary, what was worthy, and what was progressive.

    It was both an exhilarating and a frustrating time to be an activist woman. Some, like me, dropped out of the fight for a time. Others became more violently countercultural and joined the Weather Underground. Others still became leaders of the emerging women’s movement. In 2016, however, many activists saw that movement as part of establishment politics and no longer requiring their revolutionary fervour. As one Sanders supporter wrote:
    Everyone loves Bernie Sanders. Except, it seems, the Democratic party
    Trevor Timm
    Trevor Timm
    Read more

    Yes, equal rights for women and minorities are critically important. To consider these ideals progressive, however, seems passé. At this point, it’s more fair to suggest they are traditional. Gender and civil rights and equality may remain under attack from the right, but these ideals are positively engrained in two generations of Americans. Progressive voters, at this stage in our young country’s political history, want to challenge corrupt systems. The prison-industrial complex, the military-industrial complex, the financial-industrial complex, and the other lobbies that control our politicians and our government, for example.

    I’m fairly certain that Sanders himself doesn’t see “equal rights for women and minorities” as so firmly inscribed in our culture as to be “traditional” or “passé”. Nonetheless, Sanders gave Clinton no credit for her longstanding progressivism in these areas, while identifying her with the corruption he was dedicated to cleaning up. Organising against the abuses that he made his signature causes was indeed a worthy progressive agenda. Portraying Clinton as the enemy of systemic change, on the other hand, was not only factually incorrect, but proved politically disastrous in the general election.

    Sanders was the perfect vehicle to revive political passion both among the older left, revitalised by being on the side of “the revolution” again, and a younger generation who had yet to experience the sense of rightness, community, and belief in the possibility of radical change that nourished us in the 60s. Here was this guy who had lived through it all, who looked like a grandfather but spoke like a union organiser, who was making it seem possible again – but in terms that spoke to the present, to their issues. He was fierce, he was uncompromising, and he wasn’t afraid to call out clear enemies, which revolutions always need to rally around. Wall Street. Greed. Big Money. Super PACS. The establishment.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/c...-sanders-and-the-millennial-feminists
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  5. I will keep an open mind to see what ideas Mr. Trump offers and when and how we can work together. Having lost the nationwide popular vote, however, he would do well to heed the views of progressives. If the president-elect is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families, I’m going to present some very real opportunities for him to earn my support.

    Let’s rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and create millions of well-paying jobs. Let’s raise the minimum wage to a living wage, help students afford to go to college, provide paid family and medical leave and expand Social Security. Let’s reform an economic system that enables billionaires like Mr. Trump not to pay a nickel in federal income taxes. And most important, let’s end the ability of wealthy campaign contributors to buy elections.

    In the coming days, I will also provide a series of reforms to reinvigorate the Democratic Party. I believe strongly that the party must break loose from its corporate establishment ties and, once again, become a grass-roots party of working people, the elderly and the poor. We must open the doors of the party to welcome in the idealism and energy of young people and all Americans who are fighting for economic, social, racial and environmental justice. We must have the courage to take on the greed and power of Wall Street, the drug companies, the insurance companies and the fossil fuel industry.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/12/opi...ere.html?smid=tw-nytopinion&smtyp=cur
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  6. se nel Pd italiano le voci critiche sul Trattato sono pochissime («Nessuno di loro ci vuole ascoltare, sono terrorizzati all’idea di muoversi diversamente da Renzi», spiega Di Sisto) la questione è molto più dibattuta nei partiti omologhi in Europa. In Francia, ad esempio, il presidente François Hollande ha appena minacciato di far fallire tutta la trattativa, in nome della difesa dei prodotti nazionali; in Gran Bretagna l’ascesa di Jeremy Corbyn ha spostato la linea del Labour in senso anti Ttip; in Germania il vicecancelliere Sigmar Gabriel (favorevole) ha annunciato che convocherà un congresso del partito ad hoc per trovare una mediazione con la sinistra interna (contraria); in Spagna il Psoe ha messo alcuni paletti rigidi, pressato dalla campagna che sul tema sta facendo Podemos (la sindaca di Barcellona Ada Colau, ad esempio, ha organizzato un incontro delle "città ribelli" di tutta Europa contro il Ttip). Mentre in Austria il neo presidente verde Van der Bellen ha già detto che non firmerà il Ttip.

    vedi anche:
    ttip-jpg
    Ttip: Il trattato commerciale tra Stati Uniti e Ue è un patto avvelenato
    La chance: più ricchezza per molte aziende e per il sistema Italia. Il rischio: meno garanzie ai consumatori, meno tutele ai lavoratori e meno sovranità. Pro e contro il trattato commerciale Europa-Usa, il Ttip. Che Renzi fortemente vuole
    Anche negli Usa la questione divide in modo trasversale
    http://espresso.repubblica.it/interna...?ref=twhe&twitter_card=20160603101450
    Tags: , , , , , , by M. Fioretti (2016-06-06)
    Voting 0
  7. The most common one I see is “how is he going to pay for all of this?” This question misses the point entirely. Even if economists say that he can’t, does that really invalidate everything he’s aiming to achieve? If he can’t pay for all of it and the only thing that actually gets passed is universal college education and a reinstatement of Glass-Steagall, is that such a horrible thing? Why does it have to be so all or nothing? That’s why it also baffles me when people say that they don’t want the kind of revolution Mr. Sanders is pushing—the reality is that even if he is swept to victory, the amount of change he’ll actually be able to implement won’t be half of what he wants to do.

    No wonder Gallup polling shows over 85 percent of you are disengaged and miserable at your jobs.

    The other elephant in the room is that the current political status quo is to spend over half a trillion dollars per year on the military. So you’re against universal health care or college education because you don’t think it can be paid for, but you’re happy for your government to spend that amount of money on your military when the last time you actually had to defend yourselves was over two centuries ago? When you’re willing to sacrifice so many of the best parts of a socialist democracy in order to fund a military juggernaut that has to go out looking for things to shoot, your priorities are ridiculously lopsided. The War on Terror started with over 3,000 people being killed in a terrorist attack on your own soil. It has since cost the U.S. over 5 trillion dollars—money that could have been used to save far more lives than were lost in the first place, if they had been provided with adequate health care.
    http://observer.com/2016/04/heres-the...icans-cant-grasp-about-bernie-sanders
    Tags: , by M. Fioretti (2016-05-02)
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  8. Beyond just exposing her unwillingness to understand how modern free trade agreements benefit the rich and punish impoverished countries, Clinton may have a more nefarious connection to the Panama Papers.

    In lobbying for the Panama-United States Trade Promotion Agreement, Clinton paved the way for major banks and corporations, most notably the Deutsche Bank, to skirt national laws and regulations. After she resigned as Secretary of State, the Deutsche Bank paid her $485,000 for a speech. While criminality can’t yet be definitively established, this may change when the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” publishes its comprehensive list at the end of the month. In addition to the aforementioned connection, Clinton’s name has already surfaced in connection to a billionaire and a Russian-controlled bank named in the files.

    The fallout from the Panama Papers is being felt around the world. On Tuesday, Iceland’s Prime Minister resigned after it was revealed his family had used a shell company to hold millions of dollars worth of bonds in a collapsed bank. After an interview in which Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson had a meltdown when asked about the company’s assets, over 20,000 citizens of Iceland protested.

    How does this lead to Bernie Sanders defeating Hillary Clinton? The Sanders campaign has been run on the premise that Clinton is inextricably linked to political corruption, disastrous military interventions, and collusion with Wall Street. If it can be shown that Clinton was involved in criminal improprieties exposed by the Panama Papers, this will constitute yet another major line of attack for Sanders headed into the April 14th debate in New York. If Sanders wins the New York primary a few days later and scoops up a proportion of its 247 delegates, the narrative of the election will dramatically shift.

    When added to the myriad other Clinton scandals and political vulnerabilities, the Democratic party’s gatekeeper superdelegates could decide that Clinton is too big of a liability going into the general election. It all comes down to New York, though — Sanders must win New York. If he does, you will see historic chaos unleashed upon the American electorate. And if the Panama Papers leak sets off an unstoppable domino effect, the DNC may soon find its fractured party looking just as ghoulish as the clown’s autopsy being conducted on the Republican Party.
    http://theantimedia.org/panama-papers-end-hillary-clinton
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  9. There appear to be two parallel universes of Democratic voters this season — one disproportionately older, the other disproportionately younger — whose habits make them almost invisible to each other.

    Clinton’s voters may be less likely to show up to rallies, or post on social media or be serial commenters who commandeer comments sections, but they do show up to vote. But these are the same voters who are less likely to hear much news about Sanders.

    In a February Pew Research Center survey, a plurality of people 18 to 29 years old said that the social media was their most helpful source for learning about the 2016 presidential election. A plurality of those 30 and over cited cable news as the primary source. Network news was the second most popular source for those 65 and older.

    The Sanders campaign and its supporters have a right to be unhappy about the disparity. But the Clinton campaign has its own view of Sanders’s supporters media grousing, and, as to be expected, it isn’t kind. As The Times reported last month:

    “The Clinton campaign, however, argues that Mr. Sanders has benefited from the superficial horse-race journalism he scorns, and that coverage has largely focused on his avuncular style and cross-generational appeal rather than thorough inspections of his proposals or record.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/17/opi...campaign-stops/a-bernie-blackout.html
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2016-03-22)
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  10. So this is my message to those of you who don’t vote, or who only vote in presidential elections. Not voting isn’t a rebellion, it is surrender. We have to play the game and if you don’t show up at all, we’ll never win. Those of us on your team, those of us who want this world to be filled with more love than hate, more compassion than intolerance, are disappointed. Because you’re losing the game and you’re waving a white flag for us and we’re still fighting.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/annie-b...s/this-is-about-voting_b_9482554.html
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2016-03-18)
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