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AGelbert

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2020 Presidential Election
« on: September 14, 2019, 07:19:18 pm »
3rd Democratic Debate: Medicare for All as the Bogeyman? (1/3)

September 13, 2019

The third Democratic Party's presidential debate featured all ten front-runners for the first time. In segment one of our debate discussion, we take a closer look how candidates discussed the healthcare issue. Our panelists are Osita Nwanevu, Helena Olea, and Jacqueline Luqman, with Greg Wilpert as host

Story Transcript

GREG WILPERT: Welcome to The Real News Network. Iím Greg Wilpert in Baltimore.

The ten Democratic Party candidates, who are ahead in terms of opinion polls and fundraising, held a third presidential debate on ABC Television on Thursday. It took place in Houston, Texas at Texas Southern University, a historically black university. The over two and a half hour debate covered a wide variety of issues; such as health care reform, racism, gun control, immigration reform, foreign policy and education reform. Notably absent were questions on climate change and economic policy.

Here at The Real News Network, we have been providing analyses of the presidential debates so far with a changing roster of panelists. Today we have joining us here in the studio, Jacqueline Luqman. Sheís a host and producer here at The Real News Network as well as the editor of the website Luqman Nation. Also in the studio is Osita Nwanevu. Heís a staff writer at The New Republic and a former staff writer at The New Yorker and Slate. And then remotely, we have Helena Olea joining us. She is an international human rights lawyer with the Alianza Americas and she is a Lecturer at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Departments of Criminology, Law and Justice. Thanks to all three of you for joining us today.

JACQUELINE LUQMAN: Thank you.

HELENA OLEA: Thank you.

GREG WILPERT: So we cannot cover everything that was discussed in this debate. And so we decided not to focus on this horse race that so many other people focus on. That is, who got under whose skin or who won the debate? Rather, we want to dig a little bit deeper into the actual issues that were discussed. So in this first segment, we start with the topic of healthcare reform, which has been a persistent issue in this presidential campaign.

SENATOR AMY KLOBUCHAR: While Bernie wrote the bill, I read the bill. And on page eight, on page eight of the bill, it says that we will no longer have private insurance as we know it. And that means that 149 million Americans will no longer be able to have their current insurance.

SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN: Insurance companies last year sucked $23 billion in profits out of the system. How did they make that money? Every one of those $23 billion was made by an insurance company saying ďnoĒ to your healthcare coverage.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Mayor Buttigiegó

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG: The problem, Senator Sanders, with that damn bill that you wrote and that Senator Warren backs, is that it doesnít trust the American people. I trust you to choose what makes the most sense for you.

SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Thereís 150 million people on private insurance. 50 million of those people lose their private insurance every year when they quit their jobs or they go unemployed or their employer changes their insurance policy. So if you want comprehensive health care, freedom of choice regarding doctor or hospital, no more than $200 a year for prescription drugs, taking on the drug companies and the insurance companies, moving to Medicare for All is the way to go.

GREG WILPERT: So it seems like one of the main dividing lines between the candidates are those who like to say, or who would like Medicare for Alló that is, universal health careó and that they would like it to replace all private insurers. And thatís basically the position of Sanders and Warren versus everyone else who would like to expand Medicare or some version of it and keep private insurance. So letís start with you, Osita. Whatís your take on this distinction between the candidates on this issue and how theyíre talking about it?

OSITA NWANVUE: Well, this has been front and center, I think, at just about every debate thatís happened so far. It used to be the case that when people talked about Medicare for All the big debate was, ďwell, how are you going to pay for it? How are you going to absorb the cost of creating this new government system?Ē Now it seems the critics of Medicare for All have shifted into this debate about whether private insurance gets kept under the new system, and itís not a trivial distinction substantively or politically.

If you look at polls done by the Kaiser Family Foundation and other groups, most Democrats do support Medicare for All, just the idea of it in general. But when you ask them, ďDo you support a system in which private insurance will be eliminated,Ē numbers start to go down. People who criticize Medicare for All say that this is inherently an inbuilt risk of advocating for the program. This means that people arenít going to be willing to get on board with the system, the kind that Sanders is proposing.

I think whatís actually reflected in that number is something that Sanders and Warren both got at. People donít really love Aetna. They donít really love Blue Cross/Blue Shield. That number is there because people are worried that a new system will create a kind of instability. But if Sanders and Warren can assure people that in the new system everybodyís going to keep insurance, maybe not their private insurer, but insurance, and theyíre going to be able to go to whatever doctor they want to, that might be something that reassures people who might be wary about the private insurance number.

GREG WILPERT: I mean, I think itís interesting that this issue doesnít seem to come out very clearly as to what the debate is really about. I mean they donít seem to be able to get that message across, that this is really the core of the problem. And then they keep proposing it as if it was a fault in the system that theyíre proposing. Whatís your thought on this, Jackie?

JACQUELINE LUQMAN: So the problem with the way the Democrats are framing their resistance to Medicare for All is very interesting and itís based on what Amy Klobuchar actually said. Now, she referenced the actual language in the bill to make the argument that Medicare for All, the Sandersí bill and the bill that Warren backs, will eliminate private insurance altogether. But according to her own words, thatís not what the bill actually says. She said that on page eight of the bill that Sanders wrote, that we will no longer have private insurance as we know it.

So itís not that under Medicare for All, private insurance will not exist anymore. It is that the way we operate in this system of relying primarily on private insurance for health care coverage, will not exist as it does now. Because if everyone is ostensibly covered under Medicare for All, then private insurance will not be a primary source of coverage. I think thatís a major distinction, but itís a fine point that unless you really listening, you miss. And the Democrats are playing that up, I think very craftily, but I think itís one that we really need to pay attention to.

GREG WILPERT: Helena, I want to turn to you. What do you think? What do you make of this kind of debate on this particular issue?

HELENA OLEA: I think itís very interesting to go back to the point that workers do not choose their insurance, as it has been presented. I think that in that element in particular, Bernie was very good in stressing with the numbers that workers do not have a choice. Itís really the employer who chooses among plans and then presents to them, sometimes a limited choice between two or three insurances at best, in really large employers.

So I think that what we should be discussing here is coverage and quality of healthcare. The discussion is not about choosingó As some others have said, no one really cares about your insurance company. You do not feel you are being well-treated by your insurance company. And I think that Warrenís point about the profit that insurance companies make really addresses that argument, but they do have to present it differently. This idea that the government is choosing for you, rather than choosing yourself, has kind of taken over this discussion and itís very unfortunate. Itís not the main point.

GREG WILPERT: Yeah, I think thatís a very interesting point. You want to addó

OSITA NWANVUE: I think Iíd just say too, one of the things that escapes notice in this discussion is that if you look at the plans that are being offered by the other candidatesó you know, Pete Buttigieg and people who have offered what they say are more moderate versions of Medicare for Alló their plans also point to a world in which private insurance doesnít exist or is radically eliminated. Itís just on the longer timeframe.

I mean, if you look at what Pete Buttigieg says at the last debate, he says that he prefers a system in which we create a robust public option, and if the public option really is good and itís cheaper than whatís available in the private market, then most Americans are going to choose that and that undermines the private insurance system. Well, thatís still Ė itís essentially what Sanders is saying heís going to do automatically or from the get-go. Buttigieg just wants to stretch that out.

And I think politically, if youíre concerned about the Sanders plan, is that Republicans are going to attack it and conservatives are going to attack it as something that eliminates private insurance. I donít think the Buttigieg plan fools them into not doing that or reassures people. Once the message gets out that just like Sanders, Buttigieg or Beto or whoeverís offering a public option plan, itís also going to take us to a world in which private insurance doesnít really exist.

So I think people should just be forthright and have a discussion about the role they envision private insurance playing in the system in terms of what private insurance is actually supposed to be doing in the healthcare system. Offer a defense of what Elizabeth Warren talked about. The fact that all of this profit in the industry is a product of private insurance companies saying ďnoĒ to certain services, ďnoĒ to different treatments. Offer a defense of that or debate the issue more directly than just scaremongering about the Sanders plan because I donít think I really serves anybody very well.

GREG WILPERT: Yeah, I mean thatís really interesting, the things that they leave out. I mean, and just as Helena mentions, the fact that thereís also no choice. And the other thing that seems to me that is being left out of this discussion is kind of the class dimension. What I mean specifically is that if you keep private insurance, then youíre going to have a system I guess where the people who can afford the private insurance or who want doctors who charge way more than they would under the public option or the Medicare option, have offered a different kind of service, a different level of service with much higher premiums, with much higher basically insurance, but also higher charges for themselves. So then you have a very differentiated system in the end in terms of service. What do you think?

JACQUELINE LUQMAN: I mean truthfully, thatís exactly what we have right now even if you are an employee and you receive your insurance through an employer. You select your plan, if you have a choice of plans based on how much you can afford to pay out of pocket for each plan. And there are different levels for these plans. This is for people who have full-time jobs, who have full-time employee benefits, who get a choice in, allegedly, of what kind of insurance they can select. So if youíre a single person, you can choose the least out of pocket, the plan that gives you the least amount of coverage or the basic coverage for the least out of pocket expense for you.

But what if you have a family or what if you have some health issues or you just want more to be covered in your plan, then you would opt to pay for a higher level of coverage. You know, itís the basic, itís the gold, itís the platinum level of health insurance plans. We already have that among one class of insured people and thatís full-time employed people. But then there are people who are not full-time employees, who are part-time employees, or who are unemployed and theyíre on a different type of insurance or they have access to a different type of insurance. So we already have a class stratified health care coverage system in this country. Medicare for All really does seem to address that.

So the idea, I think, and this is the problem I had with what Pete Buttigieg said, that Sanders doesnít seem to trust the American people to choose, but if weíre not giving American people an actual choice in whether theyíre going to be fully covered or whether they have to worry about if they can afford decent healthcare coverage, how can the American people trust any of them with providing whatís supposed to be a choice or not? And I think itís clear that Americans donít.

GREG WILPERT: Another issue that hasnít come up in this particular debate, but thatís very closely related and came up I think in a previous one, which is the issue of whether or not non-citizens, particularly undocumented immigrants, should be covered. And that gets to the issue Ė a human rights issue, right? And so I wanted to ask you, Helena, what do you think of the fact that this has been left out and youíre a human rights lawyer?

HELENA OLEA: Well, I think that we should also underscore the point that itís incredibly positive and this is a great evolution in the United States that we are having a discussion about the right to health, that health care is a top element in the discussion of the presidential debate is an important gain. As of today, most Americans are even skeptical of the concept of the right to health. They still believe that itís a service that you purchase in the market, so we are moving ahead and I think that thatís very important.

And I did miss from the discussion any mention whatsoever about ensuring access to healthcare for undocumented persons in the US and itís interesting. I was wondering whether this was done on purpose, whether those who raised the point very strongly in the last debate decided that perhaps this was not going very well, and so they decided to retreat a little bit in this point, but we have the videos. Itís documented there, so weíll see whether we observe it again. Iím sure the Republicans are going to try to throw it back at the Democrats as we move ahead in the election process.

GREG WILPERT: So weíre going to conclude our first segment here on the third Democratic presidential debate. I urge everyone to join us for the next segment where weíll take up more on the issue of immigration, but also inequality and racism. Thanks for joining us here at The Real News Network.

https://therealnews.com/stories/3rd-democratic-debate-medicare-for-all-as-the-bogeyman-1-3
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: 2020 Presidential Election
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2019, 07:23:54 pm »
3rd Democratic Debate: Education, Inequality, and Racism (2/3)

September 13, 2019

Our panel on the 3rd Democratic presidential debate takes a closer look at how the candidates look at and overlook crucial issues related to inequality and education in the United States


Story Transcript

GREG WILPERT: Welcome to The Real News Network. Iím Greg Wilpert in Baltimore.

This is our second segment on the Democratic Partyís third presidential debate, which took place last Thursday in Houston, Texas. Joining me here in the studio to analyze the debate are Real News host and producer Jacqueline Luqman, and New Republic staff writer Osita Nwanevu. Joining us remotely is human rights lawyer and University of Illinois-Chicago Professor Helena Olea. Thanks again to all three of you for being here.

JACQUELINE LUQMAN: Thank you.

OSITA NWANEVU: Thank you.

HELENA OLEA: Thank you.

GREG WILPERT: So in this segment, weíll take a closer look at the how the candidates discussed inequality, racism, and immigration.

SENATOR KAMALA HARRIS: I have, as part of my proposal, that we will put $2 trillion into investing in our HBCUs, but alsoó

LINSEY DAVIS: Thank you, Senator.

SENATOR KAMALA HARRIS: But this is a critical point. If a black child has a black teacher before the end of third grade, they are 13% more likely to go to college. If that child has had two black teachers before the end of third grade, they are 32% more likely to go to college.

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: My kids are not only struggling with racial segregation and housing and the challenges of underfunded schools, but theyíre also struggling with environmental injustice. If youíve talked to someone whoís a parent of a child who has had permanent brain damage because of lead, youíll know this is a national problem because thereís over 3,000 jurisdictions in America where children have more than twice the blood lead levels of Flint, Michigan.

LINSEY DAVIS: Thank you.

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: And so if Iím President of the United States, it is a wholistic solution to educationó from raising teacherís salary, fully-funded special education, but combating the issues of poverty, combating the issues of racial segregation, combating the issues of a criminal justice system that takesó

LINSEY DAVIS: Thank you, Senator.

SENATOR CORY BOOKER: Parents away from their kids and dealing with environmental justice, is a major pillar of any climate policy.

LINSEY DAVIS: In a conversation about how to deal with segregation in schools back in 1975, you told a reporter, ďI donít feel responsible for the sins of my father and grandfather. I feel responsible for what the situation is today, for the sins of my own generation, and Iíll be damned if I feel responsible to pay for what happened 300 years ago.Ē You said that some 40 years ago, but as you stand here tonight, what responsibility do you think that Americans need to take to repair the legacy of slavery in our country?

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Make sure that we bring in to help the teachers deal with the problems that come from home. We bring social workers into homes with parents to help them deal with how to raise their children. Itís not that they donít want to help; They donít know quite what to do. Play the radio. Make sure the television, excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night. Make sure the kids hear words. A kid coming from a very poor school or very poor background will hear 4 million words fewer spoken by the time they get there.

GREG WILPERT: Okay, so thereís quite a bit to unpack here, but letís take it from the top. And Jackie, I want to turn it to you to talk about specifically Kamala Harrisís a proposal on the HBCUs.

JACQUELINE LUQMAN: You know, the HBCU discussion is really interesting in political discourse because people focus solely on providing more funding to HBCUs thatís going to unilaterally help every black kid who goes to college. And I preface what Iím about to say by saying that itís not that HBCUs do not deserve and need additional federal fundingó they do. The issue is that most black kids who go to college donít actually attend an HBCU. Most black kids who go to college attend predominantly white institutions. So while additional funding for HBCUs is critical to continue the mission that HBCUs have to be a safe and robust and culturally relevant educational environmentóEven though, yes, HBCUs produce almost every black doctor in this country, itís also true that for most black students, theyíre learning on the campuses of predominantly white institutions, so where is their assistance coming from? Where are they getting help if Ė not if,  but when HBCUs are getting additional assistance? Thatís a real issue that I think certainly plays well on a debate stage at an HBCU, but when you look at the reality of the statistics, it raises questions about how genuine these politicians really are in closing every gap in inequality or every gap in quality of education between black and white students on college campuses, all of them across this country.

GREG WILPERT: This also raises the issue, I think, or is related to the issue of reparations in a sense because, of course, some have proposed that it would go specifically towards higher education for particularly the African American population in the United States. Now, Iím just wondering though, what do you make of this, Osita, this debate, and particularly also how it might relate to reparations, which came up very briefly? We donít have a clip of it, but Beto OíRourke did mention that he supported that, at least in a very general sense. Of course, nobodyís specific about it. What do you think of that?

OSITA NWANEVU: Yeah, the non-specificity is very important I think across the entireó I mean, the HBCU thing, HBCUs, as was just said, are absolutely wonderful institutions, but itís a very narrow discussion. Itís a discussion narrow enough in fact, that the Trump administration has made a lot of gestures towards HBCUs over the past couple of years just because itís such a non-controversial, kind of very small part of the education situation in this country.

If you want to deal with structural inequities that really impact most African Americans in the education system, you have to look at sort of the root alignment, the root structural systems that define education funding in this country. And thatís something that presidential candidates have often struggled to talk about in any kind of serious way because in this country, education is a state responsibility. A lot of the policy is set up at state and local level, so people can come out on the national debate stage and say this and that, but most of what you get in policy are sort of incentive programs from the federal government to get schools to adhere to certain standards. Theyíll put out these carrots for federal funding, but that doesnít actually change the fundamental aspects of education in this country.

It doesnít change the fact that we become a country thatís re-segregated a lot of its schools. Thatís going to take a lot more structural attention, and I think it ties into the reparation discussion too because in the exact same way, you have to think a lot bigger than the candidates are willing to really think right now and willing to talk about openly. I donít know how anybody could oppose studying the issue. My suspicion is that when you study the issue, itís going to become very obvious, empirically, as itís become obvious to a lot of people that reparations make a lot of sense to close the racial wealth gap. The question then becomes what do you actually do? What kinds of sweeping proposals do you actually put forward? How do you make them work politically?

But everything is happening at the surface-level discussion where people are being more forthright about the history of racism in this country, that legacy of slavery, all the structural inequities. People talk with the right kind of talk, but the solutions are still very limited. You see that in education. You see that to the extent to which people are talking about reparations. Itís still a kind of inchoate policy conversation.

GREG WILPERT: Yeah. This goes also to the issue of, like you mentioned, the economic issue of inequality, which as I mentioned in the beginning in the first segment, it didnít come up directly at least, and certainly not in the context of overall economic policy. Helena, Iím wondering what do you think of this lack of discussion of economic policy and how to address that in a larger, structural sense?

HELENA OLEA: I think that thatís a very good point because when we are discussing a number of issues such as healthcare, for instance, we are in a way kind of tapping on economic policy, but we are really not discussing it in deep. I think that thatís a crucial element of the debate and I think itís related to the format that was used as well. I would like to point out a couple of things in this regard. Itís interesting that their choice was to bring the Latino journalist to ask questions about immigration, as if that was only an issue that affects Latinos, where it affects the population from all over the world. Similarly, when weíre talking about education, everyone is thinking about racial segregation and discrimination against African American students, and we should be thinking of education and discrimination from a wider stance.

And so just as equally as itís important for African American kids to have African American teachers, itís equally important for Latino children to have Latino teachers, and we should be able to look at these issues from a broader perspective. I think weíre leaving that element out in this discussion. We are tapping onto it.

Similarly, I also want to point out that when weíre talking about reparations, itís interesting also to consider where are we cutting the line? Are we only going to refer to slavery, or are we also going to address the continuous discrimination that has affected African Americans in the US until today? I think that the issue is much more complex. We definitely need a wide, open and long debate on this issue. So I agree absolutely with Osita, with the political correct point of saying, ďYes, I agree,Ē but that is a very empty comment. We really have to grapple with the basic and most important elements of this discussion on reparations.

GREG WILPERT: I want to turn now to the other part of the clip that we saw, which was particularly the one of Biden where he talks about the need for a different kind of education at home. What do you make of that, Jackie?

JACQUELINE LUQMAN: Okay, I have to breathe. Bidenís comment came in response to a two-part question that was asked of him. One, that he had to Ė what was his response to his previous comments, which were problematically racist, about the role that America has to play for addressing the legacy of slavery. And two, what does he see now 40 years later after his initial comments, how does he feel about that now? His response was that America has to basically help poor, black families raise their children because they donít know how to. In a nutshell, in a nutshell, that is what he said. He said we need to send social workers in to help people raise their kids because itís not that they donít want to raise their kids, they just donít know how, and they need to have the record player on at night so the kids can hear words.

And people donít quite know what that is in reference to, but itís in reference to a 40-year-old debunked studyó ďstudy,Ē I say that in quotesó that I think University of Kansas researchers did where they went to 42 families and followed their children from the ages of 16 months to 18 months for four years. And they came up with this bizarre conclusion that rich families, the children of rich families were exposed to hearing 30 million more words over that four years than the children of poor families didó the 42 families theyíd studied over four years. That study has since been debunked for a number of reasons: because it didnít account for all of the different people outside of parents that children have around them in different perspectives, didnít account for different cultural environments where language is different and words may be different, didnít account for the time spent with children and parents based on economic situations where wealthier families may have more time.

So it didnít account for a lot of things, but Joe Biden is still relying on this idea that poor families just donít talk to their kids. And especially in the context of this question, poor black families. Thatís his idea of addressing the legacy of slavery. So that is the contrast that we are facing in dealing with this legacy of slavery and racial injustice, where you have one candidate, Beto OíRourke, who rightfully does mention I support, if Iím president, I am going to sign HR 40 into law, and HR 40 does exactly what you say. It documents this history of not just slavery, but also, Helena, the continuing discrimination that is endured after slavery. But then at the other end of the spectrum, you have Joe Biden who is the so-called frontrunner who still believes that one of the problems of slavery is that black people donít know how to raise their children.

GREG WILPERT: I also thought it was interesting that he seems to have this idea that you can fight poverty with social workers, but what do you think, Osita?

JACQUELINE LUQMAN: Yes.

OSITA NWANEVU: This is whatís so interesting about this primary. I mean, across all kinds of issues, thereís been a breathtaking series of sweeping proposals advanced not just by Senators Sanders and Warren that you would expect to be the most ambitious, but even the moderate candidates have moved well left on a lot of different issues. Even Joe Biden on an issue like climate puts out a respectable plan. But when it comes to this core issue of antipoverty policy and in dealing with some of these inequities youíve been talking about, the party still doesnít exactly know what to do. It hasnít matched the level of ambition that weíve seen in other policy areas.

Bidenís answer was something that you would have expected somebody like him to say in the 90s. Itís obviously important to read to your kids and spend time with them. Thatís not the reason why we see all these inequities. We know, given social science research, that even black parents who do everything right and kids who work hard at school, theyíre still suffering from the same inequities that we see across the racial spectrum for them. We know that African Americans who are high-income or higher income than lower income white people, will often live in neighborhoods that are still underfunded, that still lack certain resources. There are racial components of inequity in this country that we havenít really taken seriously outside of academia.

So as far as this idea that youíre going to solve those inequities by sending social workers into these communities and teaching parents how to raise their kids right, if you want to look at the most ambitious thing somebody said on poverty on the stage last night, it was actually Andrew Yang, Andrew Yangís UBI. The idea of doing a universal basic income gives all Americans a certain level of income. They can use it to pay rent. They can use it to pay for childcare, whatever they find most necessary in their lives. That is a more serious solution that would help more black people than the Joe Bidenís idea of lecturing black parents that theyíre not doing things right. Give people material resources and they will have the power to change the things in their life that they find the most burdensome.

Now Yang is not offering reparations specifically for African American people. Thereís a narrowness to what heís saying, but I think that the core idea that the thing that is hurting people the most is structural inequity that can be solved by improving peopleís material situations. That is what the party has to dial into, just the way that itís dialed ambitiously into the healthcare situation or the healthcare reform proposals. There needs to be some kind of commensurate interest and really rethinking antipoverty policy in this country, really reinvigorating the welfare state in a big way.

GREG WILPERT: I mean, just turning also to a clip that we saw from Corey Booker. I mean, what I thought it was interesting about his clip is that he did address the issue of inequality, of systemic inequality. He didnít provide any solutions or answers in so far as I know his platform doesnít really either, but at least he raised it as the core of the issue. Thatís something that, at least in this debate, hardly anyone else really did. Although I would say that Sanders and Warren probably come closest to actually offering some solutions or some responses to that issue. I want to turn to you, Helena, what do you think of that? What was your reaction to Cory Booker and the possibilities of addressing this topic of inequality?

HELENA OLEA: Well, I do believe he deserves to be acknowledged for trying to understand education from a broader perspective and not giving the simple answer that we heard from many on the stage about teacherís salaries. You know, thatís it. Education, teacher salaries, and weíre done with the topic. I do appreciate considering other factors and so I think he must be praised for that. I appreciate the inclusion of environmental justice, which I think is an important element and also including Ė itís an interesting way to also mention criminal justice reform, which I think is also a plus in this aspect in particular. I think itís the beginning of new conversations that we should be having on how to really address the needs in terms of education.

We should also move, hopefully in the future debates, to addressing access to higher education. More than that broader promise of ďweíre going to eliminate all loans,Ē but something more concrete. How can we ensure that our college students do not have to work at least 40 hours a week? Because itís impossible to obtain an education of quality when you have other burdens. How do we protect our students who are also parents at the same time? There are other issues on the table that I think weíre leaving out.

GREG WILPERT: Well, unfortunately, we canít take up every issue in this discussion either, but weíll continue to cover it as best we can. So this concludes our second segment on the third Democratic presidential debate. Join us for the next one. We will take up the issue of foreign policy and socialism. Thanks for joining The Real News Network.

https://therealnews.com/stories/3rd-democratic-debate-education-inequality-and-racism-2-3
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Re: 2020 Presidential Election
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2019, 07:26:52 pm »
3rd Democratic Debate: Foreign Policy Continues Imperialist Tradition (3/3)

September 13, 2019

While most Democratic candidates are finally shifting the debate on Afghanistan, 18 years after the war began, the discussion on other issues, such as Latin America, continues in the same old imperialist vein as before

Story Transcript

GREG WILPERT: Welcome to The Real News Network. Iím Greg Wilpert in Baltimore.

This is our third segment on the Democratic Partyís third presidential debate, which took place last Thursday in Houston, Texas. Joining me to analyze the debate are here in the studio, Real News host and producer Jacqueline Luqman, and New Republic staff writer Osita Nwanevu. Joining us remotely is human rights lawyer and University of Illinois-Chicago Professor Helena Olea. Thanks to all three of you for joining us again.

JACQUELINE LUQMAN: Thank you.

HELENA OLEA: Thank you.

GREG WILPERT: In this segment, we will take a closer look at foreign policy.

SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN: We need a foreign policy that is about our security and about leading on our values. The problems in Afghanistan are not problems that can be solved by a military. We need to work with the rest of the world. We need to use our economic tools. We need to use our diplomatic tools. We need to build with our allies. And we need to make the whole world safer, not keep troops bombing in Afghanistan.

DAVID MUIR: Senator Warren, thank you.

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG: We have got to put an end to endless war. The best way not to be caught up in endless war is to avoid starting one in the first place. And so when I am president, an authorization for the use of military force will have a built-in three-year sunset. Congress will be required to vote and a president will be required to go to Congress to seek an authorization because if our troops can summon the courage to go overseas, the least our members of Congress should be able to do is summon the courage to take a vote on whether they ought to be there.

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: I was opposed to the surge in Afghanistan. The whole purpose of going to Afghanistan was to not have a counterinsurgency, meaning that weíre going to put that country together. It cannot be put together. Let me say it again. It will not be put together. We donít need those troops there. I would bring them home.

GREG WILPERT: This debate on Afghanistan, or actually the comments that the different presidential candidates made about Afghanistan, I thought it was rather interesting. It did seem to signify a certain amount of departure from the way it had been discussed, at least under President Obama, and of course under President Trump. One thing that wasnít mentioned in this discussion, though, is the fact that, of course, there was supposed to be a peace agreement between the US Government and the Taliban, which was scuttled in the last minute, and nobody commented on that it seemed.

I just want to turn to you, Helena, first about what you think of this debate and the turn that it has taken in terms of, first of all, Warren talking about the need for diplomacy. That seemed like a significant shift within the Democratic Party and even Bidenís talk about him being opposed to the surge, which I think is actually one of the things that was accurate. Although, I am very skeptical still to what extent he actually favors diplomacy, considering that he actually favored the war in Iraq. What do you think, Helena?

HELENA OLEA:  I think the aspect of foreign policy was debated in a very particular way. The first thing that we should say is that only three topics were mentioned under it. It began with trade, but somehow trade ends up being separated from the rest of the discussion of foreign policy, which I think is unfortunate. Then they only refer to Afghanistan in tangent, they referred to Iraq, and I think it was also a result of Bidenís comments that it ended up being part of the discussion, but that was not the intention of the questions. Then Venezuela was mentioned shortly. I think that this is very schematic, but we are definitely observing an evolution. Public opinion is shifting to the point where they believe that the troops should Ė cannot continue in Afghanistan and we need to find a way out.

GREG WILPERT: Osita, what do you think? Does this signify an important shift in the Democratic Party, as regards at least to the war in Afghanistan? Perhaps not in other areas because weíll get to those in a moment and weíll see that that might be different, but at least on the issue of Afghanistan?

OSITA NWANEVU: I think that we see a wider shift in foreign policy, both on that debate stage, in Congress and really, even to some extent, across both parties. I think that thereís a wide public impatience with ďforever wars,Ē as Pete Buttigieg called it. Weíve seen, obviously, moves against the United Statesí involvement in the war in Yemen. All of this is of a piece with I think a broader public mood that is turning against these wars and doesnít really see them as fruitful anymore.

Itís become clear that to the extent that we believe that there was an interest in going there after 9/11 to strike against the Taliban, weíre now trying, I guess, to meet with the Taliban. Thereís a sense, I think, even if people arenít willing to admit it openly that we overreacted in the last 20 years to the threat of Islamic terrorism, and engaged in a lot of conflicts that we had no real sense of how we were going to end them, I think that the publicís realization of that now is producing a sea change in American politicsó not just within the Democratic Party, but more broadly outside of it.

GREG WILPERT: What do you think, Jackie?

JACQUELINE LUQMAN: I think the candidatesí responses were definitely a reflection of what both of you saidó the public distaste for endless war now. But I think itís also the Democratic Partyís response to the candidate that wasnít on the stage, that I think in this issue of war that they most donít want their message to come out, and thatís Tulsi Gabbard. I think it was sort of a surprise, a little bit, that it was another military veteran, Pete Buttigieg, who sounded so similar to what Gabbard would have said. I think that was probably a shock, a little bit, to the DNC because thatís the kind of message Ė  that we need to end endless wars. And we need to even further, what Buttigieg and Warren said, we need to not have them. The best way not to have an endless war is to not enter into a war.

We know that the defense lobby is an enormous contributor to both parties, so Iím sure Buttigiegís comments and Warrenís comments on not even getting into wars made the defense benefactors of the DNC quite nervous. For the American people, both of their comments, and most of their comments at least on Afghanistan, because I agree also that they were very measured in how they talked about military engagement and war and the wider issue of imperialism in the United States and around the world. They were very careful to pick and choose where they would say, ďOkay, weíll stop doing this, but we have a different perspective on what should be done over here.Ē I do agree itís a reflection of how this country is seeing our military differently in what it does around the world.

GREG WILPERT: I want to turn to the next clip that we have, which is on Venezuela. Letís run that now.

JORGE RAMOS: You admit that Venezuela does not have free elections, but still you refuse to call Nicolas Maduro ďun dictador,Ē a dictator. Can you explain why and what are the main differences between your kind of socialism and the one being imposed in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua?

SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: First of all, let me be very clear. Anybody who does what Maduro does is a vicious tyrant. What we need now is international and regional cooperation for free elections in Venezuela so that the people of that country can create their own future. In terms of democratic socialism, to equate what goes on in Venezuela with what I believe is extremely unfair.

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: In Venezuela, we should be allowing people to come here from Venezuela. I know Maduro. Iíve confronted Maduro.

JULIAN CASTRO: Sure. Thank you, Jorge. Iíll call Maduro a dictator because he is a dictator. What we need to do is to, along with our allies, make sure that the Venezuelan people get the assistance that they need, that we continue to pressure Venezuela so that theyíll have free and fair elections. And also, here in the United States, offer temporary protected status, TPS, to Venezuelans.

GREG WILPERT: Okay. Well, this topic could potentially open up a can of worms because there is perhaps substantial disagreement about the nature of Venezuela, although not on that stage, but perhaps among our panel here. Weíll see. Let me turn first to you, Jackie. What do you think of Sandersís response, especially considering that all of them that we saw, or that spoke to Venezuela, didnít say anything about the United States, but specifically did zero-in on Venezuela? What do you make of that?

JACQUELINE LUQMAN: This is where the Democratic Party is extremely weak and it is extremely complicit in US imperialism around the world. Sanders, his response about free and fair elections and even the question was deeply, deeply problematic, but the issue that Democrats, any of them, are saying that weíre going to ensure free and fair elections in Venezuela when they canít even ensure free and fair elections here in the United States, thatís a serious problem. Then, thereís also this talk of the evil that Maduro does, and this is not to say that Maduro is a good guy, but thatís not the point. The point is that Venezuela is facing the economic issues itís facing because of US intervention and sanctions, primarily. Thereís certainly the other arguments and discussions to be made about decisions that Maduro and Chavez made, of course, but primarily the issue now is sanctions that the United States Government has implemented against the elected leadership of that country.

Then thatís the other issue, that the elections in Venezuela are continued to be framed by Republicans and Democrats as fraudulent, and that Maduro was not elected by the people, but six million people did vote for him. None of the candidatesó certainly not Sanders, he was guilty of this alsoó also didnít bring up the fact that nobody voted for Juan Guido. There are lots of issues with the way the Democratic Party frames this particular discussion because, in my estimation, the Democratic Party is just as pro-imperialist as the Republican Party is. I donít think thereís much modulation between the two on this particular issue. Even given whatever legitimate arguments people have for or against Maduro as a leader of his country, all of their answers on this particular issue, and even the question itself, were a big problem.

GREG WILPERT: I think the contrast between the answers that they gave to Afghanistan and the answers that they gave to Venezuela is quite telling. That maybe the shift that I was talking about earlier with regard to Afghanistan is not as big as we might think, considering how willing they are to endorse this idea that the US should be involved in Venezuela. I want to turn to you next, Helena. What do you think of that? Is thisó especially what Sanders, Castro and Biden said in this context?

HELENA OLEA: Yes. I agree a lot with Jacqueline. I think that the question was terrible and we really have to begin right there. Itís a personal feud that the journalist has with Maduro, which we understand, but I think that that was not the way to frame the issue. Element number one. I do believe that the point made about who elected Guido is quite important. There are a number of questionings about Guido and how Ė where heís getting the funding, whoís helping him. There are very recent accusations that he is receiving paramilitary aid from Columbia. I do think that this is much more complicated than how the candidates understand it. I think itís not a matter of how we label or not label Maduro. The real issue should be what should be the role of the US. Sanctions are very important.

The other element also is that the US withdrew aid to Central American countries to give it to Guido and the opposition in Venezuela. That was not mentioned there, which also reflects that they are very badly informed on this topic. Finally, there was no mention of the six million Venezuelans who are abroad, mostly everywhere in the Americas, trying to start a new life, just a brief mention of granting TPS for Venezuelans by Julio Castro. I think that the issue is much more complex than that, and so it did reflect this very limited view. I think that itís a great shortcoming in terms of their foreign policy. They talked about human rights as a prescription that should be considered, particularly Elizabeth Warren mentioned it. Then what does human rights translate into, and how do we consider it and understand it from all of the topics? They could have connected that to the US migration policy, and they also failed to address that in their response.

GREG WILPERT: Yeah. I find it pretty amazing that they didnít mention at all the issue of sanctions against Venezuela, which are absolutely crucial, especially in the context of the people leaving Venezuela, of course, and the problems, economic problems that the country has. Iím wondering what do you make of this, particularly the way these candidates are treating that particular issue, and does that mean that theyíre still wedded to imperialist politics, as Jackie says?

OSITA NWANEVU: I think that to a large extent the Democratic Party obviously is. I donít think that the American people and Democratic Party specifically have given a lot of thought to the United Statesí history in South and Central America. The record of intervention is something that you know about it only if youíre very well read on the left. Itís not something that gets talked about in the media and its history is part of the reason why we have this situation in Venezuela now. I donít think that thereís a very serious discussion on the Democratic primary debate stage or within the primary on that particular issue. Hopefully, Bernie Sanders and the other progressives in the field raise public awareness of whatís been going on.

I do think that itís very hard for me to understand why this comes up as an issue time and time again in these debates when the only people who I think respond to the kind of fear-mongering that the moderators are trying to do about Venezuela and socialism are people who already watch Fox News and are not Democratic primary voters. I donít really think that resonates with anybody. I donít think that people, for better or for worse, are very clued into whatís going on in the country at all. I think thereís an education, thereís the public education aspect of what needs to go on here as far as Latin American policy is concerned. Hopefully, this sort of positive energy weíve seen on other foreign policy issues eventually migrates over to that sphere of the world, and people begin taking the situation not only in Venezuela, but across the litany of states America has intervened in over the past couple of decades. Hopefully, people started taking those foreign policy questions more seriously.

GREG WILPERT: The issue that you raise, of course, of the socialism is one that came up and thatís a perfect segue to the next clip that we have, which is particularly Bernie Sandersís response to that question, and also an ad that ran for the Republicans attacking Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, where she is being portrayed as a socialist and being equated with the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Letís run that clip.

SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: What I believe in terms of democratic socialism, I agree with what goes on in Canada and in Scandinavia guaranteeing health care to all people as a human right. I believe that the United States should not be the only major country on Earth not to provide paid family and medical leave. I believe that every worker in this country deserves a living wage and that we expand the trade union movement. I happen to believe also that what, to me, democratic socialism means is we deal with an issue we do not discuss enough, Jorge, not in the media and not in Congress. You got three people in America owning more wealth than the bottom half of this country. Youíve got a handful of billionaires controlling what goes on in Wall Street, the insurance companies, and in the media. Maybe, just maybe, what we should be doing is creating anó

MODERATOR: Thank you.

SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Economy that works for all of us, not one percent. Thatís my understanding of democratic socialism.

MODERATOR: Secretary [inaudible], you wanted toó

ELIZABETH HENG, REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN AD: This is the face of socialism and ignorance. Does Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez know the horror of socialism? My father was minutes from death in Cambodia before a forced marriage saved his life. Thatís socialism: forced obedience, starvation. Mine is a face of freedom. My skin is not white. Iím not outrageous, racist, nor socialist. Iím a Republican.

GREG WILPERT: We can see here this incredible contrast between the way the Republicans are portraying socialism, and the way Bernie Sanders is portraying democratic socialism. Of course, this is going to be a major issue, one presumes, especially if Bernie Sanders were to become the candidate. But I imagine that even if not, we know that Obama was regularly being accused of being a socialist. Let me turn to you first, Osita. What do you think? Do you think that this will become like ďtheĒ campaign issue and how can Democrats deal with it?

OSITA NWANEVU: I think thatís going to be an issue even if Bidenís nominee. The Republicans, this is the button that they push in every election. The fact that they lost the House in 2018 doesnít seem to have dissuaded them that this is a reasonable strategy, but itís what theyíre going to do. Itís the only trick that theyíve got. I donít think that it really resonates with people. People in the country, broadly speaking, thereíve been numbers or polls showing that socialism has gone up in public estimation over the past several years. Itís still kind of underwater compared to when you ask people about capitalism, but that hasnít really sunken Bernie Sandersís popularity with the American people, broadly speaking. Maybe they have certain apprehensions about socialism, but he does just as well as any of the other candidates when you do look at these head-to-heads against Donald Trump. The election has yet to happen, obviously, and we donít know how things would change in certain ways, but I think if youíre a Republican, you have to wonder about the extent to which this is actually something that is going to be effective.

I think itís important that in the 2016 presidential election, Trump did not win by calling Hillary Clinton a socialist. In fact, he adopted a kind of populist rhetoric, he talked about the fact that the system was rigged, and that certain wealthy people controlled it. It was really like superficially similar to what people on the left said, and it resembled left rhetoric more close and it resembles these attacks on socialism we see now, the attacks on socialism we heard under Mitt Romneyís candidacy and John McCainís candidacy. The one thing thatís actually won them is turning away from that kind of rhetoric and they donít seem to have gotten that. They donít seem to have internalized that fact at all. I think itís going to be a real point of Republican messaging through the election. I donít think itís going to matter very much, but it is what we can, I think, pretty reliably expect them to harp on.

GREG WILPERT: Helena, let me just turn to you quickly. Whatís your interpretation of the importance or significance of the issue of socialism in this particular campaign?

HELENA OLEA: I agree very much with Ositaís point. I think that heís quite on point on a number of these issues. I think that it reflects a great ignorance and I also think that Republicans are failing to understand how faded in the American public the Cold War is right now. When you talk to the younger generations that were not a part of it, they really do not understand what you are referring to, and I think that this is a big mistake on their part, and socialism doesnít scare the American people anymore. I think that they have to understand that, but they are so much scared that they produced ads like the one you showed. Itís very interesting to see them playing with the issue, portraying a non-white American attractive woman with long hair, dark hair like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, saying ďthere is another face to it,Ē and playing to these scare-mongering tactics of the past. I think that itís in the back of the old Republicans, itís not in the mind of the American people anymore.

OSITA NWANEVU: I actually want to jump in at that point because I think itís extremely, extremely interesting and important that the person whose face was burning in that ad was not Bernie Sanders, but Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. That is no accident. I think the Republicans have been much friendlier to Sanders over the past couple of years, even though he is this socialist candidate whoís actually won millions of votes, than they have been to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whoís just this random Congresswoman. Why is she the focus of all these Fox News segments? Why is she the focus of all of this attention online and not Sanders, who is ostensibly the greater threat to the country as a socialist?

I think it has to do with the fact, as Helena said, that she is a non-white person, sheís a woman and, like the other members of the squadó Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omaró these are the things that Republican voters find threatening. They look at Bernie Sanders, they understand heís a socialist, but he also looks like them and thatís something that doesnít register the same fear triggers that putting up a picture of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez might. I think thatís an extremely important thing for us to notice and understand. It is not an accident at all that she is the focal point of all of this anxiety about socialism, and not the actual socialist candidate for president who millions of people in this country have already voted for.

GREG WILPERT: Right. Jackie?

JACQUELINE LUQMAN: Yeah. There are so many interesting angles to what Sanders said and the ad. I think what Sanders said is the perfect counter to the messaging of the evils of the bogeyman socialism as weíre moving. He moved the discourse from this, as Helena said, this outdated Cold War kind of rhetoric to, ďThis is the answer to our current economic crisis that we are all facing. And by the way, guess what? Other countries have already done it, so it canít be that bad.Ē The interesting thing about what Sanders said is that when he mentioned other countries, he was careful to mention Canada and Scandinavia, but did not mention Cuba and Venezuela. If youíre looking at Venezuela, whatever issues you have with Maduro, Venezuela just completed a housing project where they built three and a half million units of free and affordable housing for working people.

We have an exploding homelessness crisis in this country and in California alone. That is a socialist success story to me, but itís interesting that that wasnít mentioned. Cuba routinely sends the best doctors in the world around the world to respond to disasters. Why? Because the people donít go into debt becoming doctors in Cuba and the government pays for research. Those are socialist success stories, but just as it is intentional the way the Republicans used a woman of color to demonize socialism in their ad, I think Sanders and his team were very careful to use the same kind of imagery of socialist success stories as a counter, and not bringing up these kinds of problematic countries of color where socialism is successful and working for the people, but the government of this country has problems with the leaders. I think thatís intentional too, but I think that again, like weíve said, the discourse on those issues around those countries is so surface-level, we may not see it. We may not understand itís there, but itís definitely. I donít think his choice of words was accidental either.

GREG WILPERT: Okay. Unfortunately, weíre going to have to leave it there. Weíve run out of time, but I think this was a very interesting discussion. This concludes our third segment of the third Democratic presidential debate. Again, I was joined by Real News host and producer Jacqueline Luqman, and New Republic staff writer Osita Nwanevu. And joining us remotely was human rights lawyer and University of Illinois in Chicago Professor Helena Olea. Thanks again to all three of you for having joined us today.

JACQUELINE LUQMAN: Thank you.

OSITA NWANEVU: Thank you.

HELENA OLEA: Thank you.

GREG WILPERT: Iím Greg Wilpert and thank you for joining The Real News Network.

https://therealnews.com/stories/3rd-democratic-debate-foreign-policy-continues-imperialist-tradition-3-3
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Re: 2020 Presidential Election
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2019, 09:42:15 pm »
Bernie Sick of Republican Talking Points Against Medicare for All
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Why are the media and even other Democratic presidential candidates using Republican talking points against medicare for all?

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Re: 2020 Presidential Election
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2019, 05:45:21 pm »
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Re: 2020 Presidential Election
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2019, 11:05:24 pm »
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Joe Biden's 'Gaffes' Are Much Bigger Problem for Democrats Than Embarrassment
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Joe Bidenís off-the-cuff comments arenít playing well to audiences any more. Is this an indication of a too-long political career finally declining, or is this a sign of a much bigger problem for the Democratic Party in 2020? Jacqueline Luqman talks with The Week contributor Ryan Cooper

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No Is Not Enough, How Can We Stop Trump and Take Back Our Country? -

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October 1, 2019

Anthony,

Shortly after reporting a record-setting number of individual donations for any presidential campaign at this point in the race, we made another important announcement:

We are ON THE AIR in Iowa.

This is our first television ad of the campaign, and we wanted you to see it immediately. We also need to ask you to do something very important in helping to make sure others see it as well.

Watch our new ad "Fights for Us" and share it with your friends today:


All my best,

Faiz Shakir

https://act.berniesanders.com/go/Fights-for-Us
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Sanders has heart stent surgery after chest discomfort
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2019, 03:23:06 pm »
Sanders has heart stent surgery after chest discomfort 
Source: Politico

Bernie Sanders experienced chest discomfort during a campaign event on Tuesday and had two stents inserted to address a blockage in an artery, his campaign announced.

ďSen. Sanders is conversing and in good spirits. He will be resting up over the next few days," senior adviser Jeff Weaver said in a statement. "We are canceling his events and appearances until further notice, and we will continue to provide appropriate updates.Ē

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/02/sanders-has-heart-stent-surgery-after-chest-discomfort-000164

I feared this greatly. Now the 🐘 Repukians and the pseudo-left Democratic Party Leadership will use this against Senator Sanders to try to destroy his presidential bid.

I'm sure 🦀 Trump and his 🦕🦖 Hydrocarbon Hellspawn enablers are all celebrating.   



The future is looking brighter and brighter, for Tardigrades.

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2020 Presidential hopeful Marianne Williamson ✨
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2019, 09:20:04 pm »
Agelbert NOTE: This Candidate for President has GREAT plans for the USA!


Exploring Marianne Williamson's Vision For America!
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Gelbert Memo
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2019, 04:06:50 pm »

Oct 04, 2019 at 02:58:24 PM

Our republic is Fascist TOAST if we do not rid American politics of the influence of oligarch money.

You can call the following 📢 BRING REAL DEMOCRACY TO AMERICA marching orders memo for the Democratic Party the ďPelosi MemoĒ if she adopts it. Until she does, Iím labelling it the ďGelbert  MemoĒ. 🧐

🦅 GELBERT MEMO:

1. IMPEACH TRUMP (and Barr, Pompeo, etc.) NOW. Expose the corrupt bastards in the Senate that support Trump Fascism by forcing them to vote to ďacquitĒ 🦀 Trump and his criminal cronies. 

2. After we get control of the Senate and the White House, PACK THE SUPREME COURT. Go scorched earth on the right wing crooks there with Congressional Investigations, impeachment inquiries and lawsuits. Drive them into a corner and expose all their corruption and crimes. Tighten up all the campaign finance laws and eliminate corporate personhood. Make bribery illegal again! Get money out of politics PERMANENTLY. Eliminate ďlimited liabilityĒ from corporate law and charters. Severely limit bankruptcy protection for corporations and return personal bankruptcy protection to where it was before the banksters bribed Congress to shaft Americans that fall on hard economic times while greedy corporations stiff creditors with impunity.

3. Imprison everyone previously impeached. Arrest, Try and Convict Giuliani and the rest of Trumpís wrecking crew for crimes committed on orders from Trump.

4. Launch investigations into Fox News, Right Wing Hate Radio, Right wing funded ďthinkĒ tanks and the Internet Troll farms pushing hate and fascism.

5. MASSIVELY strengthen Social Security and make Medicare for all and free University Eduction the LAW OF THE LAND.

Do all the above and the Democratic Party will dominate elections for DECADES! ✨

If Pelosi does not have the intestinal fortitude to methodically do the above, GET SOMEONE WHO DOES!

OR, let FASCISM DESTROY this country.


Agelbert NOTE: My memo does not mention Catastrophic Climate Change because I am firmly convinced that the actions I listed are Sine qua non to bankrupting the polluters that corrupt our politicians into providing "subsidy" handouts to them and doing nothing about addressing Climate Change. The polluters must be stripped of their power so we can take the society wide MASSIVE measures to clean up our bisophere.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2019, 06:31:55 pm by AGelbert »
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Robert Reich: Why 2020 Won't Be Won By Centrists
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2019, 08:54:50 pm »
Robert Reich: Why 2020 Won't Be Won By Centrists
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Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich explains why we need big ideas in the 2020 Democratic primary.
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Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Bernie Sanders Is America's Beating Heart
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2019, 09:25:23 pm »
Truthdig

OCT 07, 2019 OPINION

Bernie Sanders Is America's Beating Heart

Bernie Sanders Is America's Beating Heart Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0

Along with being where all blood goes, the heart is an enduring metaphor. As Bernie Sanders recovers from a heart attack, now might be a good time to consider some literal and symbolic meanings.

Bernie immediately used his heart trouble to advance a central mission. From the hospital, he tweeted: ďIím fortunate to have good health care and great doctors and nurses helping me to recover. None of us know when a medical emergency might affect us. And no one should fear going bankrupt if it occurs. Medicare for All!Ē

Thatís the kind of being ďon messageĒ we so badly need. Itís fully consistent with Bernieís campaign and his public life. (ďNot me. Us.Ē) He has never been a glad-hander or much of a showman. Heís always been much more interested in ending peopleís pain than proclaiming that he feels it.

About 10 years ago, I was lucky enough to dialogue with Bernie during an ďin conversation withĒ event in San Francisco, where several hundred people filled the room. Before we went on stage, there was a gathering in a makeshift green room that raised a small amount of money for his senatorial campaign coffers. ďIíve never been good at raising money,Ē he told me.

I thought about that comment when the news broke a few days ago that the Bernie 2020 campaign raised a whopping $25.3 million during the last quarter, with donations averaging just $18. Bernie never went after money. It went after him; from the grassroots.

From the middle of this decade onward, as the popularity of Bernie and his political agenda has grown, so has the hostility from corporate media. The actual Bernie campaign is in sharp contrast with cable TV coverage as well as press narratives.

The campaign looks set to fully resume soon. When Bernie left the hospital on Friday, NBC News quoted the chief of cardiology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, Ehtisham Mahmud, who said that the three-day length of hospitalization indicates the senator ďprobably had a small heart attackĒ ó and ďthey require really a very short recovery time.Ē

So, from all indications, Bernie will soon be back on the campaign trail ó once again hammering on grim realities that are evaded or excused by the political and media establishment, like the fact that just three individuals (Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates) have as much wealth as the bottom half of the entire U.S. population.

Last month, in an interview about his proposal to greatly increase taxes on the extremely rich, Bernie said: ďWhat we are trying to do is demand and implement a policy which significantly reduces income and wealth inequality in America by telling the wealthiest families in this country they cannot have so much wealth.Ē Such concentrations of wealth ó and the political power that goes with it ó are antithetical to genuine democracy.

For his entire adult life, Bernie Sanders has been part of social movements intent on challenging such profit-mad industries as corporate health care, financial services, mass incarceration and the military-industrial complex that cause so much opulence for the few and so much suffering for the many. The enormous inequalities of wealth and power are systemic and ruthless ó with devastating effects on vast numbers of people.

Thatís where the heart as metaphor is apt. Bernie has a huge and eternally healthy heart, filled with the lifeblood of empathy and dedication. In essence, thatís what the Bernie 2020 campaign is all about. As he has been the first to say, itís not about him, itís about us. How much compassion and commitment can we find in our hearts?

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/bernies-heart-is-his-secret-weapon/
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

AGelbert

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Bernie's Back 🌟
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2019, 09:17:50 pm »
BLACK BEAR NEWS 10.19.19 Bernie's Back 🌟 - XR fights human programming
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Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

 

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