Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Beating Back Biased Behavior that Burdens Bernie's Bid

Propaganda according to which ex-senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) would have a better chance to win the general election than would Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) -- who is her chief rival for the Democratic presidential nomination -- took a hit from a couple of polls that were completed in November and that tested each of those candidates against potential Republican nominees.  Quinnipiac University conducted one such survey, in which Sanders outperformed Clinton against Donald Trump, Sen. Rafael Cruz (R-TX) and Ben Carson MD, and equaled her against Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).  McClatchy commissioned the other, in which Sanders outperformed Clinton against ex-governor John Bush (R-FL) and Carly Fiorina.

Sanders (Cmte. on
Health, Education,
Labor & Pensions)
Corporate media outlets have commissioned nine subsequent polls that included such match-ups.  The first eight of those polls excluded Sanders even though support for him had not been significantly diminished.  In fact, a survey by Quinnipiac in December showed Sanders ahead of Trump by 13 percentage points and Clinton ahead of him by only seven.  The last in the aforementioned series of nine found Sanders ahead of Trump by 15 points and Clinton ahead of him by only 10.  Furthermore, of the six latest polls of Democratic primary voters nationwide, one showed Sanders at his all-time high of 41% and two found Clinton's margin over Sanders was in single digits for the first time since Vice President Joe Biden announced he will not be a candidate.

As for how Clinton and Sanders now fare in the first two states where voters will choose from them: The two latest polls in Iowa, whose caucuses will take place on Monday, showed a tight race while the 11 most recent surveys in New Hampshire, whose primary will be held eight days later, found Sanders ahead, in most cases by double digits.

Many people in the corporate media have claimed even if the ex-representative were to prevail in that pair of states, his candidacy is doomed to be vanquished soon afterward.  On the contrary, history indicates in the event of said wins for him, Clinton's candidacy would be doomed because, with the exception of only two instances since IA and NH began to hold the initial votes of each presidential election cycle, nobody has, in any given year, lost in both states but then attained the nomination of either major party.

Those instances were in 1972, when then-Sen. Edmund Muskie (D-ME) was victorious in IA and NH but lost critical support as a result of his emotional delivery of a public statement, and in 1992, when then-Sen. Thomas Harkin (D-IA) won in his state without serious competition.  Some folks in the corporate media have speculated that if the former first lady were to lose in IA and NH, the Democratic establishment might abandon her and recruit a new contender.  However, the deadlines to file candidacy for the party's presidential contests in most states will have passed by then.

To be nominated, Clinton already must defy the pattern by which, except for incumbent presidents and incumbent vice presidents, the Democratic Party has never given its presidential nomination to anyone who had sought it in primaries of an earlier cycle.

An additional manifestation of bias against Sanders is the corporate media's disproportionately slim coverage of his campaign even though it has generated vast interest and exceptional enthusiasm among the people, demonstrations of which have also included artistic projects, a long series of enormous crowds, and a record number of donations, which are from over a million people and are of $27 on average.

Schultz (Congressional
Pictorial Directory)
The candidacy of the ex-mayor of Burlington endures bias from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), too.  As chairperson of the Democratic National Committee, she scheduled only six presidential debates for her party in this cycle, she scheduled the last three of the first four of them for slots that were likely to draw relatively small audiences, she decreed that those events would exclude any candidates who had debated each other elsewhere, and she lunged at the chance to sabotage Sanders's campaign, whose leaders excellently handled that misdeed.

Four of those debates have occurred.  To counter the effort by Schultz to somewhat hide the latest three, this entry analyzes substantive parts of them.  The quoted wording is edited for clarity and concision.  Selectivity is to avoid repetition -- including of statements in the review of the first debate.  Boldface is added.


Debate II | Sat., Nov. 14 | Des Moines, IA | CBS

Discussing military policy toward the Middle East, Clinton said in reference to the revolt against Pres. Bashar al-Assad of Syria, "I did say we needed to try to find a way to train and equip moderates very early so we would have a better idea of how to deal with Assad.  That was because I thought extremist groups would be filling the vacuum..."

The Obama administration eventually took her advice to spend $500 million to train and equip those so-called "moderates," who then voluntarily gave no less than one-fourth of their weapons to al-Qaeda.

Moderator John Dickerson:  "Sen. Sanders, you said you want to rid the planet of ISIS.  In the previous debate, you said the greatest threat to national security is climate change.  Do you still believe that?"

Sanders:  "Absolutely.  Climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism.  And if we do not... listen to what the scientists say, countries all over the world -- as the CIA says -- will struggle over limited amounts of water and of arable land..."

That is why former vice president Al Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Gore (Cmte.
on Environment
and Public Works)
Sanders added, "[O]f course, international terrorism is a major issue we must address today...  [T]he disastrous invasion of Iraq... unraveled the region... and led to the rise of al-Qaeda and to ISIS...  [To destroy ISIS,] we need... an international coalition that includes, very significantly, the Muslim nations in that region, who will have to fight to defend their way of life..."

Clinton:  "...The United States has... been victimized by terrorism for decades.  In the 1980s, ...in Beirut, Lebanon, ...258 Americans... were murdered.  Americans were murdered when our embassies in Tanzania and in Kenya were attacked when my husband was president.  Then, of course, 9/11 happened before an invasion of Iraq."

The bombing of those embassies and the attack of 9/11 were perpetrated by al-Qaeda, which had turned against the US partly because of its military presence in the Mideast, starting with the Gulf War.  Sanders voted against that war because it was unnecessary in order to compel the withdrawal by Iraq from Kuwait.  The said attack in Beirut was directed by Iran and in response to military intervention by the US in a conflict that was none of its business.  Thirty years prior, the US aided the successful coup in Iran that ousted the democratically elected Premier Mohammad Mosaddeq and reinstalled the shah -- Mohammad Reza -- who, in 1979, was ousted in a coup that replaced him with the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, supporters of whom then seized the US embassy in that country and held 52 US citizens there hostage for 444 days.  Khomeini remained in power until his death in 1989.  In sum, the type of interventionism Clinton espouses has resulted in problems she now says justify continuation of it.

"I have said the invasion of Iraq was a mistake..."

She said it 11 years after the fact.  To call it a mere mistake is an insulting understatement.

Dickerson to Sanders:  "...You've criticized then-Sen. Clinton's vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq.  Do you have criticism of her performance as secretary of State?"

Sanders:  "[T]he disagreement is that not only did I vote against the war in Iraq, [but I recognize that] regime change -- whether it was in the '50s in Iran, whether it was the toppling of Salvador Allende in Chile, or whether it was the overthrow of the Guatemalan government -- has unintended consequences..."

Nixon (seated), Kissinger (at
right) and then-Amb. Donald
Rumsfeld in June 1974.  (NATO)
The toppling of the democratically elected Pres. Allende on September 11, 1973 -- and the replacement of him with a military dictator -- were orchestrated partly by Henry Kissinger PhD, who was the national security advisor to US president Richard Nixon then.  Days later, Kissinger became secretary of State.  Clinton is proud to have "relied on his counsel" when she held that title.

Dickerson to Clinton:  "...ISIS has taken hold in Libya partly because of the chaos that followed the overthrow of Muammar Qadhafi.  You championed that operation.  Pres. Obama says... the lesson he took from it... [is to] 'have an answer [for] the day after.'  Wasn't that supposed to be a lesson we learned from the Iraq War?  And how did you get Libya wrong if the key lesson of the Iraq War is to have a plan for after?"

Clinton:  "We did have a plan..."

We saw how well it was made and executed.

"Qadhafi probably had more American blood on his hands than did any other Arab leader..."

That did not deter Clinton from saying the following at the Department of State on 21 April 2009, immediately before her meeting with Mutassim Qadhafi, who was then the national security advisor to his father Muammar.
"I am very pleased to welcome Minister Qadhafi...  We deeply value the relationship between the United States and Libya.  We have many opportunities to deepen and broaden our cooperation.  And I very much look forward to building on this relationship.  So, Mr. Minister, welcome so much...  We're delighted you're here."
Sanders:  "When we talk about the long-term consequences of war, let's talk about the 500,000 men and women who came home from it with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and with traumatic brain injury.  I hope... we do not turn our backs on... them..."

Dickerson:  "Secy. Clinton, the French president has called th[e] attack [on his nation by ISIS] an act of war.  A couple of days ago, you were asked if you would declare war on ISIS and you said no.  What would you say now?"

Clinton:  "We have an authorization to use military force against terrorists.  We passed it after 9/11."

Dickerson:  "And you think that covers all this?"

Mutassim Qadhafi, Clinton (Dept. of State)
Clinton: "It certainly does cover it..."

That is false.  The law in question permits force against only "those nations, organizations, or persons [the president] determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on 11 September 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons."

Dickerson:  "If you were in the Senate, would you be okay with a decision by the commander-in-chief to do that if he had not come back to you?"

Clinton:  "No...  Maybe we can... upgrade the authorization so it includes... everything in our arsenal that we can use to try to work with our allies and friends to gather better intelligence...  [W]e must do more to prevent a return of the... foreign fighters who went to Syria... with Western passports...  And I want to be sure the AUMF has the authority needed."

Sanders:  "...This nation has the most powerful military in the world.  We spend over $600 billion a year on the military.  Yet, significantly less than 10% of that money is spent to fight international terrorism.  We spend hundreds of billions of dollars to maintain 5,000 nuclear weapons...  [W]e need major reform in the military to make it more cost-effective and to focus on the real crisis that faces us.  The Cold War is over and our focus must be on intelligence and on increased manpower to fight terrorism..."

Panelist Nancy Cordes to Clinton:  "[Y]ou want to cap individuals' prescription drug costs at $250 a month."

Oh, how merciful.

"You propose debt-free public college, tuition-free community college, and mandatory paid family leave.  Who would pay for all that?..."

Clinton:  "...I will pay for it with more taxes on the wealthy and through closure of corporate loopholes and deductions and of other kinds of favorable treatment..."

In that case, the program for paid family leave would depend upon willingness of presidents and Congresses to uphold progressive taxation.

Pres. Fran├žois Hollande
of France (White House)
Cordes:  "[O]n that $250-a-month a cap: Wouldn't the pharmaceutical and insurance companies just pass that cost onto the consumers in the form of higher premiums?"

Clinton:  "We have to redo the way the prescription drug industry does business.  For example, Medicare is not allowed to negotiate for lower prices.  That is outrageous.  American consumers pay the highest prices in the world for drugs we helped develop through the National Institutes of Health and tested through the Food & Drug Administration...  We must go after price-gouging and monopolistic practices..."

Cordes:  "...Sen. Sanders, you want to make public colleges and public universities tuition-free, increase Social Security benefits, and spend $1 trillion on infrastructure.  You've said you'd impose a tax on top earners in order to do some of those things.  How high would their rate go under a Sanders administration?"

Sanders:  "[Those] must be done if we are to revitalize and rebuild the crumbling middle class.  In the last 30 years, there has been a massive redistribution of wealth... in the wrong direction: trillions of dollars from the middle class... to the top 0.1%, who have doubled their percentage of wealth...  [W]e must end corporate loopholes...  [M]ajor corporations, because they stash their money in the Cayman Islands, pay virtually no federal income tax...  [T]here must be a tax on Wall Street speculation...  So I would pay for those proposals by requiring that the wealthiest people and largest corporations, who have gotten away with murder for years, start to pay their fair share."

Cordes:  "...You've said you'd go above 50%..."

Sanders:  "We haven't come up with an exact number yet.  It will not be as high as the number under Dwight D. Eisenhower, which was 90%.  But--"

That note about the two-term Republican president provoked some laughter from the audience, to which the famously socialist Sanders replied, "I'm not that much of a socialist compared to Eisenhower," drawing laughter, cheers and applause.

"--I would end the absurdity... of an effective tax rate paid by billionaires that is lower than the one nurses and truck drivers pay..."

Eisenhower
(Dept. of the Navy)
Cordes:  "Secy. Clinton, Americans say health care costs... are [among] their top financial concerns...  Is this something Obamacare was designed to address?  If not, why not?"

The answer is no.  The reason is that the law was designed to protect the wealth of the insurance corporations and of the pharmaceutical corporations.

Clinton:  "I believe this country has made great progress with the Affordable Care Act.  We had struggled to get this done since Harry Truman was president."

That is false, as Sanders would point out in the fourth debate.  Truman proposed a national health insurance program in which: any American could enroll via a monthly fee, any physician could participate, the government would pay for all medically necessary care, and the government would replace wages lost due to illness or injury. 

"It was a great accomplishment of the Democratic Party and of Pres. Obama."

Actually, the most blame credit for that law belongs to the health insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry.

"To defend it is, I think, important.  The Republicans... would like to rip it up and start over again, throwing our nation back into the contentious debate we had about health care for quite some time..."

The "contentious debate" over the ACA before it was passed would have been short had Pres. Obama not wasted several months hopelessly seeking unnecessary votes for it from congressional Republicans.  Nonetheless, Clinton's aversion to contentious debate indicates she is not the "champion" she claims to be.  Moreover, the simplicity of the proposal of Medicare-for-All would serve as protection against the level of distortion, suspicion and confusion that fueled the battle over the 2,000-page ACA.

"I would tackle the cost issues because I think once the foundation was laid with a system to try to get as many people as possible into it, ...we would, for example, have to figure out how to increase competition in the insurance market and lower the cost of... prescription drugs [and] other out-of-pocket expenses...  I differ significantly from Sen. Sanders about how best to provide quality, affordable health care for everyone..."

Truman (Truman
Library & Museum)
Sanders:  "...We have made some good progress.  We must now take on the pharmaceutical industry, which rips off the public...  I was the first member of Congress to take constituents over the Canadian border to buy breast-cancer drugs for one-tenth the price at which they were sold in the US...  [W]e must go further.  I want to end the international embarrassment of the US as the only major country that does not guarantee health care to all people as a right...  [W]e spend... far more per capita on health care than any other major country does and our health care outcomes are not necessarily as good."

Panelist Kathie Obradovich:  "Sen. Sanders, you've... called for a raise in the minimum wage to $15 an hour...  But Alan Krueger, who is a former chairperson of the Council of Economic Advisors, said a national increase to $15 could lead to... a loss of jobs.  What level of such loss would you consider unacceptable?"

Sanders:  "[M]illions of Americans work... two or three jobs because their wages are just too low...  So... this country needs... a livable wage.  To say someone should not be in poverty if that person works 40 hours a week is not a radical idea.  To say a single mom should earn enough money to take care of her kids is not a radical idea.  So... over the next few years, ...we must raise the minimum wage to... $15 an hour..."

Obradovich:  "...Do you think loss of jobs is a worthwhile consequence?"

Sanders:  "[A] reason... why real unemployment is 10% and why black youth unemployment and underemployment is 51% is that the average worker has no disposable income.  One has no disposable income when paid $10 or $12 an hour.  When we put money into the hands of workers, they'll buy goods and services and thereby create jobs..."

Clinton:  "...Krueger said... the minimum wage... does not result in job loss.  However, ...he said... if we were to go to $15, there would be no international comparisons."

So?

Krueger (WH)
"That is why I support a twelve-dollar national minimum wage...  [P]laces like Seattle, Los Angeles and NYC can go higher..."

And elsewhere in this country, minimum-wage workers and their dependents would... be out of luck?

Dickerson to Clinton:  "...You've received millions of dollars in contributions and in speaking fees from Wall St. companies.  How do you convince voters you will level the playing field when you're indebted to some of its biggest players?"

Clinton:  "I think they clearly know I will.  Two billionaire hedge-fund managers started a super-PAC and are advertising against me..."

What about the donors who have made her the top recipient of campaign contributions from hedge funds to any candidate for federal office in this cycle?  What about her campaign bundlers who work for hedge funds?

"[I]n the Senate, I introduced legislation to reign in compensation, looked at ways the shareholders would have more control over what happens in that arena,"

Looked at?

"and specifically said to Wall St. that what they were doing in the mortgage market was bringing our country down."

We saw how effective those remarks were.

"I've laid out a very aggressive plan to reign in Wall St. -- not just the big banks, which are part of the problem and I am going right at them...  But... [w]e must go after the shadow banking industry -- those hedge funds.  In 2008, AIG: a big insurance company, and Lehman Brothers: an investment bank, helped bring our economy down...  That's why my plan is much more comprehensive than anything else that has been put forth."

Dickerson:  "Sen. Sanders, you've said the donations to Secy. Clinton are compromising.  What do you think of her answer?"

President Theodore
Roosevelt (Pach Bros.)
Sanders:  "Not good enough...  Six financial institutions have assets equivalent to 56% of the GDP, issue two-thirds of the credit cards and issue one-third of the mortgages.  If Teddy Roosevelt... were alive, he'd say, 'Break up those institutions.  Re-establish Glass-Steagall.'  He would be right.  I am the only candidate here who does not have a super-PAC.  I don't ask Wall St. or billionaires for money...  I will support community banks and credit unions...  Every candidate who receives huge amounts of money from oil, coal, Wall St. and the military-industrial complex says, 'These contributions will not influence me...'  Well, why do those industries [contribute so much money]?  They expect something in return.  Everybody knows that.  I am running differently...  My campaign relies on people who give small donations...  That's to whom I'm indebted."

Clinton:  "...[H]e has basically used his answer to impugn my integrity..."

Sanders:  "No..."

Clinton:  "Oh, wait a minute, Senator.  I not only have hundreds of thousands of donors, most of them small, and am proud that, for the first time, most of them are women..."

So?  Actually, if she wants to play that game, let's acknowledge this: As of the last campaign finance disclosures before that debate, more women donated to Sanders's campaign than to Clinton's.

Channeling ex-mayor Rude-olph Giuliani (R-NYC) and "Lois Griffin" of Family Guy, Clinton added, "I represented New York on 9/11, when we were attacked in downtown Manhattan, where Wall St. is.  I spent a lot of time and effort to help them rebuild.  That was good for New York and for the economy and was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country..."

How does Clinton explain the $3M in campaign contributions she received from the finance, insurance and real-estate sector before 9/11?

"To re-instate Glass-Steagall... could help but would be nowhere near enough..."

Giuliani
(Trevon Peracca/
Dept. of Defense)
If Clinton believes Glass-Steagall could help, why would she not re-instate it?

Sanders:  "...To talk about an end to Citizens United is easy but I think we must show, by example, we are prepared to not rely on large corporations and Wall St. for campaign contributions..."

Clinton:  "[I]f the big banks don't play by the rules, I will break them up and go after executives who are responsible for the decisions that have such bad consequences..."

Sanders:  "With all due respect..., Wall St. 'play by the rules'?  Who are we kidding?  The business model of Wall St. is fraud.  A problem... is: ...Wall St. has dominated administrations of both parties.  Representatives of Wall St. will not be in my Cabinet."

On the subject of regulation of guns, Dickerson stated, "Secy. Clinton, you said Sen. Sanders is not tough enough.  But he now supports roughly the same things you do.  What is the exact difference between the two of you now?"

Clinton did not answer the question.  The difference between them on this was addressed in previous entries.  So we'll skip to the end of the exchange about it.

Sanders:  "...The problem is that people -- not you, Secy. Clinton -- all over this country shout at each other."

Some in the audience tittered at that reference to an attempt by Clinton to falsely portray Sanders as sexist.

"[W]e must bring people together to work on where there is broad consensus."

Cordes to Clinton:  "[A] Tweet says, 'Until now, I'd never seen a candidate invoke 9/11 to justify... donations from Wall Street.'  The idea is: Yes, you were a champion of the community after 9/11, but what does that have to do with acceptance of big donations?"

Clinton:  "I'm sorry whoever Tweeted that had that impression."

What other impression could have been given by Clinton's remark?

President Franklin Roosevelt signs the Banking
Act of 1933 while flanked by its cosponsors:
Sen. Carter Glass, D-VA, at far left, and Rep.
Henry Steagall, D-AL, at far right. (fdic.gov)
"[A] lot of my donors from all kinds of backgrounds say, 'I don't agree with you on everything but I like what you do...'  I think that is absolutely appropriate."

Cordes:  "...Sen. Sanders, what in Secy. Clinton's record shows she has been influenced by those donations?"

Sanders:  "The major issue is whether we re-establish Glass-Steagall.  I led the effort, unfortunately unsuccessfully, against deregulation because I knew that the mergers of large insurance companies, investment banks and commercial banks would not be good..."

Clinton:  "...Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said my plan to reign in Wall St. is more comprehensive and better..."

Krugman wrote that assertion in The New York Times, which is generally conservative and, therefore unsurprisingly, has little credibility.  Still, let us examine his argument.
"Sanders has... focused on... Glass-Steagall, [which] separated deposit-taking banks from riskier wheeling and dealing.  And the repeal of Glass-Steagall was indeed a mistake but is not what caused the financial crisis, which arose instead from 'shadow banks' like Lehman Brothers, which don't take deposits but can... wreak havoc when they fail.  Mrs. Clinton has laid out a plan to rein in shadow banks; so far, Mr. Sanders hasn't."
Former secretary of Labor Robert Reich debunks that argument.  He notes, "For more than six decades..., Glass-Steagall worked exactly as... intended...  During that... interval, few banks failed and no financial panic endangered the banking system."  The professor at the Univ. of California explains how the repeal of Glass-Steagall directly led to the meltdown of 2008 and how this nation is in danger of another meltdown until that act is restored:  The repeal enabled the big banks to provide repurchase-agreements, mortgages, and easy credit to non-banks that had poor collateral.  Only then were those non-banks such as Lehman Brothers able to trigger the meltdown.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has a similar assessment.  She identifies Glass-Steagall as "the centerpiece" of the financial reforms Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt signed to prevent a repeat of the Great Depression.  The former professor at Harvard Univ. traces the cause of the meltdown of 2008 back to loopholes in that law as interpreted by the administration of Pres. Ronald Reagan rather than to the official repeal.

Obama; Boehner, R-OH (Peter Souza / WH)
Dickerson to Sanders:  "...You've said you'll have a revolution.  But there is a conservative revolution in America, as [former speaker of the House of Representatives] John Boehner and Democrats who've lost in statehouses across the country know...  [H]ow do you deal with that part of the country?"

Sanders:  "We will have a political revolution that brings workers, young people, seniors and minorities together because... [t]he problem is, as a result of a corrupt campaign-finance system, Congress listens to the big-money interests, not to the people.  The political revolution is about... finally say[ing], 'Enough is enough.  This government belongs to us, not just the billionaires.'"

Dickerson to Sanders:  "[W]e've heard already... of [the proposal of universal] background checks on gun-purchasers.  Let's look at that as an example.  Ninety-two percent of the public was for it.  There had been mass shootings.  There was emotional and bipartisan support behind it.  The president and the full force of his office was behind it...  That's the model you talk about, yet that bill did not pass."

Sanders:  "We need leadership that revitalizes American democracy and makes people understand if they take on the billionaire class, we can bring about the change we need.  If we continue the same-old-same-old of Washington as run by big-money interests, nothing changes..."

Dickerson:  "Secy. Clinton, you, in a recent conversation with activists from Black Lives Matter, said activism and rhetoric differ from what you were trying to do, which is push bills through Congress that would help their cause.  But recently at the Univ. of Missouri, that activism was very effective.  So would you suggest that kind of activism take place at other universities across the country?"

Clinton proceeded to talk for nearly two minutes but never answered the question.

Panelist Kevin Cooney:  "Sen. Sanders, you propose free tuition at public colleges and at public universities.  Sixty-three percent of those who enroll graduate.  Wouldn't we be throwing a lot of money away if one-third of these people will not complete college?"

Biden (David
Lienemann / WH)
Sanders:  "No.  It would be an extraordinary investment for this country...  [M]any other countries do it...  [S]ixty years ago, the Univ. of California and the City Univ. of New York were virtually tuition-free...  [G]raduates should not be $50,000 in debt..."

Cooney:  "[Y]ou want for the states to pay for about one-third of this $70B plan.  Sixteen states have budget deficits.  Where are those states expected to come up with the money?"

Sanders:  "I think they'll be pretty smart because, I think, ...the states that don't do the right thing will pay a heavy penalty..."

Clinton:  "...I want to use Pell grants to help defray the living expenses that often make a difference as to whether a person can stay in school..."

Cordes to Sanders:  "...You prefer to scrap Obamacare and move to a single-payer system, essentially Medicare for all.  You want to put the private insurance companies out of business.  Is it realistic to think you can pull the plug on a $1T industry?"

Sanders:  "It will not happen tomorrow and probably will not happen without real campaign-finance reform...  [W]hen millions of people take on the insurance companies and the drug companies, it will happen and I will lead that effort..."

Cordes to Clinton:  "[I]n 1994, you said 'momentum for a single-payer system will sweep the country'...  But you don't feel that way anymore.  Why not?"

Clinton:  "The revolution never came.  I waited and have the scars to show for it."

She got scars from waiting?  No.  Despite her prediction of an increase in public support for Medicare-for-All, she never fought for it.

"...I don't think we should have to defend the ACA among Democrats..."

Why not?  It was originated by Republicans.

"Sen. Sanders proposes to basically eliminate the ACA,"

Muskie (WH)
Medicare-for-All would render the ACA obsolete.  The Republicans aim to simply repeal it.  But Clinton falsely implies Sanders is somehow in league with the Republicans just because both proposals would mean the end of that law.

"eliminate private insurance,"

Medicare is very popular among those who are at least 65 years old -- the age of eligibility for it.  But Clinton now says people who are under age 65 should, despite their own strong approval of Medicare, be afraid to be covered by it, i.e. afraid to be relieved of the expenses, inadequacies, complexities and frustrations of health insurance that is run by private companies, which not only neglect to offer any essential service but, for their own profit, seek to deny care.  Clinton is out of the mainstream on this issue, as 81% of Democrats and 60% of independents favor the idea of Medicare-for-All.

"eliminate Medicare,"

As the title "Medicare-for-All" hints, Clinton's allegation is false.

"eliminate Medicaid, Tricare, and the Children's Health Insurance Program,"

Those would be rendered obsolete.

"and put it all into a big program the states would administer.  If I were an Iowan, I would not want for Terry Branstad to administer my health care."

Clinton's claim according to which governors could obstruct Medicare-for-All is false.  But, as Sanders would soon mention, the ACA allows for governors to obstruct Medicaid.

She continued, "I think we, as Democrats, ought to proudly support the ACA, improve it, and make it the model we know it can be."

Improve it how?  For what or for whom would that "model" be?

Sanders:  "My proposal would expand Medicare to all people, not eliminate it, and would resolve a situation we have now with the ACA: many Republican states... deny the expansion of Medicaid to millions of people..."
Gov. Branstad, R-IA
(Gage Skidmore)


Debate III | Sat., Dec. 19 | Manchester, NH | ABC

Co-moderator David Muir to Sanders:  "[Y]ou fired a campaign staffer and sued the DNC -- all this after your campaign acknowledged that some of your staffers 'irresponsibly accessed... data from another campaign.'  The Clinton campaign called this 'a very egregious breach of data and ethics,' and said, 'Our data was stolen.'  Did her campaign overstate this or did your staffers essentially steal part of the Clinton playbook?"

Sanders:  "David, let me give you a bit of background.  The DNC has hired vendors.  On two occasions, there were breaches in information.  Two months ago, our staff found, on our computers, information from the Clinton campaign...  [O]ur staffers... went to the DNC..., they went to the vendor..., and that was quietly dealt with.  None of that information was looked at.  Our staff did exactly the right thing...

"A similar incident happened a few days ago: there was a breach because the DNC vendor screwed up...  In this case, our staff did the wrong thing...  As soon as we learned that one of our staffers looked at that information, we fired him.  We are doing an independent, internal investigation to see who else was involved...  I recognize it as a problem.  But... the DNC... arbitrarily, without discussion of it with us, ...shut off our access to our own information, and thereby crippled our campaign.  That was an egregious act.  I'm glad that, late last night, that was resolved...

"I look forward to working with Secy. Clinton for an independent investigation of all breaches that have occurred in this campaign.  I am not convinced information from our campaign did not end up in hers...  I hope Secy. Clinton will agree on the need for that...  [R]ather than work to resolve this issue, the Clinton campaign has made many press releases out of it."

Muir:  "But Senator, you... said your staff did the wrong thing.  So, does Secy. Clinton deserve an apology?"

Sanders:  "...I apologize to Secy. Clinton and... to my supporters.  This is not the type of campaign we run.  And if I find that any other people on my staff were involved in this, they will also be fired."

Harkin (US Senate
Historical Office)
Muir:  "Secy. Clinton, he has apologized.  How do you react?"

Clinton:  "I very much appreciate that comment...  [W]e've agreed on an independent inquiry..."

Muir:  "...Pres. Obama has acknowledged that the mass shooting in San Bernardino was an act of terrorism.  But right before Thanksgiving, he said there was no specific and credible intelligence that indicated a plot on the homeland.  The couple who committed the shooting had assembled an arsenal and was not on law enforcement's radar...  Secy. Clinton, how confident should the public be that there aren't others like that couple in the US?  And what would you do to find them?"

Clinton:  "...[T]he most important job of the president is... to keep our country safe..."

That is false.  The most important job of the president is to keep the Constitution safe.

"I've put forward a plan to defeat ISIS:  First, to deprive them of the territory they occupy now in both Syria and Iraq.  Second, to dismantle their global network of terrorism...  [I]n the first, we must have a US-led air campaign and must have Arab and Kurdish troops on the ground.  In the second, we must go after everything from North Africa to South Asia and beyond...  We must do the best possible job to share intelligence and information.  That includes the Internet because ISIS is a very effective recruiter, propagandist, and inciter and celebrator of violence."

Perhaps they're following her example.

"[W]e must work more closely with our great tech companies.  They can't see the government as an adversary.  We can't see them as obstructionists.  We must figure out how to do more to understand their plans and who says what.  And we must work more closely with Muslim-American communities...  They will be our early warning signal..."

Muir to Sanders:  "...Specifically, how would you find would-be terrorists?"

Abdullah (Myles Cullen/
Dept. of the Army)
Sanders:  "I... agree with much of what the secretary... said...  Our goal is to destroy ISIS.  What is the best way to do it?  Well, ...there are differences... between the secretary and me.  I voted against the war in Iraq because I thought unilateral military action would not produce necessary results and would lead to the kind of... instability we see in the Mideast.  I do not believe in unilateral action by the US.  I believe in action in which we form a strong coalition of forces: in this case, major powers and the Muslim nations...  [A] hero... is King Abdullah II of Jordan.  His small country has welcomed many refugees.  Abdullah said recently... that although international terrorism is, by definition, an international issue, [ISIS] is primarily an issue of the Muslim nations who are fighting for the soul of Islam and that Muslims should lead the effort on the ground.  I believe he is absolutely right."

Co-moderator Martha Raddatz:  "[I]n the wake of the attack in San Bernardino, you all emphasized gun control.  But our latest poll shows that more Americans believe to arm people, not to regulate guns more strictly, is the best defense against terrorism.  Are they wrong?"

Clinton:  "I think you have to look at both the terrorism challenge we face abroad and at home and the role guns play in the violence that stalks us...  When Sen. Sanders talks about a coalition, I agree with him.  We also must build a coalition at home...  Guns, in and of themselves..., will not make Americans safer.  We already lose 33,000 people a year to gun violence.  To arm more people -- to do what? -- is not something I think is an appropriate response to terrorism.  I believe creation of much deeper, closer relations... within our own country is...  So we must look at guns as its own problem but also figure out how to deal with radicalization in the US."

Sanders:  "[W]hen we have some 300M guns in this country and... have seen these horrific mass-killings, ...we must bring together the vast majority of the people, who believe in sensible gun-safety regulations..."

Clinton:  "...I'm glad to see th[at] Sen. Sanders has moved in the face of what our country now confronts.  He said he wants to take on this immunity issue because we must send a strong message to the gun manufacturers, to the gun sellers and to the gun lobby.  I hope Sen. Sanders will join the Democrats who are trying to close the Charleston loophole and... to remove the absolute immunity..."

Reich
("Democracy Now!")
Having been criticized for changes in positions on bankruptcy reform, NAFTA, free trade with Colombia, free trade with South Korea, marriage equality, private prisons, driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants, the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, the proposed TPP, a potential national registry of guns, the cap on payroll taxes paid by the wealthy, and her ideological self-identification, Clinton is trying to tarnish Sanders's reputation of consistency.  However, her characterization of Sanders as having shifted on the issue of immunity for manufacturers of guns is false.  More on that later.

Raddatz to Clinton:  "[A] tool used in the terrorist attacks in Paris [was] encryption.  FBI director James Comey says terrorists can hold secret communications to which law enforcement cannot get, even with a warrant.  You've talked about bringing tech leaders and government officials together.  But Apple CEO Tim Cook said, 'To remove encryption tools from our products altogether... would only hurt citizens who obey the law and rely on us to protect their data.'  So would you sign a law to force him to give to law enforcement a key to encrypted technology?"

Clinton:  "I would not want to go to that point."

But would she go to that point?

"Given the extraordinary capacities the tech community has and the legitimate needs of and questions from law enforcement, I hope there can be a Manhattan-like project...  [M]aybe the back door is the wrong door.  I understand what Apple and others say about that...  I think there must be a way...  Otherwise, law enforcement is blind before, during and, in many instances, after.  So we must always balance liberty and security...  I hope there can be understanding and cooperation to achieve that."

The moderators asked Clinton about the issue of refugees but refused to let Sanders comment on it, so we'll skip ahead.

Raddatz:  "...Sen. Sanders, you voted to send US ground forces to fight in the coalition to help destroy al-Qaeda in Afghanistan...  [W]hy, then, don't you support sending US combat troops to join a coalition to fight ISIS?"

Comey (Dept. of Justice)
Sanders:  "I also voted... against the Gulf War, which set the stage... for the Iraq War...  [T]he US cannot succeed as -- and should not be thought of as -- the policeman of the world...  [T]here must be a well-coordinated effort by an international coalition, including Russia...  The troops on the ground should not be American.  They should be Muslim...  [C]ountries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar must contribute the money and troops necessary to destroy ISIS, with support from the US."

Raddatz:  "The administration has tried that over and over again.  If it doesn't work and this threat is so great, what's your plan B?"

Sanders:  "My plan is to... tell Saudi Arabia they, as one of the wealthiest countries, must go to war against ISIS instead of against Yemen.  My plan is also to tell Qatar that maybe, rather than spend $200B on the World Cup, they should pay attention to ISIS, which is at their doorstep."

Raddatz:  "Secy. Clinton, you too have ruled out a large US combat force, yet you support sending special operations forces to Syria and sending those 100-200 troops to Iraq to do exploitation kill raids.  We've already lost one Delta Force member in a raid...  We very much seem to already be in ground combat... there.  Are you fooling Americans when you say we're not putting US combat troops into Syria or back into Iraq?"

Clinton:  "No...  [I]n Syria and Iraq..., because of the failures in the region, including the failure of the prior government in Baghdad..., there has been a resurgence of Sunni activities, as exemplified by ISIS.  And we must support Sunni-Arab and Kurdish forces against ISIS because I believe for the US to put in ground combat troops, as opposed to special operators or to trainers, would be a mistake because... ISIS wants... American soldiers on the ground, fighting them, and giving them many more targets and a great recruitment opportunity.  So I think... for us to even imagine we'll put tens of thousands of US troops into Syria and Iraq to fight ISIS would be absolutely wrong..."

Does that mean she might send as many as 19,999 US troops into that quagmire?

Raddatz to Clinton:  "...One of the lessons from the Vietnam War... is that a little force can turn into a little more and a little more...  Are you prepared to risk a bigger war to destroy ISIS or are you prepared to give up that goal if it requires a larger force?"

M. Sgt. Joshua Wheeler,
39, father of four, was
killed in Iraq on Oct. 22.
(Dept. of the Army)
Clinton:  "I think you're offering a false choice.  I believe if we lead an air coalition, which we are in the position to do, and intensify it; if we continue to build back up the Iraqi army, which has had some recent success in Ramadi; if we resume talks with the tribal sheiks in Anbar to try to rebuild those relationships, which were very successful in efforts against al-Qaeda in Iraq; if we persuade the Turks to pay more attention to ISIS than to the Kurds; and if we put together the kind of coalition with the specific tasks I am outlining; we can destroy ISIS...

"[A] reason why I advocate a no-fly zone is to create safe refuges within Syria to try to protect people on the ground both from Assad's forces, who continue to drop barrel bombs, and from ISIS.  And of course, that no-fly zone would have to be de-conflicted with the Russians, who also fly in that space.  I hope -- because of the new agreement, at the Security Council, that embodies an agreement I negotiated in Geneva in June 2012 -- we will get a diplomatic effort in Syria to begin to try to make a transition.  A no-fly zone would prevent the outflow of refugees..."

Raddatz:  "Secy. Clinton, neither ISIS nor al-Qaeda has aircraft.  So, would you shoot down a Syrian or Russian airplane?"

Clinton:  "I do not think it would come to that.  We are already de-conflicting airspace."

Raddatz:  "But isn't that a decision you should make now if you advocate this?"

Clinton:  "No, I don't think so.  Another reason why I advocate a no-fly zone is I think it would give us some leverage in our conversations with Russia.  Now that Russia has... adopted that agreement, I think we can have those conversations.  I would hope the no-fly zone would be shared by Russia if they will begin to turn their military attention away from the adversaries of Assad and toward ISIS, and put Assad's future on the political and diplomatic track, where it belongs."

Sanders:  "...I worry Secy. Clinton is too much into regime change and... too aggressive without knowledge of what the unintended consequences might be.  We eliminated Saddam Hussein but destabilized the entire region.  We eliminated Qadhafi... but created a vacuum for ISIS.  We could remove Assad tomorrow but would create another political vacuum that would benefit ISIS...  [W]e must... form broad coalitions that will prevent a political vacuum that could be filled by terrorists.  We will then move steadily -- and maybe slowly -- toward a democracy that would replace Assad's terrible dictatorship.  But... in Syria, the primary goal now must be to destroy ISIS.  To, over the course of years, do work to replace Assad is the secondary issue."

Warren (US Senate)
Clinton:  "But that is exactly what I just said and described...  Of course we must continue to do what is necessary when someone like Qadhafi... is overturned.  But... if we had not joined with our European and Arab partners to assist the people in Libya, you would be looking at Syria..."

What does that mean?

Muir to Clinton:  "...The senator said we must put aside the issue of removal of Assad and come together with countries, including Russia and Iran, to destroy ISIS first..."

Clinton:  "I disagree because we will not get the support on the ground in Syria to dislodge ISIS if the fighters there who are not associated with ISIS but whose principal goal is to remove Assad don't believe there is a political, diplomatic channel ongoing.  We now have that...  [T]o ask for any more Iranian troops in Syria [would be] like asking the arsonist to pour more gas on the fire.  For Iran to have more of a presence in Syria, linking with Hezbollah -- Iran's proxy in Lebanon -- would threaten Israel and increase the difficulty of a transition that would deal with Assad's future."

Sanders:  "...Assad is not attacking the United States.  ISIS is..."

Clinton:  "...Assad has killed about 250,000 Syrians..."

That is false.  Many deaths in the catastrophe in Syria have resulted from clashes of rebel factions against each other and against ISIS.

Sanders:  "...The US must not be perpetually involved in warfare in the Mideast and cannot successfully fight Assad and ISIS at the same time..."

Muir:  "In 1995, the median household income in the US was $52,600, adjusted to inflation.  This year, it's $53,600 -- [less than] 2% higher.  In a similar time-frame, pay for CEOs went up by more than 200%.  You've all said you would raise the minimum wage.  Sen. Sanders, what else would you do to give a raise to American workers right away?"

Sanders:  "[W]e must recognize we have a rigged economy...  Millions of Americans are working longer hours for lower wages, deeply worried about their kids...  We must rebuild our crumbling infrastructure[.  To do so would] create 13M jobs..."

Warren Buffett (WH)
Clinton:  "[W]e must do more to incentivize profit-sharing, like we see with Market Basket, where all employees get a chance to share in the profits..."

Muir:  "...Secy. Clinton, the last time you ran, Fortune Magazine put you on its cover with the headline 'Business Loves Hillary,' and pointed out your support for many corporate CEOs...  [S]hould corporate America love Hillary Clinton?"

Clinton:  "Everybody should.  Look, I want to... make sure the wealthy pay their fair share, which they have not been paying.  I want for the Buffett Rule to be in effect, which would require millionaires to pay tax rates of 30%...  I want to create jobs, particularly in small business, and partner with the private sector...  I want to do more to help incentivize and create more small businesses.  So, if people in the private sector know what I stand for... and if they want to be part of again building our economy so it works for everybody, more power to them because they are the kind of business leaders who understand if we don't make the economy move and grow, we will not recognize our country and will not give our kids the opportunities we had."

Muir:  "Sen. Sanders, how big a role does corporate America play in a healthy economy and will corporate America love a President Sanders?"

Sanders:  "No, I think they won't...  [W]e must deal with the... greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street...  [T]hree of the four [largest financial institutions in the US] are larger than they were when they were bailed out because they were 'too big to fail.'  We must... break up the large financial institutions...  I don't want campaign contributions from corporate America.  While there are some great corporations that create jobs [in the US] and try to do the right thing, ...the greed of the billionaire class and Wall St. is destroying this economy and the lives of millions of Americans.  We need an economy that works for the middle class, not just a handful of billionaires..."

Clinton:  "...Sen. Sanders is the only one on this stage who voted to take away from the Securities & Exchange Commission and the Commodities Future Trading Commission the authority to regulate swaps and derivatives.  That lack of authority contributed to the collapse of Lehman Brothers..."

Ex-senator Christopher
Dodd, D-CT (US Senate
Historical Office)
The said provision, hours before the end of the 106th Congress, was, with no hearings or debate, slipped into an 11,000-page bill that funded much of the federal government.  More than nine months before the meltdown, Sanders cosponsored a bill to restore the authority in question.

Sanders:  "...I don't get money from Wall Street...  Wall St. has too much political and economic power.  To be deregulated, they spent $5B in lobbying and in campaign contributions over a 10-year period.  Wall St. is a threat to the economy..."

Raddatz:  "Secy. Clinton, the Dept. of Health & Human Services says more than 17M Americans who were not insured now have health care coverage because of Obamacare.  But for Americans who already had health insurance, the cost has gone up 27% in the last five years while deductibles are up 67%.  Health care costs are rising faster than many Americans can manage.  What's broken in Obamacare that needs to be fixed now?  And what would you do to fix it?"

Clinton:  "I would build on the successes of the ACA and work to fix some of the glitches you referenced...  Women are no longer charged more than men are for health insurance...  But out-of-pocket costs have gone up too much and prescription drug costs have gone through the roof.  So I propose a tax credit of $5,000 to help people who have very large out-of-pocket costs...  I want... to... mak[e] sure the insurance companies in the private employer policy arena and in the Affordable Care exchanges are properly regulated so we are not gamed...  We don't have enough competition.  And we don't have enough oversight of what the insurance companies charge everybody."

Raddatz:  "But you did say the increase in cost by 27% and the increase in deductibles by 67% are... just glitches..."

Clinton:  "They're glitches because part of this is the startup challenge this system faces...  [A] reason why the cost has risen so much is that governors in some states would not extend Medicaid.  So people still receive health care in emergency rooms, in hospitals.  Those costs... increase insurance premiums..."

Raddatz:  "Sen. Sanders, ...you call for single-payer health care, under which people wouldn't have to pay deductibles or premiums but would have to pay new taxes.  Specifically, how much would people be expected to pay?"

Ex-rep. Barney Frank,
D-MA (CPD)
Sanders:  "...Twenty-nine million Americans still have no health insurance.  Millions of people can't afford... primary health care...  This ties into campaign finance reform.  The insurance companies and drug companies bribe Congress.  We need a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system...  [People] would not pay for private insurance.  Businesses would not, either..."

Later, Clinton said, "States have been disinvesting from higher education...  So under my compact, the federal government will match money the states begin to put back into higher education...  Sen. Sanders touched on... his commitment to... free college"

Free public college.

"and a single-payer health care system.  An estimate of the cost of those programs is $18T to $20T -- about a 40% increase in the federal budget..."

That estimate is from a misleading piece in The Wall Street Journal, which -- along with other conservative outlets, which include Fox News and The New York Post -- is part of News Corp.  In the cycles of 2006 and 2008, that conglomerate gave a total of nearly $112K to Clinton's campaigns.  That sum included two maximum donations from Keith Rupert Murdoch, who owns News Corp and hosted a fundraiser for Clinton's second senatorial bid.  She attended that event, which drew over $60K.  Her comment above omits that the alleged increase would be over the course of 10 years.

Sanders:  "[T]o say how much more the program will cost but not note that the middle class would pay substantially less... under single-payer than under Secy. Clinton's proposal, is unfair."

Clinton:  "...I don't think we should impose new big programs that would raise middle-class families' taxes..."

Sanders:  "[W]hen Secy. Clinton says she 'will not raise taxes on the middle class,' she disagrees with FDR on Social Security, with LBJ on Medicare, and with the vast majority of progressive Democrats in Congress, who are fighting to end the disgraceful status of the United States as the only major country that does not provide paid family and medical leave.  The legislation for it would require $1.61 a week.  You can call that a tax...  [But it] would provide three months of paid family and medical leave..."

Murdoch
(Chad McNeeley/
Dept. of Defense)
Muir:  "[W]e now see, with smartphones..., that with which many have dealt for years when in contact with police.  But many in law enforcement say... police... hold back in fear of backlash.  The FBI director calls it 'a chill wind through... law enforcement.'  How would you bridge the divide...?"

Sanders:  "[W]e have more people incarcerated than does any other country: 2.2M, predominantly black and Latino.  We spend $80B a year to lock up our fellow Americans...  [W]e must wage a major effort to... end institutional racism...  [T]he so-called 'war on drugs'... has destroyed the lives of millions, which is why I propose removal of marijuana from the Controlled Substance Act so possession of it would not be a federal crime.  As a mayor for eight years, I worked closely with a great police department.  We tried to move it toward community policing so officers would become part of the community and not, as in some cities, an oppressive force.  We must make police departments look like, in their diversity, the communities they serve.  We must end mandatory minimum sentences..."

Daniel Tuohy, senior political reporter for The Union Leader:  "New Hampshire has been hard hit by the heroin epidemic.  We're on track to have twice as many overdose deaths this year as in 2013.  What specifically would you do to address this crisis?"

Sanders:  "[W]e must tell the... doctors who prescribe opiates, and we must tell the pharmaceutical industry, that... we cannot have this huge number of opiates throughout this country, where young people take them, get hooked, and then go to heroin...  [W]e must understand that addiction is a disease, not a crime...  Someone who is addicted and seeks help should not have to wait... to get... treatment..."

Clinton:  "...I would like for the federal government to offer $10B over 10 years to work with states...  There are too many prescriptions for opioids...  [W]e need more programs and facilities so when someone is ready to get help, there's a place for him to go.  Every law enforcement officer should carry the antidote to overdose..."

Raddatz:  "Secy. Clinton, ...Libya is falling apart.  It is a haven for ISIS and jihadists, with an estimated 2,000 ISIS fighters there today.  You... called [the intervention by the US] 'smart power at its best.'  Yet, even Pres. Obama said the US should have done more to fill the leadership vacuum left behind.  How much responsibility do you bear for the chaos that followed elections?"

King, Johnson (Yoichi Okamoto / WH)
Clinton:  "...The whole region is unstable, in part because of the very effective outreach and propaganda by ISIS and by other terrorist groups.  But... there is a fragile agreement... among Libyans to try to dislodge ISIS from Sirte, which was the home town of Qadhafi, and begin to create a national government...  We did a lot to help.  We did as much as we could but the Libyans had very strong feelings about what they wished to accept.  But we always look for ways to do more to try to give people a chance to succeed."

How about we use those resources to give the people of the US a chance to succeed?

Raddatz to Clinton:  "...[They] lacked institutions and experience.  The Libyan government had been a family business for 40 years.  On the security side, we offered only a modest training effort and a very limited arms-buyback program.  Let me ask again: How much responsibility do you bear for the chaos that followed elections?"

Clinton:  "We offered a lot more than they were willing to take.  We eliminated their chemical weapons... and went after many shoulder-fired missiles to round them up...  We offered to send trainers and experts... but there wasn't much responsiveness at first.  I think many Libyans who had been forced out of their country by Qadhafi and returned to be in a new government believed they knew what to do.  They turned out to be no match for some of the militaristic forces in that country.  But I am not giving up on Libya and don't think anyone should give up on it.  We've been at this for years."

Raddatz:  "But were mistakes made?"

Clinton:  "There's always a retrospective to say what mistakes were made..."

We're just not entitled to know who did the retrospective or what's in it.

"Sen. Sanders voted for a resolution that called for an end to the Qadhafi regime and asked the United Nations to go in through a vote of the General Assembly or of the Security Council.  We got a vote from the Security Council...  That is a part of the world where the US has tried to play two approaches: work with dictators for our own benefit and promote democracy.  That's a hard road but I think it's the right road..."

Goldwater (US Senate
Historical Office)
Why?  Anyway, had Sanders not been denied an opportunity to respond, he might have noted that the senatorial resolution to which Clinton referred called upon Qadhafi to resign and allow elections.  It included no authorization of or encouragement of any military intervention.  Thus, Clinton misled via her claim about Sanders.


Debate IV | Sun., Jan. 17 | Charleston, SC | NBC

As this event was on the eve of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Clinton said, "[M]y youth minister took me to hear Dr. King...  His moral clarity, the message he conveyed that evening, stayed with me and helped to set me on a path to service.  I remember he spent the last day of his life... in the fight for dignity and higher pay for workers..."

Part of Clinton's account is contradicted by her actions.  Case in point: two and a half years after Clinton heard King in person, she was on the campaign of then-Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) to unseat Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson.  Goldwater had voted against the Civil Rights Act, had condemned the decision by the Supreme Court to order desegregation of public schools, and was hostile to labor unions.

Sanders:  "As we honor the extraordinary life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., what is important is not only that we remember what he stood for, but that we pledge to continue his vision to transform our country..."

Sanders is credible when he says that.  King was a fellow socialist.  Sanders chaired the social action committee in the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and organized for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).  He participated in the legendary March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom.  To fight segregation in housing, Sanders led the first sit-in for civil rights in the history of Chicago.  He was once trailed by police as he attempted to inform the public about police brutality.  Of 159 people arrested for a particular protest against segregation of public schools, Sanders was among the four who were fined for leadership of that demonstration.  As mayor in 1988, he endorsed the presidential bid by Rev. Jesse Jackson, who worked closely with King.  In the Senate, Sanders has always had a score of 100% from the NAACP.

Jackson
("Democracy Now!")
Co-moderator Lester Holt to Sanders:  "[L]ast week, Secy. Clinton called you 'a pretty reliable vote for the gun lobby.'  Right before the debate, you changed your position on immunity for gun manufacturers from lawsuits for liability for crimes committed with guns they produced.  Why?"

Sanders:  "[W]hat she says is very disingenuous.  The NRA rates me with a D-...  I support the effort by Pres. Obama to close the gun-show loophole...  [T]he immunity bill had some good provisions.  It required child safety locks on guns and it banned ammunition that can pierce protection that cops wear..."

There is no change in position on this by Sanders, who remains consistent about which aspects of the bill prompted him to vote for it and which aspects, such as that immunity, he is willing to amend.

Clinton:  "...Sen. Sanders... voted for what we call 'the Charleston Loophole,' ...voted to let guns... into national parks, and voted against research on how we can save lives..."

Discussing criminal justice, Clinton said, "There needs to be a concerted effort to address the systemic racism in our criminal justice system.  That effort requires a very clear agenda to retrain police officers, look at ways to end racial profiling..."

Look at?

"[V]ery often, the black men are arrested, convicted and incarcerated for offenses that do not lead to the same results for white men..."

Sanders:  "...Who is satisfied about millions of people having criminal records for possession of marijuana as the CEOs of Wall St. companies who destroyed our economy have no criminal records?..."

Holt to Sanders:  "Just over a week ago, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus endorsed Secy. Clinton.  He said his choice of her was not hard.  Our polls show she is ahead of you by more than 2-to-1 among minority voters.  How can you be the nominee if you don't have that support?"

Rep. George Butterfield,
D-NC, chairs the Black
Caucus.  (CPD)
Sanders:  "...When the African-American community becomes familiar with my record and agenda -- just as the general population has become more supportive -- so will the African-American community and the Latino community..."

Frenchesca Ramsey via YouTube:  "[T]here's a huge conflict of interest when local prosecutors investigate violence by police in their own communities...  How would you... ensure that such incidents are investigated fairly and prosecuted fairly?"

Sanders:  "...The death of anyone in police custody should be automatically investigated by the US attorney general...  As a mayor, I worked... well with police officers, the vast majority of whom are honest, hardworking people who try to do a difficult job.  But if an officer breaks the law, ...he must be held accountable...  We must demilitarize our police departments so they don't look like occupying armies.  We must move toward community policing..."

Co-moderator Andrea Mitchell to Clinton:  "...You said Sen. Sanders's proposal of Medicare-for-All would tear up and replace Obamacare.  Is to say Bernie Sanders wants to kill Obamacare fair?"

Clinton then spoke for a minute and a quarter but did not answer the question.

Sanders:  "Secy. Clinton didn't answer your question.  Her campaign said I... want to end Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program.  That is nonsense...  [Over 30M people] are under-insured with huge co-payments and deductibles..."

Clinton:  "[D]uring the debate over the ACA, there was an opportunity to vote for a public option, which would have let people buy into Medicare.  Even when the Democrats were in charge of Congress, we couldn't get the votes for that..."

That is false.  Obama chose not to provide leadership toward a public option.  In fact, his words of support for the idea were contradicted by his deeds.

"We now have driven costs of health care down to the lowest they've been in 50 years..."

That is false.  Those costs have steadily risen for 50 years.

Chairman & CEO
Lloyd Blankfein of
Goldman Sachs (Michael
Gross / Dept. of State)
Connor Franta via YouTube:  "...I'm 23...  To get my generation's vote should be a priority for any presidential candidate.  I know that Sen. Sanders is pretty popular among my peers.  But how do... you plan to engage us further in this election?"

Clinton:  "...I've laid out my ideas for... how we can create more good jobs because many young people I talk with are pretty disappointed in the economic prospects they feel they face..."

Feel?  Clinton later and somewhat abruptly launched the following line of attack.

"Sen. Sanders... criticized Pres. Obama for acceptance of donations from Wall Street."

Obama's campaigns for federal office collected a total of over $68M from the finance, insurance and real-estate sector.  Why should that fact not have disturbed anyone?

"Pres. Obama led our country out of the Great Recession."

He led our country to the widest gap in wealth between the rich and the middle class ever, a widened gap in wealth between whites and blacks, and a widened gap in wealth between whites and Latinos.

"Sen. Sanders called him 'weak,' called him disappointing, and publicly sought someone in 2011 to run against him in the primaries."

In a poll commissioned by CNN that year, 60% of Americans said Obama had fallen short of their expectations.  In another poll commissioned by the same network in the same year, 26% of Democrats said their party should nominate someone else for president in 2012.

"I believe that Pres. Obama's successful push for the Dodd-Frank bill... was one of the most important regulatory schemes since the 1930s.  So I'll defend... Pres. Obama for taking on the financial industry and getting results."

With adversaries like Obama, Wall St. does not need allies.

Sanders:  "...When I ran for the Senate in 2006, then-Sen. Obama was kind enough to campaign for me.  I did my best to see he was elected in 2008 and re-elected.  He and I are friends, have worked together on many issues, and have some differences of opinion.
Hagel (Glenn Fawcett/
Dept. of Defense)

"But the issue is...: Can Wall St. be reformed when it spends millions and millions of dollars on campaign contributions and provides speaking fees to candidates?  To say, 'I'll do this and that,' is easy but I have doubts when people who say it receive huge amounts of money from Wall Street...

"Two secretaries of the Treasury were from Goldman Sachs: one under a Republican, one under a Democrat.  Its leader is a billionaire who advises Congress to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  Secy. Clinton... received over $600,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs in one year.  Something I find very strange is that Goldman Sachs, which is a major financial institution, pays $5B in fines but none of its executives are prosecuted while kids who smoke marijuana get a jail sentence."

Clinton:  "...I'll do all I can to make sure the wealthy pay for... child care..."

Mitchell to Sanders:  "[T]he health care plan you released tonight would raise taxes on not only the wealthy but the middle class..."

Sanders:  "...I'm disappointed Secy. Clinton... made that criticism.  It is a Republican criticism.  [S]ome middle-class families would pay slightly more in taxes than they do now.  But those families would save some $5,000 in health care costs annually..."

Spokesperson for MinuteEarth via YouTube:  "...[To] burn [fossil] fuels releases gases that trap heat... and thereby contribute to extreme weather and cause seas to rise...  To fight... climate change means... to shift to alternative sources for the bulk of the world's energy supply.  Some countries have decisively acted to make this transition.  But our nation still gets... 82% of its energy from coal, oil, and natural gas.  Political gridlock, pressure from industry lobbyists, and the insufficiency of research and of development have made an already tough battle in the US against climate change even tougher."

Holt to Sanders:  "...How do you convince Americans the problem of climate change is so urgent, they need to change their behavior?"

Gov. Richard Snyder,
R-MI (Cmte. on Ed.
& the Workforce)
Sanders:  "I think we already are convinced.  The younger generation understands it instinctively.  When I was home in Vermont on Christmas Eve, the temperature there was 65 degrees.  People there and people who ice-fished where there is no ice anymore understand...  If we do not act boldly and decisively, a bad situation will become worse...  [W]e can create millions of jobs [if we]... transform our energy system from fossil fuels to efficient and sustainable energy.  I have the most comprehensive legislation in the Senate to do that.  As president, I will fight to enact it."

Mitchell to Clinton:  "[F]ormer secy. of Defense Chuck Hagel recently said Pres. Obama's credibility was hurt when he stood down on planned missile strikes against Damascus after Assad used chemical weapons.  Should Pres. Obama have stuck to his red line?"

Clinton then spoke for 45 seconds but did not answer the question.  By the way, whether Assad ordered use of chemical weapons remains undetermined.

Mitchell:  "But should Pres. Obama have stuck to his line?  Did it hurt US credibility?"

Clinton then spoke for 90 seconds but did not answer the question.

Holt:  "[I]s there anything you want to add...?"

Clinton:  "I [am] outraged by what is happening in Flint, Michigan, ...where the population, which is poor... and majority black, had bathed in and drank lead-contaminated water.  The governor of that state acted as though he didn't really care.  He basically stonewalled requests for help.  If the kids in a rich suburb of Detroit had bathed in and drank contaminated water, there would have been action..."

Sanders:  "...I have demanded the resignation of the governor...  We must eliminate super-PACs by overturning Citizens United and... bring millions of... people into the political process..."

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