Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Those Yet to Vote in Dems' Race for Pres. Should Ponder This

Clinton (Dept. of State)
Former secretary of State Hillary Clinton's victory in the Democratic presidential primary in New York was portrayed as epic by corporate media even though she had been a Democratic senator from there, her margin was smaller than in 2008, and, as Comptroller Scott Stringer (D-NYC) attested, "a cloud hangs over these results" due to irregularities.  They spurred an inquiry Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D-NY) is conducting, also spurred an audit by Stringer with the support of Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC), and are reminiscent of the disfranchisement that tainted the Arizonan primary.

The tallies from NY and from the primaries that were held afterward are used by corporate media to claim that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who is Clinton's sole rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, cannot win it.  But said media have made that claim almost continually for months and it remains false.  According to an estimate, Clinton's lead among pledged delegates to the Democratic National Convention is 283 while 902 will be allocated via future contests.  If that estimate is correct, Sanders needs less than 65.8% of the latter group in order to edge Clinton.  He has already surpassed that percentage in eight contests.  Furthermore, obscure intricacies in allocation of delegates render such estimates unreliable.

Subsequent to the previous entry, Sanders exceeded expectations when he triumphed by 14 percentage points in the Wisconsinite primary.  He then prevailed by 11 points in the Wyomingite caucuses, the outcome of which was labeled by corporate media as "closer than expected" even though no poll about that contest was published.  He later exceeded expectations when he triumphed by 12 in Rhode Island's primaryLast week, he pulled an upset in the Indianan primary, which he won by 5.  Yesterday, he exceeded expectations when he prevailed by 16 in the West Virginian primary.  In 2008, Clinton won the latter three primaries by 18, 1, and 41, respectively.

Eleven contests are yet to occur, including the primary in Oregon, whose junior senator -- Jeffrey Merkley (D) -- endorses Sanders.  And voters now know that money that was raised purportedly for the Democratic parties of 32 states is laundered by Clinton's campaign to itself in effective violation of law.

There are additional reasons why Sanders, via the remainder of the primaries and caucuses, might succeed.  This year, with regard to 12 states that Sanders won but only three that Clinton won, the media neglected to commission entrance/exit polls.  Yet, the data that exist prove that the ex-representative has much more appeal across demographic lines than corporate media portray him to have.


In The Daily Beast (which is owned by a company of which Clinton's daughter is a director), Keli Goff (who was on Clinton's senatorial campaign) promulgated an aspect of that portrayal by describing supporters of Sanders as "privileged progressives who have the luxury" to "ignor[e] whether a candidate is actually electable."  Firstly, she will have to convince many nonwhites that they live in privilege.


Secondly, Sanders has a sizeable following among moderates/conservatives.


Thirdly, the depiction of most backers of Sanders as living in luxury is disproved by his tendency to attract more votes from people whose family's income was under $100,000 in 2015 than from people whose family's income exceeded that amount in said year.


Fourthly, most people who voted for Clinton would be privileged by having, in contrast to most who voted for Sanders, less time to suffer the consequences of Clinton's reign.


Fifthly, the 11 latest polls that tested both candidates against the Republican presumptive nominee were an extension of a long streak of such surveys that conclude Sanders is more electable than Clinton is.  Ergo, by Goff's logic, the people "who can afford to vote for a candidate and... not care whether he" would win the general election are actually those who cast their ballots for the former first lady.

Sanders's ability to earn the confidence of nonwhites was evident when, for instance, he campaigned in the Empire State.  The socialist was greeted with fervent cheers in Harlem when he appeared for a meeting with Rev. Alfred Sharpton Jr., who had joined others in Vermont on Martin Luther King Day 2011 to award the ex-mayor of Burlington for his efforts to advance the legacy of Rev. Dr. King.  On that occasion, Sharpton said:
"I'm very honored to have been part of the presentation of this award to Sen. Sanders.  I know a lot of elected officials and there is none who serves in the United States... today whom I respect more than I do Sen. Sanders."
Additionally, the protracted series of huge rallies Sanders has held included a crowd of 18,500 people in the South Bronx.

However, the most glaring contradiction to the pro-Clinton narrative, aside from ongoing attacks on Sanders, is that Clinton and her surrogates continue to demonstrate an ineptitude uncharacteristic of a campaign that will unite its party and otherwise be well-suited to compete for the general election.  Examples are below.

Stringer (nysenate.gov)
As Clinton's husband campaigned for her on April 7, activists from Black Lives Matter confronted him about when she used the term "super-predators" to promote a false theory in support of mass incarceration.  Clinton had recently declined to deny that her use of the term was an act of race-baiting, which is a tactic she used in her bid against then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL).

Her husband replied to the activists, "I don't know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-olds hopped up on crack and sent them... to murder other African-American children.  Maybe you think th[ose criminals] were good citizens.  She did not.  You are defending the people who kill the lives you say matter.  Tell the truth."

That reply contradicted this statement by Clinton on February 25: "I should not have used those words and I would not use them today."  She had been confronted on Feb. 24 about that issue by student Ashley Williams of BLM.
Williams:  "I'm not a super-predator, Hillary Clinton."
Clinton:  "Okay.  Fine.  We'll talk about it."
Williams:  "Will you apologize to black people for mass incarceration?"
Clinton:   "Well, can I talk?  And then maybe you can listen to what I say."
Williams:  "Yes..."
Clinton:  "Okay.  Fine.  Thank you very much.  There are many issues in this campaign.  My first speech in April was about criminal-justice reform."
Williams:  "You called black people 'super-predators'..."
Clinton:  "Now, do you want to hear the facts or do you just want to talk?"
Williams:  "...Explain it to us.  You owe an apology to black people..."
Clinton:  "I'll tell you what.  If you will give me a chance to talk...  You know what?  ...I'm happy to address it but you are the first person to ask me, dear(Williams is escorted away.)  Okay.  Back to the issues, the issues I think are important..."
Schneiderman
(nysenate.gov)
On March 1, Clinton again reacted snappishly to a young woman from BLM.  In an area of Minneapolis that has a large population of Somali-Americans, political operative Stacey Rosana approached Clinton and compared her comment about "super-predators" to current stigmatization of Somali-American youth.
Rosana:  "How do we know you'll be accountable to black communities?"
Clinton:  "Well, I think, you know, you can look at my history.  I always have been..."
Rosana:  "I don't think that's true.  I looked at your history and that's not what happened."
Clinton:  "Well, you know what?  You haven't looked at the whole thing...  I'm very proud to have met with the Somali-American community, to have a lot of support in the Somali-American--"
Rosana:  "Who in the Somali-American community?"
Clinton:  "A lot of people, including a young councilman who was here..."
Rosana:  (inaudible)
Clinton:  "You know what, dear?  You have a different opinion..."
Rosana:  (inaudible)
Clinton:  "Well, why don't you go run for something, then?"
Rosana:  "I work for a Somali-American."
Clinton:  "Good.  Well, good.  Good luck to you."
Rosana:  "Thank you."
The first time Clinton was confronted by BLM was on October 30, when numerous members of that group protested at one of her rallies.  But her supporters chanted over those protesters and cheered as they were removed from the venue.

March did not bring an end to Clinton's string of displays of racial insensitivity.  On April 29, she affronted Native Americans.  On April 9, she and de Blasio delivered a scripted joke that relied upon a stereotype about "colored people."

De Blasio, who is a surrogate for Clinton, is under investigation by the FBI.  So is Clinton, with regard to how she handled classified documents.  That means Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), who is another surrogate of hers, made a false statement on CNN when he said the "Justice Department... cleared her" of wrongdoing in that matter.  But he began to spread falsehoods on her behalf eight months ago.

de Blasio
(Mikki Sprenkle/
Dept. of the Army)
Speaking of Clinton's allies and the FBI:  She was introduced on the floor of the Democratic Nat'l Conv. in 2008 by Sheldon Silver, who was sentenced this month to 12 years in prison.  His 21 years as speaker of the Assembly of NY ended on 2 Feb. 2015, which was days after he surrendered to the FBI on felony counts of corruption and which was many years after he established his reputation for unscrupulousness.  Silver's total of 39 years in the Assembly ended in November, when he was convicted on all seven counts.  Silver had endorsed Clinton in this race and was not removed by the Democratic Nat'l Committee as a super-delegate but resigned that position in March.  After 1986, the only year in which Silver was opposed in a primary was 2008.  An issue in the latter campaign was Silver's attempted coverup of sexual assaults on women.  Clinton, who poses as a champion of women's rights, nevertheless encouraged her supporters in his district to cast their ballots for him.
"I ask you to... re-elect my good friend, Assemblyman Shelly Silver...  New York is lucky to have Shelly Silver fighting for us in Albany...  I'm lucky to count him as a friend and... colleague who[ ha]s always... help[ed] advance issues... important to me..."
Last month, Clinton uttered two more contradictions to philosophical keystones of women's rights.  On April 5, she said opposition to reproductive freedom is compatible with feminism.  A couple of days earlier, she said fetuses are people.  That comment was in an interview in which she falsely claimed to be "the only candidate... against whom Wall St. financiers and hedge-fund managers are running ads."

A defender of Clinton on the issue of Wall St. is ex-rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), who is on the board of Signature Bank, which received $120M in the bailout for which Clinton voted and against which Sanders voted.  In July, Frank wrote a piece that was filled with falsehoods in order to argue that Clinton should be unopposed for the nomination.  Because the voters did not comply, he gave an interview to Slate in March just to show how angry he was.  (That outlet did not mention that Frank endorses Clinton's bid.)

The former state legislator yammered, "The caucuses are the least democratic political operation in America.  They cater to the people who have a lot of time on their hands...  Sanders is the nominee of the caucuses and Hillary is the nominee of the primaries."

I can find no record of any previous statement by Frank that blasts the concept of caucuses.  His attack aligns with Clinton's attempt to generate a perception of illegitimacy with regard to 11 victories that Sanders achieved by double digits.

Castro (Lauren Gerson/
Lyndon Johnson Library)
Frank continued, "I am disappointed by the voters who say, 'I'll just show how angry I am!'  I'm... unimpressed with people who sat out the congressional elections of 2010 and 2014 and are angry at Democrats because they have not been able to produce public policies those voters like..."

Those voters are not trying to impress him.  The congressional Democrats chose not to produce such policies and had no message in the campaigns of 2010 and 2014.

On April 4, Frank expanded his slander of said voters.
Jose Diaz-Balart of MSNBC:  "What do you think is the reason why so many people... enthusiastically support... Sanders... [after they], in the past, maybe have not been motivated to vote?"

Frank:  "I think it is a lack of information...  [There] are... people who don't understand, frankly, the nature of the American political system...  [P]eople have a tendency to blame others for things that are their own fault...  So they say, 'See?  Sanders pointed out it's that system's fault.'"
The day prior, Clinton similarly denigrated Sanders's backers but targeted the millennials among them.  Chuck Todd of NBC inquired about her outburst toward Eva Resnick-Day of Greenpeace when she, based on research by that organization rather than -- as Clinton assumed -- on anything by Sanders's campaign, asked Clinton if her campaign would stop its acceptance of money from the fossil fuel industry.  In reference to what Sanders's campaign did state about that matter, Clinton replied to Todd in part, "I feel sorry, sometimes, for the young people who believe this.  They don't do their own research."

We shall return to that later.  On April 21, Clinton's husband continued her effort to malign Sanders's youthful supporters and joined Frank in accusing them of culpability for national hardship.  The former president said "if all the young people who claim to be disillusioned had voted in 2010, we would not have lost the Congress, and we'd probably have our incomes back."

Frank told Slate, "Sanders has been in Congress for 25 years with little to show for it."

Frank (Peter Souza/
White House)
That is false.

"[B]lame [for] the system [is put] on the people in office.  That's the same with the Tea Party.  It's, 'I voted for these Republicans, we have a Republican Congress..., they didn't accomplish anything.'  A party must win at least two elections in a row."

In 2006, the Democrats won control of Congress.  In 2008, they won their largest congressional majorities in 30 years.  Nonetheless, they did little to challenge George W. Bush in his last two years in office or bring major change during Obama's first two years as chief executive.  Frank's comparison of Sanders's supporters to the Teabaggers echoed one way Clinton's husband smeared pro-Sanders voters.

The endeavor by Clinton, and her surrogates, to paint Sanders's supporters as uninterested in substance was underway for months.  For example, days before New Hampshire's primary, Clinton declared that if it were to be "about our records, I'll win in a landslide" but that if Sanders were to win there, the outcome would be due to his residency in a bordering state.  As for the latter assertion, she did not explain, with respect to prior primaries in NH, how former governor Willard Mitt Romney (R-MA) lost to Sen. John Hussein McCain III (R-AZ) or how the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) lost to Pres. Jimmy Carter, whose home state has always been Georgia.

So, what can Clinton show for her time in the Senate?  Frank was not asked and did not say.  Fortunately, on March 29, The San Francisco Chronicle posed that question to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who endorses Clinton and has served in that chamber since before Clinton did.  The ex-mayor of the Golden Gate City replied, "I forget what bills she has been part of or authored," eventually citing aid Clinton helped secure for NY in its recovery from 11 September 2001.  But Clinton claims to be the Democratic candidate who "gets things done," not who "got thing done."  And her staff's absurd allegation of a "very negative" campaign by Sanders was disputed by Feinstein, who remarked to the Chronicle, "He is not slash-and-burn.  He has talked about his issues and... been constructive.  I think there's a high likelihood he won't change from that."

As for how Sanders would reform financial regulation, Frank proclaimed to Slate, "[T]he only specific I have heard is Glass-Steagall..."

Feinstein
(Joy Holder / US Senate
Photographic Studio)
Then Frank had not done his homework.  Asked if he believes that Clinton should release the transcripts of her paid speeches to financial firms, Frank responded, "Yeah, but... I think Sanders has been outrageously McCarthyite on that."

"McCarthyite?" the interviewer asked.

Frank said, "Yes, I saw one commercial that said the big companies were not punished.  Why?  Well, maybe it's because Hillary got speaking fees.  So the secretary of State should have indicted people?  I mean, yes, McCarthyite in that it's guilt by association.  He complains about what she did with regard to all this money stuff."

By this point, the reader can understand why Ralph Nader said of Frank, "Sometimes, he talks faster than his mind operates."  Comments about Sanders by Clinton, by her surrogates, and in corporate media evoke McCarthyism, though.

Frank continued, "There was this complaint, 'Oh, she has contributions from Wall Street.'  ...So does almost every Democrat because we cannot unilaterally disarm."

Sanders has never raised significant amounts of money from Wall Street.  Yet, he won four citywide elections and 10 statewide elections.  Without coordination with any super-PAC, he also has won 20 presidential contests this year, including 18 by double digits, against a candidate who
  • already had universal name-recognition when she began the race
  • has the support of almost the entire establishment of the party
  • is starkly preferred over him by the corporate media
  • directly coordinates with a super-PAC
  • has a nat'l organization that began to be built a quarter-century ago.

Frank said when asked what he thinks of Obama's presidency, "What disappoints me is on trade.  I think he bought into the orthodoxy that says trade is good for everyone.  He should have said, '...I will support... fast track, but only as part of a package that would raise the minimum wage, re-energize unions, restore the legal rights of unions, and do a massive construction program.'  ...I don't understand why he didn't do that,"

Obama, Secy. of Treasury Jacob Lew and his immediate
predecessor: Timothy Geithner.  When the meltdown of
2008 hit, Lew was a COO at Citigroup as Geithner was
CEO of the Fed. Reserve Bank of NY.  (Peter Souza / WH)
To understand why could begin with this list of some of the corporations, including firms on Wall St., that back the proposed free-trade pact called the Trans-Pacific Partnership and that donated the specified sums to Obama's bids for federal office.
Microsoft Corp.: $1.7M, Goldman Sachs: $1.3M, Time Warner: $1.1M, Citigroup Inc.: $1M, IBM Corp.: $909K, Disney Co.: $835K, Morgan Stanley: $787K, General Electric: $677K, Apple Inc.: $517K, Hewlett-Packard: $423K, Boeing Co.: $407K, Intel: $377K.

"and why he, without demanding anything, gives Republicans what they want..."

Whatever the reason is, Obama's actions explain why many voters understood the uselessness of the Democratic majority in Congress.

Clinton's maladroitness was palpable during her most recent encounter with Sanders, also.  Here is a review of substantive parts of it.  Quoted wording is edited for clarity and concision.  Selectivity is to avoid repetition, including of content in the reviews of previous debates.  Boldface is added.


Debate IX | Thu., April 14 | New York City | CNN

Sanders in his initial statement:  "My campaign began almost a year ago... about 70 points behind Secy. Clinton.  In the last couple of weeks, there were two polls that had me ahead...  [T]his country will not significantly move forward for working people unless we overturn the disastrous decision by the Supreme Court in Citizens United and truly reform campaign-finance so billionaires and super-PACs cannot buy elections..."

Clinton in her initial statement:  "...I was honored to serve as a senator from NY...  During those eight years, we... faced 9/11..."

G.W. Bush & Clinton's husband
(Joyce Boghosian / WH)
She had already abused the memory of that day several times in the campaign.

"I was particularly concerned about our first-responders and others whose health had been affected by it..."

She had not been concerned enough to support any effort to hold Bush accountable for his intentional subjection of her constituents to those hazards.  While Clinton was in the Senate, then-Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) introduced articles of impeachment against Bush, including "Article XXXV -- Endangerment of the Health of 9/11 First Responders," which explained that Bush "recklessly endangered the health of first-responders, residents, and workers at and near the" World Trade Center and that on 21 August 2003, the inspector general of the Environmental Protection Agency at the time issued a report that concluded:
"[W]hen EPA[, on Sept. 18,] announce[d] that the air was 'safe'..., [EPA] did not have sufficient data... to make such a blanket statement...  The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)... convinced EPA to add reassuring statements and to delete cautionary ones...  As a result..., information about the potential health effects from WTC debris w[as] not included in press releases issued by EPA...  Based on CEQ's influence, reassuring information was added to at least one press release, and cautionary information was deleted from EPA's draft... of that press release...

"[T]he White House's role in EPA's public communications about environmental conditions at the WTC was described in an e-mail on 12 Sept. 2001 from the chief of staff of the deputy administrator of EPA to senior officials at EPA:
'All statements to the media should be cleared through the [Nat'l Security Council] before... release...'
"According to the chief of staff of EPA, one... official at CEQ was designated to work with EPA to ensure that clearance was obtained through NSC.  The associate administrator for the EPA Office of Communications, Education, and Media Relations said for... three to four[ weeks] after Sept. 11, no press release could be issued without approval from the CEQ contact."
Kucinich
(Gage Skidmore)
The article itself noted:
"Acting EPA administrator Marianne Horinko... said... the White House played a coordinating role.  The NSC played the key role, filtering incoming data...

"In the cleanup of the Pentagon after Sept. 11..., Occupational Safety and Health Administration laws were enforced, and no workers became ill.  At the WTC..., the same laws were not enforced...  [T]he Bush administration has still not effected a cleanup of the indoor air... near the site..."
Moderator Wolf Blitzer to Sanders:  "[I]n the last week, you raised questions about Secy. Clinton's qualifications...  You said that something clearly lacks in her judgment and... credibility...  Do you believe that Secy. Clinton has the judgment to be president?"

Sanders:  "...I said that in response to... attacks... from the Clinton campaign.  A headline in The Washington Post read, 'Clinton Campaign Says Sanders is Unqualified.'  And that's what the surrogates were saying."

The exact headline was "Clinton Questions Whether Sanders is Qualified to Be President."  That was accurate, as was Sanders's characterization of what Clinton's spokespeople had said.  Any competent candidate in a hot race will defend himself with a counterattack that outweighs the attack.  Because Sanders did so, Clinton's husband added to her false allegations of sexism.  But her campaign, after it started the fight and then cried foul when Sanders finished it, is the one that sought a double standard.  That is surely understood by Clinton's husband, who used to share "the old story of the boy who, with a bloody nose, ran home to his mother.  When she asked him what had happened, he replied, 'It all started when the other kid hit me back.'"

Sanders continued, "Secy. Clinton has the experience and intelligence to be president.  But I question her judgment," and mentioned destructive decisions by her that were discussed in previous debates.

Merkley
(Frank Fey / US Senate
Photographic Studio)
Clinton:  "...Sen. Sanders did call me unqualified.  I've been called many things in my life.  That was a first."

That is false.

"[R]ead... Sen. Sanders's... interview with The NY Daily News.  Talk about judgment and the... problems he had answering questions about even his core issue: breakup of the banks.  When asked, he could not explain how that would be done."

In the interview, Sanders's answer on that issue was unclear because the relevant laws are.  On Democracy Now! on April 15, that fact was referenced by co-anchor Juan Gonz├ílez, who was weeks away from his retirement as a senior columnist for The Daily News and, although he was not on its editorial board, had participated in its interview of Sanders.
"Clinton... grossly distorted what happened in th[at] meeting...  [O]verall, Sanders handled all the questions... pretty well.  I came away impressed...

"[To] get into the details of the Dodd-Frank Act is to miss the forest for the trees...  There would be legal challenges from banks if the government or the Federal Reserve were to attempt to [break them up]...  Sen. Sanders made clear that there are issues to be resolved that might require legislation to actually effect a reduction of those bank[s]...
"So... to characterize his remarks... as showing him to be unfit to be president is... ridiculous...  [S]everal members of the editorial board told me they were surprised by the furor that developed afterward, which was largely fueled by the Clinton campaign..."
The rest of that fuel was from corporate media, which feign concern about Sanders's supposed "lack of specifics" but tend to favor truly ignorant politicians who help corporate interests.  However, although The NY Times endorses Clinton, it printed a defense of Sanders in which Peter Eavis writes:
"To break up the banks would involve arcane and complex regulatory moves that can trip up any banking-policy wonk, let alone a presidential candidate.  But, taken as a whole, Mr. Sanders's answers seem to make sense.  Crucially, his answers mostly track with a reasonably straightforward... plan he introduced to Congress last year."
Kennedy, Carter in late 1977 (Karl Schumacher / WH)
Clinton: "When asked about a number of foreign policy issues,"

What number?  Zero?

"he could not answer about Afghanistan, Israel, and counter-terrorism, except to say maybe he could if he had paper in front of him."

That is false.  In the interview, there was no mention of Afghanistan, he said a lot about Israel and counter-terrorism, and a question about it had a false premise, as Ryan Grim of The Huffington Post reports.
"The Daily News asked, 'Pres. Obama has taken from the CIA the authority for drone attacks and given it to the military.  Some say that decision has caused difficulties in zeroing in on terrorists...  Do you believe he has the right policy there?'

"'I don't know...,' Sanders said.

"A nice gotcha, except that while Obama did announce... the authority would move from the CIA to the military, that decision was quietly reversed..."
Hence, the central mistake by Sanders in this case was to ever be interviewed by The Daily News.  It endorsed Bush for the general election of 2004 and endorsed Romney for that of 2012.  For the most recent Democratic mayoral primary in NYC, that outlet endorsed then-Speaker of the Council Christine Quinn: the most conservative of the top five candidates.  For the latest Democratic gubernatorial primary in the Empire State, The Daily News endorsed Gov. Andrew Cuomo even though he was under federal investigation for corruption (as he is now) and refused to debate his main opponent: Zephyr Teachout, who is a distinguished scholar on corruption.  Given the history of that newspaper, its eventual endorsement of Clinton over Sanders was not a surprise.

Sanders:  "In America, we must understand we should think big, not small..."

Vice President Biden recently articulated agreement with Sanders on that.

The late Sen. Joseph
McCarthy, R-WI (US
Senate Historical Office)
Panelist Dana Bash:  "Secy. Clinton, the government announced yesterday that five of the biggest banks on Wall St. have, for the second time in two years, failed to develop credible plans to dismantle themselves in the event of another financial crisis.  Would you call on regulators to, as the law explicitly encourages, start the process of a breakup of those banks?"

Clinton:  "Absolutely...  Dodd-Frank sets forth the necessary approach.  I will appoint regulators who are... ready... to immediately break up any bank that fails either test under Dodd-Frank... by being a systemic and grave risk to our economy or by having an inadequate living will, which is what you referenced..."

Bash:  "...Sen. Sanders, you were recently asked how you would replace the big banks... if you could break them up.  You said, 'That's their decision.'  Why would you trust the banks to restructure themselves when you say their business model is fraudulent?"

Sanders:  "...I don't need Dodd-Frank in order to know we must break up those banks... so they do not pose a systemic risk and so we have a vibrant economy with a competitive financial system...  The government should say banks that are 'too big to fail' must shrink to a certain size.  The banks can decide what to sell off.  I don't believe that the Dept. of the Treasury would be appropriate to make those decisions..."

Clinton:  "There are two ways to go at this under Dodd-Frank...  [S]ometimes, the government must order certain actions.  Sometimes, the government can permit the institutions to take those actions.  That must be the judgement of regulators.  But I believe strongly that executives of any of those organizations should be financially penalized if there is a settlement..."

Bash:  "Sen. Sanders, you've consistently criticized Secy. Clinton for her acceptance of money from Wall Street.  Can you name one decision she made as senator that shows she favored banks because of the money she received?"

Sanders:  "Sure.  When... Wall St. brought this country into the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression..., the obvious response was that... [the big banks] must be broken up.  I introduced legislation to do that..."

Clinton:  "He cannot provide any example.  There is none...  I support Dodd-Frank but... it's not enough..."

McCain, Romney (Gage Skidmore)
Sanders obviously had just alluded to Clinton's opposition to reinstatement of Glass-Steagall.  Still, I do not understand why he mentioned neither her vote in favor of the Bankruptcy Reform Act after she opposed it nor her vote in favor of the bailout for Wall Street.

Bash to Clinton:  "Sen. Sanders continues to bring up your speeches to Goldman Sachs.  You've said you don't want to release the transcripts of your paid speeches until everyone else releases the transcripts of theirs.  But if, in your transcripts, there is nothing you think would change voters' minds, why not just release those transcripts and put this issue to bed?"

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

Bash:  "Secy. Clinton, the question was about the transcripts..."

Clinton again claimed that at least one Republican who was running for president as of April 14 had given paid speeches.  But she did not specify who, to whom, or for how much money.  She added, "There is a long-standing expectation for all presidential candidates to release their tax returns...  I've released 30 years of them...  Sen. Sanders... should do the same."

Bash:  "Secy. Clinton, ...you're seeking the Democratic nomination.  Your Democratic opponent and many Democratic voters want to see the transcripts you have.  It's not about the Republicans at this point."

Clinton merely repeated herself.

Sanders:  "[My wife] does our taxes.  We... will release a tax return tomorrow..."

Blitzer:  "From 2014?"

Sanders:  "Yes."

On April 26, Sanders's wife declared that she and her husband will release additional tax returns when Clinton releases her transcripts.

Sanders
(Gage Skidmore)
Blitzer:  "Senator, experts say no matter the means to bring jobs back to the US, prices of goods for consumers in the US would rise, which would disproportionately impact the poor and the middle class.  How would you bring jobs back without affecting the cost of goods to those Americans?"

Sanders:  "For a start, we'd raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.  While we may end up paying a few cents more for a hamburger..., this economy desperately needs a rebuilt manufacturing sector with jobs that pay well..."

Clinton:  "I have a comprehensive plan to create more jobs.  I think that must be at the center of our economic approach...  I... laid out a $10 billion plan I believe would jump-start advanced manufacturing..."

Blitzer:  "Secy. Clinton, you stood onstage with Gov. Cuomo in support of legislation to raise NY's minimum wage to $15 an hour.  But you oppose a raise in the national minimum wage to $15.  If a Democratic Congress were to pass a bill to raise the national minimum wage to $15, would you sign it?"

Clinton:  "Of course I would...  But... we must be smart about it the way Gov. Cuomo was.  We will move more quickly to $15 in NYC, more deliberately... upstate...  That is my position.  It's a model for the nation and I would go as quickly as possible to $15."

Sanders:  "I am sure many people are very surprised to learn you supported a raise in the minimum wage to $15."

Clinton:  "I have debated Sen. Sanders eight prior times.  I have said the exact same thing:  If we can raise it to $15 in NY, Los Angeles or Seattle, let's do it."

Sanders:  "When this campaign began, I said we must... raise the national minimum wage to $15.  Secy. Clinton said, 'Let's raise it to $12.'  History outpaced her..."

It has done so on many occasions.

"For her to now suddenly announce she's for $15, I don't think is quite accurate."

Silver, Cuomo (nysenate.gov)
Clinton:  "From the start, I have said I support the Fight for $15...  I have taken my cue from the Democrats in the Senate... like... Kirsten Gillibrand, who said we will set a national level of $12 and urge any place that can go above it to do so...  I think setting the goal of $12 is the way to go, encouraging others to get to $15.  But if we have a Democratic Congress, we will go to $15."

Gillibrand later said Clinton should release the transcripts.

Sanders:  "I think the secretary just confused a lot of people.  I don't know how she's for the Fight for $15 when she wants a national minimum wage of $12..."

Blitzer to Clinton:  "[Y]ou said VT... has 'the highest per-capita number of guns that commit crimes in NY.'  But only 1.2% of the guns recovered in NY in 2014 were from VT.  Do you seriously blame VT, and implicitly Sen. Sanders, for gun violence in NY?"

Clinton:  "No, of course not.  This is a serious difference between us."

Sanders and a fragment of the audience then snickered at her mendacity.

Clinton:  "It's not a laughing matter..."

For Clinton, laughing matters are
  • violent overthrow of the Libyan government
  • the prospect of war with Iran
  • piracy
  • the loss of 1 million jobs in the US
  • her refusal to release the transcripts
  • her successful defense of an adult against a charge of rape of a child.  (Clinton strongly implied she believes the charge was true.)

Clinton:  "In the interview with The Daily News, when asked whether he would support the lawsuit that parents of the victims of the massacre at Sandy Hook are waging to... rein in advertisement of the AR-15..., he said they don't deserve their day in court..."

Gillibrand, D-NY (US
Senate Historical Office)
That is false, as Sanders later pointed out.

Sanders:  "...Wolf, she did not answer your question..."

Blitzer:  "...She said, 'No.'"

Sanders:  "Then why did she make that statement?  ...[I]t was refuted by the governor of VT, who supports her candidacy..."

Blitzer:  "Secy. Clinton, ...why did you make that statement?"

Clinton:  "Most guns that commit crimes in NY come from the states that don't have the kind of serious efforts NY has that control guns..."

Then why did she single out VT?  Sanders has never even served in state government.

Panelist Errol Louis:  "Secy. Clinton, the crime bill you supported in 1994 added 100,000 police officers across the country... but imposed tougher sentences of imprisonment and eliminated federal funds for education of inmates.  Do you believe this law was a net positive or a mistake?"

Clinton:  "...I think sentences became much too long.  The original idea was not to increase sentences for nonviolent, low-level offenders.  But once the federal government did what it did, states piled on..."

Louis:  "...Do you regret your advocacy for the crime bill?"

Clinton:  "...I'm sorry for the unintended consequences that have had a very unfortunate impact on people's lives...  I want for white people to recognize there is systemic racism in employment, housing and the criminal-justice system."

Louis to Sanders:  "[A]t the Apollo Theater in Harlem, you called out Pres. Clinton for his defense of Secy. Clinton's use of the term 'super-predators'... in support of the crime bill.  Why?"

Sanders:  "That term was racist and everybody knew it was racist..."

Gov. Peter Shumlin,
D-VT (Peter Souza / WH)
Louis:  "Sen. Sanders, you said the US would, by the end of your first term, no longer lead the world in incarceration.  To fulfill that promise, you'd have to release roughly half a million prisoners.  How would you do that when the vast majority of prisoners in the US are not under federal jurisdiction?"

Sanders:  "...I would work with states to make sure that inmates are released under strong supervision...  I think there will be progressive and conservative support for it.  We can do it if we're prepared to be bold."

Blitzer to Clinton:  "Sen. Sanders said you are in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry.  You said you're sick of his lies about your record.  What are his lies?"

Clinton:  "[A]s a senator, I joined with others to try to eliminate the subsidies for big oil-companies.  I propose that again because I think it must be done as we transition from fossil fuels to clean energy...  [T]hat charge is absolutely false.  We both have relatively small amounts of contributions from people who work for fossil fuel companies, as far as we know from the reports..."

Sanders:  "[F]orty-three lobbyists for the fossil fuel industry gave the maximum donation to Secy. Clinton's campaign.  Some people say those donations, given the hundreds of millions of dollars she raises, constitute a small amount...  But... those lobbyists thought she is a good bet on this issue...  [W]e must realize that climate change is a global environmental crisis of unprecedented urgency.  If we... were attacked tomorrow, this whole nation would rise up and say we have an enemy and must do something about it...  We have an enemy that will cause droughts, floods, other extreme weather disturbances, and international conflict...  I introduced the most comprehensive climate-change legislation, including a tax on carbon.  Secy. Clinton does not support that proposal."

Clinton:  "[A]s secretary of State, I worked with Pres. Obama to bring China and India to the table for the first time to get a commitment to begin to address their emissions of greenhouse gases...  [T]he US led the way to the agreement... in Paris with 195 nations who committed to make a difference on climate change.  I was surprised and disappointed when Sen. Sanders attacked the agreement by saying it does not go far enough..."

Just like, earlier in the debate, she "attacked" Dodd-Frank for its insufficiency.

Sharpton
(Eric Vance / EPA)
Sanders:  "...Of course the agreement is a step forward.  But... there's a lot of paper there.  We must go beyond paper now.  We must lead the world in transformation of our energy system...  I support legislation to ban excavation for fossil fuel on public land.  That's not Secy. Clinton's position..."

Louis to Clinton:  "[A]s secretary of State, you... promote[d] fracking around the world.  Fracking is a way to extract natural gas.  You now say fracking, under the regulations you favor, would be restricted in many places around this country.  Why have you changed your view on fracking?"

Clinton:  "I don't think I changed my view on what the world must do to go from where it is, which is heavy dependence on oil and principally on coal, to where the world must be, which is clean and renewable energy.  For economic, environmental and strategic reasons, American policy was to try to help countries free themselves from constant use of coal... and, especially in Europe, from incredibly intense pressure from Russia.  So we said natural gas is a bridge.  We want to cross it as quickly as possible because, to deal with climate change, we must move as rapidly as we can.  That's why... I want to see us deploy a half-billion more solar panels by the end of my first term and enough clean energy to provide electricity to every home in the US within 10 years..."

Sanders:  "[I]ncrementalism... is not enough...  We must tell the fossil fuel industry their short-term profits are not more important than the future of this planet is.  Secy. Clinton, do you favor a tax on carbon so we can transition from fossil fuel to efficient and sustainable energy at the necessary speed?"

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

Louis to Sanders:  "...You call for a nationwide ban on fracking.  You call for a phaseout of all nuclear power in the US.  Would those proposals drive this country back to coal and oil, and thereby undermine the fight against climate change?"

Sanders:  "No...  Pope Francis reminded us we are on a suicide course...  There will be some people who lose their job.  We build into our legislation an enormous amount of money to protect them...  But we must, as we would if we were attacked by some military force, move urgently and boldly--"

Biden, Pope Francis (Architect of the Capitol)
Louis:  "But... less than 6% of US energy is from solar, wind and geothermal, and 20% is from nuclear.  If all fossil fuels and nuclear energy were phased out, how would you make up that deficit?"

Sanders:  "We would not phase it all out tomorrow.  But we should have a massive program -- and I introduced legislation for 10M solar rooftops -- so probably millions of people would be put to work to retrofit and weatherize buildings all over this country, rebuilding our mass-transit system...  [U]nder Franklin Roosevelt, we moved within three years to rebuild our economy to defeat Nazism and Japanese imperialism.  That is the kind of approach we need."

Blitzer:  "Secy. Clinton, Pres. Obama says his worst mistake in office... was the lack of preparation for what happened in Libya after Muammar Qadhafi was removed.  You were secretary of State then.  Are you also responsible for that lack?"

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

Bash to Sanders:  "In 1997, you said about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, 'This is not the time to continue to waste tens of billions of dollars to help defend Europe, let alone assume more than our share of any cost associated with expansion of NATO.'  Do you still feel that way?"

Sanders:  "[W]e spend about 75% of the cost of the military aspect of NATO...  I believe that the countries of Europe should pick up more of the burden for their defense.  Yes."

Clinton:  "I support our continued involvement in NATO.  To ask for our NATO allies to pay more of the cost is important.  I believe that the requirement for them to do so must be enforced.  But... we must modernize NATO to serve as that head of our defense operations in Europe with regard to terrorism and other threats we face..."

Bash:  "...There are 28 countries in the alliance.  The US gives more money to it than do 21 of them, combined.  If they were to refuse to pay more, what would you do?"

Clinton:  "I will stay in NATO, and we will continue to look for missions and other kinds of programs they would support...  [W]e must work out the financial aspects of it, but... [t]hink of what the cost would be if NATO were not on the front lines to deter Russia by making clear its aggression cannot move forward."

Pres. Johnson, King (Yoichi Okamoto / WH)
Blitzer to Sanders:  "[Y]ou maintain that Israel's response in Gaza in 2014 was disproportionate and led to unnecessary loss of innocent life.  What do you say to people who believe that Israel has a right to defend itself as it sees fit?"

Sanders:  "...Israel has a right to defend itself and to live in peace and security without fear of terrorism...  But in Gaza, which is not very large, some 10,000 civilians were wounded and some 1,500 were killed...  [I]f we will ever bring peace to that region, which has seen so much hatred and war, we will have to treat the Palestinian people with respect and dignity.  Unemployment in Gaza is around 40%.  Much of that area was decimated and has not been rebuilt: houses, schools, and health care facilities.  I believe that the world must work together to help the Palestinian people...  I think that would pave the way to an approach that would work in the Middle East."

Blitzer:  "Secy. Clinton, do you agree Israel overreacts... and must end its 'disproportionate responses' in order for peace to exist between Israel and the Palestinians?"

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

Sanders:  "...You evaded the question..."

Clinton then spoke for nearly a minute but still did not answer the question.

Sanders:  "...Secy. Clinton's speech before AIPAC[ included] virtually nothing about the needs of the Palestinian people...  [T]here will never be peace in that region unless the US plays an even-handed role in trying to bring people together and in recognition of the serious problems among the Palestinian people..."

Clinton:  "[T]o describe the problem is a lot easier than to solve it is..."

How can she solve the problem when she refuses to acknowledge what it is?

"I held the last three meetings between the president of the Palestinian Authority and the prime minister of Israel...  I was absolutely focused on what was fair and right for the Palestinians.  I was absolutely focused on what we needed to do to make sure the Palestinian people had the right to self-government.  I believe I, as president, could continue to make progress and get an agreement that will be fair to the Israelis and Palestinians without ever undermining Israel's security."

Roosevelt
(FDR Library)
Blitzer:  "...Sen. Sanders, you promise health care for all and free college for all."

That is false.  He proposes health care for all and proposes tuition-free public college.

"Those plans would be met with political and practical challenges.  The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget says your initiatives would cost up to $28 trillion and, even after massive tax-increases, would add as much as $15T to the national debt.  How is this fiscally responsible?"

Sanders:  "I disagree with that study.  Many economists come up with very different numbers..."

What Blitzer said is false.  The CRFB is bi-partisan.  Almost two-thirds of its board is comprised of the following people.  Each was at least one of these: a Republican politician, a conservative Democratic politician, an official in the administration of a Republican or of Clinton's husband, an aide to a Republican senator, or an officer of a business whose interests would not be served by Sanders's policies.
  • Ex-gov. Mitchell Daniels Jr. (R): director of the Office of Management & Budget, Bush-Cheney adm.; advisor, Pres. Reagan; ex-pres. of North American pharmaceutical operations, Eli Lilly & Co.
  • Ex-sens. Alan Simpson (R), Robert Packwood (R), George Voinovich (R)
  • Ex-sen. Charles Robb: ex-chairman, Democratic Leadership Council
  • Ex-rep. David Stockman (R): dir. of OMB, Reagan adm.
  • Ex-rep. Thomas Tauke (R): executive vice pres., Verizon
  • Ex-rep. James Kolbe (R): consultant, Kissinger Associates
  • Ex-rep. Willis Gradison Jr. (R): ex-pres., Health Insurance Assoc. of America
  • Ex-rep. David McCurdy: ex-chairman, DLC; pres./CEO, American Gas Assoc.
  • Ex-rep. Charles Stenholm: founder, Conservative Democratic Forum
  • Ex-rep. John Tanner (D): co-founder, Blue Dog Coalition
  • Ex-rep. James Jones (D): amb. to Mexico, Clinton adm.; ex-pres., Warnaco
  • Ex-rep. Leon Panetta (D): dir. of OMB, chief of staff at White House, Clinton adm.
  • Paul O'Neill: secy. of Treasury, Bush-Cheney adm.; deputy dir. of OMB, Nixon & Ford adms.; senior advisor, Blackstone Group
  • Daniel Crippen: advisor, Pres. George H.W. Bush; advisor, then-Sen. Howard Baker Jr. (R); fmr. exec. dir., Merrill Lynch Int'l Advisory Council
  • Joseph Wright Jr.: dir. of OMB, dep. secy. of Commerce, Reagan adm.
  • Cornelius Eugene Steuerle: dep. asst. secy. of Treasury, Reagan adm.
  • June O'Neill: senior economist on Council of Economic Advisors, Nixon & Ford adms.; adjunct scholar, American Enterprise Institute
  • Rudolph Penner: senior economist on CEA, Nixon adm.; dep. asst. secy. of Housing and Urban Development, Nixon & Ford adms.; asst. dir. of OMB, Ford adm.; fmr. resident scholar, AEI
  • Peter Peterson: secy. of Commerce, Nixon adm.; ex-chairman/CEO, Lehman Bros.; co-founder, Blackstone Group; opponent of Social Security, of Medicare, of Medicaid
  • William Hoagland: dir. of budget & appropriations, then-Sen. William Frist (R)
  • Maya MacGuineas: advisor, McCain 2000; opponent of Social Security
  • Erskine Bowles: WH chief of staff, Clinton adm.; dir., Morgan Stanley; dir., Wells Fargo
  • Alice Rivlin: dir. of OMB, Clinton adm. | Carol Cox Wait: dir., Cigna Corp.
  • David Walker: ex-dir. of global mgmt. of human capital services, Arthur Andersen LLP
By the way, corporate media are salivating over the "independent" Tax Policy Center's projection of an increase in the national debt by $21T under the proposals by Sanders, whose campaign explained how said projection is based on false premises.  A majority of the board of the TPC consists of
  • Nada Eissa: dep. asst. secy. of Treasury, Bush-Cheney adm.; visiting scholar, AEI
  • Nicholas Gregory Mankiw: chairman of CEA, Bush-Cheney adm. 
  • Jeffrey Brown: senior economist on CEA and economist on Commission to "Strengthen" Social Security, Bush-Cheney adm.
  • Rosanne Altshuler: sr. economist on Advisory Panel on Tax Reform, Bush-Cheney adm.
  • Ronald Pearlman: asst. secy. of Treasury, Reagan adm.
  • Joel Slemrod: sr. economist on CEA, Reagan adm.; nat'l fellow, Hoover Institution
  • Leslie Samuels: asst. secy. of Treasury, Clinton adm.
The directors of the TPC are
  • Leonard Burman: dep. asst. secy. of Treasury, Clinton adm.
  • Eric Toder: dep. asst. secy. of Treasury, Clinton adm.
  • William Gale: sr. economist on CEA, Bush-Quayle adm. 

Presidents Gerald Ford Jr., Richard Nixon,
G.H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan (David Valdez / WH)
Clinton:  "[O]n health care, most who analyzed what Sen. Sanders put out... have... no doubt... it would impose an incredible burden on the budget and on individuals.  The Washington Post called it 'a train-wreck for the poor.'"

The Washington Post, which has obsessively trashed Sanders throughout this campaign, is owned by Jeffrey Bezos, who is the fourth-richest person in the world.  He is -- as chairman, president and CEO of Amazon.com Inc. -- a brutal enemy of workers' rights.  The hit-piece Clinton cited was published weeks after the "study" on which it is based was debunked.  Since then, a proposal for Medicare-for-All was printed in The American Journal of Public Health and has drawn formal approval from roughly 2,300 physicians.

Clinton soon added, "The same for free college..."

Again, free public college.

Sanders:  "...Secy. Clinton will have to explain... how every other major country guarantees health care to all their people, spending significantly less per capita than we do...  As for public colleges and universities, please don't tell me we cannot do what many other countries do..."

Blitzer to Clinton:  "...Sen. Sanders challenges you to clearly answer on whether you would extend the life of and expand benefits of Social Security by lifting the cap on taxable income.  That cap is at $118,500.  Yes or no?"

Clinton then spoke for over a minute but did not answer.

Sanders:  "[Y]ou didn't answer..."

Clinton:  "I have supported it.  We are in vigorous agreement...  We're discussing the best way to raise money from the wealthy to extend the Social Security Trust Fund..."

Sanders:  "[I]f I hear you correctly, Madam Secretary, you finally favor lifting the cap..."

Judge Garland
(Charles Kennedy / WH)
Clinton:  "No..."

Sanders:  "...Do you support legislation to lift the cap...?"

Clinton:  "I have said yes, we will pick the best way or combination of ways..."

Some people in the audience then booed her refusal to answer.

Louis to Clinton:  "...Pres. Obama said he would not withdraw his nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, even after the presidential election.  If elected, would you ask the president to withdraw the nomination?"

Clinton:  "I will not contradict the president's strategy on this or engage in hypotheticals...  I would take stock of where we are and move from there."

Sanders:  "...I would ask the president to withdraw that nomination because... we need a Supreme Court justice who will have made clear, which this nominee has not, that he would vote to overturn Citizens United..."

Clinton:  "[T]he only people I would [nominate] to the Supreme Court believe that Roe v. Wade is settled law and that Citizens United must be overturned...  Donald Trump said women should be punished [for abortion]...  Sen. Sanders called that comment a distraction.  I don't think it is.  It goes to the heart of who we are...  [W]e must... defend Planned Parenthood from these outrageous attacks."

Clinton's characterization of Sanders's words is false.  He had said:
"To call Trump's position 'shameful' is probably an understatement...  [W]omen have the right to... make those personal decisions themselves.  But to punish a woman for an abortion is beyond comprehension...  I will do all I can to allow women to make that choice and have access to clinics...  [T]he Republicans, if they continue in their current direction, will be a fringe party...  They have no substance...  [E]very day, Trump comes up with another stupid, absurd remark.  Of course it should be mentioned.  But so should his overall [platform]..."
Sanders:  "[W]e must expand funds for Planned Parenthood..."

2 comments:

  1. Where has politics of courage been all my life? A quite remarkable display of scholarship and journalism. I'm not into the Uber economy so no thumbs up—just my undying gratitude.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for such kind and encouraging words.

      Delete